As social media continues to grow, the phrase “don’t believe everything you read on the internet” rings evermore true. Just this year, Facebook has suffered from the explosion of two viral hoaxes/scams. Naturally, this has many people worried about the safety of their accounts as well as wondering if they can really trust Facebook. In case you haven’t heard about what’s going on, let’s go over Facebook 2018 problems.
HOAX: Facebook is only showing you status updates from 25 of your friends. This one circled around early in the year as Facebook made updates to its algorithm. The viral “copy & paste” status had users asking their friends to leave comments on the status to ensure they got put in their mix of 25 people. It also asks users to copy & paste the status so that their friends can do the same.
TRUTH BOMB: “Friends don’t let friends copy & paste memes, this one is simply not true,” that’s what Facebook had to say about this one. While Facebook’s algorithm does filter your friends posts to show you what might be most meaningful and engaging to you, it does not limit it to a set amount of people. Facebook aims to make your time on the social networking site, “time well spent” so that you are not aimlessly scrolling through articles and videos with no relevance to you.
SCAM: Your account has been cloned! Facebook’s most recent scam circled the internet just a few weeks ago, in the form of a message. The message informed users that their friends received another friend request from them and encouraged them to check their account privacy. Guess what it said next? “Forward to all your friends!” SMH
TRUTH BOMB: So, you are forwarding a message to all your friends that says you got another friend request from them…but you didn’t?? You just got a viral message that encouraged you to pass the message along. While account cloning is a very real thing, in this instance, the message was being spread to real people with no actual proof of cloning.
With consistent changes to social media platforms, these copy & paste messages tend to go viral because they tap into the real fears and distrust of a growing digital landscape. The most recent scam came about just shortly after the social networking site had a massive hacking scandal, allowing the false messages about cloned profiles to spread like wildfire. If you have a concern for your Facebook account, do some research into how to protect it. And stay away from those dreaded copy & paste messages. Looks like chainmail won’t be going away anytime soon.
And of course, if you are ever unsure about anything Social Media related, reach out to us. We’re here to help!
Dominating your Search Engine Optimization, also known as SEO, is a complicated skill. Google’s algorithm has nearly 200 different components that come into play, and if that doesn’t make it tricky enough, they are only consistent for a couple of months before Google chooses to shake things up again and completely change their algorithm to try and improve their search results. With this, trends are constantly changing, some falling by the wayside and being completely forgotten while others are gaining momentum. Here are some trends to keep an eye on…
Relevance. Getting Google to notice you is hard enough when you have great content, so it is nearly impossible to get Google to notice you when you have not so great content. Latent Semantic Indexing is one of the many tools Google uses to determine if your content is relevant or not by looking at the billions of pages and terms used and then determining if those pages/terms are related and comprehensive. So what can you do? When creating your content make sure that it is related to what you want your website to show up for without keyword stuffing. I know it sounds like a lot of upfront work but once it is done, your SEO rankings will have a much greater chance of being higher.
Backlinks. As one of the biggest trust signals for search engines, backlinks (even linkless ones) are getting more and more important. Google can very easily access your websites mentions and brand by tracking these links and using them for authorization towards your relevance – see the connections here 🙂 – So, what can you do about it? First, be sure to leave your website link whenever you visit another page, for instance leave a review and at the end, add your website URL. Also, guest blog on other businesses websites on a topic that is relevant to you both, and again add in your URL. You can always download a web monitoring app that will find any mentions of your brand or products so you know where you are linked to.
Website Speed. This has always played a huge part of SEO and that is not changing anytime soon. Not only does it help your ranking improve but it will also decrease your ranking if it is not up to Googles speed. What do you do? You enter your site on a Website Auditor and get the accurate speed of your website and if it doesn’t load in 3 seconds, follow any of the recommendations that the auditor gives you to increase the speed. This is extremely important.
Voice Search. It has been said that nearly 55% of teens and 40% of adults use voice search verses typing anything in the search bar. What does this mean? That your keywords need to be extremely relevant – here we go again. It’s important to note that common voice searchers use a more normal lingo instead of the odd keyword lingo. What can you do you about it? Make sure your keywords are precisely chosen to compliment both the voice and search bar searchers.
SEO is an ever changing task and therefore, it is recommended that you have a marketing firm (like us!) perform your SEO for you, to make sure it is being done correctly and that you are ranking as high as you possibly can! If you have any questions or want to have us take over your SEO, reach out and let us know!
As a small business owner, much of your time is spent on the development and operations of your business, leaving social media to fall on the back burner. Spending hours a week interacting with your audience and curating posts just isn’t a priority. However, maintaining a good social media presence is a crucial tool for your small business. So, what do you do now? Consider outsourcing your social media management to a knowledgeable third party (like us).
While it may seem simple, social media is more than just posting a few messages to Facebook or uploading a picture to Instagram. Here are a few tasks that your social media manager at Proximo can be responsible for.
- Social Media Strategy – including types of content, posting frequency, campaign ideas, and market research.
- Consistent Branding – carrying your voice across multiple platforms.
- Engaging in conversations – responding to messages and comments from existing or potential customers, including questions and complaints.
- Monitoring Mentions – keeping an eye out for recommendations and reviews from your customers.
- Content Marketing – developing images, articles, and blogs that can be shared on your social media.
- Developing Contests – finding ways to get your audience engaged and helping your business give back.
Keeping up with these tasks often takes marketers around 6 hours per week, that’s time that many business owners just don’t have.
Now that you know what a social media manager can do, you may be thinking “well how do I get started?” When you work with Proximo, we will review your existing social media presence and develop a strategy on how you can improve your page likes, followers, and engagement. In order to effectively develop your strategy, we need some information from you. This can range from a variety of questions about your business, including:
- Target audience – who it is that you are really trying to reach?
- Social Media Objectives – including brand awareness, customer engagement, and lead generation.
- Content – what do you feel supports your brand and what you can provide us with.
- Industry & Competition – what does the world surrounding your business look like?
- Budget – how much do you want to spend on social media including ads, giveaways, or contests and how do you want that to be allocated?
Gathering this information will help us to form the best strategy for your social media presence. Throughout the process, we work alongside you to maintain your brand’s image in an online world that is constantly changing. If you have any questions regarding Social Media Management, fill out our contact form at https://www.proximomarketing.com/contact-us/.
If you are a company who has made a sound investment in content marketing you are likely among a number of B2B marketers who are working to make their content marketing strategies more effective this year than the previous one. For those who are still in the research phase, content marketing could be a big winning for your company if you put together the right strategy and execution.
When planning out a content marketing campaign there are a number of factors you may want to consider. In fact, the Content Marketing Institute published a report outlining content marketing factors that attributed to an organization’s overall success that you should checkout. Of course, before you can do the same you will need to define exactly what a successful campaign looks like.
I’ll be the first to admit that when I think of content marketing I immediately think of written content. That is not necessarily the case today. Successful brands might look outside the box and take a broader media approach. In today’s market there are opportunities to contribute with video, graphics and illustrations, podcasts, media buying, webinars, events, and within social media. To do this means that you will need a team who can produce compelling content, promote that content and reach influencers within your target demographic.
The Internet of Things is Taking Over
Not to complicate matters, but in today’s changing landscape a term referred to as “The Internet of Things” has been gaining popularity. Unlike campaigns we ran 5 or 10 years ago, your audience isn’t limited to media on a screen anymore. With technologies such as Google Voice, Siri, and Alexa, content can be delivered hands free and might not ever be seen. You talk and your device delivers. With voice search becoming more prevalent, marketers may need to rethink how they strategize their SEO, PPC, and of course content marketing campaigns.
Offer Value and Be Real
There is no denying that the internet has become a competitive environment. In just one minute, this is what gets published. For those who didn’t click the link, here are some of the numbers. Keep in mind, this is just one minute.
- Wikipedia – 600 new page edits
- Google Conducts 3,607,080 searches
- Youtube users watch 4,146,600 videos
- Buzzfeed users view 50,925.92 videos
- Instagram users post 46,740 photos
- American use 2.657,700 GB of internet data
If you want to be memorable and develop a loyal following amongst all that commotion, it may be a good idea to offer consistent value in everything you do. Find ways to help people solve their problems, offer good advice, and from time to time, consider doing something to help out the community you serve. This long term strategy, along with other digital marketing methods, can help your brand build trust within your digital community.
Chris Foerster is a technology junkie and digital marketer who currently manages the digital marketing school promotion at Fremont College. With more than a decade of experience marketing businesses online, Chris brings a unique skill set of SEO, PPC, social media, lead nurturing, and content marketing to the college’s website Fremont.edu. We are proud to support Chris, and to share his knowledge with our audience.
Visuals are a huge part of being successful on social media, whether it is photos or videos, your customers want to SEE what you are up to. Not read about it. While Facebook remains the number one social media platform for businesses, Instagram is rising as a visual star. Instagram allows you to share one image, multiple images, and videos, plus you can get creative with Instagram Stories. Creativity is key in order to get noticed. Here is a couple tips on how you can stand out on Instagram.
- Leave a positive first impression.
- Profile Image: keep it simple, it is a small portion of your profile. Your logo is a great option.
- Username: you want your followers to know it’s you. Use your company name, or a simplified version if it is long.
- Bio: describe who you are and what you offer. Include your website.
- Contact Info: include an email, phone number, and address so people know how to reach you or find you.
- Rock your feed.
- Leverage natural light in photos/videos.
- Diversify your content. Let your followers see your business, your products, and YOU!
- Use different formats. Like we mentioned before, Instagram allows you to share a variety of formats including photos and videos. Make it fresh.
- Keep your filters and styles consistent. If you like bright colors, show it. If you prefer the X-Pro II filter because it darkens the background, use it. Just keep it synonymous.
- Develop your content
- Don’t neglect captions. While people are focused on the photo/video, they will look to the caption for context.
- Utilize hashtags. People can search based on hashtags, if you want to be noticed, use a variety that relate to your business. Use 3-6 for each post.
- Mark your location. Instagram’s geotag feature lets your followers know where you are, whether it is at your business location or out in the community.
- Share on other social media platforms. Instagram allows you to connect to Facebook and Twitter for a universal post across your platforms.
- Get Creative with Instagram Stories
- Instagram Stories are photos/videos that disappear after 24 hours. Add text, polls, locations, tags, hashtags, gifs, emojis..the list goes on.
- Learn how to use the Boomerang, Live, Focus, Superzoom, and Rewind features to make your content stand out.
- Save stories as a highlight. People will be able to see that Instagram Story every time they visit your profile.
- Don’t rely on sound. Although video is becoming a huge avenue for social media marketing, many people still watch with the sound off. Find ways to get your message across in case your followers prefer to watch in silence.
If you have never explored Instagram, a lot of these words may sound like a foreign language. No worries, we are here to help! If you have questions about starting your Instagram presence or building it up, contact us at 757-504-2429 for a strategy or training.
Keeping your employees up to date on all the major details of your business can be harder than you think. As your business grows, your network of employees grows right along with it. With so many different jobs to do, it can be hard to stay on track. Get everyone on the same page by creating a private Facebook Group just for your business and your employees.
First off, it’s FREE. We love free! Facebook Groups do not cost you anything and they can be set up in minutes. Create the closed group and add all of your employees. The best part? They do not have to be friends with each other, so each employee can retain their privacy from coworkers.
Second, with over 1 billion users, it’s almost a guarantee that all of your employees will already be using the site. Since they are already looking through their News Feeds, it makes sense to put your messages where they are guaranteed to see it. BONUS. They also already know how to use it. There is no need to train employees on new communication apps or spending time and money to develop an in-house communication system.
Here are some extra benefits!
Facebook will send push notifications to members of the group when someone posts. Any new updates will go directly to the app on your employees phone or desktop. It is almost guaranteed they will see your information by the end of the day. Keep them informed on specials, events, and processes used in your operations.
There is also great opportunity to share visual content. Whether you have some great new staff photos or a video explaining a new process, you can quickly share it in the group for all of your employees to engage. Your Facebook Group will allow you to foster collaboration. Ask for opinions, ideas, and suggestions to collect feedback and get in touch with everyone all at once. Treating your staff to lunch? Ask their preference. Looking for new sales to offer customers? Collect ideas from the ones on the front-line. It is as easy as 1..2..3.
The great thing is, it’s really easy to manage!. Quickly add or remove members and monitor day-to-day interactions. Nothing beats a knowledgeable staff that is in-tune with what’s going on in your business.
As marketers, we know Facebook is a major platform for advertising that is focused on developing brand awareness and interacting directly with consumers. But there is more to it for businesses that fall outside of retail, food-service, and home-improvement service sectors. Just like these businesses, those in healthcare can use the digital space to acquire customers and build relationships with their customers.
Currently, healthcare organizations use social media tools to increase patient loyalty, educate potential consumers, and communicate news and other information to the public audience. Sharing health and wellness tips is the largest common theme among social media pages for hospitals, followed by recognizing special days and employees. Considering that healthcare is an industry that is extremely personalized, creating valuable content means connecting with the audience. Facebook is looking to advance the healthcare initiative by selling healthcare-specific data to providers to assist in the creation of ads.
The company’s current business model sells user specific information for targeted ads, allowing businesses to gain more customers and consumers to find the products/services they need or want. It is projected that this business model will extend to healthcare providers and insurers so that they may serve consumers targeted ads based on their health and wellness. For example, say you are a fertility clinic, you would buy data from Facebook that includes information on people seeking fertility treatments. You then create an ad promoting your services to get in front of that consumer. Ideally, that consumer turns into a new patient for your clinic.
By entering into this new market of healthcare advertising and data analytics, Facebook is competing with existing healthcare data companies that receive patient data from pharmacies and other healthcare providers. The difference is that Facebook already has a large set of data along with an advanced advertising infrastructure, making their goals of acquiring customers and building relationships with a synthesized process.
As we all know contests are great for social media. They are the perfect way to get more page likes, post interactions, and reviews. But to really see the biggest bang for your buck, put your contest on steroids by joining forces with strategic partners and rolling out a cross promotional contest!
People these days are extremely busy, so incentivizing them to take action always increases the likelihood that they will participate. When you are thinking about a prize for your social media contest, think about your target audience and what would be beneficial to them, not just to you. Then, look local.
Cross promoting means teaming up with another business, that shares your target audience and typically has a robust social media presence of their own, to promote a contest to both of your audiences.
Here’s how it works!
First, find a business that serves the same target audience as you. Be sure to lean towards businesses that have a strong social media presence, then reach out to them and introduce yourself and your business. Ask them if they would be willing to help you promote your contest/prize if you bought it from them. Since the business owner is probably just as busy as you are, try to think of ways you can take some of the work for your contest off of their plate. For example, craft the post you want them to share, or create a graphic they can put in their newsletter. Anything you can do to take the workload off of them will increase your chances of getting their buy-in.
Check out this killer example of a recent campaign we helped two businesses cross promote.
One of our favorite clients, Jack’s Tile and Carpet, wanted to promote their “pet friendly” flooring options to the Hampton Roads area. We immediately thought of our good friends at Critter Sitters & More, who share the same target audience, pet owners. After making the introduction, Critter Sitters & More put together a beautiful “Pet Basket” full of goodies and necessities for a cat or dog owner. Jack’s bought the basket from them and began their social media contest. Once details on the contest were posted to Jack’s Facebook page, Critter Sitters joined in and shared the post to their own page, added it to their newsletter, and even wrote a blog about it. The partnership was a win for both businesses, as Jack’s benefited from the social media engagement on both pages, and Critter Sitters was also being promoted as the top pet sitter in the area and showing off some of their awesome stuff.
If you’re interested in brainstorming some killer cross promotional campaigns of your own, reach out to us. We’d love to help!
As we all know Facebook has a huge following, but do you know just HOW huge? Facebook has nearly 1.6 billion active users, so it’s pretty dang likely that your target audience is on there too. Because of the number of people using the platform, and to ensure a good user experience, Facebook created an algorithm to help users regularly see the posts that they find most engaging.
The fact is, each person on Facebook is susceptible to over 1500 status posts in their newsfeed every day, but realistically none of us have the time to see all of those, and Facebook knows that. This is why they created the algorithm, which chooses the top posts to find their way into your actual newsfeed.
Here is how it works.
The key is post engagement. The more someone engages with your posts (meaning reacting to, commenting on, or sharing them), the more your posts will then show up in that persons newsfeed.
Why does this matter to you as a business owner? Because you spend time and money posting content that you want to get in front of your audience, and if engagement is low, you could be posting content that isn’t actually being seen by your followers. And don’t be fooled by high numbers of page likes, just because they “Like” your page, does not mean that your posts are making it into their newsfeed.
To do this, you have to maintain high levels of engagement with the people you want to stay in front of. The goal of a business Facebook page is to create content that encourages users to engage regularly with the posts. That is why when you are creating a Facebook contest you want to be sure you have the users “Like and Comment” on the post to qualify to enter. This increased engagement will help the posts you spend time creating, be more likely to show up in their newsfeed when you need them to.
Maintaining regular engagement with your audience, even through content unrelated to your business (or even industry) at all times, means that when you are posting specials or business announcements your followers are sure to see them too!
Many business owners and marketing directors have an overwhelming understanding of SEO (Search Engine Optimization). They have a constant desire to learn more and more about Google algorithm updates and the latest tools….. said no-one ever.
Hold on. At this point, some of you might be thinking; “What the heck is Search Engine Optimization?” If this is you, take a moment, hold out your hand, and then slap it moderately, but firmly. This is something you should already know about, but better later than never. SEO is the skill of increasing a web-page’s rankings for relevant search terms. Basically, if you’re a baker, you want your web-page to show up when someone searches “bakery near me” or something similar. SEO is what makes that possible. The more relevant your website is, and the more aligned it is with Google’s algorithm, the higher you rank in someone’s search results.
While search engines are by far the most common outlet for people to find products, services, or information, SEO is still something that is greatly neglected by businesses. Google processes over 40,000 search requests every second, and over 3.5 billion each day. Needless to say, they are keeping busy. With so many searches being performed, how can any business NOT be focusing on where they rank in Google searches? If you aren’t focusing on SEO then you’re missing out on a TON of business.
Below are the common objections we hear from people who aren’t focusing on SEO right now. Which one is you?
It’s Too Expensive
SEO isn’t cheap, i’ll give you that. It’s a skill that takes a lot of work and constant studying since the algorithm that determines the results changes nearly every month. As you can see in this article from Search Engine Watch, SEO retainers can cost anywhere from $750 – $5,000 a month. If you are considered a small business going after a local market, you can expect to be on the lower half of that scale.
If you’re holding out for someone to do your SEO for cheap then you’re going to get some unpleasant results. SEOs that charge suspiciously low fees are almost guaranteed to be using unethical tactics that will result in a penalty by Google. The cost of maintaining a proper SEO campaign with an experienced firm or individual will return your investment ten-fold.
I Don’t Understand It
That’s okay! I don’t understand exactly how my flatscreen TV works, but you can rest assured that I will be watching the latest episode of Game of Thrones when I get home tonight. You don’t have to understand how something works to benefit from it, you just need to understand the rewards.
With that being said, it is always a good idea to at least know the basics of the outlets your marketing dollars are being used for. We encourage all of our clients to learn as much as they are comfortable about the services they are receiving, and even offer training sessions to be sure they are in the loop with what we are doing and the strategies behind it all. If you’d like to learn more, Moz provides a great article on the basics of SEO here.
The Last Person Who Did My SEO Sucked
Hey, I get it. You had a bad experience with someone, and now you’re skeptical. That’s totally understandable. Last year, I got a haircut and the lady did a hack job on my head that made it look like I stopped halfway through my own Britney Spears meltdown of 2007. But did I swear off getting my hair cut again? Absolutely not. I found someone else who had more experience and got it done right. That’s exactly what you need to do.
The right SEO will ask a lot of questions about your business and goals. They will need to if they want to provide the best results. They won’t promise you quick results because they know there is no “secret sauce” to getting to the top, but only organic efforts that result in natural growth. At Proximo Marketing, we do a deep dive into our client’s goals, form a comprehensive strategy, and are very forward with our clients about our expectations and goals for our campaigns. What you don’t want is someone that just tells you what you want to hear. You can learn more about what to look for in an SEO firm here.
It Takes Too Long
It does take time. People like instant results and can get impatient when they are paying for something they aren’t seeing the benefit of. Just expect the results to start showing somewhere between 3-6 months after starting. You can learn more about how long SEO results should take here. It’s something that you want done correctly and within the search engine’s rules. The people who promise instant results are tricking the search engines in some way and you will be penalized harshly in the long run. Slow and steady wins the race.
Those are the main objections, but of course there are more. Investing in SEO is something that may be new to you, but future you will be giving you a high five for taking the leap. It’s 2017 and all of your competitors are focusing on it and reaping the rewards of business that could be yours, so it’s time to jump on the bandwagon and get it done better.