Connect With Customers

Today, business is all about relationships. We buy a car from the guy our neighbor's brother recommended. We hire the contractor our mother's accountant used. We go see the movies that everyone on Twitter talks about. So finding ways to take business relationships beyond transactional is a sure-fire way to cement yourself in the minds of your customers. Social media – blogs, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, – are all ways to connect with your customers, family and friends. And if you can use these tools to establish and enhance your relationships with your audience, you've got a leg up on your customers. Some examples are: The yarn store owner who tweets her new customer to ask how the new sweater is coming along… The car salesman who leaves a link for $10 off an oil change on a customer's Facebook wall… The homeschool curriculum vendor who records a short video showing how to set up a classroom in the home in a back bedroom… The golf instructor who holds a Skype party during the Masters… Possibilities are as endless as the world of Internet business. You will notice some commonalities between the ideas above: They're relevant. They are directly applicable to the niche or industry you're in (the golf instructor, for instance, isn't sending out oil change coupons; the yarn store owner isn't hosting a Masters chat). They're personal. Each interaction connects with the audience in a manner beyond a simple “buy my stuff” way. They're useful. Each interaction provides value to the recipient. In some cases, it's a dollar savings (the coupon); in others, it's informational (the video and the...

Free Advertising Using 5 Social Media Sites

You've been realizing lately that you really need to spread the word about your business, website, event or product. But you don't have the largest budget on the planet. If you're looking for ways to advertise for free, you might want to consider making full use of social media. Most social media platforms offer paid advertising – and if you have the budget, it's always better to cover all the bases. But there are some free methods and techniques utilizing social media that can really increase your exposure (and even your personal brand). Here are suggestions that have worked well for many internet marketers and entrepreneurs on these 5 social media sites… It's not enough just spread the word by blogging: You have to also promote your blog. Do it by using Delicious or Digg. Link to your blog from your Facebook news feed. Send people to your blog by tweeting on Twitter about your latest post; shorten the URL with bit.ly – and then check your stats on the number of clicks. Upload a video to YouTube, and make sure links to your business are placed in the first and last frame of your video (appearing long enough for people to quickly make a note of the link). Have the same URL in as many places on your YouTube channel page as you can manage.   Make sure it either (a) is extremely helpful about one tricky subject for the niche you're targeting or (b) contains all the elements of a viral video:  Memorable, entertaining, personal, unique – if appropriate, perhaps even funny.  (A Singing Parrot is far...