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Archive for Social Media

Build an interactive business card with about.me

I’ve been using about.me for a few months now, and it’s really handy as an all-purpose, online business card. I love it for those situations where I may be meeting someone online or over the phone, and can’t hand them a printed business card. Besides that, it’s just more fun.

You can make your “online business card” more interesting than paper with a good-sized picture and a bio. You can also add links to your social media profiles and business website to keep visitors engaged and show them how to contact you. After you’ve set up your profile, you can even see how many people have viewed it and which of your social media profiles they’ve clicked on.

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The power of social media: a cautionary tale

Most of you are probably well aware by now that social media is here to stay. You know that ignoring it is no longer an option. However, it looks like some businesses are still unaware of the effect it can have on their bottom line. I’ve seen plenty of job postings recently from small businesses looking for unpaid interns to handle their social media. Do you really want to put an unpaid intern in charge of your business’ reputation? Apparently, some business owners still doubt that social media can really make that much difference. If you are one of these doubters, read on!

Social media is just like any other aspect of your business, in certain respects. If you want to be known for your great customer service, you’ll need to demonstrate that online as well as offline. Social media can spread far and wide in a matter of hours, so it’s important that you are aware of and actively managing your business image.

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Free and easy email (signature) marketing

You are probably already using your email signature to promote your website, and maybe even your social media profiles. But chances are, it could use a little style. It’s not always easy to create a beautiful signature directly inside your email program, and sometimes it’s impossible. That’s why I use WiseStamp. This little online tool makes it easy to create a nice, snazzy-looking email signature that should make whatever you’re promoting a bit more noticeable. This is probably not going to create a huge jump in traffic for your website, but since it’s free and easy, why not? Little things add up, so it’s best to strengthen your branding with every interaction.

WiseStamp is available as an add-on for Firefox, Chrome, and Safari browsers. Personally, I use Google Chrome as my primary browser because it’s the cleanest and fastest. WiseStamp works with Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo! Mail, and AOL Mail. I’ve been using Gmail for many years, and it works wonderfully with my business email address. You can set it up to receive and reply to business emails without your Gmail address even showing. I’m not sure how this works with other email services, but they might have something similar available too.

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How2: create a Facebook badge for your website

Cross-promoting your social media accounts and your website is a must. Give people as many ways to connect with you as possible, and they’ll choose what works for them. Luckily, it’s in the best interest of those applications to make this easy for you.

If you have a Facebook page for your business, but aren’t sure how to promote it on your website, here’s a simple and easy way to do that. You can only do this while using Facebook as yourself, so if you’re using it as your business page, switch back to your personal account.

From the home screen, click on Ads and Pages in the menu bar on the left side of the page.

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Tech is cheap: 6 reasons online marketing is better than traditional marketing

Photo credit: Jorge Franganillo

Whether your focus is on traditional marketing or online marketing, the basic principles are the same. At the most fundamental level, marketing is telling stories. We tell people stories about our products and hope we’re convincing enough to get them to buy. However, recent technologies have provided a multitude of opportunities for small businesses that never existed before. We can tell our stories with greater speed and enhanced entertainment, and elicit quicker responses from our prospects.

There are a variety of methods available to you with online advertising, including direct and indirect options. You can use email, blogging, pay-per-click advertising (PPC), search engine optimization (SEO), and social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Foursquare. You can also include video and audio for an interactive multimedia element, as well as Google maps. And since smartphones have given people the internet in their pockets, even more opportunities are available through mobile marketing.

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