Are You Faking Your Way in Social Media?

Posted by: on Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Sharing personal thoughts and information is a part of life. People want to share important things in their lives with people they know. That is why you get a lot of business talk during parties.

As a host or hostess, you may be getting sick of people talking business at your party. However, it shows that the people you invite want to share a part of themselves with those around them. 

In the past few years, social media has become a way that people share their thoughts and opinions. Often those thoughts and opinions extend to business. Businesses are playing a part in many of these conversations, whether they know it or not.

Many companies are faking their way through social media. That is a fact that most will not admit since many do not realize it. Bad use of social media can actually backfire and hurt your company. To avoid this, your company needs to use social media the right way to make the most of it.

How do you promote your business in social media without "selling"? 

When putting together your company website, the mantra you hear today is "content, content, content." That is what drives search engines to websites these days. Well, you need to offer the same thing on social media. 

Let's say you sell small kitchen appliances. You have a crock pot in stock you want to promote. Here are some ways to sell that crock pot without actually "selling' it:

  • Tips and Tricks - Offer tips and tricks on how to cook with a crock pot. You can offer quick tips through Twitter. You can post a quick trick on Facebook. In that social media message, you can point them back to your website where you offer more tips and tricks, along with a subtle link to your new crock pot.
  • Ways to Use Product - Post recipes that would work well with your crock pot. At the end, you can create a link that goes directly to the crock pot that works wonders with the recipe.
  • Seasonal - Create seasonal themed messages. Using the crock pot, come up with recipes and tips using seasonal ingredients. Or come up with a menu for a particular holiday like Easter or Thanksgiving. Then mention that a crock pot would make this meal preparation much easier.

You get the picture. You need to give quality information while linking your product or service into the message subtly. 

What are people saying about you?

Most business experts will tell you the best advertisement is word of mouth. That is as true today as it was a century ago. The biggest difference is that much of that conversation is happening in the virtual world instead of face-to-face. Do you know what people are saying about you and your company?

Look at what people are saying about your company online. 

  • Check social media streams.
  • Look at industry-related forums.
  • Look at customer rating sites.

if you have never done this before. You may get a pleasant surprise. On the other hand, you may get a shock. Listening to what people are saying is actually a way to figure out how best to market your company. 

You can use vicarious marketing to increase your revenue streams. Listen to what others are saying about you. You can begin to influence that talk with positive content and positive comments from happy customers. Give it some time and you will see any negative comments going away like a light breeze. It will be a distance memory as your customers sing your praises. 

Stop faking your way through social media and start taking charge of your company's public image.

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Can You Really Measure ROI in a Website?

Posted by: on Monday, March 11, 2013

Are you throwing away money on your website? Measuring just how much value you are getting from your website is difficult for some businesses.

They may get plenty of traffic through their website, but cannot track how much is actually providing revenue to the business. It is important to track the ROI to make sure you are getting the most out of your website.

The equation for ROI (return on investment) is simple enough. 

  1. Calculate Cost of Investment - When calculating before making a change, you first need to estimate how much revenue increase you will see by making the change and use it as the cost of investment. If you are calculating ROI after the change, you take the amount of revenue increase you know came from the change as the cost of investment.

  2. Calculate Net Gain - Deduct the cost of investment from the potential revenue increase to find the net gain.

  3. Calculate ROI - Then divide the net gain by the cost of the investment. That number is the return on ROI.

Return on investment is not all based on numbers. There are intangible benefits you need to keep in mind when thinking about your website. 

  • What does a good website do for your business?
Think about what a first time visitor takes from your website. If you present a professional website with informative content, the visitor will have a positive impression. If you present an ill-designed website with very little content, the visitor will have a negative impression. A good website will give visitors that critical positive first impression. It makes them more likely to trust your brand. That is the first step towards becoming a lead or a paying customer.
  • How does a bad website impact your business?
When someone visits your site, they come with certain expectations. They want to find the information they are looking for without hassle. They want to see a professional website with high quality content. If you are not meeting those expectations, you have a bad website. A bad website loses you money every day. Instead of visitors staying around and signing up to become a lead, they are leaving as soon as they see the first page of your website.
  • Does your website do what you want it to do?
What is your website missing? Many first time websites are basic. They do not have a lot of functionality. Businesses learn to work around these deficiencies because they have no other immediate choice. With only a basic website, you are leaving plenty of revenue off the table. When doing a redesign, plan on adding the functionality you need. The extra investment will pay off in better leads and increased revenue.
  • How many leads do you get from your current website?
When you pull up your website analytics, how many people have signed up to become leads? This is something you need to check at least a couple times a week. It is important to maximize your lead generation in order to increase your revenue opportunities. So, how many leads do you get every week? How many do you want to get? If those numbers are not the same, then you need a website redesign.

Once you look at the ROI numbers and the intangible benefits, you can make an informed decision on whether a website redesign or major update is in your website's near future. The reality is that you need a fresh and dynamic website to capture visitors' attention. Making the investment will payoff in many ways that you calculate and that you cannot. 

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Why Not Redesigning Your Website is a Mistake

Posted by: on Friday, March 8, 2013

When was the last time you redesigned your website? You may make occasional updates on prices or posts to your company blog. But, when was the last time you did a major redesign or update?

You might be saying, "I don’t have time to update my website." The reality is that if you have not made a major redesign or update in the past couple of years, you are making a big mistake.

This mistake could be costing you in lost leads and revenue potential. With advancing technology and emerging marketing techniques, it is important to keep your website up to date and focused on leading visitors into your sales funnel.

Here are some questions you need to ask:

  • Are you asking "Do I really need to?" The idea of undertaking a major revamp of a website can intimidate many people. But, today's market is passing you by if you do not. Consumers are becoming more sophisticated and expecting more out of the companies they do business with. If you think you can keep your old website for many more years, you are making a major mistake. So the answer is, "Yes, you really need to."

  • One question you need to ask is "What’s new since I built the last one?" If your website is older than a couple of years, you are missing new things in terms of design and content requirements. Google's search engine algorithms have changed radically in the past couple of years. Content is becoming increasingly important for ranking high in search engine results. Your website needs to leverage these changes so you can increase your business.

  • When you are ready to undergo the redesign or update, you need to answer the question"What can I do prepare?" A redesign offers you a chance to look at your entire business and make any changes you want. First, stand back and take a look at your marketing efforts. Do you need to update your marketing efforts? Do you want to add more functionality to your website and tie it into your business model? In order to prepare for the redesign, take time to look at what you have, what you want to add, and what you need to add. Also consider what you want to remove. If something is no longer working, get rid of it.

  • Before the redesign starts, you need to start considering the question "How can I measure if the new site is on track?" When you are contemplating a website redesign, you need to take measurements of where your site is now. You can use an analytics program that will show you traffic numbers and other important information. Once your website redesign up and running, take a new set of numbers. Hopefully, you will start to see new traffic visiting. That will tell you if your new site is on track or not.

Answering these questions can take you on a journey to update your website and start to take advantage of the opportunities that are currently slipping you buy. Increase your business revenues by bringing more visitors to your site with a website redesign.

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Do I Really Need to Invest in a Mobile Ready Site?

Posted by: on Thursday, March 7, 2013

If you are asking the question "Do I really need to invest in a mobile ready site?" you already know the answer. In today's increasingly mobile world, more and more people are using mobile devices to view your website. You are losing web traffic and potential revenue if your website is not ready for those visitors and their devices. 

Remember your website is a tool that your business uses to attract people, turn them into leads, and entice them into becoming paying customers. If your website is not mobile friendly, it is actually costing you money instead of making you money. That is not what you need from such a critical marketing tool.

Why is your old website costing you money?

  • You only have one shot at the First Impressions
    Your website is the first impression most people get of your business and it will last about 5 seconds. If you are not mobile friendly, you are not starting off right with those visitors using mobile devices. Your website is either hard to navigate or impossible to see with mobile devices. That is not the impression you want to make.
  • Lost Opportunities
    A growing number of people are using mobile devices for browsing. According to the Pew Research Institute, 55% of adults surveyed indicated they use their cell phone or other mobile device to browse the Internet. An increasing number of people are using their mobile device as their main or exclusive browsing option. If your website is not mobile friendly, you are missing out on a ton of potential revenue.

Every couple of years most websites need a major update or redesign. If yours is due or overdue for an update, it is the perfect time to revamp your site and make it mobile friendly. You will make those critical first impressions and turn lost opportunities into increasing revenue streams.

Responsive Web Design
The best option for most websites is a technique known as responsive web design. In the past, web designers focused on how the website will look on a desktop or a laptop. With responsive web design, the designer focuses on making the web pages transform based on the size of the browser window. 

For a laptop or desktop, the website would look like most others. But, when you view it on the smaller screens of a smart phone or a tablet, the website will change formats. Graphics will shrink, in some cases. Buttons may actually grow to accommodate touch screen use. The designer selects which elements are most important and makes those most prominent on smaller screens. Other elements go further down the page. The best thing about this website design option is that the same graphics and theme show up on all screen sizes. 

Give your website the redesign it needs. With a mobile friendly design, you can catch people where they are looking. That will increase website traffic, lead generation, and revenue streams. Your website needs to generate revenue, not cost you money. Make the investment and make it mobile friendly.

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