It's time to learn from the past, move forward, and start increasing your engagement and adding to your bottom line with these ten steps (you can always watch the video!)
We feel it is great that companies in Northwest Indiana and really all over the United States are looking to streamline and save money. The question comes to where do you automate and have truly in-personal communication and where do you have that personal touch we all enjoy? Technology has a place to help cut costs. No longer do you need to pay $500-$1,000+ for social media digital marketing management. Technology can help keep costs low and increase your brands reach. Let the computer do the heavy lifting that used to take hours to gather information so that you can focus on what matters; the customer. Let’s look at where technology can (and should) be used, where it can (and shouldn’t be), and where you need to still use that 100% personal touch.
Politics and social media have changed forever due to a recent decision that changes how political accounts function and engage with others online. The questions is, are you ready to deal with the changes?
Despite a business's best intentions, sometimes you will end up with a client or employee who does not leave on a good note. A situation like this usually doesn't go beyond hurt feelings but in some cases, the level of angst may go beyond a few choice words and turn into a situation where one angry person can threaten your online business presence. Are there steps that can be taken in situations like this? Yes, there are. Let's discuss them.
Many of our clients, friends, and even local competitors we’ve been talking to over the past several weeks and they say we seem to be busy. We are and we know why and are going to tell you how we’re doing in one area. That area is search engine optimization and social media. It’s actually technology that gives us our edge. As software developers we think analytically to grow business. We have spent tens of thousands of dollars on tools to help our small business clients rock it. We get tools that work together that give us insights into what the internet is doing. With that information we can dig deeper than most and spot trends months before others start reacting.
Back before 2010, and even today some people have too much social media. One might wonder how you can have too much social as social is getting out there, talking, and getting your good word out to the masses. Well, it can happen to everyone, including you. You can have too much social and when you do you will actually set your social media back. Social media is as important to have a website with great content and optimized for not only your readers but the search engines.
Today's team challenge is to talk about the pain points and top challenges many make in social media when they are beginning. We started this as only a top 10 list. That became eleven, then twelve, and we ended up with nineteen ways new users mess up when they start with social media. We actually had another but everyone does 19 lists and we wanted to be just a bit different. As Facebook and other social media outlets continue to change the rules you definitely want to make certain you do the right thing on each platform to reach the largest audience. We have all been in the beginning stages of social media marketing – even experts had no knowledge and grew over time. Over time we have seen some pretty horrific mistakes and these are what we are calling the top 19 social media mistakes any new user will make.
We've heard of Facebook removing our organic reach for small and growing businesses. A key takeaway we've already taken is the importance of your own website. Facebook cannot control your business outside of Facebook. Your website is your voice, your products, and your brand messages all the time. Your website will use your sales funnel, marketing techniques, and lead generation to improve your bottom line. Facebook going back to its roots and it has upset many people that manage social media sites. We find this as a new opportunity to not only double down on the true marketing aspects of the business but grow it. This is where Facebook started and has grown from. Businesses, such as ourselves, have overtaken and enjoyed the ride of free promotion. That time has changed and it is now time we business owners have to 'pay to play'. Let's take a look at the core items that are happening with this change and how the business owner can take advantage of them.
We are JM2 (JM Squared) Webdesigners & Marketing from Valparaiso Indiana but that is not what we are talking about today. We are going to talk about the power of two great digital marketing products that separate are good but together can be great. We hear many social media marketers say you need social media and a website is a waste of your dollars and marketing time. We hear the opposite from those that do websites but not social media in that you only need a website and social media is a waste. Both thought processes are the furthest from the truth. Quality marketing requires you to use both and use both effectively! They should work together, complement each other, and help drive traffic to each other. Why you need both we will describe in this article and this will certainly not be a complete list, but it surely will show you why you need both.
Some people are stat crazy when given the option. The numbers, charts, and comparisons can give a wealth of information for people to analyze and formulate their next move with.
You might have noticed some changes with your business's Facebook page recently, specifically with the cover photo. Facebook business pages will now have a series of wording that goes across the front of the image or video (more on that later) that serves as a brief description of what your business is about.
Social media sites like Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, and Twitter are a popular way to share content and get involved with the online community. They are free to use and they give the public a place to create a profile and keep in touch with their local and global community. For businesses, not only does this give the public a way to connect with your business more personally and stay up to date with your products and sales, it also helps your search engine optimization (SEO).
Social media is a necessity for every size business today. You need a plan and not a shotgun approach when using it to have a positive part and gain from the benefits of social media. You need to be consistent in your message, target your messages based on the social platform being used, know when to respond, how to respond, and how to engage with your target audience. Like all marketing and branding efforts for your company you need a plan of attack so that your business is shown always in the best possible light. Today we will cover twelve items that should be in your social media plan whether you are in a small town in Indiana or a larger city like Chicago Illinois.
We all can't have the most exciting of company brands or huge budgets to make it exciting. You may provide one of the services that truly isn't super exciting to talk about but necessary to everyone in one way or another. You provide products and services that are used either daily or occasionally. Big business is known for their exciting and ever engaging social media marketing campaigns due to the huge budgets that they can get overly creative and take boring into exciting. This doesn't mean if you are a bank, credit union, funeral home, pawn shop, dry cleaner, lawyer, restaurant, etc. without a big budget that you can't have an engaging social media strategy that people will enjoy. In fact, there are ways you can start to engage your audience to make your brand more fun. Let's look at some ways you can go from boring to engaging using social media.
The best marketing plans whether written for digital or in the real-world can go bad. Those that maintain social media accounts always dread and even fear when news gets out and goes viral that is negative (we never complain when it is a positive interactions). What if that information goes beyond online and into the real-world? We are going to cover many of the high-level items that need to happen when something bad happens. It could be solely online, offline (print, television, radio, or even verbal), or a combination of the two. We are going to cover some of the higher level the dos and don'ts that you need to be cognizant of when dealing with these types of problems.
Business owners are the ones who truly understand the time-tested concepts of time and money. Businesses cannot afford any wasted time, as this misused time leads to a loss of revenue, something that all businesses, no matter their size, will suffer from.
A top question about managing a social media account with current and potential clients social media companies here is what is a social media management, what do you do, why do I need one, and what doesn't it do. The conversations then always turn to how can having another company help my business grow and how much control do I still have in my own company's destiny if someone else is running my online social media campaigns? Today we are going to delve into these common social media questions and answer them for you. Whether you are in Northwest Indiana, Tucson Arizona, or in Dallas Texas the management of a social media accounts at the high-level is the same.
For many people and businesses, 2017 is a year to start fresh and work on new possibilities and functions designed to help your company grow. At JM2. we're also excited to start 2017 on the right foot as we are always looking at new ways to bring more to our clients and work on new ways to help them and their business grow. For me, 2017 presents an opportunity to engage with our clients even more as we help them achieve their goals for the year. As someone who's job is to speak with clients both old and new, this direction is something that fills me with endless possibilities of what we can do together. Out of all the things we are doing in 2017, here is what I'm most excited about.
We talk with several businesses every week about increasing their business either through search engines or through social media channels. Many of these businesses do not need social media as it is not a good fit for them. Social media used correctly, and for the right type of business, can increase your brand awareness, increase customer loyalty, and build a trust through an active community of loyal followers. When used correctly social media is a powerful tool for those businesses that can benefit from it and a complete waste of time, resources, and money for those that use it incorrectly. We are going to delve into the most common social media myths that we have brought up to us.
When it comes to getting your business online having a strategic plan that is optimized to grow your business is crucial. With a maintenance plan, you can take care of not only your website, search engine optimization (SEO), and social media needs but take it to a level never thought of. There are many companies that have solutions that do one and not the other. We're going to outline our 'Web + Social' plan. This is our most popular plan as it takes your business to the next level.
With elections quickly coming to an end for a short period there are a few things you need to think about whether you win or lose your political office. There are certain things you need to do to be a responsible politician no matter your election outcome. Although we are talking about your website your social media needs to be thought of as well.
We are always looking months out for preparing. We are typically scheduled out 4, 6, even 8 weeks out for our clients. The reason for this is that we want to make certain we are thinking of holidays, promotion ideas, blog ideas, social media ideas, and the individual items that are happening in the weeks ahead (e.g. New Year's Day, Trivia Day, etc.). Since content creation is a core part of what we provide to our clients with not only unique and high-quality content but aggregated content that showcases a client's unique traits we need to be thinking ahead rather than after the fact. Therefore, we are already planning for 2017. To give you an idea of what we look at we're going to look at the major items we wrote down for January 2017.
This past weekend we met with two great clients on Saturday about how together we will work collaboratively together with their website, branding, and marketing of their organizations. The first lasted several hours about our services and digging deep into the realm of what our social media offered. The next inquired why we would want to work with their specific industry as they said they were slow pay and were by design hard to work with. In this article, we're going to look back at these two meetings and see how two different approaches align well with our Valparaiso Indiana company and why it shows why our three-year building process has put us in a place for rapid growth.
Each time we talk about our social media maintenance plans we get more excited than the last time (even if it was only a few minutes earlier). The reason for this is that the plans offer more than anyone could ever hope to get at a price that is not only fair but designed to help every business grow and be successful. We become a core part of your business and one of the most important pieces we do is we don't advertise on YOUR website or social media outlet. We are your expert silent partner in helping you grow your business.
Coming off of Labor Day weekend we thought we would talk and discuss maintenance plans. Maintenance plans are specific tools for getting the job done in a timely and efficient manner. A form of labor that JM2 Webdesigners from Valparaiso Indiana does to help your business grow. Your employees are dedicated to helping your business grow in the real-world. We become employees for you in the virtual world and help them come to the real-world to learn about your products and services for a lot less than you think. In this article we go over everything in our 'Web and Social Media Package'. If you only want search engine optimization (SEO) take the social media away and that's that package. These are designed to be simple and complete to meet every need your business has when doing digital marketing.
Today we had the water turned on for our new office. This sounds like a simple ordeal to have done. The week before as we had it scheduled we found out that it had been seven years since water was on. This raised a flag so we looked over all the pipe by feeling every inch we could see and it was relatively all new with shut offs, etc. We set all the shutoffs to closed so that we could test each section one at a time. When the city turned on we had leak number one and it was in a wall. Five hours later and that was fixed. Water back on and good. Turned on the next shutoff valve and another leak (again in a wall). Repeat this four more times. Have you ever felt overwhelmed with your website, social media, or SEO as we did with our water today? We will go over some ways to ease that feeling so that you can grow your business with today’s article.
Initial thoughts are that paying to be seen and move up will garner you the best engagement and increase in sales. That is not always the case. We have several friends that pay for advertising to grow their business. They are reasonably happy talking with them. At random we listed out our social media maintenance plan contracts and asked them for a number between one and XX. They chose a number and we pulled up the results of that client. We will not be sharing the name of the clients but luckily for our comparison they are in the exact same field. They are located 15 miles away from each other in different towns. Both towns have less than 20,000 people in each town and average within a few hundred dollars the median income according to the last census data.
As we add more social media maintenance plans it is always good to look and see what you will receive from having a social media account manager. When it comes to working with any business it is good to set rules and expectations for the entire social media process.
During the past several weeks we've talked to a half dozen companies wanting to be part of our maintenance programs for the unlimited website updates, social media monitoring, and handling their social media for a lot less than a part-time employee. One question that always comes up is which social media outlet(s) should you be on. For some it is just one while others it is more than one. We've created this article to help define which social media outlet is best to choose based on the social media outlets we typically use with our customer's.
On my way from the office this afternoon I received an email from a client wanting to BUY fans in hopes of making more money. The email they received during the middle of the night promised to do just that. It will NOT. It will hurt you long term, hurt your running contests and marketing campaigns down the road.
Planning and preparation may seem like a boring task to do at first. After all you can create a social media page and the typical “Hello World” post letting the world know that you are now a social media juggernaut to be reckoned with. We see this happen every week where a social media site is created and they wonder why they are not being successful.
We just went through a social media workshop with the Valparaiso Chamber of Commerce. We discussed the basics and a deeper dive into what Facebook can do for your business. During this session there were many questions and we covered a lot of content in the six hours of the workshop. Below we are going to cover many of the items we talked about along with going a bit deeper in the overall process. Whether your site is already setup on Facebook or not this information will help you verify your settings or improve upon them.
As we take on and do more social media sites a lot of what we hear is people are afraid of, even scared, of bad reviews and comments on their websites. We all wish the world was always a happy place and that nothing sad was said about our products and services. This isn't always the case though. We are human after all which means we are destined to make a few mistakes and upset people no matter how hard we try.
In 2016 we see a continued growth from what started out in 2015 with a true emphasis on the customer experience. Whether this is the interface of your website or the personalization to provide content rich information for consumers. We do see some shifts in the way the Internet works with the improvements in computer algorithms (had to say we are programmers after all). These are due to the major players (Google, Microsoft, Apple, Twitter, and Facebook) taking on more personas to make the Internet a more personable experience for users.
Our last section is covering 'People'. This is what social media is all about. Knowing genders, ages, proximity to your business is all about engagement with these valuable people. They have liked your page and are interested in learning about your products and services. Each of your fans has an interest in your business page or they wouldn't have liked it to become a fan of your page.
Videos are becoming importantly more valuable in gaining user engagement on Facebook. In today's analytics we look at the video aspects of our Facebook pages. If you have not posted any videos to Facebook this set of analytics will be some of the least valuable to you. For a video to count it must be watched for a minimum of 3 seconds.
As we continue our analytics journey past Facebook Business Page Views we move further into learning about our fans. For us this is one of the most exciting sections as we learn not only what posts work best with our fan base but also what times our engagement is most likely going to be the highest. This isn't just in the hour of the day but the day of the week as well.
Beyond our Facebook Reach we move beyond where we can see the what Facebook pages are being viewed as well as where the users are coming from. The Page Views tab is one of the most informative. This is where you can see the areas of your Facebook page that people visit most within your Facebook Business Page, including your timeline, info, and photos tabs.
Being we are now passed Facebook Likes we can continue on to our Reach. Reach is the number of people that have seen our information as well as how many people are integrating with your Facebook Business Page.
Moving beyond the overview of Facebook analytics we are now starting to get into the meat and potatoes of what you will find in the Facebook Insights (Analytics). With the Likes section you will be able to clearly see how many likes your Page has gained or lost each day based on a specific date range you’ve given. With this information you will learn where and how people are joining your Facebook page.
Facebook provides you with some really great analytics when you visit your page. At the top of your page is Insights which gives you some really great in-depth information. We're going to keep this article short and sweet and cover six core items you'll see on your Page. This information will help give you a quick gauge on how you're doing. We'll later go into details on the Insights and how they can benefit you.
Whether you perform your social media on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or any of the other popular sites the possibility you will make a mistake is truly great. Before you began you have most likely used the social media outlet you're going to be working on. You also most likely investigated your competitors that are both local and across the nation if not the world so that you can 'do it better'. By moving to social media, even with an expert, there will be uphill battles as well as mistakes that are made. In this article we will cover some of the common mistakes we see people make as well as how you can avoid them for each of the core areas.
Startups and small businesses don't have the kind of marketing power of major brand names not because they don't have great products and services but because they are new or just have not yet grown to be the big brands. This is where social media can come help. As a company in Valparaiso, Indiana you wouldn't think we would have a large presence but over the past three years we have grown from having no clients to having several hundred in 30+ states. How we have grown is a lot due to persistence but also because of our website, newsletter, and social media strategy. In this article we'll explain some of the items we have done to grow our social media presence.
Most blog posts are frozen in time after being written. This one we will be updating on an as-needed basis so that you know you will always have the latest information available to you.
A major part of social media is communicating with images. When it comes to the cover photos, profile photos and images within social media everyone seems to have their own sizes and recommended specifications. We have always kept a list of the current sizes but what good is that if we don't share it? As such, below you will find the most recent sizes. As items change we will be updating the 'Last Modified Date' so that you know if the size you have is the most recent size.
I just had a nice unexpected phone call this morning from someone asking advice (yes at 6:30 in the morning we are at work -- actually we start between 5-6am). They currently have 9 social media sites (I was glad I was sitting). They are spending over five hours per day on social media for all 9 social media sites seven days a week (yes 7 days!). They have one person dedicated to social media alone and also have a social media manager helping them.
After getting the initial details I found that they wanted to know if they were doing the right thing as they are not getting the results they want and are about ready to 'quit'. They wanted a second opinion. They have no digital marketing plan, no goals and no content calendar. All major mistakes; especially since they have a manager helping them which also makes gauging 'success' virtually impossible.
There's one sure-fire way to take your blog and Digital Marketing strategy from non-existent or amateur hour to full-blown pro status, and that's to make absolutely sure you've got a plan. We can guarantee that the writers of your favorite blogs and websites aren't sitting at their keyboards at 9pm the night before a post gets published, just finally deciding what to write about. Neither should you.
Going PRO means you always deliver on time and this editorial calendar is your ticket to getting there.
In our December 22, 2014 newsletter we included some predictions that drew a lot of questions. The link below is our newsletter post with additional information added to go into more detail for those that asked for it. It covers core items you need to know for 2015 on the Internet. May your 2015 rock!
Digital Marketing often creates a deer in headlight look from clients. Whether it is with basic terminology, that you need to be monitoring your account(s) continuously or the amount of time and effort you need to devote to do it properly. It doesn’t have to be complex and we work with you on making it simple and will do the heavy lifting for you. If you’re too busy or you do not want to handle your companies’ social media that is perfectly fine. Knowing some of the basics is critical as even if you are not being active with your account there will be situations where we need your guidance. This will include postings, content creation as well as how you wish to deal with certain situations. At times we all have to deal with situations that are not positive. No one likes them and we all wish they could just all “go away”. Ignoring a problem though doesn’t fix it. Not addressing negative problems will only have a chance to grow into something worse.