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Tweets on Google Search Results

So You Ignored Twitter, Now What?

So You Ignored Twitter, Now What?

Tweets on Google Search ResultsGoogle is now indexing Tweets from Twitter.  You remember Twitter right?  That social media site that you chose to ignore..the one only kids are using..the one you just could not understand.  Yes, that one.  Well you spent all of your time avoiding it like the plague and now Google is indexing tweets.

What does that mean to you?

Hypothetically a tweet might just out rank your website for the same search term. Imagine this scenario.  You are the owner of a pizza restaurant in Smallville, USA.  You work hard for years ensuring that your site is found by Google because Google is where people go to search for things. Then one day someone posts how Tony’s Pizza Shop in Smallville, USA is the greatest pizza.  Because of the relevance (time and date, locale and keyword) it now ranks above your website on a Google search.

Most Twitter users are also mobile and I am sure you have been hearing a lot about Mobilegeddon.  Not to beat a dead horse but you can no longer afford to ignore the mobile population.  Mobile search has surpassed desktop search for the first time in history.

Of course I am over simplifying this for the sake of argument but I think you get the point.  You spent years making excuses why you are not on Twitter and now it could come back to bite you in the ass.  What else are you ignoring?  Facebook?  LinkedIn?  Google+? Instagram or Pinterest?

A pizza restaurant would do well on Instagram, and you can cross post to Twitter and Facebook from Instagram allowing you to become more efficient with your social Pizza Restaurants Should Market on Instagram and Twittermedia efforts.  In fact I follow a pizza restaurant or two on Instagram.  They typically get a lot of likes for every picture they post.  Comments often include “What Are Your Hours?”  or “We’re Coming for Lunch Tomorrow” or “@joeschmoe when are we going?”.

What’s the Point?

Really, the point is this. You have only yourself to blame if you ignore any of the larger social media platforms.  If you feel you just can’t keep up, or you don’t have time to learn something new, or you simply don’t have time to manage another social media platform there are plenty of qualified individuals and companies that can manage it for you.

Social Media is a critical part of any marketing plan for a business.  It’s not an optional part of your marketing efforts, it’s almost mandatory.  If you can’t be found on the internet then you may as well not exist as a business.  Just look at some of the things you can do on Social Media.

  • Create a community of people who are in the buying process and educate them on your expertise.
  • Listen for questions, not just from your followers but from anyone…and answer the questions to build trust and good will.
  • Share blog posts from yourself and other relevant bloggers.
  • Share quick video tips (Video has the best reach of all forms of content).
  • Create Good Will by sharing other businesses you have worked with and their expertise.
  • Target and retarget those who meet your desired demographics
  • Attract people to your website or landing page with the intent of getting them into your sales funnel.
  • Much, Much more

Google Runs Things..Sort Of

Search Wars featuring Google, Facebook and TwitterAs the search and content wars continue to heat up you can bet more changes are coming.  In fact Twitter and Facebook are working on search in efforts to rival Google.  Facebook and Google want to be your gateway to the internet, and for some they already are.  If you’re not making an consistent effort to broadcast across the popular social media sites then you need to be.  If you aren’t able to for whatever reason (time, knowledge, otherwise) then it might be time to reallocate your marketing budget to a professional with the tools and know how to get it done.

As a side note..most professions also have social media sites specifically for their professions.  You should also join these site as it will allow you to get advice and share ideas with others in your profession.

Not sure how your marketing efforts are doing?  Find out in 60 seconds for free!

Why Businesses Need to Use GeoSocial Networking

GeoSocial Networking For Business

Geosocial NetworkingWith the continued rapid advancement in communication technologies and the rate at which new techniques are introduced, geosocial networking is not in any way new. In fact, its popularity has been growing just as fast as the social media giants such as Facebook & Twitter. Many people actively use such networking feature remaining adamant about the positive results that the networks help them achieve.

There are many advantages of this type of social networking which is the reason many people use them. However, there are also some areas of concern which seem to get more attention from the news media.

As part of this blog post, I will offer a potential use case, similar to what many who have adopted Geosocial Networking (including myself) have used it for.
Here is a detailed description of geosocial networking and everything it involves including benefits and risks.

What is GeoSocial networking?

This is basically an improved feature that compliments social networking by adding aspects of exact physical/geographical location. Geo-coding and geo-tagging are used to integrate various social networking dynamics and geographic services. It is facilitated by technologies that enable user-submitted data to be automatically included in updates, messages and even by mere online presence. Geo-networking can be achieved for social networks which are IP-based or hotspot trilateral and mobile networks in form of texted location information. In simple terms, this Local SEOtype of networking enables interaction of people within a given geographical location and connects service seekers with providers within the same region. The social networking allows location-based information to be sent or made public in chat platforms and accompanying messages and/or status updates. This type of networking relies on platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and many other social media platforms.

There are a growing number of Geosocial specific apps/sites.  Some of them have experienced rapid growth (and negative media) recently.  Services such as YikYak, Tinder and Waze have become increasingly popular, and have also faced increasing levels of scrutiny.

The benefits of geosocial networking

Geosocial Networking for Local BusinessesThe advantages of this type of networking are quite straightforward and easy to identify. With geosocial networking, monitoring, tracking, information dissemination and control are all simplified. The benefits can be better defined in the use as follows:
• Linking people to places – With geosocial networking, web location mapping services are used in integration with geo-coding (for streets and buildings) and geo-tag details (concerts, events, meetings and hangouts) to link people to places. The information enables matching people to local social groups and places. Information from restaurant and nightclub reviews or any other description that includes specific geographical location can be used in this linking.

• Disaster scenario and control – Geosocial networking enable collaborative coordination of geo-tag information in social networks. This can help in creating situational awareness and informing other people about disasters, riots, fires and any other pandemic. As a result, the feature enables sorting of information and sharing ideas to quickly determine the closest and best aid, assistance and control measures. The current technology allows automatic tracking and detection of potential and frequent disasters. One good thing about this networking is that it filters the number of contributors from a specific location from other locations allowing easy identification of message credibility.

• Event planning – This type of social networking can be used to quickly organize and arrange events, meetings and even protests. Users in a geo-specific location can share event details and plan meetings using social networking platforms like Twitter and Facebook. Usually, such events can be planned very swiftly.

There are many other benefits of this type of networking. The main advantages stem from the ability to share information pertaining to those in a specific geographic location. Buyers can procure services and business such as gas stations, restaurants, clubs, salons, and pharmacies can profit greatly from location-based networking. According to SEO experts, businesses that incorporate more location-specific tags are likely to enjoy higher rating in organic search results within that area.

Concerns of GeoSocial Networking

While geosocial networking has a huge upside for businesses and service providers, it also has a few areas of concern that users must be aware of. Exposure of location-specific data may not appeal to everybody. Some people’s job roles would require their locations not be revealed.  Waze has recently received some criticism regarding the location of speed traps.  Law enforcement is concerned that their safety may be jeopardized as a result. Relationships should Become a more social businessalso expect a certain level of privacy. Employees may not want their colleagues of employers to view location-specific details and track their movements. This type of networking makes it easy to track people provided they stay online and/or make comments, posts, updates and likes on social platforms. Even after shifting locations, the feature can still track. The main concern with geosocial networking often revolves around confidentiality and privacy. Fortunately, most features that allow geo-locating can be turned off.

Use Case Study

For this scenario I will use a very popular GeoSocial Network.  Foursquare has been around for a while now, and is easily one of the more popular apps of this type.  Foursquare is not just about checking in to your favorite gym or restaurant.  Businesses can also offer rewards for checking in at their location.  Coupons at restaurants or no initiation fee at a gym can go a long way to driving sales.

Swarm & FoursquareI get my oil changed at a Valvoline not too far from my home.  On more than one occasion I have used Swarm to check in only to be surprised with $7 off my oil change, or something along those lines.

The car wash I use offers similar deals from time to time.  Who doesn’t love an unexpected few dollars off a service you are going to use anyway?  Now, what if people knew that the deal existed already?  That would definitely drive traffic to your location if a nearby check-in triggered an offer at your business.

Conclusion

Social networking is evolving and features new technologies. Geo-locating is one of the available features that allow delivery of location-specific services and dynamics. This type of communication is becoming very popular and the feature now comes as part of most networking tools and chat platforms. It is wise to take advantage of the many possibilities it presents while ensuring appropriate precautions to achieve privacy.

Want to get started marketing your business using GeoSocial Networking..tell me all about it.

Are You a Growth Hacker?

Growth Hacking 101

growth hacking 101Technology and buzzwords go hand in hand and for those out of the loop, it can be hard to keep up with all of the new lingo and jargon. As we move into 2015, it seems that growth hacking is one of this year’s buzzwords, but despite its unique daunting name, its meaning is simple.

A growth hacker is a person who has the skills in starting as well as growing a business from scratch, although they don’t necessarily have to have been involved with a business since day one. Basically, it’s someone you want working with your company because their job is to grow your company, but how will they do that? You do want to see effective growth, right? So how do you apply the skill set of a growth hacker effectively?

Firstly, it’s good to remember that your growth hacker is not a short-term solution. Instead, they can actually drive your business forward in a sustainable manner. Something that has long-term benefits.

So what is Growth Hacking? Is it worth the attention?

Growth Hacking is when a marketing person or rather a business has thrown out the playbook of traditional marketing and replaced it with the only what is trackable, testable and scalable. Tools such as e-mails pay per click ads and blogs are commonly used instead of the typical advertisements of commercials, publicity, and money. Whereas their marketing brethren are busy chasing vague notions such as branding and mindshare, growth hackers relentlessly pursue users and growth. If done correctly then those users beget more users, who later beget more users and the chain continues. Think of the way you were taught to approach marketing in business school and erase it. What’s interesting is that growth hackers are inventors, operators, and mechanics of their own self-sustaining as well as the self-propagating growth machine that can take a startup from nothing to something. Who wouldn’t want that?

How Can I Growth Hack my Business?

The best way to growth hacking is by asking your valued customers a few questions. Why do you prefer our products and services? Growth HackingWhat is holding you back from bringing other people to us? What product or service do you love? And many more. Ensure you don’t ask your friends or random people. Be strategic about it and use tools such as SurveyMonkey, Wufoo or even Google Docs, which make it very easy to offer surveys to some or perhaps all of your customers. Invite business contacts to use this service. The best way to get people to do this enormous favor for you is by making it seem like it isn’t a favor. Just make it the kind of thing that is worth spreading.

Top 5 Benefits of Growth Hacking: Why Use Growth Hacking to Grow Your Business?

Here are the top five benefits of using the techniques of growth hacking for your business.

Saves Money

At times, growth hacking can be a pain in the ass. Therefore it can be a very cost-effective way of promoting your brand. Rather than the traditional TV commercials, print advertising, and billboards, growth hacking concentrates on new cost-effective and measurable techniques to promote your business. Collecting adequate information on the success of the growth hacking strategies using real-time data allows you to determine the success rate of each and every plan. Strategies used by growth hackers are relatively low cost, therefore, they have more room to fail without costing the company lots of marketing dollars.

Builds Customers Relationship

When you position your company as an expert with lots of relevant and informative content, you will certainly build your network and make past and current customers experience a positive feeling from working with your company. Customers always want to feel good about their purchase. If your clients have a positive experience with your company they are more likely to interact with your new content and praise your expertise in the digital domain. It is without a doubt, the most terrific referral source to tap into and a unique way to stay in touch with past and current clients. Social Media is connecting everybody, let it become the new “magnet on the fridge” or rather a “business card in your wallet?” Make use of this invaluable connection to stay in touch and ensure you interact with past and current clients.

Organic Growth

Growth HackerThe number one goal for a growth hacker is to grow the visibility and following of a business. Diverting the focus to this goal makes them constantly try new avenues, platforms, and strategies to reach the online consumer. Basically, they will sign up for anything that can help achieve the goal of online visibility. The good thing is your online presence begins to grow organically through channels, content, and comments used by the growth hacker. The more you are actively participating in them, the more likely your business will organically grow with time.

Focuses on the Big Picture

More times than not we are busy focusing on the day to day, hour to hour and minute to minute tasks and responsibilities of the business operation. What most of us don’t know is that this does not focus on the big picture goal of every business. Using a growth hacker or growth hacking marketing strategy to guide your marketing keeps someone focused on the growth of the business. Businesses are either declining or growing, there is no middle ground. Ensuring someone is focusing on the growth of the bigger picture ensures you are focused on the main goal of growth.

Increased Online Visibility

Growth hacking somewhat of a volume game. However a growth hacker will not try to appeal to the masses, but rather he/she will attract those who already expressed interest in your offering. The more relevant and useful the content your growth hacker shares online, the more likely it will attract current and new clients to your online presence, creating a receptive audience. The more useful and relevant your content is, the more value your online presence has to potential or existing customers. Good content and information position your business as an expert. Most people want to deal with experts and will seek the advice of an expert when they are in need of help as well as keep their current business and referrals with that expert. Positioning your company as an expert will build a network and also make past and current customers feel good about their experience.

The beauty of Growth hacking

Okay, so you’ve done it. Your site is successful, users are bringing friends and generally your concept has become a household name. What next?

Do It Again! You can apply all of the above to whatever business concept you have. If it has legs, you will hit the ground running. Start now!

Bottom Line

Well, well, well. There you have it. Growth hacking works because of its huge reliance on its users. An understanding of who really wants your product greatly improves your chances of it being a great success. Continuing to analyze as well as understand the target audience basically means your business will continually grow with your initial users while giving them what they want. What’s more is you should also retain a buzz around your products using social media to really drive up the results and further growth.

Ready to Growth Hack Your Business?

7 Steps to Grow Your Following Responsibly on Social Media

Social Media is not a Popularity Contest

Popularity Contest-Not for Social MediaIf you want 2500 followers on Twitter or Instagram tomorrow I can help you for just $39.  Guess what, it won’t help your business at all!  If you think having a large number of followers is the end game on any social media platform you are sorely mistaken.  Even worse, if you have a “Social Media Expert” telling you to do this you had better run far away.

You might be wondering why I bring this up now.  I have spoken with business owners who were approached by the so called experts who tell them I will get you this many followers within this much time.  I have spoken with business owners who have taken these so called experts up on their offer.  At the end of the day the business owner walks away with a sour taste in their mouth.  Because of this the business owners often swear off social media all together.

Then when I have a conversation with them regarding a social media marketing plan the business owner is not open to the discussion at all.  I spent over a month and multiple conversations with a small business owner before they would even listen to a plan of action and why their first so called expert did not work out.   After about 5 weeks and at least 4 conversations I finally convinced them to let me show them the power of a properly run social media marketing plan.

Don’t get me wrong, I have no problem EARNING a clients business.  In fact I encourage all small businesses to use this model.  Taking the time to explain how social media can benefit someone who understands what social media is should not be part of earning the business.  Look at any blog and you will see the power.

What You Should Not Do on Social Media

Let’s start with very basic rules about what you should avoid like the plague.

1.  Buy Followers:  I already stated one that really gets my blood boiling.  Alright, maybe not that serious but you get the idea.   Simply paying money to gain thousands of followers will only improve someone else’s bank account.

There are networks of people/accounts that serve this single purpose.  You may have a bloated number of followers now but they will not engage with your conversation and will not purchase from you.  They are just a number to your profile page, and nothing more.

But hey, that’s cool…you’re popular now, right?

2.  Sell, Sell, Sell:  We’ve all been the victim of the pushy salesmen at the used car lot or the electronics super store.  After you’re done you need a shower because you feel so filthy.  Don’t be that person on social media.  Follow the 80:20 rule or better.  I almost never sell on social media and usually recommend that businesses do the same.  You will not build a rapport with your followers (if you used social media correctly your followers are all potential clients) using this tactic.

3.  Ignore Your Social Media:  Today people are very savvy when it comes to looking for a product or service.  Speaking from personal experience if I am looking for something I will research it first.  If I look for your business on the internet and there is little to no current information and your Facebook page is a wasteland with tumbleweeds floating around I will probably move on to the next business.

4.  Let your nephew’s best friend’s girlfriend run your social media campaign:  Do I really need to explain this?  You need experts, and you get what you paid for.  What would you tell someone who has their nephew’s best friend’s girlfriend changing their brakes?

5.  Bury Posts in Hash-tags:  #ItJustLooksChildishToMostSoIWontSayAnyThingFurtherAboutIt

What You Should Do on Social Media

1.  Target Followers by Demographics:  It’s not hard, really.  Target followers who are interested in what you are offering and are relevant to your business.  For example, I look for small to medium business owners in CT.  On some social media platforms you can even target by income level or net worth.  Why just blanket the entire population if it’s not going to help you grow your brand or business?

2.  Use Ads (Wisely):  It’s OK to use ads on social media.  In fact I encourage it.  Again, make sure that your ads are highly targeted.  Think about who your ideal customer is.  Not everyone wants what you are offering.  Ads will cost you a lot less if you focus on those that would be interested in your product and have the purchasing power to turn interest into a conversion.

3.  Create Social Conversations:  I always hear “I tried Facebook, posted a feel promotions and no one bought anything“.  Well why would they?  As I said earlier social media is about building a relationship, earning your audiences trust.  That’s how you’re going to get them to purchase from you.  You have to participate in conversations and create your own conversations.  Figure out how to get your audiences attention and then hold it.  Do they want to know more about what you do?  Do they understand how your product or service will benefit them?  You can even have conversations about stuff not even related to your business offering.

I sprinkle in personal stuff like pictures of my kids or rooting for local sports teams that I am a fan of, even the weather.  Let me tell you it’s a scorcher today in Connecticut..thank God for Central AC.   It’s OK to partake in conversations that have nothing to do with why you are on social media to begin with.

4.  Share your blog:  Ultimately you want people to visit your website.  Your website is your virtual brick and mortar store, your yellow pages ad and so much more.  It’s where your business starts and ends.  If you are using your Facebook page as your website, shame on you.

Your website will move up on the major search engines if you have relevant and fresh content.  The best way to ensure this is with a blog.  You should blog about different aspects of your business and your products or services.  You can post how to’s, videos and much, much more to generate unique and timely content that will help you move up in search rankings.

Don’t believe me?  Google “CT Twitter Expert” and look who is number 2 after I posted the Ask the Expert Call to Your YouTube and my site.

5.  Help Others with Questions:  You can LISTEN on social networks.  When someone needs help or has a question you can help them.  I know some people are thinking why would I give something that I normally charge for for free?  You have to think big picture.  That little piece of advice you give today just might generate bigger rewards tomorrow.  Even if it doesn’t, there are others watching.

I had to run to the grocery store to get chicken nuggets for my son while I was attempting to write this blog post.  While I was in the store a man approached me and asked for $2.  I don’t know what he wanted that $2 for and I will never know.  I normally don’t have cash on me but today I did, I had $7.  I could have given him the $2 but instead I gave him all $7.  Did it really cost me anything besides the $7?  I don’t believe so.  Will I be rewarded for this?  I don’t know but it certainly can’t hurt.  The point is if you’re not willing to give then you will never receive.  It’s OK to give some help with no expectations of return.

6.  Use Hash-tags in the Conversation:  I wrote earlier that hash-tag overload is a big no no.  Hash-tags are OK though.  A typical post on any social media platform from me might look like this:

5 Ways to Jump Start Your #ContentMarketing Program Today.  Learn more now!  

A few things to point out.

  • The hash-tag is part of the conversation and is legible
  • The CTA (Call To Action) is direct without making the reader believe they will have to Read More
  • By titling it 5 Ways, I also grab the audiences attention.  Readers love numbers and always think-oh, 5 steps to get going right now..I’m in.
  • I would also include an image..see next point

7.  Use Images and Videos:  A picture is worth a thousand words.  You know it, you heard it before and you heard it again.  Use pictures, audio and videos whenever possible.   I include a picture on almost every single post on Facebook and Google+, and probably about 50% of the time on Twitter.   Just don’t use copyright protected images or videos.

Stop The Madness

business woman shouting to a phone

Alright Connecticut business owners, there you have it.  Stop trying to buy and/or cheat your way to the top, it will not work.  At one time these not so ethical methods might have worked but today it’s more than obvious to anyone with some knowledge of social media what you are doing.

Some of the don’t dos above will quickly turn off your audience.  While other methods will gain nothing for your hard earned money.  So wow bother with any of them?  Stop buying your audience and start learning how to earn an audience, or call/email me.

 

 

Twitter Changes Are Here-Video

I posted a few weeks ago about the changes coming to your Twitter Profile Page.  Well here is a video now that the profile has been rolled 0ut to everyone.  Check it out and let me know what you think about the changes.

New Media vs. Old Media

Old Media vs. New Media

I am often asked, or find myself participating in a conversation about the advantages of using old media vs. new media.  Often I run into business owners who advertise using newspaper, radio or TV and they swear by it.  While I would not disparage the old media way of advertising I would draw comparisons to show where you can get the most bang for your buck.

For the purpose of this post I am considering newspapers, TV and Radio to be old media.  In some ways all 3 have adopted technology but mostly use the old method of targeting demographics (or lack of).   New media is Social Media, Mobile Apps and the internet (websites, search engines).

Newspaper Ad

In This Corner, Old Media

With Newspaper Ads, TV and Radio you are generally targeting a large population, sometimes in the hundreds of thousands.   While that might seem like a lot of bang for the buck (and in some cases it is) let’s think about that for a minute.  Let’s suppose I am a dentist who specializes in Endodontics (Google it).  If I place an ad using old media that reaches 100,000 people how many of those people are going to drop what they’re doing and contact the dentist?  Let’s do some simple math.

Let’s suppose my ad costs $5000 to run on a regional radio show for 2 weeks.  That’s probably a pretty reasonable price, right?  Now let’s say your total reach is 1 Million.  Now you’re thinking wow, that’s amazing for that price.  But how many of those 1 million people are currently seeking a dentist who specializes in Endodontics?   Let’s suppose you get 5 people who call you requesting more information.  Again, considering the specialty this is probably a pretty reasonable estimate.  Well it just cost you $1000 per lead.

I’ll go a step further, let’s say you received 100 calls  requesting more information.  It still cost you $50 per lead and you have not sold anything yet.

New Media

In This Corner, New Media

Let’s take the same Dentist and have them put an ad on Facebook.  And let’s say that the Dentist is in Connecticut (because that’s what I am an expert on).  Well for starters that Dentist is now targeting around 1.4 million people but we know those 1.4 million people will not be looking for a Dentist.  The beauty of Facebook (and Google, Twitter, etc…) is you can target only those looking for what you are offering!  That means instead of paying thousands of dollars so that my message is heard largely by a population that does not care about what I am offering I can pay a few dollars for people who want what I have.

Watch how to create an ad targeting very specific demographics while keeping costs down.

In the case of the dentist, if he/she was to get 100 people to click through it would cost him somewhere between $75 to $500.  Now if we set up the add for page likes the potential client now has a steady source of information and is able to make an informed decision when they are ready.

Now I know what some of you are thinking…I need sales NOW.  Well it just does not work that way anymore.  People want to know more about you, what you do, who you are, are you knowledgeable and how do you conduct business.  You can’t get that from a newspaper ad or radio commercial.   You can get that from an active Facebook page or Website with a blog.

Taking it a step further, if you create a mobile app for the Dentist (I know it seems a little crazy but it would work), then anyone downloading the app is a potential client.  If you spend $500-1000 for an app that includes your blog, contact form, videos and other userful things, and has the ability to notify the customer when there are updates then you are now communicating with someone who is interested in your services.  Making it even more interesting you can have the app notify the user when their next check up is and what the should be doing in they mean time.  That seems like a pretty useful app to me.

The Final Tally

Old Media Spend-$5000, cost per lead even with a very generous reach is $50.

New Media Spend-$1500 and you are interacting with potential clients consistently and delivering your message over and over.  Cost per lead is approximately $3-5.

But Wait

Newspaper, TV and Radio realize that the pendulum has swung away from them and have taken to new media as well.  If the media source you are using can place your ad on their new media channels as well, while keeping the cost down then it may be worth while to investigate a little further.

Reality Check

The Reality

An IT company I know was contacted by an old media company.  They are a local news outlet in Connecticut.  They were offered an ad placed on the news outlet’s website for a fairly modest fee of $140 a month.  This seemed reasonable so the IT company moved forward with a 1 year contract.  The news outlet is a fairly popular local news source in Connecticut, and the sales rep said the site received hundreds of thousands of visits a month.

After one year the IT company received exactly ZERO leads from the site.  During that time I also marketed the IT company on Facebook and Twitter, occasionally using ads but most of the time using organic methods.  From Facebook and Twitter during the same time frame they received dozens of leads and developed 28 loyal customers.

Food for thought

One Last Thing

Did you Google Endodontics?  You just used New Media.  I’m just saying!

Need help with your new media plan?  Use the contact form to your right or at the bottom of the page.  Alternatively you can call me at 203.806.0736 but don’t hesitate..your competition is already using new media.

Are you going dark on the Weekends? A Social Media Tip

Social Media

 

Let’s face it, we live in a 24/7 world.  If you are running a business you are probably more aware of that than most.  However, you may be missing out on important opportunities if you are not using social media on Saturday and Sunday..or even Friday night.

Studies have shown that users of two of the most popular social media sites (Facebook & Twitter) tend to interact more with posts and tweets on Thursday and Friday afternoons, and most on the weekends.   Let’s take a look at each site to explain further.

Facebook

Facebook

Facebook is easily the king of the Social Media world right now, with over 1 million users in Connecticut alone.   Depending on the business you’re in that may be an extremely important fact in itself.

Facebook allows users to set up business and brand pages to interact with Facebook users.  The page allows you to tell the world about your brand or business including basic business information such as hours of operation and locations.  Once this is set up you can then add content including images and video to interact with your audience.

In an article found on Buffer and Huffington Post, written by Belle Beth Cooper, it is suggested that the best time of day to post on Facebook is between 9 am and 7 pm.  It also states the most shares occur around 1 pm and the more clicks occur around 3 pm.  This would indicate that it is best to post mid-afternoon during the week, a little after lunch.  Coincidence, I think not.

You see, studies suggest that the more someone does not want to be at work, the more time they spend on Facebook and other social media platforms.

But you said Weekends

I did say weekends were important.  In fact Weekends have the highest engagement of the week on Facebook.  Engagement increases by 32% on weekends.   Facebook shares are also highest on Saturdays over any other day of the week.  You cannot afford to miss the action on Saturday, can you?

TwitterTwitter

Twitter is extremely popular with users of mobile devices.  It’s 140 character micro-blog posts are appealing to the two thumb typing method on a smartphone.   A tweet defined as a post on Twitter.   Twitter also made hashtags popular.  Hashtags are a sort of tag or keyword on a post.  Placing the # character in front of a word or phrase allows other users of Twitter to find your post using that hashtag.  Hashtags are now used on most major social media sites including Facebook.

Retweets

Retweets occur when someone re-posts a tweet that you posted, thus sending it to all of their followers as well.  This is considered a sign of respect so to speak   If your goal is to increase the number of retweets then the best time of day is 5 pm.

Click-Through

If the goal is to increase your click-through, meaning how many people interact with your tweet, then the best time of day is noon (lunch) and 6 pm (at home).   Interestingly enough, Twitter is also the platform of choice of those during commute by a large margin.   Users of Twitter are also more likely to use it during work or school hours.

The Weekend

Twitter engagement for brands is 17% higher on weekends according to the same study referenced above.  Again suggesting that people have more time to interact with brands and businesses through social media.  So the question still remains, are you ignoring your weekend audience?  And can you afford to continue to do so?

Ultimately

It will take some testing and tweaking to find out when is the best time to engage your audience.  I personally have had Facebook posts late in the day that has succeeded while posting at suggested times don’t go over so well.  You will want to use analytic tools to determine what is and isn’t working.

Keep in mind it may not be the time of day either.  There are other things you should be doing to engage your audience such as adding images or video, encourage a response or create a call to action.

Ready to start your Social Media Program?

Face to Face Network Marketing

Face to Face Marketing

It still matters

In this day and age we have so many avenues to market and advertise our business, and many business opportunities on the internet that it is easy to forget the human side of business and human interaction.  However it is probably still very important to meet and get to know people on a personal level.  People are more likely to conduct business with you if they get to know you and learn to trust you first.  Word of mouth is still a very powerful tool and there is no easier way to do this than to meet people….face to face.

Interacting with people via social media, email and text is efficient and convenient but it is also hard to develop a personal relationship that involves a level of trust if you never get to hear the person’s voice or see the person’s face.  Not to mention the numerous scams that are perpetrated via the internet all the time will have many scared to conduct financial transactions without first meeting the person..and rightfully so.

Big Group of People

Where do I start?

There are lots of ways to find individuals and groups wishing to gather and meet face to face.  One very popular way is meetup.com.  Using meetup you can find groups with similar interests that meet on a regular basis to discuss those interests.  The is a wide range of groups with very diverse topics and meetup types.

You can also find groups on Facebook that meet however you are more likely to find something of interest on meetup.

Another option is to join the local chamber of commerce or networking group in your area.  BNI is a popular group for some people.  BNI charges a yearly fee and some groups have strict rules about attendance and leads but they usually let you visit once or twice before you are asked to make a financial commitment.  BNI only allows one member of each business type per group so if you’re a plumber and there is already a plumber in the group they will not allow you to join.  However there is usually at least one BNI every few towns.

The local Chamber of Commerce allows competing businesses to join but also has lots of resources to help businesses develop their customer base.  The busier chambers offer several types of meeting opportunities throughout the month so it is usually fairly easy to get out to meet people.

Finally you can always create your own group.  Find a few individuals who would like to gather on a regular basis and grow the group using word of mouth or one of the aforementioned methods.

Get out!

So get out there and work on your face to face marketing.  People still like human contact and don’t always want to sit behind a computer or tablet.  Remember to be confident and don’t make the conversation about yourself, let the other person talk.  Follow up with the people you meet and possibly arrange a one on one meeting to learn more about each other and what you do.  Have fun but not to much fun.  We encourage all of our clients to meet and get to know people.

Hand Shake

5 things you should not do as an internet marketer

Internet Marketing 101

What to look for from your marketer?  Not everyone is an expert

Internet Marketing

Any business owner will tell you to keep an eye on what your competition is doing.  As such I am constantly looking at what other SEO and Internet Marketing Firms are doing.   I generally focus on those that I would compete directly against but occasionally go outside of my area just to see what others are doing.

Some of these firms look very strong and seem to know what they are talking about based on their content and social media presence, while others could use a few lessons.  It always amazes me when someone advertises services that they are not proactively using themselves.  For example, if you look through craigslist you will see numerous people advertising that they are expert web designers, yet they do not have a website.

Often I come across a site that advertises SEO but they do not seem to have a strong understanding of what SEO is in 2014.  The game has changed.  You can no longer rely on a strategy that focuses on link spamming, email spamming or keyword stuffing.  You cannot pay a black hat SEO to get you on the first page of Google.  The tricks that many would be SEO firms used to get their clients to the top no longer work, and their clients are suffering while they scramble to correct everything,  The fact is if the SEO firms were doing it right all along, and heeding Google’s warning, they would not be scrambling today.

Today your focus should be content, content, and content.  Developing original, quality, relevant content is what will drive your site to the top, as long as everything else is set up properly.  As long as the content is there, the rest can be achieved with a little help from a qualified internet marketer.

Rather than list everything you will need to do,  I am going to list some of the things you should run away from if you see it on another firm’s site.  This is not an all inclusive list but is a good starting point.  If you are looking for a true expert in the field of internet/digital marketing make sure they are not trying to include any of these items as part of their own strategy.   Your firm should be transparent.  If you don’t know what they are doing then they may not be using ethical online marketing methods.

If you are looking for some things you should be focusing on as part of your plan, learn more on our guest blog post on Business2Community.com.

Probably most important, if they promise to get you the top spot of Google’s search results instantly…run and run as fast as you can.  No one can guarantee that.

What Internet Marketers Should Not Be Doing

1.  Flash Content-Flash content is not crawled by search engines.  Meaning it is not seen by Google, Bing or Yahoo when they send their spiders out (sounds creepy, I know) to look for content.  Flash content (as well as other similar content) is not readable by the search engines.  The more flash content you have the less likely you will be found by search engines, which means you will likely not be discovered when people search for your product or service.

If your home page has flash content, or you have a flash intro as part of your site there is a very good chance the search engines will never find it.

Flash has also fallen out of favor of many people who use the internet, so much so that HTML5 was developed and it is rumored that Flash will eventually be phased out.  HTML is the language of the internet.  Other languages are built on top of HTML but without HTML you do not have websites.

If the internet marketer you are looking at has a lot of flash content, or java content, especially on the home (index) page of their site you can bet they are not very strong in the field of SEO.

2.  Focus on link building as a primary strategy-At one time adding your link to as many resources as possible was indeed a strategy that would work if you wanted to get to the top of the search engine results page.  So much so that large corporations invested a lot of time and money into this as their primary strategy despite warnings from Google.

Today, with Google’s recent algorithm updates, this strategy will prove costly.  If your site invested in this as a strategy it is most likely suffering today.  You should not be paying for links back to your sites or exchanging links with others as methods for link building.  Google wants links to your site to basically be someone saying you are an expert on a subject.

If an internet marketer’s primary focus is on link building (most likely spamming) then their plan will not work with the algorithm that Google has in place now.  It will most likely have the opposite impact and cause you to drop in the ranking.

3.  Ignore Social Media-It’s the elephant in the very small closet.  You simply cannot afford to ignore social media.  If a firm says they are SEO experts but only have a couple hundred followers on Twitter or no presence on Facebook/Google+ then they do not take social media seriously.  If they have not heard of Pinterest or Instagram then they are not prepared to develop your social media plan.

Social Media cannot be ignored.  There is no question about it.  You cannot survive without a presence on the major players of the social media world.  It’s really that simple.  Without this presence, and interacting with your audience you will lose out to your competitors.

4.  Duplicate Content-Duplicate content on your own site, and on other sites can be harmful to your internet health.  Google does not like duplicate content.  If there is duplicate content Google will discount at least one of the sources.  If one of the sources is discounted, can you afford to have Google decide which one it is?

If an internet marketing firm has duplicate content, duplicate pages or duplicate sites then chances are they are not aware of this rule, and probably others.

5.  Ignore Your Audience-So many times I see where people are commenting on blog posts, social media posts or other internet content by an internet marketing company where a representative of the company does not reply.  It seems to happen most when the comment is not favorable to the topic of the post.

This means the company is not engaging its audience.  This is not the behavior you want from your internet marketing firm.  Engagement is one of the most important aspects of internet marketing and should never be ignored under any circumstance.  If you see an internet marketing not interacting with it’s audience this indicates they do not value their audience, and will not value your audience either.

The Final Word

Ask a lot of questions before you commit to a firm.  Understand what their plan will be, ask for reports on the results of the strategy they have in place.  Any good internet marketing plan will include tweaks to improve upon results or address negative results quickly.

SEO plans are constantly adjusted, updated and optimized and should include social media, content development and multimedia such as images and video.  The best marketers use tools to check for all possible problems and correct them quickly.  Ask what tools a potential firm will use.

Transparency is always key.  If the firm cannot tell you exactly what they are doing and how they are achieving the results you should express concern.  Remember, you are the client, not vice-versa.

If you have questions about what your firm is doing feel free to ask!  We’ll look into it and let you know, for free!

 

Facebook Business Page Tips-Part 1-Setting Up Your Facebook Page

Facebook Business Page

Today I had a conversation with a friend of mine who is a business owner.  He stated that he “despises” social media, especially Facebook.  His words exactly were “I don’t want to use Facebook to sell”.  I explained to him that Facebook and other Social Platforms should not be used for selling as a primary objective.

You should be using social media for building relationships and communities.  This allows your audience to get to know you, and eventually trust you if you are using social media correctly.

On this post I will give a 8 pointers on how you should set up your business page.   All too often I see a business set up a personal Facebook account to use as a business.  With a personal account their are limitations including the number of “Friends” you can have.  I have also seen many Facebook pages set up only to sit idle with no profile, information, pictures or posts.  While it might seem easy to some, others will find setting up a Facebook Business page…and managing it, a daunting task.

In the coming weeks we will discuss engagement, management and etiquette.

Setting up your Facebook Business Page

growth1.  Include all pertinent information in the about section

This seems like a no-brainer but I am constantly astonished at the number of Facebook pages that do not have a completed about section.  The about section should include your website, phone number, operating hours,  street address, parking and any other relevant information.

2.  Custom URL

Once your page has 30 followers Facebook allows you to customize your URL.  Instead of a URL that looks like facebook.com/123456778001343 you can change it to facebook.com/scottgombarllc.   Obviously the last option is much easier to remember and looks better on business cards and other collateral.

Getting those 30 followers is important for analytic analysis as well.  Facebook will open up their insights to you once you reach this milestone.  Using insights gives you more information about what is and isn’t working and is extremely important in the growth of your Facebook Page and Inbound Marketing Program.

3.  Custom Cover Photo

Your page needs a personality and that starts with a cover photo.  A cover photo should be unique and draw attention.  You should also add a description of your cover photo including hash tags and a location if applicable.

The cover photo can be anything really.  You could have pictures of the products or services you offer, the company name or what it is you do.  Be careful to not include contact info or promotional offers as this is a violation of the Facebook terms of service.

4.  Custom Profile Image

If applicable the profile image should be that of the person who owns or runs the business.  This gives the page a little more of a personal feel to it.  Followers of the page, and people in general are more at ease working with a person rather than a logo or corporation.

However this is not always applicable.  In the event that a person’s head-shot will not work then a corporate logo is the next best thing.

5.  Tabs

Tabs almost always seem to get ignored and I am not sure why.  Tabs are like a gateway into the rest of your business.  You can create tabs that link to other social profiles, an email sign-up, contests or even other webpages.

Tabs should also have custom images to match your company’s branding.  For example on my page the tabs have the same color scheme (for the most part) as my branding.   This gives you a more professional image on Facebook.

Using my page as a reference, I have tabs to other social media profiles, a tab to sign up for my email list, a tab featuring a contest I am running at the moment and a tab to explain what I do in a little more detail.  If you are not taking advantage of the tabs you are missing out on a lot of potential interaction, and conversions.

6.  Like Other Pages

This is overlooked even more than the tabs.  Facebook allows you to like other pages from your page.  This has obvious benefits including the organic growth of your own following.

Besides the potential growth of your own following, you can also look for potential clients this way.  Using Facebook’s Open Graph you can search for and find other businesses and entrepreneurs who have pages and may be in the market for your product or service.   It also gives you the added advantage of getting to know potential clients, what they do, how they operate and where they are located.

Facebook does not allow pages to follow personal profiles.   This could lead to businesses potentially spamming people, and Facebook would rather you use their advertising platform to develop your following.

7.  Invite Your Friends

Facebook does allow you to invite any of your friends from your personal page.  In fact you don’t even have to manage a page to do this.  Once you visit a Facebook Page there is an option to invite any one or all of your friends to like that page.  This is how you will want to begin developing your following.  Inviting your friends may not seem advantageous to growing your business since they likely already know what you do but in doing so you now potentially reach others who are not friends with you or following your page…every-time you post.

6 Degrees of Separation on Facebook

8.  Use Facebook Ads

Facebook AdsFacebook has an advertising system that allows you to advertise your page or boost a post.  What’s nice about Facebook Ads is they allow you to be very specific about who you want to target.  You can base your target on Geography, Interests, Age and even Gender.  I would suggest using this system once you have invited friends, and even encouraged friends to invite others.

I will write a follow up post to Facebook Ads at a later date.

 

Get On Facebook and Get Started!

Next week I will post more on audience engagement so make sure you come back.  This should keep you busy enough for a day or 2.

Need help getting started on Facebook?  I would love to help you out!   Just click here to contact me or call 203.806.0736