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.

 

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.

Link Bait only a Typesetter Could Love

I had a friend suggest I take a look at a humorous Youtube video they stumbled across. Several of us enjoyed watching it in the office, but it takes a special kind of viewer to enjoy this one. I know I’ve seen clients roll their eyes upward during any conversation about the emotion or imagery created by a…

wait on it…

Particular. Font. Type.

Yeah, I get it. Only professionals really care about the finer points of their jobs. Sure, a Serif by any other treatment is a Sans Serif to another. But, watching this kind of short video can help communicate how font choices may indeed create some indirect emotion or imagery. Plus, if you’re a marketing techno geek, it’s cheeky and fun.

So, without further ado, here’s a peak at the last Font Conference:

Fewer Words Matter

The hardest part of any marketing task is communicating your message in just a few words.

I have been telling friends for years that a marketing degree should start with “Marketing 101: How to Describe It in 100 Words.” It would be a weekly course and every week the student would have to describe the same item, but in fewer and fewer words. The final would be a Google Adwords Ad…here is it’s format:
25 Characters
35 Characters
25 Characters

That’s less than 100 Characters, including spaces. And in that 100 characters you have to grab a person’s attention, differentiate yourself and entice them to click on your Ad among all others.

Most firms we begin helping have a tough time saying what they do in a paragraph.

One of the SEM mentors I follow posted this video, which I think sums all this up in two spoken sentences and one written one.

Can you describe your company in seven words or less? Give it a shot, you may be surprised at the results!

Study shows Small Businesses with Revenue Growth due to Increased Online Marketing

There’s not doubt that many businesses have substantially cut costs in Sales, Marketing & Advertising. However, according to the “Small Business Marketing Health Check” report from Hurwitz & Associates, small businesses that are doing well have increased their expenditures in marketing, especially online.

The study showed small businesses with increased revenues shifted marketing initiatives toward cheaper digital media and away from traditional channels. The three key online marketing methods used by these small businesses were use of social networking, email newsletter campaigns and ‘search’ (which really means “Pay Per Click”, such as Google’s Adwords platform).

“The survey clearly reveals that the use of low-cost Web-based marketing tools is playing a strategic role in helping businesses succeed,” said Laurie McCabe, partner, Hurwitz & Associates

Thanks to eMarketer’s blog for originally posting details of this report. There are graphs showing various breakdowns of small business revenue, marketing spend and projected spend at this blog.

Online Advertising Increases, but Newspapers are losing there too.

It’s sad. Even online advertising on major newspaper home pages is dwindling. These guys can’t catch a break. I fear the death of newspapers and really believe Craigslist is the killer. Not really Craigslist, because online classifieds were going to happen; effectively diminishing a multi-billion dollar local classified industry down to the $100+ million revenue of just one company with less than 50 employees.

And this New York Times article shows even major newspaper brands continue to lose revenue to more pedestrian online sites. So, while online advertising continues to increase, these news outlets are seeing less and less of the money. Apparently, even major advertising campaigns spending $100,000 per WEBSITE are finding that smaller, targeted ad campaigns are more efficient and effective. However, I think blending the use of these sites, as discussed in the article, is very effective for Brand Image promotion along with product sales/lead generation.

From the article: Over all, the Internet is the only advertising medium expected to grow this year in the United States, rising 9.2 percent, to $54.1 billion, according to figures released this month by ZenithOptimedia, a media service firm.

My small business accounts already understand this. I’ve encouraged them to increase spending on their Internet marketing from improving their websites to trying new pay per click or direct email campaigns. We’ve found funds by cutting back in more traditional marketing areas, such as less print (Ads & collateral), less trade shows, less travel. And so far, we’re very pleased with our results.

So it begs asking…what multi-billion dollar industry are we hurting? I guess I shouldn’t think poorly of my ‘friend’, Craig. Afterall, ‘he’ did help me sell my leather Den furniture in just two days. 🙂