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InstagrambannerIn a coffee shop, in the subway, at home, on the streets, and everywhere you look, somebody has their heads down looking at either their phones or their tablets. There always seems to be something new to check, a new update coming in to their newsfeeds. If before Friendster then Facebook was the only way to go, today, Instagram has become the trend, the next best thing in social media. It is a lot easier to use, no frills and no hassle. They are simply just photographs and videos coming from the interesting and even non-interesting people in your life. There seems to be a compulsion to check on the newsfeed and see if anything worthy of your attention comes up. Even if more often than not, these are the same old photos of food, events, self-portraits, vacations, and the like, it always feels good to be up to date on what the newest Instagram posts come up on your phone. Glen Richards just started his Instagram feed. Check him out and send some love!

Find Your Target Market on Instagram

A number of enterprising people have also gone to the extent of marketing their goods and services on social media. Facebook and Instagram have not been spared. Although it is easier to sell and market things on Facebook because of its very interactive interface, Instagram Instagram_finalhas also started to become a worthwhile marketplace as one can simply post photos of whatever good or service they are selling, and consumers can simply like or comment to inquire or signify intent to purchase. Instagram has become one big business room and marketplace. It is not hard to see why. With the sheer number of Instagram users ranging from across all age groups, a target market is not hard to come by. These days, trends say that the younger social media users like kids and teenagers tend to go more for Instagram because it gives more privacy. In other parts of the world, older adults favor Instagram because it is more user-friendly. For busier folks, Instagram is a good way to connect without having to go through all the frills of reading useless posts and advertisements coming from other social media applications.

How to do Business Using Instagram

With a captured target market, the next question is how to do your business in Instagram. It really is a no-brainer since the application only alloleadsws for simple, yet limited interaction between users. As a user, the most basic thing to do to market your product is to post a photo of it on the application. It does not matter what it is – it can be a piece of clothing, a service, a used car, made to order dishes, cupcakes, household services like plumbing and electric work, and what have you. This is where your creativity comes into place to make the content and the photograph itself visually appealing and catches attention. The numerous photograph filters and photograph editing tools on the application can easily help you make the most beautiful Instagram photograph. Simply tag your target users, write a unique comment, or use a hash tag. After this you are all set to go and wait for users to reply to your post or even send you Direct Messages when they inquire.

Use Instagram to Sell

With millions of users from around the world, making a sale is not impossible. Large and famous brands are on Instagram. News companies like CNN, BBC, and Reuters are on Instagram posting photos of and videos of the latest news and upcoming shows. Car companies ranging from the humble Toyota and Honda to the luxurious Mercedes Benz and Jaguars use Instagram as a platform to showcase their newest models. They take it a step further by re-posting what users have done to modify their cars to make the car models even more attractive to their consumers. Apple and Samsung make use of Instagram to announce on their new products and what is coming. Hotels and resorts from all over the world also post the most beautiful photographs of what can be had if you decide to visit them. Even celebrities make use of Instagram to jump on the wide reach that this application has in the Internet cyberspace.

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twitter-117595_1280When creating a Twitter profile, you are actually showing the entire globe what your business is or who you are. This is actually your point of entry for your Twitter audience. For this reason, investing the time to get this right is important. Learning to set up a business page for Twitter will drive potential clients to your page.

Every profile element including your pinned Tweet, header bio and photo needs to reflect the personality and identity of your business. You can use these for showcasing your best content.

Twitter Handle

On the network, it is your handle on Twitter that will identify you. Take as much time as you need in selecting the most appropriate handle of Twitter. This is something you can change at any time. Of course, finding one that you don’t plan on changing will help keep your followers on track without getting confused. When selecting a handle for Twitter, it is a good idea to build your community on Twitter around your name, particularly if you plan to share both professional and personal updates. This way you can share information and insights on various topics. For your Twitter handle, you can also put in a marketing phrase such as “Build Influence Online” as a handle. However, using your own company name tends to be more personal and helps with the relationship building.

In the event you want your handle on Twitter to be the company name, you might consider having a company account on Twitter aside from a personal account. In order to identify the brand name, this is what many corporations and brands to. Shorten the name or get creative when creating a Twitter handle using the company name or marketing theme. This is because there are only fourteen characters allowed when you create your handle on Twitter.

Create a Compelling Bio on Twitter

It is critical to create a good bio on Twitter. Tell the world what you stand for with just one hundred sixty characters. Within this limit, you need to show what makes you different, who you help, what you do and basically, who you are. Build followers and stand out through creating a compelling Twitter bio. Followers will decide whether or not they want to follow you based on your bio. Do you work in a similar business as they do? Do you share common passions and interests? Are you located in the same town or city? Short, descriptive phrases and characteristics of who you are in both professional and personal terms that include keywords are what works. Take the necessary time to create the most compelling Twitter bio you can, and the rest will follow.

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Your Image on Twitter

Use head rather than body shots when uploading a Twitter image. For company accounts, use an icon or a logo of our business. When planning to share professional or personal Twitter updates, your face will much more personal. Keep in mind that all human beings tend to connect more with other human beings rather than with logos. For accounts that are used for a business and there are a few people involved, using a logo would then be apt. With your image on Twitter, work with a professional photographer to capture your true essence. Try different backdrops, expressions and poses. Attempt to create photographs that capture you authentic self.

In the social network arena, success truly starts with being human and personable, not stuffy and corporate.

Link Back to a Landing Page

When creating a Twitter account, include links which guests can click to find out more about you. Basically, the link you include for them to click is important as this links back to your professional or personal brand. Build a specific page on your blog that welcome Twitter visitors directly. When you set up a page such as this one, it enables you to start tracking the traffic you generate from the profile you set up on Twitter directly on to your blog’s website.

In the world of marketing, your content online is not unlike a firm handshake. Just like a firm handshake, video marketing gives you the opportunity to connect with your target market in an effective, highly personal method. As a matter of fact, Facebook, the social media giant announced that because of the use of video globally increasing about 75 per cent this last year, a priority would be put on video posting that appear on news feeds and updates. Of course, it can be easy for users to get caught up in merely using video with no objective, which is the same as not really caring what virtual handshake is offered by your video. One of the most popular video publishing platforms is YouTube. Video-Marketing_2

Video marketing is effective when it connects with audiences in the way that static or text images can’t. When you prioritize enhancing the experience of the user with high quality production of videos and considerate content, you will thus be able to spread the word about your brand and as a result, improve rates of conversion.

Just as you make sure you offer a firm handshake to people you meet, make sure you do this virtually when you include video marketing on your website. Audiences see videos out there by the millions. Providing them with video content they won’t be able to find elsewhere will help you meet the goals of your business. You will then provide viewers with an experience that is representative of your company and is convenient, engaging and personal.

Pro tip: Don’t forget to share your videos on all of your social media channels such as Instagram, Vine, Pinterest, Facebook, etc. You can also embed your videos on popular web 2.0 platforms like Tumblr, WordPress and Rebel Mouse. See this example here.

Reflect Your Business

The essence of your business needs to be reflected in video marketing. On your landing page, include a video that showcases your brands to newbie viewers. Keep in mind, however, that having a themed video that does not appropriately represent your business might be actually worse than not having a video at all. When you consider everything that contributes to getting your name brand out there, you really need to consider the choice of video you decide to post, since the right kind can truly be beneficial.video-marketing_1

Convenience Count

Both you and your viewers will benefit from the experience of a convenient video. On your page, embed video content straight. This way, viewers don’t have to watch the video on a different page and instead, can view it right on that page. This ensures that your provided links won’t lead them out of your website and to a different source. From sites of social media, embedding video is part of a bigger trend when it comes to improving the experience of users. You should know this as Twitter knows it and Facebook knows it. When you integrate your website directly with the sources of social media, content can be accessed by viewers on all your embedded posts. This draws attention to your business as it keeps your target audience and guests right on your page.

Regular Updates Matter

Whether it is a regular blog post or a video that greets your page on Facebook, engaging and creative videos are very effective when it comes to developing a fan base that lasts. The objective is to make a person to person connection right from the start. Informative resources are something that social media viewers are always looking for. Something unique and entertaining has a much higher likelihood of being socially shared on online media compared to a video that elaborates and enumerates factual data.

video-marketingWhat Makes A Good Video?

Compared to boring statistics you post on your video, an experience that demonstrates the energy of your brand will be more effective. At the end of the day, you need to deliver an experience to your viewers that is consistent with your brand and gives you the expected value. Of course, this does not mean that you can’t change your format or get crazy once in a while with regards to what you post. The fact is, the core of your content needs to be something beneficial to your audience while remaining true to your business and goals.

keyboard-648440_1280There are more than a few ways to get more customers using WordPress. A WordPress site can be optimized to increase sales, capture leads and attract prospects. From a business point of view, these are highly favorable results. WordPress does not charge anything for you to start blogging. This gives you the advantage of being able to you’re your products and blog about issues your customers are interested in to attract more customers. As a matter of fact, there are more than a few things you can do help generate a larger base of clients for your existing business. Here are a few ways you can use WordPress to generate more customers. A few alternatives to WordPress are Rebelmouse.com, Tumblr.com and Pen.io. Here’s an example of a Blog.com website. Keep in mind that Blog.com has been plagued with technical issues that negatively affect their up time.

Optimize Your Blog

When you are using WordPress to increase the number of your customers, you will generate better results when you use SEO. The fact is, with all the effort you are putting into gaining more sales, you must remember to include SEO. It is important to know what key words your customers use to search for items. Find keywords and use these in your blog content. Remember to insert keywords in the main headline of your blog posts as well as your title. Include them throughout your blog posts, your ALT text for images and your meta description.

Blog About Pertinent Issues

Part of the DNA of WordPress really is blogging. Creating great content that your would-be potential customers want to read is going to help generate more customers. Use your WordPress website as the platform that helps solve the most pressing problems or issues of your clients. You can also help people by telling interesting stories, publish tutorials and answer common questions. A sure way of getting more and more visitors to your site is to write topics that interest your customers. This builds more traffic, which translates to more sales.

Sell With Your WordPress Blog

Increase sales with WordPress by selling products or services from your website. It used to be both expensive and difficult to sell using ecommerce. These days, you can sell directly from your WordPrewordpress-589121_1280ss site using an ecommerce system that supports inventory control, tax tables, shipping calculations, digital products and physical products.

Help Guests Take Action With a Strong Call to Action

Adding in a call to action to your Word Press site will encourage visitors to take action on something. When someone signs up for a subscription after buying a product you are selling or downloading a white paper, send them email that has a call to action. In addition, add in a call to action at the end of your WordPress blog to drive traffic back to your website like here. Many business sites forget to include this in their website. At times, even when they add these in, it is hard to miss.

Add a Subscription Box

When trying to attract more customers, email still remains the channel most effective for marketing your business. This is true even despite social media’s popularity. The response rates on email is still higher than response rates on both Twitter and Facebook. You can generate more customers by adding in a subscription box for email in your WordPress site. Get customers to sign up for your mailing list to sell to them directly. Once customers start to send in their email addresses, send them interesting email that is relevant. When people sign up for your list, they are in essence giving you permission to remain in touch with them. This will make it easy to sell them more products similar to the ones they bought or looked at on your WordPress site.

Guest Blog

Becoming a guest blogger for competitor sites and linking back to your own WordPress website is one way you can double your customer base. Find your top competitive blog post and request to contribute an article that is relevant to them. Ask to include a link to your own blog in the ‘About the Author’ spot. This will enable their existing customer base to find your website and look through your own products.

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The market is on the Internet. This is one of the best—and worst—things about business today. Your market will be significantly easier to reach, but at the same time, you will have to compete with practically millions of other businesses that are as accessible to your target market. There are many great Facebook pages, Here’s is the perfect example of how you should setup your page. But you don’t have to have the most years in the business or the biggest name (although these can be tremendous advantages!) to achieve your market goals. It only takes a dash of determination, a hint of originality, and a sprinkling of creativity to get there. And the good news is that you can maximize that creative potential by making use of a social networking platform that’s easy to use and is being enjoyed by a huge majority of the people that you want to get in touch with.  Here are ways to use Facebook to market your own business. Don’t

social-network-76532_640Create an Inviting Official Facebook Account

Most Internet-savvy individuals today are wary of poser accounts or those that are not verified. People don’t like to follow accounts that they think are not the real thing. If you want to make it big, start thinking that you are already there and create an account that fits that perspective. This means creating an official Facebook account where people can get official updates, get a glimpse of your actual stores or of the services that you offer, and even have a reliable way to connect with you.

But it should not stop there. It’s not enough that people know the account is actually managed by the people behind the business. It should be exciting, inviting, and interesting enough to keep people coming back to your page. Don’t settle for sloppy cliché status updates or photo captions. Be different and new. Get people’s attention by standing out.

Know Your Market

It is very important for you to be able to connect with your target market. But unless you know them, their likes, the trends that they follow, the people that they look up to, and the styles that they imitate, you won’t make much of an impact with them. This will take some time, and you will have to be patient if you want to get important results. But you can start with getting to know the people that react or respond to your posts. Know which age brackets they belong to, their gender, their careers, and so on. Knowing who you’re talking to will help a great deal in shaping your posts and much of your marketing efforts in such a way that will really mean something to them.wordcloud-679950_1280

Put Your Best Foot Forward

Facebook is a social networking website, and so what gets big here relies largely on whether people catch up on it and share it with others. This is why it is essential for you to plan your posts and other media in such a way that will connect with your target market. When sharing info about your business, put your best foot forward, shoot photos of your best products and services, make people see why they need you, and create a need for what you offer by the subtle enticing messages that you post online.

Promote Your Page

Advertise. Do not rely on your Facebook profile alone. Facebook offers great deals to promote pages. Take advantage of this, especially if your business is new and your page has just been created. This is an effective way to entice people into clicking that link and going to your page. Grab every opportunity that you can to let people know that your page exists. Slowly, more people will start noticing.

What’s great about promoting on Facebook is that you get to see your stats, so that you can accurately gauge how your page is doing. This is real-time stats, so you will know right away when something is working and when you have to change strategies.

Internet Resources

When the Internet started, the most social interaction you could get was in the exchange of emails or on an newsgroup or IRC (Internet Relay Chat) room. But what it did was to connect people regardless of time and distance. It broke barriers of culture and differences with a speed that otherwise would have been impossible. And more importantly, it opened the world to a vast source of information easily accessible. The Internet has evolved with leaps and bounds. Communication and interaction has become faster and wider in reach. Facebook is the obvious choice for social media marketing for your business but what about your Twitter feed? Social media has become an essential, if not the most essential resource for everyone all over the world. In the developed world, the Social media online has become an important tool of managing almost all aspects of life. Even in the developing world, part of progress is Social media, with its populations making this platform a tool for business, and even pleasure. As time goes, our reliance on this technology will become even broader and wider in scope.

The Different Social media Resources

Social media has many and essential functions and uses. Depending on what you are using it for, there are quite a lot that you can use online for free. For more premium services, it usually does not cost an arm and a leg. The most common use of social media is of course that of communication. It is now easier to communicate online than over the telephone. Electronic mails are used more than regular postage and mail. Another face of Social media is as a use for Business. The internet apart from being a valuable source of information and communication, is also one big marketplace. Business and marketing potential abound now with the potential buying population equipped with technology hooked to the Internet.

Facebook

First on the list is Facebook. Facebook has been the game changer since its conception. No one can deny it that the social website has become the easiest way to communicate to anyone. It does not matter if you are in a coffee shop in the beaches of Penang or in a high rise in Manhattan, you can contact and connect with anyone as long as you have an Internet connection, and a device capable of doing so. Facebook is the obvious choice for social media marketing for your business.

Facebook Messenger

Second is Facebook Messenger. Facebook Messenger makes for an easy sharing platform for photographs, files, audio, website links, or even your location to anyone who is anywhere and at anytime of the day. What makes Facebook a communication tool of the century is the number of users who are on it. It is highly likely that everyone you know would have a Facebook account, and it is highly likely that they would be posting a photograph, a thought, an idea, or what have you. This opens the door for you or anyone to comment, to like, which takes communication to a different level.

Instagram

Third on the list is Instagram and followed by Snapchat and other social website and applications have also taken heed and have replaced the electronic mail. More and more folks turn to these applications that are a great tool for spreading the word about your business.

Snapchat

Both Instagram and Snapchat are platforms more favored by the younger and trendier set. Just like Instagram, you can use Snapchat’s great interface to reach a younger audience in order to spread the word about your business.

Google Drive

Fifth on the list is Google Drive, of course being part of Google. Google Drive belongs to the top list amongst business tools in social media. Every user gets a free 15 gigabyte worth of online storage. This you can easily share to a colleague who may not necessarily be in the same office as you through email or through Google Drive itself. The good old fashioned electronic mail remains to be an essential tool in even large multinational companies. Electronic mail is now regarded as good a document as a document on paper.

Yahoo

Similar to Google Drive, sixth on the list is Yahoo which has the same facility of file storage and sharing as well. Yahoo offers free gigabytes of online storage space. The beauty of these online tools is the mobility of it. Gone are the days of lugging around a heavy laptop computer or a briefcase full of paper documents.

Apple iCloud

Apple iCloud gives you the same mobility as Yahoo and you no longer have to lug around a large bag of files just to start filing using this online tool.

LinkedIn

Even job and career hunting has made its way on the Internet. If before, finding jobs meant browsing through newspapers or on Craigslist, today a career management application such as LinkedIn has changed the game. Eight on the list, LinkedIn allows you to post your profile with your competencies and career history and wait until a potential job hunter finds your profile. Job opportunities are also on site. What makes LinkedIn special is the attractive and professional interface of the application that makes online job hunting even more exciting. See this LinkedIn profile example here for some inspiration on setting up your own profile.

WordPress

If you are into writing or blogging, WordPress is more than worthy for your use. The easy interface and its popularity has made WordPress one of the most used blogging platforms online, and so it deserves its 9th place on the list.

YouTube

Lastly, YouTube is indeed worth mentioning. YouTube has millions of users and has been capable of turning ordinary people into overnight sensations worldwide, and it can do the same for your business.

indexThe web landscape has changed dramatically in the last 5 years. Participation in Social Media and Interactive Marketing is no longer revolutionary, it’s crucial. In 2015 and 2016, Vancouver companies with dedicated social media activity boosted sales by over 18%, while those with minimal or no presence saw a 6% decrease. Tourism based companies that provide whale watching and kayaking tours benefited the most. The shift in consumer mentality from recession to recovery required companies to adjust their strategies according to how customers make purchasing decisions.

Brand differentiation is key, and companies must be at the forefront in areas like social web, mobile apps and search engine optimization in order to create a distinguished customer experience. The simple truth is there is no magic one-size-fits-all marketing mix. iStrategy arms you with the deep understanding of aligning social media and digital strategy according to your organization’s processes and operations to achieve the objectives you seek. Contact us to network, share ideas, and most importantly find out how to build your marketing strategy to its fullest potential. Whether your business is big or small, we are here to help. (more…)

With more people utilising social media technologies such as Twitter, Foursquare and Facebook, it makes sense that established and emerging businesses are looking to leverage these technologies to reach and communicate with their target audiences.

In this post we take a look at the adoption of these social tools by Fortune 100 companies. From micro blogging to video syndication – we dive into the key statistics of these global companies and reveal how they are engaging with their customers using these social platforms.

Social Media Fortune 100 Statistics

Fortune 100 Social Media Statistics: key takeaways

  • 79% of the Fortune 100 are present and listening, using at least of one of the main social platforms to communicate with their customers.
  • 20% of Companies are using all four of the main social technologies (Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, and Blogs)
  • 82% of the Fortune 100 update and engage with customers on their Twitter account per week.
  • Fortune 100 Companies on average post 3.6 wall posts to their Facebook page per week
  • 50% of the Fortune 100 have a YouTube account and upload 10 videos on average a month

The above infographic and stats shows that the Fortune 100 are actively using these platforms to engage with their target demographics. The next step to engagement for these companies Location Based?

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Transforming the Enterprise with Digital Expertise

Participation in Social Media and Interactive Marketing is no longer revolutionary. It’s crucial.

In 2009, companies with dedicated social media activity boosted sales by over 18%, while those with minimal or no presence saw a 6% decrease. As 2010 marks a shift in consumer mentality from recession to recovery, companies must adjust their strategies according to how customers make purchasing decisions. Brand differentiation will be key, and companies must be at the forefront in areas like social web, mobile apps and SEO in order to create a distinguished customer experience.

iStrategy 2010 marks the next step in your digital marketing strategy. Here, you will learn:

  • The biggest trends in consumer spending online
  • Innovative technologies for communicating with customers and how to best implement them
  • The top 10 most important factors in your social media strategy
  • How to measure your social capital and monetize your efforts
  • Hot buttons to bring people to your web store front
  • How to find your best fit in integrating email and social media
  • How to deliver a response-driven, relevant message

The simple truth is that there is no magic one-size-fits-all marketing mix. iStrategy will arm you with the deep understanding of aligning social media and digital strategy according to your organization’s processes and operations to achieve the objectives you’re after. Join us in September to network, share ideas, and most importantly find out how to build your marketing strategy to its fullest potential.