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Social Media Consulting: Should You Get Help?

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You must be worried about how you can get your business up there. In fact, the struggle is not something that you would experience only once when your business started. It is something that you have to deal with again and again until you feel like giving up and decide that it was time to close down the business. But the new generation of business owners has received a very good gift that has made the marketing much easier to deal with and that is the gift of social media marketing. Perhaps this is one more good reason for business owners to continue their desire to get their business on top of everybody else’s.

And so they have heard of social network marketing but how it is exactly done is not something that everybody knows. Although they have their own profile pages in several different social networking sites, it still seems a bit new to them to welcome the idea that these sites can be used to market their products. Most people think that using social media for marketing could really be a challenge because it might just not work for them and the kind of business that they do. Basically because most people who use social networking sites are not people who would like to do their shopping online. Instead, they go online and use social networking sites to open communication lines with the people they love and they know who are far away from them. But do these internet users really do not really shop online? Or is there any possibility that these people

Well, it is not that easy to convince consumers to buy from you. Perhaps this is a very good starting point to evaluate how much help social media consulting firms can provide you and the needs of your business. The people who work behind successful social network consulting firms know the needs and demands of the market. They especially understand what social media users look for and how a business can get their attention so that they can make the sale that they are looking for.

Using social media marketing is not an easy task and without help from social media consulting experts, you might just end up like the other businesses, closed down. Every time you think about using social network consulting firms, do not hesitate. Just try it out and see for yourself.

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10 Checklist Points Before Engaging In Social Media Marketing

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Where to start?

Social Media Marketing has a phony reputation. For many an executive from the commercial department, this exercise sums up to a string of signups over several social networks randomly and from time to time, multimedia, article postings and advertising over Facebook and Twitter. This is definitely not the right shot!Social Media Marketing

SMM is more than just being present in the Social Media Sphere. It is a sharp commercial engagement that may just turn into total havoc if not handled properly. The goal of Social Marketing in cyberspace is the same as the real-world thing. It’s about delivering Unique Selling Points that will end up into concrete and sustained sales. It is about converting an anon into a brand advocate at best. Achieving this objective follows basically almost the same rules except for the fact that Social Media allows a closer, more personal and customizable, so to say Social approach of the targets. Same rules apply but with more or less variations. Assessing the prerogatives, context, environment and toolsets is the essential starting point of any Social Media Marketing campaign. It implies thorough setup and clinical precision in the way messages and attitudes are to be delivered through dedicated channels. Within such campaigns, posting on Facebook, on a fan page, group page or personal page is never the same process.

Here are 10 checklist points before engaging into Social Media Marketing:

  1. Define your base strategy. Setup a budgeted roadmap with intermediate white stones that will help at fine tuning the campaign all along the way.The roadmap should stay in tune with what is being done or what has been done in the real-world. Social Media Marketing is never an innocent act. It is time-consuming and will incur expenses. Being precise about the campaign will definitely decrease the burden. As said earlier assess the main objective and methodology. For example, you may need to totally revamp your actual website so as to allow SM integration and SMO. Make your campaign stay SMARRT – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Relevant and Time-bound. Either go for Awareness or Sales or Loyalty. One at a time! Don’t try to aim for all objectives in one go. Remember! Stick to your company’s marketing and communication policy.
  2. Assess and understand your campaign’s environment. RESEARCH and don’t stop til’ you get enough! One surely doesn’t want to jump into dark waters without basic precautions and headlamps. So do you with your Social Media Marketing Campaign. Diving recklessly into Social Media can spell TOTAL MESS especially when dealing with building awareness and product reputation. Building an effective Online Social Strategy implies thorough knowledge of the competitors’ doing’s on common platforms (of course)… but above all, take an humble preview of how others from different sectors have done or are doing. Get into both successful and failed case studies. Learn more about technical potentials of each and every Social Network and platform.
  3. Identify these platforms and toolsets that are relevant and positively responsive for your roadmap. Social Media Marketing is about delivering the same consistent message through the whole spectrum of interwoven Social Networks. The intertwined winning triumvirate is made of the Blog, Facebook and Twitter, to which you would add a YouTube account if you would have video clips uploaded on a regular basis. Choose strategically. For example, you might feel the need of Slideshare and LinkedIn accounts instead of a Foursquare one, if your product or service is more into pitch-intensive B2B. Your toolset should also be made up of listening and monitoring wares.
  4. Realistically budget and size your Online Advertising. Use the full potential of Google AdSense and Facebook’s advertising platforms, but make sure to target wisely. Goal-tied Marketing Campaigns mean nothing without proper advertising. Intuitive Online advertising is now accessible through a few clicks and will definitely unleash its power to communicate about your brand on a global basis. They can also enhance diffusion to limited zones. Think about identifying and assessing your targets on geographical grounds. This will help at optimizing your online advertisement budget. Choosing PPC or CPC is up to you accordingly to your basic roadmap requirements.
  5. Setup a Social Media taskforce from within your staff and look for an outsider to operate as a Community Manager. The web never sleeps. Social Media Marketing is a 24/7 perpetual roll-on. As such it is time and resource-consuming. One should never expect to be capable of handling a Social Media Marketing campaign alone, especially if other primary company duties are at stake. Instead, invite some of your staff to engage into social networking on your business’s behalf. Be choosy though! Those indulged in such a sensitive and interactive task must write well, be tactful, creative and loyal. Outsider Community Managers are seldom biased and are limited to the sole responsibility of consolidating your taskforce’s activities over relevant Social Networks. In any case you should build a team whose main goals and capabilities are to listen, learn and reply in tactful manner.
  6. Prefer influential relationships. Get your team to identify major Bloggers and mainstream Social Media activists who fringe with your zones of interest and industry. This task is one of the hinges of success for your campaign. Getting to talk to Social Media heavyweights is like hiring evangelists when relationships get entrusted. Getting Lady Gaga to like your pair of boots is like tapping straight into a sea of opportunities as wide as 9 million individuals who would just follow Gaga’s recommendations. Getting her to buy one would mean immediate success. CAREFUL however! The adverse effect is also proportionally as big as your contact’s notoriety. Be sure of what you sell to him or her. A successful Social Media Marketing campaign starts here.
  7. Identify relevant measuring and benchmarking tools. They are proof of your campaign’s success or need for fine tuning. For example, the increase in the number of likes on Facebook or followers on Twitter is an indicator of your campaign’s health. Getting to know how many times your brand is mentioned across the web and rating these comments help at fine tuning the campaign. You should also be able to keep track of your on-growing relationships and traffic that comes from Social Platforms. Identifying prospects for future opportunities helps at developing better strategies. Beware! At the actual state of affairs, Social Media Metrics can be tricky! In fact you will need a very wide array of results coupled to trending reports to be able to depict the exact snapshot of your on-going campaign.
  8. Identify offline components that will be needed to complement your Online Social Marketing. Offline events are powerful conversion tools when geared the proper and relevant way. Offline components may also mean socializing with people off the web, in the real world, offering real-world prizes and gifts, organizing rallies, bar camps, conferences and seminars… etc Determine how these components can enhance your target’s brand experience and how they will relevantly fit into your Online Marketing Scheme.
  9. Urge for quality relevant content when posting articles, multimedia and comments. Praising your 270hp 1974 red Corvette when you advocate for ecological products on your blog isn’t the best of strategies. Be sure to lay editorial rules that will define consistent cross-platform content production both in terms of easy-reading literature and technical specifics. Should an uploaded video be in HD both on YouTube and on Facebook? How long should be an article? Should an article contain a generic common byline for multiple authors or should it bear the actual author’s name and on what grounds? One should always define these lines accordingly to the targeted audience.
  10. Urge to stay HUMAN at every stage! Putting up a Social Media Marketing strategy is about building your brand’s Social Media presence where your quality accessible content will be delivering values of your organization. Social Media is about… Socializing first! People are touchy when it comes to attitudes and postures. They don’t like to bullied or taken as immature consumers. Being too techy, too commercial, demotes the social experience. Simple language and “real-worldlike” politeness are the bases for the best of approaches. It is sometimes more fruitful to start a discussion that may seem miles away from your product and its campaign objectives. With the will to listen and the power to communicate clearly, high conversion rates are never far ahead.

Conclusion

Whoever engages into Social Media Marketing is bound to find himself pulling on very many strings at the same time. Assessing, understanding the campaign’s environment through research and pre-dive learning is a must. Although the marketing process might seem similar to the real-world thing, the Online Social Experience entails mastering every stage with even more precision, because you can never see or analyze real-time behaviors, except for what the prospect writes from behind his monitor, should it be true or false. A Social Media Marketing Strategy is simply the result of the conjunction of human competences and webtools that allow social interaction, interchange and sharing to the profit of a brand. It is a two-way traffic by which the seller has an on-spot obligation of being a psychologist, sociologist or an ethnologist. Be reassured you do not need to be these actually because you’re a human being who is supposedly used to human social codes in general.

Alain Bertrand is a web professional and has been working in the Social Media sector for the past 3 years. He usually writes about his thoughts and views about Social Networks and related events. You can get in touch with him on Facebook: Alain Bertrand http://www.facebook.com/alain.bertrand.mu

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Alain_Bertrand

 

How to Profit From Facebook Groups

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Facebook is the most powerful social media site as of this writing, it has over six hundred million users today. It has several tools you can use for marketing and communicating with your possible target market if you have a business or are planning of starting a business. I am going to talk about one feature Facebook has that you can use to communicate and sell to your target market. It is called the Facebook Group feature. Anybody that is a member of Facebook can easily create and set up a group on any topic of their choice. I have several groups on different topics, from Self help to Internet marketing. 

There is no point creating a Facebook group on a topic unless you have people who are possibly interested in that topic to join your group. Many people trying to use groups to market are doing it wrong. They create a Facebook group first and then proceed to find people to join the group. The best way to do it is to find the market that are possibly interested in your topics and become their Facebook friends. Once you have identified this set of people, then you can go ahead and set up your Facebook group.

Once you have set up your Facebook group, then you can go ahead and invite all these people to join your group. The great thing about this system is that it allows you to message all your group members up to 5,000 people. You can grow your group to as many people as possible, however I recommend keeping your groups to under 5,000 people. Like I explained earlier if you grow your members to over 5,000 people you will lose the ability to message all your group members. The most important factor of having a Facebook group is the ability to message all it’s members. If you can’t message the members, you can’t share your sales message with your target customers.

With that said, do not abuse your group members and send them sales messages every single day. Facebook is a social tool not a selling machine. Treat your Facebook group members like clients who are already spending money with you and need your time and care. You also want to treat this the way you will treat a real email list outside of Facebook. With every message sent, tell them at the end how to leave the group if they no longer wish to receive your valuable and profitable information

Generally, I would say send them at least one message a week, maybe twice a week. It depends on your market and what information you want to share with them

Free Report reveals how to profit from the Facebook Group feature & many more $49.95 value.

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Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Peter_Osigbe

 

 

The Marketing Power of Social Media – Twitter the Most Power Tool

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Consider that people are now spending more time online each week instead of in-front of their television. As a matter of fact, it has been found that 67% of people now research a product online before making a purchase, while 92% have more faith and confidence in the information they find online than anything from a sales-clerk or other source. Best of all, when individuals find an online business, 82% go on to call or visit that business with 62% of them making a purchase. Given these statistics your ability to be seen online can generate an impressive amount of new customers and great profit!

But how would you know where to start or whether you are doing the right thing? Social media is changing the way how businesses interact with their customers by listening and engaging with them. Businesses need to research their customers because without this research they will only be guessing as to where to begin, which could result in wasting much valuable time and precious resources. Social media marketing is quite different from traditional marketing. With this new form of marketing, you need to have a plan aligned with your goals, objectives, resources and assessment so you know exactly what you want to achieve, how you will achieve them, the method and resources needed to facilitate such achievement and how you will determine success or failure. Always ensure that you use the right strategy to get everyone involved in your business no matter what level they operate at. Once businesses understand how to harness the power that social media offers, they become engaging and rather successful. Even though it may take quality time and work to implement the right way, it can be very rewarding. Now more than ever it is important that businesses get to the place where conversations are going on as it will affect their bottom line.

It is often thought that in social media marketing environments it is easy, quick and cheap. The most difficult aspect of achieving success in social media marketing is dedicating your time and resources to your social media strategy. This hard work and dedication behind the scenes is what makes success seems so easy.

Twitter is really changing the way businesses communicate. Many businesses have come to recognize its value, and marketing power. Twitter has become a phenomenon with 32 million users, including major companies such as Apple, JetBlue, and CNN.

Twitter is a real-time medium and one that is still experiencing rapid growth. It is a powerful marketing tool and is a place to promote products, conduct research, build customer service relations and loyalty, and more-so to get ideas. The use of twitter for marketing purposes is constantly evolving where almost every week an individual can read about a unique application and or strategy for Twitter marketing.

http://learntwitterforinternetmarketers.com/
http://seanseo.com/twitter/using-twitter-for-internet-marketing/

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Noverene_Taylor

Social Media Marketing: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn

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facebook-twitter-linkedinBusinesses have adapted their means of communication and ways of doing to accommodate social media interaction. It is used as a tool to get in touch with consumers via the internet; knowing that the internet is a powerful and definitive electronic venue for public gathering. Social media is seen as a means to maintain a sound relationship with existing customers while simultaneously reaching potential customers.

So what makes Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn suitable for businesses? Simply the fact that business entities can reach customers on a global stage! Businesses adapted themselves to the need of different communities and different countries. Their major asset is that they adapted themselves to language differences, so that in the end, through social media, subscribers from all over the world can be reached from behind a computer system. This is a great advancement in globalization of the economy since social media now allows brands to advertise in various different languages; thus reaching customers worldwide.

Another considerable asset offered by social media is the ability to segment customers according to their sex, age, interest, location among others. Businesses find in this vast information bank a real opportunity to reach each and every individual segment of the population. When exploiting the information provided, companies can adapt their products and services to the needs of every single segment.

While Facebook is more oriented mainly to friendly social gathering, other social media like LinkedIn and Twitter are more business oriented. Facebook offers the possibility of developing FanPages to harbor brands and companies. The features offered on FanPages largely differ from the features of individuals Facebook pages since the former is oriented towards business activities only. However, LinkedIn and Twitter target essentially business professionals and their customers; providing a common platform for conversion of monologue into dialogues. To prove that it is becoming an important part of business processes, figures indicate that LinkedIn harbor over 70 millions registered users, has expanded into approximately 200 countries and is configured to display English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish languages.

When comparing email marketing with Social Media marketing, it is noted that marketing on social networking sites like Twitter drives more conversion rate. Instead of broadcasting emails to a hundred thousands of internet users who are not even aware of the company, it is wiser and better to tweet the hundred thousands Twitter followers of the company, who may turn to be buyers, consumers.

Twitter offers a free powerful search function which name is “Tweep search”. The particularity of “Tweep search” is that it offers the possibility to search and find bio-data according to certain keywords. A search keyword may be for example the products a company is selling. Friend requests can be sent to the content of the search results; thus exposing products to a specific portion of the community who might be interested.

Certainly, social media has the power to propel a business into achieving better sales through constant socialization.

Rick Piazza is on EzineArticles.Com as Expert Author Rick Piazza Web Design, Search Engine Optimization, WordPress, Social Media. You can also connect with Rick Piazza on LinkedIn

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Twitter Marketing Tips – 7 Unorthodox Strategies to Use Twitter For Business

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Twitter MarketingTwitter marketing is a highly effective way to drive traffic to your content and establish an online presence in the quickest amount of time. Here are 7 “weird” ways to unleash the immense power of Twitter in your small business.

1. Be Vulnerable

To be naked is to be human. When you start sharing your hopes, dreams and fears, you connect with people on a visceral level. Remember, people buy from who you are before they buy what you sell.

2. Tick People Off

There’s a saying that when you try to please everybody you will please nobody. Be opinionated and the people who adore your persuasion will become your fervent followers. Polarization creates sales.

3. Tweet Nonsense

This sounds crazy, but hear me out. People hit up Twitter to chill and catch up with news. People don’t go on Twitter to do business, at least not deliberately. Hit their funny bone and they’ll respond by noticing you.

4. Become Yoda

People are addicted to positive thinking quotes on Twitter. The more motivation quotes you Tweet out, the more you get tweeted. The end result: People think you’re a deep thought leader worth following.

5. Start Dealin’ Cool

Again this bears repeating, people don’t go on Twitter to be sold to. Instead, they go to find breaking news and time-wasting Youtube videos. Here’s the key: Give them what they want (the cool), and they’ll give you what you want (the green). So go on Digg and tweet those links away.

6. Be a Master Asker

Don’t be afraid to ask for a specific action on your Twitter feed, for example a retweet. If you don’t ask for retweets, people will not give you one. If you don’t ask for props, they may not give you one. Ask and you shall receive.

7. Ooze Sex Appeal.

Be as suave with people as you would in real life. Offer compliments, be amicable, crack a joke or two. You’ll be surprised how well this translates in the online space.

And this will help you get as much Twitter traffic as possible.

BONUS TIP:

8. Raise the Banner. Stand for a cause and your followers will start standing in solidarity with you.
And now I would like to invite you to claim your instant free access to my Twitter marketing and psychology videos by going to http://DarkSideOfTwitter.com
Plus, you also get a motherlode of other limited-edition social media tutorials and videos.

From Kenneth Yu – The Puppet Master and Social Influence Marketer.

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Twitter Advertising 101

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In April 2010, Twitter launched its own advertising platform, however, only a few select companies can access Promoted Tweets, due to Twitter’s stress on retaining “resonance” with the tweets they sponsor. They have banned in-stream advertising by 3rd party ad companies, but existing Twitter advertisers claim that it’s “business as usual”, and that their practises still adhere to the new Twitter guidelines.

Twitter AdvertisingThere are a variety of options to choose from, but our main contenders deal with either building up a worthwhile following and bidding on relevant keywords (via TweetUp for example), or Self- Service Advertising, which means paying for ads to be broadcast by registered Twitter publishers, who tweet your message to their followers (such as Magpie, Ad.ly, Tweetad etc). Research is the key to making a success of these types of advertising, and if you’re in need of help, consider an SEO company to assist with the technicalities of your campaign.

Self-Service Advertising

Self-service platforms operate on a mutually beneficial relationship between advertisers and Twitter users. Advertisers pay for an ad, which then gets tweeted by registered users who get paid for promoting brands they wish to support. These “Content Creators” or “Publishers” are matched to appropriate advertisers, and tweet their desired message to their followers.

The premise works on the power of word-of-mouth recommendation – a form of marketing we are more likely to respond to, because we receive the information through someone we know and trust. Publishers are sometimes allowed to rephrase or adapt the original ad to their own way of speaking, and these messages are submitted for approval from the advertiser before going live.

Celebrities have bought into this advertising method, realising the influence they have on Twitter, and taking full advantage of it. You’ll be looking at upwards of $1000 per tweet to buy the services of a top celebrity tweeter, but there are many other influential profiles to choose from, and by narrowing your preferences down to a highly targeted audience, the return on a few choice tweets can be very rewarding.

Advertisers have several options of payment and and rates vary between platform. By filling in various preferences when setting up your campaign, most platforms will advise a ballpark figure for what you should aim to spend. Some require a minimum spend and most base their prices on metrics such as the influence power of the tweet publisher.

Ad.ly

Ad.ly’s prices depend on the campaign, keywords and chosen publisher. CTR generally ranges between 1%-3.5%. Your dashboard gives you tracking information, and recently launched Ad.ly Analytics gives you even more in-depth data on your Twitter account and its activity.

Featured advertisers using Ad.ly include: Toyota, Microsoft and its affiliate sites like msn and bing, Universal, NBC, Sony, Kia, American Airlines and The Wall Street Journal, and celebrities often use their influential power to promote Ad.ly tweets in their own feeds.

Magpie

Serving over 17 million followers, Magpie claims to hold the title of the original ad network for Twitter. Its pricing is based on how your maximum CPM bids fair against other advertisers with the same keywords. Minimum spend for a campaign is $20.00. A full range of campaign management tools are available to help you.

Featured advertisers using Magpie include: Playstation, Hershey’s, Burger King, Tetra Pak, The Sun, LG, Heineken, Audi, Bacardi and XBOX 360.

Sponsored Tweets

Sponsored Tweets allows you to filter for your tweeters according to: number of followers, location, follower ratio, maximum amount you want to spend on each tweet and other variables. You can then handpick the tweeters you prefer. Prices are based on a CPMF, which takes into account the cost per tweet and the number of followers the publisher has.

Twittad

Twittad follows the same methodology as other self-service ad platforms, and includes the addition of “Targeted Tweets” – automated @replies and DMs in response to targeted keywords or location. There are two types of campaign: 2 tweets published over 3 days, or 3 tweets over 5 days. You can target your audience via a number of preferences, including information on publishers’ followers. For Target Tweets, you are able to set a maximum daily budget on your auto replies, which cost $0.05 per tweet.

General Tips for Self-Service Ads:

  • Don’t phrase your ad in the first person – whoever is retweeting your message does not, in fact, own your business, so saying “I’m offering X number of freebies today…” is going to look bizarre coming from a random source.
  • Research your chosen publishers before you choose them – look at their tweet history to see what kind of things they talk about, and the response to their conversations. Make sure their thousands of followers haven’t been attained via automated keyword following, in which case their followers might not be interested in what they have to say after all.
  • Popular tweets are often topical, funny or offer a competition or promotion.
  • Test the water before you blow the big bucks – try out small bids and low cost tweets at first to see their reaction, and play about with targeting different keywords and demographics to see what works best.
  • Target your audience carefully. Research the followers of your chosen publisher to ensure that they will be preaching to the right crowd.

Search Based Advertising

RiotWise

RiotWise is an offshoot of OneRiot’s social media search engine, and offers a range of advertising options for marketers, including self-service ads, matching advertisements with trending topics. OneRiot uses its TTFA (trending topics forecast algorithm) to predict topics that will trend in the near future. Due to this “realtime relevance”, CTR is meant to be 3-4x the industry norm for this type of advertising.

Campaigns work by OneRiot indexing an advertiser’s content from their site or blog, from which it extracts chosen keywords and creates relevant ads to match current trending topics. Revenue is shared between the advertiser and RiotWise.

TweetUp

A newcomer to the Twitter advertising arena is TweetUp, offering a different, search-based platform. It’s too soon to say how successful this network will be, as the whole program has yet to go fully live, but it is definitely one to watch.

TweetUp is the brainchild of Bill Gross, dubbed “the AdSense of Twitter”. It doesn’t plant ads in timelines, so does not violate the new terms. The Idealab company works by raising the best and most relevant tweets “above the noise”, increasing visibility and attracting targeted followers. TweetUp works via a ranking algorithm which bases each tweet’s score on the tweeter’s number of followers, influence, number of retweets and so on. Ranking is also influenced by keyword bidding (though bidding alone is “not enough to boost [a tweet] to the top,” according to Gross).

TweetUp is free to register, and your tweets will then be indexed and scored by TweetUp, showing up in search results according to how you rank against others using the same or similar keywords. The service is free unless you choose to bid on keywords to boost your position. A relatively new service, live since the end of May 2010, TweetUp is going up against Twitter’s Promoted Tweets as a long term solution to Twitter visibility, claiming that its aim is to build followers and loyalty with quality tweets for a company’s overall growth. Bidding is not yet enabled, but the TweetUp search platform is already in place with influential sites such as Seesmic, TechCrunch, TweetDeck, Answers.com and Twitterfeed, with bidding to follow in the next few months.

Twitter can be a beneficial asset to any marketing campaign, or to increase awareness of your business or product. Linking Twitter advertising with your ads on other social media networks or a blog can maximise its effectiveness. But first and foremost, do your research thoroughly to find out the best way of approaching your Twitter ads and reaching your target audience. If you plan on sticking with Twitter, concentrate on making your business account as successful as possible to give you extra authority in the network. And remember, Twitter is all about the conversation, it never responds well to blatant marketing pushes or hard-sell blurb. Make what you’re talking about interesting, amusing and genuine if you want it to work for you.

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Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Jo_M_Gatford