Posts tagged ‘customer referrals’

Using Twitter Chats: Highlighting Your Expertise Through Social Media

Hello and welcome to Small Business EASY Branding Tips and this week’s podcast.  Brought to you by SSS for Success (EASY Brand Marketing Specialists), working to help Small Businesses Survive through EASY Sales.

Almost everybody has heard about Twitter, and people use it for both personal and professional reasons.  

My understanding of Twitter and its usefulness has come full-circle in the past few months, as I’ve seen how it can be used to enhance a business and further solidify a brand.  One of the best ways I’ve seen this done, is through using Twitter Chats.  

A Twitter Chat is a group of people, usually meeting at a designated time, to discuss a particular topic via Twitter.  They do this by using what’s called a “Hashtag”, which is essentially a word with a pound sign before it, and you participate in the conversation by making your comment, and including that hashtag within your comment so that others following the chat can keep up.

There are a variety of Twitter Chats that occur all throughout the day and night on a number of topics.  There’s #brandchat, #carchat, #dogchat, #jobhuntchat, and my personal favorite #SmallBizChat.  

Navigating a Twitter Chat using the Twitter website can be problematic, and that’s why I use Tweetgrid, a website that lets you separate your Twitter streams based on a search term or whatever criteria that you’d like to set.  

Using Tweetgrid helps make a Twitter Chat a lot more manageable, thus turning Twitter into yet another social media platform that you can use to highlight your expertise and your brand, either by establishing your own Twitter Chat, or by participating in a topic that’s of interest to you.  It’s also a great way to meet like-minded people and network.

Most of the Twitter Chats were started by people that found they had an interest in something who decided to be a bit more solution-oriented about their communications.  Many are organized by someone who takes on the task of determining weekly topics and archiving the chats for chat members and other interested parties.  

If you’re a person that’s reluctant to use Twitter because you don’t see the professional usefulness of it, this takes care of that.  I encourage you to check out a Twitter Chat on a topic that’s of interest to you in the near future.  

Specifically, check out the upcoming #SmallBizChat happening TODAY September 08, 2010 at 8PM ET on Twitter featuring me (@KindraCotton), where I’ll be talking about “How to Write a Marketing Plan”.

Here’s a brief tutorial on Youtube that talks about Using Twitter Chats via Tweetgrid:


Reminder: Within the next few weeks, I’m going to have a podcast episode devoted entirely to questions and answers from you, my listening audience, so please submit your Small Business Branding Questions for that upcoming episode.  You can visit our website sss4success.com and go to the Contact Us page to submit your question, or reach out to us via email at “podcasts[at]sss4success.com”, or finding SSS for Success on Twitter (@sss4success), or leaving a comment below.  Don’t forget to stop by our Facebook Fan Page and let us know you LIKE what we’re doing.


Also you can submit your feedback about this site here: Small Business Branding Tips Blog Survey.  If you’re a Small Business Owner that has been in business for a while, please fill out this survey.  We’d really appreciate your input on both, if you have the time. 


Finally, if by chance, you would like to learn more about how EASY Sales can help your bottom line, then give us a call at 615-336-4325.

Have a great day!
Kindra Cotton



If the player above isn’t displaying, or working properly, you can also download the podcast from iTunes for free!

By the way, Transcripts are now available upon request.  If you want one, please email us at “transcripts[at]sss4success.com“.

More about EASY RSS Feeds: Using RSS Feed Readers to Get Content

Hello and welcome to Small Business EASY Branding Tips.  Brought to you by SSS for Success (EASY Brand Marketing Specialists), working to help Small Businesses Survive through EASY Sales. 

Over the past several weeks, we’ve talked about EASY Small Business Brand Marketing Tips, ways to build traffic to your website and/or blog, and “The Basics of Branding and Why Anyone Can Do It”.  We detailed the 4-Step Common Sense Branding Strategy that I think most small business owners should be aware of when seeking to create, build, and enhance their company’s brand: 

  • Step 1: Determining & Defining Your Brand.
  • Step 2: Researching Your Market and Positioning Your Brand to Capitalize on a Sector of it.
  • Step 3: Launching Your Brand.
  • Step 4: Managing, Monitoring & Tweaking Your Brand 

A few weeks ago, I talked about RSS feeds, or “Really Simple Syndication” feeds, which are also known as Web feeds, or news feeds, and I mentioned how I found them to be particularly perplexing when the idea was first introduced to me.  Since that topic, I’ve had some questions that has encouraged me to delve a bit deeper into the subject, so in this episode, I’m going to talk more about the real uses of RSS feeds and how you can get the most out of them both for distributing content, as well as reading the content of others that’s of interest to you.

Here’s a recap on RSS feeds. They’re about TWO things:
 1. Creating news feeds to disseminate information, and 
 2. Subscribing to those feeds for the information that is of interest to you.

In this week’s podcast, I talk more about the types of RSS Readers that you can use to subscribe to RSS feeds.  I specifically talk about web-based and application based RSS Feed Readers.


Web-based RSS Feed Readers:

  • Google Reader: My preferred reader. Great if you have a Google account.
  • Bloglines: Simple set up and easy-to-use interface.
  • MyYahoo: Another great tool if you already have a Yahoo account.



Application-based RSS Feed Readers:

If you want to learn more about RSS feeds in more detail, check out the whatisrss.com website, as well as the books RSS and Atom in Action: Web 2.0 Building Blocks by Dave Johnson, Syndicating Web Sites with RSS Feeds For Dummies by Ellen Finkelstein, and Developing Feeds with RSS and Atom by Ben Hammersley.

I’ve also uploaded a brief tutorial on Youtube that talks about Using RSS Feed Readers to Get Great Content:


Reminder: Within the next few weeks, I’m going to have a podcast episode devoted entirely to questions and answers from you, my listening audience, so please submit your Small Business Branding Questions for that upcoming episode.  You can visit our website sss4success.com and go to the Contact Us page to submit your question, or reach out to us via email at “podcasts[at]sss4success.com”, or finding us on Twitter (@sss4success), or leaving a comment below.  Don’t forget to stop by our Facebook Fan Page and let us know you LIKE what we’re doing.


Also you can submit your feedback about this site here: Small Business Branding Tips Blog Survey.  If you’re a Small Business Owner that has been in business for a while, please fill out this survey.  We’d really appreciate your input on both, if you have the time. 


Finally, if by chance, you would like to learn more about how EASY Sales can help your bottom line, then give us a call at 615-336-4325.

Have a great day!
Kindra Cotton



If the player above isn’t displaying, or working properly, you can also download the podcast from iTunes for free!

By the way, Transcripts are now available upon request.  If you want one, please email us at “transcripts[at]sss4success.com“.

EASY RSS Feeds: Understanding the EASY Way to Deliver Content

Hello and welcome to Small Business EASY Branding Tips.  Brought to you by SSS for Success (EASY Brand Marketing Specialists), working to help Small Businesses Survive through EASY Sales. 

Over the past several weeks, we’ve talked about EASY Small Business Brand Marketing Tips, ways to build traffic to your website and/or blog, and “The Basics of Branding and Why Anyone Can Do It”.  We detailed the 4-Step Common Sense Branding Strategy that I think most small business owners should be aware of when seeking to create, build, and enhance their company’s brand: 
  • Step 1: Determining & Defining Your Brand.
  • Step 2: Researching Your Market and Positioning Your Brand to Capitalize on a Sector of it.
  • Step 3: Launching Your Brand.
  • Step 4: Managing, Monitoring & Tweaking Your Brand 

In this week’s podcast episode, I want to talk about using RSS feeds for distributing content or getting your information out there that’s posted on your website or blog.
RSS feeds, or Really Simple Syndication” feeds, are sometimes called news feeds or web feeds, and they’re about TWO things:
 1. Creating news feeds to disseminate information, and 
 2. Subscribing to those feeds for the information that is of interest to you.

    If you want to learn more about RSS feeds in more detail, check out the whatisrss.com website, as well as the books RSS and Atom in Action: Web 2.0 Building Blocks by Dave Johnson, Syndicating Web Sites with RSS Feeds For Dummies by Ellen Finkelstein, and Developing Feeds with RSS and Atom by Ben Hammersley.

    I’ve also uploaded a brief tutorial on Youtube that talks about using Google Reader for RSS feeds:


    Reminder: Within the next few weeks, I’m going to have a podcast episode devoted entirely to questions and answers from you, my listening audience, so please submit your Small Business Branding Questions for that upcoming episode.  You can visit our website sss4success.com and go to the Contact Us page to submit your question, or reach out to us via email at “podcasts[at]sss4success.com”, or finding us on Twitter (@sss4success), or leaving a comment below.  Don’t forget to stop by our Facebook Fan Page and let us know you LIKE what we’re doing.


    Also you can submit your feedback about this site here: Small Business Branding Tips Blog Survey.  If you’re a Small Business Owner that has been in business for a while, please fill out this survey.  We’d really appreciate your input on both, if you have the time. 


    Finally, if by chance, you would like to learn more about how EASY Sales can help your bottom line, then give us a call at 615-336-4325.

    Have a great day!
    Kindra Cotton



    If the player above isn’t displaying, or working properly, you can also download the podcast from iTunes for free!

    By the way, Transcripts are now available upon request.  If you want one, please email us at “transcripts[at]sss4success.com“.

    EASY Ways to Get Traffic to Your Website

    Hello and welcome to Small Business EASY Branding Tips.  Brought to you by SSS for Success (EASY Brand Marketing Specialists), working to help Small Businesses Survive through EASY Sales. 

    Over the past several weeks, we’ve talked about EASY Small Business Brand Marketing Tips, ways to build traffic to your website and/or blog, and “The Basics of Branding and Why Anyone Can Do It”.  We detailed the 4-Step Common Sense Branding Strategy that I think most small business owners should be aware of when seeking to create, build, and enhance their company’s brand: 

    • Step 1: Determining & Defining Your Brand.
    • Step 2: Researching Your Market and Positioning Your Brand to Capitalize on a Sector of it.
    • Step 3: Launching Your Brand.
    • Step 4: Managing, Monitoring & Tweaking Your Brand 

    In this week’s podcast episode, we recap our previous tips, as well as highlight some more ways you can drive traffic to your website.

    First, we talked about blogging and how it can be used as a way to build your reputation as an authority on your topic, by delivering timely content that insures that you stay relevant with your core audience.  Getting started with blogging is fairly easy, as you simply need to:

    • Choose a Blog Service. 
    • Customize your Blog with your brand: (e.g. blog.yourcompanyname.com or www.yourcompanysblog.com). 
    • Incorporate Good Content. 
    • Allow Reader Comments and Feedback and Cross-link and Promote other Bloggers. 

    Next, we moved on to email marketing and newsletters, and how you can not only build your reputation as an authority on your topic, but you can also stay connected with your audience through email, and possibly lead them to a call to action of your choice, based on your relationship with them that has been enhanced through email marketing. 

     
    Getting started with email marketing and newsletters is pretty easy too, since all you need to do is: 
     
    • Sign up for an Email Marketing Service and use all their tools effectively (especially the Analytics): MailChimp has a great “Forever Free” option that can get you started with email marketing if you don’t already have a list, or have a short list to start with.  They give you up to 500 subscribers and you can send up to 3000 emails a month on this free plan.
    •  Add people to your list (ethically). 
    • Create Interesting Topics. 
     
    The next topic we talked about was podcasting (or digital audio broadcasting), and building traffic to your website through talking about your expertise via broadcasting your own radio show, that isn’t live, and people can choose to download it and listen to it at their leisure.  The great thing about podcasting is that it’s fairly simple to set up and get going, where all you need to do is: 
     
    • Create the Podcast File: Using a computer, a microphone, and some free audio recording software like “Audacity”. 
    • Upload and Store the File: With a service like LibSyn. 
    • Disseminate the File to RSS readers. 
     
    Then finally, last week we talked about “EASY Search Engine Optimization (or SEO) Tips” and things you can do to be sure that your website is search engine friendly and can drive organic traffic through search results.  The main idea here was to be sure that you give search engines enough information to be able to make the right choices about the relevancy of your website in relation to keywords that are specifically optimized on each of your site’s pages.  Those tips only scratched the surface, so if you’re really interested in learning more, here’s a great resource: Search Engine Optimization All-in-One For Dummies by Bruce Clay and Susan Esparza.  It’s a great 10-in-1 book that gets into just about everything you need to know, and it gets into the finer points of Search Engine Marketing, and it also includes a $25 gift card for trying out Google AdWords. 
     
    In the next few weeks, we’ll be talking more about ways that you can drive traffic to your site, specifically delving into the topics of Pay-Per-Click Advertising, and how to leverage your participation in online communities and visiting other’s blogs to continue to build your reputation with the time that will eventually lead people to your site.

    Reminder: Within the next few weeks, I’m going to have a podcast episode devoted entirely to questions and answers from you, my listening audience, so please submit your Small Business Branding Questions for that upcoming episode.  You can visit our website sss4success.com and go to the Contact Us page to submit your question, or reach out to us via email at “podcasts[at]sss4success.com”, or finding us on Twitter (@sss4success), or leaving a comment below.  Don’t forget to stop by our Facebook Fan Page and let us know you LIKE what we’re doing.


    Also you can submit your feedback about this site here: Small Business Branding Tips Blog Survey.  If you’re a Small Business Owner that has been in business for a while, please fill out this survey.  We’d really appreciate your input on both, if you have the time. 


    Finally, if by chance, you would like to learn more about how EASY Sales can help your bottom line, then give us a call at 615-336-4325.

    Have a great day!
    Kindra Cotton



    If the player above isn’t displaying, or working properly, you can also download the podcast from iTunes for free!

    By the way, Transcripts are now available upon request.  If you want one, please email us at “transcripts[at]sss4success.com“.


    EASY Search Engine Optimization (or SEO) Tips: 10 Tips for Making Your Website Search Engine Friendly

    Hello and welcome to Small Business EASY Branding Tips.  Brought to you by SSS for Success (EASY Brand Marketing Specialists), working to help Small Businesses Survive through EASY Sales. 
    Last week, we talked about how search engines work, and laid the foundation of understanding for what needs to be done in order to search engine optimize your website.

    This week, we have “10 Tips to Make Your Website More Search Engine Friendly”: 

    1. Design your site first for a blind person, then add visual elements. 
    2. Use a simple technology to build your site (like HTML).
    3. Choose unique title tags, META Description & Keyword Tags for each page. 
    4. Fill out the ALT IMAGE tag for all of your images. 
    5. Optimize each page for 2-3 keywords, with at least 250 words of text.
    6. Use keywords in your text links, and also use enriched (bold) text on keywords and within the headings and sub-heading on your page.
    7. Link to pages that are relevant to your content. 
    8. Avoid using Frames, Flash, Query Strings, and graphical navigation menus. 
    9. Avoid deep directories and long, over-hyphenated URLs. 
    10. Try the Lynx Browser (Text-based) viewer: See what search engines see when they crawl your page. 

    There are TONS of resources on the web where you can learn more about this, on great resource is: Search Engine Optimization All-in-One For Dummies by Bruce Clay and Susan Esparza.  It’s a really great 10-in-1 book that gets into just about everything you need to know, and it gets into the finer points of Search Engine Marketing.  It also includes a $25 gift card for trying out Google AdWords.

    Reminder: Within the next few weeks, I’m going to have a podcast episode devoted entirely to questions and answers from you, my listening audience, so please submit your Small Business Branding Questions for that upcoming episode.  You can visit our website sss4success.com and go to the Contact Us page to submit your question, or reach out to us via email at “podcasts[at]sss4success.com”, or finding us on Twitter (@sss4success), or leaving a comment below.  Don’t forget to stop by our Facebook Fan Page and let us know you LIKE what we’re doing.


    Also you can submit your feedback about this site here: Small Business Branding Tips Blog Survey.  If you’re a Small Business Owner that has been in business for a while, please fill out this survey.  We’d really appreciate your input on both, if you have the time. 


    Finally, if by chance, you would like to learn more about how EASY Sales can help your bottom line, then give us a call at 615-336-4325.

    Have a great day!
    Kindra Cotton



    If the player above isn’t displaying, or working properly, you can also download the podcast from iTunes for free!

    By the way, Transcripts are now available upon request.  If you want one, please email us at “transcripts[at]sss4success.com“.


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