Social Media insights to light the way

Posted by on Jun 25, 2012 in Social Media Marketing |

There are things on social media that set apart the altruistic (check out this cool thing!), from the self-serving (buy my widget now!). If you do nothing else, consider creating your social media strategy to encompass increasingly pro-social guidelines. The more you give, the more the community will give back, but it needs to be done with a sensitive hand. Think of communities as roses to be tendered and beware of the thorns, check that your social media activities are based on strategy, structure, focus and value. The more value you create, the more customers will find you and of course insure that you are able to measure this. 1. Make your social media about YOU! You can opt to use social media as tools for yourself, your organisations and your followers – to enhance communication, info sharing, etc. It is okay to promote yourself and the things you love, but do it sensitively and with thought to the value you are creating for your community, lurk for a while to get the vibe before you start making contributions. Use Twitter and Pinterest as social bookmarking tools. Pinterest: The new kid on the block is Pinterest which is great because It can unite a bunch of interests in a visually pleasing way. The sheer uniformity and quality of images on Pinterest sets it apart from nearly every other user generated content spaces. Pinterest applies order to chaos with elegant results. 2. Share more Share, share and share some more. But make sure that what you’re sharing is relevant to your audience. Your childhood friends (Facebook, most likely) care about what you are doing for the weekend or how your cooking classes are coming on– your Linked In colleagues? Not so much. But Linked In can be a great vehicle for establishing street cred quickly. You can ask questions or answer them, post useful updates, comment in groups, etc. 3. Leverage yourself Think about how to inter-connect your social media outlets and efforts. Facebook, Twitter and Linked In all offer easy integration with each other, and there are many widgets available such as widget box, that allow you to embed your real-time streams into other locations. This is great because it keeps your content fresh, without having to do a bunch more work. 4. Aggregate your social streams If you are one of those people or organizations who is heavy into social media, there are a whole crop of tools that make stream management so much easier. Google Places and  Hootsuite,  lets you aggregate your streams in one place for easy viewing (by you or others). Some are focused more on publishing (TweetDeck), others on analytics and other influence/reach metrics: 5....

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Get people to review your business with social media

Posted by on Oct 19, 2011 in Social Media Marketing |

More businesses are jumping onto the social media bandwagon for building trust, credibility and brand awareness. With the increasing social media marketing trend, consumers are turning their focus to online reviews to help them with the final decision – to buy. There are thousands of Web 2.0 channels online where members can submit reviews and it’s becoming an important aspect of social media. How can you get your clients to write a positive review about your business? As a business manager and owner, you can take part in this and use popular social networking channels as powerful marketing tools.  If you own a restaurant, why not let your clients leave a tip on Foursquare? If you are focusing on local internet marketing and SEO strategies, let your clients leave a review on Google places for you. Positive reviews online If this is implemented correctly, the following can happen for your business. It will show that you care about service and quality for future customers. Employees of your business will know that they must take care of every customer or you will suffer a negative review. Increased brand awareness and visibility. It is very easy to write and take part in reviews about your business and service on popular social networking channels.  Create a list of all the social media channels where your customers are spending their time online.  Inform them that they must use your business name together with the service or product that they have purchased from you. This will help people distinguish your product and services with your brand. Getting others to review your business is a great way to build brand awareness. Let your customers know about your social media profiles and invite them to join and participate in the conversation. Using social media is a great way to engage with your community as both a business and an individual. Please follow and like...

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A New Age for Local Contractor Search Optimization

Posted by on Jul 14, 2011 in SEO |

This post is written by our colleague Patrick Hogan in Florida, USA and is applicable to Search Engine Optimisation in any country. Here is his take on SEO. In some ways search engine optimisation (SEO) in South Africa used to be pretty simple.  First, you created a great looking site full of quality content that people would like to read and find informative.  Then you would find other sites across the web that are relevant to that site and would agree your content complements their site in one way or another and agree to create a link to you.  Eventually, Google see all this activity and rewards you with a number one ranking and you begin to generate search traffic and then new customers. To some extent, that is still a very good basic strategy, but in the case of SEO for local contractors, the numbers of factors that affect your ranking have exploded over the last few years.  We recently worked with a roofing contractor in Tampa, FL where we really explored all the avenues you need to optimize to get the most for your online marketing investment. Google Places Google Places is the newest variable that greatly affects the ranking of a local business search result.  It is Google’s free directory listing for every company in the world.  It used to (and still does sometimes) appear with an assortment of other companies for a certain area for which the search was relevant. Back in October of 2010, Google introduced a “blended” search result for most searches they deem to have local business intent.   The use of a blended search is intermittent, depending on the industry and the geography, but is slowly becoming more and more prevalent, most likely until it is universal. Here is an image of current search results for the Google search “roofing contractor tampa”.  As you can see, most of the top results contain the red Google Places page marker along with the traditional Title Tag and Description.  A few sites are powerful enough to outrank everything even without connection to a place page listing, but those are becoming more and more of an exception. New Factors That Affect Local Search Results So it is now established that your Google Places rank greatly affects Organic (those that aren’t pay-per-click) search results.  We have to look at all those factors that affect “Places” rank with equal importance as the website size and number of links that, prior to the blended results, solely determined results.   Here are the factors most commonly recognized to determine your ranking on Google Places: Location – Since the rank of a business’ place page was largely determined by it’s proximity to...

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Increase your visibility with Google local listings

Posted by on May 20, 2011 in Google | 1 comment

When searching for a local business on Google, there are 7 Google Map listings that appear.  According to the big boys (Google),97% of consumers searches online for local businesses.  Listings are free for any business with a physical address. Businesses that makes in person contact with customers qualify for a Google Places listing. On Google Places, the listings are optimized for smartphones.  If you don’t have a mobile site, or if your website is not mobile optimized, then this is the perfect free tool to get mobile visibility for your business. These listings appear in addition to your normal website listings on the SERP’s (search engine result pages). Once again, Google offers this service for free so get started with your Google Places listing. How to add your Google Places listing Business Name: This is your business name.  Don’t add extra keywords to your name Location: Use your business actual address.  Never use a PO Box.  Don’t create multiple listings if you service multiple areas from your location. If you are, designate service areas. Phone: Use your local phone number for your business. Website: Add your website address. Categories: Select up to 5 categories that describes your business.  Select the best categories from the drop down.  You can also use your own keyword categories, but do some research by searching for those keywords first in Google with your city name to make sure a map listing will appear with that keyword. Description: Use the description fields to include a description about your business.  You can also use keywords in your description and the custom attribute field. When using Google Places, make your listing as complete as possible.  Answer all the questions on the entry form on Google Places and include your hours of operation and methods of payment.  Upload videos and images as well to make your listing complete. Contact us if you need help in setting up your Google Places listing. Please follow and like...

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