24 Jun

6 Ways That Social Media Can Supersize Your Success

Posted in Social Media on 24.06.15 by John Meloche

Vector social media conceptIn yesterday’s blog, we discussed the importance of networking in the small business world. And, we’re not just talking about social networking. Of course, social media have seemingly taken over as the world’s favourite ways to communicate. So, it stands to reason that social media could take over as the world’s favourite ways to advertise too. As a reminder, face-to-face meetings are still pretty impossible to beat. But that doesn’t mean you should avoid social media.

In fact, it’s quite the opposite. No matter what type of business you run, it’s important to be active on the Facebooks and Twitters of the world. It costs nothing to start up your profiles. It simply takes some time and creativity to really take advantage of them. And, just in case you’re not aware, allow us to inform you that social media has helped to “supersize” the successes of many small businesses.

Here are six ways how:

1. Announcing giveaways. Quite obviously, Synergy Marketing is in the promotional giveaways game. But using social media to promote the fact that your company is offering customers something for free is a great way to get a big buzz going for your brand. “Give away your product or promotional item on Twitter,” suggests entrepreneur Mike Michalowicz on his website, “Ask a question about a product on your website or blog. The first person to answer wins.”

2. Finding and following your clients. It’s important to remember that social media networking is all about interacting. You can’t just expect people to follow you and like and comment on your posts if you’re not doing the same. “Identify your ideal clients and find them on Twitter,” advises Michalowicz, “Then start following them! Spend weeks listening to them; you’ll be amazed what they will tell you about their concerns…It’s a great way to get open honest market research.”

3. Posting links to your blogs. This one definitely goes into the “practice what you preach” section of today’s blog. Each and every day, we post links to our blogs on Facebook and Twitter. Michalowicz recommends that you do the same. “Post links to your articles educating people in your niche market,” he writes, “At the bottom of the article have links to your products & services.”

4. Keeping up with regular interactions. To reiterate, the entire premise behind social media marketing is to interact with friends and followers. It’s definitely a “talk with” and not a “talk at” type of affair. CopyBlogger.com makes this clear when they write that “serious online marketers know that in order to harness the power of social media you need to incorporate a deliberate mixture of listening to your audience, sharing your relevant message (and) enabling others to share your relevant message.”

5. Making links on LinkedIn. For those who don’t know, LinkedIn is a social media platform that specializes in making connections between business owners. It certainly is worth getting your own profile in order to help you interact with other entrepreneurs. “Join as many Linked-In groups as you can that are related to what you sell and post a question or tip on a regular basis,” Michalowicz highly recommends.

6. Playing up the “that’s what friends are for” card. Obviously, social media sites are havens for sharing stories, photos and videos between friends. Michalowicz suggests you take advantage of that. “Your Facebook friends can be your greatest free marketing tools so enlist their help!” he insists, “In Facebook, use the NOTES application to create a special, limited-time ‘friends and family’ promotion…tag all your friends and ask them to pass along your exclusive deal to their own friends.”

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23 Jun

Remembering Why Networking Is So Important

Posted in Small Business Advertising on 23.06.15 by John Meloche

hand pressing Social networkThe massive rise of social media over the past decade has made the term “social networking” a household phrase. But it isn’t like people only started to network once smartphones and computers became top-choice communication methods. Arguably, we have all been “social networking” for centuries. The more you interact with others, the more you are networking…socially!

Doing so without the use of an electronic device, however, is incredibly beneficial for small business owners. It’s very important to get out and meet people. No matter your line of work, you can’t simply rely on social media, your company website and other internet sources to grow the reach of your business. Of course, those avenues will always help. But you simply can’t beat the age old face-to-face meeting.

Meeting someone in person allows you to develop a relationship that is impossible to spark online. Your personable, yet professional demeanour can make impressions that are a lot more meaningful than an online post or email. Therefore, it’s important to attend trade shows and other events where your business contemporaries are bound to be. Remember that the first face-to-face meeting is only the beginning of your networking regimen. Don’t forget to follow up!

“After networking events, make sure to stay connected with those that you meet,” writes Rishi Chowdhury of BusinessInsider.com, “Take a look at the business cards you received and email those people about what you spoke about while it is still fresh in your mind.” He goes on to note that those who feel that they have too much on their plates to attend such events should see them as part of the work that will benefit their businesses.

“You may feel you are too busy to attend these events, but they act as a nice break from being stuck in front of a computer,” Chowdhury writes, “And sometimes they can count as being at work because you are inevitably spreading the name of your business across an audience that can add value to your business—and it’s a great chance to learn something and get ideas. You will see the value in forming and maintaining a strong contact base, which will serve you well for years to come.”

On his website, entrepreneur Mike Michalowicz states that you should never stop growing your network. One way to do that, he writes, is to simply ask those who you network with to introduce you to other people that they network with. “Ask your best, most powerful, most influential friends or business associates to introduce you to the five people they think you should meet to expand your business,” he suggests.

Of course, once you meet those contacts, you can’t just give them a simple phone call. Michalowicz recommends that you take things a step further. “Take each of the contacts out for coffee and get to know them,” he advises, “Discuss your plans and future goals, tell them about why your business is special and ask for their advice. You will be amazed at how these new contacts will pay off ten-fold with recommendations to you for new business and innovative ideas you hadn’t thought of.”

Michalowicz goes on to insist that you “network your networks”. He writes that there is “power in numbers”. And the best way to increase the size of your network is to offer help to others. That way, you don’t come off as someone whose sole interest is to send shameless, company-promoting spam. “If you help them first (by adding value to their life/business), they’ll help you later,” he encourages.

At Synergy Marketing, we have the perfect tools to help with your networking practices. Give us a call at 1-877-748-9884 to order some great promotional products for your business today!

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05 Dec

5 Predicted Changes To Social Media In The New Year

Posted in Synergy Suggestions on 05.12.14 by John Meloche

Social MediaIn yesterday’s blog, we discussed a number of methods that you can employ in order to help things run smoothly for your business this holiday season. One of those methods is to utilize Hootsuite. This awesome service allows you to schedule your social media posts on Facebook, Twitter and other platforms so that you don’t have to worry about physically doing them yourself throughout your workdays.

Drafting and scheduling your posts in advance can really help to make your online marketing strategies a lot more convenient to roll out. With the advent of Hootsuite, there have been some significant changes to the ways in which people utilize social media. Scheduled posts, apparently, are just the tip of the iceberg. At least, this is what Hootsuite’s CEO Ryan Holmes believes.

On Hootsuite.com, Holmes writes that “big changes are afoot for the likes of Twitter, Facebook and others.” He notes that at the beginning of the year, it appeared as if Facebook’s popularity was fading. However, as the year draws to a close, the social networking giant is reporting “record growth”. With that said, Holmes goes on to predict some other significant changes in the world of social media in 2015. Here are five.

1. Your social network wants to be your wallet. Apparently, Facebook wants to “handle your money in 2015”, writes Holmes. He notes that the social networking juggernaut is looking to install an app that will allow users to send money to each other using their debit card information, free of charge. He warns, however, that “Facebook may eventually charge for its money transfer services (and) leverage customer purchasing data to pull in more advertisers.”

2. New networks proliferate, but will they last? As if there weren’t already enough social networking platforms out there already, Holmes predicts that more are on the way. They may not all catch on, however. “New social platforms that try to replicate the Facebook experience while promising, for instance, fewer ads or more privacy, have the odds seriously stacked against them,” he reveals. The biggest challenge, however, may be securing a sizeable enough userbase.

3. Shopping finally comes to social media. We all know that people love to discuss what they buy or what they plan to buy on their Facebook and Twitter accounts. But will such platforms allow for purchases to be made directly from them? “Earlier this year, both Twitter and Facebook began beta-testing ‘buy’ buttons,” Holmes informs us, “Expect e-commerce and social media integrations to deepen in 2015. In fact, it’s a little surprising it’s taken so long.”

4. Smart devices get more social. Smartphones aren’t the only “smart” products out there these days. Holmes lists “everything from home appliances like thermostats, bathroom scales and refrigerators to wearables like fitness bracelets” as products that can collect data and post it on the internet. He notes that, in 2015, such devices will be able to push notifications to the various social media platforms that exist. He wonders, however, if that is a good thing.

5. The illusion of social media privacy gives way to the real thing. In our social media-crazed world, are people not concerned about their privacy? Of course they are. “Not everyone wants every conversation over social media broadcast to the world,” says Holmes. He writes that the “demand for anonymous social media will only get bigger in 2015. In fact, there are signs that even the major players are beginning to acknowledge the issue.”

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18 Sep

6 Free Social Networking Platforms That Grow Your Business

Posted in Social Media, Synergy Suggestions on 18.09.14 by John Meloche

Globe with pointers and network signals, Social media network coIn yesterday’s blog, we continued down our path of “free online promotion” blogs by taking a look at some ideas that small business owners can use to boost their businesses using the internet. It’s a lot easier than you think – and cheaper too! Obviously, it doesn’t get much cheaper than “free”. But, of course, some of the ideas take a bit of effort and creativity. After all, we’re living in a world where people flock to the internet more than ever.

That means that if your brand doesn’t have a strong internet presence, it’s practically non-existent. On SearchEngineWatch.com, Carrie Hill says as much by listing 30 different ways that entrepreneurs can promote their businesses online for free. Among them are ideas to show off your expertise in your field by writing “how-to” articles or better yet, filming “how-to” videos. There are, however, some specific sites that are among the most popular ways in the world to spread the word. Here are our top six.

1. Get on Facebook. This is a tip that we’ve been following for some time now. Facebook is arguably the most popular social networking site in the world. Even Hill admits that “Facebook is so much more robust than it ever was!” and suggests that you “create groups, events, and photo albums. Link to your Facebook profile from your site and allow visitors to your site to like and share your content.”

2. Get on Twitter. Right up there with Facebook is Twitter when it comes to world’s most popular social networking platforms. And yes, this is a tip that we follow ourselves. Each and every business day, we post links to our blogs on both our Facebook and Twitter pages in an effort to drive more traffic to our site. “Start Twittering or start doing it much better than you are now – it’s a great way to network with like-minded individuals,” insists Hill.

3. Get on Pinterest. According to its website, “Pinterest is a visual discovery tool that you can use to find ideas for all your projects and interests.” And as Hill explains, “Pinterest is hot right now. If you have visually stimulating content that is relevant to the site’s demographic, you can find great success right now. Be sure you’re using solid practices for marketing on Pinterest as you get started.”

4. Get on Google+. According to its website, “Google+ is a place to connect with friends and family, and explore all of your interests.” “Build a Google+ page for your business and follow businesses that are related to your product or service niche,” writes Hill, “Share informative and relative content and link to your profile from your website. You should also consider allowing users to +1 your content on a page by page basis.”

5. Get on Flickr. In yesterday’s blog, we mentioned how much people love watching videos online. However, that doesn’t mean that the still picture has lost its lustre! Flickr offers “picture galleries available with social networking, chat, groups, and photo ratings,” the site describes. Hill advises that you should “share your photos at Flickr – get a profile, write descriptions, and link to your website. Don’t share photos you don’t own or have permission to use.”

6. Get on Instagram. While this particular tip didn’t make Hill’s list, it should not be left off of ours. Instagram is a widely popular website and app that people use daily to post photos. As the site describes itself, “Instagram is a fast, beautiful and fun way to share your life with friends and family.” Take pictures of your products and post them with descriptions of just how great they are. The possibilities are endless!

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17 Sep

5 Ways To Market Your Website For Free

Posted in Synergy Suggestions on 17.09.14 by John Meloche

Computer mobility and cloud computing conceptOver the past couple of days, we have been blogging about the importance of using Craigslist to promote your small business. After all, we feel that it’s important to practice what we preach. At Synergy Marketing, we post a new Craigslist ad every day of the week in order to reach as many potential customers as we can in Canada. Craigslist can be especially useful if you have a company that works with customers from all over the country, like we do.

There are, of course, many other ways to use the internet to promote your business for free. And why wouldn’t you? Firstly, it doesn’t get much better than free! And secondly, the internet is arguably the most popularly-used communication tool in today’s tech-savvy world. There truly is no downside to, at least, giving it a try. So what are those other ways to promote your business on the internet for free?

On SearchEngineWatch.com, Carrie Hill writes that it all starts with your website. Naturally, it won’t make a whole lot of sense to market your brand online if you don’t even have an online presence. But once your website is up and rolling – which it certainly should be by now – how can you drive more traffic towards it? Thankfully, Hill answers that question by providing several ways that you can market your website for free. Here are five.

1. Write a press release. “Press releases still work,” insists Hill. Write up a press release and send it out to your entire emailing list and encourage a response. Ask your customers to contact you for more information or to take advantage of special offers that you put forth in your release. She also advises that you “send the press release to your local media outlets, or any niche media outlets that may be interested in what you do.”

2. Share links with other businesses. Driving traffic to your website will increase when you make use of other websites. Contact other business owners to see if they’d be willing to do a simple link swap. You scratch their back and they’ll scratch yours – or so the saying goes. “Setting up joint benefit with local businesses or others in your niche can help you reach eyes you never did before,” says Hill.

3. Write a “how-to” article. Showcasing your expertise in your field is always a great way to attract attention and gain favour in your industry. Hill suggests that you write your article and submit it to such sites as Wikihow.com or Answers.com. “This is kind of fun and a good resource for getting mentions and links,” she believes, “Looking at your product or service in a step-by-step manner is often enlightening in several ways.”

4. Film a “how-to” video. If there’s anything that people like more than reading interesting articles online, it’s watching videos online. Hill suggests that you record a video that showcases your expertise and how your products and services can be of value to customers – then upload it to YouTube. “Be sure to optimize your title and descriptions,” she advices, “Once it’s uploaded, write a new page and embed the video on your own website.”

5. Start a blog. Obviously, this is advice that we have taken ourselves. Daily blogging keeps your website fresh and offers important content that turns into reasons that your website will get picked up easier in search engines. If you’re not much of a writer, you may want to hire a professional blogger. Sure, at that point, this tip exits the “free” category. But, from experience, we can tell you that blogging is well worth it. Look into it further HERE.

Be sure to check back for tomorrow’s blog as we continue to provide more great tips on how to use the internet to promote your business for free!

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31 Jul

4 Ways We Use Social Media To Build Our Brand

Posted in Social Media on 31.07.14 by John Meloche

Social Talk BubbleHere, at Synergy Marketing, we’ll be the first to admit that we’re not exactly social media experts. After all, we spend the majority of our days speaking to business owners from all over Canada on the good old telephone. Having said that, we’re still very much aware about the power of social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter. This is why we remain active on both of our accounts on a daily basis.

As we’ve mentioned in previous blogs, we place links to each and every one of our blog posts on both our Facebook and Twitter accounts. Since we adopted this practice, we’ve noticed that our website has been getting a lot more attention. This is the main point of communicating through social media. It helps to deliver traffic to places you want it to go. Naturally, the more people that visit our website, the more opportunities we have to encourage them to call us.

At Synergy Marketing, we specialize in providing the best promotional products in our industry. We know that promo gifts work wonders in helping business owners to make good impressions on their customers. Promo gifts have long been known to secure customer loyalty, encourage referrals and increase overall sales. But our social media posts have been known to intrigue a wider range of potential buyers.

There’s a trick to using social media properly. It’s not so much of a trick as it is an appropriate way to utilize the sites. It’s important to keep in mind that social media is all about being social. It’s important to engage your audience so that they don’t feel like they’re being blatantly advertised to. Instead, we work to engage them in conversation. Here are four ways that Synergy Marketing communicates its messages through social media.

1. We ask questions. Every time we post one of our blogs, we ask a question to intrigue our reading audience. The answer to the question can always be found in the blog post. So, it is our goal to spark the interest of online users so that they want to know the answer to that question. Not only do we hope our friends and followers click on the link, but we encourage them to like and comment upon the post as well.

2. We utilize more than one site. Facebook and Twitter are arguably the most popular social networking sites out there. So those are the ones we are focused on at the moment. We believe that it’s important to update both – not just one – so that we can interact with the most amount of people possible. Since we started posting our blog links on each page, we have increased our number of friends and followers, but we are still looking to grow our reach.

3. We offer follow backs. Part of being social is interacting with those who have become your friends and followers. People like having followers on Twitter just as much as they enjoy following accounts that interest them. So we offer a very simple, yet effective approach to growing our followers on Twitter. If you follow us, we’ll follow you back. Here’s hoping we increase our Twitter followers by offering that promise in today’s blog!

4. We stay consistent. We blog daily. So unlike some other websites, we make sure that the Synergy Marketing website is constantly kept fresh. With so much content, we give online users ample reasons to visit our site daily. This, of course, allows both our Facebook and Twitter pages to remain fresh as well. Our hope is that with daily interactions, we’ll continue to grow our fan base.

By the way, just because we’re active on social media doesn’t mean we don’t want to speak with you directly. Feel free to give us a call at 1-877-748-9884.

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24 Jul

4 More Ways To Make Social Media Work For You

Posted in Social Media on 24.07.14 by John Meloche

Social Media SignEach business day of the week, you will find a link to our daily blog posts on our Facebook and Twitter accounts. As we admitted yesterday, we’re still getting the hang of this social media thing. But we must admit, since we’ve been using our accounts more frequently, we have grown our reach and made greater impressions among the Canadian buying public. This is especially important for us because we have clients from all over the country.

As you can imagine, social media allows us to be social. It helps us to personally interact with people from all over the world. As you may have guessed, this is what makes social media so powerful. They help for people to be in touch and expose their personalities in ways that traditional advertising cannot. On Forbes.com, Kym McNicholas speaks to this point when she writes that people should share “story ideas and leads that have nothing to do with your business.”

Sometimes, not advertising is the best kind of advertising. On social media, people like to engage in discussion about a variety of topics. Doing so can lead to people checking your business pages out and taking an interest in your brand. In yesterday’s blog, we began looking at some tips listed by McNicholas to help business owners get a firmer grasp on how to use social media to their advantage. In today’s blog, we’ll conclude our look at that list.

1. Post Updates. Well, there’s certainly no point in signing up for social media accounts if you have no intention of keeping them updated. Consider your accounts extensions of your website. The same rules apply. When you don’t update your accounts, you will appear stagnant, giving no one any reason to keep checking you out. In fact, “it’s important to have content on your social media pages before you start adding friends and followers,” says McNicholas.

2. Find Friends and Followers. Of course, the point of using social media is to gain as much as exposure as you can. Getting friends and followers will require you to put some effort into attracting people to your pages. “Search keywords to find followers,” suggests McNicholas. And don’t forget to become a follower of other industry-types so that you can gain greater exposure online. People have to know you exist in order to follow back!

3. Engage Friends And Followers. As we mentioned in yesterday’s blog, you can’t simply join social media without being social. It’s important to ask questions and answer those that have been asked of you. Be sure to like other people’s posts and leave comments where appropriate. The more you interact with others through social media, the more links you create to your own pages. It certainly pays to be active on your accounts!

4. Stay Current. People love discussing current events. It’s something we keep in mind when we’re blogging. It’s the reason we make mention of such events as the recent FIFA World Cup tournament. So many people were talking about it, why wouldn’t we? As well, it’s important to “get alerts sent to your phone when folks engage with you via your social networking sites – at least in the beginning – that way you respond quickly,” reminds McNicholas.

Your social media pages are also great places to communicate your intent to satisfy your customers when they come into your physical stores. One way to do that is to offer up discounts and other benefits to those who come in and mention that they saw your promotion online. This gives you a great opportunity to hand your promotional gifts as well. For decades, they have proven to foster loyalty and promote referrals.

Get yours today by calling Synergy Marketing at 1-877-748-9884!

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07 Mar

5 More Ways To Boost Business Using Social Media

Posted in Synergy Suggestions on 07.03.14 by John Meloche

Social MediaAre you following Synergy Marketing on Twitter yet? If you follow us, we’ll follow you back! This is just one of the ways that we are boosting our commitment to being more social through social media. According to Karen Bivand on TheMompreneur.com, this practice is one the key methods of boosting business online. When you support others, they are a lot more likely to support you.

In yesterday’s blog, we listed a number of Bivand’s tips – including that one – in an effort to help our readers get a better handle on how to better utilize social media to their advantage. After all, we’re still trying to do the same around here! Links to our blogs are always posted on our Facebook and Twitter profiles. But we’re doing a little bit more than just that these days.

Our blog links come with questions that we hope our friends and followers will be curious to know the answers to. This is often a top tip when it comes to using social media – engaging your audience by asking questions and encouraging them to join in the conversation. In today’s blog, we’ll review a few more of Bivand’s tips on how to use social media to build your brand.

Join LinkedIn Groups. “Try to find LinkedIn groups that attract a lot of your customers,” suggests Bivand, “Once you are a member of these groups, you are able to directly contact other members of the group. By starting and participating in discussions on these groups, you can showcase your expertise and make real connections.” LinkedIn is widely known as a great way to build your business contacts.

Post polls on Facebook. If one thing is true about Facebook, it has become a place where people love to share their opinions. By holding a poll, you will encourage customers to respond with their thoughts which will inevitably drive a lot more traffic to your page. Make your questions simple and related to your business, advises Bivand. It could be as easy as asking people about their favourite things to eat.

Post tips on Twitter. The Synergy Marketing Blog, as you may have noticed, is a place where you can find a whole lot of tips. But Bivand mentions that even though you’re limited to 140 characters, using Twitter to offer tips can be very useful. Simply post relevant information that is innovative and interesting and you’re bound to get some attention for it.

Offer online deals and discounts. Earlier this week, we blogged about how much people love getting things for free. And that is certainly true. But people also enjoy getting things at discounted prices. Imagine the number of friends and followers you will get if you offer them special promotions and discounts. This is a great way to drive traffic to both your site as well as your physical place of business.

Start a blog. Speaking of blogs, our very own has worked wonders for us. It keeps our website and social media pages fresh and shows our audience that we are experts in our field. If you’re unable to find the time to blog for yourself, hire a professional. It won’t cost you a whole lot but the benefits are immeasurable. The bottom line is that growing your business, in this day and age, requires that you properly use social media.

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03 Mar

Giving Your Team Some Social Media Steam

Posted in News on 03.03.14 by John Meloche

Depositphotos_23269584_xsUsing social media to promote your company is practically a must these days. We have to admit that we’re still getting used to it, here at Synergy Marketing. But with the recent re-launch of our Twitter account, we’re definitely putting more into our online efforts. And you should do the same! After all, with social networking being so popular, the chances of you growing your company’s reach are great.

Let’s not forget that using social media is free. And there’s a lot you can do to encourage your employees to do the same. On Entrepreneur.com, Lambeth Hochwald writes that leveraging social media is a great way to add a personal touch to the way you interact with your customers. She notes that “with social media, every employee is a spokesperson for the company.”

With Facebook and Twitter, people are given the opportunity to communicate messages of their choice all around the clock. Customers no longer have to rely on calling a company only during business hours to get the answers to their most important questions. Perhaps, you should provide incentives to your employees so that they are willing to provide helping hands more regularly.

In other words, your staff members can also function as round-the-clock experts when it comes to your business. How great would it be for them to answer tweets and other comments and questions on social media so that your customers are getting direct access and service on a 24/ basis? Yes, it may sound like work and life are no longer separate. But haven’t we gotten there already?

“It doesn’t work to separate work and life anymore,” writes Hochwald, “We’re friends with our co-workers. We go and get our buddy’s job once he leaves a company. You can have the same network for all your social media–meeting on LinkedIn to talk business and sharing funny stories on Facebook.” It should be mentioned that “sharing funny stories” is actually a big part of what makes social media work.

Your employees don’t necessarily have to “work” through social media. The mere act of them keeping in touch with their customers by providing that human side to your brand will go a long way. Social media, we should point out, really is all about being social. Direct and blatant advertising doesn’t generally work using the Twitters and Facebooks of the world.

It’s all about being genuine, says Hochwald. “When you talk to your employees, articulate what your company stands for and what you hope customers, clients and stakeholders will get from the company,” she advises, “Then, encourage employees to make that story part of their own. After all, they’re giving you 80 hours a week, so consider this something they can get back.”

At Synergy Marketing, we would love to grow your presence on social media. Simply follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook and we’ll do the same for you! As well, we’re happy to help you grow your business by offering the best promo products in the business with your company name and logo on them. Give us a call at 1-877-748-9884 and let’s get you’re the perfect promo gift today!

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22 Oct

Making The Most Of Social Networking

Posted in Synergy Suggestions on 22.10.13 by John Meloche

snAdvertising is important. We all know that. And using social media to advertise your brand is definitely a wise move. We all know that too. But do we know how to properly use social media to our advantage? The key to social media is to actually be social. Sure, we could go on Facebook and Twitter every day to simply plug our businesses, but would that actually work?

The consensus seems to be that it doesn’t. Instead of simply plugging away on social media, it’s important to actually engage people in conversations. Getting people talking is what will earn you “likes” and “followers”. And the more people you get to “like” and “follow” your company, the more opportunities you will have to turn them into buying customers. This is how social media really works.

Think about how generic advertising works. Do commercials really speak directly to you? On Entrepreneur.com, Tukan Das poses the question this way: “When was the last time you saw a billboard, TV or a print ad and said to yourself, ‘Wow that brand really cares about me and I am going to buy that product?’ Let me guess: Never.” Big corporations, asserts Das, prefer to “play it safe”.

In other words, bigger businesses tend to stay away from engaging with their customers in public forums. So giant billboards, television commercials, radio spots and print ads do all of the advertising for these companies – it’s all impersonal. There is no direct contact between customer and company. And in the increasingly-computer-savvy world that we live in, this type of advertising simply doesn’t cut it.

“Revenue from traditional advertisement channels are at an all time low,” reports Das. So the need to use social media to your advantage is clearly at an all time high. Not only is it proving to be successful, but it’s a lot cheaper as well. And by cheaper, we mean free! Setting up a Facebook and Twitter account costs nothing. What it will make you, however, has no limits.

“It’s important to not only look at social media as a channel to get your message out there but also as a way to truly build meaningful relationships with potential and existing customers,” writes Das. And with that, he provides a couple of ways that your company can make the most out of its social networking efforts. Make notes of these tips and see if they don’t help you.

Look beyond direct brand mentions. Be aggressive, he insists. People inquire about making purchases on line every single day. Too often, companies overlook these conversations. Don’t just monitor social media, get involved in social media. Take part in these conversations and offer examples of your expertise. Your “inadvertent” approach to advertising your business will pay off.

Start a conversation naturally. You don’t have to just join conversations, you can start them yourself! It’s like dating, says Das. Don’t try to come on too strong. Simply spark a meaningful conversation by asking a question. There’s no need to be too pushy. Don’t go for the sell too fast. Reel people in with intriguing conversation and they will be interested in getting to know more about your brand.

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