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Tag Archive for How to use social media

How does Google+ Communities work?

Google+ CommunitiesOne of the best features of Google+ is the communities. It allows you to become part of the conversation and at the same time you can even promote your brand a little. But be careful not to become a spammer or you will be booted out faster that you can say Google!

But I am getting ahead of myself … Lets first have a look at how Google+ Communities work.

Google+ Communities is exactly what the name implies – a place where you can become part of something and interact with like-minded people. It brings people with the same interests together.

Basically it is Google’s version of Facebook Groups. It is a social network that covers any topic from photography to medicine. Anyone can start a Community and it can be run by a business, an individual or a group of people. Which means that you can act as yourself or in a business capacity – you can start a discussion or participate in any topic of your choosing.

Members of a community can interact with you or your business by sharing content, +1 or commenting on posts.

This in turn will create greater visibility for your content or product and you can have a direct connection with your audience. By monitoring comments and feedback you will also be able to alter the conversation around your brand if need be.

Your reputation in social media

You can also post to communities privately or public. Private means that only the people in community will be able to see your posts, whereby posting public will make it available for everyone to see.

Joining a community

  1. Open Google+
  2. In the top-left corner, click the drop-down menu (small arrow next to home), then click on Communities
  3. In the top-right corner you will see the search box with the text: “Search for communities
  4. Click inside the search box and type in what you’d like to search for; press Enter
  5. A page will load with your search results
  6. To open the community’s page you are interested in, click on the name of the community
  7. You will be taken to that community and can read more about that specific community
  8. If you find a community that you’d like to join, click Join community in the right hand corner

Congratulations you are now part of a community and can start posting or commenting.

Creating your own community

  1. Open Google+.
  2. In the top-left corner, click the drop-down menu (small arrow next to home), then click on Communities
  3. In the top right-hand corner (next to the search box), click Create community.
  4. Choose whether you want your community to be public or private.Public – Your community will be open to the worldPrivate – Only invited members can join the community and see posts.Important Tip: You can’t change this later, so be sure of your choice!If you click Private, you’ll also have to choose whether or not people can search for your community.If you click Public, you’ll also have to choose whether or not people need to ask for permission to join the community.
  5. Type a name (make your name universal i.e. instead of using your company name, rather use an industry related term). Click on Create community.

Important Tip: If your community has 500 members or more, you can’t change the name, so think this through.

Note: Instructions are for a computer and might differ slightly if you are on a mobile device.

 

Should I use Google+ for my business?

Google+ for BusinessThe subject of Google+ for Business has been much debated over the past few years. Should I use Google+ for my business? Is it worth the time and effort? The short answer is YES.

Why do I say YES to Google+ for my business?

  1. User Base

Google+ has been around for 3 years now and despite a lot of criticism that it won’t take off the opposite has been proven true. With over 300 million active users it definitely is a platform that should form part of your online marketing strategy.

  1. What does Google+ offer?

One of the most attractive features of Google+ is that unlike other social media platforms messages to your customers can be more targeted with features like hangouts, communities and circles.

With Google+ Communities you can easily interact with potential clients. Being part of the conversation is a great way to connect with customers and grow your client base. It also allows you to learn more about what clients want and establish where there is a gap in the market or a specific need.

With Google+ Circles you can add customers to different circles in order to send them targeted messages. This ensures that no effort gets wasted.

Google+ Hangouts is another opportunity to become part of the conversation. Here you can connect with like-minded people, share ideas or even show off your skills.

  1. Google+ isn’t Facebook nor Twitter

Facebook and Twitter are excellent social media platforms and should not be disregarded. But Google+ should definitely be added to the mix. Here you don’t have a 140 character limit and you have a much wider audience than just your friends. It’s not better (by no means), just different.

Your reputation in social media

Read more about how to use Facebook Effectively

  1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

When looking at search engines, Google is the undisputed leader at the top of the list. With Google+ being one of Google’s products it is no wonder that businesses that have well established Google+ profiles’ content gets ranked higher than those not on Google+. Let’s face it – wouldn’t you rather promote your own content than someone else’s?

It is however important to note that although Google+ can be very valuable for your SEO efforts you should not focus on it at the expense of adding quality content to your website.

Read more about SEO here.

In conclusion

Although I wouldn’t recommend Google+ as a stand-alone solution to your online marketing or social media needs, it definitely should form part of your social media strategy.

I will be exploring how to effectively use Google+ a bit further, so look out for those articles.

5 Ways to engage customers on Facebook

5 ways to engage customers on facebook

We have talked about Facebook and the value it adds to your business before. Now it is time to engage your customers. Here are my top 5 ways on how to engage customers on Facebook.

  1. Post often

This is a simple one – your customers can’t engage if there is nothing to engage with. So once again content is key. Keep in mind that content needs to be new and fresh. Try to post at least once a day. It is also a good idea to use a call to action so that customers know what is expected of them.

  1. Use questions

One sure way to get your customers to engage is to involve them in the post. By asking a question you easily get them to interact. This in turn creates activity on your page and also boosts popularity.

  1. Images and videos creates more likes and shares

Your content needs to be of such a standard that it firstly draws attention and secondly makes people want to share it. What draws your attention more? A sentence that is text format only, or a colorful image. I think the answer is obvious.

  1. Offer promotions

In today’s economy it is all about the money, so use it! Everybody loves a bargain and you have to give it to them. This can be done in two ways. One – advertise your brand! Tell them about your specials. Two – get them to interact by offering a discount coupon or something free for liking or sharing your Facebook page.

You can also use specific promotional codes so that you can track which post brought you the clients.

Your reputation in social media
  1. Competitions

Competitions are a great way to market your brand. Asking people to like or comment in order to win something is easy for them and great for you. Your followers will grow and so will your brand. This is also a great way of marketing a certain product.

There are however a few rules that has to be followed when launching a competition on Facebook. You should always adhere to these rules as to ensure that your page does not get removed by Facebook.

In short you CAN:

  • Ask people to like a post to enter
  • Ask people to comment on a post to enter
  • Ask people to private message the page to enter
  • Ask people to post on your page to enter

You CAN NOT:

  • Ask people to share to enter
  • Ask people to invite to enter
  • Ask people to tag themselves in content to enter

Business Page rules can be found here https://www.facebook.com/page_guidelines.php. They did however make it a bit easier for launching promotions etc. with the following amendments https://www.facebook.com/business/news/page-promotions-terms.

Lastly remember that whatever you post it should be interesting and most important of all posts should be shareable. Use a variety of different posts and content to keep your customers engaged and interested. Good luck and happy posting!

How to use Facebook effectively

How to use Facebook effectivelyIf you are not sure what to do with your facebook page now that you created it, this article is for you. Just a few simple steps can make all the difference.  If you want to know how to use Facebook effectively we need to start at the beginning …

What are your goals?
Firstly it is very important to establish your goals …what do you want to achieve with your Facebook Page?
Secondly get a clear idea of who your target market is? Who is your audience? Who are you talking to?

As soon as that is clear you can decide on what type of post you should post. Tailored with the right message to the right people. There is no sense in posting anything if you are not clear on why you are doing it in the first place … Example: you are not going to post messages about skateboards if your target market is over 80!!! Firstly the over 80’s are rarely on facebook and secondly why would they be interested in skateboards?

Possible Goals
You want to create brand awareness
You want to engage with your customers
You want to grow your consumer base

Your reputation in social media

Whatever your goal may be, one important aspect remains … you cannot achieve anything if you don’t have people on your Facebook Page! You need people who are active, engaged and interested! The more they engage, the more people will see your posts and the more people will like your page!

How do you do that?
It is simple … Get people to engage with your Page timeline!

It is important to get the people to engage. Why? If they are engaged they are more likely to participate and more likely to share, like and comment. As soon as this happens your posts will spread like wildfire! The more it spreads, the more people you reach!

  • Share updates, questions, photos, links, infographics, text and other content on your Page regularly. Use different types of posts to keep it interesting.
  • Post at least a few times a week so people who like you see your stories in their news feeds and visitors to your Page always see something new.
  • Don’t make it all about ME ME ME. ME gets boring after a while, so post some interesting stuff related to your page as well.
  • Your posts must be shareable! By this I mean it should be good enough for other people to want to share it. If it doesn’t make me look good, why would I want to share it with my friends?
  • Make sure people notice your most important content by pinning posts to the top of your Page or highlighting/starring them so they’re bigger.
  • Respond! Respond! Respond! When people engage with you, make sure to respond so they know you’re listening. By not responding in a timely manner you will lose not only clients/customers but it will do your brand damage. If they know your page is where they can get answers they will keep on coming back.

What about BAD comments?
Always and I mean ALWAYS respond whether it is a bad comment or a great comment. Use bad and great comments as feedback on how to better your business. If someone liked something a lot, maybe more of that. If someone had a bad experience use that info to better your business. In business nothing is more valuable than feedback. We need to know what clients/customers think of us and we need to build on that! Facebook and social other social media means that you don’t have to pay thousands of rands for surveys or focus groups – you can have feedback for free! USE IT!

How to set up your Facebook Page

How to set up your business Facebook PageFacebook Pages are the window of your business. Unlike websites, Facebook Pages are constantly updated with new information, happenings or specials. If used correctly it can be your greatest communication tool.

Your Facebook Page is a platform for you not only to give through important information, but also to receive it.

If used correctly it can be a very effective tool with which to receive feedback – and feedback helps you improve your business!

What to do:

Go to https://www.facebook.com/pages/create/?ref_type=registration_form.
You will have to log in with your own username and password.

Choose the right type of page that you want … Is the page for a small business, an artist or a big company?

From there you just follow the steps and focus on the main elements as listed below.

Tip: the more info you give the easier it will be for users to find your page.

The main elements:

Your reputation in social media
  1. Profile Image

The profile image should be your company logo
Specifications: 180 x 180 pixels

  1. Cover Photo

Use a photo that captures the essence of your brand and showcases your product or service. Images are powerful ways of capturing the audience’s attention, so don’t mess it up and always be honest!
Specifications: 851 x 315 pixels

Cover photos cannot include:

  • Contact information such as a website address, email, mailing address, or information that should go in your Page’s “About” section.
  • References to Facebook features or actions, such as “Like” or “Share” or an arrow pointing from the cover photo to any of these features.
  • Calls to action, such as “Get it now” or “Tell your friends”

It is against the rules as set out by the Facebook developers.

  1. About Section

Tell the world who you are. Again here it is very important to be honest! Nothing loses customers faster than portraying a false image! Honesty and transparency are key.

  1. Page info

Fill in all the fields – website address, business hours, etc. Here you want to be as detailed as possible as it makes it easier for people to find your Page. There is also nothing more frustrating than visiting a company’s Page but there is no information on the company!

Make sure that your Facebook Web Address correlates with your Page Name / Business Name.

Start Posting:

You are now ready to go! Look out for my next post on how to use Facebook effectively

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