Pitfalls of Using Social Networking in Internet Marketing

Social networking is a very important aspect of your Internet business and marketing mix and one that cannot be avoided any longer. However, as fun as it is, and as good as it can be, there are some pitfalls that can not only destroy your social networking but also your reputation and your business.

1. Automation — While some automation is necessary you must realize that if you do not answer questions, respond to people, and do not seem human on your social media platform people will notice.

2. Direct messages– Sending direct messages to strangers to tell them about your product or service without their permission should not be done. If they did not ask, don’t send a direct message to them. This is no different than emailing people who have not opted into your list. Just because they follow you or friend you does not mean they want unsolicited direct messages.

3. Spamming — People feel used if every last Tweet or share is something you are selling or making money off. Don’t do it, be less transparent than that.

4. Not reading — Read what people say to you, and respond if is appropriate. Even if you can only read once a day and respond directly then, do so. You could miss a very valuable relationship by not reading what your followers or friends are saying.

5. Going nuts — Don’t send out messages, especially the same message, 56 times a day. Also, I’m not real sure if your entire list of followers and friends needs to know that you just walked from your living room to your kitchen to get coffee. (or worse, went to the bathroom)

6. Addiction — Avoid being obsessive and getting addicted to reading every last tweet or status update all day long because you will fall behind in your work. Set aside specific times to deal with social networking and get back to work the rest of the time.

7. Being negative — Unless you run a review site and are telling people about a review that happened to be negative, try not to be negative on social networking sites. No one likes a downer when they’re trying to socialize and network.

8. Not target marketing — Even within social networking there is much room for targeting your market. Try to separate your business identity with your personal identity as soon as possible so that you do not offend people when you finally realize that you must protect your business followers from your crazy uncle Ned.

9. Not doing it yourself — It is perfectly fine to outsource some aspects of your social media, but the truth is, no one can be “you” as well as you can do you. Save the personal comments to do yourself, let your virtual assistant do some of the other tasks.

10. Making useless comments– Going around making useless comments on message boards, on blogs, on Facebook, Twitter and other avenues will not endear you to your people. So just don’t do it. If you do not have a truly useful thing to say about something, say nothing at all.

How To Cut Your Business Expense by Using Direct Mail Successfully

Now that Pay Per Click marketing is becoming so expensive for most business owners, it is apparent that if we want to generate more qualified customers/leads, we need to find other alternative tools to help market our business.

P.P.C or Ad Words is Google’s platform for advertising on the internet. P.P.C is great and can be complicated for the masses. Most people have discounted the appeal of direct mail. Direct mail has been around for a long time and still is the most cost efficient way to advertise.

When direct mail is used properly, it can save you time and money and it is easy to track its results on your business. In addition, most gurus are using more direct mail than P.P.C advertisement because it cost less and you can target a larger portion of your market just as efficiently as P.P.C.

Just last week, I got a post card from Google offering me a discount coupon to advertise on P.P.C. I suspect many of you reading this article also have received a similar post card from Google.

Furthermore, if you compare a 45-cent stamp for a targeted customer verses $5.00 or more average acquisition cost per person on Google, it is very apparent that we, as business owners, need to implement more direct mail advertising.

Simple put, depending on your level of expertise on P.P.C, the average cost to acquire a qualified lead is about $5.00. In addition, some media platforms where there is higher quality of leads will cast you twice as much. For example, the fox distribution channels or entrepreneur magazine. If you tried to advertise on anyone of them, the cost would be considerable higher.

The examples above are sites where you would find entrepreneurs that “hang out” there. As a business owner of any industry if you wanted target highly qualified leads you want to advertise on media platforms where your market resides.

Direct mail is still the most cost efficient and easiest to use. In the article, I will give you some simple solutions to get your message across using direct mail.

To stay in business we need to offer our services/products to the customer who has express and interest in our product/service. There are over 300 million people in the United States but not all 300 million are interested in your product/service.

The question remains where are these customers. The first solution is to stop thinking like a business owner and start thinking like a marketer who owns a business. A marketer looks for ways to increase his/her sales in their business. Therefore, when searching for those highly qualified customers you need to know where they are and market to them.

One solution to finding these qualified leads is to use a direct mail or e-mail list broker. A list broker is an easy way to get a list of names, address and e-mails of customers in your industry.

As a marketer who owns a business, your job is to contact the list broker and give them your ideal customer (avatar) and the list broker can give a very specific list of name, addresses and e-mails of individuals who match your criteria.

For example, you are selling vacation homes in California on the coast of Santa Barbara. Santa Barbara is a very expensive place to live especially near the ocean. As a marketer that happens to own a business, you would ask the list brokers of a list of names, addresses from the top 25 metro areas whose income is at least $300.000 and who has inquired about vacation homes in California in the last 6 months.

The example I have just given you is considered a much-targeted list. A real-estate broker in California, who has acquired this list, could perform infinitely better than his/her peers in the same market.

The typical price for a list of 5,000 names and address is estimate to be $500.00. If you do the math that about a.10 cent, acquisition cost of highly targeted leads.

Moreover, if you write a compelling AD and put it in the mail with a 45-cent stamp the cost is much cheaper compared to what it would have cost you online. Moreover, a marketer who owns a business could also put a solo AD in a trade journal of that particular industry to generate leads by simply putting a link directing the customer to your website.

The take away is this direct mail is not going away in-spite of what you may think. Direct mail is easy to test one campaign against another it is cheaper to acquire leads. You can be as creative as you want in your mailing piece. Most of the credit card and insurance companies have increased their direct mailing budgets.

Finally, the longer a piece of well crafted advertisement stays around the longer your name stays out in print and the higher the probability it will be shared with someone else.

Sincerely,
Tim Mason

Where to Get Internet Marketing Help

One of the most common questions beginners ask is where they can find Internet marketing help. Everyone needs help once in a while and more often than not, most beginners share the same questions or problems when starting out.Finding help is not a difficult task if you know where to look. The amount of help and information you can get online is abundant, although you will also find lot of useless information that could lead you in the wrong direction. So you need to know how to filter out unnecessary information.So where are places you can go to get help?You can go to Internet marketing help forums for starters. Forums are a place where a group of like minded people gather and discuss about their common interest. There are usually a lot of sections inside the forum where you can browse through for information or help.You just need to find an marketing forum to get help, simple as that. Chances are, you’ll find that your questions or problems have already been asked by another person. You can go through the forum threads to see what other’s have replied and whether or not it has helped the person who asked the question.One of the best forums you can go to for Internet marketing help is the Warrior Forum. It’s a very well known forum where a lot of marketers hang out – from complete beginners who just can’t seem to make his first dollar online, to the gurus who rake in millions a month.Many marketers have also set up their own forums, although most of them are for paid members only. However, chances are you will be able to get better quality information since members are usually more focused and helpful. One such forum is ProBlogger Community forum.The next stop for you to get help would be Internet marketing blogs. You can get updates on what is happening in the online marketing world and what are the new methods that are being looked into.Marketers often posts tips, suggestions and sometimes just to share a few stories that could inspire you or to give you the hows and the whys of doing Internet marketing. Don’t be surprised if you sometimes find a simple blog post to be more valuable to you than some of the Internet marketing products being sold.Don’t be afraid to leave a comment asking for more clarification, or even contact the blogger or marketer directly if you have a more specific question. The worse thing that can happen is that nothing happens. But you might just receive a reply, or even find a blog post addressing your issues.Most bloggers are very open and friendly, especially to their readers. You’re also doing them a favor if you can bring up a question or problem that the blogger has not addressed before – it’s a fresh idea he can use for his next blog post!Thanks for reading!To your success