Three Common Social Media Mistakes To Avoid

Posted in Networking Strategy, Social Media with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 13, 2011 by The Ibis Network

Doing something well requires practice. And practice requires patience. After all, it’s going to take a while to get good at whatever it is and, in the meantime, you’ll have to grow accustomed to the feeling of failure. The same goes for starting a social-media campaign. There’s no reason to expect you’ll have more fans than Oprah within a week of setting up your first account. Take your time and don’t get discouraged.

To help you get started, here are a few common mistakes to avoid …

Keeping Quiet: It’s easy to fall into the trap of only promoting your social network while you’re online. But driving traffic to your sites means getting the word out. Even offline. If you’re keeping a blog, talk about it as much as possible. Ask clients to visit. Ask your friends to visit. Mention it in meetings and at industry events and anywhere else you’re in contact with potential readers that fit your target audience.

Doing Too Much: Once you’ve got yourself registered on your social network of choice, it’s tempting to start following and friending every page, profile, and person you come across. And, while it is a good idea to connect with industry and community contacts, clients, and potential referral partners, building your network requires some focus. If you find yourself following 500 people on Twitter and the majority of them are your favorite actors, actresses, singers, and athletes, you’re likely not going to see any benefit to your business. You’re also never going to be able to locate your actual contacts through the mess of tweets filling your inbox.

Giving Up: There as many cliches about practice making perfect as there are reasons to keep with it. Sure, at first, it’s a struggle to find the time or the content or the purpose behind your social-media efforts. But with a bit of focus, and a commitment to engaging and interacting with your online network, the benefits will come. Don’t fill out your profile, let it sit for a month, and then proclaim the Internet a waste of your marketing efforts. If at first you don’t succeed …

More tips from The Ibis Network here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

Content Creation or How To Put The Media in Your Social-Media Campaign

Posted in Networking Strategy, Social Media with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 5, 2011 by The Ibis Network

Fortunately, all you need to know about social media is contained right in its name. It’s social, meaning you’ll have to participate and engage your community. And it’s media, meaning it’s a form of communication no different than a radio or television station. The difference is it’s your radio or television station. And that’s where it gets confusing. Content creation is the key to a successful social-media campaign. It’s also what leaves the Internet littered with abandoned Facebook pages and tweet-free Twitter accounts.

Here are some tips for creating content that will attract an audience and build your business …

Know Your Audience: Whether you’ve setup a blog, a Facebook fan page, or a Twitter account, you’ll need content. But before you post anything, think of your audience. Consumers use the Internet to educate themselves before making a decision. Therefore, if your content educates and informs, you’re likely to gain trust and build an audience. Use what you know to your advantage. Think of questions your clients frequently ask and use the answers to form blog posts. Use industry news and events to explain and entertain. Ask a question or offer an opinion. Take a poll and turn the results into an additional post.

Know Your Keywords: You can find plenty of advice online about including keywords in headlines, posts, tags, and categories. And it’s true that search engines will catalog your content based on the words it finds in your posts. But there’s an easier way to think of it. After all, if you concentrate your efforts on including a list of keywords, your content will read like poorly executed Mad Libs. In the end, if you’re posting content that is relevant to your industry or community, your keywords will occur naturally. In other words, if you’re in the mortgage business, post content about the mortgage industry and you’re more likely to end up in front of someone looking to refinance their home. If you write about your family picnic, you’ll end up more popular with family-picnic aficionados than potential business connections.

Know Where To Broadcast: After you’ve got a plan and created some content, you have to promote it. After all, even NBC still promotes its product and you likely don’t have the same name recognition. So once you’ve got something to share, think of where you’d like to post it. A Facebook fan page, for example, is a more appropriate vehicle for business-related content than your personal account. Syndicate your content to all of your appropriate profiles and/or blogs and then post it in relevant groups and forums within your social network. The more you share your content, the more likely you’ll grow an audience, generate leads, and meet potential clients.

More tips from The Ibis Network here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

The Ibis Network /

The Top Business Benefits of Social Media Marketing

Posted in Networking Strategy, Social Media with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 31, 2011 by The Ibis Network

If your idea of social networking involves a handshake and a business card, it’s time to upgrade your marketing efforts. The surging popularity of social-media sites has changed the way businesses interact with their customer base and market their services. Increasingly, businesses turn to blogs and sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to generate leads, gain exposure, and brand their business. And recent surveys show social media’s use is expanding, along with its effectiveness.

Here are the top three business benefits of social-media marketing …

Exposure: According to the 2010 Social Media Marketing Industry Report, 85 percent of surveyed businesses said their social-media efforts had generated additional exposure for their business and led to improved web traffic. In a separate survey, companies that blog reported 55 percent more website visitors and 97 percent more inbound links than companies that didn’t.

Relationships and Referrals: Social media makes forming one-on-one relationships with your customers and clients easier than ever. Keeping a blog and regularly updated social-media sites creates exposure for you and your business, but it also forms an existing community of people you’ve done business with. And staying in touch and participating with your online community can lead to an increase in referrals. After all, if a potential client visits your Facebook or Twitter page and its filled with glowing reviews from satisfied customers, it will likely have a positive influence when deciding whether or not to do business with you.

Lead Generation: Among 752 recently surveyed small-business owners, 57 percent said lead generation was the top benefit of social-media marketing. And that number is growing. Small-business owners that said Facebook was somewhat or very beneficial to their business rose to 55 percent from 33.2 percent the year before, while Twitter and LinkedIn also saw significant gains. In other words, the popularity and effectiveness of social-media marketing continues to grow, as does the power to generate real-life leads from your online efforts.

More tips from The Ibis Network here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

The Ibis Network /

Twitter for Business: Learning To Listen Before You Tweet

Posted in Free Training, Marketing, Mortgage Professionals, Networking Strategy, Realtors, Social Media, Twitter with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 23, 2011 by The Ibis Network

Nobody ever mistook a bird watcher for an athlete. Which is a way of saying, observation doesn’t take any physical effort and can, if you’re a bird watcher, teach you a lot about birds. Twitter is no different. Taking some time to find, follow, and observe people in your industry and community, can better your business while building it.

Here are some tips for using Twitter when you have nothing to tweet …

Research: Search out other professionals in your industry using Twitter’s search function. Have a look at how they’re using their account. If nothing else, you may stumble upon an idea that you can use to make your tweets more effective. Follow the most successful Twitter pages you find, then watch and observe. Repeat as necessary.

Organize: Twitter tools, such as TweetDeck, allow users to set search terms and receive updates in real-time. In other words, if you sell houses in Santa Fe, you can monitor any activity on Twitter that has to do with real estate in Santa Fe. Then join the discussion. You can also use Twitter Lists to organize the accounts you’d like to follow based on any criteria you’d like. Create separate lists for community contacts and industry leaders and you’ll be able to quickly check what’s being said about your town and your industry without having to sift through hundreds of tweets.

Engage: Once you’ve made some contacts and developed a strategy, it’s time to participate. You can learn a lot from observation but you won’t generate any leads unless you engage. Twitter provides an informal way to communicate with just about anyone. Ask questions, leave comments, and re-tweet any interesting information you find along the way. You may find a Twitter-based conversation leads to a real-world referral partner or potential client.

More Twitter tips from The Ibis Network here, here, here and here.

The Ibis Network /

The Basics: A Beginner’s Guide To Social-Media Strategy

Posted in Active Rain, Blogging, Blogs, Facebook, Free Training, Linked In, Marketing, Mortgage Professionals, Networking Strategy, Realtors, Social Media, Twitter with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 16, 2011 by The Ibis Network

Think of setting up social-media profiles the same way you would buying a phone. Sure, finding the phone that best fits your needs is important. But after that, you wouldn’t, for example, expect to get any calls without giving out the number. And you wouldn’t return the phone if it didn’t make calls for you. And you certainly wouldn’t expect that, when you did call someone, the phone would do the talking for you.

In other words, too many businesses sign up for a Facebook page or Twitter account and expect the wonders of the Internet to do the rest. Social-media is nothing more than a form of communication, no different than your telephone. And, like a telephone, having something to say is ultimately more important than the fact that you have a phone. Your content, ultimately, will determine whether your pages will be productive or passed over.

After that, here are a few other things to consider …

Where And How: Choosing where to concentrate your social-media efforts can be confusing. Ultimately, though, choosing an online community that fits your business needs is more important than signing up for the most popular site or the one with the most name recognition. In other words, the channel you use to broadcast your message isn’t as important as the message you broadcast. Once you’ve found a site to join, spend some time learning how its users interact. Learn “best practices” and abide by them. It is a community, after all. Don’t be the obnoxious new neighbor.

Plan With Perspective: Once you’ve registered and set up a profile, think about how you’ll use it and what to expect. An online profile is not an advertisement and you shouldn’t expect to promote your services and be able to sit back while tracking your success. It’s about communication. Shameless promotion is about as welcome online as a telemarketer’s phone call is during the dinner hour. Produce informative, educational, or entertaining content and chances are you’ll attract an audience.

Publish And Distribute: Now that you’ve got some profiles online, a plan for how you’d like to use them, and some content to share, it’s time to syndicate. Say you have a blog, a Facebook fan page, and a Twitter account but don’t have the time to log in to each every time you have something to post. Most of the major social-media sites now offer applications that interlink your network and automatically share your content. Which means, any time you post to your blog, your social-media sites will also be updated, increasing your chances of building an audience for your information across your social network.

More tips from The Ibis Network here, here, here, here, and here, here, and here.

The Ibis Network /

Three Strategies For Getting Your Facebook Fan Page Found

Posted in Facebook, Free Training, Marketing, Mortgage Professionals, Networking Strategy, Realtors, Social Media with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 9, 2011 by The Ibis Network

By now, if you haven’t heard of Facebook, it’s likely because you’re still busy trying to program your VCR or you have a Victrola that needs cranking. Which is to say, it’s everywhere. But how does a professional use Facebook to build their business, generate leads, and meet potential clients? First, you have to set up a fan page for your businesses or brand. After that, you have to get the word out. The page won’t do the work for you. So here are some tips on finding an audience and keeping their interest …

Give it a Proper Name: Sure, it seems easy enough but choosing a smart name might mean something entirely different to you than it does to a search engine. The best name to use, if you’d like to be found more often in searches, is the exact name of your business. Using clever phrases or your web domain may seem like a good way to separate yourself from Facebook’s 500 million active users, but more often than not it’ll make you less likely to be found by the very people you’re trying to attract.

Promote Your Page: Like anything else, if you want people to know about something, you have to tell them. So take advantage of Facebook’s widgets and badges and add links to your page on your business website, your blog, and anywhere else you can think of. The more opportunities you create to promote your page, the more likely you’ll have a burgeoning fan base before long.

Advertise: Facebook offers an advertising platform that allows you to buy a simple ad that you can target by location, age, or interests. That means, your ad appears before exactly the audience you want to attract. It’s not free, but if you’re serious about building your fan page, it’s a good way to start adding fans that aren’t in your family or social circle.

More Facebook tips from The Ibis Network here and here.

The Ibis Network /

The Basics: LinkedIn Tips for Realtors and Mortgage Professionals

Posted in Linked In, Marketing, Mortgage Professionals, Networking Strategy, Realtors, Social Media with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 2, 2011 by The Ibis Network

LinkedIn claims to register a new member every second. Which means, in the few minutes it’ll take to set up a profile on the popular social-networking site, there will be hundreds of new prospective partners, customers, clients, and connections available to you. In other words, if you’re looking to take your business online or just looking for another opportunity to meet people and market your services, LinkedIn offers plenty of professionals and potential business to the social-media minded mortgage or real-estate professional.

Here are some tips to building a more productive profile …

Write a Summary: Writing a short professional bio will not only help visitors to your page learn more about you, your business, and your services, it’ll help visitors find your page to begin with. In other words, make sure to use the terms you’d hope people would use to find you. If you’re in the mortgage industry, say so. If you’re in Atlanta, add that. But, if you write about how much you love the outdoors, don’t be surprised when you’re contacted about fishing gear. Keep it professional and focus on your target audience.

Have a Goal: Decide what it is you want to accomplish with your LinkedIn profile and focus your efforts on that. Connecting with former co-workers and friends is fine but it won’t generate any interest in your business. If you logged on to meet other professionals in your industry or community, then search for and join relevant regional and industry-related groups to make more productive connections and generate potential business down the road. Remember, though, it’s about communication.

Use Applications: LinkedIn offers a number of applications that allow you to share everything from your reading list to your most recent blog posts. They’ll fill out your profile and can help drive traffic to your other pages, blogs, and websites.

Be Strategic: Once you’ve set up a page and joined some groups, develop some content, discussion topics, or questions to share. Then think strategically about how, where, and when to post it. You don’t, for example, want to post your content on Christmas morning, or on the weekends for that matter. Posting the right topic to the right group at a time when there’s likely to be more traffic and interest will make the difference between being ignored and being active in your community or industry.

For more LinkedIn tips from The Ibis Network, click here.

The Ibis Network /


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