Key Social Media Methods To boost Your Business

Kiev, Ukraine - August 26, 2013 - A collection of well-known social media brands printed on paper and placed on plastic signs. Include Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Google Plus, Instagram and Tumblr logos.

Welcome to the world of online marketing where connecting with an audience is key to making a profit. There are numerous forms of promotion you can look into for boosting the profile of your business. But we think one of the key forms of marketing you should definitely be using is social media. By using social media, you’ll be able to connect with your customers and hopefully find your target consumer. Social networks allow unique possibilities for marketing that are simply unavailable through other methods. There are a number of different social networks that are perfect for marketing your business. On this post, we’re going to have a look at a few of them. We can examine their importance as well as their unique advantages.

Twitter

Twitter is a place where you can update your followers with new information about your business. Or, if your startup isn’t open yet you can let people know when you will be entering the market. By doing this, you can build up support and interest in your company. It’s a fantastic way to expand an already established customer base as well. Online, you have the possibility to use the resources at your finger tips and Twitter is certainly one of them. But now, you have other ways you can use Twitter. For instance, you can share content across this network as well as pictures and videos. By doing this, you can catch the interest of clients in unique ways. As well as that you can retweet other businesses in your industry. By doing that, you may gain the attention of customers who previously used your competition. It’s a brilliant way to catch your competitors off guard.

Instagram

One of the fastest forms of business marketing online is the sharing of images. That’s why Instagram is proving to be an increasingly popular tool for business owners. It’s a great opportunity to show your customers the people behind your marketing and create an interesting campaign. You can even use Instagram to set-up ads online. It’s easy to learn how to create Instagram ads. By doing this, you can run a campaign that helps not only you but any advertisers you might be working with. This type of dual promotion could be tremendously beneficial for your business. When using sharing networks such as instagram, don’t forget to hashtag content. Statistically, adding hashtags to content leads to more shares.

Snapchat

Lastly, it’s important to understand that the face of online marketing and social media is changing. In the past, Facebook and Twitter used to be the key players. These are still important platforms, but they are being overshadowed by new ideas. Specifically, the chance for business owners to share live content with their customers and clients. Businesses have already seen degrees of success with this idea using networking devices like Snapchat. By creating a story on Snapchat, you can mould a unique marketing strategy that updates in real time. Doing this, you are sure to win new clients and keep the interest of already invested customers.

 

Bring it Back to Basics With This Week’s Clay-Themed Vine Challenge

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7 Fun Ways to Harness Social Media in Your Startup

Tom Cannon, Guest Post, Startup Tips, YECIf your company hasn’t learned to harness the power of the social media world yet, here’s one reason you should: according to Google, nearly 60 percent of people talk more online than they do in real life.

So where do you begin? There are plenty of avenues to take. Here are some ideas for putting your business into the spotlight, gleaned from a recent Ragan Conference in Orlando, Florida.

  1. Host a Google+ Hangout On Air. What do Maroon 5, the Dalai Lama and President Obama all have in common? They’ve all hosted Google+ Hangout On Air sessions. It’s a new spin on having conversations with your audience by allowing them to engage with your product and meet the people behind the brand. Disney, for example, premiered its “Lincoln” film trailer through the Hangout On Air feature. Here’s how it works: log into your Google+ account, click Start Hangout and conduct an online video chat that streams the conversation live. Every Hangout on Air is automatically saved to your YouTube account.  The most important thing to remember: practice beforehand, so you can nail things like lighting and sound.
  2. Start an ambassador program. Your employees can be your best advocates or your worst enemies. Chances are, you’d like to go with the former. Many of them already use social media, so why not harness the energy of engaged employees into something useful? Start by creating a social media customer engagement policy and conduct training. Sprint does this in an entertaining and wildly successful way through its Social Media Ninjas program. They even have “black-belt” ninjas who tout the latest devices. Consider taking that a step further and recruit fans outside of your company as additional ambassadors.
  3. Hold a contest on Pinterest. Pinterest offers a creative and meaningful way to connect with a huge audience –especially female customers ages 25 to 34 — many of whom spend loads of time on the site. By holding a contest, you can connect with a niche audience that was likely not paying attention to your company before, and it can give you insight as to the audience’s needs and wants. TIP: Use curalate.com to measure your Pinterest presence. It finds images about your brand to help you measure your reach.
  4. Tweet with gusto. For starters, let your personality shine through when tweeting. Start the conversation by asking your fans questions so they can generate colorful commentary. For example, Marvel asks its fans for thoughts on movie releases and games. And across the company’s Twitter accounts, hashtags are sprinkled in. The handy little # symbol categorizes tweets by topic and can make a huge difference. Case in point: When the NBA held its slam-dunk contest this year, viewers were asked to vote for favorite dunks using #spriteslam as the hashtag. Likewise, #spriteslam was tweeted 50,000 times in the first two minutes it appeared on-screen. But be sure to check your hashtags ahead of time. The pithy phrase may already be in use, and it may not be in line with your branding. Likewise, have a fresh pair of eyes look over the hashtag. Susan Boyle’s #Susanalbumparty was a PR disaster.
  5. Listen to your fans. When Tasti D-Lite’s technology and digital marketing exec noticed a fan tweeting about potentially buying from the dessert company later in the day, he offered her a Tasti D-Lite coupon and she continued to tweet about how pleased she was with this interaction. This took less than a few minutes to do, but think of how effective it was. Along the same lines, when a Phoenix Suns fan sent out a tweet and photo complaining about a bad seat at a Suns game, the Suns social media team offered the unhappy fan a special seat in a suite. His resulting tweets were positive and influenced his huge audience.
  6. Publish killer content. What makes content good? It has to be engaging enough that people want to share it. Ask yourself is this relevant to my audience? Does it answer a question? Does it provide entertainment? Do you have share buttons next to your content to make it easy for your readers to share it with their friends? And remember, you don’t have to generate all the content. Ask your audience members to guest blog, which will enable you to reach their audiences, too.
  7. Develop a social media strategy. Of course, none of this makes sense if you don’t have goals and long-term thinking in mind. Just like anything else, you don’t want to throw your brand out into the social mediasphere all willy-nilly. Having a strategy will help you plan ahead for contests and such, and it helps you to shape your message. Keep in mind: any good social media strategy should address the good (contests and coupons) and the bad and the ugly (customer complaints).

Tom Cannon is the CEO and cofounder of BungoBox, an Orlando-based company that rents moving containers made of recycled plastic as an alternative to cardboard boxes. Founded in 2009, BungoBox now has 20-plus locations in the U.S. and Canada and plans to open 150 more franchise locations in the next five years as part of a steady and strategic growth strategy.

The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, the YEC recently launched #StartupLab, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses via live video chats, an expert content library and email lessons.

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Do You Look At Employees’ Social Media Accounts

Social media snoop, Startups, Founders, YEC, Guest Post

Question: As CEO, be honest — do you look at potential employees’ social media accounts? If yes, what is it you expect to see from someone you WOULD hire (vs. wouldn’t)?

Positive and Professional

“Whenever we are vetting new team members, we tend to do a little Internet sleuthing to find out more about the person. Social media accounts are a huge part of that. We will look at Twitter and Facebook accounts to get a feel for their communication style and attitude. A positive attitude and professional communication give us confidence that their interaction with clients will be the same.”

Part of the Application

“I ask for links to all social media accounts right on the job application, and always check them out before contacting the person for an interview. The reality these days is that all of your employees represent your company, and they need to be aware that what they do and say is public. If I see a Twitter account or public Facebook page filled with angry, negative rants, that person is out!”

Don’t Actively Look

“I don’t actively browse people’s accounts because I don’t want to see what they do in their private life; that’s not what I am hiring them for. However, if candidates send me their profiles for me to learn more about them, I click. If nothing is hidden, it’s a downside because they come across as taking privacy lightly. I prefer to get a link to a well-maintained résumé site or a LinkedIn profile.”

Christian Springub | CEO and co-founder, Jimdo

Both Potential Employees and Current Employees

“I regularly monitor social media accounts of my employees. Negative things that I watch out for are excessive profanity, inappropriate photos, and explicit and/or suggestive conversations. It gives you a window into who somebody really is as a person. Every single one of my employees represents my brand. Therefore, I want people who present themselves in a way consistent with our image.”

Let Yourself Shine Online

“Definitely. I personally maintain a private Twitter list of potential hires and monitor them over time, for example. But I’m primarily looking for familiarity with social media, a sense of humor, and a true passion for what our company is doing. Consistent negative updates are usually a deal-breaker.”

Derek Flanzraich | CEO and Founder, Greatist

A Quick Glance

“I will look at the social media account of anyone I’m considering adding to my team — because of my field, I need to hire people who are already web savvy. But I also expect to need to give them some training and guidelines on what I expect to see on their accounts in the future. These are new tools and people aren’t always aware of what’s appropriate initially.”

It’s Part of Your Brand

“Absolutely, I do. The first thing I look at is a potential hire’s LinkedIn account and who I know that’s connected to him or her. We work with our clients to make sure their LinkedIn profile displays their professional brand in a positive way, and I expect the same from a potential employee.”

Very Valuable Tool

“I want to know that they fit the job description. For some positions social media is not relavant, but for some, I want to know if they are who they say they are and if they would fit my company culture. Social media is a great way to connect with anyone and also find out information about anyone. It is a tool, so use it as such.”

In the Age of Transparency

“Sure, I check them out; I like to see leaders and influencers. I stay away from shy people. We are in the age of transparency, and I want the members of my team to feel comfortable sharing their details online.”

Absolutely Not!

“I see little to gain by snooping on prospective employees personal social media accounts. I would fully expect to find them engaging in completely unprofessional activities outside of work as they should be. I’m more concerned about what kind of game face they can put on when the suit up in the office and judge them on their professional performance alone.”

Christopher Kelly | Co-Founder, Principal, Convene

Social Media Doesn’t Lie!

“People tend to always interview really well, and sometimes that means they choose to withhold certain information that prospective employers wouldn’t want to hear. Every employer should look at a potential employee’s social media to see how they truly behave as a person. as we’ve found this always does play into their work ethic and character in the workplace.”

Time and Frequency

“Yes. During the interview process, we consider social media use in the context of time and frequency. If an applicant is consistently active during working hours, that is the only real red flag for our business — unless they are managing company social media accounts. For a social media specialist, online presence is a job requirement; otherwise, it’s a distraction.”

Smile on Social Media

“In our business, we work with the public. Smiling and being friendly is important. I expect to see potential employee smiling in photos and socializing. If I see potential employees not smiling in any photos or posting photos of inappropriate behavior, I would not want that person serving my customers.”

Nancy T. Nguyen | Founder/Sweet Sylist, Sweet T Salon

The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, the YEC recently launched #StartupLab, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses via live video chats, an expert content library and email lessons.

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Berlin Entrepreneurs Trying To Curb Facebook Fatigue With Flowsee

A new Berlin based startup called Flowsee is hoping to take advantage of Facebook fatigue by offering users a social network with a local angle and curated multimedia. Flowsee is a mashup of Facebook, Instagram, and Reddit.

The Flowsee social network has multiple category pages like music, tech and photography. In each of the categories users can upload photos and videos that are relevant to that category or whatever other categories they like. Pictures, links and videos are then voted up or down in a way similar to both Digg and Reddit with the most “likes” getting to the top of the page.

While the site is stating out and focused on Berlin, the company feels that it’s readily scalable. Back in late October they told us that they had already surpassed 10,000 users per month.

Like some other social networking projects, while Flowsee has a definite infrastructure to it, they are letting early adopters use the social network the way that they want to. For instance, vendors at the Mauer Park Flea Market has started using the platform to post their handmade and vintage goods for sale. Co-founder Olivier Jarfas told Silicon Allee that it didn’t take long for the vendors to start adding photos and even videos to their pages.

We all know that Facebook isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, they past the billion users mark last year and continue to move forward despite the fact that their stock market price is a lot lower than they had hoped. Nibletz co-founder and CEO Nick Tippmann also reported earlier this week that Facebook may be perceived by teenagers as “for older people”.

As a result more and more social networks are popping up. Most of the newer social networks are finding verticals to launch in like food, academia and careers.

As for Flowsee, we got a chance to talk with the Berlin based team. Check out the interview below.

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Steal Time Back From Social Media with “Productive Sharing” – James Sposto Founder Of Xtrant

Xtrant,James Sposto, Guest post, Memphis startup,startup,everywhereelse.co The Startup ConferenceHow much do time do you spend on social media?  How many hours a week does Facebook take from you?  How often do you pause to tweet, to post a photo, even to send a group text?

Yes, you enjoy it.

Yes, there is networking to be done.

Yes, Twitter is part of the fabric of your life…we all get it.

But as those hours get sucked away there are things that need to get done, things you are putting off: It could be that novel you are writing, right? Or that report that’s due on Friday. Or this blog post – the one you are reading now – the one that I put off a few times, and you’ve found thanks to social media (don’t feel guilty, this counts as research.)  Social media – or “Social Sharing” is addictive because it’s so useful – so easy to adopt.  But like any opiate, it steals from our personal productivity, and in the aggregate it steals from humanity’s productivity as well – deep down you know the millions of hours spent on FarmVille could be used to cure the disease of your choice.

Okay, you can argue that most of the folks who sit and while away the hours on social media wouldn’t be doing much anyway, and it’s better to keep some of them occupied instead of stirring up trouble – but that’s another essay. 

Let’s be idealists here – and cite an artificial statistic (I know, damn lies and all.) “When Twitter goes down, worker productivity skyrockets 50%.”

continue reading at the xtrant blog

James Sposto is a film maker, designer, entrepreneur, co-founder of digital creative agency Sposto Interactive  and the co-founder of Xtrant, the official project management startup for everywhereelse.co The Startup Conference.

 

Charlotte Serial Entrepreneur Unveils Soccer Startup Social Network KYCK

KYCK,Charlotte startup, North Carolina startup,NC Startup,startup,startups,soccer social network,startup interviewMac Lackey and Ross Saldarini are serial entrepreneurs in Charlotte North Carolina, they’re also soccer enthusiasts.  The pair have started several startups and even had a few exits. Their most notable exits were selling internetsoccer.com to a public European media company, and selling Mountain Khakis to Remington.

Now they’re back at it again, infusing their love of startups, social media and soccer into one new company called KYCK.  KYCK is a social network, and community for soccer enthusiasts connecting them to each other and an abundance of great soccer related content.

Through a proprietary content delivery system that Lackey calls “media layers” they are able to offer even the most scrupulous  of soccer fans the best possible experience through their own personal soccer focused dashboard.

While we’re all familiar with how popular soccer is overseas, a poll conducted by ESPN earlier this year showed that soccer has climbed to the second most popular sport in the United States behind football among those age 12-24 which is one of the most important demographic for professional sports.

(source: ESPN)

With the vast amount of soccer related content, pouring in from across the globe, and the increase in popularity for the sport, KYCK is poised to become the destination for soccer fans around the world.

We got a chance to talk with Lackey about soccer, KYCK and raising a startup in Charlotte, North Carolina. Check out the interview below:

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Tampa Startup OBCIDIO Is All About Social Collaboration INTERVIEW

OBCIDIO,Tampa startup,Florida startup,startup,startups,startup interviewA new Tampa startup called OBCIDIO mashes up social networks to make one easy to use collaboration platform. OBCIDIO combines real time social communication with file sharing, content management and networking tools. It’s like Asana meets Facebook and LinkedIn to focus on working together with different people in your social networks.

In addition to your private feed that’s leveraging your personal social networks there is also a public feed where you can share whatever you would like with the entire OBCIDIO community.

When we asked co-founder Ryan Waier how he’d describe OBCIDIO to his grandmother he said:

“OBCIDIO is best described as a mash-up between Facebook and LinkedIn. By creating or plugging into different social communities, members can filter out the noise and focus on the communication, people and content that is relevant to them.

Every member that creates an OBCIDIO account also receives their own personal cloud to manage communication, contacts, files, tasks and schedules with the ability to create or plug into existing social communities.

Social communities on OBCIDIO can range from members creating regional networking groups for sharing referrals, to companies creating their own private social network for coworkers to share content, ask questions and crowdsouce feedback.

Our communities provide social communication, collaboration, and project management tools unlike other forums or groups you would find on sites like LinkedIn. The purpose of these communities is to give members both a voice and a medium to actively engage in solving problems, pooling knowledge and forging new opportunities.”

Check out the rest of our interview with Waier, below:

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Facebook Is What I Like, NY Startup Mirror is What I’m Like INTERVIEW

Mirror, a startup in New York’s bustling flat iron district, has created something innovative and different bridging parts in a few different spaces. Mirror says that Facebook is what I like, and Mirror is what I’m like. With Facebook you talk about the things you do and like. With mirror, other people talk about what you’re actually like. It’s in essence bridging online personals, online dating, and people recommendation engines in a unique way.

Where California startup Recmnd.me is about people recommendation at a professional level, mirror is more personal, and more free flowing. For instance if you’re a really nice guy, and a great romanticist, people on Mirror can vouch for you or as the Mirror team calls it, people can give their “take” on you. If you’re a passionate entrepreneur that’s helped a bunch of folks, one of your takes can say that. Or to borrow an example from their website, if you’re a really great DJ, people can add that to their take on you.

Mirror bills themselves as real recommendations by real people. The platform can be used for dating, to find new business colleagues and to make new friends. They leverage real contacts and real opinions of someone rather than trying to build around a social graph or recommend people based on whether or not you like Mark Zuckerberg’s dog. The Mirror platform has real potential.

We got a chance to interview Dan Mattio, check out the interview below:

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Buy,Sell,Swap Your Clothes With NY Startup ClosetDash INTERVIEW

Just yesterday we brought you the story of a new social e-commerce platform centered around the newest and latest fashions. With Ann Arbor startup HangTrend you can see the latest styles, talk about them with your friends and even purchase them direct from the designer. HangTrend is about the hot new clothes.

NY startup ClosetDash is about the buying, selling and swapping of gently used clothes. Face it there are tons of clothes in most people’s closets that they’ll never actually wear out in public again. For whatever reason, that great dress, or pair of slacks is hanging in the closet .Wouldn’t it be great if you could easily sell them, or swap them?

What if you’re looking for a way to affordably outfit a new wardrobe. Wouldn’t it be cool if you could go through someone else’s closet and find your next great outfit?  Well with ClosetDash you can.

ClosetDash was created by Jennifer Lee, for exactly those things. The concept sounds a lot like Australian Y-Combinator startup 99dresses sans the virtual currency model (which in most cases is actually better).

Jennifer Lee goes into detail about how ClosetDash works in the interview below, but it’s basically this, you upload your closet and open it up to the ClosetDash community. You can sell clothes, swap clothes and buy clothes to put in your virtual ClosetDash closet and your actual closet at home.

Check out our interview with Lee below:

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Boston Startup: HoursForEquity An Alternative Jobs Social Network INTERVIEW

Let’s face it, in the earliest stage of a startup many founders are looking for co-founders, and other team members that will work for equity rather than an actual paycheck. It’s a gamble for the employee, if the startup doesn’t get off the ground, all that hard work may not have paid off. On the other hand, if the startup catches on fire like say, Instagram, you may have just earned seven figures for six months of coding.

Finding workers, co-founders, designers,engineers etc, that are willing to work for equity is a challenge in itself. Some workers feel that working for equity is like volunteering, and with the statistics for startup success as low as they are it’s definitely a gamble.  Some founders don’t like to advertise that they are looking for equity workers, and they don’t necessarily know how to find them.

That’s where Boston startup HoursForEquity comes in. HoursForEquity is exactly what the name suggests, it’s a web portal connecting folks that are willing to work for equity, to those willing to give up equity for their work.

Bill Lott, co-founder of HoursForEquity tells us that their platform allows employers and founders to search a database of local, national and global people willing to work for equity. This way you can find the perfect team with the skills you need to succeed.

We got a chance to interview Lott about HoursForEquity. Check out the interview below:

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