Tag Archives: Online Communities

Enhancing Your Social Media Space

To make it in the world of retail, business owners need a killer product, a great space to match, competitive pricing and fantastic customer service. Now with the social media world exploding with potential business opportunities, many retail store owners are looking into how they can utilize the various spaces available in social media to gain popularity for their business. So what specifically can retail owners do to enhance their social media space?
Facebook is where business owners can collect their loyal customers. Entice customers to be a fan on Facebook by offering exclusive offers, or reveal your new line of skinny jeans on the fan page first. If you’re new to Facebook, ask customers as they check out to join the Facebook page.
Once you have a loyal following, encourage your followers to share your product with others. This can be as easy as holding a contest or circulating a special offer for your product. Even just revealing an exciting new product will encourage your followers to talk about the new product with their friends.
Facebook can also be an extension of a business’s customer service. If someone raves about an item they just purchased, thank them for their business. If someone posts a complaint, address the problem immediately. If a disappointed customer ends up pleasantly surprised by your service, they will let their friends know.
Twitter is a unique platform in that it extends a businesses’ reach to its loyal followers, while allowing business owners to establish themselves as leaders in their industry and connect with other retailers.
Tweets should be more informational and much less promotional. A clothing retailer can tweet about anything from the hottest trends that season to a recent fashion mishap that has been all over the news.
Business owners should, however, remember their brand when expanding their tweet repertoire. A hip, young company should have a much different tweeting style than an older, conservative company.
A blog gives a company the chance to expand on the expertise they establish on Twitter. Many businesses, in fact, will base their tweets on key points they make in their blog posts and then link back to the blog.
While the blog medium allows for longer posts and more information, remember people have a much shorter attention span online, so keep the posts to around 600 words or so. Pictures, short paragraphs and bullet points are also good things to include in a blog.
Fernanda Bohme owns Bohme Boutique, a growing retail chain. For more information please click here.


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Practical Facts About Facebook and Twitter


Knowing how the Facebook and Twitter audience behaves, when they check their posts, where they update their information (via mobile or laptop?) and what they like, provides invaluable information to help you cater your posts towards your market.

We have some interesting data to share with you, gathered from the latest studies regarding these two giant social media communities.

How Many Are On Facebook and Twitter?

Together, Facebook and Twitter have more than 1 billion users. While there may be duplication (some have both a Twitter and Facebook account), the number is still impressive. Facebook is responsible for over 800 million while Twitter covers more than 100 million users.

For Facebook, here are some interesting facts:

United States of America accounts for just over 50% of the Facebook population

-Over 40% of Facebook users login to their accounts on a daily basis

– 30% of Facebook users check their accounts via their mobile devices

– At least 40% of the Facebook population is a fan of at least one brand and more than 50% of them will purchase that product Over at Twitter world, we have the following stats:

– Only 27% of the Twitter population go online every day, note that this includes branded accounts that post on a daily basis

– But a nice 37% of the total Twitter population check their accounts via mobile (a slight increase from the Facebook side)

– More than half of those that login daily will update their status for that day, so there’s a high response or reaction rate for those who are logging in daily.

How Are Their Spending Habits Online?

In both cases, more than half of the Facebook and Twitter users who have at least one product in their following list will purchase that brand. Although this does not mean that they will buy it online, there is a strong connection to their purchasing power and their social media affiliation.

The more enticing photos you post, the more likely they will want to get to know your product and the more likely they will make a purchase, whether offline or online. It would help if you have an online store to link to, so that it will be a very user friendly browsing and shopping experience for them.

Who Are You Talking To Via Facebook?

If you want to get to know your fans and friends on Facebook, note that this is the demographic of the users today:

– A big bulk of Facebook users are within the 18 to 34 age group, with almost 30% within the 18 to 25 years range.

– Gender is almost evenly split into two – 56% are female.

– Half of the Facebook population belongs to the mid-range income range.

But don’t despair if your product is high end since brand recognition is still important. Plus, once in a while, those in the mid range income bracket splurge on items.

Who Are You Talking To Via Twitter?

When it comes to Twitter, this is who you are talking to:

– Gender split is almost even, too, with 52% female population

– The income bracket is slightly lower than Facebook

These simple facts will give you a better understanding of your audience and more of an idea to direct your campaigns over these popular social networking sites.

HomePage Development offers personalised, hands-on SEO training, which will help you boost your online presence.



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Three Inexpensive Ways to Promote Your Business

Entrepreneurship is one of the pillars of the American Dream.  People want to be able to market their great ideas to others, but in today’s economy it can seem nearly impossible for a small business to make it.  We may be in an era of box stores and online retailers, but that doesn’t mean that’s it’s impossible for small brick and mortar business owners to make it.    The key to business success is successfully promoting your business, and you’d be surprised to learn that it’s actually relatively cheap to do so.

Celebrate Your Opening

There’s nothing like a big opening day event to draw out crowds and promote your business.  Don’t think you have to break the bank in order to do this, a little food, music, and special opening day discounts will be all you need to bring the event to life.  Finger foods like pretzels, crudités, cheese and crackers, and hot dogs are inexpensive, popular, and won’t make a mess in your new store.  Promotional prize wheels can help give your event a fun carnival like atmosphere and customers will be excited to participate.  Fill the wheel wedges with offers like 20% off, buy 1 get 1 free, and 10% sales prices and get customers to spin the wheel while their items are being rung up.  They’ll enjoying winning the discount prize, and you’ll get your products into the hands of potential repeat customers.

Alert the Press

Write a press release about your business’ opening and send them to all your local media outlets.  Newspapers, news websites, and TV stations are always looking for stories about local residents, and a business opening is almost always considered news worthy.  Submitting a press release is free, simple, and a great way to promote your business.

Utilize Social Media

It should seem obvious that businesses should use various social media platforms to promote themselves, but you’d be surprised just how many people either aren’t using it or don’t know how to properly write for a social media audience.  Remember two rules when it comes to social media: keep it frequent, and keep it interesting.

Be sure to get on as many different social media platforms as possible, your business should at the very least have a Facebook account, a Twitter account, and a Pinterest account.  Have an employee handle all of your accounts, make sure that they make posts frequently and comment on other people’s posts too.  And above all else, don’t treat any of your social media accounts like a sales page.  You can talk about your products and certain promotions, but make sure you write about industry news and trends as well.  If you’re a remodeling business, talk about EPA standards for green living and write tips for home remodeling projects.  If you’re a mortgage lender write about the housing market and news about federal mortgage reform.  As long as you write about related topics, you’ll have interested followers.

Matt Haran is a part of an elite team of writers who have contributed to hundreds of blogs and news sites. Follow him @thatdoodmatt


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The Invention of the Cash Mob

Local businesses ultimately tread water for most of their lives under the disinterested eye of major players in the respective industries. Being presented with a pair of water-wings would provide respite for anyone under trying circumstances. On the other side of this metaphor is the recent development of the cash mob, set out to offer water wings to small businesses in as many places as possible.
When Chris Smith conceptualised the idea of a cash mob less than a year ago he might not have realised that it would take off so dramatically. The idea of the cash mob is quite similar to its more social influencer, the flash mob, in that it pools a group of strangers together in an attempt to add value to society in some way. Whether it is an unexpected well-choreographed dance routine in a shopping mall, or for the purposes of mass demonstration for political purposes, a flash mob has an intangible outcome. A cash mob on the other hand aims to provide cash injection for small businesses that could really do with a larger customer base.
Cash mobs are taking off slowly but surely all over the world. As group buying sites become more popular, small to medium-sized businesses take big risks in forking out a lot of money to pay the online retailer as well as reduce their product price. Contrary to a group buying site the cash mob encourages personal interaction with store owners through physical purchases. This adds a new dimension to the buying process and serves as a valuable way of retaining customers.
The optimal cash mob functions in the following way:A vote is taken on which enterprise should be mobbed.A date and time is arranged for the cash mob to take place.The right number of people mob the store without there being too many to handle or too few to make the cash mob a successful venture. Lastly, the mob needs to carry out its main function by spending money in the store through their purchases.
The result of a successful cash mob is that store owners get a valuable injection to their cash flow, allowing them to keep their heads above water for a while longer. This trend will most likely spread out to the rest of the world in the near future and as a relatively new venture the cash mob is already making a bit of a splash online.

Dave Peterson deals in currency as a hobby and has done so for years. Foreign exchange traders are a big part of his life and he’s definitely had his ups and down with them over the years. He realises that forex services differ quite dramatically between firms but building a relationship with your trader is vital for trust purposes.


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5 Tips to Getting Started with Event Promotions

With the global economy in turmoil, you’d think that people would tighten their financial belts and concentrate on spending on necessities. However, the way the entertainment industry has thrived in recent years says otherwise. In fact, if you’re running a business right now, you might want to consider promoting a company event with the help of event promotion services. Here are some tips to get you started on the right foot. Remember, just because there’s a downturn in the economy, doesn’t mean you should neglect your efforts to promote your business. In fact, with consumers more careful about whom to buy their products and services from, it’s imperative that you convince them to check out what you have to offer.

Set aside 2 weeks for promotions and advertising

If you want your advertising efforts to have results, it’s always best to advertise in advance for at least 2 weeks. You can discuss your method of advertising with your event promoter, whether it be flyer distribution, posters, perhaps even a billboard in your area. Your promoter will understand what your needs are and how to make the most out of your budget.

Make use of traditional media

The Internet may have grown to become a popular platform for promoting events and interacting with customers, but that doesn’t mean traditional media platforms are already ineffective. You can still benefit from contacting radio stations and newspapers to advertise your event. You can have them promote your event in exchange for promoting them in return through posters, flyers and announcements at the event.

Take advantage of social networks

If you already have a Facebook page for your business, then go ahead and make a Facebook event. You can invite your customers who ‘like’ your page, and give special perks to those who confirm their attendance. You can also send out frequent updates via Twitter and your official business blog.

Spread the word yourself

Convincing your target audience to come to your event can be a difficult endeavor, so it pays to make use of your network of friends and acquaintances to at least guarantee that some people will show up.  Tell your friends about your event and have them tell their friends in turn. Word of mouth is the best form of advertising, so make the most out of it.

Keep a cool head

If there’s one thing that’s true for all events, it’s that something is bound to go wrong. Deal with the fact that no matter how hard you try, your event will run into some minor difficulties here and there. Some things will never go according to plan, so be prepared for it. Keep a cool head, maintain your composure and be ready to adapt to the situation. When in doubt, you can always hire an expert like to help.

Mark Doyle is a freelance writer who needs a little help from time to time with demand generation.


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How to Earn Trust by Being a Leader

It’s not enough to simply have a website for your business anymore. Although that might have given you an edge over your competition years ago, it doesn’t anymore. Today it is estimated that at least 49 percent of all small businesses have their own website. This means that your competition has the same online presence that you do. So, what are you going to do now to set yourself apart from the rest?

It really doesn’t matter what line of business you have, what type of product you sell or what services you offer, competition is fierce nowadays. Even if you don’t have an abundance of competition currently, there’s a good chance you will shortly. This is the era of the small business. People are no longer content punching a time clock or relying on someone else for a raise; more and more individuals wants the freedom and benefits that comes with being your own boss. That being said, being successful or staying ahead seems to constantly get more challenging.

The key to success today is becoming a respected leader. This doesn’t mean hoarding all valuable information you come across and learning how to do a hard sell either!

Share Your Knowledge

There’s no quicker way to gain a lot of fans and a lot of respect than to help others be successful. When you have super valuable information, share it! This not only makes you look like an expert on the subject, people will feel they can trust your word which is pretty valuable in the business world.

If you stumble across an interesting article, share it on Facebook and Twitter; today nearly every online publication offers bookmark icons that make sharing easy.

Don’t Sit on the Fence

Nobody respects or trusts someone who doesn’t have an opinion. You can’t sit on the fence, agree with both sides or stay completely quite. People will disagree with you and you will have a debate now and then but this will earn you more respect than not having a backbone. When someone disagrees with you, don’t get offended or put them down. Appreciate their opinion and respect that they have a voice as well. A disagreement certainly does not always have to be negative.

You can let others know your opinion by posting a link to your Facebook page and starring a discussion or you can offer the information in your blog for your subscribed readers to get involved with.

Get Involved

Standing in the shadows will get you nowhere. When you voice your opinion and people disagree, don’t just hide behind your keyboard; get involved with the conversation. Be open-minded and you might just learn something and understand their view in the process.

If one of your customers, readers, clients, etc., has a unique perspective on a topic, use it to spark a conversation. Even if you don’t agree with them, you will likely earn yourself a life-long fan for the recognition.

It doesn’t matter if you make your own organic soap, have a landscaping business or own a chain of hardware stores, people value a leader. Understand that people do not have to have the same opinion as you to respect you. That’s what earns you loyal followers and sets you apart from your competition.

This is a Guest Post by Neil Jones, head of marketing for eMobileScan. One of Europe’s leading providers of handheld computers including the Motorola MC9190 or Symbol MC3190


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