Is Your Business Maximizing Facebook?

social media reviewsFacebook recently announced more than 750 million active users worldwide. That’s ACTIVE users. Half use Facebook several times a day. Plus, 75% of marketers plan to increase their use of Facebook in 2011!

So let me ask you a question. Is your business leveraging the power of Facebook?

Keep reading to learn what’s changed with Facebook and to find out about a special event (from Social Media Examiner) just for businesses.

How Has Facebook Changed?

Facebook has changed a lot in the previous months—for example:

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Do You Have Social Media Clout?

social media book reviewsWhen Content Science sends their quarterly e-newsletter to their mailing list, their email open rate is 50%.

“Well, of course,” I hear you saying. “Sending an e-newsletter to subscribers who have opted in would most certainly have a fairly high open rate.”

Exactly.

So why would you want to broadcast your online message to millions of people who couldn’t care less, and be happy with a 3% click-through rate? Why are you still marketing online the same way you marketed offline?

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How to Create Content That Engages Prospects and Customers

social media book reviewsWhen Rick Short, director of marketing communications for Indium Corporation, began thinking about his social media strategy, he started with keyword research.

He identified 73 of the most important keywords his prospective customers would search for. Then he created 73 different blogs that focused on each keyword and assigned a dozen employees to write those blogs.

The results amazed him. Once the blogs took off, customer contacts increased 600% in a single quarter. And everyone who contacted a blog author, commented on a blog post or downloaded a white paper opted in to the company’s customer database.

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Social Media Has Changed: Are You Ready?

social media reviewsWhen Michael Stelzner started Social Media Examiner in October 2009, he never dreamed it would become so successful so quickly.

As of March 2011, Social Media Examiner has 59,000 email subscribers, 33,000 Facebook fans, over 60 writers and half a million page views per month.

In addition, the site has generated almost $2 million in sales; ranks among the top 12 websites on two Technorati lists – business and small business; and ranks among the top 1,500 websites in the entire United States, according to Alexa.

“We didn’t do anything unique,” Stelzner said. “We simply employed great content with smart social media marketing and our community did the rest. And any business can achieve great results.”

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UnMarketing: Stop Pushing and Praying, Start Pulling and Staying

social media book reviewsWhen marketing consultant Scott Stratten worked with the owners of a new restaurant, he recommended inviting residents of a nearby condo complex to a free dinner. Over two nights, the owners could get 150 people to start the buzz about the new restaurant in town.

But the owners balked at giving away free food, which they estimated would cost them several thousand dollars. Yet they had spent $5,000 on a magazine ad!

“How many customers did it bring in?” Stratten asked. “We don’t know,” they replied.

Does this sound familiar? Stratten calls this the “push and pray” marketing strategy. You push your ad out to thousands and even millions of people, and pray that some respond.

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When Consumers Revolt Against Traditional Marketing, What Should You Do?

social media book reviewsWhen little-known, first-term Illinois senator Barack Obama faced Hillary Clinton in the 2008 Democratic presidential campaign, he knew he couldn’t compete with her financially. He couldn’t afford telemarketing and direct mail campaigns or TV and radio advertising.

So instead of playing by the old rules, he made new rules. He started blogging and he created profiles on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.

He also hired the co-founder of Facebook, Chris Hughes, to be his Internet strategist. And he won the Democratic presidential nomination even though he spent a lot less money than his opponent.

At the time of the election, Obama had five million fans on Facebook—over four million more than Clinton. On MySpace, the numbers were approximately 800,000 and 200,000, respectively. On Twitter, he had over 100,000 followers and his opponent had about 5,000.

And he did all of that by following the principles of inbound marketing.

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The Top Social Media Tool for 2011 is…

social media research

If you heard about a marketing strategy that could substantially lower your marketing expenses and return 600% or more of your investment, would you be interested in learning more about it?

When Social Media Examiner surveyed 1,900 marketers in 2010, half said they wanted to learn more about this strategy.

Of those just starting out in social media marketing, 65% wanted to learn more about it. And 81% of all the marketers surveyed said they would definitely increase their use of this strategy.

No, it’s not Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or YouTube.

Sure, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn were among the top four social media tools among this group of marketers.

But what was first?

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How to Create a Social Media Marketing Strategy

social media book reviewsCanadian grocery store chain Loblaws knew they had a great BBQ sauce based on customer comments. But they didn’t understand why sales were so dismal.

Until they invited customers to post product reviews on their website. Only then did they discover the problem was the bottle – it was too tall to fit in refrigerator doors! They redesigned the bottle and their sales immediately increased.

That’s user-generated content directly leading to an increase in sales. That’s the power of social media marketing.

Are you still sitting on the sidelines when it comes to social media marketing because you know you can’t control the conversations about your company, your products and your services? And because you have no idea how to respond to negative comments?

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Blog Your Way to Corporate Success

social media book reviews“But whether it be dream or truth, to do well is what matters. If it be truth, for truth’s sake. If not, then to gain friends for the time when we awaken.”

Sounds like something from one of Shakespeare’s plays, doesn’t it? Actually, it’s a quote from Pedro Calderon de la Barca, a 17th-century Spanish playwright.

You may wonder where I found such an obscure quote. It was a comment by someone named Vigrx on my blog post titled “Using Social Media to Market Your Business.” He or she was promoting the site vigrxdeals.org. The fact that the quote had absolutely nothing to do with social media was a sure sign that it was spam.

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