10 Reasons Why Social Media is Critical to Commercial Success

Benefits of Social Media for Business

10 Reasons Why Business Should Use Social Media 

Although social media is a relatively new entrant to the world of online marketing, it is quickly becoming the single most important digital outlet for the business world. The likes of Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are now invaluable tools in the search for new business in the 21st century, and here is why.

Benefits of Social Media for Business

1. The Use of Social Media is still on the Increase

The collective time spent on social media sites continues to increase. According to a recent report by ComScore, time spent on social media apps and websites accounts for around 18% of the total time spent online, and that figure is expected to rise over the course of the decade. This phenomenon simply can’t be ignored.

2. A Great Way to Connect with Potential New Customers

With increasing competition in most sectors and a finite amount of business to be won, winning the affections and loyalty of new customers is critical to the success of any commercial entity. With around a billion people connected by social media, this is the perfect place to concentrate your company’s marketing efforts.

3. Effective in Developing Relationships with Existing Customers

The temptation for many businesses is to take existing customers for granted as they search for new business. Facebook and Twitter are a great way of listening to the concerns of your existing customers, maintaining dialogue and communicating new services and products.

4. A Great Opportunity to Influence Search Engine Results Pages

Having a healthy following and presence on the main social media outlets will improve search engine ranking results considerably, but it will also encourage other people to share links to notable pages and features on your site. Over time, regular use of social media could improve your Page Rank considerably.

5. An Effective Outlet for Customer Service Operations

The majority of unhappy customers will not take the time to complain directly to the companies involved; instead, they will make it their business to tell everyone who will listen about their poor experience. By monitoring social media sites for views and opinions about your company, you can be proactive in addressing the issues and turning negative issues into satisfied customers.

6. Social Media is quickly becoming the New Way to Search the Internet

Twitter in particular is fast becoming a viable alternative to the likes of Google and Bing, as it combines the opinions of friends with pertinent information. Having a strong presence on Twitter and Facebook will mean people are directed to your services when they are searching for relevant information.

 

7. A Great Way to Target Marketing Campaigns to Specific Demographics

It wasn’t that long ago that the targeting of specific customer groups entailed detailed market research and the purchase of expensive databases. However, you can now reach out to very specific consumer groups through Facebook without significant expense. This means you target only those people who are likely to be interested in your company’s goods and services.

8. A Cost-Effective Approach to Marketing

With access to millions of potential customers, social media provides a cheap – and in many cases free – way of advertising your products and services to the very people who will buy them. An online branding agency can help you to tailor your message message accordingly, so what you are saying resonates with the target market.

9. A New Way of Doing Business

The current model of free access is not likely to change, but most social media sites are expected to increase the commercial viability of their operations over the next few years. It is anticipated that consumers of the future will perform several financial transactions and purchases on sites such as Twitter and Facebook, so it makes sense to develop brand awareness on social media right now.

10. Social Media is Quickly Becoming the Norm

Social media is no longer a niche product that allows friends to stay in touch; it is becoming a forum comparable to television, radio and the printed press. This phenomenon is set to continue for many years, and ignoring it could lead to devastating consequences for your business.

Marketing your business online should involve a carefully planned strategy of SEO, design, content marketing, social media and research. Enlisting the help of an experienced digital agency will help you to harness the growing power of the online world – maximising your company’s chances of long-term prosperity.

Energy House Digital is a specialist web design agency committed to providing high performance web solutions. For more information please visit – http://www.energyhousedigital.co.uk/

5 Ways To Use Video In Your Online Marketing

Using Video for Marketing

Video is increasingly becoming one of the most powerful tools in an online marketers arsenal; in my experience alone at Ideasbynet the impact the implementation of video strategy has seen a significant effect on our business in terms of conversions, brand awareness, visit duration to our site and incoming links.

Using Video for Marketing

In the US alone this coming year, it is estimated that online video viewers will reach 169.3 million, and 53.5% of the population will at some point watch video online. These numbers are substantial, so by not embracing online video as part of your marketing strategy you are missing out on a vital market.

In terms of embracing video online, you are not restricted to simply posting videos on your blog, YouTube or various other channels. The amount of free video communication tools now available online make putting a face to site easier than ever, making your customers feel a human connection to your company. 50% on the online phone service Skype’s traffic is through video calling, which is indicative of the increasing importance of face to face interaction, despite distance.

Despite the obvious benefits to embracing video in your online marketing campaign, many companies will shy away from adopting this tactic; what strategies should you employ and how on earth do you go about it?! So, I wanted to share my five top tips for using video, complete with examples, suggestions and some key things to keep in mind, Enjoy!

1. Video Blog About Issues Within Your Sector

Video blogging is increasingly becoming one of the most popular ways to connect with customers and fans. When I refer to video blogging I simply mean voicing opinions, having a weekly discussion piece, inviting customers and viewers to post comments on the video and respond to your video blog. Complete a video blogging series and you can address questions and comments at the beginning of your next vlog. It is even possible to earn money just you and a camera by video blogging about your interests, for example, on this make up blog, Sara Walker receives loads of samples through simply blogging about her favourite products. Not only this, she receives affiliate sales from products that get old through her.

 

2. Demonstrate Your Products And Services

Video gives you an excellent opportunity to demonstrate exactly what your company has to offer. Show your clients the products you provide, explaining their key features and demonstrating exactly how they work. For example, on our own site, we have included videos on our most popular products, ensuring the key features are prominent, i.e. the curvy pen

3. Creatively Promote Your Company

You do not simply have to have product video that only promotes your company. Creatively showcasing products will not only provide you with an interesting and unique talking point when developing customer relations, you can also increase traffic and support your link building efforts by increasing links to your site from impressed viewers of you. I absolutely love this video from Moleskin, which I think is a perfect example of a creative product video!

 

4. Skype Your Business Calls

If you do most of your business remotely, it is not always possible for your customers to put a face to your name. So, incorporating frequent Skype video calls into your business plan will make your customers feel a personal connection to your business. You can also demonstrate products, answer any questions and even calls phones across the world for cheap rates to connect with your international clients.

5. Use Google+ Hangouts

Meeting with groups of clients can be tricky, demonstrating confusing products in video format without any feedback can sometimes be a hassle and showing presentations or videos whilst engaging in a video chat seem nigh on impossible! Enter Google+ hangouts, the feature that has been hailed as the key reason to jump on Google+ as quickly as possible. This video feature allows you to engage in chats with up to nine people, share documents through Google Docs, watch videos together, share your screen with people you are chatting with, enabling you to show presentations and websites easily and quickly. Unlike Skype’s group calling feature which only comes in the premium package, Google+ hangouts are completely free with a Google+ account and enable you to connect with any of your contacts at any time.

I love the Google+ hangouts features, it really makes working remotely much more achievable and personal. Companies are increasingly using this feature creatively to great success, and this will only grow as more people get on board with this service.

Key Points To Remember When Using Video Online

There are a few key things to remember when embarking on your online video marketing campaign:

  • Sounds and songs you use on your videos must be usable and not in breach of copyright. There are numerous sites out there on which you can buy or get songs and sound effects for free, however, the one that we use to great effect is freesound
  • Include a transcript of any speech in your videos. Google will not pick up on what is being said in videos without this, so in order to ensure your videos will help your on page relevancy, including this transcript is very important, not only for this reason but for any users that do not have sound on their machine or cannot hear the speech will still be able to engage with it.
  • Don’t expect your first videos to be perfect! Especially if you are keeping costs down by editing and shooting the videos yourself, it takes a little while to get into the swing of it, so do not be disheartened if your first attempt does not reach your exacting standards, this will comes with practice and time.
  • Embed videos on your site. You want any links to come directly to you, so especially for your creative videos where link opportunities will hopefully be rife, you want all this goodness to come direct to your site, not YouTube!

So what are you waiting for?! Start embracing video today and reap the rewards of this excellent online marketing strategy!

Lianne Froggatt is Digital Communications Manager for Ideasbynet, an online promotional products distributor. Interested everything marketing both online and off, you can find her blogging on the IdeasByNet marketing blog. She would love any feedback or comments you might have so find her at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter @LianneCai.

Lessons from the Twitter-Linkedin Break Up

twitter and linkedin breakup lessons

Recently, Linkedin stopped allowing users to link their Twitter feed to appear on their profile page. While there hasn’t seemed to be too much of a backlash yet, there are also important lessons that can be taken from the split. Social media has become a big integration into our lives, but often the line is blurred between what’s professional, what’s strictly private, and if the two can co-exist. The truth is it can co-exist, but that doesn’t mean it should. Below are things to remember about keeping our private lives away from our professional networking.

twitter and linkedin breakup lessons

Twitter and Linkedin

When LinkedIn came about, it was one of the first places that allowed you to focus strictly on professional social media; a new concept for some of us. With the advent of integrating your Twitter feed, the line of professional and personal got blended. While there are legitimate “professional” tweets, you couldn’t really control the influx of personal messages either. That might be okay if your profession is tied to your social media handling, and for some of us it is, i.e. bloggers, online personalities, etc. However, for the rest of us, it is hard to utilize Linkedin for the job hunt when you’re also tweeting videos of things employers probably shouldn’t see. It is important to draw a line between your personal and professional self, and by allowing personal messages to come through, you no longer had the control on Linkedin.

Control Your Public Image

While this advice seems reserved for celebrities and the like, it is important to remember how social media has given ALL of us a public image. This is something that you may not care about keeping in check, and you feel that everything you do is suitable for public release. For some, that can be okay. Maybe you get more benefit from putting it all out there, and some of us are still young enough to not worry about repercussions of choices we make on a day to day basis. For those of us that want to be taken as a professional, however, it is so important to keep control over what you don’t want to be known. This means either setting your Facebook profile to private so you can have complete authority over who can view your musings while online, or simply making sure that not everyone can see every single status you post. This also means not sending anything out online that you don’t want to be held accountable for later.

Remember the Facebook Debacles?

All of this information might seem asenine to some out there, but this is very important. It has only been a little while, but don’t forget about when employers started tracking potential employees’ Facebook accounts down. Those not looking after their profiles suffered by letting too much private information out there. While a lot of the recourse taken by the employers is ridiculous (after all you should be able to have a personal and professional life independent of one another), nevertheless, action was taken because the professional community didn’t like what it saw online. This line could have been just as easily crossed with Linkedin and Twitter, so it’s best to keep everything under wraps.

Know When to be Personable

As precautionary as this all sounds, there is still an important role being personable can play. While you don’t need to unload every single thought on your professional networking sites, it is nice to know when future employees or bosses share your enthusiasm. It is okay to talk about music, movies, or TV that you like, but doesn’t mean you then disclose the new drinking game you made to Ghostbusters. Keep your personal information close to you, but don’t be afraid to be friendly and outgoing. There is a distinct line between friendly and overbearing with information, though.

The Twitter and Linkedin disconnection will prove to be a good move, and hopefully we’ll all realize how to conduct ourselves as to now allow for every move we make in our everyday life have a bearing on how we’re perceived at work. Responsible social media use is important, and shouldn’t be abused.

Jordan Mendys lives in North Carolina, and is a media professional and blogger. He works with Direct2TV, as well as being a freelance photographer and video producer.

Does Anyone Even Use a Paper Resume Anymore?

How to increase chance of being hired

Paper résumés have been the de facto mode of communicating one’s talents to an employer for the better part of the century. However, they, like many paper-media, are quickly fading away in lieu of the monstrous transformative power of the Internet. Whereas there may be a soft spot for the nostalgia of sending a letter to a loved one over email, there are few advantages – nostalgic or otherwise – for employers where paper résumés are concerned. As such, many employers encourage (and some require) résumés to be submitted electronically.

How to increase chance of being hired

What do this mean for future employees? More to the point, what does it mean for their employability? As technology becomes more sophisticated and demanding in the workforce, so are the expectations of employers. Paper résumés are out the door and digital résumés are in.

Résumés that are posted on career employment websites register a web presence, which means they are likely to pop up in search engines. The same SEO principles that determine the ranking of search results in Google are the same ones that can help your name pop up in a recruitment search. To that end, the ostensible demise of the paper résumé can be considered a good thing for Gen Y-ers, who may benefit from a boost in employability by demonstrating that they know about this method of exposure, and simply by dint of showing up in search results.

Word clouds are also helpful to both employers and prospective employees. They help identify the most salient keywords associated with both the job description and the applicant in order to find the best match faster. One hiring manager is quoted as saying, “The words that jump out at me are “system,” “installation,” “experience,” “administration,” etc., because they all had close ties to the job description.

Word clouds help companies locate qualified employees without employers having to sort through tons of applications. Job seekers are encouraged to use a word cloud to create and post their résumé so their application has a better chance of being picked by prospective employers.

Employers can spend less time scanning through applications and reading résumés. Employers actually spend less than 30 seconds viewing a single résumé. Resumagic identifies the following three skills or areas employers scan on résumés. These are, therefore, the ones you should pay special attention to creatively and strategically placing keywords:

· Content: Employers are looking for quality and high performance. This area is where candidates list their specifications such as accounting, typing or specialized training. This section quickly let employers what skills the applicant possesses. Identify the most sought-after traits that you honestly have and make sure they are mentioned in this section of your résumé .doc file.

· Function: Job performance is vital to employers, as it helps them gain a better prospective into the work ethics of the applicant. This section lists the characteristics of the applicant such as their working attitudes about teamwork, individual work and how they handle certain aspects of a job. This section is nice because you can provide a straight list of the fitting characteristics.

· Self or Time Management: The ability to prioritize and distribute time is important in the development of organization and time management skills. This section also shows the employer how the applicant adapts to diverse situations has they arise. This includes examples of work and recommendations.

Businesses are converting to a “paperless” environment as technology continues to evolve. Over the past five years we’ve seen a seismic shift in the populous of job seekers and the application/interview process itself. Expect to see more Skype interviews as the decade wears on. Don’t be surprised if you sign the agreement to your next job electronically. The ongoing economic turmoil expressed throughout the globe has thrust jobs to the forefront of our culture. It’s an unfortunate catalyst for change, but a necessary one as our ecosystem of job-seekers and employees continue to find the best ways to land what they are looking for.

You may also want to check out these creative campaigns to help you increase your chances of getting hired.

Cameron Tyler is a young professional that strives to keep job seekers connected to emerging tech at Technected.com

Financial Education and Social Media – How They Can Help You Save Children from Dying

Simple Solution to Help Kids Infographic UNICEF

How Can Social Media and Financial Literacy Aid in Advocacy?

The ills of our society are formidable challenges that ought to be faced head on. In this age of the internet and social media, we are (more than ever) connected as a people to unite for this work to be completed. These challenges are not new to Filipinos. The Philippines, after all, is still a third world country. Government data indicate a third of our fellow countrymen live in poverty. If we didn’t experience it ourselves, we have surely seen poverty in a very real way. We can see children without homes to belong to. We know they have no appropriate resources for education. They may be suffering from hunger or lack of water as well.

The power and usefulness of social media is appropriately demonstrated when I saw a photo shared by Unicef Philippines on Facebook a few days ago. It’s a form of an infographic which you can see below.

It says a couple of striking things that most of us may not know about.

  • There are 780 million people (all over the world) who lack access to improved water sources
  • 3000 children die each day from drinking unsafe water and a lack of access to basic sanitation

Just below the depressing numbers of those who fall victim to lack of water, we see what can be done to address the problem. Specifically it says that a single purification tablet can be used for 4 to 5 liters of water. This means that $60 worth of these tablets can sustain 3500 people for one week.

Why Social Media is Important

This sort of information is easily spread across a caring community through social media. I believe it is important to facilitate the sharing of information most especially for matters that compel us to act for the good of our neighbors. People care for the less fortunate. But sometimes they have no appropriate information to be able to act and contribute. I believe social media is a catalyst that will resolve that problem. Indeed, it is a force for social good.

It was also through social media that I got involved with Unicef Philippines as a donor. I have always believed that children are the most vulnerable sector of society. They have no capability to work out of their difficult situation unless they get help. That’s why I am glad to find Unicef cares for these less fortunate children. I saw Unicef as a conduit that can help me help other people. I have been a consistent donor because of that.

Why Financial Education is Important

For every difficult problem that a society has to contend with, there’s always some money involved in the solution. In the infographic above for example, money is needed to buy the purification tablets. You can easily imagine that the same is true for our other problems such as poverty and hunger. Money is not the sole answer but it is an essential ingredient. People who are able to donate their own money are the lifeblood of these voluntary works.

But for more people to be able to freely give their money to help others, they should first be in a position which will enable them to do so. They cannot give what they do not have. Sometimes, even if they have money they lose them to stuff that are not important. That’s why it’s very important for financial education to become more widespread and mainstream. I believe with a change in our habits and attitude toward money, we will be able to conquer whatever weakness we have which hinders us to give freely and help others.

How You Can Start Helping

There is no better time than now to be involved in purposeful endeavors. I would argue that solving the problems of our society belongs to great purposes we can be part of. These entail group efforts that we can all participate in. We just have to engage.

And what better time than now to engage in these efforts? With social media making it easier and faster than ever, we can reach more and more people. But before you make the leap, don’t forget to review your financial habits and align them with your heart’s desire to help. This way, you will really make a difference in other people’s lives!

About the Author

Joel Olave is an engineer and blogger based in the Philippines. He is formerly a life insurance agent and writes about personal finance in his blog – Invest in Your Future