Apr 162013
 

Social media are creating a big revolution in our society.  Because of the big influence of social media, businesses have to spend long hours every week on social media to ensure their business growth.

  • 50% of mobile traffic in UK is for Facebook.
  • YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world.
  • The huge number of followers of Facebook is sufficient to become the third largest country in the world.
  • A new member joins LinkedIn every second.
  • Pinterest has the distinction to become the fastest site to achieve 100 million visitors in 2012.
  • Over 100 million people are using Instagram.
  • Over 200 millions people are active on Twitter.
  • Only 14% trust advertisements.
  • Social media is used for business by 93% of marketers.

In 2012, every minute in every day, 100,000 tweets were sent, 1684,478 posts were shared on Facebook, 2 million searches were done using Google and 48 hours of videos were uploaded to YouTube.   Such a revolutionary influence of social media impacts offline behavior of people also in a big way. For example 1 in 5 couples meet online. 3 in 5 gay couples meet online. 1 in 5 divorces are blamed on Facebook.

Increasing Trend Of Social Media

Apr 092013
 

google plusOf late, there is a lot of discussion surrounding Google Plus and the way it’s useful for business promotion especially for smaller business ventures. The fact is, since its inception, Google Plus has been a beneficial place for business promotion, much better than Facebook and other social media sites. Hence smaller businesses, which were leveraging this social media platform, are seen getting outstanding results in terms of conversion and revenues. Since it is owned by Google, the giant search engine, it could prove to be a great gateway to flourish your business online. The below is the list of ways to earn success for your smaller size businesses on Google Plus.

It’s growing with a faster pace

If you check the growth of Google Plus, the rate of growth and its popularity in terms of social domain seems to be much faster than Facebook and other social networking sites. Facebook was launched in 2004 has now reached to 800 milliongoogle plus users, while Google Plus in less than two years has pumped in more than 400 million people over it. Technically speaking, the growth rate of Google Plus seems to be four times than Facebook. Small businesses often look for growth, hence to get success in less duration Google Plus could be the option for you to promote your business online. Lastly, considering the presence of Google, you get better search results with Google Plus when you consider it in your online marketing strategy.

Better search results

The search results that you find having images is often the posts by different Google + users. The number of Google + account holders makes this happen over the search results. It is usually accepted that the posts, which are carried out by qualified users are now be able to influence the search results and thus gain better ranks. Also, Google Plus users are now being considered as more trusted users as compared to other social media sites, hence they are more likely to give better results over the number of searches carried out over Google. If you are able to post quality content for your business, the results you get would be far better than the others. Lastly, with competent business promotion strategy, you could end up getting more local searches, which is not possible over Facebook or any other social media sites.

Better tools for your business marketing

Google is a big family wherein you could find a number of tools and products available online, that can help you in your business promotion provided you base your online marketing strategies on Google Plus. Once you start using Google Plus for your business promotion, Google will help you in providing better ways through its various tools like Gmail, Maps, Search, and YouTube to make your business venture more visible before your target audience. Small businesses can therefore employ a good team based on experiences marketers to create effective content and promote their products and services over Google Plus along with linking up relevant content found with different authors and users. In this way, with competent strategy over Google Plus, you can end up getting favorable search results for your business.

Final word

With passing time it seems that slowly and steadily Google will be shifting all the things over Google Plus. Therefore soon, it will be used like a search engine, to find better and personalized results. At such junctures, small businesses, which struggle hard to reach to their small and specific target audiences, can find Google Plus as the best resort to find better results.

Follow Fresh View Concepts on Google+!

Apr 022013
 

facebook business pageWhy should your business use Facebook? With more than one billion active users and over half of those users signing on every day, it can be great way to get inexpensive exposure for your company. It gives you the opportunity to attract potential customers who would not have otherwise known about your company.  Facebook can also be a great way to provide customer service quickly and efficiently.  Facebook is most valuable when used as an extension to of your company website.

Social Media is now widely accepted as a major player in any company’s marketing mix.  It is no longer just a trend, and can have major ROI when properly implemented.

Promoting Your Facebook Business Page

So, how do customers get to your Facebook page easily?  There are a few ways.  Put a link to Facebook on your website; this is a great way to connect your customers to everything you have on the web. You can also put a link to your page in your monthly email newsletter.  This has become a standard in most emails, and can be easily integrated.  One of the ways Facebook gives you is a Custom URL (username).

To use this feature you must first have 25 fans, but it is well worth the wait, which is usually only a matter of days if you make sure to promote your page.  This gives you the ability to put your company name (if you prefer) in the link.   For example, we use FreshViewConcepts as a username, so our link is www.facebook.com/FreshViewConcepts.   A custom URL makes it easy for your customers to remember, so they do not have to go hunt down a direct link to your page.Facebook cover photo- Fresh View Concepts

Posting to Your Facebook Page

Now you are ready to start posting!  You can post about what products or services you offer, specials you are having, or company news.  But be careful, you do not always want to talk just about your company.  Although your fans follow you because they want to know more about your company, they become “burnt out” when they hear too much.  Give them information they can really use that also complements your business.  For example, Fresh View Concepts posts about the company, but also posts about the latest trends in social media and web design.  Also, you want to make sure you are interacting with your customers.  If they comment on a post or ask a question, answer them back promptly.  This will let them know you care about what they have to say and how they are feeling.  You can also have a bit of fun and make your page fun for your fans.  Ask questions with the ‘Questions’ feature or make it a poll!  It is a great way to get customer feedback about a product or service.  If you wanted know what your customers thought about a new product, this would be the tool to use.

This leads us to EdgeRank.  Think every time you post something it is seen by everyone of your fans?  Most likely, it is not.  Facebook uses a specific formula to determine which posts each user sees.  If fans interact with your page continuously; liking posts, commenting, and sharing; this increases the chance more people will see your posts.  Links, pictures, and videos also have a higher ranking than just a regular status update, so include those when you can.  If your fans are interacting, it is more likely that their friends will also interact.  This is because of the likelihood that an interaction will post to the fan’s timeline.  Bottom line, engage your customers!

Facebook Analytics

How do you keep track of what is working and what is not?  A Facebook business page gives you the tools to track almost everything from new likes to post interactions. ‘Overview’, ‘Likes’, and ‘Reach’ tabs gives you information by weeks and months.  It tells you how many new likes you have and if it is up or down from the previous week/month; as well as how many weekly/monthly active users you have, lifetime likes, how many post views, and how much post feedback you received.   These tabs give you tons of information on how users are interacting, whether its liking a post, commenting, or even how many are unique visitors.  It also tells you what age groups and gender your users are and what country and city they are from.  Pages your users are looking at are also shown.  These tabs can give you good information on which posts were looked at the most, and can help you sort out which types posts are working best for your company.  It gives you total impressions (views) and feedback percentage (percentage based on how many fans you have).

Now that you have all the basic tools for your Facebook business page, it is time to put it to work!

Dec 182012
 

Although anyone with a decent smartphone can take high-quality pictures these days, professional photographers are still extremely sought after in a wide range of markets. Even with HD video and the 4G streaming capabilities a lot of us have, nothing captures the moment like a breathtaking picture. Thus freelance photographers are still in high demand, and using Facebook to market your photography business is a great idea.

If you’re a general freelancer looking to use Facebook to market your business, you can find great tips here. But if your goals are specific to freelance photography, then the tips listed below might help you gain some recognition.

1: Let Your Profession Show Through the Page

Ambiguity doesn’t cut it with freelance photography. There’s a lot of competition out there, and unless your Facebook page actually reflects what it is you’re doing, people are going to gloss over your page. Think about capturing a user’s attentions in an understated, elegant way. You’ve seen a good Facebook page before (and if you haven’t, browse some of the top brands). They’re not outlandishly colorful or packed down with bloated page elements. They’re attractive and utilize the space wisely by taking advantage of what they post.

Most of all, however, these top pages let you know what it is they’re about. Follow the successful formula and show off your profession.

2: Step Outside of the Box

One of the top ways a freelance photographer is going to gain attention is by showing off their work. You have a solid opportunity here to turn your quality photos into unique page posts which will hopefully earn a lot of likes, start a lot of dialogue, and earn you a lot of recognition. But look beyond simply posting “quality.” Play to your market by posting unique, captivating photos that they cannot see anywhere else. Originality trumps all when you’re trying to stand out amongst the competition.

3: Market to a Broader Range

One of your goals as a freelance photographer is to earn gigs with quality publications. Another goal, equally important, is to be recognized for your work. You want to extend your reach past simply marketing for a publishers’ eyes; you want to develop a fan base and brand yourself as any business would. Face it: You’re a business now. And while you may be a business of one, it is a business nonetheless. To that end, your goals extend beyond clients. You have to get your brand out there and recognized.

4: Utilize the Facebook Platform

Choosing the right ad management app is important when attempting to fully utilize the Facebook platform. Yes, Facebook does come chocked full of features, like their Custom Audiences which allows you to market directly to your contacts, and other features to help you gain some recognition. But much of what you’ll do is ad-driven, from turning posts into ads and running multiple campaigns to successfully driving traffic to different locations. Familiarize yourself with ad-creation and management.

5: Show Some Consistency

This isn’t a single tip per say; it’s more like a wide assortment of tips under the same banner of consistency. You should set and adhere to a schedule for posting as a freelance photographer. You also need to reply to people who reply to you or who message you about information. Consistency also refers to the quality of the pictures you’re showing. It’s not enough to put your best foot forward the first time; you have to continually shatter the mold and create that proverbial “wow” with your material.

There’s no one-size-fits-all handbook of freelance photographer success when dealing with Facebook. The truth is that you’re only going to get out what you put in, and that depends on your quality, your consistency, and your willingness to brand yourself to your market. These tips can help, but it’s up to you to follow through.

Nov 212012
 

More than 1 billion people have the ability to use Facebook Cover Photos to express their own individuality.  This also includes business pages and Facebook cover photos can be a great way to let people know what your business is about through a simple picture.  Facebook cover photos can help you capture new and potential customers who would otherwise not know what your company is all about.  Many people on Facebook simply “skim” business pages, and this gives you a way to reach out to those people, who may otherwise “skim” right past your Facebook business page.

How to Make a Facebook Cover Photo

Facebook cover photos can be 851px wide by 315px tall.  This gives you quite a bit of space to tell a story.  You will want to leave a space blank in the bottom left corner for your business profile picture, normally around 190px wide by 100px tall.  A good rule of thumb is to use your logo as your business profile picture and the size this picture can be around 125px by 125px.  Here are some examples of excellent Facebook cover photos:

Our Facebook cover photo shows we are mainly social media oriented, but also have a website design side!

Facebook cover photo- Fresh View Concepts

You can also integrate your Facebook cover photo and your business profile photo so that they almost merge together as one photo.  Armani does this well.  You want to make sure that the colors and lighting match so that the transition is seamless.

Facebook cover photo- Armani

Sprite also does an amazing job at integrating the two photos.  Although they are not perfectly matched, you know that Sprite made the label bigger for a reason.

Facebook cover photo- Sprite

Another great example is Coca Cola.  They remind you why you love Coca Cola and how it makes you feel.

Facebook cover photo- Coca Cola

 

These examples are just a few of the hundreds of thousands that could help inspire you when you design your Facebook cover photo.  Make sure that your cover photo really showcases how you want others to perceive your brand. Choosing not to use this Facebook feature could be a costly mistake, as completed profiles are a sign that you care about how you are viewed by others in social media.

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Oct 162012
 

C’mon folks it’s 2012, the days of being able to close on most sales transactions with the style of a pushy used car salesman, are gone. That window closed over a year ago.  Not that you can’t still close people, but the residual factor is usually gone when you use this approach. We now have to consider the “Life Time Value” [LTV] of each prospect we come across. The reason is simply because of social media. Thanks to thought leaders like Mark Zuckerberg, the whole way that we perceive salespeople and marketing tactics, is changing at a rapid pace.  Plus now we have a way to stay connected and engaged with our clients/prospects in a seemingly real way.  It’s every salesperson’s goal to be the first person your past clients think of when they are ready to buy your product/services again. Thanks to social media you can make that happen.  You just have to be cool about it.

We are becoming more visually stimulated beings. We want to look at content with infographics. We want to look at Facebook posts with pictures. [One a side note: I think it is all Pinterest's fault] Things that really stand out and are aesthetically pleasing to our eyes, are the only things that matter these days. It’s no longer a world were cold hard sales calls full of feature dumping, are the most effective way of marketing. Matter of fact they are the least effective.social media infographic

Let’s talk about the variety of ways you can stay in touch with your past, present and future clients. First up, let’s look at email. Email is no longer considered one of the highest influential ways to market. The truth is, that the average email open rate is only 12%. Don’t EVEN allow me to go there on direct mail. Most of it gets thrown away, and only 7% of direct-mailers actually show a positive ROI.  Even traditional media is becoming less and less influential. (unless you’re in politics) Only 16% of all TV and Radio marketing campaigns yield a positive ROI.  Now, don’t get me wrong.  If you are doing these things, you are good at them and getting above average results, DON’T STOP.  Always keep doing what works.

What these numbers tell us, is that our audience is getting smarter. They’re getting more hip to the same old sales pitches. The marketplace is demanding for someone to listen to them. Someone to give them transparency in marketing. Someone to show them where their pain actually is, and then cure that pain. You need to step into that space, and step out of being an old school pushy salesperson. You are now responsible for being THE expert consultant, with a much needed solution to their big a$$ problem. It’s at this point when your sphere of influence becomes a buyer from you. It’s at that point that you become a “Closer”, the sales equivalent of a “Made (Wo)Man”.  It’s that plain and simple.

So you might ask “That’s all fine and cool Ryan, but how do I go about doing that?”

My answer to you is simple. “Follow the steps below.”

Step 1: Listen to your audience.

How do you listen to your audience with out physically talking to them?  The best way to listen to your audience, without having to pick up phone and have a conversation with them, or without having to really get to know them better is to stalk them online. Take a look at their Facebook page. Take a look at their Twitter, their LinkedIn page, find out the things that they’re saying. Actually read their posts.  Look at their pictures and familiarize yourself with their online character.  Chances are, what they care about on SM and in life are usually the same. See if your prospects talk about their family life. See if they are into sports. Look and see how often they post about their business.  This gives you instant ammo to start a conversation that they also WANT to have.  With a little finesse, you will have them telling you what you need to hear in order to close the deal.

Step 2: Connect and engage with your audience.

We all know that it takes seven touches in order to influence an individual and for them to become familiar with you. We also know that people buy from people they know like and trust.  With these things in mind the easiest, fastest, and most influential way to accomplish the 7 touches you need, can be done easily via social media.  The first touch comes from the prospect seeing your post. The second touch comes from when they like or comment on your post. The third touch comes from you @tagging them in your response comment. The fourth touch is a gimme, everyone likes to see their name written and hear it spoken. The fifth is when almost all SM sites automatically send an email when you mention them, retweet them or whatever.  The 6th and 7th are when you keep the conversation going by keeping the comments engaging.  Remember this: Statements end in a period. Engaging post end in question marks. There’s the six and seven touches that you need accomplish to immediately gain influence and familiarity with your audience. this compels them to buy from you, without you having to jam features and verbally vomit why they should be buying from you. Let them come to you and say “this is why I’m with you, it’s because of your expertise.”

Step 3: Question the confession

So what does question the confession actually mean? Well first off, that’s my saying. I believe you have to ask the right questions to make a sale. Too often times salespeople try to tell tell tell tell tell tell tell.  If I’m constantly just telling you stuff/features, and even if you’re listening, you’re only trying to convince them of something you’re not closing,  A true closer is waiting for the prospect to talk about the bad.  Many times we are on sales calls and listening but to only the good things.  Who cares about good things?  If things were good, you would not be talking.  You poke around and ask the hard questions.  The ones that make them uncomfortable and realize they need improvement. Then once they tell you what that pain is, you tell them you can make that pain go away. Easy, simple and a lot less words and energy.

One more thing you must know though. There’s a big difference between just a conversation, and a SALES conversation. A conversation is someone that you’re just talking to about your business, and has no inclination of buying your stuff, and is not even remotely interested in your services. A sales conversation is knowing you have someone on the line that has the ability to buy your product. A sales conversation is with someone who can significantly and immediately benefit from what you have.  So now with that being clear…

So we are having a sales conversation, then what?  Turn that conversation over completely to them. You ask short questions, they give long answers.  If their answers are short, ask more/better questions.  This requires a great deal of patience. In the end, they will have told you what they are good at and if you are good, they will have told you what they are bad at.  It’s at that very moment you offer the solution you know will fix the problem.  If they show resistance your response is simply “but you did say that you [insert what they said here]” it is at that point they usually say “you’re right, thank you, let’s do this”

Three simple steps you can use to convert social media friends into great customers that you know and like working with.  Try it.  it is not easy, but it is simple.  If you will simply have a little patience and wait for them to tell it, you can SELL IT!

 

 

 

Oct 102012
 
sproutsocial-0_o

Recently, I was asked by Sprout Social to review their social media dashboard.  I did not hesitate because I love testing out things that I have not previously used, and also because, if you read this blog regularly, then you know that I am a die hard HootSuite fan.  If you are anything like me, you rely on social media dashboards for not only your own social media management, but also the management of many different client accounts as well.  Anything that makes this process the come together cohesively into one place is worth a try.  This is a non-bias opinion, Sprout Social did not give me any sort of compensation to do this review, only a month free trial to have the proper amount of time to do a thorough review.

As soon as you log in, the dashboard itself is neatly organized, nicely displayed, easy to find where you need to go.  First, you set up your accounts in different “groups”, which I find to be a blessing in disguise, because it eliminates any mistakes you could have posting to the wrong account.  Once everything is set up, you can go to the “Home” tab to see all of the analytics for the particular group you are in.  Your group view can be changed easily in the top right corner of the page.  It gives you your group trends, demographics, and separate social network statistics.  This would be a great feature, but you cannot customize it.  What if I wanted to see what links I posted that week were the most popular?  Also, you can only view them for the past week or the past month, sorry, no custom date ranges.

Next is the “Messages” tab.  This is where all of your social media networks come together. In the “Smart Inbox”, you can see all of the activity that is centered around your brand; who is following you, who is interacting with you, and how you are interacting with others through social media.  This tab is also where you can see your tasks if you are working with teams.  Here, you can see your tasks, assign tasks, and invite team members.  Also, you will be able to see all of your sent messages for each particular group in this tab.

The “Feeds” tab is where you can see everything that is coming in from Twitter, and whatever other account (LinkedIn) you have attached to the particular group, but not Facebook.  Here is a feature that MarketMeSuite got right.  They have an Inbox that connects all of the social media accounts in a group, and you can see the feeds from all of the accounts in one tab.  In Sprout Social, you cannot see Facebook, and you have to click between the tabs on the left to see Twitter in one, and LinkedIn in another.

In Sprout Social, you can schedule messages to go out to which ever social media account you want, or more than one at a time.  This is a great feature that every social media dashboard now has and is convenient if you do not have all day to spend on Twitter.  The down side?  When you are in your feeds tab and want to retweet someone, you cannot schedule that retweet or add comments.  This is a feature in HootSuite that I could not live without.  I want to send things when I want to send them, not when my social media dashboard tells me too.

The “Discovery” tab is a cool feature that Sprout Social came up with for Twitter to be able to see people that follow you, but you do not follow them.  It also offers a way to cleanup your profiles; it shows people who do not have much going on or that do not interact very much, and you have the option to unfollow them.  There is also a great search feature to see if people are talking about your brand.  This feature is still inferior to HootSuite, in that, you have have tabs in HootSuite that you can setup to see if people are talking about you or your brand, instead of having to search every time.

Once you have arrived at the “Reports” tab, here is where you can basically see the same things you see on the Home tab.  It still is not very customizable, but here is where you can see specific date ranges of analytics and you can export the data.

You can get all of this for $39 a month, or you can go with HootSuite and have more and better features for Free (Basic) or Pro for only $9.99 a month.  If you would like a thorough overview of all of the features HootSuite has to offer, please contact me at nina@freshviewconcepts.com!

May 012012
 

With so many blogs out there writing about social media, how do you sort though them all to get to the best ones?  We have done that for you!  Here are ten of the best social media blogs!  These blogs cover a variety of social media topics from Facebook to Pinterest.

Social Media Today

We Are Social People

Hubze

 Hubspot

 Social Media B2B

Social Media Examiner

Likeable Media

Social Marketing Journal

 Ignite Social Media

Ask Aaron Lee

Make sure to add these to your favorite RSS reader, so you can keep up to date on all the best social media news!

Do you know of great Social Media Blogs that you find to be full of great social media information?  We would love to hear what they are!

Apr 242012
 

I recently conducted a survey to see which social media sites people used most frequently and why they used them and not others.  Here is what I found:

1. Which social media sites do you use most frequently?

‘Twitter’ showed a 60% usage rate and ‘Facebook’ collected the remaining 40%.  ‘Google+’, ‘Pinterest’, and ‘YouTube’ received no votes and the ‘Other’ option was also unused.

2. Do you Share Pictures?

‘Sometimes’ received 60% and ‘Yes’ received the remaining 40%.  ‘Always’, ‘Never’, and ‘Who Care’s had no votes.

3. What do you like most about the your social media site of choice?

50% said ‘I LOVE SOCIAL MEDIA!’,  33% said ‘All my friends use it’ and 17% said ‘It’s easy to use’.  ‘ I don’t use social media’ and ‘Other’ had no votes.

4. What would you change about social media?

80% answered ‘Just a few tweeks, like easier sharing and seeing all my friends posts, not just some’ and 20% answered ‘Nothing, its great and its free’.   ‘Everything, it sucks’ and ‘Other’ had no votes.

5. Why don’t you use other social media sites as much as the one you chose in question 1?

This one got some interesting answers!  50% said they ‘Don’t have time’, 17% said because ‘Their friends aren’t on it’ and 33% answered ‘Other’.  No one answered ‘Boring’, ‘Don’t Care’, or ‘They all suck’.

The ‘Other’ answers are as follows:

–”I do use other sites, but this is not a fair comparison. You can’t compare something like Facebook and Youtube and ask why you would use one more than the other without limiting the question to some kind of function that they share. One is a totally different value proposition than the other. That’s like asking why you don’t go to the movies more than you go to Taco Bell.”

–”I use them all!”

The survey was a simple one, with only responses required.  No gender, age, education, or job information was required.

I find it interesting that in Questions 3 and 5, it mattered if their friends were on the social media platform.  Are you influenced by what social media sites your friends are on?  Would you use Twitter if no one you knew were using it?

In Question 5, do you agree that asking why you don’t use one social site as much as another is not a fair comparison?  Or do you think there are connected reasons of why you use Twitter more than Facebook?

It was nice to see in Question 4, that most people are generally satisfied with their social media platform of choice, and wouldn’t change very much about it.  What would you change about your social media site of choice?

What answers would you have chosen if you had taken this quiz?

If you were conducting a social media survey, what would you have added/subtracted from the survey?

Apr 092012
 

Photo sharing app Instagram is being bought out by Facebook for $1 billion.  According to a post by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerburg,

This is an important milestone for Facebook because it’s the first time we’ve ever acquired a product and company with so many users. We don’t plan on doing many more of these, if any at all. But providing the best photo sharing experience is one reason why so many people love Facebook and we knew it would be worth bringing these two companies together.

According to Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom,

It’s important to be clear that Instagram is not going away. We’ll be working with Facebook to evolve Instagram and build the network. We’ll continue to add new features to the product and find new ways to create a better mobile photos experience.

What will happen in the future with Instagram is uncertain.  Instagram recently rolled out it’s app in the Google Play marketplace  (Android), so reports of 30 million iOS users has to be added to the new expanding Android market.  The popular photo app had over 1 million downloads on the first day in the Google Play marketplace.

Will you continue to use Instagram?

Source:  Forbes