Category Archives for "Strategy"

hacks for more engagement across any platorm
Mar 17

Engagement Hacks to Use on Any Social Network

By Maria Peagler

hacks for more engagement across any platorm

 

“I need more engagement!”

Sound familiar?

Today I’m coming to the rescue with four no-fail hacks you can use on ANY social network to increase your engagement.

Let’s get started —

1. Use Video to Get Higher Engagement on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter

In 2015, video has the highest reach of any post type on Facebook. To be clear, that’s video uploaded to Facebook, not linked to from YouTube. Reach is the gateway to higher engagement, so you’re guaranteed to increase both using video.

Video is still unique on Instagram and Twitter: we’re used to images on Instagram and text-only tweets, so video is unique and attention-grabbing.  Use it and you’ll see your engagement skyrocket. On Jimmy Fallon’s Instagram page, he has only one video, but it gets more engagement than any of his photos:

video gets more engagement

The sole video on Jimmy Fallon’s Instagram page has more Likes & Comments than his photos

 

 

2. Use Visual Content to Get 180% More Engagement

visual storytelling maria peagler

In my interview with Visual Storytelling co-author Ekaterina Walter, she says “posts with visuals drive up to 180% more engagement than those without.”

Daniel Pink, in his book A Whole New Mind, discusses the importance of design in business, and visual content is a major part of that.

Simply put, text-only content is “old school.”  You need to engage your audience with compelling visuals to initiate a conversation and a reaction.

If you’re not a designer, don’t worry, you don’t need to be.  Check out my resources for doing it easily yourself:

Create a DIY Stock Photo Library

Use Canva to Repurpose One Photo into an Entire Library [VIDEO TUTORIAL]

3. Use Micro-Content to Engage Short Attention Spans

Yes, the human attention span is now less than that of a goldfish.

Don’t fight it.

Instead, repurpose your content into smaller pieces, called micro-content.

Here’s an example: for 2014, we gathered all of the resources we published (in addition to our classes) and created one long resource post that included over 100 links:

100 marketing resources from 2014

While that list is highly actionable, I knew that not everyone who read the post would get through the entire thing. So I was determined to get more mileage out of it than just one blog post.

I repurposed that list into an infographic, allowing me to post the list on Pinterest in a visual way. Instead of listing every resource, I pulled out several and highlighted them in this infographic:

100 marketing resources infographic

100 marketing resources from 2014

Repurposing the text-only list allows me to share it on visual social networks like Pinterest

That long list of links would never have made it onto Pinterest, but the infographic turned those resources into highly shareable and engaging content perfect for this visual social network.

Finally, I took one resource from that list and created micro-content to share on Instagram and Twitter:

micro content created for instagram

I took one tactic from the list of 100 and created a small visual for it

Creating micro-content from that list engaged part of my audience who would never have read that long list of resources. I repurposed that content into different forms, eliciting more engagement from my followers.

4. Share Other People’s Content

This is a tactic often referred to as a best practice in relationship marketing, but it also pays off in terms of engagement.

Last week, the most shared post on the Socialmediaonlineclasses.com Facebook page wasn’t my own content. It was an article I shared from Entrepreneur on what makes someone “likeable” —

share others content for higher engagement

This post got more organic reach, likes, and shares than any other post on my page last week. The cute photo Entrepreneur used also made it highly “shareable” and reinforces #2 on this list — visual content.

Engagement Hacks Checklist

Use this handy checklist as your guide to getting higher engagement no matter which social network you use:

engagement hacks checklist Socialmediaonlineclasses.com

Share this Image On Your Site

Which Hack Will You Use?

None of these hacks are difficult: you don’t need to be a coder, graphic designer, or videographer to do them. Each of them is within reach of small business owners who want more engagement from their audience.

Pick the hack that seems most natural to you or that will appeal to your audience the most and start there.

Your engagement thank you for it.

Mar 16

Weekly Top 5 for Mar 16, 2015

By Janice Deleon

Our classes are just the start of the learning you get here at Socialmediaonlineclasses.com.  Here are the additional resources available this week..

Colorful cupcakes with flowers

 

#1. 4 Easy Ways to Make Money with Social Media Marketing

Once you’ve established your brand’s social media marketing, here’s the big question: is it making money for you? If not, learn these 4 easy “hacks” you can do to change that . . . http://bit.ly/1887bOH

#2. 1:1 Coaching Each Month for Members

Every month SMOC members get private coaching with Maria, along with the coaching recording and transcript. Need help with your website, business plan, or social media? Get your help here . . . http://bit.ly/1wxiVCe

#3. Social Media Certification for Each Class

When SMOC members complete all the lessons in a class, they get a certificate, suitable for framing.  Do you need social media certification? Get it here . . . . http://bit.ly/1GaHngi

#4. What’s the #1 Thing You Wished You Understood Better About Marketing?

That’s the question Maria posed to members in the SMOC mastermind group.  See their answers here . . . http://bit.ly/1yaYrlN

#5. Social Media Strategy Template & Spreadsheet

Get your simple fill-in-the-blanks in this template & worksheet to develop your unique social media strategy . . . http://bit.ly/1IKm1vD

profitable social media markteting
Mar 10

4 Easy Ways to Make Money with Your Social Media Marketing

By Maria Peagler

profitable social media markteting

I’m going to reveal a closely guarded secret that you won’t hear from anyone else . . .

Too many businesses never see a dime from their social media marketing.

Don’t let that be you. I’m going to show you exactly how to make money from your social media marketing.

These tactics aren’t about engagement, relationships, or fans. They’re about profiting from the time you spend marketing your business.

Follow these steps and you will see a huge return on your social media marketing.

1. Develop Your Social Media Marketing Strategy in 60 Seconds

social media strategy template spreadsheet

Use this spreadsheet to develop your own social media strategy in 60 seconds

Yes, it’s really possible with the help from my template & spreadsheet, and I show you exactly how in this post..  It guides you, step-by-step, through the important questions you need to answer to reach your target audience, profitably.  If you’d like to go even deeper into developing your strategy, take my free Social Media Strategy Class. It’s the first stop for members here at Socialmediaonlineclasses.com.

2. Build Your Online Store

your first online store

Once you’ve got your strategy developed, you’re ready to start making sales. Even if you’re a local business, having an online store can be an additional revenue stream for you.

Building an online store can be a nightmare: it’s the most difficult part of having any online presence, as there are multiple moving pieces to it, and if you’re new to the process, it’s easy to make the wrong decision. You need to identify whether you’ll take PayPal, credit cards, be PCI compliant (don’t know what this is?), and more.

 

3. Get More Sales from the Website You’ve Already Got

more sales website thumbnail

What if you’re doing social media marketing and have an online store, but you’re not seeing much in the way of sales?

You’re not alone.

We see this often for our social media services clients. They can’t figure out why they’re not making more money from their business (time for some tough love here). It’s usually because their website isn’t doing its job.

No one likes to hear that. It’s like saying “your baby is ugly.” You’ve spent a lot of money on your website, and you’re proud of it. I get it. I’ve been there. But you need to understand what website elements you need to have to actually make money from it.

Big Secret: most web designers have no idea what these elements are. They have a formula for making websites that works for them, not necessarily for you.

Tips like these and significantly more are covered in Socialmediaonlineclasses.com

 

4. Automate Parts of Your Social Media Marketing

how to automate social media marketing

Your time is valuable and you need to spend it on the tasks that are profitable. Small business owners have too many demands on their time to waste it on tasks they can automate.

I’m a big fan of taking the menial parts of marketing and putting them on auto-pilot. It saves me time, but more importantly, saves my brain for the more important decisions in my business, allowing me to focus on those.

In Socialmediaonlineclasses.com, you get classes on every major social network, infographics, webinars, and 1:1 coaching with me. I hope to see you inside Socialmediaonlineclasses.com.

Summary

Is your business a “hobby” or is it a real money-maker? These four elements make the difference between social marketing that drains your time or makes you profitable. If you have questions about these tactics or need help, consider becoming a member of Socialmediaonlineclasses.com. Members get 1:1 coaching with me every month, and get advice on how to do the hard work of making their businesses profitable.

Mar 09

Weekly Top 5 for Mar 9, 2015

By Janice Deleon

Our classes are just the start of the learning you get here at Socialmediaonlineclasses.com.  Here are the additional resources available this week..

#1. Google Analytics Made Simple: Live Webinar + Recording + MP3 Audio + Infographic

Learn the three must-have Google Analytics reports your business needs (and avoid data overwhelm!). Don’t miss this essential webinar on March 19 . . . http://bit.ly/1M3aFiC

#2. How to Use Hashtags on Your Hangtags

New to the Swipe File this week: a great example of a jewelry brand using hashtags on their hangtags to create a buzz on Instagram . . . http://bit.ly/1yaYrlN

#3. How to Use a Facebook Ad to Market Vacation Rentals

This SMOC member has a vacation rental business and wants to know how to market them on social media.  See Maria’s example using a Facebook ad to book direct . . . http://bit.ly/1yaYrlN

#4. What’s the Proper Recognition for a Facebook Like?

An SMOC member wants to know what the best way is to acknowledge a new friend on her personal profile.  See Maria’s answer here . . . http://bit.ly/1yaYrlN

#5. How to Find a Facebook Post in a Group

This SMOC member belongs to multiple Facebook groups and wants to know how she can go back and find a post in them from the past.  Maria gave her a couple of hacks here . . . http://bit.ly/1D3q6Gs

Google Analytics made simple
Mar 03

Google Analytics Made Simple: Live Webinar + Recording + MP3 Audio + Infographic

By Maria Peagler

Google Analytics made simple

 

Free webinar Thurs, March 19 @1pm EDT/6pm GMT.  Join Maria Peagler for this brief live webinar:

  • Learn the three must-have Google Analytics reports for small business
  • Thurs Mar 19, 1pm EDT, 6pm GMT
  • 30-Minute Webinar + On-Demand recording + MP3 Audio + Infographic
  • $297.00 value FREE for Members (Membership is $57 per month, cancel easily anytime.)

Get Webinar FREE with SMOC Membership
Already a member?  Your webinar access codes will arrive in your Inbox a few days before the webinar.

Overwhelmed by Google Analytics’ Firehose of Data?

You’re not alone.

The good news is you don’t have to be a data geek or love numbers to use Google Analytics for your business.

You just have to know where to look . . . . what to look for . . . . and how to analyze what you see.

Fortunately, I’m giving you the keys to unlock the treasure-trove of data inside Google Analytics.

In this month’s 30-minute, members-only webinar, you’ll get the exact steps you need to:

  • identify how much traffic your website is getting (and who’s sending those visitors)
  • discover your most profitable pages (and how to increase their value)
  • find out if visitors LOVE your website or if they’re LEAVING in droves
  • and more!

Plus, plenty of time for Q&A, so come with questions, so sign up today!

Get Your $297.00 Webinar ticket FREE When You Join SocialMediaOnlineClasses.com Today

Purchase your Webinar ticket for $297.00 now, or get it free when you join as a Member today for $57 per month. Cancel easily anytime.

SocialMediaOnlineClasses.com is a continuous service, including instant access to over 200 online lessons valued at $1,997.00 plus $397.00 worth of new Bonus Webinars & infographics each month, billed to your payment card every 30 days at the lowest rate then in effect, currently just $57.

In total, you’ll get instant access to $2,297.00 (and growing!) worth of practical Members-Only training to grow your business using social media. SocialMediaOnlineClasses.com Membership helps you:

#1. Get Access to One Billion Customers in 10 Minutes

Learn how to identify the social networks best for your unique business, then build a profile that turns more visitors into paying customers. SMOC brings you ‘what works’  training that cuts through the noise & crushes social media overwhelm.

Members  instantly access how-to videos, screen shots, checklists, infographics, and case studies — tools which can be put to work on your website & social networking right away.

#2. Get More Fans in Less Time

Discover how to get fans & connections without spending all day in social media.  You really can post to all of your social networks in as little as 15 minutes a day, and you’ll learn how to generate content & posts that get your business noticed, attract fans, and turn them into paying customers.

Members immediately get their hands on how-to checklists (like 13 Ways to Get More Facebook Fans), videos that teach you how to do search engine optimization yourself, and real-life examples of successful small businesses who’ve achieved great success.

#3. Customize Your Learning Track

Online training is often a one-sized fits all plan, but not for SMOC Members.  You’ll get a customized social media assessment that details the optimum social networks for your unique career path & industry, and you can use it as your guide for what classes you’ll need (Members are often surprised at the results).   Plus, Members can instantly access:

  • hands-on video tutorials
  • monthly social media makeovers (for your website or any social network)
  • bonus webinars that dive deep into profitable tactics
  • infographics to print as your cheat sheets
  • a private community forum
  • 1:1 private coaching

#4. Get 1:1 Coaching Plus Networking with Other Business Owners

Members get instant access to a private online community of peers eager to connect and discuss what’s worked and what hasn’t for them.

Each month, members also get 1:1 coaching time with Maria where you can get feedback on your website, advice on your business plan, help with your social media marketing, you name it — it’s your time!

Plus, your Membership includes a complimentary pass to SMOC’s monthly Bonus Webinar or virtual workshop focused on a hot social media business topic — ranging from one & done posting to getting listed on search results — with plenty of time for extended Q&As . The webinar alone is a value of $297.00 per month.

As a member you’ll get immediate access to all the materials on the site plus that month’s Bonus Webinar. After that, you’ll be billed the lowest available monthly fee (currently just $57) via convenient automated billing. It’s risk-free and guaranteed, you can easily cancel at any time.

So why not join today and see how SocialMediaOnlineClasses.com can help your business grow!

Get Webinar FREE with SMOC Membership

weekly top 5 - puppy edition
Mar 02

Weekly Top 5 for Mar 2, 2015

By Janice Deleon

Our classes are just the start of the learning you get here at Socialmediaonlineclasses.com.  Here are the additional resources available this week..

 

#1. Can Mobile Users Find Your Website [WEBINAR EXCERPT]

Find out if your business is missing out on the biggest trend of 2015 in this sneak peek at last month’s bonus webinar . . . http://bit.ly/1DMTHW8

#2. SWIPE FILE: How to WOW Potential Customers with Testimonials

One of best ways to motivate people to trust you is with testimonials from current clients. Check out this clever way to WOW people with amazing testimonials . . . http://bit.ly/1D3q6Gs

#3. How to Get More Traffic to Your Website Using Social Media

Yes, you can drive traffic to your website with social media. But the whole process is often fuzzy to entrepeneurs. Here’s a step-by-step case study of how a simple tweet drove traffic to this website . . . http://bit.ly/1D3q6Gs

#4. The Oscars Use of Hashtags in 2015

The Oscars has become so much more than award show for celebrities only. Now fans can join in the experience using social media . . . http://bit.ly/1D3q6Gs

#5. Why Your Social Media Marketing Isn’t Generating Revenue

You’re using social media marketing, but not seeing any revenue from your effort? Learn how to change that here . . . http://bit.ly/1wUbLpG

Feb 23

Weekly Top 5 for Feb 23, 2015

By Janice Deleon

Our classes are just the start of the learning you get here at Socialmediaonlineclasses.com.  Here are the additional resources available this week..

Colorful cupcakes with flowers

#1. Can Mobile Users Find Your Website? Webinar Replay & Resources

Members: Watch the replay here and get all the resources with it! Mobile is THE biggest trend of 2015, and you’ll get all its benefits after getting this 30-minute webinar, mp3 audio, slide deck, and infographic . . . http://bit.ly/1wE3Uxs

#2. The Ultimate Guide to Hashtags

What the heck’s a hashtag? Feel like you need a hashtag-to-English dictionary to decipher them all? Not anymore.  This in-depth guide offers 64 hashtag tactics and over 20 examples . . . http://bit.ly/1MtY2A7

#3. The State of Social Media for Small Business [CLASSIC]

Surprising results from a survey of 300 small business owners: how do they use social media, what’s their biggest challenge, and some surprising discoveries, all in a handy hand-drawn infographic you can embed on your website . . . . http://goo.gl/CQsfMa

#4. Member Question Re: Dark Social Media

This SMOC member wanted clarification on “dark social media” and how it would affect her social algorithm.  See Maria’s response here . . . http://bit.ly/1D3q6Gs

#5. Your Post Repinned Over 100 Times on Pinterest?

Maria shared how one of SMOC’s posts was repinned on Pinterest over 100 times in the last month . . . http://on.fb.me/1vqKMa1

Top 5 at Socialmediaonlineclasses.com
Feb 16

Weekly Top 5 for Feb 16, 2015

By Janice Deleon

Our classes are just the start of the learning you get here at Socialmediaonlineclasses.com.  Here are the additional resources available this week..

#1. NEW! Social Media Strategy Template & Spreadsheet

Are you doing social media marketing without a strategy? Need to update your existing strategy for 2015? Fill in the blanks in this template & worksheet and you’re done . . . http://bit.ly/1IKm1vD

#2. The One Simple Step that Increases Facebook Reach Exponentially!

Facebook isn’t about to announce this tactic, but I’ve found a simple “tweak” that increases your organic reach (people who see your post without advertising). Members – see the example I demonstrated in the SMOC Mastermind group here . . . http://bit.ly/1D3q6Gs

#3. Do Local Directories Help a Local Business’ SEO?

An SMOC member wants to know if she should pay $500 to have a her website submitted to local directories.  Is it worth it? See Maria’s advice here . . . http://bit.ly/1D3q6Gs

#4. This Surprising Social Network Outperforms All Others

You’ll be surprised at the findings of this exhaustive study.  Key takeaways for your business to see higher ROI from your social media marketing . . .  http://goo.gl/vlSrVq

#5. Website Images Won’t Appear on Facebook Post Links

This member has a beautiful travel website and blog, but when he posts a link to them on Facebook, the images won’t display.  Find out this simple work-around here . . . . http://goo.gl/EykVJ2

social media strategy template
Feb 10

Social Media Strategy Template: Develop Your Social Media Strategy in 60 Seconds [Version 2.0]

By Maria Peagler

[UPDATED FOR 2016] — download your free social media strategy template and worksheet, and learn how to develop your unique social media marketing strategy for your business.

social media strategy template

If you’ve been using social media marketing but haven’t seen results . . .

. . . then it’s time for a do-over.

And it starts with identifying which social network is your low-hanging fruit: where can you get the BIG win in the shortest amount of time?

That’s what the Social Media Strategy Template and worksheet will do for you: help you develop and optimize a no-fail social media marketing strategy unique for your business.

Socialmediaonlineclasses.com turns five this month, and I’ve learned much about how people use social media marketing to promote their brands.  People usually assume Facebook is the first place they should start, when it could be that it’s totally the wrong platform for them.

So here’s a step-by-step process for developing the perfect social media strategy using our template . . .

1. Who’s Your Most Profitable Customer?

All your social media marketing efforts will be for nothing if you’re not reaching the right people.  Who are your customers? Even better, who are your most profitable customers?

Here’s a hint . . . it’s NOT everyone.

I’m surprised at entrepreneurs who can’t answer this question. Or, if they can, they are often too vague. Be obsessively specific here. While we all would love to think everyone will want our products, it just isn’t so.

Identify your potential customers down to their:

  • age
  • sex
  • education level
  • income level
  • what publications they read
  • what websites they visit
  • what their budget is
  • are they local or nationwide

Use the Social Media Strategy Template and Spreadsheet as your guide to identify your target audience (link is to my free Social Media Strategy class).

 

2. What Are Your Goals?

Don’t know?

That’s okay — you’re in good company.  I have clients who are ranked #1 in their industry nationwide, making seven figures, who’ve told me “I don’t know what social media marketing can do for me.”

Let’s take a look . . .

The top three goals for members here at Socialmediaonlineclasses.com are:

  1. Grow my business
  2. Increase my sales
  3. Get more visibility

Other common goals are to get more traffic to my website, launch a new product, develop a personal brand, and do fundraising for a non-profit.

You can achieve all those goals with social media marketing.

Ask yourself: what do you NEED to accomplish with social media marketing? Use the template and spreadsheet as a guide to answer questions to help you identify your primary goals (click to download).

social media strategy template spreadsheet

Download this spreadsheet to build your social media strategy

Which social networks can help you reach your goals? That’s what you’ll answer in #3 . . .

3. Where Are Your Customers?

What’s the primary social network your customers use? Once you’ve identified who your most profitable customers are (step #1), you can identify where they are in social media.

It’s likely they use more than one social network, but don’t feel like you need to be on ALL of them.  You want to fit your marketing to the optimal social network:

  • where your customers are
  • has the ability to help you reach your goals

For example, if you are a local florist and use Instagram to show beautiful photos of your arrangements, that’s great for increasing your visibility among potential customers. But, if your goal is to drive traffic to your website or get people into your shop, Instagram can’t do that for you:

Poppies and Posies shares gorgeous photos of their flowers & arrangements on Instagram

Poppies and Posies shares gorgeous photos of their flowers & arrangements on Instagram

Google+ and Facebook are much better choices for driving traffic. Why?

  • Google+ (even if your customers don’t use it) helps you build a robust Google local business page (that your customers see when they ARE searching for a local florist)
  • The majority of your customers are using Facebook.  Offer Facebook fans a Valentine’s Day special, or even better, offer them an exclusive during your slow season.

If you need help identifying which social network is best for your business, take this 60-second quiz to find out.

4. When Will You Communicate?

How often do you plan to post to your social networks — multiple times per day, once per day, or a few times a week? (Be realistic about your schedule and what you can accomplish.)

What I’ve found is that most entrepreneurs get excited about starting their social media marketing, post for a month or two, and either get frustrated over a technical issue or life gets in the way.

And they stop . . .

. . . then it gets even more difficult to restart. It’s cumbersome because they’ve lost their proficiency with their social networking, and they end up having to re-learn the basics:

When did you last post on your social networks?

That’s okay — we all have stuff that gets in the way.

However, I do have a recommendation that makes it much easier to continue your social media marketing even during your busy season or when life throws you a curve ball — an editorial calendar.

They’re also called a content development schedule — call them what you like — but by identifying what you’ll be posting about each month and eventually each week, you make social media marketing much easier (and far more likely to be consistent with it).

5. What Differentiates You?

They key to making a connection with potential customers in any form of marketing is the right message at the right time.

The right message is one that sets your brand apart, differentiating it from the competition and as a perfect fit for your ideal customers.

Differentiating your brand is often the hardest step in developing a social media strategy (even for the professionals).  So let’s take a look at some brands who do it well:

ImagiBrand clearly differentiates themselves directly on their Twitter profile by saying “Every brand has a story. Let’s have some fun with yours!” What a great motto — you know if you hire them you’re going to get a company with a great sense of humor:

scrn_2014-11-19_09-43-03_AM1

Molly McGrory, a real estate broker who sells over $100K in her own listings from social media alone, brands herself as a real estate agent who can sell your home quickly, shown here in this Facebook post:molly mcgrory branding

Getting some ideas for your own marketing?

6. How Will You Execute?

The devil is in the details, isn’t it? The perfect social media strategy won’t produce results until you execute it consistently.  So how do you do that?

Make it so simple you can’t fail.  You’ve already identified the elements of your strategy — now you need to combine those into a simple, elegant action plan for your social media marketing.

To do that, download the spreadsheet that accompanies the social media strategy template (you can get both of these in my free Social Media Strategy Class). The spreadsheets guides you, step-by-step, through each of the six elements, plus what you need to have in place to put your strategy into action, helping you to identify:

  1. what you need to learn to do your social media marketing
  2. what tools you need to use
  3. who is responsible for doing your social media marketing
  4. how will you measure success

 

weekly top 5 - puppy edition
Feb 09

Weekly Top 5 for Feb 9, 2015

By Janice Deleon

Our classes are just the start of the learning you get here at Socialmediaonlineclasses.com.  Here are the additional resources available this week..

 

weekly top 5 - puppy edition

#1. Can Mobile Users Find Your Business? Webinar, Slide Deck, Audio & Infographic

Mobile is THE biggest trend in online marketing — but can people find your business if their using their mobile devices? Don’t miss this essential webinar for 2015 . . . http://bit.ly/1KmwkBy

#2. How to Protect Your Business from Hackers: [Webinar Excerpt]

Hacking is everywhere is the news these days. It’s not a matter of IF your business will be hacked, but WHEN. Be prepared with this prevention guide . . . http://bit.ly/1ucjP9m

#3. LinkedIn Fixes Their BIG Mistake of 2014

LinkedIn took away several features in 2014 that angered many of its users in 2014. They’ve returned an essential feature in 2015, and you can see what it is here . . . . http://bit.ly/1zMQMJ5

#4. Great Example of a Simple Business Video

Maria shared a simple one-minute video made by a small business to demonstrate how to use their new product.  Watch it in the SMOC members-only Mastermind group on Facebook here . . . http://bit.ly/1D3q6Gs

#5. Emailing Leads from a Trade Show – is that SPAM?

This SMOC member wanted to know if she could sent an email to a large list of potential clients she collected at a recent trade show.  See Maria’s advice here . . . http://bit.ly/1D3q6Gs

Feb 05

How to Protect Your Small Business from Hackers [WEBINAR EXCERPT]

By Maria Peagler


Seems like everyday on the news you hear of another business that’s been hacked, with its client’s data compromised or confidential content leaked.  How can you protect your small business?

Watch this excerpt of last month’s members-only webinar:  How to Protect Your Small Business from Hackers.  Transcript is below the webinar:

 

Now what do Target, Sony, and Home Depot all have in common? They have all been targets of hackers. Most people think that hacking is something that just happens to being businesses, but actually that’s not the case. You can be hacked whether you are a business, whether you are an individual. Hackers are an equal opportunity, and they will come after you whether you have a large business, a small business, or even if you’re an individual. Today what we’re going to do is to talk about how to identify the true credible threats to your business. Not everything that you read about that could potentially ever happen but the 20% of those threats that are most likely to happen to your business and how you can prevent them from destroying your business.

The first thing that you want to do is identify what is the weakest link in my business that would allow hackers access to our computers, our website, to our data. For the majority of businesses the weakest link is our people. It goes without saying we have seen the enemy and it is us. We are our own worst enemy when it comes to security for our business for several different reasons. One is security is boring. It’s not revenue; it’s not sales; it’s not marketing; it’s not all the things that stay top of mind; it’s not a sexy topic; and it’s also something that people just don’t want to think about. It is cumbersome to secure your business. It makes things more challenging because there’s more layers to go through so it’s not quite as easy to get things done, and it makes things more difficult.

If it’s not easy, a lot of people just don’t want to do it, but it’s worth it. Securing your business is worth it, and I am going to share some examples with you of colleagues, of vendors that I know of who have been hacked who have lost a ton of data, and what happened in those situations.

Now there’s three different areas that hackers are most likely to target. The first is your email, the second is your computer, and the third is your website. We’re going to be taking a look at each one of those targets and how you can prevent a hacker from accessing any of these for your business. If you have any questions as we go through the webinar, please feel free to type them in the chat window and I will get to them at the end of the webinar. I do that so that we can keep things brief for people who need to keep it to 30 minutes, but I will stay as long as you have questions.

First let’s talk about email. This is a real scenario that happened to one of my colleagues. He had an email account that got hacked and somehow the hacker was able to access, through his email, his PayPal account. The hacker took money from my colleague’s PayPal account and told him he would give it back to him once he got a meeting with him. He basically held his email and his PayPal account for ransom. This is a real threat and email is the most likely place that a hacker is going to access your business. This is the most important layer of security that you can have.

The best way to protect your email is with a secure password. By a secure password I mean something like this. This is a very secure password. It’s not a word that you will find in the dictionary. It uses letters, both lower case and upper case, numbers, and special characters. Even though this sounds like something that you would never in a million years be able to remember on your own, I am going to recommend a piece of software that I actually use called Last Pass. It is a password protection program that generates secure passwords and remembers them for you. I literally don’t know the passwords to any of my apps. I don’t know the password for my email, for my WordPress site, for PayPal, for Amazon – none of it. Last Pass knows it and it protects it for me. This is a program that I have used for several years now. I highly recommend it. They have a free version and a paid version. They were recently voted by members and readers over at Life Hacker as the top password protection program available. If you’re using a password protection program – Last Pass is what generated this password for me – you don’t really have to worry about that.

You also want to make sure that as far as your username you’re not using anything like admin and that you’re not giving your email credentials to anyone else, anybody in your business, people who work for you, colleagues, vendors, developers. They do not get access to that. If anybody needs access to my accounts I share it through Last Pass, which has the ability to share passwords with people without them seeing it, so they get access to an account and you can see who’s accessed it.

The second way that you can protect your email is do not open attachments from unfamiliar senders. This is the number one way that hackers get access to your email and then eventually your computer, is they’ll send you an email. They make it look like it’s from someone you know. It has an attachment. You open it and it’s malware. It’s a virus that then will attack your hard drive. You don’t want to open attachments unless you know the person who’s sending it. I also recommend using an email provider that has really good spam protection. The best one out there is Gmail. I use Gmail and I just don’t ever have to worry about spam at all. I highly recommend using an email provider that’s going to protect you from spam email, because that’s where most of these are going to come from.

Now ransomware is a kind of a virus. What happens with it is a hacker will get access to your computer and it will freeze your hard drive and not give you access to it until you pay a ransom. Then once you do, you get your hard drive back. This is a real thing that’s happening. I have links here to two articles and I’m going to share one of these articles with you that is just excellent. It’s from the New York Times by Alina Simone. The article is “How My Mom Got Hacked.” I read this article and the summary of it is, this reporter’s mother was a stay-at-home mom, does not have a business. She just had basically photos on her computer and opened an attachment from someone she didn’t know. They made it look like they knew her. Ransomware, which is a virus, took over her computer and she saw a screen that said, “Your files are encrypted. To get the key to decrypt the files you have to pay $500. If you fail to pay within a week the price will go up to $1,000,” and after that all of the files on her computer would be lost.

Well long story short, this woman did pay the money. She got her files back but ultimately you don’t want it to get to that point. If it did you could use antivirus software to get this virus off of your computer, but this is a real thing that’s happening, so you want to protect yourself from this, mostly just by being very careful about the attachments that you open. That’s exactly how this mom got hacked.

Feb 03

Can Mobile Users Find Your Business? Live Webinar + Recording + MP3 Audio + Infographic

By Maria Peagler

mobile website webinar Socialmediaonlineclasses.com

 

Free webinar Thurs, Feb 19 @1pm EDT/6pm GMT.  Join Maria Peagler for this brief live webinar:

  • Learn how to get your business in front of mobile users
  • Thurs Feb 19, 1pm EDT, 6pm GMT
  • 30-Minute Webinar + On-Demand recording + MP3 Audio + Infographic
  • $297.00 value FREE for Members (Membership is $57 per month, cancel easily anytime.)

Get Webinar FREE with SMOC Membership
Already a member?  Your webinar access codes will arrive in your Inbox a few days before the webinar.

Is Your Business Missing Out on the Biggest Trend of 2015?

How often do you use your mobile phone? Every hour?

You’re not alone! Your potential clients use their smartphones just as often, so how easy is it for them to find you & do business with you?

Not sure? Never thought about it?

You’re not alone!

In this month’s members-only webinar, you’ll learn how to:

  • identify whether mobile users are visiting your website
  • increase your traffic by 500% from mobile users (yes, really)
  • make it easy for people to purchase from you when they’re on a mobile phone
  • and more!

Plus, plenty of time for Q&A, so come with questions, so sign up today!

Get Your $297.00 Webinar ticket FREE When You Join SocialMediaOnlineClasses.com Today

Purchase your Webinar ticket for $297.00 now, or get it free when you join as a Member today for $57 per month. Cancel easily anytime.

SocialMediaOnlineClasses.com is a continuous service, including instant access to over 200 online lessons valued at $1,997.00 plus $397.00 worth of new Bonus Webinars & infographics each month, billed to your payment card every 30 days at the lowest rate then in effect, currently just $57.

In total, you’ll get instant access to $2,297.00 (and growing!) worth of practical Members-Only training to grow your business using social media. SocialMediaOnlineClasses.com Membership helps you:

#1. Get Access to One Billion Customers in 10 Minutes

Learn how to identify the social networks best for your unique business, then build a profile that turns more visitors into paying customers. SMOC brings you ‘what works’  training that cuts through the noise & crushes social media overwhelm.

Members  instantly access how-to videos, screen shots, checklists, infographics, and case studies — tools which can be put to work on your website & social networking right away.

#2. Get More Fans in Less Time

Discover how to get fans & connections without spending all day in social media.  You really can post to all of your social networks in as little as 15 minutes a day, and you’ll learn how to generate content & posts that get your business noticed, attract fans, and turn them into paying customers.

Members immediately get their hands on how-to checklists (like 13 Ways to Get More Facebook Fans), videos that teach you how to do search engine optimization yourself, and real-life examples of successful small businesses who’ve achieved great success.

#3. Customize Your Learning Track

Online training is often a one-sized fits all plan, but not for SMOC Members.  You’ll get a customized social media assessment that details the optimum social networks for your unique career path & industry, and you can use it as your guide for what classes you’ll need (Members are often surprised at the results).   Plus, Members can instantly access:

  • hands-on video tutorials
  • monthly social media makeovers (for your website or any social network)
  • bonus webinars that dive deep into profitable tactics
  • infographics to print as your cheat sheets
  • a private community forum
  • 1:1 private coaching

#4. Get 1:1 Coaching Plus Networking with Other Business Owners

Members get instant access to a private online community of peers eager to connect and discuss what’s worked and what hasn’t for them.

Each month, members also get 1:1 coaching time with Maria where you can get feedback on your website, advice on your business plan, help with your social media marketing, you name it — it’s your time!

Plus, your Membership includes a complimentary pass to SMOC’s monthly Bonus Webinar or virtual workshop focused on a hot social media business topic — ranging from one & done posting to getting listed on search results — with plenty of time for extended Q&As . The webinar alone is a value of $297.00 per month.

As a member you’ll get immediate access to all the materials on the site plus that month’s Bonus Webinar. After that, you’ll be billed the lowest available monthly fee (currently just $57) via convenient automated billing. It’s risk-free and guaranteed, you can easily cancel at any time.

So why not join today and see how SocialMediaOnlineClasses.com can help your business grow!

Get Webinar FREE with SMOC Membership

Feb 02

Weekly Top 5 for Feb 2, 2015

By Janice Deleon

Our classes are just the start of the learning you get here at Socialmediaonlineclasses.com.  Here are the additional resources available this week..

 

Colorful cupcakes with flowers

#1. [INTERVIEW] How an Entrepreneur Gets Over 70% of Her Business from Twitter

In this 30-minute interview, Patty Farmer shares how she generates 74% of her business using Twitter (by combining it with some never-before revealed tactics) . . . http://bit.ly/1wEGsOt

#2. Brand New for 2015: Facebook Marketing [INFOGRAPHIC]

Download your copy of the updated Facebook Marketing Infographic for 2015 here . . . http://bit.ly/163cjmZ

#3. Help! I Have Multiple YouTube Channels and Don’t Know How to Fix It!

This SMOC member has more than one YouTube channel, each with business and personal videos.  Should she start over with an entirely new channel?  See Maria’s advice here . . . http://bit.ly/1D3q6Gs

#4. New Private Mastermind Group for Members

This week is the official debut of our brand new private mastermind group on Facebook! Members – login to get details on how to join . . . . http://bit.ly/1D3q6Gs

#5. How to Do Business-to-Business Networking on Facebook

This new lesson in Facebook 103 shows a clever use of an ad to reach “gatekeepers” who can open the door to new opportunities for you . . . http://bit.ly/1DSvr4T

Top 5 at Socialmediaonlineclasses.com
Jan 26

Weekly Top 5 for Jan 26, 2015

By Janice Deleon

Our classes are just the start of the learning you get here at Socialmediaonlineclasses.com.  Here are the additional resources available this week..

 

#1. Brand New for 2015: Facebook Marketing [INFOGRAPHIC]

Our most popular infographic updated for 2015 with all the changes you need to know about to do business on Facebook.  Get yours here . . . http://bit.ly/1Ek7wZp

#2. Social Media Strategy Template

Developing your social media strategy is your first step in marketing, and many small business owners are unsure if their strategies are optimized for their brands.  This new template makes developing your own strategy uber-simple . . . http://bit.ly/18hNhkN

#3. Best Books for Small Business Owners [INFOGRAPHIC]

My recommendations for my favorite 15+ books for small business owners was an enormous hit on the blog, so I put them all together in this handy infographic. Bookmark it so you’ll be prepared next time you’re ready for a good read . . . http://bit.ly/1JhAVX6

#4. Content Generation Infographic

Dread creating content? You’re not alone. Discover my “secrets” for creating content simply & easily in this checklist . . . . http://bit.ly/1A7351n

#5. VIDEO – How to Find Your Target Market

A member identified two different target markets for his products, but was having trouble nailing down where to find them online.  Maria demonstrated a powerful tactic to instantly identify where to find them in this members-only video:  http://bit.ly/1wrTqB1

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