All posts by Unmana

About Unmana

Unmana writes about marketing on the Markitty blog and can be found on Twitter @Unmana.

Monday Marketing Mash-up: Entrepreneurs’ Stories

I wrote this about my entrepreneurial journey, especially how we got started. I titled it somewhat provocatively, but the point is that I needed to reduce the distractions in my life to think clearly, to figure out what I really wanted to do.

The TV had filled our lives with noise. In the silence, we could hear our thoughts, our dreams.

Towards the end, I offer more tips on reducing distractions and improving your focus, something I struggle with every day. This post was also picked up by women 2.0.

I like reading stories and learnings of other entrepreneurs for motivation: it makes me feel less alone, it gives me hope that we’ll make it too.

Continue reading Monday Marketing Mash-up: Entrepreneurs’ Stories

New Page Like Sources on Facebook: What Do They Mean?

Facebook has changed the Like Sources in Insights, adding more sources and changing some of the names of existing sources. At first glance, this makes it more confusing, but I think it helps to have more insight into where exactly your likes are coming from.

Facebook like sources line graph

This is how Facebook Insights used to show your Like Sources. If you’ve got the new Insights, you might see something like this.

Continue reading New Page Like Sources on Facebook: What Do They Mean?

Marketing for a Publisher: Interview with Maegan Chadwick-Dobson of Tara Books

Maegan manages marketing and social media at Tara BooksWe haven’t done an interview in a while, and I’m especially pleased with this one because it focuses on an interesting industry: book publishing.

Maegan Chadwick-Dobson manages social media for Tara Books, an independent publisher based in India. Tara Books has an awesome Facebook page with lots of lovely photos of their books, events, and “the Book Building.” The Twitter account shares interesting info as well, and Maegan is behind it all! We asked her about social media, marketing to an international audience, and more.

My questions and comments are in bold.

You share a lot of interesting updates on Facebook. Do you keep a publishing calendar or just decide at the moment what you’re going to post today?

Continue reading Marketing for a Publisher: Interview with Maegan Chadwick-Dobson of Tara Books

Monday Marketing Mash-up: Learning SEO

I recently got a question about how to learn SEO, and thought that is a great topic for a weekly round-up! Here are some of my favorite blogs and resources.

Moz (previously SEOmoz) is where I go to most often when I need an answer. They have great explanatory guides on anything from title tags to canonicalization. Their blog also has in-depth articles on a range of SEO topics, including this recent one on redirects and their effect on your website.

And if you’re new to SEO, their beginners’ guide might be a good place to start.

The KISSmetrics blog is another great source of SEO and analytics advice. The blog posts are usually easy to understand for us non-tech people, and have a lot of advice you can try out. I like this recent post about being penalized by Google, or just go to the SEO category and start reading.

Another old go-to for SEO news and advice is Search Engine Land. To start, check out the links on this page, or go here directly and dive in.

And don’t forget Google Analytics help pages.

Is there any favorite resource you turn to for SEO advice?

To see more of what we read, follow us on Twitter!

Monday Marketing Mash-up: Before You Start Your Business

Are you an aspiring entrepreneur or know someone who is? Read on for what you need to get in order before starting your business!

First, give yourself a reality check. #2 and #8 in that list look most important to me.

Here are some more things you should be careful about.

Next, get to work. I wrote on Women’s Web about 8 things to do before leaving your job to start your business.

Unlike what most people think, you shouldn’t wait to start marketing until you’re ready to launch. In fact, the earlier you start the better. I wrote on YourStory about marketing activities you need to start as soon as you start your business.

What do you wish you’d done earlier?

Using Markitty: Links You Share on Twitter and Facebook

Update: We’ve made some changes to this table. 

I’m really excited about this new table on Markitty. It appears at the bottom of your Today page.

Markitty table: Links You Share on Twitter and Facebook

As the table heading says, these are the links you’ve shared on Facebook and Twitter  this month. We’ve put them all in one table and included the number of posts, impressions, likes, and stories for Facebook, and tweets, retweets, and favorites for Twitter.

Continue reading Using Markitty: Links You Share on Twitter and Facebook

Twitter Mistakes Small Businesses Can’t Afford to Make

Twitter is a tricky medium to get right, and many, many brands make a few simple mistakes.

Not Following Anyone (or Following Too Few People)

Twitter is a social medium. If you’re not following anyone, that tells me you’re not interested in listening, only talking. If you’re a big brand with tens (or hundreds) of thousands of followers, you can get away with this, but small businesses can’t.

Not Tweeting

Listening’s necessary, but why are you on Twitter if you’re not tweeting?

"Official Twitter account" @Philips has no tweets

Continue reading Twitter Mistakes Small Businesses Can’t Afford to Make

Monday Marketing Mash-up: Marketing Tips for the Fourth of July

The Fourth of July is the American Independence Day. If you’re marketing to customers in the U.S., don’t miss this opportunity of doing a special promotion or marketing message. I’ve put together some ideas from other bloggers.

This blog post has a ton of ideas on marketing for the Fourth of July, including special tips for bakeries, consignment stores, cafes, salons, spas and health clubs, tattoo parlors, florists, restaurants, or retail stores of any kind.

And here are some more tips just for restaurants.

This blog post has more ideas: all about offline marketing.

If you’ve noticed, all the posts I’ve linked to are heavy on the offline marketing. What can you do on social media? Watch out: I’ll do a post just about that tomorrow.

Mistakes Are a Marketing Opportunity

Mistakes typosMistakes happen. Someone mixed up a customer order or made up a bill wrong. You send out an email to the wrong list. There’s a bug in the rice. (This happened to me not so long ago.)

No matter how hard you try, how good your employees are, or how rigorous your quality-control process is, some things slip through the crack.

It’s how you manage after the mistakes where your company’s culture and customer support shows. How you handle the customer after she complains, or after you discover the mistake, determines whether you can manage to retain her.

When I got that tiny bug in my rice, the restaurant manager apologized profusely and when I refused another serving of rice, offered another dish as replacement. We were at a lunch buffet, but for the rest of the meal, we got served at the table. It’s been some months, and I still remember the incident, but I have mostly good feelings about that restaurant. In contrast, I’ve had many experiences at other restaurants where the wait staff made a mistake but were quite blasé about it.

So I found this recent email from the CEO of PowToon both amusing and admirable.

Continue reading Mistakes Are a Marketing Opportunity

Is Marketing for B2B Different from B2C?

Not much. Your marketing should be dictated by the preferences of your target customer segment anyway, and there is often less difference between marketing to small businesses and marketing to consumers than there is between marketing to small businesses and marketing to large businesses.

Is marketing less important for B2B?

One presumed difference between B2B and B2C is that B2B is driven more by sales and references, and B2C by advertising and marketing. But that difference is due more to the value of the product and the length of the sales cycle than to any inherent differences in marketing practice. For high-value products (like a large IT consulting contract), you have to hand-hold the customer through the process and (gently) nudging them towards the sale. Because a big amount of revenue hinges on every deal, there is a lot more resources spent on having each deal come through than it would if you were selling a SaaS product or an iPad app (even if they’re also business products).

But the differing value of products matters in B2C as well: if you’re selling apartments, reputation and word-of-mouth are critical: and you’d expect to have to nurture the customer and nudge her towards the sale.

Continue reading Is Marketing for B2B Different from B2C?

Monday Marketing Mash-up: Marketing Tips for Small and Local Businesses

Since last week was Small Business Week in the U.S., we’ve been tweeting about marketing for small businesses all week. Here are a few of the links that are useful all year-round.

On Small Business Trends, 5 reasons why signs work for your small business.

But if you’re thinking you only need signs, think again: Search Engine Journal explains why offline businesses need online marketing.

According to the BIA/Kelsey  report, 97% of consumers use online media before making local purchases.  Google Research  showed that 9 out of 10 internet searches resulted in a follow up action, such as calling or visiting the business. Mobile searches triggered an additional action or conversion 73% of the time; and 28% of mobile searches resulted in a store visit or purchase.

Continue reading Monday Marketing Mash-up: Marketing Tips for Small and Local Businesses

How Small Businesses Are Using Hashtags on Facebook

I’m not sure whether I’m more excited or wary about Facebook hashtags, but I do think it’s a game-changer. I took a look at how small businesses are using hashtags on Facebook, and what we can learn from them.

Don’t: overuse them.

Facebook post with a bunch of similar hashtags: #smallbiz, #smallbusiness, #business

We’ve seen this on Twitter all this while, and now it’s on Facebook: overuse of the hashtag. Don’t use a bunch of synonyms in your hashtags — just use one or two hashtags that might be most relevant.

Continue reading How Small Businesses Are Using Hashtags on Facebook

5 Advantages of Being A Small Business

It’s Small Business Week in the U.S., a good time to write about my pet theory: being small is an advantage. Big businesses have big resources, what do small businesses have?

Small businesses are closer to the customer.

Hummingbird and flower
Small can be both beautiful and effective

If you’re a small-business owner or marketer, you know your best customers by name. You know why they are good customers — which goes beyond being just regular to being easy to work with, or maybe they give you constructive feedback. If you’re a B2B business, you know their business challenges. If you’re a bakery, you know Donna loves cheesecake and is allergic to walnuts.

Why is this an advantage? Because it makes it so much easier to tailor your marketing and sales to them. To tell Donna she might want to try the new mango cheesecake just in and that you’re baking a fresh set of nut-free brownies. Big businesses have to get sophisticated CRM systems to keep track of that stuff…  but small businesses can do it more organically and easily.

Continue reading 5 Advantages of Being A Small Business

Using Markitty: Website Performance Table Compares Monthly Visits, Unique Visits, Page Views, Visit Duration, and Bounce Rate

Your Website Performance table on Markitty is a quick snapshot of your website over the current month and the previous three months. It gives you a quick look at how your website data is trending, answering questions such as:

  • Are visits increasing but unique visitors decreasing? (Do you need to reach out to more new visitors? Are your visitors becoming more loyal?)
  • Are visits decreasing but page views going up? (Are your visitors more engaged with your website?)
  • Is average visit duration increasing over time? (It should!)
  • Is your bounce rate going down?

Markitty's Website Performance table with columns Month, Visits, Unique Visits, Page Views, Visit Duration, Bounce Rate

Continue reading Using Markitty: Website Performance Table Compares Monthly Visits, Unique Visits, Page Views, Visit Duration, and Bounce Rate

Monday Marketing Mash-Up: Social Media News You Should Know

Social media changes: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter
They’re all beginning to look the same

Looks like all social media sites are making tons of changes. Here are some recent changes that affect small businesses.

Facebook has removed a number of features, including sponsored stories — which is great, because we’re all tired of those sponsored “your friend likes this page” updates. But I’m sad that they’re killing questions (though why not call them polls, Facebook)?

Here’s the announcement by Facebook and a nice explanatory post on HubSpot. What does this mean for businesses? Now you can’t waste money promoting what someone did on/to your page or content.

The other big Facebook change is the introduction of hashtags: this could really change the game for Facebook, by making search and discovery much easier. Marketers, start optimizing your Facebook posts!

Twitter’s adding analytics. This is really cool, but no idea when this will be rolled out to all users. For businesses, this is will help to see what tweets are working and whether you’re just wasting your time (even if you’re not using Markitty).

Twitter has started 2-step log-in verification, and so has LinkedIn.

Speaking of LinkedIn, you can now share media files in your updates, so start sharing those photos and presentations. LinkedIn also previously added the ability to add visual content to your profile (or page). 

With these updates and having added the ability to tag people, LinkedIn’s begun to look eerily like Facebook and Google Plus. And Facebook’s trying to be more like Twitter, earlier with timelines and now hashtags. Which begs the question: if they’re all the same, should we bother trying to be present on all of them or just focus on one? Or maybe automated cross-posting is the answer (please, no).

Liked this post? Sign up for more tips in your inbox!

Common Marketing Mistakes (And How to Avoid Them)

I wrote on YourStory about marketing mistakes I find myself making repeatedly and see most often in others as well.

Here are some ways to avoid making such mistakes:

  1. Study the data. Be careful you don’t misinterpret it, but make sure you’re looking at it and can figure out what it means. 
  2. Ask your customers. Make sure you’re talking to them and know what they really think, and not just what you think they think. But of course, they need to be the right customers.
  3. Talk to people who’ll ask you the hard questions: be it a partner, advisor, or a friend.
  4. Don’t lose sight of your vision. Don’t change something just because someone suggested it: see if it fits into your vision of your business.
  5. Measure your productivity. Are you spending time on the right things?
  6. Question yourself constantly. Why are you doing [something]? Are you making the right assumptions? Is there a better way of doing this?

Tell me: what are the mistakes you try hard not to make?

Using Markitty: What Type of Facebook Post Works Best for You?

Update: Facebook Insights also shows you your post types now, but Markitty still gives you more detail.

Photos, videos, links, text, questions… which should you post on Facebook? Research tells you that photos do better on Facebook than other types of posts, but is this true for your page? What post types get you the most impressions, shares, and clicks?

Markitty’s new Average Performance by Post Type table compares all your post types this month so you can see what’s worked best for you. (Don’t forget to click on Previous Month to see what happened then.)

Average Performance by Post Type table on Markitty
Here’s a screenshot of the table

Only have one or two post types in the table? Try experimenting with a few different post types and see what works for you!

Continue reading Using Markitty: What Type of Facebook Post Works Best for You?

Monday Marketing Mash-up: All You Need to Know for Business Blogging

I recently realized I’ve written a lot about blogging. Here are a few of my posts that might be useful to readers of this blog.

Why You Should Blog

This post compares blogging to other social media channels and tells you whether it’s right for you. Here’s what I think is most important:

Blog posts last better than most other social media posts: your older posts will continue to get you visits long after your tweets and Facebook posts have faded into oblivion.

Starting Your Blog

If you’re just starting out, this post explains six tips that I’ve found useful, including being regular and frequent, using relevant keywords, and improving usability on your blog.

Finding Blog Topics

Continue reading Monday Marketing Mash-up: All You Need to Know for Business Blogging