Social Media Blog: The Information Superhighway that Rivals the Billboards on the Freeway!

We'd all be on billboards seen on the major freeways in our town!

Yes, we would. If we could afford it that is.

Most of us smaller businesses can only dream of being on those big, beautiful billboards being visible to the millions of people driving down the major freeway. We all want everyone to know what we do, who we are, what we sell. Right?

But wait! There's another freeway known as the information superhighway or the Internet as we call it. It offers you Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social sites to make sure that you get an even better reach than that billboard you so covet.
 
Today’s online business world is all about creating a buzz around your brand and getting better connected with prospects and customers. By appealing to their interests and interacting with them, your company has a much greater chance of driving prospects to your site.

Stop casting a wide net of spam and advertisements that rarely provide the necessary Return on Investment (ROI). Use tools like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to shorten your sales cycle, build credibility, and convey what your customers want to hear. With just one 140 character tweet or with just one Facebook post, you can reach millions. Billboards on the other hand can only be seen by the few thousand who drive up and down that area each day.

Social media is here to stay. You can hide from it for a while, but you can't run from it forever. And if you haven't checked lately, check what your competition is doing online. If they've already leap-frogged you, there's your first worry. If they haven't, there's your first step. Call us either way and we'll make sure you stay abreast and get ahead of your competition!

It's time to get social. It's time to go gangbusters online. What are you waiting for again?

Social Media Marketing Blog: Is a Website a Cost or an Investment?

Small business owners are often faced with a number costs necessary to run their business. If these costs are not managed properly, the business and the owner(s) can be bankrupt before the business really gets off the ground. The biggest advantage a small business owner can have is an investment in a website to promote their product or service.

Reach Local or Global Customers
A quality website is the way to showcase your products and services. Regardless of whether your customers are local or global, your website is the best way to reach them. A well-created, aesthetically appealing, and functional website is especially important for small businesses because it is the most cost-effective marketing tool available to them.

Credibility and Visibility
Small businesses can maximize their business visibility with a comprehensive Internet strategy. Even if your services aren’t bought online, customers use the Internet to research what they are interested in buying. Regardless of the type of business you are in, your customers are researching and looking for you.

A well-designed and navigation-friendly website can also enhance your credibility. Customers can review testimonials, company information and your product or services portfolio to make an informed decision.

Brand awareness
By leveraging social networks like Facebook and Twitter, a company can gain brand awareness. Brand awareness results in more credibility for your company and will eventually drive leads and customers to you. By interacting with prospects with buy soundcloud plays agency and customers on social networks, you will build relationships that will also enhance your brand awareness.

When prospects tell me that they can’t “afford a website” or “can’t afford monthly marketing”, I wonder at their seriousness about being in business. Let’s face it. Digital (Internet) marketing is here to stay. You may hide but you can’t run from it. If you aren’t on social networks or marketing your website on search engines, how do you expect to remain viable? Look around you and check out your competitors online. Do they have a leg on you in terms of online visibility? If they don’t, that’s all the more reason to get online and leap-frog them by carving out your place in the big, competitive web world. If they do, what are you waiting for? You should’ve been online yesterday!

A website is an investment. Website marketing is “protecting your investment” and “growing your business”.

 

Is the Youngest Person in Your Office really Qualified to be Your Social Media Manager?

It's quite funny how business expertise is no longer a "selling-point". No one thinks what I do is an expertise or rather they think what I do is great but it's too expensive for them cause what I do, their office manager can do for a lower, cheaper price.

I met with a prospect last week, who went on and on about wanting to "raise the bar" and about how "he was miles ahead of his competition with his ideas and awareness about marketing" and how he really wanted my company to help grow his brand.

Today, when I called him to follow-up on the proposal I sent him, the one-sided conversation went like this:

  • Well, do I need that many hours? (BTW, we proposed a campaign for SEO, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Email Marketing for under $2 K per month)
  • My admin can do the FB posts because she has time during the day to post company stuff
  • I already have a LinkedIn account and I get all these connection requests which I can add myself.
  • We have a really sharp young lady in our office, she's only 23 and she's a recent graduate in finance. I bet I can have her manage our Facebook and Twitter, you know if the admin can't.

Long and short of it was that he had convinced himself that he didn't need me.  I could barely keep my laughter from spilling but I didn't say another word. I  just told thanked him for the opportunity to provide a quote and told him that perhaps we can be "plan B" in case he needs help. And then I hung up and laughed my head off.

Ok, so he really thinks a combination of his admin + 23 year old fresh-out-of-school employee + himself makes for a winning "marketing" team!

So here's my question to you all.

Who are you fooling Mr/Ms business owner if you think that "marketing" is something ANYONE can do?

Nothing against 23 year olds but do you think that "being younger" means being 'social marketing" savvy? And does the admin who has free time on her hand really know what to say on Facebook to "Drive interest/interaction" to your website? And do you really think that "adding connections" on LinkedIn is "social networking"??

For sure hire a 23 year old to be your marketing manager, IF:

  • the 23 year old is trained my someone like me (marketing expert)
  • the 23 year old is a "MARKETING" major and/or "has the marketing DNA",
  • the 23 year old is experienced in marketing, communications and is going to be "TRAINED" to be a marketing manager

Otherwise, think about this further and know that "age" is not the reason to hire or not hire someone. Expertise/ training/expertise/aptitude are MORE important than age.

Bottom-line: Just cause you know a 23 year old who can talk the Facebook/Twitter "lingo", doesn't mean the 23 year old is a "marketing expert"

Search Engine Optimization Blog: What Google’s Farmer Update Means to You!

Google has recently updated their algorithm to lower the rankings and penalize content farms. In short, content farms are sites that produce regurgitated low quality content just for the sake of search engine results. While this new update has been successful for the most part, there are some legitimate businesses and blogs who have been caught up in the mess. The intended result of the update was to reduce spam that was often returned in search results. However some sites got penalized even though they weren't using black hat SEO.

You may recall that JCPenny.com and Overstock.com both recently came under Google's microscope for unethical Search Engine Optimization (SEO) tactics. Both companies claimed that the tactics were unintentionally underhanded. However, Google defined their tactics as ‘black hat’ and these companies saw their rankings plummet.

Content farms have plagued Google and Google users for years. The Farmer update is the latest attempt to weed these out from search results .

Defining a Content Farm

When it comes to defining a content farm, the answer can be quite complicated. Most people know a content farm when they see it, but there are other aspects to the argument that is creating problems. The main consensus is that content farms are sites that simply lift content from other sites, but Google has also defined them as sites that create content to just manipulate the search results.

An example of manipulating the search engine involves using a hot topic word as many times as possible in order to drive the page to the top of the search list. While this is the goal of many sites and businesses, it’s difficult to tell where these tactics become black hat and where they can be termed "legitimate" SEO. Since defining content farms or black hat SEO often comes down to Google's opinion, it doesn't matter what you and I think, Google decides what to do and it did.

The latest Google update is not perfect, but it is perhaps necessary. There are a LOT of sites that I would not want to see in my Google search results. Google has communicated that a web development company can write to them to let them know if you are unnecessarily being penalized due to the update and they'll do what they can to help your site not suffer from dropped rankings.

But you know what? I think that if Google doesn't want people spamming it and circumventing it, why doesn't it just publish its algorithm and let us SEO people figure out how to work it. This will make life for us SEO practitioners so much easier.Especially with the new GuaranteedSEO.Services. Just saying!!!!