Since you're here, it's pretty obvious that you know about the power and potential of Google Hangouts. And it's also a pretty good guess that you're here seeking help with Google Hangouts. So don't feel bad! Despite what your internal dialogue may be saying, it's not you! You're not stupid, and you're not alone.
Google Hangouts are incredibly valuable, powerful things. The technology is amazing. But like much of the whole Google+ suite of products, it's interface and instruction set seems to have been specifically tasked to the proverbial room full of monkeys (possibly not even trained). Continue reading Google Hangouts Help – FREE eBook – Bad Ass Hangouts
Last year I did a Facebook case study (actually, a mini-case study) which I forgot to post here. It shows the incredible efficacy of real estate lead generation on Facebook (or really, in any niche) – if you know what you're doing, of course. As shown here, we were able to create very strong response in a very short period of time, for next to nothing in cost.
NOTE: similar results on Google Adwords would have probably cost five times as much – if not ten. And since Adwords is nothing like Facebook ads running on Facebook, there is nothing like the long term or residual effect you get on the world's biggest social networking platform. If and until Google more effectively ties it's ad platform into Google+ – and Google+ starts to rival Facebook (it's not even a close second right now) – it will have nothing like the effect of Facebook ads.
The stats are in, people, and if you still need convincing that Facebook should be a key piece of your small business marketing strategy – if not, in fact, the key piece – then the following infographic should make it all crystal clear.
Here are the key points (as shown), with commentary.
• People aged 35 years and above now represent over 30% of the Facebook crowd.
The “kids” are leaving Facebook for Instagram, Path, Pocket and Pinterest, but that's more than OK, since it's the 30-somethings that have the serious intent and money to spend.
Many small business owners have mistaken ideas about social media marketing. Some believe it is “only for the big boys.” Others think “it is a waste of time for small businesses.” A few even believe both. But nothing could be further from the truth.
See what I mean – and what you need to know – in our fast, FREE, “no pitch” Social Media Marketing Webinar. All you're going to be hit with is great, eye-opening info. Period.
Not only is social media and social media marketing important to any and all businesses that are serious about their marketing, it is increasingly becoming a critical factor and focus of any small business marketing strategy. Social media marketing justifies it's own existence by having a far better ROI than traditional media. But it does so much more for a business than just improving the bottom line – as if that wasn't enough in and of itself!
Social media marketing improves everything you're doing to promote your business online – and off! Sure, it creates buzz and virility, building your brand and making customers into evangelists. If all it did was that, it would probably be enough. But social media also amplifies and enhances SEO and “standard” web marketing. Social signals tell Google and the other search engines and directories that your site and/or content is valuable and useful.
You've probably heard the expression “the sum is greater than the whole of the parts.” It means all the pieces, when brought together, create a dynamic synergy that is greater than anything those pieces could do alone, even if running in tandem but independently of each other. Social media and social media marketing – done the right way – is the juice that creates that incredible synergy.
In our free webinar, we show you why you cannot afford to ignore social media or dabble at it. In some ways, social media marketing is now more important that your website – and that's assuming you're not one of the 50%+ of small business owners/managers that are still lacking even one of those!
Here are some social media marketing factoids you should know that will be touched on in the webinar:
2/3 of online adults use social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn regularly (Pew).
Facebook now has over 1 billion members and over 500 million active users.
93% of customers expect companies to have a social presence (Cone).
61% of small businesses active in social media found that social media marketing brought them new business and repeat customers (Network Solutions).
There are many more startling and I would hope motivating facts and figures to be found in the webinar, and here on this site, all presented without pitch or hype. It's pure, valuable information. What you do with it is up to you.
At imaWebGenius, we know that Social Media Marketing is no longer kid's play – not that it ever was. The new reality and simple facts of life are that if you want to be achieve a maximum level of success online – or even a moderate one – you simply must do it, and do it right.
Note: if you are already doing some things online (with your site, social, or both) and want to get an objective assessment of how well your efforts are faring in the eyes of Google, then I suggest you check out the infographics and information in our Small Business Marketing – Did You Know? series.
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY OF PART 2: In the first part of this series, the dilemma facing the most small business owners – in relation to their web marketing – was made clear. Some continue to make use of traditional media – at least to some degree – while others rely on world of mouth and having a business in the right location. But in the age of the internet, social media and mobile marketing, this is no longer sufficient for those that wish to be prominent in their local marketplace, or which wish to grow consistently and rapidly. Effective small business marketing techniques have changed dramatically in recent years. Unfortunately, the environment grows only more complicated and confusing with every passing day – yet harried business owners and entrepreneurs have less time and attention for keeping up, much less “doing their marketing.” This is a terrible Catch-22 for most businesses… but not the only one.
Today, it’s all about the web. Tomorrow (and I don’t mean a distant tomorrow, either) it’s about mobile. Let’s deal with “today’s” Catch-22, before dealing with tomorrow’s.
Ever since the rise of the internet, the ground has been shifting beneath the feet of the vast majority of small business owners, and most are only vaguely aware of it – despite the accompanying upheavals! Case in point: according to research, about 50% of small businesses don’t have a website at all, or have one which is out of date, busted or hasn’t been touched in years.
In the year 2013!
Do you find this shocking? You should. And it's a shame. Because the web can be a small business' best friend. And it's a cheap date, too! So if it's your business (and website) that fall into the above category, then I humbly submit that you need to make some changes – right quick!
Small businesses need to appear on page one of Google (which still gets 70%+ of all search traffic) for the keywords people are searching for. This is done through a combination of great onsite content and proper offsite promotion and linking. Proper SEO (search engine optimization), in other words. If Google Places/Maps are present in the search results (which is not always the case), businesses need to be showing up there, too.
Why? Most web surfers never go past page one, and about 70% of the clicks go to the top three listings. If the Google Places/Google Maps boxes are present, many consumers never look beyond them – which is exactly what Google intends. That's great for you, of course, if you're “on the map” – and not so great if you're not!
NOTE: The Small Business Marketing Infographic Series posted on this site has three free tests you can take to evaluate your web presence and assess just how well your online marketing is doing. Or not, as the case may be. We recommend you check it out!
Whereas the Yellow Pages can print as many pages as is needed for a section, there are only a very limited number of slots on page one of any particular category. The good news is that in many markets, page one is wide open and ripe for the taking. The bad news is that this will not obtain forever, and permanent victory will most likely go to those who “seize the high ground” now.
Wait a while, and it will be really, really hard to break into page one. Wait long enough, and it will be nigh-on to impossible!
So even as small business owners struggle to adapt to the critical need for a strong basic web presence in order to “rank” on page one – using their site, Google Places/Maps, various listing directories, articles/blog posts and videos and SEO (search engine optimization) – it’s not nearly enough anymore, either.
Email remains one of the most effective and powerful means of reaching prospects and customers. There are so many ways to monetize email lists, it's actually astonishing. Serious internet marketers have been doing this for years. But most small businesses do not collect email addresses from site visitors or customers or build a list at all. This represents not only lost traffic, potential and revenue, but a missed opportunity for long-term relationship building as well.
The advent of social media – Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, YouTube, LinkedIn, Google Plus One, etc. – has entirely changed the small business marketing game. Again. It’s no longer sufficient to have just a website and call it a day (not that it really ever was). Google is now looking at social activity (“social proof” in the trade) as a prime indicator of the value of your site and other web properties.