Tips from the Top - March 2014
Does Your Business Need an App?
Smartphones and tablets have become the device of choice for many professionals, which have led to the dominance of apps (short for application). Apple’s popular slogan for their App Store– "There’s an app for that" –has instilled the idea that people need to use apps on their phones rather than go to a website – even websites that are optimized for mobile. In fact, a recent Pollara survey on app use in Canada revealed that we now have an average of 14 apps on our smart devices and use them on a weekly or daily basis…Read more
Using Twitter to Promote Your Business
Behind the hype surrounding Twitter is a tool that offers "word-of-mouth" marketing potential, but on the internet. You can use Twitter to promote your business and build customer loyalty by allowing customers to become connected to you and your brand. While it won’t close a sale on its own, it will improve chances that your followers will purchase from you. Here are some tips to make your "tweets" (Twitter posts) more effective…Read more
Understanding How Different Generations Approach Technology
Technology is pervasive in the workplace. That isn’t a news flash; it’s just reality. When we have an IT or Internet malfunction, my employees are probably less than 20% as effective without their computers. They will catch up on some filing, make a few copies, and then talk about whether they should just go home.
With four generations in the workplace today, how you deploy technology to employees, and how it is utilized, becomes a substantial part of planning for productivity. Each generation has a different approach, and understanding it is critical if you want them to work together as a team…
Navigating the Web of Internet Marketing
Understanding Search Engine Optimization (SEO), keyword searches, how to best architect your website, social media, and everything else that is part of internet marketing can be confusing. Not only is it confusing, but thanks to Google the rules change regularly.
Figuring out who is qualified to do internet marketing work for you is even more challenging, not to mention expensive. To help get clarity, the internet needs to be part of your overall marketing strategy. Spend the time upfront to determine what you really want/need from the internet and your website. For some companies, their websites are primarily online brochures and customer testimonials. They provide validation and credibility to prospects. It is likely that, more often than not, people will come to these sites when they already know about the company so you probably don’t need to invest as much in SEO and other social media activities. Then there are other sites, especially B2C sites, where businesses need to drive customers to their website in order to conduct business. These sites need to execute on specific, well thought out plans that include more expenditures in SEO, social media and other marketing activities that drive people to the website.
In this complicated world of internet marketing, figure out what you need, why you need it and how much you want to spend on it. And then make sure to measure the results of all of your activities so that you know what is working and what isn’t!
Social Media Tracking101
We use several online tools to track the mention of our partners as well as the company. These include Google Alerts [mentioned above], which searches the internet for the keywords you specify; Social Mention, which monitors social media conversations, positive, negative, and neutral; and Addictomatic, which measures various social sites and tracks conversations.
How is Your Online Reputation?
Do you know what people are saying about your business on the internet? With a number of review sites inviting comments, it is particularly important to keep on top of your online reputation. A bad review or complaint on a review site or social networking site, left unanswered, can significantly harm potential future business. One way to learn quickly what people are saying about you – good or bad – is to sign up for Google Alerts. Go to Google Alerts and enter your name, your company name, etc., and you’ll be notified via email when your search term pops up on the Web. You can set up alerts to monitor your competitors’ names.
Acquiring Testimonials from Social Media
During one of our Board meetings, we discussed various methods of obtaining testimonials for our marketing efforts. One of our members suggested acquiring testimonials through social media sites such as LinkedIn. By asking clients for LinkedIn "Recommendations," his company was able to develop a long list of testimonials for use on their website.
Stay in Touch with Email Marketing
Consider using an email marketing provider (such as Constant Contact, MailChimp, or Swiftpage) to create top of mind awareness for your business with your customers. These providers can help you create professional and effective text and HTML email messages that reach your customers. These services are very inexpensive and have been tested to help reduce pre-screening as junk mail. Even more importantly, by using a third party provider, you don’t risk having your company network (IP address) added to email blacklists. They also provide open and click results and other features for more effective follow-up and database segmentation. Try to keep the HTML version of your email simple, and include some text to bypass image blocking. Be aware that most tools don’t test the HTML email with clients such as GMail, AOL, Hotmail or Yahoo unless you pay extra – testing your email with different clients guarantees they will be able to see them.