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Google Launches Online Resource for Entrepreneurs

112987077Google took the wraps off "Google for Entrepreneurs," a microsite that brings together information about Google's programs and partnerships for startups and entrepreneurs.

In a blog post, Mary Grove, head of global entrepreneurship outreach, said Google's entrepreneurship activities are focused on three areas:

  1. Partnerships with organizations that serve entrepreneurs in local communities;
  2. Google-led programs that give entrepreneurs access to talent and tools; and
  3. Placing relevant Google tools in the hands of startups as they are get off the ground and scale. The site is designed to serve as an index for these resources.

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How to Convert Facebook Fans into Paying Customers

112987077Many small-business owners are perplexed by all the fanfare surrounding Facebook marketing. Sure, they can see the return in terms of interactions and maybe even new fans from sharing videos, photos, questions and other content. But why invest all that time and energy in community-building efforts when the real goal is to sell?

Scroll through your News Feed on any given day, and you'll notice that photos and questions get the most traction. But the challenge for most business owners lies in how to take that momentum and convert it into buying power.

Think of Facebook as the first step of your sales cycle. The ultimate goal is to move fans outside of Facebook to a website or sales page, but first you need to build trust and identify leads. And that's where Facebook marketing reigns supreme.

Consider these three steps when looking to convert Facebook fans into paying customers:

An example of a post that includes a quote and a call to action to ignite community engagement.

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How To Command Attention With Your Facebook Posts

112987077How do you feel when you view your competitor's Facebook fan page? Are you happy because you are doing better than he or she is? Or do you wonder what the person is doing that you are not? If it's the latter, it's time you started evaluating your Facebook goals.

Identifying Facebook marketing goals

Small and midsize businesses need to have a clear picture of what they want to achieve from Facebook. Almost 20% of company profiles here were made even before their official websites were launched, so their goal could be to provide customers with a means to contact and get to know their business. It could also be that a business' use for Facebook is to interact with customers. In this case, it is important to make regular posts and reply to people's comments on your wall. If your goal is to use Facebook as a marketing tool, follow the strategies listed below to get your posts more attention and "likes" from the social network.

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With Social Media You're Always Being Watched... So Ask Yourself, Should I Post This? [Infographic]

112987077Way, way back when – over three years ago, in fact, which is a lifetime on the internet – I wrote about the dangers of sharing too much about yourself on platforms such as Twitter and Facebook, reminding readers that, with social media, you're always on camera.

Always being watched.

Always being judged.

And everybody makes mistakes.

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Facebook Friends of Fans' Information is Key for Marketing

112987077People are shocked when Facebook launches new ad products every few days — targeting your search queries, what sites you've been to, or taking your Facebook information and injecting it into other websites. You can even upload customer email lists and phone numbers to Facebook, too. But if you want Facebook to be able to measure your return on investment, it must know who the friends are of all your fans.

Facebook is "word-of-mouth marketing at scale," in its own words. That means they must identify who is influencing who. If someone doesn't need the help of friends to make a purchase decision, or if they aren't likely to share this decision, it doesn't belong on Facebook.

The marketing head of a chain of fertility clinics asked us for help in Facebook marketing. We said she should forget about Facebook and focus efforts on Google, instead.

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