7 Helpful Twitter Tools and Links

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Let’s keep this short and sweet! 7 helpful twitter tools and links: 

  1. SocialBro: best tool to explore your community
  2. Buffer: schedule your tweets
  3. TweetReach: find out how far your tweets travel
  4. TwentyFeet: track stats
  5. Goo.gl or bit.ly: URL Shortener
  6. Hootsuite: manage multiple accounts easily
  7. Klout: discover, grow and assess your online influence

Also, be sure to follow me on Twitter: @morganmelnyk

Happy tweeting!

Content Marketing 101

Local small and medium sized Canadian businesses need to have an active online marketing strategy. This means creating content and driving engagement online. Ultimately you have to beat your local competition. Content Marketing is an effective strategy that your company can use to reach your target audience and potential customers. It can also help you built a strong relationship with your prospects and ideally create raving fans and brand ambassadors. As content marketing become more popular, small and medium sized businesses must jump on board and utilize this effective local marketing tool.

Why? It builds trust, credibility and authority.

This is exactly what your target audience has ordered. The content you provide should be trustworthy and valuable, which will help you (hopefully), become a business with local credibility and authority. It will also increase your local search engine optimization (SEO). Increased local SEO can give you valuable return on investment (ROI), which can be achieved (and driven) by creating quality content. 

How? Use 3 common content marketing tactics:

1.     Blogs

Blogs are a great tool for your company to use to target your local prospects and connect with people. Losing that corporate tone and creating personable content can go a long way when building credibility. Many businesses have already realized this and are engaging their consumers through their blogs. Blogs can also promote sales, events, new product and/or services or anything that can help build your brand. 

 2.     Social Media

Social media platforms (and applications) are a very common tool used by businesses to publish content. According to Aimée Morrison, an associate professor at the University of Waterloo, “(Social Media) is becoming a mainstream part of how we get the business of life accomplished and you’re at a disadvantage increasingly if you don’t do it.”

A new report by the Media Technology Monitor suggests that 1/3 anglophone Canadians won’t let a single day go by without checking their social media feeds. Approximately 63% of social media users surveyed said that they read Facebook posts, tweets and/or LinkedIn updates every single day. You can also read the full report here

Social media is reaching a tipping point and plays a huge role in your online marketing and content strategies and is influencing business SEO as well.

3.     Videos

YouTube is a behemoth of a platform that companies need to embrace. Creating a brief online video is becoming easier and cheaper and all companies should jump on board, as videos are a great way to personalize your brand and provide engaging information and content. Even within a 2 minute video, business can provide invaluable information to viewers and help drive consumer engagement and ROI. 

5 Online Marketing Tactics Your Small Business Should Start Today

While marketing your small business online is not the most difficult task, it does take time and effort. The best part about marketing online is that you can learn as you go, you just need to commit to being active online.

*Note: Online marketing will reflect either positively or negatively on your business so be sure your online strategy provides authentic, valuable and quality content. 

1. Blog

It can help position you as an expert in your industry, bring more traffic to your website, grow a loyal fan base, and generate buzz and interest in what you have to offer.

2. Twitter

Twitter is about holding a conversation and networking, so don’t advertise, but interact (frequently) and be personable instead.

3. Participate in Groups & Conversations on LinkedIn

This simple activity can be completed every morning, twice a week, or whenever you have time and it will help increase your exposure to industry players and hopefully potential prospects.

Being helpful and demonstrating your knowledge will build credibility for your business, and it could earn you actual business leads and connections.

4. Launch an email newsletter

Email marketing is still a powerful way to grow a business online and should definitely be one of your online strategies. I recommend looking into MailChimp and Constant Contact, which offer flexible, affordable prices.

5. Demonstrate your knowledge as an expert guest author

A great way to demonstrate your expertise (and knowledge) is to guest author in someone else’s article, blog, podcast, or video. Guest authoring can help you gain exposure to a new audience and is a good way to boost your SEO.

Overall, growing your online presence (and credibility) is about demonstrating your knowledge in a niche and encouraging a growing community of brand advocates who appreciate your advice and your brand.

The Truth About Startups & 5 Helpful Tips

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It’s simple; startups are a lot of hard work.

No one is going to argue that fact, or try debating it. While they may be a lot of hard work, startups are still fun and vastly fulfilling.

They require loyal commitment and also take up an exuberant amount of time and typically rely upon a centered small, lean team who work long hours. Hopefully, these teams are innovating and creating products and services that stand out from the crowd. It is guaranteed that your company will battle against tight market competition eventually and it’s best to be prepared. Innovation and strategic is a must if you want to stay ahead of the proverbial game. If you aren’t innovating and keeping ahead of your competitors then you are falling behind or closing your doors. If you are successful at being innovative, remember to protect it. Even if it is time consuming or expensive, it is worth it.

Being innovative isn’t simply enough anymore and protecting your innovation is important not only for your business to succeed, but also to establish and receive investment.

The more barriers against competition that your startup can provide will help increase your credibility and longevity. That and investors will inevitably have more interest in your company.

5 Helpful Tips for Startups

1. Sell the promise: There are two ideal times to raise money for a startup: before your launch and when you start experiencing your growth curve. Before you launch you’re ultimately selling the guarantee of your vision (which is unquantified).

2. Ask for advice – the money comes later: Tell people you’re not raising money because when you ask for money you get advice. If you go out and ask for advice you’ll get money (and advice). That being said all startups are raising money, but it’s about how you approaching finding investors. The key is finding the right advice, money and investor for your company.

3. Write down all that advice: Take detailed notes during and after meetings with smart people. Ask short questions and record the answers. (e.g. ‘what do you think?,’ ‘what your favorite part?,’ ‘would you use it? how?,’ ‘who do you think would have feedback on this?’)

4. Take your time: Get it right the first time. Take your time and prepare and test everything. Create a solid product and a structured company that can support its success.

5. Market and plan for a big launch: If your launch isn’t generating buzz or being picked up by some media outlets, you’ve done something wrong. You only get one launch so take your time and make it worth the wait. Emails, tweets and social media interaction generally acceptable before going to the press about a beta test and product launch. Most importantly, ask for help when it comes to commercializing new products.