San Diego Social Media Marketing Workshop

holly_berkley

San Diego Author + Internet Marketing Consultant Holly Berkley teaches Imparture’s newest Social Media Workshop. Register Now.

Join Holly Berkley at the upcoming Social Media Marketing Immersive workshop in San Diego September 6 + 7 2016.

 

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What to Expect:

Raise your social strategy to industry best practice by attending this intensive two-day training course. Gain from the singularly most developed social media marketing workshop available, with training materials honed over the course of training 10,000+ delegates. Get up-to-speed with the latest developments to maximize your results.

This masterclass will take you through the latest hands-on skills for creatively engaging social media, featuring advanced techniques to maximize your results.

Advance your content strategy and community management practices to get the most return from your social plans. Learn about recent platform changes and the opportunities presented by the latest tools to arrive on the scene.

Packed with best practice examples and in-depth practical advice, the session will provide you with a full understanding of social and its business opportunity.

You will leave the day with the ability to apply expert tools and techniques to promote your brand or client online.

Day One

  • Social Media Strategy
    • Planning: Developing a successful social strategy for your brand or client
    • Integration: How to effectively integrate social activity into your current communication plans
    • Essential creativity: How to creatively plan social campaigns
    • Ethics: Guidance on the codes of ethics and expected methods of engagement online
    • Legalities: Understanding the legal constrictions of engaging in social activity
    • Resourcing: How to resource social activity effectively
    • Productivity: Proven time-saving tools and techniques for engaging high volumes of social media sites
  • Reputation Management
    • Listening: How to best monitor conversations online and pre-empt breaking crises
    • Third party tools: Detailed advice on the pros and cons of available paid-for and free tools
    • Corporate voice: High level strategy for managing corporate reputation online
  • Content Strategy
    • Platform strategy: How to focus your time across social platforms that best fit your business objectives
    • Content calendar: How to build a working content plan to boost efficiency and drive results
    • Content type: How to best plan your mix of copy, image, video and other multimedia content
    • Creative development: How to creatively plan content to maximize community engagement
    • Post frequency: Best practice for planning the number of posts per day
    • Post scheduling: Priority times to post to maximize engagement
  • Community Management
    • Community engagement: How to best engage with your community and manage negative comments
    • Community growth: Proven techniques for organically growing a targeted community across your platforms
    • Paid boost: Maximize use of paid advertising options to boost your community growth
    • Offline-to-online: Utilizing offline marketing & PR activity to grow your community
  • Facebook

    Facebook Page Management

    • Maximize effectiveness of your Facebook Page: Turning ‘Likes’ into long-term customers
    • News Feed optimization: How to maximize visibility in your community’s News Feeds
    • Engagement rate: How to drive high engagement levels and large volumes of comments and likes
    • Driving traffic: Proven techniques for growing a targeted audience on your Facebook Page
    • Compelling multimedia: Integrating video & interactive content to supercharge your Page & drive e-commerce
    • Facebook tools: Latest technologies to better manage your Facebook activity
    • Facebook guidelines: Working effectively within current Facebook restrictions

    Facebook Advertising

    • Bulls-eye targeting: how to target ads by location, keyword, connection, demographic, & workplace
    • Promoted Posts: Ensure your priority posts reach the largest possible audience
    • Facebook offers: Best practice to drive user sign-ups
    • Database marketing: Target your ads to your email marketing database with Custom Audiences
  • Twitter
    • Profile customization: Best practice guidance on making your profile work for you
    • Building a targeted follower base: How to strategically grow a loyal group of active, engaged followers
    • Detailed mapping: How to find the most influential Twitter users across specific interest areas
    • Tweet scheduling: Priority times to tweet to maximize engagement
    • Twitter algorithm: Understanding recent and future timeline algorithm changes and their impact
    • Custom timelines: Best practice advice on creation and promotion of custom timelines
    • Effective engagement: Pitching stories to the ‘Twitter Elite’ and inspiring people to Retweet
    • Tools and techniques: Detailed analysis of the proliferation of free and paid-for Twitter tools
    • Vine: How to produce premium quality, perfectly looped Vines
    • Twitter advertising: Up-to-date run through of how to make most of Twitter advertising opps
  • Blogging
    • Corporate blogging: How to set up a corporate blog, grow a network, plan content and drive traffic
    • Online influencers: How to find the most influential bloggers across specific interest areas
    • Effective pitching: How to pitch to a blogger with the correct etiquette and offer products for review
    • Blogger events: How to run successful blogger events and sync in tandem with traditional media events

Day Two

  • LinkedIn
    • Personal Profiles: Developing a coherent strategy of best practice across your employee base
    • Company Pages: Maximizing the effectiveness of your LinkedIn Page
    • Building a network: How to connect with current contacts & targeted industry professionals
    • Status updates: Target your posts by company size, industry, job function, seniority or geography
    • LinkedIn Groups: Establishing a successful, engaged community
    • LinkedIn InMail: Best practice use of LinkedIn’s paid messages to people outside of your network
    • LinkedIn advertising: Detailed guidance on all paid-for advertising options available on LinkedIn
  • YouTube
    • Branded channels: Creating and customizing your YouTube Channel
    • Video production: How to creatively produce your own online video content
    • Organic promotion: Hands-on tips for driving views across the web
    • Pay-per-view: Overview of paid opportunities on YouTube
    • Managing comments: How to prioritize managing comments and dealing with negative posts
    • YouTube insight tool: Detailed overview of YouTube’s analytics and reporting tool
  • Instagram
    • Community growth: How to grow a targeted follower base
    • Format fundamentals: Best practice use of photo filters and platform features
    • Instagram video: Expert advice on filming your own standout videos
    • Brand tagging: Maximizing use of Instagram’s feature allowing users to tag brands in photos
    • Instagram advertising: Full guidance on how to drive advertising results
  • Pinterest
    • Business accounts: Full overview of functionality available to businesses
    • Visual content audit: Gauging your high-quality pictures and related visual content for use on Pinterest
    • Rich Pins: Maximizing use of Pinterest’s latest technical innovation to its platform
    • Optimization: Optimizing your website for sharing on Pinterest
    • Maximizing traffic: Techniques for maximizing use of Pinterest to drive targeted traffic to your website
  • Google+
    • Latest changes: Get up-to-speed on Google’s latest plans for Google+
    • Business scope: Determine the commercial opportunity Google+ currently offers businesses
    • Technical overview: Understanding Circles, Hangouts and Ripples
    • Maximizing results: How to best establish a presence on Google+
    • Social search: Maximizing use of Google+ to boost online visibility
  • Snapchat
    • Technical overview: Full update on the platform and insight on recent and upcoming changes
    • Brand opportunities: Full overview of options available for brand engagement
  • Emerging Platforms
    • Ones to watch: Clear overview of the new social platforms gaining traction & related marketing opps
  • Social Media Analytics
    • Platform specific: Full overview of free proprietary analytics tools available on all social platforms
    • Measurement tools: Advice on the free tools available online for tracking social activity
    • Metrics for success: Tried-and-tested metrics for measuring performance
    • Google Analytics: Advanced techniques to track web traffic and page views
    • Search performance: How to measure impact in search engines
    • Competitor benchmarking: How to gauge your performance with key competitors and wider industry

    Sign up at https://imparture.co/course/training-workshops/social-media-marketing-immersive/

Internet Marketing Assistant Needed

Social Media Marketing

We are currently looking for a San Diego based Internet Marketing Assistant to assist with social media outreach. 5-10 hours per week to start, flexible schedule. Come to the office for weekly meetings, then work from home. Strong writing skills and attention to detail a must, along with an interest in learning more about Internet Marketing. Must also have some experience using Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIN and Pinterest.

More about the company: http://www.berkweb.com/
If interested, please submit resume at http://www.berkweb.com/contact.html

5 Reasons Every Business needs a Mobile Friendly Website

Beautiful Young Businesswoman In Spotted Dress, Reading News Or

By Jessica Kane, Guest Blogger

Having a mobile-friendly website is critical to the success and survival of any company with an online presence. Here’s the top five reasons to have a mobile-friendly website.

1. More People Use Mobile Phones
A greater number of people are using mobile phones for portable internet access, and fewer people are using laptops. People use smartphones to surf the web, check their email, and even shop for products and services. If a potential customer finds your website from their mobile device and your website is not mobile-friendly, you lost a customer.

The customer will have difficulty navigating the website from their smartphone, so they will get frustrated and leave. The smartphone trend is not showing any signs of slowing down either. In fact, the number of people who surf the internet from their smartphones is expected to rise.

2. Search Engine Optimization
Popular search engines are well aware of the increase in the number of smartphone users. As a result, they have chosen to reward websites that are mobile-friendly. Websites that are not mobile-friendly will not rank as highly as websites that are. Websites that have done well with search engines rankings in the past have seen their ranks fall due to not having a mobile-friendly website.

Because search engine traffic is the lifeblood of many online businesses, a drop in search engine rankings could mean disaster. In fact, many websites that lost their search engine ranks did not survive. It is important that you learn a lesson here and prevent history from being repeated. Some website owners are still reluctant to make their content compatible with mobile devices, and that could be a fatal mistake.

3. More User Friendly
If you have a mobile friendly website, you increase and enhance the user experience. Enhancing the user experience means the website is easy to view and navigate from a mobile device. If a customer has a hard time navigating a website from their mobile device, they will find a website that is easier for them to figure out. While not having a good user experience will result in fewer visitors and less profit, a good user experience will help you attract customers and drive sales.

4. Stand out From the Competition
When your competitors don’t have mobile-friendly websites, there is an opportunity. If you are one of the first in your industry to make your website compatible with mobile devices, you will stand out. Customers prefer websites they can access from anywhere. By providing customers with what they want, you can take a huge share of the market right out from under the competition. This will give you a huge competitive advantage.

5. Greater Reach
People share content in various ways, but one of the most common is social media. A large percentage of social media users are on mobile devices. If your website is not mobile-friendly, it is not shareable. A website will lose a significant amount of visitors if it is not accessible from mobile devices. However, websites that are mobile friendly are shareable. This can increase your reach and customer base.

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jessica kane med
Jessica Kane is a professional blogger who has worked in eCommerce for the last five years.  She currently writes for Rakuten Super Logistics and recommends them for all your
product fulfillment needs to further your success.

3 Ways To Get More Local Traffic To Your Business

By Maria Julia Teixeira Larsen
localsearch

As a business owner trying to connect with local clients, it can get overwhelming trying to keep up with the latest mobile and geo-marketing strategies to reach potential customers. That’s why we’ve summed up 3 important tips to consider to get your business more online exposure among your local audience.

Make sure your web site is mobile-friendly.

If you want to increase traffic to your website you need to consider organic mobile search. Google takes mobile-friendly web sites into consideration when displaying those search results. Find out if your web site is mobile-friendly here.

Studies have shown that most mobile users scroll past paid listings and click 74% more on organic listings over paid. The best strategy is to use a mix of both paid and organic search, however if you have a limited budget, focus on organic.

Make sure you are submitted to all local directories.

Most users who search for local businesses and services on Google, end up on local directory web sites, such as Yelp. The directories have substantial budgets and do well on organic search for key search terms. Having links to your website or mentions of your business within these top local directors helps the ranking of your website. Find out how your business is listed on local directories here.

Working with a local internet marketing consultant who has partnered with local directory submission services such as Yext allows easy updates on business listings as well as “sales”,“special discounts” and other time sensitive information on your local search listing in real time, helping to encourage more people to click and visit your store.

Working with a Yext-certified Consultant  gets your business into more than 50 different local search directories (i.e. YellowPages.com, Yahoo! Local, Yelp, WhitePages.com, and others) which helps your business and services get found by potential customers when they are on the go.

Consider geo-targeted, mobile-friendly Google AdWords

Google AdWords is a form of paid advertising on Google and it’s search partners. For many local businesses, it can be one of the most effective ways to advertise, but it can also be complicated for a business owner to manage on their own. That’s why we recommend connecting with a Google AdWords Certified consultant to help create geo-targeted campaigns to reach potential customers while they are searching for your services.

For each campaign, you can select the geographic location (country, cities, radius around a location, etc) where you want your ad to show even if the user is not specifically in that location. You can also target mobile device users, which is very important nowadays as the number of users searching for products and services on their mobile has been increasing exponentially.

Overall, there are many tools out there to help your business grow, but you need to know which ones are most efficient to reach local customers right away. Knowing the right people and the right tools make all the difference in running a productive business.

 

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Maria Julia Teixeira Larsen assists with Google AdWords and Local Search Marketing for Holly Berkley Consulting, LLC a San Diego based Internet Marketing company. More at www.BerkWeb.com

 

 

5 Tips to Help Nonprofits Get More out of Facebook

By Natalie Hanson

Facebook Marketing ideas for nonprofits

Local nonprofit San Diego Rescue Mission finds Facebook success through real photos (never stock!) and real stories of people impacted by the organization’s volunteers, staff and donors.

With so many businesses angling for a space on Facebook’s newsfeed, getting the attention of potential donors on Facebook is getting more and more competitive. These 5 tips will help nonprofits get more out of Facebook.

1. Create simple, short posts that will catch they eye of your target audience.

These days most people access social media through their smart phones, which makes it easy for users to quickly scroll past posts or ads if they don’t catch their attention. Short, simple posts with eye-catching images are more likely to be seen by today’s short attention-spanned users. Users also tend to engage more with personal or playful tone than overly professional or impersonal tone.

 

2. Share relevant, interesting content.

People following nonprofits don’t want to see overdoses of advertising messages or donation requests. It’s important to share a variety of content so followers and supporters aren’t overwhelmed or annoyed. Here are a few ideas of types of content to post:

  • Relevant personal stories from members of the organization that show their experiences.
  • Celebration of success stories of how campaigns have helped the cause.
  • On-the-ground stories and photos of events + behind the scenes photos or videos of staff at work.
  • Inspiring quotes and solutions-oriented messages that relate to your cause.
  • Videos! – Posts with videos receive 7x more engagement than any other type of posts on Facebook. For best results, keep videos to 30 seconds or less

 

3. Engage and strengthen relationships with your followers + supporters.

It’s extremely important to interact with your supporters to make them feel known and appreciated. Thanking your supporters for their generosity to the public will encourage them and others to contribute more. Encouraging supporters to share their own experiences with your cause (positive and inspirational ones of course) is a great way to strengthen relationships and build engagement. If you’re looking to grow your supporters base, take advantage of influencers. Influencers have a huge impact these days, especially if they have a connection to the cause.

 

4. Showcase in-person events and activities.

This is a chance to personalize your organization and display your relationships with the community. Showcasing supporters interacting with the staff, team members, each other, and the people they are helping provides that personal tone followers are looking for. With the right type of positive, personal experience, these people become loyal ambassadors of your cause.

 

5. Create fundraising campaigns to raise money for your cause.

Asking for money from people is not easy. Fundraising campaigns are a direct, simple, and fun way to raise money towards your cause without begging people for donations. Follow these steps when creating a fundraising campaign:

  • Set a funding goal – Tell people how much money you are trying to raise and why it is important to reach that goal.
  • Set a time frame – putting a limit on the amount of time people have to donate creates a sense of urgency and give the extra push to commit.
  • Make a theme – having a theme for the campaign makes it more tangible and FUN!
  • Set up the “Donate” button on your page – the easier it is for people to submit donations, the more you’ll receive.
  • Provide tangible outcomes – define what donors should expect, how the funds raised will be used, and what exactly their money is going towards.
  • Provide suggested contribution amounts – suggesting specific amounts to donate helps supporters make the decision to donate easier.
  • Update consistently – keep people looped in on progress towards your goal and encourage your supporters to spread the word.
  • Thank the donors!!

 

Remember, the ultimate goal of Facebook is to connect with your supporters! Connect with your fans like one of their friends by making your posts personal, relevant, and attention grabbing and people will be more inclined to engage and support your cause.

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natalie21
Natalie Hanson assists with social media outreach and Facebook marketing for Holly Berkley Consulting, LLC a San Diego based Internet Marketing company. More at www.BerkWeb.com

Why Social Media Marketing is Essential for Today’s Small Business

social media marketing for small business

To be successful in today’s world of smart phones and constant connection, even small businesses need a social media strategy.

Social media is not just a marketing tactic. It’s a social phenomenon that is here to stay. It is the way consumers find new products and services as well as receive the input they need to make that final purchase decision. Whether it’s trying a new restaurant or seeing the latest summer movie, consumers have always relied on personal recommendations. Social media takes these recommendations to the next level. It makes what was once between two people, public. It puts word of mouth recommendations, both good and bad, out there for the whole world to see. While the voice of social media is personal, the reach is massive. And depending on what your customers are saying about you, can literally make or break your business.

To be successful in today’s world of smart phones and constant connection, even small businesses need a social media strategy. The right strategy can not only help catapult your business ahead of your competitors, but also prove critical in avoiding detrimental business decisions. Social media puts the power back into the consumer’s hands. And when consumers have that much voice, businesses need to listen, and act accordingly.

The Molly Katchpole story was a perfect example of how social media can magnify one customer’s complaint, and force even a billion-dollar world corporation to pay attention. This is exactly what happened when the 22-year old college-graduate posted a complaint about Bank of America regarding the new $5 per month fee for using her debit card. She turned to Change.com, a web site that allows people to use social media to post petitions and solicit signatures.

Mainstream media such as TV producers and newspaper writers turn to the social web to see what’s trending and hot on the public’s mind. They caught wind of Molly’s story and as a result, she was interviewed on TV talk shows. In the interviews, she came off as a smart, respectable young American, who people could identify with – especially those living pay-check to pay-check that were tired of extra fees big banks were imposing on them. She became the voice of what so many American’s were already feeling. In about a month, she received more than 300,000 signatures from Bank of America customers who publically announced they were leaving Bank of America in protest of the extra fee. In the end, Bank of America removed the extra $5 fee, a decision that costs the bank more than $3.4 billion in potential additional revenue.

So let’s bring this back to you, the small business owner. If you have not yet started using social media, the time is now…

For my most recent book The Social Media Advantage, my co-author Amanda Walter and I interviewed hundreds small businesses owners across the U.S. about their use of social media and how they plan to integrate it into their overall marketing and communication strategy. There were many similar responses:

“I don’t have time.”

“We don’t need it.”

“We just haven’t gotten around to it yet.”

“I don’t know where to start.”

Even today, with its wide-spread use, many small business owners are still claiming a lack of time, resources and understanding of social media tools, as well as intimidation by the vastness of the social media space as primary factors for not yet integrating a social media strategy into their communications efforts. That’s why we wrote The Social Media Advantage, for you, the small business owner.

The above text is an excerpt from the book The Social Media Advantage by Holly Berkley + Amanda Walter.

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holly berkleyHolly Berkley is an author, educator, speaker and professional Internet Marketing Consultant focused on helping all size businesses increase online sales, strengthen their overall brand, and dramatically boost web site traffic through proven online marketing concepts. Berkley’s newest book is “The Social Media Advantage – An Essential Handbook for Small Business” Learn about her latest books and marketing services at www.BerkWeb.com

Social Media Marketing Assistant Needed

489267241819386535I’m looking for a part-time social media marketing assistant in San Diego.

Requirements:

Must have strong writing skills.

Personally use Instagram, Twitter, Facebook + LinkedIN.

Must be organized and able to respond quickly to questions/comments on social media channels.

Project Management skills a plus.

Work from home with a few in-office meetings per month.

Knowledge of Google Analytics, Google Adwords, Photoshop, SEO +  WordPress a plus, but not mandatory. I can train you on these pieces.

Please submit resume with links to any blogs, social media accounts, or web sites you have personally worked on, along with hourly rate to hollyb@berkweb.com. (Please no phone calls).

More about my company at http://www.berkweb.com/

Thank you!

Holly Berkley

Fundraising with Facebook

What every nonprofit needs to know now, about reaching potential donors with Facebook.

cause marketing

Relationship building is one of the most crucial elements in the fundraising cycle. How will you cultivate online relationships to further you donor base? Join Cause Marketing and Relationship Building experts, Holly Berkley, Michael Brunker and Dan McGinley at the June 9th Cause Marketing Seminar  as they review Social Media Marketing strategies for Nonprofits and how to use the power of relationships through social styles in order to improve fundraising efforts.

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Holly Berkley

Holly Berkley is the author of “The Social Media Advantage” and works as an internet marketing consultant for nonprofits.

Holly Berkley is returning to Sanford Institute of Philanthropy at National University to continue her discussion on Social Media Marketing strategies for Nonprofits. This time, bring your laptop and access to your Nonprofit’s Facebook page, and get ready to take a deep dive into how to use Facebook marketing strategies to find more donors, build greater awareness about your cause and increase online donations. In this two hour hands-on workshop, Holly Berkley will show you how to:

  • Find potential donors, online advocates + start building your Facebook fan base
  • Learn how to buy targeted Facebook ads
  • Benefits and dangers of boosting posts
  • Learn what to post + what not to post to encourage fan engagement + social sharing
  • A look at some of the most creative + successful Facebook campaigns other local nonprofits are implementing
  • How to read Facebook Insights + Google Analytics to find the ROI of your Facebook Marketing strategy

Joining Holly Berkley at this upcoming seminar will be Michael Brunker, Executive Director of San Diego’s Jackie Robinson Family YMCA and Dan McGinley, Director, Sanford Institute of Philanthropy. Together, Holly, Michael + Dan will continue discussions about online relationship building and how to use the power of relationships through social styles in order to improve fundraising efforts.

Sanford Institute of Philanthropy Seminar
When: Tuesday, June 9, 2015
8:30 am – 4:00 pm (lunch included)
Where: Sanford Education Center
>Purchase Tickets<

Find more information about this upcoming seminar can be found at www.sanfordinstituteofphilanthropy.org

Making a Difference with Cause Marketing

Find out how today's nonprofits are reaching more donors through social fundraising strategies + tools. Tickets for "Making a Difference with Cause Marketing" with Holly Berkley

Find out how today’s nonprofits are reaching more donors through social fundraising strategies + tools. Get tickets for “Making a Difference with Cause Marketing” with Holly Berkley

Are you ready to reach more donors and raise more funds online?

Join Author + Internet Marketing Consultant Holly Berkley at the Sanford Institute of Philanthropy at National University on Tuesday, May 12, 2015 for a one day seminar to educate, inspire and enhance skills in online fundraising.

During the “Making a Difference with Cause Marketing” portion of the seminar, she’ll explore how online fundraising has changed and the must-have tools all nonprofits need to reach donors and raise funds online in 2015 and beyond. She’ll share success stories of nonprofits raising significant funds through Peer-to-Peer fundraising platforms, and using social media marketing to amplify causes for a bigger impact.

Here are a few more things she will cover in her upcoming seminar…

Facebook Marketing
-What to post on Facebook to keep donors interested and engaged
-Benefits (and dangers) of boosting posts and buying “likes”
-Using Facebook Insights to understand your audience

Twitter Marketing
-How nonprofits are using Twitter effectively
-A look at top hashtags for nonprofits
-Ways to amplify your message

Mobile Marketing
-How nonprofits are raising funds via text-to-give campaigns
-Importance of making sure your web site (and donation form) are mobile friendly

Web site Design
-How to tell if your current web site is working for you
-Understanding which social channel is driving the most engaged traffic
-A look at top nonprofit web sites and why they are so successful
-How to ensure your web site is optimized for search engines

Holly Berkley

Holly Berkley is the author of “The Social Media Advantage” and works as an internet marketing consultant in San Diego.

Email Marketing
-How to building donor loyalty through email marketing
-Strategic communication ideas to retains donors

What are the costs of all this?
-Should you outsource Internet Marketing or bring it in-house?
-How do you measure success (ROI) of your Internet Marketing Campaigns?

Google Grants
-Who is using it? How can you benefit?

And more!

The Sanford Institute of Philanthropy is dedicated to Cause Leadership through the combined efforts of fundraising, board development and community engagement through better communication and management. More information at http://sanfordeducationcenter.org/

>Tickets for Making a Difference with Cause Marketing

10 Tips for Successful Internet Marketing

Finding your targeting audience

Remember, quality trumps quantity. It’s not about being everywhere at once, but rather focusing on those social spaces your audience is most engaged on.

The following blog post was submitted by one of my former students, who just completed my Internet Marketing Course at SDSU.

By: Ivana Mlinarevic

If you’re a business owner and aren’t taking complete advantage of what the Internet has to offer, well then it’s time to start! To be successful in today’s world of smartphones and instant connection, an Internet marketing strategy is essential. This article will provide you with the tips necessary to defining your business’ social media goals, increasing your online presence, and successfully optimizing your website to better reach your customers.

Find your target audience.
Understanding your target audience is key to defining your social media communication strategy. Once you clearly identify your target market, determining how and on which social channels to reach them becomes easier. Know what kind of information your audience is seeking and provide them with content they find valuable. Remember, quality trumps quantity. It’s not about being everywhere at once, but rather focusing on those social spaces your audience is most engaged on.

Use social media to communicate with your audience.
The beauty of social media is that it’s generally free. Each social network offers a slightly different purpose in helping your company reach its communication goals. Social media is an outlet for business owners to share original content, join in on discussions, and engage with their community. As you begin using various social media channels, you will quickly learn which social networks are fit for your business and which are not.

Post interesting, relevant and timely content.
Internet users look for information, entertainment and community. Share information on your website and across social media channels that encourages positive communication, reaction and interaction. Post content that excites your audience. If you are unable to generate original content, find relevant news or information and link back to the original story. Blogging is also a great way to keep customers up-to-date on new products, promotions, and company news. It’s also an opportunity to increase search traffic (See “Optimize Your Website”).

Use images.
Images help break through the clutter of social media. They are easy to digest, like and share. Make use of color in your posts, but don’t overdo it. When using images ensure they are relative, high quality, professional, and reflect your brand image. If your images don’t follow those guidelines, your audience will lose interest in your product and drift away from your website or social channel.

Search engine optimization

When implemented correctly, your social media strategy can play a big role in your company’s search engine optimization strategy.

Create a blog.
Blogs are a search engine’s best friend. Search engines are able to easily read and categorize blogs because they are text-based. Free blog services include WordPress and Blogger. Use Google’s free keyword research tool to determine keywords relative to your industry, other websites that are competing for those terms, and how many people are actually searching for that term. Once you’ve identified relevant keywords, use them in pages within your blog and include them as tags to help search engines know what your blog post is about. Blog about topics of interest to your audience. Controversial topics are also a good way to spark debate and draw readers to your page. Ask for feedback and respond to comments in a timely manner. Consider making negative responses public and addressing them in a professional way to build credibility.

Optimize your website.
The center of your Internet marketing efforts should be your website. Incorporate keyword phrases you’ve identified (using Google’s keyword tools or WordTracker) that produce the highest search volume and least amount of competition within the content of your website. To ensure your website appears when a user searches for those particular keywords, include as many keywords and phrases in the first paragraph of your website. Linking keywords or building pages around the phrase will also make your keyword optimization a success.

Keep the user in mind when designing your website.
Simple websites are best. Content and design are what keep your audience interested and eager to return. Be consistent throughout your site with fonts and color schemes. Avoid broken links or grammatical errors. Ensure your site preforms the same on all platforms. Showcase new content on your home page in a designated area. Make it easy for users to return to your home page at any point on your site. Finally, come up with a creative way to obtain your customer’s name and email address. Developing a database of information about your customer will help you better serve their needs.

Focus on the customer.
You have less than ten seconds to capture a visitor’s attention once they’ve reached your website. Rather than focusing on self-promotion, use your homepage to tell customers why your product or service is right for them. Include stories, images and information that clearly represent your brand image.

Consider Facebook advertising.
Facebook advertising is targeted, measurable and cost-effective. It’s also a way to quickly grow your Facebook fan base. This type of advertising is especially effective with local clients because of the ability to target by geographical region, occupation, interests, age, and other characteristics. There is no long-term commitment and it is a good way to test which ads are successful with your audience.

Evaluate and measure your engagement.
Enhancing your social media presence takes time, effort and patience. To keep track of what is being said about your company a listening tool is essential. Small businesses with limited web presence might consider Google Alerts, a basic level of social listening. Whereas larger companies might incorporate Salesforce Radian6, which provides a deeper analysis of conversations on the web. These listening tools can also help you keep track of what is being said about your leading employees and competition. A tracking tool such as Hootsuite can help monitor several social networking channels simultaneously while also tracking specific activities within your social networks – a huge benefit if your business is present on many social sites. A web analytics tool that provides information about your website’s activity is also a must. A free and easy to set up option is Google Analytics. Google Analytics can determine sources of traffic to your website, where your best visitors are located, and what people are searching for on your site. These tools will help you build a healthier and more engaging online presence.