Tag Archives: web marketing therapy

Anne Orfila
How To Up Your Instagram Game

800 million users are actively on Instagram every month. So how do you make your posts stand out more than the other 799,999,999 users?

Here’s my secret: Emojis!

Think of emojis as the bullet points of Instagram. When I’m posting for myself, or on behalf of Web Marketing Therapy clients, I use emojis liberally because they give my post some eye candy (helping to draw a reader to my post over others without emojis) and they also help to break up a long post.

Instagram generously allows us to post a lot (2,200 characters to be exact) but remember that most everyone is viewing your post on their phone. This means that if you have a lengthy post, it’s going to look like a novel on their phone. So break up the monotony! Use emojis and get creative! Make it fun! Up your Instagram game with emojis and watch your engagement grow.

See for yourself! Here are my “before” emojis and “after” emojis Instagram post examples below:

Web Marketing Therapy Up Your Instagram Game

🙂 Happy Marketing!

Anne Orfila
Is Your Website Outdated?

Do you want to know a little web marketing secret? 

Websites do age and, in this day and age of rapidly changing web trends, they can become Image via Pixabay.com outdated quicker than the bag of chips in your pantry!

This news is hard to bear especially if you have invested big bucks in building a fantastic website just five or 10 years ago.

How do we determine if a website is outdated? Many website details can point to “old age”, but three key factors are true indicators of whether your website is outdated or not. If you answer “no” to all of these, than the web marketing therapist will prescribe a website overhaul.

If your website is “mobile-friendly” (or “responsive”, in geek speak) this means that your website seamlessly morphs to look good (clear, readable, searchable, clickable) on a laptop, on a desktop computer, on a tablet (i.e. iPad, Kindle), and on any variety smartphone. This matters because most Americans own a smartphone and, even way back in 2015, “more Google searches took place on mobile devices than on computers in 10 countries including the U.S. and Japan”. A “non-responsive” website is referred to as “static” which means that the website stays the same whether it is viewed on a giant computer monitor or a tiny phone screen (where the words are usually so small, they are not readable unless zoomed in). The bottomline: If your static website is not easily and clearly viewable on a phone or tablet – where most Americans are searching – they are going to pass your website by and go straight to a “responsive” website that is more user-friendly.

Flashy, busy websites are yesterday’s news. The trend for websites in-the-now are for them to be simplified, with a clear message and easy navigation. Simple design begins from the first glance – imagery and text that clearly communicates who you are, what you do and whom you serve. The bottomline: When it comes to website design in 2018, less is truly more.

Being able to make changes – easily – to your website is critical. If a price has changed or a product is out of stock or a new service is available, you want your audience to know now! If you’ve got a website provider that makes changes for you – but is unreachable or doesn’t make the edits in a timely manner – or if you login to make your own changes and feel completely overwhelmed, than it is time for an update. Also, Google likes websites that are updated and relevant. Even small changes can mean better SEO from Google. The bottomline: Making changes to your website – whether it is done by you or your website provider – should be a walk in the park, not a run for shelter in a thunderstorm.

When we propose that a website may need some modern day love, we often hear, “Do I really need to update it?” One of the easiest ways to answer this is to do a little self-reflection and ask yourself the following:

  • Do my competitors have newer websites than mine?
  • If I had a storefront, would I let it look dated?
  • How well does my website represent my business?

A dated website can indicate an out-of-date business. With so many choices on the web, a website that doesn’t look current can / will be passed over in one quick click. The bottomline: Your website is a reflection of you / your business / your online reputation so keeping it current is in your best interest.

Wondering if your website is outdated? Our Web Marketing Therapy team is here to help. Contact us today.

Anne Orfila
2018 Social Media Marketing Plan and Recommendations

Has the New Year brought a new focus to your social media marketing plan? 

Image via Pixabay.comIf you are sticking to the same-old 2017 social media marketing plan, than this blog post is for you! As the world wide web is constantly shifting and changing, so is social media. Some changes are little, some are big, but all should be paid close attention to if you want to keep your marketing strategy at the forefront. Read on for highlights from some of the major platform players and our recommendations.

Facebook – There will be a shift in the 2018 Facebook newsfeed to focus on organic posts that friends and family share to maximize “meaningful interaction” amongst users. Live streaming popularity will grow more. In terms of advertising, stricter “codes of conduct” were enforced in 2017 and will continue moving forward (Facebook hired more staff specifically for “content monitoring”).

Facebook Recommendation – If you are doing organic posting, keep it up. The more “spontaneous” and the less ad-like, the better. These types of “real life” posts tend to generate more “likes” and comments. Don’t be afraid to include questions to engage your audience. If you do not advertise with Facebook, consider it. As the Facebook feed begins to show more posts that are friends/family oriented, your business posts might get seen less. So the one way to get posts shown is to pay for them. In some cases, money does talk! Also, any ads that you pay for on Facebook will get shown on Instagram too. This is huge because Instagram is huge (see next point).

Instagram – Instagram announced that approximately 800 million people use Instagram every month. It is popular across the generations and not going away any time soon.

Instagram Recommendation – Keep your marketing up on Instagram. Post more frequently than you did in 2017 (which may be daily for some businesses or three times a week or four times a day; whatever you did last year, try to up it). Create a unique hashtag for your brand or business and use it on every post. Post a wide variety of content including videos, tips, quotes, and pictures (that you took, not stock photos). Utilize Instagram stories (which is more popular than Snapchat) to highlight photos or videos. These are highlighted at the top of the page in a bar that people can scroll through so they have great visibility and they expire after 24 hours, creating a sense of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) which makes people “want” to view them.

Twitter – Twitter was the slowest growing social media platform in 2017 and will most likely continue to struggle. They increased the character count (to 280) but may switch things up in 2018 to get the audience excited again.

Twitter Recommendation – Keep an eye on Twitter but if funds or time is limited, focus more efforts elsewhere.

Google+ – Although not as widely popular as other platforms, it is a powerful search engine tool for companies because the content gets indexed and shows up in search results. Only 70% of companies have a Google+ profile.

Google+ Recommendation – Don’t have a Google+ profile? Get one! The benefit of indexing and appearing in search results in the world’s most popular search engine is worth it, even if your Google+ audience is small.

Pinterest – Pinterest has over 200 million monthly users and they have some unique features – such as Pinterest Lens, Buyable Pins, and Rich Pins – that keep users on Pinterest and, more importantly, keeps them coming back. 2018 will see more advancement in their in-stream buying options which makes it easy for users to move from a pin to a purchase without leaving the app.

Pinterest Recommendation – Keep your Pinterest account current and robust. Post to your account but also follow and re-pin content that is valuable to your brand or business. If you sell items online, try Buyable Pins. You have nothing to lose and only revenue to gain.

LinkedIn – Here’s a secret about LinkedIn. This platform is not just for connecting business people. Many businesses have a LinkedIn company page to increase their company’s visibility and credibility. Recent research shows that LinkedIn is 277% more effective at lead generation than Facebook or Twitter and members are 50% more likely to purchase from a company they engage with on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn Recommendation – If your company does not have a LinkedIn page, you need to add this to your social media arsenal ASAP. Note that the LinkedIn page needs to be separate from your personal page. If you do have a LinkedIn company page, keep it current with advice, educational information, inspirational quotes, and updates on your company. Don’t forget to invite your LinkedIn connections to follow it.

Blog – A blog keeps your website “active” and provides useful up-to-date information to your readers. It also gives your brand or business a “voice” that is more intimate than the content on your website which can create (or further) relationships and trust within your audience.

Blog Recommendation – Some people find that it’s hard to write or hard to find the time to write something lengthy. All blog posts do not have to be novellas! If you are struggling with blog writing, develop a strategy that is easy to stick to (perhaps three posts a month to 1) promote a product 2) highlight an employee 3) post your favorite motivational quote). Or if blog writing consistently is too intimidating – or time consuming – hire someone who can do it best for you!

When you are planning your social media marketing plan, keep in mind: 

The 5 top reasons people follow brands on social media are for:

  1. Promotions and discounts
  2. Information and updates
  3. Customer service
  4. Entertaining content
  5. Ability to offer feedback

Final recommendation – 2018 social media marketing is going “back to basics”. Posts should be more relatable on a personal level and less like an ad (unless you are paying for ads!).

We wish you happy, healthy marketing in 2018!



Anne Orfila
You Only Need One Space After a Period. Period.

Are you guilty of double-spacing after a period? Or a question mark? Or an exclamation point?

Congratulations! This means that you were a conscientious student in school (ahem, over 25 years ago) – typing class specifically – and your typing teacher would be proud. Today, no teacher would probably sing your praises doing this because the practice of inserting two spaces after a period (or other punctuation mark) is no longer necessary or the norm.

One space after a period does not mean you are lazy, but it does make you look old-school! 

Dropping the extra space after the period is not due to a time-saving effort or because people today are lazy. There was a legit reason behind the practice, so before you enter modern times, let’s take a little walk back in history to learn why double spaces existed.

Typewritten documents actually needed the extra space. 

The typewriter has a monospaced font. This means that each letter, number, or punctuation mark is allotted the same amount of space before and after the character (i.e. the skinny letter “i” has just as much breadth of room as the chubby letter “m”). In short, sentences from a typewriter look long and the act of using two spaces after a sentence gives the reader an easy-to-see break between sentences.

Computers, and word processors, are much smarter creatures.

The characters used in computer fonts are spaced proportionally. Therefore, words look more “joined together” and the space in between is more defined. And individual sentences are easier on the eyes to tell apart. Thus, the extra space is not needed.

There are still a few fonts available that have monospacing, such as Courier and Lucida Console. Here is an example which illustrates the difference between a monospaced font (Courier) and a proportional font (Arial).

Web Marketing Therapy One Space After a Period

Not entirely convinced to drop the extra space? Read this:

If you continue to use that pesky extra space, you are aging yourself!

Whether you are writing website copy, a business proposal, a resume or CV, a blog post, or your profile on a dating app, using that double space will mark you as middle-aged. Let’s put it this way, I was the last class in high school to learn to type on an actual IBM typewriter (that was waaaay back in 1989) where the double spacing was drilled into my typing repertoire. The class after me and beyond used computers (and no double spaces). So anyone who uses the double space is someone who learned on a typewriter ages ago! If you are trying to maintain a certain “arbitrary” age in this youth-oriented world, that double space will “out” you faster than it takes for your Botox to set in!

The bottomline: One space after a period is a simple way to update your writing and maintain your youthful reputation. 😉 

Lorrie Thomas
The Secret to Being a Successful Digital Marketer

Do you know what the secret is to being a successful digital marketer? 

If I asked this question to a room full of professionals, most of them would guess that it’s being knowledgeable in the technical parts of marketing: knowing SEO, SEM, how to buy ads, knowing the best times to post on social media, how to build and manage a website, graphic skills for photos, and much more along those lines.

All of those are great answers and true. Having a handle on any of those skills is going to give your marketing career a big boost. That’s no secret.

But that is not the key to success. When I spoke with Matt Krumrie, Director of Content Management for Power Network for his article on marketing career success, I told him that the the number 1 skill needed to succeed throughout your marketing career is not tech-related, it is the ability to communicate clearly.Web Marketing Therapy: The Secret to Being a Successful Digital Marketer

Whether you are a college grad seeking to launch a successful marketing career or a professional who has decided to launch your own business and has suddenly found that marketing is now part of the job, being an artful communicator is just as important as knowing the technical stuff.

“The world we live in is phone/text heavy, but this ‘quick and dirty’ method of communication will only leave the marketing grad dirty career-wise. Whether it is an email to your boss, selling something, writing copy for a social media post or an ad, the ability to communicate in a compelling way (and online, that means pithy, powerful text) is critical.

Strong communication skills are needed at every level of online and offline marketing, from writing ad copy to emailing a boss or reaching out to a new client. I loved being interviewed to talk about the skills college grads need to succeed in Matt’s article titled Marketing Careers: Combination of Technical and Soft Skills Key to Success.

How do you sharpen your communication skills? Practice makes perfect. There are so many ways to practice your communication skills in everyday life – strike up a conversation with the clerk at the store, email your child’s teacher, write a thank you note to your neighbor. Sharpen your writing communication skills by writing more, listening more, and reading a lot. Take the time each day to read any book, magazine, newspaper, or online news story that catches your eye. The best part is that once your communication skills are sharp, they will rarely dull, instead they will only become even better with use.

Happy Marketing!

Anne Orfila
Email Etiquette: Reply Required

Do you have a friend, colleague or client who never responds to your emails? 

In this web world, I believe that everyone knows someone like that. (Insert eye roll here.)

Email Etiquette: Reply RequiredWhen this happens to me, I begin to wonder: Did they get my email? Are they giving me a passive okay to proceed? Did my email get stuck in their spam folder? Maybe it’s a passive no? And so on. As you can see, it would’ve just been better if they had answered my email!

Working virtually in the web marketing world for many years, I have learned that responding to an email as soon as you can is really the right thing to do. The trouble is there is no Emily Post book of etiquette for web behavior so if someone doesn’t respond, it’s not “wrong” or “rude” but in my book of etiquette it’s just annoying! But I digress . . .

With 99% of my business dealings done online, I know that the way I respond to an email, and the timeliness in which I do so, is a reflection of me. My clients don’t get to see my salon-styled hair, my punctuality to a meeting, or my chic shoes so what they basically have to judge, for lack of a better word, me on is my interaction with them over email. So I better show them my best side, so to speak.

I have one rule – feel free to adopt it – when it comes to client emails:

Respond to the email whether or not I have the reply they need.

That means that even if I don’t have an answer to a client’s question, or if I haven’t completed their project, I will still reply to their email with something as simple as “Hi XXXX, Confirming receipt. This is in my work queue.” I do this so often that now my clients expect a response and in a few rare occurrences when a client’s email did not make it into my inbox – and therefore I did not respond – they have contacted me via phone to follow up. (Insert applause here.)

So, my fellow readers, if you take anything away from this post, I hope that you realize “silence is golden” in some circumstances… but not when it comes to replying to emails.

– – – – –

Now, if someone is cold emailing you (like to sell something) then do not feel obligated to reply, this netiquette is focused on people you know!

For more web etiquette, see my past blog post about “Old School Rules in the New Web World“.