Tag Archives: social media

Is your website just a fancy online brochure? 24 Oct

Is Your Website just a Fancy Online Brochure?

Is your website truly working for you? It should be — 24/7. It’s way more than an online brochure.

The most beautifully designed website, whether it’s a WordPress site or other platform, is of no use if it doesn’t have the following:

  1. Fresh, relevant content, no more than a week old, written, grammatically correct, for your target audience — this converts your static website into a dynamic website. Google ignores static websites. It looks for the freshest content that matches a searchers’ request — that’s what comes up on the first page of Google search. Blog at least once a week.
  2. A reason and a way for visitors to opt-in to your email list — this turns a visitor into a lead. It’s then up to you, with some email, sales or marketing automation system, to turn that lead into a sale. Give them something of value — a free ebook, a coupon, etc. — so they’ll give you their email address. Then deliver on the promise of a monthly newsletter. Note: if you have an e-commerce site or online store, make it easy for people to shop, if that’s your main objective.
  3. An easy way to contact you or set up an appointment — if you want a phone call, the mobile version of your site has to be responsive, so people can all you with one tap. If you want them to contact you via email, have a short contact form. Don’t ask more than 2 or 3 questions. Just what to you need to qualify the lead. Make it easy to set an appointment. Use an inexpensive service like TimeTrade — saves a ton of back and forth emails when setting appointments.
  4. Make it easy for people to follow you and share your content.Social media share and follow buttons — you have to make it easy for visitors to follow you on the networks and for them to share your content with their friends. And don’t put them just in the footer!

So here are a few don’ts:

  • Don’t make people hunt for what you want them to do.
  • Don’t make your site so flashy that it takes too long to load.
  • Don’t forego design for search engine optimization (SEO).
    • The most beautiful site in the world is useless if no one can find it.
  • Don’t hire a web designer who doesn’t know about proper SEO and social media marketing. It’s part of the online marketing package. You need to know what to look for. Be wise and be educated.

In a nutshell, having a static website is like a billboard out in the middle of the ocean. Sure a passing ship may see it, but that’s it.

About the Author:

Giselle Aguiar, AZ Social Media WizGiselle Aguiar, founder of AZ Social Media Wiz is a social media, inbound and content marketing specialist & trainer helping small business owners learn how to leverage the power of social media marketing, increase traffic to their websites, generate leads, increase brand awareness and establish themselves as experts in their fields. She’s the official social media, newsletter and blog manager for Greater Phoenix SCORE and teaches once a month at SCORE. She recently launched the Social Savvy Solution offering online, on-demand, easy-to-understand courses. Helping the little guy get social savvy! You can connect with Giselle online at LinkedIn or on Google+.

 

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SEO: It’s more than just Keywords [Infographic] 10 Oct

SEO: It’s more than just Keywords [Infographic]

Today’s Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a challenge.

(This article originally appeared on the AZ Social Media Wiz Blog.)

SEO, it's more than keywords

Here’s all that’s involved in SEO. Graphic by Alexis Wilke (CC)

You want your business to come up on the first page of Google. If you’re not doing Pay-Per-Click (PPC), Google’s paid advertising, then you have 10-12 chances to land on the first page. That’s called “OrganicSearch Engine Results Page (SERP).

The more competitive your field or industry is, the more challenging this is going to be.

It’s not “if you build it they will come”!

As this infographic from Macallan Marketing illustrates, today’s SEO is made up of not just keyword-centric website, but content marketing, blogging, social media and mobile-friendliness and responsiveness play integral parts in SEO success.

SEO - more than just Keywords graphic by Macallan Marketing

  1. You have to blog – it’s the fresh, relevant content that Google is looking for. Keeping Google happy is crucial. We recommend WordPress.
  2. Every time you share a blog post, landing page or even your home page in social media posts, you get “Google Juice” that helps with SEO.
  3. Posting regularly on Google+, Google’s social network, also helps. Read this related article: An SEO Tale of 2 Auto Repair Shops.
  4. Creating YouTube videos helps.
  5. Having a mobile-friendly website. Is your site mobile-friendly? Click here to test it.
  6. Be consistent in the 4C’s of marketing: Creating, Curating, Connecting and Culture.

Giselle Aguiar teaches once a month at Greater Phoenix SCORE on SEO and Social Media. Check out our upcoming classes.

About the Author:

Giselle Aguiar, AZ Social Media WizGiselle Aguiar, founder of AZ Social Media Wiz is a social media, inbound and content marketing specialist & trainer helping business owners learn how to leverage the power of social media marketing, increase traffic to their websites, generate leads, increase brand awareness and establish themselves as experts in their fields. She’s the official social media, newsletter and blog manager for Greater Phoenix SCORE and teaches once a month at SCORE. She recently launched the Social Savvy Solution offering online, on-demand, easy-to-understand courses. You can connect with Giselle online at LinkedIn or on Google+.

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Getting Social for Business

Get online, get found and grow your business with social media

By RuthAnn Hogue, GoDaddy

Getting social for businessSocial media has long since taken the leap from an ever-growing collection of forums and apps to enhance your social life to the realm of valuable business tool. If you’re still waiting to join in, here are some reasons why you should.

First, everyone else is doing it. Regardless of what your mother said, sometimes this does matter. Granted, it’s still not wise to jump off a cliff. You can trust her on that one. But if you are a small business trying to reach critical mass you need to get your message in front of potential clients. Today, that means being where they are. And that is on social media.

So, what exactly is social media for business?

Isn’t it just a bunch of egotistical people posting selfies on Facebook and Instagram or snapping pics of themselves on Snapchat using apps to add silly pig noses?

Isn’t it just for kids or those who cannot be bothered express themselves in more than 140 characters on Twitter?

What about all those people going crazy trying to catch imaginary creatures using the Pokѐmon Go app on their smartphones?

And Periscope, isn’t that just a place where users gather to watch whatever someone else is willing to broadcast?

Yes, but each is so much more.

Here are some real-world social media business applications that might make your life better.

Buy the numbers

Still the big daddy of social media, Facebook as of June 2016 reported on average of 1.13 billion active users daily. While using Facebook is free, access to those users is for sale. Because Facebook has so much personal information on its users, targeting your demographic sweet spot is completely possible.

It’s a Snap

Meanwhile, Snapchat was reported as of June 2016 as having 150 million logged-in users. While its content is fleeting, new upgrades now allow users to save memories to create stories. Whether you use Snapchat to share pics of a live event, let people know about an event on deck, post a coupon or offer other perks, it also has the ability to target—now including geographically.

Instagram for Business

For those relying on a personal account to share Instagram images, it’s time to upgrade. The popular photo-editing and sharing app now offers accounts just for business. Unlike its personal accounts, Instagram business accounts allow you to run analytics. In addition to your own posts, you’ll also be able to purchase ad space when you make the switch.

Tweet it up

Twitter is heating up among teens and tweens who want to escape a Facebook landscape increasingly inhabited by their parents and grandparents. Its user base had reached 313 million by the second quarter of 2016, which can easily be targeted using hashtags.  While sponsored hashtags for specific topics or events are available, anyone can create one at no cost. All it takes is a hot topic, a good network of followers and your message can be retweeted around the globe.

Scope it out

Periscope, an offshoot of Twitter, is no longer just for virtual voyeurism. Kind of. You still get to watch whatever someone else decides to live stream. You still get to post comments in real time. Unless marked with the hashtag #save, content disappears within 24 hours.

Only now, in addition to people broadcasting random content, marketing-savvy business owners are using the platform to share content featuring everything from tutorials for hairdressers on the latest cuts and styles to messaging on how they can brand or marketing your business.

Of course, social media is ever-changing and constantly growing. Keeping current is a must. Unless you want to hang out alone.

Check out SCORE’s classes on Social Media and online marketing presented regularly.

About the Author: RuthAnn Hogue, GoDaddy

Based in Arizona, RuthAnn Hogue is the owner and founder of Whiptail Publisher’s Syndicate, a published nonfiction author and a contributor to the GoDaddy blog. The recovering journalist occasionally breaks out her 1979 Gibson Les Paul Custom Deluxe Silverburst rock ‘n’ roll guitar when she wants to let loose. A devoted fur mother, RuthAnn makes time to spoil all four of her Jack Russell terriers when she is not tweeting from @MyWhiptail or posting on Facebook @whiptailpublishing.

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27 Jun

When do you see Social Media Marketing ROI?

How do you measure social media ROI?Whether you’ve been in business for a while or just starting up, a question that I often hear is, “When do I start seeing social media marketing ROI (return on investment)?

It depends.

Back in the days of old-fashioned marketing, determining your return on investment was fairly easy. Say you spent $500 placing an ad in the newspaper, and it garnered $1000 in sales. Your ROI is $500. Easy.

However, in today’s marketing, it’s not that easy. How did a customer find you? Did they Google you? Did they see a post on Facebook or Twitter that a friend of theirs shared? Were they driving by your store or restaurant or did they search an app on their mobile device? Also, what did you invest?

Today’s typical marketing costs are several:

  • Website design, hosting, domain name registration
  • Graphic designer
  • Your time
  • An employee’s time
  • Paid digital advertising on Google Adwords, social media or mobile
  • Printed collateral material like business cards, flyers or direct mail
  • Outdoor signage or billboards
  • Hiring someone to set up your social media profile pages
  • Taking classes on social media marketing

Stop thinking Social Media Marketing ROI and think KPI (Key Performance Indicators)

What are your goals and objectives? They could be:

  • Driving traffic to your website
  • Building your email list
  • Selling products or services on or off line.
  • Getting people to come to your store or restaurant
  • Building awareness
  • Fund raising
  • Establishing yourself as an expert
  • Driving word-of-mouth recommendations
  • Getting on the first page of Google search
  • Building a following on social media
  • Improving customer satisfaction/getting reviews
  • Promoting advocacy
  • Generating quality leads

Some of these are hard to measure. Like how do you know when you’re established as an expert? When you meet someone in an elevator or networking event and they say, “Hey, I’ve seen you on____” or “You’re the _______ lady/guy”! Some are more obvious:

  • When you have over 500 connections on LinkedIn
  • When you’ve got 1000 followers on Twitter
  • When you have 500 Facebook likes
  • When you’re getting 1000 visitors a month to your site

What does it mean to you?

This is different for every business, but you’ve got to identify your KPIs before you start doing any marketing. Write all this down. This becomes part of your overall marketing plan which is part of your overall business plan.

How long does it take to start seeing some Social Media Marketing ROI?

Again, it depends. Some take longer than others. You never know when something is going to take off. However, just because you’re on social media doesn’t mean what you’re posting is going to go viral. Understand this up front. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. You’re in it for the long-haul. Don’t expect overnight success. It doesn’t happen that way. And there are no guarantees that all this will work.

When I’m working with a client, it takes about 90 minutes a day for the first 30 days to build a following. That’s besides blogging 2-3 times a week. Once you have your following built, then it will take you less time. It should take you less than hour a day if you’re using the right tools and everything is set-up properly. Also, in the beginning, it’s like learning several software programs at the same time. It’ll be slow going at first, but once you get used to everything, it’ll take you less time to do what you need to do.

Checking your analytics and insights monthly

You have to check your analytics and insights at the end of every month. Both on your website with something like Google Analytics and on the social networks themselves. Each of the network provides analytics and/or insights which can tell you:

  • How many followers or likes you’ve gotten
  • Which posts got the best engagement (likes, comments, clicks or shares)
  • What other things your audience likes
  • Your following’s demographics: gender, age, location (Are they your target market?)

On your website, you want to see the monthly visitors growing each month. Besides that, you need to know:

  • Which search engines they used
  • Which social network where they on when they clicked on a link to your site
  • How long did they stay on your site
  • How many pages did they view while they were there
  • How many were returning visitors vs new
  • If you have a call-to-action (a freebie that you give away for a visitor’s email address), how many “converted”?

Based on your monthly analytics, you can then see what’s working and what’s not working and adjust your strategic and tactical marketing plans accordingly. You’ll also set new goals for the next month. If you met or surpassed your previous goals, then what you’re going is working. Keep it up. If you didn’t meet your goals, what happened?

  • Were you not blogging enough?
  • Did you not spend enough time engaging on the social networks?
  • Were you posting at the wrong times?
  • Did you not do enough research on your target market to understand how they use the networks and how best to reach them?

Wow! That’s a lot to comprehend! Unfortunately, if you don’t, you suffer the risk of getting left behind in the dust by your competition.

Have you been avoiding digital marketing? You can’t afford to wait any longer if you want to compete in today’s market. Start by attending one of my classes at Greater Phoenix SCORE. I usually do them on the first Thursday of each month. Please comment below with questions.

About the Author:

Giselle Aguiar, AZ Social Media WizGiselle Aguiar, founder of AZ Social Media Wiz is a social media, inbound and content marketing specialist & trainer helping business owners learn how to leverage the power of social media marketing, increase traffic to their websites, generate leads, increase brand awareness and establish themselves as experts in their fields. She’s the official social media, newsletter and blog manager for Greater Phoenix SCORE and teaches once a month at SCORE. Join her on Wednesdays with the Wiz on Facebook Live at 4 pm MST every Wednesday.

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16 May

Getting the Best Results from LinkedIn

Practically everyone knows about LinkedIn now, but not everyone uses it well or even at all.

Why? Hearing how it works is one thing; most of us learn by doing. Right?

There are a few main aspect of how and why LinkedIn is important. Business owners use it to find competitors, customers, employees or even suppliers and vendors. Others looking for contracts or jobs explore the range of opportunities LinkedIn offers through their services. Salespeople now find LinkedIn to be a resource to garner glimpses of companies and potential leads for their products and/or services.

Let’s focus on Business Owners. Many features of LinkedIn cross over, the importance of personal profiles, business pages and even showcase pages can be key features in building your business. LinkedIn has become one of the world’s most respected business and professional resources. Most often when you have a question about a person or company where do you go? Google, right?

Google yourself and/or your company. Do you do that often to see what shows up? If you are on LinkedIn and don’t have a personal website or have your company website set up with appropriate SEO features, then more than likely you will notice your LinkedIn profile as being in the top Google results. That should be enough to cause panic. Relax, it just means that you need to develop great profiles.

When you look at your profile status, is it All-Star quality? What does that mean? It means your profile meets the professional standards LinkedIn requires for the best opportunities for you. The better you fit in, the more you can stand out. It’s like learning the rules before figuring out how to bend or break them. Of course, you may possibly not even know them.

What if you did? Would you be more attractive to potential customers? You look for it in others, right?

SCORE presents many opportunities for business owners to learn and practice important business development features. This LinkedIn workshop goes a little deeper with a hands-on practice of the material being presented. Facilitating that kind of environment can be a little challenging, so the class size is limited. You’ll also get a copy of the workbook being used.

Join us! Sign up for this hands-on session, – at SCORE Tuesday, May 24 from 12 – 4pm, before it fills up. Bring your laptop and jump in, explore – get your questions answered. Click here to register!

Smartphones are discouraged. Tablets might work if you have a keypad.

ZenBenefielAbout the Author:

Zen Benefiel is an accomplished author, coach, facilitator and speaker with Masters degrees from the University of Phoenix in Business Administration and Organizational Development. Zen is a blogger, social media expert, trainer and web developer since 2000 with a collection of works at www.zenbenefiel.com. Zen is also co-host of 2 Small Biz Guys talk radio show on Star Worldwide Networks.

 

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It's not who you know it's who your friends know 26 Apr

It’s Not Who You Know, it’s Who Your Friends Know

Who are your Friends? Remember the “6 Degrees of Separation”? Supposedly, “any two people on Earth are six or fewer acquaintance links apart.” (Wikipedia)

Social Media Friends - Networking on SteroidsNow, with social media – Networking on Steroids – it’s more like 3.5.

If you want to meet someone, let’s say an influencer in your field —

  • someone that you’re target market looks up to
  • someone with a huge following
  • someone that if they liked you, your service or your product and they shared it with their friends, you’d be set

How do you meet that person? More than likely they’re part of your LinkedIn network.

2 people join LinkedIn every second

linkedLinkedIn Mystery PersonIt’s easy enough to connect with them, but if they viewed your LinkedIn profile right now, would they be impressed? Would that person think that you were an expert in your field?

Or does your LinkedIn profile look like you’re looking for a job rather than owning your own company? It makes a difference. Or are you one of many Mystery People who don’t have a professional looking head shot.

You are your BRAND.

If you own your own company, on LinkedIn, you are an employee of that company. A company cannot have personal profile. A company gets a company profile and that’s how they’re indexed. If someone is searching for you, they can narrow the search by company or person. If you’re not in the right category, you won’t come up. (By the way, if someone Googles you or your company name, LinkedIn profiles are usually in the top 3 search results.)

This is Networking

You don’t join a chamber of commerce to sell your products. Well, yes, that is the ultimate goal, but the person you’re sitting next to at the lunch probably doesn’t want or need your product or service. HOWEVER, they may know someone who does.

You don’t know who they know. You don’t know who their clients are or their neighbors or family members. The more you get out there and are visible, the more you’ll be known for what you do. Every time you publish and article (post) on LinkedIn, you solidify your credibility all the more. Every time you share some useful information to a group you get noticed.

It’s See and be Seen

You want to become an influencer, a newsmaker, be known as the expert. LinkedIn can help, if you learn how to use the tool properly and effectively.

 

About the Author:

Giselle Aguiar, AZ Social Media WizGiselle Aguiar, founder of AZ Social Media Wiz is a social media, inbound and content marketing strategist & trainer helping business owners learn how to leverage the power of social media marketing, increase traffic to their websites, generate leads, increase brand awareness and establish themselves as experts in their fields. She’s the official social media, newsletter and blog manager for Greater Phoenix SCORE and offers Social media classes at the new AZ Social Media Training Center. 602-738-1700. You can connect with Giselle online at LinkedIn or on Google+.

 

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