* "Only connect. . ." E.M. Forster, Howard's End

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Friends, Fans & Facebook – Five Ways to Make Facebook Work for You

Struggling to gain momentum with Facebook for business or just starting to figure it all out? With over 500 million members (unofficial numbers point to 700 million users), Facebook can be a powerful tool for your business. Here are five ways to take advantage of Facebook and make it work for you.

1. Say the “right” stuff
Many agents struggle with how to be a real estate professional without being obnoxious. It’s a personal network so we want to come across as human, but we also have a job to do. It’s not always an easy balance and honestly, many agents fail at it.

Avoid blatant self promo on other people’s posts and pages. If you go on my wall or my page and write something along the lines of “check out my new listings or my open house at xxx” or “looking to buy or sell in San Francisco, I can help!” – you end up looking obnoxious. The hard sale isn’t usually effective on Facebook (it’s a social network!), but if you do plan to be salesy, keep it on your own page or profile.
The more interested you are in others, the more interesting you become. This really should be the golden rule of networking, online and off. Buyers, sellers, and really people in general, care more about themselves and their problems than they do about you. Your friends, family and clients are talking and sharing their lives on Facebook. Listen to what they are saying, and when relevant, just in to the conversation, comment on their photos, or answer their questions. Be interested and you’ll be more interesting.
Don’t be afraid to talk about your job. People are fascinated about real estate but try to find a way to pull out the interesting or unusual things that happen in your day.
Consider these two updates: “Open House Sun, 3 bed, 2 bath, 2000 square feet.” Come see it! OR
“Baking cookies for my Sunday open house. Should I bake oatmeal or chocolate chip?”
Which update would you be more likely to comment on?
2. Create Friend Lists

Friends lists can be a powerful way to manage your clients, friends & family on Facebook. You say you aren’t generating business on Facebook, but do you engage with the people most likely

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Facebook Status Abuse - Nobody Cares That You Just Made a Sandwich

Please tell me more about your sandwich. Give me a bite by bite synopsis of your lunch. Really, everyone who is in your network is not interested in your meals. Even though you have an amazing technique with chewing your food. That is a definite Facebook status update abuse.

The reality is that we all have to be conscientious of what we discuss on Facebook. Day in and day out talking about things that can be interesting have their own set of challenges. That is why we are discussing how to post proper Facebook updates.

Here are 5 Tips To Help You Avoid The Sandwich Trap On Facebook.

1. Post relevant information about you industry and business. Unless you are a sub owner, stop talking about sandwiches. Talk about what you are passionate.

2 Vary up the media you use for Facebook updates. Use video, photos, and text in combination with each other. That way you will be able to create a cornucopia of Facebook updates that delights all of your networks senses.

Monday, June 13, 2011

If you haven’t yet been to LinkedIn, it’s like the professional version of Facebook. Instead of listing your favorite movies and music, you list your past jobs and skills. Instead of a wall, past employers and coworkers can write public recommendations for you.

Your LinkedIn profile should be more than just a duplicate of your print resume/CV. You have the room to elaborate, and it’s a great opportunity to network with individuals who were nearly impossible to reach before. I’ll talk about utilizing the networking opportunities of LinkedIn in a separate article.

Creating an account and profile are pretty self-explanatory, so I’m not going to elaborate on the technical details. For those of you with LinkedIn accounts, you should already know the basics. I’ve created a LinkedIn account for an imaginary “Marion Appleby” so you can see the sections I’m referring to.

LinkedIn Profile Summary
This is your elevator pitch. It’s important to add substance to this section because it’s the first block of text people will see, and then they might skim over your work experience. Don’t only summarize your past experience; discuss your goals, what type of work you’re passionate about, and what your biggest accomplishments have been.

Highlight the specific skills you have in keyword form, separated by commas, like this:
marketing, branding, quality analysis, website design, media buying, recruiting, graphic design

Don’t just list the companies you’ve worked for here. For each job you’ve had briefly describe what the company does and what you did there. This includes the job you currently hold. The content here should be similar to what you would write on your resume, except you can elaborate more because you don’t have to fit it onto a 8 1/2 by 11 sheet of paper.

List your relevant coursework in this section if it’s relevant to the types of jobs/opportunities

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Social Media Statistics 2011

Our good friend Eric Qualman, the Socialnomics author who has made a name for himself by creating short, entertaining videos jam-packed with social media statistics, is at it again. His original video, the "Social Media Revolution", now has 2.8 million views.

Today, Qualman released his newest video, "Social Media Statistics 2011." Check it out:

Some of the most interesting statistics in the video include:

1. If Facebook were a country, it would be the world's third largest.

2. A new member joins LinkedIn every second.

3. 50 percent of mobile internet traffic in the UK is Facebook.

4. Social Gamers will buy $6 billion in virtual goods by 2013.

5. YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world.

What statistics do you find most interesting?

Read more: http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/16121/Social-Media-Statistics-2011-Video.aspx#ixzz1Omi7WrIm

Saturday, June 11, 2011

What Do 76% of Consumers Want From Your Website? [New Data]

76% of consumers say the most important factor in a website's design is "the website makes it easy for me to find what I want."
What does this mean for marketers?

Don't obsess over the visual design of your website

Do obsess over the usability by your customers and prospects

Don't worry if you or the CEO think your website design does not look pretty

Do worry about the conversion rate of your website (Are people finding what they need and completing their tasks?)

Don't use flash, heavy graphics, or tons of video

Friday, June 10, 2011

Free Advertising on Google

Many small businesses do not know that you can get some free advertising on Google, using Google Local or Google Maps. Google is looking to increase the value of their local search and their mapping application, so they have a simple way for you to tell them some information about your business, and now they are infusing those results into their main search engine. It is basically a way to advertise your business on Google for free, and everyone loves a free advertisement. This will help your advertisement show up in searches and can help you get more traffic, leads and customers. For example, a Boston volunteer organization I work with called the Boston Scholars Program is currently listed at the TOP of the Google search results for searches like "volunteer in boston", "volunteer boston ma", and "volunteer boston, ma". See the image below.

How to Get Free Advertising on Google

Things You Need Before Starting Your Free Advertisement

A description of your business
Your phone number, address and any other contact info you want to advertise
A logo or image that represents your business (some people use a picture of their office, store or restaurant)
A coupon or special offer you want to advertise (Google also lets you add a coupon for FREE if you want)
Step-by-Step Guide to Free Google Advertisement

Go to www.google.com/local and search for your business to verify it is not yet listed with an advertisement.
Go back to www.google.com/local and click on Add/Edit Your Business at the bottom left part of the page. (See image below.)

Follow the steps provided by Google. They are pretty simple and straightforward. As part of the

Thursday, June 9, 2011

7 Things Your Blog’s Sidebar Can’t Live Without

Your blog sidebar can be filled with anything you’d like, from fun and fancy widgets to ads for generating some extra income. But there are several important elements that your blog sidebar shouldn’t be without. They’ll not only help you keep readers on your site, but will help bring them back for more, or even turn them into leads.

Here are seven essential elements you should include in your blog’s sidebar:

1. Option to Subscribe

Assuming you have remarkable content on your blog, your readers would be interested in coming back to your blog to read your latest posts. So make it easy for them! Add a subscribe button linking to your RSS feed URL. You can use Feedburner to create this URL from your original RSS feed URL, as Feedburner makes it easy for readers to add your feed to their RSS reader, like Google Reader. Also, make sure to include an email form field to allow users to subscribe via email, so your posts will go straight to their email inbox.

2. Category List

Often called “categories” or “topics,” this is a list that makes it easy for your readers to find content that they are interested in. Most blogging platforms automatically create this list from the categories or tags that you assign it when configuring each blog post. Try not to assign more than 1-3 categories per post, since any more would diminish the usefulness of sorting your content by category.

3. Most Popular Posts

The sidebar is a great place to display your most popular (usually meaning the most highly trafficked) blog posts. This way, readers won’t have to dig through pages and pages of content to find your most remarkable content. It will also peak people’s interests to find out why these posts are the most popular.

4. Recent Blog Posts

Including recent blog posts makes it easy for users who enter your site through a single blog

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

4 Unique Ways to Get Traffic to Your Blog from LinkedIn Answers

LinkedIn is a great social network for small and large businesses to reach out to relevant prospective customers. LinkedIn Answers in particular allows you to find people publicly stating that they have a specific problem or need that your product or service would solve. It’s pretty awesome.

What’s even more awesome is that you can get high-quality traffic to your blog from LinkedIn Answers, and get some really qualified leads as well. Here’s what you can do:

1. Create a New Blog Post in Response to a Question

Instead of simply answering the question in full right on LinkedIn Answers, create a remarkable blog post answering that user’s question. Then reply to that question within LinkedIn Answers
with a summary of your answer, and let the user know that you’ve created a detailed and helpful post to answer their question. Something like: “Your question inspired me to write a blog post on the subject, and I’ve provided even deeper analysis over there: (insert link). Let me know if you find it helpful, or if you have any more questions!” Also enter this link in a “Web Resources” field, as you can’t create linkable text within the Answer text field. Going above and beyond will show potential customers that you really do care about helping them.

2. Answer a Question Linking to Relevant Existing Posts

When linking to your own blog within LinkedIn Answers, be careful not to be spammy. Create a new law for yourself: “I am only allowed to link to my blog if I include insightful information in my

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Social media marketing blog writing

Writing is as much as an art form as it is a skill, but that doesn't mean that you can't write content that is powerful and helps to improve your web site's traffic and ranking with the major search engines. There are certain elements which can help your website content, blog posts, articles submitted to online directories and other online content increase your rankings and move your business forward.

You need understand what you write, it needs to have the potential to reach a large audience and be beneficial to your readers. You should write on blogs, with articles and use content to link your web site and be useful, interesting information about your site. You need good written copy and intriguing topics increasing your page rank as well.

You need to write Compelling headings because the titles of your articles and webpage's are important. It can grab the reader's attention. Instead of using a boring, generic heading, make sure that your heading is interesting while clearly explaining the content.

You need brand recognition Using social media allows your article or product to reach the highest number of potential customers possible. Getting your name out there is incredibly important to make sales and obtain customers.
You need to have a social media presence allows you to better understand what current and potential customers are saying about your product or services. You need to be active social media monitoring, you have the opportunity to address negative comments and correct false or inaccurate information about your product or service.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Social Media – No Longer A New Concept

Unless you've been stranded on a remote island for the past five years social media is a phrase you will most likely be familiar with and a large majority of you will be users – sounds like an intro to an AA meeting – and it could be argued that it is addictive but what exactly is Social Media?

The best way to define social media is to break it down and go back in time. Good old fashioned Media is an instrument on communication, like a newspaper or a radio. Social media then is a social instrument of communication.

It is an umbrella term that defines the various activites that integrate technology, social interaction and the construction of words pictures videos and audio. It's also a fancy word to describe the zillions of conversations people are having on line.

In Web 2.0 terms, Social Media would be a website that doesn't just give you information, but interacts with you while giving you that information. This interaction can be as simple as asking for your comments or letting you vote on an article, or it can be as complex as Flixster recommending movies to you based on the ratings of other people with similar interests.

Think of regular media as a one-way street where you can read a newspaper or listen to a report on television, but you have very limited ability to give your thoughts on the matter.

Social media, on the other hand, is a two-way street that gives you the ability to communicate too.

Essentially, social media incorporates the online technology and methods through which people can share content, personal opinions, swap different perspectives and insights into world issues and generally discuss the evolution of media in itself.

Social media website content can come in many shapes and forms:

Text - text is often used to put across opinions or write blog posts.
Images - images and photos can display anything from holiday photos to shots by professional photographers.
Audio - social media lets you create podcasts for users to download.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

How to Promote Your Work

The Mindset: Don’t Be That Guy

First, learn to promote, but don’t be that guy. It’s really important that you are participatory in the social space. If you’re here just to talk about you, your work just won’t get as much spread. People won’t take the actions that they might if they feel you’re “one of us.” By starting with this point, I’m saying this: your mileage WILL vary if you approach social media tools as just another channel exactly like what you were doing with marketing.

The Groundwork: Home Bases, Outposts, and Passports

Second, put into place a system where you have a simple presence framework set up. Make your blog (or the main site you need to promote) your home base. Build outposts that point people to this blog. That means, link your blog into your Facebook, into your LinkedIn, into your Twitter, into your email signature, and on every other relevant social network you belong to, so that people there can also see what you’re talking about. If your blog is unique and useful, consider submitting it to Alltop, too. (If your home base isn’t a blog, skip that step.)

Outposts are essentially places where crowds might be gathered, but not specifically gathered for your blog/site. Giving your social networking participants a chance to interact with your material is a great way to find new audience.

Some people ask if you should automate your blog posts to dump into Twitter. Google recently added this feature to FeedBurner, and before that, several people were using the RSS-to-Tweet apps of a few other groups. I’ve never been a fan. I like hand-delivering my posts to Twitter by asking a question related to the post. (Most recently, however, I’ve started a new Twitter account called @broganmedia, where I am automating my tweets, and no one seems to be expressing a negative opinion. Test it, if you’d like.)

Passports are just accounts on sites where you might not feel like maintaining a full blown presence, but where having an account will be helpful, should someone start a conversation on that platform about you. Swing by this post to get some starter sites where passport accounts might be useful.

Find Your Audience

The first steps to finding the people you need relates to growing bigger ears. Your audience isn’t the person with the largest Twitter following. Your audience isn’t the person who “likes tech.” Be better than that. Find the people who seem to be talking about what you’re talking about.

And then, COMMENT. Comment on their stuff, and don’t talk one lick about your site. Share your passion on that person’s site. More often than not, you get an instant new relationship where you’ll see eye to eye.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Does Your Presence Look Expert to You?

The Living Web

People speak and write a lot about personal branding. Online that breaks down to presence which in simple terms is reputation and focus. Both become enhanced when we highlight our expertise in a strategic and consistent fashion.
7 Tweaks to Your Social Presence to Reflect Your Expertise

Experts have authentic skills, knowledge, and experience. But some of us with those exact traits have more insight to making sure those traits shine through. Here are 7 ways to manage your online presence to be seen as the expert you are.

Walk your own path. Be the expert you are, not the expert someone else is. You can’t be compared. You’re not a fanboy or a fangirl. Differentiate what you offer from the start. Play to your strengths. Check your social networking profiles — at Facebook, SU, Twitter, etc. –to see that they underscore the same differentiated traits.

Focus on ONE thing Make that one thing particularly suited to you. Be a “go to” person for a specific problem. Then find a way to meet that need that no one else can do the same way you do.

Write expert answers and content – LinkedIn question and answers are a great place to do this. Seek out questions about your chosen point of expertise throughout the Internet and write thought, precise, actionable answers to them. Give information, examples, AND analysis. Occasionally offer evaluation, synthesis, or predictions.

Always know what’s happening with folks who need what you do. Join the sites and the offline groups where your potential customers and clients hang out. Refer and promote customers and clients whenever you can. Sometimes they’ll need a helping hand and they’ll remember the expert who helped them out.

Know your niche in detail. Get to be friends with Google Alerts and discovery services. Follow key terms around the Internet.

Be an expert at helping colleagues. Don’t be shy about sharing information. Talk with them. Visit and comment on their blogs. Ask them for an interview. Guest post now and then. Help others in visible ways — on your blog, on Twitter, through Facebook groups.

Go deep. (Don’t be shallow.) Find out what researchers are thinking so that you can offer the highest quality, relevant information and analysis. Add information to the conversation that no one has found.

An expert to most people is someone who more knowledge, skills, and experience than we do . . . never discount how much expertise you’ve gained or it’s value.

Liz Strauss 2008

Friday, June 3, 2011

Facebook Pages Now Look and Act Like Facebook Profiles

Facebook released a huge update to Facebook pages yesterday that make pages act a lot more like profiles. This is a HUGE win for marketers, and here are the top reasons why:

Facebook pages can now comment on other Facebook page walls
You can now browse Facebook AS YOUR PAGE and get notifications when there is new fan activity on your page
Facebook pages can now feature profiles at the top of the page
Fans can more easily see which of their friends have liked your page
Here’s a complete walkthrough of all of the new features of Facebook Fan Pages:

New Facebook Page Feature: Featured Photos

The most recent photos that you post to your Wall or photos that you tag your Page in will appear here. This area will not include any photos posted by your fans.
To hide a photo, roll over it and click X.

New Facebook Page Feature: Navigation

Navigation links are now on the left, just like on people’s profiles.

New Facebook Page Feature: Wall Filters

You now have two Wall filters. You can show posts by your page and top posts from Everyone, a new way for people to see the most interesting stories first. As an admin, you’ll have additional filters for viewing posts on your page.
To set a default filter for your Wall, go to Edit Page.

New Facebook Page Feature: Admin View (Use Facebook as Your Page)

You now have the flexibility to interact with the other areas of Facebook as a page.

Get notifications when fans interact with your page or posts
See activity from the pages you like in your news feed
Like other pages and feature them on your page
Make comments as your page on other pages (BIG WIN!)
To try this new feature, you can click the link here or go to Account above and select Use Facebook as Page.

New Facebook Page Feature: New Settings

You can set defaults for your email notifications and how you post to your page – as yourself or your page. You can also select which featured pages appear in the left column.
To manage your settings for email and posting preferences, go to Edit Page and Your Settings. To select which pages appear in Likes, go to Edit Page and Featured.
Being able to like and comment on other Facebook Page walls is pretty powerful, especially for companies and bloggers who find success networking with others in their industry. You can now get exposure for your company on OTHER companies’ pages.

What do you think of the new Facebook Fan Page updates? Let me know in the comments below!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

How to Size your Facebook Profile Picture & Thumbnail

If you’ve ever tried to change your Facebook profile picture before, whether for your personal profile or fan page, you know how frustrating it can be. On top of Facebook’s technical glitches, which leave you wonder if you’re permanently stuck with that question mark of doom, the thumbnail never seems to look right.
On your personal profile thumbnail, you’re either a tiny speck in the distance or you’re showing off your left eyebrow. On your fan page, your brand’s logo is cut off. Here are some fan pages that still haven’t gotten it quite right:

Facebook recommends that profile pictures should be 200px wide. They height can vary up to three times the width. However, they don’t make it clear how the thumbnail that Facebook uses is generated from this picture.

You’ll find that Facebook crops images when generating a thumbnail, losing information around the edge. You can edit the thumbnail to drag it to a different part of your picture, but you cannot expand the thumbnail selection. So when you create your profile image that’s 200px wide, allow a 12 pixel border around crucial information such as a brand name or logo to allow for automatic cropping.

Also remember that Facebook thumbnails are always square, regardless of the shape of your profile image. So when designing rectangular profile pictures, make sure to keep your desired thumbnail imagery within a square boundary. Then you can edit the thumbnail selection accordingly

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Killer Content - Reasons Why Daily Blog Updates Is Important

Reasons Why Daily Blog Updates is Important
Blogging is the new buzz in the internet today. It is so popular that the word "blog" is currently one of the most searched terms on the internet. This is because there are plenty of people who are trying to be bloggers themselves and would want to understand what it is all about.
Originally, the word blog simply means a web log or an online personal diary or journal of a person that she/he has written in order for others to read. On the 1st introduction of blog, it was solely used for personal reasons but as time went by it is now used for variety of purposes and reasons-information dissemination, education, business and marketing and a lot. But today the purpose if blogs is skewed mostly to marketing.
As a tool in marketing, blogs offers plenty of benefits and potential. It is a best way to keep in touch with clients and to keep them updated. Some of the benefits are:

1. it is easier to manage than sending communication letters to different media
2. It is easier to update, and you can update it on a daily basis, making your clients well informed with what you are offering
3. It cost less and you can retain the information for a long time. You don't really need to shed a bounty of money just for you to start blogging, it even comes for free.
4. If you don't have business you can still earn through the affiliate service, you will be endorsing products from other company.

But for you to be able to earn money from your blogs your blogs need to be searchable. Which means it needs to be picked up by search engines. For this to happen your blog needs to be