Tag Archives: online marketing

Are You a Good Social Listener?

Most of you understand the importance of marketing your business on social media sites, but have you stopped to consider if you’re a good social listener?  Are you watching what people say on your Facebook page? Do you ever read conversations on other Facebook pages … specifically the pages of businesses in your industry? Have you ever taken time to conduct a Twitter search on a topic relevant to your business? Do you ever look to see what topics are trending on Google+ and other social sites? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then you’re on your way to becoming a good social listener.

You might think it’s more important to market your business than to listen to social conversations, so let me give you a couple examples how social listening can benefit you.

Solis Quote

Awhile ago I was curious how many people were talking about rainwater harvesting on Twitter. Specifically, I wanted to learn if rain barrels were a relevant and trending topic in regards to water conservation. In Twitter’s search box I typed the words “rain barrel” and found quite a few individuals were talking about it. One particular person stood out from the crowd … an editor for Hort magazine tweeted a request for a rain barrel product to include in the magazine. I immediately emailed a couple photos and a product description of Aquascape’s RainXchange® rain barrel to the editor and she included it in their publication.

Another example of effective social listening pertains to Hometalk, the up-and-coming home-related site for contractors and the DIY crowd. I looked through the site and then hopped over to their Facebook page. That’s where I noticed a pond photo they had shared was getting a lot of positive feedback. The photo was from a project that a homeowner posted on their website and people were lovin’ it … giving it a lot of Likes and Comments on Facebook. I also noticed that the pond was a preformed pond with plastic waterfalls. Not very natural looking. I realized that if people loved that water feature, they would love Aquascape’s water features even more (not meaning to be egotistical, but Aquascape does pride itself on creating very natural-looking water features).

After listening to all the conversation surrounding that preformed pond, I posted several pond photos on Hometalk’s site and was rewarded with immense social activity. Hometalk shared several of our pond photos on their Facebook page, which greatly increased our exposure on both Facebook and Hometalk. I’m happy to say that our website received more referrals from Hometalk than it did from either Twitter or Facebook for the next 2 months! I’m confident this trend will continue.

Social listening is critical to your success on social sites. You don’t want to be viewed as merely a broadcaster. Listen to what your customers are saying and answer their questions. Also take note of what potential customers are saying on other sites and then optimize your presence on those sites to gain additional exposure. You’ll find it’s time well spent!

How to Email Photos and Status Updates to your Facebook Page

Busy work days can make it challenging to check into Facebook and post a photo or status update. You know it’s important to be active on Facebook, but how do you find the time to participate … especially if most of your work is done outside of an office setting?

Facebook provides an email tool to make it easy to create status updates and upload photos to your page using a mobile device. Here’s how to get your unique email address for sending photos and status updates to your page:

  1. Log onto your business page on Facebook. From the Admin Panel’s “Edit Page” menu options, choose “Manage Permissions.”
  2. Once the new page loads, you can then choose “Mobile” from the list of options on the left-hand side of the page.
  3. Facebook provides 3 options for accessing your business page using a mobile device. The first one shows an email address. Save the email address to your phone’s contact. You can give it a contact name like “Facebook Fan Page” or similar. Once you’ve saved this email address, you can start using it.

To post a status update using the email address, simply open your email on your mobile device and choose the Facebook address as the recipient. In the subject line of the email, write your status update and then click “send.” It’s important to remember that you must type the info in the subject line of the email and not in the body of the email.

To post a photo using the email address, choose a photo from your mobile device to send. Once again, use the subject line of the email to write the caption … do not put the caption in the body of the email or it won’t show up on your page. Choose your Facebook page’s email address as the recipient and then click “send.”

You could, of course, simply log onto your Facebook page using the Facebook app for your mobile device and post status updates or photos. However, I’ve noticed that when posting photos to your page from a mobile device, there seems to be an annoying rate of “Update Failed” occurrences. Facebook’s mobile email option simply gives you another option for posting updates and it appears to be more reliable, as well.

Visiting Aquascape Marketing on Facebook for more helpful tips.

To Blog or Not to Blog? It Shouldn’t Be a Question

Too busy to blog? If you answered yes, you might want to rethink your answer.

Like most small business owners, you scramble and strategize to get your website returned favorably in search engine results. Sure, you’re conscientious of using the right keywords for your website, and you might even utilize tools like Google ads to boost your rankings. But if you’re not updating your web content on a regular basis, you could be missing out.

Google has announced a new update to its algorithm that will return the most up-to-date results, meaning fresh content will rank more favorably than stale pages. Google claims this update to their Caffeine web indexing system will affect approximately 35% of searches.

A great way to add fresh content to your website is to incorporate a blog. Adding a blog post once, twice, or three times weekly will help your site rank favorably with Google. And remember, not every blog post has to be lengthy, but it does need to provide value to the reader. Remember to include keywords when writing your blog, but don’t overuse the keywords. You want the content to captivate the reader, not bore them with redundant words.

Every time you publish a blog entry you’re adding a new page to your website, which means your website keeps growing in its number of indexed pages. The more pages a search engine indexes for a particular site, the likelier the chance of showing up in search results.

Blogging is still regarded as one of the best ways to increase traffic to your website. In fact, companies that blog get 55% more web traffic and 57% of these businesses have acquired a customer through their company blog (according to a recent HubSpot survey).

Once you commit to blogging, you can submit your blog to a few directories. Many directories are free and provide exposure to readers who might not otherwise find you. For example, I’ve listed my other blog, Aquascape Your Landscape, at www.blotanical.com. Blotanical is a directory of garden blogs so it’s a great network of like-minded garden and pond enthusiasts. Within days, I found that Aquascape Your Landscape received traffic from Blotanical.

Blogging can be fun. If you’re passionate about your business, writing about it will be enjoyable. Be yourself, and craft content that provides value to your readers and customers. You’ll soon reap the rewards of being a consistent blogger.