Thursday, April 29, 2010

Engage on Facebook for Greater Returns

It can be tempting as a business to create a Facebook page and never visit again, but this ignores the true power of Facebook to market your business and connect with your customers. A recent article on discusses the importance of engagement with fans in order to build followers and influence. Fans of a business on Facebook are probably some of the most loyal it has, and engaging them will cement this brand loyalty and a positive perception of the business.

So how does one go about engaging fans? Remaining active is the most important thing you can do. Updating regularly is critical, even if these updates are pulled from your Twitter or blog feeds. Be careful the conversation is not one-sided, however. It’s very important to monitor the activity on your page and respond promptly to comments, questions, and complaints. No one likes talking to a brick wall, and that’s exactly what your company will appear to be if you do not respond to viewers. Of course it never hurts to offer incentives for engagement, either, such as contests, free gifts, or discounts for your Facebook followers.

Follow these tips and you’ll no doubt see a marked increase in loyal customers generated from the company Facebook account.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Focus on the Positive to Improve Conversion

Last week we posted about how design influences conversion rates, but the question remains: Where do you start the process? You may have taken an honest look at yours or your client’s site and discovered an overwhelming number of things that need fixing. One way to get started is to do as blogger Robert Brady suggests and focus on the positive.

It may seem counter-intuitive at first; after all, you want to fix what’s wrong not pat yourself on the back for the good stuff. Although it’s important you learn from mistakes, don’t forget you can learn from successes as well! Brady suggests reviewing your analytics tracking to find out which keywords, referrers, or other traffic sources are working best, then comparing them to what isn’t working. Once you discover what the differences are, you can mold your other content against a working template. After making the first changes, you can again observe which rise above the others and make improvements based on the new information in an iterative process.

This is only a starting point. Eventually you will reach a ceiling, at which point you will need to look outside your site for further possible improvements. However, looking at what already works is an excellent way to begin your conversion improvements.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Guest Blogging Tips

There is no denying guest blogging as a great way to get your ideas before a wider audience, especially if your own blog is not yet widely known. It’s also a way to put your name and your brand in front of your target community and build lasting relationships. Finally, it gives you a chance to link back to your site, which is great for SEO. Recently, a few folks around the industry have shared their thoughts about guest blogging, including The Blog Herald, Richworks and DKS Systems.

When considering guest posting, first give some thought to your own site. Does it have a lot of entries already, or are you still building up your content base? If the latter, you should probably use every article you write as content on your own site. Assuming your site is solidly packed with content and you do decide to guest post, is it ready for the influx of visitors? You can be assured you will see an increase in traffic to your site as people seek more information about the topic or the person behind the article. Be sure your contact information is up to date, your content has been recently updated, and your design is user-friendly.

As with any form of promotion, you will see results based on the amount of effort you expend. Research your niche for blogs that best suit your target audience base, then spend some time on those blogs getting to know their style and the community which follows each. Leave meaningful, well articulated comments regularly and the editors may recognize you when you make your guest post request. In addition, the community might also recognize you when they see your name or brand in the byline.

Guest posting is a powerful promotion tool when used effectively. Consider spreading your content before a wider audience, but don’t forget the simple tips above.