Websites and Social Media

Websites can be managed to work with social media so they both complement each other. A business can provide links from its website to Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other social media resources. This can increase the credibility of the business and can give the website visitors more opportunities to find information and learn more about what the business offers.

Social media logos

Different Businesses Need Different Social Media Resources

There is a wide range of social media tools that help businesses in their promotions. Individual businesses can choose what tools will best meet their needs. Information can be shared on Facebook, images can be shared on Instagram, and videos shared on YouTube, just to name a few of the possibilities. Below are some of the most popular tools.

Blog Sites

More and more today, websites need blogs to increase their value and their traffic. While the blogs are designed to serve visitors, they can be set up to automatically post on other social media assets, such as Twitter. This multiplies the value of the time invested in the blog posts.

Facebook

According to CNN, Facebook reached over 2 billion users in February (CNN website 02/01/17). Giving your business the ability to connect with customers and prospects all over the world, Facebook is an absolute necessity for social media marketing. It is a communication tool that is very easy to use. With a connection from posts on your website, it can complement the sites content.

Twitter

Used with limited content, Twitter posts can include links to outside content that can expand the message being communicated. Skillful use of the tool can cause messages to go viral and spread to a wide range of viewers. This can increase the number of followers a business has. The value of a short and sweet message to thousands of followers can exceed the cost of the time invested many times.

Instagram

To show photos and short videos to followers, Instagram is an ideal tool. Businesses can promote events, products and people by posting images on the service.

LinkedIn

This B2B social media tool is ideal for connecting to business professionals in any industry. LinkedIn has a feature called LinkedIn Groups that are established and used by business in specific niches or markets.

Pinterest

Businesses can upload, save, sort and manage images on Pinterest. These images are known at “pins.” This tool has been known to serve as a more powerful sales generator that other social media tools. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then what are hundreds of pictures worth? Pictures can generate sales and that makes them worth a lot!

“In one case study of a fashion website, users visiting from Pinterest spent $180 compared to $85 spent from users coming from Facebook. These users spent less time on the company’s website, choosing instead to browse from the company’s pinboard. Further brand studies have continued to show Pinterest is more effective at driving sales than other forms of social media. A study carried out by Wolfgang Digital study found that site traffic originating from Pinterest Business pages was more engaged spending up to five times longer on site.”

Wikipedia.org

YouTube

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then what is a video worth? More businesses are beginning to see value in YouTube. It is owned by Google and is the second largest search engine. Businesses use it to promote their products, educate their market, train employees and do many other things.

For a look at how powerful a video can be, take a look at this video on social media:

Keep a look at our future blogs. We will cover many of these tools individually.

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Small Business Marketing in 2017

Changing Times

“The times they are a-changin’” (-Bob Dylan, 1963). One of the most famous lines in rock history is as true today as it was over 50 years ago. Even more so, if that’s possible. This holds true for every element of our society, and especially in small business marketing. Change is exciting. And changing times create opportunities.

Look what marketing was like thirty years ago. The small business had to pay for a spot in the local Yellow Pages. They ran regular ads in the local newspaper. They put ads on the local radio station. They sent flyers to potential customers in their local markets. Most small businesses were somewhat confined to their local markets.

Expanded Market Area

The web has allowed a range of businesses to expand their market areas. Thirty years ago my family was in the building supply business in a small town. We would have customers that wanted specialty products, like custom designed arch windows. The fact that we knew where to find carpentry shops that would create these items gave us a competitive advantage. Our builder client didn’t know where he could get the work done. So he ordered it from us. Now, the builder who needs the window can search for carpentry shops and find them on the web. Then he can make the purchase and cut out the middle man. Today, this happens across a wide range of goods and services.

The Local Information Shift

As time passes fewer people are using the Yellow Pages. Local newspapers are losing subscribers. Local radio stations must create a local element to retain existing listeners. When the members of our communities are looking for goods and services, most go to the same place, the web. Many of these newspapers, radio stations and other mediums have tried to make their place on the web with websites and social media. The effort is failing to attract followers and advertisers. When the public is looking for goods and services it goes to the search engines instead, even in their search for local goods and services.

Continued Transformation

Web Changes

Ten years ago PC sales were hitting records. More and more people wanted a home computer so they could have access to the web. Millions of businesses were designing websites for those devices to provide information and to influence their share of the market. Today, PC sales are declining while the public has found less expensive and more convenient products in mobile devices.

This is a bar chart showing the decline in PC sales.
PC sales are in decline (Statista.com).

The traditional website has had to be redesigned to fit these devices. The “mobile first” strategy is taking hold. It will be considered the norm very soon.

Another element that websites must accommodate today is the offering of interactive capabilities. Al Agrawal, a contributor at Forbes.com, gives some valuable advice: “Think of ways to get readers to actively participate instead of passively consume. Interactive content can include assessments (such as the classic Cosmo Quiz setup), polls, surveys, infographics, brackets and contests” (17 Marketing Trends to Watch Out For In 2017 – Forbes) Participation is a way to connect in a proactive manner.

Change is Constant

Don’t expect the changes in small business marketing to slow down any time soon. Our capabilities in information handling continue to increase. Moore’s law certainly appears to be holding true today. That is, the number of transistors in a dense integrated circuit doubles every two years (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moore%27s_law). This allows us to put more information into the market place through a growing range of mediums.

Be a Leader

Small businesses that don’t change will fall behind. This has been the case for centuries. Keeping up shouldn’t intimidate you. Through vendors, trade associations, trade journals and research of your competitors you can stay aware of the latest changes. Trade contacts should help you make educated decisions concerning the changes you decide to make. And those changes will make you a leader in your market.

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Website Management

Good Website Management Gets Good ROI

When a website is managed properly it keeps operating effectively and it attracts new visitors on a regular basis. Search engines penalize sites that are not operating effectively.  And websites with out of date content will turn the visitors away. These errors cost the site future traffic because the visitors decide not to return. Proper management of your website insures that you don’t run into these problems and increases the return you will get on the investment you put into your small business website management.

Keep Your Company’s Website Operating Effectively

Websites that are neglected often suffer in performance. Links to outside websites can disappear. Visitors that click on a broken link are taken to a page that doesn’t exist. This is frustrating and reduces their desire to return to the site. When the search engines see a link like this going no where, they penalize the site and it’s rankings will go down.

You need to monitor your site on a regular basis. Websites that are not monitored can run into server problems. The site could be down and the owner of the site will not find out until many visitors have had problems with it. This will cost you clients, it shows neglect on the part of the company and it can be very embarrassing. It can also totally remove you from the search engines.

Keep The Website’s Content Up-To-Date

You’ve probably heard the phrase “Content Is King” many times. This is especially true with your website. Content needs to be easy to comprehend. Graphics need to be easy to understand. Text, for most businesses, needs to be written with simple and short phrases. MBA professors say it should be written at a tenth grade level. This appeals to a large audience.

Text that is out-of-date can be a big killer for your website. When a site visitor sees content referring to a two year old event like it happened yesterday, then the visitor see’s laziness on the part of the business. And the business will loose credibility. The search engines can also pick up on out-of-date content. When they do it hurts the website’s rankings.

Website management includes a wide range of services

Monitor The Website’s Performance

Web analytics Is a key element in the management of your website. It comes with some awesome tools that allow you to track various performances on your website. After it is set up a company can track those performances to see how well the site is operating. A vast range of data is available that allows you to find the strengths and weaknesses of your site. For example, you can determine what pages visitors are viewing and how much time visitors are spending on each page. This can allow you to determine what pages need improvement.

Management Pays For Itself

Small businesses get back what they put in website management many times over. A little effort can go a long way. If you need help with website management then give us a call. We will help you create a program that will pay for itself.

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