Dangers of Spamming with keywords
October 26, 2011 - Admin
A big mistake a business can fall into when trying to use Search Engine Optimization in the wrong manner is being flagged as a spammer. Companies know they need to rank high in order to be seen by their customers and prospects. However, if a website overuses keywords the search engines catch on quickly. Companies like Google and Bing are always changing their algorithm (the way search engine spiders crawl websites for relevant content).
In general one keyword should not represent more than 5% of existing characters in an article inside a website. Search engines also recognize when there are famous keywords (Britney Spears or other popular names) hidden on the website, written in the same color of its background. Keep it in mind: SEO is necessary but must be used properly. You want to be found, not flagged as spam!
What do you want on the screen?
October 26, 2011 - Admin
When you decide you want a video of your clinic, mall or ballet studio you need to think about a more specific – and important – component. What's the goal of the video? Do you want to give viewers a general overview, telling the story about your business? Do you want a series of videos that highlight you as an expert on particular topics? Would it be more helpful for those on your site to understand specifics of your products. Think about it. A video can be used to educate your audience, entertain your audience or create awareness around the benefits of your products or services. The list is big and can include product reviews, behind the scenes, case studies, events' coverage, success stories and so on. Which option is better? You may be surprised how each of them reach a unique audience and grab new customers. When it comes to video content, the more the merrier!
Social Media Contingency Planning: The Operational Plan
October 26, 2011 - Admin
Much has been written about how social media can help companies or entities communicate during a crisis, or how national events such as Egypt's uprising have been influenced by or even started through social media activity. But what if a disaster, natural or man-made, struck your company, building, city or country? Do you have a contingency plan for how your social media would respond? Nearly 80% of companies worldwide feel they are unprepared for a social media crisis. Start asking questions now and determine if your company is ready. Consider the following article for a better understanding.
What is an Organic Search result?
October 12, 2011 - Admin
During a Google search, have you ever noticed that usually the first two or three links that appear on the first page are inside a light yellow box? Even if you have no idea what it means, your customers and prospects certainly do. They are ads. Basically, those websites paid Google to index higher when people use specific keywords. However, consumers tend to avoid those links. According to Marketingsherpa 70% of the links search users click on are organic, not paid.
On the other hand, 60% of all organic clicks go to the top three organic search results. In order to have a natural (organic) high index, you have to know how to use SEO – Search Engine Optimization. If you do, you increase your chance to pop up on the first page on Google, and this is your main goal as 75% of users never scroll past the first page of search results.
New Facebook: What it Means for Local Marketers
October 12, 2011 - Admin
If the f8 announcements have taught us anything, it's that Facebook change is constant. For users, that means getting acquainted with and complaining about new features regularly. For marketers, it means adapting to the changing user behaviors that the new platform will inspire. While it's too early to gauge specifics, changing Facebook user behavior will likely give local marketers distinct advantages over bigger, national brands.
On average, my company has seen that local marketers like retailers and franchisees have much higher user engagement rates on Facebook than national chains or brands. While local marketers tend to have fewer fans, in some cases, they boast 50 times the user engagement – comments, posts and "Likes" – than their bigger, national competitors.
The new Facebook updates are designed to create more engagement overall, and two of the changes could favor local marketers.
Users Can Designate Brand Posts as Top Stories
The new top stories functionality will ensure that loyal fans don't miss posts from the brands they care about most. As always, getting that attention means creating compelling content — and, by default, localized content tends to be more relevant.
For instance, if you're hosting a Halloween party, are you more likely to enter a "scariest Halloween decorations" contest put on by a local shop, or by a national chain that may not be in your neighborhood? Which contest do you think you'd have better odds at winning? The analogy works regardless which type of brand, or the content it ultimately posts. Local relevance increases the probability of engagement, every time. The new Facebook top stories functionality creates an additional opportunity for them to stay at the forefront of users' minds.
The New Algorithm Will Prioritize News Feed Content to Favor the Most "Engaging" Posts
Though Facebook hasn't fully implemented Graphrank, the new content algorithm, the update is designed to further help users cut through the clutter. Graphrank favors the posts that users interact with most. Since localized content tends to have higher levels of engagement, content from local marketers could potentially gain priority.
Local Marketing for Big Brands
So how can bigger brands use these updates to their advantage? The key is to think like a local marketer. In my company's work with franchises like Applebee's, we've learned that the most engaging Facebook content doesn't typically come from the corporate marketing team — it comes from individual store locations. Corporate marketing is no match against the thousands of employees physically interacting with customers on a daily basis.
Tapping local employees' collective wisdom is like being able to run hundreds or thousands of multivariate tests. Particularly savvy corporate teams have learned to track their local teams' content, to analyze the best strategies for when, why and what to post, and then to integrate that knowledge into a broader strategy.
Not every brand has the ability or the need to implement a fully localized Facebook content strategy. However, bigger brands can learn from smaller, local companies as they market across the new Facebook.
Your zip code is as important as your benefits
September 29, 2011 - Admin
People who live in big cities have access to many good and diversified products and services. The bad news is that sometimes they can't get their destination because they are stuck in traffic!
Most of us are living busy lives and know that it's better to save time and energy purchasing goods and services nearby our work or home. That's why 20%(nearly 2 Billion) of monthly Google searches are for local businesses.
Instead of searching gym center, a person who lives in Culver City, for example, will probably include the name of the city (sometimes also the zip code) when he types the title on the search box. That's why it's so important to optimize all online platforms you have – website, blog, YouTube channel, etc- with the correct keywords, taking into consideration both the benefits of your business and the locations you believe your leads are coming from.
QR Code Marketing: 5 Tips for a Successful Campaign
September 29, 2011 - Admin
Mobile barcodes are turning up everywhere – buses, magazines, television, bar coasters. According to recent research from comScore, 14 million U.S. mobile phone users scanned QR or barcodes in June alone, mostly via newspapers, magazines and product packaging, both at home and in-store. My company's own data reveals that barcodes that offer access to a discount or coupon or that allow the consumer to learn more about a product or service are the most popular.
Given that mobile barcodes are finally cracking the mainstream, they have enormous potential to present brands with brilliant results. Here are five mobile barcode best practices to help ensure a successful campaign.
1. Be Everywhere
Mobile barcodes should be incorporated into all digital and traditional media so the consumer has 360-degree exposure to the mobile marketing campaign. This will also ensure that consumer experience, dialogue and interactivity are at the heart of the campaign and not simply an afterthought.
2. Drive Value and Make it Easy
Giveaways, discounts, free tickets and exclusive access will compel consumers to interact with and scan your code. If your code simply offers the customer a chance to view a TV advertisement or link to a website, it's best to try again. Scanning a barcode should provide the consumer with a brand experience that is exclusive, dynamic and interactive.
Take into account where a mobile barcode is located on the ad. Consumers must be able to find it easily and scan it quickly. For outdoor ads, place the code at eye or arm-level. In a print ad, the barcode should not fall over a fold as this will hamper scanning. Be sure to leave some white space around the mobile barcode, and use a minimum of 1 x 1-inch print specification. For TV or cinema, the code should to remain onscreen long enough for the viewer to launch the scanning application and scan the code.
3. Keep it Simple
Branded or custom QR codes are certainly getting some buzz, but it's also important to create a code everyone can recognize. Producing your code in simple black and white checkered format will increase the number of phones and code readers that can scan it. Also, ensure you use global, open standards (i.e. Datamatrix) to maximize universal customer reach and impact.
4. Build Customer Affinity
Remember that the consumer who has just scanned your code is on the move. She will be viewing the brand content on a mobile screen and, therefore, expects instant results. Make sure the barcode links through to a mobile-enabled site rather a PC-designed site. Remember that "dead links" (codes that go nowhere or deliver the wrong information) are the equivalent of a slammed door — the consumer will not try again.
Matthias Galica, the CEO of ShareSquare, provides tips for marketers and brands using QR codes, and specifically emphasizes testing a barcode for functionality across a variety of devices and scanner applications before launching. It's important, especially because the consumers that scan codes are likely tech-savvy and vocal — the kind of consumers you want on your side.
5. Account for Objectives and Analytics
Boost sales, increase customer engagement, build brand loyalty, educate your audience. Whatever the campaign objective, be sure to define its goals before integrating a mobile barcode. Consider monitoring the campaign via a barcode management platform. Your business will be able to leverage the provider's expertise, better assess your campaign effectiveness and evaluate its real-time success through analytics.
Following these practices will help analyze mobile ad spending and increase the success and ROI of your future barcode campaigns.
Do you remember the old Yellow Pages?
September 14, 2011 - Admin
Would you imagine yourself opening that old yellow pages book and trying to find a reliable car service place? The majority of the consumers wouldn't do this either. They search online. Nowadays, more and more consumers are giving higher value to the first stage of the purchasing process: pre-shopping research. However, those same consumers have less time to spend on it.
According to Search Engine Land worldwide there are 88,000,000,000 searches per month on Google alone. If you are looking for more customers – and you certainly are – it would be a good idea to invest in SEO – Search Engine Optimization. Remember: 46% of daily searches are for information about products and services. So make sure you can be found easily.
7 Tips for Dealing With Upset Facebook Fans
By Jim Belosic
Published August 30, 2011
What do you do when you've just received a less-than-complimentary Facebook wall post from someone who likes your business (or used to, so it seems)?
The customer could have a simple complaint, or be so upset he's gone on the offensive, making sure you and the rest of your community knows he's angry.
Your next steps are key to retaining not only the business of the angry customer, but the business of other fans who like your page as well.
#1: Respond no matter what
It's vitally important that the complaints and issues your fans pose on your wall are addressed. Inactivity on your part will appear as though you're trying to ignore the issue and sweep it under the rug. Being unresponsive does nothing more than incite more anger and increase the chance the user will come back with even more angry wall posts.
Moreover, your community can see that angry post. If you don't reply, it appears as though you are unconcerned with customer support, which can be detrimental to your reputation.
A response that illustrates respect and understanding for customers' concerns will indicate your intention to rectify any problems. By addressing this upset fan, Newegg is demonstrating that they value their fans' opinions—even the negative ones.
An upset fan who promises to shop Newegg less frequently still receives prompt, respectful customer service.
#2: Be patient and understanding
In dealing with upset fans, you must remember that you are closer to your industry, products and services than they are. What may seem like basic, common knowledge to you is often foreign to the end user.
Take a step back and put yourself in your customer's shoes. This can go a long way in understanding why he or she is frustrated. It may not be your company's fault that the customer is upset.
Whether or not the fault lies on your end, a simple apology will go a long way in keeping the customer's business. Instead of trying to figure out where the blame lies, turn upset fans into loyal customers by making their experience better.
#3: Contact the Customer Privately
Sending a private message or email to the customer opens up more options for you to address his or her complaints. The goal here is to extend some sort of token letting the customer know you're sorry he or she is dissatisfied with your company, and you're willing to make it right. Whether that's offering the number of the manager's direct phone line or a discount off the next purchase, moving the conversation from public to private allows you to give the customer a personal touch that signals you care.
However, offering things like direct lines and special discounts publicly can lead to other people creating problems just to get that special treatment, so it's best to keep these practices off the wall.
While Hayneedle's customer shown below isn't visibly upset about the damaged order, Hayneedle handles the situation perfectly, and contacts the customer privately to resolve the issue.
Hayneedle moves conversation with a customer from the Facebook wall to private messages to better help the customer.
#4: Consider asking the fan to remove the post
Say you've discussed the issue privately, any problems have been straightened out, and the faultfinder is, once again, your happy customer.
While your wall is an integral part of your web presence, the customer may be unaware of how important it really is to your reputation. If he or she is satisfied with the resolution you've reached and grateful for the time you've spent making things right, there's nothing wrong with privately asking the person to remove the post. Most of the time, he or she will remove the angry wall post.
#5: Respond back to the original post
As a general rule, you, the Facebook page admin, should not remove negative posts. Not everyone is going to have a glowing review of your product or company. Social media users know this, and if they see nothing but positive comments, they'll assume your company is deleting the bad comments.
If you don't feel comfortable asking your customer to remove the post, you do have the option of publicly responding back to that post. Express happiness in the resolution you've reached and thankfulness for her business. Even a negative post can be a good thing, as long as the last comment is positive. Your reputation among your community will soar when they see how well you take care of your customers.
Zappos is shown below addressing a negative comment. The helpful attitude effectively nullifies any poor reflection on Zappos or their services.
Zappos responds quickly with understanding and a desire to create a better experience for their upset fan.
#6: Let your community respond
Letting your community respond for you is really the end result of all the earlier steps. It requires copious time, energy and patience with your fans, and a fantastic product. After you've engaged with your fans for a period of time by answering questions and offering support, you'll notice that your fans will be more active on your page, even to the point of assisting each other.
What's great about getting this community support is that there's a genuine credibility when fans endorse your business for you. They become your eager virtual support agents, answering questions and solving problems before you have a chance to. But this is a level you can only achieve if you've nurtured and supported your community.
The Pampered Chef has built a fantastic online community of users who love the product so much, and who have been given such great support themselves, peers will answer each other's questions before The Pampered Chef has to respond.
An outpouring of community support is the direct result of The Pampered Chef's top-notch customer service.
#7: The Last Resort
If the offended party is unreceptive to your customer service attempts, blatantly hostile and only active in your community to start arguments, banning the individual is a last-resort option. And anyone leveling expletives or racial slurs against your staff or fans should be banned. Your staff and your fans don't deserve to be subjected to the abuse, and in the end, they will respect you more because you took the initiative.
Facebook realizes that for small businesses, location is a big deal
The social network now allows marketers to target consumers based on their ZIP code.
August 15, 2011 - Zak Stambor, Senior Editor Internet Retailler
Facebook Inc. now allows marketers using the social network's self-service ad placement tool to target consumers with ads based on the consumer's ZIP code.
The social network says it added the feature, which is only applicable to U.S. shoppers, because it was one of marketers' most frequent requests. Facebook previously only allowed advertisers to target consumers based on their city, state, province or country.
Unlike Google AdWords, which allows a marketer bidding for paid search ads to affix a radius around a particular ZIP code to target a specific area, marketers on Facebook can select select one or multiple ZIP codes to target.
Facebook takes up 5% of retailers' search marketing dollars
The social network's new refinement feature could be particularly appealing to small businesses, a group that's been reluctant to embrace social marketing. A June Pitney Bowes Inc. survey found that small business owners prefer e-mail marketing to other channels, such as social media and direct mail. 20% of survey respondents said they market on social media, compared with 60% that use e-mail.
If Facebook is able to attract more small business advertisers it could bolster the social network's advertising business, which already accounted for 31.2% of all online display ads U.S. Internet users viewed during the first quarter, according to web measurement firm comScore Inc.
Posted 8/31/2011 by Admin
As a business owner or manager you care about satisfying your audience's needs and providing your clients positive experiences. However, if you really want to improve your profit and increase your clientele, you must be easily found online by your prospects!
In New York City, for example, there are more than 29,000 restaurants. How could you ensure that your lovely Italian Cantina would appear on the first page of Google when a romantic young man searches for the place to propose to his girlfriend? Using SEO – Search Engine Optimization – you empower your ability to highlight yourself. Be aware of the numbers: 10 billion online searches are made each month; 2 billion of those are local. Your competitors are probably trying SEO already, so be sure to use this tactic effectively to win this battle for the top page.