Tag Archives: social-media-marketing

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.

Stay One Step Ahead With These Internet Marketing Tips

The Internet Marketing world can be very competitive. This is why Windy City Strategies wants to help you stay one step ahead of the game with the following helpful tips:

Optimize your content. One of the best ways to draw people to your website, establishing authority, is simply by writing valuable and optimized content. This content typically consists of relevant information to your particular business, providing insight or entertainment to your targeted audience. This will not only allow your company to build a rapport with your clients and potential customers, but develop a loyal following as well.

Implement social media. It has been a common practice for many companies to draw in clientele through social networks like Google+, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. These social media outlets allow businesses to engage with their audience, providing helpful tips, offers, and information.

Be mobile friendly. Smartphones and tablets are everywhere these days, which means it is essential for your business to be optimized, especially when you want your business to rank higher on the search engines. By ensuring your website is designed to display well on mobile devices, you can capture your audience as quickly as possible, driving new business leads and sales.

 

Windy City Strategies is an industry leader in Internet marketing solutions. For more information or a free consultation, contact us today.

LinkedIn Pages For Business

LinkedIn is becoming more and more popular across social networks for a way for business people to connect with one another. Having a business page to highlight your company can increase your brand awareness and sales in different ways direct marketing, pay per click advertising and search engine optimization cannot. Here are a few techniques you should consider and use when it comes to setting up your LinkedIn page or managing it.

  1. Your Summary– Make sure this section of your page is a well written paragraph that explains what your company does and is engaging for a potential client to read. Make sure you are clear about your products/services in this summary.
  2. Branding– Every business page features a heading photo.It is important to make sure this photo represents your business and is a familiar image. Possibly using an image from your website or same cover photo from your social media platforms.
  3. Keywords– LinkedIn pages are great for SEO. Make sure to fill your page with keywords that are important for your business. This will help your page appear higher in an organic search.
  4. Content & Updates– When writing updates and posting articles, you will want to make sure the information you are posting about is relevant and unique to your business. Providing readers and followers with a wide variety of content topics will help people stay engaged with your page.
  5. Responsiveness– It is important to make sure you are interacting with people who are posting on your updates. If your writing great content, people will want to comment & interact with you.

One additional way to build up your LinkedIn page is to share your page with others. You can add the link to your website, in an email signature, having your employees link to your page and asking clients to share your information as well.

For more information about optimizing your LinkedIn page, or other Internet Marketing techniques, contact Windy City Strategies. We look forward to helping your business succeed online.

The Importance Of Content Marketing And SEO

While everyone understands the importance of search engine optimization (SEO), it is often times misunderstood how quality content can help to boost your SEO. And with the constant evolution of SEO, it is even more difficult to understand how to optimize your content in today’s search.

The purpose of SEO has always been to serve users with the highest quality and most relevant content possible. As time has progressed, many sites began flooding the search results pages with low quality, but highly optimized content, which in turn, caused an issue for those of us trying to produce high quality content. In order to fix this issue, Google began implementing the Panda update, in which Google now implements algorithm refinements to surface higher quality content.

Not only is Google taking thing seriously when it comes to content and SEO, but Yahoo and Bing are also following in pursuit, providing more contextually relevant search results. For this reason, it is critical for websites to implement an effective content marketing plan.

Since Google’s Panda updates, it is difficult be ranked on the search engines, but without quality content, it would be impossible, thus increasing the importance of content marketing and SEO. You may now be asking…how can we ensure we are providing quality content and increasing our search engine capability?

A good content marketing plan will include strategies to both help improve your website, as well as promote it. With an SEO package from Windy City Strategies, you will gain relevant traffic to your website by the use of link building, blogging, social media sharing, and the production of more search engine friendly content on your website’s pages.

It is most definitely in your best interest to seek the help from a professional Internet marketing firm when it comes to optimizing your website’s content. Contact Windy City Strategies to see how we can customize a solution that meets your business’s needs.

By Stephanie Brown

Massive mobile Marketing Trends in 2014

Five months into 2014 and so much has changed.  It seems like 2014 has begun a tipping year for brands and agencies to finally seriously start thinking about mobile in their marketing strategy.  It’s a totally new media channel that requires simplification, engagement, and quick response.  Companies like Facebook and Yahoo, once completely thought of as a desktop brands, are now calling themselves and positioning as mobile first brands.

Here are the 4 biggest mobile marketing trends for 2014:

1)      Big Data Grows Up:  I think we’re all a bit sick of the term ‘big data’, but it’s been coined that way for a reason over the past few years.  Mobile opens up a world of data that no other channel can provide, with access to a user’s on-the-go lifestyle, consumption habits, social, transactions and is the fabric to connecting to the world around us – it truly tells marketers who their consumer is.

2)      Mobile Ads stand on its own two legs:  Mobile in general has been the little child of desktop in terms of creativity since its inception.  This heavily started to change and take shape in 2013, with social platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter leading the way.  The data normally speaks for itself, and although standard baby banners show some results – new ad units are trumping the results in terms of quality consumers being acquired or engaging with brands.  The rage is all about native units in 2014, which allows brands to simply embed their message into a publisher’s site / app and match the look and feel of the publisher, without being intrusive.

3)      Value of Sponsorships:  Some of the smartest brands out there are going beyond just the simple idea of running banner ads and looking at sponsoring apps with large reach / frequency (don’t hear that enough in mobile, eh?).  A perfect example of this is taking over and immersing your brand in a sports app.  Just think about the amount of time this demographic opens the app just in one day.  They’re opening the app because they literally see it as a piece of their life, and by placing your brand messaging in a non-intrusive way – you are now forming a new rich connection that is much more valuable than a standard desktop sponsorship.  This is due to the intimacy and brand affiliation with the apps you’re sponsoring.

4)      Quality over Quantity:  With over 1 million apps in the iOS App Store and in Google play, the shift from pure number of downloads to quality is changing every day.  On iOS, the number of downloads directly effects your ranking.  With the number of apps rapidly increasing, the costs to get to a specific rank is beginning to not benefit advertisers like it did in the past. In 2014, the shift to driving quality engaged users, and maintaining them will continue to grow.  Brands should stop looking at a simple ‘cost per install’ or ‘cost per download’ and go beyond to measure in-app events from user registrations, purchases, social sharing and more.  As mentioned above, with a trend towards mobile and social increasing, so should your strategy on how to achieve that.

2014 is an exciting year for the mobile landscape.  Things are really starting to take shape for both marketers to continue to increase the ROI in mobile, and for consumers to finally get the experiences they’ve been asking for.  If you’re not getting this education / testing from your agencies or partners, it’s time to make sure you get ahead of the curve before it’s too late.  Finally, trust Windy City Strategies to put you ahead in the game.