Using social media for business has become a mainstream way of marketing, and many non profit organizations use social media as well to get their message out. Should churches also be considering becoming up to date in communicating their message? Michele Beardon wrote an interesting article for the Tampa Tribune this week about how some churches are using social media.
Here is an extract:
Facebook is the “new front porch” for congregations, says Ed Stetzer, president of LifeWay Research, a Nashville-based nonprofit that focuses on the Christian community. If you’re not using it, he says, “shame on you.”
“And the same for Twitter,” he says. “Pastors who lead churches without a social media presence might as well be talking in a sanctuary without a microphone, without an audience.”
In a LifeWay study published last year, 47 percent of 1,003 Protestant churches surveyed actively use Facebook — for everything from interacting with congregants to distributing information to fostering member-to-member relationships. Typically, large churches (with more than 500 members in average worship attendance) are the biggest users, and they tend to be in bigger cities or suburbs.
What about the other half not yet engaged in the popular social networking service? Stetzer isn’t surprised that some pastors aren’t so enthusiastic about it.
“Social media is a conversation. Clergy are accustomed to making pronouncements,” he says. “Now you put yourself in a place where people can challenge you in a public space. That can make some uncomfortable. But they’ve got to learn to deal with it.”
The use of social media and technology in the church was also featured as a TV report.
The Relevant Church actively are embracing technology.For their Easter outreach event this year Relevant Church created a website, video and active social media promotion strategy. I think that there video introducing the church gives people a good idea what going to their church would be like and perhaps dispels some assumptions about what church is like
Do you think that the church should be using social media more actively?
Social media is an excellent medium for entrepreneurs and small businesses to adopt to increase the exposure, branding, and reputation of their business. There are many ways that small businesses gain an advantage by using social media. This article explores some of the advantages of using social media as a platform for building business and increasing profits.
One way that a Realtor can set them selves apart from their competition is by using social media and online marketing strategies. In this article there seven ways, as a real estate agent, you can leverage social media sites to generate more leads, and more business. To really become focused and specific, contact a social media consultant to create a personalized social media marketing plan.
Saying ‘thank you’ has been engraved in us since we were too little to know what it means. When other people do things or give us something, we thank them. Just like how people buy something from a store and the saleperson thanks them. Why not do this in your own business, too?
Thanking your customers and addressing them by their names is a plus to your business. As social media becomes more powerful today, it has gives entrepreneurs a chance to thank people in a unique way. It reinforces your appreciation with the advantage of technology and allows you to reap benefits for your business.
Depending on the kind of business you have online, thank your customers through social media. Thank each one of them who has helped your business. Even if a sale has not been finalized, extend to them a message of thanks. It is the opportunity of having served them is the reason to thank for. It leaves a lasting impression on them and this might just convert into business or sales.
Use Twitter or Facebook and drop them just a few lines from there. Send a thank you tweet or post immediately or in the next day. This reminds them about your business and might just get them coming back.
It doesn’t really have to be a tweet or post with the exact words, “thank you.” You can give it a little twist by adding in appreciation beyond the usual wording. And if you want a grander way of expressing gratitude, use Youtube. This can give a good impression as well.
Here are some more tips that a business start up, and even established business can really benefit from. These tips can be used to increase the number of links from all over the Internet back to your blog or website which will give your site more search engine visibility. Social media can also be used very effectively by incorporating popular sites used by mobile phone users into your marketing strategy.
Participate on other people’s blogs and discussions. These efforts can be worth it and will prove to be valuable in the long run. It’s all about building a reputation and establishing your credibility. So get out from your shell and be heard, be discovered! Look for at least three blogs that are in line in your industry. Read their content and participate in their discussions with a personal touch. Narrate your stories, connect with other writers as they can prove to be valuable in future endeavours. You can discover good reads is to visit popular blog directories like Guy Kawasaki’s Alltop which covers a lot of topics and Technorati for small business blogs.
Social Review Networks and Local Strategies
Popular social review sites like Yelp and Foursquare. These two have unique features but will help pull your business up to the economic map. Yelp provides reviews on local business while Foursquare is a game that gives you a city-guide and friend finder at the same time and is used by people with mobile phones. Mobile social networks are found to be very powerful marketing tools for small businesses locally. Like other social networks, signing up is free but the rewards are plenty. Other local strategies will include Google maps and Bing. Promote your local shop effectively by giving away discounts, promos and don’t forget to ask for a review from customers.
Comments and Conversations About Your Company
Pay attention to conversations, discussions and what other business owners have to say. Be in the know with free email updates from Google Alerts. You can keep track of important and learn what Google finds about events in your industry, names of competitors and even about your company. Then, try quantifying your web analytics data with Google Analytics. It keeps you posted on how much traffic comes to your website and how effective you marketing strategies were implemented.
Multimedia like videos, photos and audio promise lucrative results when incorporated in your social media marketing endeavours. You can do this in YouTube and Flickr among other popular multimedia sites. You don’t need to be an expert at making videos, a simple video about your company and the services you offer is enough. If your blog or website has a video to share, you can upload a copy of this on YouTube. Photos are also very helpful and build an interest to possible customers on your products. Share these photos on Flickr by signing up for a free account.
Maintain Brand Consistency
Be sure to be consistent about your brand. This will help your customers find you when you maintain a consistent brand. Do not use different usernames and profiles when signing up for accounts. One is best to have as small details make a great difference. You can check for available usernames and user profiles in sites like Namechk or KnowEm. If the username you picked is not available then go for something can be used based on your search. Be sure to pick of a name that will speak about your brand. It should be relevant to your business and not just anything you like to use.
Combine the use of Social Media Tools
Sign up to as many social media networks as you can. One is not enough. After all, signing up is free. Leverage social media marketing tools by connecting Twitter to your Facebook account. Your tweets will appear on your Facebook wall. Next thing to do is to connect your LinkedIn profile to your WordPress blog. In LinkedIn you can share shreds of your recent blog posts. You can also install tools into your blog like the TweetMeme and ShareThis plugin. Maximize your blog’s content by writing in all the social media tools.
Social media marketing becomes less time consuming and more effective when automation and integration methods are utilized.This does need to be done wisely, however, as the value of responding in person to comments is not to be underestimated.Most people on social media are looking to network and communicate with real people, and so the personal aspect of social media should not be ignored when creating your social media strategy.
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Social media marketing provides a boost for small business start ups. It starts by having an effective marketing plan that will map out your goals clearly. Take advantage of social media for your marketing efforts with these top ten tips below.
Having a company blog is the hub of all your marketing strategies. It gives great value for business start ups. Reserve a domain name that is suitable to your business. Rather than using your business name, find a URL that has the main keywords that people would type in to find your products or services.You can start by setting up a blog at WordPress.com or try registering to Posterous, a site where you can share stories, photos, videos and other media in it. However this is a temporary start as these sites have limited features, and are not so easily found by your readers
Content is essential to attract readers. These people must find your blog enjoyable and interesting to read.Demonstrate your expertise by sharing great information. Provide tips and answers to possible questions your potential customers might need.
Create a profile on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a business oriented social network for professionals, and it’s huge, with nearly 100 million users as of March 2011. It provides an excellent platform for networking and connecting with other business owners and your target market as well. Use LinkedIn to look up potential customers and connect with them. A powerful feature that most businesses benefit from LinkedIn is getting a “recommendation” from customers, clients, and vendors. This is possible when you ask your customers to recommend you after a successful job done. You can also look up groups that are relevant to your business and get involved with their conversations. The groups in LinkedIn help you to share great information and become seen as an expert in your industry.Contribute ideas that you find useful to your customers and other people.
If you want low cost marketing opportunities, use Facebook. With more than 600 million users daily and counting, Facebook provides a huge target market for your business. With this site, you can build online visibility and get your business heard and known effectively. Upon signing up, create a Facebook Business Fan Page with your company name. You will need to create a personal account first before creating your company page.
View other competitors and analyze their Facebook presence. How many fans of friends do they have? What is their Page’s content? Take a look at their wall posts, photos and videos to give you an idea of how they are using Facebook.
Another incredible marketing platform is Twitter. It used by most businesses both online and offline to spread the word. When you visit its website, Twitter has a simple guide to help you understand how you can benefit it for your business account. Spend a little time of your day to familiarize the site. Again, you can check out your business rivals Twitter pages and see how they are using it. You can also learn about its advance tools to leverage Twitter like Twitterfall, TweetDeck, Seesmic, and Tweetie.
All these social media tools can be used to build your brand and establish an online presence, making it easier for potential customers to find out about your business. People prefer to do business with people they know ,like and trust, and this is the foundation of social media marketing. Social media marketing for business can be extremely effective if it is done correctly. If you would like more information about using social media to launch your business we can help – in fact if you are too busy to do it yourself, we offer do-it-for-you services. Contact us for a free consultation
In recent years technology seems to have exploded with new innovative products and the Internet has become commonly available to millions of people. As a result of this, a reliance on social media networks has developed to help people stay connected in this fast-paced world. For example,over 500 million people have a Facebook account and Facebook has grown to be the largest website on the Internet in a matter of two years. If you ask around you will find that most people have a Facebook account. Twitter is being used constantly by people to get their messages across. Thousands of videos are uploaded on YouTube daily and viewed by millions of people. Human beings feel the need to need to connect, it is part of who they are and technology advances have enabled us to be able to connect and build relationships across the world.
An online social network is where people get together to talk about common interests. For businesses this is an ideal opportunity to communicate with their target audience. Businesses that are involved in the social network media are able to attract potential clients, develop more frequent connections with existing clients and manage their online reputation. Social media gives businesses insight as to what people really want. Through online networks a business can get up-to-date information on how to attract clients and how their business can meet client needs. Social media is an online space for people to discuss and express opinions about the experiences they have had. Consumer experiences are frequently discussed as well as personal opinions. Needless to say these can be either positive or negative.
Social media marketing (SMM) is a form of online marketing which enables businesses to promote their branding or advertising through the many different social networks available on the Internet. It has proved over time to be an excellent tool for a business to reach its clients as well as disseminate information. Social media is an effective method to get people to visit your business website; once they are there, a business can take the opportunity to convert this new traffic into sales and customers. Of course this can only be achieved by having a website that has valuable and interesting content, is easy to navigate and relevant to the reader. A business website needs to be interactive to encourage more users to participate and communicate thus building connections and its database.
To be effective in social media marketing a business needs to do initial research to find the appropriate social media networks that fit the profile of its business and the demographic of its target market. This initial research is important because a business wants to target the right audience, and to have an online presence on the specific social network sites that potential clients frequent.
Once these sites have been determined the next step is to build a strong profile for your business in that social network and become an active participant. By doing this you can promote your web site, your products and services and communicate with clients. It’s important to engage the audience and by doing this you can create a strong reputation and increase the visibility online for your business.
There are excellent opportunities to network through social media marketing and in doing so there is a huge potential to expand your business. You can create a positive buzz about your product or service and let people know about it. When people have a positive experience with your company they frequently will refer your company to their friends who in turn tell their immediate network and so on. Social media marketing can be word-of-mouth referral on steroids.
If you are considering social media marketing for your business it’s important to bear in mind that you reap what you sow as in any business marketing. It is important to invest time in order to see results. As you build a strong online reputation your followers will grow, and in doing so will contribute to the bottom line of your business.
At Beyond Better Web Solutions we specialized in establishing a profitable online presence for small businesses and entrepreneurs. If you would like your business to be found easily on the Internet contact us for a free consultation.
Did you know that online job hunters are flooding the Internet today? It means that the number of online job seekers are equivalent to the number of online employers seeking for online help. As soon as the idea of outsourcing crops up your mind, you are faced with two valid reasons. Admit it, you do not have enough time to accomplish the task and you lack the ample skills to be able to do it accurately.
As an entrepreneur, you want to simply focus on running the business. You want to be free from distractions and just aim at bringing in more money. This is the part where you can really excel what you are capable of doing.
It is inevitable though that there are other important tasks that need to be done. These tasks are the bloodline of your business and you do not want to keep it from running. So, you entertain the idea of outsourcing help. Why not outsource social media marketing to make the burden lighter, right?
But before you welcome the idea lest no regrets at the end, here are a few pointers to ponder on prior to outsourcing your social media marketers.
1. It takes enough time to discover the potential worker. You may start by giving them a test task first before actually hiring them. Say a probationary week or two can help you decide if the right person is for you or not.
2. Prepare a set of tutorials and modules for the person qualified to do the task. It may come in a form of videos, Word documents, text files, or anything possible. This guide will spare you the hassle and the headache of unexecuted tasks.
3. Imagine how you want this ideal job to look like. Have some empathy or the gift of being able to put your feet to other people’s shoes. This way, you know how that person want to be treated and dealt with professionally.
One last important tip when outsourcing personnel is you want to make sure you get tasks done. So be conscious about deadlines. Be sure to set a time frame for every single task you give and get it done in a timely manner.
Times have changed. Businessmen and marketers have dominated the World Wide Web to promote their products and services. They do this by using modern day’s advertising tool – Facebook.
Facebook , being one of the most popular social networking sites, is the cheapest yet an effective marketing strategy by most entrepreneurs today. It is a website that connects you to your friends and even family members anywhere in the planet. You can also form new friendships and establish your business online to other people who are registered users to Facebook.
Smartly enough, Facebook marketers can get in touch to about 60 million people daily in the USA alone. That is just an estimated quantity of people logging on everyday. Now, who doesn’t want to take advantage of that number? Meanwhile, about 1 million websites has interconnected with Facebook through registrations and even plug-ins. With just a few conversations here, and a little promotion there – that will surely take your business to the next level the fastest way ever.
So, do you really want to move your business forward? Here is a special guide for you that is full of recommendations and best practices performed by top businessmen and the like.
Fill out your Facebook’s profile to give people an idea of who you are and what you are there for? Bear in mind that the best profiles give and assurance to other people that you are real. You want to upload a photo of you as well to establish yourself better.
Have you started adding friends yet? Start adding friends of friends too. But most importantly, you want to go out from one circle and interact to another circle that is in line with your industry. Talk to fellow businessmen to get a clue of how they manage their niche and contribute, as well as grasp new ideas from them. Interact, mingle and come out from your nutshell. Your goal is to build relationships, once achieved, you can instantly execute your marketing strategy.
Now that you have increased your number of engagements, you want to drive a good amount of targeted traffic from Facebook towards you website. This is your greater chance of acclaiming professional fame. Plus you can obtain positive and negative feedback about your products and services.
Success in your Facebook marketing strategy lies in your hands. Apply these simple steps now and start moving your business forward.
The skeptics of social media talk about the time it takes, that social media is a fad, that social media is a waste of time, that social media is social and so on.
If that were true, why are so many businesses large and small developing a social media footprint online? This video by Eric Qualman gives some interesting statistics about the ROI of social media for business.
What do you think?
Is it worth investing your time and energy in using social media to market your business?