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Social Media The Iron Triangle Articles

Social Media Marketing: Myths Busted!

If you have been online for a while now, or have been listening to the news, you have probably heard of Social Media Marketing and also have a pretty good idea that it is pretty important for your business in today’s economy. However, you have probably also heard or believe one (or perhaps all!) of the following five myths:

Myth 1: Social media marketing is free.

True, you can create an account for free on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest and even Tumblr for free – but there are two concerns you must consider. First, don’t believe the hype “if you build it, they will come…” That’s great for the movies, but online it’s digital business suicide – creating an account and then doing nothing with it will get you zero results. Second, you must consider the time-cost to properly setting each of these Social Media platforms up correctly, as well as following through with the necessary steps required to get the best possible results.

So what does Evanne Schmarder recommend?

A strong plan will include assigning responsibility, creating content, exploring productivity tools, monitoring your outreach, building relationships, putting in place and measuring key performance indicators, etc. Social media marketing must be nurtured, grown, picked, and pruned — shaped and reshaped to deliver the highest yield possible. That takes time, and time is money.

Myth 2: I’ll get a neighborhood teenager to handle my social networking, they know the ‘net.

Okay, I admit it – teens today are very tech savvy, and many know much more than their parents and other business adults do about computers and the Internet. However, beyond having a teen show you the basics such as developing a good profile, how to search for your audience (referred to as friends or followers) and gaining knowledge of their recommended tips for an easier experience, you really must take the reigns in order to properly build your online brand and message. Remember: only you know your business truly, and when it comes to what Social Media messages are going out, you should ensure only the best is shared – hipster teens aren’t all that interested in helping you build a solid business.

Myth 3: If I get involved in social media marketing the ‘haters’ will hijack my marketing message.

My favorite quote regarding this topic is this, “Whether you have good, positive publicity or bod, negative publicity, at least you’re popular!” Truth is it isn’t the negative review or comment that you should worry about, but it is the way you respond to them that truly matters.

In fact, if you publically respond to the negative comments professionally, you have the chance to win the customer back, or at the very least, show that you are honest and open with your Social Fan-base.

So what is the reason these comments occur?

According to the 2011 Harris Interactive/Right Now Customer Experience Impact Report, the way you handle complaints can determine your customer’s satisfaction. In fact, 26 percent of dissatisfied customers that do not give you the opportunity to right a situation in person share their view of the experience on a social media network.

Myth 4: I built a Facebook page therefore I’m a social media marketer.

As big as Facebook is, it isn’t the one-and-only Social Media platform you should be focusing on! Doing your research and finding the Social Media outlets that your customers are using to congregate is the best way to obtain the optimum social value. But you must consider this:

Social media marketing — on Facebook and elsewhere — is not a ‘set it and forget it’ tool. It takes commitment, tenacity, time, and strategy to identify the best platforms for your business, consistently engage your target market, and develop business-driving relationships.

Myth 5: Using ‘friend-farms’ to buy ‘likes’ and ‘followers’ will build my business.

Here is the honest truth: Yes, you will pump up your social media numbers, and it may look very impressive – but it doesn’t convert into sales! Why?

It’s the same as sending a promotional email to an unqualified list. It’s dead on arrival, no matter how many addresses you send it to. You’d be much better served building your following by sharing relevant content, interesting news, and an occasional marketing message.

In order to read more of Evanne’s answers, please visit her blog entry.

So let’s review:

  • Social media sites are free to join, but your time investment must be considered.
  • Teenagers are great for helping you learn the basics of Social media websites but they shouldn’t become your online business consultant unless they have the proper experience.
  • Haters and angry customers do exist, but instead of worrying when and if you will get a negative post, focus on how you will respond in order to win this customer back.
  • Knowing how to build a Facebook Fanpage is great, but it isn’t enough to merely build it – you must ensure you are going where your customers go to socialize online.
  • Friend-farms are not the best business investment – unless you want to inflate both your numbers and your ego.
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Advertising & Branding The Iron Triangle Articles

Does Your Website Have All The Pieces In Place?

Have you ever looked at a great website and analyzed what exactly is on it? This article talks about the extra pieces, besides the general writing, that make up a successful website.

One such “extra piece” is the use of videos. Not everyone likes to read so if you give your visual visitors something to look at, such as How To videos or a tour of your store, they’re more likely to stay around and see what you’re about.

An essential item for a website’s success is testimonials. If you have happy customers, put their letters or emails on your site. Potential clients like to know that others have gone before them and are happy with what you provide. The testimonials can also be videos if you have people who prefer to do it that way.

Another very important element, besides the written words (also known as content), is the use of graphics. I’m talking about eye-pleasing photos, charts, and clip art pictures that draw focus, make the web page interesting, and break up what would be considered a lot of text.

This next one is simple, yet so many websites overlook it – contact information. There is nothing more frustrating than looking all over a website and not finding a way to contact the site owner.

On every page of the website there should be an address, phone number, and email address. This is crucial to good customer service, and it makes a site look more legitimate and less suspicious.

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The Iron Triangle Articles

Does Online Marketing Terms Seem Like A Foreign Language?

Congrats on having a website, but did you know there is so much more you can do with your website right now to help bring in new customers, make current customers happy, grow your business, and have it do many of the online tasks for you?
I’ve got a few online marketing terms to run by you. If you’ve not used the services of an online consultant before, then these terms might sound like Greek to you…

SEO

– This stands for search engine optimization. Optimizing your website for the search engines, like Google, means the difference between a trickle of traffic or a lot of traffic.

Monetize

– Is your website laid out to make you money? Chances are, you haven’t monetized it properly or you’re lacking in the different ways to make money (monetize) your site.

Email Marketing

– This is what you do to actively market your products online; it’s in addition to just showing your website to the world. Collecting email addresses from people means you can send them periodic emails on new products, sales, etc. to bring them back to your site and purchase from you or into your physical place of business.

Autoresponder

– An autoresponder is the vehicle by which you send your emails. You don’t have to set up time-consuming individual emails and put in each email address. The autoresponder does it all.

Shopping Carts

– If you’re selling product, you need shopping cart software on your site. Not all are the same so pick one that has all the features you need and it will make your life easier.

It’s a whole different world, isn’t it? I can walk you through this confusing maze as it’s my specialty. Online consulting and taking care of your online needs is what I do. Contact Us today!

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SEO & SEM The Iron Triangle Articles Traffic Techniques

Using The Right Keywords On Your Website Will Give You Tons Of Traffic

There’s no doubt that having a website for your brick and mortar business is crucial, and even necessary these days.

But it’s not enough just to have any old website. You need a website that will draw traffic, aka visitors, who are surfing the web. These are visitors you wouldn’t otherwise have and they can make a huge difference in the success or failure of your online presence.

So how do you get these visitors who are surfing the web?

By your choice of words…
• in your content
• in your content titles
• in your graphics titles
• behind the scenes of your site
• in your links to other pages of your site

Some words are better than others because they are searched for again and again by TONS of people. Some words, called longtail keywords, are searched for a lot yet have little competition from other sites (not as many sites use these keywords). If you use these favorable longtail keyword phrases it may mean you can land on page 1 in Google for the phrase.

The result of being on page 1 of the Google search engine is huge! Just think what it means if people find your website on the first page of their search – a marked influx of traffic and a big new market of people to market to.

I can help you find the best keywords for your website. I can also add them to your site in all the right places. Let me know if you’d like to talk about this powerful traffic-getting technique.

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Advertising & Branding SEO & SEM The Iron Triangle Articles

Did Your Website Designer Have Basic Knowledge About SEO?

One thing that many local business owners do when looking to come online is hire the least expensive person they can find who at least appears qualified to build their website.

Sometimes they get lucky and the website comes out looking awesome, but looks can be deceiving!  Just looking great is not enough if the designer did not also take the time to ensure the website is also search engine optimized.

So why is SEO such a big deal for the web designer to know? Read on to see how Qaman from One SEO Company explains it:

[quote]

Why Your Web Designer Should Know About SEO?

Search engine optimization should be incorporated in your website development plan from the start to the finish. And it doesn’t end there. SEO is a continuous process that needs proper maintenance to keep your business at par, if not on the edge from your competitors. Hiring the right web designer who is also equipped with SEO skills is your first step in building a well-structured and optimized website. Always remember that a well-optimized and well-designed site offers better user experience and increases user engagement.

— Qaman Zaman, One SEO Company

[/quote]

So as you can see, web design is much more than just making a pretty site.

But what if you already hired and paid a designer to make your local business website and now you don’t know how to fix the SEO problem? Not to worry! Contact ITIM Interactive Media today and we can discuss with you how we can help make things right for you and your local business.

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Advertising & Branding The Iron Triangle Articles

Is Your Local Website Graphics Losing You Business?

So you’ve finally taken the plunge and put a website up. Congratulations, it’s a wise move!

“What? You did it yourself?

“Let me take a look… oh… ummm…”

Does your website scream amateur? It might be that you did put your site together yourself or you got your cousin, Charlie, who knows a little more than you do, to put it up for you.

Now cast a critical eye over it, as if you were your customer. While you may be proud of your newfound graphic skills, you may actually be scaring potential customers away.

Simply put, a professional website header and other graphics make your online business face professional by association.

If your graphics look, well… lame, then everything else is suspect too, even if you do have valuable information on your site.

A site’s graphics are so important, but often overlooked. If you’ve gone to all the work to bring new people to your website, don’t you want to leave a good first impression?

Take a look at some of the websites you like to visit and check out their website header, their “buy now” buttons, and the other graphical elements.

• Are they in keeping with the overall theme of the business?
• Are they pleasing to look at?
• Do the graphics in the content make the site easier to read?

The good news is you don’t have to be a graphics artist to have a professional-looking website! I can reveal my resources or arrange to have it done for you to save you time and hassles.

You can email or call me anytime to discuss this.