How to Incorporate YouTube into Your Business

August 19th, 2014

Great Ways to Get YouTube into Your Business

YouTube is now the second largest search engine on the planet, and by far the most flexible. You can embed YouTube videos quickly and easily nearly anywhere, and multiply your marketing efforts with ease. Moreover, utilizing YouTube marketing in your business is an incredibly cost-effective way to drive traffic and sales. You’ve heard the stats touting YouTube as the behemoth it is, and the reasons you should use it in your business. Nevertheless, it’s not always clear the best way to go about that.

That being said let’s look a 7 easy ways to incorporate YouTube into your business.

  1. Create videos of your products and services - Here’s your chance to demonstrate your stuff in action. Try to make these videos fun, and not overly technical. Emphasize what benefits they can bring to the buyers.
  2. Drive traffic - Properly optimized YouTube videos can drive tons of traffic to your pages. Understand how to make your videos rank well in both YouTube and Google for best results. Consider driving paid traffic to your videos. Remember, it is much easier to rank a YouTube video highly as opposed to a webpage!
  3. Create a dedicated YouTube channel for your brand - Creating a specific YouTube channel for your business can help in several ways, particularly in Google rankings. YouTube is also a social network, so you would be wise to keep an eye on any comments that pop up on your videos and channel.
  4. Introduce both you and your staff to add authenticity - Putting a face to the business does wonders for creating know, like and trust!
  5. Create tip videos - Use this platform to generate legions of views and viewers by creating tip videos that display your expertise in helpful ways your people are seeking.
  6. Post links to your videos on your social networks - Be sure to provide links to your videos on your social network sites, as well as in email. This drives traffic to the videos, which in turn feeds the site, ranks higher and grows before your eyes.
  7. Create videos for customer testimonials - A very cool way to build trust and generate a few raving fans is to use videos for customer testimonials. This provides awesome social proof about your products and services, and helps get the word out faster.
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How to Use Mobile Devices to Make Money for Your Business

August 14th, 2014

Can I Access Your Facebook Page on my Phone?

Since millions are making Facebook a frequent daily stop, and more than 50 percent of them are using a mobile device to do so, perhaps it’s wise for us to take a look at how our Facebook business page is being shown to the public. If you require more coaxing, now some 79% of smartphone users use their phones to go shopping, with 74% making a purchase as a result. Since Facebook creates a mobilized version of your Facebook page, you may have thought that’s all there was to it. Would that were so! Let’s take a look at some things you ought to be aware of.

First see how your Facebook Page shows up on a mobile device

Facebook will condense your Page into elements in the following order: Timeline, Recommendations and Check-ins, Photos and your most recent post. Since there are a number of ways we can make our pages look, this isn’t always so with a mobile device.

Some tips to help optimize your Facebook Page

  • Keep in mind that you have much less time and space on Mobile to get the attention of your visitors. Take pains to use smaller, eye-catching photos, and to not mince words! Be brief and direct in your text and particularly any calls to action.
  • “Pin” a post you want to show up first in your mobile timeline, because this will ensure it does.
  • Log into your Facebook page from a mobile device and see that your important info is not only present but correct. You want people to be able to find you! You can do this using “Facebook Nearby”.
  • One way to improve social word of mouth is to stimulate check-ins from your location. This makes a big difference with Facebook.
  • Engage with your visitors while you’re on your mobile device, and this is not just convenient for you, but helps you keep an eye on activity on your page easily.
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Can I Access Your Facebook Page on my Phone?

August 12th, 2014

Can I Access Your Facebook Page on my Phone?

Since millions are making Facebook a frequent daily stop, and more than 50 percent of them are using a mobile device to do so, perhaps it’s wise for us to take a look at how our Facebook business page is being shown to the public. If you require more coaxing, now some 79% of smartphone users use their phones to go shopping, with 74% making a purchase as a result. Since Facebook creates a mobilized version of your Facebook page, you may have thought that’s all there was to it. Would that were so! Let’s take a look at some things you ought to be aware of.

First see how your Facebook Page shows up on a mobile device

Facebook will condense your Page into elements in the following order: Timeline, Recommendations and Check-ins, Photos and your most recent post. Since there are a number of ways we can make our pages look, this isn’t always so with a mobile device.

Some tips to help optimize your Facebook Page

  • Keep in mind that you have much less time and space on Mobile to get the attention of your visitors. Take pains to use smaller, eye-catching photos, and to not mince words! Be brief and direct in your text and particularly any calls to action.
  • “Pin” a post you want to show up first in your mobile timeline, because this will ensure it does.
  • Log into your Facebook page from a mobile device and see that your important info is not only present but correct. You want people to be able to find you! You can do this using “Facebook Nearby”.
  • One way to improve social word of mouth is to stimulate check-ins from your location. This makes a big difference with Facebook.
  • Engage with your visitors while you’re on your mobile device, and this is not just convenient for you, but helps you keep an eye on activity on your page easily.
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Is It Time for You to Start Using LinkedIn Business Pages?

August 7th, 2014

How to Use LinkedIn Business Pages for Your Small Business

It was just a matter of time until business professional network LinkedIn became a useful and viable tool for small business to use effectively. Long an afterthought when it came to marketing with this social network, it has now emerged from the shadows to provide a striking alternative to Facebook and Google pages. No longer is it simply a job seeking site, but an attractive and useful social channel. MarketingLand reports that LinkedIn has grown to over 3 million company pages plus some 225 million members actively sharing information, engaging with each other, and making the most of the Web’s #1 business professional network.

How small business can be helped by LinkedIn

There are plenty of ways having a business page on LinkedIn can help your brand. Let’s examine a couple.

  • Optimizing your LinkedIn profiles - Making sure you optimize your company page with any keywords you are going after, in addition to any contact information. Filling your home page as well as any targeted pages you decide to use with relevant content ought to be high on your to-do list. Take note that profiles and pages do appear in Google search and also on LinkedIn, so it’s a good idea to make the best possible use of this.
  • LinkedIn search is growing - Since these posts on LinkedIn will appear both in a LinkedIn search along with Google, you’ll want to be consistent with any keywords you intend to rank for. New ways LinkedIn is enhancing search is through the ability for LinkedIn admins to post as your brand, instead of as a single person. Other new tools include recent acquisition SlideShare, LinkedIn Influencers and Sponsored Updates, proving LinkedIn’s newfound commitment to search.
  • Create epic content - Making certain that you are posting your very best when it comes to content is a must on LinkedIn. This can take many forms from your home page, product pages and videos.
  • Link out to social media - Astonishingly two-thirds of the top 100 LinkedIn company pages do not link back to their own social channels from LinkedIn. This really is a no-brainer, and it has Google search advantages as well.

LinkedIn continues to grow into far more than a job board. See how it can benefit your small business today!

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Tools for Pulling Demographic Intel from Your Social Media Followers

August 5th, 2014

Tools for Pulling Demographic Intel from Your Social Media Followers

Do you know who’s following you? Socially, of course. Well, you ought to! Many of us have a huge number of fans and followers, and yet for the life of us can’t figure out where they go when you send out a Tweet, update or post. Are they real, or are you not offering them what they are looking for from you? Any kind of marketing depends on ensuring that you’re matching message to market, and your social media is not any different. You just have to have an understanding of whom you are speaking with and what interests them.

How do you measure social media demographics?

The usual tools to discern the demographics of your audience (Compete, Quantcast, etc) aren’t quite up to the task yet of measuring the critical data that makes up your social audience. Thankfully, for all of us, many new tools are sprouting up as we speak to assist us to gauge the likes, dislikes and trends of our followers and fans.

Three of our favorite new tools!

Here are three we like right out of the gate.

DemographicsPro - Known not long ago as KnowYourFollowers, this tool breaks down your Twitter followers into oodles of info, including country, state, gender, interests, other people followed, their jobs and more. This is provided in both a numerical and percentage format, offering you the best chance to target your followers.

Birdsong - A social intelligence tool, Birdsong delivers on-demand analysis and insight as to what brands are talking about on their social media accounts such as Twitter, Facebook and others. Knowing how your competition is targeting their social media is very valuable information that can give you direction for your campaigns also.

SoDash - An incredibly unique and useful tool SoDash combines the act of listening to social media into actual lead generation, customer service, brand management and competition monitoring.

Understanding the buzz and chatter about you and your competition is the beginning of being able to use the information better in your marketing.

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You need to learn about your Twitter followers

July 31st, 2014

Amassing a big group of Twitter followers isn’t overly difficult. Inspiring these followers, though, to actually buy the goods and services that your company offers, though, is a much more challenging task. Even more difficult? Persuading these followers to spread the word about your business among their neighbors and family members. Fortunately, the Small Business Trends Web site presented a useful strategy that business owners can utilize to create more engaged Twitter followers.

Know Those Followers

According to Small Business Trends, one of the best ways to gain more interaction from Twitter followers is to learn more about these followers. You can do this with such products as SalesForce Marketing Cloud, SoDash, BirdSong and KnowYourFollowers.

What They Do

Here’s what these programs can tell you: In what state your followers live, what gender they are, their age, what other Twitter accounts they follow and where they work. Valuable information, no?

Why This Matters

And such a Twitter account just might inspire your followers to become more engaged with your business. Maybe you can inspire them to purchase products by providing weekly deals. Maybe you can encourage them to bring their family and friends to your business by providing them special gifts for such personal recommendations.

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Risks, rewards with Bitcoin payments

July 29th, 2014

Bitcoins have earned big press lately. And why not? They are a digital means for people and businesses to pay one another over the internet. As Entrepreneur Magazine explains in a recent story, these virtual coins are traded between people online without any trace being created. These virtual coins also don’t pass through any banks or financial institutions. And this raises the question: Should your business take Bitcoin payments? Here, according to Entrepreneur, are the major questions you might have regarding this virtual currency.

Is it real money?

As Entrepreneur explains, Bitcoins are virtual currency. Individuals purchase them with real money and then exchange them online to buy products and services from a wide variety of vendors – some reputable, some illegitimate – in the virtual world. According to Entrepreneur, a growing number of reputable vendors – such as Reddit and WordPress – are accepting these virtual coins.

How safe is it?

Bitcoin transactions are secured through a process called public key cryptography encryption, according to Entrepreneur. That doesn’t mean, though, that all Bitcoin transactions are completely safe. Cybercriminals, especially clever ones, can hack Bitcoins. There’s also Bitcoin-stealing malware to worry about.

Why take them?

Why would any company want to accept Bitcoin payments? To begin with, these payments have no credit card or bank transaction fees. They also aren’t subject to taxes. And when more online vendors are accept Bitcoins, it could be a trend you won’t want to miss.

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These tech tips will boost your efficiency

July 24th, 2014

It’s not easy running a successful small business these days. You face larger competitors and a still-struggling economy that makes your customers think twice before spending some of their hard-earned dollars. But you can gain an advantage on your competition by using technology more efficiently. As the TechnologySchools.org Web site says, if you use tech more proficiently, you and your employees are more productive. And the site provides three excellent tips for accomplishing this.

Password power

Hackers can ruin your small business. The proper passwords, though, can keep these cyber criminals at bay. TechnologySchools.org recommends that you create passwords that are at least eight characters in length. The site adds that you should include symbols, numbers and both upper- and lowercase letters in your passwords. And, needless to say, don’t use passes such as “password” or “1234.”

Keep your passwords out of harm’s way

Of course, creating the right passwords is only one step. TechnologySchools recommends, also, that you keep your passwords safe. Don’t, for example, write your passwords on a single slip of paper that you keep in your wallet. What if you lose that paper? Can you imagine if someone nabs it? The best choice is to use a password-storage service such as LastPass or Dashlane to manage your log-ins and passwords.

A speedier machine

You won’t be nearly as productive with a slower computer. Fortunately, TechnologySchools provides plenty of advice for speeding up even older machines. Each month you should delete programs that you don’t use, drop old files, defragment the hard drive and perform a registry scan to identify damaged or corrupted files you can then delete.

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The confusing world of project-management software

July 22nd, 2014

Project-management software can really help your teams stay on task. With this tool, you can clearly organize tasks specific to each team member. And once team members complete their tasks, they’re able to quickly check it off your to-do list. But there are a ton of project-management tools around. How can you determine which one suits your company?

Research

Fortunately, PCMag.com has done the research for you. A recent review of project-management tool Asana features a helpful matrix comparing Asana to its competitors. The matrix lists the advantages and disadvantages with each tool.

Asana

The chart is available in a review by Jill Duffy, of the Web-based Asana program . But business owners can use the story to find out not only about Asana — which PCMag loves — but about its many competitors, too.

The right tool

Finding the appropriate project-management tool, of course, is important. Here’s the truth about project-management software: Some of these tools do far too much and offer features that you’ll never use. There’s no need to pay for features that your business will never use. So do your research and discover the project-management tool that works best for your small business.

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These IT projects will boost your business in 2013

July 17th, 2014

You want your small business to grow in 2013. You have dreams of reaching new revenue records and adding to your staff. You would perhaps love to add new locations. So how do you achieve this growth? You might consider looking at IT. Tackling the right tech projects could make your small business more efficient and provide your staff with the tools they need to snag more clients and sell more products. Here are three IT projects recommended by the Small Business Computing.com website that could increase your business’ bottom line this year.

OnsiteWi-Fi

Maybe you allow your employees to use their own tablets or laptops at the office. This doesn’t mean very much if your office doesn’t have a Wi-Fi network. Small Business Computing.com points out that Wi-Fi networks today serve a multitude of devices, everything from tablets and smartphones to laptops, printers and cameras. If you want your employees to be as effective as possible, whether they are exploring new business opportunities or sending proposals to potential customers, you must give them access to a reliable Wi-Fi network. This can be a task, of course, that is perfect for your business’ IT department.

Ultrabooks

Your employees can do more when they can tote laptops to meetings with customers. Traditional laptops, though, are too clunky. And small Netbooks are often too slow and limited. Ultrabooks, though, are a different story. These laptops are both small and light enough to be portable, and powerful enough to enable staff members to demonstrate multimedia demonstrations and reports to prospective customers. A good way to make your business grow is to give your employees more options for snagging new customers. Ultrabooks are one of these options.

Wipe out Windows XP

Do you still have computers that run the Windows XP ? That’s a mistake. As Small Business Computing.com highlights, Microsoft will no longer provide technical support for this operating system as of early April 2014. The company will no longer distribute regular security updates for the system as of this time. Running Windows XP, then, means that not only will your staff be working on a decade-old operating system, but their computers may also be highly susceptible to virus attacks. Make the smart move and upgrade to a more current Windows operating system.

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