he burgeoning social media landscape is studded with success stories. Take Dell, for example. By the end of last year, the company had racked up $6.5 million in sales—direct from its Twitter accounts.

You can bet Dell can calculate the ROI of this effort. It knows exactly what it’s investing in the initiative: 100 employees are tweeting in 35 different channels to customers in over 12 countries. Brazil alone brought in an average $100,000 in sales per month in 2009.

Calculating the ROI of direct sales from social media is easy, but only so long as you remember that while many social media tools, such as Facebook and Twitter are free, time is money regardless of channel. Yet, many marketers have social media goals that are far softer than moving product. These can include increasing traffic, awareness, PR, customer relations and support, lead-building, conversions, SEO and even product development. In fact, most marketers admit to having no real defined social media goals.

How do you measure the ROI of that? A recent Econsultancy study, “The Value of Social Media,” asked marketers how well their organizations are at measuring ROI from social media activity. Over half (51 percent) admit to being “poor” or “very poor” at measuring social media ROI. A scant 15 percent rate themselves as “good” or “excellent.” Nearly all of them—94 percent—would like to know their social media ROI. They just don’t know how to get a handle on it. Despite that, 90 percent say social media activity will consume more of their time next year.

ROI Calculations Made Easier
Thanks to improved tracking technology, other digital marketing channels such as SEO are much easier to assign ROI to, as well as to compare to other marketing channels. Social media, still very much in its infancy, still lacks those technological and cross-channel underpinnings.

The ROI of search advertising campaigns is relatively easy to calculate. Almost by definition, search ad bids must be calculated on a break-even or cost-positive basis. Otherwise, why advertise?

Social media campaign ROI is more analogous to organic search engine optimization. Goals must be defined and measured against concrete benchmarks, e.g., cost per lead, average customer lifetime value, the conversion rate of a desired action, organic traffic and conversion sources.

Unless your social media campaign is based on direct sales—and many good ones aren’t—establishing and valuing key performance indicators (KPIs) is the first step toward calculating ROI, and determine where to go from here.

Bear in mind that the old saw, “everything online can be measured,” is true. Except when it isn’t. Just as every direct conversion from SEO will never be precisely measured, the same holds true for social media, even when the tools do improve. That’s still no excuse for not setting goals and constantly measuring and monitoring efforts against those benchmarks.

Article by: Rebecca Lieb vice president of Econsultancy’s U.S. operations.

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So you want more Facebook fans? Spending a short length of time doing the right things could greatly help get your fan page off the ground. Here are some great tips for getting more fans.

Suggest your page to all your friends using the Suggest to Friends button. This is the 1st thing you should do and is the fastest way to quickly grow your page

Use Facebook ads to target the people most likely to become a fan. You can setup ads with very little cash and pay a price per click or pay for a set number of impressions. Test out various ads and see what works best. The ads are easy to setup regardless of your technical skills. The great thing about a Facebook ad for a fan page is that the ad displays a “become a fan” button which makes it really easy for anyone just to click and join!

On all your emails mail-outs and press releases include your Facebook page. You should also secure your unique Facebook URL. It looks more professional & further puts across your brand. To do this go to facebook.com/username and get your name.

Constantly provide exciting content. Stuff they would not want to miss. You can even announce news on Facebook first – before putting it anywhere else.

Add a fanbox to your website or blog. Click the “Add a Fan Box” link below your fan page’s profile picture & create the widget following the instructions. You could also use this widget in your newsletter.

Use the Notes application with an RSS Feed from a Blog to provide constant quality content. You can easily import a blog from your website. Use the Notes page, click the Import a blog link (on the right side of the page). Enter the URL of your blog into the text box, and agree to Terms of Use. Complete the process by clicking on “Save Settings.” Watch your posts automatically arrive in Facebook!

Use the share button to post your page to your profile or email it to friends. Encourage current fans to do the same!

Find out what your fans like by looking at your insights – if they like video give them more video!

Customize your landing page using FBML There are specialists who can do this for you and make landing pages that encourage users to become fans by offering them something. Coding is required for this as the page needs to be coded. There are companies that can do this such as spiderhousepr.

Fans don’t come instantly but by using the tips above will increase numbers faster than relying on search alone. Providing content that fans will share is imperative to the viral growth of your page. Remember that every time someone interacts with your page that interaction shows on their news-feed to their friends giving you viral growth.

Your first port of call is to use the “suggest to friends” button. If you have loads of friends this will have the biggest impact in the least amount of time so go get more friends!

By Carley Morrow

  • September 15th, 2008 | Written By: Jay Baer

As part of my panel on social media at the Worldcom PR conference in Montreal recently, I created these “7 Deadly Sins of Social Media.”

Are you willing to admit your sins ?

1. Deafness

Actively listening to what’s being said about your brand is at the core of social media.

2. Slowness

Social media is a NOW environment, not a “we’re working on the December issue in July” industry.

If it takes you too long to react, the opportunity can vanish.

3. Caution

Companies have to empower their agencies to facilitate social media conversations. Agencies have to empower their employees to handle social media on behalf of clients.

If you’re afraid, you’re not in the game.

4. Phoniness

Social media users – especially social network members – are cagey. They can smell b.s. three clicks away.

Resist the temptation to create your own reviews and other falsehoods. It doesn’t work.

5. Greed

The whole point of social media is for people to let other people know what’s good and righteous.

If you refuse to link to other sites or don’t create and distribute good content, etc. you are not being a good social media citizen – and it will get noticed.

6. Inflexibility

Think of social media as its own world with its own rules.

Don’t try to “social media-ize” your existing marketing and message. It doesn’t work.

7. Seriousness

Much of the social media’s appeal is based on humor and satire.

If you or your company can’t handle getting made fun of on occasion, you may want to rethink your social media plans.

A question I got a lot in my last job and that I continue to get asked today is “Who should I put in charge of social media?” As someone who managed the day-to-day operations of a large-scale social media operation in a difficult bureaucratic environment, it’s a topic near and dear to my heart. When it comes to social media, I think that who is managing your social media is more important than how much money you have, the cool tools and tricks at your disposal, or the communications challenges you’re tackling. If the right person is in charge, they can find creative solutions and work through complex problems.

Unfortunately, working in government I saw way too many people who put little effort, or the wrong effort, into who they hire for their social media efforts. It’s no surprise that federal hiring is a pain in the behind. Getting the right person into the position is a complicated paperwork challenge to begin with, and the federal hiring system is not always designed to work in your favor as a hiring manager. That said, I think there are a few points specific to hiring within the federal government structure that are important to keep in mind.

1. Craft your job description well. In the hiring system, the words of the job description should be designed to match resume phrases (applicants generally think of writing their resumes to match the position – it’s equally important the description matches the resume of the candidate who you desire). Carefully consider your wording and if particular platforms are critical to your social media efforts, or you’re looking for someone with a specific expertise, be sure that shows up in the description.

2. Look within your organization for good people, but don’t be afraid to cast a wider net. Some of the best social media managers don’t necessarily have government experience before they enter your organization. There’s something to be said for a fresh set of eyes, and if you limit your position to within-house hires or only those with veteran’s preference, you may find yourself with a sub-par candidate.

3. Look for the right balance of knowing your organization and being an expert in the craft. What I generally found with military and government social media managers is that they tended to be heavily concentrated in either knowing a lot about social media, or knowing a lot about the organization they were working for, but not having the right blend of both. Military social media demands a person who knows Operations Security, acronyms, and the unique protocols of their particular service. A person without that knowledge can’t properly manage your online messaging, no matter how Twitter-savvy they are. That said, if you find a candidate with the right enthusiasm, and who expresses a real desire to learn the ropes, don’t be afraid to put the effort into educating them. Motivation and enthusiasm pay dividends, especially in a government organization.

4. Personality matters. This is why interviewing candidates – ideally in person – is critical. The right social media manager will need to combine communications savvy with knowledge of the latest tools, a desire to learn with the ability to learn quickly on their feet, and most importantly, be able to bridge relationships with a variety of individuals, both in-person and online. I could go on, but there are a number of other posts out there that talk specifically about this topic, including a recent blog post about “identifying the right people to manage your social media initiatives” by Steve Radick.

At the end of the day, knowing what you want to accomplish and thinking through who can best do that is the first step toward hiring the right person. Then, do your best to get your human resources department on board with your needs, and work the system to make sure it works for you, and helps you hire the kind of person who is going to truly take your social media efforts where they need to go.

by lindykyzer

Since social media arrived, it is quickly becoming one of the fastest ways for businesses to get a fast return in sales by marketing through these channels. But as with anything, there are pros and cons so read on and find out how social media management can help you.
Pros:
Social media marketing is cutting edge and still fairly new which means saturation levels are low
91% of people now spend time online, with networks like Facebook and Twitter, which means that if you are advertising your business or service where they hang out, you are reaching them. If you are only sticking to traditional methods like TV or print you are missing out nearly all of your customers by not being in their world and interacting with them.
You save masses amount of money on advertising. A traditional newspaper and television can cost anything so much money for a small ad which might not even get seen. Then you have the trouble of tracking these ads and knowing if you are getting a good ROI. Social media marketing is trackable and will not cost you thousands to see massive results.
You can create a stand out brand in a very short space of time. Traditional advertising takes time and money to establish. With the amount of social media sites out there, it is possible to brand you or your company within weeks rather than years and do it in exactly the way you want to be seen and heard
You get picked up in the search engines like Google. Once you have a website or blog with content and relevant keywords to you, your service or business the search engines notice this and it will do wonders for your sales and growth. The more times you or your business name shows up online, the more you are seen and the more people you will see coming to you!
Cons:
It can be very time consuming. Setting up blogs, websites, profiles, joining networks, replying to emails and then socializing on top can be a very timely process. There is also a certain ettiquette that needs to be adhered to so that the search engines and social media networks don’t ban you for doing something against their rules.
You may get bad press. If there is anything wrong with your business or people are not happy with something you have done, social media will only magnify the problem and it can spread like wild fire, very quickly; Potentially damaging your brand within days for a simple problem or mistake. That is why reputation management is important, so these areas are watched closely and managed in a way that it can be resolved quickly and efficiently.
Most people would find it difficult to spot these types of conversations if they are not savvy within the networks.
The good news is that there is an answer. Social media managers are there to handle all of these issues. We will create your profiles, go through the comments and emails. Alert you to important information coming in, keep your reputation in tact and at the same time get rid of the spam and non-important elements.

The Intent of Your “Nerve Center Blog”

So, now you are thinking, “How is this “Nerve Center Blog” going to make me any money?” And more importantly, how will you attract prospects to your site and entice them to give up their name and email address? The focus of making money online should be the activities which will directly be responsible for producing income. First you want to send people emails with an offer. Second, if you capture their phone number and have an incoming number, you can have a call center present your offer for you. Since the true intent of Internet Marketing is to create money on auto-pilot, the emphasis will be to send out an offer through email.

The main purpose of a NC Blog is to capture a prospects name and email address and convert them into a client. Traffic can be driven to your site in many different ways such as a Pay Per Click campaign where a lead capture page is created along with a free offer that presents value to the prospect in exchange for their personal information. Another way you can generate traffic is by way of integrating your blog with social media sites like Face Book, Twitter, You Tube,and My Space to name a few. Also, SEO (search engine optimization) can be utilized to grab attention to your site by writing articles (like this one) where people enter a word or a phrase into a search engine (like Google) to find an answer to a question.

Keep in mind that the main goal of a blog is to help you make money. Don’t let your day get filled up with “busy” work as compared to “money making” work that will sow the seeds of your business. Ninety five percent of people spend precious time getting ready to get ready when the point to remember is that busy work does not make you money. When implementing the marketing tools of a NC Blog, stay focused on the end result and don’t let time be consumed with non money making activities. Own your blog but don’t get sidetracked by it.

By George A Fowler

You’ve got your blog set up and you’ve started posting pithy, useful information that your niche market would benefit from and enjoy. Days go by, you keep publishing, but no one comments and your traffic stats are barely registering. What do you do?

Like any website you own, you must do some blog promotion to start driving traffic to your site. Here are 16 steps, in no particular order of importance, that you can start doing now to get traffic moving to your blog.

1. Set up an email subscription form on your blog and invite everyone in your network to subscribe: family, friends, colleagues, clients, associates.

2. Set up a feed on MyYahoo.com so your site gets regularly spidered by the Yahoo search engine.

3. Read and comment on other blogs that are in your target niche. Don’t write things like “nice blog” or “great post.” Write intelligent, useful comments with a link to your blog.

4. Use Ping-0-matic to ping blog directories. Do this every time you publish.

5. Submit your blog to traditional search engines.

6. Submit your blog to blog directories.

Tip: Create a form to track your submissions; this can take several hours when you first start so schedule an hour a day for submitting or hire a VA to do it for you.

7. Add a link to your blog in your email signature file.

8. Put a link to your blog on every page of your website.

9. If you publish a newsletter, make sure you have a link to your blog in every issue.

10. Include a link to your blog as a standard part of all outgoing correspondence such as autoresponder sequences, sales letters, reports, white papers, etc.

11. Print your blog URL on your business cards, brochures and flyers.

12. Make sure you have an RSS feed URL that people can subscribe to. The acronym RSS means Rich Site Summary, or some may consider its meaning as Really Simple Syndication. It is a document type that lists updates of websites or blogs available for syndication. These RSS documents (also known as ‘feeds’) may be read using aggregators (news readers). RSS feeds may show headlines only or both headlines and summaries.

13. Post often to keep attracting your subscribers to come back and refer you to others in their networks; include links to other blogs, articles and websites in your posts

14. Use Trackback links when you quote or refer to other blog posts. What is TrackBack? Essentially what this does is send a message from one server to another server letting it know you have posted a reference to their post. The beauty is that a link to your blog is now included on their site.

15. Write articles to post around the web in article directories. Include a link to your blog in the author info box (See example in our signature below).

16. Make a commitment to blog everyday. 10 minutes a day can help increase your traffic as new content attracts search engine spiders. Put it on your calendar as a task every day at the same time.

Tip: Use a hit counter to track your visitor stats: how many unique visitors, how many page views, average length of visit.

From Denise Wakeman, Founder of The Blog Squad and Online Marketing Advisor.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Denise_Wakeman

Uploading video to YouTube is easy but what can we do to generate traffic to our blog from this?

Here are important ideas and steps which helps to bring traffic from YouTube.

First I will list three basic steps and then will discuss each step in detail.

1) Creating your own video

2) Registering with YouTube and Uploading your video with correct title.

3) Incorporating and mentioning your blog url.

Steps in detail:-

1) Now we will look at first step as what kind of video can be prepared?

You need something related to your blog subject. Website owners use YouTube for marketing and selling their products with sales video but I am not talking of that.

We need video related to our blog subject. In general humorous, how to guide, some catchy dance and music, amazing and interesting facts, educational videos etc. will catch attention and will get many views.

e.g. I can prepare video related to some of the posts on this blog as How to shift to custom domain, How to get blog traffic or How to make money from blog.

Many bloggers have personal blogs so they can have video on making some recipe, how to swim or some kitchen tips and tricks, funny video of their animal or pet or of the places they have visited or sports they play or teaching or giving tips on some sports or of party they have organized etc.

You can capture video using web cam, cellphone or handy cam or whichever is most suitable. Video file size also increases with resolution and the time so as far as possible keep the length not more than 5 minutes (for few subjects it can be longer). Picture and sound quality should be clear and if you know little of editing it helps you to edit the video.

2) If you are not already registered, you need to register at YouTube.com. After login you will find a yellow color Upload button on right hand corner. Then click on Upload video file. Then clicking on Upload video gives you a browse window to choose video from your computer hard disk and upload it. You also have to enter title, description,tags and category. And then click save. It takes some time for your video to go live. Since your video will appear in YouTube search result based on title and description, it is very important to choose correct title and description. Hence do some research on YouTube by searching related videos and enter appropriate keywords in your title and description. Also enter your blog url in description.

3) Now you need to add your blog url. Go to my video and then Annotations then click on Add note, it gives you a window on the video asking “Enter your text here”. Type your blog URL here then you can change color if required, then holding mouse cursor you can drag it from center to one of the corner so that it does not come in the way of watching video.

Now you have to choose time period for which this will appear on video so you can select full time starting from 0.0 to the full length. Now you have to click on save and publish.

Check your blog URL is appearing while playing or not.

You also need to enter your blog URL in your profile. You need to go to Account > Profile setup > website.

Now logout and search YouTube with keyword you have mentioned in video title and see where you can find it in search results and watch the video. You can fine tune the title and description if required for better ranking. Send emails to your friends mentioning URL and asking them to watch the video and rate it. Getting few higher ratings creates good impression on visitors.

Your account at YouTube also has insight and statistics option under My account where you can come to know from where visitors has come to watch your video.

So what are you waiting for? Shoot a video and fire!

By Umesh Thakkar

Who Cares? So What? Why You?

September 1, 2010

Media veteran Heidi Krupp helps you navigate your new business’s branding.
So, you want to start a business? Update your existing brand? Position yourself differently?
Congratulations on taking that first step in acknowledging that you have something original and relevant to bring to the marketplace. What’s the most important asset you need right now? It’s not capital, investors or even a computer—it’s an elevator pitch.

Consolidating your vision into a concise declaration is a critical first step. Whether you’re selling a product, a service or yourself, perfecting your elevator pitch and delivering it anytime, anywhere, can mean the difference between acquiring additional funding, signing a new client, gaining a business partner, securing a new job, getting media attention… or not.

At Krupp Kommunications, we use a three-step process to get to the core of the key messages of your brand, personality, product or service quickly and concisely. We do this by asking the following three questions: Who cares? So what? Why you?

Every day we are flooded with an overabundance of information, stories and ideas; it becomes easy to lose the message amid the noise. An elevator pitch needs to cut through the clutter and ensure that your audience will relate to what is being said; it needs to provide an immediate personal or emotional connection that, if successful, will create the urgency and necessity for the listener to take immediate action. The message should inform, entertain, educate or inspire—or all of the above.

To come up with your elevator pitch, you need to uncover your unique positioning.

Who Cares?
Ask yourself, “Who cares what I have to say?” Take yourself out of the question. Define and know your target audience. Who are you speaking (or selling) to? Once you identify your audience, think about what really matters to them. Who cares allows you to drill down into who your message is really for and define the audience who cares.

This allows you to understand your audience’s age, sex, profession, income, interests etc. What are they reading? Where are they going? Who are they listening to? Where are they shopping and what else do they care about? Remember, different audiences have different needs, so knowing who you are speaking to will help you in your elevator pitch.

So What?
What is the emotional hook to your message? Are you providing a solution to a problem? Are you fulfilling a need? Define your value and give your audience a reason to take immediate and massive action. Connect, respond and leave them wanting more. You will spend the most time on the so what if this is a new product being launched. You want to be able to establish the demand or need, as well as the urgency for why anyone would care. The so what is what matters; you want to make your message count.

Why You?
Define your unique selling point (USP). This is the most important component to a conspicuous and attention-grabbing elevator pitch.

Why are you the best person to answer this question, solve this problem or fulfill this need? In order to convey who you are in an elevator pitch, you first need to know what makes you different. What makes you stand out? What are you offering that is unique?

This allows you, your business and your brand to attract attention in an overcrowded marketplace. What can you provide that no one else can?

Heidi Krupp