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Taking LinkedIn to the Next Level

by: Dana Chen Fischer 

linkedin markeitngSocial media has many faces, but the most purely professional face of all belongs to LinkedIn, the self-proclaimed “World’s Largest Professional Network.” Here are some ways you can put this connection-building powerhouse to work for your business:

Build your own community. LinkedIn makes it easy to connect to the people you know and ask them to introduce you to the people they know. Its focus as a professional social media platform ensures that these connections are all there primarily to do (or at least talk and think about) business. Your potential base of connections grows exponentially with every new contact you make. and since everyone on  LinkedIn has a professional profile, you can even use it to help you decide who you want to connect with and why.

Use it as a soapbox. If your company has a blog, push those posts to your LinkedIn account. Include links back to your business website along with a call to action that encourages readers to learn more or even make a purchase based on the information in the article. This tactic is a powerful means of attracting people who might never normally see or know about your blog and turning them into devoted followers. It's also a tremendous advertising platform.

Get interactive. One of LinkedIn’s greatest features is the wide number of groups created by members -- groups based on every possible segment and demographic, from college alumni to clusters of hobbyists. In other words, it’s chock full of easily identifiable target markets for your business. Even better, these groups regularly engage in spirited online conversations on topics relevant to their interests. Join the appropriate groups and get involved! By expounding on your knowledge, dispensing advice and answering questions, you brand yourself as an industry expert and go-to resource.

Good luck!

Has Social Media Crushed Email Marketing?

by: Dana Chen Fischer 

Social Media versus Email Marketing Nowadays, Social Media is the buzz words and businesses of all sizes try to figure out how to reach and engage with their customers.

While your Facebook page might have a lot of likes, if your fan rarely interact with your page or your post, your updates will have very slim chance to show up on their feeds due to Facebook’s edge ranking algorithm.

Regardless how active somebody is on the social media, people are all pretty good at keeping up with their emails, so email marketing is a much reliable way to deliver your message. Email marketing can help with both your lead generation and customer retention efforts, which is why it’s an effective tactic for businesses of all industries.

There are two important components for any successful email marketing:

  1. An Opt-in email list.
  2. Relevant and interesting information that you are sending.

Many companies try to find shortcut and even buy email list; those email campaigns normally have very low open rate and could also be potentially damaging to your company’s reputation. Your domain could be black listed if a lot of email users label your emails as “spam”.

Here are some tips on how to generate your in-house opt-in email list:

  • Ask for it: ask and you shall receive! During any customer touch points, you can ask the permission to add them into your mailing list. You’d be surprised by how easily people will give theirs up if you just ask for it. Whether in a physical store or on a website, people are accustomed to being asked for their email address, so don’t worry about scaring anybody away.
  • Give some incentive: if you’re having trouble generating a list of email addresses, consider adding some incentive for those who give you their information. Offering promotions, discounts, or valuable information via a whitepaper or webinar in exchange for email addresses will be more successful.
  • Run a contest: similar to providing incentives, you could also run a contest and raffle off a product, service, or just a popular item. All you need to do is to have people submit ballots that include their email address - if your prize is good enough, you’re sure to generate a decent list of contacts.
  • Friend referral:once you do start sending out communications, a great way to grow your database is to get subscribers to ‘Forward to a Friend.’ Put a ‘Forward to a Friend’ link in all of your newsletters and drive subscribers to a page where they can type in their friends’ information and you’ll instantly add to your list of contacts

Email marketing still plays an important role in today’s digital marketing mix, so use it even if it’s not the latest “thing” out there; it’s one of the most effective digital marketing strategies. 

San Jose Web Development - See NetEdge's Difference

by: Dana Chen Fischer 

Earn Big Returns with an Effective Web Site Marketing Plan

What does your web site do for your company? If you answered anything other than, “Increases profit,” the web site is a liability. Grab the lion’s share of online customers looking for your products and services--or your competition will. Learn how by answering The Five Questions.

Five Questions You Need to Ask Before Investing in Web Site Marketing

You wouldn’t pay a contractor to build a new office building for your company until you were certain that the construction would more than pay for itself by meeting your current needs and anticipating future growth. In the same way, an investment in web design and development needs a solid plan before construction begins. 

Ask Yourself:

  1. What do we want the web site to do for our organization? Start your site’s web design and development by analyzing your company’s web site marketing objectives. Do you need to establish your company’s branding and image online? Increase sales? Bring in more leads? Reduce operation costs and improve efficiency? 
  2. Who do we want to attract to the site? Know who your target customer is and exactly what they’re looking for. Then work with your web site development consultant to implement strategies that capture the prospect’s attention and lead them to your site. 
  3. What do we want the visitor to do when they arrive at our web site? Contact you for more information? Get a quote? Make a purchase? The web site development and design should appeal to visitors, build your credibility, overcome any hesitations they may have, and entice them to act immediately. 
  4. How will we know what marketing strategies are successful and what need to be improved? A solid web analytics program gives you detailed information about the success of your internet marketing campaigns--who is visiting, where they've come from, what they’re looking for, how they behave on your site, and much more. Most web developers can implement web analytics technology in a web site, but it’s essential that your web analytics strategy includes an expert who knows how to interpret this information, see how it fits with your web site marketing objectives, and make effective recommendations. 
  5. Technology changes rapidly. How do we keep our site current and relevant? A vital part of an effective web design and development strategy is planning for future growth and changes in technology. Your internet marketing consultant, like other trusted business advisors, should create a web site that anticipates changing technology and easily accommodates it. They should also conduct regular evaluations of your site’s status, and make recommendations to ensure you stay on top of the competition.

Do you have more questions about marketing your business online? NetEdge's expertise and dedication to helping our customers achieve their internet marketing objectives sets us apart. 

Get Acquainted with the New Facebook Timeline

by: Dana Chen Fischer 

Well, it's finally happened. Whether you had already switched over or not, as of March 30, 2012 every business with a Facebook site has automatically received a face-lift in the form the Facebook's new "Timeline" design. Not everyone is thrilled about all the changes, but there are actually several exciting new features you can take advantage of once you've learned how the new design works. Let's take a look at some of them.

The first thing you'll probably notice is the absence of the default landing tab that once graced the top of your site page. But don't panic, because you can still create custom tabs that allow for like-gating and direct traffic toward various point both inside and outside Facebook. The great thing about this change is the addition of a huge, attention-grabbing cover image where the default landing tab used to sit. You can use this image to entice customers with pictures of your products or services. While the rules dictate that you'll have to take out ads for full-blown promotions, you can add custom thumbnails to push special deals and encourage sales.

You'll find other bells and whistles in the new design. The Like button now displays when you've already liked something while also letting you add it to Interest Lists. You can also add business milestones, pin a given post up on your Wall's top position for up to week, reposition your shared photos to any point on a page and much more.

If you're have more trouble than you'd anticipated getting the hang of the Facebook Timeline layout, don't worry -- we're here to help. Contact us and our digital marketing consultant will go over the features together so you can see what these changes mean for your business's Facebook presence.

How To Use Social Signals To Please Search Engines?

by: Dana Chen Fischer 

social media optimization, social signals for seoSocial signals have now become part of the ranking factors used by search engines and one very clear indication about this trend is their integration with social media platforms. Google, for instance, has become omnipresent across various social media through the ownership of social channels like YouTube, Picasa, Orkut, Google+, and Blogspot. Microsoft and Yahoo have also made their 'social move' with their announcement about an alliance with micro-blogging site Twitter aimed at giving them greater access to content and tweets, which can be very helpful to deliver more relevant results to users.

SEO, this recent development in search algorithm has changed the landscape of our web optimization strategy – now with social factors considered as part of the equation to improve our website's position on SERPs.

Here are some social strategies we can employ:

  • Twitter posting - it's pretty amazing to realize that a 140-character post we make in our Twitter accounts can help improve our website's ranking on SERPs. The links we post are actually crawl-able, index-able and therefore can help to generate more inbound traffic.
  • Facebook page - this is another platform that is crawl-able and index-able by major search engines and certainly can positively influence a site's search engine ranking, which gives a boost to our SEO campaign. Creating a Facebook page allows us not only to build social media presence but for SEO purposes as well.
  • Google+ exploration - this social media platform by the search giant Google provides us lots of benefits, opportunity both in reaching out to people in the social network and for SEO. It allows us to build our own networks of potential customers, create a page that could best represent the products and services we have. At the same time, we can take advantage of its features and functionality, helpful for our web optimization campaign.
  • Harnessing the video channels - posting interesting videos are a great help for our SEO campaign most especially today that more and more potential customers are going the audio-visual way. Posting video content that provides interesting information about our products and services can go viral through likes and shares, which is helpful SEO-wise.

Using Social Media to Improve Rankings - Some Tips

Optimal number of authoritative followers on social media platforms helps maintain social signals consistency.  If our social media activity decelerates, then our ranking is likely to be impacted accordingly, the following can help:

  • Creating and sharing high quality, interesting content – this is not just helpful for SEO but it helps us build our brand as an authority in our niche. 
  • Building natural relationships – we can identify specific segments of social media communities where people are interested in our business; we must build good relationships with them.
  • Implement tactics that will improve SEO - social media channels employ technical restrictions on the data that can be presented in results because of privacy policy issues. With that, it is necessary to get an expert guide about using these channels for SEO.
  • Keyword strategy still works - this is also effective when leveraging this strategy on social media channels.

With some social media optimization techniques, our websites can have better opportunity to achieve better positions in SEPRs. We just need to be always diligent in our SEO works.

For social media set-up, please contact us at NetEdge Marketing.

Mobile Marketing - Catch the So-Lo-Mo Wave!

by: Dana Chen Fischer 

so-lo-mo wave - social media, local search, mobile search marketing

Social Media, Local Search & Mobile Search Collide in the So-Lo-Mo Revolution

The convergence of latest internet and wireless technologies has created a powerful new opportunity for mobile marketing – social networking and local search through mobile devices (smart-phones and tablets). These location-based mobile social networking services are revolutionizing mobile marketing by allowing users to:

  • share real-life experiences via geo-tagged user-generated multimedia content
  • exchange recommendations about places
  • identify nearby friends 
  • and set up face to face meetings 

Influencing the buyer is no longer enough; now you must influence the buyer’s social network to increase the potential for sales exponentially. People want to tell their friends where they are “hanging out”. They do this with their mobile devices. They use an app to ‘check in’, and it sends a message to their friends. It’s a win-win situation – customers get rewards, discounts and offers, while businesses get more word-of mouth advertising. 

Is your business geared to incorporate social local networks into your mobile marketing strategy?

‘Checking in’ with mobile devices

You can use a smart-phone to ‘check in’ wherever you go – whether it’s at the airport, a holiday shopping trip, parks, bars, museums, libraries or a local restaurant; and share your whereabouts with all your friends. With services from Foursquare, Yelp, Facebook Places, Gowalla, Google Places and others, users can get special discounts and offers for their willingness to share information about their whereabouts.Mobile apps let them post messages to Facebook and Twitter whenever they visit a place and want to let their friends know about it.
  • It's a great form of word-of-mouth marketing for local businesses. People have shown they are willing to allow their devices to be tracked in order to take advantage of special offers. 
  • Foursquare has garnered millions of users who want to let people know where they've been, where they're headed and where they are now. 
  • If you’re a business owner, it allows you to reward customers with a coupon or offer when they ‘check-in’ to your business. It provides a measurable way to reward your most loyal customers while attracting new ones. 
So is your business optimised for social mobile marketing? 

Knowing a consumer's location, as well as the time they're at a specific location, can be a useful“predictor” of his or her intent to buy. You can use location-based marketing to:

  • Deliver a coupon, offer or discount to a mobile phone user
  • Display local ads to a person visiting a website from a specific location
  • Deliver detailed product information when someone is standing in front of the product
  • Offer incentives for location-based activities such as visiting a store multiple times
  • Make it easy to find nearby things such as stores, ATMs or even vending machines
  • Provide events and social opportunities based on a physical location
  • Share location-based information with others in a social network

Leverage the next trend in Mobile Marketing

Time and localise your mobile marketing to reach people who are actively sharing their location online. Here are a few tips for getting started:

  • Specify which geographic areas you cover. If you’re a service business that travels e.g. a plumber, you can specify on Foursquare, Facebook Places, Yelp or Google Places which areas you cover. This is also helpful for pizza/food delivery businesses.
  • Optimize your website for mobile. An easy-to–navigate mobile friendly site is a necessity, not just an option anymore.
  • Ensure your own location(s) are “check-in” worthy. Would you check-in to your own location a second time?
  • Allow customers to opt in. Not everyone is going to want to disclose personal information such as their interests and their location, so give them the option.
  • Be transparent. Once a customer has opted in, make sure to explain exactly how you plan to use the personal information you collect from them, assuaging any concerns over privacy issues.
  • Create great deals. Reach out to the deal services such as Group on and Living Social and ask specifically for ways to participate in their instant deals.<
  • Make it easy to opt out. Don't “lock” customers into a program they decide they don't want to be in. Just like any level of customer service, it's all about keeping customers happy, loyal and eager to make purchases.

Smartphone owners want quick access to location-relevant information on-the-go.So-Lo-Mo offers powerful new ways to promote practically any product, service, or venue.Whatever your goal, role, or industry, contact us to help you find new customers, strengthen brand loyalty, and increase profits.

Why Integrate Social Media to Your Sales Process

by: Dana Chen Fischer 

social media sales process integration

An effective way to strengthen your business relationship with your clients

Businesses are increasingly turning to social media to enhance brand visibility, increase sales and strengthen relationships with their customers. By engaging in a rich, ongoing dialogue with customers, companies can better understand their evolving needs, resolve service issues more effectively and gain true brand advocates.

Driving Website Traffic

Savvy companies are successfully using social media to drive sales and build traffic. What matters is how you decide to use all the tools of social media and how they’re integrated to work together. Play off of each other, complement each another, reinforce messages; and at the end of the day, effectively drive traffic and engage users. Cross-promote each account or profile.

  • Look for your audience by searching for groups that are directly related to your product or service.
  • Ask the question, “Have you tried our product yet? We would love to hear your feedback!” This simple call for client testimony can inspire a great conversation.
  • Include a video on your site and publish it to YouTube to spread the knowledge.
  • Plan an integrated campaign that utilizes chat software, direct mail, print ads, radio spots, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn ads, mobile initiatives and an interactive Twitter billboard.
  • Post a weekly blog. Once that blog is published, have it set up so that it automatically posts to your Facebook page within a few hours.
  • Craft tweets that are scheduled to go out once a day (at different hours on different days) with a link back to your blog.
  • Also post articles of interest and company updates. Ultimately, everything should keep to the goal of pointing back to your website.
  • The website must have conversion architecture, so visitors can easily be led into the buying cycle.

Consistent contribution across all platforms is an absolute must for social media success!

Building Customer Loyalty

Online tools such as blogs, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and others can help provide businesses with opportunities to enhance customer relationships in real time.

Here are some of the ways to put social media to work to improve your brand loyalty so customers will want to promote your company in a positive way.

  • Monitor Customer Comments. Most customers and first-time buyers make purchase decisions based on the online comments they read. Designate a person on your team to track and monitor all social media mentions for your organization / brand.
  • Anticipate Needs. To be proactive about identifying customer needs, consider promoting a survey via social media. The survey can help with new product development, branding and positioning, and overall reputation monitoring.
  • Address Complaints. Act quickly when you discover negative comments online, since bad news can spread rapidly. Determine what went wrong; resolve the customer’s problem and then blog about how you took care of it.
  • Engage Customers. Encourage customers to share feedback directly, via comments on blogs or a Facebook page, or via Twitter. These channels create exciting new opportunities to gain real-world insights into your customers’ attitudes and needs
  • Encourage Satisfied Customers to Talk. Encourage satisfied customers to share their experiences on social media sites. If you have brand advocates who love your product or service, you may well be at the top of the list of recommended names.

Social media makes it easier to understand your customers, track their needs and provide the product or service they want. These same applications can help you tell them that you have just what they need!

Google introduces social platform: the Google+ Project

by: Dana Chen Fischer 

google plus program, google social

Google has recently launched a new technology called Google+ Project aimed at  addressing the growing demand on social media services. Compared to other  social media platforms – often flawed by privacy problem, restriction options –  Google has engineered this platform to fix the issues mentioned.

Google+ Project has the following features:

+Circle. With +Circle, you can create a specific group of people for a particular interest in  your network. For instance, you have 100 people in your network - some of them might have  interest on movies while others like sports and some others love books. +Circle makes it certain that you share particular information to a circle of people who find it interesting.

+Sparks. Another feature of Google+ Project that allows you to strike-up a conversation about anything that interests you and the people in your network. All you need to do is add your interests and you will have something to watch, read, share and discuss to specific people in your network.

+Hangout. The platform features on-screen gathering with multi-person video. Google+ Hangout allows you to stand-by when you are free and spend time face-to-face with the people in your circle. This will bring you and the people in your network even closer together

+Mobile. Google+ Mobile makes your pocket computer even more personal. The platform is designed so that you are still conveniently connected with the people in your circle even if the only available medium of communication is your phone. + Mobile has two important features: (1) +location – allows you to add your location to every post and (2) +Instant Upload – makes uploading and sharing of photos a lot easier.

+Huddle. This feature allows you to experience group messaging that lets everyone inside the circle know what is happening, right this second.

7 Things Social Media Can Help Your Business Grow

by: Dana Chen Fischer 

social media marketing

  1. Branding - social media marketing can help for brand awareness by sharing your company profile or name in the social network. This can be done through video presentation, designing banners that best represent your business, sharing informative content about the brand you are promoting.
  2. Build own network – social networking sites take a huge chunk of the webspace as more and more people are into it. On twitter, for instance, you can build a network by increasing the number of your followers. You can also do the same on Facebook through fanpage. In this way, you can connect to business individuals with same interests.
  3. Build business relationship – building a good relationship with customers (and potential customers) is also an important strategy that every business should take into consideration, knowing that customers have this natural “buy-by-trust” attitude. With the help of social media, this can be attainable.
  4. Direct contact to potential customers – when you establish your own network in the social media sphere, it will just be easy for you to have a direct contact with your potential customers. This can be done through chat conversation, sending private messages, initiating a group discussion.
  5. Find new customers – with hundreds of millions of people engaging in social media activities, each market segment certainly has a representation. You can generate a list of prospects that will eventually turn into customers when you build a social media presence.
  6. Give product/service updates – with social media, you can easily give product or service updates to your potential customers. Whenever you want to introduce a new product or service or send special offers, you can do it effectively if you have established a customer network in the social sphere. You can easily broadcast the message you want to share to your recipients.
  7. Manage reputation – as a business entity, reputation management plays an important role to maintain a good image in the market - social networks allow you to do that. When your company is an established social media user, you can easily address whatever issues that your customers have with your product or service. This is vital because un-answered concerns or issues can cost your business revenues.

Facebook Overtakes Google as most visited site in the US

by: Dana Chen Fischer 

Facebook Overtakes Google as most visited site in the US

What does this trend mean for your business?

I browsed some tech pages earlier today and was surprised by the news saying that Facebook dominated the website space in the US in 2010 – making Google slipped to 2nd spot. This trend provides us an idea on how popular this social networking site has become. Connecting 400 million people around the world, Facebook indeed has become one of the most influential objects on the Internet. 

For business individuals, the news validates the claim that social networks are a great tool for business success. Therefore, if you are an Internet marketer focusing only on search engine optimization campaign, you may need to expand your business horizon through social media and this could help you achieve even better return-on-investments.

You can start your social media marketing through Facebook. And to start it right, learning the anatomy of Facebook page can help. Below are some important components the page (profile badge) must have:

  1. Branding – is simply the art of being knowable, likable. Your Facebook business page must have your company or business name.
  2. Profile Image – aside from company logo, your page must also include your profile image and it must be authentic and looks professional.
  3. Contact – another yet important component is your contact information which includes your business phone and Fax number, email address, and your website where your potential clients can find more details on what your business is offering.
  4. Offer – a simple offer like  "call us today for free website assessment” ignites excitement which can help you build a list of prospects, followers.

When your are done building your Facebook business page, you can do the following to promote your business:

  • build your network, list of fans
  • post links to articles which relate to your business valuable to readers,people in your network
  • end promotional messages or newsletter to people in your network.

In doing that, you are building a social network reputation necessary to convert people in your network into loyal customers.

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