• Are you telling your brand story in social media?

Tag: google

When was the last time you searched for you or your company online? Most consumers will start their search online before ever using your company. Reviews, social media interaction, comments left on product pages, website ease of use, and more are key factors in determining whether a new customer or client will do business with you.
When you consider that online reviews are the key to people’s trust in your business, the choice is clear. You have to know what people are saying about you. A recent survey by BrightLocal states that 84% of people will trust an online review the same as word-of-mouth.
This means it’s more important than ever for you to take control of your social platforms. You want those conversations to happen with you and your social channels. That’s not all. Knowing how they find you can help you identify new opportunities to reach customers on platforms that you’re either not using or have underdeveloped. In some cases, it can even help your company evolve to meet the changes of your customer base.
I’ve compiled a list of ways to find out how you’re being searched.
Use Multiple Search Engines
If you want to know how people find you, the best way to begin is by using Google or Bing to see how you measure up. A key point here is to use your browser’s private browsing feature so that your previous searches don’t affect the results. Google uses “Incognito” and Firefox has “Private Browsing” but they both work the same.
Do a search for your business name and see what the first page results are. You’ll likely find your website/blog, Facebook page, review sites like Yelp, online listing platforms like Google My Business, and other social networks.
After that search is complete, you’ll want to try search terms that could drive people to your business. Start with your website. Most website analytics will track the search terms that get people to your site. Compile that list and start searching. Where do you stand in first page ranking?
Next, you’ll want to do a local search for your business using key terms related to your work. This one is easy. Take your most popular key terms and add your town to the end of the search. A repair shop, for instance, would search for “car shop in [town name]”. If you offer particular services, make sure you use those terms as well. Where do you stand?
With this list, you can determine where your business is showing up and note the places where it should be listed, but isn’t.
Social Media
Make sure you use Twitter and Facebook’s search options to see what people are saying about your business. Search your business name first. What do you find? If your business has a more common name, you can add keywords to the list. This is a search you should often perform, since it helps you stay on top of customer complaints and celebrate business successes.

Also, your online presence will play a big factor in the impression you make to anyone searching for your business. What are they finding? Are the accounts current – or have they not been updated in ages? If you have social media accounts active, showing a lack of current content makes the audience believe you are no longer investing in your business. It’s better to not have an account at all then to have one that hasn’t been updated in ages.

If you have been posting recently, does that content coincide with your branding strategy and goals for the current year? Or is it random and confusing for your audience – sharing content that appeals to you but isn’t strategic can be damaging and counterproductive.
Set Up Analytics
You can use Google Alerts to search the web for keywords related to your business. Those results will be sent to your inbox as often as you wish. Social media platforms like Facebook now offer analytics, and you’ll want to keep track of those. Google My Business offers insights for your business listings. As mentioned earlier, you can also set up your website analytics to find out how people are tracking you. The tools are available, so make sure you use them.
Once you figure how they find you, the next step is to make it easier to connect with your business. The key to success is to keep on top of this. Your online reputation and being #AwesomeInSocial work hand in hand in convincing potential clients to contact you and set up a discovery session.
Be sure to Follow us and Let’s Engage!
Hollie Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media, Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedInFacebookTwitterBlogGoogle+YouTubePinterestInstagram and the tools to manage them.



In this high-tech fast-paced world, having a solid SEO expert on your team is imperative to your company’s success. As your small business expands, outsourcing SEO may be a good idea. With all the options out there, how do you find the right fit for you?

What type of work is needed for your company’s site? There are three main types of SEO professionals: independent contractors, SEO firms, and in-house employees.

If you’re branching out for the first time, it’s imperative that you hire an independent SEO consultant to set up an initial strategy. This gives you a roadmap for future SEO employment.

Independent contractors are typically more cost effective for smaller businesses, and can be hired by the hour or by project. SEO firms are companies with teams who work on a contractual basis with clients. Expect to pay a minimum of $2000 for any project with a firm. An in-house employee is usually for a large or rapidly expanding company as it is the most expensive option.

If you choose an independent contractor or SEO firm, there are three types of payment structures: pay by the project, pay by the hour, or a retainer fee (a monthly fee that reserves their time to work on your site).

Whether you choose an independent contractor, a firm, or the in-house option, there are some questions you need to ask to ensure they’re the right fit for your company’s goals. In addition, you’ll be giving them access to your site, so trust is necessary.

  •  How will you determine the keyword target for your site? They should mention an audit of your site, a way to target keywords, and research plans.
  • What is your strategy? They should have a three-pronged approach to SEO optimization: technical, on-page site content, and off-page inbound links. This is the trust trifecta for search engines. Technicalis how easily a search engine can spider and crawl your site. On-page content involves well-optimized keywords and a good user experience, and off-page inbound links should be from respected sites that actually pertain to your site (your vendor, for instance).
  • Do you follow Google’s Best Practices? If they use corner-cutting methods and play it off as fine, this is not the “expert” you’re looking for. “Black hat” processes will get you banned from search engines. It could take months or even years to regain PageRank once you’ve been penalized.
  • How do you track changes and show results? Their SEO reports should include a summary of activities (for both your site and outside influences), search traffic and rankings, as well as conversions. They should provide them on a monthly basis, but some will give a weekly update.
  • Who are your longest active clients? A company or contractor without a sustainable track record of success should be avoided.

Remember, hiring an SEO expert should take a burden off your shoulders, not add to them. If you want some help deciding which option is best for you, or you are looking for a great referral, give us a call. As always, we want to help you #BeAwesomeat what you do!

~ Social Media is changing the way people do business.  Don’t get left behind ~ 

Be sure to Follow us and Let’s Engage!
Hollie Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Blog, Google+, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram and the tools to manage them.


Why Monitoring Online Reviews and Presence is Essential
Special Guest: Michelle Grant Hoglan of Top Hat Creative Marketing
Top Hat Creative Marketing is a company that focuses on online reputation management. They start with collecting feedback and turning that into reviews. Michelle spends time discovering client goals and what they want to achieve in order to help them become more successful.  Top Hat then coaches their clients on how to gather feedback and how to filter it and use those reviews to their advantage.
Google is super important in the fact that it is so visible. This strong online presence is essential to being found on the web. When people look up a company on Google they want to see recent reviews, current events and an online presence that inspires trust. They are looking for businesses they can Know, Like and Trust. Top Hat Creative Marketing strives to make companies more visible and trustworthy online.
Google, by far, is the #1 review site online. Yelp is quickly becoming #2 and seems to be more popular in California and the West Coast. However, it is rapidly gaining speed on Google and becoming more of a player in online reviews.
Companies don’t need to be an active player on Yelp right away. If you have your phone, you can instantly log reviews onto the site while out and about and running errands and interacting with other businesses. All you need to do is register for an account. There is a Yelp app that allows you to check in regardless of whether you haven’t posted in years or if it’s your first time. This app makes it easier to do quick reviews while on the go. This site is more regional at the moment, however, and Google is still the best place to go to monitor your online reputation.
Top Hat takes time to coach businesses on how to build a reputation on Google and, once established, then move onto Yelp, Facebook and other options.
If you are going to have a presence online, you want to have in the right places where people are using it. If the audience is there, and talking about you, then it’s important to build a presence there.
It is imperative that business owners get all types of feedback, not just positive. Reviews are important regardless of whether they are good or bad. It gives owners insight into aspects of their business that may need to change. Also, get feedback from employees as well. The audience may not come straight to a business owner with their complaints – but they will share it with their personal circles of influence. This means the company doesn’t always get the opportunity to adjust or correct whatever the issue might be. Take that negative feedback and make it into a positive change for your business!
Learn more about Michelle and her company by visiting: http://tophatcreativemarketing.com
Think this might help you with scheduling content and staying on top of your social media? Follow us on social media to find out when our Social Seven podcast is streaming live!

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Social Media is a tool that ANY business can use to fill their funnel of “hungry bellies” with solid relationship marketing strategies.  This 4th Quarter is the perfect opportunity to build the foundation for successful routines to catapult you into the New Year!

So, you may have built a Facebook Page, Gathered connections on LinkedIn, Dabbled in Twitter or Launched a Google+ Profile for your business. We hear frequently that people have “tried them on” and left them undernourished due to a variety of reasons.  Maybe you have never closed business using social media, known how best to navigate the changing temperatures of updates or had time to dedicate to this relationship tool.  Now is the time to reconsider your strategies.

A good friend of mine (Sabina Claus, Business Coach and Accountability Partner at www.sabinaclaus.com) says, “I love the MONTH of Thanksgiving”.  You heard me right, not the month of November, but the month of Thanks and Giving.  She is also the person who asked me this question, “How do you eat the elephant?”  As all of us know, you eat it, “One bite at a time”.  She said this isn’t correct.  Here is why.  You invite the village (your community), and you have a feast (or in other words, you tackle that battle together).  Wise words from a wise lady.  

With this season of Thanks and Giving, I invite you to have a feast with me.  Here are 5 things you can do to incorporate solid Social Media Strategies into your Online Marketing plans:

Tip #1: Choose the right Meat for your Social MediaMarketing Campaigns
The only way you are going to know if the platform (i.e. Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube, Pinterest, Twitter) is right for you, is to create an account and search for your target market.  A Social Media Analyst will be able to pinpoint the best for you, but this is the first step.  If your clients aren’t present, will your ideal client be found in this platform?  Probably not unless you change your core focus and that is another situation all together.

Tip #2: Be consistent in your Cooking (activity) in Social Media
Social Media is intended to be a Social Engagement medium.  It isn’t a website.  Websites generally are pretty static (or don’t change much) once they are created and launched.  Your social tools are intended for you to post weekly (worse case scenario) or daily (and in some cases many, many times each day depending on the platform).  Without activity, you decrease your chances of engagement and you also decrease your chances of being found, followed and gain new followers.  If you are going to post an update, be sure to post at the best times of day for that platform which you can learn easily from a social media consultant based on your niche and target market.

Tip #3: Adding Media will be your Gravy to your Mash Potatoes 
It is always good to add links to your website or other articles you are sharing, images that tell the story about your post or video to enhance the user experience even further.  When you think about the psychology of a user, they may tend to gravitate more to “color” such as use of media than a post with just text because it is more visually appealing and can draw them in.  Posts that use media generally have a higher click through rate, share rate and expand your visibility to the networks that share it.

Tip #4: Build a Solid Routine using the Right Taste Testing Tools for your Social Media
Tools and scheduling options provide you with the most opportunity for flexibility in your social media marketing experience.  If you are able to have messages scheduled for you, you can easily promote events, seminars, promotions and product launches at inception and not worry about the visibility component each week (or day) leading up to the event.  Tools such as HootSuite are a great medium for that.  Schedule your posts, moderate comments, messages and engagement from any device, any place via this tool.  You can learn more by visiting: http://bit.ly/ZbYgiW

Tip #5: Hire a Social Media Chef (Social Media Manager)
Whether you choose to select an internal employee dedicated to marketing your business (online) or you outsource it, this activity should be the primary focus of this individual.  You are brilliant at the work that you do.  You generally don’t have the time nor capacity to be brilliant at your specialty and at something else.  If you wear too many hats, you tend to be just good (or ok) at one or the other.  It makes sense to bring in the experts to fill the spaces your business needs to launch to the next level, so you can focus on the things you love doing.

How does all of this tie into “filling your bellies”? the more you build your brand, you build the relationships with your viewers.   Once they “like” your page, they get to “know” you, once they get to know you, you have the opportunity to build “trust”, and with trust business happens.

Thank you for the opportunity to “FEED” your business!  Let’s FEAST!


~ Social Media is changing the way people do business.  Don’t get left behind ~ 

Hollie Clere


Hollie Clere, of The Social Media Advisor is a social media manager, trainer and author in LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Blog, Google+ , Pinterest and the tools to manage them. Click here for her Social Media Links

http://www.socialpowerprogram.com/


Curious on whether your social brand is built properly?  Get your Social Media Analysis today. 
 

http://www.thesocialmediaadvisor.com/Social_Media_Analysis.html

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