Like This! 4 Tips to Increase Your Facebook Page Likes

By Dawn Papandrea
Dawn Papandrea is a freelance writer, blogger, and editor specializing in personal finance, parenting, women’s lifestyle & more. Dawn blogs via Contently.com.

Having an active presence on Facebook is almost as vital as having a website of your own these days. With over 750 million active users, it’s no wonder why.

The question is, how can you get people to “like” your page? Here are four ways to increase your Facebook likeability…

1. Use your personal and professional network to build up your community.

As a small business, you likely have a few trusted employees, and work closely with other vendors in your industry.
And on a personal level, there are probably lots of family members and
friends who’d love to help you out. It may sound simple, but by simply asking them to “like” your page (and if they’re willing to take it a
step further and share your page with their networks), you’ll be on your way to a healthy start.

2. Start spreading the word.

Whether you’re a mom-and-pop shop or an online business, your customers won’t know you have a Facebook page unless you tell them about it. Be sure to link to it from your homepage and email signature, add the URL onto business cards and other printed materials, and post it up somewhere prominently in your store. If you use email marketing, consider sending a blast to your subscribers letting them know about your Facebook page as well. Consider it as vital a piece of contact information as you would your 800 number or web address.

3. Incentivize.

Why do you think people are going on Facebook and “liking” everything from their favorite yogurt to their local library branch? They want something for free, of course, whether it be information, discounts, or to be entertained. Likewise, you should design (or purchase software/hire someone to design) your Facebook welcome page so that it entices surfers to take the next step and click “like.” Your offer can range from providing a 15% off coupon, to downloading a piece of content such as a printable how-to guide, to entering new members into a random drawing for an Amazon gift card. Be creative!

4. Enlist your new friends.

Your Facebook friends, that is. Keep your group engaged and entertained, and they’ll start inviting more people to your Facebook party. Some ways to do this include offering contests, posting fun questions and polls that inspire comments, and being accessible from a customer service standpoint. One tactic that some businesses use is a challenge in which they ask members to work together toward a goal to reap a reward that benefits all in some way. For example, if the page reaches a certain number of “likes” or comments on a particular post, everyone will get free shipping, or the company will donate $1 to a charitable cause (something related to your local community or industry) for every new “like.”

There’s no better time than now to embrace Facebook, and start leveraging its reach. These tactics will give your numbers a boost, and your company will gain a competitive edge that you’re sure to “like”!

Get Out of Line and Get Online

By Robert Hadley

Which would you rather do – take a two or three-hour flight from New York to Los Angeles for a routine meeting with a client or conduct the same meeting from the comfort of your own office?

If you’ve spent much time as a business traveler, you know there’s more to a two-hour airline flight than just the two hours. There are airport security screenings and checking in at your hotel, not to mention hailing a cab to and from the airport.

Why not let technology eliminate the hassle of traveling for business? Today’s web conferencing platforms, such as AnyMeeting.com, can radically reduce the pain and cost of doing business across the country or even globally.

Interacting with Your Audience

Handshakes aside, there’s not much you can do at an in-person event that you can’t do in an online meeting.

For example, most web conferencing services, such as AnyMeeting.com, provide tools for interacting with attendees in a way that even live meetings don’t offer. For instance, you can poll your audience throughout the presentation and display real-time results right there on the screen. This is a bit more accurate than simply asking for a show a hands in response to a specific question.

There’s also a degree of anonymity around being able to click your answer to a question instead of raising your hand to a potentially embarrassing question in a roomful of strangers. On the other hand, the instant polling option can also add a level of intimacy to the proceedings by letting the attendees share some information about themselves. It’s a good way to learn more about the other people attending the webinar with you.

Archived for Later Reference

Most webinars can easily be recorded in a format that’s easy for attendees to access and download at a later time. In fact, that’s one of the key advantages of having a webinar.

In a live event, say, in a room full of 200 people (perhaps clanging their silverware if it’s a lunch meeting), the logistics of filming the proceedings can be formidable. We’ve all seen viral videos of meetings with bad sound or lighting. We struggle through because we want the information.

But with a webinar, production values are less of an issue because the speaker is usually filmed on a close webcam in an isolated office. There’s less that can go wrong, production-wise, and you’re able to create a user experience that is more intimate, capturing a one-on-one quality.

Fosters Networking

In-person meetings are great for meeting other professionals in your own (or other) industries, and that potential is still available with a webinar.

The text chat feature operates simultaneously in a separate window on the screen, usually below the area where slides and the speaker are displayed. This interactive capability allows the audience to reach out to each other to share introductions and comments on the presentation. The chat also lets the presenter monitor audience concerns and address them as they occur, adding a further layer of interactivity to the meeting.

As you can see, not only do online meetings eliminate the hassle and expense of business travel, they also offer a user experience that blends interaction and an easily archived presentation format for future use. And in the case of AnyMeeting, the service is free!

Tips to Build Your Opt-in Email List

By Jennifer Gregory
Jennifer Gregory is a journalist with over 17 years professional writing experience. Jennifer blogs via Contently.com.

One of the secrets to having a successful small business is your email list of customers and potential customers. Instead of sending spam to people who are not interested, you want an email list with people who have chosen to receive information from you, also known as an opt-in email list.

For a list to be opt-in, a person must specifically request to receive your email list and not be automatically added to the list without their knowledge.

Many business owners think that the goal is to build the largest email list possible. But in actuality, a small list filled with the target audience for your business is much more effective than a 5,000 person list filled with people who would probably never purchase your products or services.

But how do you find the people to include on your email list? Follow these insider secrets to build an opt-in email list that will grow your businesses exposure and bottom line.

Have an Opt-In Feature on Your Blog or Website

Have an easily accessible feature on your Website or blog to allow people to subscribe to your email. Keep it simple and place it prominently on the site, such as a box for readers to enter their email with a Submit button.

You should also have an opt-in box for your email list on your product purchase pages and webinar registration page. Set the box to automatically be selected when the page is displayed so that they will need to deselect it if they do not want to be included.

Partner With an Author or Industry Expert

Cinnamon McCann found she increased her exposure to customers by partnering with experts in her field for webinars. For these events, both her and her speaker sent out email blasts publicizing the event, providing each other with a new audience of potential customers. You can also use this technique by inviting guest bloggers, interviewing experts on your own blog and inviting industry leaders to in-person events. If you have implemented opt-in features on your website, purchase pages and registrations then you increase the chances of members of the other person’s email list becoming a member of your email list.

Offer an Incentive for Joining Your Email List

Consider offering an incentive for joining your email list, such as a free copy of a recent webinar recording or a coupon for your product. The best way to offer an incentive is to market it through a carefully selected group, such as a professional society related to your industry or in a conference goody bag. Use an incentive that is both enticing enough for people to want to sign up, but also one that will help benefit your business also.

Use Social Media

Social media is a great way to reach people to include on your email list and extend your sphere of influence.

Keep an active Facebook page, network on LinkedIn and post on Twitter. Focus your social media efforts on your target audience through professional organizations related to your business, upcoming conference and people following other businesses or experts that are your target audience.

Once you have a solid opt-in email list, be sure to provide content that is useful and interesting to your target audience through your email list. Once you get them to opt-in, your goal is to keep them from opting out.

Using Social Media to Promote Your Webinar

By Robert Hadley
Robert Hadley is a business report and blogs via Contently.com.

One of the great things about promoting a product or service via the Internet is the ability of online promotion to go viral, which means that your original post can be shared exponentially throughout social networks.

For example, when you post a webinar announcement on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, all your connections can share the announcement with their connections, who in turn can share it with their followers, and so on. Pretty soon you will have created a domino effect that can reach a far wider audience than even a carefully targeted email.

Here are a few ways to leverage the viral power of social networking to spread the news about your webinar.

Send an Invitation

Both Facebook and LinkedIn allow you to create and promote events. Facebook’s event module lets you post event details and invite members of your network. Although it’s primarily geared torward in-person events, there’s no reason you can’t list the webinar’s landing page as the location and send invitations just as you would for a party.

LinkedIn’s event function is a bit more flexible, as it provides a field to include the webinar’s landing page, plus a checkbox to designate virtual events.

Although LinkedIn won’t send email invitations, it will post the event in your status updates once you’ve checked the “I’m attending” option on the event creation page. You can also notify your first-degree connections by clicking the “share” link in the event’s overview tab.

Go Viral

Whether you decide to use the event features of Facebook or LinkedIn, you can still publish a link to your webinar’s landing page in the status updates on either platform. Once you share the link, your entire network will see the promotion (depending on your privacy settings).

AnyMeeting has a feature called “Social Notifications” that allows users to connect their account with Facebook and Twitter. Once you’ve enabled this feature, whenever you designate a meeting as public, AnyMeeting will automatically post a link to the registration form on Facebook and/or Twitter.

If you have brand ambassadors — key employees who can spread your message — make sure they post the webinar link in their status updates and share it in any relevant groups they belong to. Different groups have different rules about promotions, so it’s a good idea to either consult the rules or email the moderator for guidance.

Tweet Your Own Horn

Although Twitter restricts posts to just 140 characters at a time, it can still be effective for tweeting links to your seminar’s Web page. To take full advantage of Twitter, learn to exploit the power of hashtags. Twitter hashtags are code words (preceded by the “#” symbol) that designate your posts for keyword searches. For instance, if you include the hashtag “#webinar,” in your tweet, anyone searching for that hashtag will see search results that include your tweet.

Ensure a Smooth Landing

So you’ve promoted your webinar on the three major social media platforms, but how’s your landing page, the website your potential customers see when they click the link you’ve promoted virally?

Make sure everything is clearly labeled, such as a large “Register Now” button or a link to speaker bios in large type or a contrasting color. Remember, potential customers scan things on the Web, so keep your information in bite-sized, noticeable chunks and you’ll avoid unnecessary confusion.

Tips to Monetize Your Webinars

By Jennifer Gregory
Jennifer Gregory is a journalist with over 17 years professional writing experience. Jennifer blogs via Contently.com.

While one of the main purposes of webinars is generating new customers and increasing sales from current customers, you can also generate income by charging for tickets to your webinar.

Instead of simply charging for a webinar that you had previously offered for free, you will need to spend some time researching and planning your strategy before selling tickets.

By keeping a few insider tips in mind, you can add additional revenue to your company while also increasing your customer relationships.

Think Carefully about the Day and Time
Scheduling is important for all webinars, but it is especially important when you are selling tickets. Cinnamon McCann, producer of many fee-based webinar classes, has found that Mondays and Fridays are not good days to schedule webinars and has had a larger turnout for mid-week events.

“Try to avoid scheduling during dinnertime and experiment with different times to see which works best for your particular audience,” said McCann. She has also found that summer webinars are lower attended because of vacations and schedules so she takes a break when the schools are out for the summer.

Select the Right Ticket Price for Your Audience
Before deciding on the price for your webinar, spend some time researching what other people are charging for similar webinars in your industry.

“When you are just starting out you may want to offer your webinars at a low introductory price or offer a two for one price,” said Alice Heiman, a sales consultant and trainer. Once you have a following, then you can raise your price, she said.
Another tactic is to offer coupons or promotions to your webinar to help people feel that they are getting a deal or discount. McCann has also increased her attendance at webinars by giving a cash bonus to participants who refer a friend.

Offer an Incentive to Purchase Tickets
Since people often wait until the last minute to buy tickets to any event, consider offering a promotion to kickstart your ticket sales.

McCann suggests offering free tickets to the first three people who purchase tickets. She promoted an offer to potential customers through email and also offered a discount to every customer who responded immediately to try to get the tickets. “This promotion really helped to create an immediacy to purchase tickets,” said McCann.

Provide Value-Rich Content
Although content is important for any webinar, you should take extra time in planning content for fee-based webinars.

Heiman recommends limiting the number of sales pitches and focusing on content that will increase the customer’s business to make it worth the ticket price.

“If you charge, you need to deliver great content with minimal selling but you can make a special offer at the beginning and at the end for those who attend,” said Heiman.
After the webinar is over, take some time to recap what worked and what didn’t work to help improve for next time. And don’t forget to post the recorded version of your webinar online for a fee to continue generating income long after the webinar is over.

For more information on using the AnyMeeting webinar ticketing feature, please see the AnyMeeting support website and tutorial video.

My Webinar is Over … Now What?

office-1069207_1920

By Jennifer Gregory
Jennifer Gregory is a journalist with over 17 years professional writing experience. Jennifer blogs via Contently.com.

After your webinar is over, you may think that the project is completed. But actually some of the most important items are still on your to do list. Now that you have produced an engaging and professional webinar, you need to take advantage of the opportunity that you have created. If your contact with the attendees ends when they sign off the webinar, then you are losing out on many of the potential benefits.

Before you close out your webinar, be sure to tackle the following tasks:

Post the Recorded Version of Your Webinar on Your Website

After the webinar, post the recorded version on your website for people who were unable to attend to watch at a later time and for attendees to re-watch. You can also send links to the webinar to potential new customers to share the information presented and build interest in future webinars. Be sure to encourage attendees to share the link with co-workers and other professional contacts.

Justin Lee, of InternProfits.com, suggests offering an encore presentation where people can register again to watch the recorded version of the webinar at a specific time. “This works well because many times people won’t watch the replay if they know they can watch it ‘whenever.’”

Send Out a Survey

An important step of following up is to send a survey to all attendees with specific questions about your webinar. In addition to asking for feedback, ask questions to learn about your customer’s needs and topics that they would like to see for future webinars. You should also ask if they would like a follow-up and if they would prefer to be contacted by email or phone.

Since many people do not return surveys, consider offering an incentive to those who complete the survey, such as a coupon for purchasing one of your products or a discount on future webinars.

Send Group Email

Within 24 to 48 hours after your webinar, send a follow-up email to all of your attendees thanking them for attending using the AnyMeeting follow-up features.

In the email, provide any information that you promised during the webinar, such as additional resources on a topic of interest or answers to questions. You should include a link to the recorded version of the webinar and encourage attendees to share the presentation with any colleagues. Don’t forget to link to your blog and invite attendees to follow you.

Follow-Up with Individual Attendees

Since some people prefer not to have a sales call after each webinar, you do not need to follow-up with every person. However, you should go through the surveys to determine which attendees requested a follow-up and make contact within a week after the webinar. You should also follow-up with any attendees who had specific questions during the webinar or those who had unfavorable feedback on the survey.

By following up after your webinar, you will increase the return on your company’s investment. The follow-up will also help you get to know your attendees better, both as a group and as individuals, which will come in handy when you begin to plan your next webinar.

 

How to Use Webinars for Lead Generation

22920388895_8994d582bf_o

By Jennifer Gregory
Jennifer Gregory is a journalist with over 17 years professional writing experience. Jennifer blogs via Contently.com.

While businesses often use webinars primarily for finding new customers, a common mistake is not worrying about generating leads until after the webinar is over.

The key to turning a webinar into increased business is to integrate the goal of attracting new customers throughout the entire webinar process – from the first brainstorming meeting to following up with attendees afterwards.

Decide on Your Goal for the Webinar

The first step in creating a webinar that produces tangible results is to determine exactly what you want the outcome to be from the event. Do you want to sign 12 new customers? Are you looking to increase your relationships with your current clients? Or would the most profitable result for your company be to entice your existing customers to buy additional add-on products?

If you set a specific and tangible goal for the webinar to achieve then you can make each decision related to the event with that outcome in mind.

Pick a Topic that Solves a Problem

Once you have decided on your goal, have a brainstorming session for different topics that will help achieve your desired result. If you are stuck on a direction, ask some of your current customers or professional contacts for their ideas. Most people are more than happy to give you their opinion.

Wayne Turmel, president of Greatwebmeetings.com, says that it is important to focus your topics toward ways that you can help solve your client’s problems instead of simply promoting your own products. For example, instead of a webinar on the new release of your software, he recommends picking a topic such as “Three Top Problems You Have with Your Business – And How We Can Help Solve Them.”

Invite the Right People

If 100 people attend your webinar, but very few of them are the target audience, then your webinar will not achieve the goal you set.

“The trick is not to get bodies to attend, it’s to get the right bodies to attend,” says Turmel. “Target your webinar to the people who can move through your sales cycle.” He suggests partnering with associations and guest speakers to extend your professional reach.

Connect with Your Audience during the Webinar

By working to create a connection with your audience during the webinar, you will have a higher success rate of closing business from the leads. In addition to a professional presentation, provide additional content as you talk, such as anecdotes of how a technique worked in real life or a software shortcut that only insiders know about.

Monica Isabel Martinez, Director of Professional Development at the Texas Computer Education Association recommends making the webinar as interactive as possible by using surveys or having the audience create a demo during the webinar.

“Interactivity is the key to retaining the attendee’s attention, and improving content retention therefore provides more value to the attendee,” says Martinez.

Follow Up

After the last participant logs off the webinar, you may feel relieved that the webinar is over, but the real work is actually just beginning. Follow up with each participant to get their feedback on the webinar and talk about any business problems that your product or service can help them solve.

By keeping the goal of generating new leads and business at the forefront of your mind during each phase of the webinar, the time you spend will result in new customers for your company. And you will have a great contact list of people to invite to your next webinar.

6 Tips for Hosting Your First Webinar

By Kate McFarlin
I have more than 15 years experience as a freelance writer. My articles have been published on USAToday, the Houston Chronicle and several other sites. Kate blogs via Contently.com.

Are you ready to get into the exciting world of webinars? Before you get started, there are a few things that you need to know to help ensure that your first webinar goes off without a hitch.

Preparation is the key when it comes to conducting your first webinar. By taking the time to take care of a few essentials ahead of time, you can reduce beginner’s stress and make sure that your final product is polished and professional.

1. Give Yourself Enough Promotional Lead Time.
You’ll need some time to attract an audience to your webinar. The industry-recommended standard is about two to three weeks. Any longer than that, and you’ll run the risk of having participants forget about the event. Any shorter and you may not be able to attract a large enough audience.

2. Do a Few Run Throughs of Your Webinar Content on Your Own.
This step is important for two reasons. First, you’ll be building confidence in your skills as a presenter. Second, you’ll be able to spot any weak points or potential problems in your webinar before you go live in front of an audience.

3. Test Your Equipment The Day of Your Webinar.
You’ll need a microphone for your webinar and if you’ll be doing live video, a webcam. Do a quick equipment test a few hours in advance to make sure everything is operational. This will give you enough time if you should have to replace anything.

4. Send out Reminders to Registered Participants.
Email your participant list a few days before and the day of your webinar to remind them. Make sure to include the time zone you’re in to avoid any confusion. You can also utilize services like Twitter and Facebook to help remind your audience.

5. Always Remember to Smile.
It’s all too common to feel stressed out before and during your webinar. By preparing you’ll be able to lessen that stress, and always remember to smile. Your audience will feel more relaxed and more engaged, and they will feel more engaged with the content you are presenting.

6. Utilize Interactive Elements.
An involved audience is an engaged audience. Remember to include polls and other interactive elements in your webinar. This helps you as a presenter by taking some of the burden off of you, and it helps your audience to feel as though you care about their opinions.

We all have to start somewhere, and while your first webinar may take some time and effort, the process will get easier and before you know it, you’ll be a pro!

AnyMeeting Helps Users Generate Revenue With New Integrated Webinar Ticketing System

HUNTINGTON BEACH, CA–(Marketwire – Aug 16, 2011) – AnyMeeting, the completely free web conferencing and webinar service, today announced that it has integrated PayPal as a way for users to sell tickets to their webinars. AnyMeeting’s new integrated webinar ticketing system is an easy to use, innovative feature that provides users with a flexible way to monetize their webinar.  See the complete press release on MarketWire.

Get Rewarded for Inviting Your Friends

Have you told all of your friends and colleagues about AnyMeeting?  Now you can get rewarded for it with AnyMeeting’s new referral program.  During the month of August, invite five friends who sign up for AnyMeeting and get a $25 Amazon.com Gift Card*.

AnyMeeting’s program makes sending invitations to your friends easy, allowing you to import address books from Gmail, Hotmail and Yahoo Mail.  Additionally, you can share the invitation on Twitter and Facebook.

AnyMeeting’s “Referral History,” section makes it easy to monitor the status of your referrals and keep track of how many you have, so invite your friends today.  For the full details, see our AnyMeeting Referral Program page.

 

*Amazon.com is not a sponsor of this promotion. Amazon, Amazon.com, the Amazon.com logo, and the Amazon Gift Cards logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. Amazon.com Gift Cards (“GCs”) may be used only for purchases of eligible goods on Amazon.com or its affiliated website Endless.com. GCs cannot be redeemed for purchases of gift cards. Except as required by law, GCs cannot be reloaded, resold, transferred for value, redeemed for cash, or applied to any other account. See http://www.amazon.com/gc-legal for complete terms and conditions. GCs are issued and ©2011 by ACI Gift Cards, Inc., a Washington corporation.