Tuesday, December 27, 2011

How Industrial Companies Can Make Their Websites More Interactive - Marketects Inc.

IndustrialMegaSearch.com New Company Listing

Latest listing on IndustrialMegaSearch.com:

Process Barron  -  With 30+ years of proven leadership in the design, manufacturing, installation, and service of heavy process equipment, ProcessBarron is the industry's total systems solutions provider.
Located In: Pelham 35124, Alabama 35124
FaceBook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Process-Barron/166911698262
Blog URL: http://www.processbarron.com/blog/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/processbarron
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/ProcessBarron
Other Site:

Sign up yoru company for free in the Industrial Mega Search Regional Industrial Directory. The sooner you get listed, the higher you rank!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

What is RSS and Easy Ways To Use It

RSS to Email - A "How To" Article from Baer Marketing

Like many small business people, you might feel overwhelmed with the deluge of information coming at you from all sides; twitter, facebook, blogs, trade publications, videos, websites, etc. So how do you keep up with the best sources of information pertinent to your company?

Have you ever seen this image on a web page or a blog? This is an "RSS" image, which stands for "really simple syndication." RSS is very common, but usually not so simple for the majority of small business people who don't know what it is or how it works. But it is a great way to get  pertinent information from your favorite sources on a regular basis.

If you've ever heard about "feeds" from a site or blog, they're talking about RSS or Atom, another popular feed system. Most blogs and many web pages allow you to subscribe to updates; to subscribe to their "feed." Some sites allow you to subscribe by email. But most sites don't have that simple option.  And that is where RSS comes in.

There are lots of RSS readers, sometimes called "news aggregators" such as Google Reader, FeedDemon, NewsGator, Bloglines, and many, many more. Some are web based and require signup and then sign-in whenever you want to read your feeds. Some are Windows based and require downloading and installation. You can also get RSS feeds in some email clients like Outlook (plugins) and ThunderBird.

But one of the easiest ways to get your information via RSS feeds is via a service called FeedMyInbox. If you're just subscribing to a few feeds,  FeedMyInbox  is a great option. First of all, it's FREE for up to five feeds. You don't even need to signup. All you have to do is enter the Feed URL and your email address. That's all! After doing that, the updates magically show up in your regular email inbox.

But now you might ask... "what is a Feed URL"?  It's really pretty easy. When you see an RSS image on a web page or blog where you want to keep up with their updates, just right click it and select "Copy Link Location". Then paste that link location into the Feed URL area on  FeedMyInbox. Then enter your email address, click "submit" and you're done.

A few other similar services include FeedMailer and Reblinks. And a google search for "rss to email" will likely yield many more similar services. But so far, FeedMyInbox seems to be the easiest RSS to Email service I've found.




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by Brian Baer, BaerMarketingNetwork.com
Find me on Google+
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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Why Did This Industrial Trade Group Give Social Media A Bad Rap - What Do You Think?

@IndHeat - The folks over at "Industrial Heating: the International Journal of Thermal Technology" (heat treating & thermal processing) posted an Oct 2011 article titled "Is Social Media Relevant to Technical People?"  So please read this article, and then come back to this post to share your thoughts.

Working in industrial marketing for over 10 years, I've sometimes wondered how some SMB industrial companies can be so averse to the marketing opportunities offered by the internet. But if their own industrial trade groups are misleading them, as Industrial Heating has done, then it begins to make sense. Sure, SMB industrial companies are conservative by nature, but shouldn't their trade groups try to reach beyond their own limited world to help their members by seeking outside expertise for areas beyond their scope?

Admittedly, the folks reading "Industrial Heating" are highly technical in their knowledge and application of heat treating and thermal technology solutions for industry. But that also means that they could easily adopt the minimally technical aspects of social media marketing.  So, what are they missing?

  • Do agree with the analysis of the folks at Industrial Heating? 
  • Do you agree with their conclusion that "chances are very good that your disinterest in social media will not hurt you in the short-term or intermediate-term future"?
  • Do you think that none of their thousands of industrial prospects and customers that use heat treating services are using social media?
  • They're reluctantly conceding that maybe, just maybe, video might have some value. What do you think? Would quality videos benefit the thousands of metal fabrication and other industrial companies that might need their parts heat treated? Could videos be helpful in explaining the different types of thermal treating like carburizing, nitriding, induction treating, vacuum treating, etc. Do you think all of their customers know all of those details? Do you think their customers care about those details?
  • Are they perhaps missing the point that their companies are not actually heat treating companies but, instead, there companies are sales companies?
  • Are they missing the point that every single employee at a company is part of the sales and marketing effort?
  • Did they do a sufficient job educating and encouraging their readers to adopt twitter? 
  • Did you notice a lack of links in their article, even when they referenced clearly linkable information?
  • How about the lack of interactivity in this article (and many of their articles)? There is no ability to have a discussion. Hmmm, what's that word...? Oh, "interactive" !!!
  • Did you search for #hts2011 on twitter? What did you find? Did their Twitter efforts at their trade show work?
  • How could they do a better job of helping their users adopt social media?
What's interesting also, is that they include AddThis.com sharing & bookmarking links at the bottom of the article. They apparently want people to share their content, but not to interact with them. And, they have their own LinkedIn Group, Twitter and Facebook accounts. So maybe it's just the author that hasn't gotten the message, but others in their organization have.  Regardless, I surely hope that their members aren't following the advice they gave in "Is Social Media Relevant to Technical People?".  What do you think?


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by Brian Baer, BaerMarketingNetwork.com
Find me on Google+
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Monday, December 12, 2011

Does B2B Social Marketing Work?

"How One SMB Makes B2B Social Marketing Work" @thebyard @IVCiLLC @garyvee

"Someone can search for a product name and we come up, which is great, but it doesn't really show our value... Through social media and our blogging efforts, we can put out thought leadership content."

This is what Adam Kaiser, director of marketing at IVCi, was recently quoted as saying in the article "How One SMB Makes B2B Social Marketing Work" from "The BrainYard", Information Week's community for social business.

So let's look at that first half of that statement. "Someone can search for a product name and we come up, which is great, but it doesn't really show our value."  This is what traditional website marketing has always been about. Build a site, help it get found with SEO, and the sales will just roll in! But in the real world, that doesn't necessarily happen any more. Nowadays, just about every company has a website. And among you and your competitors, there is usually a lot of very similar website content. As Mr. Kaiser points out, even when you get found, you're still just one company on a list of similar companies. Being ranked #1 or #4 or #6 in not any kind of indicator of quality or value. 

So how do you stand out? The second part of that statement is all about marketing in today's interactive environment of integrated marketing with social media, SEO, video, and a good website as the base.  "Through social media and our blogging efforts, we can put out thought leadership content."  

In the B2B world, where there are often long cycle high value sales, we all have to remember, and remind ourselves periodically, of a few very important things.  

  1. We're actually selling to people, not to companies. At a recent conference I attented, the keynote speaker (Gary Vaynerchuk - @garyvee) made a simple, but very wise statement about B2B... "Behind every B is a C".  Remember, B2B or B2C, we're selling to people!
  2. In high value sales, people don't necessarily just buy features. They generally don't even just buy products or services. They're buying you. More precisely, they're buying into you. They're buying a belief in your credibility and your experience. They're actually investing, not buying. They're investing their trust in you.

So how does this relate back to social media marketing?  If you do it right, social media is another avenue, another multiplier to build and spread the value of your expertise, the value of your experience, and the level trust in you as a person and then in your product and company. You're building "thought leadership" in your field.

People will be able to tell from your posts and your tweets if you're just another huckster out to push a product down their throat or if you're someone who actually believes in educating and helping people. They'll see if you seem to be reasonable and relevant in what you're saying. Social media is consultative selling.

So make your blog posts relevant, helpful, insightful and informative. Don't just talk about a product; talk about an experience!  Make your tweets and your facebook page point to similar quality content; whether it is your blog post or someone else's.  People will appreciate if you're not a know-it-all who thinks you're the only wise person out there. So share other people's good content as well and give them credit! Goodwill, karma, pay it forward, etc. You get the idea.

And when you do this, your total web presence (website, seo, social) will help you stand out among the list of companies in the search results and among your competitors because you've moved the game to a higher level.



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by Brian Baer, BaerMarketingNetwork.com
Find me on Google+
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Friday, December 9, 2011

Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Best of "100 Best Twitter How-to Tips"

I ran into an excellent series of blog posts and tweets that are also an eBook about the "100 Best Twitter How-to Tips to Maximize Your Twitter Business Strategy", by Dan Hollings (@dhollings).

But for small business and for my typical SMB industrial client, 100 tips is a bit much to digest. Keeping up with social media, after all, can be quite time consuming with limited resources. So I'm going to summarize the best of those tips for the SMB marketer. (SMB, by the way, means Small or Mid-sized Business) Links to the full lists will appear at the bottom of the blog, and also on twitter at @site_map by @dhollings.

The Best of  "100 Best Twitter How-to Tips" 

from Tips 1 -18

#10 - Do not think that just because Twitter asks for your web address in the settings account area with the silly question, "Have a homepage or a blog" means you must put in your blog or homepage URL. In fact, in many cases that is not a good idea. Instead, enter the URL to a dedicated page made specifically to greet, excite, or manifest interest from the people that will be investigating that link. It's literally like a landing page and in many cases should be design to get people to follow you. (See Tip #64 for another Bio link idea).


#13 - Try to keep your Twitter "Following / Follower" ratio balanced. If a potential follower sees you are following 1532 people and only 32 are following you; rightfully or wrong, some people might make assumptions you've not washed your socks in months...


#16 - What do you post? Ah, that's the magical part. Now granted, what you post depends largely on your goals and purpose with Twitter, but in general this is easy... post interesting stuff, preferably related in some way to what you do, who you are, what you (and your followers) are interested in etc. It pays to be interesting to your followers, but it pays more to be interested in your followers. Twitter is NOT a micro-advertising billboard.


#17 - When you engage in conversation with others, reference who you're talking to or about in your post by adding their Twitter username in this format: @dhollings


from Tips 19 - 36


#22 - Twitter does not allow images (or videos) directly within the posts, however, people love to see images. An all-text world, even if it's Twitterworld, is rather boring. Either link to images direct (like at Flickr.com), or through your blog, or use an application like TwitPic, Twinkle etc.


#25 - Don't keep your Twitter account a secret. Add your Twitter link to online, offline and mobile spots. Business cards, SMS text messages, Billboards, classified ads, yard signs, stickers, flyers, yellow pages, phone message machine, and every other place you can think of.


#26 - Add your Twitter message (example: "Follow Me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/dhollings") on all your online profile pages: FaceBook, Google Local, Amazon.com, Your Blog, YouTube, Naymz, Zoominfo, Ustream.tv, LinkedIn, MySpace, ReJaw, MerchantCircle, Ecademy, Pownce, Bebo, Profilactic, Tumblr, etc


#27 - Send invites by email and regular mail to your connections (friends, employees, prospects, customers, etc); those most appropriate for the Twitter content or conversation your Twitter page will engage in.

#31 -  [Reply to new followers to thank them for following.] Including a link to something in your [response] email is good, but ONLY if the link goes to something really related and really interesting. Track the link, page or download file that it links to so you can gage if new followers are clicking or not. A followers interest is at its highest point immediately after they start following. Your goal is to secure enough interest (that is, muster up the Twitter WOW-factor) so they remember who you are and actually read your future tweets.


#32 - A general "rule of thumb" is to follow back MOST of those that follow you. To not follow-back can seem rude.


#33 - Twitter allows followers to send DIRECT (private) messages and public messages to you. There is a high likelihood that immediately upon following you and/or upon receiving your [response], the new follower may message you through Twitter. I highly recommend you Tweet back to these early direct or public tweets even if you cannot maintain a high level of one-on-one messaging all the time. First impressions are lasting and you'll only get one chance to make a good first Twitter impression.

#35 - Try setting up interesting (or perhaps controversial) Twitter polls to get follower feedback, engagement or word-of-mouth. 


#36 - Remember that with Twitter, it's not all about YOU; rather, it's about others, it's about helping, sharing, having interesting exchanges, making things happen, and community. Blend in YOU (and what you do) in this mix and you'll become someone that people will want to follow.

***
Please stay tuned for parts 2 and 3 of this series. And please check out the links to the full series of posts on "100 Best Twitter How-to Tips" by @dhollings.


***
by Brian Baer, BaerMarketingNetwork.com
Find me on Google+
Vist Baer Marketing Network on Google+


IndustrialMegaSearch.com New Company Listings

Go to New Company Listings
Check out these new listings of industrial companies, including all of their social media links.




Baghouse.com  -  Dust collection experts for over 40 years, with highly trained staff, and real-world experience Baghouse.com can help you meet your dust collection needs, and increase efficiency increase profits.
Located In: Newark , Delaware 19711
FaceBook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Baghousecom-LLC/111426178935865
Blog URL: http://www.baghouse.com/category/dust-collection-blog/
Twitter:
YouTube:
Other Site:

Applied Laser Technology, Inc.  -  ALT offers high precision laser micro-maching and fabrication services. An Industry pioneer, we specialize in laser drilling, scribing and cutting, post processing, lapping, polishing and much more!
Located In: Beaverton, OR 97005
FaceBook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Applied-Laser-Technology/117141931680572
Blog URL:
Twitter:
YouTube:
Other Site:

Rockford Specialties  -  Custom Wire Displays - OEM wire forms, welded components and complete fabrication
Located In: Rockford, IL 61111
FaceBook:
Blog URL:
Twitter:
YouTube:
Other Site:

PDQ Industrial Electric  -  Industrial, Commercial, Electrician, Electrical, Contractor, NJ, New Jersey, PA, DE, DelVal, MD, NY, CT, MA, RI,24 Hour, Emergency-Repair-Service, Automation, Conveyor, Machine Wiring, Troubleshooting
Located In: Laurel Springs, NJ 08021
FaceBook:
Blog URL:
Twitter: http://Twitter.com/PDQelectric
YouTube:
Other Site: http://PDQIE.com

Prototek Sheet Manufacturing  -  Prototek Sheetmetal Fabrication began in 1987, specializing in quick-turn prototypes for the precision sheet metal fabrication markets.
Located In: Contoocook, NH 03229
FaceBook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Prototek-Manufacturing/129135277174294
Blog URL: http://prototekmanufacturing.tumblr.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/prototek
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/1987prototek
Other Site: https://plus.google.com/b/112349367567575264672/112349367567575264672/posts






IndustrialMegaSearch.com New Company Listings

Oops, double post as we work out coordinating RSS feeds & blog posts.