Where we share our insights about all things web design, development, and marketing.


How To Use #Hastags

You may notice the # symbol being used a lot on social network sites, but do you know what they mean or how to use them?

Hashtags are keywords with a hash (#) symbol in front of them that makes them searchable and linkable. They have to be one continuous word with no spaces. These are typically used on Twitter, but have been seen on other social networking sites as well. The idea is to get a lot of people talking about one specific topic by using the same hashtag word. For instance, using #awesomewebsites to talk about your website design from TWG.

Hashtags help you target a topic and an audience. If you want to search for a trending topic, use the hashtag instead. Your search results will show you all posts with that same hashtag. It gives you more related search results on a specific topic. In addition, if you use a hashtag about a specific topic, you will target those people who are also interested in talking about that topic.

Using hashtags for your business’ posts, you can drive traffic to your products, services, and website by getting people to talk about what you do. People will become more interested and use the hashtag to help spread the word about your business.
Try not to go hashtag crazy, but if you use these wisely, it could help to increase your social following and ultimately your business following.


How to Better Manage Your Social Media

Social media management can be quite time-consuming—and who has time to spare?  For those who want to put forth the effort to effectively utilize business social media outlets, but who do not have time to do so regularly—help is on the way.  Two major options, both offering very similar solutions, are gremln and Hoot Suite.  These two media management tools allow you to pre-schedule posts for the three major social platforms; Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.  Additionally, each option offers other tools and options to assist in other ways, too. 

The basis of gremln and Hoot Suite are the same—each provides the ability to schedule through their dashboard your posts for the three major platforms listed above.  Both offer additional tools and features to help you set goals, track metrics, and maximize your social media efforts.  The key element of being able to schedule posts ahead of time is the most attractive feature of each, though---allowing you to take a small chunk of time once a week and convert it into multiple posts and interactions across a variety of outlets.

To determine which of these two would be the greatest benefit to your business, check each one out.  They both offer free 30-day trials, and Hoot Suite offers a free version beyond just the 30-day trial,of their services and each have websites with very good and easy to understand information on the details of all of their services and products, and how they can be implemented for improved success within your business.

Social media management can be tackled----with a little luck…and some pre-scheduling! 


Vimeo & YouTube

The general reaction is to go to YouTube first when looking for videos. We are all admittedly used to the Google associated video service as being the dominant place to find and upload user-generated videos. However, if you take some time to look around, you might find that there are other substantial video sites, such as Vimeo, that may compete with YouTube as the prime location for your business videos.

The two video sites have differing regulations for content uploaded to the site. Vimeo will not allow commercial videos, gaming videos, pornography, or any non user-generated videos. YouTube, on the other hand, is more lenient. Both sites will delete any videos they deem inappropriate, but with a smaller, more selective collection of videos, Vimeo may have the advantage here.

Video Quality
Vimeo is known for higher quality video than YouTube, and might have the highest quality video on the internet. So if you are trying to use videos for viral marketing and want to convey a message, quality may be important to you.

Video Uploads
While you can upload almost any video file to either service, they differ in the length and file size of the videos. For YouTube, you can only have a maximum length of 10 minutes and file size of 2GB. With Vimeo, there is no length maximum, but the file size can only reach 1GB.

Video Views
YouTube wins this battle. There are over 1 billion video views on YouTube daily, which means your video could reach a lot of people. YouTube may have the number advantage, but Vimeo has a more refined selection of videos. Depending on the content and purpose of your video, Vimeo may benefit you in the long run. Your video will be among more professional, higher quality videos, and there is the potential for higher-quality comments and interaction by viewers as a result. In addition, videos on Vimeo are downloadable, so viewers can save your video and watch it later.

If you are contemplating where to post your company’s videos, consider these things before making your move. Think about the type of video, and the goal and purpose of the video. In the end, you may decide to post it on both networks.


How a social media strategy can help your franchise business

Social media marketing can be looked at as a stand-alone marketing plan, and should be approached with the same attention to detail as your overall marketing plan. While this type of marketing strategy is important for any business in today’s world, it is extremely essential for franchise businesses.
If you own a franchise of a company, you are typically stuck with pre-made marketing plans that usually have a national reach in mind. The corporate company may provide you with marketing materials and plans for new products and campaigns, but it is still important for you to focus on your local marketing and advertising. One of the easiest and most effective ways to do this is with social media marketing.

Your corporate company probably has a website for your brand, and may even have your location information listed, but it doesn’t give you much (if any) freedom to personalize it for your location. There are features of your business that probably vary from location to location, and you want to be able to reach your specific customers and target audience to market those things.

Benefits of a social media strategy

  1. Allows you to connect with your local audience on a personal level
  2. Gain insights and feedback directly from those you serve
  3. Present your business as a trusted local resource


How to get started

  1. Custom Facebook Page for your location – creating custom pages allows you to have more control and more content available to your local customers.
  2. Twitter – connecting with your customers on twitter can help you to gain feedback directly from the people you serve and help you to improve your products or services
  3. Google + - create circles to target market niches as well as boost your social search engine optimization.

If you have the opportunity and resources to market your franchise locally, take advantage of the social phenomenon. It is a great way to connect directly with consumers and market your franchise as an individual business as well as a corporate entity.


Do You Have Klout?

Social networking has gained tremendous ground as a significant element in any business’ branding and marketing strategy in recent years.  Did you know, though, that the benefits to social networking on your business may actually reach further than you realize?  In fact, your Klout Score can tell you a lot about the impact you currently have, and may help drive you towards goals you wish to reach, in your own social networking.

“The Klout Score measures influence based on your ability to drive action.  Every time you create content or engage you influence others.” (www.klout.com/corp/kscore)

So, what are the benefits to uncovering and studying your Klout Score?  The Klout Score is based off of information from social networks and gauges 3 basic trends:

  • True Reach (the number of people you influence)
  • Amplification (to what degree you influence these people)
  • Network Impact (the influence of those in your True Reach—how often they share and respond to you). 


The Klout Score itself is based on a scale from 1 to 100. 
An individual Klout Score is determined by a business’ ability to drive action.  The scoring does not come from follower totals or counts taken from friends and likes.  It focuses solely on the ability of your social networking strategy to drive action. 
To sign-up to use Klout, you must connect through a social network—currently Twitter and Facebook are the primary methods available on the Klout website (www.klout.com).  Once you have signed-up and begin using this scoring method, you will be eligible for Klout Perks, Klout information, and even Klout widgets and badges to share your Klout Score. 

For anyone looking to capitalize on their business impact through social networks, Klout is at least worth a second glance.  Klout is a great way to rate your business on your ability to drive action and influence rather than numbers of followers, friends, or likes you may have.  To gauge the true impact your social networking has for your business, as far as leads, interaction, and maintaining your customer base, you may get a lot from just a little Klout.