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Social Media

Keeping Up With The Internet

By | Blog, Blogging, Local Business, Online Marketing, Social Media | No Comments

I was just reading the 2011 Ranking Factors Guide that SEOMoz just published. Yes, that is how I spent my Friday night. I realize how that looks. Anyway, there wasn’t anything that really surprised me, I think it makes sense that Google and Bing are heading in the direction they are in.  At the end, I was reading comments and one caught my attention, “the tricksters continue to lose ground while honest marketing and engagement efforts gain ground…” I feel the same way.

The internet is more and more mimicking real-life. Just like we engage more with the people that we find the most interesting, search engines will rank sites higher based on what people find interesting by retweeting, sharing or linking. Isn’t this the way it’s supposed to be?

Now I’ve really put the pressure on you, huh?  When I am introducing businesses to social media, there is always a fear of content. What do I post?

I have yet to meet a client who doesn’t have a lot to say about their business or their industry.  In fact, most business owners have similar characteristics in that their passion is magnetic. Some more than others, but if they have an opportunity to talk about their business, they can open up and capture everyone’s attention. It really is beautiful to see and it is one of my favorite things about my job.  I usually say, “If you can speak, you can blog.” But I guess I’ve only said that to people who are passionate about their business and industry. They have a lot to say and they know a great deal. That is why I believe they can learn to post well. You have to post passionately.

Relevant content isn’t just about social media, it’s website content too. And, it will be all internet engagement, including writing reviews, commenting on blogs, pictures and videos you post, everything. It all matters. When it comes to the internet, your opinion matters. And that is the best thing about online marketing.

I won’t be changing what I teach very much.  There may be a few details to consider, but the overall concept is still the same. Content rules!

Social Media for Small Business: Facebook or Google+?

By | Blog, Facebook, Facebook Insights, Google Me, Google Plus, Social Media | No Comments

Diet Coke, Nike, Apple, Toyota and other big brands are jumping onto and engaging their audiences with Facebook and Google+. They are holding contests, having discussions in the G+ hangouts (the Muppet movie promotion was especially fun) and really using their social media platforms to increase brand awareness and ultimately make money.

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Pinterest Introduces Analytics Tool

By | Pinterest, Social Media, social media for business | No Comments

On Monday night, Pinterest announced that web analytics for your Pinterest site are now available. These analytics will provide more insight into page activity and the interaction being done with images and boards. We believe Pinterest is paving the way for greater business participation.

How to Receive Pinterest Analytics
Anyone with a verified Pinterest account can receive Pinterest Web Analytics. With a verified account, these analytics are available from the existing menu in the top right corner.

What’s Included
This free web-based analytics tool tracks the number of pins from a site as well as the number of repins that those original pins received. Other items tracked include the number of impressions and referral traffic, in both total clicks and unique visitors, that are sent back to their site. A site owner can also see the most re-pinned images and what pins drove the most visitors to their site.

These analytics seem fairly basic, but also very useful to a site owner. With Pinterest’s launch of business accounts late last year, this site is certainly becoming more marketer-friendly.

What’s Next?
Our guess- ads. Pinterest is doing this the right way by rolling out an analytics tool prior to any paid products. Businesses can now measure the effectiveness of their campaigns before paying to play. Pinterest has also provided case studies to show us how companies like Etsy and Jetsetter have benefited from Pinterest.

With this new web-based analytics tool, we believe companies on Pinterest will benefit by  seeing what images certain products are being repinned and found by the most unique visitors. Images will no longer be blindly placed on Pinterest hoping for traction. Marketers are able to see what pieces of their Pinterest campaigns are gaining the most traffic.

Pinterest’s large-image layout makes this social media site unique because of its visual style. With the majority of its users being women (moms) and kids, businesses are reaching very influential consumers. We look forward to seeing how Pinterest Web Analytics, along with Pinterest Business Pages, will grow as a tool for brands and marketers.

The Digital Age – Gap

By | Business Growth, digital age, digital media, Online Marketing, Social Media | No Comments

A recent study by the Pew Research Institute showed that 92% of Americans use the internet for a search of some sort, 92% also use email and 65% use it for social networking. Daily search engine and email use is at 60%. The graph below provides very interesting insights into the progress of the digital age. Search and email usage have been in the 80-90% range for nearly a decade and social networking has grown to 65% from 15% in 4 years. This growth has not negatively impacted search engine or email use and the social network “rate of growth” has slowed a little.  Pew also released a different study showing that 35% of Americans now own a smartphone.  To explain: 83% of U.S. adults have a cell phone of some kind and 42% of them own a smartphone. That translates into 35% of all adults have a smart phone.

Online Marketing – a no-brainer for business?

Given all this information you would think every business leader, from a Fortune 500 CEO to the owner of corner shop would embrace every aspect of online marketing. Not true in our experience. There is a strange fear that exists for most. Similar to a child confronting something entirely new, attracted by the gaudy shine, reaching out delicately with fingers outstretched and body arched away. The child knows it wants the trinket, yet there is such a fear of the consequences of complete commitment that the object of desire is never fully embraced.

What drives the fear?

There are all sorts of theories about why this is happening:

  • The generation gap between the age of business leaders and those leading development of digital media.
  • The recession is keeping heads in the sand.
  • It is a completely new discipline that requires a new understanding.
  • It takes a lot of time and effort to do properly.

All of these probably have an impact. Our belief though is that the core reason runs deeper. Its more tied to a fear of change. Business has operated in very similar fashion for a generation. Broadcast and print advertising were the best options. Pushing out a message to potential customers. Even better the business controlled the message. Now things have changed. The customer controls the message.

How to close the gap

The bad news is it can be a significant gap, the good news is, it doesn’t all have to be done at once. The first step is understanding what Online Marketing really is and how to utilize it for your business. There is a wealth of information online if you have the time to research and verify the source you can educate yourself. Our Online Marketing Training programs provide up to date and comprehensive training modules centered around your business. Once you understand how online marketing works and how it can fit with your business; then choose your strategy. Implement your strategy with energy and long term commitment. Most importantly:

Start and complete the process of changing your company culture to embrace the new age. Develop an open and mutual communication with your customers. Openly engage and empower them. The unfortunate truth is if you are frightened of what your customers will say then you are doing something wrong. Worse they are probably already saying it somewhere online. The digital age is about open communication: if you are not in the conversation it is still happening. So join the conversation.