Posts Tagged ‘company social networking’

Small business owners and search

Posted in Blogging, Marketing strategies, Search engine optimization, Social media Be the first to comment

Like lots of other people, I bought a MegaMillion ticket last Friday, and spent hours deciding how I’d spend the $640 million. I wound up with a good mix of the charitable, the frivolous, and some sound investments to ensure that the money lasts.

It’s easy, I fantasized: “Spend a buck, win a gazillion dollars.”

Lots of small business owners view Google rankings in much the same way: “Pay someone to optimize my Web site, watch the rankings soar.” Or even better, “Slap up a Facebook page and watch the new orders pour in.”

This kind of stuff  is called “magical thinking.”

I just saw a pretty good reality check, from Carl Weiss in yesterday’s SiteProNews:

“While even the smallest of businesses can generate page 1 results on Google today, it is a far more complicated affair. And in the wired world, complicated translates into time and money. Whereas back in 2000, it was relatively simple to have an SEO expert tune up your homepage, in the modern world of Internet marketing, there are 31 points of light that every search engine spider alights on today, including such things as blogs, social networks, backlinks, and video. If your web presence is lacking in any of these, or you aren’t adding compelling content to them on at least a weekly basis, then your chances of achieving a page 1 result are slim at best…

“Not only are there far more stops on the technology train in 2012 then there were in 2000, but a number of the stops have siderails. Consider social networking. If you are serious about making the grade online, then being on Facebook (the second most visited destination online after Google) isn’t enough. You also need to Tweet. Not to mention the fact that back in November of 2011 Google launched its own social network Google+. So if you are looking to make the grade with Google, it’s probably a good idea to add this to your marketing mix as well.”

Ah, yes. Fantasies are fun….. I wonder how much I’ll win in this week’s lottery. As for the rest of it, I’d better get back to work.

To read the rest of the SiteProNews article, click here.

Image Credit: Pat’s Papers

Top social media sites? It depends on your goals

Posted in Blogging, Building customer loyalty, Copywriting and content, Marketing strategies, Social media 1 Comment

A new study, from Marketing Sherpa, has found that your best choice for  social media networks depends on whom you’re trying to reach.

For example, if you’re selling to consumers (and provided that your customers are actually using Facebook, and that you can lure visitors with compelling content and/or games, contests, discounts, or coupons), Facebook is probably your best bet.  On the other hand, if you’re selling to businesses, you may want to put your social media resources to use elsewhere–say, on LinkedIn. Take a look at the survey results:Allen T. Sutton, who wrote the blog post describing survey results, noted what he’d expected and a couple or results that surprised him:

“Blogging sits comfortably on top. This does not surprise me since creating content is the most effective SEO tactic , and SEO is a vital part of a good inbound strategy.

“However, two things do surprise me. First, I expected LinkedIn to rank high with B2Bs, but I did not expect it to so clearly beat Facebook. Fewer than 50% of B2B marketers report that their efforts on Facebook were effective. LinkedIn appears to provide the most effective social network for inbound B2B marketers.

“The second thing that surprises me is that YouTube and other video sharing sites are well within the top tier. I have seen great YouTube strategies from a select few marketers, but I did not realize that strong performance was this widespread. I expect even more marketers to start using video sites in the coming years.”

What marketing strategies should work best for you? And especially if you have a limited marketing budget?  We can help you figure it out and start attracting new customers. Contact us.

Small business marketing: Quality does matter

Posted in Building customer loyalty, Marketing strategies, Social media, Web design Be the first to comment

I just read an interesting round-up of ideas on using video as an effective marketing tool.

Much of the advice consisted of encouragement by experts (and I’m paraphrasing),  to “Just  do it,” with tips on how to spread your video around.

In the comments section, “beenyweenies,” a video marketing professional who did not reveal his or her name or company name, objected strongly, and called most of the suggestions “borderline irresponsible.”

Here are some of “beenyweenies’” key points:

“There is already so much bad video on the internet right now that the world doesn’t need another 50,000 self produced, poorly executed videos of some talking head rambling on…Most of the suggestions seem more geared to appealing to one’s DIY sensibilities, desire to spend nothing on marketing, and our inner narcissism (YOU can be the star in your own video!).

“Beenyweenies” continues: “Even most “professionally” produced videos have a high failure rate if the producers don’t have a solid understanding of video marketing principals….

“There was a time when business owners thought they could get away with slapping together a shoddy website using FrontPage, too. These days, you’d be lucky to get a few dozen hits a month with a site like that, and most business owners wouldn’t dream of doing something so damaging to their brand. Video is no different, which is why I say this article is doing a disservice to its readers.

“People judge a company on the quality of their promotional materials. If your marketing is poorly done, most consumers get a bad feeling about you and move on to a competing provider. There are simply too many choices in the marketplace to get so sloppy with your marketing.”

In the end, marketing, like most else in life, comes down to the advice my father gave to my brother and me while we were growing up: “If you’re going to do something, do it right.”

To read the entire article, and all of the posted comments, click here.

Business blogging don’ts

Posted in Advertising, Blogging, Building customer loyalty, Copywriting and content, E-mail marketing, Print materials, Selling tips, Special promotions, Web design Be the first to comment

Whether you’re creating or updating a Website, an e-mail marketing program, printed materials, or engaging in any type of social networking, providing content that your customers want and need is not only essential, but also highly cost effective.

Giving customers marketing materials that focus only on how wonderful your products and services are is a waste of your time and money.

Hubspot, a company that markets business software, offers some solid advice about business blogging. The company recently published a free e-book that highlights 13 mistakes that business bloggers make. Number 1 is not integrating your blog with your Website. Here’s number 2 :

“Mistake:
The content you publish on your blog is too heavily focused on you – your products, services, achievements, and why you’re awesome – and it’s seriously lacking thought leadership.

“Why It Hurts:
If people are visiting your blog expecting to find educational content and all they find is you talking about how great your products and services are, you’re not going to accomplish the same goals or attract as many readers as you would if you published thought leadership-based content.”

Amen.

To read or download the free 13 Business Blogging Mistakes & Their Easy Fixes, (registration required),  click here.

Why blog? It’s your strongest tool

Posted in Blogging, Building customer loyalty, Social media Be the first to comment

With the continuing rise in popularity of Facebook and other social networks, many business owners mistakenly assume that setting up a Facebook fan page or starting to tweet about their business is going to attract new customers. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple.

Of course, there’s a place for Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. In fact, a presence on many other social networks may be appropriate for business owners. (Wikepedia has an updated list of 316 Social networks.)

Successful social media campaigns, however, are built on multiple platforms. What to do first, if you’re looking to build a network and attract prospects? Blog.

Why blog? Marketing experts explain that blogging is a sure-fire way to increase your visibility and search-engine rankings. Allowing comments from your readers also provides personal interaction. Frequent updating helps build your position as an expert. And blogging in general promotes trust.

As the chart above shows, blogging attracts more traffic to your Website. So if you want to begin increasing your visibility, come up with quality content that helps readers, and post it to your blog. How often?

See our next post on blogging:  The more blog posts, the more leads.