Sep 242015
 

Screenshot 2015-09-24 at 1.08.49 PM

Being connected is a most important part of your overall web marketing strategy.  Being connected means not being lost in the world of search engines, shopping carts or social media.

I would like to call this article “Get Connected”. In this article, we will focus on “9 Points of Connection”.  This is by no means a definitive 9 points, but rather a minimum of 9 opportunities to connect with prospects in order to grow your businesses.  

I have divided these connection points into three groups:

  1. Website
  2. Social Media
  3. Search Engine

Group 1: “Your Website”:

  1. Your Website Needs to Connect!
    1. Are your critical connection points correct?
      1. Your Email
      2. Your Phone! (cell and landline and toll-free)
      3. Your Fax Number
      4. Your Address
      5. Your Hours of Business
    2. Is your product information up-to-date?
    3. Are you collecting Emails?
    4. Do you have a clear call-to-action?
  2. Your Website Needs to be Mobile!
    1. Google now penalizes sites for NOT being mobile!
    2. In early 2014 SmartPhones outsold desktops!
    3. In 2015, 51% of adult computing time was spent on SmartPhones
    4. In 2015, mobile advertising will surpass print and desktop advertising
    5. In 2015, 80% of internet users own a SmartPhone
    6. In 2015 Mobile devices are used more for shopping than desktops
  3. Your Website Needs to be Selling!
    1. Online sales by businesses rise to $136B (2014) in Canada, from 122B in 2012
    2. Canadian online sales are set to grow exponentially!
    3. Here are the top 3 categories
      1. Furniture
      2. Electronics
      3. Sports & Leisure
    4. Men and Millennials are driving online sales!

Group 2: is Social Media:

  1. Benefits of Facebook
    1. Targeted marketing to your ideal customer demographics
    2. Offer unique product promotions exclusive to Facebook users
    3. It offers a personal interaction with your customers and prospects
    4. Customer testimonials (can be both positive and negative)
    5. Ideal for customer inquiries
    6. Treat it like a blog
    7. Take advantage of it’s low-cost advertising!
  1. Tips for Using Twitter
    1. Have something important to share, and drive customers back to your website.
    2. Always add photos in your tweets.
    3. Use Hashtags.
    4. Remember, Tweeting is real-time.
    5. Choose a Twitter name that re-enforces your brand.
    6. Twitter link on your website.
    7. Be personal, but stay on-subject.
    8. Have a strategy to react, if a tweet is misinterpreted or misunderstood, so you don’t have a PR nightmare.
  1. Build Brand “You” with LinkedIn
    1. LinkedIn allows businesses and professionals to connect with one another.
    2. Make sure that your business is represented on LinkedIn.
    3. Create a Company Profile on LinkedIn.
    4. Post articles on LinkedIn.

Group 3: is “Search Engines”

  1. Search Engine Market Share:
    1. Google = 66.74%
    2. Bing = 10.8%
    3. Yahoo = 10.5%
  2. Start Web Advertising!
    1. It costs less than a street sign per day
    2. It reaches a wider audience
    3. It can be targeted

Conclusion:

  1. Remember (what’s at stake?):
    1. It’s Your Goals!
    2. It’s Your Business!
    3. It’s Your Profits!

Written by RapidPage

Sep 212015
 

Social Media Marketing

From a business point-of-view, Facebook (as a tool for Social Media Marketing) can be a two-edged sword.  On one hand, it can be a way to connect with your customer and to show them a personal side to your business.  On the other hand, it could become a public relations nightmare if something untoward gets posted on your Facebook page and it goes viral as Timothy’s Coffee found out the hard way (see their story here).

The Facebook advocates (who are of course trying to get you to buy their expertise so they can set-up your company’s Facebook page) will tout a plethora of benefits – most of which are completely true.  However, by opening your company to a huge audience of Facebook followers you risk fans posting and commenting things that you may find hard to retract, that cause other customers concern, or are just plain and simply untrue or unwarranted.

Facebook advantages include:

  • Target marketing to your ideal customer demographic
  • Unique product offerings and promotions for customers that “Like” your Facebook page
  • Personal interaction and two-way communication with your customers and prospective customers
  • Customer testimonials (can be both positive and negative)
  • Customer inquiries (like an online customer service and support system where your staff and even customers can help answer questions or solve problems)
  • Interactive blog (a blog as described in a previous story we did is usually a one-way dialogue but Facebook is interactive and readers can feedback on what is posted on Facebook)
  • Low cost advertising!

Stories you might find interesting:

Recommendations:

Summary:

Basically, Facebook has and continues to make a massive impact on business and personal engagements over the internet, for business there is no doubt that we are either using is or losing connectivity with a massive audience.  Facebook also offers extremely focused target marketing/advertising.

written by RapidPage

Sep 172015
 

Forum

I have been in the IT (Information Technology) business for more years than I care to remember, and over the years I have seen ‘new’ technology or services appear that, in a number of cases, is a rework of an old idea.  Forums are one such example.  In the 70’s there were BBSs such as CompuServe and Prodigy (and later AOL came along) that had abilities for users to get together and share ideas as a group about a wide variety of topics by ‘posting’ messages on a bulletin or message board. These forums were sometimes called RoundTables in their day (click here to see more history of social media) or bulletin boards or message boards.

The Internet and the World Wide Web (click here to see the differences between the Internet and the World Wide Web) provided the scope (the network) and the tools (via the Web & a browser) to broaden how we could interact with one another and, as a consequence, the old tools we used for sharing and having debates and discussions, also had to evolve – and thus we now have a whole new breed of forums that have sprouted up.

The most common type of forums are probably “support forums” that companies set up so that their customer support staff can provide a place for questions and answers (also known as FAQ’s or Frequently Asked Questions) for customers.  The biggest users of support forums are companies like Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, Apple and IBM to name a few.

Other types of forums include those for “special interest groups”, “advocacy groups ” and “community-based groups”.  The International Whale Protaction Organization (IWPO), for example, have a number of forums (click here to see the IWPO Forum) that allow members to talk about a broad range of topics of interest that relate to the cause and mission of IWPO and it’s members.

Travel businesses have forums so that travelers can share their experiences from their trips – an example would be the Tripadvisor Toronto Travel Forum.  Political parties have forums, foodies have forums (see Beer Guide for Toronto, Ontario, Ottawa Foodies Forums, etc), expectant mothers have forums and even weight watchers® have forums (they call their community sharing services, groups and message boards).

I hope that this gives you a brief glimpse into better understanding what a forum is?  In a future blog we will talk about how a forum might benefit your business.

written by RapidPage