Friday, January 30, 2015

Onine Marketing: aka Data Sharing - FAQ

Onine Marketing: aka Data Sharing - FAQ
What follows are good questions I  received from readers on the Data Sharing post yesterday.  Thanks for taking the time to send 'em, intending my answers help you along your way in our digital world.

1.  Where is a good place to start with my online marketing?

I would start with the most popular - and most accepted - tools. Today those are Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, PinIntrest, and Google+. And, those tools are going to change over time. In a month, six months, a year there will be new tools. For example, today Google+ is predicted to outpace Facebook as one of the hottest tools. A year ago G+ was almost invisible.

In previous posts I described how you can connect your blog to publish your posts to most of those free tools.  Also, different age groups use different social marketing sites. Depending on what age group you are targeting, you will use the appropriate site/tool. A video presence, youtube or vimeo, is a great marketing tool for any age group.

In a recent Forbes article they are saying that 92% of business owners (up from 86% in 2013) realize the importance of social marketing.

2.  I run my own business, what are free tools I can use, until I can hire someone like you?

 First and foremost, start blogging. Next, push that content to a couple of the tools mentioned above. That is the number one strategy I suggest to everyone. 

Next, I would take an hour every day and participate in social communities. Not to be selling every time you share or chat with someone, but to be educating and connecting with people. If you can't blog, get over it, or hire someone to do it. If you are not doing blogging then you are just kidding yourself about wanting to do social marketing.

As far as ROI, writing - or paying someone to write for you - is not a big outlay in time or expense, but the rewards are significant in terms of creating news about you that will become search engine content - driving people back to your blog and/or site. Blog sites are free. This effort only cost your time to write. 

About now, people usual tell me they don't like to write. and I always reply, I never used to write either. In life, we all just have to change our behavior(s) in order to evolve. Is that simple.

Lastly, there are many social marketing tools to assist you in the category of "support." For example, there are scheduling tools to automatically send tweets about you. This kinda support exists for the major tools. There are pros and cons about using them, but that is for another post. To learn more just google 'free social marketing tools'.

3.  I have a Facebook account with lots of likes and over 100 friends. How do you rate this in a social marketing plan?

On a scale of on to ten, with ten being that you are walking on the highway to guaranteed success in social marketing, you are at about a two. There are a number of articles out there about Facebook losing audience share, especially among younger people. 

IMHO, just doing facebook - or any other tool - is like sending information to only one major city in the USA. That kinda effort severely limits you and your resources.  Instead of divide your time to marketing in multiple tools. Per my analogy, marketing in multiple tools is akin to marketing in different cities around the globe.  Bottom line, I would not put all my energy, for me or a client, just in any one of the tools mentioned above.

4.  As a teacher, I want to incorporate more real life examples in my classes. What did you do to get this done when you were teaching?

This is a tough question without going into a long chat.....

In my classes, which were science, I used a lot of project learning lessons. The instructions would always have some measurement that used technology, technology related to what was happening in the news at the time. Also, my students were not thinking like a business owner, the technology they like was their phones and those apps. I had to make sure to tie my technology question to that scope.

Apps are a powerful medium for business marketing. IMHO, apps are a more powerful tool in education. In one project, I had the students design an app and they came up with some creative ideas. But, that class was filled with very creative students. My other classes would not have done so well with that assignment.

5. You mention that links are not worth doing anymore? Can you say more about this? From what I understand links used to be a good advantage if you did it correctly.

Links used to be a good strategy: relevant links and reciprocal links.  Relevant being related to your content or to your local community. Reciprocal was a relevant link that had a link to your site and you had a link to their site. But, I think the ability to "like" content pages, or just images, has pretty much replaced that old link strategy.

And, there was a lot of fraud by the spammers and such on that old linking strategy. Heck, if you put 100 links on one page. which were relevant and reciprocal, your site got an immense boost in the search engines - really Google. But, those days are over now with the new search engine software updates.

You will be better off doing blogging or going out to communities/groups and making posts now. Start small and work your way up the scale. You'd be amazed what you can accomplish in social marketing - just applying one hour a day.

Hope that information is useful to you. Always happy to answer your questions when I have time.

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