Lorrie Thomas
Google+ Pages for Business Marketing

When I talk to business owners about Google+, many reply with, “One more social media to master!!?” Don’t worry – there is no need to feel social media overwhelm. Setting up or optimizing a Google+ page for your business can be a great addition to your web marketing. A Google+ business page can boost your web marketing, plus (pardon the pun!) get you more visibility and give you a new content sharing channel!

Google+ for Business Can Increase Your Visibility
Every business needs to be visible to target customers. As you probably know, Google is the top-used search engine on the World Wide Web. What you may not know is that one of the main ways people search for products, services and information is through search engines. Today, social media is part of what fuels the content that appears in search engines. With the power of search, social media and Google’s popularity, it makes sense to engage in social media, especially Google’s social media.

When you have a Business Page, it increases your chances of being found for people searching on Google.com, within Google+ and it also gives people a new option of a way to follow and engage with your organization.

Google+ Pages Can Give Your Business a New Content Sharing Channel
We connect, communicate and convert with content. Google+ gives you a targeted, relevant way to expand your content distribution to connect with your contacts. By being active with Google+ for your business, you have another visibility channel to share your videos, blog posts, photos and other relevant content.

Having a Google+ page also allows other people to tag you in posts, increasing the ability for people to see and connect with your brand. 

Be sure that the content you share on your Google+ Business page is valuable content. It needs to serve and support your contacts, not overtly sell your products and services. Self-endorsements don’t work on the social web, ones authentically driven by people do!

If you haven’t created a Google+ page yet, visit https://www.google.com/business/ and hit the “Create Your Google Page” button.

Make Sure Your Google+ Page is Optimized!
Take time to add photos, videos, links to your website, hyperlinks to your website on photos. You can also add custom links to your blog, website, LinkedIn, Facebook, Youtube and your Google Places account.

Being there is the first step. Putting time into creating a robust profile with great about descriptions and photos is next, publishing great content keeps the love alive!

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Lorrie Thomas
Easy Ways to Create Social Media Content

The most common challenge professionals face when managing social media marketing on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Instagram or Pinterest is writing and managing content, starting with the #1 question:

“What should I post?”

Creating social media content is a pain ONLY when your head is not in the right place. Your mindset needs to be 100% focused on how you can serve and support your desired audience.
Successful social media marketing is about communicating in a meaningful way with your target audience.

Stop the stress and move towards success. Here are some easy social media content ideas to keep you current, collaborative, conversational and converting!

Quotes
When you lack writing inspiration (and let’s face it, we all have our days), then give yourself a little dose of inspiration – share a quote! Quotes are a form of content that are fast, easy and enjoyable for your readers.  The best part is you don’t have to write the content!

It’s so simple to give your social media followers a fun, funny or motivational quote that will make their day brighter…and quotes are often shared so you can get a viral marketing boost too!

Google is your best friend when it comes to finding quotes. Do a search on a phrase relevant to your industry. There are thousands of quotes online waiting. When you find one that works, copy and paste to your blog, tweet, posted on Facebook or share on Google+. Be sure to credit the writer and if you want to thank a certain website for providing the quote, that is good netiquette.

Here is one we shared on Facebook and Instagram designed with a free tool called Canva.com.
TakethatstepHere are some simple quote search queries to get you going based on industry terms. You’ll be surprised what (and how much) you find:

Productivity quotes
Marketing Quotes
Insurance Quotes
Tax Quotes
Fashion Quotes
Fitness Quotes
Food Quotes
Success Quotes
(Your industry terms) + quote

You can add additional words to your query like “funny” or “motivational” to get more refined results:

Funny + (Your industry terms) + quote
Motivational + (Your industry terms) + quote

When I was looking for content inspiration, I couldn’t remember the person who coined the famous “If at first you don’t succeed…” quote so I searched (for that part of the phrase only) and found not only the source, but an extension of the quote that I had never heard:

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Then quit.
There’s no point in being a damn fool about it.
– W.C. Fields (source www.brainyquote.com)

I copied it, pasted it into Twitter.  Content – done. Easy, peasy.

Quotes can be shared on all social media outlets – your blog, LinkedIn (if the quote is relevant to your professional contacts) Twitter, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook.

Many bloggers post quotes on their blog and then use the link from their blog post (with the quote in it) as what is posted on other social media outlets. Often, quotes can include pictures…(just make sure you are using royalty free images, images you took or ones you own).

I love this example of Linda Menesez, a Santa Barbara Counselor who uses quotes when she blogs (she is a friend and a client my company has advised over the years) who launched a blog post with a quote. The quote is compelling and was perfect content to launch the rest of her post from.

Quotes for Content - Linda Menesez

Interviews
Interviews are another content-creating opportunity. We connect through our stories. On the social web, bringing people together through interview content is fun, interesting and often very, very easy.

A business blog I am totally addicted to called SheBrand.com features “You Should Know” wonder women. I LOVE to learn from the interviewees and always stay tuned for the great content.

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Social media interviews are great content and they are fast, easy and fun!

Who would your current and prospective customers want to read about? Other customers? Inspiring professionals? Once you have a theme of who you want to interview, come up with a handful of simple interview questions. You can send these questions over and over (saving you time and time is money!) to new interviewees. Often, interviewers will give interviewees the option of only answering questions on a list that they want to (versus making it a mandate to answer all questions). Sometimes a photo is asked for to add visual appeal to the social media post.

I earned my Masters from Antioch University in Santa Barbara. I did a marketing advisory project for them – an idea that was implemented was interviewing alumni.  The interviews were conducted online. The effort was simply finding the alum, sending them the questionnaire and then posting it to the blog (and sharing the post on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.) Time wasn’t spent on content creation, it was invested. These interviews are online and build as more interviews are conducted.

Antioch Interviews

One of the best parts of conducting interviews on your blog and sharing them on social media is often the interviewee will also share the interview to their social circles, giving you even more visibility!

Infographics, Videos and Photos
Content doesn’t have to be text only. Sharing content like infographics or videos can be very rewarding. Here is an example of a Facebook page I follow (the www.thesilverpen.com blog is great too!).

Screen Shot 2016-07-14 at 12.58.29 PMNote how the url of the blog (TheSilverPen.com) is also some of the infographic designs to create more awareness for the site.  Great marketing touch.

These graphics that are shared on Facebook are also posted on the blog as well as pinned on Pinterest.

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Be a Web Gemologist
So many professionals carry the weight of the content creation world on their shoulders.  You don’t have to sit and create new content all the time, why not get in the habit of being a “web gemologist” where you share “gems” of other people’s content on your social media:

Links to other posts that your readers would enjoy
Share Videos
Share Infographics

*Always, always properly credit the source of the article or videos.

I share great links and videos on Twitter daily. This is my favorite place to be a “web gemologist”!

Screen Shot 2016-07-14 at 1.09.39 PMThe phrase “content is king” is still true on the web…except nowadays, content is the whole marketing kingdom! It’s all about being a strategic content creator. Enjoy these tips and enjoy communicating in a way that is “on brand” and “on purpose”!

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Lorrie Thomas
Fear-Based Digital Marketing Sales Emails

Have you ever received an email from a digital marketing company or consultant saying that your website isn’t performing well, or your site isn’t found in search engines or you “have to” redo your website…….or else?

When companies try to sell their digital marketing services by using fear-based email messages, I want to reach my hand through the computer screen and smack them.

Here is an example and what to do if you get a message like this to help spare you unnecessary marketing stress.

Dear James,road-sign-63983_1920

I noticed that your website is not mobile-friendly which is hurting your visibility on Google. In April, Google began penalizing websites for not optimizing for mobile devices. Since then, businesses without mobile-friendly websites have lost significant search traffic.

The email example (from a real email a client forwarded me) goes on to insist that without a new website, the client’s visibility is doomed then leads into a free call. These types of email serve to alarm you into taking action…prompting you to call or book a time to talk online.

It is healthy to have ongoing marketing discussions and always great to look at ways to optimize your digital marketing efforts, but never, ever start a conversation in a state of stress. Here is the debrief on messages like the example above.

As this email above said, Google unleashed a new search algorithm (that was often called “Moblegeddon” as it threatened to wipe out websites from the search engines, favoring websites built on newer responsive platforms). Read more about that here. Newer websites that are built to be mobile-friendly will earn search favoritism, but it doesn’t mean that you your non-mobile friendly site isn’t being listed and found. Always do an internet search to see if your site is being found.

There is a lot you can do to make sure your site is being searched if you don’t want to (or can’t afford to) overhaul your website to be fully mobile friendly, which sales email examples like the one above propose. Ongoing search marketing efforts like blogging are a good way to keep your ongoing search marketing on point.

Search ranking is based on a number of factors, mainly architecture, content and linking. The architecture is the coding of the site and can include factors like if it is responsive (meaning it adapts to a tablet and mobile device automatically) as well as your meta data code. If your blog is extremely search friendly and content is regularly posted, it creates a good foundation. Content is king with search – the more content you publish (blog posts, etc) the better. Search engines have robots that read and index websites, the more “food” you feed these bots, the better. Linking is also a big factor – links within page content and other sites linking to you are important.

When Google changed their search algorhythm, many of our clients invested in redesigning their websites as they wanted these new mobile-friendly responsive sites so users had the best mobile experience. But many did not want to spend the money and have been FINE. There is no wrong or right approach and there are tons of benefits to building responsive sites, I always want to make sure folks make their marketing decisions based on understanding their options…not based on a knee-jerk reaction from a scare-tactic sales email.

If you do decide to reach out to companies following one of their emails, be sure to take a close look at what they are selling.  Some companies have very oppressive contracts. Also be leery of sales pitches that say they can redo your website with a very quick turnaround….quick doesn’t always mean good…

Healthy marketing is important. Keeping a close eye on ways you can improve your online presence is always a good practice, but don’t fall victim to alarmist emails. Set your path and readjust as necessary, based on your own experiences and research, or reach out to a reputable firm who is willing to talk with you and educate you on ways you can improve your online presence.

It’s always best to make decisions based on options…never let digital marketing people stress you out. If they do that from the get-go, the relationship is off to a bad start…

 

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Lorrie Thomas
Diagnosis: Digital Marketing Projection Disorder

In therapy, the term “projection” is used to describe the act of avoiding ownership of one’s behavior by trying to give responsibility another person, organization or thing.

When I see a business leader projecting responsibility for their success on digital marketing, I am quick to diagnose digital marketing projection disorder to help wake them up to reality and get them on the right track.

While digital marketing projection disorder is common, it is also very dangerous.

It is ignorant to expect things like online ads, websites, social media, etc. to magically bring you all the business you desire. People power behavior – behavior powers results. In business, there are three critical areas that must all be working to their fullest to make you money honey:

marketing_ops_admin_circles

1) Operations – how well you do what you do. Whether you make and deliver a product or offer a service, your performance is a piece of the puzzle that makes you or breaks you. Happy customers = repeat business and referrals.

2) Admin – how well the business is supported. The #1 reason most small businesses fail is because of failure to collect. No money equals no business honey! Keeping cash flow positive pays the people and vendors who keep the machine running. Your admin procedures are critical.

3) Marketing – how well an organization’s people handle communications, visibility, client connections, service and sales. Marketing is NOT a Facebook page, a website, blog posts, or online ads – those are just example of things that could support awareness, communications, connections, service and sales. These things are tools, tools that need to be driven with strategy and expert execution.

Success is powered by the behavior of people. It takes people to lead operations, administrative work and marketing. You cannot expect tools to take you to where you want to go unless they are powered by the right people. While digital marketing can accelerate growth and success, there are a number of factors that influence results. If online ads are being driven to a crappy website, don’t project blame on the online ads. If a fantastic new website was created with all the best practices (design, copy, search optimization) and sales aren’t pouring in, it’s not the website’s fault, it’s lack of visibility work to drive traffic to the website. Positive behavior is needed to yield positive results. You have to look at the whole puzzle to really see where holes in success lie.

My digital marketing firm supports business leaders in their pursuit of success. When I see people struggle, it often starts with the behavior of the leaders – their willingness to make connections to generate business or hire people to help them do things in a quality manner or fix things that are barriers to their success. Whether we are offering web marketing services like social media marketing, online advertising management, search marketing, online PR or website creation, optimization and management, I always make a point to educate any new client that They are BATMAN, digital marketing is ROBIN.

Digital marketing has your back…it can support you with awareness, information distribution, education, even with customer service and sales, but you need to take responsibility for owning your super powers to succeed (and sometimes that means hiring help or being willing to change). 🙂

If you really want to go to the next level with your business, you have to be willing to grow and that means taking responsibility for changing behavior…your behavior, the behavior of people powering your business or the behavior of the people supporting your business.

We cannot have change until we are willing to change. If something does not fly, say goodbye! More on that in my Hoarding: Digital Marketing Diagnosis post.

Here’s to Happy, Healthy Marketing!
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Lorrie Thomas
Simplify Social Media Marketing – Share Old Blog Posts!

The pain of producing content on social media is real. To many, the question of “what to post?” is like being in a black abyss, with no hope of positive ideas emerging.

I’m going to let you in on a big digital marketing manager secret…

Recycle Your Way to Social Media Marketing SuccessOne of the easiest ways to simplify your social media marketing that supports your social media relationships while increasing visibility to other ideal relationships is by recycling.

Recycling old blog posts or videos and sharing them is so easy and often so overlooked by marketing professionals!

It takes time to write a great blog post, why on earth would you let great content go to waste? If a post or video you painstakingly created is still relevant, entertaining or useful to your target audience, then re-use it!

Instead of staring at these screens and going AHHHH!!…take a deep breath and go ahhhhhhh because you have an arsenal of posts to pull from. Scroll down for a quick web marketing Rx.

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Need a simple social media post? Go to your blog, look at the search box (if your blog does not have a search box, get one!!!) then search a topic. For example, if I search the word “stress” on my blog a ton of posts come up. Scan, find an oldie but goodie (the post needs to still be relevant) and share. Same goes with videos you have created. Share the oldies but goodies!

 

Screen Shot 2016-06-27 at 2.56.48 PMTough love reality check: Just because you posted a blog post when you wrote it does NOT mean everybody saw it. At Web Marketing Therapy, we say “Tell ’em, Tell ’em what you told ’em and tell ’em one more time!”

Use the great content you ALREADY HAVE as a way to communicate with your audience on social media.

This saves you time writing blog posts and keeps content out there supporting your credibility and visibility!

BONUS ROUND!
If you realllllly want to streamline your social media posting, you can even schedule posts that you write now into posts MONTHS from now! Facebook has the ability to schedule posts within their post and I LOVE Hootsuite for social media scheduling. I can post things to go live MONTHS from when I last posted them!

Happy social media marketing!

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