twitter http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/11075/all en-US 6 Ways to Score a Last-Minute Coupon http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-score-a-last-minute-coupon <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-ways-to-score-a-last-minute-coupon" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_shop_owner_000048396518.jpg" alt="Woman finding ways to score a last-minute coupon" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>As any frugal shopper can attest, there's nothing worse than paying full-price when all your attempts to find a coupon come up empty. Fortunately, with a little outside-the-box thinking, there is almost always a way to score an online or in-store coupon and save significant money in the process. Here are six such ways that'll keep you from paying full-price on darn near anything. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-coupon-rules-that-stores-let-you-break?ref=seealso">4 Coupon Rules That Stores Let You Break</a>)</p> <h2>1. Use Live Chat and Ask</h2> <p>If you're shopping online and all of your attempts to find a coupon code for a particular retailer fail, try starting a live chat session and ask for one. Most large retail websites these days employ live chat operators that are standing by to help you with your purchase or answer any questions you might have. They also often have a list of coupon codes at their disposal that they can hand out at their discretion.</p> <p>Politely start a conversation, chat them up a little bit, then ask if they might have a coupon code for 20% off or perhaps free shipping. Make this a healthy frugal habit and you can save significant money over the course of a year. Retailers where this really works includes Lands' End, Home Depot, Old Navy, Office Depot, Shutterfly, and LL Bean.</p> <h2>2. Use a Competitor's Coupon</h2> <p>If you're shopping at Michaels and you can't find a printable in-store coupon, just look for a JoAnn, AC Moore, or Hobby Lobby coupon instead as they'll happily accept competitor coupons. Other popular stores that will accept competitor coupons include Home Depot, Lowe's, Menards, JoAnn, Office Depot, Sports Authority, Dick's Sporting Goods, and Walmart.</p> <p>When shopping in-store, the best way to gain quick access to these coupons is to arm your smartphone with a free coupon app from RetailMeNot or CouponSherpa. Then simply do a quick search for competitor coupons and save some easy money.</p> <h2>3. Abandon Your Virtual Cart</h2> <p>This tip is by far the most passive aggressive way to score an online coupon when you seem destined to pay full-price. It also takes a little patience, so it might not work if you need the item tomorrow. Many online retailers will try to entice you back by sending you a coupon via email if you leave, or abandon, items in your virtual shopping cart.</p> <p>For this to work you need to have an account with the retailer so they have your email address in their system. Then simply add the item(s) you want to buy to your online cart, then logout and wait for your coupon. If you're going to get a coupon to come back and finish your purchase, you'll typically get it within 24 hours. Retailers that have been known to send out coupons this way include Bed Bath &amp; Beyond, JCPenney, Best Buy, Williams-Sonoma, Office Max, and Land of Nod.</p> <h2>4. The Stores That Hand Them Out</h2> <p>Are you aware that some store employees are armed with coupons that they'll happily scan for you when checking out at the register? For example, if you forget to bring in your &quot;20% off any 1 item&quot; coupon at Bed Bath &amp; Beyond, just politely explain the situation to the checkout employee, and more often than not, they'll pull one out from behind the counter and scan it for you.</p> <p>A good way to judge whether the store you're shopping at might have a coupon ready to hand out is the frequency of their coupon offerings. If they always seem to have a coupon except for the day you happen to be shopping, there's a great chance an employee can get you one if you ask. Besides Bed Bath &amp; Beyond, stores where you should definitely ask include Kohl's, Harbor Freight, Macy's, and Michaels.</p> <h2>5. Hit Up Facebook for a Coupon</h2> <p>Another great way to find a coupon for a specific retailer is to hit up their Facebook page. All you have to do is send them a message politely asking for a coupon for some extra savings. Most large retailers have employees monitoring their Facebook presence and responding quickly to message requests. By quickly, I mean often within 30 minutes. You can either search Facebook directly to find the stores page or look for the Facebook icon on the retailer's homepage and click directly on it.</p> <h2>6. Tweet for a Coupon</h2> <p>Twitter is another excellent way to communicate directly with a retailer in an attempt to score a coupon. This is due to the fact that most Twitter feeds are constantly being monitored and a quick response is almost guaranteed. From the specific retailer's Twitter page, click on &quot;Message&quot; and type your coupon request. Be sure your request is polite and conversational and not demanding in tone.</p> <p>Your chances of success rise substantially if you've had a previous bad customer service experience with the retailer. Briefly explain what happened in your Twitter message and often times the retailer will give you a coupon to make up for your bad experience.</p> <p><em>How do you avoid paying full-price when a discount seems completely unavailable?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kyle-james">Kyle James</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-score-a-last-minute-coupon">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-coupon-rules-that-stores-let-you-break">4 Coupon Rules That Stores Let You Break</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-to-spot-and-avoid-a-fake-sale">4 Ways to Spot and Avoid a Fake Sale</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-things-you-should-always-buy-at-department-stores">6 Things You Should Always Buy at Department Stores</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-times-coupons-trick-you-into-spending-more-money">5 Times Coupons Trick You Into Spending More Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-easy-ways-to-save-money-with-twitter">3 Easy Ways to Save Money With Twitter</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping coupons customer service discounts expired Facebook live chat twitter Wed, 13 Apr 2016 09:30:30 +0000 Kyle James 1687437 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Surprising Ways Social Media Stars Make Money http://www.wisebread.com/5-surprising-ways-social-media-stars-make-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-surprising-ways-social-media-stars-make-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000033755744_Large.jpg" alt="a social media star making money " title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>From a <a href="http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2014/05/vine_celebrities_money_ads_curtis_lepore_videos_jessi_smiles.html">singer making $8,000</a> through product placement in a six-second Vine clip, to a creator of YouTube makeup tutorials making about millions per year, the stories of social media stars making outrageous sums of money seem to be getting more and more common.</p> <p>While the size of these paydays are remarkable, the things that social media stars do to earn those sums may be even more extraordinary. Here are five surprising ways social media stars make money.</p> <h2>1. Unboxing Toys</h2> <p>The genre of &quot;unboxing videos&quot; (a package being opened, while its contents are described) is one of the highest grossing niches on YouTube. Including <a href="https://youtu.be/HxuBuDS15Yw">blenders</a>, <a href="https://youtu.be/qSMu_zeDmtk">coffee machines</a>, <a href="https://youtu.be/eL7kF18s1p4">markers and pens</a>, and <a href="https://youtu.be/Cx4RsfqH1s8">smartphones</a> &mdash; if it comes in a box, you can bet there's somebody out there willing to watch it getting unboxed.</p> <p>Unboxing videos can be so profitable to YouTube publishers that <a href="http://finance.yahoo.com/news/youtube-s-highest-paid-star-is-a-woman-who-unboxes-disney-toys-062606350.html">2014's highest paid YouTube star</a> was a woman who unboxes Disney toys. According to one estimate, the <a href="https://www.youtube.com/user/DisneyCollectorBR">DisneyCollectorBR</a> YouTube user made $4.9 million in 2014 just from YouTube ads! The identity of the mysterious woman with the soothing voice and cool nail art hasn't been revealed yet, but that matters little to her over 6.2 million subscribers. For example, her unboxing video of &quot;egg surprises&quot; branded by Angry Birds, SpongeBob, and Cars has over 106.8 million views to date.</p> <h2>2. Playing Video Games</h2> <p>Another high-grossing YouTube genre is the narration of video game playing. The king of this genre is Felix Kjellberg, a Swede in his late 20s better known as <a href="https://www.youtube.com/user/PewDiePie">PewDiePie</a>. With his trademark laughter, unique sense of humor, and constant string of curses (warning: videos contain <em>lots </em>of language that is NSFW), <a href="http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/forbes-names-pewdiepie-as-highest-earning-youtuber-with-annual-income-reaching-12m-a6695536.html">Kjellberg pulled in a cool $12 million</a> pretax over a 12-month period.</p> <p>Other well-known vloggers posting video game-related clips include <a href="https://www.youtube.com/user/CaptainSparklez">CaptainSparklez</a> (over 9 million subscribers), <a href="https://www.youtube.com/user/Tobuscus">Tobuscus</a> (over 6.3 million subscribers), and <a href="https://www.youtube.com/user/SkyDoesMinecraft">SkyDoesMineCraft</a> (over 11.7 million subscribers). While advertisers are still trying to figure out the appeal of expletive-heavy commentary of Kjelberg playing video games, they are willing to pay him to get access to his over 41 million subscribers.</p> <h2>3. Managing a Pet Superstar</h2> <p>Not all social media stars walk on two legs.</p> <ul> <li>Maru, a shiba inu dog living in Japan, has <a href="http://www.instagram.com/marutaro/">over 2.3 million followers</a> on Instagram.</li> <li>Grumpy Cat, a cat with a perma-frown, has <a href="https://www.facebook.com/TheOfficialGrumpyCat">over 8.3 million followers</a> on Facebook and <a href="http://www.instagram.com/realgrumpycat/">over 1.3 million followers</a> on Instagram.</li> <li>Boo, a five-year old Pomeranian dog, has <a href="https://www.facebook.com/Boo/">over 17 million followers</a> on Facebook.</li> <li>Lil Bub, a rescue cat with a unique condition, has <a href="https://www.facebook.com/iamlilbub">over 2.6 million followers</a> on Facebook and <a href="https://www.instagram.com/iamlilbub/">over 1.2 million followers</a> on Instagram.</li> </ul> <p>The lucky owners of these and other pets have been able to monetize their pet's large following in many ways. For example, Lil Bub charges admission for her appearances ($100 for her Meet and Greet Fundraiser at the Museum of the Moving Image in New York), and Grumpy Cat hawks plush toys ranging from <a href="http://www.grumpycats.com/grumpy-cat-merchandise/grumpy-cat-plush-toys/">$15.75 to $46.92</a> through her Amazon store.</p> <h2>4. Making Fun of Dad</h2> <p>In the late 2000s, comedian <a href="https://twitter.com/justin_halpern">Justin Halpern</a> was struggling to make ends meet with his writing job. Having to move back to his parents' house, he had a lot of free time on his hands and started a <a href="https://twitter.com/shitmydadsays">Twitter account</a> to keep track of his dad's &quot;rhetorical gems.&quot; Halpern had a hunch that those tweets could become inspiration for a great script.</p> <p>He was absolutely right.</p> <p>After getting noticed by high profile comedians, including Rob Corddry, his Twitter account gained a lot of traction (<a href="http://content.time.com/time/arts/article/0,8599,1990838,00.html">1.8 million</a> followers in 15 months). Based on his tweets, Halpern penned the <em>New York Times</em> bestseller, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0061992704/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=0061992704&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=5YILQPG6JRTTZ2OD">Sh*t My Dad Says</a>, and landed a TV deal with CBS to develop the show <em>$#*! My Dad Says</em> (based on his book). Halpern went on to write a second book and to write scripts for a couple more TV shows. All of this started with a single tweet!</p> <h2>5. Quitting Social Media</h2> <p>In a world of over-sharing, the shocking thing to do is to stop sharing.</p> <p>At age 19, Essena O'Neill had a lucrative modeling career leveraging her large following on Instagram, YouTube, and other social media channels. Through her hundreds of thousands of followers, 750,000 on <a href="https://www.instagram.com/essenaoneill/">Instagram</a> and 200,000 on YouTube, she was making money in many ways, including <a href="http://fusion.net/story/226082/model-essena-oneill-quits-social-media/">$2,000 in YouTube's ad revenue</a> per month and payments for product placement.</p> <p>In November 2, 2015, she quit all social media through her video &quot;<a href="https://youtu.be/Xe1Qyks8QEM">Why I REALLY am quitting social media - The Truth</a>,&quot; warning others about the destructive nature of trying to gain approval online. O'Neill's original video (now deleted) quickly amassed hundreds of thousands of views and gained attention worldwide within just a few days. Some fellow YouTubers even <a href="https://youtu.be/WB3HtCMfZic">criticized her move</a> as a marketing ploy to gain even more attention. Despite her disappearance from social media, she <a href="http://time.com/4167856/essena-oneill-breaks-silence-on-quitting-social-media/">continues to make headlines</a> and announces her soon to-be-released satirical book, <em>How to Be Social Media Famous</em>.</p> <p><em>What are some other unusual ways that social media stars make money?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/damian-davila">Damian Davila</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-surprising-ways-social-media-stars-make-money">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/social-media-an-easy-source-of-coupons">Social Media: An Easy Source of Coupons</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/social-media-and-identity-theft-in-2010">Social Media and Identity Theft in 2010</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-ways-to-use-social-media-in-business">13 Ways to Use Social Media in Business</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-well-do-you-know-your-facebook-friends-precautions-for-travelers">How Well Do You Know Your Facebook Friends? Precautions for Travelers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-to-stop-doing-on-social-media-by-30">10 Things to Stop Doing on Social Media by 30</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income Entertainment Facebook income instagram social media social media stars twitter YouTube Mon, 22 Feb 2016 10:00:05 +0000 Damian Davila 1659839 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Twitter Updates That Are Making You Look Dumb http://www.wisebread.com/6-twitter-updates-that-are-making-you-look-dumb <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-twitter-updates-that-are-making-you-look-dumb" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/twitter page.jpg" alt="twitter" title="twitter" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="142" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://about.twitter.com/company">500 million tweets</a> are sent every day. Some of them are great, and some of them are doozies.</p> <p>And then there are those tweets that make you look dumb. Smarten up your Twitter feed by avoiding these six types of terrible Twitter updates. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-break-your-social-media-habit?ref=seealso">5 Ways to Break Your Social Media Habit</a>)</p> <h2>1. #AllHashtags #AllTheTime #OMG #EpicFail</h2> <p><iframe width="605" height="340" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/57dzaMaouXA"></iframe></p> <p>Hashtags are a great way to tie your tweet to a trending topic (e.g. #HITsunami is used by Hawaii residents to tweet about hurricane warnings) or to curate a series of tweets around an event (e.g. #SDCC for San Diego Comic Con).</p> <p>Using a hashtag is a good idea because it extends the reach of your updates beyond your followers and makes you part of a bigger conversation.</p> <p>However, the key is moderation.</p> <p>Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake show in this skit how <a href="http://youtu.be/57dzaMaouXA">abusing hashtags makes you sound like a total doofus</a>.</p> <p>The folks at Twitter recommend using <a href="https://support.twitter.com/articles/49309-using-hashtags-on-twitter">no more than two hashtags per tweet</a>, because:</p> <ul> <li>While tweets with hashtags receive <a href="http://linchpinseo.com/infographic-twitter-tweet-cheat-sheet">two times more engagement</a> than those without hashtags, tweets that use more than two hashtags show a 17% drop in engagement.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Tweets with one or two hashtags have 21% higher engagement than those with three or more hashtags.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Tweets with one or more hashtags are <a href="http://danzarrella.com/new-data-use-quotes-and-hashtags-to-get-more-retweets.html">55% more likely to be retweeted</a>.</li> </ul> <h2>2. TV and Movie Spoilers</h2> <p>As a resident of Hawaii, I'm used to keeping away from the Internet on days that I want to catch a TV show in real time. For example, I'm a big fan of <a href="http://www.amctv.com/shows/the-pitch">AMC's The Pitch</a>, and I religiously tune in whenever a new episode airs. Since the show's fanbase is very social media savvy, I have to tune out from Twitter to prevent from knowing the episode's winner in advance.</p> <p>However, Hawaii residents are not the only ones that hate TV show and movie spoilers. <a href="http://www.nielsen.com/us/en/insights/news/2014/where-you-live-affects-how-you-watch.html">More than one-third of all primetime TV ratings are from time shifted viewers</a>, who view the content within seven days from airing, and another 10% comes from video on-demand viewers.</p> <p>This means that over 140 million Americans watch time shifted TV every day. And they're dreading the sight of a spoiler. For example, it's estimated that <a href="http://blog.spoilershield.com/post/87930245968/why-game-of-thrones-rules-over-social-media">170,000 spoilers</a> are posted on social media per episode of Game of Thrones. &quot;Spoiler alert&quot; is such a common term nowadays that the term was added to the <a href="http://www.zap2it.com/blogs/merriam-websters_dictionary_new_words_spoiler_alert_selfie_catfish_and_more_for_2014-2014-05">2014 edition of the Merriam-Webster dictionary</a>.</p> <p>So, be mindful of your followers and keep your Twitter feed spoiler-free. You'd be surprised at the great lengths some users go to <a href="http://gizmodo.com/5927427/how-to-avoid-spoilers-on-twitter">avoid spoilers on Twitter</a>. Heck, there's even an <a href="http://www.spoilershield.com">app to avoid spoilers on social media</a>! If you keep ruining somebody else's entertainment options, your follower count is likely to take a hit.</p> <h2>3. Twitter Feuds</h2> <p>Unlike feuds IRL, Twitter feuds have several disadvantages.</p> <ul> <li>They never remain between just two people. Fans of Lady Gaga are so well known for sending death threats to anybody that upsets the Mother Monster that the she had to <a href="http://tumblr.bornthiswayfoundation.org/post/58706449205/a-message-from-gaga#.UhKUWofp26E.facebook">ask them to stop</a>.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Even after the parties involved make peace, somebody may keep a record of your bad behavior. TV host Jimmy Kimmel and rapper Kanye West went to great lengths to squash their Twitter feud. Even after West deleted his tweets against Kimmel, several publications still keep <a href="http://mashable.com/2013/09/27/jimmy-kimmel-kanye-west-twitter-feud/">screenshots of those tweets</a>.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Losing your cool can mean losing your job, too. <a href="http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/gossip/conservative-activists-request-capital-drop-alec-baldwin-post-gay-bashing-tweets-article-1.1392378">Capital One dropped actor Alec Baldwin</a> as a spokesperson after Baldwin tweeted homophobic rants against a British reporter, George Stark.</li> </ul> <p>Keep your tweets classy and your feuds private.</p> <h2>4. ALL CAPS EVERYTHING</h2> <p>Even if you&hellip;</p> <ul> <li>Have an estimated net worth of $3 billion,</li> <li>Were awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom,</li> <li>Have been dubbed &quot;The Queen of All Media&quot;, or</li> <li>Have launched your own TV network</li> </ul> <p>&hellip;you will still be <a href="http://www.cnet.com/news/oprah-gets-pwned-by-shaq-on-twitter/">called out if you tweet in all caps</a>.</p> <p>Even the U.S. Navy bowed down to the &quot;no all caps&quot; maxim on Twitter. The U.S. Navy had been sending messages in all capital letters since the 1850s but switched to mixed case in <a href="http://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=74740">June 2013 </a>for all platforms, including social media channels.</p> <p>Why? Because mixed case messages provide a more readable format and don't read like you're being shouted at.</p> <h2>5. Only Retweets</h2> <p>Cat got your tongue?</p> <p>Remember that Twitter is asking <em>you</em> &quot;what's happening?&quot; not &quot;what would you like to retweet today?&quot;</p> <p>Your followers are interested in your thoughts. A retweet every now and then is okay but don't let them fill up your feed. A good rule of thumb is to keep 80% of your tweets original, leaving 20% for retweets of interesting comments, links, or articles from somebody else.</p> <p>Also, try to add your two cents to the original tweet by using the &quot;Quote&quot; button on Twitter's smartphone app or editing the text of the tweet. Even a &quot;good tip!&quot; or &quot;what do you think?&quot; or &quot;+1&quot; adds value to a retweet because it generates a conversation.</p> <p>And please oh please, only retweet things that you have actually read. Don't assume what's actually said in an article just by the text of a tweet.</p> <h2>6. Too Many Third-Party Tweets</h2> <p>What do these tweets have in common?</p> <ul> <li>&quot;I just unlocked the 'Shutterbug' badge on @foursquare for adding photos to my check-ins. Say cheese!&quot;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>&quot;How I did on Twitter this week: 48 New Followers, 1 Replies, 2 Retweets, 444 Retweet Reach. How'd your week go?&quot;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>&quot;Having an awesome day! #fb&quot;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>&quot;I gave @MrSuperMarketingGuy +K about Marketing on @klout!&quot;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>&quot;Random Paper is out! paper.li/random-paper-12345&hellip; Stories via @abc @def @ghi&quot;</li> </ul> <p>All of them are automated tweets that add little to no value to your feed. More importantly, these type of tweets are lazy, impersonal, and irrelevant.</p> <p>Imagine a group of people having a great time sharing stories and interacting with each other. This involves listening, paying attention, and reacting. Now picture a stranger butting into the group to drop off a recorder that randomly plays any of the one-liners from above, and then leaves. What a total jerk!</p> <p>Twitter is a great place to interact with each other. Let's keep it that way.</p> <p><em>What are Twitter updates that drive you nuts? Please share in comments (and on Twitter)!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/damian-davila">Damian Davila</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-twitter-updates-that-are-making-you-look-dumb">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-silly-internet-mistakes-you-need-to-stop-making-today">10 Silly Internet Mistakes You Need to Stop Making Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/social-media-an-easy-source-of-coupons">Social Media: An Easy Source of Coupons</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-facebook-updates-that-are-making-you-look-stupid">7 Facebook Updates That Are Making You Look Stupid</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/social-media-and-identity-theft-in-2010">Social Media and Identity Theft in 2010</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-everybody-ought-to-know-about-twitter">What Everybody Ought to Know About Twitter</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Development Technology etiquette social media twitter Fri, 12 Dec 2014 12:00:15 +0000 Damian Davila 1267189 at http://www.wisebread.com 3 Easy Ways to Save Money With Twitter http://www.wisebread.com/3-easy-ways-to-save-money-with-twitter <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/3-easy-ways-to-save-money-with-twitter" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/social-media-483751181.jpg" alt="tweet" title="tweet" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I spend a lot of time on Twitter.</p> <p>And by a lot of time, I mean &quot;my-wife-needs-to-hide-my-phone-from-me&quot; a lot of time. To justify all of my tweeting, I figured that I needed to prove that it could help us save some money. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-break-your-social-media-habit?ref=seealso">How to Break Your Social Media Habit</a>)</p> <p>With some planning and these tips, you can use your Twitter account to help you save money, too.</p> <h2>1. Search for Deals and Discounts</h2> <p>Before you buy anything online, make it a habit to first search on Twitter for coupon codes for the product or service you are about to order. Use the <a href="https://twitter.com/search">Twitter Search page</a> or search field on your browser or smartphone app to do some basic deal sleuthing.</p> <h3>Find the Vendor on Twitter</h3> <p>Some vendors offer a promo code if you follow them or retweet specific tweets. It is a good idea to also Google if the vendor offers discounts in exchange for following them on another social media channel (e.g. Facebook). (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-make-facebook-productive?ref=seealso">How to Make Facebook Productive</a>)</p> <h3>Check on Flash Sales</h3> <p>Some companies use Twitter to promote clearance sales. For example, <a href="https://twitter.com/DellOutlet">@DellOutlet</a> is well-known for announcing flash sales of refurbished computers and electronics with up to 30% discount.</p> <h3>Keep an Eye on Giveaways</h3> <p>Some companies run giveaways for promo codes or gift cards in the most unexpected places. Take a look at this contest from the Zappos <em>Careers</em> account:</p> <p style="margin-left: 40px;">Let's get this week started off right! Zappos trivia and winner gets a 20% Zappos discount coupon! What year did Amazon acquire @Zappos Zappos Careers (@InsideZappos) April 14, 2014</p> <p>Now that's one account you wouldn't expect to get a 20% coupon code from! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/score-coupons-for-every-online-store-even-the-ones-that-dont-have-coupons?ref=seealso">Get Coupons for Every Online Store</a>)</p> <h3>Use Hashtags to Find Deals</h3> <p>#deals, #freebies, #coupons are examples of some hashtags that can point you to savings. Remember that companies often release on holidays and special days (e.g. <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/2014-tax-day-freebies-and-discounts">Tax Day</a>).</p> <h2>2. Use Twitter for Better Customer Service</h2> <p>If you mail a letter or send an email to a company to file a complaint or request help, only the company's customer care department knows about your pain. But when you share your problem on Twitter, you are increasing the number of people who are aware of the issue. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-get-exactly-what-you-want-from-customer-service?ref=seealso">Getting What You Want from Customer Service</a>)</p> <p>Publicly shaming a company on Twitter can be a useful tactic to get your voice heard. Here are some things to consider before sending off your tweet:</p> <ul> <li> <p>Avoid tweeting when you are upset.</p> </li> <li> <p>Focus on facts, not rants. You want your tweet to have the potential for going viral for the right reasons.</p> </li> <li> <p>Include in your tweet the account from the company's customer care department , instead of the general company Twitter account (e.g. @WarbyParkerHelp versus @WarbyParker).</p> </li> <li> <p>Consider including a high-profile and relevant journalist, consumer advocacy group, or local politician that would support your case.</p> </li> <li> <p>Identify yourself via private message (PM) with a case ID or order number.</p> </li> <li> <p>Follow the company so that its reps can private message you.</p> </li> <li> <p>If the company does not contact you within 48 hours, send a reminder tweet that it still has not replied to your original tweet</p> </li> </ul> <p>Does it work? It surely can; just ask <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/wendell-potter/it-took-public-shaming-vi_b_1747309.html">Aetna</a>, <a href="http://thenextweb.com/shareables/2013/11/27/t-mobile-and-att-went-head-to-head-on-twitter-over-a-customer-t-mobile-won/">AT&amp;T,</a> <a href="http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-23943480">British Airways</a>, and <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/flights/2014/01/08/frustrated-fliers-turn-to-twitter/4368629/">Southwest Airlines</a>.</p> <h2>3. Sync Your Twitter Account to Company Services</h2> <p>Some companies are using the Twitter API to provide some high-tech ways to save money. The leader of the Twitter-syncing-money-saving pack is American Express. By connecting their cards to their Twitter accounts, <a href="https://sync.americanexpress.com/twitter/Index">American Express cardholders</a> can find offers from brands on Twitter for dining, shopping, and more.&nbsp;</p> <p>You upload the offer to your credit card by retweeting from your synced account. Other companies that have participated in the program are Virgin America, FedEx, Whole Foods, and H&amp;M.</p> <p>Who says that all your tweeting cannot help you save money? After getting several coupon codes and freebies (and better customer care for a smartphone replacement claim through our carrier) through Twitter, my wife has become a lot more lenient to my Twitter usage.</p> <p>As long as I keep on looking for discounts for her next shoe buying spree.</p> <p><em>How do you save some money with Twitter? Please share in comments.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/damian-davila">Damian Davila</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-easy-ways-to-save-money-with-twitter">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-should-never-buy-at-the-dollar-store-and-10-you-should">10 Things You Should Never Buy at the Dollar Store (and 10 You Should)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-things-you-should-buy-at-costco">15 Things You Should Buy at Costco</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/16-amazon-deal-hacks-you-may-not-already-know">16 Amazon Deal Hacks You May Not Already Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-score-a-last-minute-coupon">6 Ways to Score a Last-Minute Coupon</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-best-couponing-apps">The 10 Best Couponing Apps</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping credit cards deals discounts twitter Wed, 30 Apr 2014 09:24:15 +0000 Damian Davila 1137340 at http://www.wisebread.com Suze Orman's Approved Card Gets Mixed Reviews and Controversy http://www.wisebread.com/suze-ormans-approved-card-gets-mixed-reviews-and-controversy <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/suze-ormans-approved-card-gets-mixed-reviews-and-controversy" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/debit-cards-and-check-book.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>On Monday, personal finance expert Suze Orman launched her prepaid debit card,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.theapprovedcard.com/">The Approved Card From Suze Orman</a>. Suze is putting all her credibility behind this product launch. &quot;I didn't just approve this card,&quot; said Suze. &quot;I created it.&quot;</p> <p>Feedback on the card has been mixed and even sparked a&nbsp;<a href="http://20andengaged.com/suze-orman-approved-card-denied">Twitter war</a> between Suze and several top personal finance bloggers (<a href="#war">more on this below</a>).</p> <h2>Reviewing the Featues</h2> <p>Suze highlighted several features of the card on her website. Below is an analysis of each feature compiled from reviews from various media outlets and personal finance bloggers</p> <p><strong>The Fees are Competitive</strong>&nbsp;</p> <p>According to <a href="http://www.foxbusiness.com/personal-finance/2012/01/11/suze-orman-debuts-prepaid-debit-card-how-does-it-stack-up/">Fox Business</a>, compared to other checking account alternatives, The Approved Card offers competitive costs that best other celebrity prepaid cards. Cardholders pay a&nbsp;$3 purchase fee for the card and have to pay a $3 per month maintenance fee (which is waived for the first month). Using the card to make withdrawals from a Non-Allpoint ATM costs cardholders $2 per withdrawal and over the counter withdrawals cost cardholders $2 per transaction. For a list of all fees associated with The Approved Card, take a look at the <a href="http://www.theapprovedcard.com/fees/">Fee Schedule</a>.</p> <p>Suze has faced a lot of backlash due to all the fees associated with her card. As Jeremy Vohwinkle from <a href="http://genxfinance.com/suze-orman-shows-true-colors-with-her-approved-prepaid-debit-card/">Generation X Finance</a> reminded his readers, Suze Orman is a personal finance expert who encourages people to get out of debt and avoid excessive fees. Throwing money towards debit card fees means consumers throw less money into eliminating their debt. This fact has raised some objections among personal finance experts and bloggers.</p> <p><strong>You Get Free TransUnion Credit Scores</strong>&nbsp;</p> <p>For the first year, cardholders get access to their TransUnion Credit Scores for free.</p> <p><a href="http://abcnews.go.com/Business/wireStory/suze-ormans-prepaid-card-afford-15346801?page=2#.Tw9bu5iXQig">ABC News</a> pointed out that consumers can access their credit reports once a year for free by going to <a href="https://www.annualcreditreport.com/cra/index.jsp">AnnualCreditReport.com</a>. People can also access their credit reports from sites such as <a href="https://www.creditkarma.com/">Credit Karma</a>.</p> <p><strong>The Approved Card is Part of The Credit Project</strong>&nbsp;</p> <p>Suze has embraced the idea that activity on debit cards should count towards a person's credit score. Since they aren't currently included in your credit report, Suze has set out on a mission to do that. Your activity on The Approved Card will be reported anonymously to TransUnion in an attempt to help Suze accomplish this goal. The Approved Card is the only card available that is part of this type of project.</p> <p>Phil Taylor from <a href="http://ptmoney.com/suze-orman-approved-card-prepaid-card/">PT Money</a> highlighted the fact that The Approved Card will have no impact on cardholder's credit scores. He also made it clear that he believes The Credit Project is likely to fail due to the fact that prepaid and debit cards do not demonstrate someone's credit-worthiness.</p> <p><strong>You Can Establish an Emergency Fund</strong>&nbsp;</p> <p>Cardholders have the ability to set up an emergency fund using their card. This way they can be prepared for unexpected expenses.</p> <p><a href="http://blogs.smartmoney.com/advice/2012/01/09/sizing-up-suze-ormans-new-prepaid-card/">SmartMoney</a> believes the emergency fund aspect of the card could be helpful, but also pointed out that there are currently no interest rates associated with the emergency card feature. Interest rates are supposed to be implemented later this year.</p> <p><strong>You Can Stay Debt Free</strong>&nbsp;</p> <p>Since the card is a prepaid card, provided you are debt free when you get the card, you will not be able to spend more than what is in your account, making sure you don't go into debt.</p> <p><a href="http://bottomline.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/01/12/10120712-the-truth-behind-suze-ormans-new-debit-card">MSNBC</a> highlighted the fact that The Approved Card is similar to other prepaid cards in regards to keeping people from going into debt. In an interview with MSNBC, Gerri Detweiler from Credit.com made it clear that The Approved Card is &quot;a very typical prepaid card.&quot;</p> <p><strong>The Card is FDIC Insured</strong>&nbsp;</p> <p>Deposits up to $250,000 are insured by the FDIC. Bancorp Bank, the card issuer, is a member of the FDIC.</p> <p>As <a href="http://www.moneycone.com/suze-ormans-approved-prepaid-card-bad-wine-in-new-bottle/">MoneyCone</a> pointed out, FDIC insurance is common among most banks. The fact that this card is FDIC insured doesn't really set it apart from other debit cards offered by other banks.</p> <p><strong>Cardholders get Free Identity Theft Protection from TrustID </strong></p> <p>Identity theft is a huge issue today but with The Approved Card, cardholders will have access to free identity theft protection through TrustID.</p> <p><a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/09/your-money/suze-orman-to-offer-her-own-prepaid-debit-card.html">The New York Times</a> highlighted Suze's statement that identity theft protection services tend to be costly. This service adds value to the card if cardholders had originally planned on purchasing identity theft protection.</p> <h2><a name="war"></a>The Personal Finance Blogger Community Reacts</h2> <p>One of the main responsibilities of personal finance bloggers is to report on product launches such as The Approved Card and give honest feedback.</p> <p>A few of the top bloggers on the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-100-most-popular-personal-finance-blogs/">Wise1000</a> publicized their thoughts on the card and consequently had a run in with Suze Orman on Tuesday evening. (The Wise1000 is Wise Bread's authoritative listing of the top personal finance blogs.)</p> <p>Here are a few of the highlights from their interactions with Suze:</p> <p><img width="598" height="605" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u4/suzeorman1.png" /></p> <p><img width="598" height="454" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u4/suzeorman2.png" /><img width="509" height="252" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u4/Suzeorman3.png" /></p> <p><img width="502" height="180" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u4/suzeorman4.png" /></p> <p>Many personal finance bloggers were shocked by the dialogue from @SuzeOrmanShow. Phil Taylor of <a href="http://ptmoney.com/">PT Money</a>&nbsp;took the biggest hit in the scuffle. Phil is well-known throughout the personal finance blogging community. He was the organizer behind the personal finance blogging community's first ever <a href="http://www.financialbloggerconference.com/">Financial Blogger Conference</a> and is in the process of planning <a href="http://www.financialbloggerconference.com">FinCon 2012</a>. Phil has been featured on numerous sites including&nbsp;<a href="http://ptmoney.com/15-more-things-you-shouldnt-be-paying-for/">MSNBC</a>, <a href="http://money.usnews.com/topics/author/phil_taylor">U.S News &amp; World Report</a>, <a href="http://blog.turbotax.intuit.com/author/ptmoney/">TurboTax</a>, and <a href="http://ptmoney.com/pt-money-featured-on-fox-business-willis-report/">Fox Business</a>.</p> <p>Phil's blog is the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-100-most-popular-personal-finance-blogs/community-leaderboard">26th most respected blog on our chart</a>, and he is the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-100-most-popular-personal-finance-blogs/community-leaderboard">16th most active member</a> of our blogger community.&nbsp;Here's what Phil had to say about the exchange:</p> <blockquote><p>First, regarding Suze: I like her and I respect her for her work. No doubt she's helped millions of people throughout her career. I consider her a teammate in helping people to improve their financial lives. She does it through her classes, books and TV shows. I try to do it through my little blog.</p> <div>Second, I'm not one of these people who believes in inherently bad financial products. I actually like prepaid debit cards for certain situations. I even promote them on my site. I realize some people are &quot;unbanked&quot; for whatever reason and can't get a regular bank account, thus, the prepaid debit card comes into play. But only as a short-term solution until a bank account can be opened. The goal, in my opinion, should always be to get the unbanked folks off of fee-based products and into the mainstream banking arena.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>So my review was never about Suze or prepaid cards in general. My review was about how the card is being marketed. It is being marketed as a long-term solution to the unbanked <b>as well as</b> to&nbsp;the middle class (wanting out of credit card debt and&nbsp;disillusioned&nbsp;by big banks) and to the 99% (who've had it with the fees).&nbsp;This attempt to promote the card amongst the banked is what really fired me up.&nbsp;Additionally, the fees on the card actually make it just on-par with the best prepaid debit cards already on the market. So the card is not exactly revolutionizing the prepaid debit card market for the unbanked.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>As I said above, I like Suze, but I was obviously shocked and disappointed that she chose to respond to our tweets and blog post the way she did. She's since apologized, and I accept that.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>The community response was awesome. I think the dismissive tone of Suze's tweets really rallied the community. It was as if she was telling us all that our opinions didn't matter. That obviously upset a lot of people.</div> </blockquote> <div>Briana from <a href="http://20andengaged.com/">20 and Engaged</a>&nbsp;&quot;was completely disheartened&quot; by the exchange but also felt that the fact that the pf blogger community supported each other during Suze's attack &quot;showed loyalty and true camaraderie.&quot; (Briana is the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-100-most-popular-personal-finance-blogs/community-leaderboard">top contributing member in our blogger community</a>.)&nbsp;</div> <p>As seen above, Suze did apologize for the dialogue. She maintains her own twitter account, so all tweets from @SuzeOrmanShow are written by Suze. Wise Bread reached out to Suze for additional comments on both her card and the Twitter exchange, but she declined to comment further at this time.&nbsp;</p> <p><em>What do you think of Suze Orman's Approved Card? Will you sign up for it? And what about the Twitter feud? Share your thoughts with us in the comment section!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/suze-ormans-approved-card-gets-mixed-reviews-and-controversy">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-pieces-of-financial-wisdom-from-suze-orman">The 5 Best Pieces of Financial Wisdom From Suze Orman</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/suze-ormans-financial-advice-for-wise-bread-readers">Suze Orman&#039;s Financial Advice For Wise Bread Readers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-there-such-thing-as-a-messy-millionaire">Is There Such Thing as a Messy Millionaire?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-easy-ways-to-get-your-finances-fit-for-summer">10 Easy Ways to Get Your Finances Fit For Summer</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-opportunity-funds-are-the-new-emergency-funds">Why &quot;Opportunity&quot; Funds Are the New Emergency Funds</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance debit card prepaid debit card Suze Orman twitter Fri, 13 Jan 2012 00:12:30 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 863364 at http://www.wisebread.com 3 Simple Ways Small Business Can Maximize Twitter http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/3-simple-ways-small-business-can-maximize-twitter <div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">Link:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.openforum.com/articles/3-ways-small-businesses-can-maximize-twitter" target="_blank">http://www.openforum.com/articles/3-ways-small-businesses-can-maximize-twitter</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/small-business/3-simple-ways-small-business-can-maximize-twitter" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000018064981Small.jpg" alt="Woman at laptop" title="Woman at laptop" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>By now you've probably read, &quot;Your business needs to be on <a href="http://twitter.com/" target="_blank">Twitter</a>!&quot; in one small business marketing publication or another. But you may be asking yourself, &quot;How will Twitter help me improve my local small business?&quot;</p> <p>When we think of Twitter, we often think of celebrities, the media, and businesses with a national brand (and national customers). And Twitter probably makes sense to you in those instances.</p> <p>But maybe you're wondering how a local caterer, landscaper, or accounting firm can <a href="http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/money/article/75-top-twitter-tips-from-todays-small-business-moms-1" target="_blank">use Twitter to increase business</a> and referrals on a local level.</p> <p><b>1. Build Relationships First, Business Second</b></p> <p>Remember that Twitter is best used as a networking tool (and later a referral tool) for locally based businesses&mdash;not a sales pitch tool. You wouldn't walk into your local Chamber of Commerce meeting shouting your latest special over and over again every time someone walked up to you and said hello. And you shouldn't do it on Twitter either. Now that's not saying that you should never mention your business, but it shouldn't be more than a single digit percentage of your tweets.</p> <p>The point of Twitter is to network and create relationships like you would in real life. As a small business owner, creating real relationships through Twitter will often lead to more referrals and potential business than tweeting your latest special ever could.</p> <p>Need an example? Someone who follows <a href="http://twitter.com/sugarrae" target="_blank">me</a> on Twitter began conversing with me about a movie we both liked after I tweeted about it. We later found out that we also had a love of football in common. After multiple times of conversing back and forth, I ended up following the person back. Occasionally this person made mention that they owned a local fitness studio. About three months ago, a person I know in that locale tweeted saying they needed to get in shape. I tweeted back that so and so had a fitness studio where they lived and they should check it out. They did and ended up purchasing a membership.</p> <p>That's the potential for business generation and referral power by creating real relationships on Twitter.</p> <p><b>2. Make Local Connections</b></p> <p>So now that you know how Twitter can help you generate business and referrals, how do you find your local community on Twitter? A site called <a href="http://tweet.grader.com/" target="_blank">Twitter Grader</a> has made it a pretty easy process.</p> <p>If you're in a big metro locale, you'll likely find your city in the &quot;<a href="http://tweet.grader.com/top/cities" target="_blank">top cities</a>&quot; list. Let's say you live in San Diego. Click on San Diego from the top cities list and you'll quickly be given a list of the <a href="http://tweet.grader.com/location/?Location=San+Diego%2C+CA%2C+United+States" target="_blank">top 50 Twitter users</a> listing San Diego as their location in the Twitter bio.</p> <p>But what if you don't live in one of the &quot;top cities&quot; cited on Twitter Grader? Never fear. You can click on any top city link and find the locals in your area by performing a new search at the top of that page for your own location. Say you're on the San Diego page. Simply change out the &quot;San Diego, CA, United States&quot; in the search box at the top of the page with &quot;Your City, Your State, Your Country&quot; and click &quot;Go&quot; and you'll be presented with a listing of the top users in that city.</p> <p>Look at the bios of the users in your city and check out what they're tweeting about. Follow those you think you can find something in common with and/or that you'd be interested in learning more about.</p> <p>Remember that your goal is not to advertise your services to these people but rather to form local connections much like you would at a Chamber of Commerce meeting. I typically tell people to follow those you'd be interested in having coffee with if Twitter were &quot;real life&quot;.</p> <p>You can repeat this process for every city you can think of that your local business serves.</p> <p><b>3. Find Media Contacts</b></p> <p>Twitter is not only great for creating a referral network, but it can also be a great tool for gaining traditional media exposure for your business. Thousands upon thousands of journalists use Twitter. Much like you can seek out your local community on Twitter, you can also seek out the media that are local to you and/or specific to your niche as well. And a site named <a href="http://muckrack.com/" target="_blank">MuckRack</a> makes it incredibly easy.</p> <p>MuckRack tracks the accounts of thousands of journalists on Twitter and various other social media networks. You can view their <a href="http://muckrack.com/publications" target="_blank">publications list</a> to find the Twitter accounts of all the reporters at specific publications such as <a href="http://muckrack.com/directory/charlotteobserver">The Charlotte Observer</a>.</p> <p>The <a href="http://muckrack.com/plans" target="_blank">paid version of MuckRack</a> also allows you to search by &quot;beats&quot; and topics to help you find reporters specific to your niche. While the pricing (starting at $99 per month) may be a bit hefty for many small business budgets, there is no minimum term or contract. So you can always sign up for one month and get as much &quot;advanced information&quot; as you can during that time.</p> <p>As with making local contacts, the point of identifying these journalists is to attempt to create relationships with them and get on their radar long before you have a story idea to pitch or potentially offer up your expertise for their latest story.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/rae-hoffman-dolan">Rae Hoffman-Dolan</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/3-simple-ways-small-business-can-maximize-twitter">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-ways-to-use-social-media-in-business">13 Ways to Use Social Media in Business</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-surprising-ways-social-media-stars-make-money">5 Surprising Ways Social Media Stars Make Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/250-tips-for-small-business-owners">250+ Tips for Small Business Owners</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-you-should-never-do-on-linkedin">7 Things You Should Never Do on LinkedIn</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/social-media-an-easy-source-of-coupons">Social Media: An Easy Source of Coupons</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Small Business Resource Center marketing networking small business social media twitter twitter strategy Thu, 05 Jan 2012 18:23:29 +0000 Rae Hoffman-Dolan 844412 at http://www.wisebread.com Is Social Media Killing Your Business? http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/is-social-media-killing-your-business <div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">Link:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.openforum.com/articles/is-social-media-killing-your-business" target="_blank">http://www.openforum.com/articles/is-social-media-killing-your-business</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/small-business/is-social-media-killing-your-business" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000012079857Small.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Social media isn't always a good thing, and it's certainly not a guarantee that your marketing is in the bag. Are you using social media in a way that builds <a href="http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/money/article/75-top-twitter-tips-from-todays-small-business-moms-1" target="_blank">a great reputation and enhances your business</a>, or are you achieving much different results?</p> <p>If one or more of the following statements is true for you, you may be killing your business with social media.</p> <p><strong>You&rsquo;re spending more time &quot;doing social media&quot; than you are on the important work of your business.</strong></p> <p>What an easy trap to fall into. Who hasn't sat down to answer just one email or spend five minutes on Twitter, only to lose a couple of hours? Social media can be a fun, new toy that distracts you from what you need to be focused on, such as, producing things people want to buy, perfecting services, gaining sales, dealing with customer issues, getting better deals from your distributors, training your employees&hellip;</p> <p><strong>You're confusing your customers with a fragmented approach.</strong></p> <p>If you haven't taken some time to develop a unique selling proposition (<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unique_selling_proposition" target="_blank">USP</a>) and the core message of your business, chances are you're throwing a lot of different things at your customers. Maybe you emphasize one service on your Facebook page, some other product with your Twitter account, and an entirely different aspect of your business on your blog or Youtube videos.</p> <p>Customers who find you at one social media outlet and like what they see follow you to the next platform, only to see a different message from you. What are you all about? They're getting different pieces of the puzzle at different social media outlets, but nothing that provides a cohesive overview of your business.</p> <p>Confused customers don't become loyal customers. If they can't quite figure out what your business is all about, they won't be ready to but any trust in what you offer.</p> <p><strong>You&rsquo;re failing to provide the basic information people want.</strong></p> <p>You've had this experience, most likely&hellip; You find a cool new site, a great blog or company, and you click over to find something basic: contact information, or a price list, or a description of service. And it's not there. Maybe there's no link, or there's a place holder page.</p> <p>When this happens, whether it's on your business blog, website, Facebook page, Twitter page, or any of the other social media platforms you might be using, it's a huge turn-off for customers. Internet surfers are notoriously short on attention span. They don't need to check back later, and they probably won't, because there are ten thousand other options out there instead.</p> <p>If you lose your potential customers because you're not providing basic information when and where they want it, you've probably lost them forever.</p> <p><strong>You're making your business look amateur.</strong></p> <p>Do-it-yourself works, to a certain point, and part of the appeal of social media marketing is the potential to jump into it and do a great job without a huge initial investment. For SMB owners, it's a dream come true: a great marketing outlet that doesn't cost thousands of dollars you don't have.</p> <p>What isn't a dream, however, is the very amateur image you can produce with a misinformed DIY strategy. Slapping together a color-block logo and a cheesy tagline does not equal good branding. A website that looks like a clip-art explosion punctuated by long blocks of error-filled text does not equal a good web presence.</p> <p>When you carry your unpolished branding efforts into your social media marketing, and then send potential customers to a dated, amateur website, you're not building your business. You're convincing potential customers that you really don't deserve to be taken seriously.</p> <p><strong>You're skipping from one media outlet to another.</strong></p> <p>If you get started on Facebook, decide Google+ is better, abandon Twitter for Youtube, you leave your customers frustrated and ready to find someone consistent.</p> <p>You don't have to be on all the social media outlets. You most likely shouldn't be on more than a few. Too many false starts and a mile-long list of online profiles simply convinces potential customers that you can't stick to something long enough to make it work.</p> <p><strong>You're providing content without direction.</strong></p> <p>All content and no sales funnel means you're not (actively) helping your business grow.</p> <p>Don't get me wrong: free is wonderful, and can be a powerful marketing tool, especially in terms of social media. However, content can't do everything. It can help you establish expertise, and get people to pay attention to you, but you can't leave them there. Once you've gotten their attention, what do you want them to do?</p> <p>To put it plainly, you're not putting that work into social media just so you can make the world a better place or make a lot of neat, new friends. No, you're putting that effort into social media so you can build your business.</p> <p>That means that the end result of successful efforts in social media should be something profiting your business, either in cold, hard cash or in selling potential (mailing list, surveys, opt-in forms filled out by rabidly eager new customers, and so on).</p> <p><strong>You're failing to respond to negative reviews and mentions.</strong></p> <p>The good news about negativity in the form of review and press online is that you have the ability to access it, track down the source (usually), and respond to it publicly in the same sort of forum.</p> <p>An accusation or negative review without rebuttal seems legitimate, even if it is not. A total lack of response says, &ldquo;Um, I really don't have anything to say to make this better...&rdquo;</p> <p>If there are legitimate complaints, it's infinitely better that your potential customers see you acknowledge and correct your mistakes. Trustworthiness doesn't mean your business is perfect; it means that your business has a policy of quickly dealing with mistakes and making them right.</p> <p>How are you using social media in your marketing? Are you actively building your business, or are you wasting your time?</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/annie-mueller">Annie Mueller</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/is-social-media-killing-your-business">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-ways-to-use-social-media-in-business">13 Ways to Use Social Media in Business</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-surprising-ways-social-media-stars-make-money">5 Surprising Ways Social Media Stars Make Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/social-media-an-easy-source-of-coupons">Social Media: An Easy Source of Coupons</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/social-media-and-identity-theft-in-2010">Social Media and Identity Theft in 2010</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-score-a-last-minute-coupon">6 Ways to Score a Last-Minute Coupon</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Small Business Resource Center Facebook G+ marketing online marketing small business social media social media marketing twitter Sat, 05 Nov 2011 20:51:14 +0000 Annie Mueller 772751 at http://www.wisebread.com Are Your Tweets Being Heard? http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/are-your-tweets-being-heard <div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">Link:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.openforum.com/articles/are-your-tweets-being-heard" target="_blank">http://www.openforum.com/articles/are-your-tweets-being-heard</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/small-business/are-your-tweets-being-heard" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000017932026Small.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="178" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Twitter. That miraculous, 140 character marketing tool that has the power to both wow and frustrate.</p> <p>If you&rsquo;re using <a href="http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/money/article/80-small-business-twitterers-you-should-be-following-1" target="_blank">Twitter for business</a>, you&rsquo;ve probably found that simply acquiring followers does not always equal a boon in your marketing efforts. Perhaps you sense that your tweets aren&rsquo;t being heard or, worse, your posts are ignored altogether. Why? Likely, you&rsquo;ve gathered a mass of the wrong followers&mdash;people who are just tagging along and not really interested in what you have to say or offer in the first place. Finding the right network on Twitter is imperative, and so is keeping them engaged. But, how do you find the right followers?</p> <p>Your profile is the bulletin board that people stop to read when looking for new people to follow. An effective profile will tell people who you are, what you do and why they should follow you. It&rsquo;s a way for like-minded tweeters to find each other. So, use it wisely! Start by fixing your profile in three easy steps.</p> <p><strong>1. Show Off</strong></p> <p>Your face that is. That&rsquo;s right; add a picture of you for the Twitter world to see.</p> <p>One of the first things people look at when considering people to follow is the avatar. Your avatar (or, avi) is the little picture you added to your account when you created your Twitter profile. That tiny little image has big, big power. Essentially, it can pull people in or turn them away. Using a generic image, such as the graphics Twitter gives you to choose from, or a random image that has nothing to do with your business, deflates your credibility. Only other deflated tweeters will follow you, so be sure your avi shows off the real you. Make that personal connection!</p> <p><strong>2. Have a Reason</strong></p> <p>You&rsquo;re allowed a short bio on your Twitter profile. This is your chance to tell the world who you are or what your business is about. Add in your description, a snippet about the things you&rsquo;ll be tweeting about. Perhaps you dish tips and ideas on throwing a smashing party. Or, perhaps your business is centered on quick recipes or meal preparation. Let people know you&rsquo;ll be tweeting about these things by mentioning it in your bio. You&rsquo;re most likely to find followers who are genuinely interested in what you have to say when you let them know what you&rsquo;re talking about in the first place.</p> <p><strong>3. Have a Personality</strong></p> <p>Because we humans are nosey by nature, we want to know the person behind the Twitter name. No matter if you&rsquo;re a hobby business or a thriving corporation, there is nothing wrong with injecting a little of your personality into your Tweets. You want to be personable, relatable and, well, human. People connect better when they feel they are interacting with a live person and not just a computer screen. Don&rsquo;t be afraid to talk a little about yourself, share some humor or interests you may have. When people get to know you, and subsequently like you, they&rsquo;ll look forward to reading your tweets.</p> <p>Once you&rsquo;ve tweaked your Twitter profile to be a better reflection of your business, it&rsquo;s time to engage your followers. Over time, you&rsquo;ll want to start forming personal relationships with your followers. You want them to know you and want to hear from you.</p> <p>How, exactly, do you do that?</p> <p><strong>Share What Others Tweet About</strong></p> <p>When someone you follow tweets about something you&rsquo;re interested in, share it. Retweet your favorite posts from those you follow; share the love. By doing so, you&rsquo;re making other people feel heard and they are likely to return the favor.</p> <p><strong>Post Good Stuff</strong></p> <p>Really, that&rsquo;s all there is to it. No fluff (unless fluff is your main reason for being on Twitter in the first place). Tweet about things that your followers will find valuable-information, how-to&rsquo;s, photos, etc... These things are more likely to be read, appreciated and retweeted&mdash;which builds your credibility and following.</p> <p><strong>Talk to Your Followers</strong></p> <p>It&rsquo;s OK to drum up personal conversations with followers that you have an interest in. Say hi. Ask about the kids. Form friendships. After all, Twitter is about making personal connections. Those connections are the most valuable piece of the Twitter puzzle. Stay connected and watch your relevant follower base&mdash;and marketing efforts&mdash;grow!</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/justine-grey">Justine Grey</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/are-your-tweets-being-heard">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-ways-to-use-social-media-in-business">13 Ways to Use Social Media in Business</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-surprising-ways-social-media-stars-make-money">5 Surprising Ways Social Media Stars Make Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/250-tips-for-small-business-owners">250+ Tips for Small Business Owners</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-twitter-updates-that-are-making-you-look-dumb">6 Twitter Updates That Are Making You Look Dumb</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/social-media-an-easy-source-of-coupons">Social Media: An Easy Source of Coupons</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Small Business Resource Center small business social media social media marketing twitter twitter avatar twitter user Wed, 02 Nov 2011 18:28:56 +0000 Justine Grey 764354 at http://www.wisebread.com Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn: Where Should You Be? http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/twitter-facebook-and-linkedin-where-should-you-be <div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">Link:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.openforum.com/articles/twitter-facebook-and-linkedin-where-should-you-be" target="_blank">http://www.openforum.com/articles/twitter-facebook-and-linkedin-where-should-you...</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/small-business/twitter-facebook-and-linkedin-where-should-you-be" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000016787908Small.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>More than once, I&rsquo;ve had a new client come to me and say that she wants to be on &ldquo;all the social networking sites.&rdquo;</p> <p>When I dig a little deeper and ask for details, that almost certainly means that the client wants her business on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. But the why of the matter is a little harder. Basically they believe that since potential customers are on the big three social networking sites (possibly soon to be the big four with Google+), businesses had better be there, too. The fact of the matter is that there are some major differences between the three sites. Audiences vary widely, and the methods of connection vary, too. Which one (or ones) your business should be active in depends on a few factors.</p> <h3>Facebook</h3> <p>Facebook, as a platform, has many benefits. It is built to allow multiple types of communication and interaction, from sharing messages to posting photos. With its specialized markup language, it is possible for a business to create a Facebook page that gathers leads, offers up free ebooks, and many other strategies.</p> <p>Facebook users cover a broad range of demographics. In <a target="&rdquo;_blank&rdquo;" href="http://www.pewinternet.org/Reports/2011/Technology-and-social-networks/Summary/Findings.aspx">a recent report from the Pew Internet &amp; American Life Project</a>, it was reported that 92 percent of social networking site users in the U.S. are on Facebook. There is certainly an overlap between Facebook&rsquo;s users and people active on other social networking sites, but at the same time, Facebook offers businesses access to the broadest swath of people online.</p> <p>But there is a drawback for many businesses that might otherwise benefit from Facebook: many users aren&rsquo;t actively looking to buy. They visit the site to communicate with friends and acquaintances, and not to look for purchasing opportunities. This certainly isn&rsquo;t an insurmountable problem, but the businesses that are successful finding leads through Facebook are likely to fall more into the business-to-consumer category, especially lifestyle purchases that Facebook users are more likely to share with one another anyway.</p> <h3>LinkedIn</h3> <p>Where you might visit Facebook to connect with friends and just happen to add some business connections into the mix, LinkedIn is built with business in mind. Because of the nature of networks, many LinkedIn users will look at their own connections as a source for vendors. It&rsquo;s a great place to make connections with customers, especially if you are selling specifically to businesses. The site also offers an incredible number of opportunities to build up your expertise and share information; the result can be establishing yourself and your company's expertise quickly and with people that are regularly looking for experts to work with.</p> <h3>Twitter</h3> <p>Compared to the other two social networking platforms that have gotten big, Twitter is a very different opportunity. Twitter, by its nature, is extremely fast. You can post only 140 characters to the site in a given message and there aren&rsquo;t a lot of other features you can interact with (unlike the wide variety of features on both Facebook and LinkedIn). But those constraints are actually what makes Twitter such a valuable opportunity for businesses looking to connect with potential customers.</p> <p>The site makes it easy to post messages, whether it&rsquo;s a response to someone else&rsquo;s comment or a general broadcast. If you&rsquo;re willing to take the time to build up a following, you will have easy access to an audience that is more likely to act than those in your email list. You can also easily connect with people who aren&rsquo;t already in your network, through tactics like searching for users that mention specific keywords. And unlike Facebook, there are plenty of Twitter users who use the social networking site to search for products and services, making it an easier opportunity for businesses selling to other businesses. However, it&rsquo;s important to note that it&rsquo;s still a relatively small site, <a target="&rdquo;_blank&rdquo;" href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-12889048">estimated to have around 200 million users worldwide</a>, and there are many industries that have not enthusiastically adopted it as a method to connect. Depending on your business, you may find that your target market is connecting elsewhere.</p> <h3>Where Does Your Business Need to Be?</h3> <p>First and foremost: Where is your audience? That&rsquo;s where you want to be. That means searching for people that fall into your customer base on each site, as well as surveying the customers you&rsquo;ve already got about where they&rsquo;re spending their time. Unless you have both the time and money required to build a great online presence on all three sites, it&rsquo;s worth prioritizing your efforts. Starting with just one platform is a perfectly reasonable choice for most organizations.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/thursday-bram">Thursday Bram</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/twitter-facebook-and-linkedin-where-should-you-be">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-ways-to-use-social-media-in-business">13 Ways to Use Social Media in Business</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-surprising-ways-social-media-stars-make-money">5 Surprising Ways Social Media Stars Make Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-to-stop-doing-on-social-media-by-30">10 Things to Stop Doing on Social Media by 30</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/social-media-an-easy-source-of-coupons">Social Media: An Easy Source of Coupons</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/social-media-and-identity-theft-in-2010">Social Media and Identity Theft in 2010</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Small Business Resource Center Facebook LinkedIn marketing small business social marketing social media twitter Thu, 28 Jul 2011 20:29:37 +0000 Thursday Bram 630031 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Ways to Manage Your Online Reputation http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/5-ways-to-manage-your-online-reputation <div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">Link:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.openforum.com/articles/5-ways-to-manage-your-online-reputation" target="_blank">http://www.openforum.com/articles/5-ways-to-manage-your-online-reputation</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/small-business/5-ways-to-manage-your-online-reputation" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000016270703Small.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Online reputation management is a hot topic lately. That&rsquo;s partly because it&rsquo;s easy to get burned.</p> <p>Ninety-two percent of consumers read reviews online, and a mere 3 percent say those reviews have no affect on their purchasing decisions, according to research from online rep firm RatePoint. That leaves a whopping 89 percent who will either welcome or wave off your business depending on what they dig up online.</p> <p>A wake-up call is long overdue for businesses still coming to grips with the stunning significance of online brand and presence. Managing your online reputation is a nonstop campaign that takes entrepreneurs to all corners of the web, not to mention social media. <a target="_blank" href="http://www.openforum.com/articles/how-to-successfully-manage-your-online-reputation">Suzy Frisch</a> recently crafted an excellent overview of the importance of ORM and how small businesses can get a handle on an absolute necessity. She offers some crucial tips, such as being a first responder and replacing good news with bad.</p> <p>Basic steps like tracking mentions via Google alerts and social media monitoring and flushing the web with good news about your company are great starting points. But those introductory stages are often the end point for scores of businesses. The reality is there are other simple, straightforward, and low-cost techniques that can bolster online reputation. Here&rsquo;s a look at five ORM approaches you might be missing.</p> <h3>Using Twitter for More Than Searches</h3> <p>Definitely comb through Twitter for company mentions, reviews, recommendations, and other key communications related to your business. Twitter&rsquo;s <a target="_blank" href="http://search.twitter.com/">basic search function</a> can do the trick, but it&rsquo;s often easier to use an interface like TweetDeck, HootSuite, and their counterparts.</p> <p>Beyond that, utilize Twitter to funnel your original content. Tweets help original content get indexed faster by the search engines, which can prove a competitive advantage when it comes to ORM.</p> <p>And speaking of indexing, remember that pictures and Tweets get indexed; consider that the next time you use a photo or bang out a Tweet about a potentially controversial, problematic, or otherwise unprofessional topic.</p> <h3>Freshen Your Content</h3> <p>Content is still king. But it also has a long shelf life. Content you created four years ago to address then-pressing needs might still be ranking, even if those needs have long since shifted. Businesses and business owners can change a lot in four years, or even four months. Google likes fresh, so revisit and revamp existing content and consistently add new.</p> <h3>Double Down on Domains</h3> <p>Purchase the non-dot-com iterations of your website (.net, .org, .etc.). But don&rsquo;t forget about getting social media hubs in sync, like your Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. For example, check out the lineup of sites and URLs when you search for online marketing guru <a target="_blank" href="http://www.google.com/#sclient=psy&amp;hl=en&amp;source=hp&amp;q=danny+demichele&amp;fp=1&amp;bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.&amp;cad=b">Danny Demichele</a>. That&rsquo;s a pretty rock-solid run that helps keep potentially nasty pages pushed down in the search results.</p> <p>Beyond that, consider defensively purchasing domains that are linked to or in any way touch on your company or personal name. Snatch up sites that include words like &ldquo;complaints&rdquo; and &ldquo;reviews&rdquo; and your company name.</p> <h3>Maximize Public Profiles</h3> <p>This is tied in some ways to the domain approach. Creating public profiles can help bolster your brand and temper any waves when it comes to online reputation management. Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are three of the most common ones, but business owners should also check out Google Profiles and information-sharing sites like Google Knol and Quora.</p> <p>An absolute must is <a target="_blank" href="http://knowem.com/">KnowEm</a>, as in &ldquo;Know Them?&rdquo; This site allows entrepreneurs to better track and manage their brands and fend off misrepresentation and squatting across the web.</p> <h3>Get Help from Affiliates</h3> <p>Affiliate programs can have significant ORM benefits for businesses in the right spheres.</p> <p>Consider the &ldquo;<a target="_blank" href="http://www.webuyuglyhousesdallas.com/">We Buy Ugly Houses</a>&rdquo; people, who plaster billboards and telephone poles with those black and yellow signs. This is actually a Dallas-based company that essentially franchises its real estate flipping business model. When you search &ldquo;<a target="_blank" href="http://www.google.com/?q=we+buy+ugly+houses+dallas">We Buy Ugly Houses Dallas</a>&rdquo; in Google, every site in the top 10 is either one they own or owned by an affiliate.</p> <p>That&rsquo;s a huge ORM advantage. Google is set up to discourage and demote sites owned by the same company to encourage variety. Having an affiliate program essentially provides variety through third-party sites you don&rsquo;t run or maintain. It also drives sales and traffic to your business.</p> <p>You pay a commission to the affiliates, but it certainly beats seeing consumers go instead to a competitor&rsquo;s site or some irrelevant profile, news story, or blog comment that&rsquo;s ranking higher.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chris-birk">Chris Birk</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/5-ways-to-manage-your-online-reputation">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-ways-to-use-social-media-in-business">13 Ways to Use Social Media in Business</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-score-a-last-minute-coupon">6 Ways to Score a Last-Minute Coupon</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-surprising-ways-social-media-stars-make-money">5 Surprising Ways Social Media Stars Make Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/social-media-an-easy-source-of-coupons">Social Media: An Easy Source of Coupons</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/social-media-and-identity-theft-in-2010">Social Media and Identity Theft in 2010</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Extra Commentary Facebook online branding online reputation management ORM small business social marketing twitter Thu, 30 Jun 2011 20:51:34 +0000 Chris Birk 591365 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Ways to Monitor Your Brand on Twitter http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/6-ways-to-monitor-your-brand-on-twitter <div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">Link:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.openforum.com/articles/6-ways-to-monitor-your-brand-on-twitter" target="_blank">http://www.openforum.com/articles/6-ways-to-monitor-your-brand-on-twitter</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/small-business/6-ways-to-monitor-your-brand-on-twitter" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000009092226Small.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Twitter is a social media platform that gives small businesses an incredible opportunity to engage with our customers and build our brands. But just tweeting out a bunch of sporadic comments and links won't get us very far.</p> <p>To be truly effective on Twitter, we small business owners have to listen to the online conversation about our brand, monitor the results of our tweeting efforts, and tweak our tweets as necessary.</p> <p>Luckily, there are six awesome tools that'll help you do just that.</p> <p><b>Backtweets</b></p> <p><a href="http://backtweets.com/" target="_blank">Backtweets</a> is a simple way to search for links to your website or content on Twitter.</p> <p>In just seconds, a Backtweets link search will show you who's talking about and linking to your brand and content.</p> <p>While the Backtweets free account only offers the link search, the Pro account allows you to receive email notification when someone tweets a link to your website and provides statistics on the reach (how many unique people see it) and impressions (the total of how many times a tweet is seen) of your tweets. You can even connect Backtweets to your <a href="http://www.themogulmom.com/2011/02/5-ways-to-use-google-analytics/" target="_blank">Google Analytics</a> account to see how your tweets translate to traffic to your website.</p> <p>Backtweets is free. A Pro account costs $100 per month.</p> <p><b>Twitter Search</b></p> <p>On Twitter, there is an endless stream of news and information flowing every second of every day. <a href="http://search.twitter.com/" target="_blank">Twitter Search</a> keeps you from drowning in tweets by helping you search and filter Twitter in real time.</p> <p>Much like Google, Twitter Search lets you perform highly advanced searches using <a href="http://search.twitter.com/operators" target="_blank">advanced search operators</a> to narrow and refine your search results. Get specific with Twitter Search simply by entering the words or phrases, people, places, dates and even attitudes that you'd like to watch for on Twitter.</p> <p>Twitter Search is free.</p> <p><b>Monitter</b></p> <p><a href="http://www.monitter.com/" target="_blank">Monitter</a> is a search tool that allows you to monitor a set of keywords on Twitter.</p> <p>Just type 'em in, hit &quot;add column&quot; and watch the real-time results stream in front of you in no time flat.</p> <p>Want to search more than one keyword? No problem. Monniter will create a clean, multi-column view for you.You can even narrow your search to a particular geographic location if you want to see what's going on in a certain part of the world, which is perfect for business owners who want to focus on local customers.</p> <p>Monitter is free.</p> <p><b>Twilert</b></p> <p><a href="http://www.twilert.com/" target="_blank">Twilert</a> is a free web app that sends you regular email updates of tweets containing your brand, product, service, or keyword. Like Google Alerts, but for Twitter.</p> <p>Just set up searches for the keywords that you want to monitor and Twilert will email them to you in a daily digest at the time you choose. There are even advanced search options for specific words, language, Twitter account, location, and attitude.</p> <p>Twilert is free and you can use your Google or Twitter account to register.</p> <p><b>Sprout Social</b></p> <p>The mac daddy of Twitter monitoring, <a href="http://sproutsocial.com/" target="_blank">Sprout Social</a>allows you to manage and grow your social presence efficiently and effectively, across multiple channels, helping you turn social media connections into loyal customers.</p> <p>And Twitter isn't the only thing you can keep track of with Sprout Social. The web application also integrates with Facebook Fan Pages, LinkedIn, Foursquare, Gowalla and other networks where your customers are hanging out and checking in.</p> <p>In addition to communication tools, Sprout Social offers contact management, competitive insight, lead generation, reporting, analytics, and more &ndash; all in a package that's intuitive and easy to use.</p> <p>Sprout Social offers a free 30-day trial and then monthly plans start at just $9 for small and online business owners and $49 for brick and mortar business owners who want to track a local customer base.</p> <p><b>Tweetbeep</b></p> <p>Beep, beep...</p> <p><a href="http://tweetbeep.com/" target="_blank">Tweetbeep </a>keeps track of conversations that mention you, your products or your company and sends you hourly updates by email. You can even keep track of who is sharing links to your website or blog, even if they use a URL shortener like bit.ly or tinyurl.com.</p> <p>Choose from a free Tweetbeep account or upgrade to their premium account for $20 per month.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heather-allard">Heather Allard</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/6-ways-to-monitor-your-brand-on-twitter">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-ways-to-use-social-media-in-business">13 Ways to Use Social Media in Business</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/250-tips-for-small-business-owners">250+ Tips for Small Business Owners</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-twitter-updates-that-are-making-you-look-dumb">6 Twitter Updates That Are Making You Look Dumb</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/social-media-an-easy-source-of-coupons">Social Media: An Easy Source of Coupons</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/social-media-and-identity-theft-in-2010">Social Media and Identity Theft in 2010</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entrepreneurship Small Business Resource Center Technology backtweets monitter small business social media sprout social tweetbeep twilert twitter twitter search Thu, 16 Jun 2011 19:49:50 +0000 Heather Allard 570957 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Essentials For A Great Social Media Strategy http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/7-essentials-for-a-great-social-media-strategy <div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">Link:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/technology/article/7-essentials-for-a-great-social-media-strategy" target="_blank">http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/technology/article/7-essentials-for-a-g...</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/small-business/7-essentials-for-a-great-social-media-strategy" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000013774566Small.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="127" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The key to success in social media for small business does not depend, necessarily, on which online platform you use. It's in how you lay the foundation for your social media strategy, and then how you follow through on that strategy. Before you create your Facebook page, lay your social media foundation with these essential items. Then you'll be ready to use social media to successfully build up your small business. And isn't that the point?</p> <h3>Set Up Your Home Base</h3> <p>All the awesome networking in the world is kind of pointless if, at the end of your great Twitter conversation or Facebook interaction, your new potential client can't click a link and learn more about you.</p> <p>While a social media presence matters, it matters because the goal is to turn those interactions into customer relationships. And potential customers, in order to become real, live, loyal, giving-you-money customers, are going to want to know about you, about your business, your services, your products, your pricing, your reviews, your history, your expertise. In short, they're going to want to know a lot more about you than that last 140-character tweet you sent or what you put in the Info portion of your Facebook page. Set up your home base on the Internet first: your business website, which may or may not include a blog.</p> <h3>Continuity of Message and Branding</h3> <p>We've talked before about how <a target="_blank" href="http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/marketing/article/how-to-create-a-professional-online-image-at-low-to-no-cost">to create a professional online image</a>, and if you haven't walked through those steps, go do so now before you start promoting your business through social media. Yes, there's a lot of talk about how people want to connect to a real person; they do. But they also want to know that the real person they're connecting to is a professional, an expert, and someone they can trust.<a target="_blank" href="http://www.halobusiness.com/teamhalo/marianna-hayes-chapman/">Small business marketing consultant Marianna Hayes Chapman</a> advises her clients to work hard on consistency, from their social media messages to the in-store experience they give customers. &quot;<a href="http://www.resultsrevolution.com/2010/07/consistency-is-a-customer-experience-requirement/">Consistency is a desired customer experience</a> that makes your customers feel like insiders,&quot; she says, and &quot;...a sure meal ticket to success.&quot;</p> <p><i>[Disclosure: I've worked personally with Marianna and can't recommend her enough as a small business coach, especially for locally owned businesses.]</i></p> <h3>Realistic Demographics</h3> <p>Research, research, research! Know your target market. You've heard this before &mdash; if you're throwing promos and coupons into cyberspace with no idea who is reading your messages, you're wasting your time.</p> <p>Get the information about where your target market hangs out online. Twitter attracts a particular set of people; Youtube attracts another; Facebook has a broader reach, but that doesn&rsquo;t guarantee that your people are there.</p> <p>Research will save you time and ensure that your efforts matter. Remember, you want to connect with the people who will be interested in your business, not just waste time connecting with whoever happens to be online when you are.</p> <h3>Specific Way to Measure ROI</h3> <p>How are you going to measure your success (or lack thereof)? If you don't have some systems for measurement in place, even something as basic as analytics on your website so you can see where your traffic comes from, when it comes, and how long it stays, then your business succeeding in social media is as likely as a blind jockey winning a horse race. It could happen, but if it does, it will be purely by chance. You don't have time for chance.</p> <h3>Defined Level of Commitment</h3> <p>Building a social media strategy depends largely on what you can invest in it, both in terms of time and money. Make some cold hard commitments, on paper, and then you'll be able to see exactly what your business is capable of in the social media world. If you have no money, you can't buy ads on Google or Facebook. If you have no time, and no employee to delegate the work to, you can't post regularly on your business blog.</p> <p>Before you start building your profiles and putting up logos, figure out how much time you can invest on a daily and weekly basis, and how much money you can invest on things like a professional website, graphic design (logos, branding, etc.), copywriting, ghost blogging, ads, and so on.</p> <h3>Designated Owner</h3> <p>Someone has to be responsible for making sure that the regular work of social media marketing is done, and in a way that is consistent with the message and brand of your business. Don't underestimate the amount of time and energy that it will require.</p> <p>At the least, you need to oversee what is being done, measure the ROI, and make decisions about how to adjust your strategy when needed. You may outsource or assign the actual work of social media: the content creation, the posting, the interaction. It will work best if you have one person in charge whose voice and personality can come through consistently across all your social media work.</p> <h3>Reason for People to Interact with You</h3> <p>Social media is a thriving, busy, crowded place. You can jump in and add to the noise, get noticed and then ignored, or you can create and offer something of value to the people already there. Then you'll get noticed, remembered, noted, followed, and appreciated.</p> <p>In short, don't come to the picnic unless you bring your own bucket of potato salad to share, and make sure it's good. Otherwise you're just one more person making noise.</p> <h3>Social Media Strategy</h3> <p>Once you've worked your way through those first seven essential steps, you're ready to create a roadmap to execute your social media strategy. Decide which social networks you want to focus on (it can be more than one, but keep in mind that it takes an incredible amount of time to manage even just one effective). Also, focusing on one main outlet at a time, allows you to evaluate whether your strategy is working. If you see responses, keep putting in the effort. If not, decide if you need more time or if you need to make changes.</p> <p>The most important thing to remember is that social media success takes time. It takes time in terms of time spent, every day and every week, to keep on producing value and getting it out there. It takes time to interact. It takes time to figure out what's working. And it takes time for things to start working.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/annie-mueller">Annie Mueller</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/7-essentials-for-a-great-social-media-strategy">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-ways-to-use-social-media-in-business">13 Ways to Use Social Media in Business</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-surprising-ways-social-media-stars-make-money">5 Surprising Ways Social Media Stars Make Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/social-media-an-easy-source-of-coupons">Social Media: An Easy Source of Coupons</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/social-media-and-identity-theft-in-2010">Social Media and Identity Theft in 2010</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-to-stop-doing-on-social-media-by-30">10 Things to Stop Doing on Social Media by 30</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Small Business Resource Center branding Facebook marketing small business social media twitter Thu, 19 May 2011 22:34:38 +0000 Annie Mueller 541081 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Ways to Make Your Affiliate Marketing Program Shine http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/10-ways-to-make-your-affiliate-marketing-program-shine <div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">Link:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/marketing/article/10-ways-to-make-your-affiliate-marketing-program-shine" target="_blank">http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/marketing/article/10-ways-to-make-your-...</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/small-business/10-ways-to-make-your-affiliate-marketing-program-shine" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000002477861Small.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="168" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Affiliate marketing can be a key strategy for selling products, especially online. At its most basic, affiliate marketing lets you turn anyone into a sales person for your business. You offer a commission for every product an affiliate sells for you. This strategy has become particularly popular as the number of websites and blogs have boomed. There are several software options that let you put up your products for sale and that provide accurate counts of sales made by affiliates.</p> <p>One of the biggest benefits I&rsquo;ve found with affiliate marketing is how far it can expand your reach. When I created an affiliate program for one of my products, it was reviewed and promoted by the largest site in my niche &mdash; reaching more than 100,000 people that I otherwise could not have marketed to.</p> <p>If you're considering an affiliate marketing program, consider the following ten tips that can help make your program a success.</p> <h3>Stay in touch with your affiliates.</h3> <p>If you ignore your affiliates, they&rsquo;ll ignore you. Sending out news about upcoming opportunities helps dramatically, but if you really want to make your program stand out, give some one-on-one attention to your affiliates. Create multiple communication channels, from forums to newsletters, facebook to twitter and then use them.</p> <h3>Create a guide for your affiliates.</h3> <p>You&rsquo;re almost certainly not in a position to give away products to every person who signs up for your affiliate program and, even if all of your affiliates have your products, that isn&rsquo;t going to transform each of them into a fantastic salesperson overnight. But if you can provide tips and guidelines about selling your product, you can help new affiliates get over the hump.</p> <h3>Give your affiliates lots of images.</h3> <p>It&rsquo;s become standard practice for many affiliate programs to provide affiliates with banners that can easily be added to a website, but other images are just as important. Most buyers look first and foremost for pictures of anything they&rsquo;re considering purchasing, so making sure that your affiliates have plenty of images to work with can give them a huge boost.</p> <h3>Make it easy for your affiliates to hold their own promotions.</h3> <p>The point of an affiliate program is to reach as many different audiences as quickly as possible &mdash; and make use of the expertise of the people already working with those audiences. Your affiliates are going to have ideas for promoting your products to their audiences and to make those ideas work, you&rsquo;ll need to offer your affiliates the freedom and support to pull off their ideas.</p> <h3>Offer higher affiliate commissions.</h3> <p>While there is almost certainly an upper limit on the affiliate commission you can offer, there&rsquo;s probably some room to create tiers in what you offer your affiliates. For those affiliates who are particularly good at selling your products, there is little reason not to offer them a higher rate so that they can spend even more of their time on marketing your products.</p> <h3>Bundle products.</h3> <p>For many products that you may sell, there are other products or services that they can be paired with. Some affiliates may look for opportunities to create their own joint ventures &mdash; bundling your products with other vendors' products &mdash; but the more chances to sell packages of your projects, the more opportunities you can offer your affiliates to reach wider.</p> <h3>Bring in a phenomenal affiliate manager.</h3> <p>Hiring even a part-time specialist in affiliate programs can help you take your affiliates to the next level. A great affiliate manager can make technical problems a thing of the past, as well as help you identify truly great affiliates and grow your program.</p> <h3>Learn about your affiliates.</h3> <p>Can you mention any of your affiliates by name? Can you describe the promotions they&rsquo;ve used to sell your products? Can you list what other products they&rsquo;re affiliates for? That information can be crucial. You can educate the rest of your affiliates about the techniques particularly successful sellers are using, as well as come up with specific ideas that are relevant to their websites, blogs or other places they promote your products.</p> <h3>Create a promotion calendar and share it with your affiliates.</h3> <p>In every industry, there are certain opportunities that come up at different points of the year, when you can offer special promotions. Providing your affiliates with this sort of insight into your industry can make a real difference in your sales.</p> <h3>Make yourself available to affiliates.</h3> <p>Your affiliates are going to have questions that you&rsquo;ve never considered &mdash; as well as ideas that you want to hear about. If you just set up an affiliate program and leave it to run on autopilot, you won't hear neither questions nor ideas. It&rsquo;s crucial to make sure that you&rsquo;re accessible, at least by email, to anyone who wants to follow up on your affiliate program.</p> <p>Implementing every one of these strategies immediately may seem daunting. But the beauty of an affiliate marketing program is that you can build up your program in steps. You can add support materials, offer suggestions to your affiliates, and so on over time. Start with the most important piece &mdash; communication &mdash; and keep it as simple as an email newsletter. As long as you contact them on a regular schedule, you won't have any choice <i>but</i> to grow your affiliate program to keep pace with their sales pace.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/thursday-bram">Thursday Bram</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/10-ways-to-make-your-affiliate-marketing-program-shine">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-ways-to-use-social-media-in-business">13 Ways to Use Social Media in Business</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-score-a-last-minute-coupon">6 Ways to Score a Last-Minute Coupon</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-surprising-ways-social-media-stars-make-money">5 Surprising Ways Social Media Stars Make Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/250-tips-for-small-business-owners">250+ Tips for Small Business Owners</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/social-media-an-easy-source-of-coupons">Social Media: An Easy Source of Coupons</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Small Business Resource Center affiliate marketing email Facebook marketing small business twitter Wed, 18 May 2011 22:33:42 +0000 Thursday Bram 537275 at http://www.wisebread.com Social Media: An Easy Source of Coupons http://www.wisebread.com/social-media-an-easy-source-of-coupons <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/social-media-an-easy-source-of-coupons" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/foursquare.jpg" alt="Woman showing a coupon on a phone" title="Woman showing a coupon on a phone" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="178" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Have you &quot;liked&quot; your favorite stores on Facebook? Do you check in on Foursquare at your favorite restaurants? If you're willing to invest a little time into social media, you can make it a useful part of your coupon strategy. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-an-iphone-can-save-you-money">6 Ways an iPhone Can Save You Money</a>)</p> <p>Many businesses now share special coupons through social media sites, making it worthwhile to to check Facebook, Twitter, and all the rest of those sites out there for coupons to help you save money. Many coupons are restricted to those people who follow, fan, check-in, and otherwise promote a given company in the terminology of whatever site you happen to be on &mdash; but the benefits can make it worthwhile.</p> <h3>Creating a Social Media Coupon Strategy</h3> <p>If you go through and connect with the stores and businesses you like to buy from on the various social media sites you're active on, you've made a start to getting those coupons. But it's easy for such sites to create too much noise, especially if you're connected to many people. It takes strategy not to lose those coupons in the noise.</p> <p>On sites like Facebook and Twitter, you have the ability to create lists &mdash; groupings of different types of friends. By creating a list of those connections that you made for the specific purpose of getting coupons, you can make it easier to check in on such connections on a regular basis and see what sort of coupons they're offering. That way you can judge if it's a coupon that's worth your while without having to sort through all the updates from your friends.</p> <p>It's also useful to build up social media habits, such as checking in at the places you visit. Many stores now offer special coupons based on the number of check-ins or other statistics, like a virtual punch card.</p> <h3>The Trade-Off for Social Media Coupons</h3> <p>The coupons that come from social media sources do have drawbacks beyond the time that you have to invest in finding them, which isn't all that different from any other <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/50-best-deals-coupons-sites">source of coupons</a>.</p> <p>The real drawback is that you're giving up a good chunk of privacy for the privilege of getting those coupons. With a site like Foursquare, anyone can easily see the places that you go and check into, as well as notice patterns in your behavior. The same goes for how easily anyone can see the actions you take on sites like Facebook and Twitter.</p> <p>It's a personal decision whether you're willing to give up some of your privacy for more (and in some cases, better) coupons. There's a clear benefit to those coupons &mdash; you get to save money &mdash; but it's up to you if that is enough of a benefit. Consider it carefully and, if social media coupons are worth your while, make the most of them.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/thursday-bram">Thursday Bram</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/social-media-an-easy-source-of-coupons">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/social-media-and-identity-theft-in-2010">Social Media and Identity Theft in 2010</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-score-a-last-minute-coupon">6 Ways to Score a Last-Minute Coupon</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-surprising-ways-social-media-stars-make-money">5 Surprising Ways Social Media Stars Make Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-make-facebook-productive">10 Ways to Make Facebook Productive</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-twitter-updates-that-are-making-you-look-dumb">6 Twitter Updates That Are Making You Look Dumb</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping Technology Facebook mobile coupons social media twitter Thu, 03 Feb 2011 13:00:06 +0000 Thursday Bram 485888 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Make Money Tweeting http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-money-tweeting-0 <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-make-money-tweeting-0" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/3231178720_5e2c1c45a8.jpg" alt="Twitter cloud" title="Twitter Cloud" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="179" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Do you use Twitter? Are you popular? Like, really popular? Do you have a whole bunch of followers? Well, if you&rsquo;re nodding rapidly to all of these questions, you could make money some extra money by tweeting. It&rsquo;s called sponsored tweeting, or <a href="http://twitter.com/#!/paypertweeting">pay per tweet</a>.</p> <p>Paid endorsements are nothing new. The advertising world, which I am steeped in on a daily basis, is always looking for new ways to reach an audience. In the past, getting paid to recommend products and services was the domain of celebrities. After all, they had access to media outlets that let the advertiser&rsquo;s message get out to the masses.</p> <p>But we don&rsquo;t live in the past. We live in a society that gives us all the opportunity to reach a mass-market crowd every single day. The internet brought us Facebook, blogs, and then Twitter. The cell phone made tweeting instant, and let us all broadcast our daily lives to whoever wanted to follow us.</p> <p>If you&rsquo;ve got interesting things to say, you get more followers. And the more followers you have, the more interesting you become to a business looking to spread the word about a product or service. Which in turn means that your tweets become valuable commodities.</p> <p>In a nutshell, if you&rsquo;re tweeting to a crowd, you can get cash for <a href="https://app.sponsoredtweets.com/tweeters">sponsored tweets</a>.</p> <p>How much cash? Well, that obviously depends on how many people follow you, and of course, if your fame extends beyond your immediate friends and family.</p> <p>For instance, Khloe Kardashian, who has over two million followers, is currently accepting $2,941.25 to do a sponsored tweet. Her sister Kim...well, that price isn&rsquo;t even listed. But like I said at the beginning, you don&rsquo;t need to be a celebrity at all. You just need reach.</p> <p>Have you heard of Wendy Piersall? She&rsquo;s an entrepreneur who runs <a href="http://www.woojr.com/">Woo! Jr.</a> and is considered one of the 16 most influential moms online. Wendy charges $400 per tweet.</p> <p>OK, well, Wendy still had some moderate fame. But how about someone who just does some occasional blogging?</p> <p>Tyler Rogers is not, by any stretch of the imagination, a household name. I had never heard of him until I started researching this article. But he has over 2,300 followers on Twitter, and that makes his tweets, and his product endorsements, valuable. Not in the same league as Khloe or Wendy, but $50 per tweet is not exactly peanuts. With the minimum wage currently set at $7.25/hour, and the average hourly U.S. wage being <a href="http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_nat.htm#00-0000">between $15-$20</a>, getting $50 for doing something that takes less than one minute is, well, obscene. And if someone is willing to pay you $50 or more for tweeting that you think some product is worth checking out, then good for you.</p> <p>Of course, this can&rsquo;t last. Product endorsements don&rsquo;t carry a whole lot of weight if you start endorsing everything, all the time. But for the occasional wad of cash here and there, especially for a product or service you believe in, it&rsquo;s a win-win situation.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-money-tweeting-0">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. 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