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.

 

Advertisements

What Skills Define a Modern Marketer?

Artist or Scientist? Turns out, a bit of both, with a dash of other.
20130429-162504.jpg

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.

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.

Three ways to use LinkedIn.com more Effectively

LinkedIn.comWe’re very excited to see LinkedIn’s continued growth in popularity as well as the tweaks and redesign of their site and content promotion. As it’s popularity and respect has grown, it presents more and more opportunity to companies and individuals to promote their message.

Here’s a good start it improving your use of LinkedIn:

LinkedIn.com: 3 Ways to use it more efficiently.

SXSW: Bing gets Social. Google Wants to Paint Too Much SEO Black.

The SEO community is all-a- buzz about an SXSW presentation on Search Engine Optimization. Two really interesting items resulted from a panel with “Mr. Google”, Matt Cutts and Bing’s counterpart, Duane Forrester. Both of them discussed interesting aspects to their approach. One that matters for larger businesses, one for smaller businesses.

The SEO blog-o-sphere is chattering about an audio post from SEOLand of the SXSW discussion. Essentially, Matt is pre-announcing an upcoming change that may target websites that are “overly optimized”.  He was defensively responding to a question about the increasing frequency of top results being irrelevant to the actual search. They want to stop fluff sites from over-ranking relevant sites, including Mom & Pop shops. Previously, his stance was a site couldn’t be overly optimized, unless using black hat techniques.

Most businesses seem to struggle with doing the basic fundamental best practices across all avenues of their online marketing, so this approach is likely a good thing. Now, don’t misinterpret Matt. Good, solid SEO techniques are still critical to ranking higher on Google’s Search Engine Result Page (SERP) as shown in this video:

The real news for smaller businesses is Duane’s response, just following Matt’s. Because of  Bing’s continued relationship with Facebook, their response to this issue is to promote what users on Facebook are sharing and liking. This will help content rise even if no links point to it.

Microsoft also announced more about their deal with Twitter.  Duane stressed that products or services from smaller or newer businesses will receive higher search results if social network amplification is occurring. (Meaning, someone sharing or liking something that was exposed to them from someone in their network, which is further shared by someone another degree away.)

Duane’s response exposes Google’s current weakness that Bing could exploit if it can attract enough searchers.

Google’s Change to Search Algorithm Affects 35% of Sites’ Search Results

Google continues to roll out massive, structural changes and, just like their Panda release earlier this year, this latest change will affect 35% of sites showing up in search results. More than 1/3 of the sites on the Internet may start or stop showing up on the first page of results.

Do you even know if your site has been affected? And if it is, do you understand why?

Google has made this major adjustment to force “more recent” content as the highest results. While this makes sense for searching on many news, gossip, financial and political topics, it could reek havoc on a great product-oriented website.

Once again, Google has upped the difficulty. You need to understand what “recent” means in your industry and for the type of site you have designed.

Unfortunately, it’s not that easy, though, to work out what qualifies as ‘recent’, according to Google fellow Amit Singhal in the official Google blog post on this new change.