» Social Media IS Old Fashioned Public Relations

Social Media IS Old Fashioned Public Relations

October 17, 2012 | Posted in Customer Relations, Measuring Results | By

Social Media IS Old Fashioned Public Relations

A lot of people who use Social Media platforms to market their businesses think of it strictly in terms of sales and marketing; I beg to differ.  I think that Social Media usefulness has morphed in many ways to a typical Public Relations concept.

Wikipedia defines Public Relations thusly:

public relations plural of pub·lic re·la·tions (Noun)

Noun:
  1. The professional maintenance of a favorable public image by an organization or a famous person.
  2. The state of the relationship between the public and a company or other organization or a famous person.

That said, does Social Media, in particular Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc as used for business or non-profit marketing fit that definition?  We think so.  We at Commonwealth Creative Marketing have been utilizing a public relations component in our SEO campaigns for clients for quite some time in the form of reviews as well as social media, and we tend to market social media outsourcing as PR, not as marketing.  Public Relations are supposed to build your positive reputation in the public sphere, build top-of-mind consciousness, and help you retain the customers you already have.  Social Media does all of that very well, through engagement and online conversation, as well as the inevitable sharing that occurs with engaging content.

When you have data that can be fuzzy, that is not Internet marketing, per se; Most marketing avenues have tracking mechanisms in place.  Even billboards have a count of how many cars drive by on any given day!  But it is almost impossible to track whether someone saw your Facebook posting 17 times in their newsfeed, then heard a good word of mouth from a friend, then checked out your website, before they finally called and then purchased.  If you have social media well integrated with your other marketing components, however, you can demonstrate at least some benefit through engagement and feedback, even if you don’t have a hard number of conversions.

So consider taking a PR look at your marketing campaigns, and also consider how social media can best serve you as a public relations piece.

 

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A Field of Dreams? Not Really…

September 18, 2012 | Posted in Local Marketing, Measuring Results, Website Design | By

A Field of Dreams? Not Really…

A question I hear a lot is “How come if my site is so good my traffic is declining?”  Or, “why am I getting so few hits on my site, it’s only 6 months old?”

What I keep hearing myself say in response is “the Field of Dreams approach to websites no longer works.  You can build it; it does not mean they will come.”  

I use the Field of Dreams analogy because for a long time I think that is largely what worked, at least for many sites.  Not that SEO did not exist or that quality design and solid keywords did not matter, but 10 years ago, or even 5 years ago, the Internet was not so FULL.  According to DOMO, there are 571 new websites created every minute of every day, and there are over 2 million searches initiated on Google in that same minute.  So yeah, the space is crowded and busy.

Given those types of numbers there are a few things for every business owner of every site to consider, especially my clientele, locally owned small businesses:

1. Search Engine Optimization is no longer a luxury item, it is a must.  You need to have ongoing SEO practices engaged to stay relevant and competitive.  That means actually using analytics to track what is bringing people to your site, what is keeping them on your site, and having specific conversion goals.

2. Content is still king: adding relevant content through blogs, photos, products, comments, etc., must happen on a regular basis.  A static website is a lower ranked website.

3. Social Media is becoming more important when it comes to branding and public relations.  Using platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Tumblr, Youtube, etc can help you grow your online footprint and provide links back to your site, which is always the goal.  I am leery of saying it can be a lead generator, although it can and has been for me personally.  But that took months of organic cultivation and a focus on engagement and a willingness to put in the time with no discernible immediate result.

So small business website design not only has to incorporate quality design from the cosmetic and sales and organic perspective, but needs to be adopted with the knowledge that if you build it, you better incorporate SEO and other forms of marketing into your plan if you want the people to come.  It is no longer enough to just be there.

See you on the web!

~Kim

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Sum-sum-summertime…

June 20, 2012 | Posted in Marketing Plans, Measuring Results | By

Sum-sum-summertime…

How does summer treat your business?

I am told by many of our clients that they track several changes to their receivables, contracts, etc. during the summer months.  That is not unexpected.  A HVAC client has had a really rough winter with it being so mild, so he is delighted with the idea of a hot sticky summer and lots of AC calls, repairs, and installations…not to mention the generators that sell like hotcakes during hurricane season.  small business marketing, seasonal marketing

Realtors, for whom we handle many sites, also tend to see a sharp spike in business during the summer month, for obvious reasons.   And since we live in a tourist town, the local restaurants also usually see increased business as well.

But what if your business does not have a natural uptick in the summertime?  How should you be using your most precious resources, your time and money?

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