3 Common Social Media Mistakes Businesses Make 

By Steve Hoag

common social media mistakes

A social media presence is pretty much mandatory for most businesses at this stage. A lot of businesses still haven’t quite figured out how to use social media just yet though. They stumble into common pitfalls that are easily avoided. So what should you not do on social media? Read on!

Spam their followers

Businesses occasionally fail to realize that spam doesn’t just mean what you get in your junk email or mail. It can occur in other channels like social media. It’s good to consistently post on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook. It’s not good to constantly post without giving you followers a little bit of a breather. Try to space out your posts and not barrage users with your content. Otherwise you may find that they will soon begin to ignore you.

Focus on selling themselves and ignoring engagement

No one likes a person who only cares about themselves. Likewise, businesses should not only focus on sharing their content, but also on actively engaging their community. Reach out to individual followers and share their content as long as it’s relevant to your business. People love it when someone shares what they have to say. A happy user is an engaged one. No one likes to feel like they don’t matter. Especially on SOCIAL media.

Forget to acknowledge people who interact with them

If a user interacts with one of your accounts don’t ignore them! Make sure to acknowledge what they have to say. Answer questions people have, and respond to comments. Don’t make followers feel like they are talking to a brick wall. It’s nice to know there’s a person on the other side and not just an automated account.

View User Profile for Steve Hoag Steve is a recent graduate from UW, and the Marketing Coordinator at Fast Track. He primarily has experience in the tech and start-up industries. When he's not busy promoting Fast Track, he's watching Huskies or Green Bay Packers football. You can find him on Twitter @steven_hoag .
Posted by Steve Hoag Tuesday, December 10, 2013 8:02:00 PM Categories: B2B B2C blogging enterprise SMB social media social media marketing

How to Integrate Social Media With Your Business Website 

By Steve Hoag

social media integration

Integrating social media with your business website is critical for increasing online exposure and engagement with your target segment. Check out these tips on how to connect your website with different social media platforms:

Add social media buttons on every page

Including buttons that link to your social media accounts is great for making it easier for users to connect with you. Social media is becoming a very popular way of asking for product advice or reviews. By including links you are streamlining the information search section of the buying process. This will also help to boost traffic and followers of your various accounts.  The best place to include these buttons is in the header and footer of every page. Make sure they are clearly visible or they may never be used by visitors. Including call to actions such as ‘Like us on Facebook’ are also better than simply using a basic badge. Everyone has badges these days, and calls to actions are much more effective.

Allow users to login using social media

Letting users use their social media accounts to log in to your website is great for increasing conversions. Long gone are the days where users had to fill out lengthy registration forms. Now all they need is a Facebook or Twitter account. Using social media logins can also help to share specialized  content and connect with their users on a much more personal level.

Make your website social media friendly

Users are starting to want a website viewing experience more akin to social media platforms these days. They desire to see dynamic content, category focused areas, news feeds, and social media feeds. Some websites are switching to more modular panel home page designs to cater to this. These panels can be used to show any type of feed or content they want. A great example of this is Google Ventures.

Make content shareable

Having great content is worthless if it’s hard for users to share it easily. Making content shareable is a great way to boost online exposure, traffic, and engagement with your customers. Including social sharing buttons next to all content like blog articles, videos, and images is a great way of doing this.

Embed dynamic content like YouTube videos when appropriate

Dynamic content is absolutely mandatory for websites that want to be more engaging. Including videos from YouYube or infographics are great for increasing visit times and conversion rates. The longer a user is on your website, the more likely they are to become a quality lead, and eventually a customer.

Integrating social media with your business website is critical for increasing online exposure and engagement with your target segment. Check out these tips on how to connect your website with different social media platforms:

View User Profile for Steve Hoag Steve is a recent graduate from UW, and the Marketing Coordinator at Fast Track. He primarily has experience in the tech and start-up industries. When he's not busy promoting Fast Track, he's watching Huskies or Green Bay Packers football. You can find him on Twitter @steven_hoag .
Posted by Steve Hoag Monday, December 9, 2013 6:54:00 PM Categories: B2B B2C enterprise SMB social media social media marketing web design web development website

How to Leverage Pinterest for Your Web Design Business 

By Steve Hoag

how to leverage pinterest for your web design

Pinterest has been gaining popularity among designers for its innovative visual features. This platform allows its users to pin images from other websites onto a board. This can help to increase traffic to these sites, as well as serve as a virtual portfolio for designers. So how can you use Pinterest for your design business?

Building your brand

Pinterest is just as useful as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn at building your own unique online brand. There are some great ‘About Me’ sections to communicate just who you are and what you do. You can also link to your Twitter, Facebook, and website.

Finding design inspiration

Inspiration is critical for designers. You can get design block just like writers do. Pinterest is great because you can pin any cool websites to your board that you come across. When you need inspiration all you need to do is come back to your board. Make sure to use keywords like ‘web design’ in each pin board’s name so that people looking for web design can view your profile.

Creating a unique portfolio

Pinterest is awesome for showcasing your portfolio. You can create separate boards for different market segments, or different skills you have. Another thing you can do is post images from projects to your website, and then pin these images to your board. If anyone shares your images on Pinterest they will still link back to your website. This is a great way of turning Pinterest into a traffic source for your business. You can also just upload screenshots of your work, but this won’t link back to your portfolio.          

View User Profile for Steve Hoag Steve is a recent graduate from UW, and the Marketing Coordinator at Fast Track. He primarily has experience in the tech and start-up industries. When he's not busy promoting Fast Track, he's watching Huskies or Green Bay Packers football. You can find him on Twitter @steven_hoag .
Posted by Steve Hoag Friday, December 6, 2013 7:40:00 PM Categories: B2B B2C blogging SMB social media social media marketing web design website

5 Things SMB's Should Avoid Doing on Social Media 

By Steve Hoag

things SMBs should doing on social media

Everyone is using social media these days. Even my grandparents are figuring out how to use Facebook and Twitter. Thanks to its incredible rise in popularity, social media has quickly become an important marketing tool. There are a bunch of articles online that will give you great tips on how to use social media, but there aren’t as many that detail what you shouldn’t do. If you avoid the following pitfalls, your business will be in better shape than most.

Don’t spam followers

No one likes spam. This is especially true on social media, where people opt in to see news from your company. They aren’t being forced to see your posts, so don’t make un-following your profile an appealing option. Avoid multiple posts in short periods of time. Try to space them out on networks. Hourly tweets are fine, but aim for only a few posts a week on LinkedIn and Facebook.

Don’t only promote your own products

Everyone has that one friend who only talks about themselves. This routine gets really old, really fast. Pretty soon you find yourself avoiding that person whenever possible. The same thing goes for consumers when they see a company only promoting themselves. Everyone likes sales deals, but they don’t want to be bombarded by them 24/7. Mix it up! Include some links to interesting industry articles, infographics, or videos from other websites.

Don’t forget to use relevant hashtags

Hashtags are a great way to create more exposure on networks like Twitter. They are essentially an easy way of searching and organizing information for users. For instance, if you would like to see everything that is being said about website design, you could just search for #websitedesign on Twitter. That being said, remember to use only relevant hashtags whenever possible. If you are a website design business common hashtags might include #webdesign, #websitedesign etc. #Don’t #use #hashtags #for #every #word #like #some #teenagers #do. That’s just #annoying.

Don’t post at irregular hours

Find out when your target segment is most active online. If they are using social media from 9 am – 5 pm then post during that time. Don’t post at 8 pm. This will help to maximize your exposure, and increase your chances of finding a lead.

Don’t ignore mentions, comments, RTs

Acknowledge your customers if they interact with you via social media! Say thank you for re-tweets or shares on different networks. Be sure to respond to any questions or comments you receive. Timely responses makes users feel valued, and improve your overall brand equity.

View User Profile for Steve Hoag Steve is a recent graduate from UW, and the Marketing Coordinator at Fast Track. He primarily has experience in the tech and start-up industries. When he's not busy promoting Fast Track, he's watching Huskies or Green Bay Packers football. You can find him on Twitter @steven_hoag .
Posted by Steve Hoag Tuesday, November 26, 2013 6:40:00 PM Categories: B2B B2C enterprise SMB social media social media marketing

Blogging for Small Business 

By Steve Hoag

blogging for small business

The small business world is an exciting one. There are tons of directions you can take your marketing, you have the flexibility to do so, but not necessarily the funds. Blogging is an excellent cost-effective marketing tool that is becoming more and more popular. This marketing approach allows you to generate dynamic content to share with your audience that helps build traffic to your website. If you think the idea of blogging appears daunting, fear not! It is very easy to do, and there are plenty of tips and tricks out there to help you along the way. Here are a few:

Create a realistic, manageable schedule

Blogging is only as time consuming as you make it out to be. If you don’t have the time to blog much, try and create one article a week. It should only take a few hours to research and write. The time needed for this will also drop the more you blog as you get it down to a science. You should never force yourself to blog when it comes at the expense of something that is potentially more profitable for your company. Also, realize that building a following by blogging does take time, so by creating an article a week you will help lay the groundwork for more exposure in the future. People will be impressed by the depth of your content database, as well as your dedication to blogging. A good schedule will help to keep your business top of mind among consumers, and put you at the forefront of options when they are ready to buy.

Create and keep an idea file

There are many excuses thrown out there as to why it’s hard to blog. One of the more common ones is that ‘there isn’t enough to write about.’ A great way around this is to keep an idea file, where you place article ideas every time one comes to mind. You can also try researching trends or best practices in your target industry since other people will probably have already written about them. Compiling a list of ideas and sources to pull writing inspiration from will help smooth out the learning curve.

Make it shareable

The entire point of blogs is to get people to share your content. Putting social media links to share articles is an absolute must. Promote your articles on your social media accounts as well to maximize exposure. If you give people the option of sharing content they will do so. Email campaigns for users who subscribe to your blog are also great for keeping your company top of mind.

View User Profile for Steve Hoag Steve is a recent graduate from UW, and the Marketing Coordinator at Fast Track. He primarily has experience in the tech and start-up industries. When he's not busy promoting Fast Track, he's watching Huskies or Green Bay Packers football. You can find him on Twitter @steven_hoag .
Posted by Steve Hoag Tuesday, November 12, 2013 8:34:00 PM Categories: B2B B2C blogging SMB social media social media marketing
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