Get Your Business On Google

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There’s no doubt about it, we all know by now that Google is the #1 search engine online. With about 3.3 billion searches conducted every single day on Google, we would have to agree!

However, this massive number is just a small fraction of your actual relationship and interactive with Google. Think about it, there’s Google Places, Google Maps, Gmail, Google Drive, Google Docs, Google Adwords and more. This is why putting your business on Google is such a key component to your overall digital marketing strategy.

In order to understand the importance of having your business on Google, here are some of the reasons why you should Google My Business.

  1. Be Found on Google – Well this was an easy one but it’s this is where your customers will look for you online. Playing hard to get: good for dating but bad for business. You want to put the right information about your business on search, maps and even Google+ so that customers can get in touch you. Your next customer could just be a click away!
  2. Be Found Across all Devices – Customers are using mobile devices, tablets, desktops and even Smartwatches now to find local businesses. Whether you’re searching at home, on the road, or even switching between devices, you want your customers to find the same information about your business no matter what the device.
  3. Get on the Map – A verified business can appear in Google Maps and be listed as a registered business within Google Places which makes it easy for customers to find your business. They can also search for your contact information, star ratings and online reviews of your business.
  4. Connect with Customers – Getting closer to your customers should be a top priority. Build lasting relationships by sharing what’s new and responding to customer feedback is a vital way for your business to success nowadays. The Google+ follow button allows for customers to stay up-to-date with special offers, important news or updates regarding your business. The number of followers you have can also show up when your business appears in Search which can be seen as a social endorsement.
  5. Jump on the Google+ Train – Strong online reviews and pictures of your business and products can help your business stand out to users online. You want to be able to keep your customers in the loop with status updates, news and special offers on your Google+ page. Your customers can hit the +1 button (which is seen as a “like”) and reply to the content which gives you a direct connection to their feedback.
  6. Give Customers The Right Information – Don’t make it hard for your customers to find the right information about your business. Display the correct contact information, description of your business, hours of operation, website and more. When your business appears on Google, you are making it easier for customers to find information about your business, including hours or operations, contact information and even directions to your location.
  7. Stay on Top of Reviews – Stay on top of your online reputation by managing all online reviews of your business, reply to them as your business and track your star ratings. Customer ratings and reviews will assist with managing all of the valuable feedback from your customers. This can also assist in the way you do business going forward by making any necessary changes to meet consumer demand.

Don’t miss out on any more searches of your business! Now it the time to get your business found by the right people.

Finding The Right Social Network For Your Business

social-mediaWhen it comes to social media, how do you know which ones are right for your business? With so many options, it can be confusing to know where you should focus your efforts.

Instead of chasing all the latest trends, it’s best to analyze your options and know which platform will be most effective for your business. But before deciding what social media networks to use, you need to know what your goals are and what you hope to achieve.

First off ask yourself, you must determine your company’s goals. Are you looking to generate leads, engage with existing customers, offer customer service or create brand awareness? After you have defined your objectives, your decision for which platforms to use should become clearer.

So what factors should you consider? Take a look at these tips when deciding which social media route is best for your business:

Do Your Research

To find out what each platform can offer, you will need to do your research first. This will help you determine are any potential limitations and what the cost associated with using each tool. There are lots of things to learn when venturing into online social networking so spend some time researching what types of social networks are available and how they can support your business objectives.

Experiment

Trial and error is often necessary when deciding which platform will best suit your company’s goals and objectives. In some cases, you won’t know what works and what doesn’t unless you experiment with the different options that are available first. Of course, utilizing the experience of a social media expert can certainly help steer you in the right direction.

Stop and Listen

Listening to active conversations is crucial before you begin and this will be a key indicator for how active a social media platform is for your industry. If there isn’t much activity going on about your industry, it may be in your best interest to just skip it. Check out social media monitoring sites such as How Sociable, Social Mention, and even Google Alerts to search for active conversions within each social media network.

Profile Your Market

After you have listened to the conversation, you will need to profile your current customer base. Have a clear understanding of who your customers are and what networks they choose to use. This will help you screen which platforms to focus on, once you know your ideal customer.

Follow Trends           

You don’t want to jump on every social media band-wagon but it’s important to know what platforms are popular and being used. Following the right trends will help your brand remain relevant and in touch with your customer. If you don’t know social networks are on trend right now, this is where a contacting a social media expert or marketing agency can help.

How to Integrate Social Media into Your Wedding

social-media-weddingAfter attending countless weddings, being a bridesmaid on numerous occasions and of course being a bride myself, I can certainly bring a thing or two to the wedding table. During any wedding there are so many memories made and timeless moments that can be captured through the use of social media.

If your a part of any wedding planning or a bride yourself, here are 5 helpful ways you can best utilize social media for your special occasion and also the events leading up to your wedding.

  1. Wedding Hashtags – Do you Instagram? By creating a hashtag specific for your wedding, it will allow for your guests to tag the pictures they capture and for you to enjoy them afterwards. If you create one hashtag, your guests can share updates on social media sites like Twitter, Instagram and even Facebook (just as long as you are friends with them or they make their pictures public). Don’t forget to put up a couple signs around your venue space to let your guests know of the hashtag you have selected. Also, take a look around to see what hashtag isn’t too common and widely used or else your pictures may get lost in the mix.
  2. Facebook Event – Creating an event on Facebook can be a great way to start the excitement and share important information with your guests. Your guests can also make travel accommodations or even add each other on Facebook if they wanted too. Since not all of your Facebook friends will be attending your wedding, make sure to make the event private for Guests Only. This way only your guests will be able to see vital or private information.
  3. Shared Facebook Album – Facebook recently released a new feature where numerous people can upload their pictures to the same album, which would be great for members of your bridal party or family. To create a shared album, you go to an album you’ve created and then click Make Shared Album in the top left corner. Then you can choose the contributors, select an audience and then click save. All of the contributors will be able to view, add photos and add contributors to the album. 
  4. Create a Great Wedding Website – Weddings are a time where people travel from all sorts of different locations so having a website dedicated to your special day is a great way to communicate with your guests leading up to the date. You can provide location and parking information, directions, highlight the members of your bridal party, create wedding specific events leading up the date and story the story of how you met. Having a wedding website is especially necessary if you plan on having a destination wedding. Best of all, most simple website are free to create such as, as WordPress, Blogger, or even Tie the Knot.
  5. Live Stream – Create a social media station for all of your guests to tweet your well wishes for the happy couple and share helpful marriage advice by using your event hashtag. A live stream of photos from the event can be a fun way to engage people and encourage more sharing. Guests will be able to watch the live stream on a projector in a dedicated area of your venue space. It’s also a great way to capture pictures taken throughout the ceremony or reception for all of the guests to see. It’s a modern day spin on the day-of wedding day video!

Have you attended a wedding where they incorporated social media? All of the brides reading this post, will certainly appreciate your tips and social media wedding ideas. 

Thank you!

10 Best Practices for Webinar Hosting

webinarHosting webinars for your company is a great opportunity to connect with attendees in an interactive and engaging manner which can either offer educational or inspirational materials. Webinars can be used for lead generation purposes or for offering customer service information.

Here are 10 things what every business needs to know about hosting webinars and online meetings for your clients and customers:

  1. Share your Company’s Story. Let the attendees know more about your company’s roots and how you got started. It’s a great way to start the webinar by setting the tone for an open forum discussion or conversation and introduce your company’s values or mission statement.
  2. Record the Webinar. Since webinars are live, some people may not be able to attend it during the scheduled time and date. It’s always best to record the webinar and offer it to those that were unable to attend by posting it on your company’s website or YouTube channel. Not only will be useful for those that couldn’t attend but its great content to share via social media networks afterwards.
  3. Images are King! Most webinars are performed alongside a power point presentation so it’s best to include thought-provoking and interesting images with each slide. The images you choose to include should help convey your message and highlight the story or information you are communicating with your audience.
  4. Live Website Demos. Seeing is believing! If you are promoting a product or service then doing an interactive live demo of your company’s website is a great way to showcase to your attendees exactly what you are referring to. It also helps to keep your audience engaged by interchanging between your power point and a live demo.
  5. Offer Flexible Dates and Times for your Customers. Since most of a company’s customers are global, you have to be mindful when booking a time and date that fits everyone’s schedule. Try to accommodate as many of your customers as you can by offering an array of different times and date for your upcoming webinars.
  6. Book Special Guests. Offering experts in your industry an opportunity to host a webinar for your company is a chance to share knowledge and expertise that you wouldn’t be able to provide. In exchange for sharing their content, offer to promote the guest speaker’s products, services or website information during the webinar for additional exposure.
  7. Practice, Practice, Practice! Since a webinar is a live production, you should always come prepared and well-rehearsed. You don’t want to stumble on your words or completely draw a blank. It’s handy to have a script created prior to your webinar so you have something to reference upon, if need be.
  8. Warning: Some Acting is Required. Most webinars typically go for an hour long in length, which can be a long time to keep your attendees engaged. When speaking always have a smile on your face. You’re attendees will be able to hear this in your tone and feel more connected to your presentation.
  9. Promote on Social Media. Once you have created and scheduled your webinar, use social media networks, such as Facebook, Linked and Twitter to promote your webinar for additional exposure and gain more sign ups. Ask your social media community to share the webinar information with their friends or followers.
  10. No Cost Involved. Webinars should typically be free to sign up and attend. Sometimes, they may be only offered to select customers but they are always free to attend. Webinars should be used as an educational tool for your customers and offering it free of charge will only increase the attendees that want to learn about your company.

Have you participated in a webinar before? Share your experience below!

Getting Started with WordPress

In this educational webinar, you’ll learn how to update your author profile, select the proper article formatting, upload an image for your articles and receive some tips on best publishing practices.

Join Social Media Manager, Ashley Rose Davidson and Voice Over Times Editor, Lin Parkin, as they give you the nitty-gritty on how to use WordPress to publish polished articles for Voice Over Times, the leading online voice-over news source.