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Creative Ways to Use Social Media for Business

Posted on 25 May 2013 by Toby Gonzales

Social media offers exciting prospects for companies to improve business, but many companies find themselves stuck after a short time. It can be challenging to maintain creativity in social media efforts over a long period of time, so here are a few ideas on how businesses can utilize social media sites in the most unique ways possible.

 1. Get Employees Involved

Social media is extremely effective for communicating your brand’s personality to your customers. If you are working on making a more personalized connection with customers, why not let them get to know your employees? Customers are more likely to engage with your brand, and having multiple employees post in conjunction with your social media profiles is an easy way to remain active at all times.

 

2. Partner with Businesses and People

Many individuals and businesses feel that they must remain confined to the limits of the social media sphere when they get involved on Facebook or Twitter. But rather than limiting yourself to your own online activity, you can utilize social media to connect with business partners (both individuals and companies) in a unique way. Seek out some of the more prominent figures related to your field (or that your target audience might follow) and post messages related to them on your feed. That way, you can begin an informal relationship that might lead to more substantive cooperation in the future.

 

3. Become a News Source

Some of the most effective social media feeds attract followers because they offer a consistent source of valuable third-party content. Sometimes the best way to attract attention to your website is by promoting other sites’ content rather than promoting solely your own material. Readers want access to valuable content, and if you can connect them with the material they are looking for, they will likely return to your social media feed (and website) consistently. 

 

4. Use Social Media Customer Service 

You can also utilize social media to help with your customer service efforts. In general, companies may think that dealing with customer complaints in a public sphere opens the door to negative publicity. However, if you use social media as part of your customer service strategy, you can demonstrate your company’s commitment to quality service in front of a large audience. The solutions you provide on your social media feed might turn out to apply to multiple customers, allowing you to handle issues more effectively. 

 

Still have questions?? Check out our Facebook Page, our blog, or contact us and we will respond quickly.

 

Toby Gonzales

Toby Gonzales is the Revenue Manager for FBiframes. Besides taking out the trash at FBiframes, he enjoys helping businesses implement their social media marketing plan. If your business' marketing plan or strategy needs new insight, drop him a line.

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How Do I Thank a Person or Business for Mentioning My Brand?

Posted on 20 May 2013 by Toby Gonzales

The moment a person or another business mentions your brand on a social media site can be a great feeling. Here are some tips on how you can respond to make the most of such mentions of your brand.

1. Be Fast and Thoughtful

Prompt, thoughtful responses are important when it comes to thanking people for mentioning your product or brand.

If you have an active social media presence, you should be aware of the breakneck speed at which social media sites operate. That’s why it is important to respond to messages quickly, as this is the only way you can make the most of the mention. At the same time, you should try to craft your thank-you’s in a way that makes sense for each individual message. A simple shout-out suffices in certain situations, whereas in others, you might be able to begin a larger conversation involving more social media followers.

2. Respond to the Right Messages

If your brand is getting a lot of discussion in social media circles, you may find yourself sifting through lots of message that mention your company’s name. If this is the case, you should make sure you are focusing on the messages that will be most productive for your company.

Be sure to consider what circles are seeing what messages and how you can make the most of different people mentioning your brand. A customer mentioning it is great, but a major company’s feed mentioning it is even better. Of course, if you can, responding to all messages in some way is always a good thing to do.

3. Offer Special Deals

In some cases, you may want to extend extra thanks to a person or business for mentioning your brand in social media circles.

If this is the case, you can offer sale items or other special offers to those people in return for the shout-out. For individuals, you might just offer a coupon or free product for your site’s store or your brick-and-mortar location, if you have one. You can mention the deal in a re-tweet or comment on the message thread, and you can send the individual information regarding the offer in a private message.

For businesses, you can go further with it by offering product-specific sales to go along with their mention of your brand. A simple mention can be the start of a productive business relationship between your companies.

 

Still have questions?? Check out our Facebook Page, our blog, or contact us and we will respond quickly.

Toby Gonzales

Toby Gonzales is the Revenue Manager for FBiframes. Besides taking out the trash at FBiframes, he enjoys helping businesses implement their social media marketing plan. If your business' marketing plan or strategy needs new insight, drop him a line.

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3 R’s of Social Media Etiquette

Posted on 10 May 2013 by Toby Gonzales

Social media is an important tool for websites and businesses of all types, as it can help boost a website’s audience by a huge margin. But used incorrectly, social media can actually turn off a lot of people who might have been customers. Here are the three R’s for smart social media use.

1. Reliability

Consistency is vital on the web, and it is one of the most important aspects of building your brand online.

Whenever you use social media sites, you should work to build a reputation of reliability. In doing so, you should focus on both frequency and quality. A regular schedule is important because it lets readers know what to expect at what times. If you post a few times each day and then disappear for a few days, your followers will disappear, too.

The same goes for consistency in the quality of your content. You should work on having frequent posts, but quality should be your first priority. Keeping the same style and quality of your posts helps readers know what they can count on finding when they come to your feeds.

2. Respect

Respect is vital in the social media world, and it is another big part of building your brand.

In order to attract more followers, you will need to project professionalism in your social media work. Sometimes, your content can be very quirky and weird. Unorthodox content is sometimes the most popular. But as you build your brand in social media, you should keep in mind that you should always respect your followers and other social media users. Not doing so can turn off a good part of your audience.

3. Reciprocation

When getting involved in social media activities, it is important to keep in mind that your main goal should be engagement. Social media offers great opportunities in terms of connecting with readers and potential customers.

But along with providing more content to your readers, you should also be reciprocating their effort. When your readers click on, recommend, and share your content, your website benefits. Part of encouraging them to do so is returning the favor.

Readers always appreciate when you, as the website author actively engage in conversation with them. Rather than waiting for users to run a conversation by themselves, you can click and comment on their links, too, so that the relationship feels more authentic.

Self-promotion is important sometimes, but being selfish can wind up costing you clicks.

 

Still have questions?? Check out our Facebook Page, our blog, or contact us and we will respond quickly.

Toby Gonzales

Toby Gonzales is the Revenue Manager for FBiframes. Besides taking out the trash at FBiframes, he enjoys helping businesses implement their social media marketing plan. If your business' marketing plan or strategy needs new insight, drop him a line.

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3 Advantages of Video Marketing for Your Business

Posted on 06 May 2013 by Toby Gonzales

When it comes to marketing your business online, there is a huge variety of tools available on the web. Whether writing blog posts to increase readership or connecting with social media followers, you can use a number of resources to put your company’s name out there.

One of the best tools available is video marketing. Video marketing can help your business grow in a lot of ways, and it is particularly advantageous for these three reasons.

1. It Gets You Positioned as an Expert

One of the biggest benefits to using video marketing is that it helps you project an image of expertise to your viewers.

A well-written blog post can be helpful for attracting readers, but it falls short in terms of establishing your personal expertise. Video marketing allows you to connect with web users on a different level. A well-produced video will show your site’s visitors how well you know your information, and it will help create an image of reputability for yourself and your business.

2. It Exposes Your Business to a Wider Audience

Let’s face it: Not all online users are willing to read through blog posts that don’t immediately catch their eyes.

That’s why video marketing can be so helpful in conjunction with other types of content. If you have already established some level of traffic to your site using blog posts and other types of marketing material, you can expand that even further by utilizing video.

Video marketing is helpful because it is effective for attracting people’s attention, and it helps businesses reach a different audience in their marketing efforts.

3. It is Virtually Free

One of the great things about video marketing is that, for the benefits listed above, your company will have to pay basically nothing.

Aside from the money spent procuring a camera (and perhaps on editing programs, if your company is particularly ambitious), you will not need to spend anything on this aspect of your marketing campaign.

If you are buying a new camera, you are entering the market at the right time. High-definition cameras are getting cheaper and cheaper, meaning that your company will be able to produce professional-quality video for a low initial price.

And, when it comes to hosting video, there are no fees at all. YouTube is a huge network of videos, and adding your content there will help you reach audiences you hadn’t been reaching previously.

 

How does your company use video marketing to increase your business?  

Still have questions?? Check out our Facebook Page, our blog, or contact us and we will respond quickly.

Toby Gonzales

Toby Gonzales is the Revenue Manager for FBiframes. Besides taking out the trash at FBiframes, he enjoys helping businesses implement their social media marketing plan. If your business' marketing plan or strategy needs new insight, drop him a line.

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2 Simple Ways to use Facebook to motivate your community to donate

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2 Simple Ways Non-Profits Can Motivate Donors on Facebook

Posted on 08 April 2013 by Toby Gonzales

Facebook is about more than just sharing funny articles and viral YouTube videos. For non-profits, it can be a great tool for community organizing and fundraising. Here are some tips on how you can turn your Facebook presence into a great source of funding for your non-profit.

1. Encourage Them to Share Their Stories

The power of narrative is vital for motivating donors to contribute to any cause, and non-profits always see the most success when they include personal stories in their pitches for donations.

Facebook can be a great forum for sharing these stories. Social media is all about interaction with followers, and you can encourage donations by asking people to share their own stories related to the cause you are raising money for.

Start by setting up a group with a gallery of photos or links to videos, and ask readers to get involved by creating content to share with other members in the group. You can either collect entries initially so that you can make the proper edits, or you can ask members to post directly into the gallery. With each entry, make sure you include a call to action asking followers to make contributions to the cause.

2. Use Facebook as Your Central News Feed

Facebook can be an excellent tool for non-profits because of the nature of content that gets shared on the site. While many individuals and companies (non-profit and otherwise) use Facebook mostly as a way to share content from their websites, you can also use Facebook as your central feed for breaking news updates.

In cultivating a strong social media feed, you should keep in mind that followers want to hear about more than just your own company’s business and goings-on. Rather, they are looking for valuable content of all types, and they will always appreciate it when your company shares content that is helpful and beneficial to them in some way.

By using your Facebook feed as a posting board for breaking news updates, you can attract a lot of attention to the feed, and higher engagement equals higher contributions. When you post a news update, include a call to action. Facebook is all about being social, so give your followers something to do after they find out about some piece of news. Post relevant updates straight to your Facebook feed, and encourage your followers do something about it by making donations to your non-profit.

 

Does your non-profit utilize your Facebook’s news feed enough???  What else do you use to help your non-profit grow? 

Still have questions?? Check out our Facebook Page, our blog, or contact us and we will respond quickly.

 

Toby Gonzales

Toby Gonzales is the Revenue Manager for FBiframes. Besides taking out the trash at FBiframes, he enjoys helping businesses implement their social media marketing plan. If your business' marketing plan or strategy needs new insight, drop him a line.

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LinkedIn for Social Media Marketing

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How to Build a Successful LinkedIn Page for Your Business

Posted on 25 March 2013 by Toby Gonzales

For all of the attention that other social media sites have received for their marketing potential, LinkedIn is sometimes forgotten as a great tool for promoting your business. While young folks are mostly tweeting and scrolling through their Facebook feeds, individuals and companies all of types have begun to harness LinkedIn’s potential for professional and commercial networking.

Of course, crafting a good LinkedIn profile is in some ways even more difficult and demanding than putting together a good Facebook page. While Facebook is filled with all sorts of entities making pages, LinkedIn is a place where savvy professionals and businesses are working to spread the word on their abilities and services.

Creating an effective LinkedIn profile begins with filling out all of the available spaces for your company overview and the services or products your company offers. In the overview section, give a clear description of your business and the customers you can serve. You can also add in your company’s blog feed and other resources to give visitors more information about your business.

The product pages are a great place to put your offerings on display. Fill out those pages with as much information and content as possible, including photos and feature descriptions. LinkedIn also allows you to link YouTube product videos, so take advantage if you have those available.

When it comes to spreading the word, it helps to be active both around the LinkedIn community and among your established communities. LinkedIn offers various venues for promoting your business page. Try to find relevant discussion groups to participate in and spread the word on your company, and encourage all of your employees and business partners to get connected. In addition, you can take advantage of your other communities by spreading the word on Facebook and through your email list so that interested parties can become involved.

Content is an important part of running a successful LinkedIn profile, so be sure to offer content that benefits your followers. This means posting more than simply promotional material. Your followers will include both customers and peers in the field, along with interested professionals, so it helps to provide resources that benefit both customers and those in the same position as you.

As you build your LinkedIn presence, you will want to expand your network by connecting with multiple kinds of parties online. Look for both businesses you already work with and those you would like to work with in the future. It can also help to link with professionals sharing similar interests, and even your company’s peers and competitors. A bigger network means more resources and a better chance to do business in the future.

 

Still have questions?? Check out our Facebook Page, our blog, or contact us and we will respond quickly.

Toby Gonzales

Toby Gonzales is the Revenue Manager for FBiframes. Besides taking out the trash at FBiframes, he enjoys helping businesses implement their social media marketing plan. If your business' marketing plan or strategy needs new insight, drop him a line.

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Google + and Social Media Marketing

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How to Build a Successful Google+ Page for Your Business

Posted on 21 March 2013 by Toby Gonzales

Plenty of businesses are already on board with fully functional Twitter and Facebook feeds, but it’s about time companies got started with Google+. Google’s social media option allows companies to take advantage of both social networking and SEO benefits, and the site allows people to connect with the increasing numbers of people adding Google+ to their social media routines.

The first step in building a good presence on Google+ is to fill out your company profile as much as possible. The profile section should include detailed information about what your company does, with strong keywords to attract the most people to your page. Google+ has particularly reader-friendly formatting for these descriptions, so take advantage with a list of services and important links, like your website and contact addresses.

You should also consider setting up your account with Google Authorship. This is an increasingly popular offering with Google+ that allows people to connect their home websites with Google+ in exchange for SEO benefits. When you link Google+ on your page, Google returns the favor by allowing you higher search ranking and the option of adding an author photo next to your links that appear on Google search lists. These links tend to draw more attention, and your profile will receive far more traffic. Of course, you can also boost your search results by posting often and including strong keywords in your content, just like you would on your website.

In terms of connecting with people, it pays to use all of the features unique to Google+. One of those is the circles feature, which allows people to join different sharing groups based on interest or their relationship with one another. Friends can have an exclusive circle, but there are also lots of shared circles. Take a look at Google’s directory of shared lists and join on with the ones that relate to your business.

Remember that when you’re developing your business profile on Google+, it helps to maintain your personal profile as well. You can’t bring people into your business’s circle until they’ve brought you into their circle, so try to connect with relevant users in other settings. Connecting with other users personally is a good first step to adding them to your business’s network.

In general, the key is to participate. When others mention you, give them a little thanks to show you’re paying attention, and when your contacts post good content, they’ll appreciate it if you post some comments.

 

Still have questions?? Check out our Facebook Page, our blog, or contact us and we will respond quickly.

Toby Gonzales

Toby Gonzales is the Revenue Manager for FBiframes. Besides taking out the trash at FBiframes, he enjoys helping businesses implement their social media marketing plan. If your business' marketing plan or strategy needs new insight, drop him a line.

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How to Build a Successful Twitter Profile for Your Business

Posted on 18 March 2013 by Toby Gonzales

For business owners and operators, Twitter can seem like an enigma. People didn’t communicate in 140-character messages 10 years ago, and it’s still not totally clear to many people why Twitter is effective. But for those with successful business Twitter feeds, the results are clear. More people get involved in the conversation and become engaged with the company, and the brand benefits with more customers and familiarity.

The first thing to keep in mind when starting and running a Twitter feed is that followers don’t want to be bombarded with promotional material. You should use your feed to promote your business, but you should also remember that Twitter is about personal interactions with other members of the community. Balance things out by offering fun, personal content so that people can get to know you and your company.

You can work on building your personality on Twitter in a few ways. Multimedia is a great way to connect with other users, because photos are a great way to give people a behind-the-scenes look at your company. Also, don’t take your feed too seriously. The Twitterverse is an informal community, and followers like seeing businesses that like to have fun online.

As a business, it’s important to keep in mind that you have a number of free tools at your disposal for making a better Twitter feed. Several sites offer URL shortening services, allowing you to fill your tweets with more of your own content when linking to external material. There are also a number of sites that allow you to schedule posts ahead of time so that you are always involved.

Scheduling sites should, however, only be used as supplemental tools, as engagement is key. Follow hash tag conversations related to your field, and communicate directly with followers when you can. If someone says something positive about your brand, retweet them and thank them for the compliments.

And although overdoing promotional material can become obnoxious for followers, they do like special offers and contests every now and then. Twitter is most effective when you are able to connect with followers on a personal level and then offer them value for being active members of your community.

Overall, it’s important to remain true to your company’s brand on Twitter. It’s important to know your audience and what they like, but Twitter should ultimately be used as an extension of your brand. Don’t overdo your tweets, and be sure to have the same good judgment for content as you would on your website.

 

Still have questions?? Check out our Facebook Page, our blog, or contact us and we will respond quickly.

Toby Gonzales

Toby Gonzales is the Revenue Manager for FBiframes. Besides taking out the trash at FBiframes, he enjoys helping businesses implement their social media marketing plan. If your business' marketing plan or strategy needs new insight, drop him a line.

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Facebook Apps for fan pages

How to Build a Successful Facebook Page for Your Business

Posted on 14 March 2013 by Toby Gonzales

Companies have known for a long time now that Facebook can be a great, low-cost tool for connecting with customers. But as people grow more familiar with Facebook, they also become better at spotting and weeding out bad business profiles. Facebook users don’t want spam, and they don’t want to spend their social media time on boring business offers.

That’s why it’s important to know how to craft and operate a high quality business profile page. The process starts with the profile. Fill out all of the available features, including a good description of the company in the About section, so that customers can get to know you and your business. In addition, make sure you have good images edited specifically for the profile and cover image slots. You’ll also want to start with some content already available on the page, such as photos or special offers. That way, people will have something to do or look at right when they come to your business’s page.

The next step is to spread the word. Don’t limit your Facebook participation to just your own page. It helps to seek out communities of users that might be interested in your business and contribute to discussions in those groups. Participation is key, as simply advertising without participation can come off as over-selling your product.

In addition, spread the word outside of Facebook. Try to make connections with some influential people in your field by striking up a conversation on Twitter or contacting them directly. These types of connections can be extremely helpful for building a following if they are willing to help you out by participating on your Facebook page.

Also, don’t shy away from Facebook ads just because there’s some money involved. Putting in some money to spread the word can pay off in the long run, and Facebook ads allow for great flexibility when it comes to budget.

Of course, once you get people to see your page, you’ll want to have content that keeps them happy. Include a variety of content types on your page, and don’t overdo the promotional stuff. Users don’t want to hear just about what great offers you have on your website. They’re more interested in fun, interesting, quirky material, so try to mix it up with external links related to your field and other interesting content. Surveys and other interactive material is always a plus. Discussions on your page increase engagement, and you’ll get a better sense of what customers want.

Lastly, don’t forget to talk directly with customers. This is a social site, and the best way for a business to succeed on Facebook is to be social with followers.

 

Still have questions?? Check out our Facebook Page, our blog, or contact us and we will respond quickly.

Toby Gonzales

Toby Gonzales is the Revenue Manager for FBiframes. Besides taking out the trash at FBiframes, he enjoys helping businesses implement their social media marketing plan. If your business' marketing plan or strategy needs new insight, drop him a line.

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Five Things Your Business Should Do with Instagram Right Now

Posted on 05 March 2013 by Toby Gonzales

Instagram has reached 100million users and will continue to grow as a viable platform for you to share your business with clients and potential clients.

Check out these 5 things you should do to grow your Instagram community:

1. Realize the Benefits Instagram Can Offer

With Facebook, Twitter, and some of the other big name social media sites drawing tons of publicity for their potential to boost business, now is the time for businesses to branch out into some of the newer networks around the web. Instagram is a photo sharing network driven by mobile users, with people sharing informal shots from their daily lives. Businesses, though, can join in with photos of product or service offerings, allowing them to reach a large new audience of customers.

2. Start an Account

When you join the Instagram network, the first step is getting to know the system. It helps to start with a personal profile so that you can use Instagram most effectively once your business gets involved. Set up your account using the same name as your Twitter account so that your followers there can find you on Instagram.

3. Cultivate a Good Feed

Good content is key on all social media sites, and it’s especially important to fit your content with the feel of the Instagram community. The most successful and popular content tends to be fun and interesting, so try to find interesting ways to photograph your product and service offerings. Of course, not all of your content should focus on sales. Instagram users enjoy behind-the-scenes shots and photos to show the personality of the company and its employees. You can then use these photos to spice things up on your Facebook feed.

4. Build Your Network

Connection between Instagram and your other social network sites can do a lot to help you build up your community of followers on Instagram. The site allows you to find followers on Facebook automatically, but you should also branch out to find new followers in the communities within Instagram. Check out relevant hash tag lists to find followers that might be interested in your company’s products or services, and be sure to pay attention when other users share and comment on your photos.

5. Engage Users

Of course, simply putting pictures up on the site is only part of the process. Adding text to your photos can help you engage users with questions and contests. Asking users for their opinions and contributions regarding your photos is a great way to boost engagement. In addition, make sure you participate in discussions with users and comment on their photos so that you can develop personal connections with users.

 

Do you already use Instagram, share your successes with us below…

Still have questions?? Check out our Facebook Page, our blog, or contact us and we will respond quickly.

Toby Gonzales

Toby Gonzales is the Revenue Manager for FBiframes. Besides taking out the trash at FBiframes, he enjoys helping businesses implement their social media marketing plan. If your business' marketing plan or strategy needs new insight, drop him a line.

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