Social Media

When I work with clients who are relatively unfamiliar with how businesses can use social media to expand their reach, one of the most common reasons they give to avoid using social media for their business is that they’re worried about how to respond if somebody were to post something negative about their business online on Facebook or Twitter, etc.

From time to time I use social media to get a quick connection to customer service. I’ve heard that airlines will provide much faster help if you complain on Twitter than if you call them on the phone. I once had both soles to hiking boots detach from the body of the shoe while hiking. Booth boots on the same hike! The glue decided to give up the ghost on the same day like clockwork. A comment on the manufacturer’s Facebook page resulted in a quick name and phone number to call. The company ultimately sent me a replacement pair of boots even though they were out of warrantee. I noticed that shortly after I contacted them, they removed the post that contained the customer service person’s name and number. Apparently, it was just up there for me, although others could nab if while it was up.

This simple infographic, below, shares five composite types of folks who complain on social media and tells how to respond gracefully. (Infographic via http://www.pardot.com/infographic/deal-social-media-complainers-infographic/)

  1. The Meek Customer
  2. The Aggressive Customer
  3. The High-Roller Customer
  4. The Opportunist Customer
  5. The Chronic Complainer Customer

Take a look and learn more. The bottom line is be responsive, genuine, thoughtful, respectful, and customer-service oriented.
How to Deal With Social Media Complainers [INFOGRAPHIC] - An Infographic from Pardot

Embedded from Pardot

 

 

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6 Ways to Make your Next Website the Best Ever!

  • Register now: online, or by phone at 831-420-5270, or in person at City of Santa Cruz Parks & Rec, 323 Church St., Santa Cruz, CA 95060.
  • Description: Planning a new website? Learn some basics before you spend money on a web developer, or before you do it yourself. We’ll start with an overview of 3 concepts: usability, design, content. Then we’ll discuss 6 essential web pages. We’ll also explore 6 questions to ask yourself that will help inform your design, brand, voice, content, and more. Finally, we’ll review a comprehensive checklist to prepare for your online presence. There will be plenty of time for Q&A. Instructor Sara Isenberg is a web consultant & project manager who helps clients plan & manage web, social media, and email marketing projects. 

 

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Looking for a free 1-hour video webinar on social media? Here’s a good one from SBA (U.S. Small Business Association). This video webinar is targeted to the small business owner who doesn’t know much about social media. [For more information and context, see below the video box.]

The U.S. Small Business Administration and the W20 Group, an entrepreneurial ecosystem of digital communications companies, is launching a five-topic social media webinar series to help small businesses leverage and grow their businesses using social media tools such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, blogs and mobile marketing.

From a 4/18/13 Press Release:

Social media is playing a growing and vital role in the success of small businesses growing and creating jobs.  It provides the opportunity to build deeper relationships with customers, to increases sales and to reach new markets in a cost-efficient manner. The webinars will help small businesses to develop a comprehensive social media plan that is engaging, effective and that has maximum return on investment.

The first social media webinar for small businesses, Introduction to Social Media: Helping You Get Started, will be held on April 24, 2013, at 10:00 a.m. PST.  To register for the webinar, visit: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6526746452209580800.   The webinar will highlight topics such as:

•           What social media is and isn’t;

•           Why it’s important to get involved;

•           Demographics on who is using social media;

•           Best practices; and

•           Ways to get started.

Topics for future webinars in the social media webinar series include: Blogging 101, Creating Content for Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, Identifying and Connecting with your Influencers and Getting Started with Mobile and Location-based Marketing.

 

 

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Click to enlarge.

One of my coolest new discoveries recently is this infographic to the right about Web Equity — Owning Your Digital Presence, courtesy of Mike Blumenthal. (Click on image to enlarge, click again to enlarge more.)

In one infographic, you can see an overview of many basics that contribute to your strong online marketing and search engine optimization (SEO).

From the author, Mike Blumenthal:

The many elements of an online presence can build on each and can work together for a business. The process is best done in an environment with more control ratherthan less. Because of the changing nature of the Internet, a SMBs marketing investment should always reinforce and strengthen the elements over which they have the most ownership.

I look forward to sharing and discussing this with clients when we meet to discuss their web presence, local search, and SEO.

View original infographic here.

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Today I had a very satisfying initial strategy meeting with a new client. After we met, I realized that the meeting typified what I love to do best: Helping a business client review their online stuff, and discuss plans, best practices, and strategies to improve it.

What’s online stuff, and what does that mean, anyway? In this case, it means we reviewed what this business does and don’t have online and I gave my brain dump — including some essential client education about what makes a good website, the value of social media and blogging, etc. — on possible next steps to improve their:

  • Business website design and content
  • Facebook Page (they have one but don’t use it, it’s just a one page poster with no interaction)
  • Blog (alas, they don’t have one)
  • SEO onsite and offsite (weak, nobody paid much attention to it after the original web developer took a stab at it)
  • Newletter, maybe (they allow visitors to join their email list but aren’t sure where all those email addresses go)
  • Video

In this case, the client has a relatively successful business that hasn’t been dependent on their website, however they’re sitting on a goldmine of potential that hasn’t been — for lack of a better word — exploited.

What I saw:

  • The website is pleasant, but dull with dated content, and not at all dynamic or interactive. The images (design, graphics, non-text content) don’t tell me in my 3-5 seconds first impression what they sell. I have to read the words.
  • There are no Calls to Action to invite me to do what they want me to do (look at their products).
  • The SEO  — page titles, descriptions, text content — must have been created by somebody who did not have an understanding of SEO. The client hasn’t reviewed this since the website was created a few years ago.
  • Their wholesale business is amazingly active, fortunately, based on long term clients that pre-date the website.
  • They don’t really get much traffic or expect much business from the website, and that’s what they’re getting.
  • They have a GREAT right-livelihood history, and so many fascinating stories to tell  — great web content, blog content, Facebook content — that would be vert relevant and interesting to their customers, their brand, and beyond. However they simply never took the time to create a brand strategy, plan a social media strategy, or look at the big picture of how the web fits in with their business.

It’s possible this client now feels overwhelmed with so much to learn and to do. Here’s what I think: So much potential! I can’t wait to meet with them again.

 

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Get Inbound Links to Your Website

by Sara Isenberg on August 24, 2012

in Facebook, SEO, Social Media, Twitter

[First I want to give credit where credit is due. The information in this post comes from Kirsti Scott's blog post called "Make sure your website is found easily." This is not the first time I've found valuable information in the Scott Design blog. I'm sure it's not the last. Thanks, Kirsti!]

One of the things that adds to your website’s SEO juice is inbound links, that is, links to your website. How do you get them? Well, you can hope that folks love your content and link to it (as I’ve linked to Kirsti’s). However, you can also take a bit more control of the situation and go sign yourself up in directories and social network sites and make sure to link back to your website. Be sure to use the same business name, address format, and phone number. For local search, it’s better to use a street address than a P.O. Box.

Following is a list of some of the most-used search engines, Internet directories, review sites, and social networks to check out.

Once you’ve signed up at all the sites, find out how complete your listings are by checking your business on GetListed.org, which was launched in early 2009 as a free resource for small business owners listing their businesses at multiple sites online.

 

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I have a friend who has added me to her personal email list on which she promotes the activities of her worthy local nonprofit organization. Mind you, she isn’t a volunteer, she is the executive director. The frequency of her email hasn’t been burdensome, however if I didn’t know her, I would take steps to remove myself from her list. (I’m already on a number of professional and personal lists, already receive too much email each day, bla bla bla.)

Unfortunately, my friend is not following the guidelines of the CAN-SPAM Act, so I can’t opt out without writing to her and asking directly, which feels a bit uncomfortable because I do appreciate the social and professional relationship I have with her. Another option would be to mark her email as junk/spam so that my email client does the filtering, but then I would miss the occasional non-nonprofit social conversation. That is what I do when I receive unsolicited email (spam) from strangers.

Today I reviewed the CAN-SPAM act of 2003. The law was instituted to cut down on unwanted and misleading email, however my main interest today was to learn how this law applies to NONPROFIT organizations.

According to this CAN-SPAM Act Rules for Nonprofits article by Joanne Fritz:

“Most of the rules that apply to commercial emails apply as well to nonprofits, especially if your organization sells merchandise or delivers commercial offers from corporate sponsors to your donors or members. Even if you do not fall into that category, CAN-SPAM rules comprise best practices for email for any organization.”

The important point for nonprofits is that the CAN-SPAM Act provides a guideline for email best practices, even if the nonprofit doesn’t legally fall into the CAN-SPAM requirement.

To be clear, here is what a nonprofit should do:

  • Provide a clear and conspicuous notice of the opportunity to opt-out. The notice must be in every email message and must be provided to all individuals receiving the message whether or not they have opted-in to receive commercial email offers.
  • Provide a functioning opt-out in every email message, such as a return email address or other Internet-based function. Do not send subsequent offers more than 10 business days after a recipient has requested to not receive further emails. If the recipient has opted-out, the sender may not rent, exchange or otherwise transfer or release the email address of the recipient.
  • Provide a valid physical postal address of the sender.
  • If there is a commercial advertisement in your email, you must be clear that the email is an advertisement to individuals who have not opted-in to receive commercial email messages. If you have an in-house list, or rent a list of individuals who have opted-in to receive commercial email offers, you are exempt from the use of words such as “advertisement” or “solicitation” to label the message.
  • If there is a commercial advertisement in your email, and if you are sending an offer to individuals who have not opted-in to receive commercial email offers, you must make it clear that the message is a promotion, advertisement, or offer. Use phrases such as “you might be especially interested in this offer” in the body copy of the email.
  • Provide a “from” line that accurately and clearly indicates the sender. Doing so provides reassurance to supporters and donors that the email is from a trusted organization.
  • Use a subject line that is not misleading as to what is contained in the email.

For the full article containing this helpful summary of recommendations for email best practices for nonprofit organizations, see: http://nonprofit.about.com/od/onlinefundraising/a/canspamrules.htm.

Sara Isenberg
Sara Isenberg Web Consulting & Project Management
http://saraisenberg.com

 

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Are you a book author? I’ve worked with a variety of book authors over the years. Fortunately they know how to write. However, they’re not always familiar with the ways that social media and blogging can help them promote their book.

Here are some informative links that have been sitting in my inbox with resources specifically for book authors.

  • 101 Ways to Blog as a Book Author:  Not sure what to blog about? This article is contains a list of ideas to get you started. Not just for book authors, by the way.
  • From Blogging Authors: Here are some suggestions on how to quickly evaluate and improve your book author website.

Additional resources added 12/9/13:

 

 

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Web & Social Media Consultants, Sara Isenberg & Karen Kefauver, team up to teach “ABC’s of Integrating Social Media with your Website

Many small businesses are harnessing the power of social networks like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or blogging to promote their businesses. These social networks can help drive current and new customers to websites – but only if the social networks and the website are properly integrated. Learn how to do this in a class with two Santa Cruz consultants and social media experts.

Sara Isenberg and Karen Kefauver will provide the tools to help connect business’ websites – where core products and services are explained – with social media networks through a discussion of best practices and concrete tips as well as time for questions and answers.

Sara Isenberg (http://saraisenberg.com) is a web consultant and project manager who helps clients plan and manage web, social media, and email marketing projects. Karen Kefauver (http://karenkefauver.com) is a journalist and social media pro. For more information: http://saraisenberg.com/classes/

 

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The Winter-Spring City of Santa Cruz Parks & Recreation catalog arrived today! Get ready to start 2012 with information and inspiration about Marketing, Website planning, and Social Media. In January and February 2012 I’m teaching (and co-teaching) three classes with two of my favorite collaborators, Kathryn Gorges and Karen Kefauver.

If you receive the paper catalog, our classes are listed on page 34. You can also view our classes online here. All will be held at NextSpace, 101 Cooper Street, downtown Santa Cruz.

Online registration opens on Tuesday, January 3 at 8am. Here are the steps to find our classes online (or register by calling the Parks & Rec office at 831-420-5270 Monday-Thursday).

>> Click on the right side blue box “Register NOW with instaReg”
>> Click on “Register for Programs”
>> Click on the left side “Special Interest”
>> Click on “Show Courses” under each of the following class titles:

  • ABC’s of Your Marketing Makeover, Tuesday, January 31, 6:30-9:30pm, $79.
  • ABC’s of Planning Your New or Revamped Website, Tuesday, February 7, 6:30-9:30 pm, $79.
  • ABC’s of Integrating Social Media with your Website, Tuesday, February 21, 6:30-9:30 pm, $79.

Read the class descriptions here. If you have any questions, contact me here.

 

Website: http://saraisenberg.com
Blog: http://saraisenberg.com/blog
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/SaraIsenbergConsulting <= Visit & click “LIKE”
LinkedIn: http://linkedin.com/in/saraisenberg
Twitter: @saraisenberg
About.me: http://about.me/saraisenberg

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