Thursday, May 31, 2012

Don't Let Your Social Media Efforts Backfire

In days gone by, advertising, marketing, and communications were one-way outbound channels and could be controlled by the brand.  Brands could regulate what messages were disseminated, to whom, where, and when.

Today with social media, a whole separate conversation among consumers is going on behind the scenes. For the most part, your coveted brand reputation and purchasing influence has been transferred to the whims of consumers.

Through social media channels, consumers can comment and rate products and services either positively or negatively. These trusted testimonials carry a heavy influence with prospective customers. Most amazingly, comments along with video, and pictures can be transmitted in real-time from mobile smartphones to an unlimited audience with little effort on the part of the sender.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

FourSquare For Business - Part 2 - Why Your Business Should Be On FourSquare

Businesses whose customers physically come to their location should be excited about FourSquare. The location-based mobile phone application and social network has grown in usage to over 20 million, as reported by the FourSquare website recently. If that figure alone has not convinced you, here are some reasons your business should be on FourSquare.

FourSquare Gets your Business Noticed

Whenever a FourSquare user logs in, they see all of the participating businesses on a map of the area in which they are currently located. They may be looking for a great place to eat or where they were supposed to meet their friends for a drink, but they will see your business on the map as well. If they need or want what your business provides, they will be reminded and may go to your location.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Meaning Of Facebook Timeline For Your Brand - Part 1

 The recent roll out of the new Facebook Timeline has many people and companies worried. The reason for all the apprehension and distress over a simple format switch is simple - people fear change. Facebook over the last several years has grown to become a part of the everyday lives of both individuals and organizations. People are afraid of something they interact with so intimately on a daily basis changing so strikingly.

From a brand perspective, the Timeline is a game-changer. If the old format was working effectively for your business, some of these changes are probably worrying to you, but they shouldn't be. If leveraged properly, the switch over presents new opportunities for companies and their use of Facebook for social media marketing. Over the course of three blogs we will look at some specific changes to Facebook pages and how the changes can be embraced by your brand and turned to your company's advantage.

Monday, May 28, 2012

LinkedIn Techniques For Business - Part 3

Be More Open To Making New Connections

Joining as many relevant LinkedIn groups as possible and interacting with them will open up many possibilities for making new connections on the social network. Some LinkedIn members follow the practice of only make connections with people they know well. Putting such a limitation on your network connections will only limit your opportunities on LinkedIn in the long run.

LinkedIn does not allow you to ask for connections with just anyone and you must stay within the rules established by the network. Putting in the time and effort to take part in group discussions and answer questions related to your industry will compel others to want to make a connection with you. Be willing to accept the connection requests resulting from group related engagement. Using LinkedIn as a tool of introduction in this manner will expand your personal network and can only offer greater opportunity in the future.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Did You Know?......

- One in every eleven Internet visits in the U.S. is a visit to Facebook. (All Facebook)

- 50% of all Twitter users access their account using their cell phone. (Customer Insight Group)

- Professional sign up to join LinkedIn is at a rate faster than 2 every second of the day. (LinkedIn)

 - 27% of all emails are opened on mobile devices now, a 36% growth during 2011. (Knotice)

 - Off all the Google searches each day, 20% are unique. (

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Friday, May 25, 2012

Social Media News For The Week Of 5/25/12

IBM: CEOs Who Find Openness - Social Media, Collaboration -- Grow Business Faster
A survey of over 1,700 of the world's top CEOs found 57% of them expect social media's role in customer engagement to expand over the next few years. Also over 50% see greater use of the medium to communicate with other companies and internally within their own organizations as well. 71% see social media having the largest impact on their companies among many factors. Full Story Here: 

Social Media Networks Vital To Attracting Customers
Social media continues to transform how companies market themselves and a study by the global workplace provider, Regus, found it would be second in importance only to face-to-face networking. Online advertising has fallen behind social media in its significance to businesses. Full Story Here: 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Building a Successful Social Media Campaign Strategy

Successful social media campaigns require a prudent strategy to generate the type of feedback, interaction, and the ultimate sales you're pursuing. Here are some pointers to help you build a successful campaign:

First, choose the person in your organization that will be in charge of all your social efforts. Spreading responsibilities by message type or channel only leads to confusion and inconsistency. In some cases, you may be forced to choose more than one person. If this happens to be the case, assure that all responsibilities are clearly delineated and a firm schedule for your posting activity is established.

Your second consideration is to carefully choose which social channels you want to target. Before you start, determine which sites your customer base frequent and where are they spend the majority of their time. Also, pay close attention to the two-way dialogue. You want to associate with a site that attracts active and engaging participants.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

FourSquare For Business - Part 1 - What Is FourSquare?

Over the course of the last several years an application for mobile phones called FourSquare has emerged, and it has huge implications for many businesses. The app is location-based and utilizes the GPS capabilities of smart phones to allow users to "check-in" wherever they are. The check-in system allows users to earn points toward rewards at many of the businesses they patronize. According to their website, FourSquare has over 20 million registered users as of April 2012.

The FourSquare mobile app not only allows users to check-in at locations but also gives them the ability to see the places their friends, who are fellow users, have been or are currently located. Users can make recommendations and tips for particular business locations they have visited such as retail stores, restaurants or local events. FourSquare has a search option to help users find possible check-in locations in the area of their current location. If a user finds a specific place they would like to check-in at, they can add it to FourSquare's database.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

A Blog Posters Final Check List

Do you live with the fear that misspellings or typos may slip through? Here is a checklist of things you should check before releasing your blog post

Is My Title Appropriate?

Evaluate your title. Does it draw your reader's attention and does it accurately represent the content of your post?  Is your title catchy and does it contain SEO keywords?

Proofread, Spelling & Grammar Check

Most word processors have spelling and grammar checks that are easy to use. After the basic checks, consider using the thesaurus to replace simple every day words with richer more descriptive language. Add multi-syllabic adjectives to enrich your content.

At this point, it's best to put your post aside. After a short while, come back to your post and reread it. Is it complete, easy to read, and understandable?

As a last check, ask a co-worker or someone else to read it and give you some feedback.  

Monday, May 21, 2012

OnFast's Launches Android App

OnFast is bringing our social marketing solution to smartphones starting today, with the launch of our Android app!    With the android app, users can utilize OnFast's social posting and social feeds functionality.  The app is available for download through the Android marketplace, Google Play, and is free for existing users.

Be sure to visit Google Play this week and check it out!

Posted via OnFast -

LinkedIn Techniques For Business - Part 2

Join As Many Groups As Possible And Interact With Them

Joining only one or two groups will limit your social presence. Join as many relevant groups as possible. LinkedIn groups can be an effective way to get marketing exposure for your company. Interacting and engaging in group discussions or sharing information that is relevant to the others in the group is a way of indirectly marketing your business.

Don't forget that you're on LinkedIn to help people. Selling is not LinkedIn's main purpose. Connecting with others through group discussions, interacting with questions and answers, and joining in the conversation between fellow professionals that have similar interests is the purpose of the network. Be willing and available to help others with answers to their questions. Assist people in your network by providing advice for those whose career path may be at an earlier stage than your own. Give guidance, when asked, to the less experienced in your field or area of expertise.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Did You Know?......

  •  If Facebook were a country it would be the third largest in the world, with a population larger than the U.S. (Wikipedia)
  •  11 Twitter accounts are created every second of the day, ending with 1 million being added to the network each day. (Infographiclabs) 
  •  LinkedIn has members from among the executives of all Fortune 500 companies. (LinkedIn)
  •  More iPhones are sold globally in one day than people born on very same day. 402,000 iPhones vs. 300,000 babies. (The Social Skinny)
  •  36% of all content posted by social media users is brand-related. (The Social Skinny)
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Friday, May 18, 2012

Social Media News For The Week Of 5/18/12

Facebook's IPO: The Social Business Implications

The largest social media network is going public this week with the future of social media business in the balance. The long awaited IPO will surely bring about changes to come for the social media giant. One of the moves implied by Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg, is an increased involvement in the exploding mobile device realm. Full Story Here: 

Social Media Ad Spending To Jump To $9.8 Billion In 2016

Advertising dollars spent on social media by U.S. companies is expected to increase from $3.8 billion last year to $9.8 billion by the year 2016. The research firm BIA/Kelsey readjusted its prediction to a higher level based on their $3.4 billion projection being short by $400 million for 2011. 2012 projections put the figure at $4.8 billion. Full Story Here: 

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Social Posts Made Easy With OnFast

Once you have at least one of your social networks linked to OnFast, begin posting by clicking the Social Post box on the left side of the page. Type your message in the message box provided where it says, "Please enter your message below". The keyword strength meter below the message box, measures the effectiveness of search engine optimized keyword usage in your post. It matches your words against the top 100 Google keywords for your industry. There is also a box to shorten and attach a URL to your message.

You can decide whether to post now or schedule the post in the future. If desired, select a future date and time for posting from the drop down boxes that are activated when "Post Message In the Future" is clicked.  A list of your social networks is provided to the right. Select the networks you want to post to, and then click the post button to send your message.

Buttons are also provided to save the message as either an unfinished work in progress by clicking "Save as Draft" or a completed message to be saved as a template for future use by clicking "Save as Template".

Written and produced in beautiful Naples, Florida by Visit our website today to get your free trial subscription to our Social Media Marketing Service.

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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

OnFast's New Features: New Internal Look, Facebook Album Post, Editable Posts, Save as Template

OnFast is excited to present our new internal features this week, including a new internal look, save as draft and template options for posting, Facebook album posting, and much more!

On login, you will probably notice our new buttons and table changes.  At OnFast, one of our top priorities is user experience.  We hope that the new buttons and tables will improve both aesthetics and usability.

Also new this week is the ability to post larger photos on Facebook, and have them added to an album.  Previously, we had limited the size of the photos posted through OnFast to a maximum of 300px width.  We are happy to report that we have upped that to the Facebook maximum of 960px.  You don't have to change anything; the photos are updated automatically.  Also, the photos are now posted to an album created specifically for our app (now called OnFast Photos).

Create Coupons Easily With OnFast's Coupon Tool

OnFast provides a simple and quick way to create and distribute coupons through your blog and social network channels.

Once logged in, to create and schedule a new coupon, select "Coupons," either directly from the "Home" screen, or by clicking "Campaigns" from the left menu and then selecting "Coupons."  This will take you to the "Coupons" list screen where you will see a table of all your current coupon activity. The table lists the start and end date of coupons, titles of each coupon, number of coupons that have been redeemed, the number of coupons offered, an option to generate an email link for each coupon, as well as details, preview, edit and delete options.
If you do not have any coupons scheduled you can get started by pressing the "Add new" button.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

OnFast Reveals Website Revamp

OnFast is excited to unveil our external site revamp today!  Our main page has been completely revamped to highlight OnFast's key features and streamline the user signup process.  Check out our new and improved site at!

Posted via OnFast -

Blogger Tips For Business - Being Consistent

When you are writing and posting a company blog, consistency is a critically important factor in determining its success. Being consistent and also timely will make your audience see that your blog is something they can count on to produce useful information on a regular basis. There are a few aspects of the consistency and timing of your blog that need to be seriously considered.

Schedule Your Blogs - Schedule your blogs to be posted at the same time everyday. Mid-morning is a good time, but certainly not written in stone. Whatever time you select (9 am for example) should be when all of your posts go out, each and every time you post. You should also post a blog frequently, daily if possible. There are a variety of online tools available to streamline the chore of scheduling blog posts in advance.

OnFast and MICROS eCommerce Announce Strategic Partnership

Micros eCommerce customers will benefit from OnFast's robust social media promotions and analytics platform.

OnFast, a cloud-based enterprise social media marketing and analytics provider, is pleased to announce its strategic partnership with MICROS eCommerce, a subsidiary of MICROS Systems, Inc. MICROS eCommerce is one of the leading interactive marketing companies for hospitality, travel, and retail. This partnership provides MICROS eCommerce customers with OnFast's enterprise-grade social media marketing solution as part of MICROS eCommerce's Engage social marketing offering.

"Our social marketing & promotions product, Engage, will be powered by the OnFast platform," says Jos Schaap, Senior Vice-President, MICROS eCommerce. "The partnership with OnFast enables our agency to supply world-class social media messaging, promotions, coupons, Facebook and mobile apps, campaign calendar, and sophisticated analytics for Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Their robust all-in-one solution pairs perfectly with our leadership and expertise in digital marketing services." "The Engage product will help increase client visibility and guest engagement all driving towards providing more relevant data, allowing for optimal SEO ranking and a sound Social Strategy," added Jos Schaap.
Read full article here:

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Monday, May 14, 2012

LinkedIn Techniques For Business - Part 1

Social network LinkedIn's main purpose is to enable professionals to easily interact with their peers. LinkedIn, even more than other social channels, is not a format for hard selling. On LinkedIn company marketing must be much more subtle and indirect. In this four part series we will look at some effective techniques for marketing on LinkedIn.

Have A Complete Company Profile

This may seem obvious, but there are many incomplete company profiles on LinkedIn. A company profile is the place provided by LinkedIn for open promotion of your company.  Take full advantage of it and use your company profile for business-related postings. Provide a link to your company's website. Post news about products and promotions on the profile, as well as link new and interesting videos or images about your company. Actively promote discussion and feedback, using the likes, comments and shares to tweak your content and gain marketing insight.  Also be sure to include an accurate company description, number of employees, locations and your industry.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Social Media News For The Week Of 5/11/12 Announces Most Effective Times to Post announced recently released metrics which suggest the most effective times for posts on social media sites including Facebook and Twitter. The afternoon works best, between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. for Twitter, and 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. for Facebook. Full Story Here: 

 The Social Pulse: For Companies, Social Media Increasingly All About The Visuals

The influence of visual content in social media is gaining traction. Businesses are being offered more opportunity for visual branding on social media networks. The Facebook Timeline and the rapidly growing site Pinterest along with the highly visual Tumblr all present companies with fresh and new branding platforms. Full Story Here: 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

So you're the "How-To" expert? Maybe not

When writing a blog post to explain "How-to" do something you may unwittingly fall short of your goal. Worse yet, you may send your frustrated reader off to your competitor's website.

One reason people may be following your blog is because they are seeking information about your products and services.  I'm sure you would jump at the chance to fulfill this need and possible win over a new customer. But, your best intentions could go horribly wrong. And here's why.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Creating An Effective Company Facebook Page

Continuing our Facebook for business blog series, we are now on "Creating an Effective Company Facebook Page."  The first steps have been discussed in earlier blogs: establishing goals and setting your strategy before this point is important.

Ok, so your company has now decided that Facebook is a good fit for the social media goals and strategy that you have previously established. You have registered a page that contains the company name along with some very basic information. Where do you go from here?  There are several hallmarks of a successful company Facebook page that creatively utilize the available Facebook features. Here are some effective possibilities for your company's page:
 Upload Photos And Video -

Showcase your products and services in unique ways that don't oversell to your fans. For example, a restaurant could share a video of their chef cooking a signature dish. In addition to uploading product pictures, you could allow your fans to tag themselves with photos incorporating your company products.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Developing A Social Media Strategy Part 7 - Has It Helped? - Measuring Success

Analyzing the social media efforts of your business to determine if they have been successful is necessary within the company's overall marketing strategy. However, doing so is not easily accomplished. If you clearly stated what your goals and objectives are earlier, the decision of success or failure will be easier to decide.

Maybe raw statistics are important to your strategy, based on the number of page views you have had or followers you have attained over a given time frame. Possibly interaction is your yardstick of measurement, determined by how many of your page visitors are interacting with the content you have provided. Here are a few things to consider in your analysis:
  •  How many times has your company's voice been shared by visitors?
  •  How many people are talking about your content with others?
  •  How many visitors have directly engaged with your company?
  •  Have you ever been cited as an influence and if so, how many times?
  •  How popular is your page based on shear numbers of Likes, Followers, or Connections you have? 

Friday, May 4, 2012

Social Media News For The Week Of 5/4/12

Social Media Is Key For Marketers (But Not How You Might Think)

Wired magazine held a business conference in New York where the social media marketing boom was discussed. Guest speaker Curtis Hougland, CEO of the PR firm Attention, talked about the myths surrounding the use of social media for marketing purposes and how companies should change strategies to be more effective going forward. Full Story Here: 

What's Next In Social Media

A blogger for Forbes magazine and social media expert, Shel Israel, identifies and talks about developing trends which businesses need to give their attention. Shel provides a summary of what is coming next for social media and business. Full Story Here: 

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Tips for Naming Your Business Blog

1.  Your blog name needs to be easy to pronounce, should sound good when said aloud, and be relatively easy to remember. Although not always possible, your first choice should be to use your business name or website name to avoid conflicts and confusion.

2.  Try to use words that convey what your business is about. For example: "Bob's Chicken",  "Riverside Inn", "Naples Auto Parts", or "Larry's Computer Service."  Vague abstract names that don't relate to your business won't succeed in attracting followers. For example: "Blue Air", "The Market", "Real Shop", "Our Place", "Ben's Barn."

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

OnFast will host a free social media marketing seminar for restaurants

OnFast is hosting a free social media marketing seminar for restaurants in the Naples area on May 10! Call or email to register.

Blogger Tips For Business - Have A Strategy

A lack of planning, followed by neglect, usually spells the failure of numerous company blogs. The blogs are begun with the best of intentions, but are doomed from the start since there isn't any plan made for the blog to follow a clear strategy. For your company's blog to have long-term success and impact, there are a few things that must be determined and planned out:

Who Is Your Audience? - Chances are your audience will be your company's current clients and customers, at least in the beginning. Eventually people will be led to your blog from sources other than your website. The blog must always be written with its audience in mind. What is most important and interesting to them? What information do they need? A little empathy in the planning stages of the blog will go a long way in making it successful.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Automation Of Posts -

Social Posts Made Easy With OnFast

Once you have at least one of your social networks linked to OnFast, begin posting by clicking the Social Post link, either in the left-hand or top menu. Once on the Social Post screen, type your message in the text box provided, where it says, "Please enter your message below". The keyword strength meter under the message box measures the effectiveness of search engine optimized keyword usage in your post. It matches your words against the top 100 Google keywords for your industry. There is also a box to shorten and attach a URL to your message.

 You can decide whether to post now or schedule your post in the future. If desired, select a future date and time for posting from the drop down boxes, which are activated when "Post Message In the Future" radio button is clicked.  A list of your social networks is provided to the right. Select the networks you want to post to, and then click the "Post" button to send your message.

Buttons are also provided to save the message, either as an unfinished work in progress by clicking "Save as Draft," or as a completed message that will be saved as a template for future use by clicking "Save as Template".

Written and produced in beautiful Naples, Florida by Visit our website today to get your free trial subscription to our Social Media Marketing Service.

Posted via OnFast -