• Gaining Traffic From Social Media

    Social media is all the rage. Business owners are smart to tap into these tools to drive traffic to their sites, yet many are missing the mark. Here are some tips:

    1. Offer insight about your industry. When you’re online at your social networking site of choice it’s absolutely important to participate, but how you participate can make all the difference. If you’re merely commenting about what you had for dinner and your new car, then you’re not optimizing the site or your time. Instead, make sure to offer insight about your industry. This doesn’t mean every post has to link to an article or post of yours.

    You can link to relevant content on other sites, offer quotes and data. So while it’s great to share your personality on these sites, it’s also important to establish your credibility and authority. Provide relevant and useful information, and people will automatically go to your site to learn more about you and what you have to offer.

    2. Use attention-grabbing headlines, as well as  comments, controversy,  and how-to statements.

    3. Offer giveaways. People still like getting something for free and you can promote your freebies and giveaways on social networking sites. Reports, online courses or tutorials, blueprints, ebooks and video and audio content are all great ways to motivate traffic to your site.

    4. Use special promotions for your unique social media audience. If you have Facebook fans, consider offering them special promotions for signing up and for being a fan. You can do the same thing if you have a twitter account and so on. Consider giving each new friend/follower a coupon via a direct message to them. That coupon will motivate them to at least visit your website and may turn them into a customer or subscriber.

    Be willing to test and track to see what works. You can create a special webpage to drive social networking traffic to. You can even duplicate that page and use a unique URL for each site you participate on. This way you can track your traffic from each post and from each social networking site to see what works. It’s a great way to gain insight to your audience and to ensure you’re optimizing your time and efforts.

  • How Much Togetherness Do We Really Need?

    Look, I’m a technology loving girl.  The internet has truly changed the way we live, and I’m thankful for that everyday, especially since I have made my career out of owning blogs and using social media.

    Ahhh… social media. That really is the heart of the matter. Yes, the internet opened the world up to us, but social media is what brought it home. It is no lie that I have met many of my friends online. People that I hang out with regularly. When I started my site, I lived in Alaska. Back then, MySpace was cool, and several people from the area that I am originally from, and currently live in, found me and friended me. When I got back to Michigan, they attended some of the same events that I did, we met in person, hit if off, and now we’re pals.

    I would be lying if said I didn’t love social media. I am on Facebook and Twitter quite a bit. But that’s pretty much it. Facebook and Twitter. In fact, I have made jokes about Facebook being my husband and Twitter being my boyfriend…

    But things are always evolving and changing. Social media is no exception. There are always new sites and ways to connect. I’m talking FourSquare, PlanCast, Tumblr, etc.

    Most people have a hard time figuring out what to do with ONE social media site. Do we really need a handful? I mean, how much togetherness do we really need?

    If you’re uploading your pictures to Facebook and giving me a minute-by-minute breakdown of our day on Twitter, do I really need to know where you’re checking in on Foursquare? No. If I already read your blog and follow you on Twitter, do I need to Tumble you, too? No.

    Maybe, instead of all of this friending and following and tweeting and planning and checking in and checking out and whatever in the hell else we’re doing, maybe… we just all need to take a small break from each other.

    It’s okay to just pick one or two social media sites that you like and stick with them. For me, I use a WordPress blog, Twitter, and Facebook. I have apps for all of them on my phone and I can post, tweet, or update at the click of a button.

    And on the other hand, it’s okay to just un-plug from the internets every once in a while. In fact, you might want to try it for an hour or so every day. (do not gasp… do not stop breathing… you will be okay)

    So, if you’re feeling freaked out and overwhelmed by social media.. just stop. STOP. Take a breath. Turn off your gadgets. Grab some paper and a pen or a book or just sit and do nothing. When you feel ready, come back to your gadget and feel free to tweet, or update or post. But just pick one … and forget about the urge to login to 1o sites and tell everyone the same thing, over and over and over again…..

  • #indiebizchat – Marketing Mistakes – May 10

    The next Indie Biz Chicks Twitter Party will be Monday, May 10 from 9 – 10pm Eastern time. We will be talking about Marketing Mistakes (and you just might be making some of them)!

    I recommend using TweetGrid to keep track of the discussion. You can log in by clicking here.

    Remember to use the hashtag #indiebizchat when you enter in your tweets.

    RSVP below by posting a comment! That way, you can start following the other attendees on Twitter in advance of #indiebizchat

    ** Not sure how to join the Twitter Party? Click Here to watch the Twitter Party Video for instructions.

  • What To Tweet About?

    Many of us have taken on the social networks as marketing tools for our businesses. And in doing so, we have decided to use Twitter. Now we have accounts, at which we stare blankly.

    What should we be tweeting about?

    We have 140 characters to work with and while that seems easy, it can prove more difficult to provide a valuable post in 140 characters or less. We want to engage our audience, but the question then becomes how.

    What should you be sharing with your followers? What is it that they want to see?

    They want great conversation. Give them a statement worth replying to. Reply in kind and open the lines of communication.

    They want to get to know the person behind the tweets. Give them the opportunity to get to know you, your personality, as well as your company and services.

    They want links to great sites, videos or information. If you find it relevant and useful, chances are someone else will appreciate the resource as well.

    They want a tweet worthy of sharing with their own followers. Whether that comes in the form of a particularly humorous quip or a great article you have read, give them something they can retweet.

    While you want to engage your followers, they want to engage you as well. Don’t be afraid to jump in and get involved yourself. Join in on the conversations, thank a fellow Twitterer for sharing a resource you found helpful. Retweet their posts as well.

    In any good relationship there is balance, give and take. Don’t ask anything of your audience that you are unwilling to give yourself. If you are afraid to take your social networking to the next level, don’t expect that others will find you approachable and worthy of their time and effort.

    Give them what they want and what you will get in turn will be invaluable to you and your business.

    Click Here to Download the 10+ page guide How Too Use Twitter for FREE

  • Twitter Spam vs. Twitter Marketing

    When we begin speaking in terms of marketing, invariably the question comes up, are my marketing efforts true marketing efforts or are some viewing them as spam?

    Spam is about taking the choice away from someone and delivering them information about products and services without their permission. Spam comes in the way of unsolicited emails, junk mail and telemarketing. Spam leaves a bad taste in our mouths and for good reason. We have not asked to be inundated with the information that we find floods our inboxes these days.

    Marketing when done responsibly can be fun and witty. Commercials that reach us emotionally are effective marketing tools. People who care about their audience take the time to consider their message and how it will reach others.

    On Twitter we each have an option as to who we will follow. And one might suggest it is that choice that gives others the right to “spam”. Wrong. Spam is irresponsible and annoying. More will tune out than tune in.
    Take time to consider your message and how it will connect with your followers. Are you sharing a valuable service, product or resource? Do you take the time to share on a personal level as well as sharing on a business level? Have you established a relationship with your followers? Is the information you are providing timely and appropriate?

    If you can answer these questions with a yes answer then your message can effectively be considered marketing rather than spam. Your followers will welcome your post rather than turn away from it. Share your tweet with others and in turn respond in kind to their own messages and tweets. After all, marketing is all about the relationship and spam is about nothing more than the bottom line.

    Click Here to Download the 10+ page guide How Too Use Twitter for FREE

  • Are You Tweeting About Your Biz?

    If you’ve done any reading on the Twitter marketing, you probably realize that tweeting can be an effective, cost-free or low-cost solution for marketing your business. All too often, however, we may be left wondering what to tweet about our businesses. We are under the mistaken impression that we simply have nothing worthy of sharing.

    A good tweet can not only inform your followers about new developments in your company, but it can also educate, inform, or entertain them. .Once you achieve visibility, both your company profile and your client prospect levels will rise. The word of mouth that can come from a particularly intelligent tweet or series of tweets can result in hundreds or thousands of dollars in free advertising.

    If you provide tweets that appeals to your followers, you’ll gain credibility and be on your way to forming a valuable relationship. This can be very powerful from a marketing point of view.

    If you’re looking for things to tweet about in relation to your business, consider some of these ideas. This is a list of 19 reasons to tweet about your business and help you get started today in utilizing this amazing promotional strategy for your business:

    1. Starting a new business
    2. Celebrating a company anniversary
    3. Publishing of a new article or series of articles
    4. Publishing of a new blog post related to your business
    5. Publishing of a book or ebook
    6. Promote a book signing
    7. Receiving an award
    8. Announcement a partnership
    9. Promote a specific product, service, event, contest or fundraiser
    10. Promote a product or service that is holiday themed
    11. Promote a sale or holiday sale
    12. Promote a campaign using your company products that promotes a cause or creates awareness about something important
    13. Announce that you’re available to speak on particular subjects of interest
    14. Promote a public appearance on television, radio or in person
    15. Launching of a website or blog
    16. Website or blog anniversary
    17. Announce free information or resources are available
    18. Sponsoring a workshop, seminar, conference or teleseminar
    19. Announcement of a new strategic partnership or alliance

    While there are many other reasons to tweet, these ideas should help you jumpstart your creativity.

    Click Here to Download the 10+ page guide How Too Use Twitter for FREE

  • Who Are You Really Listening To?

    When I started looking for information on how to work from home and start my own business, there wasn’t any Facebook or Twitter. Back then, I had to go to message boards. You could ask a question, and people would reply back. The information was often from people with vastly different opinions. It could be hard to figure out what was “right” and what was “wrong.”

    Sometimes the people giving the advice were only pushing their own agenda. If someone asked for a way to work from home, they could easily receive 30 or more replies from people pushing them to join their network marketing company or direct sales company, even if the person had said they were looking for information on telecommuting.

    A lot of people were hurt or misled by the information they found on message boards. Even more people have the opportunity to get misinformed via Twitter and Facebook.

    When you ask a question and people respond to you, you will get answers from people who are genuinely trying to help you. But that doesn’t mean they are qualified to dispense the advice. For example, let’s say you wanted to find work as a freelance proofreader. Well, the person who responds to you may seem like they have a ton of helpful advice, but they may only be telling you what they have heard. They may never have actually been employed in the field. They may have only opened up their Twitter account two days before you. That two days of extra experience isn’t really that helpful.

    Before you take advice from someone – and definitely before you spend money on somene’s product or service, please think about the following:

    Who is this person? Anyone can go online and start answering questions and pushing a product. Do some investigative work to find out who this person is and what their experience is.

    What does Google have to say about them? If someone has been online for a year or more, they should have a nice sized Google footprint. If someone wants you to spend money on their product or service, Google their name. If nothing comes up, they probably haven’t been online as long as they say they have. If a bunch of complaints come up, be very cautious! Read through the first few pages of results and see what others think of this person.

    Who’s actually following them? You may find someone on Twitter who claims to be a social media expert. They may even look the part  with 20,000 followers. But don’t be fooled! Look and see who’s actually following them. There are ways to “pump up” the number of your Twitter followers by creating fake Twitter accounts. Make sure actual people are following  the person in question.

    What is the quality of their free information? Everyone offers some amount of “free information.” It may be in the form of their tweets, the posts on their blog, perhaps they offer a free ecourse via email or a small report or workbook for download. Before you pay good money for their help, look at their free information. What is the quality? If they don’t seem to know what they are talking about, if the information is hard to understand, or if they simply tell you to do something but can’t explain why you should do it, keep your money and look for help elsewhere.

    Are they listening to you? Or are they telling you? When you ask this person a question, do they listen to you? Do they give you an answer that works best for your situation? Or do they offer you a cookie-cutter explanation and tell you to fit your life into their solution? If someone really wants to help you, they will be explaining the options that fit your needs!

    How do you feel about them? Most importantly, how do you feel about this person? Do they make you feel comfortable? Are they someone you want to work with? Listen to your gut! Your instincts won’t lie!

  • Twitter Party: Learn How To Connect With Your Customers

    The next Indie Biz Chicks Twitter Party will be on Monday, October 26 from 9 – 10pm Eastern. We’ll be discussing tips on How To Connect With Your Audience.

    We are using the hashtag #indiebizchat. To participate, simply click here –  Tweet Grid will help you keep track of the discussion. Just remember to use the hashtag at the end of your tweets. For example: “I am really looking forward to this week’s #indiebizchat”

    You can RSVP in advance by leaving a comment onto this post with your Twitter name (for example: @indiebizchicks). That way, those who are participating can start following you on Twitter in advance!

    Hope you can make it!

  • Social Media Divorce: Making Your Way Through It

    Earlier today, I posed this question on my Facebook:  “If Facebook is my husband, is Twitter my boyfriend? Or am I just in a plural marriage?” Of course, that was meant to be a joke, but your connection to social media can be a lot like a relationship. You spend a lot of time with it, you tell it about your day and what you’re up to, it provides feedback and a connection, and sooner or later, you realize you’re kind of dependent on it.

    Unfortunately, there are times when even good relationships go bad. The same is true for social media. Do you really think you’re going to find any friends on Friendster? And MySpace is kind of like the slightly older cousin/neighbor/friend that seemed pretty cool when you were younger. Now, you just realize he’s a big flippin’ burn out.

    Sure, there are still a few people hanging around him, but those are people who a) have no clue or b) resist change. And he may still have a following with teenagers, but kids are known to hang out with older, dodgy weirdos who can score them alcohol.

    Anyway… back to the point. Here’s how to get through your Social Media Divorce:

    Let Your Feelings Be Known

    Sit down with your social media site {re: MySpace} and tell them why you are leaving. Explain that you had some good times, but you’ve grown apart. Let them know that you wish them luck, but that there really isn’t any point to being ‘friends’ anymore.

    Tell Your Friends And Family

    The next step is to tell your friends and family that you are moving on and where they can find you. This may mean your custom Facebook URL or your Twitter handle, etc. Your best bet is to include your new address in your emails, on your business cards, etc. Don’t be shy about letting people know…

    Start Seeing Other Sites

    In many cases, a social media divorce happens because the person has started seeing Facebook and/or Twitter on the side.  If you haven’t started yet, now is the time! You’re a free agent! Don’t feel bad about tweeting or updating your Facebook status. Remember, you are not married to MySpace anymore!

    Have Fun And Experiment – But Remember What You Learned

    Yes, now is the time to have fun and experiment with new sites. Let your hair down a little and put up some Twitpics, Retweet a funny post, install a Twitter app on your phone, hell – if you have the ability… go mobile with Facebook, and don’t forget to tell a few people you like their status and even leave a comment or two.

    But remember what you learned. Social Media sites don’t last forever, so don’t get too attached. Just because it’s hot today, doesn’t mean it’s going to be the “it” place to be next year. When you start hearing chatter about the next cool thing, don’t be so quick to dismiss it. Be adventurous and go explore it. You never know, you may just find a new (and enjoyable) distraction.