Use Social Media With Ease To Promote Your Small Business

Are you using social networking sites to promote your small business? If you aren’t, you may be missing out on potential sales. Although you don’t have to be a marketing expert to benefit from social media marketing, you do have to know how to utilize the programs effectively to keep the cost affordable, yet grow your business.

Interact with consumers

Although there are social media software programs available to help you manage multiple social media accounts, avoid automating all the tasks. While automation leaves you with more time to manage other aspects of your business, it’s still important to communicate with your customers on a personal level by engaging with them in real time.

Anyone who “likes” you on Facebook or follows you on Twitter is a potential customer. But while automated replies allow you to stay active on social media when you can’t be online, you should interact personally whenever possible. Take the time to address some of the comments people leave — both positive and negative. Even if you can’t reply to every comment and message you receive, make an effort to reply to several comments each day.

When people post really amazing comments, consider re-tweeting their tweet or “liking” their Facebook page. Give those users a shout out by tagging them in a comment. Extend them the interest they extend to you. Each day visit the Twitter pages of some of your fans.

Ask for input and then listen to what people have to say

Give both current and potential new customers the opportunity to tell you what they think about the products or services you offer. If there is something your business isn’t doing well, take the feedback you receive from followers and implement their suggestions whenever possible.

Give followers a reason to check your social media sites frequently

Host debates on Twitter, or run contests and giveaways at regular intervals. Set up contests so that individuals must engage with your site to be eligible to enter.Consumers love to enter giveaways that offer products or services for FREE.

Get followers to return to your site by posting information that ties to your business or industry, but that helps them in some way. For example, if you sell exercise equipment, post articles that offer advice for helping people get on a path to improved health. Consumers generally find FREE but valuable information as attractive as free items. You can also designate a specific day each week or month to post your latest sales or special promotions.

Use social media to help others

Avoid using social media venues simply to attract more business. Use social networks to reach out and help others. Participate in fund raising campaigns at different times throughout the year by donating a portion of your sales to charitable causes, including charities that benefit your own local area. Look for ways to work with other businesses to make the communities you serve better places.

You don’t have to be a social media marketing guru to implement a successful social media marketing campaign. The key is to be actively involved on social networking sites. Get to know your followers; allow them to get to know you, and more business is sure to follow — pun intended.



The Do’s and Don’ts of Direct Mail Marketing

Direct mail campaigns can offer companies a cost-effective and precise means of reaching their ideal target audience. Without basing their campaigns on the optimal direct mail strategies, even the most respected brands are doomed to fail in their marketing initiatives.

To be effective in their direct mail marketing campaigns, companies must consider the industry-wide best practices.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Direct Mail Marketing

DO Utilize an Effective Call to Action

The success of a direct mail marketing campaign will be largely based on how well the company communicates with their audience. The first step in this process is the call to action within the campaign. It’s imperative that the call to action tells the audience precisely what action they are required to take to move the business relationship forward. Companies can use urgency to improve the impact of their call to action. For example, businesses might use the phrase; “Call today – Limited Stock Available” to inspire action.

DO Commit Resources to Proofreading

A direct mail campaign is one of the best ways of communicating quickly and effectively with a core audience-base. Companies that make errors in their grammar and spelling are doomed to campaign failure. It’s the reason that it’s so important that organizations employ an expert proofreader before sending out their direct mail marketing campaigns. The proofreader can ensure that all content is clearly and professionally written and can reduce miscommunication issues.

DO Set a Goal For Your Campaign

It is always a good move to set a goal before you start your marketing campaign. And set a target for each of your campaign so that at the end of the day we can easily say if the campaign was a success. And if the first time was a success it would encourage the stakeholders and excite them.
And also evaluate which mode of direct marketing is giving more results so that we can focus more on that the next time.

DON’T Send Out Campaigns Without an Effective Testing Plan

In order for companies to experience the lasting benefits direct mail campaigns can bring to their marketing processes, they must have a plan for testing their campaigns. Companies should be continually testing their new campaigns and comparing their “A” mailing with their “B” mailing. This commitment to testing and research empowers companies to determine which strategies yield the optimal results.

DON’T Over Exaggerate

Make sure that the description is not over the top or too much fluffy. People may not tolerate all those adjectives and your mail may go straight into the dustbin. Always be to the point and describe how the product is going the benefit them. And try to make them curious about the product, that works mostly.

DON’T Send Out Impersonal Mailings

Direct mail should be personalized for the recipient. It’s important the recipient feels as if they are being reached out to directly by the company. By using the recipient’s name in addressing direct mailings and mentioning their name often within sales letters and other direct mail documents, companies can help forge a strong connection between themselves and their potential customers.

By simply learning the do’s and don’ts of the direct mailing industry, and by basing their campaigns on the proven effective strategies utilized by the market leaders, growing businesses can achieve an exceptional return for their campaign investment.



9 SEO Tricks Small Business Owners Should Try

For small business owners who are trying to grow online presence, search engine visibility is the best way to increase your site traffic. With a few SEO tricks, you can boost the search engine ranking of your business website and watch as you get more and more site visitors that lead to more appointments and sales. Too busy running the business? Not a problem.

SEO Tips -

These SEO techniques are time-efficient as they are cost-efficient. So, let’s get started!

Install Google Webmaster Tools

Google Webmaster Tools (GWT) provides incredible insights that can help you understand the performance of your website based on your target audience’ behavior. It presents important data that are vital to your website analysis, such as the number of visitors come to your website from Google, the keywords that were used to get to your site, how you rank in the search results, and errors on your website that keeps your site from ranking higher.

Improve Your Site Load Time

Google has been giving greater weight to faster sites in the search results. Having a slow website can hurt your ranking. Conversely, if your site loads fast, then expect it to rank better. Plus, faster load times can lead to higher website conversions.

Google Page Speed is a great tool that provides you with insights on how to speed up your site. The suggestions can get a bit too technical, but if you’re using WordPress and know how to install plugins, there are caching plugins like W3 Total Cache that can make this process simple.

Install CloudFlare

CloudFlare is one of the best things you can add onto your business website. This tool which is free for most people makes it so easy to speed up your website while also protecting it from bots and other malicious attacks.

Optimize for Local Search

Your website should have a dedicated page for your business NAP information (name, address, and phone number). Usually, this is the Contact Us page, but some businesses also place this information on their About Us page. Aside from your website, add your business to reputable online listings such as Google My Business and make sure that all your contact details are consistent across all media. If you feel like you need further SEO training to enhance your skills, this will actually be a good investment.

Get Listed in Top Local Directories

Top local directories such as Yelp, OpenTable, TripAdvisor, and Urbanspoon help increase your chances of being seen by your target customers. If you don’t have the time to list your business in other local directories, that’s alright as long as you make sure you are listed in these as these are the ones that consistently rank at the top for local based searches, so it’s crucial that you are listed in these if you want to get noticed.

Add Open Graph Data to Your Website

Open Graph is a protocol that integrates Facebook’s functionality on other websites. Although Google is not yet ranking pages with Open Graph data higher, this protocol makes it easier to index and classify your website for Google. Open Graph is also known to affect performance on social media.

Use Share Plugins

Share plugins make it so much easier for people to share your content, which can be a round-about way to get backlinks. Social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+ all have their own versions of plugins. You can also use a service like AddThis.

Install an SEO Plugin

Installing an SEO plugin is the best way you can make use of your 10 minutes. This plugin is very helpful in taking care of SEO tasks, such as optimizing title tags and meta descriptions as well as creating and submitting sitemaps.

Make Your Site Mobile Friendly

With the recent Google update that started ranking websites that have mobile-friendly designs higher, it will be a worthwhile endeavor to make the necessary changes to your website so that it is optimized for mobile. With more consumers using their mobile devices like smart phones and tablets to search, being mobile-friendly is definitely a must if you want your business to reach your target market.

With these simple SEO tricks, most of which you can do on your own, you can look forward to more site visits and, consequently, an increase in sales and revenue.

[box type=”shadow” align=”alignleft” class=”” width=””]Michelle Rubio is an experienced SEO copywriter and blogger since 2010. She has been working with various businesses, big and small, in the United States, UK, Canada, and Australia. You can see more of her works and experiences in her LinkedIn profile.




What If I Don’t Register My Business?

Registering your business is a simple and effective way to get started. In the province of Ontario the process is fairly straightforward and inexpensive. You only need relevant information like your business name, address, and type of business or product.

Unless you are operating under your own name, business registration is a must in the province of Ontario. Even if your business does share your full name, registration can help you in many ways. The registration procedure is not time consuming and offers many benefits.



One of the most important aspects of operating a business is return-on-investment. ROI (which coincidentally is the French word for “king”) is how you make back the money you’ve spent and can start making profits. Due to its inexpensive nature, business registration is one of the investments you’ll make back quickly.

Failsafe Asset Protection

If your business goes under or you are involved in a lawsuit that could end very badly for you and your business, registration can offer a form of protection. You’ve probably put your heart, soul, and every penny into your business. When you register your business, your assets and liabilities are considered separate from your personal resources. Should your business fail, you won’t lose your personal effects.

Get Serious

The bottom line is that registered businesses are taken seriously by big-name corporations and investors. When people want to invest with you, they want to know that you’re also invested in your business. Registration proves that you have a plan in place for your business’ future and are serious about pushing your product or services to a greater market. This doesn’t mean that you have to have world domination on your mind, but it does imply that you have an idea of where you’d like your business to be and how you see it making money. Basically, investors see a registered business as their own ROI.

Expansion Could Be In Your Very Near Future

You may not be ready for expansion right away but it could be just around the corner. Expansion allows you to hire more employees, move into bigger digs, and further develop your product line or service offerings. You may need to move from your online site to an actual office space due to increased demand or even set up a factory to manufacture your product. After registering your business, all the aforementioned scenarios will be much easier to undertake.

Say “Yes” to Registration

Business registration is important and should not be taken for granted. It is probably best that you do register your business sooner rather than later because you may have an easier time operating. Registering a business helps you plan for the future, anticipate success, and protects your personal assets.

Additionally, you can be fined in Ontario for not registering your business. Unless you have deep pockets and more assets than you can count, register your business. It’ll save you time and money in the long-run. And it is always a wise decision to take the help of an online business incorporation while registering the business. They can help you with anything from finding a name for your business to registering it.

[box type=”shadow” align=”alignleft” class=”” width=””]I am Eric Jones. Business, entrepreneurship, and law are three of my greatest passions. My favorite mentor to follow, and someone who I look up to greatly is Warren Buffett. I make sure to continuously conduct research and keep myself informed on recent news and trends surrounding my fields of interest. This guarantees that I don’t miss out any important findings that will help progress my profession. My favorite book is “The Intelligent Investor” by Benjamin Graham. Follow me on Twitter[/box]


Things to Consider When Coming Up With Promotional Ideas for Your Company

In order to grab the attention of your customers, you will have to find a way to promote your business in a unique way. There are a number of different ways to get the word out about your business. By consulting with your employees, you will be able to get some promotional products ideas. The more you are able to find out about the ideas of your staff, the easier you will find it to get the right products in place.

Promotional Ideas

Here are a few things you have to consider when trying to find the right promotional products for your company.

Who Are You Marketing To?

The first thing to think about when trying to find the right promotional products for your business is who you are marketing to. By finding out who your audience is you will be able to get the right mindset when it comes to promotional products. The more you are able to find out about what is going on with your audience, the easier you will find it to put out the promotional products. The time that goes into this process is well worth it in the end.

Who Will You Use?

The next thing to consider when trying to find the right promotional items is where you will get them. Usually, you will have a number of different companies to choose from, which will require you to do some research. The more you can find out about the professionals in your area, the easier you will find it to get the right company hired. Be sure to do some research online to figure out which company can offer you the best deal on what you need for your business.

Where Will You Give Them Out At?

When trying to choose the right promotional products for your business, you will have to make sure you find out where you will be handing them out at. If you are going to a special event to hand them out, then you need to make them themed to coincide with the event.

By finding the right professionals, you will be able to get your product customized the right way. Make sure you do a fair amount of research before you go out to get your products made due to the benefits that this can bring to you in the end.

[box type=”shadow” align=”” class=”” width=””]At White Paper, you will be able to get the products you need for your business. They have a wide selection of products that are both high in quality and low in price.[/box]


How Mobile Marketing Helps Your Business

In a business, marketing is very important. They can advertise their products to the customers. It is in the hands of the people behind every business, the success of their products or services. If they marketed it based on the satisfaction of the customers, then there is a big chance that it will prosper. Before, they use traditional marketing wherein they advertise the products personally to the customers. But now, most businesses use Mobile Marketing.

mobile marketing

[box type=”shadow” align=”” class=”” width=””]

What is Mobile Marketing

is a type of marketing wherein the advertisements of the products or services of a business or company are sent through text. They send it to their clients’ mobile number to make them familiar with the products or services that they offer. It is an extension of Internet marketing, dependent largely on a form of permission-based marketing. It is the modern art of advertising and promoting products through the use of Mobile Phones. Yes, you read it right. [/box]

Some businesses make use of mobile phones nowadays to communicate with their clients. We are living in a modern world, that is why, all things in this world change as the new inventions emerge.

Almost 99% percent of people in this world have mobile phones. We use it in communicating with loved ones, colleagues and other people that are important to us. Businesses find it as an advantage to make their business become popular, and to familiarize people with their products or services. We all know that we are using our mobile phones every day, every minute and every hour. It has expanded rapidly because it is an easier way to make people aware of their products.

It is very helpful to a business or a company since they do not need to talk personally to their clients but they can send those messages advertising their products and talk about these products/services through mobile phones, either text or call. Through the use of mobile marketing, they can now make an interaction with their clients and customers. They can tell them the benefits, advantages and other features of the products that they are selling. It is what is used widely now in the business world.

Different companies have different strategies in marketing. It depends on the people assigned in if the advertisements can attract customers or not. Majority of people nowadays are busy with their work, studies and other stuff, for that, they do not have time to meet these people just to listen personally to the advertisements of the products that they want to purchase, that is, it is also an ease on the part of the customers who want to buy products, or avail services from a company.

Now, they can just communicate through mobile phones to understand the product, know the advantages and disadvantages of the product that they want to buy. If they have any questions or clarification, they can just call, send SMS or email through their mobile phones.

Everything is not perfect, mobile marketing has also its upside and downside, let’s check them out.

pros and cons of mobile marketing

Quick results Platforms too diverse
Easy to work with Privacy Issues
Convenient to Use Mobile Phone Navigation
Direct Marketing
instantaneous User Response Tracking
Potential of Going Viral is High
Mass Communication Made Easy
This Niche is not Highly Concentrated
Microblogging Benefits
Mobile Payments

There are many companies now who are making the most out of mobile marketing in introducing, advertising or promoting their products.



Here are some interesting resources (infographics) about the state of mobile marketing.


The Top Four Team Collaboration Myths

Team collaboration is crucial to performance, and especially achieving enhanced performance. Yet, many managers and team leaders consider team collaboration to be a passing phase and yet another buzzword in the management lexicon. Collaboration is the glue that holds together not only teams, businesses and organizations, but our entire society – just think about the collaboration involved in driving into work this morning – how many people ran a stoplight in front of you? Hopefully none – and that is collaboration in operation.

Team Collaboration

Here are the top four myths associated with Team Collaboration and why you’re getting it wrong if you’re doing any of these:

System Failure

Adding team collaboration tools will cause the business process to break down or become inefficient.

This is Myth #1 – to begin with, your IT systems are not going to fail over because you add a team collaboration tool which promotes data and file sharing. Secondly, the ability to quickly communicate and share information and files in one repository will actually make your team more efficient because they get what they need faster.

Thirdly, the claim that user adoption will be slow and there will be a need for training does not hold water either – online collaboration tools are easy to use, intuitive and user adoption has repeatedly been demonstrated to be extremely high in all forms and sizes of business and organizations.

Confidentiality Risk

Increasing the ability to share data and information increases the risk of breaching company confidentiality and sharing information with unauthorized people.

This is Myth #2 – unauthorized sharing is always a risk to any business, and the answer is always the same – establish clear policies on what is in the public domain and what is not. At the same time, establish effective security measures to prevent unauthorized access and sharing.

Again, many online collaboration tools use role-based permissions to enforce compliance with company procedures and secure data and information within the company.

Productivity Will Fall

Because people are spending more time talking to one another and not doing the work, productivity will suffer.

This is Myth #3 – working together involves talking to one another – it is how we get things done faster. Not only this, even non-productive chatter is good for team performance, because this is one way in which social bonds, mutual respect and trust are fostered and built. This also improves team confidence because they know one another well, including each other’s abilities, working habits, skills and experience.

Sharing Knowledge

If I share my knowledge, experience and skills with other people, I will not be so important and essential to the business and less secure in my position.

This is Myth #4 – knowledge hoarders are rarely viewed as essential to the team or business, instead they tend to be regarded as uncooperative, difficult to work with and obstructive.

Sharing skills and knowledge, especially showing others how they can get things done better for themselves and the team, means you are regarded more as being helpful and more essential. This improves authority status, but also it means the whole team or business is gaining because everyone is learning how to get things done better, faster and easier.

[box type=”shadow” align=”” class=”” width=””]Jane Wrythe is a business and technology writer who is currently focusing on team collaboration solutions such as Lean Bpm Pioneer, JobTraQ.[/box]

Why Should You Be Using Customer Boxes?

There are so many factors that go into running a successful business. For most business owners, trying to keep up with everything can be a bit overwhelming at times. If you are in the business of producing goods for the public, then you will have your stress level increased significantly.

With all of the many things you have to consider when putting products out for sale, having a game plan will be beneficial. One of the first things you need to think about when selling goods to the public is the packaging you use.

custom boxes

The following are a few of the reasons you need to use custom boxes for your products.

 Custom Boxes are Great For Branding

One of the first benefits you will be able to take advantage of when choosing to use custom boxes is your ability to brand them. In order to get ahead in the world of small business, you will need to have people recognize your brand. There are a number of ways to do this and one of the most effective is by having your brand featured heavily on the packaging of your products.

Just the Right Size

Another great benefit you can gain when using customized boxes is that you will be able to get the right size to fit your product. The last thing any business owner wants to do is to compromise when it comes to the dimensions of their packaging.

By working closely with your box manufacturer, you will be able to come up with a box that is original and just the right size for your product. Make sure you search around to find out which supplier in your area can best meet the needs you have regarding your customizations.

Make it As Durable as You Want

When choosing to use customized boxes, you will be able to make them just as durable as you want. The more you are able to customize the boxes you need, the better equipped you will be to get the durability you are looking for.

In most cases, you will be able to work closely with the supplier you have chosen to get the right boxes for your product. Even if you have to pay a bit more for the boxes you are producing, it will be worth it to give your customers the durability and quality they are looking for.

[box type=”info” align=”alignleft” class=”” width=””]Finding the right custom boxes is easy . Cactus Containers will be able to help you get the best possible boxes for your business. Call them or visit their website for more information.[/box]


Why Personal Branding Matters

And where could you find the word “Google” previously? When internet has not yet acknowledged towards million of people around the globe, normally encyclopedias or dictionary is the main target of the researcher.  But for now, you can personally search all the way through internet the word “Google”.  Did you attempt to Google a certain person? Yes, I did try it also to assure that the employer who hires me as worker really has good background. I also try searching a name of an employer who appears in other legitimate online job website but unfortunately he does not appear to Google search engine results.

In fact, I had submitted an article for him as a requirement but he never paid me.  Likewise to employers for instance, before they will appoint or come up with final employment a potential contractor or let us say worker; they will look for it to well-liked search engine — Google. Why they will look for your name? Employers also wanted to have good background to their possible employer.


Did you know that whenever we sign up to any social networking sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter; our personal facts or information is automatically searchable? It can’t be eluded that owing to huge quantity of information as well as additional issues causative toward search engine optimization (SEO), these social sites frequently come out in close proximity to the top in Google searches for individual qualities.

In reality, your latent employers will Google you. Do you have any thought that employers will look for your name? No body’s perfect, remember.  As we live for free in this country, it can’t avoided to do stupid things like drunken liquor and a friend you takes you a picture and then post in the most visited social networking site — Facebook . Oh, it’s an embarrassment for you. Other activities are going to bars, casino, discos, dating with somebody and all of these circumstances are taken and posted on Facebook. Employers has different thinking, some of them will think that you are out goers, bad influence and etc. that will easily destroy your reputation upon applying to your employer. You must know how to put out of sight those images that would give poor sense to your employer.

What should you do so that you appear presentable or professional online?  You can commence now. I will provide you the steps in order to make the most of your personal brand online professional.

  • Profile Listing — How many society online that you have registered? Are you registered on Facebook, twitter, LinkedIn or you tube what else? You must clear your browser’s cookies and then Google your name.
  • Removed your Unnecessary Images — you can watch around to any online sites you are indexed. Delete your pictures which are not good to see to other people or to your possible employer. If the content to your account is extensive, just set your profile into private so that no one could view it except you.
  • Improved your Personal Image — present yourself online with coolness or poise properly. By means of distributing links otherwise conversing content or you can connect to societies associated to your line of work. And prove to your employer that you are interested to your career.
  • Your own Life must be Confidential — Like in Facebook as well as twitter, you can change your recommended settings into privacy settings. This is necessary to control shared information’s or photos.
  • Your Alerts must be Systematized — Yahoo and Google Alerts tools are alerts you can utilized. These tools will assist you to check your trade name online. For example you set up alerts to your name; you can follow where you are viewing online on a daily basis.

Personal branding actually matters because if you don’t manage your name online, your employer might discourage in hiring you as he/she had viewed your images which they think that you are bad influence applicant for the reason that as they searched your name, they find odd as their first impression.


Tracking Mobile Usability For Google’s Top Mobile Search Results

Google has embraced this mobile savvy world to bring more mobile friendly experience for internet users in any corner of the world. Google now introduces its latest mobile usability phenomenon as a ranking factor in mobile search results.

Having responsive web design is not sufficient, a website needs to get optimized for mobile as well in order to increase mobile searches and mobile based traffic to a website.

Google has recently announced that from April 21st, 2015, it will extend the use of mobile-friendly websites to get them ranked throughout mobile search results. This new change will be applicable to worldwide mobile search results in all languages to have “significant” impact.

Mobile Usability

So, the first step is to deliver mobile-friendly sites for mobile search for which Google has also launched mobile-friendly site criteria as well as mobile friendly site testing tool to see whether a website meets Google’s criteria.

What is Mobile Usability?

Mobile usability is a simple term, as it suggests, “to be usable for mobile”. Mobile usability therefore, refers to a website that is too mobile-friendly to impact mobile search ranking. It also refers more mobile users searching for a website and getting desired searches for their queries. Mobile usability is also termed as providing satisfactory user experience to mobile internet users.

What is Mobile Search Results?

A mobile friendly website is known to have mobile search results. A website that is optimized for mobile, provides mobile search results. It considers all those search results that ought to show whenever there is a mobile based query.

Google announces the launch of a mobile-friendly test tool to pass Google’s criteria to have a mobile optimized site. This suggests adding a “mobile-friendly” label next to sites in Google’s search results, and websites have to pass this criteria.

Reasons for Creating Usable Web Design for Mobile

According to Mobile Marketing Statistics 2015, smart phones are most popular devices used to search internet. Therefore, mobile based web traffic is on a consistent rise. Why mobile usability is that important for Google? Here come some reasons for creating usable web design for mobile.

Mobile-friendly sites are known to turn visitors into customers because mobile visitors are more likely to revisit a mobile-friendly site.

Google aims to serve people with best of information. Therefore, owing to latest trend of growing mobile users worldwide, it seeks to provide most relevant and useful information.

What is usable content to track Google’s top mobile search results?

For tracking mobile search results, a website needs to have usable content that can be optimized for mobile. There must be:

  • An adjustable and configured viewport for mobile’s screen size.
  • Readable fonts for mobile friendly website scale.
  • Visual appeal just like computer based websites.
  • Proper Flash Usage
  • Easy to touch and browse content

If these factors are not fixed, they can affect mobile usability of a mobile friendly site.

Benefits of Testing Mobile Usability

Google offers mobile-friendly testing tool for websites to fix the issues to get optimized for mobile. Running a website through this webmaster tool, offers following benefits to fix the errors:

  • It diagnosis a websites health for mobile friendliness
  • Potential issues are detected
  • Knowledge of mobile search traffic
  • Knowledge of mobile users searching a site
  • Key points for mobile optimization

Google is helping each web design company to track mobile usability to get top mobile search results on Google. It not only labels a website to be mobile friendly but also filters errors to be fixed, that enable a website to win the latest race of being mobile friendly website.

For those looking for web designing services, eTek Studio in Dubai offers mobile friendly web design or responsive web design to make a website better viewed on any device.

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