Social Media, International Reach, and Increased Spending

September 12, 2014

Are you a small business owner with the big goal of reaching an international audience? While it may be a challenge to sign on customers from other parts of the world, this is not nearly as difficult as it once was.
Thanks in large part to social media, you now have the chance to expand your international reach, showing prospects in other parts of the world that you have what it takes to provide them with the best product or service for their company.
Don’t believe this to be true? Consider the following: Facebook recently announced that it has 100 million users in Africa. This may be a drop in the hat when compared to other parts of the world, such as the United States, but it shows that the opportunity to connect internationally is greater than ever before.
The more people who use social media sites in other parts of the world the easier it becomes to connect with them on a business to business level.
Sticking with the international talk, a recent study by Conference Genie shows that small and mid-size businesses in many UK industries are getting involved with social media marketing at a higher rate.
Here are some interesting stats from the study:
Travel, retail, and technology companies noted that they would spend the most money on marketing as 2014 comes to an end
71 percent of companies surveyed in the fitness and health industry believe that social media is a cost efficient way to promote their business
Half of retail industry companies surveyed showed concern about engaging with their audience via Facebook
These are all interesting statistics, as there is a good chance that at least one hits home within your company.
Do you plan on spending more money on social media marketing during the last four months of the year? Do you believe this is a cost effective way to spend your marketing dollars? Do you have concerns about how you connect with your audience?
In today’s day and age, there is a big time opportunity to expand on an international level. It can be a challenge to take the first step, but the use of social media will ensure that you are on the right path.
Facebook, among other social media sites, are growing in regions throughout the world. This is prompting more and more companies to spend additional time and money on expanding their international reach.

Peg McDermott is an award-winning marketing communications expert,Internet marketing specialist, and public speaker. Peg is the founder and president of COGO Interactive, an innovative Internet Marketing firm specializing in helping small to mid-sized businesses increase revenue and awareness by leveraging Social Media Marketing and Search Engine Optimization. She can be found on Google +, LinkedIn, Twitter, and thecogoblog.com


How to Find Prospects via LinkedIn

September 4, 2014

In today’s day and age, a growing number of small business owners are turning to social media to prospect for clients. While some are more successful than others, there is always time to make changes that can lead to better results.Last week, we discussed the many ways to find prospects via Twitter. This time around, we are going to turn our attention to the most popular professional networking site in the world, LinkedIn. If you are not using LinkedIn to prospect for business, you are missing out on a huge opportunity. With the right approach, you can use this service to your advantage, drumming up new business and connecting with others along the way.
For those who are ready to give LinkedIn prospecting their full and undivided attention, here are three steps for getting started:

1. Create a killer profile. When somebody visits your LinkedIn profile, you want them to know what you bring to the table. Your profile should be 100 percent complete, with detailed information regarding your current position as well as past experience and education.Note: you will get better results if you have a profile image.

2. Target the right audience through LinkedIn search. With a simple, straightforward search function, you can target the appropriate audience with little hassle.If you are searching for marketing professionals, for example, all you have to do is type a keyword into the search box. These may include: marketing, marketing manager, marketing department, and others that are similar.From there, you can visit the profile page of each person you are interested in working with.This may sound like a waste of time, but remember this: the person will receive a notice that you viewed their profile. That alone is enough to push you towards the next step, which is reaching out to introduce yourself.

3. Use groups to your advantage. Regardless of your industry, there will be at least one group that fits your company and prospecting goals.Be as active as possible in each group you belong to, answering questions, providing advice, and connecting with others.You want to spend as much time as possible in each group, communicating with others and working towards the goal of generating new business.These are the types of things you can do to find prospects on LinkedIn. If you spend an hour or so per day on this professional networking site, it will not be long before you are capturing leads and turning these into new business.

Peg McDermott is an award-winning marketing communications expert,Internet marketing specialist, and public speaker. Peg is the founder and president of COGO Interactive, an innovative Internet Marketing firm specializing in helping small to mid-sized businesses increase revenue and awareness by leveraging Social Media Marketing and Search Engine Optimization. She can be found on Google +LinkedInTwitter, and thecogoblog.com


How to Find Prospects Using Twitter

August 27, 2014

As a business owner, you have probably come to realize that using social media is one of the best ways to generate interest and land new clients. At the same time, you likely fit into one of two groups:

  • Those who actively use social media for prospecting
  • Those who passively use social media, hoping that people come to them (as opposed to actively searching)

If you are truly interested in finding prospects via social media, you better find yourself fitting into the first group. You want to be as active as possible, reaching out to prospects in hopes of striking up a conversation.

Set your Sights on the Target

Before you do anything, you need to have a clear idea of which types of people/companies fit your target market. This allows you to cut through the clutter, focusing your time and efforts on those who may actually turn into a customer at some point in the near future.

For a better idea of just how simple this can be, let’s take a look at prospecting via Twitter. If you are ready to use this popular social media service to your advantage, here are three simple steps for getting started:

1. Write down three to five keywords that pertain to your business. A web designer, for example, may write the following:

  • Web design
  • Hire web designer
  • Web design projects
  • Looking for web designer

2. Once you have your list of keywords, it is time to visit the Twitter search page. At that point, plug in your keywords and search one at a time. You may be surprised to find that there are many people searching for somebody in your field.

3. Reach out. If you decide that a person is a true lead, it is time to strike up a conversation and see where it goes. Some people will answer. Some people will ignore you. This is all part of social media prospecting. As long as you remain persistent, continually attempting to connect with others, it will not be long before you haul in your first client.

Note: this is a brief introduction on how to use Twitter for prospecting. You will need to adjust your approach when using Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social media services.

Now that you know how to find prospects via social media, you can be more productive each and every time you use one of these sites.

Peg McDermott is an award-winning marketing communications expert,Internet marketing specialist, and public speaker. Peg is the founder and president of COGO Interactive, an innovative Internet Marketing firm specializing in helping small to mid-sized businesses increase revenue and awareness by leveraging Social Media Marketing and Search Engine Optimization. She can be found on Google +, LinkedIn, Twitter, and thecogoblog.com


Top 5 Reasons to Use Infographic Marketing

August 20, 2014

Does your marketing plan need a shot in the arm? Are you tired of doing the “same old, same old” with hopes that you achieve the desired results? Even if your current marketing plan is working, it makes sense to consider other options. Have you given infographics a second look? With an infographic, you are taking data and presenting it to your audience in a visual manner. Not only does this allow you to get your point across, but you are able to do so in a more attractive manner. Here are five of the top reasons to use infographic marketing:

1. Attracts more attention while also keeping people on your site longer. Since an infographic is more “visual” than plain text, you can be rest assured that visitors to your site will pay attention, while also sticking around for a longer period of time. 2. The potential to go viral. Is there anything better than the thought of your infographic going viral? If this happens, it will drive a lot of traffic back to your site. On top of this, the inbound links can do wonders in terms of your search engine rankings.

3. A great addition to your social media strategy. There is nothing wrong with sharing basic blog posts via social media, but there is something special about sharing an infographic. This type of content has a much better chance of attracting a large number of eyes.

4. People love them. Think about this from your own perspective: do you get excited when you come across an interesting infographic? Be honest. Like most, the answer is probably yes.

5. Fun and exciting to create. Traditional content is a must, but there could come a time when the thought of writing another piece puts you in a bad mood. Why not mix things up by creating an infographic? This can bring a lot of fun and excitement to your marketing strategy. Even if you don’t have the time and/or skills to create one of these on your own, you can hire somebody to do the work for you. In the end, the excitement remains. These are five of the best reasons to take a strong look at infographic marketing. If you have yet to experiment with this, there is no better time than now to get started. It may be a change to your current approach, but it is one that can generate big time results.

Peg McDermott is an award-winning marketing communications expert,Internet marketing specialist, and public speaker. Peg is the founder and president of COGO Interactive, an innovative Internet Marketing firm specializing in helping small to mid-sized businesses increase revenue and awareness by leveraging Social Media Marketing and Search Engine Optimization. She can be found on Google +LinkedInTwitter, and thecogoblog.com


Don’t Just Use Twitter for Business, Target the Right Audience

August 12, 2014

When it comes to powerful social media services that can boost your business, including sales and profit, there is no better option than Twitter. While there is nothing wrong with spending time on Facebook and LinkedIn as well (among others), many business owners and marketing professionals put a lot of time, money, and resources into this platform. There are people who are using Twitter for business. And then there are people who are successfully using Twitter for business. Which group do you fit into? If you neglect to target the right audience, you may find that your time on Twitter is falling on deaf ears. Is that a risk you are willing to take? Targeting Tips for Business Pros As you get started with Twitter, you want nothing more than to get your feet wet. Over time, however, it is important that you switch your focus and begin to target the right audience. Here are three tips for doing so:

1. Use the search function. This is one of the best ways to find your target audience, as it gives you the chance to pinpoint people and companies in the same industry as you. Best yet, it only takes a couple seconds to get started.

2. Assess your competition. Who is your competition following? Who are their followers? If you answer these two questions, you will soon have a better idea of where to start. Not only does this allow you to target an interested audience, but it gives you insight into what your competitors are doing, which will allow you to tweak your approach to achieve greater results.

3. Search local. When searching for a particular keyword, such as pizza joints, you have the option to do so “everywhere” or “near you.” For those who want to target a local audience, this is one of the best ways to narrow your options. Why market your brand to those outside of your target area? This can be a waste of both time and money. Using Twitter for business continues to grow in popularity, with more and more companies coming to realize that it provides a variety of benefits. Your first thought may be to jump in headfirst, tweeting as much as you can and connecting with anybody possible.While this is a good start for most, don’t wait too long before you narrow your focus and begin to target the appropriate audience.

Peg McDermott is an award-winning marketing communications expert,Internet marketing specialist, and public speaker. Peg is the founder and president of COGO Interactive, an innovative Internet Marketing firm specializing in helping small to mid-sized businesses increase revenue and awareness by leveraging Social Media Marketing and Search Engine Optimization. She can be found on Google +LinkedInTwitter, and thecogoblog.com


How to Best Respond to a LinkedIn Business Inquiry

July 16, 2014

There are many reasons to use LinkedIn, including the fact that this is a great way to drum up new business. Even though this may not be your primary objective, over time you will find that people are connecting with you in hopes of forming some type of business relationship. In the event that somebody reaches out to discuss a business opportunity.

there are five steps you should take when it comes time to respond:
1. Make sure the person and opportunity is legit. Just the same as any online service, there are spammers and scammers who will reach out to anybody and everybody in an attempt to make money. Don¹t be duped!

2. Do some research into the person¹s background. Since you received the message on LinkedIn, this is a great place to start. What is their current position? Where are they located? Which companies have they worked for in the past? From there, you can do a quick Google search to see what else you can find.

3. Answer any questions that were asked of you. This is when you will dive into the opportunity that has been presented, letting the person know if you are interested or not. Tip: while answering questions, don’t be afraid to interject your own ideas, explaining why you are the right person for the opportunity. Despite the fact that the other party reached out to you, there is nothing wrong with selling yourself.

4. Be quick and to the point. LinkedIn is not a place to hold a long conversation. You should be as quick and concise as possible, sharing the necessary information and providing the person with everything they asked of you. If you drag on too long, you take the risk of your note not being read in its entirety.

5. Setup the next action. At the end of your response, suggest the next action, such as a time for a phone call or face to face meeting. If you are truly interested in the opportunity, no matter what it may be, you need to take the initiative in setting up a time for you to take discussions to the next level. Every LinkedIn business inquiry is unique, however, you can take these five steps to ensure that you are on the right path.

As the biggest professional networking site in the world, the more time you spend on LinkedIn the better chance there is that somebody will eventually reach out to discuss a business opportunity.

Peg McDermott is an award-winning marketing communications expert,Internet marketing specialist, and public speaker. Peg is the founder and president of COGO Interactive, an innovative Internet Marketing firm specializing in helping small to mid-sized businesses increase revenue and awareness by leveraging Social Media Marketing and Search Engine Optimization. She can be found on Google +LinkedInTwitter, and thecogoblog.com


July 1, 2014

There is a lot that goes into creating an effective online marketing strategy. While the use of video may sound intimidating, once you are on the right track this can be a fun way to generate new business and connect with your target audience.

With the average internet user watching videos on a daily basis, it only makes sense to add video to your online marketing strategy. If you don’t, you are missing out on a great opportunity to share information with the world.

The way you use video depends on many factors, including your company size, industry, budget, and availability of time.

Here are three ways to add the use of video to your online marketing strategy:

1. Demonstrate your product or service. Did you recently roll out a new product? Are you hoping to educate your audience on a particular service offered by your company? While there is nothing wrong with adding the appropriate text to your website, don’t overlook the power of video. When you bring your “how-to tutorials” to life, you may be surprised at how responsive your audience becomes.

2. A big hello from your staff. By showing the faces behind your company, customers and prospects will feel much better about doing business with you.

Give everybody the chance to get in front of the camera, introduce him or herself, and show the world what they bring to the company. Not only is this a great addition to your online marketing strategy, but it is something fun for employees.

3. Customer testimonials. A prospect is more likely to become a customer after hearing how great your company really is. Have you taken the time to reach out to satisfied customers, asking them to record a testimonial?

Don’t Shy Away

Many people shy away from the use of video in their online marketing strategy because they don’t know where to start. Even if you only have the use of a basic webcam, you can shoot video that can be shared with your audience. As you grow, you can purchase or rent more advanced equipment, ensuring that your videos are of the highest quality possible.

For many companies, the use of video is a big part of their online marketing strategy. Now that you know more about how to get started, the time for doing so is now. After your first video you will look back and wonder what took you so long.

Peg McDermott is an award-winning marketing communications expert,Internet marketing specialist, and public speaker. Peg is the founder and president of COGO Interactive, an innovative Internet Marketing firm specializing in helping small to mid-sized businesses increase revenue and awareness by leveraging Social Media Marketing and Search Engine Optimization. She can be found on Google +LinkedInTwitter, and thecogoblog.com

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