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WSJ: Twitter’s Data Business Proves Lucrative

BIG DATA! Press the above link to view the Wall Street Journal article.

The little bird that took flight.

The IPO of Twitter will represent an amazing insight into the value of micro blogs. Worth very little on their own, when combined to formal global conversations that can be sliced and diced…. it is worth a lot. Just think, Twitter the company, knows a global trend before just about anyone else (from earthquakes to riots and revolutions, Twitter is there measuring and monitoring the activity). From a commercial perspective, what is being said about brands, your business, your multi-national conglomerate…. Twitter has the images, the data, the text. A lot more than trends.

FreshBooks

Interesting facts in the notes from the Twitter S-1 IPO Filing

The little bird that took flight.Some interesting facts on the Twitter IPO thanks to David Cummings. Like David, I also find Twitter an amazing (free) global communications tool that I use on a daily basis (@optimize_biz).

I truly think it is revolutionary. Who would have thought the value proposition of just 140 little alpha numerics could lead to such a literal and virtual revolution.

David Cummings on Startups

The Twitterverse is buzzing about the upcoming Twitter IPO, and now we have all the intimate details courtesy of the S-1 IPO filing with the SEC. I’ve found Twitter to be an amazing medium that I use on a daily basis (@davidcummings), so I want the company to succeed in a way that grows both the value of the community and shareholder value.

Here are a few notes from the Twitter S-1 IPO filing:

  • 215 million monthly active users (pg. 1)
  • 500 million tweets per day (pg. 1)
  • 75% of users accessed it from a mobile device (pg. 2)
  • 45% of Super Bowl ads used hashtags to engage users (pg. 5)
  • 300 billion Tweets created since origination (pg. 6)
  • Revenue (pg. 10)
    2010 – $28.3M
    2011 – $106.3M
    2012 – $316.9M
  • Losses (pg. 10)
    2010 – $67.3M
    2011 – $129.8M
    2012 – $79.4M
  • 87% of revenue from…

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LinkedIn Company Pages 101

It is not often you get things for free, but Company Pages from LinkedIn give small business owners, managers, NFP and NGOs a chance to showcase their organisation for no cost (at the time of this blog!). Linked in Company Pages currently have four sections:

  1. Home page
  2. Products and services
  3. Careers
  4. Insights (including views)

Will creating a company page on LinkedIn really make any difference? Well, have you noticed how when you are searching for a local business or person on Google, LinkedIn profiles typically rank very high in the ‘natural search’ results.

  • Natural search is what Google finds based on its proprietary search algorithms and ranks the results for you to review.
  • Paid search are results that appear (usually at the top or side of your search engine results page) that are only there based on advertisers paying for you to seem them based on your key words and phrases used in your search.

Adding a company page to LinkedIn strengthens the natural search result rankings of your business. You can create a Home page and Product / Service descriptions with links to your other websites and social media accounts. While not only providing a free way to showcase your business, it also provides a structured way to think through your products and service offerings.

You can link individual LinkedIn profiles of your management team and key staff to each product or service. You also have the option to ‘pay’ for your job listings in the “Careers” section of your Company Pages. This paid service targets your job vacancies to those meeting your requirements and will cost about $200 AUD for a 30 day local posting in Melbourne (Australia).

Check out the attached guide for more information on LinkedIn Company Pages above. You can create a Company Page from the links here at LinkedIn FAQ.

LinkedIn Company Pages: a great way to showcase your organisation, for free!

Free Guide: LinkedIn Company Pages

It is not often you get things for free, but Company Pages from LinkedIn give small business owners, managers, NFP and NGOs a chance to showcase their organisation for no cost (at the time of this blog!). Linked in Company Pages currently have four sections:

  1. Home page
  2. Products and services
  3. Careers
  4. Insights (including views)

Will creating a company page on LinkedIn really make any difference? Well, have you noticed how when you are searching for a local business or person on Google, LinkedIn profiles typically rank very high in the ‘natural search’ results.

  • Natural search is what Google finds based on its proprietary search algorithms and ranks the results for you to review.
  • Paid search are results that appear (usually at the top or side of your search engine results page) that are only there based on advertisers paying for you to seem them based on your key words and phrases used in your search.

Adding a company page to LinkedIn strengthens the natural search result rankings of your business. You can create a Home page and Product / Service descriptions with links to your other websites and social media accounts. While not only providing a free way to showcase your business, it also provides a structured way to think through your products and service offerings.

You can link individual LinkedIn profiles of your management team and key staff to each product or service. You also have the option to ‘pay’ for your job listings in the “Careers” section of your Company Pages. This paid service targets your job vacancies to those meeting your requirements and will cost about $200 AUD for a 30 day local posting in Melbourne (Australia).

Check out the attached guide for more information on LinkedIn Company Pages above. You can create a Company Page from the links here at LinkedIn FAQ.

Twitter for small business


Is your small business on Twitter? Do you understand how Twitter works and why so many small businesses have jumped onto Twitter?

The above two minute video from Twitter gives a basic understanding of how you might use this social media for your organisation or business. Optimize Business uses Twitter as the main form of social media to engage, communicate ideas, develop business relationships and keep abreast of the latest news or trends in business.

Social media is an investment in our brand. Five years ago, people would use a search engine like Google to find your website, learn about your business and assess if they want to do business with you. Today, consumers and businesses also look at your social media presence to gauge “who you are”: YouTube is now one of the most popular search platforms and Facebook, Twitter and other forms of social media are also being used to find businesses.

Unlike Google and Yahoo!, if you are not ‘present’ in Twitter (for example), you will not appear in the results of a search that is done within Twitter. Your business will be Missing in Action in the Twitterspere, this is unless your customers are talking about you (good or bad!), or worse, your competitors are filling your void.

The absence of “your voice” from social media platforms, like Twitter, says something to the world about your business. For those who have used social media to find you, or to talk to you, your absence from their preferred channel will be noted and probably not in a good way.

It is important not to just jump into social media. You should speak to other businesses that use social media, and make sure it is done in a planned way, as part of a social media strategy that suits your brand, your business and your customers. A failed social media presence is perhaps even worse that no social media at all.

Unlike Facebook, LinkedIn and other forms of social media, each “Tweet” is limited to only a 140 characters.  Other forms of social media have larger word limits. Tweets therefore need to be short, engaging and easy to understand. The 140 character limit is quite helpful in helping you take the ‘padding’ out of your business communications.

So back to Twitter. It is a great tool for start-ups, small and large businesses alike. You can easily share (tweet) links to videos, blogs, webpages and photos to provide richer content with your short Twitter ‘broadcasts.’ If you content is engaging, you will probably find each tweet brings in additional new followers and people may share your communications by retweeting (RT) your message.

Twitter is a free social media tool that provides an incredible networking and communication channel into the hands of even the tiniest business, NGO or NFP. You can do a lot of targeted ‘campaigns’ yourself for free:

Twitter can provide almost perfect customer targeting, for free! Just search for a topic relevant to your organisation on Twitter.com and look at the people that are engaging in discussions or following others on that topic. Then search through the “followers” of relevant people and you will find people, businesses and organisations that are interested in the topic. These people will therefore be likely to follow you back if you follow them. Be a little selective in who you follow (avoid those who you would not really want following you) and you can easily build up your own followers by simply following those with common interests to your own.

Businesses, large and small, can also pay to have their products or services promoted on Twitter, via promoted “accounts” and promoted “tweets”. This video gives you a good sense of how you can pay to promote your organisation, but most new Twitter users would initially try the free approach outlined in the paragraph above.

For more information, Twitter publishes a great guide to get your organisation started on this exciting social media platform: Twitter for Small Business.

FreshBooks 2012 Andrew McIntosh CPA Optimize Business @Optimize_Biz

Twitter for Business: link your tweets to appear on Facebook!

Get your Tweets posted on your Facebook page automatically! It is easy to set-up, go to the Twitter Help Center to learn more.

The Facebook Settings page (when you are logged in as a profile Administrator in Facebook) has a “Link to Twitter” button.  This is a good way to post onto Twitter if your primary social media tool is Facebook.

But remember the most Twitter users will see of your Facebook post is 140 characters.  This means you need to fashion your opening Facebook wording carefully to still make sense once it posts on Twitter. The link to your Facebook post in the Tweet will also decrease your available characters.

FreshBooksOptimize Business suggests doing the reverse: log into your Twitter account and then have your Tweets automatically post onto your Facebook page. This will mean that you have more control over the final text outcome that is communicated on both social media platforms. You can carefully craft your Tweet to 140 characters and this will then look and ‘feel’ better across both mediums.

You will probably find you end up doing more Facebook entries as well, because avid tweeters often end up tweeting more from their mobile devices…. so why not communicate to your Facebook crowd too!

If you want big, attention grabbing photographs or links to interesting articles, simply post direct to Facebook to ensure you do not get a thumbnail of the Twitter photograph.

© 2013 Andrew McIntosh CPA Optimize Business @Optimize_Biz

Facebook for Business: allow subscribers!

For the sake of business, don’t for get to “Allow Subscribers”!

If you are running a business page on Facebook, don’t forget to go into your Facebook Settings (found on the top right of your page) and tick the “Allow Subscribers” check box.

This means Facebook users will be able to find you on Facebook, via public search engines and connect… which is probably why your business is on Facebook, so people can find out about your business!  Your customers and the public can subscribe without becoming a “friend” also.
FreshBooks
© 2012 Andrew McIntosh CPA Optimize Business @Optimize_Biz

Cheat Sheets for Social Media Marketing Dummies

Most small / medium businesses still don’t get social media or social media marketing (SMM) . Start with the basics, as even seasoned Marketers may not understand Pinterest, Google+ or Twitter. SMM for Dummies Cheat Sheets are a great starting point for your clients and stakeholders who need introductory knowledge: Social Media Marketing for Dummies Cheat Sheets

In the coming weeks OptimizeBusiness.org will showcase a best in class, hosted SMM system for Australian SMB, NGO and NFPs ready to run with social media @Optimize_Biz

Need a store on your Facebook page?

Product information from Payvment’s Facebook page.

If you find you are driving interactions with your customers and fans via Facebook, why not add a store to your Facebook page?

Didn’t think it was possible?  Well, applications, or “Apps” as they are affectionately know as, are a real revolution in the functionality of software these days.  From social medias like Facebook, to accounting software like Xero, you can get an App for just about anything to enhance or quasi-customise your software purchase.

One such App is Payvment. Currently offering a free online store to Facebook users, its a god send to businesses that have developed a heavy Facebook following.  Many business face the customer experience problem of moving customers from social media to webpages or external shops or payment providers, but Payvment is an example of a great way to enhance your Facebook experience and secure a secure a sale or lead in the process.  Check out Payvment.com on the web, via Facebook or Twitter.

Read more about online stores in Facebook in the NY Times. © 2012 Andrew McIntosh CPA, OptimizeBusiness.org

SMB’s – it’s your free video channel…. don’t lose the wonder!

Imagine it is late last century (say 1992) and you were told you could have your own video channel and distribution network to build your brand, engage your customers and advertise to those who care.

Two decades ago, what would you have given to have this capability for your small or medium business?

It’s incredible, it is free, and twenty years later, how many business owners just ignore this amazing tool?  How much value are they leaving on the table, when two decades ago they would have given an arm and a leg for these capabilities!

Imagine that futuristic world from 1992, now even richer with handheld devices that stream an amazing colour TV image; can help you find products, services or friend just around the corner when that would have taken a phone box, a good phone book and 20 minutes back then…..

Oh the possibilities of mobile video for your own business!

So please don’t lose the wonder at these amazing capabilities that surround us!  Seize the day again and re-look at your opportunities, especially those are just waiting for you on social media tools like YouTube!

You would have given an arm and leg for this capability 20 years ago, so don’t ignore it now it’s free….. SMB’s, please don’t lose the wonder of what is right in front of you!

Check out this video for some new inspiration and don’t forget to share any creative new thoughts on OptimizeBusiness.org:  YouTube – its your free channel…. are you using it?

If you need help or advice with creating your own SMB channel or video content, contact Andrew McIntosh CPA via the social media of your choice…. or call on good old-fashioned mobile phone to Australia +61 4 48516151.

© 2012 Andrew McIntosh CPA, OptimizeBusiness.org