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What is RSS?

RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication and it’s an easy way to stay up to date with the posts from your favourite blogs and websites.  The information is a news feed that is fed directly to you via a reader so you don’t miss a thing.

You will see that many blogs have a distinctive orange icon like this one somewhere on their pages:

Alternatively they might use an icon like this one.  XML refers to the file format that the feed is sent in:

Both icons show that the site has a RSS feed that you can subscribe to.  Some browsers will also show a tiny orange RSS icon in the URL bar, too.

The feed is then sent to your reader which converts it from XML into something you can read.  You might use Feedburner, Google Reader , My Yahoo or one of many other readers available for free.  Most readers give you the option of having the posts sent straight to your inbox or smartphone, too, which might be even more convenient.

The good thing about RSS feeds is that you don’t have to remember to go to your favourite websites anymore because they come to you.   If you need to pay attention to news reports for fire or emergency warnings, or closely watch information related to your business, RSS feeds save you a lot of work.  It sends you the information as it is released.

As a business owner you should make it clear that you offer the RSS feed from your site and make it easy to subscribe to.   People don’t always come to your site intentionally.  When people find you because they are looking for the product or service you offer, you don’t want to lose them when they move on.  In fact, they probably don’t want to lose you either.  The RSS option will help them remember you.

An RSS feed will keep you in touch with the information that is important to you and it makes content easily shareable.  That’s the whole point of syndication, isn’t it?  Make it work for you.

We’re a HootSuite Pro Solution Partner!

Leading Logic is proud to announce that we are now a HootSuite Pro Solution Partner.

HootSuite is a social media management system for businesses and organizations to collaboratively execute campaigns across multiple social networks from one secure, web-based dashboard. Key social network integrations include Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, plus a suite of social content apps for YouTube, Flickr, Tumblr and more.

Earlier this year HootSuite hit 3 million users with over 700 million messages sent through over 6 million unique social profiles. Along with HootSuite’s web platform, 20% of users access the dashboard through their mobiles including iPhone, Android, Blackberry and iPad. HootSuite also offers localized versions of their dashboard in six languages – English, French, Italian, Japanese, Spanish and Portuguese.

There are many benefits to HootSuite Pro

Engage: Optimize your audience engagement by creating search streams, scheduling messages and monitoring all of your social network profiles from one customizable web and mobile dashboard.

Collaborate: Invite clients and colleagues to participate in your social media management. Assign messages for follow up and share streams, helping you increase efficiency.

Analyze: Measure your efforts using over 40 social analytics modules to build and share custom reports. Or select from one of our pre-made templates for quick and easy reporting.

Secure: Share access with team members without compromising security. The team permission levels and advanced sharing options ensure you remain in control of your valuable social profiles and accounts.

Sign up for a 30-day free trial of HootSuite Pro now: http://hootsuite.com/p_9397/go7skc?d=upgrade

Facebook Homepage

10 Tips to Optimise Your Facebook Account

We all know that social media is a great tool for business. It has changed the way we communicate and interact with our clients and potential clients. It has revolutionised the business to consumer relationship.

The businesses which gain the best results using social media have a few secrets up their sleeves. In this 5 part series covering Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn and Pinterest, I’m going to let you in on them. I’m going to show you what they do and how they do it.

Each of the five main social media streams has the potential to boost your client base and income dramatically but you may choose to use only one or two. Find the form of social media preferred by your clients and meet them there. Study the tips and put them into practice as you build your social media world.

Top 10 Tips for Facebook

1. Remember that Facebook is social.

People are going to want to know about you and your business. Social media is about chatting with your clients so allocate time for it each day. Be prepared to show more of yourself than you would in traditional business exchanges.

2. Use photos

People love photos and videos. Of everything on your page, they are the most likely to be viewed and shared. Choose photos of your products, events, your business premises, your staff and of the things happening around you.

3. Update your page regularly.

Keep posting interesting and useful content but change the way your page looks, too. Add a new cover image or rotate your tabs so there is something that will catch the eye of even your most regular visitor.

4. Learn about Facebook Edgerank

Facebook uses a scoring system to decide which posts are most interesting and therefore will be most likely to show up in the news feed. The rank is based on three scores – Affinity, Weight and Time Decay. Affinity refers to the relationship between you and the person who shares your content. Weight refers to the importance of the interaction. For example, sharing content with an image is better than a comment alone. Time decay means that the older your post, the lower it will rank. You can check your score at Edgerankchecker.com.

5. Study your page insights.

You need to measure what is doing well and what isn’t. Insights will help you work out what sort of information your followers want and when is the best time to deliver it. Use that data to plan your posting schedule.

6. Take advantage of scheduled posts.

If you have an item of news you’d like to share but won’t be at your computer at the time, you can now schedule the post from within Facebook. It is more likely to be shared than posts made from third party hosts such as Hootsuite.

7. Use the Highlight and Pin To Top features.

Apart from breaking up your timeline and adding some interest, these tools are excellent for promotions. Pin To Top lets you keep an important post at the top of your page for a week. If you have a new product to launch or an event to promote, this will keep it visible to all your page visitors. Highlight spreads your post across both columns, making it stand out. It is great for making important posts noticeable.

8. Use your app tabs.

These are the little boxes below your cover image. They are handy because each app is allocated its own URL when you create it. That means you can send someone to that specific app on your page. If you have a competition or a new service to promote, you can add the link to your blog, email or any other place and it leads directly to the promotion.

9. Use Facebook lists.

After you have been on Facebook for a while your news feed will be filled with things that you might not have time to read. Minimise the chatter by creating a list for each of the things that interest you. You might have one for family, one for your business topic and one for jokes. A list will curate the information for you so you can find the right posts as you need them. You can also encourage your followers to create a list of their favourite pages and include yours.

10. Vary your content.

It’s ok to add something that isn’t business related, remember. Add a joke or recipe. Add a photo of something you love. Add a music video. These things all add personality to your page and that’s what your followers want – a touch of the real you.

 

Are you ready for Facebook Timeline?

The new look timeline will be on your Facebook page by March 31st whether you like it or not. As you’ve probably noticed, it looks a lot different to the current layout but it brings some huge advantages with it.

Here is a summary of the more significant changes Facebook Timeline brings:

New cover image

What a great opportunity to catch the attention of potential clients.  You can’t include things such as contact information or a call to action, nor can you ask people to like your page.  Instead,  choose an image that speaks straight to your client.  Have a look at one I created for Leadership HQ.  It shows what they do and catches the eye but doesn’t break any rules.

New apps

Once you had a series of tabs down the side.  Now you have 3 apps at the top, just below your cover image and space for more hidden below that.  The apps give you a big opportunity to market different aspects of your business because, with the exception of the photos app, they can be moved and rotated around.  You can highlight the things that are important to your business as they happen – special events, sales, free reports, whatever you need to show.  Unlike the cover image, the apps can be branded with your logo or colours, and more details business information.

Landing Pages

The loss of tabs means that your landing page has to be treated differently.   While you can no longer set a default landing page, you can take advantage of the unique URL that every app has.  Turn one of your apps into your landing page and use its URL as the link whenever you want to send people to your page.  Instead of using facebook.com/page name, you’ll use facebook.com/page name/app_1234lotsof numbers.

Pinned posts

Do you have something important that you need to share with your followers?  You can now “pin” a post to the top of your page and it will stay there for 7 days.  Use it to share promotions, event details and anything that needs your follower’s attention.

Use your milestones

Milestones don’t just have to relate to the date you began the business.  They can be used to spotlight milestones like the release of a new product line or a business expansion.  They allow you to show off your achievements.

Private Messages

Fans are now able to send you messages directly through your fan page.  What a great opportunity to build a deeper connection with potential clients.
Timeline looks radically different to the old layout but once you get over the initial shock, you’ll see that the new look page actually benefits your business more than ever before.

Are You Being Found Online?

Article by Melinda Dunlop of Virtual Sanity

So, you’ve spent a lot of time, energy and money on getting your website up and running.  And the new clients are flooding in right?  What?  They’re not?  What happened?

Are you offering a real solution to your client’s problems or are you merely giving them a spiel about what you do?  Is your site ranking on the first page on search engines?  Do you have a compelling offer for people to sign up to your database or better still, actually buy something off you?

Hmm, if you are not rolling in cash by now & booked solid with new clients, I suspect possibly not.

Sounds like it’s time to optimise your site so the search engines can find you.  Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is one of the most important factors when designing and promoting your website.  Let me give you the run down on what SEO actually means.

SEO is the process of increasing the amount of visitors or traffic to your website by ranking highly in search engine results (Google, MSN, Bing, Yahoo etc).  The higher your website ranks in search engine results, the greater the chance that the site will be visited by a potential customer.

And here’s the real question … How do you get your site ranking higher?

There are a number of steps to optimising your website for search engines:

Step 1: Keyword Research and Analysis:

Identify your keywords.  This means you have to really know your target market. What is your niche?  What is your competitive edge? What is the solution that you offer to solve your client’s problems?   To identify your keywords, you must work out the search terms that your potential clients use when they are searching for an answer to their problem. Look at the keywords your competitors are using (ask me how you can do that). Do a simple Google search with your keywords and find out who is ranking the highest in your niche.  Getting your keywords right and actually testing them out is the key to effective SEO.

Step 2: Write your content:

The content on your site needs to be written in a way that is ‘keyword rich’.  Now this doesn’t mean repeating your keywords over and over again, it just means that you need to be clever about incorporating your keywords into your content while keeping your content clear & concise.  This is not as simple as it sounds, but a professional copywriter knows the tricks!  Keep your website fresh with new content regularly and if you have a blog, make sure it is linked to your site.

Step 3: Optimise Website:

The back end of your website is a complex thing and you need to make sure that your site is setup with the right meta-tags and page titles.  This is what the search engine spiders and robots like, so ask your web designer about setting up tags for SEO.  Also, incoming links to your site are extremely important.  So, put a social media strategy in place and get active with blogging and other discussion forums to really increase the traffic to your site.

Step 4: Measure and Review:

After all the hard work to create your website masterpiece, you want to be certain that your keywords work and that your website traffic has increased (and hopefully, your profits too!).  A free online tool like Google Analytics will track your website traffic and provide all the interesting statistics you need to work out what’s working and what’s not.

Blog article by Melinda Dunlop; Owner of Virtual Sanity, Copywriting and Online Marketing Support. Melinda provides general copywriting services and specialises in ghost writing for articles, blogs, eNewsletters and eBooks. www.virtualsanity.com.au