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7 Beginner Tips For LinkedIn Marketing

LinkedIn, known as the “Social Network for Businesses” has immense potential to provide users with the ability to network with-in their own industry and more importantly find and convert customers.  As opposed to Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter, where statuses lean towards the light, funny or more personal, LinkedIn offers users with a platform to encompass strictly business updates and news related statuses.

7 Beginner Tips to Marketing on LinkedIn:

  1. Update your profile, oftenFirst, make sure your personal LinkedIn profile is completely updated.  LinkedIn even tells users how well their profile is performing (see picture below).  Your profile is the driving force behind how you will be viewed by potential customers, job seekers, employers or possible partners.  It’s also wise to spruce up your profile once every few months.  Every time you update your profile, your connections or network (depending on what your privacy settings are set to), will see it in their feed, making updating a great “exposure tool”. LinkedIn Profile Marketing
  2. Setting up a company page. LinkedIn is regularly changing the way company pages operate.  Make sure you stay on top of the trends and that you have an updated company page.  Here are some quick tips:
    1. Keep your company description written in a style that reads well to customers.
    2. Link to your website.
    3. Make sure to utilize the services and products aspects of the page.
    4. Create a strategy for the types of updates you post on the page vs. your profile.
    5. Post jobs on the company page, and share that in all your groups, resulting in driving traffic to the company page.
    6. Encourage your employees to update their profile linking to the page and to share any page or job openings.
  3. Update your status with relevant information. By providing your connections with the latest news, updates and blogs in your industry you are positioning yourself as a thought leader in your field.  As with updates on other social media platforms, keep your statuses “engage-able”. 
  4. Join groups.  There are two types of groups you may want to join on LinkedIn.
    1. Groups of professionals in your industry.  Doing so, will enable you to share ideas, network, cross refer and hopefully give you a chance to learn from one another.
    2. Groups of customers.  Ideally you have done appropriate research on who your target client is.  Find the groups that your customers are in and get your name out there!
  5. Get Recommendations.  There is something to be said about the phrase “give a little, get a lot”.  Take time to truly recommend a co-worker, employee, client or consultant.  By giving your honest positive feedback, that person will likely recommend you in return.  When a potential client comes to your public profile (and yes, they will check you out on LinkedIn before agreeing to do business) and sees you have many positive recommendations, it will compel that client to trust your expertise even more.
  6. LinkedIn ads.  If you have a specific campaign to market, and the budget to allot for it, LinkedIn ads may be beneficial for you.  LinkedIn ads allows you to sponsor updates, target demographics and even use videos.  Make sure to consult with an expert first to get the best ROI.
  7. Look at someone’s profile to get them to look at yours.  It seems borderline stalker, but it works.  If you want someone to see your profile or notice you, simply look at his/her profile.  He/she will get notification that you looked at his/her profile, and it will prompt that person to check out what’s new with you, which is why it’s important to routinely change up your profile.

 Click here to benefit from an expert’s direction on your LinkedIn strategy.

New Trending Feature On Facebook

Facebook is rolling out a new feature titled “Trending” (currently only in a few countries and only available for certain users) on the right side of your homepage.

Trending According to Facebook: 

“Trending shows you the popular topics and hashtags that are being talked about on Facebook. You’ll see stories from people and Pages who’ve shared them with you or have shared them as Public. From the right side of your homepage, click a topic that’s trending to see what people are saying about it.”

Facebook Trending Feature

How The Trending Feature Can Increase Your Business And Brand Awareness:

Up until now, using hashtags was not something that proved to be effective for businesses.   A Social Media Examiner article from October 2013 explains:

“According to EdgeRank Checker, Facebook hashtags have done nothing to help with additional exposure for your brand. In fact the opposite is true.
The research indicates that posts with hashtags are not only less likely to go viral, but also make people less likely to engage with the content.”

Now however, Facebook is using popular hashtags, personal preferences, user engagements and user “likes” to decide what they display in that user’s trending column.  This means it is very important for your Facebook strategy to now include trendy hashtags to increase your exposure.  When a user clicks on a “trending” keyword, they will see all posts about said keyword.  You want your posts in there!

3 Tips To Using Hashtags On Your Business Page:

  1. Find an already popular industry related hashtag and use it in your post.
  2. Create an amazing hashtag unique to your business and ask your best fans to use it as well in related content posts.  As an example: ask fans a question and tell them to use the hashtag in their answer.
  3. Use a well known celebrity name, something big in the news or an upcoming popular event.  It’s already trending, the work is done all you have to do now is incorporate it into your posts!

5 Reasons why your Facebook Posts Create Awkward Silences

It goes like this: You think you’ve created something that will go viral.  You post it and wait….and wait…..and wait.  30 minutes go by and there is still no comment, “like” or share at all.

Here are 5 reasons why your Facebook posts may not get the reaction (or any reaction) your were hoping for:Awkward Facebook Posts

  1. You ask yes or no questions.  You have to give people the opportunity to express themselves.  If you are asking a question with an obvious answer or one that doesn’t require much thought, you won’t generate much response.   Ask open ended questions, and give your followers the chance to share their full thoughts!
  2. You are posting yesterday’s news. It’s nice to share the viral video that everyone is talking about.  Guess what though: if everyone has already seen it, they will scroll over your post.  Of course, it doesn’t hurt to share, but it’s even better to be one of the first pages releasing it!  Tip: when you first wake up, peruse your industry news and post on your page the top story/video/picture.  Be the thought LEADER… not follower.
  3. You post the same things over and over again.  So many pages do this.  They love to promote a specific E-Book, product or service and they keep posting about it.  Think about meeting someone and, after that first time, every time you see them they tell the same story.  You will start avoiding them.  That is exactly what will happen to your page posts.  People will hide them, ignore them and because of the Facebook algorithm, they will eventually stop seeing your posts altogether on their feed.
  4. You are boring.  Post something funny, exciting, provocative, scary, visual or even confrontational.  Switch up your tone every once in a while.  Some of the most interactive posts are the ones that drive emotion (good and bad) from followers.
  5. You are self absorbed.  The best way to get people to share your post is if it’s about them.  Not you or your business.  Don’t just concentrate on your services, concentrate on your followers.  Follow the 20/80 rule.  80% of your posts should be industry or client related and 20% should focus on your business.

Click here to talk with our experts on how you can take your facebook marketing to the next level!

Word of Mouth Marketing; Then and Now

word of mouth marketing

It was only a few years ago when the term “Word of Mouth” was interpreted literally: Person A heard about Product or Service directly from Person B’s mouth.  Through the past few years, it has taken on a completely new meaning as communication on a whole between people has drastically changed.

Many businesses, primarily small-medium sized ones were built on and sustained by customer recommendations and through the “old word of mouth method”.  As technology expands, our communication skills among people, customers, families and friends has adapted as well.  Many schools have lessened curriculum on cursive writing, and increased curricula surrounding computer skills and even teaching coding and social media.  People now share life history, pictures, and personal stories through social media, texts and emails.  When someone is looking for a suggestion of a doctor, service or product, they crowd-source online.

So how do we utilize this relatively new way of communication and still hold on to our word of mouth marketing strategy?

5 Ways to Increase your Word of Mouth Online Marketing Success:

  1. Generate likes on your products, services and pages.  Make sure your website is optimized with social media buttons.  While in the past, people verbally told their friends they liked something, now people are share their preferences through “likes” and clicks.  When one person “likes” a website, Facebook business page, LinkedIn update etc. all of their followers are potentially exposed to seeing that “like”.  Just as with the traditional word of mouth, this new way is powerful in that people “trust” what their friends share and like online.
  2. Solicit Positive Reviews.  Set up your company YELP, Google Maps, Facebook and LinkedIn pages and encourage your happy customers to write a short review about why they come to you.  These reviews are magnificent in that they are always available (24/7!) and can be found by just about anyone looking for information on your company.
  3. Watch your “company” with Google Alerts.  Strategically outline important Brand and Industry keywords and sign up for notifications whenever those keywords are mentioned online.  Then, JOIN THE CONVERSATION.  If someone is searching in an online group for a product or service you sell, Google Alerts will let you know so you may answer them in that group in real time.
  4. Become the thought leader in your industry.  The more you position yourself as the expert, the higher the likelihood people will recommend you to others for that service.  If you are blogging all the time about a specific subject, you will be seen as the professional, even if that reader has never used you before.  When people read your blogs, watch your videos, see your tweets and posts about industry related services or products, they begin to respect and TRUST your knowledge.  They then feel comfortable recommending you to others as that expert!
  5. Find influential people in your target industry.  This one takes a bit more research work, but there are always tweeters, bloggers and facebookers who love to write about YOUR product and industry.  They have tons followers who already trust them, and they can become a very strong ally when it comes to recommending your services.  Find them, befriend them and join forces to create an equally beneficial partnership!

How to Decrease Unsubscribe Rates

Too often I receive a blast from a small or medium sized business that just makes me cringe.  For example, the other day, I received an email from a company that had information in it for its current clients, which I am not.  It made no sense that they sent it to me, but odds are, they sent it to their entire list.  There are clear ways to increase your unsubscribe rate, and not sending relevant information to your entire list is the biggest one.

Unsubscribe button

According to an Epsilon Study in 2009 67% of North Americans unsubscribe from a company’s email list because they found the content irrelevant.   Follow the tips below to increase your open rates, decrease your unsubscribe rate and encourage overall engagement with your email readers.

6 Steps to Decrease Unsubscribe Rates:

  1. Use your email provider to create segregated lists.  No matter if you only have 50 subscribers or if you have 30,000 subscribers, each subscriber is unique, has his/her own needs and should be treated as such.  Remember your lists are only seen by you and your marketing team so do not worry about the subscribers knowing which list they are on.  Utilize the list option in your email platform and separate subscribers by services, products or client type.
  2. On your sign up form create interest choices.  This is the best way to truly gain an understanding of what you client wants.  Let your client decide which list they want to be on!   Keep the choices less than 6, as too many choices can lead to a subscriber abandoning the sign-up altogether.
  3. Import your own list of current clients.  Keep an updated list of your current clients in your email database.  Use this list to send updates about client related events, updates, and information that pertain to just the active customer.  The same goes for creating a list of potential customers.  Think of each subscriber as in a different phase of the purchaser’s path.  Your email communications need to nurture each lead appropriately according to his/her place on that path.
  4. Keep the titles (and content) relevant to the audience.  Even if they personally signed up for your list, a subscriber still needs motivation to open the email.  Make sure the title is as relevant as the content in the email!
  5. Only send one large communication piece to the entire list per month.  The second reason people unsubscribe?  Too many emails.  If you are sending more than one large blast to your entire list each month, you become a nuance and also devalue the information you are sharing.  By limiting your large blast to once a month, you create anticipation from your customers.  Make sure your ‘entire list’ email combines “something for everyone”.
  6. Make sure your “forward to a friend” button is prominently displayed.  Did you know that depending on your email provider, and unsubscribe process, if someone forwards your blast to a friend (using the traditional forward method, not the button in your email), the friend can unsubscribe the original subscriber?  All the friend has to do is forget it was sent as a forward and click the unsubscribe button.  To avoid “wrongful unsubscribes” make sure you place the “forward to a friend” button at both the top and in the footer of the email.  By using the button, friends can not unsubscribe for the sender.

To learn more about increasing subscribers, click here.

URL Best Practices

A question that comes up often as companies rebrand or delve more into digital marketing is: should a URL have a branded name, company name or be keyword targeted?  Below we take a look at each aspect and the best practices of choosing URLs.

What is a URL?

A URL, aka Uniform Resource Locator is what most people refer to as the “web address”.  The URL is a string of characters that help browsers identify the website file location.  Typically, the URL is located in the top of the browser in the ‘address bar’.

Should my URL be SEO friendly?

url best practices

Yes.  Ideally, everything dealing with your site should be SEO friendly.  However, there are different ways of achieving optimization.  So while, having a URL with keywords can be helpful in specific situations, you must keep in mind that in order to rank well and receive a high quality score with the search engines, a URL of your entire site should exemplify what a visitor will see on the website.  Therefore, the main URL of your site should be more in line with your company name or brand as opposed to just the keywords.

Why choose your company name as your URL:

Often, searchers want to click on a trustworthy link.  That means the link should have your name in it to increase clickthrough rates.  Then make sure you have a killer meta description that outlines the keywords the web searcher may be looking for.  For instance, if someone is searching for “coffee shop in Chicago”, and a search result comes with the two choices of “www.BestChicagoCoffeeEver.com” or “www.TheBrewCrew.com(as the actual company name)”, the clickthrough rate will be higher on the branded company name URL.  Please note that if designing keyword URL’s, the rank of the URL may also be lower if the URL sounds to “gimmicky”.  Another reason to have your company name as the URL is because you want to be easily found by customers searching for you.  If your company is called “Bob’s Fences”, but your URL is www.Californiayardexperts.com you may lose visitors due to them not knowing how to find you or which link goes to your website.

How can you optimize URL’s?

Feel free to leave a comment with your URL experiences and what has worked for you!

How to Increase Newsletter Sign-ups

Before covering the tips on how to increase sign-ups, you need to be clear on why you want more.  People often think the larger number of sign-ups means you are doing better at marketing your business.  This is not the case.  It’s what actions the subscribers take after reading the content- that matters. Increase newsletter signupsTherefore, you need a newsletter goal.  Each piece of communication should have a planned purpose and desired outcome prior to sending it.  Once you have an idea of what action you would the readers to take, you can strategize the content you want in it.

 6 Tips to Increase Newsletter Sign-ups:

  1.  Create Sign-Up Forms.  This seems simple enough, yet I have seen many clients that enter in emails personally whenever they get them and don’t provide website “passerby’s” to sign up on their own.  Remember that there may be a potential customer who is not ready to call you about services, but is still interested in your content.  By providing sign-up forms on your site, you are supplying customers with an easy and non-pressured way to learn about your company.
  2. Place the forms everywhere! Have a link in the navigation of your site titled “newsletter”.  You should provide sign-up forms in the sidebar of your site and buttons to sign up on appropriate pages.   You should also have a sign-up extension on your Facebook business page.
  3. Opt-in option.  No reputable email platforms these days allow you to use unauthorized or purchased emails.  If you want to gain the trust of your readers, gain their subscription and ultimately gain their business, make sure your opt-in (and opt-out for the matter) options are set correctly and easy to manage!
  4. Provide subject choices.  Email open rates will increase when the email is specific to the needs of the reader.  Provide a minimum of 3 and a maximum of 6 different subject check-boxes for new sign-ups.  See example here by click here.
  5. Clearly state the value.  Explain in a sentence or two above the newsletter fields, what the reader will receive or how they will benefit by signing up.  What makes your emails unique?  Keep it short and sweet.
  6. Make the emails forwardable and sharable.  Make sure you have a “forward to a friend” option inserted in every email communication that goes out to the public.  You also want to connect your newsletters with your Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook pages to autopost.  And thirdly, insert social sharing buttons in each email campaign.  As outsiders see the emails from a friend’s (whom they already trust) page or a forward, they are likely to sign up as well. 

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How to Embed a Facebook Post on your Website

Previously only permitted to developers, Facebook now allows people and businesses to embed a facebook post, picture or video on a webpage/blog.  See below for an example of an embedded post:

How Embedding a Facebook Post On Your Website Can Help You:

  1. Create engagement right there on your blog
  2. Allows readers to “Like” your facebook page from the post
  3. Readers can like, share or comment on the post immediately from your blog
  4. Readers can even embed the post onto their website increasing brand awareness for you

How to embed a facebook post on your website:

  1. From your Facebook Page, choose the post you want to embed (note: only public posts can be embedded)
  2. Click on the ‘down arrow’ in the upper right corner of the post to open a pop up box of options
  3. Choose “Embed Post”
    Facebook Embed
  4. Highlight the code in the new pop up and copy it to your clipboard
    Facebook Embed code
  5. Paste the code on the webpage you want it to appear on