Sometimes you just do not know what to write about. Blogging, Twittering, Facebooking, it seems that you need to write more than the average reporter just to keep in touch with your social media network. We all run out of ideas and experience writers block on occassion. Here are five sure fire solutions to get those wheels turning and the thoughts rolling out.
1 - StumbleUpon
Enter your interests and spend a few minutes each day discovering new sites. You will be amazed at the thoughts that start coursing through your mind as you stumble your way around the web.
2 - Google Alerts
What are you interested in? Set up an alert in Google Alerts and wait for Google to deliver the updates to your email or RSS reader.
- TIP: If you are searching for a phrase such as MMJ TECHNOLOGY LLC make sure to enter the phrase, as you want it to appear in your results, in quotation marks: "MMJ Technology LLC"
3 - Netvibes
You can use any RSS reader you like, although I prefer Netvibes personally. As you find blogs that are written about topics you like, subscribe to their RSS feeds. Take a few minutes daily to look at the updates that automatically come into your reader.
4 - Tweetdeck
Whether you are a twitter pro or newbie - Tweetdeck is an amazing tool that runs on your desktop and allows you to see the tweets from those you are following along with topics your are interested in. Tweetdeck also provides a connection to Facebook and Linkedin that makes it absoletly painless for you to keep up on your social networks updates.
5 - BIZIT Blog's Recommended Reading
You will find links to some of the best articles on the web on the BIZIT Blog. We read more so you do not have to read things that are a waste of your time. Our Recommended Reading list is updated each work day; make it a part of your daily start.
Take a few moments in the morning. Instead of reading the paper, read your RSS updates in Netvibes, browse your Google Alerts and Stumble for a few minutes to find some new websites. DO NOT miss your coffee - that will not help your writers block, at least not with topics you should write about! Spend a few minutes each day and never run out of things to write about.
Have you seen MTV's show "Pimp Your Ride?" On the show they take a vehicle and customize it, often beyond the dreams of the owner, and create a vehicle that really gets noticed!
You can do the same thing with your Facebook Fan page. How? We'll walk you through it . . .
1 - Go to Facebook.com and after signing in to your personal profile create a Fan Page (if you are simply interested in pimping your personal Facebook page you can skip this step)
2 - Use your favorite graphics program, I use Photoshop Elements, and create a banner image to use as your Fan Page profile picture.
- the image should be approximately 200 x 600 (pixels)
- use your picture(s), logo and text to create a banner image that shares valuable information with your potential fans
- save the banner image as a web optimzed JPG or PNG image
3 - Return to your newly created Facebook Fan page and move your mouse over your existing profile picture. You should see a button appear in the upper right hand corner of your profile image that says "Change Picture." Click on this button, choose UPLOAD A PICTURE and upload the image you just created.
4 - After the image is uploaded and set as your new profile picture, move your mouse back over the image and click on "Change Picture" again and choose EDIT THUMBNAIL from the menu that pops up.
5 - In the window that comes up, drag the banner image to the desired location to set your thumbnail picture. The thumbnail picture will be displayed next to your posts and updates.
Congratulations! You have just completed the first phase of pimping your Facebook profile. We will talk about how to set up your own personalized Welcome page for fans in an upcoming blog post. Stay tuned!
Another store location? I must be kidding, right?
Not at all. E-commerce is a wonderful extension for many businesses; for some businesses it is their only location (think Amazon.com). One of the first key things that your business needs to understand is that an e-commerce presence is an additional location for your business; it is much more than just an extension of your website. An e-commerce site should be treated as if it is a distinct location for your business.
Whether you are looking to sell your entire range of products or simply trying to promote a few of your “hottest” items, treating your e-commerce site as if it were a separate physical location for your business will aid you in achieving the success you desire. Think of it this way, if you decide to add another location to your business, you also consider things such as staffing, marketing, procedures, inventory management, logistics and a host of additional things. When you open an e-commerce location it is much more than a simple addition to your existing website; it is a distinct location for your business.
Last week I was talking to a small business owner who wanted to add e-commerce functionality to his site. On the surface, this is a relatively straight forward process and we began discussing various aspects of the addition such as:
What products should I sell?
Will we have “web only” specials?
Who will manage the specials?
Can people buy online and pick-up at our location?
As the conversation continued, it became clear to the small business owner that there are a number of things that need to be considered as you plan for your e-commerce site. “I guess it is almost like opening another store” he commented.
Yes, opening another store – whether a physical location or online – requires some planning to succeed.
What questions do you need to ask in order to maximize the success of your e-commerce site?
I was at a business networking event the other day and one of the resounding comments I heard from my associates was “Twitter? I just do not get it.” This is a common chorus among small business owners and one that I myself was signing in the past.
Do you want to understand Twitter? Follow these steps:
1 – Setup a Twitter account
2 – Follow some people you know
3 – Go to Twellow and search Twitter for some people interested in the same things you are and follow a handful of them (start out with 20 or less)
4 – Download TweetDeck and use it to “watch” the tweets of the people you follow on Twitter
5 – “Listen” - simply read the tweets from the people you are following and get a feel for how they are using Twitter and how it works.
After a week of “listening” begin posting your own tweets – a few a day is a good place to start. Remember, it all begins with one step.
Tell me about your favorite tweets and feel free to follow us.
"My target market is anyone who wants my product or service."
You've probably heard that . . . maybe even thought it yourself. After all, we want to reach anyone who wants to buy from us, right? We do want to reach the people that want to buy from us. The question we need to ask ourselves with social media, as with any other form of marketing, is "who are we trying to reach?"
Studies show that over 70% of the people go online to research a product, service or company before making a purchase decision. That means that you have the opportunity, through the effective use of social media, to positively influence the majority of your potential customers.
Did you know that the fastest growing segment on the Facebook are users between 38 and 50? Is this a market you would like to reach?
You need to understand your target market so you can "aim" your marketing efforts directly at them. Obviously, you are going to use different tools and styles to reach "young marrieds" as opposed to "baby boomers."
Follow these four steps to help you reach your market more effectively:
- Determine who is most likely to be positively influenced by your social media campaign.
- Find out where that group spends most of their time online.
- Establish a presence where your market "hangs out" online.
- Track the response to your online marketing efforts.
Meet your customers where they are.
Create content that they will be interested in.
Provide them value on your website, Facebook fan page, blog, Linkedin page and Twitter page.
Most importantly; start today.
Where are you meeting your customers?