5 Hashtag Tips

Twitter

You might have seen them all over the world on Twitter and just about every other social media network.  #Hashtags, those words that pop up now and again in tweets and all over Instagram and slowly but surely they are popping up on Facebook.

Hashtags are terms used so that if you search for that hashtag you will find tweets or pics or articles related to that topic.  So it can relate to anything from Events to Promotions to Pictures to Competitions to the list goes on and on.   You even find people having Twitter Chats with a certain hashtag. 

So how can you use a Hashtag for your Brand or Campaign?

Here are 5 tips to get you started:

Brainstorm

Sit down with your team and work on some names for that hashtag.  It has to be something catchy and easy on the eye.  Something that stands out and also something that is quick to type.  So you want something short and punchy.  Come up with 10 names.  See which one stands out for you.  Select the best 5.  Then select the best 3, then the best 1.

Check It Out

The first thing to do is to type that hashtag into the search box in Twitter and Google.  Does a similar hashtag appear?  If so time to go back to that list.   Once you have found one that is not taken move forward.

Add It To The Marketing

Once you have found one that works make sure the marketing team is informed.  Make sure it is added to all Adverts, Publicity and Press Releases.  Add it to Images and Social Media Accounts.  Make sure your clients know about it.

Events

If your hashtag is for an event or a conference make sure you use it during the event.  Make sure all those who come to the event can see it and are informed about it.  They will share it.  Remind the MC to tell everyone about the hashtag.  Ensure you have a Twitter Wall with that Hashtag. 

Track It

During the campaign make sure you have someone who tracks that hashtag.  See how it is used.  Learn from it and put that learning into your next hashtag campaign.


About Author

Fred Felton is a keynote speaker, social media consultant, author business analyst and website designer. Fred is also owner of Falcon’s Cove a digital media agency based in Umhlanga Rocks, South Africa. You can also find Fred on Twitter and Facebook.

5 Tips To Rise To The Top On Pinterest

Pinterest might be more important to your brand than you think!  More brands are recognizing the power and importance of a strong social media presence to convert to sales!!  Many major retailers are turning to Pinterest and not simply relying on Facebook. According to Sephora’s head of digital Julie Bornstein, Pinterest members spend 15 times more on the company’s products than Facebook fans.


Here are 5 EASY Tips that will help get your pins and boards noticed:


1. Create at least 24 Pinterest boards; which will give you 3 rows of board content. It may sound like a lot of boards, but once you get started, you will find it is easy to find topics.
2. Don’t just create content related to your business. Add some topical boards that will drive people to your boards such as celebrities, movies, food. Make them fun!
3. Make your images dynamic. Look for photos that are colorful and large. People are visual and you will get more likes, and repins of from those images.
4. Add fresh pins daily to your boards. You can look through the feed, do searches on Pinterest under key terms or find new content via google. The more you add, the more visibility you will gain.
5. Gain new Pinterest followers by liking pins that interest you and following others!! The more activity you create, the faster you will gain followers and visibility. (

Do you currently have a Pinterest account? Feel free to share a link to yours here as well as any tips you have found that have helped you convert your pins into sales!

Twitter Introduces Keyword Targeting In Timelines

This morning Twitter announced a new advertising feature for businesses. It allows advertisers to reach people who have tweeted specific keywords in their recent tweets . What does this mean for you?

If you are a business that sells golf equipment, your tweet can reach people that have an interest in golf or have recently tweeted about it. You can even more narrowly target your search with Geotargeting by city, state and country and gender which you can see here.

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Not sure that keyword targeting will be incredibly effective yet as it has limitations. Twitter doesn’t really currently target habits, interests, age groups, etc as Facebook advertising  is able to do through your profile information and posts to integrate it into their advertising platform.

Have you used Twitter in an advertising campaign? Would love to hear your thoughts!

5 To Do Apps Worth Having

Here are 5 worth looking at:

Evernote – https://evernote.com/

  • The ability to save anything from webpages to clips to photos to sounds
  • Evernote syncs each device so you are always updated
  • You can also research and work with friends on projects
  • You can plan for events
  • You can remember important things to do, dates, times and more
  • Includes powerful search functions

 

Teamly – http://new.teamly.com/home

  • Ability to download it from Google Chrome Web Store
  • Integrates with gmail or you can use it as an app
  • You can fill in  a daily to do list (I recommend 5 things)
  • Every day you get emailed a list of what your to do items were
  • Highly recommended.  Very simple and easy to use

 

Remember the Milkhttp://www.rememberthemilk.com/

  • As old as time this one
  • Available in just about every format on every device
  • Can also sync with gmail and integrate into it
  • A nice simple to do list
  • Also allows you to send to do reminders via Twitter DM just follow @rtm
  • http://www.rememberthemilk.com/services/twitter/

 

Wunderlist - https://www.wunderlist.com/#/login

  • If you are a design junkie then you will really appreciate the work that has gone into this to do list
  • Features beautiful clean design, wonderful backgrounds and fonts
  • Integrates with devices across all platforms and syncs from cloud storage

 

Do it  (Tomorrow) – http://tomorrow.do/

  • A wonderful little to do list which you can add to google chrome.  Very simple and beautiful to look at.
  • Superb design and sounds.  They think of everything.
  • The idea is to just put one or two things in it.
  • Aimed at people who love to procrastinate
  • Gives you the ability to just simply move things to Tomorrow.   Hence the name.

 

What is your favorite To Do App?

image from lifehacker.com


About Author

Fred Felton is a keynote speaker, social media consultant, author business analyst and website designer. Fred is also owner of Falcon’s Cove a digital media agency based in Umhlanga Rocks, South Africa. You can also find Fred on Twitter and Facebook.

5 Easy Tips for Maintaining Your Website

top 5 tips for website's good health

Building a website can be very time consuming and financially draining. So, you want to be sure that you have carefully thought out both what you are trying to convey on your site and that it is user friendly!

 

Top 5 Tips for Maintaining Your Website

1. No clear message as to who or what you are from visiting your home page. I cannot even tell you how many sites that I have visited where there is no visible clue as to what a company offers. You have perhaps 5-10 seconds to gain someone’s attention. You might have an amazing company, but if there is no visible benefit for the viewer, your opportunity will be missed!

2. There is no homepage link or it is broken. Be sure that you have a visible homepage link. The best advice is that it says “home.” If someone begins browsing through your site and wants to go back to your homepage, it must be easily accessible for them to return. Also, make sure that it works!!

3. Make sure that your site works on multiple browsers and MOBILE!!! Your site must be easily viewed on mobile networks as a significant percentage of your viewers will be checking your site from their cell phones.

4. Too much flash is not your friend! Flash can be an exciting feature to add to your website but, it is not seo friendly, can slow down your website and can actually detract from people viewing your website. A little is okay but don’t make your homepage all flash and no content!

5. Don’t allow your website go stale. This can happen when businesses are not web savvy or have very little interest in their website maintenance. Sometimes, products no longer exist, contact information changes, links are not working or worse yet, a website can go down! Even if your website does not require constant updating, it is important to check in frequently to make sure everything is up to date and working properly.

I hope that these tips will help you to keep your website running smoothly!!

Top 10 No-No’s on Twitter

Many people are just starting out in Social Media and have not had time to get acquainted with some of the most important rules and etiquette of Social Media. We think that when we join Twitter, we are going to have an EXPLOSION in business only to find out there is no easy way to do so. Twitter is simply a social media platform designed to give you the opportunity to gain visibility and make connections.

I have been involved with Social Media for about 4 years and am never surprised at what new spam and bad manners appear before me. There are obvious things that most people with common sense know is not allowed but there are also others that fall into those grey areas.

This is my top 10 list of things you do should not do on Twitter:

1.  Creating Drama on Twitter. Whether this ensues from becoming argumentative, or complaining about your life. Twitter is not for sharing your personal woes or becoming combative with other followers. Keep this offline as it will gain you a bad reputation and holds no positive value.

2.  Using Profanity in your profile or tweets. There really is no reason to use raunchy language unless you are trying to attract the same quality followers.

3.  Continually asking someone to follow you. There are many reasons that someone is not following you. Firstly, are you following them? I have had many people asking me for a follow that are not following me. What makes them so special? Also, perhaps they only follow those in their niche. If they are not following you, give them support by tweeting them and possibly they will recognize your value.

4.  Retweeting without checking out the list of people included in that tweet. Have you looked at their profile? Are they someone you would follow or want others to see you tweeting about? Be careful who you tweet!

5.  Being careless about whether you are direct messaging or tweeting. Be sure you are paying attention or you may tweet information that you are trying to keep private. It is not always possible to reverse what you have tweeted.

6.  Tweeting the same people too much. What is too much? If they stop responding, you will know. Some people love lots of attention and some are turned off by repetitive tweeting.

7.  Tweeting that you will have to unfollow them if they don’t follow you. It is their choice NOT to follow you. Sometimes they have overlooked you inadvertently and more often they just don’t want to follow you. Tweeting their content and building a relationship with them will gain their attention.

8   Over use of hashtags. It is so annoying to look at someone’s profile and see only hashtags with little description and no website address posted. Quality and content attract attention! Show everyone that you are someone they should follow and you will gain respect and followers! You should also not make your entire tweet a message of hashtags ##!

9   Overdosing in self-promotion. I tell people every day that succeeding on Twitter is about 80-90% promoting and supporting others and the rest you can allow for tweeting about your business. Too much about YOU becomes a negative and people will stop listening!

10  Don’t tweet your every move throughout the day. People really don’t care about your daily habits and lifestyle. Are you Kim Kardashian?? Okay, now you get my point. Keep it real, simple and professional! It is great to be friendly. Have a sense of humor, enthusiasm and passion in your tweets!

Marketing Best Practices


By Venus Fisher

Marketing plays an integral role in the success of any business. In today’s competitive environment, it is extremely important for businesses to stay ahead of their competition and create strategies to help them stand out. However; staying ahead of the competition is becoming increasingly challenging as customers are becoming more demanding and competitors more strategic.

With the recent economic uncertainty, business owners face huge challenges. For many businesses, it’s becoming harder and harder to compete; especially for those industries that are oversaturated with similar products and services. Here are three marketing best practices that will help businesses to succeed, even in tough times:

Create Value for Customers

What does it mean to create value for a customer? What a customer values most can differ from person to person. Companies try to create customer value by producing products and services that will benefit their customers. Due to the Internet and other emerging technologies, consumers are better able to educate themselves on products. People are conducting more product comparisons and research in an effort to maximize the return on their investment. They want the product that will deliver the most value for what they spend.

Profitable companies have one major thing in common—they are successful at growing their business. Providing value to their customers is top priority because they know that customer loyalty and satisfaction is the key to their company’s performance. Yet due to our economic climate, growing customer value has become less of a priority for many companies as cutting costs and rebuilding balance sheets has moved to the top of the list. Now is a fantastic time for businesses to create new and improved customer-centered strategies. Companies should seek to provide higher customer satisfaction than their competitors.

Build a High Brand Equity

A former CEO of McDonald’s™ once stated, “If every asset we own, every building, and every piece of equipment were destroyed in a terrible natural disaster, we would be able to borrow all of the money to replace it very quickly because of the value of our brand….The brand is more valuable than the totality of all these assets.” Brand equity is an intangible asset. Creating a strong brand is extremely important for businesses because brands have identities and they build confidence in customers.

Brands are also recognizable and they label a product. Customers are often willing to pay more for a brand that they are familiar with, and they believe delivers quality. Companies with strong brands, such as McDonald’s™, continue to attract customers and increase sales, even when “disaster” hits.

Utilize Smart Promotional Tactics

With the growth of technology, traditional methods of promotion may not be the most effective. A survey released by the Association of National Advertisers in 2006 showed that 78 percent of advertisers felt that advertising had become less effective.  There was also a separate study that showed that due to pre-recorded television shows more than 90 percent of commercials were skipped by viewers.

Internet marketing is no exception. Consumers often safeguard their computers with pop-up blockers and spam filters, making banner and pop up ads ineffective.

There are major factors that are altering the face of traditional marketing communications. It is important that businesses stay on top of trends and technological advancements. Companies that are successful are able to adapt and leverage these changes to their advantage. They are able to utilize tools such as, social media and the Internet to shape their promotional strategies.

If smart marketing tactics are implemented, businesses will not only capture customer value, but they will also attract, keep, and grow their customer base. They key is for companies to be strategic in their marketing approach.  While other companies are cutting back on their spending, a good best practice would be for a competing company to amplify their customer relationship management programs and activities; or increase their level of smart advertising and promotion. With sound marketing practices, businesses are more likely to rise above their competition and increase their market share.

Source:

Philip Kotler, G. A. (2010). Principles of Marketing. Upper Saddle River: Pearson.

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About the Author: Venus Fisher is an instructor at Rasmussen College – School of Business in Romeoville, IL college campus. In this role, she instructs students seeking a business degree. She has worked in the field of Business for over 12 years as an entrepreneur, marketing consultant, and manager. Venus Fisher also holds a MBA with a Marketing concentration from Roosevelt University. In addition to teaching courses, Venus serves as the Chair of the Romeoville Campus Learning and Teaching Committee and is a member of the Academic Assessment Committee at Rasmussen College.

Business Networking: 5 reasons why this could be a big, bad mistake!

business networking

As a home based business owner I’m sure you attend many networking events as a way to market and promote your business. You meet someone at a networking event exchange pleasantries and business cards. Then you race home to immediately add them to your email list.

Are you making this really bad mistake with your networking?

Networking offline and online is about building relationships. Adding someone to your list from an email you lifted off their business card will not help the relationship. This is especially true if you did not specifically get their permission to receive email messages from you. It has to be clear when they gave you their business card they were giving you permission. If not, simply don’t add them to your list.

Now don’t get me wrong I understand the power of a list and how a good list can bring you extraordinary income. Yet sometimes it takes only one email to your list to cause a problem.

Here are 5 very important issues you may not be aware of that may ruin your business simply by adding an email to your list without permission:

 

1. Your prospects may think you are a spammer

Even if you just met them they may not remember you or your newsletter may not be something they are interest in or a good fit. If someone repeatedly receives messages from you they did not request, they very well could mark each message they see as SPAM.

2. Your ISP may block your emails

If you are sending large amounts of email from your regular mail using Outlook or mail program from your internet service provider (Comcast, Verizon, etc) watch out. Your ISP has rules about sending the same email to large groups. They could block ALL your emails without you ever knowing there was an issue.

3. Your email marketing company can cancel your service

That’s right you may be violating their terms of service. The email marketing company has to protect the deliverability of messages for all customers. They have rules in place to monitor how often people mark your message as a spam and how many people opt-out.

4. Your big list may not mean big sales

If your purpose of adding people to your list is just to have a large list you may be disappointment. Having a large untargeted list may not bring you a large amount of sales. Keep

Business Networking: 5 reasons why this could be a big, bad mistake!

in mind when growing your network offline and online (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn) it’s about the quality not the quantity.

5. Your emails may be breaking the law

The CAN-SPAM Act, a law that sets the rules for commercial email, establishes requirements for commercial messages, gives recipients the right to have you stop emailing them, and spells out tough penalties for violations. If want to avoid these issues make sure prospects and connections request your information with a confirmed opt-in. Then make it easy for them to unsubscribe from your list with easy to find links. And most importantly make sure you are sending only relevant and valuable information.

Still not sure how to give your online and offline business an ‘unfair advantage’ without making this big, bad mistake? Then it’s time to find out hidden tricks and tips to “send your sales and lead generation through the roof!” If you want a blueprint for your website, your social media, and your overall web marketing strategy, >>go here<<

Photo courtesy: 1i23.com

Copyright © 2011 Rising Star Ideas, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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About The Author

 

Tonya R. Taylor, Your Savvy Online Business Builder, is dedicated to showing home based business owners savvy ways to build a BIG online presence that doesn’t suck! If you’re not sure how to use your website to make money, be more productive and globally promote your products and services online GrabYourFreeStarterKit.com.

social media sites

o Twitter http://Twitter.com/SavvyBizBuilder

o Facebook http://facebook.com/SavvyBizBuilder

o Google+ http://gplus.to/SavvyBizBuilder

o YouTube http://youtube.com/SavvyBizBuilder

o Linkedin http://www.linkedin.com/in/TonyaRTaylor

Why Should I Follow You on Twitter?

Twitter is an amazing place to promote yourself and your business. If you want to gain exposure and increase your network of friends and followers, Twitter can truly help you if you are willing to play by my rules of engagement!

Rules for keeping my interests and receiving a follow back:

Do not contact me if you are an Egghead!

One of my pet peeves is to have someone ask me to follow them if they are a faceless profile. If you are taking the time to create a profile, which obviously means you expect someone to notice you, then you need to add your photo or your business logo to your profile. I rarely follow anyone without a picture. It is very difficult to feel a connection to an egghead as well as not knowing who you are following!

Why should I follow you if you are not following me back?

Are you a superstar or celebrity?? Even if you are, if you do not follow me,  then you do not remain one of my valued follows! What is the purpose of a one-sided relationship? What value am I gaining from your enjoying the benefits of my tweets and being a part of my twitter follows? Simply put, if you don’t follow me then you get “unfollowed”!

Is your content worthy of my attention?

When you Tweet me, do you spam me with endless hashtags, profanity or “Bierber” post? Is your profile a sea of hashtags and nonsense?  Did you add a description in your profile to let me know if you are worthy of my follow. Show me that you have substance and get my attention with something that will help ME!!  Are you valuable to others around me in my Twittersphere??

Are you only promoting yourself?

If you are in my Twitter stream only posting tweets about yourself and never engaging, then what does this do for me. Do you rt me or your other followers. Are you only promoting YOUR business? Then what does this do for me? Why do I need to follow you? Do you have a core of faithful followers that you support? Are you tweeting and re-tweeting them??

So now that we have spent this time together, I will ask you once more…. Why should I follow you?

photo credit

Why You’re Not Making Money in Your Business

YES, I AM GOING THERE!

WHY? Because this is an issue I’m seeing entirely to much and it is time for the women who are experiencing lack in their business to take a look at what could be the problem and take the steps to correct it.

What gives me the right? Well, because I’ve been there. Early on in my online entrepreneurial journey, I was a self proclaimed “Women Entrepreneur” for a long time, not making any money.

I thought entering the World Wide Web would bring me almost instant success (I said almost, because I knew I wasn’t going to become rich over night…but sure it was going to be soon after)

I’m not ashamed to admit, I didn’t have a clue…at first. I had an opportunity, a few ideas and was positive, I was gonna get paid! But after months of barely making enough money to pay my web hosting, I had enough sense to see what I was doing…was SO NOT working.

What I see today with many women, some of them in my circle, is that they are not making any money, yet they continue to do the things that are NOT giving them the results they want.

If you want to be a women in business, making a generous profit that continues to increase month after month, you have to make some serious changes…PERIOD, starting with, (1) Changing your way of thinking, (2) Be willing to learn and/or invest in what it takes to “Get it Right” and (3) Be intentional and seriously, GET TO WORK!

Let’s Be Real… This thing called Entrepreneurship, is not easy. It takes a lot, and that’s why it is not a preferred choice for everyone. You have to be willing to give it your all…and then some, make sacrifices, and by no means can you give up.

What I discovered for myself, and from talking with those women who aren’t making money in their business, is that there are a few things that always arise and are key setbacks that prevent you from really experiencing an abundance in your business.

1. There is a lack of focus, clear direction and an actionable plan. For the most part, many women just simply don’t know what to do. They have no clue where to start or even how to start so they operate in spurts based on what they see others doing.

One week they are actively promoting their business, sharing and interacting online…then they disappear, only to resurface weeks later and repeat the cycle. There is no consistency so these women fall off the social radar and are rarely taken seriously.

2. The “Serial Entrepreneur”. Many of my Go-Getter sisters fall into this category and I totally support multiple streams of income…however, the problem here is with the women who are starting a new venture every other week and have yet to completely establish the previous business.

To be quit honest, these are the women who generally make the least amount of money, if any at all because they are often paying out, way more than what is coming in. With the different businesses they operate, they are often unable to discover and connect with a specific target market and in the process, reach only a very few.

3. Not committed to the full investment of time required. These are the women who have a clear goal and know what they have to do but are unable to dedicate the amount of time it takes to get it done. Because of this, they often go unnoticed even if they provide a remarkable product or service.

This woman may have other things going on in her life that keep her from being able to pursue her business in the manner in which she desires.

4. Making Excuses. This is another area many women fall into. Far to many excuses as to why they can’t start or grow their business. A lot of times it is because of a full-time job, or they are a single parent, or school or money…for some, these can be legit reasons BUT, there are lots of women who have the same things going on in their lives and still make it happen.

Most of the time, excuses are a disguise for fear. Fear of the “what if’s…”. As a lot of us do know, FEAR will stop anybody dead in their tracks and surly keep you paralyzed in your business.

Do you fall into any of these categories?

If so, I encourage you today to take a step back and reassess your situation. Acknowledge where you are falling short and determine the steps you need to take to move forward in prosperity.

It’s not easy, and we have all been in at least one, or some of these places at some point in our journey. The key to getting unstuck is to seek out the best support for you.

Connect with aNetwork Community of like-minded women for support.

Choose theeducational tools you need to help you become business savvy.

Consider investing in coaching to develop small business “know-how” and skills.

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Tamyka Washington is a wife, mother to six, Founder/CEO of TheCEOMamma Network, marketing consultant, coach and mentor. Tamyka empowers new and seasoned women entrepreneurs to business breakthrough by teaching how to utilize social media and network marketing to establish a credible brand and profitable business online. http://theceomamma.com