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Categories : Facebook
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One of the easiest to achieve goals for Social Media is to increase your business’s online presence.

If your business has a website, Social Media can help the site become more visible. It can drive more traffic to the site and improve its standing in search results. Depending on how you currently market your business, Social Media may even save money in your advertising budget!

When your site is found more often during a search, it gets more traffic. When it gets more traffic, your website (if set up correctly) can provide you with new leads and even new customers/clients.

The following is from the 2011 Social Media Marketing Industry Report. This report showed that 71% of  marketers who were using Social Media increased traffic and 51% generated leads.

social media statistics 2011

What Social Media Can Do For Your Business

If you’re like many business owners, you’re thinking the numbers look good. You’d love it if your website to showed up better in search results, got more traffic and especially if it generated leads.

But you’re skeptical. You don’t use social media much yourself. You think Facebook is for college kids, YouTube has silly videos, Twitter is incomprehensible, blogs are personal online diaries and LinkedIn is only for people looking for jobs. On top of this you believe your customers/clients aren’t using these sites or reading blogs.

That line of thinking would be a BIG mistake!!

77% of internet users read blogs (State of the Blogosphere 2009).

YouTube is the #2 search engine (Comscore).

55% of Facebook users are between 26-64 years old (Facebook.com).

Facebook Users by Age

Or you may be thinking … I’ve tried Social Media to market my business and it didn’t work. Hmmm …. read on!

How do I use Social Media in my business?

The first and most important step in marketing your business with Social Media is to have a measurable goal and a plan to achieve that goal.

Marketing your business with Social Media is much more than signing up on a site and filling out your profile. If you’ve heard that social media doesn’t work, most likely it’s because you’re listening to someone who registered on a few sites and then sat back and waited for the leads to roll in. Unfortunately it doesn’t work that way.

Marketing with social media is different than the traditional marketing you may be comfortable and familiar with.

Traditional marketing is considered ‘outbound’ – where you tend to interrupt people with your message. Billboards, TV  and radio ads are all considered outbound or interruption marketing because your customers are in the middle of doing something else and not looking for your message. Consumers today have developed numerous ways to dodge this type of marketing … they record TV shows and fast forward through commercials, screen phone calls and throw out direct mail pieces without a looking at them.

The type of marketing people respond best to is called ‘inbound’ marketing.’ This form of ‘advertising’ isn’t really advertising at all.  It involves being found by those customers/clients most interested in your product or service when they’re looking for that information. Inbound marketing isn’t a mass blast of information to a large group of people, a majority of whom have no interest in what you have to offer. Inbound marketing is providing valuable information to the people who want it, the way they want to get it and at the time they want to receive it. The big advantage of ‘inbound’ marketing is that your customer is looking for you. Instead of ignoring your message, they’re coming to you and are actively interested in what you have to say.

Social media is the perfect channel for Inbound marketing. As an adjunct to your existing marketing,  it helps you reach your target market where and when they’re looking for you.

78% of internet users research a product or service online (Hubspot data). Wouldn’t you love to have them find you?

Are you using Social Media to increase the visibility of your business?

Categories : Inbound Marketing
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In Part 4 of our case study we described how we started to implement our Action Plan for our client, Jamie Kirkell of Kirkell Silk Studios.

Here in Part 5 we’ll cover some of the social media steps we’ve taken to achieve our objectives.

Facebook:

First was the creation of a custom Facebook Fan Page for Kirkell Silk Studios. Many thanks to Facebook Fan page designer WebWendy who was a pleasure to work with, coming in on time and on budget! In Part 3 you can read more about why Kirkell Silk Studios has a Facebook fan page and how we’re measuring the results. The Fan page now has 25 fans – the number needed for a custom url. We invite you to become a fan!

YouTube:

Next we created a custom YouTube Channel for Kirkell Silk Studios. YouTube is the #2 search engine and since Jamie’s painting lends itself to being recorded and he’s not camera shy, we’ve developed a schedule for adding video content to the site. We’ll use YouTube’s analytics as one of several tools to measure and determine if we’re achiving our goals. We invite you to subscribe to his channel!

Flickr:

Flickr is an image (and video) hosting site with a social component. Again, since Jamie’s art is visual, Flickr is an ideal place to showcase his work for greater online exposure. Here is a link to Kirkell Silk Studios Flickr acccount. We have many more photos to upload and tag including Jamie’s new works, photos from his classes and his Judaica art. Jamie has joined a couple of Flickr groups including one called ‘Made With Silk.’ Posting photos to a group is one of several ways to get exposure on the site and market a business on Flickr while remaining compliant with their terms of use.

Blog:

One of the most important changes we made to Jamie’s website was the addition of a blog. A well written blog provides new content to a website making it more search engine friendly. In addition, the blog offers the opportunity for Jamie to stay connected with and engage in conversations with those who are interested in his work – either as buyers or students. Businesses that blog get 55% more visitors to their websites and 57% of businesses have acquired a customer through their blog.

Niche Networking Sites:

Most people have heard of the larger social networking sites such as Facebook but there are many, many smaller sites that focus on a special interest. The art world has many ‘niche’ sites and we’ve found several that may be of interest to Jamie for community, marketing, information and networking. A few of the sites are
Amateur Illustrator, Deviant Art, Coroflot and Colour Lovers.

If you’ve been following this Case Study series, you can see what we’ve done to successfully create an internet and social media presence for Kirkell Silk Studios.

Right now we’re monitoring the various analytics reports and we’re able to see an increase in traffic and exposure for his brand . In the future we hope to share some of the analytics data with you.

Is your small business using social media? If you’d like to bring your business online, just email us!

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We receive many emails with questions about our services and promptly reply via email. When a question is asked more than once, we add that info to our website because we’re guessing others want to know as well.

While email is relatively speedy, we just came across a new tool that, if it works, would allow interested parties to ask/record a question for us using their browser. The tool would then let us answer your question from our browser or  smartphone.

Would you care to participate in an experiment to help us see how it works? Ask us a question!

This is a direct link or you can click on the widget below. When you get to our page, press the red button to record your question.Send us your questionThanks so much!

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You have a website set up. You like the look of it and it contains all the information you think is important for your customers or clients.

If I were to ask you if your website is working for you, what would your answer be?

If you’re like many of our clients, your response would be “I don’t know.’

You may know which search engines and which other websites are sending you traffic, but do you know which pages your visitors find the most interesting and which pages cause them to leave your site? Do you know how many visitors on a specific page are there for the first time vs those who have been on that page before?

Having this type of information gives you important insights into how well your website is meeting the needs of the potential clients & customers who visit it.

Let’s say you have important product or service information on a specific page on your site. Your intention is to have your site visitors read all the information (you estimate that should take approx 2 minutes) and then move on to another page on your site to purchase that product or service.

Without looking at the analytics (site data) you won’t know if that’s actually happening. What if the data tells you that your site visitors spend less than 20 seconds on that information page and then leave the site entirely without visiting any other pages? What if the data tells you that site visitors spend 20 seconds on your information page and then go to another page on the site instead of the page you wanted them to go to?

If you have a measurement tool like Google Analytics set up on your site (it’s free), then you have that information at your disposal.

If you’re not familiar with Google Analytics, here’s a sample taken from the analytics of one page on our website. This is data for a 7 day period.

view of specific website page

what we can tell about visitor behavior on this page

You can see that this page has been viewed 163 times during this week and there are 121 ‘unique views.’ Unique Views are like visits to a single page. If 1 person views a single page 25 times during the same visit, that page would show 25 pageviews but only 1 ‘unique view.’ In our example, while the page shows 163 views, there are only 121 ‘unique’ views.

On average, visitors spent 1 min 45 seconds on the page. If you think about it, that’s a decent amount of time to spend on a single page of a website and it means that the visitor was most likely reading the information on the page. That’s a good thing!

The next two stats (bounce rate and exit) refer to visitors leaving the page. There is a difference between the two.

Bounce rate (in this case 42.45%) tells us the percentage of people who arrived on this page and then left without visiting any other pages on the site. There are a number of reasons for a ‘bounce’ and when you look at all the totality of information from your analytics tool you’ll get a clearer picture of what may be causing people to leave so quickly.

The exit rate (38.65%) tells us the percentage of visitors who left the site from this page. These visitors would have visited at least one other page on our site before leaving.

We may also want to know how many of these people have been on our site before and how many are there for the first time.  The number of new visitors tells us that our effort to drive traffic to the site, and specifically to this page, is working fairly well. It’s encouraging to see the number of returning visitors as that tells us that the content is engaging enough to bring visitors back to the site.

new vs returning visitor

new vs returning website visitor

Do you have specific goals for your website and some type of analytics in place to measure and see if it’s meeting your goals?

Categories : Website
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In Part 3 of this case study we outlined the Action Plan for our client Jamie Kirkell of Kirkell Silk Studios.

The Action Plan consists of the specific steps that need to be taken to achieve the objectives (which we described in Part 2).

Here in Part 4 you’ll see some of the things we’ve implemented so far:

For the Website -

Our goal was to move the exisiting website to the WordPress platform and add several components. You can see the new site here: Kirkell Silk Studios. We thank web designer Frank Gomez of Frank’s Designs for a smooth transition!

A new addition to the site is the Newsletter signup page which offers a free download as a ‘legal bribe’ to encourage email subscriptions.

Another addition is the Blog which adds new content to the site on a regular basis (great for SEO) and provides a way for Jamie to showcase his new works and keep people updated on when and where he will be exhibiting and teaching classes.

Google Analytics has been installed and we’re getting data that will be important for refining our strategy as we move forward. We’re happy to see that there’s been an increase in visitors since changing to WordPress!

website visitors

After Changing to WordPress

A website’s work is never done and we still have a ways to go in terms of SEO. While WordPress is optimized out of the box, we’ve also installed the All In One SEO plug-in. Our Keyword Lists are an essential resource as we add content to the site. On an on-going basis we’re working to create inbound links as well as deep internal linking. While SEO is important, our content will be geared toward Jamie’s audience. The analytics data will let us know how we’re doing.

General Business:

A number of Keyword Lists have been created and we’re using those to optimize the website and blog as well as all social media profiles.

Google Alerts are now set up. They’re providing valuable information on what is being said online about Jamie and his business. We’ve been (pleasantly) surprised to see who is talking about him and where his business is showing up on the internet! The alerts are also giving us interesting information about what his competition is doing.

We’ve claimed Jamie’s business on Google Places. Here is the listing for Kirkell Silk Studios. And this is what it looks like in search results:

Kirkell Silk Studios Google Places Listing

We’ve created a Marketing Calendar and an Editorial Calendar to keep us on track with blog posts and newsletters.

The rest of the Action Plan has to do with Social Media and we’ll cover that in our next post.

If you need to catch up on the previous parts of this Case Study you’ll find them here:

Introduction
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

What do you think so far? Are there other things you would add to the plan? We welcome your comments – please leave them below.

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You may have noticed that Facebook Fan (business) pages look a bit different today.

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Categories : Facebook
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In Part 2 of this case study we looked at the strategy/objectives for marketing Kirkell Silk Studios online.

Once the strategy is developed, it’s time to create an Action Plan. The Action Plan consists of the specific steps that need to be taken to achieve the objectives. Below is a brief outline of  the Action Plan for Kirkell Silk Studios.

Action Plan for Kirkell Silk Studios:

For the Website:

Jamie’s current website is not optimized for search engines and requires the services of a webmaster in order to make changes or add information. We’ll be moving Jamie’s current website to the WordPress platform. WordPress is a content management system which is well-optimized for search engines and very user-friendly meaning that we (or Jamie) can add or edit information on the site without outside help.

We’ll be adding a blog component to the new website. Updating a website with quality content on a regular basis will help the site show up better in search results. A blog serves a number of  important marketing functions and Jamie will be taking advantage of those. We’ll also be creating an Editorial Calendar to serve as a content addition strategy for his blog.

Landing pages will be added to the new website. One of the first will be a newsletter sign-up form. Jamie is working on a ‘legal bribe’ to encourage email sign-ups.

Initially the website will have a landing page with a PayPal button so buyers can make a purchase from the site. Eventually Jamie hopes to have an etsy shoppe from which items can be purchased. Both the website and Jamie’s Facebook Fan page will link to the etsy shoppe.

To help with SEO (search engine optimization) for Jamie’s site we are:

  • Doing Keyword Research and developing keyword lists
  • Creating incoming links (directories, blogs, press releases, articles, social media/bookmarking sites)
  • Employing on-page optimization and internal linking tactics
  • Utilizing relevant WordPress plug-ins

Jamie’s website will have Google Analytics installed. Google analytics provides detailed statistics and information about the visitors that come to the site. Many small business owners who have a website have no idea if it’s working for them or not. With an analytics program, we’ll be able to obtain information about the number of visitors to the site (new vs returning), which search engines are sending traffic, which social media sites are sending traffic, which keywwords are being used,  which pages are of the most interest, which pages are not functioning well and much more information that will help us make the site work better for Jamie’s business.

For General Business:

Keyword Lists: We are generating a number of Keyword Lists for Jamie’s business. Keywords are the foundation for a successful internet presence. They’re used in social networking profiles, for website optimization,  blog posts, titles and tags and more. Keywords, when used properly & in the right places, are essential for being found online.

Google Alerts: We’re creating a number of Google Alerts for Jamie and for his business. Google alerts let us know what is being said online about Jamie and his business, about his competition and industry trends. With new results coming in daily, they are the ideal way to find out out what others in your business are doing and for managing your online reputation.

Business Listing Sites: We’re claiming Jamie’s business on various business listing sites starting with Google Places.

Marketing Calendar: We are working with Jamie to create a marketing calendar. This will work in conjunction with the editorial calendar being created for his blog and the scheduling of his YouTube Videos.

Email Marketing: This is a marketing tool that helps a business build long term relationships with their customers or clients. It’s also a way to keep in touch with interested individuals who come to a website or Facebook page but who aren’t yet ready to make a purchase. For Jamie we are going to:

  • Develop a list acquisition strategy
  • Develop a content & campaign plan/strategy
  • Autoresponder messages
  • Create a custom  Newsletter template

For Social Media:

We will be creating optimized profiles for Jamie and Kirkell Silk Studios on several social media sites. How do we decide which sites a client should be on? Site selection is based on:

  • where the client’s target market can be found online
  • which sites are best suited for the client’s product or service
  • how much time the client has to actively participate on the site
  • what the client is looking to get from a social media presence on the site

Based on the above criteria, Facebook, YouTube, Flickr and LinkedIn are the social media sites we will be focusing on for Jamie and Kirkell Silk Studios.

Facebook: We are creating a custom Facebook Fan (business) page for Kirkell Silk Studios. It will include graphics to match the website, a brief welcome video and a section for email sign-up with the capability to download a ‘legal bribe’ in return for subscriber information. We are also developing a strategy to network, engage and increase the number of fans and promote the page as well as a content strategy for page updates and using Facebook ads. Facebook provides analytics data called ‘insights’ which gives valuable information on how well the page is achieving its goals.

YouTube: YouTube is the #2 search engine and that’s a great reason to have a presence on the site. In addition, Jamie’s creative work lends itself well to the video format. We are creating a custom YouTube channel for Kirkell Silk Studios and a content creation schedule. The YouTube Channel provides some analytics which will help us measure the level of success on the site.

Flickr: Flickr is a photo sharing site with a social aspect. There are several reasons for Kirkell Silk Studio to have a presence on the site including the nature of Jamie’s work and the ability to add notes and tags to the photos which provide metadata that is searchable online.

LinkedIn: LinkedIn is the largest professional network on the internet with more than 90 million members. Jamie will be on LinkedIn for a number of reasons. One of them is to develop a network of business contacts who may interested in hiring Jamie for corporate comissions. We will be optimizing Jamie’s profile, listing his company on the site and he will be participating in several relevant groups.

In case you missed the previous installments of our Case Study you can find them here:

Introduction Part 1 Part 2

Be sure to subscribe to our blog to see how our Case Study progresses!

What do you think so far? Are these the steps you would take? What would you do differently? Leave your thoughts and comments below -

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What Is Social Media Marketing? What Does Our Company Do For You? Who Do We Help? How Do We Help?
Social Media Marketing is the use of social networks (such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn & YouTube) to create an optimized internet presence so when people search online for your products & services, they will find YOU. We provide Social Media Marketing Services that increase the online visibility of your business and establish your brand. The more visible your business is, the more likely it is that people looking for your product or service will find you. The more familiar people are with your brand, the more likely it is they will purchase from you. We are most effective working with small to mid-size business owners who want an active presence on social media sites but don’t have the time, resources or knowledge to do it on their own. By outsourcing your Social Media Marketing to us, your business will have ongoing lines of communication that will find, attract, engage and connect with people who are looking to purchase your product or service. With a properly managed social media campaign, your business will have greater visibility in today’s competitive online marketplace .