About Brian Patterson

Brian Patterson has been a member since January 30th 2013, and has created 2 posts from scratch.

Brian Patterson's Bio

Brian works for highriskpay.com, a company that helps business obtain merchant accounts regardless of their credit or risk assessment.

Brian Patterson's Websites

This Author's Website is http://www.tradingacademy.com/

Brian Patterson's Recent Articles

5 Ways Small Businesses Can Utilize Facebook for Growth

 

Starting a business is no easy feat but with a solid business strategy and plenty of thoughtful planning, entrepreneurs can beat the odds and launch a successful company.

When you’re just starting out and the budget is tight, pricey ad campaigns are unrealistic and unaffordable.

Luckily, these days, social media is a great way to promote a brand and gain loyal customers for life.

Read on for five ways small business owners can leverage Facebook for brand exposure and boost profits.

1. Be Consistent

The biggest flaw when it comes to using social media for business is inconsistency. Customers and virtual friends come to expect a response when you post regularly on Facebook and Twitter. So, if all of the sudden you take a break and ignore social media for a week or two, it’s like a slap in the face to followers. Inconsistent social media usage sends the message to followers that you don’t care about them and you don’t value social as a viable platform for brand promotion. Post regularly on Facebook and schedule updates on Twitter using programs like Hootsuite to ensure no more than a day or two goes by without some online interaction.

2. Use Creative Photos Regularly

A picture is worth a thousand words. This is true in many different venues but no more so than in social media. Images are commented on, shared, and “liked” more than basic text and video, so it’s always smart to add a photo to a Facebook post. Pictures are also a good way to highlight the behind the scene happenings at a company and help followers feel in touch with the brand. Financial education company, Online Trading Academy, found that posting pictures on Facebook of traders at their desks garnered numerous comments and improved engagement with the page.

3. Update That Cover Picture

If you’re trying to increase the number of “likes” and enhance your audience, updating the cover photo is an insider’s trick for achieving both. The way the Facebook algorithm works makes it so that big actions like updating a profile picture or getting engaged instantly shoot to the top of friends’ newsfeeds. Likewise, updating a cover photo is considered an important edit and thus, the change will appear in numerous newsfeeds. This kind of action is a great way to increase exposure of your business and get “likes” from people who would not get notifications about your page under normal circumstances.

4. Ask Fans Questions

Still not seeing an increase in interaction on your homepage? That’s ok! It takes some time and effort to build up a following but asking questions is a great way to boost engagement. Ask relevant, open-ended questions that are pertinent to your business. When someone comments, make sure to “like” his or her response so more activity surrounds the conversation, and to encourage future participation from that Facebook user.

5. Try a Promoted a Status

On Facebook, promoted posts are easy to set up and remarkably inexpensive. If you want a photo or status update to reach a larger audience, you can opt to promote the post for just a few dollars a day. It depends on the total number of followers you currently have, but in generally it costs about $5 per day to expose your post to a couple hundred or several thousand Facebook users. The more people who see a post from your page, the more familiar they will be with your brand down the line.

Facebook is a valuable marketing tool for small businesses that are trying to grow on a limited budget. For virtually nothing, you can set up social media profiles for your business and start building a community of potential customers instantly.

3 Ways to Proactively Protect your Brand

 

Whether you’re a small business owner or the leader of a large organization, you know that the reputation of your brand is everything.

It doesn’t matter if your long-term goal is to scale your business or simply maintain current growth, the image you project can mean the difference between satisfied customers and floundering profits.

Today, consumers are deeply dependent on Internet reviews to evaluate a company, and most people agree that they won’t even purchase a product or frequent a shop until they have gone online and Googled the business.

Don’t let negative reviews or bad press impact your bottom line. Read on for three ways companies can protect their reputation proactively and maintain a positive image.

1. Domain acquisition

This is a critical first step both from a protection standpoint and an SEO perspective.

Online reputation management experts suggest that businesses buy up the domain name for their company as well as any variations on the main name.

It’s a good idea to own “yourname.com” as well as “yournameNEWS.com”, “yournameREVIEWS.com” and any other relevant URLs.

This prevents ill doers from buying a domain with your brand name and using it to write negative content about your product.

Of course, once you own all the usernames, you can take advantage of them for SEO purposes as well and direct links at each URL to rank higher in Google.

Financial services company, Online Trading Academy, originally purchased the URL www.onlinetradingacademy.com as well as www.tradingacademy.com.

Owning both of these online properties helps them take up more virtual space and direct customers to the official company website even when there is an error in a user’s search.

2. Monitor scam sites for negative reviews

The Internet is full of haters.

There are the trolls who deliberately write negative content about companies in addition to disgruntled former employees, dissatisfied vendors, and competitors who are out to ruin your brand.

It is always a good idea for business owners to check Scam.com, Ripoff Report, and Complaints Board to see if anyone has lodged an attack on the brand.

While it’s possible to take legal action in some cases, oftentimes litigation is not an option. Be aware of what’s being said about you and your company and you can take action to bump negative reviews down in the Google search rankings.

3. Be social

Not only should you monitor social media, you should stake a claim to your name across all social platforms.

This means you should, at the very least, set-up a Facebook page for your business.

Additionally, it’s smart to acquire the Twitter handle, Pinterest username, LinkedIn company page, and Blogger and WordPress accounts tied to your business.

You want to be in control of anything related to your name so that someone with negative intentions can’t get a hold of them and use it against you.

Once social media is up and running, you want to be aware of any complaints or negative feedback.

It’s ok if someone writes something less than flattering about the brand on twitter, but you need to use that as a customer service opportunity.

What starts as an offhanded complaint on twitter can turn into an angry and image-shattering rant on a review site.

Step in before the customer does any real damage by checking social media platforms and stopping the issue in its tracks.

Your brand’s online image can make or break the business.

Don’t let negative press destroy an otherwise untarnished reputation. Take action before a serious issue arises and you can protect your brand and improve your bottom line.

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