Website, Social Media, and Digital Marketing Solutions
A New Website Might Be Just What Your Small Business Needs!

When’s the last time you updated your website? A year? Five years? Longer? If your current website isn’t generating a lot of new business for you, it might be time for a new website.

Long gone are the days when people used the yellow pages to look up a business. Now, a majority of consumers turn to the internet when searching for a company. If your website feels old and clunky, or has broken links and outdated content, consumers may be turned off and try a different organization.

If you website isn’t optimized for mobile, you may be missing out on a large group of customers that primarily use tablets and smartphones to surf the internet. Allowing your site to appear in mobile format is a simple fix and can appeal to customers who rely on their cell phones to find businesses.

Adding features to your website may also help improve traffic. For example, adding a blog will not only engage customers, it will also allow you to include keywords on your website that can improve your ranking in Google searches. You may also want to include a section that features customer reviews, either directly submitted to your business or from a third-party review website. Including an “About Us” section will also allow the customer to feel connected to your business, making them more likely to engage with you.

A sleek and modern website design can revitalize your company and change the way you do business. Contact us to discuss how we can make a new website work for your small business.

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Using Social Media to Recruit New Employees

What’s the purpose of your company’s social media profiles?

Sure, you need to improve your visibility, keep customers engaged, and ensure that your marketing campaigns are reaching a wide audience. Social media is great for generating leads and raising your company’s profile, ultimately leading to more sales and growth.

And all of that growth is going to mean that you will need to start using social media for another kind of marketing: recruiting great employees.

Most people don’t think of recruiting candidates as a kind of marketing, but it is. You need to not only market your company’s product, but your company itself. That way, you will get the best candidates to lead your company to even greater heights, and ensure that they turn into engaged employees.

Here are a few things to consider when using social media as a recruitment tool.

Market the Company

You’re used to marketing your product: writing up compelling copy, creating appealing visuals that make people want to buy it right now, and pushing promotional offers to drive conversions.

But remember that your brand is more than your product: it’s the company, too! Don’t forget to market the company itself as a fantastic organization. Show off that it’s fun to work for you, and that your company is a great place to be.

Highlight Employees

Here’s a two-fer. From time to time, take the opportunity to highlight your employees on social media. Take a flattering, well-lit picture of the employee and a little bit of text about who they are, and show that you care enough about your individual employees to recognize them and their work in front of the whole world.

This has two benefits: it humanizes the company for your customers and gives them an idea of who they are working with, and it’s like a “customer testimonial” for potential job candidates. Everyone wants to work with happy, engaged employees, whether they’re a customer or a colleague.

Another bonus is that this shows that you value your employees as people and not just bodies in cubicles — positioning you as someone who is good to do business with, and great to work for.

Just make sure to get permission from your employees first!

Remember to Use Different Platforms

Most people think of LinkedIn as the default place to find new employees, and for good reason: it’s full of professionals with easily-accessible resumes or job histories, and widely used by job-seekers. And by all means, advertise your company and positions there, and feel free to structure your messaging as a little more corporate.

But job-seekers aren’t just on LinkedIn, so don’t forget about the other platforms, like Facebook, for example. Facebook can also be a great tool for showcasing your company culture and showing off some of the great perks your employees enjoy. And because it has one of the widest online audiences, you’ll reach even more great talent.

Need some help managing your company’s presence on social media? Contact us!

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How to Know Which Social Media Platform is Right For Your Small Business

Every business owner knows that social media is a valuable channel to obtain customers. But oftentimes, they struggle to find the right social media platform that works. They post aimlessly on each platform and then wait for some sort of return on their investment in terms of engagement and sales. But usually, they find that they get a minimal response for their efforts. This leaves small business owners lost and dejected. We will discuss 3 techniques that you can use to know which social media platform/s are best for your business:

Understand How Your Target Customer is Using Social Media

Look at how your target demographic is using each platform. Put yourself in their shoes to understand which platforms they are using and how they are using them. Where do they engage? What does their behavior look like? How can you go where they are? By understanding these answers, you can begin to choose which platform to target and which ones to de-prioritize.

Understand Where Your Products/Services Play Best

For example, let’s say that you have a clothing company. Due to the nature of your products, platforms that are more visually oriented are going to be a better fit to sell your products. They are going to play best on Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram for example. Look at where your service and products play best and intersect that with your ideal customers like to hang out and interact.

Micro Test Each Social Media Platforms

Obviously, you want to be in as many places as possible to increase the likelihood of your offering/message being discovered. One way to do this, is to take baby steps and micro test all of the platforms. For example, you could create custom content for Pinterest in small doses and see how it performs. If it is not working, you can stop spending any time there. By performing these small experiments, you can find a low risk method for testing the viability of a particular channel.

By implementing these concepts, you can begin to determine which social media platforms are the best time and money investment for your business.

Please contact us for more criteria to use to determine which social media platform is right for your small business.

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4 Reasons Why Blogging is Important for a Small Business

Creating content for your website’s blog may seem like a challenging endeavor, but the truth is that blogging is important for a small business. There are several reasons why you should incorporate blogging into the plan for your small business, and there are plenty of reasons why companies are focusing so hard on using blog content to reach out.

1. Blogging brings traffic to your website.

Search engine optimization is essential to not only bringing traffic, but also converting that traffic to leads. When your business website is indexed in search engines, you want to ensure that you receive traffic based on keywords. Using keywords in your blog posts, especially in headings and titles, ensures you are reaching as wide an audience as possible.

2. Blogging builds a social media presence.

Opportunities for others to share your content is always great for your business. You can easily share blog posts on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and other social media sites, reaching a larger audience.

3. Blogging humanizes your business.

Are you looking for new ways to develop a relationship with your clients? Blogging puts a personality on your business, showing readers your values and interests. Clients who read your work are more likely to develop positive regard for your business rather than see you as just another business on the Internet.

4. Blogging helps you build a brand.

Not only do you establish yourself as a brand name, but you also establish authority when you develop content. Show your readers and potential customers that you know what you are talking about. It is important that you come off as an expert in your industry, and the topics you choose to blog about are the key to doing this.

Not sure if you should focus your time on blogging? Contact us to learn more about your content development options.

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Importance of Mobile Responsive Websites

You already know that your customers are online, searching for you or someone like you to fulfill their needs. That’s why you have a stellar website. However, it doesn’t stop there. It’s also essential that your website has a mobile-friendly responsive design.

Customers are moving away from their big screens, unplugging their cords, and moving. More and more, people use their phones, tablets, and even E-book readers to access information, connect with people, and shop for goods and services.

For this reason, every business owner should make sure his or her website is responsive. A responsive website design is one that is compatible with mobile devices. But, it has to do more than just work. It has to load fast. It has to look and feel streamlined instead of disjointed and clunky.

The rules of capturing your readers apply here as much as they do on a PC or laptop: you have mere seconds to attract customers and convince them that they want you. If your website takes a long time to load, or if the content is jumbled and difficult to read, your potential customer will keep moving on. Instant gratification and convenience is what people seek. They will get it, no matter if they’re using a computer or a mobile phone. Make sure your website is responsive and ready to wow mobile device users.

Having a mobile-friendly responsive website has never been more important for businesses. An attractive website that both functions well and looks appealing on mobile devices shines a big, bright light on your business.

If you’d like more information about responsive designs and how they help elevate businesses, please contact us.

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Why Social Media is Important For Your Business

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest: If you own a business, chances are you have heard of one or more of these social media giants. According to one recent study, 91% of retail brands are using multiple social media platforms to grow their customer base. Why is this?

Heightened Visibility

In the economy of brand awareness, over 90% of “hyper growth” companies cite social media as their cash crop. Social media platforms allow a business the potential to reach millions of people, due to the sheer volume of users in each network. And if you believe it’s mostly teenagers running the online scene, you should know that almost two-thirds of American adults use social media currently (a figure which only continues to grow).

Emphasis On Transparency

Social media is as personal as the name suggests. “Friends” and “followers” are automatically updated on all content put forth by your company and may respond through likes, mentions, and messages. Transparency is the cornerstone of millennial values; allowing customers to communicate both praise and criticism directly to your company through social media can grow brand loyalty by fomenting positive, empowered relationships.

Creative Branding Opportunities

How do you wish to portray your business to the world? How should it look, feel, or sound to an audience? If it were a person, how would it speak? Where would it hang out, and with whom? The answers to each of these questions reflects your brand. Social media exists for branding; even personal accounts on Facebook or Twitter encourage individuals to craft their own online identity through photo sharing, status updates, or a brief bio. Developing a unique “voice” through the tools provided by one or more social media platforms is an easy way to develop your business’s brand.

Access to the Modern World Of Marketing

With so many users globally, social media is reshaping the classic human interaction experience. Joining the networking communities of Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram will keep you current with today’s marketing trends, as well as project a relational, innovative image to your customers.

For more reasons why social media is important for your business, please contact us at Speaking Socially Media today.

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Warning: You’re Losing Money by Not Using Content Marketing

Operating a business takes coordination of many processes and people. All of which require small adjustments over time as customers and technology and products change. In particular, your marketing department works tirelessly to keep up with getting your company in front of as many of your ideal customers as possible. No doubt, you are using social media to connect and engage with customers. You are likely using some form of search marketing so that customers will find you with a search for your business or product. You may not be using content marketing. We will explain 3 important reasons why you are leaving money on the table, if you are not creating content on a consistent basis:

1) Providing Value to Your Customers

By offering high quality content to your audience, you have the opportunity to become valuable. And value attracts interest and ultimately sales. Content marketing is a perfect vehicle in which to provide value to your audience and build a relationship with them until they are a customer.

2) Allows You to Out Produce Your Competition

By creating more good content, more frequently than your competition, you can generate a large competitive advantage. It boils down to getting your content distributed in front of as many people as possible, and increasing your likelihood of getting the attention of your prospects. Additionally, it levels the playing field and allows smaller businesses the chance to take down industry titans by creating content that is better than older and established competitors.

3) Builds Relationships

By incorporating guest bloggers into your content marketing, you develop an interconnected web of relationships that help you reach more people. And by guest blogging on other business websites, you get access to their audience as well. You can leverage these new relationships in many ways to expand your network and influence.

By looking at these important reasons why content marketing is essential, you can ensure you are playing in this game and not losing money by not taking advantage of this strategy.

Please contact us for more information on how to use content marketing to drive your business growth.

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3 Steps to Determine if an E-commerce Site is Right For Your Business

I was hanging out with some friends the other night. We were all gathered around a television. 4 friends were staring at their mobile devices. 2 friends were typing away on lap tops. It’s safe to say we are spending a ton of time on our digital devices. That includes purchasing products and services right on the devices.

From a business perspective, as an owner you are looking at whether an e-commerce enabled website is a good investment. We will discuss 3 steps to determine if it is:

1) Analyze what you are selling & understand the buying behavior.

It’s good to understand how your typical customer behaves. For example, if you are selling tee shirts, you can put yourself in your customer’s shoes and begin to understand they buy shirts online and with their phones.

Alternatively, if you have a sprinkler service, you can begin to understand that most people will do a Google search and then call. In this case, an e-commerce site may not generate incremental value.

2) Understand the Complexity of Your Product/Service

If you are selling a product or service that has complexity, you may want to hold off on an e-commerce site. Take a look at the typical sales process and cycle. Do you get a significant amount of questions? Are these answers easy to convey online? Does your sales process require many touches with difficult technical information? These are the types of questions to ask to understand the complexity. If you have a simpler product or service, it may be a good fit for an e-commerce site.

3) Are you willing to commit to paid advertising to your e-commerce site?

Facebook Ads provide incredible opportunities to really target your ideal customer and then drive them to your e-commerce site to convert into sales. Are you willing to invest the resources to really play well in the e-commerce arena?

By looking at these 3 steps, you can determine if an e-commerce site is right for your business. Please contact us for more help in determining if an e-commerce website is right for your small business.

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Facebook Boost: 3 Compelling Reasons to Pay Small to Return Big

If a tree falls in the forest with no one around, does it make a sound? If you pay for a large Facebook Boost with no specific demographic targeted, do you expect a big return?

You might get one, but it will be small.

Not everyone that will see your ad will have a problem that you can solve. In fact, people ignore ads that have no relevance to them.

To be clear here, you do want to draw more customers to your posts in order to convert them to customers, right?

Great! Let’s discuss 3 Compelling Reasons to Pay Small amounts for targeted Facebook boosts to Return Big. You will thank us for this at the end.

You don’t spend tons on money if you don’t yield hoped for results. The days of businesses attempting to grow their Facebook community organically is dying. Besides using social media, blogs or links on your website to drive people to your Facebook, you must pay for target boosts.

You can start small, make  tweaks, and see what happens (make sure you put a limit on spending amounts). If you don’t achieve your desired results, you’re not out of a lot of money. Here’s an example of how a company paid small and returned big!

Nobody likes spam, it’s a bad look for your company. Spam is simply defined as irrelevant or inappropriate messages sent on the Internet to a large number of recipients. Isn’t that what some companies are doing when they are not targeting a specific niche and bombarding people with irrelevant ads?

When a person sees many immaterial posts, emails, etc, they find a way to make that media stop so it doesn’t continue cluttering up their lives. Also, it makes your company look bad in the customer’s eyes that you keep sending them information that they care nothing about.

They could decide to post negative comments to their social community spreading negativity about your brand. 86% of customers say that seeing a bad comment impacts their buying decision.

With targeting your community, you solve their problems. Many of your customers are shaking their heads on what to do next for their business or even certain situations in your person lives. Along comes your post and it helps them tremendously.

Without you targeting your boosts to a specific demographic, your boost would fall on a blind eye and your effort wasted.

It doesn’t make sense to throw a dart at a dart board blindfolded, hoping to hit a bulls-eye. Drill down and be as specific as possible on who you are trying to reach with each Facebook boost. Contact Us and we will help you boost your business by attracting the right customers.

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Why Building an Audience on Social Media is Crucial for Your Business

Having a business of your own is a large undertaking, and one of the most important aspects of a business is an audience to communicate with. One of the most important tools a business can use for this is social media.

As a business, you want to reach as many people as you can, and social media is the tool that will help you do it. Building an audience on social media is crucial for your business because it will bring in more customers, and it will also help generate a positive reputation for your company. There are many reasons to use social media as a business. For starters, a lot of people are already on social media every day. It is a great resource to tap into; once you’re on social media you will be able to connect with a lot of people rather quickly.

The trick is in how you use the platform. To grow your audience you need consistency. By regularly updating your social media accounts you will show your audience the commitment you put into communicating with them. This effort will go a long way into helping you create a positive online presence. Also, the more engaging your content is the more likely people will share your posts with others.

By doing all this you will be able to build a loyal audience on social media. You will be able to reach more people than ever before, and you’ll be able to generate positive word of mouth which will grow your audience even more. What could be better than that?

For more information on social media management and website design for businesses, please contact us.

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