Archive for Internet Marketing

What You need to know about Facebook’s Algorithm Change

Facebook’s at it again. In attempts to make the network more about family and friends and less about business and fake news, they’ve changed their algorithm yet again.

Users are going to see more posts from their peeps – friends and family – and less from “publishers” – businesses, organizations, causes, they’ve liked or follow.

Facebook explains it in this video:

What You need to know about Facebook's Algorithm Change

So what will a user see?

Posts that you see first are influenced by your connections and activity on Facebook. The number of comments, likes and reactions a post receives and what kind of story it is (example: photo, video, status update) can also make it more likely to appear higher up in your News Feed.

Posts that you might see first include:

  • A friend or family member commenting on or liking another person’s photo or status update.

  • A person reacting to a post from a publisher that a friend has shared.

  • Multiple people replying to each other’s comments on a video they watched or an article they read in News Feed.

So how will this affect a business on Facebook?

You have to get even more clever and eye-catching.

Any user can choose to see a publisher’s post first by changing the settings under “following” in a business’s page. That will ensure that a business’s posts get seen. However, you can’t tell people to “share”, “like” or “comment” on the post, because FB is reducing the visibility of posts that encourage people to act.

So what can you do?

  • Blog often with interesting, informative advice that your followers will want to share with their friends.
  • In an email message, tell your current customers if they want to make sure not to miss your valuable posts, to choose “see first” on you page.
  • Be creative and use more videos, animated gifs and eye-catching pictures. There really isn’t any excuse to NOT do video with all the devices and free tools available.
  • Consider paid advertising. I wouldn’t be surprised, if an ulterior motive of Facebook’s would be to increase their advertising dollars.

Need some creative coaching? How about a brainstorming session?

Book a 1:1 coaching hour or two with me and we can hatch out a strategy for your business to overcome this latest obstacle.

 

You can become social savvy!

Online Marketing Trends for 2018 that You Need to Know

It’s that time of year again! As we say “goodbye” to 2017, we look forward to 2018. For small business owners the thought of planning online marketing may seem intimidating given all the…

  • Choices of media and social networks
  • Rules, do’s and don’ts
  • New technology

So here are a few of the Online Marketing trends and strategies that I think the average small business owner needs to embrace for 2018 or…

Get Left Behind in the Dust…

My top 13 Online Marketing Trends, Tips and Strategies:

  1. Video and Live Video: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and now LinkedIn have incorporated video. We know video sells. It’s eye-catching. People will watch a video before reading a blog post. What’s great is it’s so easy to create videos with smartphones and tablets – you really have no excuse for not taking advantage of this medium. Facebook, YouTube and Twitter have the Live Video capability so you can broadcast live from anywhere where’s the Wi-Fi.
  2. SEO is not dead. Search Engine Optimization is still important if you want Google to know that you exist. Google is still the number one traffic-driver to websites. The good thing is, you don’t need to hire an outside firm if you can do a few things including Content Marketing, sharing on Social Media and benefiting from Organic Search Results. Watch this…

  1. Twitter Follow MeTwitter is not dead. Sorry, naysayers, Twitter is still alive and a viable medium for marketing, SEO and exposure. We have President Trump to thank for the increase in users, tweeting and opinion-sharing that’s so prevalent on the never-ending news ticker. Take advantage of regularly trending Hashtags and spin your marketing message around them. Use a free tool like TweetDeck to schedule promo posts so you don’t miss opportunities for exposure.
  2. Email / Marketing Automation. Once it’s setup, it just runs by itself! And what’s more, services like MailChimp offer automation for FREE if you have under 2000 people on your email list. You can segment your list by asking 2 or 3 pertinent questions on the sign-up page. Offer visitors to your website a freebie to entice them to join your list. Having the right Call-to-Action on your site is critical to marketing success.
  3. Customer Experience Marketing. Always think of the customer’s buying journey – even if they’re not ready to buy! You need to put yourself in their shoes. That’s why getting to know your target market(s) is so important.
  4. Instagram Stories. Owned by Facebook, Instagram is the fastest growing social media network going from 600 million to 800 million active users in 2017. Over 300 million daily active users take advantage of Instagram Stories doubling in the last year. The idea is that you can combine several pictures and videos to simply tell a story.
  5. How to Develop Social Media Marketing Strategies for Your BusinessStrategy over Tactics. So many small business owners jump in and start posting with absolutely no clear strategy whatsoever. That is such a waste of time, energy and efforts. You must think it out and plan it out. Do one month at a time.
  6. Influencer Marketing. This is basically finding folks with a lot of followers whose opinion matters to your target market. Then make friends with them. Get them to notice you and hopefully they’ll share your fabulous content with their thousands of followers.
  7. Make it Visual. Videos, stories, pictures, graphics, infographics. No one pays any attention to a tweet or Facebook post with just text and links. Their eye is going to the movement in the video or the interesting picture. Remember, you’re not just competing against your direct competitors for your target’s attention. You’re also competing with the family, friends and other businesses and causes they follow. You need to stand out and going visual is the answer. Use a free tool like Canva.com to create eye-catching pictures.
  8. Voice Search. More and more people are asking Alexa or Google to help them find things, shop, answer questions, etc. Where do they come up with the answers? The search engine finds content on websites that most closely matches the question. Which is why you need to blog and be aware of the varied use of keywords in your writing. Mastering the Google Keyword Tool is also beneficial.
  9. Become a follower magnetHaving a Social Media Base. Building a loyal following takes time. These people follow you or like your page because of what you post. They could be loyal customers or are just interested in your business. They won’t follow you if you’re not posting anything. If starting from scratch, it takes about 90 minutes a day for the first 30 days to build a following. If you’re new to social media, my FREE Master Class will help get you started.
  10. Transparency. Fake News is a hot topic. People are wary of “click-bait” headlines that entice one to click on it only to find the article talks about something else or is trying to sell you something. Honesty is still the best policy. Don’t make up a story just to get attention. The truth always comes back to bite you in ways you never imagined. If you have a disgruntled customer who leaves a bad review, do your best to rectify the issue and respond publicly.
  11. Paid Targeting. I always tell my clients to try social media marketing along with proper SEO and blogging without spending money for 3-6 months first. Track your analytics, metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) each month to see what’s working and not working. In the event that business slows, you might have saturated your market. It’s time for paid advertising. Based on your analytics and target market audience, placing key paid ads in the right networks will help you expand your reach and be noticed by more people. Yes, you have to have a budget, but then again, you do have to spend money to make money. Put some paid advertising dollars in to your marketing budget for 2018.

You must be feeling overwhelmed right now.

Where do you start?

Here are two choices:

Live SCORE Workshop on 1/11, 1-4pm, $25 at Greater Phoenix SCORE Central Phoenix…

Online class on Strategy and Planning, Free…

Got questions? Contact me…

 

Best Social Media News You Can Use – July Wrap-up

While here in Phoenix the kids are getting ready to go back to school, the heat is still in the 100s. I had all good intentions to provide these best picks of the social media news weekly, but thank God, business is booming. So, this will now be a end-of-month wrap-up.

One of challenges of social media marketing is that the networks are constantly changing. They either change the layout of the site or they add or remove features and services. For you, the business owner or social media manager, it’s tough to keep up with them. No worries. I’ll sort through all the social media marketing expert blogs and hand pick the ones that I feel are important and might affect your marketing.

Here’s July’s Best Social Media News You Can Use (in no particular order):

Social Network Updates:

Great Social Media Marketing Tips (I couldn’t have said it better myself!):

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.

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

How to Save Time with Free Social Media Tools

Social Media Marketing is time-consuming. There’s some upfront “sweat equity” that you have to put in on research, setting up, creating content and building a following. Once the following is built, then you can manage your social media in 30 minutes a day! Yes, it can be done. Here are the free social media marketing tools that I use to both keep myself sane and save a ton of time!

You should have watched all the network videos first.

Time-Saving Social Media Marketing Tools:

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

Free Social Media Marketing Resources to Help You Succeed

No marketing in today’s digital world will work with out research and planning. There are too many channels and you need to do your due diligence when it comes to preparing and planning before you jump in. Otherwise, it’s not going to work. You’ll be wasting precious time and money trying to figure it out.

Here are the FREE Social Media Marketing Resources that you need to guide you to successful social media and digital marketing campaigns.

These resources go with the FREE Social Media and Content Marketing Class offered on our YouTube Channel.

The Social Media Marketing Resources go in order:

  1. Define Your Target Market Workbook (You’ll also get the glossary of online terms)
  2. Basic Market Research Guide
  3. Strategic Marketing Plan Template
  4. Tactical Marketing Plan Template
  5. Editorial Content Marketing Calendar Template

If you find that you don’t want to spend the time (sweat equity) on these tasks, I can do it for you. I offer them in my Jump-Start Pack.

What You Need to Know about Writing Enticing Headlines to Attract More Viewers [Infographic]

You write what you think is a great blog article and share it on the social networks. However, when you check your stats a few days later, you see that only a 3 people clicked through to read it. What happened? Or what didn’t happen? It was probably your headline. Writing catchy headlines social media users will want to click on to read more is a skill anyone can develop with some free tools and the tips in this infographic.

One tool I use for both blog post headlines and email subject lines is Co-Schedule’s Headline Analyzer. You want to get a 65 or higher. Anything in the green — above 70 — is ideal. Now, you can drive yourself crazy trying to get in the green. Don’t. You can’t start each and every blog post with “What You Need to Know…”. (I use it often, but not every single one.)

This infographic from Squirrly, lists the Anatomy of Creative Headlines

What You Need to Know about Writing Enticing Headlines to Drive More Traffic

If you don’t feel you have the creativity to write eye-catching headlines, we can help!

Blogger and copywriter service

Progress is impossible without change.

How to Simplify Marketing that is More Complicated than Ever

How Often Should You Blog for Marketing Success?I just watched a webinar on “The Future of Marketing” (this link will take you to the slides). The first presenter, Mark Schaefer made me realize that the “marketing wheel” graphic I use to explain how today’s marketing works is obsolete. Ah, the challenges of keeping up with this stuff!

Before, you wrote a blog post, then shared it on the social networks. Ideally, your target market saw the post, was enticed to click on it, which led them back to your website. Well, that kinda-sorta still works, but it seems like the social media networks, predominantly Facebook, LinkedIn, and I’ll throw in Google+, want publishers to create content just for them. They want to be the content magnets. They want the attention. So your website isn’t the center of it all anymore — the social networks want to be your source of information.

How to Simplify Marketing that is More Complicated than Ever

Source: The Future of Marketing Webinar with Mark Schaefer

What’s up with the Social Media Networks?

The social media networks are in this to make money. They rely heavily on user analytics and data. Moreover, they make changes to their platforms based on that data.

Their objective is to…

  • get people on their platform
  • keep people on their platform
  • collect personal information (yeah, I know, Big Brother)
  • then take that data and use it for advertising

What you need to do in your marketing:

You can’t get around this. To quote the Borg, “Resistance is futile. You must comply.”

  1. Go where your customers are
  2. Focus on building awareness
  3. Give people a reason to go to your website

Because content and information are so readily available — between digital media and apps — people have what they need at their fingertips.

So what’s a small business marketer to do?

  1. Now more than ever you MUST start with narrowing your target market niches. Write up personas, give them names. Get to know them. How do they use social media? What devices do they prefer?
  2. Do some research. Once you’ve narrowed down the niches, you have to study their habits. Breaking them up in to basic age groups is the first key:
    1. Under 25
    2. 25-40
    3. Over 40
  3. What are their pain points/problems that you can solve? How can you make their lives better, easier, more fun, happier, etc.?
  4. Come up with the content that gives them what their looking for — blog posts, videos, podcasts, pictures. What you choose depends on the networks they frequent and what each age group prefers.
    1. Blog posts at least 300 words
    2. Videos that you upload directly to Facebook or Facebook live videos
    3. Short Instagram videos
    4. Short opinion, motivational, inspirational or advice pieces/text accompanied by a picture
    5. Original articles for LinkedIn — especially if you’re B2B
  5. Write this all down in strategic and tactical plans.
  6. Implement the plan
  7. Monitor and measure — check your analytics monthly to see what’s working and not working. Adjust your strategic and tactical plans accordingly.
  8. Plan for the next month – set new goals and benchmarks
  9. Repeat steps 4-8 every month.

By this point you’re probably thinking, “I can’t do this!” “There’s too much!” “I just want to quit!”

That’s why I created Your Social Savvy Solution SIMPLIFIED! Marketing made simple.

Your Social Savvy Solution Simplified! Marketing made easy!Yes, I added another “S”!

If you follow the steps, in that order, you will be able to reach your target market, draw them to your website and convert them into a sale. I outline everything for you. From optimizing your website and profiles for the search engines — both Google and the social networks — to strategizing for each network — to how to measure your efforts. Each step is covered in detail. Even how and where to do research.

Best of all, it’s affordable! Just $20 gets your started! You can watch the all the videos, download all the materials 24/7. Go at your own pace, in your own time. If you’re a morning person, get up early and watch a video or two. If you’re a night owl, watch them at 1am. Whatever works for you! The individual classes are around 15-35 minutes. Everything is in a logical progression. You can view the videos covering where you feel you need more help first then check out the others later on. You have full-access to all training materials.

What’s more, there are new, updated videos each month. As the networks add new features and change things around, I’ll record both presentations and demonstration videos explaining the changes, what they mean to you and what you need to do to adapt it to your business.

Face it. In this age of modern technology, you have to go at the speed of change or definitely get left behind. It’s your choice.

Join now, stop at any time.

Your Social Savvy Solution Members OnlyThe way to get started...

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How Not to let Today’s Marketing Technology Drive You Crazy

Let’s face it, business owners, Marketing Technology (or MarTech to the techie folks) can get out of hand. What happened to the days when putting your shingle outside your store and an ad in the Yellow Pages (remember those?) was enough?

Take a look at the infographic depicting all the marketing technology choices out there in 2016:

You can click on it to view a larger image, but don’t go cross-eyed trying to make sense out of it.

How not to let today's marketing technology drive you crazyThis goes to show you the ridiculous amount of marketing technology choices out there.

You can’t be on all the networks all the time!
It’s impossible!

Here are 10 Logical Steps You Need to Follow to keep Yourself Sane in this crazy MarTech world.

  1. How not to let today's marketing technology drive you crazyClearly Define Your Target Marketing Niches – You can have more than one target market! But you MUST identify them. Start with this FREE Workbook.
  2. Do some research on your target, which social networks they use most often and figure out the best way to reach them. Create personas for each niche.
  3. Get to know your target audience. What do they like or don’t like? What are they looking for? How can your product or service make their lives better, easier, more fun, etc.
  4. Get to know the networks. Each one has its own culture. What works on Twitter doesn’t work on LinkedIn. Do you even have to be on Snapchat?
  5. Make a plan. Brainstorm with your team or a mentor. Work out some strategies on how to engage your target audience on the social networks. You don’t have to be on all the networks! Focus on the ones that your target market frequents the most.
  6. Make a content calendar. What are you going to blog about? What does your target audience need to know that will make their lives better…. etc.? (What’s in it for them?)
  7. Optimize EVERYTHING. Each and every description, about section, bio, web page and blog post must be optimized not just for Google, but for the powerful internal search engines that each network has.
  8. The first step towards getting somewhereTake time to learn. You can never waste your time learning how to do something better and more efficiently.
  9. Use it or lose it. Apply what you learn right away so you don’t forget it. Don’t be afraid to wander around Facebook or LinkedIn even Twitter and Google+. You’ll get faster and savvier, the more you participate and engage.
  10. Have confidence. As you learn how to properly and effectively use the social media networks to engage with your target; as you get more comfortable creating the content that your target audience wants to see, you will feel more confident with your marketing efforts and you’ll also start seeing results.

Learning

That’s why I created Your Social Savvy Solution Members Only. It’s where you can go and get all the knowledge that you need, in a logical progression, to become the confident, savvy marketer so you can….

  • Drive traffic to your website
  • Generate more leads
  • Grow a following
  • Become an influencer
  • Increase sales
  • Get on the first page of Google
  • Be more effective

What are you waiting for? Special Introductory Price…. Learn More….

Your Social Savvy Solution Members Only

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