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Four Unexpected Places to Network and Grow Your Business

We all use social media to keep up with what our friends and family members are doing. With a few taps and clicks you can tell thousands of people what's up in your life, and prevent FOMO. Fortunately for those with small businesses, there are a number of amazing social media outlets that you can use to grow and drive visitors to your website. These social media sites will not only grow your business and solidify your existing fans and customers, but will also expose your business to tons of potential customers as cheaply and easily as possible. Here are four unexpected places to network and grow your business.


1. Google Communities


Prevent FOMO With these 5 Social Networks

Face it – there's no escaping social networks these days. You can either 1. Get involved in as many as you can handle to prevent FOMO (fear of missing out) or 2. Be strategic and mindful about the social networks you choose. The ability to publish at the push of a button makes many wish that the Internet had a morning after pill. Which is why it’s important to only create content and “hit publish” if it makes sense for your business.

Facebook Marketing 101 Infographic

Written by editor
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A website is no longer the only online presence your business needs to compete on the internet. In addition to having a website for your business, a Facebook page is also necessary to help you really engage with your customers on a personal level and grow your business. Below is an infographic we put together showing the importance of having a Facebook page for your business as well as 6 tips on how to optimize your Facebook page.

Top 3 benefits of having a small business social media strategy

Written by Kevin Plankey
On the
Top 3 benefits of having a small business social media strategy

The recent advent of different technologies has felt like both a blessing and a curse for small business owners.

On one hand, it's provided them with capabilities that they've never had before, such as the ability to reach an unprecedented amount of consumers. Yet at the same time, many companies are struggling to adjust to how quickly their business environments are changing.

"Small businesses know how important their web presence is for presenting a desirable online identity and attracting new customers, yet don't fully understand how to achieve those goals, implement new technologies, or adapt to new trends as deftly as larger companies," Phillip Klien, CEO of SiteApps, said recently in a statement.

Three must-have tools for SMBs

In many ways, developing a marketing strategy in the digital age is more complicated than traditional methods. On the bright side, digital marketers will never have to devise advertising campaigns from scratch again.


If you're a small business owner, there are more effective, yet affordable tools at your disposal than at any point in history. Do you want to know which channels your customers frequent? Certain applications can provide this information. Are you in need of a free website to promote your message? There are plenty of those out there, too.


At times, selecting the right programs to use can feel like finding Waldo. If you're struggling to decide, here are three tools that, above all else, you simply need to use.


Four steps to making online marketing leap

If you've been listening to me, you've probably taken to heart some of the lessons about the key components you need for your company to achieve online marketing success: a strong website, social media strategies and an SEO campaign.


If you have all of these things in order, take a moment to pat yourself on the back. That's a big first step.


Now, it's time to kick-start your campaigns into further action. This requires some extra steps and leveraging of new technologies - but don't worry if you might be struggling with this.


Improve online sales by delivering better social customer service

Written by Kevin Plankey
On the

Not many people these days do business with a company blindly. Whether you're purchasing round trip tickets to Australia or buying a new pair of shoes, chances are you've read a review before seeking their service. In fact, nearly 90 percent of consumers are influenced by internet reviews, either positive or negative. 


One of the biggest influences on those reviews is how good - or bad - a business' service is. Customers are slightly more likely to report negative incidents than they are positive ones. This places an even bigger emphasis on customer service than ever before - including interactions on social media sites, which have become an incredibly common medium for communications.


Kill two birds with one stone

By now, you've probably heard so much about social media marketing that you're getting a little sick of it. You've been told that social networking sites are a gold mine, that they're a great way to communicate with customers, they're effective for targeting your messages and improving the likelihood you come up in local searches. 


And those are just the benefits I've talked about. 


If it's any consolation, social media marketing has proven to be more than worth the hype. In fact, a recent study, which polled a group of SEO experts, found that social marketing is the top driver of website traffic for small businesses. SEO was also found to be a large traffic generator for small businesses.


Use Facebook to win over your local market

Written by Kevin Plankey
On the

If you're a local business owner, it makes sense that you want your company's listings showing up at the top of consumer search results. 


After all, it doesn't help a restaurateur based in Boston to have a California native land on his or her website while looking for a bite to eat. And it certainly doesn't benefit a local barber when a person halfway across the country is trying to get a haircut and winds up on your site. 


So how can you make sure your website is the first to show up? Tailor your marketing strategies to meet Facebook's local search requirements.


What 'local search' can do

According to Facebook's website, "local search is the use of specialized internet search engines that allow users to submit geographically constrained searches against a structured database of local business listings." 

Social media - The tool that improves customer service, loyalty and sales

Written by Kevin Plankey
On the

Social media gets a lot of hype in the business world, to the point that it's been labeled a necessity. But is all that hype warranted? 


A recent study revealed that it is. Not only that, but the report indicated that you should be jumping at the vast opportunities social media marketing provides.


The survey polled decision-makers who have joined the world of social media, and they identified several advantages, including:


* Marketng (cited by 86 percent of respondents)

* Customer Service (73 percent)

* Sales (31 percent)


And those numbers appear to be on a steady incline.