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Google+ Circle Starter Pack

One of the questions that I get asked after recommending that someone give Google+ a try is “How do I get started?”  The biggest problem is not setting up an account but in finding people to follow or “circle”.  Google+ is unlike other social platforms in that it allows you to place people in different “circles.”  For example I may have a circle for “friends” , “business contacts” or “family.”  Once people are added to a circle, their posts will show up in your home stream or by clicking on that circle in the circle navigation bar on the top of the Google+ interface.   Unlike Facebook, circles are not automatically reciprocated.  If I circle you there is no obligation by you to circle me back.  So the key is to find and circle people who are interesting to you and your business.

So to help new users get started, there is a list below of the top Google+ Influencers and Educators.  Many of these people I have circled personally and read and comment on their posts daily.  All of them have helpful posts on Google+.

My recommendation to you is to create a circle called “Influencers” or something similar and browse through this list below and add people who interest you to that circle.  That way, you’ll start your Google+ journey with helpful, engaging users streamed to your home feed daily.

Thanks to +Mike Allton for putting this list together.

By |August 19th, 2013|Social Media|1 Comment

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Google Plussers-Video Edition

A couple of weeks ago Mike Allton, whom I have circled and follow on Google+, wrote a great article called The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Google Plussers.

In the article he gave seven habits that people who are having success on Google+ typically are doing.  Those habits are:

Post Thoughtful Content
Share Other People’s Content
Engage Other People
Mention Other People
Promote Other People
Be Consistent
Complete Your Profile (more…)

How Can A New Blog Drive Traffic To A Website?

I recently read an article on How To Use Content To Drive Traffic To Your Website on Social Fresh by Ashley Verrill. The 3 tips that Ashley gave in the article were:

Become Best Friends with Bloggers.
Optimize Your Article.
Use Technology to Listen and Capture.

Since this tied in great with a previous post on the importance of social media, I reached out to Ashley and her colleague Holly Aker in order to discuss the topic further and ask if she would help with some follow up questions. She graciously agreed to speak with me and here is the conversation that followed.

What do you think the number #1 problem that new bloggers have when they are trying to drive traffic to their website?

Hands down, it’s nailing their audience. There’s no point in driving traffic to your website if it’s from people that will never actually buy from you. The best way to ensure you are driving the right traffic is to first write a buyer persona. This is a hypothetical representation of your ideal customer, based on who your real customers are. This includes their demographic information, of course. But more importantly, what are their biggest business and personal challenges? What are their goals? What are their objections to buying from you? All of your content should speak to these factors, and they should be crafted around keywords that receive traffic.

You mentioned to become best friends with bloggers. How does a new blogger build relationships with other bloggers? How do you engage influencers in your market? How can that drive traffic?

Becoming best friends with bloggers drives traffic in two ways: one, it creates a link on another website that can drive traffic; and two, links from other websites signal […]

Solving Small Business Problems with Social Media

If you’re a small business owner (SMB), then you’re probably no stranger to the frustration of not having enough time, people, or money to do everything you need to do to market your business. As content marketing continues to rise in popularity and necessity, companies are realizing the need for an online presence. However, most of these businesses don’t have enough technical knowledge, staff, or time to properly manage their social media and content marketing.

According to the Census Bureau, there are approximately 4.5 million SMB’s with less than 10 employees, which means resources are already strained and having a dedicated staff to manage your social media is nearly impossible.

Some of the issues SMB’s face are:

Limited Budgets
Lack of Time
Technical Knowledge
Creating Content
Return on Investment (ROI)

Do you recognize any of these issues as your own? If so, you’re not alone and you don’t have to worry; there’s plenty of help through social media which will equip you with the knowledge to help overcome these challenges.

Hashtag Search and Chat on Twitter:

Twitter lets you search for specific topics using a hashtag (#), and two of the most popular ways marketers and small business owners search for content specifically tailored to their needs is by typing #SMB and #SmallBusiness into Twitter’s search feature.

You can also chat with other SMB’s on Twitter using the tag #bizforum on Wednesday’s at 8 p.m. EST. Small business owners and marketing experts get together and talk about trends in the industry, marketing strategies and more. To find out more or to search for other scheduled Tweet Chats specific to your industry, topic, or need, you can find a full list at Practical eCommerce.

Google+ Communities:

The communities on Google+ are becoming popular with SMB’s, and the Small […]

Twitter Etiquette 101

We’ve all read the articles on how to respond to people online, but it’s always good to revisit proper manners.

No matter what social network you’re on and using, alway remember the Golden Rule…treat others the way you want to be treated.

It’s also a good idea to remember not to ever post, tweet, or share something that you wouldn’t want your kids, spouse, wife, boss, parents, or anyone else important to see. Remember social media is an open, wild frontier where any post can go viral. Many jobs have been lost and countless friendships have been hurt by a careless tweet or post.

Below is a video with some simple reminders for Twitter etiquette. Whether or not you have been on Twitter since the beginning or have just started using social media, it’s a good idea to remind yourself that there are real people reading those 140 characters.

 

Thanks to OneLily and Marketing Optimist.

Is Fear of Failure Killing Your Business?

As a small business owner, are you fulfilling the goals you set out when you first started? Or, are you instead finding yourself becoming complacent, unable to move forward, and settling into what seems like a never ending rut? Have you stopped taking risks and seeking creative and innovative new ways to grow your business because you fear failure?

Let me ask you this: To quote Robert H. Schuller, “What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?”

Seriously, think about it for a moment. If you knew without a doubt you could not fail, what risks would you take? What decisions would you make? How would you do things differently?

There’s an old saying that says, “You have to go out on a limb in order to get to the fruit.” Does this hit home with you? When you remove fear from the equation, your options are limitless. Failure itself is the learning tool to help you achieve more, become better, fix what went wrong and try a different way.

Without that, we wouldn’t have the innovations and technologies we now have today or the many conveniences we all enjoy. So what are some of your fears of failure?

Not pleasing your customers?
Providing a less-than-worthy product?
Not reaching your target audience?
Your business going under?

Look at those questions and then ask yourself how you can overcome those fears of failure by stepping outside your comfort zone.

If your fear is that you’re not pleasing your customers ask yourself why? Customers and prospects are intuitive creatures. They pick up on your vibes and the minute they sniff out dishonesty, negativity, complacency or false  modesty, they quickly run the other way to your competition. Fix this by exuding confidence […]

How B2B Companies Are Using The Potential Of Social Media

We all know that social media is hard to do.  But with the numbers of this inforgraphic slapping us in the face, it’s hard to deny the importance of social media for B2B companies.

Just take a look at the numbers:

Facebook – 950 million

YouTube – 880 million

Wikipedia – 410 million

Blogspot – 340 million

Twitter – 170 million

If you’re customers and competitors are using social media platforms, don’t you think that you should have a presence in these spaces?

If you’re still not convinced, read our short article on why every small business needs social media.

Just like in past years, if you didn’t have a website then you were “behind the times”.  The same trend will be happening for companies without social media.  Your customers will be looking for you on those platforms and if you’re not there, they will move on to someone else.

 

Source: Why B2B Businesses Should Leverage the Potential of Social Media in 2013

5 Mistakes Small Businesses Make Using Social Media

With so many social media platforms out there, it’s easy to become overwhelmed with where and how to start. Mistakes are made which are costly because they drive away the very people you’re trying to reach – your customers. It’s important to incorporate a social media strategy into your marketing plan to make sure your business stays in the forefront of your customer’s minds, but it’s equally important you avoid certain mistakes.

If you don’t have a social media presence, you’re missing out on a valuable tool to engage and reach your fan base. So the first step is to research what’s out there and decide where you want to engage with your customers. Once you create your social media accounts, whether on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or something else, take note of these 5 mistakes small businesses make and avoid them as much as possible.
1. It’s All About You
Let’s say you’re visiting with a friend and all they do is talk about themselves, never giving you a chance to speak. Doesn’t make you feel very welcome or valued, does it? The same holds true for social media. If you only post about your company, your products, your services all the time, people will stop following you in droves. Instead, post relevant content, ask questions, and post stories about your industry so you can create dialogue with your targeted audience.
2. You Neglect It
Social media can be fun, but it also takes work. Your fans expect regular updates and engagement, and same-day responses to their questions or messages sent to you. Too many times, a business will create a Facebook page or a Twitter account, post a bunch of updates in a short period of time, and […]

  • Mobile apps for your small business
    Permalink Great mobile apps for your small business.Gallery

    4 Incredibly Useful Mobile Applications For Your Small Business

4 Incredibly Useful Mobile Applications For Your Small Business

Is it possible to run your small business from anywhere? You bet! It’s becoming easier as a small business owner to stay in touch with your team of employees, keep your finances up-to-date, or review and email documents which are integral to your business.

As technology advances, there are more options for you to use right at your fingertips – while you’re standing in line ordering your lunch, hitting a few rounds of golf, or while you’re in transit for an important business meeting.

Every day we are seeing larger touch screens on phones, faster processors, heightened security features, and easy-to-use mobile apps. There really isn’t much difference between a computer and a mobile phone anymore and the usability is endless.

Because there are so many apps out there to choose from we’ve decided to help you figure out which ones are best for you. We’ve put together a list of 4 business apps to help you manage your small business. (more…)

5 Reasons Google+ is Important for Small Business

The nature of social media changes constantly and one platform is moving quickly through the ranks to become a dominant force. Although Google+ launched in mid-2011, not too many people paid much attention to it at first. But now, Google+ is starting to be heard. With its connection to the world’s number one search engine, having a Google+ page for your business is a must.

Why is it so important to have a presence on Google+?

Here are 5 reasons why:

Your Google+ page has a high priority in Google searches.
Your page improves the optimization of your website by building internal links. (i.e. links to your blog posts.)
You can sort your friends from family, clients from prospects and much more when you use the circles feature. This allows you to post to a targeted audience for marketing and social media purposes.
You’ll see Google+ businesses near you listed in personalized search results, which means your business is also listed on other Google+ users search results.
You can use the apps within Google+ to track and analyze where and who you’re reaching for better marketing and social networking.

There are plenty more reasons to use Google+, but these are the top five because of their impact on your business and social marketing. Right now, more than three-quarters of the top 100 global brands have active Google+ pages. In the past year alone they have witnessed an astounding amount of growth, with more than 23 million listed followers.

By having a Google+ page, not only does your website appear in search results, it comes with the addition of a visual icon and right hand posting. You’re also able to better communicate with your followers; a huge advantage in the social media world. If […]