Ethical And Unethical Ways Of Using Social Networking Websites As An Online Marketing Tool

Integrity is always important especially if you own and maintain a website. Unethical behavior in using social networking is rampant these days. This type of behavior could damage the integrity of your business and affect the potential for marketing your products or services. On the other hand, there are many methods you can use to market your website that are ethical.

Always respect the privacy of online users. Remember that social networking websites are composed of an actual community of internet users. So, if you are using social networking marketing, you become a member of that community. Your business may have a place in any community but you have no right to invade the privacy of people within the online community. Avoid spamming your friends on your social networking sites.

Online websites such as Facebook and Friendster are being used by various social network marketers to get internet traffic to their businesses. This can be done in an ethical way by directing people to an interesting blog article on your blog site, but spamming internet users using links or images directly to your business website is not ethical. That can eventually gets you banned by search engines and social networking sites.

Avoid spamming with your marketing advertisements for your business website.
Social networking websites are now vigilant on spamming patterns which are considered unethical practice as part of online marketing strategy. Honesty and professionalism with the online communities are very important.

When using social networking websites, always participate with integrity and honesty. First, you need to be a member to participate. You need to register yourself to groups which are relevant to your business. Make friends within the community and show to your co-members that you have expertise in a certain field which is related to your products and services.

The content that you publish on the social networking website must be good quality and relevant to the people on that site. Avoid being too pushy to the online community for your products or services. Avoid misleading information referencing your products or services. Criticizing your competitors is unethical.

Ethical practices in using social networking websites as a tool for online marketing have no specific guidelines; however, it is wise to seek at least some basic knowledge of on media law to know the potential risks for yourself and your business. Just google the term ‘media law’ and you’ll find plenty of good information.

By: cgardner123

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6 Ways To Measure Your Social Media Success

Social media, for some people, believe that the success it can bring isn’t measurable. However, if you believe this, then you’re listening to the wrong people.

There are actually several sites out there that can help you to determine your success, popularity and your competitor’s successes by way of social media.

Here are six sites that offer measureable means to your social media presences:

1. Daily Feedback: It’s easy to go into your Facebook account and take note of all your “likes,” over a period of time. However, to get a more accurate status of your “likes,” including your comments, Facebook offers a daily feedback feature.
You can find it here: Facebook.com/insights. It’s great to know how much feedback you are actually getting, and if you’re not getting as much as you’d like, you’ll now be able to see the actual numbers which may help you to develop a better social media plan.

2. Klout: Klout is beneficial for keeping up with your Twitter account. Klout will measure your tweets, followers, retweets, link clicks and so forth, to come up with how well you are utilizing Twitter as a social media site. Recently, they added a Facebook feature that helps to monitor that account as well, but is still more beneficial for your Twitter account.

3. PostRank: PostRank offers a free membership and a membership that is $15 a month. What it does, is it measures how well your blog is received and what methods of sharing are the most popular. It will take into account whether your comments, diggs, tweets and so on are the most beneficial to your blog. Furthermore, it can be connected to your Google Analytics account for a more detailed scoring of your blog. Similarly to Klout, PostRank provides an engagement score, which is an overall score of your comments, tweets, shares etc. combined. This is beneficial because you can see which of your blog posts have had the biggest impact.

4. Shared Voice: It’s definitely realistic to take into account how many times your products and promotions are mentioned through social media. But have you thought about considering how much your competitors are getting feedback and shares? There are three sites; Social Mention, Radian6 and ViralHeat. You can set up a “Share of Voice” report for the last 30 days, both of your business and your competitors and compare them. It accounts for all positive, neutral and negative responses you and your competitors may have received.

5. Volume Search: One of the most important aspects of measuring your business is not only by measuring your social media endeavors, but that combined with searches. Google offers a system called Google Insights which allows you to see if people are searching for your business and/or products. It also provides whether or not there is an increase of people searching for you, which may tell you whether or not your social media accounts are working for you. In 2009, a study provided by GroupM was performed that in conclusion, they found that consumers are 2.8 times more likely to visit your sites if they were exposed to your brand through social media first.

6. Link Tracking: Links are one of the most important things about having a successful business online. With that comes the tracking of where you posted links, who is linking your site from theirs and who is sharing your link on their own social media accounts. There are a few sites that will measure your link exposure. Those are Open Site, Explorer, and SEOmoz. They will allow you to track your links from Facebook, blogs, twitter etc.

Although, there is no magic number that will give you the exact measurement of your success via social media, these sites can definitely help and be beneficial. Additionally, with the sites mentioned above, and depending on what your business does and who you are trying to reach, you can certainly come to a conclusion on what sites and plans are best for your business.

By: dawntrenee

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Three Ways To Improve Sales Calls

You’ve got a hot prospect. You need a face-to-face opportunity to sell your product and services. So you stop by, without an appointment, hoping to make it past the receptionist and catch the decision maker in a rare unscheduled moment. “I was in the vicinity, and thought I’d just stop by to say hello.” Well, at least you tried.

Of course, there is a place for pleasantries and the social aspects of business, but let’s not confuse those with a sales call. Many salespeople focus on their own comfort area, on social calls and lunch dates – or the product pitch. And as a result, the sales process never gets off the ground. Before you try to meet with someone, you must ask yourself “What is the reason this person is meeting with me?”

At Miller Heiman we call it a Valid Business Reason. It gives the potential buyer a reason for spending time with you. Having a Valid Business Reason for every sales call, whether in person or on the phone, is the considerate way of doing business. It tells buyers, no matter how long you’ve known them, that you’ve given some thought to their current challenges and that you’re looking for solutions that are “valid” to them.

Top sales performers understand the challenges of their customers 21% better than the competition.
(Source: 2006 Miller Heiman Sales Performance Study)

What is a Valid Business Reason?
1. It’s Valid: It’s all about the customer. Valid to customers means it’s worth making time to hear about how you can help solve a problem that keeps them up at night.

2. It’s Business: Research shows that many sales calls are too general and unfocused to be useful to buyers or sellers. Do your homework and manage your selling time. Understand their business. What are their challenges? What are they trying to fix, accomplish or avoid?

3. It’s a Good Reason: Not your reason. The customer’s reason – for taking time out of a busy schedule for you, rather than spending it on other priorities. Tell the customer what you’d like to meet about and why you think this could be of value. It’s about solutions. How can your solution help what they want to fix, accomplish or avoid. You are specific, because you’ve done your homework.

Now, write it down in 25 words or less, so it can be left on a voice mail or with a receptionist. And remember, it’s always from the customer’s point of view.

By defining your Valid Business Reason, you’ll never again make a “cold call”. You’re doing strategic planning before every call – even the first visit to a new prospect. And your ability to get “face time” is improving dramatically.
For a deeper look, and to learn how to create winning Valid Business Reasons, the Miller Heiman Conceptual Selling® workshop shows you how to:
· Sell the way customers buy.
· Get beyond the product pitch.
· Reach decision makers.
· Sell a win-win solution.
· Craft winning Valid Business Reasons … that get you face to face.

These recommendations are based on Miller Heiman’s proven sales system. Our system provides a repeatable approach to use with every opportunity to close more deals, fast. If you’d like more information on this topic, or would like to discuss the results you’d like to improve, visit us at www.millerheiman.com and we’ll recommend a solution that will best address your needs.

By: Miller Heiman

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Using Social Media To Build Your Client Base

Social media networks started as ways for teens and college students to connect and provide updates to friends throughout the world. They have developed into important business tools for companies of all sizes. Businesses can use different social media for promotional purposes without spending a penny. These services can take an online business from relative anonymity to superstar status.

Twitter is a popular social network that involves publicizing short amounts of content. A business can sign up for a Twitter account and build followers who will see the business tweets on their main page. Promotion is more successful when the follower base is large. To attract followers on an ongoing basis, businesses should advertise their Twitter name when using other promotional efforts like online classified ads.

Facebook has become the king of social media sites and it has special components for businesses. A Facebook Fan page is easy to setup and populate with content like text, Web site links, images, and even event invitations. Facebook friends should be invited to become a fan of the page so they can receive regular updates from the business. This tool is much more effective than email and the interface looks more professional.

A blog is the ultimate social media tool because it is as unique as the business. Writing a blog keeps prospects and customers updated regarding product, service, and industry developments as well as news about the business. Readers can receive useful information straight from the person most qualified to provide it. The best bloggers write about themselves and relay customer stories, providing the business with a personality. This creates a bond between the business and its target audience.

Text content is no longer enough because if people wanted to read a book, they would. When they go online, they want to see color and interaction. Incorporating images and videos into the social media promotional efforts will be extremely lucrative. Unless a company can afford television advertising, where else can a customer actually see the business without leaving the easy chair?

When videos are incorporated onto a Web site or blog or posted on YouTube, there is a strong chance they will go viral. This is the dream of every business owner because it means that people worldwide will be viewing the information. Many of them may then visit the company Web site to learn more about what the organization has to offer.

By: Stacy OQuinn

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