Archive for Marketing

How Social Media Helped Save Lives During Hurricane Harvey

25 years ago this past week I was living through Hurricane Andrew in Miami. 13 years ago this Labor Day weekend I was enduring the 2nd of 2 hurricanes, Jeanne (Frances came 2 weeks earlier) in Palm Bay, FL.

After Andrew, though by the grace of God my home and belongings were spared, I spent 2 weeks with no electricity. I depended on the radio and the newspaper for news. After Frances and Jeanne, I was only out of power for 3 days each. Probably because I lived near the hospital. Nevertheless, I lost all my refrigerated food twice and the whole area was depressed. That’s why I moved to Phoenix, AZ.

Watching Hurricane Harvey hit Southeast Texas this week was heart-wrenching. After each of the hurricanes that I lived through (6 in total), there was a strong sense of community and people helping people — strangers in need. However, a form of communication that was not around 13 years ago is social media.

Those of you who think social media is silly, this will change your minds.

One of the news videos highlighted #HarveySOS on Twitter. Using this hashtag, people in need of rescue posted their addresses and needs. Rescuers could then go find them in boats, helicopters or trucks to get them to safety and shelter.

How Social Media Helped Save Lives During Hurricane HarveyWhen Harvey moved northeast toward Port Arthur, #PortArthur was trending on Twitter. Here’s what was there:Twitter screenshot of #PortArthur Hurricane HarveyTwitter Screenshot Port Arthur Rescue tweets Hurricane Harvey

Notice how many retweets under each tweet. That’s the icon with the 2 arrows. Thousands of people retweeted these cries for help to their followers. Dozens responded — that’s the first icon with the bubble. Hundreds “liked” or saved them.

Wow. Think about the impact social media has made.

Now, we can watch as companies, organizations and charities use social media to raise funds, get donated items and help rebuild Texas.

It’s true that…

News no longer breaks, it tweets.

I hope this has convinced you to take Twitter seriously. Thank God for Twitter and social media.

Follow us!

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinrssyoutubeinstagram

How to Deal with Technology When it Doesn’t Work Right

Technology: love it or hate it, you have to live with it. Sometimes I have the desire to go live on a cruise ship — off the grid. But, alas, I have a business to run and clients to serve.

However, it does get a little difficult when your business email stops working or your website domain name (URL/web address) all of a sudden points to the wrong site. That happened to me last week.

I host my website with Siteground (ad). I moved it from GoDaddy on the advice of a friend of mine who’s a website specialist after my site was hacked twice in 2014. My domain name (the .com web address) was still registered with GoDaddy and pointing to the site hosted (residing) on Siteground.

Everything was running smoothly until I started getting notifications from Sucuri (ad), my security company (also signed up for that after the hacks) that my DNS address had changed for my azsocialmediawiz.com domain. I thought it odd, but didn’t think too much as I was busy doing work for clients. (The DNS address is like telling the post office where your house is located.)

Where’d my site go?

I wanted to copy a blog post of mine to repost it on the SCORE blog and my site wouldn’t come up. What was coming up was my old giselleaguiar.com domain and subdirectory which I had set up when I first started my business. Yikes! What’s going on! Since it was a domain issue, I logged into my GoDaddy account and looked around to see what could be wrong. Not finding anything out of the ordinary, I called tech support.

How to Deal with Technology When it Doesn't Work RightThey said it was a Siteground issue. So over I go to Siteground and started a support chat. There were a few issues and they cleared it up and my site was back up.

Then every time I wanted to send an email from my business email, I’d get an error message that iMail can’t connect to the server. That happens every so often and it usually clears up on its own.

Now, my email was left at GoDaddy and everything was working fine till Siteground made some changes to the “MX”. I won’t go into detail, but it has to do with which mail server your domain name is pointing to. So after the tech support person at GoDaddy told me to go to Siteground, I decided to move my email over to Siteground — have everything in one place.

Now that you’re confused, let me interject something here.

The reason you want to have a business email address with your domain name is that it looks more professional. Having a Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo or AOL address is OK, but to look more legit for branding purposes and to give yourself credibility, it helps to have and address like “yournane@yourcomapany.com”.

With that said, I was getting anxious that anyone who’s been trying to reach me via email was not getting through. I emailed my clients and some business contacts to use my Gmail address (it’s a backup – which is why you always want a backup email). I switched my site’s contact form to go to Gmail as well as my email on Facebook and LinkedIn.

So after spending hours with the Sitegound tech support, it seems my Mac’s iMail program doesn’t like their servers or firewall and we couldn’t get the mail setup. Tried to go back to GoDaddy, but that wouldn’t work. I ended up having Siteground set up a forwarding to my Gmail account. So now my business email forwards to Gmail. I don’t have time to deal with it. That will do for now.

Lessons learned with all this technology fun:

  1. Always have a backup business email. Since you need to set up a Google account for Google My Business, you might as well have a Gmail account. It’s accessible from anywhere and easy to setup on Outlook or iMail.
  2. Have everything in one provider. Some of my web friends would disagree, but after this incident going back and forth between 2 service providers was a pain. I’d move my domain name to Siteground, but I just renewed it for another year on GoDaddy. I don’t want to go through the hassle of changing it.
  3. If you don’t know what you’re doing with the technology, don’t be afraid to say so and get help from trusted sources. Watch out because there are a lot of unscrupulous people out there who just what to take your money. If it sounds too good to be true it is.
  4. Back everything up. I lost files when a hard drive died and lost some emails when I switched providers.
  5. Block off time regularly to check on your technology. Make sure your website’s being backed up and it’s secure. I know a few folks that specialize in just making sure your website stays secure and running properly. It’s called a “peace of mind” service. Comment below if you’d like their names.
  6. Security is important. I use Sucuri (ad) and if it wasn’t for their warning messages of the DNS changes, I would not have known that there were issues.
  7. Don’t yell at the tech support people. Stuff happens. Their job is to fix problems and make you happy. I have to say, even after all my frustrations, both Siteground and GoDaddy’s tech support people were gracious. And they worked Saturdays and Sundays, 24 hours a day.
  8. Have a plan for when stuff happens. Living in Phoenix we don’t get many natural disasters, but I’ve lived through 6 hurricanes in my lifetime. It’s happened that major technology companies have been hacked or have lost power and they’re down for hours. Be prepared to work around it. Know where your website or ecommerce hosting provider is located. Also know what their tech support hours are and have their support phone numbers in your cell phones. And be prepared to spend some time on with tech support.

If a technology company doesn’t have 24/7 tech support don’t use them.

As entrepreneurs and solopreneurs, we’re working odd hours as well as weekends. When something crucial is down, we need it fixed right away.

I’ve had my business email address for over 6 years. It’s everywhere — directories, business cards, flyers, social media profiles — everywhere! Having it down was crazy! It wasn’t till a client called me that he tried to email me and it bounced that I knew I had to drop everything and deal with it.

We can plan to retire off the grid, but in the meantime, learn to live with technology — it’s all around us and like it or not, we need it to function.

Follow us!

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinrssyoutubeinstagram

How to Use Branding and Color for Your Online Image

Branding in today’s digital age is way more than just having a nice logo, a catchy tag line and a pretty website. Whether you’re just starting out or your business needs a new look, this is the place to start.

In this video, I show all aspects of online branding covering:

  • websites
  • social media graphics – updated!
  • psychology of color
  • reputation management
  • online image

 

 
Click here to download a PDF of the slides with notes.

Related Video: Website Planning 101 by SonFisher Web Studios

Follow us!

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinrssyoutubeinstagram

How to Measure Your Social Media Marketing with Analytics

Social media marketing analytics and insights are your friend! They play a crucial role in your marketing success. Basically, they tell you what’s working and not working. Each of the social media networks has their own analytics or insights. Moreover, they give you data — information about your followers or fans to help you market to them more effectively. Here are all the analytics classes.

Note: These are advanced classes! You should go through the individual network classes first!

First an overview of the information available to you and then below are some of the individual networks and where to find their analytics and insights. Some networks offer better analytics than others.

Analytics 104: An Overview


Class notes: https://azsocialmediawiz.com/wp-content/uploads/Analytics104.pdf 

Facebook Insights:

Facebook Insights tell you the demographics of your fans, where they’re located, what posts got the most engagement, even the best time to post.

Pinterest Analytics:

Pinterest Analytics tell you a lot about your followers and which of your pins got noticed and saved. It also gives you info on what else your followers like as well as data from anything pinned from your website.

Twitter Analytics:

Similar to Pinterest, Twitter tells you a lot about your followers: where their located, what else interests them and which of your tweets got the most engagement.

WordPress JetPack Site Stats:

WordPress JetPack site stats tell you how many people visited your website or blog, where they came from and which posts or pages were most popular.

Follow us!

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinrssyoutubeinstagram

Video: How to Get on the 1st Page of Google: SEO Basics

Everyone wants to come up on the first page of Google! The problem is that Google keeps changing the rules. Here the the SEO basics that you need to know.

How to Get on the 1st Page of Google: Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Basics:

Class notes: https://azsocialmediawiz.com/wp-content/uploads/SearchEngineOptimizationSEOBasics.pdf

 

Follow us!

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinrssyoutubeinstagram

How to Develop Social Media Marketing Strategies for Your Business

With so many digital media choices out there, you must develop specific social media marketing strategies for your  business. Otherwise, you’re going to waste precious time, money and resources not getting the results you want. In this video, I show you how to do this and how to come up with strategies for each individual network. I recommend taking this class AFTER you’ve done the basic videos for each network.

How to Develop Social Media Marketing Strategies for Your Business


Class notes: https://azsocialmediawiz.com/wp-content/uploads/SocialMediaStrategies.pdf

Use the free templates in this blog post.

Follow us!

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinrssyoutubeinstagram

How Much Should a New Business have in their Marketing Budget?

Marketing is an essential function of any business who wants to draw new customers. Whether B2B or B2C, you have to promote your business so people know you exist. Today’s marketing is way more complicated than before which makes it crucial for small business owners to carefully plan and research what marketing options will be most effective both with cost and results.

But how much does it cost? 

How Much Should a New Business Budget for Marketing?That depends.

For a local business, you should consider print as well as digital. For an online or consulting business, the Internet holds a lot of choices that may work for you.

Let’s look at all the aspects of marketing: 

First, you need a website. Your website should be a 24/7 functioning sales person for you. It needs to be branded properly with calls-to-action to capture leads and most importantly, optimized for the search engines (SEO). Yes, there are free and do-it-yourself (DIY) platforms out there, but I don’t recommend them.

Budget for a website:

How Much Should a New Business Budget for Marketing?Depending on what you need it to do, ie, shopping cart or booking system, it may cost from $1200 – $2500+. Do your due diligence before you hire someone. Google them, read reviews, look at other websites they’ve done. Just because they say the can build a WordPress site, doesn’t mean they know everything about WordPress and follow best practices. Social media needs to be integrated in the website. Check out their social media accounts. Are they active? How many followers do they have? What do they blog about? Does it seem like they know what they’re talking about?

Domain names cost about $12/year. You don’t need to buy up all the versions. Try to get the .com. (Related: Website Planning 101)

Hosting is next. Shop around. Compare apples to apples. One company is cheaper for the first year, but more when renewal time comes around. Another gives you 25,000 visitors per month when another only gives you 10,000. That’s something you need to think about. Typical costs are around $4.00/m and you pay annually. You can usually save if you buy 3-5 years worth. I host with SiteGround (affiliate link).

Website Security. The last think you want is to find out that your site has been hacked. It has to be rebuilt. Major headache! I recommend Sucuri (affiliate link). They protect your site and they’ll clean it up if it gets hacked. This site hacked twice in 2014 which is why I’m on SiteGround and use Sucuri. They charge $199/year. It’s insurance for your website.

SEO: 

Yes, you can hire someone to do your SEO, but you can do it yourself with keyword research, regular blogging and being active in social media. However, if you want to outsource this, figure on anything from $350 – $500 upfront fee for optimizing your site, and then an ongoing fee of $100 – $200 a month for monitoring. See social media below…

Graphics: 

Sure you can use free tools like Canva.com to create graphics if you are so inclined, but you may want to have your logo and social media cover graphics professionally done. Depending on the designer, they can charge from $50 – $100/hr and based on how many redos, can cost from $200 – $1000+.  You want to have quality graphics as these portray your online image.

Market Research and Planning: 

Because there are so many marketing channels, you need to determine your target market niche(s). This requires some research. You can do it yourself by searching online for the information you need on your specific target(s) and the economic overviews of your particular industry. Then based on the research, developing both strategic and tactical marketing plans. Hiring this out will cost anywhere from $500 to $1000 depending on the type of business it is.

Social Media Marketing:

You don’t have to be on ALL the networks. Just the ones that your target market frequents the most (you’ll learn this from your research) and where you’ll get the most exposure and SEO. You can learn how to do this all yourself, but know that it takes more work up front to build a following and search for your target market on the networks. You also need to produce content. (See the next section). Just posting willy nilly on Facebook is not social media marketing. That’s a waste of time. If you hire someone to do it for you, plan on spending from $500 – $750 up front for setups and ongoing from $750 – $2500 a month, again, depending on your business and target(s).

Blogging, Videos, and Other Content:

How Much Should a New Business Budget for Marketing?Google wants fresh relevant content written for the human reader. Video marketing is also hot and fairly easy to do. Pictures and podcasts are also good content. Much of these you can do yourself, but again, it’s time-consuming. AND they need to be good quality as these reflect your company’s image. A good content marketer/blogger will cost around $50 per post (300-500 words) and you need to have a fresh post at least once a week, 2-3 times a week is optimal. Depending on the extent on the type of video marketing you want done, a short, professionally 2-minute video can go for $100 – $250. Longer, more complex productions will be, of course, cost more. Doing podcasts requires some sort of recording, hosting and distribution system which also have a cost. Podcasting also takes planning and maybe even having other people involved.

There are many free online tools, but keep in mind that as with learning any new software program, there is a learning curve. It will take you more time at first until you get used to it. The majority of these free tools have upgraded versions with more features. They can cost from $10 – $50+ a month or $50 – $400+ a year.

Print and Direct Mail:

You may want to use some old-fashioned print and direct mail advertising. Especially for local businesses, these may be an effective option. Postcards are the most affordable. Depending on how many you are sending, printing and the paper stock they can cost from $250 – $2000. You also need to buy a list and that cost will vary with how many names and what contact information you want. Shop around. And, no you can’t buy email lists. It’s against the law. Build your email list organically with a lead capturing offer on your website and draw them in with good content.

Paid Online Advertising: 

If you want to get more instant exposure, especially for a local business, you might want to invest in some Pay-Per-Click (PPC) ads on Google and on the Social Media Networks. Again, based on your research, you’ll determine which networks are best for reaching your target market. With PPC, you get charged unless someone clicks on your ad. You have to pay up front, say, $25 for one week, and on most of the networks like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, you can target people by location, age, gender and in some even likes and interests. Furthermore, having a strategy on what you want to accomplish with the ad beforehand increase your chances for success. What’s nice is that you can track it and the networks have comprehensive reporting systems.  So, for budgeting purposes, set $25/week. Any less than that won’t give you the reach you need.

By now you’re probably thinking, “Why do I want to get into business?” Well, I highly recommend working with a SCORE mentor for FREE. Yes, some things are still free! Both SCORE and the SBA have tools and offer assistance in getting funding so you can put all this in a business plan that makes sense.

One thing you must remember….

Put Your Best Foot Forward — Always! 

There’s a lot of competition out there. And not just your direct competitors, but competing for people’s attention online. Prepare, plan and be patient. It doesn’t work overnight. 

Budget picture CC license credit: http://nyphotographic.com/

This post original appeared on the Greater Phoenix SCORE blog

Save

Follow us!

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinrssyoutubeinstagram

The New 80/20 Rule of Marketing and How to Get it Right

The 80/20 rule of sales and marketing has been around forever.

80% of your business comes from 20% of your target market.

So what does that mean?

Basically, you need to get to know that crucial 20%!

The New 80/20 Rule of Marketing and How to Get it RightEspecially now when you’ve got so many marketing choices out there. Who’s your perfect customer? Who’s your most frequent customer?

Here’s how to apply the 80/20 rule to your business:

  1. Clearly define your target market personas – that 20%. You can have more than one! Do some research. What are their buying habits? Likes and dislikes? What devices to they prefer? Which social networks do they frequent the most? What are they going to enter into the search box to find you?
  2. Brand your business so that you speak directly to that 20%. This does not mean using your favorite color. There’s a whole psychology of color that you need to understand to be effective.
  3. What’s your strategy to build the brand and get exposure? That’s where your website, blogging and social media come in.
  4. Educate your target audience on why your product or service will make their lives better or solve their problems. That’s what content marketing is for.
  5. Lastly, setup a buying process that makes sense to them. To do this, you have to step into their shoes and see EVERYTHING from their perspective. Knowing and understanding your target’s buying journey is critical.

This might sound complicated to you. Do you have to hire a business or marketing coach? No, not if you are willing to learn.

That’s the beauty of Your Social Savvy Solution Online Training Center! We’ve got it all here in one place. We have easy, online video classes that guide you through:

  • Defining and researching your target market – start with this free Workbook.
  • Branding and the psychology of color as well as how to setup, optimize and brand your social media profiles
  • Understanding the social media networks and where your target market is hanging out
  • Putting together a strategy on how to best reach your target, draw them to your website and reel them in.
  • How to educate them through effective blogging and content marketing
  • Tools, tips and tricks to get it all done in a reasonable amount of time!

You have a responsibility to your business to learn how today’s marketing works!

We’ve made it simple for you with easy-to-follow online classes. Click here to get started for only $20/m!

Your Social Savvy Solution Members Only

Save

Follow us!

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinrssyoutubeinstagram

How and Where to Best Reach Different Generations on Social Media [Infographic]

I asked a new client, “Who’s you’re target market?” He replied, “Everyone!” Yikes! Unfortunately, not like back in the day of the Yellow Pages, you can’t place an ad or two in the local paper or the YP and expect to get results. Each social media network has its own audience — a distinct user base. Understanding the different generations and how they use social media, is crucial for effective marketing.

The particular client I mentioned wants to reach a broad audience of different age groups and occupations. Which is fine, however, you market to someone under 40 (Gen Z & Millennials) differently than you would to someone over 40 (Gen X & Baby Boomers) – and on different social networks.

In a nutshell, here’s how, when and where to reach each of the generations: Use Snapchat to reach the under 21 crowd.

Gen Z (<21):

SnapChat and Facebook – the prefer to see real people (authenticity) in marketing rather than celebrities. (Go figure.) Use short, positive content – mostly videos. Best time is early morning and late afternoon.

Use Instagram to reach MillennialsMillennials (22 – 40):

Facebook (their primary news source), Instagram (for the younger half), LinkedIn and Tumblr (Yes, Tumblr is still around!) They’ll skip video ads as soon as they can. 87% own smartphones and will turn to social media when making purchasing decisions. Post relevant, credible content, that they care about.

Gen X (41 – 52):

Use Pinterest to reach Gen XersFacebook (They spend almost 7 hours on there a week!), Pinterest and YouTube. Reach them between 9pm and midnight. They are more brand-loyal than other age groups. Gen Xers have the 2nd largest disposable income and they go for nostalgia and comfort. Use videos and visual content with straight-forward clicks to website. Moreover, they prefer to use a computer rather than a mobile device.

Baby Boomers (53 – 71):

Everyone's on Facebook! These folks prefer email to communicate, yet, they spend 11 hours or more on Facebook each week! They’ll respond to quizzes and polls more so than the other generations. They are vocal and opinionated and prefer slower, informational video content.

 

What stands out to me, besides the fact that they ALL USE FACEBOOK, is that missing from here are Twitter and Google+. That calls for another blog post!

However, not everyone falls perfectly into each of these groups. Individual preferences will differ. That’s why you need to clearly define your target markets’ personas, taking into consideration their habits and preferences first (Get a FREE Workbook!).

This infographic from CitiPostMail, breaks down the generations, which social network they prefer and what type of message will catch their attention:

(Note: There is a discrepancy in the age brackets.)

How and Where to Best Reach Different Generations on Social MediaSo, now that you have an idea where your target market hangs out, your next step is to learn everything you can about Facebook and the networks that they prefer. Best place to start is on my YouTube Channel. There you’ll find, FREE, easy-to-follow videos covering all you need to know about each of the major social media networks, their culture and differences, along with strategies for each of them. Also included are videos on how to use hashtags and how to see what’s working and not working.

This infographic How to Market to Different Generations on Social Media appeared first on Top Dog Social Media.

If we wait.....

Save

Save

Save

Follow us!

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinrssyoutubeinstagram

Do You Want to go Viral? Tell Stories that Provoke Emotions

Here’s an excellent example of a viral video for a brand who actually rejected it. It’s what’s called “user-generated content”. A fan of a product or service creates a video, on their own, without prompting by the brand. But this is not about the brand, but about the power of telling stories that provoke emotions.

About the video:

German student, Eugen Merher, created this video in honor of a relative of his. He sent the video to Adidas, but it was rejected. So, he uploaded it to YouTube. As of this posting, it’s had over 12 million views!

I’ll let the video speak for itself – the power of telling stories…..

Don’t you just want to stand up a applaud?

Now, you’re probably thinking, “I can’t produce a video like this!” Well, the brand didn’t produce it. A fan/user did. However, you can still tell stories without going to the lengths of a full video production.

You have satisfied customers, don’t you? Tell their stories. You don’t have to use their names. Even if you’re just starting out, use fictional or hypothetical situations. No one needs to know that it’s not true. Or even a compilation of several clients.

Remember, not every video is going to go viral. Going viral is a fluke. Here’s another one of my articles on creating viral content.

Testimonial videos also carry a lot of weight. People want to relate with people.

Free Download: Define Your Target Market WorkbookTo be able to generate emotions of your target audience, you first need to really get to know them. Here’s a free Define Your Target Market Workbook that will help you get started.

Note: top photo is a YouTube Screenshot.

Follow us!

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinrssyoutubeinstagram