Archive for Social Networking

Skype Turns 10 Years Old

Normally, I would not be celebrating social media anniversaries, but this is Skype. For those who have never used Skype as a networking site, or never connected with someone on Skype from a distance, you do not know what you are missing. Congratulations on a social network that keeps getting better every year.

skype 10 year anniversary
Skype’s 10th Anniversary Infographic, by Skype

New Book, eMarketing Experience Live On Amazon

My new book, eMarketing Experience is now live on Amazon.  Trying to think of something cool and collective about how it helps entrepreneurs with their online marketing skills, but all I can think of is Yipppeee! However, what other appropriate words can I use to describe a book about creating the right experiences for your online marketing.

Special Offer

Therefore, anyone who purchases the new book, eMarketing Experience through July 31st will receive not only this book, but also:

  • A free 30 minute Skype consultation session with me
  • Over75  customized free video tutorials on internet marketing, social networking, blogging, seo, and more

(Total Value: $578.13)

Now, here is the kicker! If you use the link below, you will also get a discount off the regular purchase price of $12.98. However, when you use the link below, the price is $9.99 including S&H for those in the continental United States.

eMarketing Experience Special Offer

Amazon Book ImageHere is the overview of what the book contains, and a special that I am offering through the month of July for those interested in purchasing the book.

First, what the heck is eMarketing Experience!

eMarketing Experience is the combination of over four years of social networking, blogging, search engine optimization, and email marketing experiences I have either directly or through customers gained along the way. The lessons I have learned from success and failure.

Primarily, we discuss how to use the current online marketing tools to build real relationships that lead to real profits online. Really!

The book starts with a review for beginners, showing you how the technology can be used for your business in a systematic method. For way too long people have been mesmerized (or terrorized depending on your outlook) of these technologies.

They were seen as the end all, be all in terms of building your business. However, the internet is more than the sum of it’s parts. Instead, the internet works because we are on there.  Without our ability to communicate with each other online no one would care about online marketing.

Everything I have learned over the past few years led me to the fact that the relationships we create on the internet are the sole source of all revenue online. People talk about a revolution in communications, and miss the fact that the revolution is that the internet brings back thoughts of old-fashioned meetings where people had discussions and listened to each others thoughts and ideas.

Our job as marketers is to create an experience like none other with this technology. One that says, wow you care, and also want to help me with whatever challenges I am facing. In the end, the right experience is about creating massive value for your customers. The more give others, the more we receive back in our business.

Second, this brings me to the special offer that I mentioned above. 

Since this is a book based on creating value through positive experiences online, I thought I would set an example here.

Therefore, anyone who purchases the new book, eMarketing Experience through July 31st will receive not only this book, but also:

  • A free 30 minute Skype consultation session with me
  • Over75  customized free video tutorials on internet marketing, social networking, blogging, seo, and more

(Total Value: $578.13)

Now, here is the kicker! If you use the link below, you will also get a discount off the regular purchase price of $12.98. However, when you use the link below, the price is $9.99 including S&H for those in the continental United States.

eMarketing Experience Special Offer

This is the point where you say what’s the catch. The catch is very simple. I need three things from you.

1. To get your free Skype coaching session you must sign up by August 15th, and use no later than August 30th (48 hour advance notice required).

2. To register for the free Skype coaching session you must fill out short questionnaire, so I know in advance what you need. (Find Questionnaire Here)

3. This is not a requirement, but a request. Once you have read the book, I would ask for you to review my book on Amazon (A Positive Review if you could be so kind).

That is it! Again, if you are interested in the special offer, and more importantly purchasing eMarketing Experience, use click the buy now button below for only $9.99 before this offer expires in July 31st.

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Sitting Around The Incandescent Fire

Social Networking is nothing new. Instead, social networking has shocking parallels to times in our past like the Wild West. In fact, the difference between sitting around a fire and the incandescent fire is slim. As you will see below, we have not developed new social skills. Instead, we have modified them for the technology we created.

The Slideshare I created a few months ago on social networking is nothing so shocking that we abandon a new method of communication. For those who argue social networking is the downfall of technology, I encourage you to throw out your pens and destroy your rotary telephones. They too were once the scourge of communication across the world. A scandalous device, so devoid of passion and human interaction that they would be abandoned at all costs.

While the need for face to face communication is still strong, and needed in a lot of cases. The use of social networking brings people around the world together like never before in history.  That is what social networking is about the combination of our history for communicating with others. The technology enables us to spread our ideas like wildfire.

For me, this point can not be emphasized enough. It is why I have brought this up a few times in my blogs history.

Sitting Around The Incandescent Fire

So, you have seen the proof in the pudding so to speak. What do you think? Have you sat around the incandescent fire of social networking.

Revisiting The Social Networking Crystal Ball For 2014

I will now predict social networking’s future for January 1st, 2014. Children do not try this at home. The dangers involved in an act of cunning like this are immense. First, you almost have to know what you are doing. Second, you need a curtain into the future where you evaluate the future of social networking with the laser-like precision of an expert.

How Correct Was My Crystal Ball For 2013:

First, I predicted 2/3 of social media users would use mobile devices to access their accounts this year. According to the SocialSkinny.com, 10% of all internet traffic is now via mobile. Additionally, 91% of mobile usage is for social media.  HubSpot stated that 73% of smartphone users go on social media everyday. I count that as a win!

Second, according to Juniper Research 197 million smartphones are now Augmented Reality (AR) enabled.  While the adoption rate was not 25% like I predicted, we now have the tools to get there. Google+ Social Search Not exactly a win!

Third, My prediction on Google plus was 250 million plus users. They had 500 million users at the end of the year. Close! Only predicted 50% of their growth rate.

Fourth, Social Search. Because of the rise of Google Plus, I predicted the two would elope. And so they did, as traditional search measures like pagerank and backlinks went out the door. In waltzed, A Panda, a penguin, and a plus one. That sounds like the beginning of a great joke! If they had not messed up search so much it might almost be funny.

Now, for the moment we have all been anxiously awaiting. Your Social Networking Crystal Ball for 2014.

First, I am going to cop out and restate my Augmented Reality prediction for 2014. With 197 million smartphone devices now AR enabled, we have enough momentum to use this on a broader scale. We now have enough devices to start making a dent in the AR landscape. This can mean really cool things, like people walking around the streets with their phones in front of them in some Wall-E  like trance of the Axiom passengers here on Earth.

Second, this is the year that business owners will go hyper local. Small business owners do not need to connect with 950 million people around the world. They need to connect with the tens of thousands of people in their area. Location-based social Social Media Integrationnetworking, which has been around for a few years, will become a bigger buzzword in the business community as smaller brands retreat from the large-encompassing social networks. I predict a 10% plus year over year drop in Facebook ad revenue to accompany this withdrawal.

Third, there will be a large scale blackout on the internet, because the government in their attempt to collect more money will do something really stupid. I know, I know, the United States government would never do anything stupid like removing websites without due process, or censoring activity on the web like a KGB operation. If SOPA, PIPA, and CISPA taught us anything this year, it is the government has no clue what they are doing.  My prediction follows the trends, and is a heads up for the freedom of speech vote ahead.

So, what have we learned from the information above? More businesses will be honing in on local social networking strategies to help their business. In fact, for social networking to have a dynamic future these local technologies will be essential.

Extra bonus: Tips on How to Use Your Online Sales Weapons effectively

Thanks for being with me all the way here! Now that we’ve gone through the three weapons one by one, time to share some extra ‘user tips’!

Tips for Live Chat Lovers

  • Starting from where your customers abandon your website. Site pages that have a high bounce rate or where you need to improve conversions or sales are a great place to begin live chat to improve website performance.
  • Use proactive chat instead of reactive chat.  According to a Forrester study, proactive live chat can increase ROI to up to 105%.
  • Customize chat content based on unique criteria. Personalization is loved by most customers today. Customize your chat invitations to specify experiences.
  • Always offer chat in transactional pages. Transactional pages such as a shopping cart or sign-up page, are the most important places to save customers from leaving without purchase on your website.
  • Don’t over personalize messages. Over personalization will make your customers feel being spied. Focus on personalizing based on information that wouldn’t make the user feel as though you know too much about them!
  • Expand your automation circle to make your voice heard by the whole world. Sales is not the only field that can take advantage of the automation technology. Consider to expand your automation circle to marketing, social media activities, etc. to help start the lead nurturing process as early as possible.
  • Choose the right tool that target your needs best. There’re hundreds of automation tools in the market today. Be sure to be a smart buyer and only pay for the right ones with good ROI.
  • Nurture, nurture and still nurture! One of the primary purpose of automate your business is to gain more mature leads. So try your best to do the nurturing work wherever and whenever you can.
  • Embed your business rules into CRM databases so that certain customer behavior will trigger appropriate reaction.
  • Integrate your CRM with the customer’s various touch points with the company.
  • Create an ability to sell the moment a customer is ready to buy, and know what to offer and how to appeal to each customer.
  • Recognize that employees have different needs just as customers do, and provide each with the information they want.

Tips for CRM enthusiasts

Today’s online business world is crowd. In order to survive and finally stand out you need to be well prepared for all the competition and challenges. Make sure your army has been fully equipped, and fighting yourself a seat will not be as hard as it may sound like.

About the Author:

Kevin Gao is the founder and CEO of Comm100 Live Chat, a leading provider of live chat software for business. As a software developer as well as a small business expert, he’s always ambitious to revolutionize the way of online customer service and communication. Connect with Kevin on LinkedIn to find out more about him.

Business in Our Age: It’s All about Sales!

This is part 1 of a 5 part guest post series on sales that we will be publishing every Thursday.

People say that the two hardest things in the world: one is to put your thoughts into someone else’s mind; while the other is to put someone else’s money into your pocket. I’m not sure about the former part but as a businessman, I know exactly how correct the latter one is.

In any business organization, online or offline, sales is the most important department that generates revenue. No matter how forward-thinking your management techniques are, how cutting-edge your technology is and how tight your financial goals are, you still rely on a sales team to bring you profits. However, selling has never been an easy pitch, and in a digital era where you and I stay, it can turn into a tough war. How can you and your sales team overpower your competitors and fight over valuable customers? There’re three weapons you have to hold firmly in hands before entering the coliseum. I’m going to introduce them in a series, but before we get started, I’d like to share a little more on ‘sales’ and its cousin ‘marketing’ in case some of you getting confused between those two.

Sales Vs. Marketing

While it’s usually difficult to tell exactly where the marketing steps end and the sales efforts begin during the process of a specific deal, it’s undoubted that the actual money hides in one of several sales contacts. In other words, sales is the effort that actually collects money (or the obligation to buy). Unlike sales which may create immediate increase in your company bank account, the marketing effort works in a quiter way. It creates favorable conditions for the sale to take place. In a nutshell, the marketer leads the horse to water; the sales team makes it drink.

Partnership Between the Sales and Marketing Teams

Impulse buying is a hot word these days, but as a matter of fact, few products in people’s  life are truly bought on impulse. Even a can of brand-name cola in the supermarket has a story behind its back – its wholesaler have to build a relationship with the supermarket manager over time in order to secure good shelf placement. And when it comes to e-commerce, where you don’t even have a chance to meet a manager face-to-face, things only go more complex.

To get the most out of your sales effort, your sales team needs support from the marketing team to manage a long term customer relationship with follow-up contacts, emails, account service, etc.. If the support is not there, the account may not last long and turnover will increase. Meanwhile if the sales staff is too directly involved in that effort, it may eventually become overwhelmed with account service and find it difficult to spare time to grow your business.

With all these about ‘sales & marketing’ said, we should now be ready to move to the three weapons that are supposed to  arm your sales team up. Keep reading to see what they really are.

About the Author:

Kevin Gao is the founder and CEO of Comm100 Live Chat, a leading provider of live chat software for business. As a software developer as well as a small business expert, he’s always ambitious to revolutionize the way of online customer service and communication. Connect with Kevin on LinkedIn to find out more about him.

Tips and Strategies for B2B Internet Marketing

Internet marketing is not only useful for B2C businesses; it is an equally important and effective marketing tool for B2B internet marketing. However, creating an online presence for a B2B business is very different than the B2C market. This article will provide a few guidelines about B2B online marketing strategies.

When you are marketing your products/services to another business, you need to have a different strategy. Here are a few tips and strategies for your B2B marketing:

Provide Information

Although you do provide information in B2C marketing, you have to take it to another level when dealing with industrial clients. The more you educate your clients about your product/service, the more they will feel in control. This will make them comfortable about using your product. Hard-selling is not an advisable approach when you are dealing with companies since they are more likely to maintain control of the transaction. Industrial purchases mean higher liabilities and hence they are carried out by rational thinking and evaluation.

If your customers face even slightest of uncertainty about your product, they will not be willing to take a risk. The only way to minimize this risk is to provide as much information to your customers as possible. And while you are providing information, make sure to remember that you are dealing with other companies. They are unlikely to go through long informational manuals with no relevant information. You have to provide them with precise, relevant and updated information.

Encourage Comparisons

When you are dealing with business markets, it is important to understand that your clients will always make the purchase decision after much thought and comparisons. While dealing with business markets, avoiding comparisons is almost impossible. However, you should not take this as a negative aspect. You should encourage this comparison and try to make use of it. Create a new and unique framework for your product according to industry-specific solution. Clearly communicate to your customers that your product is different from your competitors and it can be beneficial for your customers. Try to avoid creating this framework around pricing and focus more on qualitative aspects.

Look For Gatekeepers

Every company has gatekeepers that can restrict the communication channels. They can be administrative assistants or purchase managers or any other person. These gatekeepers usually track who or what comes in and goes out of their company. In order to convince your clients to trust you, you have to first convince these gatekeepers that your product can be beneficial for their company. They also need to be informed about your product as much as possible.

Communicate More

It is important to keep a steady flow of communication with your customers without being persistent. You have to make way for polite communication by asking them if they have any further questions or they need any more information. Prompt communication builds trust and makes your clients believe that you are reliable and give them time.

Learn About Your Clients

When selling to businesses, you have to deal with a number of different people at all functional positions. You may have to deal with assistants, managers and CEOs within a single company. It is important to understand who you will be dealing with and creating a customized marketing message for them. A CEO might be worried more about price aspect while a purchase manager would look for quality. One single message for an entire organization is just not advisable.

Discuss Product Development

To get a prompt feedback on your product by your customers, it is essential that you include them in the product development stage. It not only makes them feel important but also enable you to get insights from the actual user, enabling you to provide a more customized level of product or service.

Email Information

The best way to provide different and customized information to people in an organization is using emails. Train your customers about your product by sending e-mails from time-to-time about relevant information.

Online Presentations

When selling to businesses, there may be a need of a lot of travelling to attend meetings and provide product briefs. Arrange for online meetings and presentations and provide your customers with all the relevant material beforehand. This not only saves time and money, but also provides information to clients that they can review later.

Continuous Communication

Don’t stop the communication with your clients once the purchase is made. Keep asking for feedback and any queries they may have. Also take permission to market any new product and avoid sending unnecessary marketing messages. Permission marketing can go a long way in creating long-term customer relationships.

What do you think about these tips and strategies for B2B internet marketing?

About the Author:

Sophia Myles is the Product Specialist from Comm100 Email Marketing Team. She’s a complete enthusiast in Email Marketing, while when free from work, she can be found writing and sharing just everything about Online Marketing with the rest of the world.

 

Websites 101 – Increase Online Brand Presence

To reap the very lucrative rewards of an established online brand presence you need to be active on the internet and have a website to market your business.

You have the perfect product; you offer the most superlative service to your clients. If you’re not on the World Wide Web though, you have very little chance of reaching the people who will buy your product and pay you for your services. Having a website that is properly managed and hosted, will put your business in the fast lane of the information super highway.

The internet is one of the best platforms to market a new or even an existing business, and creating a website that really works is not beyond the means of any business. Getting it onto the internet and keeping it there is called web hosting and choosing the right web hosting company can make a difference to your online brand presence.

There are many different types of web hosting services available to suit the budget and the requirements of any business. From small start ups to large conglomerates, the choice of who will host your business website is a decision that needs to have some thought behind it.

The Five Most Common Types of Web Hosting:

  • There are free web hosting services, but they are usually filled with advertisements and may make your website look a little like spam. Free hosting is usually only recommended for personal or family websites.
  • A shared Web Hosting Service is one of the most common types of web hosting companies. Your business website will be placed on a shared server with other websites. Ranging in size from hundreds to thousands of sites all hosted by the same server, this type of hosting comes with most of the features and applications that are needed by a business.
  • A dedicated web hosting service means that the business gets their own slice of a server, without having to pay the overall cost of having a private server. It does mean that the business is responsible for security and maintenance of the server slice.
  • A Virtual Private Server. This is a different type of service that allows a website to have access to a portion of a private server but without any of the associated costs involved in maintaining a large server on the internet.
  •  Cloud Hosting. Cloud computing is the latest technological buzzword and cloud hosting involves placing a website onto a virtual server. It is very stable, and it is economically viable because the business will only pay for the space that is used, not the potential usage.

Choosing a reliable web hosting service is an important business decision, and if made wisely it can result in an increased online brand presence, great internet business and increased revenue. Always choose a web hosting service that has a reliable and constant service, the last thing you want is for people to be looking for your website and your perfect product and not be able to find it, because the server is ‘down for maintenance’. Find a web hosting service that is online for 99% of the time, gives you daily backups and offers security from malicious software and firewalls to protect against spam.

Lookuppage provides effective and results driven online brand presence services to over 100 000 clients across the globe. With online analysis and active monitoring services, Lookuppage produces results that ensure that your business brand is ranked higher to enjoy enhanced online visibility and an excellent online reputation.