Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Facebook marketing: Why small businesses and organizations should have a presence in facebook

Currently, facebook has around 509,422,080 users worldwide. About 132,810,940 people in the U.S. are using facebook – that means facebook is being used by more than 43 percent of the U.S. population and about 58 percent of U.S. Internet users.
The rate of female and male facebook users in the U.S. is about 44 percent male to 56 percent female facebook users.
24 percent of facebook users in the U.S. are between 25 and 34 years old, another 24 percent are between 18 and 24, 17 percent between 35 and 44, 13 percent between 45 and 54, only seven percent between 55 and 64 and about six percent between 16 and 17 years old.

The brand with the most users in the U.S. currently is Taco Bell, with more than 2.3 million fans. Followed by Playfish, with about 2.2 million fans, Walmart with 1.6 million fans, Best Buy with almost 1.2 milllion fans, JCPenney with 945.00 fans, Verizon Wireless (925.000 fans), Southwest Airlines (913.000 fans), Six Flags (618.000 fans), AT&T (586.000 fans), and Macy’s (almost 500.000 fans)


But what does all that mean for you as a small business, freelancer or organization?

Through facebook you get the possibility, to distribute news of your organization or company fast and easy. New products can be presented and tested. You can also share interesting news, links or videos with your “fans”. Your fans can also get in contact easily with you. And all this you can get for free. You can also create a facebook page easily.

On facebook, you can also run ads (with costs), to promote your facebook page, website or your online shop.

Also check, what your competitors are doing on facebook. If your competitors have facebook pages already, this could be a reason for you to get such a page as well.

Update your facebook page is much easier and faster than keeping your company’s or organization’s website up-to-date. However, you should make sure to keep your facebook page as up-to-date and relevant as possible. Of course, this can be a lot of work, as you will have to think about contents to post and what to answer to your fans’ questions.

Facebook (and other social networks as well) offers a lot of possibilities for small businesses and organizations.
However, it is also possible for people to damage your name and reputation.

In future, facebook will probably continue to grow and also gain relevance in advertising and communication.
As business or organization with a small budget, you have the opportunity to reach out and connect to more (potential) customers or members world wide.
There will also be new possibilities every now and then, since facebook is developing over time.

Does it really make sense for you as a busy business man/woman or director of an organization to jump into facebook marketing?
I can’t give you an anwer to this question ... you will have to find your for yourself.

If you should decide to start a facebook page for your organization/business, here are a few tips to make your facebook presence succesful:
  • Post relevant contents. Contents that do not have any benefit (information, additional knowledge, entertainment ...) for users or your fans are useless.
  • Encourage interactivity – through involving your fans in decisions. You can also test new products with the help of your facebook fans.
  • Take your fans’ feedback seriously and act appropriate.
  • Keep your facebook page up-to-date.
  • Add new content to your page on a regular basis.
  • Look at what your competitors are doing. Knowing this can be very helpful – it might give you new ideas.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

16 steps to your new computer – what you need to know when you buy a computer for your organization/company

In order to do your best in communication as a business owner, you will need a computer. If you are an entrepreneur, you might not have one yet – or you want to buy a new computer for yourself, your office or your organization?
There are some things that you should consider, when you go out to buy a new machine:
  1. First, think about what you actually need the computer for: Do you just need it to look good in your office? Are you doing office stuff with it? Do you want to use it to work while you are travelling? Do you want to watch movies on it? Do you just need it to read emails and surf the web? Do you need it to do image editing on it? Do you want to listen to music on it?
  2. Which software do you need? To make it easy to choose the right hardware, decide first, which software you will need to be able to work.
  3. Buy a new computer. Otherwise you will be stuck with a computer that is old before you even use it. Technology changes fast.
  4. Make sure the computer is compatible with all devices you use (in future). Does it have enough USB connections? Will you be able to connect your PDA/mobile phone?
  5. Your computer should have sufficient memory. Of course, you can always add more memory later. However, it is advisable to buy a PC that has more memory than the most basic model.
  6. When buying a computer, get a model that saves energy.
  7. Do not fall for advertising campaigns and forget everything you have ever heard about brand names. Choose the computer that fits your needs.
  8. See your new computer as an investment for your business/organization. With enough memory, a good processor, the possibility extend the machine and a warranty, you can have your computer two years or more.
  9. A desktop computer can be extended any time. That means you can use it for much longer than two years, which will reduce your costs for computer equipment.
  10. Before getting help from a computer specialist, you should try to familiarize yourself with the terminology (e.g. on
  11. Remember that you will also need a keyboard, mouse and screen, if you buy a desktop PC. These are additional expenses that you should factor in your overall calculations..
  12. Also when using a laptop computer, you should use an external mouse. This will make working much easier for you and also faster and more effective.
  13. When looking at offers of different stores and comparing prices, you should remember that you also need an operating system, such as Windows 7. This should be included in the price.
  14. Do not forget the expenses for software. Software can be pretty expensive – often, software can cost more than the computer itself.
  15. When buying a computer, you often get a one-year-warranty. However, the sales clerk will try to sell you an extended warranty – often the price is really high and you end up paying too much. It is better to look for a computer expert among your friends. It will be a hassle to ship it to the manufacturer to have it repaired.
  16. Buy your computer in a well-known store – online or in the store. Only buy it, if you are certain the dealer will still be there next week. Remember that you (often) have to rely on the dealer if you want to have the computer repaired during the warranty period.

Friday, August 13, 2010

8 Tips for a relaxing sleep – accomplish more for your organization by being fit

In order to bring your company or association forward successfully, you need to be fit. In order to be fit, relaxing sleep is essential. Scientists confirm that people, who do not sleep enough are better protected against infections, are less likely to be obese and have a higher life expectancy.

Follow these 8 tips for a relaxing sleep:
  1. Listen to your biological clock, but make sure it ticks right: Stay outside in the sunlight during the day as long as possible and do not go to sleep too late.
  2. Engage in sports in order to get your circulation going. Additionally, your body becomes tired, which will extend your deep sleep phase.
  3. Take the time to sleep according to your sleeping needs. If necessary, go to bed earlier or take a nap in the afternoon.
  4. Your nap should not be too long – not more than 30 minutes. Otherwise you will fall in deep sleep, which will make it hard for you to wake up.
  5. In order to be awake after your nap, you should drink a cup of coffee or black tea before your nap. The caffeine will start kicking in after 30 minutes – just after you wake up from your nap.
  6. Falling asleep at night will be easier for you, if you do not eat anything two hours before and do not drink coffee or black tea.
  7. Right before going to bed, you should take a short walk or read a few pages in a good book, instead of watching TV.
  8. Your bedroom should exclusively be your bedroom. Take out your office (computer, printer) out of your bedroom and also remove your phone and TV.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Keyword research – find out, what your customers are really looking for

In order to be able to target your customers through the Internet, you need to know, which keywords they use to look for certain information.
When people want to buy something, they often look online first. Especially buyers of computers and consumer electronics rather rely on search engine results before buying, than on social media. This is shown in a stuy by comScore ('The Value of Retail Search and Position') that asked more than 1000 buyers. 30 percent of people asked in the study said, they would use search engines as a first or second step when looking for information.

In order to find out, which keywords are used by your potential clients, use the following tools online:
Use your newly acquired knowledge and revise your website so that you will be found in search engines with your chosen keywords.

Friday, August 6, 2010

More time for important things – learn how to type

As a freelancer or small business owner you often are under a lot of time pressure. But also when you volunteer in an organization time is precious.

Typing letters or texts can be very time consuming – especially when you type with one or two fingers. The easiest thing would be to hire a secretary. However, this is unrealistic for most freelancers, small business owners or organizations – due to various reasons, such as lack of space or lack of money. Therefore, you should learn how to type yourself - learn the system of touch typing - and improve your way of communicating.

There are various possibilities for you to learn how to type: You can take typing classes. Many times, such classes are offered for free by communities.
There is also software on DVD or CD or as a download that can help you learning to type fast with ten fingers.
You can also find various possibilities to practice online, such as a speed test, various typing trainers (just google ‘learn typing online free’ or play typing games. You can also practice touch typing online for free.
A very good possibility people often forget are books. These might be useful if you do not want to install software or do not have internet access. Just remember, sometimes the most simple things are the most effective ones.
In order for you to be able to learn quick, you need to practice a lot. Just follow the different units in the given order – again and again.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Guerrilla Marketing idea: Make future customers happy with some good music

The other day I saw a nice example of Guerrilla Marketing at the airport of McAllen, Texas: a country singer.

With only five gates, the McAllen airport is relatively small. However, many people pass and stop here daily - to welcome friends and family or say goodbye to them. Instead of the usual background music through speakers, visitors got to hear live music now. In one corner of the airport there was a country singer with his guitar. He played songs from country through pop to rock music. Next to him there was a board with the name of the main sponsor – a local car dealership. Additionally, in the short breaks between songs, the singer mentioned the other sponsors – the local chamber of commerce, a local restaurant and the airport.

If you are planning a similar event, you should consider the following:
  • Choose a place, where a lot of people pass by and also stop.
  • Look for a singer that can actually sing. Even though he/she might be a little bit pricier than one that cannot really sing. Nobody will be happy about a bad singer – not you and certainly not the listeners.
  • Depending on which place you choose, you can hire a complete band or orchestra.
  • Choose a music style depending on the chosen place and your target group (customers).
  • Cooperate with other local businesses. Form partnerships – this way you can share costs and the organization of the event.
  • Think about how you could show or tell listeners who are the sponsors. How do you want to advertise your company? You can put up boards, posters or have the singer name or sing the sponsors.
  • You can have a small event (such as the one in McAllen airport) or you can have a bigger event (for example with a band, a stage, free food) – depending on the size of your budget and the place.