Archive for digital marketing

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.

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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

 

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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.

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How to Effectively Market Your Business with Videos on YouTube

YouTube is the 2nd largest search engine next to its parent, Google. “How to” is the most searched-for phrase. This class covers the basics of YouTube and the 2nd video covers how to optimize your channel for SEO and branding.


Here are the class notes: https://azsocialmediawiz.com/wp-content/uploads/YouTubeBasics.pdf

How to Optimize Your YouTube Channel

 

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Video: What You Need to Know about Content Marketing

Today’s marketing is all about Content Marketing. This is the first class of the Master Class series that explains the basics of content marketing and how it works in combination with Social Media and Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

Master Class Boot Camp 1: Content Marketing

Here are the class notes:
https://azsocialmediawiz.com/wp-content/uploads/BootCamp1-ContentMarketing.pdf

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What You Need to Know on How to Build a Social Media Following

If you’re just starting out with marketing your business on social media or if you’ve had your accounts setup but haven’t been using them, you need to spend some time up front building your social media following.

Here are the steps you need to take to build your social media following:

  1. Free Download: Define Your Target Market WorkbookGet to know your Target Market Niche(s): You must identify your target market personas first. This is a crucial step. For instance, you talk to someone under 40 differently than you would to someone over 40. (Related Content: How to Reach the Generations on Social Media)
  2. Do some research on the social networks and your target: Find out:
    • Which networks do they frequent the most?
    • What are their buying habits?
    • What’s the best strategy to get their attention?
  3. Develop a Strategic Plan where you indicate:
    • What are your goals, metrics and objectives?
    • What type of content are you going to create (blog, video, pictures, podcasts) and the type of content are you going to share from trusted industry sources? You can’t just share your stuff.
    • Create specific strategies for each of the social media networks:
      • If you’re B2B, your primary network will be LinkedIn.
      • If you’re B2C, your primary networks will be Facebook and Pinterest.
      • Secondary networks for both would be Google+ and Twitter (for exposure and SEO).
      • Don’t ignore Facebook and Pinterest if you’re B2B – it still helps with reaching people. And if you’re B2C, don’t ignore LinkedIn – it gives you credibility and LI users are consumers, too! These are tertiary networks.
  4. What You Need to Know on How to Build a Social Media FollowingPut together a tactical plan: You’re going to spend more time up front building a following in your PRIMARY NETWORKS.
    • B2B:
      • 15 minutes a day on LinkedIn
      • Blog 2 times a week on your website
      • Blog once a week on LinkedIn
    • B2C:
      • 15 minutes a day on Facebook
      • 15 minutes a day on Pinterest
      • Blog 2-3 times a week on your website
    • Both: Automate content posting using free tools like HootSuite, Buffer or Dlvr.it to Google+ and Twitter. This could be your re-shared blog posts as well as other related and relevant content of interest to your target market from trusted sources. Use Feedly.com to organize your blog subscriptions.
  5. Search for your target market and follow them on Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest. When you follow someone, they’ll be notified and hopefully, if you’re sharing good content, they’ll want to follow you back. On Twitter, thank people for following you. (That’s the only network where that’s part of its culture.) This should take about 30 minutes a day between all the networks.
  6. Search for and connect with your target market and referral sources on LinkedIn
  7. Share good, relevant content on Facebook. Unfortunately, you can’t search and contact people on Facebook as your business. However, you can start with your own friends and invite them to like our page.
  8. Have both share and follow buttons on your website. Make it easy for people to follow you on the networks and make it easy for them to share your content with their friends. You need to have both social media share and follow buttons on your website

I didn’t mention Instagram, but you should consider it if you’re more B2C and you want to reach the under 40 crowd. Instagram just hit 700 Million monthly active users. Your strategy here will be branded pictures and short videos. SnapChat is for an even younger crowd, under 25. Similar to Instagram, use branded graphics and short videos.

Once you’ve built your social media following, then you are in management, monitoring and maintenance mode. If you’ve mastered the tools, organized your content and got a gist of how each network works, you can manage your social media in 30 minutes a day.

Here are some follower goals for each of the networks for your first month:

  • Facebook: 30 likes so you can start seeing your insights then, 100 so you can start monitoring your competition in “Pages to Watch”
  • LinkedIn: 50 personal connections; 10 followers on your business page
  • Twitter: 100 followers – then you can start getting analytics
  • Pinterest, Google+, Instagram and SnapChate: 10 followers each

At the end of each month, you must review your analytics and insights.

  • Analytics & PlanningOn your website – make sure Google Analytics is setup:
    • Number of visitors and page views
    • Time spent on your site
    • Bounce rate
    • Referral sources: Besides the search engines, which social media networks brought in the most visitors to your site?
    • Conversion rates: How many visitors converted to leads because they clicked on your call-to-action?
  • On each of the social media networks:
    • Number of followers: Have you reached your goal?
    • Most popular posts: Create more of those.
    • Best time to post: When are the majority of your fans and followers online to get the most reach?
    • Follower demographics: Does this match your target market personas?
    • Engagement rate: likes, shares, comments, clicks

Then adjust your strategic and tactical plans accordingly for the next month.

You are probably thinking, “How do I learn HOW to do all this?”

Never fear! Your Social Savvy Solution is HERE!

I’ve got all the classes online from the how-to basics in the Master Class (boot camp) to intermediate (tools & strategy) to advanced (analytics and insights – measuring what’s working and not working). It’s setup in a logical progression with easy-to-follow video classes and demonstration videos so you learn how to do everything the right way.

You learn best practices, the culture of the major networks (Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and YouTube), search engine optimization, blogging and content marketing. Each video is from 15 to 45 minutes long. They’re up 24/,7 so you can watch them at your own time and at your own speed.

All for only $20/m. Full-access to all the videos. Once you get through the basics, you can pick and choose which ones you want to focus on. I upload new, updated videos each month following all the changes and new features from the networks. Cancel at any time. Anywhere else you’ll pay from $25 – $80/m. Why am I less expensive?

My goal is to help the small business owner, like yourself, become social savvy enough to effectively market your business online.

What are you waiting for? Click here to get started now!

Your Social Savvy Solution Members Only

Spring Social Media JumpStart Package: $3500 for doing the “heavy lifting” up-front work. Includes:

  1. Research and planning ($500, regular $675) (1-2 weeks)
  2. Social Media Setups ($500, regular $675) (1-2 weeks)
  3. JumpStart Follower Builder (1 month)
  4. 1 month free online video classes (a $20 value)

Click here for details on the all the services.

Let me do the time-consuming up-front work while you learn how to do it yourself. At the end of the JumpStart, I hand over the reigns. You have 1 month of full-access to all the classes. After that, it’s $20/month for updated videos. (This stuff is constantly changing!)

Billed upfront via Square in 3 payments ($500, 500 and 2500). You can start the online classes with your first payment. Contact me for details. 

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Is the Content You’re Creating Effective or Just Noise?

I read somewhere, “Content without a strategy is just noise.”

Wow. So, are the blog posts or videos that you’re producing good content of true interest to your target, or are they adding more noise in a noisy world?

Is the Content You're Creating Effective or Just Noise? Is what you’re writing or creating what you think your target would be interested in or what you know they need?

How do you find out if your content is effective?

The first telltale sign is your website statistics and analytics. You should review these stats every month:

  • How many people visit your site per day and month?
  • How long do they stay?
  • What’s your bounce rate?
  • How many pages do they view while they’re there? (Hint: the longer they stay on your site, the greater the chances they will do something.)
  • Which pages or blog posts were the most popular?
  • How many people converted from a visitor to a lead? That is, they downloaded an ebook, a coupon, whitepaper or signed up for your newsletter.

Is the Content You're Creating Effective or Just Noise? Do you really understand your target market?

Have you done your research?

One thing all this technology has provided is a lot of data. You can easily find statistics on any target market and industry. Don’t skimp on this if your marketing is going to be effective. As a member of Your Social Savvy Solution, you get all the resources you need to guide you while you do this research.

You want to learn:Social Media Confusion happens when you don't have a strategic plan

Have you set goals?

  • What do you want to accomplish? Set SMART Goals.
  • Do you want to grow your email list? Yes!
  • Would you like to drive more traffic to your website? Absolutely!
  • How about increasing conversions? Of course!
  • Would you like to increase sales? Who wouldn’t?
  • Do you want to get more followers on the social networks? All of the above!

Now, based on your workbook results, research and goal-setting, you can come up with a content strategy on how best to reach your target.

  • What are you going to blog about?
  • How often are you going to blog?
  • Are you going to do videos? Professionally produced or self-produced on your cell phone?
  • How often are you going to share it on the social networks?
  • What other sources of quality content (not yours) would be of interest to your target? And how often are you going to share it?

The idea of blogging often is to make people want to come back for more.

Furthermore, at the end of each month, you must review your analytics. There is an excellent, easy-to-understand video in the Social Savvy Solution Training Center on exactly how to do this. You don’t have to hire a geek to help you go over your analytics. Trust me. I created these videos especially with the non-techie people in mind.

For any online marketing to be effective, you can’t skip any of these steps!

Learn to do it right or hire someone who knows what they’re doing. But that’s way more expensive. Figure a content marketer worth their salt will charge from $500/m and up. A good social media marketing guru, from $750/m and up.

Our online training center is only $20/m and you will learn how to do everything yourself and with practice, you’ll be able to manage your social media in 30-minutes a day and a create a blog post in about an hour.

What are you waiting for? Start learning now and be more effective tomorrow!

Your Social Savvy Solution Members OnlyThe Expert in Anything was once a beginner

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What is Social Proof and Why Do You Need it? [Infographic]

Social Proof is the positive influence when people find out that others are doing something.

What exactly does that mean? I’ve been checking-in on Facebook every time I go to my chiropractor. Besides giving him a great review, I’m letting people know that he’s helping me feel better with every check-in. The other day, a friend ask me, “You’re seeing Dr. French, right?” And I responded, “Yes! He’s relieved my shoulder pain tremendously!”

If my friend is in pain, I wan to help her feel better by recommending the doctor that’s helping me. Hey, that’s being a good friend.

Now multiply that by all the friends you have, your followers on social media, and their friends. That’s Social Proof. And you want it.

People buy from whom they know and trust.

Social Proof is a form of Influencer Marketing. If someone with a lot of followers likes what you are posting, the advice you have to offer or your product or service, they’re going to tell their friends. Likewise, if they DON’T like it, they’ll also tell their friends.

Social Proof is the “Keeping up with the Jones” theory.

Check out these stats:

  • 76% of Americans read reviews when choosing which local business to use
  • 72% trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation
  • 70% of Baby Boomers are influenced by online opinions

Related Content: How to Best Reach the Different Generations Online


Here’s are some types of Social Proof that you need to improve. Furthermore, as your following in the social networks increases, so does your social proof.

  • Social follower count
  • Number of happy customers served
  • Testimonials
  • Ratings and reviews
  • Expert mentions
  • Unpaid celebrity endorsements
  • Wisdom of friends
  • Awards and rankings

This infographic from GetSocialProof.com explains it detail:

What is Social Proof and Why Do You Need it?

Now you’re probably wondering, “Yikes! Where do I start?” The answer is simple. Here at Your Social Savvy Solution Online Training Center you’ll find everything you need to learn how grow your social media following and getting noticed. You’ll learn the basics of establishing credibility and trust by simply blogging about what you know and telling stories of happy camper customers. Don’t worry. The tutorials go in a logical progression. So, even if you’re a tech newbie or just want to learn some new tips and tricks, you’ll find what you need here.

What are you waiting for? It’s only $20 a month for the Full-Access Run-of-the-Center. Watch as many videos as you want in one month then cancel if you wish. However, you’ll miss the update videos that we’ll be producing each month so you can keep up with all the changes and new features the networks are constantly adding. Get Started Now!

Your Social Savvy Solution Members Only

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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.

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How Not Blogging Weekly Hurts Your Reputation

The purpose of blogging weekly is to keep Google happy and attract new visitors to your website who will convert to leads or clients.

What does Google want? Google wants fresh, relevant content written for the human reader.

What do your potential customers want? They want answers to their problems, information, advice or to be entertained – and the want it now!

The last thing Google or a potential customer wants to see is that your last blog post was March of 2012. OK, you may not be that bad. But even a month old is too old.

If you’re not blogging? How are people finding you?

First, if you haven’t updated your site in years, it won’t come up on Google search. Over 83% of searchers are on a mobile device. If your site is not mobile-friendly and responsive, you absolutely won’t come up. Basically, the only traffic you’re getting to your site is from someone who clicked on the link on one of the social media networks or they have your business card. Too few, I bet. Or they Googled your business name exactly. Most all business will come up for their name. But if there’s another business with a similar name, and their content is more recent, they’ll come up first. Not good.

Now, lets look at it from the potential customer’s point of view.

Frustrated potential customer who can't find content because you're not bloggingLet’s say it’s an entrepreneur looking for a contractor in a specific city because she’s opening a new business. She goes on LinkedIn and searches for “commercial contractor my city”. She sees that the 2 folks that come up are not in her network. But, they have the links to their respective websites. The searcher clicks on the links and goes to the websites. Contractor 1 has a website that looks dated – old fashioned. She clicks on About Us to read about the company, who are they, how long have they’ve been in business, etc. Then she clicks on Blog. The last article was in 2012, just text, long paragraphs and no pictures or videos. Under Portfolio, there are pictures with no descriptions. You can’t tell where the projects were, how long it took to build, was it under budget?

This happy customer found content that helps in a blog.Over at Contractor 2’s site, there are high-quality graphics with their last 3 projects on the home page. Each are linked to a blog post describing each project in detail. At the bottom are tags and categories with links to other similar blog posts by type of project. The person seeking will look for articles about projects like what she’s planning to build. She thinks, “This company has experience doing projects like the one I’m planning. I’m calling them.”

Also on their site are testimonial videos showcasing recent projects from start to finish with the happy camper client opening the door of their redone place. Yes, like the “reveal” on those home improvement shows. Ah, but before the entrepreneur makes the call, she’s going to check their Facebook page to see if there are any reviews and updates. (The first company didn’t even have a Facebook page. Oh, my!) There she finds 5, 5-star reviews. She’s sold.

Wow! That took maybe an hour. Which is how long it should take you to write a blog post.

Blogging regularly builds trust and credibility. People buy from whom they know and trust.

What should you blog about?

  • Tell Stories – people like to identify with people in stories; use pictures of people like your target audience.
  • Don’t let this happen to you! Hypothetical situations
  • FAQs – anticipate what a potential customer will be asking
  • Industry news – careful with the industry jargon, though. Remember your audience is not the expert. You are. Write for an 11-year-old.
  • Offer advice, useful information
  • Blog about what you know

Get more ideas in the blogging and content marketing class videos as a member of Social Savvy Solution! For just $20, you can watch as many videos as you want. Cancel at any time. But, I’ll be sharing updated videos each month.

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