My Marketing Gals

Simplified Online Marketing

Filtering by Category: Engage your Target Market

Blogging for SEO: Creating a Keyword Rich Title

If you want your blog to come up in search engine results you'll need to pay close attention to writing a keyword rich title to get noticed.  

  • Think like your audience. What keywords will they search for to find your blog? Put those words at the front of your title. "Designer Handbags: What's trending this summer?"  Research keyords in your industry with a tool such as  google adwords or Keyword Tool
  • Notice the key words are at the beginning of the title. This isn't by chance. As search engines scan new content they look at the beginning of sentences.  
  • Ask a question or offer a solution.  Your target audience is often searching for answers, solutions or advice on a topic.  "Tooth Grinding: 7 ways to stop grinding your teeth."  People love the quick solutions and offering 7 steps or 6 ways, etc. is always popular. 
  • Use the colon for added search benefit. Notice in our above examples we lead with the category or topic and then use another set of keywords which offers more details about our article. 
  • Many blogs convert this title automatically into the blog/page title. This is terrific for SEO. The page title is one of the most important places you can control in SEO. Make sure your page name has your keywords. 

What not to do to get your brand/event noticed.

This is a big pet peeve of mine and I see it again and again. Have you ever been in a discussion online and all of a sudden someone posts a link to their blog with totally unrelated content? 

These people think they are oh so savvy by finding where their target audience is hanging out. They don't care what you all are talking about, but they know you are there. They simply post a link to their website/event/blog and may even say a few words with it.  The funny thing is they actually think they are smart and are so arrogant that they think you will like it.  Would you burst into a room full of people discussing say leadership and scream "I sell ______, read my article it's great and call me". Do they really think people would enjoy this interruption and stop everything to click or read their annoying post?

Please stop if you are doing this or help me understand what mindset they may have to think this is a wise move? Comment below with your pet peeve on social media or online marketing?

Facebook Page owners need to change their strategy in 2015.

Here we go again…more changes to facebook coming soon.  These changes will make business owners change the way they interact on facebook. (Well, for some anyway.- Successful pages know what their customers like and engage with them through stories and meaningful images.)

I’m a glass half full kind of gal. While change is always hard (and we know facebook likes to change lots) this change is for the people who use facebook.  These facebook users are otherwise known as your target audience. We want to keep your target market happy don’t we? Well, facebook surveyed and found people feel like they are seeing too many promotional type posts.  Think of it this way - Imagine you have a shop and your customer walks in. Do you start holding up items and telling him/her the price? Let’s hope not. You probably hold up an item or share a story about an item they are looking at. You share how they can benefit from that item, you may ask questions or share another customers success with that item or why you added it to your shop. Imagine facebook posts in the same manner. Simply imagine these customers are in your shop and you are engaging in a conversation with them. It may take some getting used to, but you’ll get the hang of it.

Here is what people don’t like: (link below for full article)

  1. Posts that solely push people to buy a product or install an app
  2. Posts that push people to enter promotions and sweepstakes with no real context
  3. Posts that reuse the exact same content from ads

So change your marketing strategy and give your customers what they want. Show the story behind your business, products and services.  Instead of posting sales, products, services etc. share the stories behind the items. How have they impacted your customer? Where did you get the idea from? Ask how they would use this item or why they like it.  Share photographs. People are visual and have very short attention spans. Photographs can say so much and grab their attention. Show the personal side of your business and your team. 

Now you  may be wondering what will happen if you continue to post promotional/sales type of posts? Facebook isn’t going to delete you, but you will notice far less engagement. They will hold back from pushing your content out to newsfeeds. Look at what you post and then analyze the results by looking at the numbers. Experiment with this. Post your typical way and then try changing it around.  Facebook is still a terrific tool to engage your target market, simply change your strategy and make it work for you. Be sure and post relevant content your target market would find useful. You’ll facebook page will benefit from it and before you know it you’ll have more customers. 

Feeling a bit overwhelmed? Subscribe to our emails and we’ll share more tips. 

Helpful links:

https://www.facebook.com/business/news/update-to-facebook-news-feed 

https://www.facebook.com/business/a/page-posting-tips

Instagram for Business - Connecting you to your target audience.

With over 1 million users in just two months and over 150 million users currently this free photo sharing platform is capturing moments across the world.   Increase your business' visibility and  connect with your target audience.  Start your free Instagram account at www.instagram.com.

After creating your account be sure to follow other businesses and get comfortable with the platform. You should also subscribe to the Instagram for Business Blog for inspiration.  http://business.instagram.com/blog/  Remember that people (your target audience) needs to connect with your business.  Don't take a few photos of your products and think that's it. You should be creative with your images. Here are a few tips to get you started.

  1. Create your profile by completing all of the fields offered.  Use your keywords, mission, profile images, etc.
  2. Use the Instagram tools, like filters, hashtags and your keywords. Add a description to capture attention. (content, content, content)
  3. Show your team and the people behind your business. (Have an office pet or mascot? Photo often if so - furry friends are popular)
  4. Share some history. How was it made? What inspired you? How did your business evolve? Thank those who inspired.
  5. You don't need a professional photographer to showcase your products. Share images of your product in use. Perhaps share results or benefits from using your product or service.
  6. Share any community events, sponsorships and other activities your team/company participates in.
  7. Follow trends and participate.
  8. Cross promote your Instagram across other platforms.
  9. Embed your Instagram photos into your website.
  10. Respond to comments.

The team at We are Social Media put together a terrific infograph timeline of the history of Instagram.

It’s all about Customer Experience. Why you should allow customers to post on your wall.

Image

Allow others to post on your wall. Some businesses fear negative feedback, but good or bad, your customers want to know what others are saying about you.

Remember when businesses had a “Comment box” to capture your feedback?  Who knew if the box was opened, or if any action was ever taken. Now, that box is open to the public- visible to all.   Every ‘comment’  or ‘post’ and more importantly your reaction to it is on display.  I’m not saying do everything that’s suggested, but respond and show customers you value their opinion. You may even receive some really great suggestions.

Your business will benefit greatly from allowing others to post on your wall.  Social media is often referred to as “word of mouth on steroids”.  You can organically (aka - free) grow your social media audience by allowing others to post on your wall. Sharing pictures of your product in use, testimonials and ideally recommendations.  These will all be shared with their friends. The viral nature of these comments could mean new customers to you.

Caution: Don’t delete the negative comments.

I always advise my clients not to delete the negative comments.  Every business has a naysayer or two out there, and every business is guilty of a few mistakes.  Respond to any negativity with your best resolution, apology, (owning up to it if necessary) and move on.  If you do delete -  Chances are someone saw the post and notices you hid it under the rug - resulting in lost trust.  Or worse, the original poster fires back repeatedly and you have to “block” that person. Imagine how many others he/she will tell.  Your resolution to negative comments might even win you new customers. Showing the personality behind the business and how you care, listen and how you are honest and respect opinions of your customers matters.

Create a positive customer experience in your social media and people will talk about it. McDonalds has the right attitude - with over 250 billion hamburgers sold - they know how to gain customers.

Tips on running a contest - Part 4 of 4 in our contest series

Part 4 of 4: We’re rounding off our contest series with one final posting.  Bonus tips on running a contest. OVERALL TIPS:

  • Announce contest coming soon. Anticipation will keep your folks coming back to check it out. They might even tell some friends to keep a look out for your contest.
  • Cross Promote it other places (TWITTER, WEB, LINKED IN, Store Front, ETC.)
  • Advertise (facebook makes sense-low cost/targeted demographic)
  • Announce progress (time remaining, who is leading, etc.)
  • Announce Winner, thank fans and advise them to check often as you will run another contest in the near future.
  • Don’t argue with someone regarding winner. Make your contest clear and easy. If in doubt give two prizes to avoid conflict and bad press.
  • Abide by facebook rules and regulations. https://www.facebook.com/page_guidelines.php
  • Make your prizes appealing. Use your products or services when possible.
  • Give winner a choice in two prizes. Example: If HVAC? how often will they need to clean the system? Perhaps they just had it done. Offer a giftcard instead.
  • *Fan gate changes game -Timeline changes removed landing page, but various applications work the same. Be sure and use an app that has a fan “like” gate. You can see stat's on your contestants and even block some (employee's, etc.)
  • Use advertisement, on facebook, to announce contest increases likes when ad is clicked it turns into a page like.

Other contest ideas:

  • Photo contest - Ask fans to post photo -most likes wins. Plus how great to post someone using your product/service!
  • Where are we? -post photo of your mascot/logo/something and ask fans to guess where you are.
  • Ask fans to offer tip or their favorite Quote. The fan’s tip/quote with most comments and “likes” wins.
  • Guess that celebrity. for a dentist we post the smile only and ask to guess who it is.
  • Like Incentive - Not sure I like this one but see it often. When we reach ___#____ Likes we’ll offer _______.  Are people really that eager to help your likes grow? I guess if the offer is incentive enough they would.  I see it often, don’t use myself, but thought I’d offer it up.

In summary, every business is unique, and different approaches will work well for others.  I’d love to hear your comments. What have you tried in the past? Or, have you participated in a contest that caught your attention?

"Posting Contest": Part 3 of 4 in our contest series.

“Posting contest” How: Ask ‘fans’ to post a comment or photo. This could be asking fans to share one of their favorite quotes or even a tip.  The fan with the most “Likes” wins.

Why: Increase overall “Likes”, though might not be as targeted to your demographic. Advantage: Increase activity on page. Increases page “Likes”.

Tips:

  • Use an application to track (search facebook for current app’s), one with a fan gate is ideal as contestants will have to “like” the page to enter.
  • Explain contest clearly so no room for confusion.
  • Don’t forget to check with facebook on current rules and regulations on contests. https://www.facebook.com/page_guidelines.php

Examples: Share your favorite health tip on our wall and ask your friends to “Like” it. The tip with the most Likes by _______ date wins a _________. Post of picture of your favorite healthy meal. The picture with the most “Likes” by ___ date wins a _______.

Do you want more people to 'like' you on facebook? Contest series...

Part 2 of 4: The first contest we’d like to share is TRIVIA. (Again, be sure to check the latest rules and regulations on facebook via this link: https://www.facebook.com/page_guidelines.php This is easy and will drive people to your website to research the answer.

TRIVIA How: First to comment with the correct answer wins. Why: Increase activity, keep consumers checking back to see if they’ve missed a contest.  Drive people to your website or explore your page further. Increase knowledge of your brand/product/service. Advantage: This type of contest targets your market to those interested in your brand. Tips: Send out ‘reminder posts’ announcing upcoming contest & to check back often. Use prizes from your brand if possible or related. Give away, no discount (at least during the beginning). Explain contest clearly so no room for confusion. Examples: Want to win a $40 whole foods giftcard?  Be the first to answer this ?  Where did Shh owner Beth Smith study nutrition? = answer “Institute of Integrative Nutrition in New York”

Want another way to drive people to your website? Hide something and the first to find it wins. Sort of like a “Where’s Waldo”, but use your product “Where’s _____” Hide a picture of your item and the first to post where exactly it was wins.  Hide it well and seekers will explore many pages of your web learning and looking.

Do you want more people to “Like” you on facebook? Perhaps a contest is right for you.

"Like Me"Every time I hear someone say “Like me”  I can’t help but recall Sally Field accepting an Oscar and emotionally saying something along the lines of “I can't deny the fact that you like me, right now, you like me!”  She was then tumbled through the media with not so positive statements and poked fun at. At the time I thought how brave of her to lay it out there so bluntly and show her insecurity and disbelief that people really do like her.  Today businesses are laying it out there and looking for that “Like” to build their brand.  Hearing someone say “Like” us on facebook is a common phrase - far from being laughed at back when Sally exclaimed it. In this 4 part series we will offer our suggestions for creating a contest on facebook to increase likes. Facebook does have policies regarding contests. Any deviation from these rules could result in facebook deleting your page. (Sure facebook is large and may not see you bending a rule, but don’t be tempted. Disgruntled consumers or even your competitors could easily report you - so play by the rules here.).  https://www.facebook.com/page_guidelines.php

Before you start with your contest you’ll want to answer a few questions to help you decide what type of contest is best for your business.

Questions to ask:

What is your goal in running a contest? (Is it all about increasing volume of “Likes” or less volume and more targeted to your specific demographic?, drive to web or to educate customers about additional products/services, etc.) Who is your Target Market or Audience? What is your Budget for a contest? What kind of prize/incentive will you offer?

In this four part “Contest Series” we will offer our recommendations for increasing likes through contests. Each business is different and some will be better for others. Let us know what you have tried and share your feedback with us.  For the record I  more than “Like” Sally Field - then and now. So we’ll end this post with a quote from her.

“You lose your habitual behavior, which allowed you to sort of zone out. You have to be here, you have to be now, you have to be present.”

Social Media is so much in the moment that I had to pull this quote.  As a business owner and influencer it is key that we act in the present and move with change and join the ‘now’.  What has worked in the past may not now.  Is your business taking advantage of all social media has to offer and converting fans into customers? Look for part 2 of our blog to begin exploring types of contests on facebook.

Are your parents or grandparents on facebook?

Well, if they aren't their friends may very well be. According to a research study by Forrester Research well over halfImage of seniors- that's 60% of seniors, age 65 and over, are online. That's over 20 million in the US alone. You may ask "What are they doing online?" Here are additional details of the report:

  • 49% have a facebook account
  • 59% have purchased products in the last 3 months
  • 24% sign up for coupons or freebies
  • 46% send and receive photos by e-mail
  • 44% play games online

I've heard numerous times from local businesses targeting seniors, "I don't need facebook, my target market is not there". Well, if they want to stay ahead of the competition they'd better take a second look.  This is one of the fastest growing demographics to facebook.

Do you know a senior who you'd like to see enjoy facebook?  We stumbled upon this article and wanted to share. You may want to check with your local library or community center as many offer courses or have staff that are more than happy to assist.

Easy steps on how to teach facebook to Seniors.

Source: Forrester Research

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