How to Add Social Media to Your Marketing Mix

The world of social networking can appear very daunting, especially to managers and business owners who have perhaps heard of Facebook and blogs but have never actually participated in them and don’t really know how they work – or more importantly, their value within the marketing mix.

So when Richard MacManus, founder of ReadWriteWeb, a blog that provides Web Technology news, reviews and analysis and has an RSS and email subscriber following of about 275,000, made his 2009 Web Predictions, it came as no surprise that much of them involved social networking. Some of his predictions included iTunes adding social networking features, Facebook signing up to OpenSocial, the introduction of applications that have plug-ins for Twitter and Facebook, and media outlets experimenting with different types of online advertising (with their own social networks perhaps?)

So you know you need to add social networking and social media to your marketing mix for 2009, but how do you get started? Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, Digg, Twitter, Ning – the list of sites is endless. But which ones are right for you? It all depends on which ones are right for your customer.

So many choices, so little time.

Just like any other marketing promotion, your social network program needs a strategy that includes measurement of your ROI. Many people are becoming more involved in social networking sites and blogs simply because they’ve heard of them, like Facebook and MySpace. Instead, you must think about what you want to accomplish here. Are you looking to connect with existing customers? Do you want to find qualified, quality leads? Are you hoping that your existing customers might open the social network door to new opportunities? Will you be interacting and engaging with your customers online or just posting ideas and thoughts? Do you hope to collect new ideas from your social network or will you be expected to be the think tank of the group? Once you’ve determined the reasons why you want to incorporate social networking into your marketing plans, the next step is to join a few.

Creating your profile.

Clicking into a site like Facebook or LinkedIn can be a bit intimidating at first. You have no “connections,” (people who view your profile or who you have found to connect with) your profile is bare, and you’re wondering why anyone would want to connect with you online. Take some time to go through the profile section of the site.

Remember, think about whom you want to connect and network with. Then tailor your profile so that the customers that you want will find you. Do you want to engage with groups who are looking for innovative technology? Will you be the leader of a group who offers tips and strategies for the latest in CRM technology? What makes you a Super VAR? By reading your profile, a customer or new lead will know immediately based on what you write.

Making the Connections.

Now is the time to start searching for people you know within the network. This will give you the opportunity to explore the site with people you know and trust. Allow yourself to feel comfortable with the way the social part of the network works. Remember, everyone was a newbie once, so make connections with those who can help you out at the beginning. LinkedIn is a site geared toward making business connections. Twitter allows you to follow someone or be followed. Facebook and MySpace offer community atmospheres. You’ll be amazed at how many people you will encounter that are interested in the same things that you are. Search for people of like mind and ideas.

Just like at a party or 4th of July picnic, you’ll start chatting with someone and who knows where the conversation will go. Social networking is simply an amazing marketing tool to foster current customer relationships and find new ones. Who are you linked to?

A Short Article on Technology

The world has undergone enormous changes over the past decade. We now live in a world where communication is paramount. It seems that everyone and everything is connected in some way.

For school students this has made things much more efficient. Research papers that used to involve hours of laborious effort, can now be researched and documented without ever touching a card catalog or a periodical index. Worlds of information are now available at the click of a mouse.

Questions that people pondered without any answer previously can now simply be typed into any convenient search engine and answered almost immediately. There are countless sites filled with informative short articles all over the Internet. Videos and music can now be seen on demand and news from across the world can be delivered in an instant.

There are some people who worry that the technological revolution and evolution we are experiencing today is moving too fast. There seems to be a loss of privacy in some respects and the specter of a Big Brother society looms larger than it has since 1984. Whether their fears are well founded or not will remain to be seen, but it is unlikely that people will ever willingly give up the almost instant connections to our wired world.

Flying in the face of these fears are individuals who share their worlds through their blogs. What used to be shared with only close friends is now put online for millions of people to see if they should happen upon the blogger’s website. Individuals are learning to take advantage of this by using their well placed blogs to sell products and services. The internet has allowed individuals an opportunity to step on to the same playing field as the big boys of business. With the right information and the ability to get it seen, anyone can now reach the masses and share their thoughts, feelings and even sales pitches.

Businesses as well as individuals have come to rely on the Internet as a source of advertising and actual sales. Entire business models have been constructed and thriving based solely on using Internet websites. It is rare today to find a traditional brick and mortar establishment that does not have some type of online presence. Any business that does not adapt and grow to keep up with the newest technology seriously risks being left behind in the wake of their competitors who choose to ride technology’s leading edge.

Time will tell where this all will lead. We should make the most of the positive possibilities technology promises, but we should also keep a careful watch on where we are going.

A Secret Solar Energy Technology

Two of the greatest obstacles encountered by the solar energy industry are related to costs and efficiency. In order to compete with conventional power producers, a small company has developed a secret solar energy technology. The company is V3 Solar and they have discovered the new Spin Cell Technology. Can we expect lower costs and greater efficiencies for our solar energy? This article will investigate the new invention and explore the exciting implications it could bring to the entire solar industry.

Spin Cell Technology– This new idea is a departure from the world of static flat panel solar collectors. The Spin Cell is basically a cone of glass that covers and revolves around a photovoltaic cell. The glass concentrates the solar energy onto the PV cell at various different angles to produce electrical energy. Greater energy efficiency is achieved even when the sunlight is not at an optimum angle. Next we will discuss just how good these efficiencies can be.

20 X more energy– V3 Solar company officials claim that they can produce 20 times more energy from the same amount of silicon than traditional flat panels. This could lead to much lower costs per watt of electricity. One of the more exciting aspects of this new technology is the fact this also means that you can create more electrical energy in a smaller area of operation. A much smaller footprint is a huge advantage since most home owners and businesses have only a limited area for the optimal placement of solar collectors. We will now take a look at the cost of ownership for the average consumer.

A total lower cost of ownership– V3 Solar company CEO Michael Neistat states the solar industry should focus on the total cost of ownership rather than the normal standard of cost per watt. The total cost of ownership takes into consideration square footage of space required. Maintenance cost, purchase price, and longevity of the units are also factored into the equation. One big advantage of the spin cell unit is that an inverter will be part of the assembly. This means the unit will export AC electricity and a separate inverter will not be required. This will reduce overall costs and avoid problems that sometimes are encountered with the larger whole-house inverters. Neistat estimates that costs as low as.08 cents per kilowatt of electricity produced could be achieved. That would be a lower cost than conventional utilities can provide and much lower than the.28 cost per KW of using static flat panel solar systems.

We have explored the new spin cell technology. We examined the promises of greater energy efficiencies and the total lower cost of ownership. Spin cell technology could totally change the solar industry and the way in which we produce solar electricity for our homes and businesses. The technology looks very promising but is not yet available to the public. If the secret spin cell technology can make good on its promises, it will not only change the solar industry, but the entire sustainable energy sector as well.