Resolutions! Do we or don’t we? That is the Question.

DSC42612-200x220Many of us start the year with decicions to work out more.  Get to Yoga everyday.  Get to the gym,  show our loved ones more lovingkindness.  But then the world gets in the way and something happens to stop us from achiving our goals.

This year I am going to not make any resolutions.  I am going to continue to get to yoga everyday and work to make sure that my clients are happy and successful.  We should do everything with the more gusto.  Life is too short to spend out time spinning our wheels.

Along with excersie and good food.  We also more work our brians and get those creative jusies flowing.  Look to our buisnesses.  This is where we always have too much to do and not enough time.  We can get help with almost every aspect of our companies life.  There are consultants here in the Berkshires that will help you create a business plan,  a marketing plan.  Then there are others that can help you carry it out.  You can do it.  You can make a difference in your buisness and create an enviorment that will build a strong company.

Start the new year.  Get help with your company, get help with keeping yourself healthy.  It dose work.  I know  this. I am proof it does work.  If you are not here and need help call 413 528-6386 and I will help you or guide you to the right kind of advice.

Have a very happy profitable New Year.

Bob

10 things you should know about your Facebook Post.

The way you write your Facebook posts is the number one key to engaging with your audience. And with the latest change in the newsfeed algorithm, more engagement means more reach. And the more people you reach, the more you are likely to get likes, comments and shares which will in turn bring even more reach. See why you need to write effective Facebook posts?

The most important thing you should keep in mind is if anyone would want to share or recommend the specific post to their family and friends. If the answer is no, don’t post it.

Once you know what you want to write about, follow these 10 tips which will help you write copy that will boost engagement on your post:

  • 1. Be natural – Facebook is a fun and relaxed environment. People come on Facebook to have a good time so keep your writing natural, nice and drop out the too formal approach. Nobody wants to read boring posts.
  • 2. Be topical, timely and relevant – Your posts should be written for immediate action – write your posts so they can be read and engaged with right now.
  • 3. Be visual –  Images are the most engaging on Facebook.  Adding a good image will attract readers.
  • 4. Keep it short – The shorter, the better. Posts of 80 characters or less are the most engaging. Learn to edit your posts so that they make sense in less words.
  • 5. Be Emotional – Emotions sell and encourage readers to share. The most shared posts sway and persuade. They are invitations to discussion and interchange. Try to write posts that scream for reaction. Create posts for commentary.
  • 6. Ask questions – Questions are a great way to get comments. But only ask questions that are easy to answer. If you can, place questions at the end of your post.
  • 7. Post quotes – Inspirational quotes work very well across social media. Try also to post quotes within images.
  • 8. Don’t game the distribution – Many are tempted to ask people to like their posts. In fact,  Facebook is not a fan of call-to-actions to like or share and the algorithm may penalize these types of posts.
  • 9. Post Full links – Use only full URLs when posting a link to an external website. Shortened URLs get as much as 3 times less engagement than  full-length URL instead.
  • 10. Be yourself – The most important is to be and speak as yourself. Your fans love you or your brand. They expect you to write in your usual tone of voice and make them feel like you talk to them directly, not as a corporation.

Out thanks to Wearesocialmedia.gr    For the great InfoGraphic
Read more: 10 Tips to Write Engaging Facebook Posts [infographic] | WeRSM | We Are Social Media http://wearesocialmedia.gr/10-tips-to-write-engaging-facebook-posts/#ixzz3IgHyMhnx

tips_engaging_facebook(2)

An Overview of Social Media!

I am always being asked about social media?

This is a good overview in a nice infographic by Leverage Media.  It will show you what the focus, audience, users, and other information that is good to know.   With all of your use of the social medias to get the word out.  You need to understand what it is all about.
Use this to see where you fit.  Where does your company belong?  Where does your client hang out?

Check it out.

SocialMediaexplane

How to find out about your Online Reputation.

Everyday people are putting up reviews, good, bad and just plain lies.

  • Where are you or your company listed?
  • Where can the public put reviews?
  • Can we answer the bad reviews?
  • How can you stop bad reviews messing with you and your business?
  • How often do you need to check your reputation?
  • How can imagewe protect our selfs’s

Wouldn’t it be nice to just be able  to post a dog to protect us online?  There are things we can do!

With a simple search you can find most of the companies that you are listed on. You could go one by one and correct, claim and post on each listing.  That can be a real time suck.  So what is one to do?

You can find someone to help. Yes we are here for you and all of our clients.
We can help you find you and your company, correct the listings with the correct address, phone, hours, etc.  Then we will help you get some reviews up on these sites.  There are ways todo it where the reviews will be seen by the public.  It seems that every time there is a bad review it goes up right away and  just starts coming up in the search listings.  This can effect you and your company.  Waiting until you have a bad review that effecting you is late to this process.  Yes it can be corrected but it takes more time, money and damage to your companies reputation.

Saying, that when i get a bad review I will deal with it then by getting a lot of my happy clients to put up reviews that will fix it.  Not always.  On some of the directory sites like Yelp.com has an algorithm that decides what reviews to put on your listing and which ones are fake.   This goes for any review.  It you have never had any reviews and then get a bad one.  I am talking about Yelp as an example.

The computer decides that the bad review was legit and the others that were put up in the last few days all 10 of them are not real reviews because it did not follow your pattern of reviews.  So it lists most of your good reviews deep in the site where they are hard to find.   Now to the computers credit if you string them out make them more like a normal review posting it will let them up on your front page and the will have an impact to your listing.

That is just one example that happened to one of my clients.  All these directories can and are good things.  We must be diligent and make sure that we take care of our reputation online as much as we do in our daily lives.

There are few good web sites that lay it out and give you some more examples of what I was talking about above.

Three things you need to do to protect your companies reputation

 

Protect your reputation.  This site was created by high school students.  We can learn from our youth. 

Some good common sense things to learn to protect ourselves, from the mouths of babes.

Yelp is only one of the directories put there…

yelpangieslistSocial directories, a place you go to find local restaurants, hardware stores, Lawyers, Accountants, etc. Companies get listed in these directories by just being listed in the phone book. How do we know that our information is correct or not? All of these directories allow users of this directory to add a review to your business listing. That can be a good thing for consumers and our companies when the reviews are legit. We have our clients add reviews. You find  our quickly that most of the time you need to be a member of that directory to be able to leave a review. So you go through the process to get the reviews up. This is all well and good until it is not. I am going to tell you about two stories, both of these stories happen to deal with Yelp but it could be any directory.

First story is about a small local company here in the Berkshires. They are a good little company that has been around for a long time and up to this point got all of its new work by referrals. Things were going well. Then one day they had a client as we all do, that was not being reasonable. They did what they could do to please her but she just would not be pleased. They finished the job and moved on. Hoping not to have that experience again. Then the owner got a call from an old client that told him he needs to look up his web site right away. He did that and when he did he saw this listing right under his web site listing. It was from a company call YELP. This was a listing for his company and the description on the listing there was a bad review. The first two lines said ” These guys did not do what they said and they are on drugs…” Then if you click on the review and read the entire review of about 4 paragraphs. Ranting and raving about how bad these guys are. The more you read the more you realized that the woman that wrote the review had an alternate world view. Ok it shows you she was crazy. In most cases the new user will just read the description and move on to the next company. This was hurting his business and it was getting into the busy season for them. He did what anyone would do he call 10 clients and got them to go on YELP and add good reviews. Yelp saw that as packing reviews and disallowed all but two of the reviews and it left the bad review as first in the list so it showed up in his Google Listing. That is when he came to us. We worked with him over the next few months to add good reviews and get the disallowed one to show up. Then we looked at his web presences and started to get good reviews on GooglePlus, Angie’s list, Yellow book, and a few others. Over time the review went away and was replaced by a good review. Consumers read reviews. Those were a tough few months for his company but all is fine now and he has good reviews on all the services that have him listed.

 

This next story is about a Lawyer in California,  His story is similar.  In his case he was paying Yelp to advertise on their site and to allow him to come up more when people are using yelp.  This worked great to get him some clients.  He was paying YELP $500 per month to get the clients to call.  It was working so well in the beginning that he told all of his friends they started to use yelp everything was great.  Until it wasn’t!  One of there clients didn’t like the way that he treated her and wrote a bad review.  This review went something like this  “this is a lawyer I will not recommend.  He is rude and doesn’t know what he is doing…” He called yelp and they told him that he wanted the review removed.  He was told that they do not do that and that they have no control over the reviews on your YELP listing.  In his case too if you read the review you would see that the person was not working with a full deck.  Never the less the yelp listing came up on the front page of the Google listing when you search for this Lawyer. His solution was to stop paying YELP.  So now he doesn’t have any clients coming through his advertising and he still has a bad review just under his web site listing.  Just because you are not paying them does not mean they are going to take you out of the directory.  We are starting to work to help him now with his issue.

 

As in both of these true stories they did not look to protect themselves by getting good reviews in all the directories they are listed in before a bad review showed up.  I know this is a lot of work and you don’t have time to do it.  That is why we are here to help through the process    Call us today to help with your Web Presence.  413 528-4402

Computer Therapy 8.8.2014

Computer Therapy is a weekly radio show for everyone that just wants to know what is going on with the tech they use every day.  We talk about the current news and they talk about the web.

In this show I talk about you are your web presence.  How does it help or hurt your business.

Depending on your connection it might take a little while to start.  Check it out let me know what you think.

A start at understanding Google Analytics

I always get the question “Why do I need Google Analytics and what can I learn?”  This video from Google does explain what you can do with Google Analytics (GA).  After you get does with this short video if you have question email or call and ask.  That is what we are here for. call us at 413 528-4402

Each day is a new beginning

20120724-062612.jpg Everyday we wake up. Get out of bed and face the new day. Everyday we go about our work, everyday we need to say a little about our work on a blog.
It has need a long time since I posted last. A lot has gone on. Kids, family, work. The good is that everything I did before is still there. Waiting to be built on. So done feel that you have blown it all you have done is deal with life. Get back up make it happen. Each time you begin again and start to see results the faster you will be to start again. it is just a matter of dpi g it!
So get up and do it now, don’t wait, make it work for you life and build your business today.
Blog, get the FAQs out on your site. Start now blog now. Do the SEO that you need to. Know that there are others out there that are doing the same thing in the same place.
You can do it!
Have a peaceful day.
Bob

Find a community in the fog.

20120523-062358.jpgOver cast, gloomy you wake up in the morning and look outside. That is what you see. In life we all have choices we can look at the fog and wish the sun would be out or we can see that the fog give water and life to nature. It serves a purpose. We really don't need to know what that purpose is. Just accept it.
Life throws many things at us every day. Live your life with an open heart and open eyes and you will know what to do.
In a few weeks we are going to start a weekly Internet workshop. It will be a place to ask those silly question. Meet with others in the community to talk about SEM, Content Creation, Design, credit card acceptance, email marketing. All that and more. We will build our online community with support of our physical community. If you are in Great Barrington stop by. June 4th between 5-7 at Fuel the coffee shop. Bring you laptop be ready to give and learn what we have to offer.
The coffee and tea will be hot and the support will be strong.
If you are not around here. Find some other businesses in your community to meet with. Allow your physical community to support your online community.
Have a peaceful day.
Bob

Love what you do and it will grow.

20120522-053020.jpgIn my life and travels around the world I have seen many religions, many ways of life. The one thing that they all had in common at their core was love.
I think that is a strong driving force. It is one of the things that gets us up every morning.
Our companies need love too. They demand time and energy. If we want them to grow we have to take steps to make it happen. I was talking to a marketing director of a local non-profit yesterday. She said we can't afford you and I'm the only one to make this happen. In that situation you have think outside the box as they say. Ask the question. "what can I do to make a difference?"
I believe more every day the Internet is the way, to teach, to reach, and to bring people, real people together. And for those non-profits out there bringing people together create power and excitement for you organization.
Love what you do. Enjoy it, but remember you can't do it alone. If you don't have the money to pay then ask for help. See what happens. Find a way to make it work. To use the Internet to make your organization grow! You have to make time and take that first step. Now start you day with love and peace. See where it brings you.
Have a peaceful day.
Bob

Summer is almost here. What is your SEM plan?

20120520-105628.jpg Summer is almost here, what is you plan to add content to your web site? The kids will be home. Life will get busier than it already is and you don't want to lose the gains you made.
Can you take a few hours a week? Sit down make your posts and schedule them. If you are on WordPress you can.
Plan for the month so you can think about what you want to say. Planning is your best friend. Maybe write a long piece one one subject and break it up into parts.
I know that a lot of this sounds like common sense but sometimes you need to here it. Happy blogging and have a peaceful weekend.
Bob

We live in the Berkshires…

20120517-061244.jpg We live in the. Berkshires of Massachusetts. We live here because it is beautiful, fresh, good food, local food, good local Artists, and theatre. We live here to raise our children. It is not so easy to make a living. If you are not depending on second homers, and tourists. You are supporting a company that does.
The Internet is a way out of that. It allows us to do what we want and still live here. To live in a small community you must work together to build your business.
Starting on June 4th we are going to have a new way to work together, build each others company and outs all at the same time. We will meet at Fuel coffee shop in Great Barrington MA. To support and work on our web presence together. Using the power of our local community to build community on the we web!
Join us, bring your laptop, net book, and come to work with us. We will be there from 5 to 7 starting Monday June 4th. Make a difference in you life and you community.
Have a peaceful day.
Bob

Facebook is your is gold

Today Facebook has upwards of a billion users. Everyone of those users has given personal information about themselves. Even if you turn off all access to that information it is used to display ads and uses those stats to every page you go to on Facebook. If you didn’t know there is a thing called insight the stats package for Facebook.
That is where you can go to see the stats of you page. Great info.

20120516-124911.jpg Blogging then posting that blog post to Facebook then to Twitter WILL
make a difference in your web presence. Just do it. Get off your butt and make a difference in your life and the life of your business.
Have a peaceful day.
Bob

Energy to get it done.

20120515-070640.jpg A coffee shop with the name Fuel is one of the places I go to have client meetings. I is a nice place to talk have a tea and just work done.
Finding your pace is important. To everyone, we thing of runners. But it really applies to business owners also. How do I get all done and still have time for myself? The first change is to think of yourself first and give your clients real expectations. Decide what you need to do for yourself first!
Yes I have said it twice. It is the core. When you are running a business it is a multi year marathon. If you burn yourself out too soon you will fail. Make a plan or have a clear vision. How do you get to the point where you can have someone else doing the work for you so you can focus on growing your business. If you need help planning, get the help! There many resources around the help you manage your planning.
Just like your web site you business is always changing. If you have been doing things one way for a long time, look around, are there news ways of doing it? In less time? Less cost?
Bottom line if you feel like you are in a rut need a change. You are! Get up look around what’s you gets you fired up. You don’t need to work 18 hours in a day forever.
Again start with you, find out what you need. Then you will be in a better place to help you client, employees, and vendors make you business sing,
Have great and peaceful day.
Bob

As the rain brings life, content brings visitors.

As I looked outside this morning I saw a Robin on the lawn looking for worms.  I remembered the saying "the early bird catches the worm".  That is not always true. Recent studies have shown the best time to put up your post is between 1pm and 3pm EST weekdays.

20120514-073540.jpg It works for me to write posts in the morning before the phones start ringing and my day starts.  Should I post them later?  I think we give it a try and find out.  Will more people see it?  I know a few things.  It will go off of Facebook and Twitter faster.  It is when people take lunch, more to the point when they get back from lunch and check Facebook.  I also know that my sites ranking has steadily going up.  I have been getting more Twitter followers, and more Facebook friends.  It is starting to work.  Also if you have not guessed by now I have for the most part been posting from my phone.  It is forcing me to keep it short, sweet, and to the point, although the spell check can be a challenge.  Try it, post every day.  Talk about you and your company.  Do it for the health of you business.  Do it for the future.  Do it now!
Have a beautiful and peaceful day.
Bob

A place to work your on your web presence and talk SEM.

Come one, come all.  Every Monday night starting in June.  Look for times in the next few weeks.  We are going to meet at Fuel in Great Barrington, MA. to talk Internet Marketing, SEO, Blogging, and whatever you need to get help on.

20120513-062458.jpg it will be a place for networking in the real world.  We all work together to succeed online.  If all you do is create one post a week that will be more than most and you will see you web site rise in the ranking.

It is something that all businesses need but just don't have the money to pay for.  This will be a drop-in workshop to work on your web site at you pace.  There will be no stress, no hassles.  Just support to get you on you way.  Come down join your friends and community to build a strong online presence for the Berkshires. I will talk about it more the closer we get.  Have a great and peaceful Sunday.
Bob

Computer Therapy this morning at 10am EST

Today at 10 am I am running an old show from our archives on web site design and Internet marketing.

20120511-061529.jpg This show will help you get through the everyday issues of getting a web site up on the Internet and getting it seen.  Remember if you need help I can help you with any facet of the Internet.  I can even help you get off you butt and get you going.  Listen and just get up and do it.  Call me at 413.528.6386.  Do it today: get going on making your web site work for you.
Have a peaceful day.
Bob

What to ask a Web Designer before giving them money:

So you need a web site for your buiness or orgainzation.  Where do you start?  A friend will say I know someone that makes web sites or a family member will say I am making web sites for some friends.  This is all well and good if you are creating a web site for your family.  A personal journy through life.  A place to put your throughts. 

Gettng anyone to create your web site is a process.  You need to get this right if it is your business or non profit organisation.  You need to step back and ask a few questions of yourself, your board, or partners.  The more prepared you are the better the result.

  • What is the purpose of this site?
  • What do we expect from this site?
  • What is a conversion?
  • What do we have to spend on this site?
  • Do we need to hook it up to Social Medias?
  • Do we need a logo?
  • Who is going to write the copy?
  • What colors do we want?
  • Name 3 web sites that we like.

Then it is time to talk to a designer or developer about your site.  Ask them a few questions:

  • What other sites have you done?
  • Do you manage the site once it is up?
  • Can you train us to manage the site?
  • What is your process?  It is best to get a written document so you can take it all in and ask questions.
  • What are the costs for creation and on going costs for hosting and management?
  • Have you created a web site like this for someone else?  Can I see it?
  • Can you show me 10 or 15 web sites you have built?
  • What content management system do you work on?
  • Do you have referances?  Can I talk to them?
  • How do you bid the project?
  • How do you deal with changes to the project once it has started?

These Questions will get you started on the road to building your website.  Remember to check in and get milestones from the start.  There seems that there is always a reason and it always takes more time to finish than first throught so be ready for that.  If you need your website in a month then maybe you want to have a phased approach.  Get a page up now that serves your current needs and then make the website what it needs to be.  Also remember that websites are always changing and growing, they're never really done.  It is always a work in progress.  So don't use a Site under Constuction sign on your site.

I will talk about this more over the next few days.