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Posted on: April 12, 2013 by in Uncategorized
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You might have been considering whether or not it’s advisable for your business to spend the time and expense needed to develop and implement a mobile app for your business. Does a mobile app even make sense for your small business? What would it cost? Who’s going to update it? These and many other questions need answers in order to really make an educated decision. Let’s examine some of what you need to know.

Developing a Mobile App: Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Over 50 percent of adult Americans are using smartphones for consumer and business functions
  • Keeps your brand visible in the marketplace
  • A great tool for increasing customer loyalty and retention
  • App users typically spend much more time on apps than on mobile sites
  • Mobile apps usually load faster than mobile sites
  • Mobile apps are available offline, though users will need to login to perform any actions, such as purchases

Cons:

  • Mobile apps are required for each different mobile platform
  • Mobile apps require perpetual care, both as regard fresh content in addition to technology updates
  • Mobile apps are not as easy to optimize as a mobile website
  • Mobile ads may very well serve the same purpose
  • Apps can be very expensive! If you go the Do It Yourself route, be prepared for a lot of headaches, as they frequently break, and need to be updated.

We all know that there are as many uses for an app than you could ever imagine, but some are superior to others. This is an example of how apps were developed in the health care market. Making sure your app is useful and not a mere novelty goes a long way toward helping you make your choice. While it’s pretty much a given that you need a mobile version of your website, the question of whether or not you should shell out what might be big bucks for an app is one you want to examine carefully. Take your time to weigh the pros and cons for your business before you leap into building a mobile app!

Posted on: April 8, 2013 by in Uncategorized
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Way back in the day (last year) it was a relatively simple undertaking to rank your pages in Google’s search engine results. Optimize the pages, have good, unique content and create a slew of backlinks to them.

Ahh, the good ‘ol days.

No longer. Google has upped the ante, and besides making sure we are still managing to accomplish the majority of the above named items, we are now expected to have a viable and buzzing social media presence as well! What this means is complete social profiles, daily or more posts, and interaction with your peeps consistently.

So exactly how do we create these “social signals”?

So how do we do this without tearing out all of our hair? Here are three easy methods for you to quickly increase customer engagement, grow your audience, and boost word of mouth regarding your business.

  1. Utilize visual media – However you slice it, most of us now would prefer to watch than read. Whether we are pushed to this by time constraints or the fact that it’s simply easier, that appears to be the state of society these days. Backing that up, Facebook reports that photos and videos attract 53 percent more likes than text alone.
  2. Do it later in the day – Customer engagement by way of likes, shares and follows, are occurring later in the day, based on this infographic. (See, you wanted to look at it, didn’t ya!)
  3. Be quick to respond – Getting people to respond to you is challenging enough: don’t leave them hanging! Be sure you develop the practice of replying to comments, tweets and status updates as quickly as possible. You’re wanting to engage, not find a way avoid this!

Here’s a cool example of a business getting inventive with social media: Comodo, a restaurant in New York City, launched a menu that used tagged images, enabling customers to look through and see what they have to offer. Your business could also find new customers and further engage with the ones you have now by using these simple suggestions!

Posted on: February 28, 2013 by in Uncategorized
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Easy Ways to Inject Life into Your Facebook Page

If you’re asking yourself the best way to boost your Facebook page, I’d like to give you eight solid techniques for fast improvement that won’t cost anything but a bit of time. The following tips will not only help you optimize for Facebook and Google search better, but will also lay the foundation for better social interaction, and that is where the money is these days.

  1. Make a Commitment – Facebook takes some time and thought. Many are the marketers who have planned to use a Facebook page for their business, and soon abandoned it, which also says something about your company. Make a commitment to post and get involved frequently, or it could be counter-productive!
  2. Create a Custom URL – You should definitely get a custom URL for your page. The one it includes isn’t likely to aid with search engine optimization (SEO) or for anyone looking for you.
  3. Don’t Repeat Your Tweets – Twitter is fantastic, but don’t make us live through things twice. Be unique with what you post on your Facebook page. Your extra effort will be rewarded.
  4. Keep Updates Short and Sweet – Like it or not, consumers are into short these days. There’s a place and time for longer pieces, but generally try to keep your posts short – 150 characters or less.
  5. Deliver Lots of Awesome Content – Creating content that people can use and are talking about will be the #1 mission for your page.
  6. Engagement with Your Readers – Don’t be shy about stimulating conversation, asking questions, holding contests or anything else that will get the conversation rolling!
  7. Be Responsive to Problems – Take anyone that complains seriously, and be proactive in response to anyone who asks questions. It is possible to head off a lot of trouble this way.
  8. Post Photos – According to Facebook, posts that include a photo album, picture or video generate about 180%, 120% and 100% more engagement than text-only posts, respectively.

Implementing these suggestions will give you a great start towards making your Facebook page a far more lively place!

Posted on: February 25, 2013 by in Uncategorized
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Tips to Rock Your Google Local Listing

So far, Google+ is sort of like that dog that keeps coming back into your yard searching for scraps. I mean, what should you do with him? The truth is, this dog can hunt! Businesses are starting to wake up to the opportunities with Google+, aiding not only with social media interaction, local visibility on the internet, and helping establish your brand; but the many ways it helps you with your content. And it’s obtaining results: websites using the +1 Button increase page traffic by 350%, and over 925,000 people join Google+ every day!

Seven Strategies for Utilizing Your Google+ Page

Here are seven ways to get your Google+ page to help your business.

  1. Your Google+ profile – Complete it. Do this with thought. Make sure you use interesting photos and images, and link to your other social media profiles.
  2. List your local contact info – Provide business hours, your contact information, and also maps and directions.
  3. Link to your sites – be sure you link to your main business blog or site. This is a must!
  4. Create a business page – Showcase your business where it counts. This has direct benefits for search engine results and for people that find you on Google+.
  5. Link out to your content –Doing this will have a number of benefits, first of all getting them indexed almost instantly, and also a number of other search engine advantages. You can even use your Google+ page to make posts, including multimedia which can link out to your posts elsewhere.
  6. Utilize Direct Connect – Utilize this feature in Google+ to let visitors to add you to circles when they find you in search. Think of this as a Facebook “Like”.
  7. Use video chat in Google+ Hangouts – This tool is incredibly useful. Any time you conduct a video chat, Google+ streams it, records it, and sends you the recording via email. After that you can upload to YouTube if you wish, thus creating more useful content. One terrific way to use this is to produce impromptu product demos.

This barely scratches the surface of what’s possible with Google+. To see even more strategies along with a cool infographic on the subject see this post on CopyBlogger.

Posted on: February 21, 2013 by in Uncategorized
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5 Marketing Strategies Big Business Doesn’t Want Small Business to Know About

Mobile marking can be a goldmine!

However, given the marketing activities of many small businesses, you’d never know this.

While it’s true that the mobile revolution has arrived, small business owners are still struggling to catch up with changing consumer behavior. In a Web.com survey of 500 small-business owners, only 26 percent of respondents said they’ve invested time and money in ensuring that their site was optimized for mobile devices. Exactly what does this mean for you? It means you have a great opportunity to stand out as a leader among local businesses—and poach competitors’ customers in the process!

More than half of all searches are now being done on a mobile device and you being a small business owner can take advantage of that. Even a small business with limited funds can use these five ways to target mobile users.

  1. Mobile Optimized Site – Ensuring that the site is optimized properly for mobile is step one, and without it pretty much everything else doesn’t matter. Make sure it is designed with mobile in mind, and is available on all platforms. According to market research from Google, 61 percent of consumers will leave a website if it’s not optimized for mobile.
  2. Look into Mobile Ads – Mobile ads are cheap and effective. This might sound surprising but at the moment lots of the inventory goes unsold each month and this keeps the costs down. This makes it a prime time to jump in and explore the concept of mobile advertising.
  3. SMS and Push Notifications – SMS messages (text messages) have a great open rate. According to Frost and Sullivan, they are opened at an amazing 95 percent! Push notifications are also another great method to keep in contact with your customers who choose to opt-in.
  4. Using Mobile with Your Social Media – Having the capability to connect real-time with your social networks and send links to coupons, specials, events or a link to your latest YouTube video is a quick way to not just increase traffic and buzz, but also to aid your site’s search engine ranking. Google hangouts are also now becoming a new and exciting way to reach potential customers in real-time.
  5. Location Based Marketing and Passbook – Your small business has to be found on the web. In the past, it meant Foursquare and Yelp. While this still is true, you also have to begin investigating new technology like Passbook as well. Passbook is an excellent new app that allows its user to store all kinds of stuff like boarding passes, gift cards, coupons, store cards, coupons and all sorts of mobile payments.

The most critical thing for local businesses is to gather knowledge and constantly keep learning. Remember, it doesn’t have to be difficult and it doesn’t have to be extravagant. You just have to begin where you are and never stop learning.