Category Archives: Facebook

Facebook Earnings Increase

Facebook has had a major increase with many people using this website, but it still has to grow in both numbers of users and revenue. The major reason Facebook has seen a decrease is from people accessing Facebook on a mobile device, rather than using it on a desktop computer.

Facebook recently released their second quarter earnings for the year and the findings reveal that the number of active mobile users have increased by 51% over the last year to 819 million monthly users. Ever since Facebook updated its strategy in mobile advertising, there have been more that 1 million active advertisers, many of them including local businesses. This creates a great opportunity for not only these companies but a little bit of hope for our economy.

As for advertising, the numbers shot through the roof with an astounding $1.8 billion in revenue, which is a 61% increase from last year.  Almost half of the money that was earned from advertising, which was $1.6 billion, came from mobile advertising.

According to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, “People on average are spending more time on Facebook than ever before.” The numbers are there to prove it, showing that users spent over 20 billion minutes on Facebook during the month of June.

For more information about Facebook for your business, contact Windy City Strategies.

5 Reasons Your Business Needs A Facebook Account

Social media plays an important role in advertising and marketing today’s businesses, especially when it comes to small companies. With more close to two billion active Facebook accounts, the most of any social media platform, there are several reasons your business needs a Facebook account:

1. Build Relationships with your Customers: Not only do businesses that use Facebook have a good way to connect with their customers, but it is an effective method to spread the most important word-of-mouth referrals. By building these relationships, businesses can personalize their marketing efforts based on their audience, building offers and promotions based on their customers’ demands.

2. Gain Exposure: In addition to building relationships and spreading your name, your business will be generating awareness amongst others, free of charge. With every “like” or “share” of your business’s page or post, the greater your social media exposure will be, ultimately increasing the chance that your page will be seen by hundreds of people.

3. Increase Traffic to your Website: There are a couple of ways you can drive traffic to your business’ Facebook page. One of the most effective ways is when your users utilize FourSquare to “check-in” to your place of business, which lets their Facebook friends know that they are at your business location. Another way is by sharing any of the products or services they may have purchased from your business on their Facebook account.

4. Advertise your Business: Facebook allows you the ability to advertise on their network, allowing you to effectively target your customers. With Facebook’s Custom Audiences service, you can target your customers using email lists or you can use Partner Categories, which targets a specific industry, to better influence your desired audience.

5. Provide High Quality Customer Service: There is nothing more important to a business that input from their customers. By utilizing a Facebook page, your business can reach out to their audience to generate suggestions for future products or services, solicit feedback, or most importantly, show your customers how much you value them, making you stand out form your competition by offering high quality customer service.

Windy City Strategies specializes in customized Internet marketing solutions for businesses big and small. For more information, or to get started on an Internet marketing campaign to boost your business, contact us today.

 

Social Media and Your Small Business

Many small businesses are utilizing social media outlets these days in order to drive their traffic and increase their sales. If you have not yet considered joining the social media world for your marketing needs, you should consider doing so now.

Here are other ways social media can benefit your small business:

Social media allows for a greater business outreach: With social media platforms, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, you are better able to get your business out there to the world, reaching customers near and far, as opposed to just locally.

Social media can help to build your reputation: Not only is social media a good way to manage your online presence, but it is also the perfect opportunity to gain your customers’ trust and loyalty. By giving your business a social media presence, more customers will be inclined to trust your brand, as well as look to you over your competition, especially if they are not as socially present as you are.

Social media can help with customer support: By being available 24/7 with social media outlets, such as Facebook, you can assure your customers that they can reach you when necessary. However, it is critical that you address your customers’ posts and messages as soon as possible in order to maintain your customer service reputation.

Social media can sell your business: Not only can you better advertise your product or services by using social media, but you can also provide opportunities for your customers to purchase your products or services as well. This will provide a much more pleasurable experience for your customers, which will likely keep them coming back.

If you are interested in learning more about what Windy City Strategies can offer your business’s internet marketing strategy, then contact us today.

Using Social Media For Your Business? The Do’s And Dont’s

Social media outlets are a great way to develop a meaningful connection between your business and your customers and a great way to give you a greater online presence. In fact, most people utilize a source of social media to research your company, what you have to offer, as well as other customers’ experiences.

However, not everyone is using social media appropriately and effectively for their business. This is why it is important to understand how to use social media for your business, doing it correctly, and avoiding making potentially detrimental mistakes.

1. What are you representing? Not only is it important to know your brand and what you have to offer, but you need to identity who you are selling your business to, especially when it comes to speaking on any social media platform. Since you are the one who knows your product, production, company or brand best, be sure to represent it appropriately, or you may lose potential business.

2. Who is your target audience? It’s important to know whom you are targeting. What do they do? When do they get online? Any savvy social media expert will be able to figure these things out and understand their goals, which will allow you to see what is working, and what isn’t.

3. Respond efficiently and appropriately. Let’s face it, you will likely be faced with controversy at some point when using social media. However, the way you handle it will be key to the end result. Since you don’t want to find yourself without a sense of what’s coming next, or responding to a controversy in a way that isn’t professional or consistent, it is important that you remain true to your policies and your brand. Good customer service can play a key role in appealing to customers and clients.

4. Make meaningful connections. Avoid treating your audience as a subject, not as an object. Once you do, your work on social media simply becomes a dialogue. Remember to observe the changes in your audience, ensuring you are learning about them by communicating with them on your social media outlets daily, which will make a positive impact on your audience, developing those meaningful relationships.

5. Understand the difference between social media for business vs. for personal use. Simply because you have a personal Facebook page does not meant that you will k now how to use Facebook for your business needs. Social media for businesses are not the same thing as understanding the scope of what Facebook ads and Twitter-promoted posts can do. Because these platforms are refining and changing all the time, it is important that you have an expert on your team that can help you make your campaign effective.

For more information on how we can help market your business online, or for help with your social media marketing campaign, contact Windy City Strategies today.

 

Social Media: How It Can Be Used For Your Business

Promoting your business over social media can be an easy way to help drive traffic to your business. However, choosing the most effective platform that will have the most potential to achieve maximum mileage, can be difficult.

In order to help you make the right choice when it comes to your social media marketing strategy, here are a few helpful ideas on each leading social media network, and how it could be used for your business:

Facebook: Facebook has different advantages over the other social networks. Since almost everybody you know has an active Facebook profile, you can ensure you are being noticed. Facebook allows readers to choose the kind of updates they want and what they want to view most often and share and interact with others, which can drive traffic to your business.

YouTube: With some types of businesses, you may wish to have short and informative videos to engage potential clients, which makes YouTube a very powerful network. Google plus can achieve much stronger content that is effective and compelling.

Pinterest: Pinterest is a place to post images and creativity ideas for a future product, or services. This content sharing platforms allows members to “pin” images and videos to their own board, and is made up of a wide audience, allowing you to open up to the public.

Twitter: Twitter is simply another way to text whomever your audience is. With Twitter, you can post what you are thinking, how you are feeling, or use it as another way to post information about your business. As an added bonus, Facebook users can read what they choose to look at, and respond when they want to.

For help choosing the right social media platform for your business, or wish to get started on an effective Internet marketing campaign, contact Windy City Strategies today.

Social Media Advertising vs. Google AdWords

When it comes to social media advertising vs. Google AdWords, it is often debated on which form of advertising is more effective and more affordable for businesses. In order to help you better understand which type of advertising may be best for you and your business’s needs, here are some of the advantages to both.

Social Media Advertising

Social media advertising has been found to be the most effective form of online paid advertising, and as the popularity of social media advertising has increased, it is pretty apparent that most businesses now allocate a good portion of their marketing budget to implement a social media advertising campaign.

The Advantages of Social Media Advertising:

  • The campaigns are easy to track.
  • The potential for immediate traffic to your site.
  • You have total control over your daily budget.
  • You have an instant return on investment, easily defining your cost per conversion.
  • The ability to target particular demographics, including: towns, regions, ages, interests, income brackets, etc.
  • Easy set up.
  • The ability to reach people early on in the buying process.
  • The ability to use images and videos, capturing the interest of your target market.
  • It is inexpensive to implement.

Google AdWords

Google AdWords has quickly gained momentum in the advertising world, making it fairly competitive. However, AdWords campaigns are not for everyone, so it is best to consult with an AdWords professional, like Windy City Strategies, who can help to determine if it is right for you.

The Advantages of Google AdWords:

  • The use of detailed measuring tools to track the effectiveness of your campaign.
  • The potential for a large audience.
  • Immediate traffic to your site.
  • You have total control over your daily budget and maximum cost per click.
  • You have an instant return on investment, easily being able to define a cost per conversion.
  • The ability to target particular demographics, including: regions, time of day, days of the week, and specific websites.
  • The ability to utilize different advertising options, including Display Network, Search Network, and Remarketing.
  • The ability to target those who already have an interest, converting them into sales.

If you are interested in either a social media advertising or a Google AdWords campaign, contact the professionals at Windy City Strategies.

Choosing the Most Effective Social Media Platform

Promoting your business over social media can greatly benefit your business, especially when it comes to increasing your online presence. However, there are a variety of social media platforms available. Choosing the most effective social media platform can hold the potential to achieve maximum mileage, so it is important to choose wisely.

Facebook

Facebook has different advantages over the other social networks due to its popularity, making it perhaps the most used social media platform. With Facebook, readers can choose the kind of updates they want, what they want to view most often, as well as the ability to share and interact with others. Facebook is also a great way to advertise your brand, special promotions, and provide you with an opportunity to be seen as an expert in your industry.

YouTube

Some businesses will have short and informative videos on YouTube in order to engage potential customers. YouTube is a very powerful network. With YouTube, you can achieve much stronger content that is effective and compelling.

Pinterest

Sometimes images can say more than a words, which allows Pinterest to be a powerful social media platform. From posting images and ideas, to creative ideas for a future product or service, this content sharing platform allows its members to “pin” images and videos to their own board. Pinterest has a wide audience that can open up to the public, making your business, products, and services easier to find and share with others.

Twitter

Twitter is similar to the idea of text messaging others. With Twitter, you can post what your thinking, how you are feeling, or post information about businesses. In addition, Twitter users can choose what they want to look at, and respond if they wish to.

If you need help deciding which social media platform is best for you and your business, contact Windy City Strategies today.

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What Designers Need To Know, Before Moving Forward With Your Site

First tip to designing a website would be to communicate with your designer. We know more about what it is you want before we can start creating the site, but we aren’t mind readers.

  • Color Palette: Many clients seem to like the basic colors of blue, white, or green. Not every business has the luxury of accessing a branding specialist, so that’s why they normally chose those colors. Many new customers could possibly need a logo design, so typically when you create their logo, you can figure out what colors to use of their site.
  • Ideas From Other Websites: Our eyes are trained to see the same design all over the Internet, and when you come across different sites that you like, that’s when you need to write them down. For example. Many websites have a large image towards the top of the site or in the middle. It stretches across the screen so you can see the whole picture. They are also very responsive, clean design, and east to follow. Give your designer at least 5 to 6 different sites that you love, and sites that you don’t like. So they can determine what mockup to design and show you. You can even tell your designer that you liked a previous work from a client they had recently.
  • What’s Your Marketing Goal:  It’s important to know who your targeted audience is going to be. Your content, design, and pages are going to depend on who your audience is going to be. For example, teachers, doctors, photographers, graphic/web designers, or even catering for food. Once you figure out who your audience is, you can start to find out what your wanting in a website. If your business is working with professionals, you can choose a formal tone, and as for retailers can choose an informal design.
  • How People Will Find Your Site: Once your website is complete, your goal is to direct traffic towards your site. Let your designer know if you are want to advance and invest in social media integration. If you do not have traffic coming to your website, something is going wrong, and you don’t want to lose potential customers.

For more information about what designers need to know before designing your site, contact Windy City Web Strategies. They can talk with you more, and figure out what all needs to be done first, before moving forward with the design process.

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SEO Techniques You Should Think About

SEO techniques may sound a little funny for the New Year. But content and search engine optimization is still hand in hand. You wonder what’s the point of high quality writing that will probably just end up on page 25 of Google’s search results, and nobody is going to go that far into those pages. If your material isn’t worth the read, and doesn’t serve that purpose, your page rankings will not do you much good.

Being the online writer, the key to create quality content that people are going to want to read and for search engines to want to index it. If you do this right you are bound to feel successful on the web. Follow these next couple techniques to work into your digital marketing plan.

Using A Calendar — Planning is very important especially when you are the online marketer! This is why you need a content calendar, when creating this it enables you to plan and visualize the writing activity for the year. It will let you be able to plan around important dates, and maintain publishing consistency, which is very important for readers and SEO.

When creating this calendar it also forces you to research topics and your keywords. Since you’re the one writing all your headlines in advance, you have the view on your content, and it’s unlikely you will repeat yourself. If you do this correctly your pages and site will start to attract and retain more visitors then you had before.

Creating Outlines — Creating your detailed outlines for your blogs and articles in advanced it does save you time, effort and enables you to structure your content for better readability. Makes you think about the message that you are trying to convey in your SEO writing, and can help avoid you from fluffing.  Your outline will contain the three elements: a SEO headline that will pack a punch, a hierarchy keyword subheading, and the main message.

Writing To Your Viewers — A lot of business today are still churning out articles for search engines. Yes SEO really does matter, but finding you content and engaging with it are two different things. For example, a prospect runs a search and comes across your page, opens the page up, then reads the first two sentences and scans the rest of the page. SEO doesn’t buy your services, products or ideas the viewers do. If you have highly optimized content that is unpersuasive, incoherent or boring, your SEO writing is going to look like it was written for search bots. You want to write for your prospects, and optimize your content with good keywords when you are done.

Incorporating Keywords — Everyone in the business world should know the value of using keywords. What they don’t know is that how you use them can affect your rankings and user experiences. Looking at it from an SEO perspective, keywords are not as important as they use to be, but relevance, density and prominence do matter. The questions you need to be asking yourself are:

  1. Do you have main keyword(s) in your heading and at least one subheading that are close to the beginning as possible?
  2. Have you been able to maintain a safe keyword density?
  3. Have you incorporated LSI keywords or long tail phrases?

These are important questions to ask, so you can see what you are doing correctly and what you’re missing.

Using Pictures — This wouldn’t be considered a writing technique, but it can bring your SEO writing to life. Using images to complement your text can increase the likelihood that readers will read and engage with your content more. Everyone is naturally drawn to pictures. Picture quality is very important! If you have pour quality images this can potentially turn away readers and potential customers even. Using images can boost your SEO and if you do this correctly you can generate traffic and boost those rankings up.

For more information about SEO techniques contact Windy City Strategies!

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Managing Your Emails Effectively

Email is the number one most used communication tools in business. This allows everyone to connect with one another whenever they want and it gives us the ability to work together as a team on sharing our files or notes. It’s fast and easy to use which is making it very popular.

It’s important to manage your emails properly, or else many people could feel a bit overwhelmed. If your inbox is in a clutter we could possible miss those important emails. Therefore, we need to be organized and keep all unread messages to a minimum. Use these hints on how to manage your emails effectively and it could increase your productivity.

Setting Up A Time To Answer Emails – Setting up a time to answer your emails will make you more productive during the day. Every time you come into work give yourself at least a half hour to read all emails and be able to reply to them. If you keep up with the routine you could do it again for after lunch or in the afternoon. This will help you keep up with the important emails that come your way.

Delete Unwanted Emails – When going through your inbox, go through the unread emails that are from spam or promotional and just delete those. You don’t need to open them, just look at the title of them. You should be able to identify from the subject line if that email does require an action or not. You can even unsubscribe from those emails so you are no longer getting them. Do that on your spare time, in the mean time continue to go through the emails that you don’t really need, to help clear up some space.

Organize Inbox With Folders – When you start getting new projects make a folder for them and label the emails according to specific tasks and deadlines. This will help you keep track of your emails more quickly and effectively. The next step would be prioritizing and sort these emails that are in different folders. You can also set up these emails to directly go to that folder once it arrives. This will help keep your inbox clean and organize.

Sending Fewer Emails – The only way to receive fewer emails is to send fewer emails! You do not need to send the email to everyone who works with you, if you only want to answer from a specific person. If it is necessary you can “CC” the others and don’t need to put their email addresses to the “TO” section.

For more information about how to mange your emails effectively contact Windy City Strategies.