Tag Archive : Twitter

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2014. Wow, can you believe it? We sure can’t. Seems like just yesterday we were using the newly founded Google on the first apple iMac. Times have changed, and so have marketing tactics. Here are a few great statistics from a wonderful info graphic to put the new year in perspective.

1. 96% of small business have 5 employees or less, 91% of CFOs serve as the primary marketers.

Don’t let this stress you out because we got your back. Marketing is easy and time saving with Save Local Now. You can push out all your information, deals, and events with just a click of a button. If you don’t believe us, just ask Debbie McKinney.

2. Top Ranked Marketing Channels for SEO: 1) Email Marketing, 2) Word of Mouth, 3) Social Media.

Save Local Now has you covered. With our new email marketing, you can send out your business profile, deals, and events with a few clicks in 5 minutes or less. It’s easy, and customizable. You can also push anything you create to Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus.

3. 12% of businesses claim to be online marketing “pros”.

This deeply saddens us because the other 88% clearly don’t have Save Local Now. If you’re with us, you’re automatically an online marketing pro. We give you better SEO than most businesses with a marketing team have. We have all the tools you need to market your business in one easy platform. So have confidence in yourself because you’re on top! If you’re still a bit hesitant try spending at least 30 min a day getting to know facebook, twitter and google+.  Follow some of your favorite businesses and see what they do or, follow us!

4. One in Five businesses plan to market using Vine, Instagram, or Pinterest this year.

If your feeling a bit more courageous, try to market through at least one of these this year. We’re on Instagram and Pinterest and we have a great time sharing our world with the rest of our friends out there in Chamber-land. It’s fun, allows you to be creative, and it’s a great way to show your customers your personality!

These stats are all good news! 2014 is the year you are going to grow and prosper if you use Save Local Now to help get you there. We’ve got a lot of great tools to help you save time, money, and stress. So get excited, because you’re a marketing pro now!

2014

Marketing your small business can be tricky. As marketing trends change and change again and platforms offer you more and more options, you may be wondering, what are you supposed to focus on?

Well, let’s take a look. These are some of the upcoming trends in marketing for 2014.

1. Mobile Marketing – You might already know this one. You should. Mobile marketing is still on the rise and will continue to be for some time to come. As more and more people own smart phones (147.9 million people in the U.S. by the month of September), social media, email marketing, and GPS location features will also continue to rise. Mobile marketing ads are also cheaper and easier on companies with small budgets and can have a lot more impact than television or other traditional advertising methods as they are often seen repeatedly.

Save Local Now strives to continually update our mobile app. Providing sharing features to both the business and the consumer, and streamlining the way a customer finds your business are just some of the ways we put your business on top of mobile marketing. Best yet, our app is top rated and available for both the iPhone and Android market! There really is no need to go building your own app these days when you can use ours for free!

2. Geo Targeting – As mentioned above GPS locating features will continue to rise with mobile. Geo targeting is similar in that it pays (literally) to target people within a few miles of your business. This has been true especially in retail where targeting audiences within a two mile radius can help the business create marketing campaigns that are current and relevant.

We offered Geo location mapping on your mobile and browser from the beginning, and as always we remain a tool for local businesses only. However, Geo targeting at Save Local Now came about a year ago with one of our app updates. With users being able to sort Deals and Events by clicking “Nearby” we give you the opportunity to create custom actionable offers specific to the customers who might be looking for you right around the corner!

3. Image centric Social Media – Twitter and Facebook are not the only Social Media that matters anymore. In fact as Facebook usage declines newer networks are getting a lot of buzz. Google+, Instagram, Pinterest, and Vine are among some of the top players even though some of these are still very young on the scene. Whats the draw? Large images or videos dominating the page with short descriptions and hashtags to browse other posts. Sites like Buzzfeed, Imgur, and Tumblr also play a part in this.  We can expect to see a continued growth in image sharing as 2014 rounds the bend.

Save Local Now was onto this when we updated the site in early 2013 to create more focus on your images. With larger placement for your logos or Deal & Event images, we really recommend you take advantage of this trend by updating your images with higher quality photos that pack a lot of punch. Even if you are just starting out and don’t have a logo, we have some suggestions on how to start building one for yourself!

This year, why not make it your resolution to check in with the blog for more tips on how to stay current and relevant in your small business? We are going to make it ours to continue to improve ourselves for the benefit of YOU the local business!

One more thing. As the year wraps up, we’d like to say thank you. We are working hard to help your local businesses thrive and though we might not be local for all of you, we are a small business that values local business being great business and we wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for you. Please stay happy, healthy, and remember to support your community. We wish you all a thriving, busy new year!

BY MAGGIE OVERFELT, CNN Money

Facebook 

small business social facebook

What it is: The world’s largest social network, Facebook (FBFortune 500) allows users to share content and conversations, create events and deploy targeted ads.

Best business uses: Generating and fostering relationships with potential clients; advertising.

Who should use it: Everyone

How to maximize your reach: When posting to your Facebook page, include value to the user, said Joe Dinardo of Blue Fountain Media in New York City. Add a few brief business insights when linking to industry news or ask users for feedback when posting pictures. Sharing real-world tales of how your company overcame challenges can connect with users on a personal level, which makes it more likely they’ll become clients.

How not to use it: Don’t advertise directly on your page — that turns fans off. And while Facebook is a great place to address customer complaints, don’t get involved in lengthy back-and-forths. “Try to bring a complainer into your world by being more personal about it, but only respond once,” said Don Sorensen, founder of Big Blue Robot, which helps firms improve their online reputation. “If the discussion turns negative, then it’s open to the rest of the room and can affect the whole party.”

Twitter

small business social twitter

What it is: A site that lets users post messages — “tweets” — of 140 characters or less.

Best business uses: Promoting events, news and specials; building your customer base by fostering conversations where you can show your expertise.

Who should use it: Owners with a few hours per week to read, send and search messages.

How to maximize your reach: Use the hashtag symbol (#) or the advanced search option to find questions that relate to your business and provide answers, said Dinardo. Doing so helps increase engagement with your audience and “plant[s] a seed for a relationship that can turn into a customer,” he said. If readers trust your expertise, they’re more likely to visit your website. And while Twitter is a great place to announce special deals and offers, phrase promotional Tweets conversationally: Your followers don’t want to get slammed with ads.

How not to use it: Don’t blindly retweet or set up automatic tweets. Carefully read articles before you retweet to be sure you’re comfortable with the ideas your company will be conveying. Also, beware of the time sink factor: It’s easy to lose hours going back and forth on Twitter.

LinkedIn

small business social linkedin

What it is: The world’s largest resume pool; a place to read career-oriented blogs and news articles.

Best business uses: Hiring; networking to reach potential clients.

Who should use it: Everyone, especially B2B companies looking for new customers.

How to maximize your reach:Establish relationships with high-quality potential hires before you’re actually hiring, said Dinardo. Join a few LinkedIn (LNKD) groups that relate to your company or market. Once you’ve established yourself in a group, work to answer questions and foster conversations, which will boost your reputation as an expert and help others get to know your company.

How not to use it: Don’t spend too much time pitching your products or services.

YouTube

small business social youtube

What it is: Google’s video-sharing site, which has more than 1 billion unique visitors each month.

Best business use: Building credibility by showcasing your knowledge and skills.

Who should use it: Everyone. Financial advisers, lawyers, and marketing professionals can record themselves offering valuable tips; advertising firms can display their creativity.

How to maximize your reach: Make a list of the 10 most frequently asked questions in your industry and film yourself answering them. Think of “the same kind of queries that people sit down to Google,” said Liz Jostes, co-owner of Eli Rose Social Media. And because YouTube videos show up in Google (GOOGFortune 500) search results, make sure to optimize the videos with as many keywords as possible.

How not to use it: Don’t post long videos — keep them under a minute and a half, said Jostes. Focus on one question or issue per video to keep your message on track. And don’t leave anything blank: “Add your company URL and links to all your other social media accounts to your YouTube Channel,” said Jostes.

Pinterest

small business social pinterest

What it is: A place to create and share links centered around visual themes.

Best business use: Promoting your brand to a female-skewed audience.

Who should use it: Retailers, manufacturers and travel sites whose brands lend themselves to images.

How to maximize your reach: Use good SEO practices when titling your boards and filling out pins and descriptions. “Social media sites are search engines — people go to the search boxes and type things in,” said Heather Lutze, author of Thumbonomics: The Essential Business Roadmap to Social Media & Mobile Marketing. “It’s important to name your boards with phrases people will search for.”

Lutze also recommends regularly checking Google Trends: If people are searching for something related to your business or industry, create a board or pins around the topic.

How not to use it: Keep personal pins highlighting your favorite books, fashion, and travel photos separate from those linking to your company’s URL, said Lutze, although it’s OK for both business and personal boards to reside in the same profile. Never use copyrighted pictures to create pins.

Instagram

small business social instagram

What it is: Photo app that allows you to apply artsy effects to your shots.

Best business use: Promoting your brand via stylized images to a largely twenty-something audience.

Who should use it: Hotels, restaurants, consumer products companies and other firms with lots of photos of properties and goods.

How to maximize your reach: The revenue generated by an Instagram follower is 10 times greater than that generated by a Twitter follower, according to data analytics firm SumAll, so you’ll get a lot of bang for your buck if you take take the time to post interesting shots of your products.

“Take pictures of what makes your business unique, whether it’s an office perk (like the organic fruit we receive from The Fruit Guys), a conference you’re attending, or pictures of your team and/or products and customers,” said Rhea Drysdale, CEO of Outspoken Media.

Instagram doesn’t let you link pictures to your website, so connect your account to Facebook or Twitter so the photos are cross-posted there. Eli Rose’s Jostes recommends using the hashtag to search for photos of your products and share those on your other social media pages.

How not to use it: Don’t let your account go dormant, said Jostes. Update it with new pictures at least every other week.

View the original article here.

By:


Twitter announced last week that it had filed for an IPO, which for many drummed up memories of a similar announcement that Facebook made last year.

It makes sense to compare the two companies. Both make money by learning their users’ interests and allowing advertisers to target those users accordingly. Both are social media tools. As of recently, both make use of hashtags.

But if both companies offered up exactly the same advertising opportunity, Facebook would be a clear choice. Facebook has 1.15 billion monthly active users compared to Twitter’s rumored 240 million. Facebook also has more data about those users, who fill out detailed profiles about their interests, family members, and life stories.

Fortunately for Twitter, however, despite the two companies’ similarities, the microblogging service can give advertisers some opportunities that are more difficult for Facebook to provide. Here’s a look at some of Twitter areas of opportunity in the ad game:

Mobile. After Facebook went public, it had to translate its desktop advertising business to mobile. Twitter, by contrast, has been a perfect fit for mobile from the beginning. “It’s short-form,” says Ken Doctor, who follows Twitter for research firm Outsell. “It’s not like so many other things that are long-form that are trying to adjust to mobile.” From the beginning, Twitter has kept things short and in stream-form, and its advertising products have transferred from desktop to mobile without many changes.

Real-Time Conversation. One of Twitter’s biggest differentiators, from an advertising perspective, is its focus on real-time communication around events. Facebook has tried to foster the kind of conversation that happens on Twitter by borrowing features like trending topics, hashtags, and plans for algorithm updates that favor live commentary–but it’s Twitter that advertisers look to when the lights go out on the Super Bowl or their political opponent says something really stupid.

TV. Focusing on real-time interaction rather than “newspaper” synopsis also makes Twitter a great companion app to other media. The company helps television advertisers, for instance, serve promoted tweets to people who have recently seen their commercials by pinpointing users who are watching a particular show. It’s not just TV that offers Twitter this type of advantage. “I would say, not just television, but even for sporting events, live, in-person sporting events, or live concerts, Twitter is that much more compatible,” says Rick Heitzmann, managing director at FirstMark Capital.

It’s not that Twitter somehow has a better business plan than Facebook. There are advertising formats within which Facebook excels, formats Twitter is unlikely to tap, such as:

Friendship-Driven Sales While Twitter is certainly social, users who follow each other don’t always know each other. Its graph is based more on users interests than their real-life social connections. While Facebook’s promoted posts focus on relationships (i.e., “Your friend Jane loves this product”), Twitter’s promoted tweets are based on demographics and interests.

Display Advertising Part of Facebook’s revenue comes from the ads it runs alongside social content. “Twitter by contrast doesn’t have that opportunity,” says Nate Elliott, an analyst with Forrester Research. “Most of their heavy users don’t ever show up on Twitter.com, they’re mostly accessing the Twitter feed and posting to Twitter through third-party applications.”

What about an ad network?

I knew this was going to come up. Twitter purchased a company called MoPub earlier this month. Part of what MoPub does is help advertisers and publishers find each other (this is also known as an ad network). The acquisition puts Twitter in a position to sell ads not only in its own apps, but also across a network of apps.

“We are going to continue to invest and extend MoPub’s existing business, and that means selling ads in other apps on iOS and Android,” Kevin Weil, Twitter’s vice product of product for revenue, told the New York Times. Weil also told the Times that the company would work to develop new native ad formats for not just Twitter, but the mobile ecosystem.

But it could be a while before those ambitions efforts materialize. What Twitter needs most help with now is better automation for ad buying on its own site, another area of MoPub’s expertise. “For Twitter, this is kind of catch-up, but it’s also the price of admission in this new business,” Doctor says.

 

Facebook ended its experiments with its own ad network before its IPO. Elliott doesn’t see Facebook picking them up again anytime soon. “If you’re going to do a successful ad exchange or network, leveraging your data is the most important piece,” he says. “Facebook has a lot more data. And a lot more users. That means that if they both pursued the same strategy, that Facebook would be more successful. But I don’t think Facebook is chasing in that direction, and it looks like Twitter is.”

Lucky for Twitter, the same could be said for several aspects of its emerging advertising business.

View Original Article here

 

We all love to share our photos whether it be a meal you just ate or your dog in a funny hat, we can’t get enough of sharing images with our friends. There might be more to the photo sharing than just dogs and hats though. Instagram, the leading social network for photo sharing, is also a creative and inexpensive way for businesses to attract new customers. I’m not just talking about the small clothing boutiques either. You can be a law firm, a bank, or a construction company or anything really. Instagram is great for personalizing your business and allowing your “followers” to connect with you on a more human level, and the more personality you can give to your business the better. Even us here at $LN enjoy using instagram to share a few precious moments (you can follow us at @savelocalnow).

This article shows how companies that don’t have visual products are able to integrate themselves into instagram.

Showing your customers a more personal side of your business can help build loyalty and it’s a cheap way to advertize!

Here’s some helpful hints to get you started:

  • The best times to share are Thursdays between 1 and 4 (that’s when most people don’t feel like working anymore).
  • Create #hashtags on subjects that are current and relevant to your business
  • Follow people who influence your business, and follow your favorite customers!
  • Show both office/business related things as well as giving it a personal flair. Allow your followers to get to know your staff through photos!

Want more? Check out this article for even more great tips for business accounts on instagram

So what are waiting for? Start instagramming today!

 

A scientific guide to posting tweets, Facebook posts, emails and blog posts at the best time

By , Saturday, 7 Sep ’13, 01:30pm
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We’re pretty keen on optimal timing for social media here at Buffer, and I figured it was high time I collected all the information we have about online communication into one place. I’ve collected research and stats on Twitter, Facebook, email and blogging to help you find the best time to communicate with others in each format. The tricky thing I’ve come across is that since the web is still so new, a lot of the research available to us is conflicting. We really need more time and more studies to get definitive answers about what works best, and the fact that our audience members are constantly changing their own activity patterns makes it even harder to work out for sure. Looking at the latest social media stats seems to only confirm that. So my suggestion would be to use this guide as just that—a guide to help you work out what to test for your own audience, so that you can see what actually works best in your specific case. Let’s get into the stats then!

Facebook – find the best time to post your updates

When I posted about Facebook’s News Feed algorithm, one of the factors I talked about was time decay. This is simply the age of your post: how long has it been since you posted it? With the recent introduction of Story Bumping, time decay matters a lot less than how relevant your story is to the user in terms of getting into their News Feed (i.e. does it from a user or Page they interact with often, or have interacted with recently). Still, it’s good to keep time decay in mind, since it does make some difference: you won’t see posts from 3 months ago in your News Feed today. In terms of specific days and times to post on Facebook, here are some of the stats I found: Engagement rates are 18% higher on Thursdays and Fridays. I love the way this was explained in Buddy Media’s study: as they put it, “the less people want to be at work, the more they are on Facebook!” Screen Shot 2013 07 23 at 6.47.02 PM A scientific guide to posting tweets, Facebook posts, emails and blog posts at the best time Specific industries varied slightly in which days of the week garnered the most engagement, but most of them sit around the end of the week, from Wednesday to Friday. Another study found that engagement was 32% higher on weekends, so the end of the week is definitely a good rough guide to start experimenting with.  A scientific guide to posting tweets, Facebook posts, emails and blog posts at the best time   The best time of day to post on Facebook is debatable, with stats ranging from 1pm to get the most shares, to 3pm to get more clicks, to the broader suggestion of anytime between 9am and 7pm. It seems that this generally points to early afternoon being a solid time to post, and anytime after dinner and before work being a long shot. For more Facebook stats and Facebook statistics we’ve written a complete guide for you to check out.

Twitter – when is the best time to Tweet for engagement vs. clicks?

Twitter is such a popular network for mobile users that it can be a bit tricky to lock down exactly when the best time to post is. Here are some suggestions from the research I’ve found: Twitter engagement for brands is 17% higher on weekends.  Screen Shot 2013 08 16 at 10.48.52 AM A scientific guide to posting tweets, Facebook posts, emails and blog posts at the best time If you’re tweeting from your company account, you might want to keep this in mind, especially if engagement is what you’re looking for. Buffer can help you spread out your tweets to post at the optimal times, so you don’t even have to work weekends to take advantage of this! Click-through rates are generally highest on weekends, as well as mid-week, on Wednesdays. On the other hand, an Argyle Social study showed that weekdays provide 14% more engagement than weekends, so this is definitely one you’ll want to test on your audience. Screen Shot 2013 04 02 at 9.42.44 AM A scientific guide to posting tweets, Facebook posts, emails and blog posts at the best time When we look at the time of day, retweets have been shown to be highest around 5pm.  A scientific guide to posting tweets, Facebook posts, emails and blog posts at the best time   For click-throughs, the best times seem to be around noon and 6pm.  A scientific guide to posting tweets, Facebook posts, emails and blog posts at the best time   This could be due to lunch breaks and people looking for something to keep them occupied on the commute home after work.  A scientific guide to posting tweets, Facebook posts, emails and blog posts at the best time   There are lots of Twitter users who primarily use a mobile device—rarely loading up Twitter on their desktops. Twitter did an interesting study of these users and found that they are 181% more likely to be on Twitter during their commute. They’re also 119% more likely to use Twitter during school or work hours. For more details on the latest Twitter stats and Twitter statistics, check out this guide.

Email – find the best time to send for the right content

There’s been lots of research done on the best time to send emails, particularly in the case of email marketing. Some research done by Dan Zarrella from Hubspot broke down each time of day and worked out which type of emails work best for that period. Here’s what he found:

  • 10pm–6am: This is the dead zone, when hardly any emails get opened.
  • 6am–10am: Consumer-based marketing emails are best sent early in the morning.
  • 10am-noon: Most people are working, and probably won’t open your email.
  • Noon–2pm: News and magazine updates are popular during lunch breaks.
  • 2–3pm: After lunch lots of people buckle down and ignore their inbox.
  • 3–5pm: Property and financial-related offers are best sent in the early afternoon.
  • 5–7pm: Holiday promotions & B2B promotions get opened mostly in the early evening.
  • 7–10pm: Consumer promotions are popular again after dinner.

What I thought was really interesting about this breakdown is why each type of email is more popular at certain times. From 3–5pm, for instance, the reason people open financial and property-related emails is that they’re more likely to be thinking about their life situation and how to improve it. Understanding how these time blocks work can be a good start to sending your emails at just the right time. And since 23.63% of emails are opened within an hour of being received, this is something we definitely want to get right. For more general emails, open rates, click-through rates and abuse reports were all found to be highest during early mornings and on weekends.  A scientific guide to posting tweets, Facebook posts, emails and blog posts at the best time  A scientific guide to posting tweets, Facebook posts, emails and blog posts at the best time   This probably means that most of us have more time to dedicate to our inbox during these periods, rather than during the day when we’re trying to get work done.  A scientific guide to posting tweets, Facebook posts, emails and blog posts at the best time    A scientific guide to posting tweets, Facebook posts, emails and blog posts at the best time   In a different study by MailChimp open rates were shown to be noticeably lower on weekends.  A scientific guide to posting tweets, Facebook posts, emails and blog posts at the best time   They also found that open rates increased after 12pm, and were highest between 2pm and 5pm.  A scientific guide to posting tweets, Facebook posts, emails and blog posts at the best time   A GetResponse study backed this up by showing that open rates drop off slightly, and click-through rates drop significantly on weekends. GetResponse found that Thursday is the best day for both open rates and click-throughs.  A scientific guide to posting tweets, Facebook posts, emails and blog posts at the best time   Mark Suster offers some great advice when it comes to sending emails:

Often I’ll write emails on the weekend and then send first thing Monday morning. I want to be on top of the stack, not at the bottom of the pile. Most people process email first thing in the morning (although productivity experts say not to!). BTW, when I wrote blog posts on Sunday’s I always Tweet again Monday morning for exactly this reason.

Blog posts – what time should you hit publish on your posts?

So let’s take a look at when to publish blog posts. Dan Zarrella has some more great stats on this topic, but he makes a good point about the pros and cons of the timing you choose. One thing Dan suggests we consider is that if we post during time of higher traffic, we’re more likely to have higher bounce rates and get lost amongst the noise of other content being published. On the other hand, posting at times when fewer people are online will garner less traffic and engagement, but give our posts more prominence and less competition against other content. Here are some useful stats from Dan’s research into blog timing:  A scientific guide to posting tweets, Facebook posts, emails and blog posts at the best time

  • 70% of users say they read blogs in the morning
  • More men read blogs at night than women
  • Mondays are the highest traffic days for an average blog
  • 11am is usually the highest traffic hour for an average blog
  • Comments are usually highest on Saturdays and around 9am on most days
  • Blogs that post more than once per day have a higher chance of inbound links and more unique views

Knowing your audience is obviously important for working out the best time to publish on your blog. If your audience is women, for instance, mornings are probably a better bet than nights.  A scientific guide to posting tweets, Facebook posts, emails and blog posts at the best time   While Mondays are the best days to publish for traffic, Social Fresh suggests posting on a Thursday for more social shares across the web. Here are also more ideas to find the best time to publish blogposts.  A scientific guide to posting tweets, Facebook posts, emails and blog posts at the best time This study also found that most content sharing happens in the morning, which backs up Dan’s stats that mornings are the most popular time to read blogs. With Buffer’s new custom scheduling feature, you can now publish your post whenever suits you and schedule it to be promoted on social networks at a more optimal time. Plus, you can nowsend and schedule posts to Google+ from Buffer!

Timing depends on the individual

Timing is difficult to get exactly right, and a big part of this is because we all have different schedules and routines for checking email or using social media. An experiment by online retailer eBags showed this point perfectly. Looking at the latest social media statistics the range of different schedules seems to only increase too. The company thought that when users were signing up to an email list, that was probably a good time of day for them to be online, so sending emails to them at that same time of day would work best. By analyzing the behavior of each individual user, eBags sent out emails to users at the same time of day they had signed up for the email list. This actually worked incredibly well: click-through rates rose by 20% and conversion rates rose by 65%. Unfortunately, this is such a complicated and time-consuming process that it wasn’t sustainable. Hopefully these kind of features can be built into social media and email management tools in the future so we can all take advantage of these insights! Header image credit: Thinkstock To see original article click here