Bio: Phyllis Zimbler Miller is the co-founder of the social media marketing company http://www.MillerMosaicPowerMarketing.com and she writes for numerous blogs. Her company has a collaboration project with Magnetic Webworks -- see http://budurl.com/ultrapro
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While anyone can start using social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter for promoting a business, it would seem reasonable to understand that there are things to learn about using these platforms effectively.
I sometimes see a person whose LinkedIn personal profile (you know, the one listed under PEOPLE) is in the name of the company, which is in violation of LinkedIn’s terms. On the other hand, you can have a LinkedIn company listing under COMPANIES after you’ve set up a personal profile (if you have a professional email address).
More frequently I see someone whose Facebook personal profile is in the name of the company, which is in violation of Facebook’s terms. (See http://budurl.com/readFBterms ) Instead, you should have a Facebook Page (formerly a fan page – now a Page that people “like”) to use for your business.
Thanks to the concept that social media is about sharing and not selling, there are tons of free information sources as well as tons of fairly priced information sources. You should take advantage of the available information to optimize your use of social media to promote your business.
Blogging, of course, is a very effective way to establish your reputation. And yet I frequently see websites/blogs that do not have even basic SEO (search engine optimization) in place. These bloggers are writing good post after good post but the search engines aren’t finding the content.
It’s great that the barriers to entry for blogging and using social media are so low. But sometimes, when entry is so easy, this is misleading for people who would like to use these tools effectively to get in front of their target markets.
How to start learning more?
Click through on the links of people you follow on Twitter or who you are connected to on Facebook and LinkedIn to check out the content they are sharing. If it is something that could help you, take the time to read the material and then implement the technique if it makes sense for you.
Of course there’s not enough time to read and implement everything. But do try to learn a couple of new things each week so that, over time, your knowledge of social media and blogging best practices increases.
© 2011 Miller Mosaic, LLC
Phyllis Zimbler Miller (@ZimblerMiller on Twitter) is the co-founder of Miller Mosaic Social Media Marketing. Download the company’s free report “5 Tips for Staying Top of Mind With Your Prospective Target Markets” at www.millermosaicllc.com/los-angeles-social-media-consultant and read the company blog at www.MillerMosaicSocialMediaMarketing.com
Many of us are very careful what we write in our blog posts and add to our blog sites. Yet sometimes we forget that things change – and we need to revisit our blog site to ensure that what’s there is consistent with our current status.
When I write a blog post I try to keep in mind making the post as evergreen as possible. For example, I won’t write “last night I read …” because three months from now that won’t be accurate. Instead I’ll write “I read …”
But sometimes the “little” things that can impact our credibility slip away from us. I realized this when looking at a client’s site that had an early bird special announced – and the deadline for the early bird special had passed.
Because of these “little” things it’s a very good idea to schedule a periodic maintenance check-up for your blog site just as you do for your car.
Such a maintenance check-up might include looking for broken links or for dated announcements that are no longer relevant or even re-reading your home page copy to see whether you think it still resonates with your target market.
If you’ve linked to other blogs that were running a contest or offering a special deal, is the anchor text for those links still relevant? Or does the anchor text need to be revised for what those blogs are currently offering?
And while you’re reviewing your blog site, has new material you’ve added recently given you new opportunities for internal linking? Are there some older blog posts that could be linked to newer blog posts?
Most bloggers are keenly aware of increasing blog traffic by getting good external links coming into their blog site and by adding effective metatags.
But since search engines like fresh content on a blog site, why not provide fresh content besides your new blog posts by scheduling a frequent “blog site cleaning”?
© 2010 Miller Mosaic, LLC
Phyllis Zimbler Miller is co-founder of the social media marketing company Miller Mosaic Power Marketing, which has a collaboration with Magnetic Webworks. Miller Mosaic provides social media marketing coaching while Magnetic Webworks builds WordPress websites/blogs for clients – see http://budurl.com/ultrapro
In reading comments on a blog post, I noticed that one comment announced that the person was afraid to try new things. She admitted she had finally gotten on Twitter but hadn’t yet gotten on Facebook.
Now this was someone who wanted her material to be read. What was she thinking ignoring a social media site – Facebook – that has over 400 million members?
Having an open mind to trying new things means that you have to be willing to start at square one. You can’t expect to be an expert the day that you first try a new Internet marketing strategy. You have to crawl before you walk and then run.
If fear of the unknown is hobbling your blogging activities, get Carol Dweck’s book “MINDSET: The New Psychology of Success.” She explains why having an open mind to failure actually leads to success.
After all, if you are consistently blogging, you do want people to read what you’ve written. Thus you should be willing to continually learn new strategies that can legitimately attract people to your blog.
© 2010 Miller Mosaic, LLC
Phyllis Zimbler Miller has an M.B.A. from The Wharton School and is the co-founder of the social media marketing company Miller Mosaic Power Marketing. Get her FREE report “How to Monetize Your Site/Blog Without Ads” at http://www.millermosaicllc.com/monetize-your-site
The Internet is continually awash with new information. And while individual bloggers can’t be expected to keep up with all the new developments, it behooves all of us to keep an eye out for news that directly affects us.
• One such new development: Google supposedly is now taking load speed into consideration when returning search engine rankings.
In theory, as I understand it, this could mean that a site that in the past has been on page 1 of Google for a specific search term could now be pushed back to later pages because the site doesn’t load quickly.
I’m not an SEO expert so I can’t give any specific advice about what to do with this knowledge. But in my blog post “Marketing Websites: Patience Is No Longer a Virtue” I do deal with quicker loading speeds in order to be more website user-friendly.
• Facebook’s newest changes. Where to start?
First, there’s the change from “fan” to “like” on what were previously known as Facebook fan pages. (They appear to just be “pages” for now.) This “like” is not to be confused with the “like” that indicates you like someone’s comment. Okay, I admit I’m confused too.
And what’s more, the “likes” on your Facebook page are now separated into two categories – your Facebook friends who “like” your page and people (those who aren’t your Facebook friends) who “like” your page. Thus you have to add the two categories together to know how many “likes” you have for your page.
Then there are the new “community” pages. A client received a message from Facebook that her Facebook page had been switched to a “community” page, although she was advised that she could appeal this designation. After I read what a “community” page might become – taken away from the creator and turned into a sort of wiki – I advised her to appeal the designation.
While we can’t keep track of everything that affects our blogs and our related online activities, we need to try to keep up with the most important news.
How to do it? I mostly rely on tweets with article links that catch my attention, although I learned first about Facebook changes from the free ezine of Publicity Hound Joan Stewart (www.publicityhound.com). And I did read an interesting Facebook article in the April 22nd Wall Street Journal by Jesica E. Vascellaro that began:
“Facebook Inc. announced an ambitious plan to get its tentacles further out into the Internet by better linking people, places and things, as it looks to turn a massive audience into a pool of well-understood consumers.”
Bottom line? Big Brother is definitely watching – so beware.
© 2010 Miller Mosaic, LLC
Phyllis Zimbler Miller (@ZimblerMiller on Twitter) has an M.B.A from The Wharton School and is the co-founder of the social media marketing company Miller Mosaic Power Marketing. Get her free report “How to Monetize Your Site/Blog Without Ads” at www.millermosaicllc.com/monetize-your-site
This is an important question, since the manner in which you review a book may affect your readers’ perceptions of how you conduct your business.
Actually, the first step in learning how to write a book review is to read the book. Now don’t laugh. Many people write reviews without reading the book.
First, this isn’t fair to the author of the book. Second, you can easily make a factual error in your review if you haven’t read the whole book.
Some people take notes while reading a book for review. For example, this can entail taking notes on locales, an especially well-written passage, or character motivation. In a book with numerous characters who pop in and out of the story, it might be necessary to keep track of how characters are connected to other characters.
When you are ready to write a book review, know where that review will be published. If you are writing a review on Amazon, you can write a very short review. But if you are writing for a book review site, there may be a specific required length.
One way to jump start writing book reviews is to read other reviews. Note what aspects of the review seem helpful to you as a reader and what aspects seem unhelpful. Then try to provide the same helpfulness in your book reviews that you would like to find in the book reviews of others.
One important consideration when writing a book review – don’t give away plot points that might be considered surprises or twists. For example, if you don’t find out until the last page that Sally is really the mother of Nancy, do not write in your review that you were happy to learn that Sally is really the mother of Nancy. Please let the reader experience that surprise exactly when you experienced it – at the end of the book.
Also, if you are writing a review of a book that takes place during a particular historical period, don’t automatically assume that the author is wrong about a certain historical fact. Unless you are truly an expert in that historical period, you may be the one with the incorrect information rather than the author.
Keeping in mind that people read fiction and nonfiction books for different reasons, your job as a reviewer is to evaluate from your own perspective whether the author fulfilled the promise of the book. For example, if you were reviewing the novel “Gone With the Wind,” you could certainly write that Margaret Mitchell realistically captured the sentiments of Southerners before, during and after the Civil War.
You can also evaluate whether the ending of the book is consistent with the rest of the story. Or did the ending feel tacked on as if the author ran out of steam and just ended however he or she could.
In other words, what you are looking for in writing a review on a novel (or a biography) is whether this is a satisfactory “read.” Did the story premise catch your attention and keep you turning pages until a satisfying ending?
If you are reviewing a nonfiction book, did the information in the book support the promise of the title? Let’s imagine a book titled “1001 Ways to Stop Stuffing Your Face With Ice Cream.” By the end of the book has the author indeed provided 1001 alternatives to continually gobbling your favorite ice cream flavors?
One final tip: Do not show off your own knowledge. It isn’t helpful to write that the author should have focused more on race relations in the U.S. during the 1960s when in fact the author was telling a story about how the Vietnam War affected one family and not telling a story about how race relations affected one family.
While you shouldn’t give a five-star review to a book when it doesn’t deserve it, you also shouldn’t give a book a one-star review just because you’re sure you could write a better novel about the Vietnam War. Give the book a fair review, then go write your own book.
Bottom line? Learning how to write a book review can take time, but it’s worth the effort for the business blogger.
© 2010 Miller Mosaic, LLC
Social media marketer Phyllis Zimbler Miller is the author of the novel “Mrs. Lieutenant.” You can read the entire book for free online by going to her website www.MrsLieutenant.com Her company www.MillerMosaicPowerMarketing.com builds book author websites and coaches authors about online book promotion.
Answering the question of “what is Twitter” appears easy. Twitter is called a microblogging platform because you only have 140 characters to write a tweet — an update — of what you’re doing or thinking about.
Yet the truth is that answering “what is Twitter and how does it work” is anything but simple.
First, Twitter is different things to different people, ranging from a fun way to update your friends about what you ate for dinner to an integrated part of an online social media marketing strategy.
And, second, depending on what Twitter is to you impacts “how does it work.” Why? Because although you only have 140 characters for your tweeted update, what you do with those 140 characters determines how Twitter works for you.
Basically, you join at twitter.com by providing very brief information – no detailed questions such as Facebook collects.
If you are planning on taking full advantage of the opportunities Twitter offers you to connect with your target markets, you should upload a good headshot of yourself and write an interesting 160-character-maximum biography.
FYI – Make sure that people can read your bio easily. This means that you do NOT want to choose a dark sidebar color that makes it almost impossible if not impossible to read your bio.
Then you should spend some time “watching” what other people tweet before you start to follow people. And also before you follow people you want to do at least two tweets of your own to indicate the kinds of worthwhile information you plan on sharing on Twitter.
Another FYI – You do not need to tweet “just joined Twitter.” That will be obvious if you don’t have any other tweets on your profile page.
It’s also a good idea to read blog posts and free articles about how to effectively use Twitter as part of your online social media marketing strategy. Many people offer very good Twitter tips and techniques.
I personally believe that, at this time, Twitter is one of three main elements for an effective online social media marketing strategy. The other two elements are a Facebook fan page (think business page rather than a Facebook personal profile) and a marketing-driven website that you control. These three online activities should present a consistent message in connection with promoting your brand, book or business.
If you want to join Twitter now or check out if your Twitter account is as optimized as it could be, get the free report “Twitter, Facebook and Your Website: A Beginning Blueprint for Harnessing the Power of 3 for Your Business” at www.millermosaicpowerof3.com
Then you, too, will be able to confidently answer “what is Twitter and how does it work.”
© 2010 Miller Mosaic, LLC
Phyllis Zimbler Miller (@ZimblerMiller on Twitter) has an M.B.A. from The Wharton School and is an Internet business consultant. Her new FREE report is “Twitter, Facebook and Your Website: A Beginning Blueprint for Harnessing the Power of 3 for Your Business” – download the report now from www.millermosaicpowerof3.com