Tag Archives: Facebook

How social do you think you are?

Are you using your teenage daughter’s Facebook to get the word out? Are you hounding your staff about Tweeting on the job? Was your website built by your sisters son’s best friend’s cousin? Don’t just play Mafia Wars or Retweet because he’s your buddy. Use the tools for a purpose.

It’s time to take control and face reality: social media plays one of the largest roles in marketing today. Do you have a social media plan? You should. It’s as important today as a business or marketing plan is. Everyone uses social media today or at least those who are social do. But to do it right takes time and effort to learn what the tools mean.

Things to consider:

Try to post positive tips more than self-promotional ones, at least four or five times more. One of the top reasons people unfollow is because of overwhelming marketing, boring or repetitive posts.

Retweet an article because it makes good business sense to you and your clients. Make sure the offering is sound. Link it to your Facebook page or latest news from your company blog.

Spread your posts out so that when your followers log in, they’re not inundated with only your posts. It’s a sure way to get unfollowed.

Always try to put a link in a post for more information. You can only say so much in Social Media. Use simple and positive language. Remember that it is ‘social’ media. Include an action phrase to motivate your followers like saying ‘please retweet or please like. Research shows that more LIKES are made on posts at the end of the week, so make the ones on Friday count. Be polite. Thank your followers for retweeting or mentioning. It’s all about relationship-building.

Remember that when sending email newsletters to customers and prospects that they need to benefit from the message or they’ll opt-out from further mailings. It’s not just about you.

If you can keep these basics in your head, they’ll help you become more social. The Internet’s not going away, so leverage it’s power and grow your business!

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Franklin Beecham is a visual artist. His paintings are collected internationally. He is also the Founder of markhamartcollective.com an online visual art resource.

Website:  http://www.beecham.ca

http://www.markhamartcollective.com  

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Are We Musicians or Digital Slaves?

Nowadays if you’re a musician, it’s not enough to write songs or sing or play an instrument. You have to be a digital marketer and in some cases a digital wizard.

 Digital presence

You’re expected, first, to have a website and to keep refreshing it. Then you have to appear on social media sites such as YouTube, Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, Tumblr, Wynken, Blynken, or NOD. (Okay, I made the last three up, but trust me, if they don’t exist right now, they will within the next 4 microseconds.)

You also have to get your music up on sites so it can be bought (you hope) and downloaded from the Net. And you have to video your latest gig so that it too can go up on YouTube, because the one you put there of last week’s gig is, well, so last week.

And then of course, you’d better blog about the gig and tweet about it, both before and after—and preferably even during!

 Cyber smarts

And you must also learn how to DO all of the above. Some of it’s easy, some of it’s harder, especially if, like me, you weren’t born with a digital device in your hand.

So recently, and belatedly, I learned how to use Windows Movie Maker. While a couple of other people have done videos for YouTube for songs of mine, I’ve been told my YouTube presence is sorely lacking, so it was time to try my hand at one myself.

Now I could have just put the credits up with the audio track and no images at all, but I wanted something that would stand out a bit more (on the Web we’re all competing for eyeballs and earballs, after all), especially since this song honours the memory of one of my sisters.

Sourcing images

But it wasn’t easy, in part because I didn’t want to steal images from other people’s websites or Flickr streams, etc. (which I’m sure millions of others do). And contacting them to ask permission would have been time consuming. I was finally able to find a few images I could use because they’re licensed with Creative Commons, and then I added images of my own.

So here’s my first original video, of a song from my 2003 CD Pegasus. I kept it simple in order not to distract from the story.

Digital slaves?

Movie Maker 7 isn’t that complicated, but I still spent many hours fine-tuning this little video—hours I should have spent trying to get gigs, practising new chords, or working out harmonies for the CD I’m recording. But this is 2012, and this is the current reality.

Or is it? If you’re a musician, how much time do you spend on your Web presence? Is it helping? Do we have to be digital slaves? Please share!

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Marie-Lynn Hammond is a co-founder of Stringband, a seminal Canadian folk group, and a critically acclaimed songwriter living in York Region. In past lives she’s written plays and magazine articles and hosted national CBC radio shows. In between working on two new CDs, she freelances as an editor of both fiction and nonfiction. http://www.marielynnhammond.com/

Embracing the Power of the Internet

As a visual artist, I have noticed a lot of traffic in recent years to my website. The Internet is a powerful communications tool that is essential to promotion and awareness not just for big business, but also for the individual.

Due to my expertise I have been able to get my site ranked high in search engines, and because of this I have ‘met’ some interesting people and been involved in many positive  online activities. Each year I have been interviewed by university fine art students from across North America wanting to know what its like to be an artist from a philosophical standpoint to the technical. They are so appreciative of whatever knowledge I can offer. I have also been contacted by artists requesting ways to improve their own professional web experience. If I can point them in the right direction, I will. The world is a big place and there’s plenty of room for all of us. Most of my paintings have been acquired by collectors through the use of the Internet, from across the USA and Canada, and as far as Asia. This certainly brings the world community closer to home.

All it takes is a website and a little bit of knowhow. You don’t have to be a pro to do this. I have an artist friend who, without any prior skills, has her own website, blog, Twitter and Facebook accounts. The key is to be consistent and up-to-date. Its one thing to do local art shows, but its another to garner sales from the other side of the planet! Join as many user groups as you can and learn from what experienced artists have to say.

Don’t be scared of the Internet. There are some great no cost services that can get you started. WordPress offers great free blogging tools. Twitter and Facebook are free. You can even take credit card sales via the secure PayPal service.

If you want to stay far away from the technical side of marketing yourself, its best to hire a professional rather than use cousin Joe’s best friend’s brother-in-law.

Contact me or my colleague, John Stephenson. We’ve been doing this for a long time!

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Franklin Beecham is a visual artist. His paintings are collected internationally. He has also created branding solutions for the Markham Arts Council and the York Region Arts Council.

Website:   “http://www.beechamcanada.comwww.beechamcanada.com

Web log:  “http://www.markhamartist.comwww.markhamartist.com

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