Tag Archives: business

The Web—that thin facade of readable design elements on top of the machine gibberish that constitutes the Internet—is fading. And the way it’s slowing being replaced has far reaching implications, more-so than anything else in technology today.

Think about your mobile phone. All those little buttons on your screen are apps, not websites, and they work in ways that are fundamentally different from the way the World Wide Web works.

An accumulation of data tell us that we are spending time on apps that we once spent surfing the Web. We’re fascinated with apps, and they’ve taken over. On mobile devices, more than 80% of our time is spent on apps, and less than 20% is spent on the Web!

This is quite a change. Back in the day we printed out travel directions from MapQuest and with one wrong turn we would be lost. Today we open up an app on our phones and are routed around traffic in real time. This is nothing short of a miracle.

Everything about apps is very efficient and convenient for users. Apps are faster and easier to use than going through, what feels like the long way, the Web. Behind the convenience factor, there is the end of the openness that allowed Internet companies to grow into some of the most powerful companies of the century.

As a example, let’s look at e-commerce and accepting credit cards. When Amazon.com made its debut, it had to pay a small percentage in transaction fees. Apple takes 30% of every transaction conducted within an app sold through its app store! App stores are locked to particular operating systems and devices, where Apple, Google, Microsoft and Amazon are the gatekeepers. Apple regulates apps that compete with its own software and services.

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The Web was invented by academics who had the goal of sharing information in mind. Unlike with app stores, there was no drive to control the early Web. Standards arose for programming languages. Businesses that would have liked to wipe the competition other off the map were forced, by the very nature of the Web, to come together and agree on revisions to the common language for Web pages and sites.

The result was that anyone could put up a Web site or launch a new service, and it was accessible to everyone. Google was born in a garage. Facebook was born in Mark Zuckerberg’s dorm room. App stores, however don’t work that way. The list of most downloaded apps is the main driver of consumer adoption. The search feature on app stores is broken.

The Web was created to expose and share information. It was so intent on sharing that it didn’t include any way to pay for information (something some of its early creators regret to this day, since it forced the Web to survive on advertising).

The Web became the avenue for exchange of information and, therefore, businesses had to design technologies that were compatible with competitors’ technologies. Microsoft’s Web browser had to faithfully render Apple’s website or else it would risk consumers finding an alternative browser like Firefox or Chrome, which has since taken over.

Today, apps are taking over and the Web isn’t the first priority. The process of creating new Web standards has slowed to a crawl. Meanwhile, businesses with app stores are devoted to making those stores better than and purposely incompatible with app stores built by competitors.

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The dominance of apps is becoming the natural state for software. Businesses are trying to use their market power to shut out competition, even when it’s not the way to go for innovation and the consumer. This doesn’t mean the Web will die. Facebook and Google still rely on it to supply a steady stream of content that can be accessed from within their apps. But even the Web of news items could disappear. Facebook plans to host publishers’ work on Facebook itself, leaving the Web nothing but a curiosity.

The Web might have been a historical accident, the birth of a powerful new technology going steadily from a publicly funded research lab to the public. It’s not that today’s top app companies want to suppress innovation. It’s that in the transition to a realm where services are delivered through apps, rather than the Web, we are adjusting to a system that makes innovation and experimentation that much harder for those who build things that rely on the Web.

 

For many small businesses, the Summer is the busiest season of the year. For others, it maybe the slow season. Regardless of which you happen to find your small business in,you can still be proactive and productive this Summer 2015.Nothing is hotter than social media right now: It is time to heat up yoursocial media strategies by following some of these sizzling social media tips!

Refine marketing with a seasonal theme

It is essential to make a few simple changes to your advertising that make it more appealing to a Summer audience.

During the hotter months of the year, people like to relax and let loose. Make sure that your ads and cover photos reflect this. Emphasize aspects such as relaxation, convenience and savings and fun. This is what Summer is all about! Tie your brand into the season.

Alter post times

When you target your audience is just as important as what you target them with. The timing may differ in the Summer from fall or winter.  In the colder months it regularly becomes dark between 4 and 6 pm so more people stay indoors and are more apt to conduct searches online.

During summer, however, it’s typically light out until 8 or 9 pm. This encourages people to stay outdoors much longer. In general, they are online less during the day, especially if the weather is nice. Keep this in mind when you schedule your posts.

Snap Summer “Selfies”

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Most businesses focus their marketing strategy on sharing business-related content, but giving your followers a peak behind-the-scenes can give them a better idea of your company’s personality and foster engagement for your other content. Use your business social media pages to post photos from the company BBQ cookout or picnic. Post some fun pictures of your loyal customers enjoying the hot weather! Share your staff’s favorite Summerrecipes or link to videos of Summer office activities and events. Giving your fans a glimpse on the inside helps strengthen relationships, makes your business more real and approachable. Show your business personality and increase engagement this Summer 2015!

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Summer Sweepstakes

Engagement is important to the success of your social media efforts and the best way to get your followers involved is to ask! Invite them to share their own Summer photos featuring your brand (i.e. A bridal shop inviting followers to share their wedding photos orHardware Store asking for project photos). This strategy increases your network engagement and you instantly will great user-generated content.

Take A Risk

Try somethings you usually wouldn’t do. Post more than you usually would, and not all of it should be about your product and brand. Go for the natural marketing feel by discussing things at a human level! Talk about Summer community events with your target audience!

Try A New Outlet

Take advantage of the potentially slower Summer business months! Use that free time to try out a hot new social media outlet. Try a visual platform such as Instagram, Vine and/or Pinterest. Set a reasonable goal such as posting 2 new photos per week. The 3 months of Summer may not be enough time to gauge the effectiveness, but it could also be a hidden gem in your social media marketing efforts that you can’t pass up! The only way to find out is to try and when September comes around, decide if you want to continue to grow your presence on that outlet.

You could also take a shot at a new type of social media post.Consider trying a Facebook quiz or trivia question, a caption contest, a question for the audience or feature a customer story.

Grow your Network

This is that hot time of the year to find new people and potential customers to connect with online via LinkedIn and Twitter. Trying to grow your Facebook likes is not a bad idea either. Keep in mind that if engagement is down for you (because everyone is enjoying the Summer), it is not unlikely that it is down for your competitors. Still, find that personal connection to people that can help grow your business evenduring the slow days of Summer!

If it happens to be busy for your business, grow your email list!Something as simple as a paper sign-up sheet can go a long way in helping you stay in touch with customers after they visit your boutique, eat at your restaurant, or come into your office.

This is a great chance for you to personalize your sign-up experience a little more than in the past. Ask for their name and email address, and since you’re face-to-face, you could also ask for their hometown to find out whether your new contacts are local or discovered your business while on vacation.

 

 

Nothing builds rapport, gets traffic, and makes sales like a great video

We are currently in the year 2015. Video is the dominant social media content format of choice along with a lot of sleek visuals. Video segments, “vlog” posts and videocasts are their own form of content that drives social engagement and marketing goals. It is time to boost your business marketing strategy and take video content to the next level! Over the past few years visual based platforms such as Pinterest, Snapchat and Instagram skyrocket in user engagement. Video has even been used more widely on Facebook in recent years. There are so many creative editing tools and apps at our fingertips, which make it super easy to create interesting videos with the touch of a button.

High quality and professional looking videos are no longer reserved only by businesses with big budgets. Businesses with smaller budgets can create video content just as easily without breaking the bank.

Dynamic visuals can help establish your business professionalism. If you do not use some sort of video content in your posting, audiences will take note because this reflects that your business does not keep up with the times and technology. You want to appear professional and reputable. More commonly, videos are starting to become more relaxed and natural. There is no need to set up a studio and use high end lighting and cameras because social media audiences are attracted to spur-of-the-moment content and a spontaneous feel such as videos recorded on smartphones. These are more engaging because more people can relate.

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Video builds trust, credibility and rapport

Recent studies show that people are more likely to spend time with someone they know but don’t like, rather than with a stranger. Presenting yourself, your products and service on video helps you to build familiarity, trust, credibility and rapport. Give your products and services a face and personality; develop a brand image.

Video content is a triple threat                                                                                                                                            Not only can people hear you, they can read whatever it is you’re writing and most importantly, people SEE your body language. They see your eyes, your smiles, your laugh, your nervous ticks, any facial expressions and gestures, along with much, much more. And that is the secret. Body language communicates more information than you could ever HOPE to write in a blog or post. You need video to communicate this body language.

Exceed your customers’ expectations

Customers want their information fast and easily! The best way to give it to them is through a visual presentation. People often search a number of sites before finding what they are looking for and anything that makes this mission easier and more enjoyable is greatly received.

A picture is worth a thousand words

According to research people tend to remember 20% of the things they hear, 30% of the things they see and a huge 70% of what they see and hear together. How many words do you think a minute of video is worth?

Make your business more social

By posting interesting content such as ‘how to’ videos on social media platforms, you can develop a large following and draw more potential clients to your website. Video is easy to share and in instances can become viral, being seen by millions of people all over the world. This can increase visitors, boost SEO, increase your credibility and keep you in the minds of prospective clients. Video on your website can improve your search engine ratings so you can gain more exposure and prominence.

Trust

Genuine video testimonials are one of the most powerful ways to demonstrate that you are a trusted business that delivers on your products and services. They show that you care about your customers’ experience in relation to your business, help to promote you and also prove that you create relationships with your customers and not just sell to them.

Increase your productivity

“How to” videos that visually explain how to do something not only help to sell your products and service, they also save you time by reducing the amount of questions you have to answer later on. They remove doubt, add clarity and highlight your message, products and services in the light you wish them to be seen.

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Time is of great essence when achieving public involvement in your social media. When setting up your business, you probably had to ensure that what you are doing is done at the right time. Well, the world of social media is not different from the real life set up of your business either. Whether you are posting on Facebook, Instagram, Google Plus or Twitter, there is a specific time at which you will get the most audience participation. Believe it or not, there are different times for each of the mentioned platforms that yield higher audience engagements.

When posting for social media, we must keep in mind that different platforms have different engagements throughout the day. The time at which your audience are occupied in different social media depends on the day and the time. When considering the best days, it is necessary to pay attention to the type of business that you are running. For business to business marketers, research has shown 14% uplift on weekdays, whereas for business to consumer brands, an increase of 17% is seen on weekends.

Facebook

According to statistics, the best days to post on Facebook are Thursday and Friday. Of all the posts made on any other day of the week, the engagement peaks by 86% on Thursday and Friday. The best time of the day to post on Facebook is primarily from 9am-7pm. IN order to get the most shares, statistics show that the best time to post is at 1pm. In order to get the most views/clicks, the best time is at 3pm.

Twitter

The best time to post on twitter for getting the most tweets is around 12pm, according to statistics, and around 5-6pm. Logically speaking, around this time, people are usually at lunch or leaving work for home; having more time to engage in social media.

Google Plus

The best time to post on Google Plus is around noon, any weekday.

Pinterest

According to statistics, the best time pin is on Saturday from 2am-4am and from 8pm-11pm. According to statistics, Pinterest activity peaks at approximately 9pm.

However, in order to get the highest exposure, it is necessary to monitor your audience engagement. According to the service or product that you are offering, the day and the time might differ. Regardless of the fact that the above times are recorded and yield in satisfying results, different business can expect to see a different turn on things.

Optimum engagement

There are many free social media analytics tools out there that provide ejkgxactly what you need. You need to take the time and input the effort when determining which provides the most assistance and information that you need in order to tailor the information and the time at which you update your social media platforms.

Business to Business

If your business focuses on selling products or services to other business, then updates need to be made during weekdays. Knowing the time at which your aimed audience is engaging is of vital importance. Most businesses engage in social media during the weekdays, during their work hours. Logically speaking, business to business engagement will not take place during Friday evenings or weekends.

Business to Consumer

If your business targets an everyday audience, then according to statistics, optimum engagement happens during the weekends, during the morning and noon.

In  conclusion

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Regardless of the fact there are preferred times at which posts should be made on Facebook, Twitter and Googleplus, and other social media platforms, you as a business owner needs to ensure that the posts and the updates that are made are done so at a time at which your target audience engages. The posts need to be engaging, and need to be posted at times giving you optimum results and optimum engagement.

Small business owners have been drawn to social media as a modern way to promote and market their business to get people to take notice. However, not many small businesses have actually had success keeping up with the constant updating and maintenance that is required on social media. A little time and effort is a small price to pay if it means gaining more followers and potential clients for your business. One was to gain exposure is to run a Facebook giveaway contest or sweepstakes to get your fans excited about an upcoming event, special offer or sale at your business. Even more benefits await you because a giveaway can also be an effective way to thank & reward the online users who have already gone out of their way to ‘Like’ your small business page and who are loyal to checking your page when you post.

The most successful small business Facebook giveaway doesn’t require your followers to dedicate that much time to participate. Much like yourself, your fans are busy so make sure the giveaway is time-effective for everyone. Keep it simple to optimize engagement and success.

Social media allows businesses to create their own contests and giveaways that can build links to your website (excellent for SEO), boost traffic and create social engagement with fans and clients. This can lead to increased brand awareness and the sharing of your contest on social platforms. Ultimately, giving away something for free can result in free marketing for your brand.

Ask yourself what the main purpose of the giveaway is. Is your focus to increase social engagement on your Facebook page? Or do you prefer to use giveaways as a link building technique? Ask yourself if you would want to enter this contest or giveaway. The better the prize, the more people you’ll get to like your page. People love getting things for free. One of the main reasons that people “Like” a business Facebook page is so that they can get a discount or win something. You need to determine your budget for promoting the giveaway and for the prize.

Sweepstakes Like

Gain their attention with a fun & unique reward

We all love getting things for free and we all love winning contests. With a small business Facebook giveaway, clients feel that their chances of winning are more attainable than a large known brand with thousands of participants. Most often, followers won’t really mind what they are getting for free, as long as it is free, fun and easy to claim.

 

Make the entry method entertaining and a memorable experience with your brand

Small business Facebook giveaways have guidelines to follow, but once you’ve set up the basics, let your creativity run wild. If you’re on Facebook have you entered any giveaways yourself? Think about what you’ve found to be exciting in the past or what your fans and followers would be willing to take part in. Consider asking trivia questions, running a poll on your products or common topics, asking clients to submit their own content such as photos, opinions, or feedback, or creating an interactive game. These are some of the most engaging ways to implement a giveaway or contest with your followers. If it is part of your small business practise, remember to request that users ‘Like’ your page before entering, so you can benefit from an increase in fans at the least.

 

Reward your most loyal social media fans

If you want people to start talking about your Facebook business page, you need to make the faithful followers feel special. Have a Facebook Fan night. Choose a particular idividual that always comments on your page and do something special for them. This small gesture goes a long way, and it will really increase your word-of-mouth marketing. You can generate social engagement by having users view and follow you on your social media channels. Gaining this exposure will give you a chance to find new Brand Ambassadors, customers, and to increase your organic traffic from search engines.  For a small price, you can gain an amazing number of followers and get your business out there!

small business giveaways

These tips should give you a basic guideline for how to approach the small business Facebook giveaway process. Do some research and check out some case studies of other successful giveaways by small businesses or contact Mobi Apps Experts. Learn from the best!

 

New Year, new you! Shouldn’t the same be for your business? Surely you have a few New Year resolutions for yourself for this year; however, have you considered any for your business? Small or big, your business deserves to be the best! If you are starting a business or if you have already established one, a mobile app is an absolute must! Look around, how many hands do you see void of a smart phone? None! Owning a smart phone is a trend going viral beyond our imagination! Now, in such circumstances, would you not want your customers to be able to access your company with ease, and have it at their fingertips? Here are 5 reasons why creating a mobile app for your business is a great way to progress.

  1. Integration

Creating a mobile app enables you to integrate all of your online platforms. It is a centralized place for all of your social media. A mobile app will allow you to maintain the most essential aspect of your website, and allows a potential customer to get a quick overview of your business  with ease. The customer will have access to your business at any time of the day and at any place through via an app on their smart phone.

  1. Up-to-date

Staying relevant is another way of understanding this. Publishing a mobile app helps you keep the relevant information needed and keeps you relevant to the audience using it. The latest studies show that people will spend as much time, if not more on mobile apps compared to online tools.  Up-to-date analytics say that 80% of all IOS and Android users spend time on the web via mobile apps rather than the traditional web browser.

  1. Customization for ease of access

The main purpose of the mobile app is to engage audience faster and attract them towards your business. Your mobile app should not be a replica of your website. It should be a brief and pared down version of your website. It should include relevant information and avoid the inclusion of extreme details. This will ensure a visually clean and an easy to use app. In the case of more information, referral should be made to your website.

  1. Increased Engagement

Evidently, there is increased engagement through the use of a mobile app. The days of shouting from the top of your lungs in public place to get attention have long disappeared. Customers want to be heard, and their opinion is valued by a company they work with.

  1. Special Benefits

Another benefit of a mobile app is to offer special benefits to the users. Many of the mobile app platforms let you to offer prizes or special offers. App users can get the offers through text messages or as an alert when they open the app. If you give exclusive offers through your app, customers will be more likely to use it and also to recommend others. Mobile devices are quickly becoming the way that customers find services they need, and access information they want online. Rather than be left in the dust, creating a mobile app for your company can keep you relevant and help your company to grow.

 

If you’ve built your business’ social media presence, at some point you’ll have to deal with negative feedback. Social Media is a unique public environment that has its own type of culture and expectations. Traditional customer service and public relations may not always be enough. How you, as the business owner, handle negative comments will go a long way toward creating a new customer or driving a potential sale away. Read on for tips on how to handle complaints or negative feedback online.

The following tips can help you handle a negative comment appropriately, keeping your customers happy and coming back.

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Address the comment efficiently: usually negative feedback falls into one of the following categories: a business error, a misunderstanding, a complaint or spam. Identify the category and come up with a positive solution that addresses the issue.

Don’t delay: word travels fast on social media platforms, so respond quickly, particularly during a bigger issue. You should respond in hours or less, not days later. A slow response can damage your company’s reputation and credibility.

Respond to each complaint in public: the culture of social media demands that you are addressing the issue so the public can see your reliability. You do not need to discuss every detail in the public space. Try posting, tweeting, or commenting back in response with something like “please email me more information” or “looking forward to helping you. Can you message me more?” Also when it is all resolved, communicate that back as well on the platform. Say something like “Thanks so much for letting us know. I hope the issue has been resolved for you.” Follow up is very crucial. Make sure you comment on the original stream where the complaint was written.

Usually the customer is not seeking to rat you out on social media. They just want to vent to other users or try to force you to address the issue. You can turn the complaint into a golden opportunity by jumping at the chance to publicly show that you are there to provide a service and to help them. You are approachable and available to resolve problems. You are demonstrating that you follow through and get back to your customer quickly.

Don’t be defensive: When you get a negative comment, don’t take it as a reflection on you or on your business. Handle the comment but do not react defensively because you do not want to escalate the issue. Be accommodating, polite and listen to what the complainant has to say.

Recognize your mistake: If your business made an error, don’t hide it. Don’t delete the comment or ignore it. It will only aggravate the commenter, or move the conversation elsewhere. Deleting things on the internet will bring into question your integrity to the complainant and all your followers. You do not want to challenge the person negatively. Remember, this is in public, and you are being judged by all your followers. You can block users who abuse the site, and remove inappropriate comments (ex: racist, derogatory, etc.). Mistakes happen, and you just need to deal with them. Recognize the complaint, apologize publicly and then take the conversation off the social media platform to resolve the problem.

Offer an incentive: When it comes to handling complaints, sometimes you have to go the extra mile to keep the customer happy and get a positive out of the situation. If the person isn’t satisfied after your explanation, you can offer a business service or a discount to convert the complainant to a satisfied customer.

Ask for an explanation: If someone posts a negative comment you still need to address the comment. Ask, “What do you feel I did wrong?” and go from there. Ask them what a good resolution would be. It’s basic customer service. If they are not satisfied, apologize and compensate them.

Set the tone: the general nature and tone of your posts will set the rules of engagement on your site or page. A pleasant and positive tone creates an atmosphere where aggressive negativity or attacks will seem out of place. If your comment stream is nice and open, it is likely that your followers would come to your defence. On the other hand, avoid sounding like an authority and never try to outsmart anyone since the internet is always smarter.

Negative-Feedback

If you are trying to create a web presence for your business you should know that social media can be an extremely useful and advantageous marketing tool for growing your community and getting your product or service exposed in the online world.With some time and effort put into a few social media pages, you can bring in new clients.

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Marketers are well aware that there may be an occasional slip up and all their efforts backfire when it comes to Facebook promotion (or any other social media marketing for that matter). Maybe you are not getting many followers or you are attracting the wrong kind of followers. What can you do to fix this? Here is a collection of some common and quite basic social media mistakes that are made by new business owners who move online along with the solution to resolve them. It is simplythe best idea to avoid making these Facebook don’ts in the first place because damage control may end up taking forever. If you are one of these unfortunate souls that make a common mistake, don’t fret. Take it as an opportunity to show your audience how committed you can be and show them your best effort to come back gracefully from the fall.

5 Common Mistakes:

#1 Not using or misusing your account

When followers see that there is hardly any activity on your profile or business page, they automatically assume that you do not put the effort in. The easy fix is to make sure you update at least twice per week with posts that are relevant to your business brand image. Remember that posts don’t need to be long, just so long that they are there. This gives an impression that you care and are actively there for your audience.

Other times, users end up treating their professional accounts as personal pages. Do not make the mistake of posting controversial views. Instead, stick to neutral opinion while still giving your online presence some personality. Try to keep your personal and business accounts separate. The business account should still maintain an aspect of professionalism.Don’t lose your credibility my making spelling mistakes either. Reread before posting! You may choose to link the two so that your followers can discover the person behind the brand if they so desire.

#2 Not customizing your profile

When you set up your social media account, you are in charge of customizing it according to your business brand and the image you are trying to evoke. If you leave your page blank, how would you expect to bring in fans? You have to appear trustworthy and be a little imaginative. A quick fix is to give a basic outline of information to establish an identity…this can include your brand name, logo or photo and a brief description of who you are and what you do as a business.

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#3 Posting at the wrong time and frequency

Avoid posting when your fans are all asleep. Save your update for the daytime when your followers are logged on and active. Try weekends, mornings or after work. In addition, when you post too often it could end up annoying fans instead of helping you. If you post too little you will not be noticed. Find an in-between. A simple fix is to look at responses you get on your posts and note the time so you can posts according to when your fans are active.

#4 Not linking back to your page

Why post anything about your most recent blog without linking back? Give links even if you mention the title of a blog or reference with a hashtag. Audiences won’t bother searching for your much if you don’t link.

#5 Lack of engagement

It takes a lot of effort to gain followers and sometimes you may attract ones who may not necessarily have interests in line with your brand. Try to follow people who you think would be a good addition to your network. Follow influences in your business community.

Once you have followers, you need to maintain their presence by interacting back. The point is to collect a community of people, not just empty accounts! Your followers are your potential clients and they should be valued. Acknowledge them and thank them for any contributions related to your business page. Start a conversation and invite them to visit your blog or give feedback.

Social media platforms such as Facebook are a beneficial tool and powerful way of reaching out to your audienceand future clients. If you use your accounts with these guidelines in mind, you will increase your chances of getting great customer engagement and support!

You’ve seen it all over the city: on TV and billboards, on Twitter and Facebook, on silly T-shirts and ball caps. It may seem confusing or unnecessary to a novice social media user, however, the hashtag (#) yields a great power that is more than just a fad. As early Twitter users intended, the hashtag—that pound sign that precedes short links—serves as an integral way to communicate with a vast and diverse audience online. The hashtag is a golden opportunity for established businesses and even small business owners to send out a message on all social media platforms in the blink of an eye. The hashtag allows business owners to build brand recognition and to reach and engage with potential clients and followers online.

Hashtag in a Flash

On Twitter, the pound sign turns any word(s) that directly follow it into a searchable link. This lets you organize content and follow topics based on keywords. If you wanted to post about the Breaking Bad finale, you would include #BreakingBad in your tweet to join the conversation. Click on it to see all the posts that have that hashtag in real time. Keep in mind that you can use the @ symbol before a person’s Twitter handle to tweet at them directly, rather than using the hashtag.

You can invent your own hashtag as well because there is no moment like the present! Place a hash before a series of words such as your business name or brand slogan and there you go!

Here is how to use the #hashtag on different platforms:

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Twitter: Twitter is the birthplace of the modern hashtag and so the hashtags here are the most versatile. Denote a specific topic and look at the “trends” sidebar to see hashtags you might be interested in.

Facebook: Facebook only recently added hashtag support in June 2013. Clicking on Facebook hashtags will take you to a list of posts containing the same hashtag.

Instagram: Hashtags can be used to complement photos shared on Instagram and help you gain followers.
Pinterest: Use Pinterest hashtags to search for content. Click on the hashtag in a pin’s description to sift through results that contain the exact hashtag or similar words.

Want to know which hashtags are trending across social media platforms? Hashtags.org tells you which tags are trending in real time.

Hashtags for Business

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Many mainstream brands now have Twitter accounts, and many choose to create hashtags to promote specific events or marketing campaigns. If you want to use the hashtag as part of your business strategy, here are a few tips:

Consolidate your tweets: Use a specific account that will represent your business. Set up a business account and have an employee tweet on behalf of the company in a scheduled manner.

Use trending hashtags: See what hashtags other business competitors are using. If you’re promoting cheap travel deals, you want to use hashtags like #FlightDeals so  audiences can easily find you with those keywords. Make use of trending hashtags if they relate to your business. If you use something irrelevant in a tweet about your brand, you may look like spam and it will hurt your credibility.

Create your own hashtag: Don’t be afraid to create your own hashtag for a special event or marketing campaign. Remind your followers to share it in related posts. Use it on all promotions.

Be specific and keep it simple: If you’re using a hashtag to join a conversation, make sure it is specific to your topic. If you’re talking about The Ottawa Hospital, use #OttawaHospital instead of simply #hospital or #health. A vague or generic hashtag won’t do you any good. Neither will long links or hashtags used too often because they can look like spam. Three hashtags should be the limit for Twitter or Facebook. You can get away with a few more for Pinterest or Instagram. Don’t hashtag the same word more than once in the same post!

Keep in mind, your hashtag’s visibility will depend on your privacy settings. If your Twitter account is private, only those authorized to see your tweets will have access to your hashtags. If you are using hashtags to increase your business reach and gain brand exposure ensure your tweets are set to Public.

 

Why your business needs Google+

Harness the power of Google+ and see what it has to offer for your business. Read along to see how to gain more influence and exposure for your brand and your business.  The first step is to create a profile and to link it directly with your website. The Google+ badge allows you to do this. When you have the badge on your website, you will increase your chances of getting more audience from your website and search results to your Google+ page. There are many features that Google+ offers, so take advantage! Once you establish a connection between your website and your Google+ page, your followers will get the sense of your business as having quality and authoritative content. Keep your posts up to date so that first time visitors get a good impression.

Start using hashtags. They are a great tactic for getting your brand out there beyond your followers. Google plus recognizes hashtags and gets you more exposure so use them in all your status updates. The platform may even suggest some hashtags for your topic.

Google+ cover images are now bigger. Take advantage of this fact and go visual! Upload an impressive design with your brand logo. Showcase a new product, express your brand image, advertise an even tor share contact details. With great graphics, your opportunities are endless.

You can also host Google+ hangouts. This is a great free alternative to online meeting software. You can have   10 participants in an active video, however, you can stream it unlimitedly to viewers on YouTube.  Use Google+ hangouts for interviews, discussions, screen-sharing webinars or meetings.  Get to know your audience better by joining open invite hangouts.

Google+

Why your business needs Pinterest

With marketing leaning more and more towards the visual, you need to include Pinterest in your strategy. Your brand has a story to tell and visual content is the way to go. Start showing the online world your brand image through compelling graphics. Visual marketing is a huge trend and Pinterest has great potential. Photo sharing is second nature on this platform. The audience is engaged and active so it is easy to get your business noticed and passed around.

Pinterest is like visual storytelling. Share the feel of your company or your lifestyle as opposed to your product.  The most popular pins are fashion, food and home decorating. Tailor your activity to your audience. You want to showcase lifestyle ideas to allow your audience to imaging themselves using your product or service.

You can share a thank you pin to show appreciation for your fans. It’s a simple gesture yet says a lot and can gain you new followers. Pinterest also allows you to get closer to your fans because you can humanize the brand. No need for slick marketing tactics. Some rough-around the edges, homemade photography is all you need to capture some interest.  Ultimately, visual storytelling is the most popular way to reach your fans right now, and Pinterest is the perfect place to start. You are giving your audience a 360-degree view of your brand, products and service. If you aren’t comfortable with providing the glamorous pictures Pinterest craves, you can feel free to share other people’s images and re-pin. It is a positive image sharing site.

Why your business needs Twitter

Twitter has a whole bunch of new stuff to offer for your business marketing strategy. Start seeing results! Twitter is unique because it is seen as a microblogging tool for sending short, disconnected messages or tweets of 140 characters long to your followers. You can include links to other web content, images or videos. Adding a visual greatly expands your message beyond the 140 character limit. You can follow others, even those you don’t know personally, and anyone can follow you so it is easy to retweet and share, expanding your potential client base.

Choose an account name that is consistent with your brand image. Start following others on Twitter. You are essentially subscribing to read what they share so be selective. Next it is your turn to start talking. Here it is different from other social media sites. It is much more fast-paced and it’s a stream of ideas and sentence fragments. It can be hectic but fun! You can send a tweet, @reply in response to someone, mention another username, direct message a follower, or retweet something you like. For your business, you need to find the ideal spot between what your audience wants to hear and things that promote your business. Focus on the benefits you can offer. Give useful information and you will be considered a valuable member of the community. The quality of what you share will help grow your following.

 

 tweet and pin