Category: "Social Media"

15 Ways To Promote Your Twitter Account & Get More Followers

15 Ways To Promote Your Twitter Account & Get More Followers

If you’re not on Twitter, you should be. Home to 232 million users, Twitter is the social network for spontaneous conversation, and it’s a great place to reach out to people and network. There are over 340 million tweets shared each day and searches on the network top a whopping 1.6 billion search queries every day.

Those are no small numbers. If you have a website or forum to promote, those numbers likely caught your attention. That still doesn’t answer the major question most people have when it comes to Twitter:

How do I get more Twitter followers?

Fortunately, with the help of the infographic below (and a few other facts we’ve dug up) you’ll have plenty of information at the ready to make a splash on Twitter.

Quick Tips On Getting More Followers On Twitter

1. Embed your tweets on your blog posts to make it easy for people to tweet your article and follow at the same time.

2. Advertise on Twitter. You can promote your account or a tweet. The choice is yours and you don’t have to spend a bunch to get started.

3. Host a webinar. Encourage people to share the webinar as it is taking place and field questions directly off Twitter to boost interaction and engagement.

4. Add a Twitter widget to your site. This one is pretty self-explanatory. You need to make it easy for people to follow you.

5. Run a contest. Giveaways are great for getting traction on social media. Find ways to make tweets and retweets increase entries or raise the value of the prizes. Be creative.

6. Offer support. Don’t relegate your company to email. Branch out into the areas your customers choose. While you may not wish to use Twitter as an official support channel, you can still help your customers find answers to their questions and get help.

7. Business cards. Make sure you add your Twitter handle to your business cards.

8. Share relevant content. Be sure to share content from influencer’s in your niche or industry. You can also share content that your audience will find useful.

9. Share funny content. Everyone likes to laugh. Be the source of a few giggles and people will be more likely to follow.

10. Start guest blogging. Offering to write articles for popular blogs in your niche can widen your audience and help establish you as an authority in your niche. Most webmasters that accept guest posts will allow you to link to your Twitter account in your author bio.

11. Share images. Engagement is 200% higher for tweets with image links, according to Quick Sprout.

12. Ask questions. People are more likely to respond to questions, meaning your tweets will get more engagement.

13. Use hashtags. You should be using hashtags in your tweets — just don’t over do it. 1 or 2 works perfectly, but if you go over that studies show you’ll end up with less engagement.

14. Follow people. When you follow someone, most will follow you back. Just don’t go overboard on following new people, especially if your account is new. Twitter has daily account limits and will suspend your account for “excessive following” (100 or more in a day).

15. Cross-promote. You should be using all of your social networks to your advantage. Make sure you link to your Twitter account from Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, LinkedIn and anywhere else you have a social presence.

15 Ways To Promote Your Twitter Account & Get More Followers

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Free Marketing Tools Every Small Business Should Be Using

Free Marketing Tools Every Small Business Should Be Using

If you are a small business owner and venturing into the land of online marketing, it’s always good to have a few tools at your disposal that make your life easier.

I mean, seriously, who can complain about that? Whether you are just getting started, or have been for awhile, saving money is always a good thing — especially when you can get the job done without shelling out more money. As a small business owner, chances are keeping costs low is important.

Hootsuite

Hootsuite is a social media dashboard that allows you to schedule and send out messages to your social media accounts from one place. You can connect up to (5) accounts for free, which is often more than enough for most small businesses.

The best way to get started is to sign up for an account and add the social media accounts that you would like to monitor. You can add Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube and more. After you get your accounts set up, download and install the browser extension. This way, you’ll be able to easily schedule things to share, without the hassle. And you can schedule ‘on the fly’, which makes it a handy little timesaver.

Mailchimp

There are other options out there. If you do a lot of email marketing and are concentrating on growing a list, you may want to go with Aweber; it has a bit more flexibility. For most small businesses, if you just want to send out a simple newsletter to your customers from time to time, Mailchimp is the perfect solution.

For one, they have a free account that has a lot of functionality, and the analytics are very impressive. You will be able to see how many times your customers open your emails, plus get to see what links are being clicked the most.

You can put this data to use and learn who your most engaged customers are, which can help you with sales later on down the road.

SurveyMonkey

When you are in business, you’re in business for your customers. Whether you are selling a product or service, your customers are the deciding factor for your success. Soliciting customer feedback is important. You want to make sure that what you are doing is being well received.

You can set up your own online surveys quickly and with little effort with a tool called SurveyMonkey. The free plan includes basic options that will allow you to collect customer feedback online, and their paid plans have a wealth of other features added in.

Rafflecopter

Rafflecopter is a really awesome app for running contests on Facebook. If you haven’t heard, Facebook now allows contests to be ran on your Timeline, but just because that door is now open, doesn’t mean you want to abandon running your contests through apps.

If you want more traction on social media, Rafflecopter is one of the best choices out there. You can easily run your own giveaways or contests and create your own options for entries. For example, contestants can earn more points by ‘liking’ your page, following you on Twitter or Pinterest, or sharing a tweet. The variety of options offered gives you the ability to use this app to build a following across multiple social channels at the same time, while at the same time exposing your business new (potential) customers.

Topsy

If you are not hip to Topsy, you are missing out — big time. Topsy is a social search engine. It is a great tool to not only find infuencers or people interested in your niche, it’s also an incredible tool for uncovering link opportunities and getting ideas for blogging.

All you need to do is visit Topsy and type in your keyword. Next, select “links” and “all time”. That’s it. You should see a list of some of the best performing content on social media, sorted by the actual page. What can you do with this information? Well, for starters, you can use it to inspire your own content. If you see a piece of content that performed exceptionally well, do it better. If you can do even 20% better, there is a good chance that you can get people linking to your content as well.

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The Power of Authentic Customer Reviews

The Power of Authentic Customer Reviews

Let’s face it: customer reviews have taken a bad rap, and for very good reason. In a world of fake Yelp reviews and PRISM surveillance, there aren’t too many trusting souls on the internet. In fact, people are a bit skeptical of claims from either side of the fence, business or government.

The main driver for this is that most online reviews are bought and paid for by businesses hoping to gain an edge in the search engines, and dupe unsuspecting customers. Of course, not all reviews are make-believe, and an authentic customer testimonial can have a positive impact on your business.

But you need a strategy.

How To Get More (Authentic) Customer Reviews

Of course, it helps if you have a product or service that is truly amazing. I’m going to assume that you have that in place and have had the opportunity to create some believers.

Here is what you need to do next:

Reach Out To Your Most Loyal Customers

This should be the first step on your list, and for good reason. Social proof is important for building a business, and most people will not be moved to leave a positive review without a truly exceptional experience. And, most of the time, no one wants to be first.

In order to get the ball rolling you’ll want to get a couple of reviews from your customers. Reach out to the one’s you have developed a rapport with and ask them for a favor — simple as that. If the review will be appearing on your website, offer to link to their website (if appropriate). The link is the important part, so is using an actual picture. A real image puts a face to the testimonial and a website gives proof the person is who they say they are.

Invite Others To Share Their Opinion

Now, it’s unethical to give something away for the sole purpose of a review. That being said, there is nothing wrong with encouraging your customers to share their opinion. If someone has something good to say, why not ask them for a review?

Spread The Word

Once you have received good customer feedback, spread the word far and wide. You can not only use these testimonials on your website, but you can also use them on social media, presentations, and brochures.

The Power Of Community

If you own a brick-and-mortar business, or have local customers this can be an even more powerful marketing tool for you. When people see people they know talk positively about a business, it… well, has a positive impact.

More Tips For Getting Excellent Customer Reviews

Sometimes the best answer is a matter of perspective. You may think your business is firing on all cylinders and doing great by your customers, but you may be overlooking something. The key here is to pay attention to your customers. They are far more important than your actual product or service, because without them you do not have a business — you have a hobby.

Got any tips to add?

 

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The Best WordPress Plugins for Community Building & Engagement

The Best WordPress Plugins for Community Building & Engagement

Engagement is more than a buzzword. Entire businesses are built on their ability to successfully cultivate a community that is both engaging and informative. In the online world, community is big. Every webmaster wants tasty stats like high traffic numbers, pageviews, and clicks, but the reality behind those numbers are people.

It’s people that drive those numbers. If your business is not engaging, your traffic will never be all that it can be. In other words, it won’t convert. Lucky for you we have compiled a big list of WordPress plugins that will help you ratchet up engagement and turn visitors into fans.

WordPress Plugins for Search & Stats

There are two plugins that every WordPress blog or site should have installed and these are Askimet and WordPress SEO. What do these have to do with engagement you might ask? Allow me to explain.

Akismet

This plugin was created by Automattic (the makers of WordPress). It works great for filtering spam comments from legitimate ones, which is important. If you do not have a way to automate spam filtering you’ll be bombarded with spam and will have trouble responding back to legitimate readers.

WordPress SEO

This one is an absolute must. In order to create a site that is popular and engaging you want to be found in the search engines. WordPress SEO by Yoast helps get you there by giving you an easy way to edit your title and description tags. Plus, it adds an XML sitemap to your blog and makes it a no-brainer to add Twitter cards and Google Authorship.

Jetpack

You should never be ignoring Google Analytics, but if you want a sneak peek into the performance of your site and would like to check out stats within your WordPress dashboard this is the plugin for you.

WordPress Plugins for Commenting & Discussion

You cannot have engagement without having a platform that makes conversation easy. These plugins help in many ways; from online forum-like discussions to social media enabled comments, you’ll find them here.

Commentluv

This plugin is first on the list because many bloggers use it and installing this plugin on your blog will usually help with engagement right out the gate. What is unique about this plugin is it allows commenters on your blog to have a link back to their last post (if they use WordPress).

Comments Evolved

This was once known as Google+ Comments for WordPress, but as the name suggests it…evolved. The earlier version allowed people using Google+ to easily comment when signed into their Google+ profile. There are a ton of benefits to being active on Google+, including more visibility in search. What makes comment plugin even more powerful is the fact that is integrates comments from Facebook, Disqus, and WordPress. It even includes trackbacks.

bbPress

As you may already know, we’re big on forums. There is nothing cooler than to be able to have forum functionality added right into your WordPress site. This plugin stands out above the rest for the simple fact that it was created by none other than Matt Mullenweg (the creator of WordPress). It’s lightweight, built for speed, and made to seamlessly integrate. What more can you ask for?

WordPress Plugins for Social Engagement

Digg Digg

First on the list is Digg Digg. This plugin adds a floating social media bar to your posts or pages (or both). You can configure it how you like and choose where you would like it to appear on the screen.

Social Locker for WordPress

This is a unique plugin that gives you the ability to “lock” content on your posts and pages that can only be viewed by the reader sharing your post via Facebook, Twitter, or Google+. Unlike the other plugins we have mentioned, this is a paid only plugin found on CodeCanyon.

WordPress Plugins for Lead Generation

Contact Form 7

This is a contact form plugin that works great, don’t cost a dime, and integrates with Akismet and CAPTCHA. It allows you to embed different contact forms using shortcodes that can be configured individually.

Gravity Forms

Think of Gravity Forms form software on steroids. It’s a paid-only plugin, but it is definitely worth the price if you are looking for easy integration between payment gateways, email marketing software and more. You can create a variety of forms with a few clicks. They also have support to help you along the way.

Pippity

This is another paid plugin, but if you are a serious marketer or are trying to build a list this should be in your toolbox. Pippity gives you the ability to create beautiful plugins, but the real value comes from being able to create unique pop-ups that appear only on certain pages and posts. You can also time pop-ups to only appear after someone has finished reading your post or viewed the page for a certain time.

ClickDesk

Did you know WordPress has live chat and support plugins? Well, now you do. Clickdesk comes in three flavors: free, lite, and Pro. The free version has plenty of features, including social integration, but limits you to only 30 chats per month.

Magic Action Box

What is especially useful about this plugin is its ability to add optin forms after every post. This is essential if you are wanting to build a solid email list or you are wanting to create a good-looking call-to-action after posts. Available in free and paid versions. (Although, the free version is rather limited).

WordPress Plugins That Encourage Clicks

Hello Bar

HelloBar is a great tool that allows you to add an eye-catching call-to-action at the top of your site. Installation is easy — just grab the code and paste it into a text widget. You can also do A/B campaigns and it comes with its own analytics that allows you to track clicks.

Related Posts by Zemanta

Keeping visitors on your site should be your main concern. You want low bounce rates and people staying on your site. The best way to do that is to encourage clicks within your site (plus have plenty of good content). Related Posts by Zemanta gives you an easy way to display related posts after each one of your blog posts.

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