We’ve seen it far too many times.
A company rushes to get on Facebook or pay for banner ads on some website before thinking about the customer experience to follow.
It’s kind of like buying paint and furniture before you even hire a construction company to build your house. But it’s worse because you’re not only losing potential customers – you could be leaving current customers with a bad taste.
The first and most important piece of advice is to follow up your social media brainstorming session by taking a step back.
What do you really want to accomplish?
If you’re planning a big event for your business and you’re telling people about it through a social media ad, are users who click being directed right to your home page clueless as to where to click next?
Or did you have the IntelliSites’ Albany web design team design a custom landing page connected to your site with information specific to what you’re advertising?
Have you ever clicked a link and then been utterly confused as to where to go? That’s the result of poor web design and most likely limited forethought.
Things like the text you use, the images and especially the layout of a page specific to bringing in new customers play a HUGE role!
Knowing how your customers will approach a web page is especially helpful if you’re using social media to get people to sign up for a specific e-mail list.
Perhaps you’re launching a new line of products next year and want to remind everyone when it happens.
Let your Facebook friends know (but make sure not to post too often and SPAM them — they’ll end up ignoring you) and point them to a sign-up form on your website.
Make sure you’re clear as to what they’re signing up for and stick to it. You’ll build a stronger base that way.
If you want to have your social media followers sign up for additional e-mail reminders, you can offer that as separate checkboxes in your form.
Not sure where to begin? Let the experienced Albany web design team at IntelliSites advise you.Filed under: Social Media, Usability
A just-released Pew poll found that the number of adults using social networking sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and MySpace is up from 2010.
Half of all American adults now say they use social media — a first, according to Pew. That’s about 65 percent of all adult Internet users.
“The graying of social networking sites continues, but the oldest users are still far less likely to be making regular use of these tools,” said report co-author Mary Madden. “While seniors are testing the waters, many Baby Boomers are beginning to make a trip to the social media pool part of their daily routine.”
How do you make sure you’re the page users choose to visit?
The answer is simple: give them a reason to return.
Give your social media friends, fans, etc. a reason to return and actually engage them.
What might work best really depends on your customers — and you know them best.
Just don’t make the mistake of thinking you’re only targeting 20-somethings on your Facebook page. Unless you make products exclusively for 20-somethings, chances are the top of your age demographic is MUCH higher.
The best advice we can give is to plan out your social media strategy just as you would any other marketing plan. It might seem less expensive than traditional media, but you have to invest time in keeping it running and updated. It’s not a set-it-and-forget-it deal.
Who will be responsible for responding to customer comments? Who will decide what kinds of deals you can offer? Who will decide the content of your Facebook page posts or Tweets? These are just some of the things you should consider.
Are you looking for some social media guidance or how-to training? Let the experts here at IntelliSites help!Filed under: Social Media
In the world of SEO, there are plenty of smart, trustworthy people. They keep up on the industry, watch for Google’s next move, and provide measured advice. These people look like this, this and this.
But there are also plenty of con artists out there. These are the people who build their sales pitches around buzzwords. Who assume that reading a Wikipedia page about social media or SEO makes them an expert. Who believe they can sell ice to Eskimos, and would do so at the drop of a hat.
These, my friends, are the SEO Quacks. Sometimes, they look like this. Other times though, they look just like you and me.
So how do you know if you’re talking to a quack or a legit expert? Here are some traits that the fakers have in common:
Remember Kriss Kross? The 90′s kid rappers whose gimmick was wearing their pants backwards? Check out about 20 seconds into this video if you need a reminder of how dumb this looked.
Sadly, there were some kids who didn’t understand that the rearranged trousers look was just music industry hype. As a result, I bet we all knew a kid who showed up at school with his pants in a holy mess, dumbfounded that his popularity didn’t blow through the roof.
Old media playing in SEO is like this. They’re amazed at how forward thinking they are. Actual SEOs are laughing.
Smart SEO is strategic and flexible. It doesn’t come in neatly wrapped packages. Smart SEO works from a custom strategy, bespoke to a client’s individual needs.
If you want guaranteed rankings, talk to Google directly. In theory, they could promise you rankings. They’re the only ones who can. And they’re not going to do it.
Google is a black box. You put a search in one end and results come out the other end. No one fully knows what happens in the middle. A good SEO has some educated guesses and research to support those guesses. But in the end, they can’t guarantee rankings.
Don’t fall for it. If you do fall for it, come talk to us next. We’re offering an incredible deal on some lovely beachfront property in the arctic circle. You’d be a great match.
A client of ours showed me some clickthrough reports from an ad campaign they bought from a local media source. It was a one page excel spreadsheet with no hint as to where it came from, how the numbers were calculated, or what the client might have gotten out of those clicks.
For all I know, these are propaganda stats. They came from a proprietary tracking system that I’ve never seen. Maybe they’re a good representation of the truth, but the client is powerless to challenge them.
Real tracking comes from robust analytics. If you’re sold an SEO package without access to something like Google Analytics, think twice. Heck, think four times. This will mean you are at the mercy of your vendor for success stats. And they’re able to show you any stats they like.
Google’s keyword tool is immensely helpful for figuring out what the best keywords are for a business to target. But if you don’t know anything about match types, you’re going to find yourself more optimistic than you should be.
I don’t want to nerd out here and talk too much about match types (this conversation pretty much covers it), but let me just say this: If a salesperson doesn’t use the correct keyword match type when they do their research, they’re going to show you numbers that are very misleading.
A word to the wise – take a few minutes to learn about match types. It could mean the difference between buying a smart SEO package and a lemon.
The fact that I keep hearing SEO salespeople talking about keyword meta tags in 2011 just flat out blows my mind. The short story is this: THEY DON’T MATTER.
Some metatags are still important, but most aren’t. For the non-nerd reader, keyword meta tags are little pieces of code that used to work like gangbusters to get your site ranked on Google.
The key phrase here is used to work. Google itself tells the world these don’t matter one bit anymore, and it doesn’t look like they’re making a comeback anytime soon.
If a salesperson tells you he’s going to update your keyword meta tags for you, smack him. Tell him 1996 called and it wants it’s silly web marketing tactic back. Then politely suggest he consider selling something else like used cars, pet rocks or snake oil.
I bet you’ve probably been approached already by someone selling SEO. If you haven’t, it’s coming. Hopefully it’s someone like us. Not to toot our own horns but we know a thing or two about it.
Sadly, it’s more likely that you’ll be cornered by a fast-talking schmo, eager to get as many buzzwords under your nose as possible.
Don’t play dead – he’ll only talk more. Instead, use your rapier-like wit and ask the following questions. If they induce stammering, sweating, or trouser-soiling, shuffle your newly flaccid friend out the door like so many recyclables.
SEO is pointless if it’s not addressing your business’ goals. We small businesses don’t have huge marketing budgets, so we need to spend our money smartly. We’ve got to make sure we’re investing in ROI.Filed under: Marketing Your Site, Search Engine Marketing, Social Media
Some companies really get social media. If you’re one of these, you probably know who you are.
Some companies well… they don’t so much. Humorously, they often don’t know they’re clueless. Even more ridiculously, they think they ‘got it’ first.
Have you ever been to a playground where there’s that one parent who never smiles? You know. Their kids are running around laughing, screaming but that parent just sits on the bench with that “why did we decide to have one more” look. And they’re like that every time you see them?
Welcome to the playground that is social media.
Some companies are great at social media and others just try too hard.
Their Tweets are so dumbed down after layers upon layers of corporate red tape that their social media branding comes across as fake (understatement) and contrived.
It’s not even a battle of quality versus quantity. It’s more like that smile a husband gives his wife who puts on her wedding dress on their anniversary.
Or like mom when she tries to sing along to your favorite song.
Take a look at the photo above. Is it obvious to you which ones get it and which one doesn’t get it?
Note the word “social” in social media. Be real. Talk to your followers and fans like you would a friend. Not like a judge. Ask their opinions on things. Make yourself relatable. And actually respond if you ask a question (it’s called a Retweet, people). Don’t spam your followers with stupid sales and gimmicks. Funny photos are great – but not of your crotch.
Don’t just try to be social, actually be social. Otherwise, you become that guy who just stands over your desk at work until you acknowledge his arrival.
People (especially younger ones), current customers and potential clients are more electronically intuitive these days. They know when posts are lifeless.
Not sure where to start? If you’re talking about it in your office, talk about it online, too. The Internet is like one giant water cooler (our water cooler has a life of its own. Follow @intellicooler).
Are you taking in your surroundings every day and enjoying the ride? Do YOU get it?Filed under: Experiencing the Web, Marketing Your Site, Social Media, Uncategorized, Web Tips and How-tos
Anything that people spend a lot of time doing provides a great marketing opportunity. Nowadays, people spend a lot of time updating their statuses, chatting, spying on long-lost acquaintances, cultivating their Farmville crops, or otherwise interacting with that famous white screen…
Enter Facebook Ads.
Now that Facebook is everywhere, advertising on Facebook is a super way to reach out to the world. While folks are browsing their friends’ posts and profiles, they are simultaneously viewing advertisements that Facebook positions on the right side of their screens. These clickable ads make it easy for a user to jump over to the website or Facebook page of any company whose ad piques his interest.
But here’s the thing. Not only do Facebook ads provide clickable advertisements to a group of people who are most likely just killing time, but they also can provide these ads to people from very specific demographics. If you think about your Facebook profile, the information you share gives away a lot about you. Many people openly share their interests, their educational background, their employment history, their marital status, and more. This is information that marketing list maker types used to have to dig around to get, but these days many people are happy to broadcast it to the Facebook world. So without doing any snooping, Facebook can make sure that your ad pops up on the screens of people who are most likely to respond to it. This is target marketing at its most precise.
In the case studies tab on their advertising page, Facebook gives a pretty solid example of how this can benefit business owners. Since Facebook users often share their relationship status on their profiles, it’s easy to market specifically to people who are engaged. The page shows an example of a photography company who benefited tremendously from advertising on Facebook to women who had chosen “Engaged” as their relationship status.
We can’t tell you exactly how much it’s going to cost, but you can tell us. Like PPC campaigns through Google, the cost of advertising on Facebook varies based on your budget. Facebook offers a PPC-style option which allows people to pay only when a user clicks on the ad, and once you’ve reached your predetermined daily budget, Facebook stops displaying your ad for the rest of the day. Another option is to set up a Cost Per Thousand Impressions (“CPM”) campaign where you pay a flat rate every time your ad is displayed 1000 times. Either way, it’s up to you how much you want to spend, making it possible for businesses large and small to take advantage of Facebook ads.
So if you’re looking for a way to advertise your page to specific targets at a price you set yourself (AND to justify spending more time on Facebook at the same time), give Facebook ads a try.Filed under: Marketing Your Site, Social Media