Twitter Applications as Marketing Tools

Social media and marketing methods have become an important part business success. Business owners are finding that services like Twitter can help to get the message out about their companies, connect them to their customers and clients and bolster their bottom lines with a higher ROI.

With Twitter’s increasing popularity come hundreds of tools and applications to help manage one’s tweets. If you are using Twitter for business, there are many applications that can be used as effective marketing tools.

Twitter applications allow you to track the links you share, schedule tweets, welcome new followers, organize and monitor your followers, offer coupons, the list goes on and on. We’ve sorted through the seemingly unending list of Twitter apps to bring you eighteen of our favorites.

TweetLater – Schedule tweets, track keywords, welcome new followers

TwitterContd – Gives you more than 140 characters, upload photos, shorten URLs

Tweepler – Organize your followers

Monitter – Monitor keywords on Twitter

TwitterMass – Enables you to connect and communicate with your target audience

TwitterToolbar – Giving you access to a variety of tools & resources

TwitThis – Add a TwitThis button to your website or blog so visitors can easily tweet about your company

TweetBurner – Track links you share

Trendistic – See the trending topics on Twitter

CoTweet – Platform that aids companies in reaching customers, multiple accounts and users

Twitoria – Reduce Twitter’s clutter by revealing friends that haven’t posted in a while or track down spammers

Twiggit – Updates your Twitter status with your latest Diggs

BubbleTweet – Add a video welcome to your Twitter page

Twitter Gallery – Free Twitter backgrounds and themes

TwitPic – Share photos on Twitter

twtQpon – Enhance your marketing by offering coupons to your followers

TwitterHawk – Targeted marketing that will find people tweeting about a chosen topic and location

TweetBeep – Keep track of conversations that mention you, your products, and your company

Why You Should Launch Your Own Affiliate Program

What if there was a way to reach more potential customers in a shorter amount of time?
And what if you could spend more time focusing on your actual business rather than
trying to market it? What if you could make more money by spending less? Well, there is
a way, you can and you will!

By launching your own affiliate marketing program you will have the opportunity to
reach a greater audience and grow your customer base through a well-equipped team of
affiliate marketers. You can’t possibly reach your entire market on your own, but you can
certainly reach a greater percentage through the help of affiliate marketers who work for
you. Their goal is to sell your business and your product while you focus your efforts on
what’s really important like creating your product, maintaining client relationships and
building relationships with industry peers.

An affiliate marketing program is a cost-effective, reliable way for your business to
achieve exponential growth that can only occur when you have a dedicated team working
for you. And the best part is, it requires little to no investment at all. You will need to
purchase a quality affiliate management program, but other than initial start-up costs
(which are minimal) you only stand to make money. A well managed, well executed
affiliate marketing program is not only a great business tool, it is a great way to bring in
additional revenue and grow your business beyond what you have ever imagined.

A Dead Simple Follow-Up Idea!

I just thought about something concerning my last post.

I’m going to give you a ‘nudge’ in the right direction that could easily bring in an extra $500 to $5000 per month, if you don’t mind some old fashioned hustling.

Let’s say you purchase the “Developers” license (available as an upsell) for something like this software I mentioned.

Here’s a quick way to make that investment pay for itself in spades…

Pick a popular offline niche. let’s say something like “dentists” or even “realtors”.

Now you setup a WordPress blog, install the plugin and add some related content.

You don’t even need to write it yourself. This is where you just pick up some PLR or special reports with resale rights to use as content & incentives.

Then you turn around and call on 10 businesses in the phone book or just take a walk around your local business district and show them what you’ve got.

It’s easy, you don’t have to explain the whole thing…

Just get them to visit the site, enter their name and email address and click the “submit” button that will give them the free referral link.

On that same page, you’ll see a couple of social media buttons.

Just tell the guy with the credit card/check book to share it to his Facebook page or Twitter/LinkedIn account and let him watch how the message spread virally when he checks his stats the next day**.

(**This gives you an excuse to follow-up)

Then offer to turn the site over to him for “$xxx,xx”.

(Don’t forget to offer upsells like personalizing the site, signing them up for an autoresponder account or whatever else they might need to get the most out of their new viral referral system.)

How much do you think you could make by setting up viral lead-generation sites like these for offline niche businesses?

Businesses in the offline world live or die by referrals.  You can be their hero and make some stress-free cash with just a couple of hours setting this up.

PS — Don’t forget about the power of simply hiring some college kids to actually run this thing for you like a business.  It’s ridiculously simple to setup these sites and kids are more than willing to go calling door to door for some spending cash.

Adding a Podcast to Your Blog for Wider Impact

Some people like listening to ideas more than they like reading about ideas. If you add a podcast to your blog you can create a wider impact due to that reason. Some people are visual learners and some are audio learners. That’s another reason why repurposing content works so well. Giving your audience a multitude of ways to digest your information will go a long way to creating success for you.

You can offer your audience a way to listen to each blog post, rather than just read it. Kendall SummerHawk does a great job of doing that for every blog post she publishes.

You can do this in a variety of ways from creating the podcast first and having your VA transcribe it, to writing it first, then reading it for the podcast. Plugins such as podPress, Blubrry PowerPress, Post by Voice, work to put your recording on your blog easily and in the right format. You can also make your podcast available to iTunes for another way to attract more people to your blog.

Develop More Trust

Adding a podcast to your blog is an inexpensive way to get more results from the work you are already putting in on your excellent blog posts. Podcasting will grow your influence and help develop trust with your audience. There is just something special about hearing your voice that will make your audience trust you more. It makes the blogger seem more like a real person, a person whom they can trust.

Expand Your Audience

You can widen your own knowledge and that of your audience by using your podcast to interview other people. Doing one interview can offer you at least a dozen ideas for future blog posts. This works especially well if you’re getting stuck for content ideas. By opening up your mind to other people’s input you’ll open up an avalanche of creativity that you may not have tapped into otherwise. Plus, you will immediately expand your audience to the interviewee’s audience.

It’s Inexpensive

Podcasting is a super inexpensive way to add something new and interesting to your blog. Your audience will appreciate being able to put on their earphones and listen while they are doing other activities, or download it to their iTunes and listen while they are out for a jog. People like to multitask today, never sitting down and focusing on just one thing, listening to podcasts is popular due to this reason.

A podcast could be what you need on your blog to add new life. Why not download a plugin, and give it a try starting with adding a podcast to the blog posts you already have? See how it energizes your blogging, and gives you new ideas of content that you may not have previously considered.

What is List Building and Why Should I Do It?

Email lists are a tried and true way of marketing your products and services to many people at once. It’s an easy way to get the word out about a sale, an event, product updates, etc.. to as many people at one time as possible. Essentially, it’s a database of your clients’, potential clients’, and interested parties’ email addresses.

In order to build up a large number of people on your email list it is important to do some marketing that is focused on building up the list. There are a lot of ways to do this such as:

* Pay per click marketing — You bid on keywords to promote your advertisement and when someone clicks on it, they click through to a special landing page that you made for them in which they then, hopefully sign up for your email list.
* Online contests — You play a game in which a prize or prizes are given to winners of the game. To play the game, participants must enter their email address, which signs them up for your email list.
* Freebies and giveaways — You offer a free eBook or eReport in exchange for the target’s email address, which signs them up for your email list.
* Making a sale — By making a sale, everyone who buys is and should be automatically entered into your email database as a current customer.

Now that you know the various ways to build your list, why should you do it? The fact is, email marketing, no matter the strides social media has taken the last few years, is still the very best way in which to market your services. Not only that, if you ever want to sell your business, having a large and responsive email list is a huge component in being able to demand a higher price!

By having an email list you’ll be able to sell your products and services to your audience. This is not SPAM. So many people worry that having an email list, and then sending them emails is the same thing as SPAM but it’s not. If you sign up to received something, technically it is not SPAM. If you sign up to receive something, and you get something awesome, then you’re going to be more likely to purchase from them than the next unknown entity. Therefore, you want to build your email list so you can show them how awesome you are, and make lots of sales.

The great thing about an email list is that pretty much any time you want to, you can give yourself a raise. You can promote a product or service via your email list, and if you’ve done the work to build your list full of your target audience, you’ll make sales. Maybe you want to use your email list to ask something else of your audience, guess what you, you can do that too. You have a huge audience that you can activate at a moment’s notice.

Another awesome fact about having a solid email list is that it will also increase your website stats if you promote each new blog post or podcast to your audience. We all need reminders, and by using the email list as a way to remind your readers about your new post, you’ll get more readers, more commenters, and if each post you make has a call to action, more action. If you want more traffic and more sales, the email list is the best way to do it.

Consider having an online contest today to promote email list sign ups. You won’t be sorry that you did it.

Market Segmentation Never Goes Out of Style

Email marketing is a very important part of your overall online marketing strategy. When it comes to email marketing, one of the most important things you can do to improve response rates is to segment your list. If you don’t segment yet, keep reading to discover how and why you should be segmenting your email marketing lists.

You have to remember that while your over all target audience shares certain characteristics they’re not really all the same people. Your customers will have similarities but they need to be segmented based on differences and actions. When you can segment your customers and potential customers better your email marketing content will become more relevant to them and you will improve your results because people like feeling important and as if each email is sent just for them.

The first step to segmenting your email list is to create buyer personas. You can start with the simple fact that some of your email list subscribers are already customers and some aren’t. Make that your first important segmentation. No one wants to get emails over and over again to buy something they already own. Those who have not purchased yet don’t need to get emails asking them how they enjoyed the service or product that they’ve not bought. After that, you can come up with other ways to segment your audience such as who clicked through, who opened, who responded — or not. Testing out various ways to segment your list is an important part of finding out what works best for your situation.

By keeping in mind that your email list consists of people who are at different points in your product funnel you will be able to create more relevant and impactful email marketing messages. You will know for instance, that you are speaking to someone who has purchased product A and now you want them to purchase product B. Your email to them will be completely different than your email to the segment who has not purchased A but instead purchased B.

Segmentation will automatically give your list subscribers a better overall feeling about you. Sending targeted, relevant email to your list subscribers gets easier when you’ve segmented them in strategic ways. All your copy will be much more relevant and focused when you know exactly who the people on a particular list. You know they have or have not made a purchase, and you know they have or have not taken various actions based on previous emails. Most importantly, when the customer or potential customer reads the email they will feel as if it’s more relevant and their estimation of you will go up. Their trust of you will go up each time they receive a targeted, relevant email.

Research shows that market segmentation within email lists is an important component that improves return on investment exponentially. You’ll experience higher open rates, more clicks, higher transaction rates, and more involvement with your market when you learn how to segment so that you can send more relevant and focused email marketing messages to them. What’s more, if you start segmenting, you’ll be ahead of the game since most email marketers don’t bother.

Separating Personal from Professional on Social Media

Social media is used both professionally and privately. People use it for sharing news about grandchildren, personal milestones, and to market their business. It’s easy to start off with good intentions to keep your personal social media separate from your business social media, and then have it all somehow go awry.

Personal friends follow your business account, and business associates follow your personal accounts. Before you know it you have a hodgepodge of followers on each account, and you get off track with your message on both. Next thing you know, you say something on your personal Facebook page that insults and offends your business acquaintances. Or, your friends get irritated with your constant business promotions.

If you’ve already mixed things up, it’s time to separate your accounts and clean things up. Announce to your friends as well as your business acquaintances that you want to separate personal from professional because you value their time and respect them as individuals. It’s probably okay if your friends want to keep following your business, but unless you’re positive you’re really friends with business associates its best not to mix business with pleasure.

This is especially true if you happen to involve yourself on a personal level with the three things that should not be spoken about in mixed company: Religion, Politics and Money. It may seem fun to engage in friendly debate, but with some people it could severely damage your reputation. It could hurt your business. Let’s be frank, there are people who won’t do business with those who disagree with them on these three topics. It may not be right, but it’s a fact.

To protect your business either do not participate in these debates on social media at all or at least try to keep them very separate. Start with creating separate accounts for each of your social media accounts that you wish to use for both personal and professional reasons. When posting on your business accounts ask yourself whether or not your post aligns with your business goals and your target audience.

Create a social media marketing plan for your business related social media accounts so that you’re not tempted to post about the last time your child went tee-tee. Every post you make on social media in relation to your business should have a focus and a call to action. If you don’t have a reason for making a post then it’s best that you don’t make it.

One thing great about having separate accounts is that you can be freer on your other social media as long as it’s the type of account where you can block people, as well as block search engines. Because, remember that people will Google you. People who want to do business with you or hire you for a project typically search on Twitter and Facebook too. If they can find you, and see things that they don’t like, no matter how good you are in your business they make not choose you.

Take Advantage of Facebook Timeline to Boost Your Visibility

Many businesses are not taking full benefit of Facebook’s cover page and timeline features. However, there is more opportunity there to drive more traffic to your website than ever before. Instead of just doing your regular status updates, try using some of these tips to give your page a boost in both traffic and image.

1. Change your cover photo often

Each time you change your cover, an update appears in your timeline. Your followers see that in their newsfeed and are more likely to click it to see what has changed. If you keep your images interesting they’ll be eager to see what’s new. Some ideas include sharing images from customers, collages of products, a funny photo, or a dramatic representation. Think about it. Some people go daily to the Google search page just to see how they’ve redesigned the Google image for that day. Also, the more you show up in their newsfeed, the more likely they are to visit your page.

2. Use the “pin-to-top” feature regularly

You can pin your most important posts to the top of your timeline every day. Whenever you have a special offer or event you want to promote, make sure you have it pinned at the top where visitors can see it.

3. Share images as much as possible

Statistics show that people share images more than text. Try using a mix of your own images and those from other interesting sites. Ask customers to upload or share their own as well. You could even have a contest where followers upload their favorite product images and see who gets the most likes.

4. Add items to your historical timeline periodically

Every time you add an event to your historical timeline those updates will also show up in followerss news feeds. Just don’t update your history all at once and flood their feeds. They won’t thank you for it and may just “unlike” you.

5. Avoid using third-party publishing platforms for your posting

With some of these outside posting services, the share button will not show up on your post. That defeats the whole point of using a social network! It’s okay to post a few things automatically, but do the bulk of it directly on Facebook

If you’re not making the most of Facebook’s Timeline at the moment, consider using some of these tips to drive more traffic to your page and ultimately to your site. At the very least, make sure you update your cover image!

Creating Boards That Get Attention

Business owners are getting on Pinterest in order to get attention, add interest and build their brands. But, you can’t just do whatever you want without direction and expect to get great results from your Pinterest marketing efforts. Like with any marketing endeavor, it’s important to come up with a real Pinterest marketing plan. Truly give some thought to each board you create, and each pin you put in a specific board.

Like with blogging content, or article marketing, each board should have it’s on purpose. For instance, just like you create “how to” articles, you can create “how to” boards. Just like you create educational articles and blog posts, you can create a board to educate viewers about your brand. Want answers from your target audience, you usually create a blog post or a survey to ask questions. You can do all this and more with Pinterest boards that each have their own direction and theme.

As people jump on the Pinterest bandwagon some brands are getting lost because they rush in without a thought-out plan. By creating a plan in advance, you’ll be able to create more effective boards that truly command attention. The truth is, right now nothing matches the possibilities for increasing your brand’s awareness. Pinterest is growing fast, and with the advent of Pinterest business accounts, more tools and uses will soon become available.

To create boards that get attention follow these tips:

Like goes with like — This is something you teach children at very young ages when you teach them to put away their toys. Blocks go with blocks, dolls with dolls, trucks with trucks and so forth. Same idea with Pinterest boards. Each board should have a common theme.

Caption boards with keywords — Consider the words your audience might use to search for the board you’re going to create and caption it with these keywords. Using keywords will make it easier for your audience to find the important information you will be putting on your Pinterest boards.

Create multiple boards — Each board should be focused but create many. You can have boards for many different categories. You might consider have a board for each category you have on your blog, for instance. Shoot for 20 to 30 focused boards with 10 to 15 relevant pins on each one.

Stay within your niche — If you’re a dentist, don’t create boards for podiatry. Stay within your own niche. Yes, it’s okay to share information with your audience that they’d be interested in outside of your area, however make sure it is compatible. For instance, going back to the dentist idea, you might share information about the dangers of tooth lightening or the issues with high alcohol mouth washes and the connection to cancer.

Optimize your boards — You can move around your boards so that relevant boards show during different seasons. Remember to pay attention to how the eye sees your Pinterest. Put the most relevant toward the top, the most beautiful and visual in the center, and the rest just put in order of importance. You can change this around as seasons change and to bring focus to other boards.

Be social with others — Don’t forget that at its core Pinterest is social media. By definition that means that you should interact with others by sharing your content. Search for and follow people whom you believe are your target audience. Being strategic with whom you follow and with whom you share is a very important aspect of using Pinterest in the most optimal way to promote your business.

Now that you know how to create boards that get attention you can use Pinterest in the most strategic way possible to increase brand awareness for your business. And while it goes without saying, I’m going to say it anyway, create a business Pinterest account and don’t just use your personal one for this purpose.

Consistency is the Key to Blogging

When creating your business blog, consistency is the key to keeping readers coming back time and again. Your readers will come to know you by your brand, your writing style and even the colors and fonts you use. Therefore, maintaining consistency throughout your blog is something you want to make a practice of.

Before creating your blog, if you haven’t done so already, think about what colors and font styles you are going to use. You want your business blog to flow with your business website, so using colors and styles from there would be your best option. If you don’t have a website for your business, then use colors and styles in your logo or from something that customers will recognize as your business. Also, if you have a logo for your business, be sure to use it on your business blog.

If you already have a business blog up and running, but feel it is “noisy” or there are too many colors and font choices, choose 2 to 3 colors to use throughout and then choose only one or two font styles at the most. Having too many colors and fonts can appear cluttered and your readers will soon lose interest because they will feel overwhelmed by all the busy-ness.

Consistency is not only in the appearance of your blog, but in the content as well. When you are creating posts for your business blog, they need to be geared toward your products, services and your business. Your writing style should always be consistent. Its okay to put some personal flair in your posts, but the main content should be professional.

If you use a ghostwriter to write your blog content, be sure to use only one or two, otherwise you may end up with too many writing styles and your readers may pick up on the fact you use ghostwriters. There is nothing wrong with using a ghostwriter, just be sure they are consistent and produce the kind of content you would if you were actually doing the writing.

When you are consistent on your business blog, your customers will come to trust you because consistency shows reliability and when your readers know they can rely on you, they will buy from you.