How Does a Business Like Another Business on Facebook?

Facebook is a powerful tool that businesses use to connect with other businesses and to build a professional, as well as social relationship. It only takes a few simple steps to get started. Once you’ve created a page for your business you are ready to start connecting with other businesses.

As with any marketing and communications efforts, it’s important to have a strategy for how you interact on Facebook. Included are five ways you can make your business-to-business Facebook interactions meaningful.

But first, let’s go over the three simple steps to liking another business on Facebook:Social networking LIKE

  1. Use Facebook as your page

First, you will need to know how to switch your Facebook account from your personal profile to your business’s. Without this step, you will continue to use Facebook as yourself and liking another business page will be from your personal profile, and not the profile of your business.

In the upper right hand corner of your screen, you will click on the icon that looks like an upside down triangle. This will produce a drop-down menu with the option to use Facebook as any of the pages you have administrator rights to. Select your desired account and you are all set! Remember, that you will need to repeat this step once you wish to return to using Facebook as yourself.

  1. Go to the business page you wish to like

Now that you are using Facebook as your business, go to the page of another business you wish to like. You can click on the link to their page or search for their name in your search bar. Both methods will continue to use Facebook as your business, so you do not need to repeat the first step.

  1. Click the “Like” button

Finally and most importantly, to complete the process you will need to click the “Like” button just as you would if you were using Facebook under your personal account. This will connect you to that business in the same way and allow you to start connecting with that business more intimately.

Interacting on Facebook with Other Businesses

Use Facebook As Screent Shot

Now what…? Okay, so now you know the three step process to liking another business on Facebook, but it’s what you do with this power that really matters! Here are five ways you can make the most of your business-to-business interactions and build your social media relationship.

  1. Tag other business pages in relevant posts

When using Facebook as your business page, you can tag other businesses in status updates just as you would tag a friend in your own status updates when using Facebook as yourself. Once you have “liked” their page, simply type their name in as part of the post and Facebook will suggest you tag their page. The dynamics of Facebook tagging will create a live link within your post to that other business’s page. Depending upon their privacy settings, it will also make your post appear on their page.

  1. Write a review

Has your business used the services of another business? Like their Facebook page and leave a review as your business! This is a more powerful marketing tool than leaving a review as yourself because it helps to promote both the name of your business and your relationship with the other business. Also, a well-written review will leave other customers with a good first impression of your business.

  1. Leave a comment

Once you like another business’s page, it’s important to stay engaged with their everyday content. If there is a question or an update that relates to your business, share in the conversation by leaving a comment. When you are logged into Facebook as your business, you will see a newsfeed (much like your personal one) that will display the content from all the other pages you like. You will also be able to comment as your business.

  1. Share a photo or link

We are a visual society and one of the best ways to engage people with your content is to share a photo video or a link. This produces content that is more eye-catching compared to a status update containing just text. Now, apply this tactic to your business-to-business relationships on Facebook and share dynamic content on other business’ pages. Make sure it is relevant and useful and include a message that explains why you are sharing it with them. This will help to position you as an authority on a particular subject and demonstrate that you are engaged and thinking about that other business.

  1. Check-in to that business

Much like writing a review, if your business uses another business’s services, show them just how often you are visiting them by using Facebook as your business to check-in to their location when you are there. Maybe you are taking a client or friend out to lunch; check-in to that restaurant. Maybe you just had a print shop produce marketing materials for you; check-in and share a photo of the finished product. This, along with the other tactics we just discussed, goes a long way to helping to build a genuine and meaningful relationship between your business and other local businesses. ~Stephanie

What other questions do you have about running your business’s Facebook page? Ask us!

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Ten Alternative Search Engines and Social Media Sites

Alternative Social MediaWe can all name the most popular websites for search and social networking, but what about the countless other options available to us? Some of these alternative search engines and social media sites provide unique benefits that can help you search and socialize even more effectively than the big guys!  Whether you are looking to completely break away from the mega-brands of search and social media, like Google and Facebook, or whether you simply want to explore some new options, here are ten recommendations worth checking out:

 

  1. Blekko

Blekko is an innovative search engine with a clean and modern look. Most notably about Blekko is that it uses an initiative called “slashtags.” This is essentially a text tag preceded by a “/” slash character, which can be used for custom and categorized searches. One of its best features might be its categorized results which help you to quickly hone in on the information that is most relevant to you. For example, search “Nike” and you can narrow results by categories including: quick answers, top results, shopping, shoes, news and more – all to help you find what you’re looking for in less time.

 

  1. SocialMention

If you’re looking for a platform to provide you with real-time social media search and analysis, then SocialMention is worth exploring. This site allows you to search any term and it will provide you with relevant social media results. Additionally, it will also analyze these results by strength, sentiment, passion, reach and top keyword so you can monitor the trend and identify where most of your mentions are originating.

 

  1. BuzzSumo

BuzzSumo is a valuable tool for SEO research. For example, if you want to analyze what content performs best for a particular topic or competitor, BuzzSumo is able to provide you with this type of insight. Enter the keyword you wish to search and BuzzSumo will identify the most shared links on social networks, as well as influencers for specific topics. This is a must-visit for anyone looking to improve their search rankings on the web.

 

  1. DuckDuckGo

It may not be that you have anything to hide, but sometimes you just don’t want your search history made easily accessible to anyone who wants to dig around in your personal life. DuckDuckGo is an anonymous search engine, and while it doesn’t provide you with personalized results based on your search history, it does offer the peace of mind of complete anonymity.

 

  1. Topsy

Calling all Twitter junkies, if you want to easily search and analyze the hottest trends on this particular platform, then you should try this one! Topsy allows you to search by time and place, set alerts, and analyze sentiment for every tweet ever made – seriously. This can result in valuable marketing information like how often a term is tweeted or who is an influential person on a specific subject.

 

  1. GoodSearch

If you want to “do good” while searching the web, GoodSearch has combined both of these elements into a single search engine. How it works is that GoodSearch donates 50 percent of its revenue to charities and schools selected by its users. GoodSearch also helps users identify other “do good” businesses through features like GoodShop, a catalog of merchants that support charitable causes; GoodDining, a year-round “dine out for charity” program; and GoodSurvey, market research surveys that allow people to earn money for their favorite causes. This search engine is powered by Yahoo and on average pulls in 510,000 unique monthly visitors.

 

  1. Wolfram│Alpha

If you have a passion for trivial information and desire instant access to all the world’s facts and data, then WolframAlpha might become your new favorite search engine. This platform is a computational knowledge engine that uses externally “curated data” to answer fact-based questions in a matter of seconds.

 

  1. DogPile

DogPile is by no means new; it’s a tried and true alternative search engine that maintains its appeal because of its powered metasearch technology. Essentially DogPile runs its searches through Google, Yahoo and Yandex all at once and compiles a single list of results. Since each of these three search engines have their own methods for finding information, DogPile provides the advantage of running the equivalent of three searches with the single click of a button.

 

  1. Tumblr

This alternative social media site is growing in size and popularity. It’s an interesting hybrid between a short-form blog and a social networking site. Users create their own blogs and follow other blogs in a similar way to social networks. This platform has built in methods that drive a ton of engagement and visibility to its users blogs. Last year, Tumblr was the fastest growing social networking site even compared to Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest!

 

  1. Path

Path quite literally takes users “off the beaten path” with how they cultivate and interact with their social network. By limiting users to just 50 friends, Path allows users to share videos, photos and personal information with only the people who you know and trust. People’s Facebook networks have grown almost too large and impersonal and Path aims to take the trend back to fewer, but more meaningful communications.

 

So there you have it! Ten alternative search engines and social media sites that are work taking a look at if you desire something new and different. ~Stephanie

 

What other alternative sites have you used and liked? Share your recommendations by commenting below!

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Filed under Favorite Websites, Search Engine Marketing, SEO (Search Engine Optimization), Social Media, Tumblr, Twitter

How to Hook Readers without Swearing in Headlines

hookEverywhere you look, people are playing fast and loose with language—even on “family”-oriented sitcoms! Inappropriate language and cussing are becoming more and more commonplace, but that doesn’t mean they are in any way acceptable in articles or blogs. As writers, we should be able to use a wide array of language to catch the attention of the audience without cussing or using inappropriate language.  The headline is the part of the article that will make readers want to read—don’t waste that with poorly-chosen or inappropriate words. Here are some tips to catch readers’ attention without swearing.

Use clever wording to hook readers. Alliteration is always an amazing answer to your search for alternative wording! Alliteration, as demonstrated in the previous sentence, is the repetition of a letter (or sound) of words in a phrase, such as “She sells sea shells by the sea shore.” This requires you to flex your creative muscles in order to find the best words to use, but it also works as a great attention-getter in articles or blogs. Hooking readers with alliteration can also play throughout the article to keep hold of the attention of the readers and refer back to the title, making the article well-rounded and well-written.

Use an informative quote as your headline. Not only will this give readers a small insight into what your article is about, but it will show your readers that you’ve put in effort and done research as well as involving the community to produce a complete article. So many articles and blog posts these days are incomplete or poorly researched, so by showing readers that you put effort into writing because you enjoy it, it is likely that the work will shine through in the article and your readers will feel more engaged. Involving other members of the community also helps keep the attention of the readers, because they will be able to identify more with the article and it will be more important to the readers.

Reveal just a tidbit about your article. Paint a picture and reach out to the emotions of the readers. The goal of an article’s title is to pique the reader’s interest and reveal what will come in the article that will interest them. For example, if you’re writing a human interest piece about how the “downtown” portion of your city is taking shape, but it’s affecting pedestrians and bicyclists, try to portray the way in which the changes are affecting them. Try something such as, “Downtown Changes Mean Pedestrians and Cyclists Must Cross Paths.” The readers do not yet know whether crossing paths is a good thing or a bad thing, so they’ll keep reading to find out. The next challenge is keeping them interested paragraph after paragraph.

Use a question as a headline. “Will Changes to Downtown Spell Disaster for Small Businesses?” This asks a question that pertains to the community, the article, the readers, tugs at emotions, and may open up a new window of discussion. The audience will continue to read the article to find the answer, reasoning, and various expanded explanations as to why the question was brought to light. To ensure the undivided attention of the audience, use each paragraph for a different explanation or different reasoning before you answer the question at hand. Don’t overdo it, though, the reader will still want a quick, somewhat concise answer that won’t take them 45 minutes to sort out.

Overall, there are many ways to hook the attention of an audience without resorting to inappropriate language.  Alliteration, quotes, or questions and painting pictures for your readers to “pique and reveal” will create interest in your article.  Keep their attention throughout the article, which is the ultimate goal of any writer. PR Daily reminds us not to waste the space or take for granted the power that comes with a good headline because poorly-worded headlines are often simply skipped over by readers. Ask an editor to review your article to double-check that your headline works.

Get those creative juices flowing with the next article and write a strong headline to hook your readers! ~Hollyheadline

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Filed under Capturing Audience, Expository Writing, Introductions, Narrative Writing, Newsletters, Persuasive Essay, Revising & Proofreading, Words Which Sell

Seven Social Media Mistakes

thumb downIn this day and age, social media is the quickest way to stay in touch with friends and family all over the world. With at least five popular platforms, social media is also turning into another way for businesses and individuals to promote themselves to others. Whether you’re just starting to dip your toes into the world of social media or you’ve been active for a while, there are certain guidelines to follow. An article from Business Insider (based on a survey of sorts conducted by a small business consultant by way of LinkedIn) helped narrow down the list of social media mistakes that are regularly being made.

Don’t post too often! Sometimes, often when people get bored or have time to kill, posting on Facebook or sending a tweet on Twitter becomes an hourly activity. Not only does this clog newsfeeds, it takes away from productivity. Think how much more you could get done at work if you weren’t posting every hour on the hour, even if it’s just a quick comment on something. While you want to actively post if you’re promoting a business, don’t post multiple times each day—keep it in moderation. However, do make sure to check your page often. Many times customers will post to your page or send you a message consisting either of praise or a complaint. More often than not, these comments go completely unnoticed and are left without a response.

Don’t avoid posting—followers do want you to be active on social media! Posting once or twice (at most) a day will suffice. Sometimes business only post once or twice a week! Followers may be more likely to interact with you if they see your name once or twice in a newsfeed where they see other names upwards of four times. Keep in mind that commenting on posts is very different from posting in itself—customers will be happy to receive a response from you on something they posted on your page, whether they gave negative or positive feedback.

Don’t post or share irrelevant information or content. If you’re a small business owner, say an online store specializing in clothing, don’t share political content or science-related articles via your business page. Instead, share a link to a new product you have in stock. Customers and followers want to hear about things relevant to them—they made the choice to follow your page, so make sure to consistently post things pertaining to your page.

Don’t limit your social media activity to just one forum. Many businesses create a Facebook page and think it is sufficient social media coverage. There is also Twitter, Instagram, G+, and LinkedIn (just to name a few). Why limit yourself? The only thing that could happen is your business could grow!

Don’t overshare on personal matters. Even if the focus of your time on social media is your business, you will likely end up making a page for yourself. When that happens, keep the private details of your life private. On each page, you represent your company, so your followers don’t need to visit your company’s page, find the link to your page, and see that your relationship just ended and you were out on the town the night before. Yes, posting pictures is fun, it’s a way for people to see you are enjoying life, but keep in mind all the people who could view your page. Each social media site offers a privacy setting, some even offer a way  to change who can see what you post—use these settings. Do not toe the line between what should remain personal and what should remain professional.

Don’t link to articles or products if the content isn’t complete! Everyone has come across it at one time or another—click on an article and begin reading only to notice grammar mistakes, simple spelling errors, or captions that are completely missing from pictures. It’s frustrating for the reader and it’s not going to give your company a professional image.

Don’t get involved in social media for the wrong reasons. Many companies are heavily involved with social media, but don’t jump the gun—work on building your company first, focusing on creating the relationships. After you have a solid customer base, progress to social media as a way to stay connected and keep customers updated. Creating, building, and maintaining relationships is a big focus for companies with social media activity.

It may seem daunting at first, but remember to start small and build your social media reputation as a small extension of your company. Keep the focus on your customers and your company, not on your personal life. With this list of basic social media mistakes, you’ll be able to build a strong social media profile to better connect with your customers and grow your business!  ~Hollysocial media icons

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Filed under Facebook, Google Plus, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Quora, Reddit, Social Media, Social Media contests, Tumblr, Twitter, Vine, YouTube

The 10 Most Popular Social Media Sites and Why They’re Successful

Humans are social by nature and the multitude of social media sites tries to meet that need. Their popularity is measured by the number of unique visitors that each site has each month. With so many sites what makes the top ten stand out from the crowd? Each site identifies a new way for the members to connect with each other and makes it as easy as possible for them to make that connection.

Image courtesy of Flickr.com user mkhmarketing

Image courtesy of Flickr.com user mkhmarketing

1. Facebook – The most popular site with an estimated 900 million unique visitors each month. This incredible popularity comes from the wide range of ways that users can share information and connect with other users. Facebook has also taken full advantage of APIs and allowed their users to embed external content on to their personal profiles.

2. Twitter – Short tweets have become big news with an estimated 310 million unique visitors each month. Twitter’s popularity is based on the immediacy of the internet. Users can post short updates about their lives and easily keep their followers up to date on their daily lives. The final component of Twitter’s success is the ability for users to follow their favorite celebrities and feel as if they have a small connection to these incredible people.

3. LinkedIn – This is the first social media site with a specific audience in mind. This site is dedicated to individuals looking for professional networking. LinkedIn gives its users ways to publish their skills for potential employers to find. There is also a feature which allows the users to ask for an introduction to individuals through a mutual contact. Asking for introductions creates a method of networking that very closely resembles networking in person.

4. Pinterest – Pinterest owes its popularity to focusing on one function and then performing that function extremely well. On top of doing that single function well it is also simple to use so that no one will be intimidated by complicated methods of sharing information. Pinterest also focuses on what its users want their lives to be in the future instead of what they are right now. The focus on future hopes and dreams provides another type of connection that other social media sides do not address as plainly as Pinterest does.

5. Google+ – Google+ allows the users to customize circles of connections who all share the same interests. It also allows users to stay connected through all the Google applications instead of only on the Google+ site. The strength of Google’s software also allows its users to have video chats with multiple people at the same time. Finally by building a strong profile on Google+ individuals are building up their Google authorship and increasing web traffic to other sites created by the same individual.

6. Tumblr – Tumblr represents a combination of the immediacy of Twitter with the informative nature of blogs. Users are given the strong connection that comes from blogs as well as a much more social aspect that comes from easily sharing information to other users. Users are able to create customized profiles to highlight their individuality in a more visual way above and beyond the content of the blog itself. One difference between Tumblr and other social media sites is that the content can be found by individuals who are not Tumblr users.

7. Instagram – Instagram capitalizes on the phrase “a picture is worth a thousand words”. Instagram is targeted at the millions of mobile users who enjoy taking and viewing pictures on their phones and tablets instead of a traditional computer. Instagram also focuses simply on the images themselves and provides a simple method for viewing beautiful pictures. Instagram also provides a simple way for users to share their pictures across many social media sites without having to upload the same picture multiple times.

8. Flickr – Instagram may focus on quickly sharing pictures Flickr allows users to better organize and display a large collection of images. Instead of searching through cluttered news feeds or unorganized albums pictures can be easily organized and shared. Above sharing beautiful images Flickr boasts a large collection of communities focused on all aspects of photography from specific locations to the color orange.

9. Vine – Vine allows users a platform to post their short looped videos with the immediacy of a Twitter news feed. The incredible popularity if this app has created many Vine celebrities who are able to tell their stories in seconds. Vine, like Instagram, has capitalized on the number of people using their phones as cameras and has given them a simple way to display their creativity to other mobile users.

10. YouTube – YouTube has long been a popular site to search for a wide range of information. With 100 hours of video posted each minute there is a wealth of information to be found. YouTube also appeals to the new trend of video logging which is similar to the traditional blog but using a visual medium. Now YouTube is taking steps to become more social by allowing users to post videos as comments and increase their interaction with others who are watching the same videos.

Knowing why each site is popular can help you know how information is shared and who it is shared with on each site. This knowledge will help you create social content that others will appreciate and share.

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Filed under Facebook, Google Plus, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Social Media, Tumblr, Twitter, Vine, YouTube

20 Questions to Ask Yourself about Copy before Starting a Project

As a business owner preparing for a project on your website can be a long process that is difficult to organize. Even as a writer it is easy to be overwhelmed at the beginning of a new project. To help overcome any potential problems it is very important to solidify the details of the project before the writing can start. Having these twenty questions clearly answered can make writing projects much easier for all involved.

Courtesy of Flickr.com user Milos Milosevic

Courtesy of Flickr.com user Milos Milosevic

What is the Project?

Is the project a small update to reflect a new season, is it starting a new blog to appeal to a new audience, or is it a full site upgrade? Without this information clearly stated it is impossible to accurately plan the rest of the project.

Why Create Content?

Once you decide what the project is it is important to know the reason for starting that project. Are there some pages that are outdated, poorly written, not SEO optimized, or is it something else? Knowing why a new project is being started makes sure that all the appropriate changes are made to what doesn’t work and what is working is left alone.

Is the Content Going to be Reused?

Is the content going to only be used once or will it be used again and again? Content that is intended to be reused will use evergreen phrases that will maintain their meaning for years to come.

Who is the Target Audience?

Your writers will need to know this information before they can start writing quality content for your project. Content that is written without a clear audience sounds too general and won’t give you any lasting connection with your audience.

What Need Does the Content Address?

Once you identify who the content is trying to reach you can increase your connection with them by finding a specific need or two that your company can fulfil. Knowing the needs that are being addressed means that writers can craft their content around that need.

Will There Be Any Other Requirements Beyond Writing?

A large project will have many requirements beyond writing, such as new graphic designs and videos. Having these other requirements outlined early on will eliminate a lot of last minute confusion when attempting to bring all the separate pieces together into one cohesive whole.

How Many Hours Will the Project Take?

As a project progresses the answer to this question will change but knowing this information will help to determine approximate times and dates for when the content will be ready for customers to see.

What is the Budget?

This is important to discuss especially if external writers are going to be used.

What is the Tone or Style of the Piece?

Is your company an authority who is providing information to your readers? Or are you trying to start a conversation with your customers by asking them questions throughout your content.

Does the Content Need to be SEO Optimized?

Any content that is intended to attract the attention of search engines needs to be SEO optimized. More questions will come up when deciding what keywords to use and how to provide quality content that both meets the clients’ needs as well attracting search engine algorithms.

Word Count?

Do you need short descriptions to improve SEO rankings? Or do you need longer form blog posts intended to impart information to your readers? Good word count estimates will make sure that you won’t have content that won’t be used.

What are the Guidelines the Writer Should Follow?

Are there unique services that only your company provides? Are there words or phrases that should be avoided? Understanding what should be emphasized and what should be played down can only help your writers provide you with better content.

How Many People Will be Involved? Who of Those People Have Final Approval?

Even the most collaborative projects have one individual who can give the final approval. Knowing who this person is early in the project will prevent any confusion about who has the final say on the content.

Who Comes Up with the Topics?

Do the writers have the freedom to decide what topic to write about, or will topics be provided to them? Even if you decide on a combination of the two sides a writer will be happy to know exactly what is expected of them.

Do Any Drafts Have to be Seen?

Is content expected to be seen in a rough form as well as in a finished form? Rough drafts can help ensure that all the content has the same tone but it also can increase the amount of time a project takes to finish.

What is the Rewrite Process?

No matter if drafts are expected there are always revisions to be done. The rewrite process can become confusing if it isn’t clearly outlined beforehand.

What is the Timeline? And what happens if the deadline isn’t met?

While the final deadline may be decided earlier there are many smaller deadlines that need to be met in order to meet the final deadline. Deciding the consequences of any missed deadline allows everyone to know when work is due and what will happen if it is late.

Can earlier content be reused?

When content is simply being updated, keeping the older content is useful to show what topics should be discussed on that page. Poorly written content can become a good example of what not to write.

Any Specific Sources to Cite? If Interviews are Involved, Who Finds the Subjects to Interview?

Does your company have a close relationship with another company that should be reflected in the content? Letting writers know which sources to cite before work begins makes the writing process much easier because the writers will only use approved sources.

How will Success be Measured?

Once a project is finished what determines if the project was successful or not? Success can be measured by an increase in the number of visits to or an improvement in search engine rankings. By determining how to measure the success of the project you can decide which analytic tools to use to track the success.

 

These 20 questions will help you overcome many of the common problems that come up in every copywriting project.

~Megan

 

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Filed under Content, Project Management, Proposals, Time Management, Writing Resources