Category Archives: Blog

Infographic: 7 Statistics That Can Raise Your Facebook Page Engagement Rate

Do you want to expand your Facebook Page’s reach? Of course you do! Facebook isn’t just going to grant you tons of reach for free! What to do? For starters take a look at this infographic featuring some statistics you can use to ensure your posts have the best chances of reach as many people as possible. There are 7 factors that can help your Page reach more people: Use Images. Be concise. Use emoticons. Post on Thursdays and Fridays. Ask questions. Run contests. Give Coupons/Discounts. Do you use these post types? If not then your low reach might not be entirely due to Facebook’s algorithms. Your content must be good, and in accordance with the best practices Facebook suggests as well as those discovered by yourself and other marketers through their own experiences and testings.  Statistics and guidelines such as the ones presented below are a valuable tool that can allow you to implement best practices to improve your Page’s performance without the hassle of testing.  To get even more insight into how your Page can be improved you will need to test your posts and learn about your audience. In the end, your audience and the interactions you have will them are what makes your Page a success. Using these factors will help your Page’s posts go further. However, it’s important to remember that every Page’s audience is different. Posting on Thursday and Friday might be more engaging, but knowing the best times for your own audience will also help you get an increase in reach. Use these statistics as a starting point but don’t be afraid to branch off from them if you find they don’t suit your needs or your audience demands something different. Do you have any other tips to improve your Facebook Page’s reach? Share them with us in the comments!
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Avoid Sabotaging Your Site’s SEO with These 3 Outdated Practices

You have put a lot of work into developing your site’s SEO profile. Don’t sabotage these efforts with these common, but out dated practices. It may be tempting, but one misstep can land your site on the search engine’s bad side and lead to a long road of recovering from search penalties. 1. Keyword Stuffed Links The search engines don’t want to see links to your site that are perfectly manicured. They want links to reflect how real people actually work. That includes links to your site that are not your keywords or even keywords at all, like this, or that or here. This applies to not only the content on your site, but comments you leave, forum signatures and any other place you leave your links. One link only to your site, usually in the comment’s url field, is all that you need to do. Any more than that is frowned upon by search engines, not to mention your comment will probably get flagged as spam automatically by the site you are commenting on. 2. No rel=nofollow If you aren’t sure how to use rel=nofollow appropriately check out our guide on the subject for more details. Basically any time you either a) don’t want to pass any of your “link juice” on to another site or b) post an affiliate or advertiser link you’ll want to use a rel=nofollow. 3. Bad Content Let’s be honest, there’s a ton of content out there. Some of it is great, some of it isn’t. In order to stand out your content has to be great. There’s no room for mediocre content or worse, keyword heavy content that has no value at all. Visitors don’t like content that reads like it was written by a robot, and neither does search engines. The search engines want to help people find the answers they are looking for, if your content doesn’t do that it’s not going to be found. Keep your site’s content fresh, topical and original. This also applies to guest posts – ones you may do as well as ones you might have on your site. Guest posts should always be original, and relevant. Avoid these common mistakes and your site’s SEO won’t suffer from your good intentions. Always try to provide the best experience for your users and visitors and you will always be on the right path no matter what algorithm changes come and go. Do you see any other common SEO mistakes that sites make which end up hurting them more than helping? Share them with us in the comments.
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How to Find the Right Image Editor For You

There are many different choices when it comes to image editors. From the powerful to the simple there’s something for everyone. Which one is for you? Read on to see what type of image editor will best suit your needs and budget. You do are a graphic/UI/UX designer or digital artist: Paid: Adobe Photoshop Free: GIMP Both Photoshop and GIMP offer powerful image editing and image manipulation abilities and tools. GIMP is free and open source while Photoshop is available from Adobe via a Cloud Subscription. They both provide the flexibility to create nearly any kind of graphic, mockup or edit any image. You are a professional photographer: Adobe Lightroom Photoshop Lightroom is great for batch editing photographs and offers a variety of effects and image enhancements and fixes. Photoshop of course is very powerful and offers the ability for nearly limitless image adjustments. While either one is great for photographers using them together can cut down on image editing times while providing excellent results. You are a digital artist or illustrator: Adobe Photoshop Paint Shop Pro Open Canvas These programs offer versatile effects, settings and abilities. They also offer graphics tablet integration and support allowing for a more natural workflow and the brush strokes you can only get from a pen. You are a blogger or social media manager: Canva Picmonkey Canva and Picmonkey are great online apps that offer freemium services. Both are simple editors that make creating memorable graphics for social media and blogs quick and easy. Canva offers many different premade templates to work from as well as the freedom to create your own from scratch. SVG/Vector Graphics Paid: Adobe Illustrator Free: Inkscape Adobe Illustrator is the industry standard when it comes to creating vector graphics. It’s powerful enough to create logos, digital artwork, mockups, infographics and more. Not to be out done the free and open source Inkscape offers many of the same abilities and tools as Illustrator at a very affordable price point. Animation & 3D Work Paid: Adobe Flash Paid: Maya Free: Blender While the days of Flash websites might be over the program isn’t obsolete yet! Flash can allow you to create interactive games and videos, and animations. For those digital artists in the 3D modeling field there’s the powerful Maya and its open source counterpart Blender. Both offer an array of tools and abilities to help you create the most realistic 3D models you can design. Choosing the right tool for the job will not only help you get the job done quickly and efficiently but it can save you money in the long run. Not everyone needs the power of industry leading software like Photoshop or Maya. Sometimes simpler free or freemium apps like Picmonkey or Canva are just what you need. What image editor do you use most? Share it with us in the comments!
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Heartbleed: What You Need to Know to Keep Your Info Safe

By now you have probably heard about the security vulnerability Heartbleed. It has impacted some of the most used sites on the internet, and chances are you have accounts on sites that have been impacted in some way. Here is the information you need to know to keep your accounts safe and mitigate any impact from Heartbleed. 1. Wait until a fix has been applied to affected sites. If you don’t wait, changing your password will have no impact. Hackers could still access your new password, unless the fix has been applied. Once sites have updated to fix the vulnerability then it is time to update your password. 2. Use unique passwords. Yes, this is something that is said after every security threat, but it’s a great technique to keep your data safe. Hackers know most people use the same email and password combinations, so if they know those it makes hacking your other accounts that much easier. Using unique passwords doesn’t have to be hard, a secure password app like Last Pass will help generate secure passwords and remember them for you. 3. Keep an eye on your accounts. Watch your accounts for any strange activities. You may also want to disassociate any other devices or logins from your accounts to assure that they are actually your real logins and not ones that have been compromised. What Sites Were Compromised? Here are several resources that will allow you to find out which sites were compromised by Heartbleed and if they have secured the vulnerability yet or not. The Heartbleed Hit List Heartbleed Site Search Tool LastPast Heartbleed Tool McAfee Heartbleed Tool Staying safe online is a constant struggle. Heartbleed is only the latest in a seemingly never ending series of online threats. Do you have any other tips to mitigate the impacts of Heartbleed or any other resources to share? Let us know in the comments!  More Resources to Help Keep You Safe Online: 4 Steps to Take After Your Account Gets Hacked 5 Tips to Keep Your Data Safe Online 6 Tips to Protect Your Personal Information on Social Media Networks
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Infographic: 7 Social Media Trends Shaping 2014

Social media is always changing. The social landscape of 2014 is no different. Here’s a look at 7 trends that are shaping the social media landscape this year courtesy of this infographic from Media Mosaic. 1. Social Listening   What is it?   Social listening is simply when a brand uses tools like Twitter mentions, or Mention to listen to what others are saying about their brand on social media. Listening to what customers, fans, and competitors are saying about you gives you insight into how your brand is perceived, potential leads, and input that can be used to improve your business. 2. Social Advertising   What is it? Most social networks provide opportunities for brands to advertise themselves. Sponsored Tweets, posts and pins are a great example of this. Used wisely they can be great agents to enhance your existing advertising campaigns. 3. Data-Based Marketing   What is it? Surely you’ve heard of Big Data. Thanks to the interconnectedness of the internet and social networks there’s more data available than ever before on your target demographics. Learning as much as you can about them can allow you to market to them like never before. 4. Pictures as A Marketing Tool   What is it? Pinterest and Instagram and great examples of how powerful images can be. Images can go viral drawing interest to newsworthy events, stories and more. They can be used on every social platform and can reach millions of people. Now more than ever, images must be part of any marketing campaign. 5. Social Media Integration with Business   What is it? Social media must be thought of as one more cog in the wheel of your marketing program and indeed your entire business. A brand’s social media presence is a representation of that brand on social media. To be successful it must work in harmony with the rest of the business’ departments. 6. Social Data Will Guide the Future of Relationship Intelligence   What is it? As mentioned in #3, social media offers a vast wealth of information on many demographics. Using the information well is becoming increasingly important for brands. Brands can use social media to connect with their fans, but they can also use it to learn about those who love their products. This knowledge can be used to help form future relationships. 7. Online meets Offline for Customer Engagement   What is it? Neither people nor brands exist solely online. Apps, mobile coupons and other interactive features a blend the on and offline aspects of a business. To be successful businesses must use both on and offline features to market them, offer customer service, and connect with their customers. To be successful in social media marketing you must be aware of the latest trends and use them to your advantage. It’s easy to get bogged down in the smaller details of which social network is making changes, however, keeping these overreaching trends in mind will help your business to be successful on social…
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Thinking of Ditching Your Facebook Page? Read This.

There has been some dissent among the ranks of some Facebook Page owners. They have been displeased with the performance that their pages have had and now question if having a Facebook Page is even worth it. Before you decide to leave the social network for good, here’s what you should consider. Facebook is the Largest Social Network Across demographics Facebook is the largest and most populous social network around. It has the potential to allow Pages to reach billions of people. No other social networks offer the same potential. Google+, even with its integration with other Google services doesn’t offer the same potential. Look at Your Referrals Before leaving a social network, take a look at the referrals and leads that it has generated. Does it drive a lot of traffic to your site? If you leave Facebook, would your traffic and lead generation suffer? Would you be able to cover those losses elsewhere? These are important statistics than can literally be money in your pocket, think carefully before walking away from them. Look at the Bigger Picture Facebook Pages are more than their reach. Do you have a community? Will you just abandon those fans? Do your fans only use Facebook to connect with you, or do you also have connections with them from other sources? Communities can live on even if the Page goes silent. Will there be negative repercussions to your reputation or other social networks? Is it Facebook or Your Content? Is Facebook really your problem? Or is your content to blame for poor page performance? It’s important to take a good hard look at your own Page management to ensure it is working to your advantage. Evaluate and monitor your content closely to determine if there is room for improvement. Test new content, copy and images, or reach out to your fans to determine what types of content they want to see or how your Page can benefit them. Not every brand needs to be on social media, or any one specific social network.  However, brands should think long and hard before leaving a network they already have a presence on. Other social networks may offer a more direct link to your target demographics, and should be explored. However, the benefits and consequences of leaving a social network should be carefully weighed.
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How to Choose the Right Blogging Platform for Your Blog

It’s no secret that blogs help to drive site views, improve SEO and demonstrate the knowledge and experience that brands have. However, if you are starting out with a new blog figuring out which platform meets your needs may not be so easy. 1. Know Your Blog’s Purpose The first step to success is knowing your blog’s purpose. Is it to reach out to new customers? Or to keep customers, clients and associates up to date on the latest industry or company news? Will you have multiple blogs for multiple facets of your brand? Knowing these specifics now will help you set up your blog for success down the road. 2. Know Your Team & Resources Who will be running your blog? Do you have staff to dedicate to its maintenance, design, and content? Do your team members have knowledge of particular platforms? Is your corporate site already running on a suitable blogging platform? Or are you working on a smaller budget with one part time content writer? Knowing your resources will allow you to choose the blogging platform that will allow you and your team to be successful. 3. Learn About Your Options Self hosted blog frameworks offer more customizability and freedom than platforms that are hosted elsewhere. On the reverse side self hosted frameworks need more maintenance and upkeep. You are responsible for your own security and updates whereas hosted platforms most often provide these services. Two of the most common hosted solutions are: WordPress.com Blogger Tumblr Popular Self hosted options include: WordPress Drupal Joomla Lite 4. Evaluate Future Goals and Plans Do you have future plans for your blog? Will it one day have members only content or other special features? If so, the time to plan for special features is now. It’s better to plan ahead and choose a platform that supports your future goals than realize you have outgrown your platform and undergo the time consuming tasks to moving your blog to a new platform. 5. Choose Your Platform Ultimate the choice is in your hands. You can be successful no matter what platform you choose if you have laid your foundation securely. Research and deliberation at the beginning of the process will lead you to a successful conclusion and the birth of a successful blog. Starting a new blog can seem overwhelming at times. However, as with all new beginnings the more effort you put in now, the smoother sailing you will have down the line. Choosing the best blogging platform for your blog is only part of the battle, however, it will have long lasting effects on your blog. Choose wisely, and get your blog off on a great start! Need a little professional help? Get in touch! We’d love to help you get your blog off and running!
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How to Manage Your Social Media Marketing Like a Pro

Social media marketing can be a great tool in your marketing toolbox. However, as anyone who uses social networks knows it can also be a huge time sink. If you are using social media to market your business you can’t afford to fall into that trap. To avoid the time sink of social media here are 5 tips to get you using social media like a pro. 1. Schedule your posts. From Buffer to HootSuite to TweetDeck there are many options to schedule your social media posts ahead of time. Not all of your posts should be scheduled; after all you can’t set and forget your social media. How else will you interact with all those fans you’ve worked so hard to acquire? Blog posts, important announcements, specials, deals, and the like can all be scheduled ahead of time for the most impact. 2. Use Analytics. Link tracking services and analytics platforms like Google analytics can be vast stores of information, but only if you look at it. Learn what types of posts are the most successful on each social network you are on. 3. Always test. Try new things; try different types of content, different copy, colors and times of day. Test for all of the possible different elements that can turn a post that no one notices into the latest viral sensation. 4. Be social. Social media is about making connections. The more social you are interacting with fans and followers the more exposure you will receive and the stronger your reputation will be. No fan wants to leave comments only to have them be ignored! You don’t have to reply to all comments, but make an effort to reply to some of them, especially customer service orientated ones! Don’t lose customers due to poor customer service! 5. Know where to focus your attention. Know what is actually important. Believe it or not your follower stats might not actually be the most important things. Know what goals you have for social media before you start and always refer back to them when you are unsure of what steps to take next. Sure, maybe your fans are small in number, but do they buy your products and evangelize them to their friends? In the long run that’s worth more to you than having thousands of ambivalent fans. You can avoid wasting time and money on your social media marketing to get the most bang for your buck. These 5 tips will help you manage your social media accounts like a pro, and help you meet your social media marketing goals. Do you have any other tips to share? Let us know and share them in the comments.
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