5 Ways to Effectively Use Social Media Marketing

How do you stand out from your competition?  When there are many choices from which to pick, why would your prospects come to you, and clients return to you?

What is the one thing, or the many things, you can demonstrate through social media, that most effectively markets your wares and/or skills?

Are your business strategies transparent throughout your organization, including, and most particularly in your social media content?

Let’s take a look at what you are saying…on your website and on all of your social network sites…consistently. Continue reading

How to Keep the Sky from Falling

Who else is tired of all the fear-mongering?   Headlines  like these:  “Hurricane threatens to destroy thousands of homes and business.  What will happen when the next earthquake hits the United States?  The impending fire danger could take millions of acres and threatens hundreds of homes and lives.  The economy is faltering.  The economy staggers.  Thousands fear for their jobs and see themselves facing homelessness.”

Who else has figured out that it is the sensationalizing that has created all the fear and panic, not the events themselves?  Absent all the media attention, weather-related events such as hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes and fires…which have been occurring since time began…would be covered factually and as a natural life event rather than an epic catastrophe.

I take nothing away from the individual pain and suffering that is felt when a major drama plays itself out. The sensationalizing of it, however, does in fact remind me of the story of  “Chicken Little.”  Continue reading

Action, Reaction, or Stretch

Now is the time for all good business men and women to “socialize” in a new and revolutionary way…action versus reaction.

Stop listening to the news reports.  Stop buying into gloom and doom.  Stop putting on your “worried face.”

Instead, start looking for new opportunities.  In your business niche, how can you lead a revolution of expansion that will help put our country on firm financial ground?

To begin, you can do the following:

  • Lead with your heart.  Find ways, such as volunteering your services in your community programs.  What skills do you have that might be useful?  For instance, if you’re a webmaster, now might be a great time to help community service programs build websites to announce program needs and how they can be filled.  Solicit your friends and neighbors. Help others find ways they can make a contribution…and remember…everything helps. Continue reading

How to Be the Calm in an Economic Storm

What would you most like to see in all this chaos?  With the huge stock market swings,  global war, threats of global warming, drought, famine and drug wars, turning on the television or reading the newspaper is bound to depress even the most optimistic among us.  Especially in large doses like we’ve been getting recently.  Makes one want to head for a little island in the middle of the ocean, with a couple of coconut trees and a hammock strung between them, a few good books, a basket of fruit and plenty of water.  Maybe a few other amenities but NO newspapers, no TV, and no “spreaders of doom.” Continue reading

What Birthday Parties Can Teach You About Social Networking

Give this a moment’s thought:  Is what you heard at the birthday party of a friend last night worth tweeting about…or adding to your Facebook post?

It is if it’s important.  Newsworthy…good or bad.  For example, a friend at a birthday party I attended recently mesmerized all those standing within earshot with her description of why she wasn’t going back to a certain restaurant…and was very specific about why everyone listening should pay attention about what she had to say.  “Bad service, high prices, limited menu.” Continue reading

How to Start a Social Network Revolution

Want to really skyrocket an idea or a product into the next level for your business?  Then draft an army of believers and let them help you.

Take your 50 best customers who love what you’re doing, and ask them if they would like to, and are willing to  share your new product or service with at least 10 of their associates, or people they know who could benefit as much from your product as they have. Let them know that you value their assistance and that you insist on showing  your appreciation in some way, either through an affiliate program if they care to participate, or in some other way that allows you to show how much their support means to you.

Think of Amway, Avon, Fuller Brush.  How have they done so well for so long?  They’ve helped other people succeed through sharing.  They have found ways to show their gratitude in a business relationship that creates a win-win for everyone.  How many times do you get 3, 4, 5…or more…emails, tweets, or facebook posts in a single day that are touting the product of a friend?  A friend or business associate of yours telling about what another friend has or does that you might find interesting or beneficial?  And don’t the majority of those postings acknowledge their affiliate relationship?  Continue reading

How to Find Happiness Every Day

Did you start your morning cranky, crabby and out of sorts?  Were you thoughts gravitating to what your spouse did or didn’t do yesterday, or what your children should have done but didn’t?  Or were you dreading the thought of getting up this morning and heading out the door to a boring, dead-end job that may help pay the bills but brings you no joy whatever?

If any of that is you, then this post is dedicated specifically to that one part of you that wants something different…a better way of living, a better way of being…a happier way to wake up in the morning.

First, I can say with a great deal of authority that I am an expert in this area.  That is…the area of knowing what it’s like to wake up crabby, cranky and depressed.  It took a lot to move myself out of this space and into a new arena where I create my future and then live it.  I’ve invested time, money, and effort.   There were some major roadblocks that you may recognize: Continue reading

What? What Makes This Moment…This Day…Special?

In business social networking, real time displays can be extremely important.

Sharing with your community what your customers like…and dislike…about your business, as well as your competitors’ businesses, makes you real.  After all, if you’re in business, it’s because you have customers.  And they all want to have input, as well as know what everyone else in your neighborhood thinks.

Business today…especially on the Internet…is a bit like having the whole family together for a holiday.  The ability to share thoughts, ideas, and feedback has reached an entirely new level.  So how do you offset Uncle Fred’s “It’s not the turkey dressing that your grandmother made” with Cousin Louisa’s ” I love the fact that the turkey dressing was not only delicious but made with organic, healthy products”?

Soft sell, not hard sell, helps you make the genuine connection.  When your company’s employees, along with everyone in your community, are in collaboration…problem solutions, in addition to new products and services arise easily and effortlessly.  Maybe you can’t please Uncle Fred…or maybe he’ll agree when he really sees what benefits he gets from a delicious, but different, healthy turkey dressing.

So…how do you use social media in your business to work with Uncle Fred, Cousin Louisa as well as your whole community, using their feedback and perspective productively?  Let’s look at the components: Continue reading

How to Stay Strong Despite the Obstacles

What are the things that really trouble you as a business person?

Are they like my challenges…sometimes it seems there’s not enough money, not enough time, boring work, or just not knowing where to go to find necessary resources.  And I have a few odd-ball challenges as well:

  • There’s no cat on my lap or in the basket next to me.  You may consider that an odd challenge, but as a writer, I do a lot of work at home, and I am the first to admit, I get  inspiration from the bundles of fur and purrrrrr that normally supervise my every move.  If they’re not around, I feel bereft, lonely, and sometimes idea-less.
  • My coffee cup moves.  I don’t know how it happens, but one moment it can be right beside me, where it belongs, and the next…even though I have absolutely no recollection of putting it anywhere else…it’s gone.  I get up, go to the kitchen, wander the house, and sometimes it won’t show up for days.  If I ever catch the “coffee cup thief” I’ll have a word or two to say to them!
  • The heat goes up and down.  Yes, I have a thermostat.  I leave it set at 68 degrees.  Yet somehow, one minute  I am freezing, and then 5 minutes later, I’m cooked.  I tell myself that it’s because I get so excited about a new communication idea or topic for one of my clients that I get all heated up, and then as the excitement of the moment dies, my temperature drops.  My doctor thinks I’m nuts.  Oh, she doesn’t come right out and tell me that…but she has this “look.”

I know, these odd-ball things seem quite trivial.  And sometimes they are.  But sometimes they are absolutely THE most important thing there is, and I can’t possibly get to the real worrisome stuff until I resolve one of these little problems.

Then, of course, there is what I consider  the big stuff.  Like how to make more money when I want  to.  How to create time.  And how to have fun while I’m working.   I have to say, though, sometimes the big stuff seems easier.  No, I haven’t found the perfect system yet, but I have discovered a few secrets to meeting some of these major challenges: Continue reading

What if…Your Social Media Hit a Ball OUT of the Park

Social media…here to stay? All the indicators say “Yes.” It may change form as it is now, moving from desktop computer to laptop to mobile, and brand names may change. What won’t change, however, is the need to communicate effectively.

Are you…like everyone else…no…make that a select few…really choosing to solidly connect with your prospects or clients?  Are you someone who wants to provide over the top products or service and build a relationship that lasts?

Let’s assume you already know your services or products are exceptional…but you don’t know how to connect with people who could truly benefit.  You have a website, but it’s not drawing in the people you want.  Think seriously about social media.  Sure, you can tweak your website, and that may be something you need to take a look at.  Especially if you’re an on-line business, your website is your brand.    But places like Facebook, Twitter, and other similar places where people come to socialize,  and where participation in the conversation is easily two-sided,  is a very cost-efficient way to get others to help you spread your brand.  This draws people to your website, and your business.

There are a few caveats, however.  A lot of businesses of all sizes are beginning to realize the importance of social media.  Many of them, though, fail to grasp that social media is not about “advertising.”  It’s about connecting.  Make it easy, conversational…fun.   Putting out constant tweets that say only “Come visit me at my website, or my store” isn’t enough.  People like being part of a community.  They like being able to contribute to the community in some way.   Social media can be powerful, both with its benefit and its backlash.  Your community members can help you build your brand; they can provide positive feedback as well as negative feedback.  When your social media is a business marketing strategy…what you do will be echoed in what the members say…good or bad.

So…what kinds of social media communication connect?  What characteristics attract the audience you seek?  Well, what about:

  • kindness…no hard sell, no attitude, just a dose of good old-fashioned kindness.  Something like “Because I have walked a mile in your shoes, I can truly empathize. And I’d like to walk the next mile with you. “
  • honesty…say it like it is.  Good news or bad news, no hype.  No matter how many changes have occurred in the world, or maybe cause of the changes that have occurred, a straight-forward, no holds barred approach is appreciated and honored.
  • humor…laughter is good for the heart, soul, mind and body.  Laugh at yourself, laugh with others, laugh at human foibles (without demeaning human nature) and let your social media convey your joy of what you do.
  • gratitude…there is so much to be grateful for.  Don’t pass the buck, don’t play the blame game.  Be grateful for everything…the good and the bad…and the lessons they bring.  Most especially, be grateful for what your audience brings to you…the opportunity to bring them a better life.

Right about now you may be thinking that’s just plain common sense.  And…yes, it is.  However, these common courtesies, and connections, have become all too uncommon.

You have the opportunity to hit that home run you always dreamed about; to build connections that last for life. When your  social media messages carry your brand and build your community, you can connect you with real people looking for real businesses…run by people with a passion to serve.