Posts Tagged ‘service’

Social Networking Communities (MySpace and Facebook)

October 23, 2008

October 23, 2008

“Social Networking Communities (MySpace and Facebook)”

Many marketers are now discovering the importance and value of online social networking communities. Facebook and MySpace are great social networking tools that people can use to promote or sell their service, product, or message.  Different people will use various networking sites in a variety of ways. It is quite possible for someone to utilize a combination of networking sites in order to achieve their goals. The most important thing to remember when dealing with social networking sites is the ability and need to connect to people. Here we will examine some of the ways that marketers can utilize theses networking tools to their advantage. 

 

MySpace

MySpace and other social networking tools give the marketer a built-in audience to sell to. Dotty Blake in his blog suggests that digital products are the easiest to sell online since there is no shipping charges or hassle.  In his blog he outlines what he think are the necessary steps that need to be taken in order to use both clickbank.com and MySpace to sell your product.  He suggests treating each MySpace profile like a person and to give each profile person-like characteristics.  He actually suggests setting up numerous profiles and making each profile an “actress or actor”. For example, he says if you were to sell a quit smoking product on your MySpace page, then you would initiate a blog about your product and other people (actors or actresses) would start to comment, and that would hopefully initiate conversation among actual visitors.  He says that on affiliate profiles you could even have the actors or actresses suggest the product by posting comments such as “yes I had the same problem till I discovered this book”.

 

Facebook

Brian Wallace at Nowsource.com  compiled some tips and suggestions on how to fully take advantage of Facebook. He emphasis the importance of facebook’s applications, such as Blog Friends where you can add in your friend’s blogs as well as friends of friends. He also makes note of RSS feeds.  You can put other website feeds on your Facebook profile, which is great for small businesses and entrepreneurs.  Justin Smith is the author of “The Facebook Marketing Bible”. His blog is a synopsis of this book. For anyone wanting to use Facebook to the fullest this blog if not book ,is definitely a useful read. Smith states that the most important part of utilizing Facebook is your profile page, because that is where your audience gets to engage with certain parts of your identity. He admits that the profile page is where you can express your passion for you brand, company or product. Smith explores every possible application of Facebook. Some of the less traditional Facebook applications that he examines include:

Social Ads:   With Social Ads, Facebook offers advertisers the option to pay on a CPC or CPM basis, whichever they prefer.

Integrated Opportunities: if you represent a large account, Facebook has partnered with Microsoft to serve advertisers wit higher campaign budgets.

Polls: polls offer an easy way for marketers to quickly conduct research within their targeted audience.

Finally Smith admits that Facebook marketing campaigns will require much more creativity than any other SEM campaigns. Facebook provides brand marketers the opportunity to design immersive and persuasive brand experiences.  Some of the success of Facebook should be credit towards its instant feedback nature, where user’s activity is constantly being updated and displayed.

 

Whichever social networking tool(s) you decide to use it is important to note that these tools are effective because they are personal yet non-intrusive.  If your audience consists of young people then Myspace may be the tool for you. If you plan on creating a Myspace profile consider leveraging third party services to bring multimedia content (i.e. flash widgets) onto your page. The fore mentioned piece on Myspace was merely an example of how one could use the Myspace to sell or promote a product but certainly not the only option available.  If you plan on using Facebook or Myspace or a combination of the two, it is important to remember that creativity and need to connect to people are two of the most important success factors. There is presumably more research online about how to fully utilize facebook and MySpace then could be fixed into this blog.

 

 

 

 

Choosing A Web Designer/Service for small Business

October 2, 2008

October 2, 2008

“Choosing a Web Designer/service provider for small businesses”

There are many different roles and functions needed in order to create an effective and successful website, such as web hosting, a website programmer, a web designer, a graphic designer, and an internet marketing specialist. Sometimes if you are lucky you can find all these essential services from one individual or company, but finding this really is a rare occurrence. Here we will look at the issue of web design and choosing a web designer or web designing service. Web design is the second phase of the whole web site development cycle, so we will be analyzing issues within this framework or phase.

 A web designer is someone “helps you to determine the page layout, graphics, text location and colors of your site, as well as the navigation and how pages will cross-link to one another. He may also do the actual computer programming and graphic art work for the site, or may hire out that work to a programming specialist. A Website Designer is the project manager for your site design or redesign” (http://www.passionforbusiness.com/articles/choose-website-designer.htm).   Choosing a web designer is not easy, and is actually a very critical step, especially when launching an e-commerce site for the first time.  When launching an e-commerce for the first time, a good website can attract customers and bad one can draw customers away, regardless if you are self-employed of a small –medium sized business. There are a number of factors that should be considered when choosing a web designer.

Firstly, one should consider their business and their customer’s needs, and what exactly they are attempting to offer their customer through their website. Website requirements will vary for service-based websites, information-based websites and so forth.  Secondly, in brief, it is important to have a realistic time frame and website plan and a budget to go with this plan. Thirdly, comes actually choosing the website designer, which should be accompanied by some research.

There are a number of things that should be considered prior to choosing a web designer such as: credentials, cost, contact, experience, vision, planning, testing, technology, consultation, legality, and ongoing support.  There is a great deal of informative articles, blogs and sites concerning this type of research for organizations to review. Based on some of this research, below is a summation of tips and suggestions that surrounds choosing a web designer, with a focus on credentials, cost, and experience. 

Credentials

An article found at mediacollege.com, (http://www.mediacollege.com/internet/intro/choose-designer.html), suggested that there a lot of web designers out there who claim to be qualified but have no real experience.  The sites suggests asking any prospective web designer if they can: manually write HTML code, work with languages such as JavaScript, create meta-tags, and optimise for search engines, create forms and other interactive content and work with websites in a secure server environment. If a web designer is lacking in any of the previously mentioned areas, they probably aren’t qualified to work on your website. The article also gives out advice with regards to warning signs, or indicators of a qualified versus an unprofessional web designer. For example, very few professional designers use Microsoft FrontPage; this would be a bad warning sign. Where as, many professional web designers use programs such as adobe dream weaver – this would be a good sign. 

Cost

Even if you are working on a tight budget, do not be blinded in by cheap quotes.  However, one should keep in mind that cost and end results go hand in hand. Karen Greenstreet is a self employment expert and small business coach, sharing tips, techniques and strategies with self employed people. In her article found at Passionforbusiness.com (http://www.passionforbusiness.com/articles/choose-website-designer.htm), she gives great advice concerning cost and web design. She states that if a web designer gives you a quote or estimate before even discussing the content or features of your website this is a bad sign. She also advises to pay attention to whether or not the designer will stick to your budget, or whether they will continues to suggest new add-ons and expensive features.  Finally, she suggests asking what the costs for maintenance or upgrades will be.

Experience

Always ask a web designer for his portfolio, a professional web designer will have one to show you.  In addition, actually talking to some of their previous and preset clients to see how the process went is not a bad idea. Creative behaviour.com (http://www.creativebehavior.com/index.php?PID=47), suggests to first asking the designer how long they have been in business, and that this will be a good indication of how familiar or unfamiliar they are with the current technologies of web design. The websolutions blog at http://jyotitis-websolutions.blogspot.com/2008/01/how-to-choose-website-designer.html advises to ask the designer for a small test in order to examine their web designing ability. They also suggest checking out the potential web designer’s reputation online. Chances are that if a web designer has any sort of track record or history, whether it is good or bad, it can be found online. Finally, one should always look at the web designer’s site or company site; this will be a very good indication or professionalism and quality.

Having no website at all is better than having one that is unprofessional or amateur in design.  With any type of customer relationship, there should be a certain “fit” and the same applies to choosing a web designer. The research required in order to locate the web designer suited for your needs and business may be a little time consuming but it will be well worth it in the end.