How NOT to use Facebook to Promote Your Business

imagesWe have helped quite a few independent businesses get started with solid Online Internet Marketing methods and advice. We recognize how social media usage, search engine optimization and online marketing can be just as difficult and off-topic from their core knowledge as Quickbooks and Accounting practices.

Even with this understanding, I’m a little surprised to be pointing out the obvious of how NOT to use your Facebook page to win business and influence friends in 2013.

But, apparently its worth reminding business owners that social networks are the front store that most potential customers will see before ever walking in your door.

Don’t give people an excuse to walk past your storefront…but definitely don’t give them an excuse to throw mud and trash on it either.

Need an example? Annie Colbert at Mashable has just posted this article that summarizes a recent Facebook meltdown by Amy’s Baking Company Bakery Boutique & Bistro.

 

Mr. Google, Matt Cutts, foretells the Future of SEO

ImageMatt Cutts has recently given a heads-up for what webmasters and SEO experts should expect over the summer of 2013. He addresses Google’s “Most Wanted” List of Top Ten things to watch out for:

http://searchengineland.com/googles-matt-cutts-black-hat-link-spammers-less-likely-to-show-up-in-search-results-after-summer-159185

[Giving a Shout-Out to Barry Schwartz over at SearchEngineLand for that link to a really nice summary of Matt's presentation. I often keep an eye on Barry's posts, along with other great journalists at SearchEngineLand.com.]

Rolling a new website

SEO-2013-and-beyond-350x218I’ve written previously about the issues involved in doing a complete redo of your website. Often, when a new account hires Astute Marketing, we are asked to “redo their website”. This process seems to always mean creating a whole new look, new headers, written content and pictures. Many companies envision a review process across the entire new site, and once approved, a flipping of the switch so that the old site disappears and the new site instantly shows up.

Serious issues can occur if you chose to flip a completely new site live, replacing your old one. Google may choose to no longer offer your site as highly as it used to do for the same search terms or keyword(s). There are ways to make sure this doesn’t occur, but depending on the size of your site and other factors, even those tools or tricks may not prevent some significant penalty.

Don’t roll a new site if you haven’t had this discussion with your team. If they don’t know anything about the subject…and many, many web developers do not…then you need to halt that process until you are comfortable that a knowledgeable person is directing the effort.

Just as a reminder, I thought posting this article from Brafton might help you remember the dangers of massive website updates before its too late. I’ve also written about “Mr. Google”, Matt Cutts, numerous times. This post discusses his latest response to a question at SXSW 2013 about pushing thousands of archive pages to a new site. Matt points out that a site doing so could get caught in several ways, either by a Panda trigger or manual review, that would adversely impact their traffic and search results.

Don’t roll that new site until you are comfortable you won’t be penalized. Use a professional or change things a little at a time.

What Skills Define a Modern Marketer?

Artist or Scientist? Turns out, a bit of both, with a dash of other.
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Eloqua has published a research report entitled “Defining the Modern Marketer: From Real to Ideal.”

The study found that the modern marketer persona is ideally three-fold – a hybrid of content marketer, brand marketer and web marketer. These three “marketer types” were chosen by survey participants when asked about the current modern marketer role. Successful marketing, however, includes more than three roles and should factor in the use of marketing technology (CRM systems, marketing automation), analytics, targeting, conversion (prospect to customer) and engagement (the right content through the right channels). These five marketing areas were chosen to make up the ideal modern marketer scorecard. The ideal modern marketer has the optimal percentage of all five skill areas – adding up to 100 percent.

But all the right skills won’t matter, if you don’t know the customer.

The good news? If you know your customer, you can turn to professionals with these skills. And that’s often the definition of today’s Modern Business Leader.

Is Your Blog a Fine Steak Dinner or a Cheap Chinese Buffet?

FINALLY an article that will SAVE YOU TIME. I’m about to tell you to STOP blogging so much. Maybe even stop tweeting and updating statuses so much on LinkedIn and Facebook, too.

How’s that feel? Big time saver, I know. But, should you be concerned that this will hurt your SEO rankings?

James from MenWithPens.ca has written a thought-provoking article about ditching your regular blogging schedule. She contends it is much better to have the occasional article that people relish reading, send to others and link to in their online conversations. And I’ve found she is probably right. The articles from blogs I’ve managed for clients tend to get much more actionable activity when they’re meatier and more spread out between publications.

Bored-Reader

Her advice seems pretty obvious from this statement she writes:

“So here’s a thought: Let’s forget the cheap Chinese buffet rule of having consistent blogging schedule and ditch it in favour of an occasional steak dinner. The kind you save up for and enjoy. The kind you really savour. The kind you look forward to because it’s rare. And because it’s that good.”

What do you think? Post a comment and let us know.

Clever Logos Don’t Happen By Accident

Hidden message in Tostitos Logo?msnNOW.com has a great visual slide presentation of twenty corporate logos that are almost all instantly recognizable. However, prepare yourself for a few double-takes. My biggest surprise of all these? The Atlanta Falcons logo. And I was born and raised in Atlanta and have been an Atlanta Falcon (& Braves!) fan all my life.

A friend and I were going over the logos and he thought the hidden message in the FedEx logo may be  coincidental. It wasn’t. We stress to our clients how important it is to seek out and be willing to pay for an experienced, professional graphics design shop when considering a company or product brand logo.

But, since a Logo is worth a 1,000.000 Orders, you be the judge. Intentionally clever? Subtly hidden just for insiders? What do you think? Click on first sentence to see the entire slide show presentation.

Are you Kevin Bacon Close to your Customers?

Are you Chuck Norris Bacon Close to Your Clients?

Chuck Norris Bacon Number

Google just added a new search option, called the Bacon Number. Adding Bacon Number to an Actor or Celebrity name will calculate and display the other actors that have mutually worked with Kevin Bacon or your provided actor in the same movie. Or worked with an Actor that later worked with one of them. For each actor that is needed to link the original actor to Kevin, that counts as one degree of separation.

This fun little actor trivia game is based on Six degrees of separation, a concept that refers to the idea that everyone is on average approximately six steps away, by way of introduction, from any other person on Earth, so that a chain of “a friend of a friend” statements can be made, on average, to connect any two people in six steps or fewer. It was originally set out by Frigyes Karinthy and popularized by a play written by John Guare.

So, now that you have Google’s help, see if you can find an Actor with a Bacon Number greater than 3. You’ll likely be amazed how small, or tight, the “Hollywood” industry appears when viewed from a “How Connected Are They” search tool.

Unfortunately, your industry doesn’t have a Bacon Number Tool, but it is almost certainly as connected. You are probably no more than 3 degrees, and no further than six degrees, away from every client or potential client. And they are that close to each other as well.

This close connectivity within an industry, or a community, is what makes social networking so effective for businesses, even small ones. Ask your next new customer how they found out about you. If it’s a person, thank them on your Facebook page and Twitter.