14 WAYS TO FIND CLIENTS ON SOCIAL MEDIA

This is great and usable advice.

Twitter

1. Search for potential clients who are in need of your services by using the search bar.

2. Reach out to three new potential clients every week and start building a relationship with them.

3. Reach out to three of your competitors every week, tell them why you admire something they’re doing and start a real friendship.

4. When you’ve formed real connections with people, drop them an email and ask them if they fancy hopping on Skype for a coffee date with you!

5. Join in Twitter chats like #createlounge, get to know others in the chat and show them your amazing knowledge! Twitter chats aren’t just about learning from others, they’re about meeting new people with new skills.

6. You can use Twitter to not only get clients, but keep them. When you and your clients have finished working together, tweet about their content every now and then and share it with your followers. A little support goes a long way.

7. Don’t ignore people who share your work and ask you questions. Twitter is all about interaction, so interact! Acknowledge people. Show them you appreciate them. You’d be surprised how many of your clients start out as followers and hire you later down the line because they trust you.

• Facebook

8. Join Facebook groups filled with your potential clients. And here’s the trick: don’t join dozens of groups. Join a maximum of three. It is faaaar more beneficial to participate daily in fewer groups than to participate every now and then in lots of groups. You want group members to remember you as the go-to expert of your niche, and they’re not going to if you rarely show up.

9. Join Facebook groups filled with your competitors. It’s all about community over competition! Your competitors need to refer work to others sometimes, and they’re not going to refer it to you if they don’t know you. (Plus: it’s nice to talk to others who understand the business you run and go through the same trials.)

10. Provide plenty of free advice. Don’t horde your expertise, it’s unkind. Sharing what you know in Facebook groups will position you as an expert and make you to no.1 freelancer the other members think of when they need to hire someone with your skills. Plus: sharing your knowledge helps ones in the group who can’t afford to hire you!

11. Go above and beyond to help people. Don’t just answer someone’s question in a Facebook group. Direct message them, Skype them and start a deeper conversation.

12. Start your own Facebook group. Facebook groups are often filled with potential clients and customers who can’t wait to buy from you or work with you.

13. Start a Facebook ad campaign. Think Facebook ads are just for product-sellers? Think again my friend. You can advertise your services and, more importantly, the benefits of your services! And here’s the beautiful thing: most freelancers don’t use Facebook ads to promote their services. If you can crack this method of marketing, you’ll be able to tap into a goldmine of clients that your competitors have not.

14. Host a Facebook group party. Collaborate with some friends who have a similar size audience to you. Create a Facebook group, make sure you all promote it to your audiences, and post videos every day for a week about your expert topics. This is a super fun (and free!) way of growing your audience, showing your knowledge and getting in front of new potential clients.

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Using Social Media to get clients….

 

 

 

What do you want to get out of your social media marketing?

For most companies, the benefits they expect to see are:

  • increasing exposure (89%)
  • developing loyal fans (68%)
  • providing marketplace insights (66%).

These are all real benefits of social media and can deliver great value for your business, but they are also a little too abstract and a little distanced from marketing’s main priority – customer acquisition.

Further down on the list of benefits, 66% of marketers expect to generate leads from social media. This is where social can really make an impactful, measurable difference for your business.

While there was once a time where social media was only beneficial for brand awareness and customer loyalty, the way consumers buy has changed that. 67% of the typical B2B buyer’s journey is done digitally and 90% of buyers say that online content has an effect of their purchasing decisions. Customers are not only open to being engaged and converted through social – they actually expect it:

  • 55% of B2B buyers do their research by using social networks
  • 78% of people say that their buying decisions are influenced by a company’s social media posts
  • 77% of Twitter users feel more positive about a brand when their Tweet has been replied to

This change has opened up social media as the new path for customer acquisition.

Social Media is the number one channel leveraged by CMOs to move every stage of the customer experience forward – except buying. When brands look to engage customers at the discovery, learning, trial, use and advocacy stages of the buyer journey, social media was hands down the channel they lean on. For buying, social is only beat out by website and email.

While you will eventually need to move your customers onto a web page or sales email (until Facebook Marketplace takes off…just kidding) social media is still your best way to lead customers through the path towards an acquisition. Here are a few key steps towards building out your customer acquisition path through social media:

Right Channels With The Right Content

While most people understand the importance of carefully segmenting their audience and creating engaging content, few marketers are good at combining the two. According to the IMN 2013 Content Marketing Survey Report, only 22% of marketers have a separate content marketing strategy in place for each social media channel.

Ontario’s Highlands Tourism Organization saw success by targeting the millennial segment of their audience with specifically tailored content in the form of their #WinterWander campaign. After tailoring their content to their audience, they published that content on the specific social media channels that segment was active on through promoted posts on Instagram and Facebook. In just three months of focused efforts they were able to see a 168% increase in Instagram followers and a 18% increase on Facebook.

The right social media channels for your business may be completely different, depending on your audience. You also may engage different segments of your audience on different channels or speak to the same segments in different ways depending on the medium you’re on. That’s why the average organization uses 6 different social channels and rates these as the most effective:

  • LinkedIn 66%
  • Twitter 55%
  • Youtube 51%
  • SlideShare 41%
  • Facebook 30%
  • Instagram 22%
  • Pinterest 20%
  • Google+ 13%

By targeting your message to each social channel you can speak to that audience’s unique needs and promote content and offers most likely to move them forward in the customer acquisition process. Also, because you only send your message to qualified leads rather than scatter-shooting the same message across all your social channels, this strategy will greatly reduce your lead generation costs. Military social network Sandboxx found that by targeting their content to specific segments of their audience they were able to decrease cost-per-acquisition by 70%.

Tracking Relevant Keywords And Target Brands

Ensuring your social media content fits each network’s audience will help you increase web traffic and generate leads, but in order to move your customers further along the acquisition process your social strategy needs to get even more targeted.

By tracking relevant keywords and prospects, you ensure that your social team can respond to your social leads in a timely and personal way. Unfortunately, brands run into several issues when trying to track social activity:

  • 96% of the people that discuss brands online do not follow those brands. Even though people are talking about your business, they aren’t making it easy for you to find them.
  • Social profiles aren’t going to include keywords like “decision maker” or “investor.” Social marketers need to map their buyer personas to discover which keywords indicate a qualified lead.

Merchant service provider Ethix learned this the hard way when their initial attempt to find investors did not generate many leads or responses. By measuring and honing in on the keywords that brought them the most leads, the company was able to retarget their social marketing, find the brand persona that are moving the needle, and increase website visits and phone call volume by 15-20%.

Integrating Marketing Automation

Targeting the right audiences with the right messages at the right time will greatly improve your ability to acquire customers through social media. Unfortunately, it will also take a lot of time. While this effort will certainly pay dividends, most businesses simply do not have the resources to spend all day tracking and nurturing social media leads.

That’s where marketing automation comes in.

Automating the repeatable aspects of your social acquisition will actually allow you to offer an even more personalized experience to your audience. In fact, companies using marketing automation are 230% more likely to create custom content for each acquisition stage and 350% more likely to trigger content through intelligent targeting.

Here are a few ways automation can help you use social media to guide your followers through the acquisition process:

  • A/B Test Different Social CTAs: Test out different messaging strategies for each channel and segment to figure out what makes your leads take action. Your calls-to-action will always require tweaking, but these insights will get you closer every time.
  • Engage Leads on Social: By tracking specific keywords that indicate buying interest or include mentions of your brand, you can automatically send messages to qualified leads to begin the customer acquisition process.
  • Automate Lead Follow-up: Using a social automation tool like Socedo you can automatically share a piece of lead generation content with new followers and then use a marketing automation tool like HubSpot to enter those leads into a nurturing campaign.

One of the biggest social media challenges for businesses is to understand and measure the true value of various social media channels. By focusing on customer acquisition over more abstract social media goals, you can create a funnel that will bring you much better results and be much easier to track.

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How to Master Social Customer Acquisition

The following article was published by Kissmetrics and presents an indepth look at customer Acquisition using Social Media.

 

We live our lives in social media. When you go on vacation, all 1,049 of your Facebook friends will see the pictures of you lounging on the beach. When you’re stuck in traffic on a Monday morning and need to vent, your Twitter followers are there for you! In fact, there are 3.2 billion interactions on Facebook and over half a billion tweets published every single day.

It only makes sense that marketers have spent the last few years trying to figure out how to monetize social media. How do you turn social media into a real customer acquisition channel?

In trying to answer that question, the concept of social customer acquisition was born. What is that? Social customer acquisition is essentially the art of building and maintaining relationships to improve the traditional customer acquisition and retention processes. It’s not restricted to social media, but social media is certainly a good place to start.

Non-social customer acquisition tactics are on their way out. Traditional push marketing just can’t keep up with pull marketing. 70% of consumers trust brand recommendations from friends and family, but only 32% trust information on brand websites (and even fewer trust ads). While most startups are aligned with the inbound, social customer acquisition movement, many of them are still struggling to do it effectively.

Two companies that are doing social customer acquisition well are Habbo Hotel and Innocent Drinks, but they’re both doing it in very different ways. There’s more than one way to make friends, cultivate advocates and convert those relationships into sales.

habbo hotel

Habbo Hotel is a massive multiplayer online community. Essentially, you create a digital version of yourself, build virtual rooms to hangout in and make new friends. The sense of community Habbo Hotel has created inspires teens and young adults around the world to pay for virtual products. Trade in your real world dollars for online currency to build the best room, “wear” the best clothes, etc. Cash for pixels.

intro to juicing

Innocent Drinks is a fruit juice and smoothie brand from London. You can find them on almost every major social media platform: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, Instagram, Pinterest – you name it. But social customer acquisition isn’t about being on every platform possible, it’s about choosing the right platform(s) for your demographic and building a strong community.

What makes Innocent Drinks great is that they have built, and are always maintaining, active communities on all of their branded social media platforms. The entire company is fun and social… they’ve made juice exciting and, more importantly, interactive.

Habbo Hotel reported $78.7 million in revenue in 2010. Innocent Drinks brings in an impressive $306 million in revenue. These brands rely heavily on their communities to get the word out. Habbo Hotel users tell their friends at school, they make new friends online, they buy virtual items and they fuel Habbo Hotel’s partner advertising program. Innocent Drinks’ communities are also incredibly engaged. They’re tweeting about Innocent to friends, they’re submitting videos for YouTube contests, etc.

Unless you own a very specific type of brand (like Habbo Hotel), popular social media platforms will likely be the best social customer acquisition channels for you. So, here’s how you can skip the vanity metrics and start monetizing your social media communities.

Social Media

Think of social media as the modern form of “word of mouth marketing”. People are talking about your brand on social media, whether you’re listening and engaging or not. But, it’s important to note, your customers really do want you to be listening. Nearly half of customers expect customer service via Facebook alone, but only 23% of brands provide it. The cost of not being involved with social media is rising every single day.

There is literally an endless list of social media platforms online. For that reason, let’s focus on three of the most popular platforms: Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

1. Twitter

hootsuite

Twitter is one of the best social media platforms for engagement and community building. Two strategies you’ll want to use are: attending Twitter chats and building influencer lists.

One of the easiest ways to start building a community from the ground up is to insert yourself into relevant existing communities. 15Five, an employee feedback system, is a perfect example. They write about leadership, company culture and team productivity on their blog. They attend #TChat, a weekly Twitter chat hosted by the people behind the popular talent management blog, Talent Culture.

Twitter chats are a great way to connect with a lot of people who you know are interested (or could be interested) in your product at once. The more often you attend the same chats, the more recognition you’ll receive. You can also use Twitter chats to tastefully promote blog posts you’ve written that are relevant to the topic every once in a while.

Eventually, the relationships you build in the Twitter chat communities will extend beyond that hour a week. They make a great foundation for your own community!

Tip: Here is a big list of some of the most popular Twitter chats.

Another concept we should all be familiar with is: influence the influencer. You can always create search streams in HootSuite to monitor your keywords and engage with the people talking about them. But, unfortunately, you’ll be sifting through a lot of irrelevant tweets.

Speed up the process a bit by going straight to the top. Identify influencers in your industry and add them to private Twitter lists. Set those lists up as streams in HootSuite and then reach out to 2-3 influencers per list every day. Your influencer outreach tweets don’t need to be relevant to your brand (but it’s great if they are). Remember, this is a marathon – not a sprint.

To bring it all full circle, be sure you’re tweeting links to your website. That will help you push traffic and avoid the vanity metrics commonly associated with social media. The best way to tweet links to your website without seeming spammy is to have a blog. That way, you can provide real value to your community while driving traffic to your website. It’s win-win!

Tip: Use a link shortener like ow.ly or bit.ly to monitor clicks and see what works best. What tweets get the most retweets? Favorites? Replies? Measure and optimize your tweets going forward.

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2. Facebook

facebook

Facebook is the platform your customers really, really want to see you on. They want customer service via Facebook and they want you to be available to engage with them via Facebook. The two biggest values you can offer on Facebook are: entertainment and support.

Facebook is full of funny and inspiring content. Providing entertainment value by posting funny pictures that are relevant to your brand is a no-brainer. Manpacks, a subscription service for men, is a great example. They often post funny pictures they know men will love. At Onboardly, we post a lot of inspiring image quotes that are relevant to entrepreneurs.

As a general rule, if you can make someone laugh or inspire someone, you can start building a relationship with them. Facebook makes it easy to do either, especially since it’s image-heavy.

You’ve probably heard that a bad customer experience travels fast. If a customer goes home dissatisfied, you better believe they’ll tell anyone who will listen. Fortunately, a good customer experience travels fast too. Customers want support via Facebook, so offer it!

On your contact page on your website, give an email or contact form, but then link to your Facebook page. Note that you answer questions via Facebook as well. Often, your customers will choose social media over email. Why? Because it’s instant. The more people see you responding to support issues via Facebook, the more people will turn to it.

The inspiring and funny content you’re posting is designed to bring in likes and shares. The more likes and shares you receive, the greater your Facebook reach. And the greater your Facebook reach, the more fans you’ll see. Of course, that just means more relationships to build and more potential customers to initiate into the community.

Plus, as your current customers are telling their friends about the great customer experiences they’ve had via Facebook, you’re gaining word of mouth momentum!

To bring everything full circle, be sure your website URL is visible in your bio beneath your profile picture and post your blog content to your Facebook page. Again, the idea is to funnel the community you’ve built on Facebook to your website in order to make the conversion.

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3. LinkedIn

xactly

LinkedIn has two major differentiating factors: B2B and trustworthiness. While Twitter and Facebook are more universal, LinkedIn is very focused on B2B connections and leads. LinkedIn users also have a surprising amount of trust in the information they read on the social platform.

The three most popular ways to connect via LinkedIn are: individual influencer outreach, a branded page, and a group.

It might seem obvious, but extending your personal network by getting warm introductions to influencers is very powerful. While most people use LinkedIn to connect with current and previous co-workers and employers, you can use it to connect with industry influencers, whose opinions have a big impact on your customers.

You can also create a branded page on LinkedIn, which is a little less personal and, arguably, less effective than individual influencer outreach. A LinkedIn branded page is a good way to keep those interested in your brand up to date, but it doesn’t leave much room for engagement or relationship building. Still, some brands (like Xactly, a sales compensation management platform) have managed to keep their pages interesting.

In addition to brand pages, many people decide to join or create groups. Think of LinkedIn groups the way you thought of Twitter chats. It’s easier to insert yourself into an existing community than it is to build a new community from the ground up. Identify a list of groups that are relevant to your industry. Where do your industry influencers chat? Where do your customers chat? Join those groups and start engaging.

Just like with Twitter chats, eventually, you’ll be able to extend those relationships beyond the LinkedIn group. It’s the first step towards creating your own community on LinkedIn.

One of the best ways to funnel your LinkedIn community to your website is, you guessed it, via blog content. Post your blog content to your personal page, sync your RSS feed with your branded page, join discussions relevant to your latest blog post, etc. Otherwise, just make sure you have added all of the necessary links to your profiles, pages and groups.

Tip: When it makes sense, try to move conversations to email. B2B leads check their email more often than their social media, unlike most B2C leads. You’ll see quicker responses. LinkedIn is a great platform for initial connections, but relationship building can be slower there than on other platforms.

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Measuring Results

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1. Avoid Success Theater

With social customer acquisition, you run the serious risk of winding up in what Eric Ries calls “Success Theater”. Oh, wow, Twitter followers increased by 10%? That’s awesome. And your latest Facebook post was shared 100+ times? Cool. But… so what? What do Twitter followers and Facebook shares have to do with, well, anything? It’s social customer acquisition.

When we’re dealing with something as intangible as relationships, we tend to start to look for “easy metrics”. We want to assign numbers to our efforts and those vanity metrics are just sitting there, shiny and ready to impress.

The truth is, you should be more interested in a small, highly engaged community than a large follower or fan count. If there’s no relationship there, a follower is just a number.

So, while it might be tempting to measure your progress based on easy, vanity metrics, you have to resist. Don’t trick yourself into thinking you’re progressing and seeing growth when all you’re really seeing is 100 new bots per week.

2. Identifying Key Metrics

Vanity metrics, although great to look at, don’t do anything to move the needle. This has been a huge problem for social media marketers in the past and that same problem has been affecting social customer acquisition. How the heck do you put a price on a relationship? How do you measure the growth of a friendship? Is there a social media ROI?

The process still isn’t cut and dry. You will see value that you can’t accurately measure, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be measuring anything at all.

Start by identifying your key metrics and then work backwards. For example, let’s say you work on a freemium model like 15Five. One of your key metrics might be the number of free trial signups you receive. So, you’ll want to push as much qualified traffic to the landing page as you can. A reasonable key metric for social customer acquisition would be unique social referral traffic.

Are you measuring all of the relationships you’re building? No. Are you measuring all of the intangibles that come along with social customer acquisition? No. But you are tying your efforts to a goal that has real world value.

Because, let’s face it, all of those relationships are worthless without the conversion. It’s like collecting emails for a mailing list and then never sending anything out. What a waste!

So, you’ve decided to measure unique social referral traffic. Consider going a step further and measuring social goal completions as well. That way, you’re measuring the amount of social traffic and then the number of goals that that traffic completes. Think of it as almost a separate funnel.

3. Tools

Two of the best tools for measuring your results are: Google Analytics and Kissmetrics. Kissmetrics says it best: “Google Analytics tells you what happened, Kissmetrics tells you who did it.”

You can always use Google Analytics’ advanced segmenting to monitor your social traffic. Create segments for your major social channels. Twitter, Facebook, your blog – whatever.

Here’s how…

  1. In Standard Reporting, click “Advanced Segments” in the top left-hand corner. Click “+ New Custom Segment.”
  2. Name the segment and then choose your parameters. There’s a lot you can do with advanced segments.
  3. Make sure “Include” is selected and then search for “Source” in the green field.
  4. Make sure “Containing” is selected as well.
  5. Then enter the source you’d like to attribute traffic and events to. For example, “twitter.com”. For best results, consider what other names the sources might send traffic from. For example, for Twitter, “t.co” and “hootsuite.com” and “ow.ly”.
  6. Add as many variants as you’d like using the “Add ‘OR’ statement” button.

Your advanced segments will allow you to look at all of your Google Analytics data with a focus on just the social elements.

Combine that with Kissmetrics, which tells you more about the specific people who are performing those actions and giving you that Google Analytics data. After all, the more you know about the people who visit your website, the better your relationships will be and the better your social customer acquisition process will be.

Best Practices

 

1. Create customer-driven content calendars.

A big part of social customer acquisition is content creation. When they hear the term “content creation”, most people immediately think of blog posts. While blog posts are certainly part of it, there’s much more to it than that.

What you publish via social media, what press releases you push, what eBooks and webinars you develop, etc. all fall under the umbrella of content creation. If you’re doing social customer acquisition right, you’re developing and distributing a lot of high-quality content to benefit your target audience.

For example, Habbo Hotel hosts in-game events and Innocent Drinks creates content for at least six social media platforms daily. But that’s just the beginning. In order to keep all of your content organized, you need to work with calendars.

That could mean a Google Docs spreadsheet with tabs for social media, PR and content marketing. It could mean a big dry erase calendar hanging on your office wall. It doesn’t matter what your calendar looks like, it just matters that you have one.

Use content calendars to plan your release dates, manage your “authors”, manage your deadlines, assign keywords, monitor promotion strategies – whatever makes sense for you.

At Onboardly, we create Editorial Schedules that show: the progress of blog posts (complete, in progress, not started), the assigned authors, the post descriptions, the keywords for the posts, etc. We also create social media calendars, planning our Facebook content up to three months in advance (with a little wiggle room for timely content, of course).

That bird’s-eye view is important for overall strategy and, well, it just plain helps keep you organized when you’re managing multiple social customer acquisition channels.

2. Provide more value than you take.

Social customer acquisition is based on the idea that your community will provide you with value (read: sales). It’s the idea that building genuine relationships with people will inspire them to support you, buy from you and tell their friends about you. That’s a lot of value to take from your community.

Always be focused on providing more value than you’re taking away. So, if you’re a customer support and engagement software company like Groove, you could create a “customer happiness” blog and give tips for keeping customers happy and engaged. Or you could team up with a partner to host a live Twitter chat where you give out free prizes. Or you could use Facebook to post entertaining (yet relevant) pictures and videos daily (never underestimate the value of entertainment).

The idea is to make sure people are getting more than they’re giving. They should be happy to help you or check out your product. They should feel like they’re reciprocating, not like you are reciprocating. So, long before you ask for something, make sure you’ve given much more away. As the saying goes… build your relationships before you need them.

Just think of Clarity, a marketplace for business advice where experts can sell their advice over the phone. They recently launched a free startup advice guide, featuring insights from 100 entrepreneurs who submitted their best advice (Disclosure: I was included). Clarity literally gave away what they’re selling: great business advice. But they also collected the emails (upon download) of those interested in startup advice.

3. 80% community, 20% sales.

This goes hand-in-hand with the last best practice. You know content marketing is 20% creation and 80% promotion, right? Well, there’s a similar rule to work by: social customer acquisition is 80% community and 20% sales.

As marketers and quick-to-react entrepreneurs, our first instinct is typically to drive the sale. Or the freemium signup. Or the blog subscription. Or the eBook download. Or… or… or…

The trick is to have a little patience (it’s a virtue, after all). Building a community isn’t an overnight process. Would you be able to make a new best friend in a week? Not likely. But you definitely wouldn’t be able to make a new best friend in a week if you were constantly trying to sell him Cutco knives (even if you can offer him a “sweet discount”).

Rushing to the sale does more harm than good. Arguably, it’s better to not be on social channels at all than to be on them and spammy. Remember, people trust their friends and family the most. That goes both ways! If you give a bad impression, it’ll spread just as fast (if not faster) than a good impression.

You’re here to build real relationships, to take an interest in your potential customers. The result will be increased sales, improved retention, free word of mouth marketing, etc. You’re not here to build surface relationships that you can exploit for money down the road. That’s the exact opposite of social customer acquisition.

4. Social customer acquisition isn’t just social media.

As we saw with Habbo Hotel, social customer acquisition isn’t exclusively social media. Social media is simply one of the most popular (and one of the most accessible) ways to build relationships online.

Social customer acquisition encompasses anything that puts an emphasis on building and monetizing relationships. That includes parts of content marketing, parts of PR, live events, etc. The list is literally endless.

Don’t limit yourself unnecessarily! You can insert the “social” aspect into most popular types of inbound customer acquisition tactics. Get creative.

Conclusion

Social media is so much more than just another buzzword. Despite popular C-suite belief, it’s not an immeasurable waste of resources. In fact, as we continue to see the shift from push marketing to pull marketing, companies that hop on the social customer acquisition bandwagon sooner rather than later will have a leg up on the competition.

Relationships are a very important form of currency. It’s how entrepreneurs meet investors, it’s how employees meet potential employers and it’s how a new startup gets on TechCrunch. Why not take advantage of channels that are perfectly positioned to help marketers make those relationships and build those communities?

With the right analytics and social media management tools, you can turn relationships into sales. And, perhaps more importantly, you can turn those sales into happy, lifelong customers. After all, the most valuable customer is the one you don’t lose. Then, of course, there’s the word of mouth factor. Don’t think all of those happy customers will keep it to themselves!

About the Author: Shanelle Mullin is the Director of Marketing at Onboardly, a company focused on helping funded tech startups gain visibility and acquire more customers. They do this through content marketing, startup PR and social media. You can subscribe to their blog here.

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5 Things to Consider When Choosing a Domain for Your Website

When first setting up any website, one of the hardest — but most important — things to decide is what to call it. Your website’s domain will play a big role in defining your brand’s image, search optimization, “buzz-worthiness,” and more. Unique domains are becoming increasingly scarce commodities as thousands of new sites come online each year. With millions of websites already vying for real estate on the web, and each with a distinct domain name, finding the perfect thing to call your site is now more important than ever.

Get your domain today with InMotion Hosting’s easy Domain Registration service.

Basic Concepts

Of course, understanding what to consider when choosing a domain requires that you know what a domain really is.  In simplest terms, the domain name is made up of two parts: the part you create from scratch (like “InMotionHosting”) and the part after the dot, known as the “Top Level Domain” or “TLD” (such as “.com,” “.biz,” “.org,” etc.). You officially buy your domain and register it on the web through a registrar. The registrar ensures that you are the only one who can use that domain while you own it and notifies computers all over the world that when a user types in your domain it is your site they should reach.

5 Considerations for Choosing the Perfect Domain Name

Now that you understand what a domain is, what the parts of the domain name are called, and how to purchase one, it is time to make your choice. But, you need to do more than just pick the first name that comes to mind and happens to be available. After all, this domain will have a huge impact on your success online. So what should you think about when choosing your domain name?

1. Target Audience

Who will you be trying to convince to buy your product or service? Are they young? Old? Male? Female? Do they live in a certain area? When people use a search engine to find you, what sort of search terms will they use? Is your business online or does it have a physical presence in the real world, too? All of these considerations should factor into your final decision.

You also need to think about the terms people will use when they search for your type of product or service. If you can incorporate one or more of those terms directly into your domain name, you may get a direct boost to your search ratings. For example, if someone searches for “teddy bears,” a company with a domain like “FluffyTeddyBears.com” will probably rank higher than something with a generic name like “JimsToys.com.”

Similarly, if your business has a physical location, and you want people in your area to find you, consider including your city or state name in your domain. If someone in your vicinity is searching for a place near them offering your type of product or service, they will likely start their search with the name of your city. So, “DetroitCarCareExperts” or “BestPizzaOrlando” will be more likely to show up in their results than just “A1Mechanics” or “MariosItalian.”

2. Don’t Use Your Own Name

You may be very proud of your company or organization’s web presence, but you should probably avoid labeling it with your own name. While it might be a good idea to own and control the domain of your name for personal purposes, for business purposes there is really no benefit. It is highly unlikely that you share a name with whatever it is your company does, so anybody who is not searching specifically for you may miss you in search results or not understand what they are seeing.

Of course, there are two notable exceptions to this suggestion. The first is if your name is your brand, such as a celebrity or famous athlete. In that case, it makes total sense to use your name for your domain, because that is what people will be trying to find. The other exception is for a business that already shares your name. Many industries like to use the proprietor’s name, like fashion designers, hair stylists, realtors, and others. In that case, it might make sense to have a domain with your name in it. But, for an added boost, if your business has your name in it, but you want to appeal to a broader audience, you could have a domain that describes your business, like “RockportHairDesigns,” but then incorporates the actual owner/business name in the content throughout the site.

3. Spelling Counts

Some may find it fun to include obscure words or intentional misspellings in their domain name as a way to set themselves apart. But, be careful doing so. This may, again, exclude your site in search results for common words. For example, a company selling low-rider truck customization may rank lower in search results if they call their site something like “LowRyderz.” It may also make it difficult for users to find your site if they only hear the name and try to type it in directly, not knowing how to spell it. Go with something easy to spell for your domain name, and save the tricky and artistic misspelling or difficult verbiage for individual products or accent points on your site.

4. Brevity is the Soul of Wit

It was true in Shakespeare’s day, and it is still true in our modern, digital age. What seems more likely for someone to remember: “DetroitCornerBakery” or “DanAndGlendasBestLittleDetroitCornerBakery?” The more words you add to your domain name, the harder it is to read and remember. The perfect length domain name is a careful balancing act between brand identity and search engine optimization.  Great online brands like Google, Ebay, Yelp, and others have learned how to mix a strong brand presence in the marketplace with a very short domain name that people can easily remember. They have also spent millions in search engine marketing and optimization to make sure they rank highly in search results. On the other hand, smaller businesses may need the boost of adding things like a product name and location in order to boost search results, but have to avoid getting too wordy. A possible compromise may be using widely accepted abbreviations, like “auto” instead of “automobile,” “SoCal” instead of “Southern California,” or “NY” in place of “New York.”

Also, avoid using articles, like “a,” “an,” and “the,” such as “TheDenverRealtyCo.” People are likely to forget about these words when typing in your domain, and may end up on a competitor’s similarly named site by mistake.

5. Avoid Mimicking Another (More Popular) Brand

Speaking of similarly named sites, many find it a pretty tempting pitfall to try to use a domain name that closely resembles someone else’s site name. Many have thought if they could use a major brand name in part of their domain, it might trick customers into visiting their site, driving up traffic. This was actually a favorite trick of unscrupulous web developers in the early days of the Internet. But, with a deluge of trademark and copyright infringement lawsuits, and the purchase of many variations of popular brand names as domains, the practice has almost entirely fallen out of favor. It is much more likely that using a variation of a more well-known brand in your domain will not generate any more business for you, but could anger site visitors looking for the other company, attract lawsuits, and create a number of other headaches you would probably prefer to avoid.

Use the Goldilocks Approach

Finding the right domain name may be tricky. But, keeping these ideas in mind should put you on the right path. Take your time, think it through, and find a domain that is just right for your business or organization. Want to try out more than one variation? Buy them all and see which generates the best results. In the end, choosing the right domain name will be a mix of careful strategy, intuition, and a dash of your own personality.

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21 SURPRISING TIGER FACTS PROVE THESE BIG CATS ARE AMAZING

  • Tigers are the largest cat species in the world and the third-largest carnivore on land–only polar and brown bears are larger.

 

An adult Amur or Siberian tiger (the largest subspecies) can weigh up to 660 pounds.

 

The Sumatran tiger is the smallest, with males only weighing up to 310 pounds. Females generally weigh less than males in all subspecies.

 

Tigers are the only cat species that are completely striped. They even have stripes on their skin.

 

Stripe density varies by subspecies. The stripes on a Sumatran tiger are closer together than those on any other subspecies.

 

No two tigers have the same stripes. Like human fingerprints, their stripe patterns are unique to each individual. Stripes range in color from light brown to black and are not symmetrical on both sides of the tiger.

 

 

 

 

A tiger’s tail is about three feet long and helps them balance when making tight turns.

It’s estimated that tiger hunts are only successful about one in every 10 to 20 attempts.

An adult tiger can consume up to 88 pounds of meat in one meal and will often stay with its kill or bury it to return and dine over a period of days. It may not kill again for four or five days.

The average lifespan of a wild tiger is 10 – 15 years. But on rare occasion, they have been known to live up to 26 years in the wild.

Female tigers are super moms. After a gestation period of a little more than three months, they give birth (on average) to two to three blind and helpless cubs. The female is the sole provider for them until they reach independence at two years of age.

Unlike most big cats, tigers are powerful swimmers and have been known to swim great distances to hunt or cross rivers. Young tigers often play in water and adults will lounge in streams or lakes to stay cool during the heat of the day.

Tigers do not live in permanent groups like lions do. For the most part, they live solitary lives except when females are raising cubs. Although rarely seen, the term for a group of tigers is a “streak.”

You can hear a tiger’s roar from up to two miles away. Tiger vocalizations include roaring, growling, hissing, moaning and chuffing.

Tigers are generally nocturnal hunters. Their night vision is up to six-times greater than ours. But they’re also opportunists, which means they won’t pass up the chance for a daytime snack when it’s available.

A tiger’s hind legs are longer than its front legs, giving them the ability to leap forward 20 – 30 feet in one jump.

Tigers have large, padded, feet that make it easier for them to silently stalk their prey.

Tigers are ambush hunters preferring to sneak up on their prey before exploding into action, killing them with a bite to the neck or back of the head. They mainly hunt deer, wild boar, buffalo and antelope. But they’ll kill and eat what’s available, from small birds to bears to the occasional elephant.

White spots on the backs of their ears are sometimes thought to function as “eyes” to ward off potential attackers from the rear. Another theory is that they help tiger cubs follow their mothers through tall grass.

White tigers are not a separate subspecies nor are they albino. They are leucistic, the result of a recessive gene from each parent that affects pigmentation. White tigers typically have blue eyes.

Tigers are a keystone species. They’re integral to the health of the ecosystems in which they live. As apex predators, they keep prey species under control. This protects the vegetation which in turn maintains the integrity of streams, forests and croplands that provide people around the world with clean air, water, food and financial benefits. When we protect tigers, we protect ourselves.

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6 Instagram Tools to Improve Your Marketing

Do you want to take your Instagram marketing to the next level?

Have you considered using tools to support your efforts there?

Adding the right Instagram tools into your marketing flow can help you project a more professional image and give you valuable analytic insights.

In this article you’ll discover six tools to improve your Instagram marketing.

#1: Filter Your Images for a Signature Look

The first step to any successful Instagram account is to tell your company’s story. Your images are a reflection of your business, and you want them to appeal to your target audience on an emotional level.

It’s important to have a cohesive look to your images that unifies your brand assets. One tool that can help with that is A Color Story. This app makes it easy to fine-tune your photos and give them a more professional look before posting them to Instagram.

a color story app

A Color Story comes with five free filters or you can purchase all of the app’s filters for $7.99.

The app’s filters will help enhance your images and make them pop; they won’t overexpose them or make them look grainy. You can use the app’s five basic filters for free. It’s best to stick to one (or two) filters to give your photos a consistent look. Choose an attractive filter that unifies all of the images you post to Instagram.

instagram signature look example

A Color Story can help you develop an attractive, unified look to the images you post on your company’s Instagram account.

Tip: Avoid posting images on Instagram that are unrelated to your business or the story you want it to tell.

#2: Embed Your Instagram Feed for More Visibility

You want your Instagram feed to get in front of your target audience as much as possible. One way to do that is to embed it on your website or blog with a tool like SnapWidget. Embedding your feed on your site gives you free advertising and social real estate. You can also use this opportunity to ask website visitors to follow your account on Instagram.

snapwidget website instagram feed

SnapWidget lets you embed your Instagram feed on your website.

With SnapWidget, you can opt for a grid layout, slideshow, or photo map that lets users explore the places you’ve Instagrammed. Once you add the code to your website or blog, SnapWidget will automatically pull the latest photos from your Instagram account, and it will continue to update on your site automatically.

#3: Share Photos From Other Instagram Accounts

If you want to have a successful Instagram feed, it’s important to develop a supporting, sharing, and engaging community. This is one of the best things you can do for your business. If you interact with and support other Instagram users, they’ll likely reciprocate your actions and become active and engaged followers.

Sharing other users’ photos is an excellent way to build relationships with your followers and within your industry. Repost for Instagram, available for iOS and Android, makes it easy to repost Instagram images from other accounts and share their stories while giving them credit on your feed. This lets you develop relationships and at the same time share relevant and interesting images with your followers.

aviary

Reposting photos from other users on your account is a great way to develop relationships with them and share interesting images with your followers.

#4: Schedule Your Instagram Posts

Even though Instagram is life on the go, sometimes life gets in the way. You can’t always be glued to your phone and occasionally you need a few days off from the world of social posting. Maintain an active presence online with a tool like ScheduGram.

This web-based tool lets you post immediately to your Instagram account or schedule posts for later. You can manage multiple Instagram accounts so you don’t have to keep logging in and out of individual accounts. You can also grant access to multiple users so everyone on your team will have access to your Instagram posting schedule.

#5: Track the Performance of Your Instagram Content

You want to have a strategy behind every Instagram post. Are you trying to drive people to like your photo, leave a comment, or check out your website? Once you identify clear goals for your Instagram marketing, it’s important to monitor your analytics to see if you’re meeting those goals.

Use an Instagram analytics tool like Iconosquare to track your stats so you can see if your marketing tactics are working. You can view account metrics such as likes, comments, and engaged followers.

iconosquare stats

Iconosquare lets you monitor the success of your Instagram marketing efforts and see if they’re paying off.

Iconosquare will reveal which of your posts received the most engagement on the platform. This lets you quickly see what’s working for your account and then create and post more of that type of content. Viewing analytics and monitoring what your followers like or don’t like is important for building an engaged Instagram community.

Collecto is another good web-based tool for monitoring and tracking the performance of your Instagram account. You can see an overview of your photos and engagement and a summary of the tags, locations, filters, and stats for your posts.

collecto stats

Track your Instagram analytics and engagement with Collecto.

Conclusion

When it comes to marketing your business, Instagram is one of the most powerful social media platforms with over 400 million users. It’s a noisy platform, though, so you need to rise above that and create effective content that will catch your audience’s attention. The six tools in this article will help you provide fresh, consistent content that will engage your audience.

 

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It all boils down to a formula!

This is how we turn you into the GO-TO authority in your field!

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Guiding you through the Digital Jungle

It’s a Digital Jungle out there! As a culture, we are suffering from content overload. We are all aware of the various channels that people are using, but before you have gotten the hang of Facebook, there are more and more channels opening up weekly, all are adding to the confusion.

Look, you can’t be held responsible for not knowing how your car works, – you just use it… – But here’s a question you should ponder… Would you become a better, safer driver if someone showed you how to drive like a pro? Would it save time? Would you be able to react better in emergency situations? My guess is that you are quietly nodding in agreement.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Optimise your posting times

Share at the best times.

There may not an exact best time to post, but data analytics firm SumAll found the optimum times to post on various platforms as follows:

9 a.m. to 11 a.m. EST for Google +,

1 p.m. to 3 p.m. for Twitter,

7 a.m. to 1 p.m. for Facebook,

7 p.m. to 10 p.m. for Tumblr,

5 p.m. to 6 p.m. for Instagram, and

8 p.m. to 11 p.m. for Pinterest.

I’ve personally found that women tend to be online late on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. I typically wait until around 10 p.m. or 11 p.m. to post. When I’m working with an ecommerce site, the best time for me to post is Thursday night. My previous company Organize could sell almost three times the amount of products online on Thursday night as compared with any other night of the week.

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