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Tag : internet marketing

Is Your Social Media Marketing Company a Good Fit?

Is Your Social Media Marketing Company a Good Fit?
23Jul

No one should settle for “meh” when it comes to social media marketing companies. Some of those companies just can’t hack it–and make the rest of us look bad in the process. How will you be able to tell that your prospective social media marketing agency is worth the investment? Here are some hallmarks of a good social media marketing firm.

1. The staff members fill specific roles. 

The smaller the firm, the more hats each employee wears. However, great social media marketing companies will have team members with specific jobs (account managers, content writers, graphic designers, etc.). That’s because those companies want these tasks to be completed by people who know what they’re doing. Sure, sometimes an account manager might throw together some graphics as a place holder, or the team will split the duties of a coworker who’s on leave, but generally all roles are clearly defined. 

2. The firm is focused on your long-term success.

You want a firm that looks at the big picture. These firms won’t waste resources on campaigns or tactics that will not have lasting effects. The managers strategize with you on a monthly basis, but with an eye on their annual strategy for your brand. This technique can be slow to take-off, but then will yield steady results. Such social media management companies are proving that they are invested in their clients.

3. Your account reps are accessible and responsive.

(Please note the tacit “within reason.” Few reps will be on-call 24/7/365, unless otherwise stated and even then only in case of an actual emergency.) If you have a question, you can easily reach them for an answer. If you have a problem, they will address it immediately. You should be able to get into contact with the correct person when necessary. On a slightly related note, good firms have low turnover. This is great because it means you will probably keep the same account manager or creative team throughout your relationship with the firm. This also indicates that the firm has good management and reliable employees.

4. They listen to and address your concerns.

A good social media marketing agency will work with you. True, you might disagree with their advice, but they won’t force you to follow it. They will be knowledgeable about your situation and will have researched the challenges facing your industry. They have a vested interest in your success, so they will try to persuade you on the best marketing strategies. Bad social media marketers take the maxim, “the customer is always right,” to an extreme–agreeing with every idea from the client, no matter how wasteful, silly, or damaging.

5. Good social media marketing firms have successful track records.

These agencies proudly display portfolios of previous campaigns and testimonials from satisfied clients. They have nothing to hide. Reputation matters: your agent should be able to provide references upon request.

What do you look for when hiring a social media marketing agency? Tell us in the comments!

How does your current social media marketing firm measure up? The Go! Agency has the digital marketing skills you need to thrive in the modern marketplace! Contact us today for a free consultation!

 

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The Best Instagram Tools You’re Not Using

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19Jul

Instagram has cemented itself as the premier social media platform of 2018. Less confrontational than Twitter, less esoteric than Tumblr, and more careful with your information than Facebook, Instagram is attracting users in droves. It is no longer just a collection of latte art, food porn, and bathroom-mirror-selfies: Instagram has risen to the top of the pack for social media marketing opportunities. 

Unfortunately, some brands aren’t taking advantage of all Instagram has to offer. Are you getting the most out of your Instagram account? Today we’ll discuss the features that you should be using (but probably aren’t).

Feed

• Following hashtags: Just like on Twitter or Tumblr, you can follow hashtags on Instagram. This will allow you to keep track of trends, influencers, and even your own brand’s hashtags!

• Muting users: Muting allows you to hide people from your feed without actually unfollowing them. This feature is a boon to anyone who is tired of seeing post after post of a friend’s baby (scientific fact: All newborns look like Yoda, no matter what filter you use), but can be equally beneficial to marketers who want to grow their brands! You can follow back without being bombarded with unwanted content.

Stories

• Archiving: Instagram Stories are fun yet fleeting–like the bloom of the Arizona’s Queen of the Night cactus, or a Twitter feud. You post a topical, silly, or fascinating video, and it disappears forever after twenty-four hours. Not anymore! Now you can choose to archive Stories, preserving them forever in your profile. Just go to your Insights to find them all. Note: only account owners will be able to see archived Stories.

• Highlighting: Basically, these are curated collections of your archived Stories. Archiving Stories just keeps them in the back end of the app. If you want users to be able to see these Stories again or if you want to organize them into channels, you can create a Highlight channel. Each Highlight contains Stories grouped by theme. Technically, you can decide to group your highlights by any way you see fit (“Stories Featuring a Mike,” “Stories Featuring Mike’s Right Thumb,” e.g.), but theme is your safest bet.

Posts

• Descriptions: It is almost ludicrous how many Instagram users waste the opportunity for content marketing. Including hashtags and mentions in descriptions will help users–i.e., potential customers–find you.  

• Filtering Comments: Trolls happen, so do bots, spammers, and lonely Russian singles who would love to chat with you. All of these miscreants will create new accounts as fast as you can block them. Thankfully, you can filter comments on Instagram! Filter according to keywords, phrases, or hashtags. This filter works on the “set it and forget it” principle: these comments are removed automatically.

• Hashtagging: Sometimes 30 tags just won’t cut it. What’s an enterprising user to do? You can repost content using all-new hashtags! Just delete the comment with the old hashtags and post a comment with fresh hashtags.

Overall

• Instagram Tutorials: Instagram wants to help you have the best possible experience on its platform. Topics range from improving your profile to building a community. Find these in the Business Settings on the app.

• Utilizing hashtags to build communities: Social media is all about connection, and Instagram is no different. Communities center around common hashtags. These hashtags range from hobbies (#NaNoWriMo#inktober), to interests (#caturday#yogaeverydamnday), to social causes (#PuberMe#bodypositive).

When clients ask us what they’re doing wrong, we often respond that the problem is what they’re not doing. A tool can’t benefit you if you don’t use it to its full potential. Instagram has many more innovative and attractive features at your disposal — all you have to do is use them!

Do you want to get the most out of your social media marketing strategy? That’s why we’re here! We can help you streamline your social media channels, create a cohesive message, and attract your ideal customer. Contact us today for your free consultation!

 

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SEO for Amateurs: What, How, and Why

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16Jul

If your brand has a website, you have probably heard of SEO. This concept is frequently mentioned, but rarely discussed in lay terms. What is it? How does it work? Why should you care? We’re here to break it down and help you understand how to make it work for you. 

The What

Search Engine Optimization (a.k.a., SEO) is the process of optimizing the content of your website for search engines (shocking, we know). People rarely look past the first few pages of search engine (let’s be honest, of Google) results, so the closer your website is to the top of that first page , the better. SEO is considered “organic,” in that you are not paying a search engine for your rank. 

The How

Ask yourself how much you really want to know about SEO, because there is a lot of information to unpack here. At first glance, SEO might appear to be an ice berg: small on the surface, gargantuan beneath the waves. In reality, SEO is more like an ant hill: it looks simple enough above ground, but that unassuming mound of dirt hides an extensive and intricate network of tunnels guarded by hordes of zealous soldiers.

What we’re trying to say is this: SEO is surprisingly complicated. Here is a very brief, very broad overview of SEO mechanics.

Search engines (almost all of them, anyway) index sites using crawlers, computer programs that continually browse the internet. As crawlers travel the world wide web, they index and catalog all of the information they find. The search engine’s algorithm then sorts the findings according to two criteria: relevance and popularity. Relevance is influenced by myriad factors, including external links, meta data, and citations. Popularity is a factor because the algorithm–much like middle school students–assumes that popularity is a good indicator of value. (Generally, that holds true.)

You optimize your search engine rankings by incorporating keywords and key phrases into your website and content. How do you know which words are key? Well, what are the most common search terms used by your customers? What do people type into the search bar when they’re looking for your industry, product, or service? Some of this seems like it would be common sense (for example, a gluten-free bakery would use keywords and phrases like “gluten-free,” “gluten-free ingredients,” “celiac,” et cetera), but there are other aspects that you might miss (e.g., there is often an overlap between gluten sensitivity and other dietary restrictions). Most people use keyword research tools such as Google’s Keyword Planner or Keyword Explorer from Moz. SEO is more than stuffing your website with keywords and calling it a day. You must carefully integrate keywords into your content.

By the way, remember the ant metaphor? Much like the angry soldier ants who fiercely protect their queen and kin, Google doesn’t play. If there are indications that you’re gaming the system (keyword stuffing, manipulating back links, or any other black hat nonsense), you will be penalized. The algorithm won’t literally attack you, but you’ll lose rank. There is no appeals process, either: the only way to regain your standing is to reform your SEO practices.

The Why

There is no logical reason to abstain from SEO. A well-designed website is using at least a few keywords anyway–the process of SEO just ensures that the best keywords are being used. A brand has no excuse to avoid this powerful tool.

Need help with your SEO? Yeah, you do. Contact us today for a free consultation!

 

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Social Games: The Secret to Online Traffic?

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18Apr

An interesting way to get people to visit your social media page, and return often, is to host contests. Now, these do not have to be extravagant tournaments or even have magnificent prizes. It just has to be enough to engage your followers and to participate in the community you’re trying to tap into. Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are great platforms for this type of outreach, but LinkedIn, and GooglePlus have the potential to engage the audience in such a way as well. The best part of a contest is that you’ll have pretty much all positive feedback (unless they find out you rigged it) with little cost to your company, as long as you promote an enticing, but fairly inexpensive prize.

There’s tons of different ways to work the “Like/Share/Retweet” systems to turn it into a contest. One of the biggest question is how will your followers be eligible for the prize.

Here’s some common and simple ideas:

Have the followers like or retweet the post to be entered into the contest. This way is best if you want a random winner.

If your contest has a theme, have them comment with a related story for them to be eligible for the prize. You can choose your favorite to be the winner, in this case.

Upload a certain picture, video, or item to be considered for the prize.

Share the contest with three friends to be eligible. This one may be more time consuming for the customer, so its good to be sure the prize is worth it on this one.

As far as prizes go, you can chose one of your new products, a gift card to your company, or something related to your field. For instance, if you’re a garden shop, you can have a gift basket full of garden supplies.

You also want to make sure the contest sounds legitimate. You’re going to throw a pebble of truth into a sea of scams, so make sure it seems real and not too good to be true.

The contest method is an interactive way to really bring attention to your page, and with the promise of more contests to come, it could have people checking for more opportunities to win, as well as making so your posts come before all others so they’re ready for their next chance.

Do you have any contest ideas you’d like to share? Comment below!

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The Robots are Coming to Social Media

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18Apr

On April 12th, Facebook announced the next step in Social Media. Their innovate Messenger software just became compatible with chatbots, which means that customers of companies can interact with AI programs to answer their questions or concerns. One part of the social side of social media has been taken away. Keep in mind, that this will not be a person, it will be a program talking to you in a simulated There’s lots of pros and cons to consider with this groundbreaking development.

For a company, this mans they can save money on cutting their tech support systems. Not so good for their employees, however. This will cut longterm expenses and their customers will, in theory, be able to have fast results. However, how accurate will the chatbots be? If they continuously falter, customers will become frustrated, not at the chat program, but at the company that put it into motion.

For a customer, this could mean one of two things. This could be an amazingly fast and gratifying experience if its done and implemented correctly. On the other end, as mentioned for the company’s side of things, this could turn into a real headache.

The chatbots will be customizable so a company can make it do a wide variety of different tasks and have a plethora of customizable changes. It will also have the ability to keep customer’s identity and other specifics due to their Facebook profile.

Overall, this can be an innovative and convenient solution, albeit a cold one without human interaction.

For the full details on Zuckerberg’s significant press release, click here: http://ow.ly/10ABiN

What are your thoughts on all this chatbot business? Do you think it’ll make the positive impact they’re all hoping for? Comment below!

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Social Media Maintenance…Are You Maintaining?

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18Apr

Life changes drastically, even more so when you run a business. Policies, employees, branding, and pricing can change so quickly, it can hard to keep up. Sometimes, some marketing becomes a little outdated. Unfortunately, the internet is pretty unforgiving when it comes to obsolete or old information, and the social media landscape could be the worse. Small Business Trends has a great list that can help people and companies alike keep their accounts tidy and efficient:

Go through your profiles and make sure that every piece of information is up to date. LinkedIn is one of the more important websites to keep recent, seeing as how portfolios, resumes, and employee information is prevalent. You don’t want an employee who left three years ago to still be one of the forefronts of your social media profiles. This also is applicable to photo albums. Make sure what is in the photo, whether it be products or pictures of employees, is an accurate depiction of today.

While you want as many followers as possible, dead profiles are not exactly the best thing and neither is spam, which can fill your news feed with irrelevant advertisements. Make sure that the people you interact with are active and beneficial.

As a business, it’s important to see what people perceive your brand as. The online frontier is not a place for bashfulness and if people have a problem with your company, there’s a good chance they’re making it known. Google yourself, or search for your brand to see what people are saying or what they’re connecting your brand with. Sometimes you’ll be happily surprised, other times you’ll be a bit upset, especially is an unsatisfied customer made their way to a keyboard. There’s only so much you can do about negative talk online, unless its really offensive or harmful, but you can try you best to get customers to have positive reviews to outweigh the bad.

Of course, security is always important. Make sure you change your passwords often. Make sure they’re different from one another, and make sure they’re unique. A helpful tool some tech gurus use is to replace numbers for similar letters, like 3’s for E’s or 1’s for I’s. It might seem unnecessary, but it  can help significantly strengthen your password. Be sure to keep track of all your different passwords. There are tons of various ways to do this, from simply keeping a password-protected PDF on your desktop, to using a nifty app. Just make sure you don’t lose the list!

As important social media can be to your enterprise, it’s just as important to perform so regular maintenance on your profiles. It will keep things fresh, current, and perhaps most importantly, secure.

Small Business Trends sheds more light on some great social media tips here: http://ow.ly/10AvmS

What do you think?

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Your Website’s Relationship with Social Media

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18Apr

When running a business, it’s essential to have both a website and social media accounts so you can maximize your reachability. One cannot simply replace the other. In fact, the way social media has expanded, they can now compliment and promote each other!

For your website, it is important to have all your social media links proudly visible. If you’re not the one running your website, your designer should have this already in place. If not, from a webmaster’s side of things, it’s not hard to have ready. Facebook, Twitter, and the rest of the big boys also offer free image files of their websites so you can utilize it on your website and on other marketing material as well. By going to the source, you’ll have the most recent design of their logos, and you can be sure of the image file’s quality. Be careful though, those suckers can be huge files.

Promote your social media through the content you have posted on your website. Again, don’t forget to have those links in the reader’s line of sight as much as possible, but don’t make your website like a giant pop-up ad.

In addition to the direct links to your social media accounts, you should also have the ability to “Like”, share, “Tweet”, etc. straight from the article or page. This way they don’t have to leave your website, and the customer will now double as a sounding board, proclaiming how awesome your website is. There you go, now your customer is a member of your marketing department.

One of the more popular ways of integrating your social media accounts and your website is to allow them to login via their already existing social media accounts. You might’ve already seen this in place on a lot of retail websites. It allows the customer to bypass filling out forms, and will put them on a one way ticket to that payment screen.

You can also have YouTube videos and social media reviews imbedded right on your page. YouTube can double as another way to push your content and allow the reader or customer to promote for you.

On your social media accounts, always be sure to fill out every applicable field. Most websites will allow you to add URLs to your website, oftentimes to various pages. This way the customer doesn’t have to waste time trying to search for your website on a search engine website. You are in control of where they go to get more information.

Of course, one of the most important parts of social media is posting. When you’re making your updates, and you should be making a lot of them, make sure a good amount of them have a shortened URL that will take them to your website. A post can showcase what you have on your website. You can get some of you more unpopular pages some extra clicks by just showing it off on one of your social media accounts.

As you can see, its more a symbiotic relationship, rather than one replacing the other. They both can help each other, and in the same respect increase your views all around.
For even more interesting ways to integrate your website and social media accounts, check out this great article from Memeburn: http://ow.ly/10AkQi

What are your thoughts? Comment and discuss below!

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The Permanence of Social Media

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18Apr

Let’s face it. The internet has not only reshaped how we conduct pretty much everything in life, it’s defined this age. With something so significant, people are sure to question its legitimacy and if its going to stick around. Especially with one of the internet’s biggest strengths, the way to communicate with one another. This is where social media comes in. How strong is it? Will we look back at social media with a nostalgic sense and think about it the same time we think about VHS tapes and Beanie Babies?

Anurag Harsh, writer for The Huffington Post, tries to answer this question in an article which tests our memory of one of 2015’s biggest hashtags, #TheDress. Do you remember when this odd piece of clothing was such a sensation? Some people swore that it was black and blue, while others proclaimed it was white and gold. Eventually, it turned into more of a social statement for spousal abuse awareness. Regardless of how much you remember the story, Harsh bets you at least are familiar with it thanks to the firepower of social media. He states that this is a prime example of why we wont be thinking about social media on Throwback Thursdays ten, twenty, or thirty years from now. This thing is here to stay.

Of course, many people love to say that about something they have a stake in, which Harsh definitely does. But even an objective pair of eyes can reason that social media has made a strong enough impact to exist perpetually, in some form or another. This doesn’t mean that social media as we see it now will always be around. For all we know, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram will join the ranks of abandoned websites, leaving their homepage as empty as Chernobyl. But you can be sure something will pop up in their places.

One thing that makes social media seemingly timeless is the fact that it has risen above a message board for selfies and pictures of what you’ve had for dinner (although there’s still plenty of that around). Instead, its made room for the serious side of communication, becoming innovative outlets for news, business solutions, and a way to get one’s message out, whether it be a political movement, or a hashtag representing something they truly believe in. It’s become our generation’s version of the newspaper, and with it, were reaching new heights that were once thought impossible.

For more information, check out Anurag Harsh’s Huff Post article here: http://ow.ly/10zAjt

Where do you think social media will be in ten years? Comment Below!

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When it Comes to Social Media Marketing – It is All About Making the Right Choice

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23Feb

When choosing social media platforms for your marketing strategy, it is necessary to dig deep to see which ones are going to be the best starting point to complement your cohesive and strategic social media marketing strategy. You need to look at a social media site and ask yourself, “What can you do for me and my business?”  Social media should bring value to you by creating your own unique community and promotional hub.

Look through your current (or competitor’s profiles), compare and contrast, and answer the following questions:

• Which sites do you market on currently?

• Looking at your Buyer Profiles, which site has the most active members of your target market?

• Which site has groups for your company’s niche when you search using your keyword list?

• What sites do your competitors use the most or least?

• Which site’s tone aligns most with your brand voice?

• Which site is easiest to understand and use? Use the “Help” section of each site to learn more about its capabilities and security.

• Which site overall feels like the most natural fit for your business and marketing objectives?

Please take your time on these questions, and go through each one carefully, keeping in mind your needs and the pros and cons of each.  Think about how much time you have, and who will be managing these sites.  Also, based on the content in the past three chapters, which ones did you really identify with?

Now, once you have made your decision, you need to decide your starting point and note it on your pad.

• In Month One, I will market the business on: [Name of site(s)]

• In Month Two, I will market the business on: [Name of site(s)]

• In Month Three, I will market the business on: [Name of site(s)]

By setting a three-month plan, you will have time to get your feet wet and find your footing.  After that, you can look back at your strategy to see what needs to be changed and updated.

Remember, when it comes to social media all plans are organic: they will grow and change over time.  This is a wonderful advantage for your company as you can easily and cost-effectively change a marketing strategy on a dime if necessary.

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If Trust is King….is SEO Queen?

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23Feb

Content is king.  And if you are interested in marketing your business using social media, it is important to generate original content.  Writing original content will not only help you get more traffic from social media sites and search engines, but also help you engage with your target audience and create a power of influence.

I want to give you a proven tactic that will help you get your content rolling BEFORE you even put pen to paper to formulate your first blog or social media update.

Building keyword lists.

With all of the fervor over the power of content marketing, one aspect of it that I don’t think is stressed enough is the use of keywords when developing your content.  Those who know search engine optimization (SEO) tactics know how important keywords are to online success.  Keywords are how the right people will be able to find you, your company, your services, and your products online when searching for you—plain and simple.

If you currently have an active SEO campaign, whoever is managing this activity should be able to supply you with a list of keywords.  Another key person who could help you is your website designer or manager.  Even if your website is 10 years old, your keywords should be present throughout.

If you do not have these resources, I have a simple two-step process to help you formulate your first keyword list.

1. Pull out a list of your target market

2. Pull out a list of your products/services

By looking at these documents, you will be able to consider who is searching for you online and what words they are they using to find you.  Go above and beyond what you think the term “keyword” means, and really think about how your target market would look for you on search engines like Google.  Come up with a list of words and short phrases that you think your target market would use to find you online. I would first write this down on a pad, but then transfer to an online document for future tweaking.

Need some more help coming up with keywords and phrases?  The Google Keyword Planner can provide some good outside-the-box ideas.  Also, this tool will help you discover competitive keywords and phrases that have high searchability but low competition with others in your market.

The point of this exercise is to come up with a solid keyword list that you can begin to use when formulating and executing your content strategy for social media and other content.  The more relevant keywords that you pack into your social media updates, blogs, and website, the better chance you have of showing up in Google searches and social media searches for your topic.

Once you start to incorporate your keywords into your content, a great tool to see how your keywords are working for you is Google Analytics.  If you are not using this wonderful tool to monitor your website, I would suggest that you install it now.  It is free, and it helps you determine where your traffic is coming from and what words potential customers are using to find you.  Just ask the person who manages your website if this tool is installed and, if not, get it installed today.  Above and beyond keywords, Google Analytics gives you real-time data about on the effectiveness of your website on many different levels.

Keep in mind that your keyword list will continue to evolve and grow as your business does.  I would suggest taking a look at your list every month to see if it needs tweaking.

While building and maintaining a keyword list can be taxing, in the end it will truly help your content strategy get off and running with a bang!

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