How Facebook’s Latest Updates Affect Your Business

Last week, Facebook announced changes to News Feed – the main user experience at the social networking site. These changes alter the way that businesses should manage their Facebook presence for best effect, visibility and relevance. To help businesses understand the full implications of this update, WSI will be hosting an online Webinar for business owners who want to learn more about how these changes will affect their business, their own Facebook presence, and how they must adapt to stay at the top-of-the-pile of content that users and companies alike are publishing on Facebook. Key Points: Users will be able select the news feed that they want to view, which includes the ability to filter out business pages. This means the quality of your content, and it’s sharing by your followers is key to keeping you fans engaged and your posts viewed. Bigger emphasis on images by Facebook, and a trend towards photos in posts means that text-only status updates will soon be … [Read more...]

Getting Social with you Customers

Facebook, Twitter, Google+. These are all names that we all know, and most have tried to incorporate into their business with various degrees of success. Everyone has an awareness of Social Media, but few local businesses have managed to crack the code of how to make Social Media truly work for them. Here are a few tips to help guide your social efforts in the right direction: 1)   It’s a Conversation – One way broadcasts don’t work well in the social media world. Craft your posts so that they provoke a response, and then engage in the conversation. Respond to your followers, they may be your next customers. 2)   Be Original, Add Value – This is your opportunity to use your voice, not someone else’s. Don’t just re-post other people’s content – create your own and show your followers why you are unique, and why they should become your customer. 3)   Keep it Light – Most people go to Facebook to waste time, so a heavy sales pitch will not go over well. Be … [Read more...]

5 Tips to Kick-Start your Marketing in 2013

It’s that time of year again – the whirlwind of the holiday season is behind us, and we are once again facing a new year of growing our businesses – what are you going to do differently this year? Now is the best time to take hold of your business plans for the coming year. Here are 5 tips to help give your business the right start for 2013. Set Goals – Make sure you set Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound (S.M.A.R.T) goals. These goals don’t have to be perfect – you can always refine them as the year goes on, but write them down and keep measuring yourself against them – it will keep you focused. Identify your Ideal Customers – Not all business is good business. There are some customers who drain your resources, are not profitable, and wear you down. Who are your best customers now, and how do you find more of them? Create a plan to grow your business the right way and target the right people. Online Visibility – Have you checked your … [Read more...]

The Convergence of Digital Marketing

Mountain View Chamber of Commerce

Digital Marketing is not new to most businesses today. Pretty much every business has a website, has set up a Facebook page, claimed their Google Local and Yelp listings, has dabbled in, or at least read about search optimization - but still confusion reigns. With all those tools out there, what makes sense, what works and where should you focus your efforts? This month's Mountain View Chamber of Commerce "Morning Buzz" event will focus on answering these questions, and more. Join us for an exploration of how to fit these pieces of the online marketing puzzle together. Learn how the different properties of Site, Search, Social, and Mobile play together and complement each other. From this session, you will gain an understanding of: The searching behavior of your customers and how they see you online The importance of your online reputation, and how to manage it How to turn a visitor into a customer Which Digital Marketing methods will work best for your business Online … [Read more...]

Small Business Mobile Web Site Auction

Mobile Web Site Design Auction

Support your community! Come along to the Sunnyvale Community Services Annual Holiday Auction: When: Thursday Nov 29th 2012, 5pm-7:30pm Where: The Elks Lodge, 375 North Pastoria Ave, Sunnyvale, CA Bring: An unwrapped new toy, or bag of canned food to help fill the shelves of the Sunnyvale Community Christmas Center Why: Because you care about your community and SVCS's work bringing food and holiday gifts to over 1,500 families More details: http://svcommunityservices.org/events-auction.html Bid on: A Small Business Web Site, plus six months of visitor activity reporting. Give your business the gift of customers this year! Capture those 20-40% of visitors that visit your website by mobile phone. Give them a compelling experience of your online business presence at a time when they are close to buying.   … [Read more...]

Local Visibility: Keeping Track of it all

google-location2

When optimizing online presence for local businesses – either brick-and-mortar or service companies - local search presence is by far the most important factor. Many of my clients are located in the San Francisco / San Jose Bay Area – which has one of the most difficult local search problems – cities without borders. The Bay Area is home to 7 Million people, in towns that are all interconnected – Palo Alto merges into Mountain View, which merges into Sunnyvale, and so on. There are no gaps between cities and they form one massive metro area. Companies wanting to rank well on a local level must be aware of both the geography around them, and the way that their customers will use the search engines to find them, and hopefully not their competitors. Consider Jim, an average guy in Sunnyvale, California. Jim woke up this morning in agony – a problem with his back and he needs a Chiropractor. He stumbles towards his computer and fires up Google. Jim types “Chiropractor” … [Read more...]

Reputation Crisis Management: NBC and the Olympics – Part 2

nbcfail Twitter Graph

A few weeks ago, I wrote about a potential Reputation Management crisis over the media coverage of the 2012 summer Olympics in the US. At the time, there was a storm brewing over NBC's decision to time-shift all events to prime advertising hours, to limit online streaming availability only to subscribers of cable and satellite packages, and the controversy over the suspension of a journalist's Twitter account who was vocal in his opposition of NBC. Since this race was still being run at the time, I said I'd come back for the post-event analysis. So, with the 2012 summer games in our rear-view mirror, let's see how this ended up on the Social Media podium: Bronze: NBC You could argue that NBC didn't do a whole lot here - they had a whole lot of social outrage thrown at them, and from the outside all that we saw was a quiet defense of the success of their coverage and a modest increase in advertising revenue that took them only to break-even point. However, just as a duck glides … [Read more...]

Educational Webinar Series

We are pleased to announce our late-summer Free Educational Webinar series. These sessions are designed to provide a baseline level of Digital Marketing knowledge to businesses wanting to raise their online presence and maximize their revenues. Hard to imagine, but we are already approaching another seasonal transition. Traditional retail businesses need to raise their presence ahead of the holiday shopping season, home improvement businesses have an opportunity ahead of holiday and "visiting relatives" time, and season-specific operations need to bring their winter activities out of hibernation. Now is the time to build a truly awesome digital presence and maximize your earning potential. We will kick off with the following schedule in August and September. Further sessions will be added later. Online Reputation Management – Wednesday August 22 2012, 9am – 10am PDT Digital Marketing for Local Businesses – Tuesday September 4th, 9am – 10am PDT Websites: The … [Read more...]

Socially Facilitated Selling

Socially Facilitated Selling is my new best friend. It was introduced to me as a concept recently at an incredible Social Technology bootcamp that I attended, ran by the always-awesome Francois Muscat. In my view, it has become the answer to the question "why should my business bother with Social Media". There are various levels of Social Media engagement. The basic level, also the most ineffective and unfortunately overused level is using Social Media as a one-way broadcast channel. We see this all the time - many business Facebook pages carry a stream of owner-initiated postings. Usually this is short-lived, lasts a few weeks and then the inevitable "social media is doing noting for me" reaction kicks in, and activity stops. More savvy businesses use social media to create an active following. This is usually quite successful - they strive for interaction with their followers, and are rewarded with an active fan base and expansion of their brand and messaging. This is great use … [Read more...]

Reputation Crisis Management: NBC and the Olympics – Part 1

There are lots of athletes in London making history during the 2012 Olympics. Closer to home, we also see NBC making history - only not in quite the same way. There are many case studies in the world of Social Technology that provide teachable moments in the collective voice of the consumer vs. the reputation of a corporation. "Dear Mr. Dell" and "United Breaks Guitars" are two of the classic examples of consumer-driven outrage going viral, and we may be witnessing another in the making right now: Sports Fans vs NBC and the Olympic Games coverage. Allow me to explain: NBC has the broadcast rights for Olympic games coverage in the US, an investment in the order of $1.1 Billion. The event itself is likely to be loss making for NBC, however the logic is that driving viewers to NBC primetime programming will increase the value of advertising now and in the future. The only wrinkle in this plan is the unfortunate matter of timezones... The East coast of the US is 5 hours behind … [Read more...]