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social media channels

Are you using the right social media channels for your business?

Using social media for getting more exposure for your business is definitely a good idea.  It helps get a larger audience and helps get your brand story a great platform.  So of course, I get asked many, many times will Facebook work for my business?  Or will Instagram work for my business?

My answer is always, ”Well, it depends.  What is your business?”  I have to answer with a question because different social media channels work better for different types of businesses.

FACEBOOK

Facebook is a great social media channel for creating a community.  Businesses no longer thrive on this channel with just having a business page.  The best ways of utilizing Facebook is creating a group and sharing exclusive content to that group.  This community will get content that you curate and notifications about said posts.  But it also a place where your members can interact with each other.

The other great way to grow you business on Facebook is by using paid Facebook advertising.  You can boost a post or create a custom ad that reach your predetermined audience.

So who does Facebook work best for?  Almost everyone, many businesses and business owners are on Facebook even if it is a purely social channel.  Retail, beauty, restaurants and other service companies can have more content like daily posts.

INSTAGRAM

Instagram is another great social media channel.  Many businesses promote their services with picture of the results they get.  Or pictures of the products they sell.  Definitely amassing followers here will help your business exposure and let potential clients see what you have to offer.

I love to link Instagram accounts with Facebook so that whenever you post a picture on Instagram you have the ability to share to Facebook instantly.  And this linking applies for more than just shares posts.  When doing Facebook adds, if you have a linked Instagram account the ads will also be automatically sent to Instagram as well.

So who does Instagram work best for?  Retail, beauty, restaurants or anyone with physical products or results to show the world.  Lots of personal trainers and even plastic surgeons use it for before and afters.  This is not one that I recommend so much for business to business type companies.

LINKEDIN

Yes, LinkedIn is a social media channel.  It is more of a professional/business social media channel, with many of the same possibilities as Facebook.  You can create a group and build a professional community on it through that group.

It even has advertising as well with multiple options for creating the ads.  You can send in-mail ads, sponsored content and text ads.

So who does LinkedIn work best for?  It really is for companies that are business to business companies.  Or companies that help professionals like resume services, recruiting services, etc.

TWITTER

Twitter is a great social media channel for communicating with customers.  It helps build a community as well with followers.  The drawback to Twitter is the character limit to each tweet.  But people have found ways around it.  But for business communication it is best to keep it short and sweet.

There are paid ads on Twitter as well.  But it is a different approach than other social media channels.

So who does Twitter work best for?  Twitter is similar to Facebook in that pretty much any business can benefit from it.  It really is great for any business wanting to start a conversation.

PINTEREST

Pinterest is a wonderful social media channel for products and creations. You can pin and showcase your brand.  So what you pin is important.  Also making your posts on your own website pinnacle is very important.

There are business accounts and tools available that make it easier for businesses to reach a broad audience. And of course advertising.

So who does Pinterest work best for?  Pinterest is best for any business that has physical products, like retailers or creates a product- designers, bakers, etc.

YOUTUBE

Youtube is the last of the major social media channels.  Youtube is the second largest search engine.  And it is shown that traffic that visits your website from Youtube is more engaged.  You can create and upload videos of all kinds that tell your brand story, give information, are tutorials, and pretty much your imagination is the limit.  Video is a major player in digital marketing.  People love watching videos.

Youtube has video ads, analytics and can help make some side income as well.  So it is a worth wild channel to try out.

Who does Youtube work best for?  This is similar to Facebook and Twitter, where most businesses would and can benefit from using Youtube.  Even if it is just client video testimonials video is on the rise and a major player in the digital marketing world.

 

We covered the major channels for social media.  There are some other players as well, but the ones you use for your business ultimately come down to who your target market is and what sort of business you have.

If you’re ready to use social media to the advantage of your business, I’m ready to help.

disabled parking sign

What is Web Accessibility?

Web accessibility is the inclusive practice of removing barriers that prevent interaction with, or access to websites, by people with disabilities. When sites are correctly designed, developed and edited, all users have equal access to information and functionality (Wikipedia).

According to Pew Research, nearly 40 million Americans had a disability in 2015.  That is a pretty sizable portion of the US population- 12.6%.  It is a minority that is often overlooked especially in the space of the internet despite the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).

When your website meets these guidelines of web accessibility, it is better for your business in several ways. First you make you website equally available to more people. Second meeting WCAG standards actually helps your SEO rankings.  Third, meeting standards makes it less likely that your business could be taken to court.  Many corporations have been had class action lawsuits filed for not being accessible.

So what are some of the things you can do to make sure your website meet these web accessibility standards?

Here are 6 things take into consideration.

COLOR

Color should be taken into consideration as many people are colorblind.  It is much easier to see a contrast in color when the background and foreground color aren’t similar.  The use color to convey differences is not a good practice for web accessibility.

A great resource to check how accessible your colors are is WebAIM.  It allows you to input your color selections and see if they meet the WCAG standards.

CODE

Not only is good content important for better SEO rankings.  It is important for vision impaired users that require the help of a screen reader as well. It also just makes your website easier to read for everyone the visits.  Making sure that code is properly setup for accessibility is important.  Hiring a developer, that knows what to do,  to make an accessible site is important.  Or just making sure that you get an accessible ready WordPress theme if you want to do it yourself is of the utmost importance.

SEO

Make sure to use Yoast SEO or other SEO tool to help not only improve your SEO but also your website’s accessibility.  All the suggestions they give to get a better SEO also improves the content of your site for accessibility.

HYPERLINKS

Use hyperlinks in your website are meaningful.  When a screen reader comes across “Read More”, it doesn’t help really the user.  It is best to use text that describes the content being linked to.  Also using a combination of methods to indicate a link for the colorblind such as a change in color and underlining the link makes it more obvious.

ALTERNATE TEXT FOR IMAGES

The use of alternate text is vital for people who use a screen reader.  The reader needs to know what the image is of.  Yet contrary to common belief, a simple description is better than a detailed, complex description.  When using a image of a person, it is always best to simply use their name as the alternate text.

WP ACCESSIBILTY PLUGIN

WP Accessibility Plugin by Joseph Dolson is a great addition to any WordPress site and helps to ensure that your site is more accessible.

I want to thank Joe A Simpson Jr. for a wonderful and informative presentation about Web Accessibility at WordCamp LA 2018.  His talk inspired this post and the future changes to my own sites to ensure that they are meeting more standards.

Let’s help to spread accessibility awareness and start with your website.  If your ready to make your site more accessible, I’m ready to help.

unread email on mobile phone

Take Your Email Marketing To The Next Level

Email marketing is in the top 3 choices of digital marketing channels for companies ( CLUTCH ).  The three top choices are the best for telling your brand story, gaining awareness and increasing sales.  When done right, email marketing allows for precise targeting of specific audiences along with a bit of personalization.

Here are 7 ways to take your email marketing:

USE DOUBLE OPT-IN

When you have someone signup to a list make sure to have a double opt-in system.  This ensures that they truly are interested in your list and it was not just an accidental signup.

Along with your double opt-in make sure to have a confirmation page for the signup.

SEGMENT YOUR LIST

It is a great thing to have a large email list of your clients and other people interested in your brand.  But it is much more powerful when segmented into smaller lists of interests.  This allows for much more targeted campaigns that only appeal to those on the list.

It is best to have each signup form on your website go to different emailing lists, like one fo your newsletter, one for the contact form, etc.  When you send out newsletters that have links to click to different subjects, it is a great strategy, to have those links signup the customer to a new list that corresponds to that link.  Whenever you gain new data about your customers, use it to help market to their interests and needs.  This will help have a better conversion rate on your emails.

USE DRIP CAMPAIGNS

Setting up drip campaigns helps automate your email marketing flow and makes it easy to start sending emails immodestly when someone signups for a list.  You can have a drip campaign for when someone signs up for you newsletter merely thanking them for signing up and letting them know the frequency of the newsletters.  It can be followed up with just general information about the site every few days for a week as an example.  The possibilites are endless with your imagination and needs acting as a guide.

CREATE A COMPELLING HEADLINE

This is possibly the most important piece to each individual email you create.  Make sure that the subject creates interest and lets the reader know what to expect in the email.  The subject also needs to be concise as must email accounts and mobile devices truncate subject headlines.  The best length is somewhere between 30 and 50 characters including spaces.

HAVE A CLEAR MAIN MESSAGE AND A CALL TO ACTION

Making sure that the reader understands the main message of the email is important.  Having a Call to Action that helps promote the message and final goal helps increase the conversion rate.  It is good practice to have your call to action in several places and in several formats.  With scrolling it is not necessary to put all the important content “above the fold” as scrolling is fairly easy.  But getting to the point earlier is still considered good practice.

CONSISTENCY RULES

Setting up a consistent schedule for when your emails go out is nice for setting up expectations for your customers.  They will know when to expect new emails.  It has been show that the best days to send out emails are Monday through Thursday mornings.  Emails sent out at these times have much higher opening rates than others dates and times.

MAKE IT EASY TO OPT OUT

It is always best to make it easy to opt-out of your email list when customers no longer wish to receive them.  Otherwise you remails can become a nuisance and you my lose a customer all together.

Need help taking your email marketing to the next level? I’m ready to help you so you can concentrate on running your business.

 

 

*originally posted on http://www.rgodin.com/

5 star review

Increase Business with Customer Reviews

More and more consumers rely on online customer reviews to help make their purchasing decisions.  Actually 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.  With 73% of consumers trusting a local business more with positive reviews. ( Source: Brightlocal ).

Make a small change to your website that will have a large impact on your business.  The results will be seen fairly quickly as well.

What is this addition?

Adding 4 and 5 star customer reviews right on the your website.

How to Add Reviews

There are a couple of different ways to get reviews onto your website.  There are plugins and widgets that let you add reviews from social media, or let you collect reviews directly on your website.  There are also outside paid services that let you add reviews to your site with a little bit of coding.

Good vs Bad

Plugins and widgets that bring in reviews from social media are quick and easy.  But they do not provide the ability to take care potential bad reviews before they reach the public.  Plugins and widgets that allow you to collect reviews allow for the ability to handle those bad reviews before they get to your website but they don’t allow you to publish those reviews to outside places, like social media sites.  They both save money but require more time to manage since all your reviews we de in separate places.

Outside paid services allow for both situations- allowing for better control and exposure.  They also make management of all your reviews easier since all the reviews are in one place. But they cost some money and take a longer time for setup. They also make it easier for your customers to leave review since they merely go to your website to leave reviews on multiple platforms.

So which method is better?

On the long run, using an outside paid service is better because it saves time on maintaining your reviews and makes it easier for your customers to leave reviews. And the more amazing reviews on your site the more your business will grow.

Ready to add reviews to your website?

I’m ready to help you so you can concentrate on running your business.

 

 

*originally posted on http://www.rgodin.com/