Category Archives: Tips

Open for Business in Pinterest

How to Use the Latest Social Site to Join the Social Networking Race

 

Pinterest is said to be women’s domain. It is estimated that for every 10 users, there are eight females and two males. Although women dominate this newcomer social media site, Pinterest is a leading referral traffic generator for retail brands. In the data gathered by TechCrunch in March 2012, Pinterest brought 3.6% of referrals while Twitter was barely ahead by 0.1%. This is particularly surprising as Pinterest is relatively new to the social networking race, while Twitter is an expert at it since 2006.

Businesses are interested in establishing their online presence through Pinterest because of the level of engagement users invest on this site. An increasing number of visitors go to Pinterest every month, not only because of the novelty it offers, but also the rich content that can be found here. It is also different from other visual sites as Pinterest shows all its content on the home page. All the pinboards are there, allowing you to click and see the pins inside. The interface is easy to customize, which makes it very attractive for users who want to personalize their page.

Excited to use Pinterest for your marketing campaign? Joined Pinterest but don’t know how to fully unlock its potential for your business? Here are some tips from a Synecore Technologies infographic:

It is best to pin on 2 pm to 4 pm on Thursdays and 1 am to 8 pm on Saturdays. Pinning on Thursday afternoons allows you much time in choosing which pins to post just in time for the online traffic rush on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Users are more active during these days because these are common rest days, especially for the working population.

What posts do you pin?

First things to consider are well-taken pictures of your products. If you don’t want to hire a professional photographer, learn how to take good pictures and take some creative shots of your own merchandise. With enough practice, you’ll become adept in presenting your goods in a pretty manner that will attract many sets of eyeballs.

Pinterest users love it when a business is very engaging. Bring your business closer to your followers with pictures of your workplace and staff. Take pictures of how your employees create and prepare your goods. Have old photos of last year’s thrilling team building activity? Show them off to the public. This will be particularly fascinating for followers who are great fans of your business. They naturally want to know more about your business, and this type of posts will further endear them to you.

Infographics are also great ideas. According to Wikipedia, these are graphic visual representations of information, data or knowledge. This allows people to quickly grasp complex ideas because of the clear way the facts are shown. If you need to inform your customers about something complicated, an infographics will be effective in conveying what you need them to learn.

Want to drive more traffic to your blog? Try posting snippets from your articles. Pick out the most interesting statements to prick their interest. Add a link to your blog or place the web address on the end of each snapshot of the blog post so followers can check out your posts. You can also post your resource pages or references. This will help your readers when they need to check some information they see on your posts.

Post videos on your Pinterest page. Make sure the ones you add to your account are short, well-shot and appealing enough to make the viewers watch up to the last second. Consult a professional if you’re not sure how to create videos that would make customers want to replay. Keep in mind that you have to make your videos ‘short and sweet’ to sustain interest.

Customer testimonials can also be posted. In fact, it would be better if you ask pictures from your customers showing them using your product or enjoying a service you provide. The caption will serve as their endorsement on how fine your merchandise is or how satisfied they are with your services. This will serve as proof for your claims about striving for ‘customer satisfaction,’ ‘excellent craftsmanship,’ and ‘reliable customer service.’

One more thing to post can be your proof of certifications, association memberships and other credentials that prove your qualification. For example, you’re a general contractor who wants to get more building commissions for new homes, cottages and residential domiciles. Create a pinboard where can post pictures of your state license/s, organizations and community guilds which you are a member of. You can also post recommendations from your professional associations, which will add to your credibility.

 

References:

Social Media Today

Wikipedia

TechCrunch.com

 

Photo Credit:

BusinessMarketingPress.com

Instagram + Pinterest: A Visual Formula for Social Media

How Filtered, Pinteresting Pictures can Bring New Life to Your Marketing Campaigns

Instagram gained instant popularity when it was first launched in Apple’s App Store in October 2010. This mobile app lets users take photos and apply digital filters. It quickly gained a wide following from 100,000 in October up to 1 million users in December 2010. 2012 rolled in with 15 million users until on July, Instagram announced that it now has 80 million app users. This boom must have happened because Google acquired rights to distribute the app to Android users in April. There’s a noticeable big jump from the number of users in March (27 million) to May (50 million).

How did Instagram gained such huge popularity? This can be attributed to people wishing that some moments stand still for a time. With pictures, everyone can catch a moment to remember. This conveys a human wish to document events for keepsakes of times they want to go back to. Instagram goes a step beyond that, offering features that allow professional and amateur photographers to play with filters and make their pictures more beautiful and fun to look at. These filters alter images to look sharper, older or more vibrant. Take, for example, the pictures below:See how the last picture was enhanced? With Instagram, you can use filters to create entrancing images that catch attention and stimulate interest among your viewers.

Pinterest, on the other hand, is a visual content site that allows users to pin pictures they find interesting. They can create boards that feature different themes, according to their preferences. With its user-friendly features and attractive interface, this social network quickly gained fame, especially among the female demographic. There has been 11.7 million Pinterest users in May 2012, and that number’s still growing as the site did away with its invite-only membership and opened its doors for all users.There’s a possibility of a campaign that combines Instagram and Pinterest winning over the customers of a business. Entrepreneurs can use Instagram to take pictures of their merchandise and post the images on their Pinterest account. It can work, especially if you have a large number of followers on Instagram. You can drive your customers to go to your respective accounts on both social networks. Apply the best practices in both platforms and you can make your marketing campaign work!

Instagram has a balanced demographic with 50.8% male and 49.2% female users. There’s also enough audience from all age groups. With this mobile app, you can attract almost everyone to your business using the pictures you’ve taken. Pinterest can work as your pinboard where you’ll organize the images you’ve taken in artistic and aesthetic arrangements.

If you’re using Facebook and Twitter, you can post sample pictures of what you’re posting on Pinterest. This can entice your followers to check out your Pinterest page. Once users see your high-quality images, they’ll share your content and inadvertently promote brand awareness.

How do you fully utilize Instagram and Pinterest? Here are some techniques:

Well-taken pictures have a way of making ordinary subjects charming. Browse around Instagram and Pinterest, and look for the most popular photos. What are the common qualities of the most favored images? Other than the exceptionally lovely pictures, there are also everyday fixtures and average-looking goods spruced up to look unique. Here are some examples:

Have a cute office pet or mascot? Charm and engage your customers with pictures!

References:

Social Media Today

Quora.com

Wikipedia

ThunderSEO.com

Instagram for Brands

IgniteSocialMedia.com

Lexicalist.com

 

Photo Credits:

LaptopMag.com Blog

Pixoto.com

9BYTZ.com

YumSugar.com

Look at Ability and Track Records when Considering Social Media Staff

Tips in Considering New Graduates for Social Media Positions

You’re ready to venture into social media but don’t know enough to become successful at it. You look over a list of candidates for the job and considered hiring someone fresh out of college to man the post. After all, the younger generation are more savvy when it comes to social networking. In fact, you’ve witnessed how your teenage nephews and nieces adeptly handle three personal social accounts simultaneously. Before you give job offers for the newly grads, are you really sure they’re capable enough to handle your social media campaigns?

1. Do they have the appropriate skills?

This should be your first concern. Do they have the skills you need to help make your social media campaigns take off and become successful? Do they have good oral and written communication skills? Do they have the proper work attitude? Determine whether your applicants have the qualities you seek so you will not regret hiring them. Assess whether they would be capable of handling corporate social media accounts as they do when managing their personal accounts in Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks.

2. Do they have the experience?

New graduates need to be guided on what sort of content they should be posting. It is important to have someone check the articles, pictures and videos they made before posting them on the company web page. This is to ensure that the content meets your requirements and will reflect well on your online image. Other than that, you also have to make clear that their friends cannot post personal messages on your company page. Posts of this nature make your page look unprofessional.

3. They may not fit in with the work atmosphere.

When assessing new graduates for a position in your company, it is important to determine whether they’ll be able to handle working in your particular work environment. For example, you have a fast-paced office atmosphere that requires everyone to quickly react to emergency work situations. Do you think your young candidate will be up to this type of surroundings? Make sure they’re a good fit for the environment, not just for the job. They may pass the qualifications, but they might not have the personality suited for the post. A highly-strung person will easily get bored in a quiet office while a reserved individual will find it hard to adjust to an active group.

4. They will need to be supervised.

Yes, new graduates need to be supervised to ensure they’re able to adjust well. You or a colleague will have to be available to answer their questions. They may have to be observed to ensure they understand how the work is done so mistakes will occur less often. They should also be advised that personal browsing and managing their personal social accounts are not allowed. Some new graduates have to be reminded because they have had more freedom in social networking while doing their school work.

5. On-the-job training is necessary.

It is advisable to make your new hires (and new graduates to boot) to observe before they do actual work. Once they get a feel of how things are done, make them do some exercises that will test how they understood your instructions. This will gauge their ability to understand and follow directions, as well as test their predilection for hard work. You can also give them a ‘dry run’ before starting formal hiring procedures to see how they will cope with the job. Attitude should also be checked to see whether they’re mature enough to be productive employees who’ll stay in the long run.

6. Evaluate their technical skills.

Social media does not only involve handling content, but also entails analyzing production numbers, analytics, conversion rates and more. Determine their knowledge and skills in these aspects to fully grasp whether they would be fit in other areas of social media work as well. It would be better to hire people who have a background in handling such areas so they can assist you in concluding whether your social media campaigns are efficiently working or not. They should know how to improve campaigns and make them do well.

7. Crisis management skills should also be taken into account.

There may come a time when your company has to deal with a public relations nightmare. Make sure your social media manager and staff can handle the job and turn the situation around. Having a capable team who can think of ways to prevent PR problems many steps ahead saves you a lot of trouble.

8. Make sure you can access all your company’s social networking accounts.

Letting your company pages be managed alone without knowing many details about it can result to social media nightmare. Ensure that you’re in touch with the process so you’re not caught surprised and ignorant of what went on to cause a PR disaster. Knowing the passwords to those accounts will also allow you to monitor the content, analytics, and other minute information about your social media campaigns.

 

The Bottom Line

Hiring new graduates is not necessarily a bad thing. They give new blood to your workplace and can make the office exciting and lively. Gauge their skills, attitude and personalities just like you do with the older applicants. It also helps to remember that not all new graduates are the same. Some are really capable and equipped with a healthy attitude for work, while others need to develop their skills and cultivate a more mature manner. Consider these tips before hiring to ensure you’re getting a new graduate who will be great to work with.

 

Reference:

INC.com

Widen Your Online Presence with a Social Media Boost

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Make your business soar and succeed online with the help of five social networks.

Using social media to promote your business has the potential to generate big profit for your company. More and more people goonline to shop, look at different products, keep up with the latest news, catch up with friends, and more. This presents the opportunity for businesses to reach customers and build a large online client base.

Choosing which social media site where you can establish your business requires considerations, though. For example, does your target audience frequent this site? How about your competitors? How long have they been on social media? Are they just starting out like you? Other than that, is the social network of your choice fit your company? Is it suitable for your marketing campaigns?

Making a decision about what social media site to choose for your advertising project centers on your customers. Investigate whether they prefer to look at ads on traditional or modern media. Do they like reading newspapers, listening to the radio, and watching television more than browsing the Internet? If so, these are the media you should be focusing on. If your target market is the young adult group, mainly people ages 18-34 years old, then they probably have active online lives. They’re likely to have accounts on the most popular social networks, own a smartphone, and like to spend more than 8 hours surfing the web.

Once you find out where your prospective customers like to hang about, customize your campaigns to include content that appeals to them the most. Your audience might prefer to see pictures and videos more than text updates on your blog and social networking pages. How do you make your brand attractive and encourage them to say good things about your products?

Positive engagement is the key to build relationships with your target audience. Make your online presence active and interactive to better befriend them and make them feel close to you. How do you do that? First, you have to choose a social media site. Here is some information on five of the fastest-growing social networks today:

1. Tweeting on Twitter

Established in 2006, Twitter enjoyed a rapid growth as soon as it was unveiled on the Internet. It quickly garnered more users in 2007 when participants of the South by Southwest Interactive conference used Twitter to keep track of other attendees. They increased the average number of tweets up to 3 times the usual 20,000 tweets per day.

Business Standard, a national India newspaper, appended Twitter with the moniker, “SMS of the Internet.” This is because users can only type 140 characters on the Internet. This makes for straightforward posts, with emphasis on the ‘short and sweet’ type of messages.

How do you use Twitter for your business:

  • Heads-up for the latest company deals and coupon codes. This not only benefits followers but also businesses as well, as special offers and discounts tend to generate interest and increase traffic.
  • Customer service assistance. Customers prefer to reach out to businesses online instead of calling the hotline number. Interact more with customers and answer their inquiries and complaints. React to their suggestions and other feedback, as well. This will make them more satisfied with your business in general.
  • Customer Engagement. Twitter offers different ways to engage with customers using the @mention and Twitpic features. Arrange contests to increase brand awareness and make people come to your website and store’s physical location.
  • Promote the company blog. Encourage followers to keep up to date with the latest posts on your blog. You can share post industry news and company updates to discuss with your followers.

2. Pinning on Pinterest

Imagine Pinterest as a set of online bulletin boards which you can use like scrapbooks. The user-friendliness of this site made Pinterest break into the social media race on 2010. It became popular enough to generate 11 million unique visits, which makes it the fastest to break the 10 million unique visitor count record. Pinterest’s wide reach brought more referral traffic to entrepreneurs than LinkedIn, YouTube and Google+. In March 2012, it surpassed LinkedIn and became the third largest social networking site in the United States.

How do you use Pinterest for your business?

  • Enhance your brand image. What makes your business popular among your loyal customers? Is it the ambiance of your store? The way your products are presented? Adopt those same qualities on your Pinterest boards. If your customers exclaim over the décor of your site, why not post pictures of décor suggestions?
  • Showcase your products in a unique way. Unleash your creative side and think of ways to display your products. Take pictures that show them at their best. If you’re selling wines, show photos of your wine bottles in an unusual position that would display how the light reflects against the wine.
  • Be more social. Make your Pinterest page more social with posts about your customers. Are you providing art classes? Take pictures of the works of your students. Hosting a party with many followers in attendance? Post photos of your best-dressed participants. You can also allow customers to post pictures of how they use your merchandise. This not only increases customer engagement but also promotes your products to your followers.
  • Include other pictures relevant to your products. It can be boring to see the same things posted on one board after another. Be more diverse and post photos of different type of products related to your brand. For example, if you’re a greengrocer, post vegetarian recipes to promote using greens as ingredients. You can also pin images of cooked vegetables in different occasions like Thanksgiving, 4th of July and other holidays.
  • Inject humor on your posts. Humor is a great equalizer. Make people notice your page more with memes, jokes, and comic strips related to your products. If you’re managing a pet shop, create jokes using pictures of your pets. This works well with today’s fad of dog and cat jokes circulating around the net.

Check out the next article for tips on posting on Tumblr, Instagram, and Foursquare.

 

References:

Wikipedia Info on Twitter

Wikipedia Info on Pinterest

Search Engine Journal

TheSocialSkinny.com

Hubze.com

Mobilize Your Mobile Marketing Strategy

Start Campaigning on the Mobile Web the Future of the Internet

Although many people prefer to surf the Internet using their personal computers, there are those who prefer to remain connected while on the go. They check out their social networking accounts, email, play online games or look up some establishments where they can shop or eat and have fun. You see them fixed on their mobile screens at the train station, the dental clinic’s reception area, malls, and bars. This makes the mobile web a potential hub for online marketing.

More and more people are going online as attested by data from KPCB’s Mary Meeker and Matt Murphy, both technology analysts. They collated their data and find out that:

Many users rely on their smartphones to remain linked to the web, wherever they may be. The numbers are growing because of the continuous development of mobile technology. People can now view email and log on their social media accounts using their mobile phones and tablets. They’re portable to carry, and convenient to use, too. This makes online mobile marketing important for all businesses. More attention and dedication should be given for mobile campaigns, as this avenue has the potential to become the next hubs for social networking.

People spend an average 59% of their mobile usage time performing non-communication tasks. Here’s a division of things they focus on when they’re logged on the mobile web:

Now that’s 50 minutes (almost an hour) of browsing on mobile phones. This proves there’s opportunity for entrepreneurs to step up their mobile marketing plans. Before jumping into advertising through mobile phones, here are some questions to answer when brainstorming your strategy:

  • How does your audience connect to the Internet? Do they use computers, mobile phones or tablets?
  • How would your mobile marketing activities affect customer engagement, sales leads and investment returns?
  • Which mobile method does your target audience use to communicate? Do they use SMS, voice calls or log on to mobile social networks?
  • Can you use videos and games to spread your marketing content?
  • How can you engage customers using your mobile campaigns and avoid being ‘spam-like’?

These considerations make you think twice before you start jumping on the bandwagon for mobile campaigns. How will you plan to connect with your target audience when they’re frequently online using their smartphones?

From what we can see from the data, we can conclude that targeting the 25-34 and 35-44 age groups will be better for mobile marketers. There 18-24 range, which is the young adult group, can also be focused on. Cultivating mobile relationships with young adults has the potential to yield considerable returns, as they will soon grow to be part of 25-34 market. Male and female-targeted businesses can do well on this platform, as there are equal numbers between the two sexes.

There are also device demographics to look out for. Technology today gives marketers access to detailed consumer profiles allowing more customized campaigns that provide relevant results for customers’ needs. Marketers can use this data to determine how they can optimize their campaigns and attract more customers.

Nielsen Research declares that tablet owners are more likely to click ads on their device than people who own smartphones. This is because they have more space to adequately view the ads and click them for more information about the business. iPhone users are found to be receptive to clicking ads, as the users are usually young and wealthy.

Videos are the most popular marketing medium. One-fourth of mobile phone users state that they will view ads if they’re attached to interesting videos. 20% reportedly like interactive ads, with 34.5% of women trusting display ads on mobile devices. Only 29% have confidence in SMS ads. These findings indicate that advertisers need to be extra careful placing ads in videos. Ads are to weave seamlessly into the stream and should not disrupt users’ media viewing experiences.

Customers’ preferences should also be noted, as users naturally favor ads relevant to their needs. It is important to verify the types of social, gaming and utility apps that appeal to your target consumers. What they regularly view and download indicates which type of content appeals to them best. The location-based mobile feature is also essential, as ads from nearby businesses achieve more clicks and hits. Coupons and vouchers from stores near the physical location of mobile phone consumers are, therefore, more convenient and attractive.

Ads should be programmed to play in various platforms, whether Apple, Android, BlackBerry, and other smartphones. Mobile phone users expect no delays in their viewing time. Seeing a slow-loading ad can make them click the ‘Close’ button in less than 15 seconds. Advertisers should identify the device a particular consumer is using and provide the most relevant ads and ensure they display correctly, regardless of screen size.

Investing in mobile marketing is not without risks as it is a relatively new market, compared to web advertising. Mistakes might be made, but the most important thing is to learn what works for adopting mobile marketing to your business strategy. Determine if mobile advertising can be useful to you. This method might be more successful in getting your preferred market interested in your merchandise.

 

References:

Scribd.com

Quirk Mobile Marketing 101

Mashable.com

MassMailSoftware.com

Responding to Negative Reviews the Right Way

Protect Your Online Reputation from the Effects of Negative Reviews

Finding a negative review of your business can be distressing. The reflex reaction is to ignore the review and move on. This is a mistake that will backfire once you search your business and seepages dedicated to results that show reviews like these:

  • Don’t trust Business X. It’s a scam!
  • How Disappointing Business X Is!

Damage control can get worse if you don’t take action after seeing even one bad review. To avoid this scenario, entrepreneurs should create accounts in all review sites where they’re mentioned. This will allow them to monitor the positive and negative comments about their company. Close tracking will allow you to immediately reply whenever a negative review is posted.

Make your profile look well-appointed, as customers are likely to check your profile to see the reviews about your products and services. A well-designed profile can enhance your online image and increase consumer trust.

Many consumers now check for product reviews before transacting with a business. They want to make sure they’re spending their hard-earned money on high-quality goods that will be useful for a reasonable amount of time. This makes it imperative for entrepreneurs to ensure customer satisfaction while guarding their online reputation.

Letting one bad review fester can tarnish your pristine business image. Make sure to take action with diplomatic reactions that are prompt and properly phrased. There are review sites that allow a business to reply back to comments. Use this feature to answer destructive comments that can hit your enterprise hard. It is important, however, to be careful on how to phrase your answer. You want your business to be seen as solicitous and open-minded enough to make reparations, not defensive and bitter.

A terrible review can make you feel disheartened. Accept it and handle it objectively. Create a personalized response will would humbly convey your apologies, explain your side on the matter and make compensations, if necessary. You can offer to exchange the product for more satisfactory items or refund the offended customer for the trouble.

Always remember that a negative review shows you how things can be better improved. You might have scored a little low on customer service. Why not provide trainings and refresher courses for your staff? Customer passed from one staff to another? Maybe there’s something wrong with the workflow. Complains about a defective product? Ask the customer if they want a replacement or refund.

Proper communication is the key to improve your relations with your reviewers. There are some cases, however, of inaccurate reviews and black propaganda arranged by your competitors. In this case, you have to find evidence that the transaction is completely untrue. Approach the review site administrators with your proof and ask them if they could take down the libelous reviews. On the occasion that the bad reviews are not taken down, ask satisfied customers to post reviews on the sites you’ve been blackballed. A stream of good reviews will help neutralize the effects of those bad comments against your business.

Do not ask people to post positive reviews in exchange for cash. That tactic is not only prohibited by the provisions of the Federal Trade Commission, but also flies against ethical business practices. No amount of money can erase a reputation further blackened with the scandal of ‘pay-per-review.’ This will just continue to make you look bad in front of customers.

Bad online reviews cannot spell doom for your online marketing campaigns unless they’re very pervasive and cannot be controlled anymore. What you must do is to strive to defuse the damage with good reviews requested from customers who liked and loved your service.

 

Photo Credits:

Netwirks.com

Double-Crossing.com

Who Do We Listen to—Peers or Influencers?

“Awareness is fine, but advocacy will take your business to the next level.”
– Joe Tripodi, Chief Marketing Officer of Coca-Cola

When it comes to recommendations, who do you believe more? The personality with thousands of Twitter followers, the review you read the other day, or your neighbors who tried the same product you’re interested in buying? Chances are, you’ll listen to your neighbors because you know them personally and encounter them almost every day. According to Crowdtap’s study on peer influence, “it’s our close network of peers not those with a high influence ‘score’ who we turn to for recommendations for making most common purchasing decisions.” (sic)

Does this mean influencers don’t have that much persuasive power anymore?

Influencers still have clout, especially on fans. People who idolize famous personalities are intrigued with their celebrity endorsements from garments and accessories to food and causes. Those who are rather indifferent form their own opinion and don’t necessarily pick up what celebrities promote. They prefer to ask for reviews from people they know, such as family, friends and acquaintances.

In fact, 92% rely on advice from people they’re familiar with. There’s even a large difference between personal recommendations and online reviews, which stand at 70%. This is because some reviews can be falsified, or solicited by other businesses that want to blackball another company. In addition, product suggestions from people we know are far more persuasive, as they have used the merchandise firsthand.

This makes word of mouth much more effective than an influencer’s promotional posts. Customers who have been satisfied with a product or service become positive supporters of your business.

They spread the good word about your merchandise until their friends tell the same thing to their own acquaintances. This acts like a ‘virus,’ which would make many people find out how good your product is, according to so and so. Consumers looking for high-quality products will now know where to look and come to your store, generating leads for your business. Once you positively interact with the new customers and cultivate a relationship with them, they’ll tell more people about your business. This cycle will continue on and on.

Giving product advice on social media is also indicated as more effective than suggestions given on conversations or phone calls. This is because it is easier to remember recommendations when you see it posted on your account. We think about many things every day and there are some instances when we forget what we talked about with a friend the day before. This explains why online recommendations from our loved ones work more.

Reading about a product online can persuade us to check out more details. It can whet our curiosity, but this does not necessarily push us to buy. We usually look up more articles before we make a decision. If we’re persuaded with enough good reviews, then that’s the time we go to the store and buy the merchandise. This is the same situation we encounter when we see advertisements. We search for more articles or ask for advice from friends on whether we should spend money on that product.

Hearing someone advocate a product, though, will not necessarily drive us to go to the nearest store where we can find it. We may become interested, but we generally ignore the promotion. Fans, more or less, are the ones who believe the endorsement first. This is because we trust the people we know more than those we see online.

 

Reference:

Mashable.com

Word-of-Mouth Picture: UBC Blogs

For More Customer Engagement and Further Business Growth

Pages to Track and Study with Google Analytics and Other Web Analytic Programs

You want to monitor your website using web analytics, but you don’t know which to track. There’s your site content, the social network campaigns, and other web pages. Keep watch over website traffic with Google Analytics. This software helps entrepreneurs measure, analyze, and report Internet data for business and market research. It will also aid in understanding how visitors use your website, which gives you ideas for improving your site traffic.

How do you start tracking your web pages? Where should you focus –off-site or on-site web analytics?

You can use off-site analytics to measure a website’s potential to attract visitors, visibility in search results, and find out what customers are saying. It will identify the web pathways a user took to find a certain site.

On-site analytics, on the other hand, track visitors’ footprints once they enter your website. It measures the bounce rate, or the percentage of visits where a visitor enters and exits a website without visiting other pages on the site. It also notes the landing pages your visitor views if he or she continues browsing. Visit records from cookies are used to determine whether the user is a unique or repeat visitor. On-site analytics compare key performance indicators to determine if your website meets your goals.

Which type of analytics should you use? This would depend on what you want to find out. It would be better to decide on what you want to improve upon first. Do you want to drive more traffic to your site or make visitors engage with your content more? Concentrate on one aspect first, so your data won’t overwhelm or confuse you.

Still wondering where to direct your online tracking and research with Google Analytics? Here are ten analytics goals from Ran of Web Analytics World:

1. Comments – Note whether visitors have posted comments on your posts. Make sure to track two actions, namely, ‘Submit your comment’ or ‘Post your comment.’ This helps you take note of their reactions, feedback, or queries, and see whether a user posted spam or pasted a link to malware. Create a virtual page view for your comment buttons and set Google Analytics to track these on-click events.

2. Social Bookmarking Actions – Use Google Analytics to track these outbound links if you have buttons that allow content sharing to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and other social networking sites. You’ll need to edit the Google tracking code, add ‘/outgoing/’, and set the page goal to ‘outbound.’ This will enable you to find out whether your visitors believe your posts are worth sharing with their friends.

3. Newsletter Subscriptions – Find out if you’re successful in attracting a large following of readers. Tagging your email campaigns using Google URL builder help you understand its revenue count and conversion rate. This will inform you how many subscribers you get.

4. Catalog Requests – This will be an important feature to track if you have an ecommerce site. Perform the same process you followed when you set up Google Analytics to track newsletter subscriptions. This will help you monitor the number of subscribers and know which ones bought your products or services.

5. New Account Openings – Another important facet to monitor is the ‘Create an Account’ or ‘Sign Up’ button, especially when you’re running an ecommerce website. Setting Google Analytics for this allows you to find out the hindrances preventing users from making new accounts or completing their orders. It may be you’re requesting unnecessary details, like complete home addresses or phone numbers. Another reason may be your captcha form. The letters and numbers might be difficult to read. Improving upon these weak points will help you get more members.

6. Feed subscriptions – To track the number of feed subscribers, you’ll need the trackPageview tag to create a goal page. You need to update the feed link on the blog or website to assign the goal page to the RSS link correctly. Tracking feed subscriptions will help you learn if you’re providing attention-grabbing and meaningful content.

7. File Downloads – You’ll need a tracker for file downloads if you’re managing a file-hosting or sharing website. You need to tag the link with the _trackPageview() JavaScript to monitor the downloads. This will help you learn which files get the most number of downloads and inform you of what the most looked-up files are.

8. Call-Back Requests – Most call-back widgets have two tracking pages: ‘Request a Call’ and ‘Confirmation.’ You can add a goal value in the analytics if you need to track revenue using calls. This will help you discover whether the calls you receive are effective in generating sales or solving complaints.

9. Leads – Monitor your sales leads with special encoded links to your company website. Lead tracking software likes SalesGenius will inform you when the lead opens the email and clicks the link. The lead is directed to the website with a distinct URL. This allows the tracking software to record which pages are viewed and what links are clicked. Online tools like GeniusTracker enable entrepreneurs to see the pages the leads viewed to understand what exactly they are looking for.

10. Sales – Tracking sales can mean acquisition or loss of profit for your business. Keep a record of every transaction with each customer. This will allow you to focus on the ones most likely to make a purchase or need some convincing to buy a certain product. Use a Google analytics tracking number to get information about the visitors, page views, referring source and keywords.

11. Website User Reviews – A positive or negative review can make a difference for a company. A good review encourages sales, while a bad one can harm your marketing campaigns. Create a page in your site where customers can submit their feedback about your products and services. Track this page to learn which reviews attract the most attention.

Tracking these pages can help your business. It enables you to make changes where needed, and further improve your website to attract more leads and sales. Study the data generated by Google Analytics and other web analytics software to make your business expand.

 

References:

Web Analytics World

About Web Design

Wikipedia

HowStuffWorks.com

Ecommerce Circle

Google Support

Going All Out in Google+

Ways to Make it Big in Google’s Social Network

Google+ has now 90 million users. Imagine that. 90 million potential customers. How do businesses penetrate this wide market? What’s the most suitable social marketing techniques should you use to attract attention and engage interest among your audience?

The male population in Google+ is measured at 63%, with women at 37%. Users from this dominant gender are well-versed in technical and web technologies. Although these statistics can be disquieting for female-targeted businesses, Google+ is still a wide social network, which you can use for your social marketing strategy. It has better friend management features where you can separate family from acquaintances, business colleagues and close friends. There’s also Google Hangouts, the wonderful video chat/conference tool, which can accommodate 10 people. Just imagine the marketing and fan engagement videos you can make with this free instrument!

So, you’ve joined Google+ in the hopes of expanding your social media presence to your target audience. One way to engage your preferred demographic is to find active users who might be interested in your particular merchandise or service. This can be a bit difficult to do but the search feature in G+ makes it a lot easier.

Searching ‘People and Pages,’ as well as ‘Google+ Posts’ helps find people you can follow and interact with about your products and services. Once you add and build a rapport with your target audience, it will be easier to exchange ideas and product knowledge. This not only assists you in building relationships with other entrepreneurs within your industry, but also widens your knowledge about your craft.

Say, perhaps you are involved in arts and crafts. Why not engage with people with the same interests as you do? Add them in your circles and share content that you think they would like to read and share.

The next step after adding them would be the ‘getting-to-know-you’ phase. Look at the pages of those you follow and examine their posts. With this, you can see which type of content they like and share high-quality content from the same category. If they click +1 and put comments, reply back to encourage further engagement. Building contacts and making them your online buddies will take time, though.

Continue bringing out relevant, creative and well-written content to persuade them to check out your page and reply to your posts. They can be pictures, videos or text posts about the latest developments in your particular industry. If they like humorous content, post some photos you found funny like a picture of a raccoon pretending to be a thief or cute puppies tussling with a baby. Cute content always rules, whether for male or female audiences.

Start and join hangouts. Video chats are a great way to meet and get in touch with people. Suddenly, you don’t just communicate with globs of text. With Google Hangouts, you can actually talk to each other face-to-face through webcams and headsets. This encourages people to be more frank and friendly with each other, than they would be otherwise. Your target audience will feel closer with you because now, they can connect a face with the posts they’ve been reading and commenting upon.

 

References:

Social Media Examiner

TheSocialSkinny.com

FlowTown.com

Outbrain: An Alternative Way to Market Your Content

Fishing for Customers? Try Outbrain, One of the Leading Consumer Web Sources

You have great content published on your blog. You spent hours writing articles, fine-tuning each one until every word sounds right and fun to read. All your customers have been tapped to follow your blog for updates. They sometimes post comments, yes, but you want more engagement. Moreover, you want your blog to be more visible on the web. How do you go about marketing it? Word of mouth and social networking efforts can only get so far in spreading the word about your articles.

Try Outbrain, a content discovery platform that pushes articles from blog owners on a variety of popular websites like The Telegraph, Mashable, Slate and many more. This company helps web publishers and blog writers increase traffic and generate revenue from their content. Examples content they provide are:

Many blog owners try Outbrain’s services for themselves. They coordinate with this company to distribute their content to readers who might be interested in viewing such articles. Outbrain strives to be like a search engine helping readers find the most relevant content on a personal basis. All viewers are weighed as unique individuals with distinctive content preferences.

Links fail to catch interest if everyone sees the same choices in articles. This only receives clicks from a small number of people.  This makes constant ‘Related Link’ choices ineffective in fetching a large amount of traffic to blogs and websites. Using this strategy makes it look like you’re counting on hitting only a small number of targets while expecting to miss many. Outbrain seeks to improve this by providing more interesting related articles. As every person likes different types of content, Outbrain continues to develop its algorithms to provide more personalized choices for each reader.

Bloggers and website publishers can further market their articles through Outbrain’s assistance. Outbrain can offer your content as a ‘related link’ users can share to other users who might find it appealing to read. This program will lead viewers to your content, which they might not find independently. These results to higher pageviews and more traffic on your blog. Turn on sponsored recommendations from Outbrain, and you’ll get great content for your site from external resources. This displays varied content to your readers that will attract them to read your articles more.

 

How does Outbrain work?

Outbrain offers marketing solutions that draw readers from one piece of content to reading your articles. This helps bloggers achieve a highly engaged audience and higher pageviews. As a result, more time is spent on your site and lower bounce rates (percentage of visitors who enter and leave the site than view other pages on it).

Sign up with Outbrain today and get the chance to have your content earn more than 4 billion pageviews across more than 70,000 publisher sites. You can choose the pieces you want to submit, as well as assign the cost-per-click (amount you’ll pay each time someone clicks a link on your content) and daily budget. Increase the visibility of your articles and get more engaged readers with Outbrain!

 

References:

Outbrain

Telegraph.co.uk

Techcrunch

Wikipedia