Category Archives for "YouTube"

Mar 27

The Ultimate Guide to Social Media for Local Business [INFOGRAPHIC]

By Maria Peagler

ALL NEW FOR 2015!

Click to download the infographic

<< Click on the infographic to download your own full-size version.

How do you decide where to spend your time marketing your local business?

So many social networks and marketing options can be overwhelming. How can you ensure you’re focusing on tactics yielding the most return on investment (ROI) for your local business?

Rely on the Social Media for Local Business infographic.  It reveals the eight most powerful social marketing platforms for local businesses; use it as a menu to pick and choose the ones the suit your brand.

Browse the explanations of each tactic, why it’s important, and what it can do for you. Remember to share this infographic with your own network, using the social buttons at the top & bottom of this post.

Google+

local google+

1. Get a local business page

Getting found on search engines is crucial for any local business, and the #1 step you can take to appear on page one of Google search results for your area is to get a Google+ local business page. It six weeks for Google to verify your address, but once they do, you get a free listing worth thousands in advertising.

ultimate guide to local business Socialmediaonlineclasses 1

The simplest way to get a local business page on Google is to use Google+

2. Add photos of your business’ exterior

Give people a snapshot of what your brick & mortar location looks like. While a professional image would be great, one you take yourself will do nicely.

3.  Add photos of your business’ interior

Do you invest a lot of time making your store an inviting place to stop in and browse? Show it off with photos of the interior, including your products, inventory, and what makes your business unique.

4.  Offer the ability to add reviews

People trust reviews from real consumers and businesses, so allow the public to review your brand. Don’t worry about negative reviews: studies show they actually increase overall review credibility. Just ensure they don’t outweigh the positive ones.

5.  Post hours of operation

Add your location’s hours and Google will let people know if you’re open at the EXACT moment they’re searching. Google is relieving your staff workload by avoiding that phone call of “are you open today?”

6.  Includes a map and directions

Google+ provides a map to your location, making it easy for visitors to get directions from Google Maps both on desktop and mobile.  Again, a phone call saved asking “how do I get to your office?”

7.  Add local area code and telephone number

Adding your local telephone number makes it easy for customers to get in touch with you and call your store by pressing just one “Call” button. Even better?  Adding your local area code also boosts your local search engine rankings.

8.  Use local hashtags

People do a lot of searching on Google+, and using hashtags relevant to your area will help you get found more often. A local insurance office would do well to use the hashtags such as #insurance, #atlanta, and #allstate (substitute your brand name here).

YouTube

local youtube

9. Record a brief intro video

YouTube is the world’s second largest search engine, so you’ve got to show up there with a video. Record a brief video introducing your business, what you do, and your location. Think of it as your own YouTube commercial.

10. Video title should include your city, business type, name of business

It may sound dull and uninspired, but including your city, type of business, and your business name is the best way to get found on YouTube.  So the title: Layton Utah Ford Dealership | Ed Kenley Ford ensures that people know your video is the one they’re looking for:

youtube for local business

Notice the location and type of business in the YouTube video title?

11. Website hyperlink is first item in description

What’s the next thing you want viewers to do after watching the video? Visit your website? Then put the website hyperlink as the first element in the video description.  That ensures viewers will see it even if they don’t click on See More to view the full description.  Want viewers to call you? Then use your telephone number as the first item in the description.

12.  Use city and zip code as tags

Tags are categories you can use to further describe your video, and they help YouTube determine which are the most relevant videos to your search.  By using your city name and local zip code as tags, you’re telling YouTube to serve up your video as local results when people are searching for videos in your area.

13.  Keep video short, less than three minutes

Make your video easy on you to record AND easy on viewers to watch by keeping it short, under three minutes.  Remember, television commercials are 30 seconds: watch them closely to see what they include and emulate the ones you like.

14.  Give viewers a virtual tour

You’ve likely invested heavily in your office or store’s interior, so show it off to viewers.  Give them an idea of what it will look and feel like when they visit your location. Be sure to point out what differentiates your brand from others in the area.

15.  Invite viewers to visit

Lastly, extend an invitation to viewers to visit your location, and offer something special to them when they do. Give away a freebie when people tell you they saw your video on YouTube.

16.  Mine Analytics for a gold mine of viewer data

YouTube offers excellent analytics about how many people watched your videos, for how long, and how they found them.  If people are watching only the first 10 seconds, take another look at your video. What’s your most popular video? Your least?

Facebook

local facebook

17. Select local business as your business page category

Facebook offers local businesses valuable features on their pages not available to others, including a map, your hours, and reviews.  All these items make it simple for people to find out about your brand directly within Facebook.

facebook local business page

Facebook’s local business pages display your hours, customer reviews, and a map to your location

18. Local business pages offer a map

When you add your physical address to your local business page, Facebook displays a map to your location.  This is particularly helpful to mobile users, who can click on the map and get directions from their current location.

19.  Local business pages offer reviews

Reviews from real consumers are one of the best ways to boost your brand’s credibility.  Yes, you risk getting a negative review or two, but studies show those bad apples actually increase the authenticity of all the reviews.  No need for people to go to Yelp — you’re letting your best customers say how much they love you and why!

20.  Are you open today?

Facebook actually saves your staff from endless calls about “are you open today” and “how late are you open” with real-time status: Open 11:00 – 3:00 or Closed Today. Helpful for both your team and consumers.

21.  Use local hashtags in posts

Hashtags are a great way to get found in Facebook GraphSearch, and local hashtags give you an intimate connection with your community.  The more you use hashtags, the greater the opportunity for people to find your business on Facebook. G. Michael Salon, the #1 hair salon in Indianapolis, uses up to 13 hashtags on a single post.

22.  Motivate fans to tag your business

Tagging allows a fan to mention your business in a post or a photo, resulting in it appearing on your NewsFeed.  Can you say “free public relations?” Give fans a reason to tag your business: motivate them with a freebie or an opportunity for an experience no one else gets.

23.  Check-ins from fans appear in their NewsFeeds

When your fans visit your location and check-in, their status appears in their NewsFeed along with a link to your business page.  Another fantastic opportunity for free publicity. Capitalize on your local status and encourage fan check-ins with photo opportunities, cool displays, or other unique experiences.

24.  Local businesses appear in GraphSearch first

If I’m looking for an insurance agency in my city, Facebook GraphSearch serves up those I’m fans with first, then  local matches.  Grow a targeted, local fan base and you’ll see improved search results.  Also check your Insights to see where new fans are coming from.

Slideshare

local slideshare

25. Gives local business a huge SEO boost

Few business owners understand the impact Slideshare can have on your search engine rankings.  After all, it’s where you share PowerPoints, right? Yes, but Slideshare transcribes the text of your slides, search engines (Google, Bing, & Yahoo) read that text, and if they like what they see, your search engine rankings improve.

slideshare for local business

Slideshare offers local businesses a HUGE SEO boost IF you use it correctly

26. Presentation title should include your city, business type, name of business

Similar to #10 for YouTube, including your city, type of business, and your business name is the best way to get found on Slideshare and in Google search.  So the title: Layton Utah Ford Dealership | Ed Kenley Ford ensures that people know your business is the one they’re looking for.

27.  Use SEO keywords in title text

Your SEO keywords are those search terms people use in Google to find what they’re looking for.  Someone from Atlanta searching would likely search for “Georgia Ford Dealerships” if they want that cool new Shelby Mustang. If those keywords are in your presentation title, your business has a much greater chance of appearing before searchers on Google and in Slideshare.

28.  Slideshare transcribes slide text for SEO

A perk of uploading a presentation to Slideshare is that it transcribes the slide text for you.  Search engines LOVE that. Aim for a balance of text on your slide that is enough to help you rank in search, but not so much you crowd the slide.

29.  Add a location slide with a photo

Help people visualize where your business is located by dedicated one slide to how to find you.  Give your address, nearby landmarks, and a nice photo of your building.

30.  Differentiate your business

What’s unique about your business? Hair salons are plentiful in most cities, but not all have Redken-trained colorists and carry Aveda products. A small one-person barber shop is an entirely different experience than a full-service barber who offers hot shaves, mustache trims, and a large collection of American Crew styling products.  You know what your customers want:  tell them you offer it in your presentation.

31.  Use a variety of images

Please don’t resort to the snooze-fest that is the text-only slide, or Death-by-PowerPoint. Make your slide presentation visually engaging by using a variety of relevant images, great slide design, and easily read fonts.

32.  Few local businesses use Slideshare

If you’re a local business reading this blog post, you’re in the minority.  Most small brands don’t use Slideshare, so simply uploading a presentation there puts you in the place of most potential. Try it – and let me know how it works for you.

Review Sites

local review sites

33. Yelp is important for local restaurants

If you own a restaurant, people are already reviewing it on Yelp. It’s become the go-to source for finding a great place to eat in any town. Especially critical if you’re located in a tourist town. A Yelp listing offer your address, telephone, hours, a map, photos of dishes you offer, and reviews.

34. Kudzu is great for local service businesses

Kudzu offers reviews for automotive, legal, health, financial and residential construction service businesses in major cities in the U.S. However, reviews are a small part of a large, detailed description and list of services you can display on Kudzu for free. Kudzu should be high on your list if you’re in a service-based business.

35.  TripAdvisor is a must for travel businesses

TripAdvisor is the first place travelers look when they’re planning a visit to a major city around the world. I personally booked a bicycle tour in Paris from reviews on TripAdvisor, and during the tour, the business owner told me TripAdvisor is a major source of new business for them. They key to credible reviews on TripAdvisor:  photos.

Blue Bike Tours has a thriving business - TripAdvisor is their #1 source of new customers

Blue Bike Tours has a thriving business – TripAdvisor is their #1 source of new customers

36.  Review sites can be an ongoing source of new customers

While many local business owners fear negative or fake reviews on these sites, it makes sense to embrace these websites and make full use of the wealth of free resources they offer you. Instead of waiting for your clients to come to your website, go to where they are: the review sites.  From there you can link to your website, offer inviting photos, and make your listing so inviting they can’t wait to visit.

37. Ask clients to use photos when they review your business

Much has been published about fake reviews (and people even sued over them); the best way to add credibility to any review is to add a relevant photo to it.  A photo of a clean body shop in an auto dealership can say far more than the review content, plus it shows the reviewer was really at your location. Ask your best clients for reviews and encourage them to snap a photo with their smartphone.

38.  Pay attention to review content

Make it a habit to read the reviews of your business and those of your competition.  While it’s impossible to please everyone, you’re likely to see a trend in what people rave about and what needs improvement. When reviewers complain about your competitors, identify how you can capitalize on their weaknesses or suggest a collaboration: you offer what they can’t, and vice-versa.  I know of a local quilt shop owner who formed a friendship with the local Wal-Mart manager, and they agreed to refer customers to each other when shoppers couldn’t find what they needed.

39.  Increases SEO results for your website

Review sites get massive traffic everyday, so a link on Yelp, Kudzu, TripAdvisor or other credible review site will help your website rank higher in search engines.  Don’t stop with just one review site: if your industry has multiple review sites consumers use, create listings on each.

40.  Add menus, photos, and details to your listings

Give visitors a multi-sensory experience when they look at your review site listing: can they see your restaurant’s inviting decor? Can they taste your tiramisu? Smell the Columbian coffee? Give viewers as much detail as possible in the form of photos, descriptions of products/services, directions, and other relevant information.

Instagram

local instagram2

41. Follow local Instagrammers

Who are the local Instagram influencers in your area? Search for your local hashtag, ask at your next chamber of commerce meeting, and start following those colleagues.  Also identify who the influential Instagram consumers are in your area and follow them as well.

42. Use a variety of images

Mix up the image types you share: staff photos, new products, inspirational quotes, your team at local charity events, before & after transformation photos, in-process photos and more. Keep your image feed interesting:  too much of the same type of image gets repetitive.

43.  Offer behind-the-scenes pictures

Some of the most fascinating images come from places consumers can never go: your kitchen, your body shop, stockroom, etc. Example? A local auto body shop shares fascinating before & after images of wrecked vehicles and the step-by-step process. I’d take my car there!

44.  Before & after transformation images are popular

Want to show off the impact your brand can have? Share before & after images of your clients! Great for hair salons, med spas, auto body shops, remodeling contractors, insurance agencies (before/after a home fire or other disaster) or any brand that has a visual impact.

45.  Share product photos with advice on how to use them

One of my favorite consignment stores posts photos of the new inventory they get weekly. I’d love to get a few of their tips on how to style or use the pieces they get.  Their vision of how to use their products is priceless beyond the piece itself.

An insurance company could share tips on what to do after hail damage to a car. Getting ideas for your brand now?

46.  Add location to images

Sharing those fascinating images is the first step to gaining followers.  Adding your location to those images makes it easy for those followers to find you when they’re ready to visit.

47.  Use local hashtags

Hashtags are crucial to getting found on Instagram, so what are the ones for your area? Indianapolis uses #indy, atlanta is known as #atl.  How about your town?

48. Use city, business type, business name, zip code and area code

If this image is the first time a follower has seen your brand, don’t make them guess at your details. Use hashtags to identify what you do: #atl, #barber, #barkerjackson, #30305, and #770 tells locals everything they need to know about your business at a glance.

 

Pinterest

local pinterest

49. Use place pins to offer a map to your location

Pinterest now offers “place pins,” which allow you to enter your address and it displays a map of your location. Great for both desktop and mobile users, no one has to guess where you are.

50. Add city and zip code in your board/pin titles and descriptions

Pinterest offers strong SEO results both internally and in Google, so using your city and zip code will help people find their local results.  Do you need them in both the pin and board descriptions? Yes. Why? Boards show up more often in Google, while inside Pinterest you’ll easily find both boards and pins.

51.  Pinterest provides your brand with an easy SEO boost

Not an internet geek? Awesome! You don’t have to be, nor do you have to pay an SEO consultant $5,000 to “optimize” your site.  Just add relevant local details to your boards and pins, and it will definitely help people to find you – both inside Pinterest and in Google search.

52.  Create local theme boards

The sky is the limit here: create “themed” boards around an experience: Date Night board could include dinner at your restaurant with live music. Spa Day board could be your hair salon “makeover” package with cut, color, facial and mani/pedi. Service-based businesses can do this too:  Insurance agencies can do boards around the dream cars, homes, and vehicles they insure. Financial services firms can showcase Saving for College or Retirement boards.

53.  Follow local pinners

Pinterest allows you to easily integrate your Facebook friends into your account, so you can connect with them. This is a great way to find local pinners.  Also search by hashtag to find pinners in your area.

54.  Offer contests to encourage visibility

While Pinterest may not be the first social network to come to mind for contests, brands like Amazon Fashion, LandsEnd, and Lily Pulitzer rock their contests, generating huge follower interest. How? Ask pinners to create boards with their brand favorites, and use the contest hashtag in the board description.

55.  Create a staff board

You’ve invested in a top-notch staff, so let pinners get to know them. Feature a staff board with a pin for each staff member, and a short bio. Want more? Include links to each staff members product recommendations and advice, as described in #56.

56.  Offer staff “picks” and advice

Let each staff member curate their own boards with their favorite products, advice, local hangouts and styles. It’s a great way to let local pinners get to know the faces behind your brand, what their strengths are, and who they identify with.

Mobile Marketing

local mobile

57. A mobile website is CRUCIAL for local businesses

People no longer rely on the Yellow Pages, and they use Siri and Android apps to find the closest business to them. Yesterday I was car shopping and asked Siri “where’s the closest BMW auto dealership?” I immediately looked at the most relevant results (my son was driving!). If your website is responsive or has a mobile version, you’ll get far better click-through rates and more people coming into your location.

58. Make your website responsive

A responsive website is one that automatically detects what device visitors are coming from and optimizes its display for the best viewing experience. Talk to your web developer about the simplest and most elegant way accomplish this: it’s an investment, but one that you need to do sooner than later.

59.  WordPress plugins provide a simple responsive solution

If you have a WordPress website, several plugins turn your website into a mobile version when visitors come from a smartphone or tablet.  These plugins are a smart solution for testing the response you get when you offer an optimized viewing experience for mobile users.  WP Touch and WP Mobile Detector are both highly rated and simple to install.

60.  Design emails for mobile reading

Most of us check our email on our mobile phones at least part of the time, so make your email newsletters mobile-friendly.  Use a mobile-friendly theme or just simple text in one column.  It’s not fancy, but it’s easily read and looks more like the emails readers get from friends and family (they don’t feel like they’re being sold to).

61.  Look at your website and emails on a tablet and smartphone

Great! You’ve got a mobile version of your website and your email newsletter! Have you looked at them yourself — as a consumer? Sure, you’re developer says they look great, but how readable are they to you? Ask staff members and friends to view them from their devices and different browsers to see how they look across the board.

62.  Use a large font size for easier mobile view

One simple tweak you can make to both your website and your email newsletters is to use a larger font size. That automatically reduces eye strain, especially on a tiny smartphone screen.

63.  One column layout is easier to read

Studies prove that a one column layout is both easier to scan and read, and gets higher click-through rates. Consider updating your website and your email newsletters to a simple one column layout. At least test a simplified version of each and see how the response rates change.

64.  44% of website traffic is mobile (and growing)

What adult (or teen) do you see without a smartphone in their hands? Mobile visitors are increasingly becoming a majority of traffic to your website, and local businesses likely get far more than 44% from it.  Check your Google Analytics (or ask your developer to) and see how many of your brand’s website traffic comes from mobile.

Where is Your Business Online? Can Your Customers Find It?

Local businesses are increasingly transitioning print, radio, and television advertising budgets to online marketing. Have you?

Identify your staff member who loves social and can represent your brand well, and give them the opportunity to build or improve your online marketing.  Give them this infographic as a “to do list” of tactics, and experiment with a few to see which ones generate the most traffic — both online and in your brick and mortar location.

Mar 03

Local Social Media Marketing: Live Webinar + Recording + MP3 Audio

By Maria Peagler


March's free members-only webinar ($297.00 value)

March’s free members-only webinar ($297.00 value)

Join Maria Peagler for this brief live webinar:

    • Learn how local businesses can get a steady stream of new customers every month
    • Thurs March 27th, 1pm EST, 6pm GMT
    • 30-Minute Webinar + On-Demand recording + MP3 Audio + Checklist
    • $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 by March 26.

Do you own a local business?  Then don’t miss this webinar!  Maria Peagler will reveal how small local businesses can easily get new customers, increase revenue, and turn your fans into your best marketing team.

In this 30-minute webinar, you’ll learn:

  • where your #1 source of new customers will come from
  • the secret to getting free advertising worth over $10,000 every month
  • marketing resources for local businesses only (your competition doesn’t know about these!)

Plus, plenty of time for Q&A, so come with questions and 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 business & 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
  • virtual office hours

#4. SMOC networking plus exclusive Q&A Webinars & Workshops

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 week, members also get one-on-one Q&A time with Maria during Virtual Office Hours.

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 25

Small Business Content Marketing [Case Study]: How to Turn One Major Piece of Content into a Month’s Worth of Marketing

By Maria Peagler



small biz case study fi2Last week I shared with you my content generation & marketing secrets that simplify social media marketing.

This week, you get a case study of how a small business can build one major piece of content and use it as the basis for a month’s worth of content and social media marketing.

Case Study: Your First Business Video Webinar

Every month I offer a members-only webinar focusing on tactics that apply to all social networks. In Oct. 2013, it was Your First Business Video: a webinar demonstrating how simple it can be to make your first video, which most small businesses find incredibly intimidating.

While the webinar was members-only content, I used it as the foundation for a month’s worth of related content & social media marketing, including:

Blog post announcing the members-only webinar

Because I offer a new webinar every month, the blog post is basically the same.  I duplicated the previous month’s post and changed the webinar details:

Blog post announcing webinar, created from a template

Blog post announcing webinar, created from a template

Social media posts

I shared across all social networks to announce the webinar, give member reminders, and offer best member takeaways from the webinar:

content marketing sm content marketing twitter content marketing twitter 2
Images and infographics

I created a webinar announcement image and two infographics.  I created these from templates, which sped up the process considerably.  I updated the content & colors to reflect the new webinar:
bonus webinar first video
youtube infographic
youtube checklist

Blog post on colleague’s website

Mary Ellen Miller guest posted at my local social media blog in 2011 on How to Be Comfortable on Camera.  She was excited about the checklist I developed for the webinar (based on her guest post and video), and shared it on her blog MarketingMel.

Members-only video and audio

Ultimately the main piece of content was the webinar itself, from which I developed these members-only content resources:

  • Webinar video replay
  • the “first business video” example I recorded as a demo during the webinar
  • Mary Ellen Miller’s How to Be Comfortable on Camera video (not developed by me)
  • Audio .mp3 file of the webinar
Socialmediaonlineclasses.com members-only videos & audio

Socialmediaonlineclasses.com members-only videos & audio

 

I could have taken this even farther, and still could in the future.  The possibilities for repurposing this content are immense.

Simplify by using a template for content & images

The secret to simplifying content generation and marketing is to use a template for blog posts and images.  The majority of the work is up front in creating the original template: once you have that, all you do is change the content to suit your new topic.

I used a template for the webinar announcement blog post & image, webinar video intro, infographics, and checklists.

How do they simplify the process?

The blog post template has all the content, subheads, and copywriting I need. I duplicate it every month, updating the details  for the new webinar and hit publish. That takes less than 10 minutes.

My infographics have a distinct branded Socialmediaonlineclasses.com look & feel: the size & shape remain the same. I changed the colors and the content to reflect the new topic. I got bonus points for sharing on colleague Mary Ellen Miller’s website.

My images also have a distinct branded look.  Again, I changed the text to reflect the new webinar topic and uploaded them to my website and social networks.

If content generation isn’t your strength, you can train an employee or outsource to a contractor to use this repeatable process.  Purchasing a membership for them here at Socialmediaonlineclasses.com is a cost-effective method for your business to train your staff at their own pace.

How you can adapt this case study for your own small business

Small businesses need to be ruthless about how they spend their time and resources. That’s why this process works beautifully for you:  using templated content for blog posts and images saves an incredible amount of time.

It’s also a repeatable process easily completed by your social media manager: that could be a small agency, someone in-house, or even yourself.

They key to making this process relevant & applicable for your business is to identify your main piece of content and what related content you can develop from it.  The form that content will take will be determined by your market:

  • Business-to-business (B2B) company? A presentation or a white paper is perfect for your audience
  • Business-to-consumer (B2C) company? A blog post or infographic works best for your readers
  • both B2B and B2C can use images and video across all social networks.

How to Develop Your Cornerstone Content

Generating that main piece of content is what this entire process depends on.  It’s the foundation that supports the rest of your content & social media marketing.

What’s the secret to developing an impressive piece of content quickly and simply?

That’s what you’ll learn in the February bonus webinar:  Content Marketing Made Simple.  I’ll be sharing my secrets, including:

  • how to brainstorm content ideas for your entire year
  • the secret to writing a detailed blog post in only 10 minutes
  • how to easily schedule your content so you’re always on track
  • how to outsource content creation if you don’t have time

The webinar is a $297.00 value, free for Socialmediaonlineclasses.com members in February.  I look forward to helping you in your content marketing efforts!

Feb 10

Content Marketing Secrets to Simplify Your Social Media [EXAMPLES]

By Maria Peagler



what is content marketing fiContent is at the heart of social media marketing: without it, what do you have to offer?

In this post, I’m revealing my content generation & marketing secrets to improve your marketing, make content easier to generate, and get more mileage out of the content you’ve already got.

What is Content Marketing?

Content marketing is creating information, from your brand’s unique perspective,  you can use to differentiate and promote your business.

Content Takes Many Forms

Because I’m a writer, I think of content as a blog post or an article – something in written form.

But it doesn’t have to be.

Your content can take whatever form you’re most comfortable generating:

  • audio recording (podcast)
  • video
  • slideshow
  • blog post
  • white paper
  • infographic

Here’s an example: for a recent members-only bonus webinar, I wrote a brief article, recorded a video, but also saved the audio file as an .mp3, and summarized the content in an infographic.  It’s the same content, just taking different forms:

content marketing forms

Content Should Have Your Brand’s Distinct Voice

Your brand, product, service and team are unique.  Great content plays up that uniqueness to your advantage.

Content from your organization should always use your “voice.”  For example, here at Socialmediaonlineclasses.com, our voice is “simple, elegant solutions.”  While I don’t use those words in my marketing copy or my lessons, those are my goals and they’re at the forefront of any content I create.

Here’s an infographic from me, and I assure you it’s completely recognizable as coming from SMOC:

wp website infographic

SMOC’s infographics have a distinct look & feel so they’re instantly recognizable

What is your brand’s voice? Make sure you’re projecting it in every piece of content you develop & promote.

Content Should Have a Specific Marketing Goal

When you’re developing your content, what do you want to achieve with it?

The goal for my infographics?  Branding.  They provide helpful tactics to people in search of social media solutions, and they learn about me & my training at the same time.

The goal for my YouTube videos?  Branding & traffic generation.  Videos rock at providing quick solutions for people who are searching for help:  this Hootsuite video is an excerpt of a bonus webinar I developed for members-only.  It’s one of the most popular videos on my channel, and it drives people to my website to find out more:

How can you achieve your marketing goal with your content?

Content Should Be Shared

Don’t be selfish with your content.  While your first instinct might be to debut your content baby on your own blog, a smarter strategy is to offer it to a top-rated industry blog that’s always in need of content.

For example, my first infographic debuted on AllFacebook – a top-rated blog publishing multiple posts per day about all things Facebook.  There’s no way they can produce every piece of content they need to feed the constant thirst for Facebook news, so they rely on trusted guest posters.

Content Should Market with a Whisper, Not a Scream

Content marketing is subtle: you don’t hit visitors over the head with BUY NOW messages.  Rather, you leave a breadcrumb trail back to your website, like Hansel and Gretel.  Not only is that far more interesting, it allows people to develop trust & a relationship with your brand when they’re ready.

Screaming marketing tactics are pop-ups, requesting contact information before revealing pricing, and sending a barrage of offer emails to your weary subscribers.

Subtle content marketing is publishing resources so helpful & entertaining your audience can’t ignore you.  They see your brand over and over again delivering value. It’s a breadcrumb trail too good to resist.

How to Develop Enough Content to Feed Your Online Marketing

Generating solid content that delivers exceptional value to your audience is hard. No doubt about it.

It takes a lot of time: every week you need fresh content to keep your audience’s attention.  So how do create enough content and still have time to actually run your business?

That’s what you’ll learn in the February bonus webinar:  Content Marketing Made Simple.  I’ll be sharing my secrets, including:

  • how to brainstorm content ideas for your entire year
  • the secret to writing a detailed blog post in only 10 minutes
  • how to easily schedule your content so you’re always on track
  • how to outsource content creation if you don’t have time

The webinar is a $297.00 value, free for Socialmediaonlineclasses.com members in February.  I look forward to helping you in your content marketing efforts!

Jan 14

How to Update Your Online Marketing Strategy in 2014

By Maria Peagler


Important changes you need to make now

Important changes you need to make now

2013 brought enormous transformations in social media platforms, search engine algorithms, and email marketing.

2014 ushers in a new era in online marketing.  You’ll be seeing “content marketing” and “integrated marketing” mentioned increasingly, as they focus on not just one network, but using your content across multiple channels.

How can you focus on even more social networks if you’re feeling overwhelmed already? No worries: here are my recommendations on working smarter to massively increase your results in 2014:

1.  Focus on Social Media as a Lead Generator

People rarely buy directly from your Facebook page, LinkedIn profile, or Instagram photos.

Social media is a marketing channel:  you can make sales from it eventually, but it requires that you nurture the fans, followers, and connections you build there.

The simplest and most direct way of connecting to your hard-earned fans is to capture their email addresses so you can reach them directly via your email marketing.  Then you no longer need to concern yourself with reach or how many people engaged with your posts.

What does this process look like?  Here’s a sample flow for a few of the most popular social networks:

From Facebook:

  • a visitor arrives on your Timeline
  • likes your page
  • sees an offer you have for a free product, a coupon, or other freebie
  • gives their email in exchange for the freebie
  • gets the lead generator freebie and begins receiving your emails in their Inbox

From Twitter:

  • a follower sees your tweet, offering a free download or coupon
  • clicks on the link to get the offer
  • arrives on your website landing page (a dedicated web page for this offer only)
  • provides their email in exchange for the freebie
  • receives the lead generator freebie and begins receiving your emails in their Inbox

From Pinterest:

  • a follower sees a gorgeous photo or infographic you’ve pinned
  • clicks on the pin to learn more
  • clicks on the link included in the pin description
  • arrives on your website landing page (a dedicated web page for this offer only)
  • provides their email in exchange for the freebie
  • receives the lead generator freebie and begins receiving your emails in their Inbox

Continue to post regularly to your social networks to nurture those relationships.  You’re now adding the email marketing component to ensure you reach them in case they have seen you on Instagram  or LinkedIn in a while.

This is an approach I’ve been recommending for years, but in 2014 it will be mandatory to implement to get results.  Otherwise, your marketing won’t generate the return on your investment (ROI) you need.

2.  Expand Online Marketing Beyond Facebook

Too many business owners focus solely on Facebook for their marketing.  While you can continue to do that in 2014, you will need to laser-focus on getting higher engagement (which Facebook artificially skews in favor of plain status updates), or you’ll need to begin to advertise.

You can achieve massive results with simple Facebook ads (January’s bonus webinar teaches you how).  How much?  How does 900x your fan base reach sound?

If you don’t plan on advertising in 2014, then you’ll need to expand your online marketing beyond Facebook alone.  Don’t abandon it; instead, add a second social network that provides the biggest opportunity for you.

Not sure what that is?  My Social Media Strategy class teaches you which marketing platforms offer the most potential for your business.

If you’re concerned about how much time it will take to use another social network on a consistent basis, I’ve got you covered.  The 15-Minute-a-Day Social Media System webinar teaches you how to promote your business online efficiently. You won’t get sucked into memes, videos or vacation photos, and your eyes won’t get bleary from looking at computer screen too long. 🙂

3.  Measure What’s Working for You

When’s the last time you analyzed your Google Analytics?

Your Facebook Insights?

Your YouTube Insights?

Anyone? Anyone?

I completely understand.  I’m totally not a numbers person.  But in business, you have to be. Otherwise you won’t be IN business for long.

In 2014, it’s critical that you begin measuring the impact of your marketing.  You don’t have time or budget to waste on underperforming marketing campaigns.

Instead, you need to identify what worked well for your business in 2013, do more of it, improve it, and “beat a dead horse”.  The web’s audience is so vast that you don’t need to worry about doing too much of the same thing.  People rarely see every single post or article you write.

So if your best marketing campaign was a coupon to fill seats on a slow night in your restaurant — continue that.  Now think of how you can improve upon it.  What about a frequent diner card? An evening with the chef? Think about how you can provide something similar, yet different, to continue to motivate your buyer’s interest.

4.  Look for Opportunities Others are Missing

Online marketing will be more challenging in 2014, which requires you to be smarter and more focused about the way you promote.

What opportunities are you missing?  What can you do that your competition isn’t?

Here’s one:  YouTube videos.  This is still the BIGGEST missed opportunity for small businesses and has been for the past three years.

How about you? Have you recorded a YouTube video yet?  If not (or if you want to improve), the YouTube 101 class and Visual Social Media webinar here at SMOC teach you how to get started.  If you don’t want to be in front of the camera, the webinar reveals how you can hire someone to do a whiteboard video or something similar on a budget.

How Will You Update Your Online Marketing Plan in 2014?

Online marketing evolves at a rapid pace, and you can easily feel like you’re not keeping up with all the latest changes.  Don’t feel like you need to join every new social network that comes along.  Incorporate these four tactics into your online marketing strategy and you’ll definitely see better results in the coming year.

Which tactics will you be using to update your marketing plan in 2014?

Dec 17

CASE STUDY: 3 Metrics to Measure Year-End Social Media Results, Version 2.0 [UPDATED 2016]

By Maria Peagler

measure year-end results with google analytics reports

As we approach year-end, do you need to show measurable results for your online marketing?

I'm about to make it stupidly simple . . . 

. . . by using the 80/20 rule: 20% of your effort generates 80% of your business.

You'll measure the top 20% of your promotional tactics to see what drove 80% of the results.

Here are the three key metrics to measure to discover your most powerful marketing tactics of the year. (If you want to dig deeper, keep reading: I offer additional resources for goals & campaigns.)

1. How Much Traffic Did Online Marketing Drive to My Website?


One of the biggest questions you need to answer is this: what impact did online marketing have in driving customers to my website? Whether your business is online or local, you need a simple way to analyze where they came from.

This is easy if you've integrated Google Analytics (GA) into your website. My instructions for adding GA are here. Google tells you how many of your website visitors are coming from social media. From the GA screen, select Acquisition>>Social>>Network Referrals:

google-analytics-where-is-my-traffic-coming-from

Google Analytics tells me Facebook is my top social network sending traffic to my site

My own numbers tell me that my top social networks driving traffic to my site are Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.

When I look at how long each visitor stays on my site (Avg. Session Duration in GA-speak), again, Facebook tops the list, with Slideshare & Twitter close behind.

Finally, I want to see how many pages each visitor looked at (Pages/Session). After all, the longer someone stays on my site, the more interested they are.  Google+ tops the list, with SlideShare and Facebook not far behind.​

Here are the top 3 social networks by those three critical measurements: number of visitors sent, how long they stayed and how many pages they visited:

My Traffic Data from Google Analytics

#1

#2

#3

How many visitor sent?

Facebook

Pinterest

Twitter

How long do visitors stay?

Facebook

SlideShare

Twitter

How many pages do people visit?

Google+

SlideShare

Facebook

Notice Facebook, Twitter and SlideShare appear as winners in multiple categories? Those were big successes for my brand this year, and I need to focus on those next year.

Because Pinterest content lasts longer than that of any other social network, and it's a big driver of traffic to my website, I'll focus there too.

Google+ visitors did looked at the most pages on my site, so I need to give them more comprehensive guides in 2017.

Those are definitely where my primary focus should be in 2017.

2. What Were Your Best-Performing Posts?


Once you've discovered which social networks are the most powerful generators of traffic to your website, next you need to identify what you did to motivate them to visit you. Which posts stopped people from enjoying Facebook photo albums & Pinterest recipes to click-through to your website?

For Facebook & YouTube, review the Insights they provide (see my Facebook Insights post here;  for more detailed help, refer to Lesson 20 of Facebook 101; YouTube Insights help in Lesson 19 of YouTube 101). For the social networks that don't provide measurement data, you can still return to trusty GA to see what's working for you (you can also use it to review any network results).

Here's how:

From the GA screen in #1 (Acquisition>>Social>>Network Referrals), select your top social network, and you'll see the pages those visitors came to on your website:

facebook-traffic-pages-2016 google analytics

Pages visited most by Facebook traffic. Also, notice that big spike in traffic on April 25?

GA displays the pages here visited most by people coming from Facebook. I want to focus on those top pages: what were they? Those are the blog posts or website pages I need to do more of in the coming year.

Also notice that big spike in Facebook traffic on April 25? I need to identify what post did that.

Which post was it? Take a look:

My ad for the DIY Blog Tour infographic drove the April 25 traffic spike

This was an ad I ran offering a free infographic download. It teaches you how to create a blog tour to launch a product.  This ad drove that April 25 traffic spike.

Again, this is definitely a tactic I should use in 2017. It drove the most visitors to my website of any post I did on any social network.

Now repeat this process for each of your top social networks. I would look at the top pages for Pinterest, Twitter, and SlideShare.

3. Measure Sales & Compare with Traffic: Is There a Correlation?


The simplest way to measure the sales you receive from your online marketing efforts it to track your sales over the course of the year, and compare them to the chart you see in step 2. Did that spike in April traffic also correlate with higher sales?

This method offers a correlation between sales and online marketing. If you need to scientifically accurate data, you'll need to set up goals in GA for product sales, phone calls, newsletter sign-ups, or other actions you want visitors to take from your website.

Learn how to track sales and marketing campaigns using Google Analytics in our Facebook 103 class.  You get videos showing you exactly how to do it, plus 1:1 coaching with me.  I hope to see you inside Socialmediaonlineclasses.com!

maria peagler headshot 2015b thumbnail

Maria Peagler, Founder
Socialmediaonlineclasses.com

Goal setup is a more complex process covered in our Facebook 103 class.  Since we're keeping this simple, let's leave it at the correlation. That's good enough to see if your online marketing is having a positive impact on your sales.

google-analytics-sales-report

Sales in April were low, so that traffic spike from Facebook didn't result in significant sales

What we see from this revenue chart is that sales were low in April. That traffic spike did not result in a significant revenue increase that month.  Why? Likely because that infographic is complex, and it takes a while to digest everything it takes to create a blog tour.

What I do see from my revenue chart is that August & September were significant revenue months.  So I need to go back to Google Analytics and see what social networks were driving that traffic and the pages they landed on.

EXTRA CREDIT:

How to measure your marketing campaign results, including traffic, leads, and sales.  How-to videos in Facebook 103 class.

EXTRA CREDIT: If you need more than sales correlation data, you can get it with GA.  You need to setup goals and campaigns that identify what drove traffic to your website, who became leads, and those who eventually purchased from you.  The GA report below shows what campaigns drove that August/Sept revenue spike and how much:

The marketing campaigns driving the most revenue for Aug & Sept

Your Action Items


Now it's your turn: measure these three simple metrics for your own business using this step-by-step lesson. You need to identify:

  1. Your top social networks
  2. Your best-performing posts
  3. If sales correlated with your high-results posts
  4. Extra Credit: measure which marketing campaigns drove the most leads & sales in Facebook 103 class

Share your results in the comments below!

Oct 01

Your First Business Video: Live Webinar + Recording + MP3 Audio

By Maria Peagler


Learn how to easily record a business video in this brief webinar

Learn how to easily record a business video in this brief webinar

    • Learn how to record a business video with the equipment you already have
    • Thurs Oct 24th, 1pm ET, 5pm GMT
    • Live 30-Minute Webinar + On-Demand recording + MP3 Audio
    • $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 by Oct. 23rd.

Video is the multi-tool of online marketing, but you still haven’t recorded one yet, have you?

You’re not alone. Recording a video holds the same intimidation factor as public speaking, but I’ll show you how to conquer that fear and create a video you can be proud of.

You’ll learn simple video secrets from a professional broadcaster, solopreneurs who record videos in their home & office, and from people who used YouTube to skyrocket their business to profitability when naysayers said they’d be closed within one year.

In this 30-minute webinar, you’ll learn how to:

  • be comfortable on camera
  • use equipment you already have to record a great video
  • see case studies of business owners who went from video-phobic to video rock star
  • PLUS a video-making cheat (a completely hands-off, no worries solution)

Plus, plenty of time for Q&A, so come with questions and 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. Focus on Social Networks that Get Results

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 clutter & 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 profiles 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 business & 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
  • virtual office hours

#4. SMOC networking plus exclusive Q&A Webinars & Workshops

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 week, members also get one-on-one Q&A time with Maria during Virtual Office Hours.

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

Social Media Case Studies for Small Business
Sep 09

Why Large-Brand Case Studies Don’t Work for Small Business

By Maria Peagler

social media cases studies small business

If you’ve been staying abreast of how brands use social media, you’ll hear some well-known companies mentioned repeatedly: Dell, Virgin, Starbucks, Ford, Amazon, Zappos and more.

Which is fabulous if you’re a large business: you can take a look at what other mega-brands are doing and simply adapt their strategies to your organization’s style.

But small business is left wondering: “Can I make those same strategies work for me?”

If you listen to the authors of those case studies, they’ll assure you that “Yes! You just scale them for your business!”

Baloney. Those large-brand case studies won’t work for your business. You don’t have the manpower, budget, or agency resources the Coca-Cola’s of the world do.

Small business needs their own case studies. Fortunately, here at SMOC, you’ll get them in abundance. Here are a baker’s dozen to learn from:

Here are the same case studies, in list format:

7 Things You're Doing Wrong with Social Media
Sep 03

7 Surprising Mistakes You’re Making with Social Media

By Maria Peagler


7 Surprising Things You're Doing Wrong with Social MediaEver wished you could have a professional analyze your social media efforts and provide suggested improvements?  That’s what today’s article is all about.  After years of training small business owners how to use social media, I’m sharing the biggest mistakes I see — and how you can avoid them.

1.  Appealing to an Unprofitable Target Audience


The audience you want may not be the one that pays the bills.

Let me say that again:  the audience you WANT may not be the one that is PROFITABLE.  In helping small business owners develop a strategy, our first step is defining their audience.  I’ve noticed an interesting trend:  entrepreneurs often want an audience based on ego, ideas of success, or by watching what other successful people are doing.

But that probably isn’t the most profitable audience for you.  After all, your ego doesn’t balance the books, an idea isn’t backed by solid numbers, and successful people often are unprofitable.

The lesson?  Run your numbers.  Find out who your most profitable audience is.

Here’s an example:  a coaching client wanted to appeal to a target audience of women ages 25-35.  However, when we looked at her Facebook Insights, we saw that her most loyal group of fans were older women 55+ (who also happen to have far more disposable income than young women).  This entrepreneur was basing her social media strategy on what her ego wanted, rather than what her business needed to stay profitable.

2.  Executing Social Media without a Strategy


Pilots never fly without filing a flight plan.  You consult your smartphone’s map app before heading out on a trip.  So why are you still doing social media without developing a strategy?

When people join SMOC, they’re often frustrated that their previous social media efforts haven’t paid off.  They’re overwhelmed, confused, and often skeptical that social can actually work for their business.

Social works for any business:  what they’re missing is a unique strategy customized for their business, their fans, and their entrepreneurial style.  Imagine you’re being fitted for a custom-tailored suit:  the tailor takes endless measurements and expertly crafts a garment that fits like a glove.

That’s what a strategy can do for you.  Stop wasting time on social networks that don’t fit your business.  Make time to craft a tailored plan for your social media, and you’ll be amazed at how little time you spend making social profitable.

3.  Assuming You Should Be Marketing on Facebook


I have yet to see a single business owner that doesn’t believe they should be on Facebook.  After all, 1 billion consumers makes for a highly desirable audience, doesn’t it?

But it may not be right for you.

Here’s an example:  a member recently reached out to me in the Forum, asking how to get more Facebook fans.  She said her financial services business has a business page, but most of their clients aren’t on Facebook.

Aha!

” . . . most of their clients aren’t on Facebook . . . ”

That sentence tells me that Facebook will never provide ROI for her financial business.  If your audience isn’t there, how can you get fans?  Who’s going to pay attention to your posts, photos, and videos you painstakingly create & share?

MEMBERS:  Here’s a bonus tip for you:  which social network should you be on even if your customers aren’t?  Read the surprising answer below (you must be logged in to see the Members-Only Tip):

4.  Not Using Video


Yep.  This is a drum I continue to beat, but few business owners are confident enough to get in front of the camera. Video is THE biggest missed opportunity for small business.

Why?

Because everyone watches YouTube.  Period.

Which makes it the second largest search engine in the world, behind Google.

So if you’re not on YouTube, you are missing out on getting traffic to your website & getting discovered by potential clients.

Your video doesn’t have to be expensive, slick, or professionally produced.

It just has to be YOU.

5.  Posting Inconsistently


What days do you post to social networks?  Which ones?

Do you know which days are best for your target audience? And are you targeting a profitable target audience (see #1)?

Facebook just made it dead simple to find out when the best days & times are to reach your audience with their new Insights.

Have you reviewed yours lately?  What did it tell you?

Make a plan now based on those Insights.  Or whatever is best for your schedule.  Just make sure you are consistent, especially in Facebook.  Because being seen & shared is crucial to getting into your fans’ News Feeds.

6.  Not Measuring ROI for each Social Network


Speaking of Insights, have you been reviewing yours?

Most small business owners don’t.  They’re not easy to figure out (until you watch my videos and webinars), there’s too much data to wade through, and it can seem impossible to figure out what metrics to measure.

Facebook, YouTube, and Pinterest all provide analytics telling you who your audience is and how they’re using your presence there.  Take a few minutes each week to check these:  notice trends and patterns, what content people really like, who your audience is, and start doing more of what’s working for you.

7.  Ignoring No-Brainers to Get Increased Sales


Every entrepreneur can make a few simple tweaks to their social media and website to make getting leads and sales easier.  Steps like using Facebook’s custom tabs, inserting your website URL as the first line of a YouTube video description, and using keywords on your Pinterest boards.  These are small steps that add up to a collective win:  greater visibility, more traffic, and leads for your business.

How do you figure out what those tweaks are?  Educate yourself.  Take a few minutes each day to learn a little more about the social networks you should be using and how to be effective on them.

Are you making any of these mistakes yourself?   That’s actually a good thing.  Making mistakes is one of the steps we all take on the road to success.

Jun 17

Which Social Network Should I Use for My Business?

By Maria Peagler


In Lesson Three of my free Social Media Strategy class, I show small business owners how to determine which social network is best for their business in just 5 minutes (normally it would take months of market research to figure this out).

J.O, a new member here at SMOC, has this question after doing the exercise in Lesson Three and getting his results:

“So how should I define which social media is where my majority of audience are?
 
I followed your instructions but I don’t know how to compare the results.”

 Facebook vs. Twitter?

J.O. is wondering whether Facebook or Twitter is best for his business.  After all, Facebook is the network of 1 billion users, and Twitter is a great way to get found with hashtags and conversations around his business.

But the answer was surprising:  neither Facebook nor Twitter was best for his business.

Why?

The Surprising Solution

J.O.’s business is all about finding jobs online.  Three social networks will be best for his business:

  1. LinkedIn is the top choice for anyone searching for a job.  It’s become the human resources database of the 21st century, and LinkedIn is continually evolving to make job hunting the #1 focus for people here.
  2. Google+ is the second choice because of it’s boost it gives to search engine results.  By posting here regularly, J.O.’s website & Google+ page will appear higher in Google search results, and drive more traffic to his website.
  3. YouTube is the third social network that completes the solution for J.O.’s business, as it’s the second largest search engine behind Google, and will again help his Google search engine rankings.

Watch the Video

Wondering which social network is best for your business?  Members can watch the video showing the case study of J.O.’s business and find out — in just 5 minutes — which social network you should use for best results.

Jul 10

Personal Branding Class Bundle & July Bonus Webinar

By Maria Peagler

How are you different from your competition? Why should customers buy from you instead of them?

Have you made that clear to potential customers? Are you sure? Because that’s the challenging part of marketing that even the pro’s have a hard time doing.

That’s why I’m offering a new bundle this month —  the Personal Branding Bundle, including:

  • LinkedIn 101 – brand yourself on the internet’s go-to network for showcasing your expertise & credentials. I’ll teach you how to create a compelling LinkedIn profile that convinces potential clients you are the best at what you do.
  • YouTube 101 – polish your elevator pitch, create a 30-second video &  you’ve set yourself apart from the 99% of your competition that doesn’t have a video. 
  • Slideshare 101 – establish your expertise here with a well-designed PowerPoint or Keynote presentation that increases your SEO, drives sales, and sets you apart from (do you see a pattern here?) the 99% of your competition that doesn’t have a presence here. (Don’t worry – you don’t have to be a graphic designer. I teach you everything you need to know about designing a great slide deck.)

All three classes are $335, but for the month of July ONLY, you get all three for only $230 (that’s 3 for the price of 2).

And you’ll get July’s bonus webinar on  July 26, at 1p.m.

PLUS, I run your course access consecutively, so instead of getting only 60 days to take all three classes, you get 6 months (and access to all the bonus webinars for those months)!

June’s bonus webinar was a huge success, and by far the most requested topic for the July webinar was Google Plus.

I can see you walking away from your laptop right now.

STOP — that would be a big mistake.

Most people think of Google Plus simply as a rival social network to Facebook. It’s so much more. Google Plus allows small businesses to create a LARGE presence on the web, without spending large sums of cash or time (when did your small biz have a lot of those laying around?).

Call it Personal Branding to Create a Splash without a lot of Cash.  You get access to free tools that elevate the status of your brand.

How?

  • Google Plus posts skyrocket your SEO — no need for big budget SEO projects
  • Easiest video chat on the web – great for connecting face-to-face with clients from across the globe
  • Hold a live press conference or virtual event and stream it across the web
  • Create multimedia posts with no space limitations — excellent for a blog substitute
  • Display your photo next to your website’s Google search results (without any tedious programming)
  • Get the latest on news in your industry, specifically tailored for you
  • Get found found locally with a robust business listing far bigger than the paid ads on Google

These tools would cost you thousands if you had to pay for them, but Google is packing Google Plus with a ton of features. They know they have big competition, and they’re stepping up with amazing offers that no serious entrepreneur should ignore.

Register for the Personal Branding Bundle and Bonus Webinar: Brand Your Business with Google Plus

What are you waiting for? I won’t be offering this deal again in August, so do not put if off.

 

Jun 26

How-To Social Media Tutorials on YouTube

By Maria Peagler

When you’re a time-pressed entrepreneur, you need how-to social media tutorials on YouTube. Not just any videos, but the outstanding ones that get to the point fast, demonstrate what you need to know step-by-step, and do it in under 3 minutes.

Here you’ll find a quick list of my Social Media Minute tutorials on YouTube, covering social media topics from Facebook, Pinterest, and YouTube, to developing your strategy and blogging. Each link is a playlist to a group of videos around the social media theme; bookmark this page & spend a few minutes each week watching the videos — you’ll be up-to-date on the tactics you’ve been wanting to add to your social media marketing toolkit.

Develop a Social Media Strategy in 6 Steps

Promote Your Small Business with a Blog

Facebook Marketing for Small Business Owners

YouTube Marketing for Small Business Owners

Pinterest Marketing for Small Business Owners

Twitter Marketing for Small Business Owners

May 09

May Success Story #1: Margaret Travis of Eazy Peazy Quilts

By Maria Peagler

Updated Jan 2013.

I’m featuring SocialMediaOnlineClasses.com student success stories, and we’re starting off with Margaret Travis of Eazy Peazy quilts. Margaret is part of the 3 Billion dollar quilt industry, and she designs accessories – handbags, pincushions, eyeglass cases, and specialty items for those in wheelchairs and walkers.

Margaret began here as a student in Facebook 101, revamping her Facebook page to be colorful, showcasing her beautiful designs, building a community and engaging her Eazy-Peazy fans. She’s built custom tabs to Welcome visitors to her page, and she has a separate tab for her YouTube videos as well.


Margaret focuses her email marketing on B2B, targeting quilt shops, helping them showcase her Eazy Peazy patterns to generate more sales for their shops. In Margaret’s Mastermind Consulting session, we discussed making it easier to for shops to order her patterns by linking directly to distributor webpages offering her products. Amazon has made 1-Click shopping the standard – so I suggested making it as easy as possible for shop owners to buy from her. She also integrates it into her Facebook page, letting people know when a new issue is coming out.

Margaret also took YouTube 101, making an outstanding video showcasing her Twistin’ Diamonds bag. Quilts and quilted accessories, like many products, show up better in video than they do in photographs. In a simple 30-second video, Margaret demos the features of the bag which shows up beautifully in her video!

So where has all this taken Margaret and her Eazy Peazy pattern line?

  • Increased her Facebook fans by 700%
  • Featured designer at the grand opening of Cottontail Quilts, a new retail quilt shop opening in Kennesaw, Georgia, where she wowed visitors and she sold out of many of her products.
  • Featured designer at Quilter’s Warehous
  • She’s constantly on the road making guest appearances at local quilt shops. She’s a one-woman boost to the local economy!
  • Showchased her patterns at the wholesale spring Quilt Market in Kansas City, where she engaged quilt shop owners and wowed them with her polish and style.

Well done Margaret!  I’m proud of your success and that SocialMediaOnlineClasses.com could be part of it.

Want to be showcased here as a student success story? Register for a class on Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube, or get the best value with an Unlimited Class Pass, and I could be telling your amazing success story here.

 

Apr 24

Win Your Dream Online Social Media Class!

By Maria Peagler

Want to get a free, totally online social media class on Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, or other awesome networking tool? You can during National Small Business month in May.

I’m celebrating our country’s small businesses by giving away Your Choice of One Free Class to 3 Lucky Winners – one of them could be You. Entering is super easy over on my Facebook page – contest starts April 25.

You could be rockin’ a new Facebook page, YouTube channel, LinkedIn profile, or Pinterest board in just 4 short weeks. So what’s your Dream Class?