Mashable’s 8 Tips for Managing a LinkedIn Group

This is a great read from Mashable and I think the general principles apply not only to LinkedIn, but to running a group or community on any platform. If you thought just engaging in social media was a lot of work, read this before you get all gung-ho and decide to start your own group! If you do it right, and follow these guidelines, you’ll see that it takes time and effort to create a successful group.

Read More

Using Online Social Networking To Reinforce Offline Networking

I’ve been attending quite a few different networking events and groups lately, to expand both my business and social circles and so I’ve been thinking about how social networking happens on and offline. For me, networking is about more than collecting business cards – it becomes much more interesting, fun and effective when you add social media into the mix as I describe below.

If you are not already connecting the dots between your offline and online social networking, you’re missing out on the real benefits. In The Tipping Point Malcolm Gladwell emphasizes the importance of ‘weak ties’ – social media is the perfect way to maintain these – especially for an introverted geek like me who’d prefer to tap at a keyboard than pick up a phone ;)

Read More

Drive Traffic Using Q&A Sites To Show Your Expertise

Demonstrating expertise in your field using Q&A sites is a budget-friendly marketing strategy that can drive traffic to your website. Such sites allow the general public to tap the knowledge of the community to get answers to their questions. You gain from the exposure you or brand receives and you typically get a link from your profile back to your site. You can sometimes also reference articles you’ve written as a source, if that’s appropriate.

To make it easier to stay on top of this strategy I recommend you use an RSS reader to subscribe to the most relevant categories for you on your chosen sites and scan them every day or few days to see where you can jump in and contribute.

Read More

Flickr Marketing Tips From Open Forum

While the last thing this country, businesses or individuals need is to buy more stuff with fake money – yes, I mean credit (hee hee) – American Express, in a smart attempt to get people to do exactly that, have started a useful business community called Open Forum where you can find marketing, technology and other business tips. All snarky comments aside, Open Forum does provide some great info from leading industry experts. I like this article in particular on using Flickr to promote your business, and the fact that it emphasizes the need for high-quality submissions.

Flickr is not just a community of photos, it is a community where high quality photography is appreciated. Sure, people use Flickr to share their point and shoot photos with family, but the power users of Flickr and the communities that you would care about as a marketer are usually looking at very high quality images.

Read More

What Is An Online Marketing Strategy?

What is an online marketing strategy?

Sometimes people’s eyes just glaze over when I talk about online marketing strategy. Perhaps they’re thinking ‘I have a website and I’m on Twitter, what else is there?’ Or perhaps it’s just one of those big fuzzy terms about which people have a vague concept but no real clarity.

Well here’s what I’m talking about when I say ‘online marketing strategy’. It’s essentially a roadmap for how you market your business. It’s not just about being on Twitter or Facebook, those tools are just a couple possible pieces of the puzzle. Your strategy is a long-term plan for your online marketing that utilizes the relevant tools for your specific business and most importantly  – all the parts work together to achieve your business goals.

WHY you need an online marketing strategy:

1)   To help you identify where you should be spending your time and efforts
2)   To help you stay on track with your business development
3)   To establish benchmarks to measure your effectiveness
4)   A well laid out plan will keep you from feeling overwhelmed by the task of online marketing
5)   Likewise your plan can provide inspiration when you’re not sure what to do next.
6)   If you have a staff, everyone needs to be on the same page – laying out a clear strategy will help.
7)   Consistency in your efforts and messaging is key and having a roadmap will help you achieve this instead of blindly fumbling along.

Read More