I recently had the great honor of recording a presentation for a class at Del Val College here in Buck’s County, PA. As a social media consultant I love sharing my knowledge with small business owners and this certainly feel into that category. The professor of the class had the students prepare some questions – some related to social media and some to building my business. During the conversation I realized this would make a great blog.
If you network in the Doylestown, PA area, you have undoubtedly run across Nickey Hollenback. She is the founder, and business woman extraordinairre of Personal Touch Concierge Service. She is in the business of helping you run and market your business…virtually.
As a new member of the Central Bucks Chamber of Commerce, I have joined the Women in Business Committee (run by one of my new favorite networking buddies Catherine Cavella). And today Nikki was our featured speaker on “Fresh Ideas for the New Year – Web Marketing.” Here are the highlights of her presentation that can greatly help you in the marketing of your business:
- If you have not heard Facebook has rolled out some rather large video initiatives. You can now live stream and run video ads. Guess what? Users love them.
- Get an app for your business. They are the wave of the future.
- Wearable technology is the future. We have seen hints of this with Google Glasses and the iWatch. Apparently Tommy Hillfinger is designing cell phone charging pants.
- Do not let your website get out of date. Your website is the center of your internet presence and should be modern, easy to navigate, and aesthetically pleasing.
- Content is king – so keep blogging and building your site. But the shift will be to longer tail keywords and phrases that users are searching for as they talk into their smart phones to surf the web. I have often stated you need to write content that your ideal market is looking for – how are you going to help them solve their problem?
- Have a social media stream on your webiste – I add to this and say make sure this part of your site is well designed and integrated. Most of the streams I see are not well done. I also add make sure you have social connect and share buttons prominently displayed so your visitors can share with you and share your content.
- Have a WordPress webiste. The platform is SEO friendly, easy to use, safe, secure and media friendly.
- Do not ever have your webiste privately hosted. You lose control. I use GoDaddy, WP-Engine and Blue Host. Nickey recommends Sucuri (which I will be checking out based on her recommendation).
- Mobilegeddon (not sure if she coined that term or not) happened in April – this is when Google started to devalue sites that were not mobile friendly. What does that mean? Your site should be mobile friendly. According to Nickey, 87% of Millennials are never without their phones – mobile is important.
- While your website is your most important digital asset, your social media is critical. Facebook and Pinterest ads should be part of your strategy. Do not forget about Linkedin and Twitter (the cocktail party of the internet). And Nickey perfectly described Google+ – that uncle you do not want ot invite to Thanksgiving but have to. My experience: Google+ is critical for search and the health of your webiste.
I have known Nikki since I started networking and was actually virtually introduced to her through Denice Whitely, another virtual assistant (talk about a woman who believes there is no competition). We have occassionally crossed paths at other events and I am thrilled to have an opportunity to see her more at Chamber events.
I recently attended a Coffee Talk, NJ networking event centered around providing information to small business owners. Connector extraordinaire, Hillary Morris, put together a program including blogger extraordinaire, Reesa Lewandowski. Based on her experience building Momma Lew, Reesa discussed the benefits and a few details of having a blog for your business.
If you are here on the interent talking about the importance, I would assume that you are in resistance about starting one. Why? Well you are established, have a website, and have already been told time and time again that blogging is important. It helps to continually build your website (which Google loves), shows your clients/customers your personality, and allows you to show expertise in a way that your regular website articles do not.
I provide blogging support to a select group of clients on a weekly basis. They typically are too busy running their own business, they hate writing, and/or they want an expert researching exactly how to talk to their target audience. On the other hand, I love to blog and have a knack for writing to reach a core audience. My clients go to sleep knowing that their website is naturally building and for them, this is marketing money well spent.
Now, you may be wondering what golden nuggets of information I took from Reesa’s presentation. There were a few:
- Let go of your fear. I have found that most business owners have a fear of putting themselves out there either on social media or in a blog. They have no idea what they should say and are fearful of getting started.
- Make sure there is an easy way for your readers to share your blog on social media sites. On each blog post your social share buttons should be prominently placed allowing the reader to share no matter where they are in your article.
- Twitter is where “it” is at. Twitter, the cocktail party of the universe, is the hot social media platform. Build a following on Twitter to help drive traffic to your website. Connect with me on Twitter.
- You want to make Google happy. Most small business owners are, in some way, looking to rank in Google search. To do this you need to pay close attention to the important factors of SEO. Adding new fresh content to your website is the best way to improve the health and SEO of your webiste.
I’m writing this particular blog from a Starbucks in Bucks County, PA. It is very early on a Saturday morning and I just dropped one of my daughters off at swim practice. Taking regular time to write is important for me. Plus, as a swim mom there is lots of coffee here which is good because my kid loves to be under water early in the morning these days.
There are an infintesimal number of articles here on the interent about blogging, seo, best practices, and just getting started. If you have any questions, give me a call.