Tag Archives: business

Crafting and DIY | Business Using Social Media

 

Crafting and DIY | Business Using Social MediaIn the past few years, the online crafting community has expanded tenfold. With the success of sites like Etsy, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, Instagram, Flickr, and with the popularity of blogging, arts and crafts is no longer just a summer camp activity—it’s a thriving, all inclusive economy.

With increased opportunities for exposure, simple web designs for commerce, and unlimited inspiration—small crafting businesses are springing up everywhere and they are succeeding. The crafting communities are supportive, encouraging, and loyal; the customers value the authenticity and unique nature of products that are handmade, original, and that cannot be reproduced or purchased at a chain retailer or department store.

When our economy took a dive, many people were laid off or lost hours at work—and many women, in particular, had to allocate new resources. Some that perhaps saw crafting and DIY projects as a hobby, were now utilizing their skills not only to create things instead of buying them, but also as viable side businesses. And as the trend grew, savvy entrepreneurs enhanced their businesses using social media.

Crafting and DIY | Business Using Social Media

On Pinterest, the “DIY and Crafts” category is one of its most widely used. And Etsy is designed exclusively for those who hand craft, sew, upholster, restore, paint, draw, crochet, and make jewelry. Instagram and Flickr offer artists the opportunity to show, and not just tell, people about their products. And now, with the new video plug-ins on Instagram, and apps like Vine, crafters can create promotional videos and engage with thousands of people, for free.

If you are just getting started with social media, there are dozens of avenues that you can use to propel your hobby into the realm of prosperous businesses. On Pinterest for example, creatives have a chance to engage in some fun marketing ideas. One way to use Pinterest as an indirect tool is to start a collection of your favorite things and incorporate some of your own items into “style guides” or seasonal “must haves.” For instance, if you create and sell jewelry, it would be helpful to include a collection of your pieces with handbags, shirts, and summer sandals to inspire people to buy.

You can share these collections via your social media networks and blogs. This method says, “Here’s how my items go with current fashion trends,” rather than “buy my necklace and earing set.”

Once you start selling your merchandise, you can invite customers to share photographs they’ve taken of themselves wearing or using your products and feature the photos in a contest.  Offer the winner some free goodies, and it is guaranteed that person will not only return for more, but he or she will tell other people about your product and online site or shop.

Crafting and DIY | Business Using Social Media

Finally, with sites like Tumblr, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook etc, you can utilize hashtags that will incorporate your photo or marketing phrase into a collection of other similar photos or phrases in the same category. Let’s say you’re selling hand sewn onesies for newborn babies, you can hashtag your product #babies #moms #parenting, and your product will show up any time another user searches in that category.

Social media sites provide extremely high conversion rates for small crafting businesses, and when you consider how simple they are to use—you’d have to be nuts not to put your marketing energy into developing a social presence.

 

By Sasha Novikov | Creatine Marketing

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Creatine Marketing Newsletter | June 2013

Creatine Marketing Newsletter | June 2013

For the June newsletter, I used a service called MailChimp. I’ve you’ve never used this service for creating newsletters before, you should try it out. It’s user friendly and offers a variety of beautiful and engaging templates. You can import all of your email contacts and the software will even present you with analytics after the campaign has been sent out. It shows how your networks are interacting with the newsletter: how many have unsubscribed, what they are clicking on, and ultimately- whether or not your email campaign is worth the effort.

This month’s newsletter was not very difficult to create and has a simple, clean look to it, which I love.

If you, or your company needs a biweekly, monthly, or quarterly newsletter prepared quickly and efficiently please contact me via the comment section, email, or through my social media channels available on the About Me page. I will offer affordable rates, I never miss deadlines, and I write my own content.

By Sasha Novikov

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What Your Startup Should Be Sharing on Social Media

Humanize Your Business by Sharing the Right Content—

I’m not even going to start by asking if you’re using social media to promote your startup, that should be a given. But what about strategy? Are you standing out, while staying true to your mission statements, goals, and personality? Why not go simple and self-brand? This will help advance product recognition and general brand awareness, create connections, build a reputation, and eventually reach your target audience.

However, I am consistently hearing that many companies are concerned about drowning in a sea of content, so I’ve compiled a few tips to aid you in creating and sharing material that will make your business stand out.

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Make it Personal

The anonymity of the world-wide-web allows many people to lurk in the shadows, hiding behind a profile pictures and a status. This isn’t the Wizard of Oz; we are ready to find out who’s behind the curtain. Users want a peek into your personal life, and it’s important to show your followers that you’re no different than they are. You may have children; you probably take trips, you wait in lines, and take pictures of your food—just like they do. Posting pictures that offer your fans some insight into your business—personal and professional– is a great promotional strategy.

Odds are, You’re not Perfect

It isn’t easy to start a new business. It is trial and error every day, and demonstrating what works for you and what doesn’t can be very insightful to aspiring entrepreneurs. Swallow your pride, and remember that it’s admirable to divulge the mistakes that you’ve made along the way. Those experiences are relatable, and even though it may be difficult to admit your blunders, showing how you’ve learned from them is a sign of growth.

What your Startup Should be Sharing on Social MediaOpen a dialogue in which you and your fans, followers, and friends are able to discuss your experiences in order to overcome and work through their own obstacles. Be honest about what you may have done wrong, what could be done better, and how you resolved the issue or attempted a new approach. Create a safe environment in which ideas are shared; where other industry professionals and individuals can communicate and learn from one another.

If You’re Interested, So are We

Read, share, read, share, read, share—it has become as natural to us as breathing in and out. Keep this in mind,anyone can write an article and throw it up online; links are ubiquitous and if you’re posting too many, people will start to ignore you—just like they ignore your links. Unfortunately a simple repost isn’t showcasing the content, or you, in the best way possible. If you find an interesting article, video, or link you think is worth sharing, copying and pasting the title won’t help establish you as an expert. Try contributing your own opinion. When you add a quote or reference of your own, it helps to differentiate you as an industry leader and trusted source of information, not just another voice in the crowd.

Visual Creatures
In 1996, Bill Gates said, “Content is King,” and the quote has become one of the single most overused and misapplied phrases in commercial Internet history. Humor me here, but I think, that seventeen years later, it’s finally time to retire the saying. I’m not saying you need to drag all of your brilliant Word documents into the recycling bin, but you should consider mixing it up with some graphics and videos.

Human beings are highly visual creatures, which explains the exponential success of social media platforms like Vine, Instagram, and Pinterest. Visuals are a powerful way to show, not just tell people about your brand and personal story. Share interesting and unique photos of your staff and coworkers, events that you’re attending, or projects your team is working on. Personal photos help your followers get to know you, but don’t over do it; there is a fine line between your personal and your business networks—potential clients do not want to see photos of your drunken escapades (even if they are hilarious to the rest of us).

Words of Wisdom

Whether they comes from Shakespeare, your grandmother, your pastor, or Lady Gaga—when you come across some words of wisdom, share them, tweet them, pin them, and Instagram them. Everyone loves a good quote, and fans will usually participate somehow when you post one, either by “liking” what you’ve shared, or sharing it somewhere else. Also, many insights can be summed up in a sentence, which will help you introduce and expose others to a whole new interesting world they have yet to discover.

What Do you Do all Day?

Creatine Marketing

Create a Space for Constructive Criticism

Piggybacking off the last point, I want to reiterate the importance of using social media to receive feedback on every single stage of your product life. At the starting line, your social networks will validate your ideas—or show you where they could use improvement. Once your product is launched, the platforms can be used as a low-cost promotional tool. Don’t refrain from talking about your product, but please don’t let it be the only thing you talk about. Find a balance between your promotional and your conversational, or personal posts. Share the information that is relevant to the feedback you’d like to receive without exposing your followers to all the strategy and information you’ve gathered along the years.

Jokes and Memes

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Viral content is social media gold. Memes are fun, light-hearted, and human. They are created by other Internet users, and are often right on the pulse of what is trending and popular online. You can even create some yourself to suit your own needs, but again, it’s important to strike a balance. When you are timely and selective with jokes and memes, it testifies to your awesome sense of humor and to the fact that you don’t live in a world of your own. I would just suggest refraining from the use of political or disrespectful content so people don’t get the wrong idea of who you are.

In the end, when it comes to social media, there’s no magic potion. Just try a little of everything until you figure out what works best for you—and then write about it! Ultimately, the more time you invest in discovering and sharing relevant stuff, the better the outcome and the more likely you, and your startup, are to succeed.

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The Conscious Commander, The Modern Manager, The Diplomatic Director

How You can Mold Employees Without Offending or Creating Resentment

The Conscious Commander, The Modern Manager, The Diplomatic DirectorWhether you run a Fortune 500 company, own a local coffee shop, coach little league, or hold a respected position in your community—being a leader sometimes means you have to correct and guide the people you are in charge of. But how can you encourage the behavior that you desire without offending people or arousing animosity? Also, are there ways to get your employees or friends to do what you want, need, and expect without attacking their ideas and damaging your relationship?

In 1936, Dale Carnegie wrote and published a book called How to Win Friends and Influence People; it quickly became a best seller and is still popular amongst business leaders and communications specialists. The book is packed with advice and short stories that are meant to help foster successful communication in the office and in life outside of work as well. I want to focus on Part Four, where Carnegie teaches us how to speak to others respectfully, how to manage a group of people tactfully and honestly, and how to improve work ethic and stimulate enthusiasm for any project.

1. Begin with praise and honest appreciation|

Be constructive and diplomatic. If you notice your employees could be doing something better, start by pointing out what he or she is doing well—then get to the areas that require improvement. As Carnegie puts it, “Beginning with praise is like the dentist who begins his work with Novocain. The patient still gets a drilling, but the Novocain is pain killing. A condemnation is easier to hear when preceded by a compliment.

2. Call attention to people’s mistakes indirectly |

Charles Schwab was passing through one of his steel mills one day at noon when he came across some of his employees smoking. Immediately above their heads was a sign that said “No Smoking.” Did Schwab point to the sign and say, “Can’t you read? Oh, no not Schwab. He walked over to the men, handed each one a cigar, and said, “I’ll appreciate it, boys, if you will smoke these on the outside.” They knew that he knew that they had broken a rule – and they admired him because he said nothing about it and gave them a little present and made them feel important. It’s hard to keep from respecting and appreciating a boss like that.

Simply changing one three-letter word can often spell the difference between failure and success in changing an employee’s behavior without arousing bitter feelings. Many peopleThe Conscious Commander, The Modern Manager, The Diplomatic Director begin their criticism with sincere praise followed by the word “but” and ending with a critical statement. For example, “Sam, I’m really impressed with your work on this presentation, but if you had worked harder on the last part, it might’ve made a stronger impression.”

In this case, Sam might feel encouraged until he hears the word, “but”. He might question the sincerity of the original praise. This could be easily overcome by changing the word “but” to the word “and.” “Sam, I’m really impressed with your work on this presentation, and with some more focus on the ending, it will be that much stronger.”

Calling attention to one’s mistakes indirectly works wonders with sensitive people who may resent bitterly any direct criticism.

3. Ask questions instead of giving direct orders |

No one feels comfortable taking orders from a barking, power hungry, boss—or even a sweet, calm one for that matter. Try giving suggestions, rather than demands. Instead of, “Do this or Do that,” or “Don’t do this or don’t do that,” try, “you might consider this,” or “do you think that would work?” Always give people the opportunity to do things for themselves—that way they can learn the proper ways to complete tasks and can learn from their mistakes.

A technique like this makes it easier for a person to correct his or her errors and can save a person’s pride. It makes an employee feel important and encourages cooperation instead of rebellion. Resentment caused by a brash order may last a long time—even if the order was given to correct an obviously bad situation.

Asking questions not only makes an order more palatable, it often stimulates the creativity of the person or people whom you ask. People are more likely to accept an order if they have had a part in the decision that caused the order to be issued.

4. Give the other person a fine reputation to live up to |

What are your options when a person who has been a stellar employee begins to turn in work that is under par? You can fire him or her− but that is only a temporary solution. You can berate the worker, but this will definitely incite resentments. The average person can be led readily if you have his or her respect and if you show that you respect that person for some kind of ability.

If you want to improve a person in a certain area, act as though that particular trait were already one of his of her outstanding characteristics. Assume and state openly that other people have the virtue you want them to develop. Give them a fine reputation to live up to, and they will make extraordinary efforts in order not to leave you dissatisfied.

5. Make the other person happy about doing the things you suggest |

Good leaderThere are many tasks that will seem banal, difficult, or pointless to your employees− but you are the leader, and you have a method. Sometimes by making something seem like an honor, your employee will feel like he or she is doing you a favor− and that feeling of importance will make for wonderful motivation. But be sincere; do not promise anything that you cannot deliver. Forget about the benefits to yourself and concentrate on the benefits to the other person.

Make clear exactly what you want the other person to do, but remember to be empathetic− ask yourself, “what is it the other person really wants?” Consider the benefits that person will receive from doing what you suggest and match those benefits to the other person’s wants.

Finally, when you make your request, put it in a form that will convey to the other person the idea that he or she will personally benefit. You could give a curt order like this: “John, we have customers coming in tomorrow and I need the stockroom cleaned out. So sweep it out, put the stock in neat piles on the shelves and polish the counter.”

Or we could express the same idea by showing John the benefits he will get from doing the task: “John, we have a job that should be completed right away. If it is done now, we won’t be faced with it later. I am bringing some customers in tomorrow to show our facilities. I would like to show them the stockroom, but it is in poor shape. If you could sweep it out, put the stock in neat piles on the shelves, and polish the counter, it would make us look efficient and you will have done your part to provide a good company image.”

He might not be thrilled to complete this job either way, but he will feel better than if you hadn’t pointed out the benefits and just demanded he complete the task. Assuming you know your employees take pride in their work and are interested in contributing to the company image, they will be more likely to be cooperative.

It is naive to believe that you’ll always get a positive reaction from the people you lead when you use these approaches, but research and experience have shown that individuals and groups will be more likely to work with you and not against you if you use these principles. And, honestly, even if you increase your successes by a mere 10 percent, you have become 10 percent more effective as a leader than you were before – and that is your benefit.

By Sasha Novikov, Published on Jeff Pulvino’s blog.

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Business Blogging

Writing for your business can be challenging. Treading the line between being inappropriate and being dull is not always easy. You want to keep your readers engaged while simultaneously sharing important information about your field or your company and its services or products.  Don’t fret; there are some practices that you can implement to make your posts dynamic and relevant to your brand at the same time.

It’s All About Personality

Make your words stand out by letting your own unique voice shine through. Boring and repetitive content exists all over the Internet. Even if you’re going to say something for the hundredth time, say it with a character that is all your own. Be funny; it is one of the greatest assets any writer has. It puts your reader at ease and is generally more accessible and interesting to read. Use puns, make pertinent and times-related jokes, tell stories—your readers will be absorbed because they can identify with you—who doesn’t love a good anecdote?

Business Blogging

Just because you are writing for your business doesn’t mean your blog has to read like an instructional pamphlet. If you are bored writing your articles, chances are your reader will fall asleep half way through and drool all over his or her keyboard. (Check the comment section for a confusing jumble of letters, numbers, and symbols to see if this has happened). The writing doesn’t have to be stand-up worthy, but colorful language can really jazz up an article about a seemingly tedious subject. Clearly, there is a time and place for humor—but most likely your reader will not be annoyed that you made him laugh. He may be annoyed, however,  if he spent his valuable time reading an article that put him to sleep.

One more note on language—jargon and technical speak are usually confusing and can be off-putting for readers. You may know what you’re talking about, your colleagues may know what you’re talking about, even your mother may know what it is that you’re saying—but there is a good chance your customer might not understand. Evoke simplicity and practice explaining complicated business terms using informal language. Plain-ol’-English is the best way to appeal to a broad audience.

Be Consistent, and Mindful of your Audience

Try and write something down every day. Brainstorm ideas, create vague outlines, and at least once a week dedicate your time to constructing a solid article. You may not be ready to publish every single word you write down, but practice is crucial when writing, just like when playing sports or mastering a musical instrument. Once you start your blog, it pays to stay committed to creating new content—even if your articles aren’t all gems, keep in mind that it takes 50 posts for Google to index you, so if you stop after two or three, you wont drive as much search traffic to your blog or webpage.

Business Blogging

Be mindful of your topics as well, and remember to be diverse. While your blog is obviously a marketing tool for your business, you don’t need to remind readers of that in every single post.

Mix it up; have posts from other writers on related topics, post photos and memes, and always keep your audience in mind.

One easy way to remember what your audience may like is to think selfishly (this may be one of your only outlets for that, so take advantage!) Think about what you prefer to read; what kind of prose captivates you? Reading an informative blog with thought-provoking tips, amusing little quips, and a few pictures is, hands down, more effective than monotonous industry news that specifically applies to the business and always manages to force in twenty links to its products. Odds are, if you find something interesting, others will, too.

Take it Personally, and Build Strong Relationships

Most successful bloggers are not shy about offering their readers an insight into their personal lives. Whether you blog for business or for pleasure, make it personal. No one wants to read extensive details about your colonoscopy, however, but a short narrative about your daughter’s school play (if relevant to your main point) is usually a welcome topic.

Let your readers get to know you. Your business is an extension of yourself and you’ve put incredible amounts of energy and time into creating it. If people know you, they will feel more comfortable with whatever you are selling or offering. Humans like interacting and doing business with other humans, show that you are approachable by being transparent and you will build valuable relationships with your customers.

Being a dependable business owner doesn’t mean you need to be pitching, selling, and closing 24/7. If you identify with your customers on more levels than one, they will appreciate you as an individual and see the services you offer as a benefit, without any added pressure of your persistent salesman chatter.

A few final thoughts:

Business BloggingThis article is lengthy—the majority of people who browse the Internet want their information in concise packages. Three hundred words may be short, but 1,000 words is an essay.

Spell check and grammar check are your friends; please use them.  Good writers are usually people who read a lot, so you may think you have some down time, but you should probably be searching for an article to peruse.

Let others read your work before it is published, as the author, it is sometimes difficult to see mistakes or awkward phrases because you become attached to every sentence you write.

If you practice these steps, and attempt to improve with every blog you post, soon you will see a spike in subscribers and an increase in revenue for your business.  Who knows – with such a great avenue for stress release, maybe you’ll even see a decrease in your blood pressure.

Written by Sasha Novikov, published on Jeff Pulvino’s blog.

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Facebook’s 20% Policy

Earlier this month, Facebook changed its policy regarding text overlay on images that appear in a user’s ‘cover photo’ and in News Feed advertisements. The updated policy limits the text in these photos to 20 percent of the surface area. In the past, Facebook restricted the use of “calls-to-action” and “price and purchase information” in photos because the developers wanted to prevent advertisers from sharing (and over-sharing) images that looked like typical promotional material. The guidelines were vague, however, which led to a lack of participation and enforcement.

The new policy states that advertisement photos are now permitted to include calls to action and purchase information as long as the text makes up less than 20 percent of the image. The cover photo specifications are considerably more restrictive.

Page Terms Section III. B reads:

Covers may not include:

1. Images with more than 20% text;

2. Price or purchase information, such as “40% off” or “Download it on socialmusic.com”

3. Contact information such as a website address, email, mailing address, or information that should go in your Page’s “About” section;

4. References to Facebook features or actions, such as “Like” or “Share” or an arrow pointing from the cover photo to any of these features; or

5. Calls to action, such as “Get it now” or “Tell your friends.”

Starting January 15, Facebook associates will begin reviewing images from page post ads that are eligible for News Feed. The company is developing a grid-based text overlay detection tool to identify non-compliant photos; a version of this resource will be available for advertisers and small businesses in order to help them determine, in advance, whether or not their images will be approved. It is important for advertisers and small business owners to remember that text within logos and taglines will also count towards the 20 percent limit. Also, there is nothing written in the rule that requires text to fit into a specific area, just that the cover image cannot be more that 20% text.

Facebook's 20% Policy

How will these changes affect business owners and entrepreneurs who depend on Facebook as an integral part of their social network advertising campaign? That depends on your perspective. Many business professionals argue that it is your content and not your cover photo that builds relationships. The cover photo may be an eye-catcher, but the page itself is what encourages customers to stay.

“Facebook people react negatively to content that they perceive as inauthentic or impersonal. Since text is rare in photos from friends, text in brand photos triggers negative emotions in people. Instead of introducing text in your images, choose photos that send a message or tell a story on their own without words.” 

Facebook’s Page Post Practices 

Rather than including deals and contact information within your cover, reserve that space for your company name, logo, and a catchy tagline. Or perhaps you could use your 20 percent to describe your unique services, features, or the benefits your organization offers. The main objective should be to keep it simple and focus on quality. Customers should be able to understand what your image represents without having to squint in order to read fine print.

In your ‘about’ section, be sure to emphasize your website address so that is prominently visible beneath your cover image. That way, if your customer is eager to learn more—he or she knows where to head next.

There are no limits to the number of photos a company or general Facebook user is allowed to post on their own News Feed, so remember to post plenty of photos of your products, staff hard at work, or services you’ve provided a client. Human beings are very visual creatures; we buy with our eyes—so the more photos, the better.

If you are still concerned about the new policy sabotaging your Facebook advertising strategy, keep in mind that you can purchase as many advertisements as you please. Each one can contain a separate, but related, message. Last year the ads were not allowed to highlight product cost or purchase information. Now that the advertisements can include a call-to-action, the price of a product, or information on an upcoming sale, your marketing campaign will be more effective.

By: Sasha Novikov

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Social Media: Slow and Steady Wins the Race

The United States harbors an impressive population of innovators with new ideas and unique products. But where there are trend setters, there are trend followers. We’ve all seen fads explode onto the market for short periods of time before fizzling out into obscurity just as quickly as they arrived. From Beanie Babies, to Tamagotchis- LiveStrong wrist bands to
MySpace, products wax and wane; some make a significant impact on the market, while others are easily forgotten. What are all of these companies doing differently, and what do they have in common?

what is innovation

Creating a business plan that is solid and sustainable is a challenging process. In fact, many new companies struggle to hit the ground running, and later fail to operate for more than five years. Often times, even the most driven and prepared business owners accept that investing more money and pushing forward is no longer a feasible option. These entrepreneurs are wondering what they did wrong; what could’ve been done to increase brand visibility, to build a stronger consumer base, or to offer products and services through a medium that is easier to access?

Developing marketing strategies with the aid of social media, like Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest or Linked In is the new frontier. These platforms offer powerful tools for advertising, communicating, enlightening, and ultimately, selling. Businesses with a distinctive and well-developed social media presence have the capability to reach a wide audience very quickly. Not only does this create a higher volume of consumer requests for products and services but also these demands can now be satisfied in a much faster, and simpler manner.

When utilizing social media networks, companies are able to target larger and more diverse audiences by pushingengaging, attractive, and current announcements and special offers. With the ability to spread messages about products, provide unbeatable deals, and to creatively highlight the brand, many companies experience immediate success. The next challenge to ensure longevity and popularity is to prepare for, and properly handle an expanded customer base and the inflated number of sales that may result from a flourishing cyber campaign.

Social media is beneficial when used to advertise new products, send updates, and offer promotions, but personalized Social Media Sites jpgcommunication is also necessary. Businesses can use social media to quickly and consistently follow-up with consumers. A customer can be appreciated for shopping with the business, and invited to voice his or her satisfaction with the product, service, or purchasing experience. This information can have an impact on the future success of the company, as it helps to pinpoint areas that might need improvement quickly, while bringing focus to tactics and that have been executed well.

A regularly maintained social media presence is also critical in ensuring that positive press is publicized, while negative press is addressed and corrected. If a satisfied customer writes a positive review, is should be shared, re-posted, and highlighted on the business’s social media profile. Was a complaint made? If the business is regularly tracking their social media presence, they can quickly respond with an apology and a solution.

In this modern age of virtual shopping, mobile application hunting, and digital network construction, social media advertising is the next big step in surviving in the business world. And while the endeavor might seem daunting for business owners who are less technologically savvy, or for those who just do not have the time, the good news is that there are innovative platforms in the works that give one person the ability to update every social media site using one easy-to-learn system. There are also courses that help entrepreneurs navigate the, sometimes overwhelming, world wide web. And finally, there are companies, like ours that will launch, maintain, and update all of the social media networks for your business. We keep your brand in mind, we summon the voice of your company, and we use social media as our tool to help your client base grow.

by Sasha Novikov, Creatine Marketing

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‘Tis the Friday to be Greedy

Black Friday Shoppers:

It’s late Thursday evening and you are just about as stuffed as your Thanksgiving turkey was. As the tryptophan begins to coarse through your veins and your eyelids strain to stay open, reach for that energy drink or second cup of coffee because Black Friday is approaching quickly and you need to be prepared.

Black Friday

Luckily, we are living in a time where more consumers have access to the web and most businesses have noticed. This year, it is easier to hunt for sales and promotions before you decide to camp out in front of your favorite store, or wait in line for 10 hours.  A vast majority of your preferred brands, companies, corporations, and even independent retailers are urging consumers to check their social media outlets in order to prepare for the deals they plan to offer on Black Friday, the first official day of the Christmas shopping season. After you search for your favorite stores on Twitter and Facebook, remember to ‘follow’ or ‘like’ the company so you can revel in the once-a-year specials. And although ‘tis the Friday to be greedy, don’t hesitate to share them with all of your friends and family.

Business Owners:

As the holiday season approaches, social media is your strongest business-boosting tool. Most established, high-volume, retailers launch comprehensive and robust ‘Black Friday’ marketing campaigns every year; they spend months preparing digitized circulars, mobile apps, and online coupon offers to promote special deals.  But for many years, the average small business owner was unable to properly compete.

With the prominence and power of social media in your arsenal, however, developing innovative ways to promote your products and services is no longer a daunting challenge. There are several ways small businesses can create a buzz on Black Friday without overextending the budget on costly marketing campaigns.

A few weeks before Thanksgiving, start by using Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Google+ to post, pin, or tweet about early deals and special offers for customers who subscribe to your networks. After enhancing your client base, gaining followers, and increasing your mailing list, it is time to follow up with your customers. Send a Black Friday-themed email to your existing and new customers in order to drive traffic. Make sure your message includes a click-to-call button, maps, and all of the re-post and share buttons that will encourage customers to share your email with their mailing lists and social networks. Also, keep in mind that nearly half of the people who open marketing emails do so on their smartphones or tablets, which is why it’s important that marketing emails are optimized for mobile devices.

Shopper

While continuing a dialogue with your customers by engaging with them on Twitter and Facebook, you can also send push notifications and alerts though mobile applications on Thanksgiving Eve. Encourage your customers to arrive early by providing extra incentives like higher percentages off selected items. Finally, have some fun with your customers; run some contests and offer giveaways exclusively on your social media platforms. Discounts are very attractive to the savvy social media deal hunter. And that customer is more likely to boast about your business with a friend, coworker, or family member if he or she has something to interesting to share!

Social media is one of the least expensive and most effective ways to boost brand visibility, strengthen your client base, and to maximize profit—especially during the holidays. Highlight your special offers using Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Google+, remind your customers why your store is the place to be on Black Friday, and use this pseudo-holiday as a way to build ongoing relationships with your clients or customers to ensure a brighter future for your business.

by Sasha Novikov, Creatine Marketing

 

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