What a Business Needs for Online Marketing Success.

As a business owner in this century you know you need to market your business online, While it may seem a bit overwhelming. It doesn’t have to be that way! There are 3 basic components you need as part of your online marketing strategy to support your business growth.

You must have a website for your business. Your website should be the hub of your online activity, this is where you want your traffic to ultimately be driven to. Your website is like a salesperson that generates leads for you around the clock. A good site will make it clear what products or services you provide, and the talents and expertise that you have to offer ( your website is where you brag and boost ).
Of course your website needs be optimized for search engines and online marketing. This requires understanding what your users are searching for, as well as making sure that your website can be viewed on mobile devices. Unfortunately, many websites that look good don’t function as effectively as they can.

You must use Content Marketing. One of the most important components necessary to make your website an effective online marketing hub will be your content, delivering content that is relevant to your prospects. Content can be video, podcasts or business blog. In order to achieve the most SEO benefit and building long term relationship with your prospects and customers new content should be delivered regularly and constantly. I know delivering new content regularly can seem overwhelming.
The best to develop new is to address the questions that your current and prospective clients continually ask you. What are the questions that come up most often?  Addressing questions and issuers people have gives you the opportunity to share your knowledge and expertise by addressing these questions and issues.
When you’re writing your business blog, address one issue per post. Choose one or two keywords or phrases (preferably long tail keywords) to focus on in each blog post or resource. Don’t try to cram every keyword in every article.
You must also have Social Media presence.  Social media should be used to share  via  social networks every time you have created new content,  In addition to announcing your latest content, you can update social media sites with helpful relevant, quick tips and links to more information on your site. The goal for your social media activities is to connect with your audience and drive traffic back to your website ( social media is not where you brag and boost or sell products or services) .
People are far more likely to trust a peer recommendation than advertising. According to a Neilsen study, “90% of consumers trust a testimonial from a peer. Compare that to just 14% of consumers who trust advertisements.” Use that to your advantage by encouraging interaction with your company on social media.
Don’t let overwhelm deter you from creating an effective online marketing presence!  You must have a good website, regular, consistent relevant content and social marketing to support your business growth.
There are resources available to help you.

Whats Your Content Marketing Missing?

Content marketing, is more than the latest buzzword. It’s a way to increase traffic to your website and convert to new customers. The reason blogs might position better than a standard website to increase traffic is because blogs are modified ( new content added) more often than full websites. Search Engines love to discover new content, so their interest in your website may be powerful due to the new content you are making available.
Keeping it simple is probably the best advice and for that reason this post is short and sweet on the topic of how to ensure your great content attracts, engages and converts.
Content marketing requires a great deal of effort if you are doing it right. Constantly coming up with new, fresh topics, certainly isn’t the easiest thing in the universe to constantly come up with new topics about which to write, especially if you write as you should, on a regular basis. One of the best ways to approach the writing and coming up with new topics is that you pay attention to what other people are discussing online. Another is to address questions or concerns your encounter on a daily bases talking with prospects and customers.
Effective content marketing is really about creating information that’s useful for specific audiences and with certain outcomes in mind.  While context is often satisfied, the question of finding it is usually underestimated. I’m talking about optimizing for search engines. There are also promotion channels such as email, cross linking from existing content, Facebook advertising and social media marketing.  Are you creating content that’s so good, people will want to share it with others? Have you made it easy for them to share?
If you don’t have the time or resources to cross promote your business through email marketing, Facebook  advertising and social media marketing yourself, then we can help you with your social media marketing and cross promoting though varies channels

4 Tips to get More of your Facebook fans to Share your Posts.

So your Facebook fans are not interacting and sharing your content. 4 tips to do and 1 not to do to increase your Facebook fan interaction.

  • Less words more pictures!

Research repeatedly shows that the longer a post is, the less engagement it will receive.
According to Buddy Media, it is best to limit text postings to no more than 80 characters. This limit is much lower than even Twitter’s 140-character cutoff. The report says that posts under 80 characters receive 23 percent more interaction than longer posts.  The report also found that posting a picture improves results.
According to Facebook, posts that include a photo album, picture or video generate about 180%, 120% and 100% more engagement, respectively.

 

  • Secondly you should post on the best days and time of day.

Buddy Media suggests that people are more likely to use social media when they are at work. The research shows that Facebook users interact more to content posted during daylight hours. The best hours for posting are between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. Engagement is higher on Thursday and Friday than other days of the week, according to Buddy Media. Engagement rates fall for posts Monday through Wednesday, when people are more focused at work.
Another thing to consider is the Friday factor, as office burnout peaks toward the end of the week, more people will be escaping to Facebook.
If you don’t ask, you will not receive.
Also, questions placed at the end of a post increased engagement over questions at the beginning of the post. A post that that you ask others for comments is over 3 times more likely to get comments than posts with no call to action. Posts asking for “likes” are also 3 times more likely to receive a like. A post that requests that others share the post is seven times more likely to receive a share than one without the same call to action.

 

  • Use Emoticons

Apparently emoticons, we are visual people no doubt. In general, posts with emoticons get a 52 percent higher interaction rate than those without emoticons.

 

  • And now for a Don’t

I know it’s popular and you may think it looks better and all but, Don’t Use URL Shorteners!
A shortened URL does not indicate what type of website you’re taking them to, which is a deterrent to mobile users considering the fact that more and more Facebook users are accessing Facebook exclusively from their mobile devices.
Don’t make this mistake, implement these tips in your social media marketing activity and if you don’t have the time or resources to manage your social media marketing yourself, then we can help you with your social media marketing.

The Biggest Social Media Mistakes Small Businesses Make!

Despite social media marketing now being an essential part of the marketing mix, some small businesses don’t believe their business can benefit from it, so they do nothing. Big Mistake!
A Manta survey of 600 small business owners across the United States indicates “that 90% are actively engaged in social networking sites and 74% perceive social networking as valuable — if not more valuable — than networking in-person.”
According to another recent analysis of more than 300 Chicago-based news sites, Facebook and Twitter drive more than half of all referred visits for small business sites, three times the percentage of larger sites.

Many of the small businesses I talk to say they were or are having limited or no success with social media, whenever a business owner responds in this way almost 100% of the time they are trying to do their social media marketing themselves instead of hiring a professional to manage their social media for them. I find the reason for their limited success trying to do it themselves is a result of many mistakes they are making. Some of the more common mistakes are:
They are using a Facebook personal profile for a business and that is wrong and against the terms and conditions on Facebook. That Facebook account can be deleted at any time. Personal profiles are for people, not for businesses. Period. Facebook allows you to create for free a business page that you are allowed to use for your business so there is a way to promote your business on Facebook, the right way.
So if you have been using a personal profile page for your business, well sorry but all those “friends” you’ve generated for that profile? Well, you’re going to have to do your best to get their attention and get them to “like” your new business page. No time to do that? We can help.

Another problem with many of these small businesses social media marketing activities is the content they post on Facebook. People are on Facebook to see cool stuff.  Period.
Facebook users don’t care if you added a new Terms of Service page to your website.  They don’t care if you just surpassed your sales goal this quarter or the details of all the houses you have listed. Facebook users care about whatever is trending and local news that is relevant to them, useful and worth sharing. Make your status updates on your business page relevant, some how, some way.  Again, Facebook doesn’t care if you get completely ignored.  Post status updates and links to boring, irrelevant stuff, and you’ll simply be hidden by the majority of your fans.

One of the biggest, and most common mistakes I see small business social media marketing do it your selfers make is they have no consistency in their posts.  If you post an update on your Facebook business page, “whenever you remember to” or “whenever you have time to” you’re going to have a problem with engagement. And don’t make the mistake of being too self promotional! Just update your business page wall with news relevant to your industry or relevant to living in your area. You have to understand that social media marketing is not like the “old school” marketing ways of years ago (traditional media ex: tv newspaper etc) and that your Facebook business page isn’t a big commercial for your business in the traditional “interruption marketing” sense. People hate those pages with passion and block their updates.

Don’t make these mistakes, if you don’t have the time or resources to do your social media marketing yourself, then we can help you with your social media marketing.

There is More to Social Media Marketing than Just Lead Generation.

Businesses need to realize, in addition to generating new leads, many businesses are currently using social media effectively for customer service.
Social media marketing has proven to be effective for generating leads and gaining new customers, unfortunately many businesses are using social media marketing as an outbound broadcast channel, as if social media marketing was part of the “old school” traditional marketing (interruption marketing) channels. Those businesses will find very limited if any success in that activity.
Social media is becoming popular for effectively handling customer service. In the old days, if we had to contact a business, we used to reach out to our phones and give them a call.
We would then have to  find your way through the maze of options, then after about 10-15 minutes of listening to some music that would be played while we waited for a human to take our call or worse yet you may have been routed to a call center  (in India or Phillipines or wherever they could get the lowest cost labor) then after about 10-15 minutes of listening to some music that would be played while we waited for a human to take our call. After all this you were fortunate if you even remembered why you called?

But times have changed. The social media revolution started and we got Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Google + just to name a few. Now with social media, people can tweet their complaints to these businesses directly and openly! The most important aspect is that this is out in the open which could potentially damage the reputation of the business. So, with the presence and availability of social media, businesses are now forced to respond to ensure that the complaint doesn’t get out of hand.
Now days, whenever, a customer has a complaint or wants to contact a business, the first thing they do is check to see if the business has twitter handle. If the business does, they tweet the  question or complaint to the business directly instead of going through the phone maze.
So now  a businesses must have a social media presence and is required to monitor the social media channels (twitter, Facebook, etc). Why, because most social media users say a company’s social media activities make the company appear accessible and responsive. ( you don’t want to appear non accessible or non responsive to your customers!)
If you don’t have the time or resources to do your social media marketing yourself, then we can help you with your social media marketing.

If Your Business Is Not Using Social Media Marketing – You Are Being Left Behind!

Most of your competitors are using social media marketing so if you are not you are disconnecting with your customers.
There are all kinds of statistics that show how social media is generating new customers, but social media is more than just about lead generation. Social media marketing is more than just reaching prospects you may have never been able to connect with using the old school interruption marketing of past decades. Social media marketing is more than networking. Social media marketing is about staying connected.
Staying connected with your customers. Most social media users want to see companies use social media for customer service. ( if you are not your disconnecting )
Social media marketing is about staying connected with your future customers. Most social media users say a company’s social media activities make the company appear accessible and responsive. (if your not using social media you don’t appear accessible or responsive shall we say, disconnected?)
Often when I ask business owners that are managing their own social media marketing if their social media marketing is successful, they tell me sometimes, what it comes right down to it when they were being consistent their social media efforts were bringing them new business, but then they got too busy and they didn’t post consistently and their inconsistent efforts were not successful.
A businesses lack of consistency in their social media activities can make any company look bad fast, it conveys the impression to prospects and customers that the company is neither organized nor committed, to either social media or the company’s fan base.
Don’t become disconnected with your customers and future customers,  If you don’t have the time or resources to do your social media marketing in house, then outsource your social media marketing.

4 Reasons Why Your Social Media Marketing May Be Hurting Your Business!

If mistakes are made with your social media marketing campaign it can easily hurt your business instead of helping. Social media is in real time, so it could happen much faster than word of mouth of the last century.
Since 97% of consumers now use the Internet to research products or services in their local area, local businesses realize it is critical for them to  build awareness of themselves and their company online resulting in most local businesses have embraced social media marketing as a way to connect with more customers and prospects and to drive promotions.
A recent survey of 600 small businesses by Manta that found “nearly 90% of them were dedicating time to social media, Manta also found that many small businesses were overwhelmed by the multitude of social media channels available. With Facebook, for example, 58% of small businesses surveyed said they struggle to find value in having a Facebook page”.

So if you’re using social media for marketing, what can go wrong? How might you be hurting your business rather than helping it grow? Here are four mistakes to avoid hurting your business.

  • Your Spamming

I am amazed at how many local businesses I come across that are using a personal page to do social media marketing for their business instead of creating a Facebook business page to post about their business. I have to wonder how many of the 58% survived that said they were struggling posting on a personal page instead of a Facebook business page. Posting about your business on a personal facebook page is a sure fire way to get your “friends” to unfreind you or to simply hide all your posts ( maybe only you can see your posts, no wonder they can’t see any value) or worse yet you could get a spam warning from facebook risking having your account shut down. This could be avoided if created a Facebook business page for your local business.

  • You have the wrong person doing your social media marketing.

Letting an inexperienced person manage your social media marketing is not a good idea. It’s downright irresponsible. Just because your brothers son may be a college student who grew up with computers and has 2000 facebook friends on his personal page does not make him a good candidate, unless he is majoring in marketing in college of course. For best results, you need a team of trained marketing professionals who understand social media and marketing, preferably digital marketing. If you don’t have the time or resources in house then outsource your social media marketing.

  • Your posts Lack consistency

I have talked with many owners of local businesses that have set up a social media profile and launch programs that start out well but then abruptly end because they lack the time to be consistent and drop the ball. Social media users say a company’s social media activities make the company appear “accessible and responsive”. A businesses lack of consistency in their social media activities can make any company look bad fast, it conveys the impression to prospects and customers that the company is neither organized nor committed, to either social media or the company’s fan base.

  • Your Overposting!

Sometimes less is better when it comes to Facebook. Keep in mind that all your posts on your Facebook business page show up on your fans personal newfeed after they like your Facebook business page, people get frustrated and annoyed by constant posts. According to an article from the social business: “One-to-two posts a day is more effective than fewer or more posts per day. One or two brand posts receive 32% higher “like” rates and 73% higher comment rates compared to posting 3 or more times a day.”

Don’t let your mistakes made with your social media marketing campaign hurt your business instead of helping. Since your customers and prospects are using social media, your business needs to be consistently involved in social media. Bottom line, you need to do social media marketing, but you need to do social media marketing right!
If you don’t have the time or resources to do your social media marketing in house, then outsource your social media marketing.

Is Your Business is to Small to do Social Media Marketing?

Your business may be to small to buy a TV ad during the super bowl, but, your local business is not too small to benefit from social media marketing.


I had a number of business owners tell me last week that their local business was to small to do any social media marketing. I would have to disagree with that statement, it would seem to me a local business would benefit as much or more from social media as part of there online marketing, than a huge corporation based thousands of miles away would have.
Walmart, for example, last October, launched the “My Local Walmart” campaign  which involves a Facebook app that the local stores can use to communicate sales, specials and other updates with fans in their area.
Some of the findings from a new study by Recommend.ly, a social media tools/analytics company showed that “only 4 percent of the local stores have more than 1,000 fans, compared to about 22 percent of other local Facebook business pages (in the same markets where Walmart has stores) have more than 1,000 fans”.
4 percent compared to 22 percent, that is over 500% for local Facebook business pages compared to the local Walmart stores.
Keep in mind social media marketing is NOT a place to freely post the “special of the day”! It’s not about the use of social media for advertising purposes, spamming as many social networks as they can, blindly blasting out their content to as many people as they can reach.  It’s taken the old school advertising rules associated with TV advertising and applying them to a social platform where those old school rules don’t belong.
Marketing in the true sense of the word, is where companies interact with customers and prospective customers in an attempt to understand their customers better and then respond to their need. For that purpose, “marketing” social media is fantastic.
Your local business is not too small to benefit from social media marketing and there are resources to help you with your online marketing.

You Don’t Need Social Media, You Have Enough Business – Think Again!

If you think you don’t need social media because you currently have enough business, you are missing the point or half of it anyway.
I have actually talked with several business owners this past week that told me they had no need to do any social media marketing, because they have enough business.  I am truly glad to hear that, I would wish that for all the businesses, but how long will that last if a growing number of their customers feel they are less accessible and responsive to their customers?
For what ever reason, maybe they  get all their business by word of mouth ( what is social media if not digital word of mouth )
Maybe they get all their business by referrals ( what do they think a like on your Facebook business page is if not someone referring your business to all there friends, on average 130 each, that’s a lot of referrals, they are missing.)
You see it’s not that much different as how you built your business, it just digital now with social media as the platform or tool if you will.
If you are one of the minority of businesses, that doesn’t have a Facebook business page and are not using other social media, you are falling behind, you just don’t know it yet. You didn’t build your business overnight did you? Well you likely wont lose it overnight ether.
Just because your marketing or lack thereof has worked the past two years, doesn’t mean it will continue to work, change happens, customers have different expectations now than they did just a few years ago.
Social media is more than just lead generation, just under 80% of social media users are likely to seek the opinions of others before buying goods or services and 60% say they have changed their minds because of those opinions. Roughly 60% of social media users want to see companies use social media for customer service, saying a companies social media activities make the company appear “accessible and responsive”.
How long will you be able to keep your current customers if you are not where a growing number of your customers expect you to be, on social media? Don’t fall behind keep up!
Social Media marketing is not rocket science, but there are some things you need to avoid doing at all costs. If you don’t know where to start? No problem, Help with your social media marketing, is just a click away!