Social Media

Facebook ABC’s Seminar – Register NOW!

by Herb Lawrence on March 10, 2010

The Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center’s Facebook ABC’s seminar is coming up next week and I understand it is filling up! Here is more info and the registration link. Hope to see you there.

JONESBORO, Ark (March 1st, 2010) – The Arkansas State University Small Business and Technology Development Center along with the Mountain Home Area Chamber of Commerce and Arkansas State University Mountain Home will hold an introductory seminar on Facebook ABCs for Businesses on the ASU Mountain Home campus Tuesday, March 16th.
From 2:00-5:00 pm Facebook ABCs for Business Seminar – a basic course to help small business owners evaluate how Facebook and other social media can help their marketing efforts. This 3 hour seminar will be taught by Christi and Joe Wharton, Wharton Website Design and Marketing. “Facebook has become a great marketing tool for small businesses,” said Herb Lawrence, ASU SBTDC Center Director. “Over 325 million people are currently on Facebook and over 300,000 small businesses have Facebook Pages that allows them to find, communicate with, and develop profitable relationships with customers. The question is: are you on Facebook to interact with them?” This course will show attendees how this powerful social media network allows them to establish relationships with others on Facebook who want to know more about their businesses. In this introductory seminar, topics will include an overview of how social media works; how Facebook helps small businesses improve their marketing efforts and basics of setting up a Facebook Profile that is linked to a Page. Attendees should have some basic computer knowledge.
Registration is $35 per person ($25 for Chamber members and $20 for ASU Mountain Home Faculty, Staff and Students). For more information or to register contact the Arkansas State University Small Business and Technology Development Center at (870) 972-3517, email [email protected], register on line at http://asbtdc.ualr.edu/training/jonesboro.asp or “fan” the ASU SBTDC on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/asu.sbtdc.
These seminars are co-sponsored by Mountain Home Area Chamber of Commerce, Arkansas State University Mountain Home, Baxter County Library, First Community Bank, First Community Bank and Liberty Bank of Arkansas.

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The Buzz About Buzz

by Joe B on February 10, 2010

I’ve been playing with Google’s new social media offering, Buzz, this morning and seeing how it can help businesses. It is really geared more for people than businesses at this point, but it is yet another place where you can build the social media presence for your business.

The mobile Buzz is currently available only on Droid and iPhone, but it has some nifty features like knowing your location and allowing you to see what is “buzzing” near you.

You can read more about Buzz at Mashable and read some marketing tips for Buzz from Hubspot. Just when you thought you had the social media conquered, here comes another opportunity!

We’ll be keeping up with all the fun here at Wharton Marketing to keep you informed.

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Are You Ready?

by Joe B on February 9, 2010

From Mashable

According to market research firm IDC, vendors shipped 54.5 million smartphone devices in the fourth quarter of 2009, an increase of 39% compared to the same period in 2008.

With the ever increasing use of smartphones, businesses must be prepared. Gone are the days when people would pull out a phone book and look for the name and address of a restaurant, an auto repair shop, a clothing store. Now, as they are out and about, they can pull out their smartphone and find a restaurant, read the menu, make reservations and get a map with directions from where they are to the restaurant of their choice. They can even ask their social media friends for recommendations.

Combining a mobile friendly site with social media power can put your business in a perfect position to take advantage of this growing opportunity. Loading speed is even more important than ever in the smartphone world. Google has even mentioned trying to make loading speed a factor in their ranking algorithm. You may or may not need a separate .mobi site for use by smartphones, but at the very least, you need a site with clean, uncluttered code and all your pictures should be optimized for the fastest possible loading time.

The social media aspect is just as important. When someone asks their social media friends for a recommendation, will your name come up? Make your presence known on the social media sites and offer great information. However, the most important part of this equation is focusing on delivering excellence once your customer finds you. Even if a restaurant is found on a smartphone and offers a great menu, if you don’t focus on delivering excellence, you will not likely be recommended in the social media world.

Marketing in this lightening fast world is a challenge but it is the businesses that meet the challenge that will rise to the top.

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Social Security

by Joe B on February 2, 2010

Many business avoid using social media like Facebook for security reasons. It is true that Facebook is targeted by hackers and the reason is it is the biggest social network out there. Businesses are vulnerable because you actually want people to see your business phone number and other contact information. So, what are businesses to do? Maybe the answer is they just need some  “social security.”

Here are some “social security” guidelines:

  • Use a good password and change it often. What are the 10 most common passwords (and the most hacked)?

1. password
2. 123456
3. qwerty
4. abc123
5. letmein
6. monkey
7. myspace1
8. password1
9. blink182
10. (your first name)

  • Use an updated browser that features an anti-phishing blacklist such as Internet Explorer 8 or Firefox 3.5 (and higher).
  • Become a fan of Facebook Security to keep up with the latest security threats and solutions.
  • Consider setting up separate g-mail account for login purposes that does not use your name.

Take proactive steps to protect yourself. Facebook can be a great marketing tool for businesses, just do it safely!

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Social Media, Anyone?

by Joe B on January 26, 2010

A couple of interesting thoughts come to mind after the ABC’s of Facebook class last week. One comment from a participant was that Facebook for business was only for small business – big companies don’ t make friends. On the contrary, big businesses do use Facebook and they use it effectively to interact with their customers. And, their customers are responding. They look to Facebook pages to find out about sales and get special deals and find out about new products and services.

Internet marketing, whether through a website, social media or a blog can help level the playing field, however, it still takes time and effort for big companies and small businesses alike. Another participant in the class said she just didn’t want to have to spend any time on making friends and updating and interacting on Facebook. Actually, in that case, Facebook probably isn’t for her. A big company with lots of name recognition may not need to spend as much time making friends and inviting them to their business page, but for a small business, it is critical. It is a great opportunity to meet new people and hear from existing customers and to let them know what is going on with your business and offer them something in return.

Small or large, Facebook is a good tool for businesses. Is your business using Facebook effectively?

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Facebook for Business – Do’s and Don’ts

by Joe B on December 4, 2009

Do start ASAP. It won’t start itself!

Do work at getting fans. Invite friends through Facebook or by email. All your pages posts are for naught if no one is looking.

Do add a Fan Box to your website. Everyone can see how popular your page is.

Do update frequently.

Do make updates relevant.

Do add your blog’s RSS feed to your page.

Do make a memorable web address for your page.

Do publicize your events on your page.

Do engage in conversation with your fans.

Don’t tell people what you had for lunch or any other irrelevant information that they really don’t care about.

Don’t “spam” your fans with the same information over and over.

Don’t talk about politics or religion on your page unless your business is political or religious. Save those for your profile.

Don’t forget to ask your fans what they think. Ask questions.

Don’t make a page and forget about it. If you forget it, so will others. Keep it up to date!

Don’t neglect to give your fans and anyone else who visits your page information about how they can contact you.

Don’t forget to show your passion!

Don’t forget to add your memorable web address to your business card and email signature.

Don’t get on the wrong side of Facebook. Follow the rules!

Don’t stop! Keep it up. Success takes time!

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Are You Providing What They Want?

by Joe B on November 13, 2009

It is interesting to read studies and find information that kind of jumps out at you. In the 2009 Business Social Media Benchmarking Study by business.com, we find just that. According to the study, the most popular social media resource for businesses are webinars and podcasts. That rings true with us. We often attend webinars and podcasts to keep up with the latest that is going on in our industry.

Popular Social Media Resources

Popular Social Media Resources

However, when we look further, we see what most businesses offer, and it doesn’t necessarily match up with how most businesses use social media. For instance, we see, while businesses love to attend webinars and listen to podcasts, most don’t offer webinars and postcasts themselves.

Popular Social Media Initiatives

Popular Social Media Initiatives

I smell opportunity here, how about you?

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Small businesses are much more likely to use social media than large businesses according to the 2009 Business Social Media Benchmarking Study.

Small Businesses are more likely to use social media

Small Businesses are more likely to use social media

Why is that? The report does not look into the reasons, but I think there a few reasons that are obvious. Many larger companies ban social media use by their employees out of the fear that employees will squander work time. These fears have been seen before as far back as adopting the use of the telephone!

Small businesses may find it easier to adopt new media because they are more flexible. Large companies are like big ships. They are big and bulky and it takes them time to turn and maneuver. Small businesses are more like speed boats that can maneuver quickly around obstacles and adjust quickly.

The fact that small businesses are more likely to use social media gives them a great advantage. They can communicate directly with their customers and potential customers easily. They can create podcasts and webinars without big production costs that large companies would, no doubt, find a way to spend. Rather than being a faceless, nameless, large company, small businesses can use social media to be in touch in a personal way through social media.

Is your business using social media? If you need help getting started. Contact us at Wharton Website Design and Marketing, and we will be happy to help you out.

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Facebook Changes and a Project!

by Joe B on October 26, 2009

If you are using Facebook, you may have noticed some significant changes in your news feed this past weekend. One of the most interesting changes was that Facebook now decides what posts from your friends are most interesting based on an algorithm they created. Fortunately, they did give you ways to change it to suit your own tastes. Go here to see the Facebook Q & A and get more information.

Now . . . on to other news:

You may have noticed a new feature on the blog today! Wharton Website Design has teamed up with Soldiers’ Angels to participate in the Valour IT project.

valourit-logo-sm

Many of our military who are wounded receive comfort by way of technology. The Valour IT project is a fund raising effort to help provide the purchase and shipment of laptops and other technology for severely wounded service members. As of November 2008, Valour-IT has distributed over 2700 laptops to severely wounded Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines across the country, and is now expanding its mission to include other technology that supports physical and psychological recovery. Every cent raised by this effort is used directly for the purchase and shipment of the technology needed.

The project is divided up by teams representing the different branches of the armed services to make it a little more fun. All of the money raised by the teams is for the same project. Wharton Website Design and Marketing has joined the Marine team! Go Marines.

If you would like to donate to the help and comfort of our military, please  click on the Valour IT link on the top right.

How else can you help? Join the effort yourself by posting about this on your blog. Help us get the word out. This fund raising effort runs from October 26 through Veterans Day, November 11!

Let’s give back to those who sacrifice for us!



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Is it a Conversation or a Broadcast

by Joe B on October 16, 2009

A conversation or a broadcast? Or maybe another way to put it is are you a business or a person? Businesses are made up of people. People want to connect to people not businesses. This is a good point when it comes to using social media for your business.

So, you have a business page. Your business page cannot comment on what people are doing in the news feed, but, it can interact with anyone who comments on it posts. And, since your business is made up of people, you have personal profiles connected. Personal profiles can interact with other personal profiles. Are you interacting?

Interacting means commenting on other peoples pictures, status, videos, etc. Don’t be one that only responds to people who comment on you. As interesting as you may be, if you are only posting what you are doing and responding when someone comments on what you are doing, you are broadcasting, not having a conversation. Look around at what other people are doing. You may find some of it interesting. If you do, leave a comment. If someone posts an interesting video or story, comment and then pass it along.

Social media for businesses is all about connecting and interacting. As my father once told me “If you are not interested in what other people are doing, why should they be interested in you?” That is a good point, not just for businesses using social media but for life in general.

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