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How to choose your hosting company

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If you are about to start your business or professional blog, the first thing you have to consider is your online presence. There are so many hosting services online that it is really difficult to choose the right one, but doing your homework always pays off in the long term. The hosting market keeps expending, various new services are being introduced every day. So how to choose what you need?

First of all you have to consider the hosting package. 1and1.co.uk is one of the largest web site hosting companies in the world, the size doesn’t always mean that it will have the best packages, but in this case it does. One of the great features they offer is build your own website service which really comes handy for start-ups or professional bloggers.

Secondly, you have to consider the ease of use of the hosting company. If you haven’t got any previous experience with the hosting company, it is important to make sure that your new service provider offers user-friendly interfaces that will allow quicker website management.

Finally, it is very important to consider the tech support. If you are a new user and you want to build your own website at least at the beginning you will have loads of questions so clear FAQ and live chat is a necessity considering you hosting company.

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Do you check weekly reports from your Facebook Fan Page?

Note: Social Media Citizens collaborate with different blogs in Europe. The bloggers we collaborate with are also the co-founders and admins behind the Social Marketing Forum. This post is written by Jonas Klit Nielsen from the Mindjumpers blog.

During last night (European time) a bunch of emails started ticking in from Facebook. The headline reads: “Your weekly Facebook Page update”.

It’s no secret that Facebook is trying to build up the page to become more and more valuable for business, and in this respect, statistics are the way to go.

The page insights have been available for a while and they give you something to navigate with, but when we deliver weekly reports to our clients, we still have to manually figure out how many new fans have joined since last week and so on. And only if you have more than 10.000 fans on a page you will be able to see the page impressions.

The new report from Facebook is simple – but very valuable. It gives you the following numbers: Read the full story

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How to serve the sale through social media (Part 1)

 

serving the sale

Sales, sales, sales – there is only one final and ultimate goal for any business. Don’t get me wrong,  I understand that companies have to build relationships, develop brands and cherish their communities, but all that love for the consumer come with the price of the sale. Even though, these two words often don’t go together in social media professionals vocabulary, social media is a great communication tool/channel, so why not too sell as at the end of the day selling is just another form of communication. I believe that selling through social media is ok, as long as you know how to serve the sale.

“Personal selling is oral communication with potential buyers of a product with the intention of making a sale. The personal selling may focus initially on developing a relationship with the potential buyer, but will always ultimately end with an attempt to "close the sale"  (Kotler,1994) 

Personal selling – is one of the oldest forms of communication and often is overlooked by social media practitioners, mainly, because of the natural fear of the word “selling”. Even though that’s what social media is about –  creating personal relationships with the consumers and in order to attract them to buy product or services.

I can understand if someone feels that it’s not right, but you just have to be honest with yourself , what the point of having thousands of fans on Facebook, or followers on twitter, if sooner or later you can’t monetize them ?! To spread the message or provide information about your products or services, which will result in a sale – that’s the only reason. You can do it in the most creative ways by building communities, providing good content for your readers, freebees and etc – but the main reason for doing that is still the same.  

The times have changed and I don’t think the old tactics and definitions work, but there are definitely some valuable things to remember of this forgotten art. That’s what I will try to analyze in my future posts about “How to serve the sale through social media”.

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Whitepaper: Social media marketing strategy

Note: Social Media Citizens collaborate with different blogs in Europe. The bloggers we collaborate with are also the co-founders and admins behind the Social Marketing Forum. This post is written by John from socialemailmarketing.eu

This blog has been bringing news, tips and interviews regarding social media marketing, email marketing and the integration of both for three months now.

This weekend, after having a chat with some friends (thank you Tamara), I decided to focus more on hands-on advice.So I created a 14-page guide on how to develop a social media marketing strategy. It also contains an action sheet about social media marketing. In this first guide (so I hope there will be more) I look at some of the main strategic social media marketing considerations and provide you a list of questions to ask yourself before implementing a social media strategy or to improve your existing strategy.

I cover topics such as key success factors, creating value and relationships, the role of social media, the importance of listening, letting go of your brand, social media hubs and what I call ‘conversation rooms’. The guide also sums up some strategic considerations regarding social media marketing.

I hope it helps many of you to look at social media marketing from a no-nonsense perspective and hope to provide follow-up guides that elaborate further on some topics. Now, what do you have to do to get this paper? Simple: I offer it as a gift to all the people that have signed up and hopefully will sign up to my newsletter. And I promise the newsletter will contain valuable tips too!

If you want to see a preview of the newsletter, click here and for more whitepapers, check out this little library.

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How to start and manage your community

 

Just wanted to share this short brilliant talk about leadership and community management by Dere Sivers. A few lessons to learn for the community managers:

  • You have to make it easy for people to follow you
  • You have to become “equal”  with people who follow you and know how to transfer the sentiment.
  • You have to remember that followers attract more followers – not the leader.

I hope you enjoyed this video and have a great Easter everyone!

Posted in Community Management, Consumer Behavior, How ToComments (2)

How to Serve a Sale in Social Media (Part 2)

serving the sale

In the introduction post, I’ve wrote about selling as a communication technique which doesn’t receive enough attention in social media. This week I want to elaborate on my opinion. In order to do that we have to go back to basic concepts of selling. According to marketing guru Kotler, these are the main roles of the sales force: Prospecting, Communicating, Selling, Servicing, Information gathering, Allocating. All of these roles could be performed in social media environment, but today I will start with the analysis of Prospecting. Read the full story

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Saying Thank You to Your Customers

 

I was stumbling trough Youtube videos the other day and found this quite interesting and a bit weird video. My first reaction was – WTF? No disrespect for people’s initiatives to create an interesting promotion video/greeting – but it just made me smile. Even though it is a really weird video, I bet people who got it was really pleased with it, because it is so personal, honest and humble. If your are creative, fun and original sometimes a simple Thank You is more than enough to show your appreciation to your customers. The simple truth.

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Social Media Strategies: The Changing Role of Content Strategist

Welcome to my new series of posts “Social Media Strategies” where I will try to clear up some taboos about social media strategies, tools and other buzz words of our social life which sometimes unnecessary confuse us in this industry. Today I will discuss the content strategy and the changing role of content strategist.

Content Strategy

 

I think it is always a good idea to look from the consumer’s perspective and answer the questions which drive the strategy. I’ve been browsing through my daily reads and thinking why I am reading the posts I am reading and I came up with a very simple answer: I am reading it because:

  • The content adds knowledge (adds value) or entertains me;
  • The content is supplied by trusted source;
  • The content is accessible to me.

Adding value and the art of Curating

 

In order to add value the content strategist has to think like a scientist:

  • Has to recognise the problem why he/she is doing the project and foresee the possible outcomes in order to monitor them. The content strategist has to understand the target audience and analyse what are the main objectives of the brand (provide knowledge or entertainment) and how does the company want to affect this target audience (stimulate action or spread brand awareness).
  • Has to do the research and find a gap in the market. It is one of the most challenging tasks today – finding something new, interesting and engaging to write about and that is a problem that the most bloggers face at some point if they haven’t got a clear content strategy, but that’s Read the full story

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The Fantabulous Lists of Social Media Case Studies

 

I’ve been browsing through the lists of top social media case studies and I thought I am going to share  some of the top sites with you:

Casestudiesonline.com by Tod Maffin

A List of Social Media Marketing Examples by (http://www.beingpeterkim.com)

Social media case studies by  (http://theparallaxview.com/)

Social Brand Index by (http://www.socialbrandindex.com)

WOMMA’s Case Study Library by (http://www.womma.org/)

The Association Social Media Wiki’s List by (http://www.associationsocialmedia.com/)

Blog Well Case Studies by (http://gaspedal.com/)

Fortune 500 Business Blogging Wiki by (John Cass)

300+ Cases & Examples of Social Media Marketing by (http://blog.monty.de/)

30 SEO, Social Media & Marketing Case Studies that Prove the ROI of it All by (http://www.seoptimise.com/)

110 Ways Retailers are Using Social Media Marketing by (http://www.getelastic.com)

A Collection of 50+ Enterprise 2.0 Case Studies and Examples by (http://www.jmorganmarketing.com/)

Case Study Crunch by Red Cube Marketing by (http://redcubemarketing-blog.com)

26 Social Media Marketing Examples by (http://www.ignitesocialmedia.com)

35+ Examples of Corporate Social Media in Action by (http://mashable.com)

The Big Money Facebook 50 by  (http://www.thebigmoney.com)

5 fantastic digital branding campaigns from 2009 by (http://www.imediaconnection.com)

India Social – Case Studies by  (http://www.indiasocial.in)

I will update this post from time to time so if you have any other relevant links to add to this list, just post them as a comment. Thanks!

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Social Media Adoption by Top 10 Media Agencies

The world of social media is maturing. People have adopted the new means of communication, companies are experimenting with the new business tools, but how the heart of the media industry is adopting to a new social landscape? Well it is quite strange, but not so well. I will try briefly to overview what I found in my research analysing social media adoption in 10 Top Media Agencies and some of the best practises.

social_media_adoption_by_top_media_agencies

Full document on Scribd

Sources: Campaign “Top 50 Media agencies” + Netprospex “Top 50 Brands in Social Media”

The key points from research: Read the full story

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