Monday Marketing Mash-up: Improve Your “About Us” Page

How many views does your About Us page get?

For us, it’s in the top ten, if you include blog pages. If you don’t, it’s consistently in the top two, with the home page. That’s a pretty important page. And most businesses spend a lot of time and effort getting the home page right and don’t bother to optimize the About Us page.

When was the last time you updated your About Us page?

I rewrote our About Us page last week, to make it more user-centric and less self-indulgent. What we had earlier told our story: who the team is, how we built Markitty. But why should you care about that?

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Facebook Finally Explains Why All Your Fans Don’t See All Your Posts

Facebook has been recently making efforts to serve its business users, by dramatically improving Page Insights and adding other new features. Now it has started a Facebook for Business site with more resources for page owners and advertisers.

From the announcement:

Whether you’re just getting started or looking to amplify existing efforts, Facebook for Business can help you understand your options and choose the appropriate strategies. In the Getting Started section, you’ll find tips for meeting specific business goals, like increasing online sales or launching a new product. The Solutions section organizes our advertising tools and strategies by both product and industry.

This seems to be more geared towards advertisers rather than people looking for organic growth, but if you are spending on advertising, the extra resources to help you make more effective use of your money don’t hurt!

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Monday Marketing Mash-up: Facebook Changes You Should Know About

Photo comments, embedded posts, more text in your page’s cover photo… there’s so much you can do with the recent changes Facebook made.

Use photo comments to increase fans’ engagement with your page and to crowdsource contentFacebook introduced photo comments: Ask your fans to submit pictures!

Facebook introduced photo comments, first for people and now for pages. You can now add a photo to your comment just like you can add one to your status. This is a great opportunity for businesses: you can ask your fans to submit photos through Facebook comments! For example, you can ask them to submit pictures of them of using your products or eating at your restaurant, and say you’ll use the best photo as your cover for a week.

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Facebook Insights: What’s Great and What’s Still Missing?

Facebook recently overhauled its Page Insights: i.e., the stats page owners get for their page. Let’s take a look at what’s great and what’s not.

Tour of Facebook's new Insights for pages

Facebook’s clearly made an effort to cater to its business users (or page owners) with the new Insights. Instead of being the difficult-to-understand, difficult-to-navigate mess the old Insights was, the new Insights (and the nice tour of it) talk directly to the user and actually offer insights. 

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Five Ways to Find Relevant People to Follow on Twitter

A common question business-owners who use Twitter ask us is, “How do I find relevant people to follow?”

In my last post, I talked about who you should follow on Twitter: now let’s look at how to find these people.

1. Twitter Advanced Search

A useful but rarely used feature of Twitter is Advanced Search.

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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.

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Five Kinds of People You Should Follow on Twitter

Twitter is a tricky medium for small businesses. You will find a lot of people saying it’s a waste of time and enough people who swear by its benefits. You need to build your following, but when you start out you have to focus on following the right people.

Here is a quick guide on what kinds of people you should follow.

1. Customers – existing customers or people in your target customer group

You should follow your customers to see what they are talking about — what they are interested in, what products/service they like and what they are complaining about. Also this is a good way of letting them know that you are on Twitter. If they are interested in what you offer, they might even follow you back.

But don’t start selling to them on Twitter, not yet. Listen, engage and offer help but don’t be pushy.

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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.

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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?

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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!

5 Lessons for Social Media Marketing from Cricket (Yes, the Sport)

I was really excited to find a blog dedicated to social media and sports analogies. I have always been a cricket fan and even though I don’t watch all the games now, I still follow the updates.

This was originally published on that blog and if you are a sports fan you’ll find a lot of other interesting posts there.

I came across this blog a few weeks back and loved the idea of relating social media with sports. I don’t know how many of you follow or understand cricket but Brian agreed to publish this and I am hoping you will share your feedback in the comments. Even if you don’t like what I have here, do say ‘hi’ if you love Cricket or would like to learn more of it.

Comparing social media to a five-day long game of cricket seems a bit odd but that’s what I am going to do. There are so many similarities between the two that I had to limit myself to writing only from a batsman’s perspective. So here we go.

Social media is like test cricket
Originally uploaded to Flicker by fiverlocker

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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