Archive for online marketing

Why Social Media is Important for Customer Service

It’s unfortunate that many business owners are ignoring social media — especially Facebook and Twitter — and especially when it comes to customer service.

One of my clients is opening a “rage room” in Tempe this weekend. Someone wanted to book a party and had a question. The contact form on the website gave her an error message when she tried to send it. Where did she go? FACEBOOK.

She sent a message and I got the notification. I replied for her to call the owner with his number and reported the contact form error to the webmaster.

Depending on the type of business and your target market, your customer and potential customers will use social media to reach you when conventional methods (email, website, phone) fail.

The problem here is if you’re monitoring your social media, you’ll never know when you get a message from a potential client! Facebook also will give you a “badge” if 90% of your average response time is less than 15 minutes.

My client was messaged on Twitter by one of the anchors from the local TV station wanting info on the business and on Facebook from another.

Could you be missing out on some free publicity because you’re ignoring social media?

You can’t afford to!

Here are a few points to ponder:

  1. It’s your online image. What message does it send if you haven’t posted anything on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn for months, even years? Lazy? Clueless? Behind the times?
  2. It’s where your potential customers are hanging out. Check out this article on how to reach the different generations through social media.
  3. You may be missing big opportunities. You’re not increasing your reach or influence. You’re not driving new traffic to your website. Moreover, you’re losing valuable SEO (search engine optimization).

So what do you need to do for better customer service?

  1. Learn how each of the social networks work and figure out which ones your target market uses the most. Here are my free classes and the free Define Your Target Market Workbook.
  2. Set up your social media profiles properly. Take into consideration your branding.
  3. Check your analytics monthly. They’ll tell you if your website traffic is increasing, if people are converting (from a visitor to a lead or a customer/ downloading / buying), and which social networks are contributing to the conversions. Here’s my free analytics class.

No more excuses! Stop letting these customer service moments slip by!

  1. Download and set up the mobile apps for the social networks that your clientele frequents the most.
  2. Turn on notifications. Now, make sure that you do a “do not disturb” parameters or set the notifications to badges and not sounds so you don’t get woken up in the middle of the night.
  3. Respond in a timely manner. Have the links to Frequently Asked Questions handy so you can just copy and paste.

So, the phone might not be ringing as much lately, it’s because your customers are trying to reach you via social media. Get with the program and stop living in 20th century!

Start with the Free Social Media Marketing Master Class!

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How to Use the Google Keyword Tool for SEO

In today’s digital marketing everything from websites to social media profile pages need to be optimized for SEOsearch engine optimization. Besides Google having over 80% of both desktop and mobile searches, each of the social networks has their own powerful internal search engines.

You need to figure out what YOUR TARGET MARKET is going to enter into the search box to find you. Those are keywords, phrases and questions.

That’s where the Google Keyword Tool comes in. It’s free to use, however, it’s part of Google Adwords so you need to set up an Adwords account to use it.

This video is a demonstration of how to use it to optimize for SEO:

The tool also helps when you’re thinking of what to blog about. Nothing like finding out exactly what your target market is searching for so that you can provide it.

Link to the Google Keyword Planner

 

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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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Why You Need to Be On Pinterest for Exposure and SEO

There are a lot of stressed-out people on Pinterest. How do I know that? I wrote a blog post for one of my clients, Simply Smashing Rage Room (opening in Tempe, BTW) titled, How To Increase the Serotonin In Your Brain. It included an infographic (a graphic with data) which I pinned on Pinterest as soon as I published the article.

Why You Need to Be On Pinterest for Exposure and SEOAs of this time, and it was published on June 23, we’ve had close to 1200 views of that page! Wow! And look where the majority of the people came from! Mind boggling!

I’m not going to go into detail of how you can use Pinterest for your business – whether B2B or B2C. You can view my How-To class here.

What you need to understand is…

You Cannot Ignore Pinterest!

How Pinterest Works

See, when someone pins a picture or video from your website, it takes the link with it. Thus, helping with SEO (Search Engine Optimization) because Google likes relevant back links.

Furthermore, when someone sees the pin and saves it (repins) it to one of their boards, it creates yet another back link to your site.

When someone clicks twice on the pin, it takes them to your website!

The more people pin and repin your pictures and videos, the more “Google Juice” or “Link Love” you’ll get. Make Google happy and it’ll reward you with first page listings when people search for what you have to offer.

If you’re B2B, you might be thinking that it’s not for you. Not true! Go in and search for “technology” or “social media marketing” or “business tips” and you’ll see lots of pins and boards come up with infographics and videos.

People use Pinterest to bookmark and categorize anything that interests them. It’s like a huge bulletin board. We love visuals. The more eye-catching and easy-to-read, the better.

You might be afraid of Pinterest because it’s distracting. Yes, it can be. If I’m there working for a client and I’ve allocated 15 minutes, I set a timer.

Moreover, keep business and personal separate. Setup a business account or convert a personal one on Business.Pinterest.com. If I’m following you for business, I don’t want to see pet tips or hot hairstyles.

When social media marketing is done properly it can be very effective. However, you need to understand the nuances of each of the social networks. Each one is different. The only one that covers all generations is Facebook. The others have specific user demographics.

Free Download: Define Your Target Market WorkbookYou need to clearly define your target market(s) before you can effectively promote your business online. Click here to download the free workbook!

This also proves why analytics are so important. You must measure and go over your insights and statistics at least once a month. Here’s a free analytics class!

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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

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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

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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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Video: How to Use Hashtags to Effectively Market Your Business

Hashtags are everywhere! Even on LinkedIn! Use them consistently to brand your social media posts. This video will show you how. I also cover them in the Twitter class.

How to Use Hashtags to Market Your Business in Social Media:


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

 

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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.

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