Pinogy’s Guide to Blogging

Pinogy’s Guide to Blogging

High level items only.  Keep the post short and sweet to keep readers interested, as opposed a novel, which will result in readers leaving the page out of boredom.

You should post at least twice a month; it doesn’t need to be more frequent than that.

Do not copy and paste content or just regurgitate what others have said.  Instead, write specific pieces on what you are the expert on or what you are targeting.

The posts should be informative, but also fun to read.

No cursing!  It reflects poorly on your business and is very unprofessional.

The purpose of the blog is to become an authority in a particular area.  This results in your webpage being listed higher on search engines, and thusly will result in more new customers finding you.

While pictures and fun stories are nice and can be a piece of your blog, content is king here and is what will help increase search engine ranking.

Having tons of pictures and sharing personal stories from the store are better put on your social media sites like Facebook and Google+.

Blogging is to build the authority of your website, versus other social tools like Facebook and Google+ to engage and retain customers.

If appropriate for what’s being discussed, add a question at the end of the post to encourage replies; “What do you think?” or “What’s your story?” for instance.

Keep your keywords in mind and try to use them.

Have Fun!

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Do You Blog?

Do you blog? If your answer is no, why not?

If you have something valuable to share, a passion about one area, than maybe you would enjoy it- it is worth a try!

1: Do you wish to share your expertise or opinion?

If you have a brick and mortar store this is an interesting question. You are constantly answering questions for clients about products and/or techniques. Why not put your  FAQ’s and answers out there to help out the next guy?  This would save you time the nest time someone asks, and give people a forum to go to.

 2:  Do  you believe you have something valuable to say or teach?

If you are passionate about your business and wish to share the knowledge you have learned over the years, there’s your answer.

3:  If you are having trouble finding your voice…

Just be yourself.and write as you would speak. Make a list of your ten most frequently asked questions and write an entry for each. Try to have a bit of fun while you are doing it!

4:  How often do I have to blog?

This is up to you. It can be a daily, monthy or weekly blog, heck it could even be twice a year if you want. It is up to you!

 5: How many words does it have to be?

As many as it takes to make your point. Just remember to proof read & make sure it is not too long that your audience gets bored.

Analytics

Facebook, Twitter, and You Tube provide your company with three major opportunities to generate business by building powerful relationships with your clients.

Most small businesses have finally realized the value in utilizing social media. But many, however, are still on level one, where they are stuck between actually engaging their clients and really seeing the value in utilizing the social media opportunities. There is great value in using analytics and insights.

Here are the four main things you can easily watch.

1: REACH –  Know how many fans, followers, subscribers, visitors and discussions are actually taking place. This gives you visibility and understanding, knowing where and when your content is being discussed, enjoyed (LIKED), or shared.

Facebook especially makes this very easy by giving page manager this information right above your wall.

2: ENGAGEMENT – Move past just counting your fans daily. As you improve your content and engage your clients, the number will grow on its own. Look at the important things such as who is sharing your posts and how many likes and comments are you getting on them.

If you are not getting many response’s to your posts you may want to change your wording, or maybe the length of your status updates are too long or involved. Make it easy with simple calls to action.

**EXAMPLE**    “LIKE” this if you agree!   Or,   Check this out!

Ask your fans simple questions, post a silly photo and say simply, Caption this!

3: Community Involvement – Like other pages that are similar to yours and have a similar mission. Get involved and excited with your fans or followers. Use this to help you with new ideas and discover new ways to reach out to your online community.

4: ROI (Return on Investment) – Keep track of leads generated and sales via Facebook coupons or ads on other social media pages. If you put a coupon on your Facebook page keep track of the amount of them redeemed.

 Always keep in mind “Content is KING”. In order for your business to evolve, you must provide your clients with something worth engagement.

 

As Always, Have Fun and Be Social!

 

We all need a little exposure

One of the simplest things you can do to drive people to your Facebook page is to tell them how to get there. There are a few ways this should be done, and the best part is- it’s easy! Here are a few tips to get new fans.

  1. Make sure you have claimed your vanity URL in Facebook; it helps clients to find you in a search.
  2. Be creative with flyers and signage in your store, asking your clients to follow you.
  3. Pins- (I love these) put pins on your staff saying follow us on Facebook!
  4. Any flyers or ads you do put your Facebook info.
  5. Ask your staff to tell clients about all the fun stuff and great offers on your Facebook page.
  6. Use lots of images, take photos of clients and tell them they can find them on Facebook.
  7. Sponsor a contest and keep it on your Facebook page, requesting that fans “share”.
  8. If you have Twitter and Google + accounts make sure to send a tweet now and then asking them to check out your Facebook page also.
  9. “LIKE” other pages in your niche. This gives you a little visibility on other pages.
  10. Remember if your existing fans have fun on your page they will share and invite their friends also.

Facebook is fun. It’s where the people are. They gather there to be social, and businesses market there because it’s where the people are and they want to get their business in front of them.

 

Always remember this is supposed to be FUN!!!

 

As always, Have Fun and Be Social!

Find Friends Nearby

Facebook has launched a new feature for mobile, Find Friends Nearby, which will help you find people in your vicinity.

This will come in handy if you meet, for example, a John Smith and would like to add him on Facebook without being confused by the hundreds of other Facebook users with that name.

In order to find a user through Find Friends Nearby, you and the person you’re looking for must both have the feature turned on.

Does this new feature seem useful or creepy?

If you are networking for business it could be a little creepy, I mean do you want everyone you meet to have access to your personal Facebook page? Let us know your thoughts.

But while we are on the subject, Facebook has some other new things coming in the near future. Right now, Facebook’s facial-recognition software can sense who is in your pictures and make tagging suggestions, but what if the social network could further learn behaviors and preferences by reading the Gap sweatshirt you’re wearing and seeing that Coca-Cola can in your hand?

Following Facebook’s recent acquisition of Face.com a facial recognition software program, for an undisclosed amount of money last week, some users have expressed concern that the expansion of this type of technology on the social network could encroach on their privacy rights. Facebook hasn’t said what its future plans are for Face.com or its technology and would not comment for this story.

Facebook has been using the Israeli startup’s software for about a year and a half, accessing the billions of pictures sitting on its servers to learn the faces of you and your friends. The news that Facebook would be bringing the vendor in-house implies that the company sees the technology as an area for potential growth.

But because Facebook’s rapid user growth has slowed due to so many people joining the site in recent years, it needs to boost engagement in other ways.

 

Again what are your thoughts and concerns? Let us know.

 

As Always have fun and be social!

The BIG Change in Marketing

Most everyone thinks of marketing as the business of promoting and selling products or services. But today’s marketing is not what we were taught in school. There’s little doubt that technology has changed our lives, the way we are influenced and how we influence others. But for marketing, it’s more than just doing the same old thing using new tools. Social media marketing isn’t your grandmother’s marketing –

Marketers commonly refer to a “funnel” to describe the way they attract new prospects and convert them into customers.

What Do We Mean By Funnel?

Traditionally, we’ve prioritized our limited resources and time on trying to find and convert new prospects (the top of the funnel).

Keeping those hard-earned customers (the bottom of the funnel) has often been an afterthought.

That’s because, until recently, there was little we could do to keep existing customers, which was drastically different from the tactics commonly used to attract new ones.

Historically, the best you could do after turning a prospect into a client was to provide a great customer service and hope they come back to buy more – and… bring their friends with them.

 

But today’s technology, namely social media and email, has changed the game.

*********IMPORTANT TIP**********

Social Media Marketing is about recognizing that your existing customers are your best assets.

And technology now enables us to influence consumer behavior both before and after the SALE.

With low-cost and easy-to-use tools like social media and SMS texting, you no longer have to hope that customers come back and bring their friends with them. They have already shared the experience and or sales info on their personal Facebook, twitter, pinterest or via text.

Bottom line: Successful businesses understand that marketing does not end with the sale, but rather it begins after the first sale.

But REMEMBER:

Social media marketing is not a replacement for other marketing tactics and we highly recommend that you continue to do what has worked for you in the past.

In fact, social media marketing works best when combined with other marketing activities!

As Always Have Fun and Be Social!

“Hangout” in Google+

Hangouts are undoubtedly one of the coolest features of Google+. Facebook partnered with Skype to bring video chat to the world’s leading social network. In my opinion, Google+ went one step further with Hangouts – not only can you do video chats and conferences, but it can also be published to YouTube almost instantaneously. Do you have any idea what that can mean for your business?

Most Google+ users know about circles but I’ve come across several users who don’t really know how Hangouts work. In simple words, Hangouts are a way for people to video chat with staff or clients s within their various social networks – or circles. Anyone in that circle can be invited and decide to join and chat.

The basic idea behind Hangouts is to promote face to face communication. It makes more sense for business users as they can connect with the prospect and existing customers to answer their questions, showcase their products and services etc. They could also use it to do a video conferencing session with their partners and resellers. The possibilities are endless – networking events, virtual meetings…

I see Hangout as an invaluable viral marketing tool. Each hangout has a specific URL that can be shared to invite other Google+ users. I’d advice businesses to create hangouts for specific circles and promote them using Google+ and other social networks. The seating is limited to 10 people at a time so you need to plan accordingly.

Think about ways you can use this as a business tool.

 

As always, have fun and be social!

Change Can Be Good!

Social media rules and changes are constantly changing. It is so hard to keep up! But in our constant efforts to stay up to date and keep our social media campaigns on task we must learn to adapt. For those of us who do not like change it is problematic.

We all seem to fall into routines and facebook and twitter posts, etc. start to get boring and redundant. This is why I say you should make it fun, be creative, or if you cannot do this- hire someone! This is not a fad that will go away folks. Social media is here to stay. Accept it, Embrace it! There really is no other option.

Here are some new tips for Facebook and the new scheduling options. This can be a big help for you if you are one who overbooks yourself or are short on time.

To schedule your post, simply go to your page’s sharing tool like you usually do, and select the type of post you want to add to your page. Once you’ve crafted your update, click the little blue clock icon in the lower left corner of the sharing tool, and select the year, month, day, hour, and minute at which you’d like your post to appear in the future. Then click ‘Schedule‘!

You can schedule a post up to 6 months in advance in 15-minute intervals. If you choose a date in the past, however, the post will appear immediately on your page’s timeline. And no time zone calculations are needed, either — Facebook will automatically correspond to the time zone you’re in! Pretty easy, huh?

Facebook has made no mention of a timeline for when these two features will be rolled out to all pages, so just be on the lookout.

I was lost, but now I’m found…

Are you being found?

Can clients find you?

Can you find you?

Three very simple questions that should all be answered with an emphatic YES!  If not, well then “Lucy, you got some ‘splainin to do!”

We’re talking about one of the most critically important purposes of marketing your business- making sure clients are able to find you and contact you.

You could be an amazingly talented plumber or the best roofer in your state or the most talented lawyer in the world. But if clients can’t get a hold of you, it doesn’t mean diddly squat.

So let’s take a second and ask ourselves, how is my business generating clients?

Is it word of mouth?

Hey, not bad.  Word of mouth is always a powerful thing to have on your side when it’s a positive word that’s going around.  But that only takes you so far.

Is it print ads?

Ok, good. We’re starting to branch into the marketing realm here.  Print ads are a nice start.  But how efficient are they?  What percentage of clients that your fliers were passed out to even read the thing? How many of them just threw it away without giving it a shot.  Are you even sending the fliers to the right people?

Ok so maybe you went with the big bucks and did radio and/or TV ads.  Well kudos to you, well done.  Any type of marketing is better than no marketing.  It looks like you’re at least generating some name recognition.  But how many of those clients wrote down your number just in case they may need to call you at some point down the road?  How many of those clients even cared about your commercial?  Was it even relevant to them?

I know, I know. There are a handful of you out there just sitting back in your chair right now reading this with a little happy feeling inside because you think you’ve got an answer for all of this.

Maybe you think you have that silver bullet.

You’ve found that medium that solves all of the issues mentioned above.

It’s the most efficient!

It’s the most relevant!

It’s the broadest reaching!

It’s the most bang for your buck!

It’s… It’s… It’s the PHONEBOOK!

EH-ERRRRRRRRRRRR!

Thanks for playing! We have some lovely parting gifts you can use while your business goes the way of the dinosaurs.

The only thing the phonebook is good for nowadays is as a booster seat or propping up under the leg of that wobbly table that sits in the corner of your office.

Times change. Technology changes.  It always has and it always will.  And that’s a good thing, as long as you change along with it.

I’m talking about the internet here people.  Specifically search engine marketing. Clients MUST be able to find you. Do you show up on Google, Yahoo, or Bing?

If not, well then let’s make sure you have a website first.  If you don’t have one, well what are you waiting for? That is the single best tool to explain to clients who you are, what you do, where you do it, when you do it, how you do it and exactly WHY you should be the one doing it.

But the necessity of a website is a whole other blog post. So let’s stay focused.

We need to make sure you’re listed where people who are looking for you, can find you. In 2011 over 70% of consumers went online to look for a product or local service first.

If you sell widgets, then you better show up when somebody goes online and searches for widgets.

If you’re a plumber, then you better show up when somebody goes online and searches for plumbers.

If you’re going to focus you’re attention on being on the best, then hands down it’s Google.  They’re the big dog. Google has over 85% of the global search marketshare.

In 2010 on Google alone, there was an average of 620 million visitors per day.  This is the largest, most relevant, most important audience that you MUST find a way to be in front of.

Now it’s just not enough to be on somewhere on Google. Page 43 of the search results “ain’t gonna cut it.” Actually page 2 isn’t even going to be worth your time.  It is an absolute must that you show up on the first page.

With that being said, even your position on the first page is critical.  You want to do everything in your power to be as close to the top as possible.

Why, you ask?

Great question.  Simply being listed isn’t enough. You have to have clients actually clicking on you so that they go to your website where you sell them and close them.

The difference in the number of people that click on the first guy on the page and the last guy on the page is night and day.

The first result of a Google search gets around 42% of the people actually clicking on it. The last guy, he’s looking at a little over 2%.

So you tell me.  Where would you rather be?

Now, getting to be number one requires a lot of skill and some luck.  So even being in the top three is ok.  In fact that’s what your minimum goal should be.

The top three results will still garner over 60% of all people clicking on them. You would LOVE to have your website come up as one of the first three results.

Every time you’re showing up in at least one of the top three positions of Google you’re placing yourself in front of every single client who is looking for you.  And you’re giving your business the best chance of having them come to you.

That my friends, is your honey pot of advertising.  That is your mecca of search engine placement. That is where you make or break your business.

So I’ll ask you again… Are you being found?

 

-Guest Written By Garrett Yates

Online Trust isn’t Easy to Come By!

Cultivating Trust online is tricky but VERY important. But with online relationships it is necessary.

Here are a few tricks to help you earn and keep that trust.

1-When it comes to earning trust, it’s not if you answer but how you answer. Recognize the type of feeling your customer is having, and respond in an empathetic, emotionally intelligent way. The worst thing you can do is respond with the attitude that your customers are yet another problem to be solved. They will sense it. For example, if a customer tweets asking for help with a lost password, winning their trust might be as easy as adding an, “I’m sorry” or “that must be frustrating” to the response.

*TIP* Also, when a customer has a good experience with your brand, amplify it. Thank them and then share their feedback socially. Not only do you validate their emotion, you also create the opportunity to connect with the members of your community that might have the same feeling or problem, but haven’t made it known.

2-Before they trust you, your customers need to know not just that you’ll hear them, but that when they raise concerns, they’ll see a resolution. That means enabling your customers to express their feedback in the place where it’s most productive for them, whether that’s Twitter, Facebook, product pages on your website, or anywhere else. In other words, your community needs to have multiple front doors under one roof.

In order for a customer to find a channel that works, you have to make sure that all the conversations people are having about your brand are accessible anywhere your customers are.

3- Educate through experience- It’s not your job to tell your customers what the company values are. It’s your job to let them experience those values by bringing them into the fold of your brand’s community. That requires a system for archiving, organizing, and sharing conversations,

4. Keep the Momentum Going- Once you’ve earned your customer’s trust they’re likely to be even more engaged with your brand and product. That’s a good thing, but it means you’ll need to go above and beyond to continue building that relationship. To do that, you have to get to the point where the trust goes both ways and you trust the customer.

Ultimately, real relationships are a two-way street, and your customers know that. Trust is the foundation of a relationship, but to keep that relationship going, you need to prove that you earned it, every day and everywhere.

As Always, Have Fun and Be Social!