Time Management for Small Business Owners

People never seem to have enough time. In fact that is the number 1 answer small business owners say are at the top of their list of challenges. Can you relate? If you can, I invite you to look at this Infographic. What are you suppose to do to be able to do it all and make it? Is it even possible or a never ending story? We have the answer. What are your thoughts?

 

Hope this blog post has been helpful. For even more helpful blog posts/webinars, and education programs, keep in touch with us at on our Facebook page at http://www.fb.com/erocketfuel, and please sign up below for our weekly newsletter.

Thank you Mavenlink for creating this.

The Importance of a Fan Base

You hear a lot today in the world of social media about getting more fans. And you hear some people say, make it larger than life and others say, no, don’t make it big – make it small and targeted. We’d love to get your opinion. What do you think? Make it big? Or make it small?

From our friends over at KissMetrics. Thank you KissMetrics.

 

Hope this blog post has been helpful. For even more helpful blog posts/webinars, and education programs, keep in touch with us at on our Facebook page at http://www.fb.com/erocketfuel, and please sign up below for our weekly newsletter.

Two Facebook Pages Head to Head

Facebook is a competitive platform where you can not only see your own performance but that of your competitors. Are you taking the time to do a social comparison and look not only at the number of Likes but also what goes into a Facebook audience to define what is success. Take a look below at today’s infographic and see which Fan page you think wins.

Kony 2012 – The Social Web Put to Greater Use

If you have not heard of the Kony 2012 video campaign from several weeks past that wants to bring a warlord to justice that has been kidnapping small children and forcing them into sex, violence, and killing sprees in Uganda, then I invite you to learn more by watching this 30-minute video.

There are counter stories all over the web that have attacked the charity organization behind this video (Invisible Children) and have tried to make the cause seem less than real.

The majority of criticism surrounds how the charity uses its funds to support the cause. Before I get into how they use their funds, let’s look at who they are – they are filmmakers that have found a cause worth supporting. They are using their skills a way they know how to make the greatest impact. They are not your typical charity.

So how are they using the money?

The money being raised does these things alone. (View their public financials)

Movie – 1/3 funds
Movement – 1/3 funds
Mission – 1/3 funds

So why the fuss if they disclaim what they are spending the money on. In contrast, other charity organizations spend more money on the mission itself. (Things like ground supplies, money to support the cause on location, and mission trips) And I get totally get the opposition’s point, people want to know that the money that they give is really helping a cause. The difference here is that the mission is different.

Invisible Children has done an incredible job exposing this horrible circumstance by using social media. Quite possibly one of the biggest known to date with over 75 million videos views on YouTube in just over a week. Wow. I gush with envy with the marketing outreach but it all makes sense – it’s a video that speaks truth and it comes from the heart.

Twitter Twends and Trends

Twitter is our favorite social media platform at eRocketFuel. It helps us find the people we need to find each week whether they are for ourlselves, our clients, to get discounts (woohoo), or to hit up Lady Gaga to just stop by and hang out with our RocketFuels… How do you use it? Thanks Lab42.com.

ASAE Promotional Videos

This year we decided to do something a little fun for ASAE and push out some videos to promote us speaking at the conference. Check them out and let us know what you think. Are they too cheesy, do they make you want to check out what we are going to be speaking about?

If you are going to the ASAE Annual show, make sure to join us.

Social Media ROI Lite

Businesses love to calculate ROI, the fundamental and tested metric for any new activity that takes up resources. Social Media, however, seems to be in a different league altogether. While it has been used much in business promotion and sales, Social Media itself is hard to quantify. Unless you have thought it all out carefully, that is.

Measuring ROI for Social Media can be the most challenging task you ever took up. Part of the reason is that Social Media is relatively new, while the other part is that it is inherently protean. What works today is dead wood tomorrow. Here’s how to go about it in a systematic way.

ROI, the traditional way

In the crudest, most traditional—and useless for our purposes—sense, ROI is calculated as the percentage change in revenue. In other words:

ROI = (Revenue – Investment) / (Investment)

Essentially, this measures the extent to which you have earned through the latest “value add.”

ROI in Social Media

In Social Media, the challenge is bigger.

First, it is essential to define a baseline, against which you can calculate your returns. For this purpose, some of the basic metrics that can be used are: number of followers, total fans, total number of comments, traffic measurement, etc. If there is a positive change in one/more of these, we can say that Social Media has brought some rewards to the business.

There are some great tools available to measure these and other metrics. Here are some of them:

  • Google Analytics: The dominant choice, of course, is Analytics by Google, which measures the various key metrics of your website. Links, traffic, page views – all these and much more can be tracked through it.
  • HootSuite: This is an impressive tool for managing and tracking your tweets. If you are focused on Twitter marketing, this can be a great help for the analytics.
  • PostRank: Securing a page rank is one thing; being a popular destination, quite another. It has now become clear that SEO is not the silver bullet of web promotion. PostRank measures the effect your content or service is having on the people.

There are many different tools and software available that measure different types of metrics and give you a detailed assessment and report.

Making sense of data

All collected data can quickly become useless if you are unable to extract meaningful indicators out of it. And, that can only happen if you have identified and measured the baseline for your business.

For instance, if you are interested in selling only, then that becomes your baseline. You track the number of sales made, and let the overall sentiment swing to whatever direction. On the other hand, if you are an information portal, sentiment will rate highly on your agenda, and sales can take a back seat.

If you are complaining that it is still unclear and that doing all this is going to be very demanding, you are right. To this, we can only say- welcome to Social Media!

Are More Connections Better for Your Website?

Everyone is involved in search engine marketing these days. Because there is so much crowding on the internet, it has become essential for websites to stand out as being unique. For this purpose, search engine marketing has proved to be a valuable tool. It provides a person with a set of strategies to ensure improved ranking of a website, which consequently results in more inflow of traffic.

There are many popular SEO (Search Engine Optimization) strategies, that focus on different areas. One such method is link building or connection building. In this method, many websites agree to refer to each other through their portals, of course with a view toward mutual benefit.

They might also adopt the method of client referral. This entails offering the website visitors certain additional information, which redirects them to one of the partner websites. The reason for such a practice is simple: search engines, after Google, have started placing heavy importance on websites being referred by other websites, and this is why a network of cross-referencing websites is always helpful.

Now the big question is ­– are more connections better? Should you go on building links until there are literally thousands of websites pointing toward your website? It would appear to be the rational route to follow, but things are not as easy as they seem. Here’s why:

  • While search engines like Google place a greater importance on websites that are linked, what really matters is how popular these referring websites themselves are. This is called the PageRank system of ranking, and was patented by Google.

In other simple terms, it gives more weight to websites that are referred from a few very popular websites, than to one that is referred from too many not so popular websites. And when you think about it, it makes sense too – it maintains the levels of quality over quantity, and ensures that the top websites displayed are really worth the users time.

  • Search engines are aware that there are many irregular practices going on in the market. Most of this are aimed at gaining favor with the search engine and exploiting the way the technology works. After all, there is big money involved in advertising. Which is why, there is provision to detect such practices and punish them.

For instance, a special part of the search engine algorithm is devoted to finding websites that are making too many links. At the same time, it also checks and ratio and nature of outgoing and incoming links. Any such websites found are immediately blacklisted from the search engine listings, making it the biggest loss for the website owner! Therefore, it is essential to be cautious and not get carried away by the apparent promises of infinite traffic and advertisement money.

Bottom line, more links are not always desirable. While you should definitely exchange links with a few good websites, in general you should be wary of overdoing it. Also, stick to the websites that are related to your working area, as this increases your credibility.

Search Engine Marketing Strategies

If you own a website, you are naturally concerned about the amount of traffic it pulls. If the traffic is not that good, what are you supposed to do?

Consider for a moment how people get to know of a website – through search engines, of course! Yes, there are other avenues as well, but overall, it is only while searching for something that a person stumbles upon a website and later starts telling people about it. Therefore, it is important that you aim for a better search engine ranking.

So, how to go about doing this falls under searching engine marketing? Here are a few strategies to help you out:

  • Content – This is the very first basic of any good website. The content that goes on it, speaks to people on your behalf. It is imperative, therefore, for the first impression to be as good as possible.

The content on your website should be short and crisp, because when people visit a website, they don’t do so with an intention to read lengthy articles. At the same time, the writing should be compelling enough to make them feel that their time has been well utilized, and that some concrete solution to their problems is being offered; which is why you should hire only the best copywriters for your website, even if it costs you more than what you had planned.

  • Keywords – Keywords and key-phrases are what a user is expected to type in the search engine when looking for information. Therefore, in search engine marketing, we attempt to make good use of them. Specific keywords are to be used in the text, the header, the title, as well as in the meta tags. It is so because when your website is picked up and read by a search engine, it’s not only the text that gets read. If the keywords are used and included in the right places, it will receive a higher ranking.
  • Ads – The next thing to be done is participate in ads. Google Analytics is a wonderful system of earning through advertisements, and you can also participate in the keyword bidding process. This will make your website name appear in the search engine advertising when a related keyword is searched for. This ultimately has a huge impact on the amount traffic making its way to your website. You may also hire some professional to do this for you.

One final word of warning: keywords and text do not always gel well together. Consider, for instance, what would happen if you have to use the keyword ‘plumbing service’ ten times within 200 words – the text would read very awkward! Such practices are also not taken kindly by the search engines. So, it falls on you to strike a balance when it comes to creating keyword based writing.

Using search engine marketing, there is no limit to how popular you can make your website. Just keep following these practices and notice the gains in traffic to your website!

Contact Social Experts

Let us know how we can best serve you.