Yellow Pages: "Rumors of my death are greatly exaggerated"
Here are four reasons local business marketers should continue to use the Yellow Pages. (1) Providers now offer more than just print directories. They're developing robust online directories of their own, which get significant traffic in local markets. (2) Yellow Pages providers have long-term relationships with local businesses. They've been around for a long time and have strong ties with and deep knowledge of local businesses. (3) They're partnering behind the scenes with the search engines. And, contrary to much received wisdom about advertising and marketing, (4) Print is not dead.
Infographic: How small businesses are using social media
The infographic summarizes current statistics about small business social media use, including the importance of social media marketing for small businesses, what percentage of exposure small businesses gain through social media, and which factors produce the most results. If your business is using or considering using social media, this is good guidance to best practices for small business marketers.
Keeping your connections fresh
Networking is about giving. Giving is the best way to have a strong, productive business network, providing value to the people in it without asking anything in return. Things as simple as keeping in touch, passing on referrals, linking to interesting material online, or remembering a someone's daughter's graduation are valuable services, and are greatly appreciated by people. The tips in this article are specific to LinkedIn, but the ideas are general and work offline at least as well as on.
Twitter is more important than it looks
Although "only" 10 percent of Americans aged 12 and up are active Twitter users, 89 percent of Americans have heard of it, 44 percent report seeing tweets reposted in other media (TV, other websites, radio, etc.), and 80 percent of all Americans report having seen tweets in other media. Twitter is ubiquitous, and since it is seen by so many people who don't use it otherwise, it is much more influential than it appears.
Is "Don't be Evil" still the Google credo?
Blogger Danny Brown of Jugnoo, Inc. is "falling out of 'like' with Google." Using an infographic from BackgroundCheck.org, he presents a critique of whether Google - with its recent changes to policies and business models - can be trusted to do no evil with your information and privacy. Certainly the tide has turned. Google has made some pretty heavy-handed and self-serving changes to longstanding policies lately. Of course there are questions about whether Google was ever as virtuous as many people thought it was.
Partly cloudy on the web
Many small businesses have adopted cloud-based software solutions, which are free or inexpensive compared with older desktop office suites and dedicated solutions for customer relationship management and project management. While there are certainly some issues about security and availability that need to be thought through carefully, the cloud has clear advantages for businesses of all sizes. This podcast is a great introduction to moving parts of your business online.
This one's for fun: an infographic telling Instagram's story from startup to its billion-dollar acquisition by Facebook in 2 years - in the style of Instagram (think pix, of course).
Facebook helps make organ donation easy
Facebook has added a feature making it easy to sign up with official organ donor organizations. Thousands of people have done it already, and many more are joining them every day. Mark Zuckerberg announced that the program was inspired by his friendship with the late Steve Jobs, who had a liver transplant. This is an important step for social media: providing ways for the community to come together in an easy, public way to help with serious problems such as the need for many more organ donors.
Facebook Ads platform primer
Local businesses should be evaluating Facebook advertising. It's cost-effective and easy to use and track. This article is a great place to start learning how create campaigns and ads. Ads on Facebook are mostly run on a cost-per-click basis, and are targeted by interests as well as demographics and geography. Spending some time up front to learn the ropes helps make your campaigns as successful as they should be.
Word of mouth goes digital: online reviews continue to gain influence
Online reviews have become very important for all kinds of businesses. As a complement to search, review sites are indispensable to consumers looking for all types of goods and services. Only 15 percent of consumers did not use the Internet to find local businesses, and 27 percent use online reviews regularly to help them decide whether to use a local business. Also, 58 percent of consumers report that they trust businesses more when they have received positive reviews online.
Contests, giveaways, and sweepstakes on Facebook
For marketers who have built successful Fan Pages on Facebook, the next step is often to run a contest or giveaway to attract more engagement and build traffic. This piece shows you what to do (and what not to do). Facebook has pretty strict rules about what is allowed, and it's important to be in compliance with them.
Social media: does it "measure up"?
Do you know if your social media campaign is successful? Here's a tutorial on Google Analytics, a powerful suite of free tools you can use to track and measure the results of your social media campaigns - and many other aspects of how your website is performing.
Pinterest: How to get your pictures shared
Pinterest continues to grow rapidly and drive large amounts of traffic to websites and blogs of all kinds. This article has tips about image choice and image format that can help make your Pinterest marketing successful.
Daniel Lieberman is the founder of Daniel Lieberman Digital ("I speak Geek - You don't need to."), based in Shelburne Falls, Mass. He helps companies, organizations, and individuals learn to use the Internet to communicate, market, and brand themselves using the most up-to-date tools and techniques. Contact him at 413-489-1818 or email@example.com.
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