Facebook http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/7860/all en-US 10 Stocks Every Recent Grad Should Own http://www.wisebread.com/10-stocks-every-recent-grad-should-own <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-stocks-every-recent-grad-should-own" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/new_grad_happy_20845110.jpg" alt="Woman buying stocks every recent grad should own" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you're just fresh out of college, you may be broke and not yet in a position to invest. But if you find a little extra cash, or are fortunate enough to be gifted some stock as a graduation gift, there are a number of great options that have a great track record of solid performance.</p> <p>These are stocks that have rarely let investors down over the course of decades, and they often pay great dividends, too.</p> <p>If there's a list of stocks that recent grads should consider owning, these 10 should be included.</p> <h2>Microsoft [<a href="http://www.nasdaq.com/symbol/msft">Nasdaq: MSFT</a>]</h2> <p>Bill Gates' old company made headlines recently when it bought the professional networking site LinkedIn. It's now a massively diverse tech firm with PCs, tablets and phones, software, and a popular video game system.</p> <h2>Coca-Cola [<a href="http://www.google.com/finance?cid=6550">NYSE: KO</a>]</h2> <p>Yes, we know that America is supposed to be moving away from sugary drinks. But this company has managed to sell a ton of Coke while diversifying its product line to include everything from Dasani water, to Powerade and Honest Tea. Coca-Cola shares have been in positive territory for eight straight years, and with a market cap of nearly $200 billion, it's likely a long-term winner.</p> <h2>Apple [<a href="http://www.nasdaq.com/symbol/aapl">Nasdaq: AAPL</a>]</h2> <p>Shares of this technology company have dipped about 20% in the last year, but that's all the more reason to consider buying now. This is still one of the largest, most influential and inventive companies out there. Chances are, if you are a recent college grad, you use Apple products. So go with what you know, and reap the financial rewards. (Disclosure: I own some shares of Apple.)</p> <h2>Facebook [<a href="http://www.nasdaq.com/symbol/fb">Nasdaq: FB</a>]</h2> <p>Okay, full disclosure: I bought some shares of Facebook stock a while back, and I have no complaints. Shares are up more than 40% in the last year, as the company continues to bust through earnings predictions. Facebook has 1.65 billion active users, and the company could vault to new heights with recent investments into virtual reality. <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-social-media-can-save-you-money" target="_blank">Social media</a> may be a fad, but Facebook will be here to stay.</p> <h2>Procter and Gamble [<a href="http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=PG">NYSE: PG</a>]</h2> <p>Do you wash your clothes and your dishes? Do you brush your teeth? Do you use paper towels? P&amp;G sells products that people all over the world use every day. This is one of those stocks you can practically &quot;set and forget&quot; and see a very solid return nearly every year. A dividend yield of more than 3% doesn't hurt, either.</p> <h2>AT&amp;T [<a href="http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=T">NYSE: T</a>]</h2> <p>Admittedly, this is not the most exciting stock in the universe. But it's reliable, with a good dividend and not much volatility. AT&amp;T recently hit a 52-week high amid reports that it's bidding for some of Yahoo's assets. But any share growth is a bonus for this company that's now dishing out a 4.8% dividend yield. (Disclosure: I own shares of AT&amp;T, gifted to me in the 1990s!)</p> <h2>Johnson &amp; Johnson [<a href="http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=JNJ">NYSE: JNJ</a>]</h2> <p>Like P&amp;G, Johnson &amp; Johnson is a dividend aristocrat, meaning that it has paid out and increased its dividend every year for 25 straight years. This is a big company that's neck deep in the growing health care sector, and it sells a lot of products, including shampoo, soap, and hand lotion, that people use all the time. JNJ shares are up 18% this year, and has had just 13 down years since 1975. A 2.7% dividend yield is also a selling point.</p> <h2>Wal-Mart [<a href="http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=WMT">NYSE: WMT</a>]</h2> <p>When you have revenue approaching half a trillion dollars (yes, trillion with a &quot;t&quot;), you are a company worth investing in. Wal-Mart does well when the economy is doing well and folks are spending money. Wal-Mart does well in slow economic times, when shoppers are looking for low prices. There is some concern about the long-term future of brick-and-mortar retail, but Wal-Mart right now has more than four times the revenue of Amazon.</p> <h2>Sysco Foods [<a href="http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=SYY">NYSE: SYY</a>]</h2> <p>If you've ever eaten at a restaurant, you've probably gotten food from Sysco. This is another dividend aristocrat that has seen shares rise 19% in 2016, while boasting a healthy dividend yield of 2.5%. It's been one of the most reliable stocks for decades, and people aren't going to stop eating at restaurants anytime soon.</p> <h2>Amazon [<a href="http://www.nasdaq.com/symbol/amzn">Nasdaq: AMZN</a>]</h2> <p>The world's top online retailer can be frustrating, because founder and owner Jeff Bezos has always focused more on growing his company than worrying about profitability. Some shareholders got frustrated with Amazon and left last year, but now shares are up over $700, nearing an all-time high. In addition to massive online sales revenue, Amazon has made a killing from its web services subsidiary, which pulled in $604 million in profits last year. One of these days, all of Amazon's reinvestment will likely pay off with massive profits that will send shares to even bigger heights.</p> <p><em>Have you ever been gifted (or given) shares? What stocks were they?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-stocks-every-recent-grad-should-own">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/save-your-retirement-by-avoiding-these-10-risky-investments">Save Your Retirement by Avoiding These 10 Risky Investments</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/the-best-ways-to-invest-50-500-or-5000">The Best Ways to Invest $50, $500, or $5000</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-investments-that-usually-soar-during-the-summer">7 Investments That Usually Soar During the Summer</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/9-ways-to-tell-if-a-stock-is-worth-buying">9 Ways to Tell If a Stock is Worth Buying</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/how-to-buy-your-first-stocks-or-funds">How to Buy Your First Stock(s) or Fund(s)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Investment Amazon apple Coke Facebook gifts graduation market Microsoft profits stocks Fri, 24 Jun 2016 09:30:19 +0000 Tim Lemke 1736531 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Ways Social Media Can Save You Money http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-social-media-can-save-you-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-ways-social-media-can-save-you-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/girl_work_from_home_000092732035.jpg" alt="Woman finding ways social media saves her money" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>While using popular social media platforms is a fun way to stay connected with family and friends, perhaps the most useful benefit is tapping into a new way to save money. Whether it be through negotiating a lower monthly bill, scoring a coupon, or finding the best local deals, with just a little bit of effort you can <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-surprising-ways-social-media-stars-make-money" target="_blank">use social media</a> to save hundreds of dollars every year. Here are some easy to implement tips to get you started in the right direction.</p> <h2>1. Learn to Negotiate a Lower Bill Via Twitter</h2> <p>Most large companies these days have employees who do nothing but monitor their social media feeds and respond directly to customer inquiries and complaints. Because of this, when it comes to negotiating a lower monthly bill, Twitter has become an excellent way to start the conversation. For example, I was recently able to do this with the folks at Verizon by accident when I responded to a friend's Tweet discussing cheaper cell phone services. Within minutes of my Twitter response, I had a Verizon representative send me a message via Twitter asking if they could help lower my bill. With their proactive help, I was able to lower my bill by $10 a month.</p> <p>This experience led me to investigate other companies that respond quickly via Twitter, and sure enough I found many that did &mdash; namely Dish Network, DirecTV, AT&amp;T, and Sprint. Simply send a direct Tweet to the company, or respond to someone else talking about the company, and drop the hint that you're seriously considering leaving the company for a cheaper alternative. In many cases, you'll quickly get a response with actionable ways to lower your bill. Could be a phone number to call, or even better, the company representative will personally help you lower your bill.</p> <h2>2. Use Facebook Messenger to Ask for a Coupon</h2> <p>Facebook Messenger has also become a great tool to score a deal or coupon. Simply visit the retailer's Facebook page, click on the &quot;Message&quot; button, and send them a polite message asking if they have a coupon code for free shipping or perhaps 15% or 20% off your purchase. Most big-name retailers have staffers standing by to respond to your message, often within minutes. The best part is they are armed with exclusive coupons and are ready to hand them out. After all, they know you're very close to completing your purchase and will often throw you a bone to do just that. So when you can't find a coupon in the more traditional ways, be sure to use Facebook Messenger to avoid paying full price.</p> <p>Also, if the retailer does not have a current coupon to hand out, I've had some let me know via Messenger when a new coupon was going to be released. I'd then wait and make my purchase with the money saving coupon in-hand.</p> <h2>3. Instagram Descriptions Often Have Coupons</h2> <p>Using Instagram to save money with coupons is not something that immediately comes to mind for most shoppers. But the fact of the matter is many retailers and restaurants are starting to use their Instagram profile pages to drop new coupons and deals. For example, I just recently used a coupon on the Dunkin' Donuts profile page to get a free cup of coffee with my doughnut purchase. The key to making this work is to follow your favorite shops and restaurants and get in the habit of checking their Instagram page before you complete your purchase.</p> <h2>4. Search Pinterest Boards for Deals</h2> <p>When it comes to saving money, Pinterest is a great tool but requires a different approach. Because Pinterest is a very static platform, searching for deals/coupons with hashtags is going to leave you frustrated with the lack of results. Instead, you'll want to search &quot;boards&quot; for deals and coupons to particular retailers that users have pinned. Boards are essentially a collection of saved pins and are often kept up-to-date by users. To make this happen, you'll type in your search in the search box, hit the filters button to include boards in your search, then hit enter. By doing it this way, you'll typically get the newest pins which includes a majority of coupons and deals that have yet to expire.</p> <h2>5. Become a Hashtag Superhero</h2> <p>By becoming proficient at using the underrated Twitter hashtag (#), you can quickly find where the best deals are located for specific items. For example, let's say you're in the market for a new mountain bike. A fantastic way to search the entire Internet for a great deal is go on Twitter and search #MountainBike #Deal (or #Sale), or #MountainBike #Coupon. Often Twitter users will combine hashtags when searching, like #MountainBikeCoupon and get frustrated with the results. But if you make it a habit of breaking-up the hashtags, you'll end up with a large list of discounts and coupons that you can use to quickly find the best deals.</p> <p>Also, a great way to localize your search, especially for larger items that are expensive to ship, is to add your hometown to your search query. So sticking with the mountain bike example, do a Twitter search like this: #Sacramento #MountainBike #Sale. You'll end up with search results that can easily lead you to the best current deals and sales in your area.</p> <h2>6. Use Live Chat the Right Way</h2> <p>Most online shoppers are familiar with the live chat feature that many websites operate. Have a question about the product, or want to know more about sizing? The live chat operator typically has the answers. But have you ever started a live chat session for the sole purpose of saving money? If not, you should try it as it often works. I like to start the chat sessions with a question about the product as I don't want it to seem like a gratuitous discount hunter.</p> <p>Once I chat them up a little bit, I'll politely ask if they have a coupon code I can use on my order. Maybe shipping is a little costly, or perhaps a competitor has a slightly cheaper price &mdash; both solid reasons to ask for a coupon. In many cases, the operator has a few coupon codes they can hand out at their discretion. So the bottom line is to be polite, have a real conversation, and you stand a great chance of getting a coupon code you can use to save money.</p> <p><em>How do you use social media to save money?</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-social-media-can-save-you-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-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/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-2 views-row-even"> <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> <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/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-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-6-shopping-mistakes-keeping-you-from-a-great-deal">The 6 Shopping Mistakes Keeping You From a Great Deal</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping Technology coupons customer service deals discounts Facebook hashtags instagram social media twitter Tue, 17 May 2016 09:00:10 +0000 Kyle James 1708162 at http://www.wisebread.com 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/6-ways-social-media-can-save-you-money">6 Ways Social Media Can Save You Money</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-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-3 views-row-odd"> <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> <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-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-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-6-shopping-mistakes-keeping-you-from-a-great-deal">The 6 Shopping Mistakes Keeping You From a Great Deal</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-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/6-ways-social-media-can-save-you-money">6 Ways Social Media Can Save You Money</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/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-3 views-row-odd"> <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-4 views-row-even"> <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-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> 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 10 Things to Stop Doing on Social Media by 30 http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-to-stop-doing-on-social-media-by-30 <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-things-to-stop-doing-on-social-media-by-30" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/000071173689.jpg" alt="Man learning things he needs to stop doing on social media by 30" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Let's face it. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google+, and Pinterest can all be very addicting. It can be fun and rewarding to post photos, articles, and updates that make us happy. However, there are certain things you should <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-social-blunders-to-stop-making-by-30">stop doing on your social media accounts</a> by the time you start entering the world of real adulthood.</p> <h2>1. Complaining About Your Job</h2> <p>Nowadays, employers frequently visit employees' and potential employees' social media accounts before making hiring decisions. That's why it's so important to always represent yourself well on your social media accounts. Remember, it's not just your friends looking anymore; your neighbors, coworkers, boss, and even your mother-in-law can see everything you are doing on your Facebook account.</p> <h2>2. Displaying Your Beer Pong Skills</h2> <p>Advertising your drunken nights and beer pong tournaments on Facebook may have been cool when you were in college, but nowadays, nobody's impressed by how much you can drink or how quickly you can recover from a hangover. Refrain from posting things that make you look young and foolish.</p> <h2>3. Posting Revealing Photos</h2> <p>The old saying, &quot;If you've got it, flaunt it&quot; shouldn't be the case when it comes to your social media profiles. Sure, it's great to have photos that show off what you're working with, but your co-workers and family don't want to see them. Keep your profile semi-professional and friendly, without being too revealing in your photos or updates.</p> <h2>4. Stalking Your Ex</h2> <p>It may have been okay in high school, but when your ex is married with children, it's time to stop stalking. If you can't resist the urge, you may want to unfriend them altogether.</p> <h2>5. Using a Fake Name</h2> <p>You're officially a grown adult, so it's time to start using your real name, especially on more serious social media accounts like LinkedIn. It's great that you have a band or blog, but potential employers and friends want to find you, not your hobby.</p> <h2>6. Sending Game Invitations</h2> <p>Nobody wants to join your Candy Crush game, so stop sending the invites. If you've sent Farmville invites more than once, they don't want to join and you're going to end up annoying your adult acquaintances with childish games. Often the game invites get sent automatically, so you may want to disconnect your gaming accounts from Facebook altogether before you end up unintentionally annoying your friends.</p> <h2>7. Caring so Much</h2> <p>You shouldn't let what other people post affect your mood or attitude. If they're bothering you, simply unfriend or block them. You have more important things to worry about in your adult life than someone harassing you or affecting your behavior. If you receive negative feedback, try to respond in a calm, mature manner and then let it go.</p> <h2>8. Checking Your Status at Work</h2> <p>Work is for work time and play is for play time. If you are still checking your social media pages at work instead of getting work done, you're just asking for trouble. Employers can access nearly anything nowadays and if given the reason, they may be able to track how often you're using social media while you're on the clock. Signing into social media will also distract you from work and cut into your productivity, so keep it to your home life.</p> <h2>9. Overusing Hashtags</h2> <p>Nobody, at any age, likes reading repeated hashtags. Hashtags should be strategically used for networking purposes only. Otherwise, they just look spammy and will hurt the reader's eyes. In fact, on certain platforms (like Pinterest), you can actually get dinged for having too many hashtags. This will have the reverse effect of what you're looking for because instead of attracting readers, the social media sites will block your post so even fewer people will see it, thanks to the overused hashtags.</p> <h2>10. Overusing in General</h2> <p>At the end of the day, you should just try using social media less altogether. Now is the time in your life to start making real connections, outside of your mobile device. Try to start limiting yourself to a certain amount of time per day.</p> <p><em>Do you have other suggestions on things that we should stop doing on social media by 30? Please share your thoughts in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-cannon">Andrea Cannon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-to-stop-doing-on-social-media-by-30">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-social-blunders-to-stop-making-by-30">10 Social Blunders to Stop Making by 30</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/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-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-social-media-can-save-you-money">6 Ways Social Media Can Save You 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/5-life-mistakes-you-need-to-stop-making-by-30">5 Life Mistakes You Need to Stop Making by 30</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/tricks-of-the-trade-share-an-insiders-tip-about-your-profession">Tricks of the trade: Share an insider&#039;s tip about your profession!</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks 30 somethings Facebook inappropriate behavior LinkedIn millennials professional social media Thu, 08 Oct 2015 17:00:51 +0000 Andrea Cannon 1579971 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Facebook Updates That Are Making You Look Stupid http://www.wisebread.com/7-facebook-updates-that-are-making-you-look-stupid <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-facebook-updates-that-are-making-you-look-stupid" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/young-man-smartphone-177381725-small.jpg" alt="young man smartphone" title="young man smartphone" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>While 73% of online adults use several forms of social media, <a href="http://www.pewinternet.org/2013/12/30/social-media-update-2013/">Facebook remains their first choice</a>.</p> <p>And that's what we love about Facebook. When we put up an update, somebody is going to read it. However, not of all your updates are as smart as you think. Actually, some of them might be making you look inconsiderate or, even worse, dumb. (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> <p>Here are the top seven types of Facebook updates to avoid.</p> <h2>1. Accusing Somebody Before Checking the Facts</h2> <p>One of the best things about Facebook is the ability to interact with people around the world in real time. However, this ability should increase your awareness of what you're about to post.</p> <p>For example, when Facebook rolled out a feature that allowed its users to donate money to fight ebola, an user was quick to call out this as a <a href="http://www.adweek.com/news/technology/zuckerberg-has-perfect-comeback-troll-accusing-facebook-exploiting-ebola-161271">marketing ploy from Facebook</a>. The user even asked how much Facebook was donating to the cause. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg personally replied to this comment pointing out that his wife and he had themselves <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/14/zuckerberg-ebola_n_5982762.html">donated $25 million to fight ebola</a>.</p> <p>Before you post, make sure to check out your facts. After all, they're often just a Google search away. If you are too lazy to do it, you deserve to be called out.</p> <h2>2. Including Spelling and Grammar Errors</h2> <p>Nobody is perfect. A minor typo in a long essay or memo is understandable. However, short Facebook updates, such as &quot;Grandma, your amazing!&quot; and &quot;And that's why I told their wants fewer waters&quot; make spelling and grammar errors stand out. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-grammar-mistakes-that-are-making-you-look-stupid?ref=seealso">12 Grammar Mistakes That Are Making You Look Stupid</a>)</p> <p>Here are some steps to prevent those mistakes:</p> <ul> <li>Most desktop and mobile browsers (e.g. <a href="https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/how-do-i-use-firefox-spell-checker">Firefox</a>) offer a spell checker, so use that feature to proofread your posts.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>The bulk of grammar errors result from homonyms, which are words that share the same pronunciation, regardless of their spelling. Some examples are your/you're, to/two/too/ and they/their/they're. Review this list of <a href="http://grammar.about.com/od/words/a/HomonymChart.htm">200 homonyms</a> and keep an eye out for them.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Remember that you can edit the text of updates after they go live.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Thank people that point out your grammar and spelling errors. A simple &quot;thank you&quot; is the only right answer; anything else only highlights your mistake even more.</li> </ul> <h2>3. WRITING EVERYTHING IN CAPS</h2> <p><a href="http://uxmovement.com/content/all-caps-hard-for-users-to-read/">Using all caps in your Facebook updates</a> makes them harder to read. When you write in all caps, your text is <a href="http://www.bergsland.org/2012/06/typography/how-your-readers-see-your-letters-legibility/">40% less legible</a> than text using the right mix of uppercase and lowercase. You should reserve the use of all caps for very few instances, such as abbreviations and acronyms. Otherwise, you will come off as the crazy person in the park that shouts out random comments to strangers. That's a terrible look!</p> <p>Try this test. Read out loud each of the sentences below:</p> <ul> <li>&quot;What are you doing?&quot;</li> <li>&quot;WHAT ARE YOU DOING?&quot;</li> </ul> <p>While the first sentence sounds friendly, the second one sounds scary and intimidating. How would you rather be perceived?</p> <h2>4. Getting Your Priorities Wrong</h2> <p>Imagine this scenario. You just poured battery fluid all over your hand and are experiencing a terrible allergic reaction. You are desperately searching for antihistamine cream, but can't find any.</p> <p>What would you do?</p> <p style="margin-left: 40px;">a) Call a friend or relative for help</p> <p style="margin-left: 40px;">b) Head to your neighbor's place to check if they have any antihistamine cream</p> <p style="margin-left: 40px;">c) Drive or walk to the nearest pharmacy</p> <p style="margin-left: 40px;">d) Dial 911</p> <p style="margin-left: 40px;">e) Post about it on Facebook</p> <p><a href="http://emgn.com/entertainment/16-people-who-got-owned-on-facebook/3/">Don't be the person that goes for option e</a>.</p> <h2>5. Being Passive Aggressive</h2> <p>I agree with American Idol's host, Ryan Seacrest, in that the passive aggressive Facebook updates make you look like a brat.</p> <p>Here is an <a href="http://www.ryanseacrest.com/2011/07/05/the-5-most-annoying-types-of-facebook-status-updates/">example from Ryan</a>:</p> <p>&quot;I'll never be able to forgive you for what you did. I hope you realize that what goes around, comes around&hellip; you'll see soon enough.&quot;</p> <p>While people understand that you may have an ongoing argument with somebody, they may not understand why you're involving all of your 500 Facebook friends in it. Stop chastising that somebody with random and vague Facebook posts (also known as &quot;vaguebooking&quot;). Instead address your issue with that somebody in private and, more importantly, move on.</p> <p>Your Facebook friends will thank you for keeping their feeds free of drama.</p> <h2>6. Sharing Too Much Information</h2> <p>If you feed looks like this&hellip;</p> <ul> <li>&quot;Today, I'm heading with Bobby to the new Thai restaurant, Spices.&quot;</li> <li>&quot;Only one hour until Bobby and I head to Spices!&quot;</li> <li>&quot;Allright! Lunch time! Spices, here we come!&quot;</li> <li>&quot;Just got to Spices, OMG, everything is so good.&quot;</li> <li>&quot;Selfie with the waiter.&quot;</li> <li>&quot;Bobby got the panang curry!&quot;</li> <li>&quot;Nom, nom, nom, this is SO GOOD!&quot;</li> </ul> <p>&hellip;then you're annoying the crap out of your Facebook friends. A recent survey puts &quot;people sharing too much information about themselves&quot; at the top of the <a href="http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2014/02/03/6-new-facts-about-facebook/">list of what Facebook users strongly dislike</a>.</p> <p>There are plenty of studies that recommend that the posting frequency sweet spot is <a href="https://blog.bufferapp.com/social-media-frequency-guide">between 5 and 10 posts per week</a>. Keep your feed smart by posting around once per day &mdash; and maybe twice.</p> <h2>7. Sharing About Others Without Their Permission</h2> <p>&quot;Posting things about your or pictures of you without asking permission&quot; ties at number one on that same survey about Facebook user dislikes. It makes sense for two reasons:</p> <ul> <li>First, <a href="https://www.facebook.com/notes/social-jobs-partnership/recruiting-survey-social-media-helps-connect-job-seekers-with-employers/404484379619706">half of American employers are using Facebook in their hiring process</a>. You don't want to be the reason why a potential employer didn't hire your best friend.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Second, some people just like their privacy. If you want to share updates and pictures of others, make sure that those others are ok with it in the first place. This is a major issue for parents: <a href="http://www.today.com/parents/dont-post-my-kids-photo-facebook-parents-plead-2D12092742">68% of parents don't allow others to post photos of their child on Facebook</a>.</li> </ul> <p>Don't assume that people (and their children!) want to be on your Facebook wall. Check for their permission and respect their desire for privacy if they decline your request. Be smart and stay out of trouble.</p> <p><em>What is your pet peeve of Facebook updates? Please share in comments &mdash; or on our Facebook page!</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/7-facebook-updates-that-are-making-you-look-stupid">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/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-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-social-media-can-save-you-money">6 Ways Social Media Can Save You 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/5-ways-good-manners-make-you-wealthier">5 Ways Good Manners Make You Wealthier</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/secrets-to-finding-and-winning-facebook-promotional-giveaways">Secrets to Finding and Winning Facebook Promotional Giveaways</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/9-reasons-alone-time-is-good-for-your-soul">9 Reasons Alone Time Is Good For Your Soul</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Development etiquette Facebook posting privacy social media Mon, 17 Nov 2014 12:00:10 +0000 Damian Davila 1254699 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Sell Your Old Stuff on Facebook http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-sell-your-old-stuff-on-facebook <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-sell-your-old-stuff-on-facebook" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/4357227835_0d31c600b6_z.jpg" alt="facebook" title="facebook" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We all have things we don&rsquo;t need or want. The traditional avenues of selling your stuff &mdash; such as Craigslist or eBay &mdash; seem to be overly competitive, or worse, a little unsafe. I&rsquo;ve recently taken to Facebook to get rid of unwanted items and even pick up a few things that would have been cumbersome to buy through those other online channels. Here is how you can use the popular social networking tool to earn cash and clear your home of unwanted clutter! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/clear-out-that-clutter-15-places-to-sell-your-stuff">15 Places to&nbsp;Sell Your Stuff</a>)</p> <h2>Find a Group</h2> <p>Most Facebook selling and buying groups are local, or at least limited to a state. This is because people within a certain geographical proximity feel more comfortable dealing with folks that are near them, and the more geographically targeted a group is, the more likely it is that you may actually know the person you are dealing with.</p> <p>To find a group, use the Facebook search field to enter your geographic local and &ldquo;buy&rdquo; or &ldquo;sell.&rdquo; If you live in a very populated area, you may also want to narrow your search by the type of item you are looking to sell (used baby items or farming tools, for example.)</p> <p>Note: There are several third-party apps run through Facebook that have a similar buy/sell listing feature. These are more like classified ads and are not considered Facebook groups. As a result, they are not subject to the rules and terms of Facebook, and I don&rsquo;t recommend them as an alternative to buying or selling.</p> <h2>Join the Group</h2> <p>Many groups aren&rsquo;t open to everyone, meaning you&rsquo;ll have to ask permission to join. Some of the most guarded groups &mdash; those that deal in high-end goods, like jewelry, vehicles, or firearms &mdash; may even require that you are friends with someone in the group and be invited personally.</p> <h2>Read the Rules</h2> <p>All Facebook groups should have a set of rules displayed in the &ldquo;Notes&rdquo; tab of the group, viewable once you&rsquo;ve been accepted. The rules will include details on how to post items for sale, how to deal with potential buyers, and what to do when your item has been sold.</p> <p>Other rules will include:</p> <ul> <li>The number of items per day you can list</li> <li>The number of photos that can accompany each listing</li> <li>Types of items that can be sold</li> <li>How to contact a buyer to coordinate the sale</li> </ul> <h2>List Your First Item</h2> <p>Decide what item you&rsquo;d like to sell first, and use it as a test to make sure you understand the rules.</p> <p>If done correctly, your listing will remain up and you should get comments from those interested in buying. Be sure that you are prompt about answering questions or arranging the details of the sale. If you don&rsquo;t feel comfortable selling to a particular person, for whatever reason, don&rsquo;t feel compelled to sell to them.</p> <h2>Follow Through</h2> <p>Once there is a verbal agreement to buy or sell, make sure you stick with it.</p> <p>Unlike eBay, there is no accountability system, and it is possible for deals to go wrong. Pick a public place to make the exchange, deal with cash or money order, and set expectations of what you expect as a seller. Use the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-safe-is-craigslist">same safety rules</a> you would with a Craigslist deal, but understand that you can mitigate quite a few safety issues by taking time to get to know the person on Facebook (friending them first, for example), or by dealing only with those you know, or who are acquaintances of those you know. (Facebook makes it easy to see who knows who; use that feature to qualify buying candidates of large or expensive items.)</p> <p>We have purchased several items in our local community, and even statewide, that we couldn&rsquo;t have gotten without the unique buying/selling forum Facebook can provide. We have done repeat business with people that we have had good deals with (100% in our case).</p> <p>In a time when everyone&rsquo;s trying to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-earn-extra-cash-when-money-is-tight">make a little cash</a>, selling through Facebook is a trend that will grow and become even more popular. Jumping on the trend while it&rsquo;s new can ensure that you clear you closet, raise some cash, and build your reputation and your skills before everyone else catches on.</p> <p><em>Have you made a sale or purchase through Facebook? What was your experience like?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-sell-your-old-stuff-on-facebook">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/turn-old-clothes-into-money-with-these-4-tools-and-apps">Turn Old Clothes Into Money With These 4 Tools and Apps</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/10-easiest-items-to-flip-for-cash">10 Easiest Items to &quot;Flip&quot; for Cash</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/clear-out-that-clutter-15-places-to-sell-your-stuff">Clear Out That Clutter: 15 Places to Sell Your Stuff</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-weird-things-to-sell-on-ebay-for-extra-cash">6 Weird Things to Sell on eBay for Extra Cash</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/flashback-friday-55-brilliant-ways-to-turn-your-junk-into-cash">Flashback Friday: 55 Brilliant Ways to Turn Your Junk Into Cash</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Extra Income craigs list eBay Facebook sell your stuff Wed, 06 Feb 2013 10:48:34 +0000 Linsey Knerl 967507 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Ways to Vet an IPO Before You Buy http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-vet-an-ipo-before-you-buy <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-ways-to-vet-an-ipo-before-you-buy" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/2974906840_c667250442_z.jpg" alt="guys using laptops" title="guys using laptops" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>In the aftermath of the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-make-facebook-productive">Facebook</a> initial public offering (IPO), the web has experienced a deluge of answers to the question &ldquo;What went wrong?&rdquo; What happens when one of the most hyped tech IPOs in recent history doesn&rsquo;t rise to meet investor expectations?</p> <p>For months I&rsquo;ve been advising family and friends against buying Facebook. The reasons were fairly simple. I felt the entire IPO was a matter of style over substance, with little data to back up long-term revenue growth and earnings potential. It was also entirely possible the value of Facebook had peaked, and the IPO was a way for Facebook executives to reap the rewards of the company&rsquo;s riches before an earnings decline. I felt Morgan Stanley, the firm underwriting the IPO, didn&rsquo;t understand how Facebook worked and certainly didn&rsquo;t understand the company. (In fact, rumor has it that over a year ago Morgan Stanley executives had to hire Zuckerberg to give a private tutoring session on how to navigate Facebook.) Hundreds of analysts more experienced and smarter than I am had a different perspective. Advice from media outlets came in droves, promising us the &quot;biggest IPO ever.&quot; Amidst all the frenzy, it became hard to distinguish the public image of Facebook from the public offering being presented.</p> <p>Perhaps the sagest advice came from PIMCO&rsquo;s CEO and co-CIO <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mohamed-a-elerian/facebook-stock_b_1533505.html">Mohamed A. El-Erian on the Huffington Post</a>, who remarked, &ldquo;&hellip;the manner that our brains have evolved and work may not always result in the best investment decisions.&rdquo;</p> <p>Instead of asking &ldquo;What went wrong?&rdquo; a better question for investors to ask might be &ldquo;How can we prevent this from happening again?&rdquo; Here are five ways to vet an IPO before you buy. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-killer-free-investment-tools">5 Killer Free Investment Tools</a>)</p> <h3>1. Check the&nbsp;SEC S-1 Form</h3> <p>All companies are required to file what is called a Form S-1 with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) before an IPO goes into effect. Facebook&rsquo;s can be found <a href="http://sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1326801/000119312512034517/d287954ds1.htm" target="_blank">on the SEC.gov website</a>.</p> <p>The S-1 will contain the meat of the information on a company. It&rsquo;s not exactly light reading, but it will have important data that&rsquo;s well worth a look. Not only does an S-1 contain information on the offering price of the company and estimated par value of the stock, but facts and figures on a company&rsquo;s business plan, long-term growth objectives, and estimated budget. There&rsquo;s a wealth of information to be had on an S-1 form, and it should be considered a &ldquo;must read&rdquo; before any responsible investor even considers purchasing an IPO.</p> <h3>2. Read the Corporate Earnings Report</h3> <p>Companies typically have a portion of their website for &quot;Investor Relations.&quot; Browse carefully, and you should be able to find detailed financial information, often called Quarterly Reports or Annual Reports. Financial statements can provide detailed information on current cash flow and revenue, but more importantly for IPOs, projected cash flow and revenue. Facebook's Investor Relations area can be found on their <a href="http://investor.fb.com/">investor subsite</a>.</p> <h3>3. Consider the Underwriter</h3> <p>The firm underwriting the IPO serves several purposes. It prepares a valuation report of the company to be offered and helps to correctly determine the share price. This is usually a big investment firm. In Facebook's case, Morgan Stanley was the underwriter.</p> <p>When considering an IPO, scan the S-1 for mention of the underwriter and ask yourself a few questions. Is it a reputable firm? Do they have a history of accurately pricing IPOs? Do they stand to profit from the success or failure of an IPO?</p> <h3>4. Get Second Opinions</h3> <p>It's human nature to want to be told we're right. But when it comes to investments, try to get a second opinion and listen to people who disagree with you, just to consider an opposing scenario. Listening to other points of view might spark new questions you hadn't thought about, or might confirm your previous opinion. Either way, gather information from a variety of sources to use as informational tools in decision making.</p> <h3>5. Do a Risk-Benefit Analysis (for Yourself)</h3> <p>Ultimately, buying an initial public offering is always risky. Even the most seemingly stable companies can experience an unexpected setback or glitch that lowers their value after investors have bought into an IPO. A risk-benefit analysis involves weighing the risks and benefits of an investment and determining what is right for your individual situation. Remember that there's no market history on share prices for the company you're about to buy into, no way to glean historical data. The fact is that while most people focus on the &quot;get rich quick&quot; aspects of an IPO, it's just as likely that they will lose money. Be realistic about how much money you are willing to invest, and risk, on an IPO purchase. Will you experience buyer's remorse? Can you stand to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-worst-investments-you-can-make">lose part of your investment</a>? In other words, don't bet the farm. It's common sense, but you'd be surprised at how many people forget about risk when they think a big payoff might be in the near future.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/erin-c-oneil">Erin C. O&#039;Neil</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-vet-an-ipo-before-you-buy">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/how-to-build-wealth-in-a-depressed-economy">How to Build Wealth in a Depressed Economy</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/portfolio-ailing-take-a-peek-at-asian-markets">Portfolio Ailing? Take a Peek at Asian Markets.</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/etfs-offer-incredible-benefitswith-a-dark-side">ETFs Offer Incredible Benefits...with a Dark Side</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/retirement-not-just-for-people">Retirement: Not Just for People?</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/5-killer-free-investment-tools">5 Killer Free Investment Tools</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Financial News Investment Facebook initial public offering investment research Mon, 28 May 2012 10:36:09 +0000 Erin C. O'Neil 930828 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Ways to Make Facebook Productive http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-make-facebook-productive <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-ways-to-make-facebook-productive" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/facebook2.jpg" alt="Woman in front of a projection of her Facebook page" title="Woman in front of a projection of her Facebook page" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="159" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I used to work at a bank and was resentful of the fact that Facebook was blocked at work. I had to resort to checking status updates during lunch on my phone, or waiting until I got home in the evenings (horror!). Having since left my job and returned to law school, I wish I couldn't access Facebook during the day. The ever-present temptation of senseless entertainment has forced me to resort to mind games, like turning off Internet access during lectures. After thinking a lot about the matter, though, I decided not to let Facebook get the best of me; I&rsquo;ll make it work for me instead! So, to that end, I have come up with a list of ways to make Facebook a useful social media tool rather than an endless time-waster. Here are my top ten. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/secrets-to-finding-and-winning-facebook-promotional-giveaways">Secrets to Finding and Winning Facebook&nbsp;Promotional Giveaways</a>)</p> <h2>1. Stay in Touch With Family</h2> <p>My siblings and I recently scattered from our hometown in the Midwest to various extremities of the nation &mdash; one moved to L.A., one to D.C., one to Philadelphia (and all within a two-month time frame, no less). I don&rsquo;t miss them as much as I thought I would, though, because I can keep up with their lives through Facebook. True, this is one of the main uses for Facebook in the first place, but keeping up with family is different from mindlessly scrolling through my news feed to learn what Adam from high school ate for lunch. You can even <a href="https://www.facebook.com/groups">create a group</a> specifically for your family (extended or otherwise) to share information and updates more freely without worrying about others&rsquo; privacy settings. In a secret or closed group, posts are only visible to group members, and members must be approved by others. Group members can chat, upload photos to shared albums, collaborate on shared documents, and invite all members to group events easily.</p> <h2>2. Keep Your Organization&rsquo;s Members Up-to-Date</h2> <p>Similar to creating a group to keep in touch with family, <a href="https://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php">creating a Facebook page</a> allows organizations, businesses, celebrities, and bands to keep up-to-date with people. Unlike groups, however, only &ldquo;official representatives&rdquo; of the organization can create Facebook page. Also unlike groups, page information is public. Others only need to &ldquo;like&rdquo; an organization&rsquo;s page to have that organization&rsquo;s updates appear in their News Feeds. Not in charge of a multi-billion dollar corporation? Not a problem. Facebook pages are also useful for promoting your <a href="http://www.etsy.com/sell?ref=so_sell">Etsy shop</a>, <a href="http://pages.ebay.com/storefronts/start.html">eBay store</a>, or your freelance design business.</p> <h2>3. Find a Job</h2> <p>One of the more recent trends in job searching is finding a new position using social media. If you&rsquo;re on the hunt for a new job (or you just want to keep informed on what&rsquo;s out there), jump on the bandwagon by using Facebook for this purpose. There aren&rsquo;t a lot of good job-search applications on Facebook; nor do companies generally post positions on their Facebook company pages. Instead of looking for open positions, you should use Facebook to connect with people at organizations or in industries in which you&rsquo;re interested. Once you have a clear idea of your interests, put up a few, targeted status updates asking friends for help contacting someone in the field for more information. Be extremely careful about using this tactic, though &mdash; no updates along the lines of &ldquo;Help! I need a new job and have no idea where to start!&rdquo;</p> <p>If you&rsquo;re wary of status updates, you can search for a company on Facebook. If that organization has a page, and you have any friends who have indicated on their profiles that they work for the company, this will appear on the company&rsquo;s Facebook page. Along those same lines, you can use a company&rsquo;s Facebook page to learn more about their values, programs they have, and where they do post job openings.</p> <h2>4. Plan an Event</h2> <p>Quickly and easily create an event by clicking on &ldquo;Events&rdquo; on the left-hand side of your Facebook page in the newsfeed view. There you can manage invites (choose whether the event is public or private, as well as whether guests can invite other friends), keep track of RSVPs, and add essential information for guests. Using the Events App on Facebook is superior to managing RSVPs with, say, an old-fashioned Excel spreadsheet for obvious reasons. It&rsquo;s also superior to e-vite websites, though, because you don&rsquo;t need to know guests&rsquo; e-mail addresses, you can add guests or update information quickly and easily, and you don&rsquo;t have to sign on to a third-party site just to manage your event (you&rsquo;re on Facebook everyday anyway, right?).</p> <h2>5. Market an Event</h2> <p>This is a variation on the use above; however, it goes beyond just using the Events App. If you have a significant event to market &mdash; say, a nonprofit&rsquo;s annual fundraiser &mdash; you can market it in several different ways on Facebook. <a href="https://www.facebook.com/events/create">Create a public event</a> that is searchable and allows guests to invite others to extend your reach. You can also consider creating a separate Facebook page for your organization if it doesn&rsquo;t have one already, and link to that page in your invite to the event. Also, get in your friends&rsquo; direct line of sight by posting a status update informing them of the event and asking them to share with people they think might be interested.</p> <h2>6. Use Facebook E-mail</h2> <p>You already have an e-mail account or two. Why would you possibly want yet another? Facebook e-mail integrates your e-mail with your messages, chats, and texts. That way, you only need to look in one place to see all types of Facebook messages. You can even have other e-mails (Hotmail, Gmail, and Yahoo, for example) sent to your Facebook account. Don&rsquo;t know where your Facebook e-mail is? Go to Messages (it should be on the left-hand side of your news feed) and choose &ldquo;Claim your Facebook email.&rdquo; One caveat &mdash; messages sent from your Facebook e-mail to external addresses look like a Facebook message, complete with name and profile picture. For that reason, I would hesitate to use Facebook e-mail for work-related communication.</p> <h2>7. Use the Apps to Your Advantage</h2> <p>Facebook users install apps over <a href="https://www.facebook.com/press/info.php?statistics">20 million times</a> every day on average. If you&rsquo;re going to jump on the bandwagon, pick those that will help you be more productive. Start off with <a href="http://docs.com/">Facebook Docs</a> to seamlessly integrate document sharing with Facebook friends. Launched in April 2010, Docs is still in beta mode. However, it may have a leg up on Google Docs because Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and PDF files can be shared with one click with an entire Facebook Group. Another way to integrate Facebook with your other communication needs is through <a href="https://www.facebook.com/mobile/messenger">Facebook Messenger</a>. This app allows you to send Facebook messages to your friends&rsquo; mobile phones, or to receive messages from friends on your own phone. Don&rsquo;t like the idea of Facebook syncing your cell phone contacts to your Facebook account? Learn how to <a href="http://technolog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2011/08/10/7333958-dont-freak-out-facebook-didnt-publish-your-mobile-contacts">change that privacy setting</a>. Lastly, find more productivity apps specific to your needs by searching the <a href="https://www.facebook.com/?sk=apps">comprehensive apps list</a>.</p> <h2>8. Publicize Your Blog</h2> <p>In addition to creating a Facebook page for your blog, you can also publicize your blog by using <a href="http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/add-link-to-facebook/">WordPress&rsquo; Facebook Plugin</a>, which automatically publishes blog posts to your Facebook account. This allows your post to pop up in friends&rsquo; News Feed. If they &ldquo;like&rdquo; your post or comment, it will show up below your post on your site. In addition, Facebook friends will have a &ldquo;send&rdquo; icon to easily e-mail your post to others. <a href="https://accounts.google.com/ServiceLogin?service=blogger&amp;passive=1209600&amp;continue=http://www.blogger.com/home&amp;followup=http://www.blogger.com/home&amp;ltmpl=start#s01">Blogger</a>, <a href="http://www.typepad.com/">TypePad</a>, <a href="https://www.tumblr.com/">Tumblr</a>, and essentially all the other free blogging sites out there have similar widgets. Alternatively, you can import your blog into Facebook using <a href="http://www.insidefacebook.com/2009/02/22/how-to-import-your-blog-into-facebook/">Notes</a>. And, of course, you can always share individual posts by pasting the link as a status update.</p> <h2>9. Sell Stuff</h2> <p>Like <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/seller-account/mm-summary-page.html">Amazon</a>, <a href="http://pages.ebay.com/help/sell/sell-getstarted.html">eBay</a>, and <a href="http://www.craigslist.com">Craigslist</a>, <a href="https://www.facebook.com/apps/application.php?id=128581025231">Facebook Marketplace</a> is another way to unload unwanted items. Listing items on Marketplace, like Craigslist, is free. The big draw of Marketplace is that people have the option of publicizing their posts in friends&rsquo; News Feeds, although items are searchable by others as well. Visitors to the Marketplace can ask questions on the &ldquo;wall&rdquo; of the item posted, or can comment (if, for example, they have a similar item and have a positive review). Another reason to use Marketplace &mdash; it&rsquo;s another forum to sell your stuff. Listing items (or searching for items you want) in a variety of places is sure to get your needs met more quickly, or more accurately, than would searching in one place alone.</p> <h2>10. Support Causes You Believe In</h2> <p>Facebook has a heart. That&rsquo;s right; its power can be used for evil <em>and </em>for good. Have a charity you strongly believe in? &ldquo;Like&rdquo; its Facebook page to learn more about how you can help and to stay up-to-date on its initiatives. If there&rsquo;s a cause you support that doesn&rsquo;t have a page (a small, local cause, for example), create your own Facebook page for that cause and share its mission to a broader audience. In addition to promoting a cause, you can also help financially with Facebook Marketplace. Using the <a href="https://www.facebook.com/blog.php?post=57525537130">Sell for a Cause</a> feature of Marketplace, you can sell unwanted items and donate the proceeds to participating nonprofits (there are over a million to choose from). Facebook claims over 800 million active users of its site, meaning that if every active user donated $1 of profit to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/giving-to-charity-is-great-but-how-do-you-pick-one">charity</a>, over $800 million would be raised. Not too shabby.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/janey-osterlind">Janey Osterlind</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-make-facebook-productive">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/6-ways-social-media-can-save-you-money">6 Ways Social Media Can Save You Money</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/social-media-and-identity-theft-in-2010">Social Media and Identity Theft in 2010</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/9-high-paying-jobs-that-didnt-exist-10-years-ago">9 High-Paying Jobs That Didn&#039;t Exist 10 Years Ago</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Productivity Technology Facebook get things done social media Wed, 09 Nov 2011 09:48:57 +0000 Janey Osterlind 776185 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-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/6-ways-social-media-can-save-you-money">6 Ways Social Media Can Save You 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/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> 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 5 Key Social Media Findings That Affect Your Business http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/5-key-social-media-findings-that-affect-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/5-key-social-media-findings-that-affect-your-business" target="_blank">http://www.openforum.com/articles/5-key-social-media-findings-that-affect-your-b...</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-key-social-media-findings-that-affect-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_000015597389Small.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The Nielsen group recently came out with a fantastic report on <a target="_blank" href="http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/social/">social media usage in 2011</a>, and the findings were a bit surprising. Sure, there were a few no-brainers like &ldquo;U.S. internet users spend more time on Facebook more than any other site,&rdquo; but buried in <a target="_blank" href="http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/social/">the report</a> were some interesting nuggets. That may have a major impact on your business. These are five of the most interesting facts the study uncovered about how we use social networks.</p> <p><strong>1. Americans spend most of their time online on social network and blogs.</strong></p> <p>We all knew that Americans spent a lot of time on Facebook, but to put this into perspective, we only spend about 7.6 percent of our time checking email. We spend almost three times (23 percent) more time on blogs and social networks than checking email.</p> <p>The report also shows that 4 out of 5 active American internet users visit social networks and blogs, and blogs and social networks are used by over three quarters of active internet users (across 10 major global markets).</p> <p>There are a couple key takeaways from this.</p> <ul> <li><b>If you're not building up profiles on social networks for your small business, you're already behind</b>. Your customers are already there, talking about you, waiting for you to respond. Go meet them!</li> <li><b>Blogs are still very important for small businesses</b>. I can't stress this enough. Successful online businesses or destinations have blogs. They're great for communication, evergreen content, and even search engine optimization. People haven't stopped reading blogs like <a target="_blank" href="http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/21/technology/internet/21blog.html?_r=2">some might like you to believe</a>.</li> </ul> <p><strong>2. 70 percent of active online adult social networkers shop online.</strong></p> <p>If an adult is on a social network, odds are she is somewhat computer savvy. She'll spend more time online than the &quot;average intent user&quot;, doing things like checking email, reading news sites and blogs, chatting, and shopping.</p> <p>If I was marketing a product, I'd make certain that I was marketing it on social networks. You have to sell where your buyers are, and a lot of them are on social networks.</p> <p><strong>3. 53 percent of active adult social networkers follow a brand; only 32 percent follow a celebrity.</strong></p> <p>Most people still subscribe to the myth that Twitter and Facebook are only for teens to follow celebrities talking about the daily activities of their cats. Not true... The people who most likely will be buying your products, (or are at least old enough to have a credit card), are looking for your brand on sites like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Adults have made it clear that they want to follow brands across social networks.</p> <p><strong>4. 60 percent of social media users create reviews of products or services.</strong></p> <p>Consumers on social media rely on the recommendations of their friends or peers. They're also more likely to write reviews of your product or service. Active social media users greatly influence the shopping habits of their friends. Example: If my buddy from work says your product stinks, I'm probably not going to buy it. It's not a question of <i>are</i> they talking about your brand. They're talking about you. The question is: <a target="_blank" href="http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/marketing/article/pros-and-cons-of-online-customer-product-reviews-1">how are they talking about your products</a>? Are you listening? Are you communicating with them?</p> <p><strong>5. The number of mobile internet users is up 47 percent from last year.</strong></p> <p>Is your site optimized for mobile usage? Mobile usage is exploding across social networks. Here are a few more interesting facts from the study:</p> <ul> <li>Twice as many people aged 55+ visit social networking sites on their mobile phone than did last year;</li> <li>Mobile internet audience for social networking sites is up 62 percent since last year;</li> <li>2 in 5 social media users access these services from their mobile phones.</li> </ul> <p>Mobile usage is real, and it could greatly help or hurt your online business. Consider this: as people write reviews and discuss your product on social networking sites, their friends and followers read and click through to your product. From there, the mobile experience on your site could encourage people to buy your product, or quickly send them away.</p> <p><strong>Key Takeaways</strong></p> <p>What exactly does this mean for your business?</p> <ul> <li><b>If your business doesn't have a strong presence in social media or blogging, start today.</b> Don't wait. You're missing out on connections with customers, brand satisfaction, and more sales. People are talking about your brand. Make sure you're there to respond.</li> <li><b>Mobile usage across key age groups is exploding</b>. If you don't have a mobile site of some sort, you need to build one. Loading traditional webpages from the phone takes much longer, and those who want to buy on the phone want <i>instant gratification</i>. Create a fast and simple experience that allows mobile users to learn more about your product and buy right from their phones.</li> </ul> <p><i>Glen Stansberry is currently building </i><a target="_blank" href="http://www.appsourced.com/"><i><span>Appsourced</span></i></a><i>, an application that makes finding apps easier.</i></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/glen-stansberry">Glen Stansberry</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/5-key-social-media-findings-that-affect-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-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/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-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-improve-your-finances-using-social-media">How to Improve Your Finances Using Social Media</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-social-media-can-save-you-money">6 Ways Social Media Can Save You 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/250-tips-for-small-business-owners">250+ Tips for Small Business Owners</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Small Business Resource Center blogs business blogs Facebook google plus LinkedIn mobile marketing small business social media social media marketing Thu, 29 Sep 2011 22:06:25 +0000 Glen Stansberry 713549 at http://www.wisebread.com 3 Ways to Use Your Social Networks Effectively http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/3-ways-to-use-your-social-networks-effectively <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-to-use-your-social-networks-effectively" target="_blank">http://www.openforum.com/articles/3-ways-to-use-your-social-networks-effectively</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-ways-to-use-your-social-networks-effectively" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000017180617Small.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="171" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Listen, and you shall hear of the midnight ride of William Dawes.</p> <p>Er, who?</p> <p>Dawes spread the word that the British were coming that fateful night along with Paul Revere. Longfellow&rsquo;s famous poem would make you think it was a galloping call to action, but what they both really did was more like a Pony Express ride with stops at important militia officer&rsquo;s homes.</p> <p>So why is Revere revered and Dawes forgotten? According to Malcolm Gladwell in <a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/Tipping-Point-Little-Things-Difference/dp/0316346624/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1315863163&amp;sr=8-1">The Tipping Point</a>, Paul Revere was able to rouse the militia because he knew the revolutionary leaders in each of the towns that he rode through. Revere &quot;wasn't just the man with the biggest Rolodex in colonial Boston,&quot; Gladwell writes. You&rsquo;ve heard of Paul Revere because he was also a &quot;Connector,&quot; one of the people who &quot;link us up with the world ... people with a special gift for bringing the world together.&quot;</p> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/technology/article/improving-your-online-community-1">Networking is important</a> to all kinds of small businesses. Imagine you just started a niche business, Revolutionary Militia, Inc. If your network doesn't include information brokers, personal or paid, the news that &ldquo;the Red Coats are coming, the Red Coats are coming&rdquo; will never spread.</p> <p>Your network of friends and acquaintances is more than just a communication channel. It gives you access to information, skills, and power. To make the best use of your network, you should find the nodes you rely upon, strengthen existing relationships, and encourage others to share their expertise.</p> <p><strong>1. Find the Nodes</strong></p> <p>Look carefully at who you rely on, sources of business and social information, creative inspiration, specialized expertise, and so on. Consider the strength of your relationships, how often you exchange information, and what you offer in return.</p> <p>Now see if you can diagram your network; who&rsquo;s connected to whom, who introduced you to whom, who you introduced to others. It won&rsquo;t take long to find the nodes, the information brokers, the key contacts. Take special note of relationships you created. If there are a lot of them, if you&rsquo;ve mostly introduced people you like to other people you like, you&rsquo;ve built a network of people just like yourself. What you need is diversity.</p> <p>Sure, it&rsquo;s easier to trust someone who thinks like you, someone with shared experiences. They&rsquo;re easier to communicate with because they know what you&rsquo;re thinking and they&rsquo;re likely to agree with you, which makes you feel good.</p> <p>But that&rsquo;s not all good. You need exposure to different views to access creative and novel problem solving approaches. Conferences, for example, often turn out to be an industry talking to itself. It&rsquo;s rare at such meetings to hear a truly unique point of view. For example, if you design heavy earthmoving equipment? Try going to an entomology (bug) convention. Some bugs are extraordinarily good at moving dirt; you might discover some creative solutions.</p> <p><strong>2. Build Better Relationships</strong></p> <p>Strong relationships are not created through casual interactions. That&rsquo;s why team building exercises usually involve some activity that forces people out of their comfort zones. Paul Revere&rsquo;s militia was born from strongly held, shared values; and, to use a modern phrase, they had skin in the game.</p> <p>Sports, community service, volunteer associations, charitable foundations all offer the opportunity to develop relationships with people that can become nodes into other networks. Such relationships, based on extra-curricular activities, are likely to rest on spontaneous, unscripted, even unguarded interactions that are seem more genuine and thus stronger.</p> <p><strong>3. Develop Your Information Brokers</strong></p> <p>The strong brokers in your network are important to your success, especially the ones that aren&rsquo;t in positions of formal authority. Most will be flattered if you admit that you consider them crucial to what you do, and will offer to help even more if you show them you are genuinely grateful and sincere.</p> <p>It&rsquo;s no exaggeration to say that who you know is as important as what you know. With modern social networking applications you can create connections, but building a useful network takes more than that. You have to know the value of the networks you create, and you have to know how to build on them.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tom-harnish">Tom Harnish</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/3-ways-to-use-your-social-networks-effectively">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/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-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/how-to-get-someone-to-accept-your-linkedin-invitation">How to Get Someone to Accept Your LinkedIn Invitation</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-social-media-can-save-you-money">6 Ways Social Media Can Save You Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Small Business Resource Center Facebook kiwanis LinkedIn networking small business social media social networks social service organizations Thu, 22 Sep 2011 21:14:13 +0000 Tom Harnish 705937 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/6-ways-social-media-can-save-you-money">6 Ways Social Media Can Save You 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/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-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-social-media-can-save-you-money">6 Ways Social Media Can Save You 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/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/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> 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 10 Superb Ways For A Small Business To Friend Facebook http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/10-superb-ways-for-a-small-business-to-friend-facebook <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/10-superb-ways-for-a-small-business-to-friend-facebook" target="_blank">http://www.openforum.com/articles/10-superb-ways-for-a-small-business-to-friend-...</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-superb-ways-for-a-small-business-to-friend-facebook" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000016399334Small.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="142" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Love it or hate it, Facebook has proven to be a major source of traffic and income for small business websites. A recent study showed that <a target="_blank" href="http://techcrunch.com/2011/02/18/facebook-shares-are-worth-almost-three-times-more-than-tweets-for-e-commerce/">Facebook shares are worth almost three times as much as a tweet</a>. And these nuggets from this <a target="_blank" href="http://socialcommercetoday.com/infographic-facebook-shares-worth-2-10-incremental-sales-converts-at-10-9/">compelling infographic</a> ought to give a good indication as to how important Facebook has become to ecommerce in general:</p> <ul> <li>90% of consumers trust recommendations from people they know;</li> <li>67% spend more online after recommendations.</li> </ul> <p>Plenty of big companies have already seen incredible success with Facebook promotions:</p> <ul> <li>Pampers sold over 1,000 diapers in an hour on the Pampers Facebook store;</li> <li>Baby &amp; Me receives about 50% of online sales from Facebook;</li> <li>Spinback sees an average of 10.9% conversion rate for Facebook shares that lead to a purchase.</li> </ul> <p>If your small business is selling products online, then Facebook can be a fantastic way to add social proof and find more leads. Here are a few ways to snag some of that Facebook traffic for your small business website.</p> <h3>1. Get to Know Your Audience</h3> <p>Before you start, figure out if Facebook marketing is a good fit for your customers. After all, you may find that your audience or customers just aren't going to catch the Facebook fever. That's fine. Figure out what <em>does </em>work and focus your efforts there. There's no sense trying to fit a round peg into a square hole.</p> <p>If you find that Facebook <i>will</i> resonate with your clientele, then forge right ahead. Just don't put all of your eggs into the Facebook basket without testing the waters first.</p> <h3>2. Start Tracking</h3> <p>If you're going to start Facebook marketing, you're going to have to track your results. <a target="_blank" href="http://www.facebook.com/insights/">Facebook Insights</a> is a great place to start tracking shares, fan pages, apps, or just a regular domain. And it's free.</p> <p>You can also start tracking sales from Facebook by <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bigcommerce.com/ecommerce-blog/how-to-track-visitors-and-sales-from-facebook-with-google-analytics/">setting up Google Analytics</a> to track sales.</p> <h3>3. Start Engaging</h3> <p>If you've got a fan page on Facebook and have started to get a few fans, it's time to start engaging them. Start conversations with your fans on the page. Ask intriguing questions. These are the things that will keep visitors coming back to your site. Facebook pages are fantastic platforms at generating discussions, so use it to the max.</p> <p>Compete.com has found that 68% of people who like retail fan pages do so to stay current with promotions and sales. Use your Facebook page to post coupons and sales as well as product updates. You might even think about posting special promotions <i>only</i> to your Facebook page to reward your fans. (More on that later.)</p> <p>Many small businesses make the mistake of simply setting up an RSS feed to automatically post content to the page. If you want to start sparking true engagement, then you're going to have to go to the next level and get away from automation.</p> <h3>4. Take Advantage of Friend Referrals</h3> <p>There's no stronger recommendation than one from a personal friend.</p> <p>Facebook is different than other social sites because the friend connections are stronger. If your friend in real life recommends a book to you, you're much more likely to buy it than a recommendation from a random guy on Twitter.&nbsp;</p> <p>Do everything you can to get shares. Add the Share button to each product or post, at the bare minimum.</p> <h3>5. Reward Facebook Fans</h3> <p>Often it's not enough to ask to simply get people to become fans of your business on Facebook. Sure, asking helps, but try <i>giving them something</i> in exchange for becoming a fan. A free newsletter, a coupon, <i>anything</i> that will get users liking your page.</p> <p>As an example, some musical artists like <a target="_blank" href="http://www.facebook.com/ladygaga">Lady Gaga</a> let fans who have &quot;liked&quot; their page listen to songs and watch videos that others can't.</p> <h3>6. Learn More about Facebook Ads</h3> <p>Facebook is going to <a target="_blank" href="http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/d4f537d2-7a65-11e0-af64-00144feabdc0.html">overtake Google and Yahoo!</a> as the largest online display advertising company later this year. Not only that, Facebook allows you to target very specific demographics of people who will see your ad. Facebook ads are a great way to generate leads to your Facebook page, and to generate sales.</p> <p>Aside from <a target="_blank" href="http://www.facebook.com/adsmarketing/">Facebook's In-house ad doc</a>, there are a couple of great guides already out there. The <a target="_blank" href="http://www.socialmediaexplorer.com/digital-marketing/facebook-advertising-guide/">How-to Guide for Facebook Advertising</a> and <a target="_blank" href="http://subliminalpixels.com/facebook/how-to-set-up-and-track-facebook-ads/">Facebook Ads 101 - How to Setup and Track Facebook Ads</a> are great places to start.<span> </span></p> <h3>7. Create a Landing Page for Your Facebook Fan Page</h3> <p>If you don't have a landing page for your Facebook fan page, then you're already missing out. Instead of showing new visitors your comment threads or posts, direct them to a targeted landing page with more information about your business. Here's an <a target="_blank" href="http://www.allfacebook.com/facebook-landing-page-2011-03">easy guide</a> to creating a landing page for your fan page.</p> <h3>8. Think about a Contest</h3> <p>To boost the number of fans on Facebook, you might consider starting a contest. Contests generate interest and attention that you might not get from traditional content. Plus, friends love to share contests on Facebook.</p> <p>Gigcoin has a great article on how to evaluate <a target="_blank" href="http://blog.gigcoin.com/is-a-facebook-contest-or-sweepstakes-right-for-your-business/">whether a contest is right for you</a> or not.</p> <h3>9. Stop Giving away iPads</h3> <p>If you <i>do</i> decide to create a contest, make sure the prize is something <i>targeted towards your audience</i>. For example, if you have a small business that sells cookware, give away a free kitchen set.</p> <p>Whatever you do, don't give away a generic gift like an iPad. Search Engine Journal has an excellent writeup on <a target="_blank" href="http://www.searchenginejournal.com/idumb-why-you-should-stop-giving-away-ipads-on-twitter-and-facebook/29424/">why you shouldn't give away iPads for contests</a>. In short: they're too generic. You're not attracting targeted fans when you give away un-targeted gifts.</p> <h3>10. Consider Starting a Facebook Store</h3> <p>Selling items on Facebook has become quite a boon for many shops. Facebook has passed Google to become the most visited site on the internet, so it is only logical that selling products on Facebook is the next step. After all, the average Facebook user spends 14 minutes on the site <i>every day</i>.</p> <p>There are some existing applications like <a target="_blank" href="http://www.shoptab.net/">ShopTab</a> and <a target="_blank" href="http://storefrontsocial.com/">Storefront Social</a> that allow you to quickly integrate your existing store into a Facebook application.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/glen-stansberry">Glen Stansberry</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/10-superb-ways-for-a-small-business-to-friend-facebook">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/250-tips-for-small-business-owners">250+ Tips for Small Business Owners</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/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-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-small-businesses">The 5 Best Credit Cards for Small Businesses</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-things-all-successful-freelancers-do">10 Things All Successful Freelancers Do</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/4-inspiring-stories-of-normal-people-building-a-thriving-online-store">4 Inspiring Stories of Normal People Building a Thriving Online Store</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entrepreneurship Small Business Resource Center Facebook facebook marketing facebook shares facebook store fan pages small business Thu, 23 Jun 2011 22:11:58 +0000 Glen Stansberry 581353 at http://www.wisebread.com