Understanding the @Reply

The @ symbol used to be a casual way to leave notes on post-its:

Dinner @ 7! Meet me there.

In addition to being the symbol that connects your email address to your mail server, the @ symbol is now used as the ultimate tool to connect users online on various social media platforms. But it is used differently on Twitter than on Facebook.

On Twitter    

When you want to write a Tweet to someone, or about someone, you would use the @ symbol as a way to address them. Find out what their Twitter username is and then proceed:

@marianbanker Business is great, thanks for your help!

You’ll notice that the text immediately following the @ symbol has become a link which sends you directly to the user’s page.  Additionally, the person you’ve written to (or about) will get a notification that you’ve done so, thus opening up the potential for conversation.

On Facebook    

Facebook uses the @ symbol slightly differently. It also links a person’s name within your post but you can only tag people you’re “friends” with or public pages that you’ve “liked”. Additionally, Facebook changes the format of the text while you’re typing so the final result excludes the @ symbol. Here’s what I mean.

I’m writing a Facebook status on my personal profile about something I love and I want to share it so that more people can find out about, so I begin typing my status. When I get to the part where I want to link to a Facebook page, I start typing @PrimeStrategies. But the @ symbol prompts Facebook to start generating suggestions for me.

Once I select the appropriate page, it will post the page name without the @ symbol with a blue box around it to indicate it has been linked.

Then, once I post it, this is the final result.

Now my status update will allow those interested to click on the link and be directed to the Prime Strategies Facebook page. Additionally, depending on the settings of the company page, my post will be included on their page as well.

Don’t get too hung up on symbols. They may seem silly or even overwhelming but they’re simply useful tools to improve social media interaction. Take it slow and remember to try it all, you can always delete it if it doesn’t work out.

__________________________

If you’re a late-life entrepreneur seeking help with marketing strategies and management techniques, Prime Strategies can offer the necessary guidance and expertise to help you reach your goals.

Five Questions to Help Create an Effective Marketing Plan

Questions can be a wonderful tool. In planning, the key to success is knowing the right questions to ask. That certainly applies when it comes to creating a Marketing Plan.

Answering the following questions will provide you with information needed to create the framework for an effective plan.

What is your value message?

This is the first and most important question you can answer. Until you know what value you wish to communicate about your product or service, attracting customers will be unfocused and difficult.

Consider how you’re different from your competitors. Your message must clearly state the value your customer can expect to receive. And remember, there is at least some emotion behind every purchase. Your value message might be that you are timely and accurate (you’re respectful), you offer a lot for a little (I feel smart buying from you), or your ingredients are top quality (I deserve good things).

“Simple fare, freshly and tastefully prepared” is the message a restaurant might want its prospective customers to get. When seeing or hearing the name of the restaurant, this is what we want them to remember. Likewise, when thinking of that kind of food, we want our restaurant to come to mind. The simpler the message, the clearer it will be. The clearer it is stated, the stronger and more “attractive” it becomes. Clarity is the key.

Of course, you not only have to sell it, you then have to deliver the value. [Read more…]

Five Questions to Help Create an Effective Marketing Plan

Questi0ns can be a wonderful tool. In planning, the key to success is knowing the right questi0ns to ask. That certainly applies when it comes to creating a Marketing Plan.

Answering the following questi0ns will provide you with information needed to create the framework for an effective plan.

What is your value message?

This is the first and most important questi0n you can answer. Until you know what value you wish to communicate about your product or service, attracting customers will be unfocused and difficult.

Consider how you’re different from your competitors. Your message must clearly state [Read more…]

Visibility & Credibility: What Works Now

You know there is a market for what you offer. One of your primary challenges is to increase the number of qualified prospects to whom your product or service is visible.

There have always been ways to get visibility and credibility. When the circus came to town at the beginning of the last century it paraded down Main Street to gain visibility. It worked. Today there are a lot more sophisticated ways to gain visibility. And they are evolving at a fairly rapid pace. Blogs have come on the scene and are growing in popularity for visibility and credibility. I haven’t actually used one yet myself, but am seriously considering it.

If increasing visibility and credibility is part of your overall strategy, let’s take a systematic look at how we might approach planning for it. Determining who you are trying to reach and where you will reach them is a good place to start.

Who are you trying to reach?

[Read more…]

Secrets to Building a Useful Network

“Networking* has become a small-business buzzword. The beauty of today’s networking is that you can do a lot of it globally–through the Internet.

But it’s not enough to network. You want to build a network that serves your needs.

Start with a plan. Who do you want to meet? Potential new customers, of course, but who else? What about suppliers and providers of services you need? What about a connection to a government agency or educational institution?

Review your operating plan to see what kinds of people might support your goals and open doors for you. Target your networking just like you do your marketing. Ask your existing network if they know anyone who fits your criteria. As you meet new people in networking situations, ask for referrals. Most people enjoy being able to provide useful contacts.

When you meet someone who doesn’t seem to fit into your network, determine if they might be useful to someone else in your network. Being known as a resource for what is needed reinforces your value.
In addition to the obvious exchange of business cards or information, follow up with each new person you meet within three days by sending an e-mail, a hand-written note or a post card. Don’t neglect this step. It strengthens the memory of having met you.

If you think there might be a reason to initiate more personal communication right away, [Read more…]

The Five Questions to Create an Effective Marketing Plan

Questions can be a wonderful tool. In planning, the key to success is knowing the right questions to ask. That certainly applies when it comes to creating a Marketing Plan.

Answering the following questions will provide you with information needed to create the framework for an effective plan.

What is your value message?

This is the first and most important question you can answer. Until you know what value you wish to communicate about your product or service, attracting customers will be unfocused and difficult.

Consider how you’re different from your competitors. Your message must clearly state the value your customer can expect to receive. And remember, there is at least some emotion behind every purchase. Your value message might be that you are timely and accurate (you’re respectful), you offer a lot for a little (I feel smart buying from you), or your ingredients are top quality (I deserve good things).

“Simple fare, freshly and tastefully prepared” is the message a restaurant might want its prospective customers to get. When seeing or hearing the name of the restaurant, this is what we want them to remember. Likewise, when thinking of that kind of food, we want our restaurant to come to mind. The simpler the message, the clearer it will be. The clearer it is stated, the stronger and more “attractive” it becomes. Clarity is the key here.

Of course, you not only have to sell it, you then have to deliver the value.

Who will value what you offer?

Who could benefit from what you offer? Who are these people?

For the restaurant it might be those who enjoy well-prepared fresh food made in classic ways. Something beyond the typical coffee shop, with emphasis on the quality and freshness of the food and the preparation. This is their target market. You want to define your ideal customer or client. The narrower you can get the definition, the more specific your message can be. [Read more…]