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Tim Peter

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October 12, 2012

10 Social, Search and Mobile Tips to Know This Week (Small Business E-Commerce Link Digest)

October 12, 2012 | By | No Comments

Social, search and mobile links I liked this weekLoads and loads and loads of social, local, mobile links this week worth checking out. So, as I often do, I’m going to skip the setup and get straight to the links:

  1. First up, Techcrunch reports on a Forrester study showing 66% of employees use 2 or more devices at work, 12% use tablets. Mobile isn’t a coming thing any longer. It’s here.
  2. I mentioned this in yesterday’s podcast, but it’s a clear sign of the growth of mobile when Google revamps its homepage for mobile phones.
  3. Speaking of search, Search Engine Land says that Yahoo’s search share continues its downward slide. I’m not sure that’s news, sadly. Your website’s stats probably tell you the same thing.
  4. Search Engine Watch details a new study that claims 53% of organic search clicks go to first link. Not terribly surprising and a great reminder of why you want to both improve your search engine ranking and find additional traffic sources, such as social.
  5. Speaking of social, here’s a great example of how social leads to Big Data. LinkedIn has a blog post that reveals insights into U.S. talent pools based on their use of the professional networking site. Cool stuff.
  6. And if you want to see examples of social commerce in action, Business Insider looks at brands testing Facebook’s ‘want’ button
  7. Long-time e-commerce players are learning lessons from the social world, too. For example, EBay has updated its site to be more personal, Pinterest-like
  8. Continuing on the social scene, I read a great piece yesterday that argues why Instagram will be the next big social media platform. For what it’s worth, I agree. In particular, note Jeremy Floyd’s comment, which notes, “What stands out to me about Instagram is that the bar for creators is so low. Your data may reveal this, but it seems that the disparity between creators and consumers is lower on Instagram than other networks.”
  9. Of course even on sites like Instagram creating content isn’t always the easiest thing. HubSpot looks at how to keep your marketing engine chugging with community-generated content
  10. And, wrapping up this week, I’ve often said that email is the “forgotten social network.” Search Engine Watch agrees, explaining why email marketing shouldn’t be an ugly stepchild. Good read.

Have a great weekend, Big Thinkers. Look forward to seeing you back here next week.


Are you getting enough value out of your small business website? Want to make sure your business makes the most of the local, mobile, social web? thinks helps you understand how to grow your business via the web, every day. Get more than just news. Get understanding. Add thinks to your feed reader today.

Or subscribe via email.

And while you’re at it, don’t forget to follow Tim on Twitter.

Tim Peter & Associates helps companies from startups to the Fortune 500 use the web to reach more customers, more effectively every day. Take a look and see how we can help you.

Tim Peter

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July 5, 2012

Building your followers on LinkedIn

July 5, 2012 | By | No Comments

LinkedIn WebLogo LowResExampleA few weeks ago, I wrote a post on the Biznology blog claiming that “everyone needs both Pinterest and LinkedIn.” And while I’ve offered plenty of Pinterest tips over the last few months, it’s unfair to say I’ve offered similar coverage of LinkedIn. Until now.

Here are some of my favorite tips for growing the number of LinkedIn followers on your LinkedIn Company page.

Your LinkedIn Company Page

Why have a Company page on LinkedIn? Lots of reasons, really:

  • Attract new employees
  • Stay engaged with clients and customers
  • Promote your products and services to LinkedIn’s 100 million+ members
  • Effectively measure your LinkedIn visitors
  • Improve search engine results for your brand name

So, to gain more followers, first they have to have a reason to care about your brand. In other words…

What are you using your LinkedIn Company page for?

You want visitors to your Company page to have a solid first impression of your business. What do you offer? Is it clear? Is it compelling? Are you doing a good job of telling your brand story? While it may be obvious, few people will follow your brand on LinkedIn (or anywhere else for that matter), if you don’t give them a reason to care about you. As I’ve noted before, make sure you promote your values and your value to your Company page visitors.

How to reach potential followers

Gaining followers for your LinkedIn Company page actually isn’t dramatically different from any other social network. The basic steps are going to be very similar.

First, begin promoting your Company page during your routine customer contacts. This includes places like:

  • Phone calls
  • Business cards
  • Email signatures

Do each of your employees have your Company page in their email signature? Do you still provide business cards to your team? Why not place the URL for your Company page there, too?

Additionally, following a “hub ‘n’ spoke” model for promoting your business, ensure your company’s website, blog, and product pages all include a “Follow Company” button.

Additionally, you can promote your Company page on any of your other social outposts, whether Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, or this month’s social site of the moment.

Once you’ve started promoting your Company page, begin updating the page regularly, offering your followers shareable content. We’ve covered the idea before, but you want to engage your (real and potential) audience with relevant items that engage, enlighten and entertain. As LinkedIn attracts a more “corporate” audience, you’ll likely want to skew the content towards “work-related” items. But that doesn’t mean they should be stiff or dry. Make the updates fun as well as functional to drive your follower count.

Conclusion

LinkedIn connects your company to educated and business-oriented contacts. Whether you’re looking to attract talent, customers or media, it’s a great source of high-value leads for your business. The social network’s Company page represents an effective means of reaching those folks. Ask potential contacts to follow your brand on LinkedIn and offer them solid reasons to do so. The rest, like much content marketing, is just a matter of time.

Oh… and while I’m at it, you can follow Tim Peter & Associates on LinkedIn, too.


Are you getting enough value out of your small business website? Want to make sure your business makes the most of the local, mobile, social web? thinks helps you understand how to grow your business via the web, every day. Get more than just news. Get understanding. Add thinks to your feed reader today.

Or subscribe via email.

And while you’re at it, don’t forget to follow Tim on Twitter.

Tim Peter & Associates helps companies from startups to the Fortune 500 use the web to reach more customers, more effectively every day. Take a look and see how we can help you.

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Tim Peter

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June 20, 2012

Everybody needs both Pinterest and LinkedIn | Biznology

June 20, 2012 | By | No Comments

Do you really need both LinkedIn and Pinterest?When it comes to marketing strategy, whether social, mobile, local, print, broadcast or anything else, there’s no “one size fits all” model. Each business depends on (ideally) having the right strategy focused on reaching the right customers in the right channels and at the right time.

Piece of cake, right?

When you consider how challenging that mandate is, it’s no wonder many snake oil salesmen want to fit you into their box, applying the same “strategy” they’re using with everyone else.

So, why would I suggest that everybody needs both Pinterest and LinkedIn in my latest Biznology blog post?

Well, read it and see.


Are you getting enough value out of your small business website? Want to make sure your business makes the most of the local, mobile, social web? thinks helps you understand how to grow your business via the web, every day. Get more than just news. Get understanding. Add thinks to your feed reader today.

Or subscribe via email.

And while you’re at it, don’t forget to follow Tim on Twitter.

Tim Peter & Associates helps companies from startups to the Fortune 500 use the web to reach more customers, more effectively every day. Take a look and see how we can help you.

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Tim Peter

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February 3, 2012

Super Social and Search Tips Before the Big Game (Small Business E-commerce Link Digest – February 3, 2012)

February 3, 2012 | By | No Comments

This weekend marks one of the biggest days of the years for marketers: the annual Ad Bowl among commercials during some kind of football game or something (I kid, I kid… let’s face it: my beloved Giants are going to crush QB-turned-male-model Tom Brady). But, with props to the great Gary Vaynerchuk, here are some tips to help you crush your competition:

Of course, conducting successful tests requires solid measurement. If you’re not sure how to do that, take a look at our Website Analytics Fundamentals series or drop me a line and I’ll give you a hand.

Have a great weekend, Big Thinkers. Enjoy the game. And, say it with me now… Let’s go G-Men!


Are you getting enough value out of your small business website? Want to make sure your business makes the most of the local, mobile, social web? thinks helps you understand how to grow your business via the web, every day. Get more than just news. Get understanding. Add thinks to your feed reader today.

Or subscribe via email.

And while you’re at it, don’t forget to follow Tim on Twitter.

Tim Peter & Associates helps companies from startups to the Fortune 500 use the web to reach more customers, more effectively every day. Take a look and see how we can help you.

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Tim Peter

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November 18, 2011

Social, Local, Mobile… Oh My! (Small Business E-commerce Link Digest – November 18, 2011)

November 18, 2011 | By | No Comments

I’ve been asking all week whether you’re still talking about the mobile web including looking at whether you need an app for customer reviews. And, I’m not the only one. Here’s this week’s round-up of the best social, local, mobile write-ups on the web:

Finally, I’ve shared a couple of videos this week to demonstrate the power of the local, social, mobile web. But it’s possible little can illustrate it as effectively as Social Revolution’s 2011 presentation, which I’ve got right here:

Have a great weekend, Big Thinkers. We’ll catch you back here on Monday.


Are you getting enough value out of your small business website? Want to make sure your business makes the most of the local, mobile, social web? thinks helps you understand how to grow your business via the web, every day. Get more than just news. Get understanding. Add thinks to your feed reader today.

Or subscribe via email.

And while you’re at it, don’t forget to follow Tim on Twitter.

Tim Peter & Associates helps companies from startups to the Fortune 500 use the web to reach more customers, more effectively every day. Take a look and see how we can help you.

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Tim Peter

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September 14, 2011

IBM introduces "social business." Ugh. Kill me now.

September 14, 2011 | By | No Comments

Earlier this week, I explained why you it’s best to ignore the coming social media backlash. At the same time, I’m blown away when I run into folks peddling some serious social snake oil. Here’s a perfect example: it seems IBM is pitching customers on the idea of “becoming a social business.” Fast Company gushes, “Given its prescience about e-business, a concept that radically transformed how companies buy and sell their products, it is hard to dismiss their latest idée fixe.”

WTH?

Fast Company cites “seven reasons why just about every company should be thinking about becoming a social business,” such as:

  1. Social media will be dwarfed by social business
  2. People do business with people, not companies
  3. Your employees need to be digital citizens, too

That last one is my particular favorite. According to the write-up on Fast Company,

“Becoming a social business means recognizing the need for your employees to become “digital citizens” and providing the training for them to manage their digital reputations.”

Again, what?!? Aren’t your employees already “digital citizens”? And if they’re not, who are all these people I keep running into on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and email?

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying any of these ideas are a bad thing in concept. And I’m sure not saying social isn’t significant. It is.

But what differentiates “social business” from “business,” exactly? Is it that it’s conducted using social tools? Well that’s silly. Is emailing your colleague “email business”? Is making a call to a client on your iPhone “mobile business”? No. They’re business conducted using communications tools. Social tools are communications tools, and people are going to use them to solve their communications challenges.

For some, it’s setting up private groups on LinkedIn, Facebook or Google+ to work out product details. For others, it’s creating a wiki to track customer service issues. And for others still, it’s using BranchOut and LinkedIn to fill open positions. All of these are simply tools employees and customers use to solve their problems and fulfill their needs.

In other words, “social business” is going to happen whether IBM brands it as such or not, because employees are already acting as digital citizens. They’re already doing business with people, not companies. And their interactions already dwarf “social media” whether conducted via Facebook, phone or face-to-face. I’ve said many times before that “social is people.” And “people business”—one centered on your customers, your employees, your shareholders and your community—is kind of redundant, isn’t it?



Are you getting enough value out of your small business website? Want to make sure your business makes the most of thelocal, mobile, social web? thinks helps you understand how to grow your business via the web, every day. Get more than just news. Get understanding. Add thinks to your feed reader today.

Or subscribe via email.

And while you’re at it, don’t forget to follow Tim on Twitter.

Tim Peter & Associates helps companies from startups to the Fortune 500 use the web to reach more customers, more effectively every day. Take a look and see how we can help you.

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Tim Peter

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July 1, 2011

Social and search and… suds? (Small Business E-commerce Link Digest – July 1, 2011)

July 1, 2011 | By | No Comments

Between the 4th of July here in the States and Canada Day to my north (give you three guesses where), we’ve got a long holiday weekend ahead of us here in North America. And why would you use that time to go outside, soak up some sun or spend time with friends and family when you could be safely ensconced on the couch with a laptop, a lager and load of links about search and social?

I mean, seriously, wouldn’t you rather be inside instead of enjoying surf and sun and… ah, who am I kidding? Here’s the thing, though. I hope you have a great holiday weekend. But, when you get a chance, check out these great links from our friends around the web, too:

And, finally, if all those links weren’t enough, Matt McGee rounds up his favorite search/marketing posts of June. Great list. I think I have some reading ahead of me this weekend, too. Of course, when I’m not reading, I expect you’ll find me at one of my favorite little brew pubs, with good friends and a German Valley Amber (or should it be a Lazy Jake Porter?) In any case, enjoy the long weekend and we’ll see you right back here next week.



Are you getting enough value out of your small business website? Want to make sure your business makes the most of the local, mobile, social web? thinks helps you understand how to grow your business via the web, every day. Get more than just news. Get understanding. Add thinks to your feed reader today.

Or subscribe via email.

And while you’re at it, don’t forget to follow Tim on Twitter.

Tim Peter & Associates helps companies from startups to the Fortune 500 use the web to reach more customers, more effectively every day. Take a look and see how we can help you.

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