10 Social Marketing Mistakes Small Businesses Should Avoid

small business mistakes

No matter how skilled you are or what you’re doing in life, you’re going to make some mistakes. That’s just how it goes. Hopefully, you will learn from these mistakes and avoid making them in the future. When developing a social media marketing strategy, you can be sure that you’ll make some mistakes from time to time. The best way to work to avoid these mistakes before they happen is to learn about the mistakes beforehand. Business branding through social media can be a very cost-efficient strategy, especially for small businesses, and there’s a lot you can do yourself without any help from a large media agency. As you’ve learned here on … [Read more...]

6 Reasons Your Small Business Needs a Better Website

[xyz_dbx_default_code]Inspired by SocialMagnets who created a great infographic called "10 Reasons why small businesses need an online presence" Also published on SocialMediaToday.comYou've had this discussion before with your business partner. "Why do we need to spend money on a website?" Or, perhaps it's "Look, I know our website needs updating, but honestly, we've got so many other things to work on right now....."And the discussion goes on. But are you making the right decision? True, there are a lot of things that draw the attention of the small business owner. But stop and take a look at your current website.Your … [Read more...]

3 Ways Personal Bias is Killing your Marketing Campaign

Originally published on SocialMediaToday.comThe Chief Marketing Officer has just walked into your office, well, into your cube anyway. And she's not happy. You feel the tension."They're looking at our budget with a microscope. If we don't absolutely nail this next major campaign, they're going to, to.....well, something....."She's not being paranoid either. Marketers are under the gun, having to justify each spend. The average tenure of a CMO is just two years."I just feel like we're missing the market somehow," you tell her. "Something doesn't feel right. I mean, we're hitting all the big social channels, but it's like the … [Read more...]

How do I get more customers (and keep them)

How do I get more customers?

You are the newest of the noobs in your small business. You started out with a lot of energy, but the customers just aren't coming. Or, the ones that are coming are not coming back.You know you've got a great product to offer, but it just seems like the message isn't getting out. No one really knows about this place. So, you're asking, "how do I get more customers?"You are frustrated, and thinking of calling it quits. "How DO I get more customers?"Well, hold on for a moment. If you muster just a bit of courage I'll answer the how do I get more customers question and show you Other small business owners like you are not facing … [Read more...]

What Do You Mean My Email Subject Line Sucks?

Email Subject Line

Originally published on Social Media Today.com You've spent all that time building an email list, crafting the perfect email, creating great content, and sending it out using all the proper email deliverability hoo-ha and all that. Your anticipation of a high email open and click through rate is there. That will mean you'll make more sales, right!?After launch, you wait. And then...... nothing. Your open/click through rate sucks and your sales are as stale as that box of Cheerios you left opened last Tuesday. You spent all that time crafting the perfect email, and for what? For a 2.5% open rate, about ten click throughs, and no … [Read more...]

7 Reasons you SHOULD use Hootsuite

7 Reasons you SHOULD use Hootsuite

Originally published on iag.me Some time ago, I posted a rather controversial article that ended up being one of the most visited posts on my blog– 7 Reasons why you should NOT use Hootsuite. It even prompted the Vice President of Community at Hootsuite to respond in the comments. Although I tried my very best to give a balanced view and to list the positives, it was, at the end of the day, a list of the problems that I had encountered with Hootsuite. Since then I’ve wanted to list some of the positives and reasons why some people and businesses should use Hootsuite. Despite the issues that I brought up in the original post, Hootsuite … [Read more...]

7 Reasons to NOT use Hootsuite

7 Reasons to Not use Hootsuite

This post first appeared on iag.meHootsuite is one of the most popular and comprehensive social media tools out there. Yes, there is Tweet Deck and cotweet, but Hootsuite is considered the “crème de la crème” of the Social Media Tools World. I’ve used it for many years and I’ve recommended it regularly for my clients and still do.It was launched back in December 2008 by the digital agency Invoke Media. With a list of features as long as, well, something long, it’s hard to see why you’d never want to use Hootsuite.Here are some of Hootsuite’s many features:Manage multiple Twitter, Facebook (profiles and pages), LinkedIn, … [Read more...]

One Quick Tip to Double your Email Click Through Rates

email marketing double your click through rates

The Importance of Saying Thank You in Email When you buy something from the likes of Amazon or eBay, you check your email for confirmation that your order has gone through okay. If that email isn’t there a little bit of panic sets in. Did they get my order? When will my order arrive? Do they have the right address? Those so-called transactional emails are a simple yet effective way of answering recurring buyer questions.According to marketing company HubSpot, the marketing equivalent of a transactional email is a simple thank you email - an automated email that is triggered when a visitor converts on a landing page. Thank you emails are … [Read more...]

What if your charity had to grow donations by 10X or face failure? (think social media)

What if your boss told you that unless donations magically increased by ten-fold, they'd have to shut the doors on your 501(c)3 forever? What would you do? You're the marketer, so come on, think of something quick. And it better be good. MDG Advertising put together a great infographic about how well nonprofits are doing by using social media for fundraising. But could social media bring a ten-fold increase? If social media isn't bringing hordes of cash into your business, maybe it's because non profits are doing a better job of utilizing it than you are. Read how these major 501(c)3's are crushing their donation campaigns.98% of all … [Read more...]

How Social Media Drove Tupperware to Laugh

This article originally published at SocialMediaToday.com The Harvard Business Review recently examined the internal use of social media by corporations. Can social media be used internally within an organization to drive increases in revenue? Can it improve employee retention? Increase productivity? This study reveals just what is possible.We think of social media as a magic set of tools we use to reach the masses to help us promote our wares. But what about using social media as a way to build goodwill within your organization? What if you could retain employees longer? How much money would that save you? How much would it mean to … [Read more...]

An Open Letter to the C-Suite: Social Marketing

(This is a follow-on to Why 1700 CEOs are Wrong about Social Media)Guest post by Dave TaddeoStruggling to convince your CEO to use social media? Tired of hearing the same negative response? Below is an open letter to the C-Suite which convinces CEO's of the folly of ignoring the biggest "elephant in the room" ever conceived, social media. Also reference the companion article Why 1700 CEOs are Wrong about Social Media.What is Social? Social is this thing that people use to communicate and share. It started with Friendster ten years ago and eventually many other sites started popping up. People share all kinds of things … [Read more...]

The Noob’s Zen Guide to Email Deliverability Speak

Eye for email deliverability

(This is a companion guide to "The Noob's Zen Guide to Email Marketing and Social Media Speak")Are you a noob to email deliverability? Don't worry. I know experts who are noob's at being experts, which is to say that they know a lot more than you, but they are new at being experts, hence their noobishness. Make sense? No? Perfect. Lets get started.Above the Fold: When a man is significantly overweight, this is the part of his waistline that is above the belt. In email marketing, this is the part of an email message that is visible in the email client without scrolling down. This is different depending on what email client your … [Read more...]

What your blog can learn from Guy Fieri’s bad restaurant review

Guy Fieri is a famous chef who just got blasted by a New York Times restaurant review. And from reading the review, it sounded as if Chef Fieri created dishes that were just a wee bit out of context. Well, in a restaurant, creating recipes that are out of context is when you go so far with your recipes that diners are left wondering why in the hell you've covered foie gras with Milk Duds. The two have nothing in common. One doesn't compliment the other. Just as Guy Fieri learned that creating recipes out of context doesn't work; in your blog, if you are writing out of context, your readers won't know what you are talking about.What is … [Read more...]

Why 1700 CEOs are Wrong about Social Media

Article first appeared on SocialMediaToday.comTweetIBM recently conducted a study of 1700 CEOs in multiple verticals all over the world about their predictions for social media over the next three to five years. Some of the CEOs were very versed with social, others not so much. What they had to say was revealing about the way companies are viewing social media. Read some of their quotes to get an idea of just how disruptive this set of technologies has become. “For the first time in my career, I feel old. People in their 20s work and think about this social stuff in a different way. (My peers) use it as a way of connecting with … [Read more...]

Is your small business blog losing out on a huge second audience because of fear?

TweetThere is a long standing controversy over whether or not it's OK to duplicate your blog article content on another website. The argument between search engine optimization (SEO) experts goes like this. SEO guy- "Never duplicate your blog content on another website, Google will penalize you." SEO girl- "When we were dating you were always such a fraidy-cat. Google doesn't penalize you unless you are trying to game the system or steal someone else's content. Just look at all the news syndication websites out there. Do you think Google is penalizing all of them?" SEO guy- "Well, you,....you... " SEO girl- "Wait, what's that music … [Read more...]

Email Marketers Guide to 35% Higher Read Rates and 50% Lower Spam Rates

Guy Hanson, Director of Response Consulting at Return Path, recently presented some very interesting data around email open rates. This research was centered around marketing emails sent in the Daily Deals market. Although specific names aren't mentioned in the study, top brands that come to mind are Groupon, Living Social, and Scoutmob. Some of this data will surprise you. Best day of the week to send - the argument continues! Although you need to do your own testing, in this study the worst day to send was Monday and the best was Wednesday.  The rate that recipients actually read your email was 12% higher on Wednesday. And, the rate at … [Read more...]

Gmail users prefer to vote for Obama, Yahoo users prefer to vote for Romney!

Vote for Kermit! Political parties don't know how to manage email marketingReturn Path put out a great infographic about the use of email marketing by both political parties during the 2012 presidential election. The results are interesting and somewhat funny. Both candidates use email marketing strongly, but just take a look at the differences!Obama has five times the number of email subscribers as Romney TweetThat's a telling stat. But, I'm not surprised by this since Obama is a sitting president who's had 4 years in office to grow his subscriber list. Do you suppose he personally manages his email lists? Yeah, you're right. … [Read more...]

The Restaurateur’s Zen Guide to Email List Building. Why your Restaurant Must Have Email Marketing

Unique restaurant ingredient known as GalangalLook, I understand. You're a restaurateur and the last thing you have time for is to send out email marketing messages to your customers. You've got an entire restaurant to run. In fact, you don't even have time to read this article. But just bare with me for a moment. And even if you did have time to send emails to your subscribers, you'd say, "why do I need an email list anyway? I use Facebook to promote my restaurant." So let me make this perfectly clear. No matter how much social media you use to promote your business, nothing, I mean nothing, is as effective as email.ExactTarget's … [Read more...]

The next best thing to a guest blog post – Expert Quotes

Adding new eyes to your blog shouldn't be this complicatedAll of us who spend our time in the depths of social media have been told ad infinitum that writing guest posts is the missing magic that will catapult us to stardom and wealth beyond the realms of Taylor Swift. Taylor secretly wants to write a guest post on my site, but I won't let her. Anyway, there is another way to add significant traffic to your blog that is rarely discussed. Whether you are writing an article that will serve as a guest post or one that is going to be posted directly to your blog, you can use expert quotes in your article to help significantly drive new … [Read more...]

The Noob’s Zen Guide to Email Marketing and Social Media Speak

Are you new to email marketing and social media? (Oh no, a noobie, a noob!) Sick of all the marketing mumbo jumbo double speak? Not sure what all these terms mean? This article will help clear up some of that. Or possibly make you more confused, I'm not sure which. If you are a seasoned email marketer, however, for God's sake, don't read this article. It will bore you so badly that you'll read to the end and say "that's 6 minutes of my life I'll never get back." Social stuff: Klout - This is kind of a cool one. Klout is a company and a score. This score measures your "importance" in terms of how much influence you have across the internet. … [Read more...]

Why email marketers should avoid the coming wave of mosaics in email and what to do instead

Email mosaics by Email on Acid

by Nate Goodman This article was originally published on Business2CommunityToday, ISPs block a lot of the images in your email marketing campaigns. That's not anything new. But what is new is the soon-to-be realistic use of mosaics in your emails. What are mosaics? Mosaics are complex HTML tables that impersonate images. How can a table impersonate an image? The HTML table has so many rows and columns, each cell having a background color, that it can really look like an image. And above when I say "what is new", I don't mean brand new like the new baby ficus tree that Loraine in the cube next to me bought to replace the last one that she … [Read more...]

Lose All Your Twitter Followers with One Mistake

Despicable Me Minion at work stealing your Twitter loginThis article was originally published on Business2CommunitySome of you readers have made it clear that you are small business owners and don't have time for all that "security" balderdash where some guy like me is telling you to watch out for this scam or that scam. Well too bad, pal.If you have a Twitter following, you might want to read this. Otherwise you could lose all your followers. TweetScammers want access to your Twitter account There are scammers out there looking to gain access to your Twitter account so they can spam your followers by schlepping products … [Read more...]

Part 2: Flush your email marketing job down the toilet with this one big mistake

This is Part 2 in the series about emailing a spamtrap email address. In this part, we discuss what to do now that you've made this big mistake. Read part 1And so does Google, if you email to a spam trapSo, you've emailed a spamtrap email address to Gmail? There are some things you need to do to get out of this mess and to avoid having your job flushed down a toilet by your boss. Follow these steps closely:Step 1: Stand straight up, point your finger at Loraine in the cube next to you and shout, "it's her fault, boss. She's the one that emailed the spam trap, not me. She must have hacked my password into our email … [Read more...]

Email Marketers: Say Goodbye to Images not Displaying

Email marketers have always struggled with image display in their emails.Are my images going to show up? Do my recipients have to click the stupid "Download Images" link? Do my recipients really have to add me to the safe senders list just to get images displayed? Well, all of that may change very soon with the introduction of a product called Mozify by Email on Acid.Mozify leverages a previously known trick to get images to display in an email message even when images are turned off. Huh? Let me explain. The trick is to use what's called a mosaic in place of an image (temporarily). In the email marketing world, a mosaic is simply an … [Read more...]

Flush your email marketing job down the toilet with this one big mistake

This is Part 1 in the series about emailing a spamtrap email address. Read part 2This is where your job is headed if you email a spam trapIf you want to lose your job as an email marketer, just send a few emails to a spam trap email address What's a spam trap (or honeypot)? It's an email address used as a trap by the ISPs. You didn't need me to tell you that, did you? You kind of figured that one out on your own? So, Miss SmartyMcKnowEverythingPants, you may know what a spam trap is, but do you know how they are formed, what happens if you send to email to one, and what to do if your sending reputation is in the toilet … [Read more...]

Really sneaky HTML problems in your email marketing campaigns and how to fix them [INFOGRAPHIC]

Click to viewLitmus* created a really swell infographic to describe common problems that marketers have with the HTML in their mass emails. If you fall into one of these HTML traps, your email may end up in the crapper, or in the spam folder at least. I've taken it upon myself to "liberate" the content from their infographic and discuss it for you here below. Those guys at Litmus love me, so I don't expect any backlash or gnashing of teeth. Tweet Embedded media that doesn't play well with others Litmus Marketing Director Justine Jordan says, "one of the most common problems we see is the inclusion of certain types of media within … [Read more...]

Disaster awaits retailers who aren’t planning Christmas email marketing campaigns right now

Retailers will face email deliverability nightmares if they aren't planning their Christmas marketing campaigns earlyTrashing your deliverability: Might as well pour BBQ on your keyboardAlthough August is too early to see any Christmas decorations in Macy's in Manhattan or Schwegman's in New Orleans or Kimbell's department store in the movie Miracle on 49th Street, it isn't too early for those retailers to begin planning their Christmas email marketing campaigns.Why bother to plan this far in advance? Why not wait till the last minute, slap together your creative and punch it out to your list? Because if you don't … [Read more...]

Post to multiple social networks quickly using one simple tool

Employee morale

What you need is to be able to post to multiple social networks easily and quickly, right? Are you overwhelmed with the notion of all these social networks that you are supposed to share your blog articles on?Your boss says "our new corporate mission statement indicates we need to post to multiple social networks in order to stay competitive in the current business landscape". Whatever. It can be daunting. Especially if you are just getting started which means you don't really know which social networks are going to be the important ones for you to post. Some experts advise that you just focus on the top couple of really big social … [Read more...]

Gmail gives email marketers a second chance

Amit Singhal, SVP of Google Search announced that Gmail  is testing a new feature in which Gmail.com users who go to Google to do a search, may see their own received emails displayed on the search results page. How would this work? Well Google will simply take the search query, use it to query the web as usual, but then also query your gmail inbox. If a marketer sent you an opt-in email newsletter on the topic of "social media marketing tools", and you then go to Google to search something similar to "social media marketing tools", you'll see on the right side of the Google search results page are displayed some search results from your own … [Read more...]

Your Twitter feed is too full. How to calm it down with one easy app.

Do you find yourself overwhelmed with a Twitter stream full of people you followed-back just to be nice because they followed you (and not because they were so awesome)? If so, that might mean you aren't getting anything of value out of Twitter because there's just too much noise in your Twitter stream. If you read this blog you have interest in the topic of "email marketing" but your Twitter stream is packed with so many links to cat videos, that you can't find the posts about email marketing.If this sounds like you, there's an easy way to regain control of Twitter so it can be the really useful tool that it was when you first started using … [Read more...]