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Archive for the ‘Small Business Marketing Resources’ Category

Social Media Marketing in American Business

April 13, 2010

How American Businesses are Using Social Media Marketing

A 2009 CMO survey conducted by Duke University and the American Marketing Association provides insights into how firms are presently using social media in their marketing strategy.

1. 65.4% firms use social networking sites like Facebook and LinkedIn
2. 52.3% use video and photo sharing sites like Youtube and Flickr
3. 50.9% blog
4. Social Media marketing spending expected to grow by 300% in 5 years
5. 81.1% firms use social media for brand awareness and building
6. 55.8% use social media to acquire new customers
7. 51.9% introduce new products and services
8. 47.6% use social media to retain current customers
9. Traditional advertising is projected to decrease by 7.9% while internet marketing is slated for a 9.5% increase.

To see more results from the Duke University/AMA study, click here.

If you’re not currently using sites like Facebook and LinkedIn, you should consider. They are one of the simplest ways to ease into social media and they are free. Blogging is also a way to increase your brand visibility and engage your customers you can also do this yourself, or outsource. Social media is ever changing with great frequency, and continually introducing new tools and online avenues for reaching new customers. Are you currently using social media in your strategic marketing? If so, what have you found to be the most effective?

Small Business Resource Links

Small Business Resource Links

Helpful resource links for small businesses include the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grants, federal business bid opportunities, shipping, taxes, business plans, and more. If you have a favorite that is not on the list, leave it in the comment section below.

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

Available US Recovery Act Grants

US Recovery Act Grants by Agency

US Recovery Act Grants by Category

Federal Business Opportunities

Federal Business Opportunities for Bid

Business Shipping Links

FedEx Small Business Center:

FedEx: Ship

FedEx Track

FedEx Locations

UPS Shipping Links

USPS Business Pricing Calculator

USPS Business Print Shipping Label

Internal Revenue Services

Small Business IRS Resources

SCORE – Small Business Non-profit designed to mentor new and existing small business owners for success

Available small business working templates include: business plan for a existing or business start-up, balance sheets, cash flow projections and much more!

Starting Your Business Resources include: defining business goals, effective business planning, funding your business, business taxes, and more.

Locate a helpful SCORE office near you.

Hiring Immigrants

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS): Immigration and Naturalization Service

Pepsi’s Exciting New Social Marketing Media Campaign

February 1, 2010

For the first time in more than 20 years, Pepsi will not play in the grand 2010 Superbowl advertising game. Instead, they are investing $20 million into local communities via an exciting and innovative social marketing media campaign called “The Pepsi Refresh Project.”

The Refresh Project launched online January 13, 2010 allows individuals and organizations to submit ideas to refresh their communities through a grant funding program. Grant categories include: Health, Arts & Culture, Food & Shelter, The Planet, Neighborhoods, and Education with funding amounts ranging from $5k to $250k.

According to the Pepsi Refresh website, each month:

  • a maximum of 1,000 applicants may be submitted,
  • with up to 32 potential grant recipients to be named
  • up to $1.3 million will be awarded as follows: 2 Grants at the $250,000 level; 10 Grants at the $50,000 level; 10 Grants at the $25,000 level; and 10 Grants at the $5,000 level

This will definitely be an exciting project to watch, not just because it will fund many great community organizations designed to improve our world, but to also see the way in which a notable corporation such as Pepsi is embracing social marketing media in an innovative way. As people encourage others to vote for them through social media and networking, the beauty of viral marketing and consumer engagement will surely be far reaching! Not to mention, Pepsi is receiving tremendous “free ink” coverage by taking this bold move – news organizations and bloggers have been talking, writing, blogging about it for weeks now – just google “pepsi pulls out of super bowl” and look at who’s been talking!

To learn more about the Pepsi Refresh Project, visit their website. Social marketing media offers unparalleled opportunities for businesses big and small to create innovative campaigns to engage their customers. How will you take advantage of them?

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Keeping Up With Online Marketing

January 28, 2010

Small businesses are vital to our nation’s economy and owners often times find themselves wearing a variety of hats such as manager, marketer, and accountant. While the days can be long and the resources short, it’s important to work with an integrated marketing strategy to maximize the investment. Today, there are so many choices from traditional print, radio, and tv, along with online strategies and social media. Business marketers can be hesitant to venture into the unknown, yet understandably concerned about being left behind as technology speeds ahead. Breeze Marketing Media Minute is a blog dedicated to the business owner who seeks to understand online marketing and advertising avenues and strategies.

Snapshot: How important are small businesses to the U.S. economy?

  • Represent 99.7 percent of all employer firms.
  • Employ just over half of all private sector employees.
  • Pay 44 percent of total U.S. private payroll.
  • Have generated 64 percent of net new jobs over the past 15 years.
  • Create more than half of the nonfarm private gross domes- tic product (GDP). Hire 40 percent of high tech workers (such as scientists, engineers, and computer programmers).
  • Are 52 percent home-based and 2 percent franchises.
  • Made up 97.3 percent of all identified exporters and pro- duced 30.2 percent of the known export value in FY 2007.
  • Produce 13 times more patents per employee than large patenting firms; these patents are twice as likely as large firm patents to be among the one percent most cited.

Source: SBA.gov and U.S. Dept. of Commerce, Bureau of the Census and International Trade Admin.; Advocacy-funded research by Kathryn Kobe, 2007 (www. sba.gov/advo/research/rs299tot.pdf) and CHI Research, 2003 (www.sba. gov/advo/research/rs225tot.pdf); U.S. Dept. of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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3 Facebook Benefits for Business

February 3, 2010

Facebook is one of the most popular websites in the world. Friends, family, and colleagues connect at this social media site to share conversations and photos, play games, and engage with favorite brands through Fan pages and advertisements. On Christmas Day 2009, for the first time ever, Facebook surpassed all other websites to become the top visited site in the world! Business owners, take note!

Facebeook for the Business Owner

There are three primary benefits for a business to be on Facebook: viral marketing opportunities, customer engagement, and the ability to target prospective customers geographically.

Customer Engagement

Want to know what your customers really think of your product or service? Ask them on your Fan page. And really listen to them. Customers can provide invaluable feedback that will help a business develop better products and services and reign top in their market if properly executed. There is no fee to set up a Fan page, but it definitely helps to promote it through advertising.

Also, in today’s tight financial market, everyone is looking for a bargain, so offer discounts, coupons, or other incentives to save money while doing business with you on your Facebook Fan page. Your fans will love you for it and most likely, tell others.

Viral Marketing

Two things happen in social media and on Facebook that are tremendous benefits for business owners: when a person likes a product, service, or business, they tell others with Facebook making it very easy to do with just a click. And Facebook is sometimes referred to affectionately as “the nosey friend who keeps you apprised of every single thing your friends are doing”, including announcing to the entire friend network that one has joined your Fan page – which often brings along a couple of extra fans helping you to grow your prospective clientele.

Business vs. Personal

Since Fan pages are separate from your personal Facebook account, you may still maintain privacy in sharing the fun of high school or college stories and photos with old friends while projecting a professional image on your Fan page. This is a good thing!

Facebook continues to make exciting changes and upgrades to their social media network making it a fun playground personally and a potentially fertile ground for business growth professionally.

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20 Things You Can Do With Posterous – Today!

April 29, 2010

Posterous offers simplicity in posting content online to a variety of social media sites.

I love discovering new technology, and while Posterous is not exactly new – they first launched in 2008, it’s new to me. I’ve had fun exploring it’s many options today.

20 Things You Can Do With Posterous

  1. Create a website
  2. Blog
  3. Share photos
  4. Post videos
  5. Share a variety of file formats including: .doc, .ppt, .pdf, .jpg, .gif, .png, .mp3, .avi, .mpg … and More!
  6. Turn a URL into an active link, even embedded a video if that is what the link is for!
  7. Autopost: You have the option to send one email and post simultaneously to your Facebook, Twitter, Blog, Flickr, and social bookmark.
  8. Make a private site, shared only with readers you select.
  9. Make a group site where family, friends, colleagues, associates, and fans can all contribute without creating an account.
  10. Add tags.
  11. Broadcast iTunes-ready podcasts.
  12. Design your own page or select from available themes.
  13. Update one site, or all social media sites simply by sending an email.
  14. You can use a custom domain – or a a semi-branded posterous.com domain.
  15. Add Google Analytics to track your traffic.
  16. Add Feedburner to track your RSS feed and see who is reading your feeds.
  17. Add a widget to your blog.
  18. Invite friends/colleagues/family to join you on your page.
  19. Run polls and surveys using Polldaddy and Poll Everywhere.
  20. Access through your mobile device.

If you can send an email, you can Posterous!

Email is the single power engine behind using Posterous. As the developers of Posterous explain on their website, “We think email is *the best* way to publish online. You have it at home, work, and on your mobile device. It’s integrated into all the applications you already use. And you can attach any and all files for easy posting.”

What You Should Know About Getting Started with Posterous:

  • It’s free!
  • You get 1 GB of space to get started – more if you need it.
  • Getting started is as easy as sending an email! You have several email addresses to choose from based on whether you wish to update one site, or multiple social media sites.
  • You can customize the design of your website using either themes Posterous offers, or upload your own logo and set your page colors, and the more advanced can even add their own CSS.
  • It literally takes just a few minutes to get started using Posterous!
  • To get started, simply go to: http://posterous.com –OR– email: post@posterous.com

Will you use Posterous? For business, social, sports, ministry, or another use? If so, send me a link to your page too!

Meet me at Posterous by visting my page: http://breezemarketingmedia.posterous.com

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