10 Steps for getting your business on social media sites

Getting involved in social media starts with a plan and a presence – here is the blueprint we use to setup our clients on social media sites. Click the steps to go directly to the signup pages.

1.  Signup for a Gmail account or convert your email to a Google Account

2. Setup a Facebook page for the business 

3. Setup a Google+ Page for the business

4. Setup a Twitter account for your business name

5. Setup your YouTube channel for your business name

6. Setup your personal page on LinkedIn

7. Setup your business on LinkedIn

8.  Download Hootsuite to manage your social media profiles

9. Find and claim your Google Places page

10. Setup Google Alerts for your business

With these 10 steps, it’ll get you started on the road to your social media presence.  Make sure you complete all your account information, including your website address and correct contact information wherever possible.

Good luck!

Greg

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Basic Website Strategy

It all starts with a plan. No sense in building a website without one – and I don’t mean design concepts and wireframes. That’s all well and good, and obviously important but the real plan should focus on content.

For a small business, your website needs to do 2 basic things -

1. Explain your products and services to existing and potential clients in a way that your visitors could understand.

2. Make it incredibly easy for your visitors to get in touch with you. Contact box & phone number on every page of the website are a great place to start.

If you don’t keep these basic things in mind, you may end up with a fantastic looking website that produces no return on your investment.

Greg

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Why Small Businesses Should Use a Trusted Email Marketing Service

Email marketing can do fantastic things for a business, whether your intended audience is another business or you’re directly targeting the consumer.  Email marketing is a proactive formula – rather than relying on search engines and advertising to deliver traffic to your website, collecting email addresses both online and in person when you’re dealing with your clients can provide you with a great formula for increasing your sales results.

The first thing many people thing of when they consider email marketing is ‘spam’, which is a valid concern.  This is why small businesses should use a trusted email marketing service.  And on top of that, you must have a list of email subscribers who have knowingly and expressly signed up for any email notifications coming from you.

No one wants unsolicited junk cluttering up their mailboxes, which is what unscrupulous and abusive spammers do.  Having recipients’ permission to send them emails is what distinguishes you from these regular spammers.  But if you happen to be doing your own email marketing, sending the notifications yourself from your desktop or your own server, you may find yourself having to deal with the more technical aspects of email marketing, such as how to get your message across without fear of getting blocked by anti-spam software.  This can occur when your emails are mistaken for spam and your server or domain is wrongly reported as a spammer.

With a trusted email marketing service provider, which will take care of all the technical issues for you, your emails stand a better chance of getting through and reaching their proper destination.  Which leaves you free to focus on the business side of things, i.e., growing your mailing list, generating more traffic and translating that into a happy customer base.

For more information on Email Marketing Services, contact OSG Marketing today.  We’ll be happy to discuss how email marketing can benefit your business.

That’s it for now,

Greg Bolger
OSG Marketing
647-990-1589

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Online Reputation Management Basics

As a quick followup to my previous post, here’s a primer on reputation management.

You might be a successful online business owner and you might have a strong customer base but you can never do without online reputation management. Online reputation management or ORM is generally an industry (as well as a concept) that aims to study, monitor and control a website’s (or in your case, an online business) reputation over the Web. We all know that your reputation on the worldwide web is not just a matter of how great a businessman you are or how great your products are but also on how you manage to create a lasting and strong reputation that serves your business well.

When it comes to online reputation management basics you also have to know that your online reputation can be affected both by your content as well as user-generated content. While you can easily control what you put on your site, it is more difficult to control what users, visitors, readers, and customers put on your site – genuine or not. These can come in the form of comments, negative publicity, bad wordings and even false claims. The good news is that you can control the possible damage and you can even prevent it as long as you employ online reputation management promptly.

There are free tools which can help you apply online reputation management or you can also hire SEO experts and damage-control teams to put the “online fire” out. Needless to say, you need to recognize the importance of your online reputation especially if you want a credible and sturdy business that can last long.

You can protect your online reputation by knowing where to look and finding where people are talking about you.  For a free, no obligation one hour consultation, contact OSG Marketing today!

Greg Bolger
OSG Marketing

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Social Media Marketing—How to Build Your Brand, Loyalty, and Customer Base

It wasn’t too long ago when TV audiences were at the mercy of commercials telling them what to eat, what to wear, and what to buy.  These days, the dynamic has shifted, with more and more consumers turning to the Internet for their daily information and entertainment needs, and advertisers are scrambling to catch up.

Fortunately for advertisers, this scenario can likewise work to their advantage.  And if you’re one of them, here’s how you do it.  That is, social media marketing—how to build your brand, loyalty, and customer base.

Social media refers to any of the numerous user-centric websites that allow people to provide their own content—text, photos or videos—and share them with other users, creating a vast network of user-generated information.  Not only do people get to personalize the Web, they make friends and connect with others along the way.  Advertisers need only to emulate this.

You could set up a blog and talk about the kind of product or service that you offer.  Not in every single post, mind you, or you risk looking like a spammer.  You could then join a social network like Facebook, open a microblog account like Twitter, or sign up with a social bookmarking site like Digg and provide links to your blog or site from there.  Personalize your profile.  Use your own photo rather than a company logo.  Don’t be so formal.  You want to convey an image of friendliness, of someone fun and interesting that people would want to join your circle or community.  Today’s consumers don’t appreciate it when advertisers talk to them.  They’d much prefer it if you were to talk with them on a more personal level.  If you’re in it simply because you want to sell stuff, they will know and they will stay away.

Not only is utilizing social media a great way to get to know your potential customers and the kind of things they are interested in, but it can also be used to reach out to them, to build lasting and meaningful relationships and networks, the kind that assures your brand will have their patronage as well as their loyalty.

For more information on how Social Media Marketing can help your business, contact OSG Marketing today!

Thanks,

Greg Bolger
OSG Marketing

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Reputation Management—Why It’s Important!

If you have a reputation for selling shoddy products and services at a ridiculously high price, whereas your number one competitor sells better stuff at more affordable rates, who do you think people are going to choose?  If you are known to never deliver promised purchases on time, how long before the last of your customers gets up and leaves you languishing in the dust?  How long before they blog about it and word of your inadequacies spreads throughout Cyberspace like wildfire?

Or what if the reports aren’t true?  What if all the negative press is nothing but a disgruntled competitor’s ploy to discredit you?

Because highly opinionated consumers now have the power to voice those very opinions via the Internet and all manner of social media, companies and businesses have to do everything they can to protect themselves from inflammatory attacks, whether deserved or not.

Special services like Google Alerts allow you to track what users are really saying about you or what they really think of your product by monitoring online media such as blogs or anywhere else there may be a mention of you and the product you sell.  You can also use these services as an excellent tool for market research to find out consumers’ thoughts on your competitors.

Worst case scenario, you would have to work your PR magic and implement some kind of damage control if the negative feedback starts getting out of hand.  But with reputation management, you are able to stay on top of the situation.  Because you are more aware of what the public at large thinks, you can tailor your products and services to what consumers really want.

And when they’re happy, so are you!

You can protect your online reputation by knowing where to look and finding where people are talking about you.  For a free, no obligation one hour consultation, contact OSG Marketing today!

Greg Bolger
OSG Marketing

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Why small businesses need a website

One of the most common questions I’m asked by business owners is “Why do I need a website anyways?”

Most small businesses start with very little capital. They encounter the pressure to advertise their products and services but are challenged with the amount of money they could allot for this marketing activity. In today’s cut-throat market operations, most small business have found refuge in websites, being the most effective, and less expensive tool to use in marketing what they have to offer.

Advertising is just one of the reasons why small businesses need a website. It is affordable, with a wide range of audience and an easy way to gain access through a virtual store. It is also a way to gain the public’s attention through information dissemination and an effective tool to show the attractive features of your products and services. Websites also opens up your creativity to effectively market the things you sell.

Another reason why small businesses need a website is for easy ordering. The internet is popularly known as your one-stop-shop to everything you need. If a regular shopper chanced upon your website and immediately makes a decision to buy your product, they would not have to go to your store to buy it. Having a website makes it easier for your customers to tell you what they want and what they would like to buy. This way, transactions become faster and you could sell more in a limited amount of time.

Small businesses cannot afford to hire a market research company in order to know what the public demands. However, with a website, you can include polls, and allow your customers to interact with you so that you will have a better idea of what the general public needs.

There are tons more reasons why a website is the right solution for your business.  If you’re interested in a no obligation, one hour consultation feel free to contact OSG Marketing.

We’re here to help!

Greg Bolger
OSG Marketing

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Sales Conversion to Help Turn Clients Into Customers

You might have a website that has an increasing amount of traffic but if this traffic stats is not turned into sales, then you have only accomplished a fraction of your business goal. Having an online business can be tough especially if you do not understand the need to turn how to transform your visitors into sales or if you do not convert your sales into regular customers.

There are techniques that can lead to sales conversion to help turn clients into customers. You also would want to turn your website visitors into buying clients not just for a single purchase but for a more times in the future.

One way to do so is to make sure that your web content is not only search engine optimized but worth coming back to. You can be easily searched on the Web and you can have a strong online presence but you also need to make sure that what you offer in your website is something that internet users will put in mind – and come back to. This can be done by having easy-to-navigate pages, interesting and useful content, great products and prices, and so on.

Another way that can make your clients become regular customers is by knowing how to take care of them. Once they visit your site or once they purchase something for you, do not just let them walk away in the hopes of coming back by their own choice. You have to employ strategies that will increase their chances of coming back for more. Some of the common tactics can be email promotions and email list building.

More information to follow on converting traffic to sales.  For a no obligation, free one hour consultation, feel free to contact me.

Greg Bolger
OSG Marketing

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Pay-Per-Click — Free Tips on How to Write the Perfect Campaign

The success of any online venture is largely determined by visibility.  You become visible when your ad shows up alongside search results.  In order for this to happen, web surfers enter keywords or keyword phrases into the search box, and if those words match your own list of preset keywords, which trigger your ad to appear, you pay a certain fee to your host engine each time your ad is clicked.  This is known in the Internet marketing realm as pay-per-click, or PPC.

But keywords alone do not a successful campaign make.  Your ad has to be really eye-catching and attention-grabbing.  It must compel the reader to keep reading, to check out the product or service being advertised, and consequently, to purchase said product or service.  So here are some free tips on how to write the perfect campaign.

Not only should you grab the potential buyer’s attention, but you must hold it as well.  Keep your ad short and simple.  Use catch words like ‘save’, ‘bargain’, ‘free’, ‘exclusive’ and ‘guarantee’.  Other powerful and attractive words you can use are ‘new’, ‘limited’ and ‘proven’.  Keep your customers interested, and deliver on your promises.  Whatever it is you advertise, that’s exactly what they should get—and more.  Don’t just meet expectations, exceed them.  You have to make them want your product.  They have to want to spend money on your product, and they must be prompted to act on their desire by making a purchase.  Otherwise, it isn’t worth much if your customer doesn’t end up buying anything.  The ad campaign didn’t really do its whole job if a sale never takes place.

But if you were to follow these free tips on how to write the perfect campaign, and pair them with your knowledge of PPC and proper keyword research, there’s no reason at all why your ad campaign should fail.

If you’re interested in a free review of your PPC campaigns, give me a call.

Greg Bolger
OSG Marketing

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Website Analytics – How to Turn Stats Into Sales

Being a successful online entrepreneur does not just a website in existence and a few products on sale. It takes a lot more than that. One thing that you can do is to set up a website analytics tool on your website. Having one does not only assure you of proper monitoring but it also allows you to turn your stats into the much needed sales.

Understanding the advantages of a website analytics tool can lead you to a more productive website. First of all, this tool is easily availed of as there are such programs which are free. One example is from Google and this tool allows you to track as well as monitor web visitors, the process by which visitors find you, the frequency of such visits, and so on. Of course, it is not just a matter of statistics. Understanding all these can help you turn them into sales.

Once you have fully understood the stats coming from your website analytics tool, then you can strengthen areas of your website that prove to draw in visitors. On the other hand, you can also use your stats to improve certain web pages and its content so as to increase visitors and transform them into sales and profit.

Turning your website stats into sales can be quite easy with a reliable analytics tool. You can either get them free or get a more advanced tool for a small fee. Either way, you can be assured that you fully understand how your website and your web pages (and content) play a role in your sales and overall Web presence.

Greg Bolger
OSG Marketing

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