Market Your Business While Pinning Your Interests

With a little creativity, Pinterest can be an excellent tool for small business marketing. The new social network focuses on pinning visual interests to virtual “boards” for display to those following you. Your pins can either come from other online links, or uploaded straight off your computer. You can also like and repin someone else’s pin. The catch is that the new social network has come out discouraging pinners from self promotion of their own business or work. There are still some ways to use this social network for small business marketing. Instead of blatantly advertising your business, try selling the lifestyle or message that your business is trying to convey. If you own a gym, you can post pictures of healthy foods, or people working out. If you are a realtor, why not try posting area attractions, and things people can do in your city? There’s lots of room for almost any business to try and sell people on the lifestyle your business is trying to promote. A marketing company can pin articles about new technologies that can help businesses. Try following people who would be interested in your industry, and think outside the...

Utilize Your G+ Profile

Earlier this week Google announced their plan to incorporate social search into their algorithms. The plan is called Social Plus Your World. What does this mean for businesses struggling to get their name out there? Results from your social networks will also factor into your search. You can’t ignore social. You need to be prominent on the social networks, and at least for right now, active on Google Plus. G+ profiles and pages are showing up high in the search rankings. Photos, status updates, and other information from friends profiles will also be showing up in the results. While G+ may not have Facebook’s 700 million users, it offers a different advantage: the power to be found. It will remain to be seen whether Facebook, Twitter or anyone else can prevent Google from tying their social media and search engine together. Until that’s stopped, you might want to beef up your G+ profile. There’s some good visibility there. Matt Brennan is a Chicago-area marketing writer and copy editor. He is also the author of Write Right-Sell...

What are the biggest challenges in using social media for business?

Social media is everywhere. There are no shortage of people on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn who are there to tell you how to use it. Social media is a lot of things, but one thing it is not is a get rich quick scheme. There are challenges. It’s something that you have to work hard to have success with. Content is King. It takes quality content to engage with customers and potential customers. If you talk about what you do from an insider’s perspective you run the risk of boring the very people you’re looking for and sending them away. Talk with them. Ask them questions. Figure out how they benefit from your product or service, and post things that way. But don’t just post about what you do. Post articles you find interesting. The news, sports and music tend to be things that everybody is interested in. Show that you are human, and more people will interact. Are you on the right platforms? If you’re preaching to your Facebook fan base about your B2B endeavors you may not be talking with the right people. LinkedIn is great for B2B, because it’s made up of professionals. Finding a targeted audience on Twitter will also help your business. You can go into a website such as Twellow, and follow people in specific industries. This helps you know who you are talking to. I’d also recommend trying sites such as Biznik and Guru. They are opportunities to find more work. Tick Tock. Time is also of the essence. People who need to spend all day worrying about the ins and outs...

Speak Your Searches With Google Voice On Chrome

Has anyone else noticed the Voice Search from Google? They began rolling it out over the summer, and it is on the Google search in the Chrome browser. It’s not quite the same level as Siri, but I’m sure Google will have enhancements in store. Right now, it is simply for Google searches, and seems to be pretty accurate, if you give it keywords. It doesn’t have the knowledge base that Siri builds up, however. For example, I asked Siri “How do I get to Iowa?” and it gave me directions to Des Moines, from my current location. I asked Google voice, and I still get some irrelevant searches for Iowa. It will happen soon for Google, I’m sure, but it hasn’t happened yet. The Android voice recognition still has problems understanding the question correctly. Once they build in a strong artificial intelligence system, they’ll be able to compete with Apple on that front. My guess is we’ll see more of the personal assistant type apps in home computing as well. Can you imagine simply telling your computer to play a movie, or make a Facebook post? Have it answer a question, or play your favorite music. This will also be an interesting progression in home and business automation. Tell your computer to turn the heat down, or bill a client. Apple was ahead of the curve again, and the possibilities with this one are endless. Matt Brennan is a Chicago area marketing writer and copy editor. He is also the author of Write Right-Sell...

Next Step For Location Based Marketing

@Chris Brogan just wrote an interesting blog about a new social media company called Local Response. The company provides marketing services tied to location based interactions. This could be another interesting social media break through. Now it is not just the check in that the retailer would benefit from. Local Response would offer a way for the retailer to try and bring the customer back. If I check in at a local restaurant for my favorite dish, they could send me a coupon to come back the next time. As a customer, there might be some privacy concerns, but it sounds like you give those concerns up when you check in somewhere. It also sounds like customers are given the chance to opt out. For businesses trying to build their brand and engage with their customers, this will be worth monitoring, and checking to see if more services develop. Matt Brennan is a Chicago-area marketing writer and copy editor. He is also the author of Write Right-Sell...

Engaging People On Twitter

Earlier this week I posted about strategies to grow your Twitter account. There are lots of ways to find a targeted audience. My favorite is the web site Twellow, which gives you the ability to locate people geographically, or by the type of business they are in. As you build up a following, there is more you’ll want to take into consideration. It’s important to interact with them, and maximize your opportunity and your presence. The most fundamental way to get started, is “mentioning” people. By typing in the @ symbol and their account name, the tweet will show up in a specific location on their feed. You can have a conversation back and for this way. Maybe you want to ask them a question, or comment on a link they posted. It’s good to be conversational and utilize the contacts that you amass. This is the best way to cultivate relationships on Twitter, which is the whole point. You can also direct message people. Lots of people kind of view this as spammy, however. Some people have automatic messages sent when someone follows them. These flood a person’s Twitter account, and are rarely useful. For these reasons, many people prefer mentions over messages. Another great way to engage is to find conversations already taking place. Type in any search words you are interested in, and Twitter will display the most recent tweets that include them. If someone is looking for your services, you can approach them directly. You may want to try something along these lines: “I saw you are looking for _________. That’s something I provide. Feel...