TotalWeb Partners Blog

Social Media Marketing for Small Business: What You Need to Know?

Only a handful of technologies could measure up to the internet in terms of the impact it had on the way small companies operate. All of a sudden, the majority of these locally-operating businesses were transported onto the global market, where they now had to struggle for survival against others of their kind.

Luckily, the world wide web has also given these companies a some new of means of dealing with this new competitive environment. Among the tools at their disposal, social networks are the ones that are seeing the most use. Companies of all sizes utilize social media to enhance their online standing in a number of ways, allowing them to acquire a more significant share of the market.

Not all companies have managed to leverage the power of social media to their advantage. Usually, this is due to limitations in terms of time, staff, and resources that are common among small businesses. With that being said, even a small business operation can find a way to utilize social media in their favor.

If you want to know more about this topic, you can scroll down and check out our short guide on social media marketing basics for small business.

How to Develop a Social Media Marketing Strategy
One of the main selling points of social media is the relative ease with which you can get an account up and running. Social media has been a mainstay of internet culture for a while now – I would be hard-pressed to find a person who hasn’t used an account on some social network at some point in their life. While this kind of knowledge is certainly a useful place to start, it is not sufficient for running a social media campaign for a business.

In order to use social media marketing for business, you first need to develop a strategy. Doing so involves figuring out what you hope to accomplish by promoting your business on social media. For instance, you might want to improve the conversion rate of your landing pages, increase overall website traffic, strengthen your brand, or get in touch with your most loyal customers.

Read more: Social Media Marketing for Small Business: What You Need to Know?

 

Winning the social media marketing game

Thousands of years ago, clans gathered around fires to share their day’s experiences and to tell stories that established group norms and shaped social organization. Today, the fire’s embers have been replaced by the glow of internet-connected devices, but the communal exchange of stories and perspectives remains a fundamental force in social development.

From a business standpoint, a few important differences emerge from this evolution. Social media users can now publicly discuss their experiences with brands or products, forming large coalitions of interest that exert vast social pressure on brands and other organizations. From the presidential election to the newest cereal, everything is now a matter of public interest.

The essential principle, however, of shaping our world by sharing stories remains the same. The connections we build with others around us are the infrastructure of social change. Understanding how these connections are formed on social media, the purpose of these connections and how they can be leveraged is foundational to social media marketing.

Read more: Winning the social media marketing game

 

How to defend yourself against an ongoing negative SEO campaign

You know what negative SEO is (and isn’t). You know how to audit your site to determine if you’ve been hit. You know how to protect yourself to limit your exposure. Now it is time to discuss how to defend yourself against an ongoing negative SEO campaign.

Who is attacking you?

There are a variety of ways to unmask the people targeting you and your site with a negative SEO attack. Some depend on the type of attack you’re experiencing. No matter how they are coming at you, you will need to collect some information in order to shut them down.

Let’s look at common attack methods and see how we can turn the tables and use what they’re doing to us — against them.

Inbound links
Using your favorite link analysis tool, you will need to segment the links you expect to have (your old links) to the new ones you believe are coming from an attack. This step is very easy to oversimplify because link scoring varies significantly, depending on your philosophy of links, risk tolerance and which tool you use to score links. The end result of this step is a list of links you think are part of an attack.

Check to see if the links being used against you are related or follow similar footprints:

  • Are you seeing a lot of links from low-quality blogs, scraper sites, bookmarking sites, wikis or directories?
  • Did a large number of new inbound links pop up at the same time?
  • Are a lot of your new links coming from the same IP address or countries?
  • Are the new links using the same anchors over and over?

This massive influx of inbound links can be the work of an individual or group using spam software. Spam software tends to leave some telltale traces, such as a high number of links using the same anchors or a concentration of links from a single specific footprint. An example of this might be links inserted in footers like this: “Powered by phpBB © 2000.”
If you were to look at your backlinks in your favorite link analysis tool, you might not immediately notice specific patterns or certain types of links. Look for unusual patterns such as adult and pharma anchor text phrases in new links, or a high volume of links you cannot attribute to any of your marketing activities. These types of links may indicate a negative SEO attack implemented by someone using a spam tool, or possibly someone using a network of sites.

Read more: How to defend yourself against an ongoing negative SEO campaign

 

Insights on Social Media Marketing: Scoop the Best for B2B Marketing 

Did you know that 71% of consumers who have had a good social media service experience with a brand are likely to recommend it to others?

Not long ago, businesses would focus on newspapers and advertising through print. They still do, but clearly, digital media has taken over a major share of the branding budget in 2018. Now with smartphones and social media technology, businesses prefer to surf the tide of customer service using new-age marketing technologies. Social Media Marketing clearly demonstrates how technology amplifies brand messaging and meets new benchmarks in customer service benchmarks.

B2B marketing insights incorporated in social media are effective methods for traffic generation, interactive engagement and brand association.

  • IBM Watson worked with the US open to deliver real-time insights on Instagram of new engagements and experiences for millions of online fans. Customers form associations with the event and the brand, thus being an effective real-time marketing scenario.
  • A video is often named as the tool which has helped gain traffic in various areas of businesses. In the area of video marketing for B2B marketing efforts, 97% of marketers believe that videos have helped increase user understanding of a certain product/service.
  • Real-time responsiveness plays a critical role in customer experience. A great example of this is the Facebook page of Bluehost. Bluehost is one of the leading web hosting services company and boasts of a strong social media presence. The unrelenting efforts of their social media team provide opportunities to the brand in coordinating with their audience on real-time concepts.

Read more: Insights on Social Media Marketing: Scoop the Best for B2B Marketing 

How to Solve 3 Major Social Media Marketing Pain-Points That Continue to Exist

Social media marketing has immense potential in the areas of customer engagement, lead generation and sales. Using social networks, you can not only identify new customers, but also engage your current customers and expand their customer lifecycles. Yet, few social media marketers ever boast of having experienced these benefits. Why? Pain-points. Here are 3 major pain-points that you probably continue to experience and how to fix them permanently.

  1. Securing resources and time

According to an eMarketer survey, 46% enterprise companies find securing internal resources extremely challenging. That’s not very surprising. When was the last time you asked your boss to hire an extra hand for social media marketing? If it wasn’t too long ago, you’ll remember the sting of being turned down after ineffectively sharing your workload issues. Everyone assumes that social media managers simply tweet. Why should any company need more than one of those employees?

Solution

The simplest solution to this problem? Subscribe to a reliable social media management tool. Choose one that automates/organizes your most time-consuming tasks, so you can make room for tasks that actually contribute to your goals. Here are a few great examples of tools.

DrumUp for social media and content marketing

Using DrumUp, which a social media manager tool, you can schedule social media posts in advance, store drafts/completed ideas in organized folders, schedule across multiple accounts, curate content that your audience will appreciate, automate content sharing from RSS feeds (of your blog or interesting websites) and automate content sharing from libraries or pre-filled folders of your best evergreen content.

Canva for easy social media graphic designing

Using Canva, which is a graph designing tool, you can choose from optimized templates for sharing graphics on different social platforms. The tool also stocks templates for infographics, blog graphics, and so many other purposes, so you design-time is significantly reduced. If you have standard colors and fonts for your brand, you can also save your work on Canva and reuse the same templates to create quick social media graphics.

Read more at https://www.business2community.com/marketing/how-to-solve-3-major-social-media-marketing-pain-points-that-continue-to-exist-02079682

Read more: How to Solve 3 Major Social Media Marketing Pain-Points That Continue to Exist

4 Reasons Why Effective Writing Must Figure in Your Web Design Strategy

Digitization has caught up with us and is taking root in all parts of our lives. From businesses to individuals, all strive to carve their niche in our digital world. Both newbie web designers and some of the experienced hands who have been in the industry for decades still believe that a successful website is all about the visuals. To some degree that is true; designing aesthetics and visuals are of great importance, but another aspect that should be recognized is compelling writing.

The textual content that you write is just as significant as the images that you will use and below are the reasons why.

  1. Writing Grabs Attention

Forget the website for a minute, what do you do when you want to grab someone’s attention? You will probably shout or even scream to achieve this.

The same concept applies in the online space. So how exactly can you grab attention online through your website? Images can work magic, but they are not enough as attention-grabbing tools by themselves. It’s the content that helps your visuals attract and hold the attention of web visitors.

By using engaging content, you will be able to make a point in a precise manner effectively. You can create an element of surprise with your content, use it to shock your audience or use it to engage and pique the interest of your audience. But even as you are about to put down your words into writing, you should know that the content that you come up with must be written impeccably to grab attention.

2. Writing Helps You Demonstrate Credibility

Different kinds of sites have different expectations, but they all have a common requirement. They all have to look credible. It’s a logical requirement if you are using your website as a tool to help you sell something, promote a cause or indulge people in doing specific activities. The bottom line is, you need them to trust you and to achieve that, your website must look reliable.

The good news is it’s not rocket science to create a robust website that looks serious. Just like mentioned above, having the right visual elements and arranging them nicely is not enough to cut it. Your site still won’t appear complete and will require a cherry on top which is the added text. With good writing, not only will your website engage audiences, but it will also make your site weblink appear credible.

You can also subtly achieve this. It is unnecessary to write about the high quality of your products or brag about your high level of honesty. On the contrary, such statements could potentially have the opposite effect on your audience. When it comes to reputations of companies, it’s best when it speaks for itself.

Read more: 4 Reasons Why Effective Writing Must Figure in Your Web Design Strategy

8 RULING WEB DESIGN TRENDS FOR 2018

Web design trends have undergone an apparent change as one of the most dynamic industries in web technologies. It is 2018, the eighteenth year of the millennia, a year for exploration of the web technologies in a dynamic perspective. Web technology is unbeatable and with the ever-rising technical challenges as more products get into the market, the only choice of web designers is be innovative and put up with the changing trends. They have to ensure that their designs fit any internet device be it a desktop or a smartphone. Here is a list of 8 ruling web design trends that will shape the web industry in 2018.

Prioritizing mobile web designs

Smartphones have surpassed desktop and notebook computers in browsing. According to Statista, a renowned scientific research organization, projections hold that by 2020 over 40 percent of the population of the world will own a smartphone. Interesting facts by the same organization project an annual smartphone shipping capacity of 1.7 billion by 2021. The implication is that most people will surf the net using smartphones. 2018 resolution is to give priority to mobile web designs. This year, 2018, is a year of transformative web design as designers embrace the reality of battling with technical challenges to give their users a satisfying experience in their web products with a top priority on mobile designs. Have a look on 7 essential principles of mobile web design to get designed a good mobile site.

Read more: 8 RULING WEB DESIGN TRENDS FOR 2018

SaaS Cloud–It’s What’s For Dinner

The world over, folks ask the same two questions every day–what’s for dinner, and what’s the weather forecast? In the government IT space, every day we’re all asking about the cloud forecast. A recent report from P&S Market Research provides new insights on the global government’s cloud appetites.

Big and Getting Bigger Fast

According to the report, the global market for government cloud services is expected to reach $49.2 billion by 2023, growing at a compounded annual rate of 15.4 percent. It states that SaaS offerings will see the highest revenue growth because government agencies are attracted by the low cost of ownership and the pay-as-you-go model.

What Tastes Good?

Government agencies have been adopting cloud for storage, disaster recovery, identity access management (IAM), risk compliance management, and other applications. The P&S report projects that the largest growth in the next five years will take place in disaster recovery and IAM applications as agencies turn to cloud solutions to prevent transaction and data losses from disasters and vulnerabilities.

FedRAMP Breadcrumbs

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions have figured prominently as agencies have turned to a variety of subscription-based cloud offerings for customer relationship management, financial management, and human resource functions. Judging by the 60 cloud services currently going through FedRAMP security accreditation, the trend toward SaaS solutions is likely to continue–90 percent of these are SaaS solutions. And to date, about 80 percent of the 97 services that have received FedRAMP authorization are also SaaS solutions.

Agency Appetites

Recent agency requests for information give a view into what agencies are looking for in cloud infrastructures. For instance, the FBI is looking to acquire Platform as a Service (PaaS) and SaaS offerings from established cloud service providers with an existing, large-scale commercial offering that can provide resource pooling to support multiple government agencies. The cloud platform must meet intelligence community security requirements for handling secret data, assuring high availability, and providing significantly more cost-efficient computing than traditional approaches. The FBI is also looking for services that provide middleware, such as identity and security management, log analysis, and audit capabilities.

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is also looking to migrate applications to a commercial cloud provider. CBP wants to migrate all its applications out of its National Data Center in Springfield, Virginia to the cloud by the end of October 2022. CBP’s objective is to procure FedRAMP-compliant services to migrate to the cloud service provider’s platform. The agency is looking for Infrastructure-as-a-Service, PaaS, and SaaS cloud providers.

DoD’s JEDI infrastructure cloud deal’s headlining the cloud menu–but look out for SaaS solutions to keep tickling Uncle Sam’s taste buds.

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Why Non-IT Employees Are Now Driving Decisions About SaaS And Cloud Applications

Ryan Duguid, SVP of technology strategy at Nintex, spoke with TechRepublic’s Dan Patterson about the role of non-IT employees in cloud transitions.

Watch the video or read the transcript of their conversation below:

Patterson: The cloud has had an undeniably transformative effect on the enterprise and SaaS, of course, is at the heart of cloud growth. Now, the growth of SaaS might be up to non-IT workers.

Ryan, thank you very much for your time today. I wonder if we could first define how SaaS has grown historically to this point, and then we’ll talk a little bit about why it’s up to non-IT employees to help the growth of the cloud, and cloud-based applications.

 Duguid: Certainly, so at the end of the day, the massive upswing in SaaS is driven for obvious reasons, right? There’s cost savings associated with it, a lack of requirement for as many IT administrators to keep the lights on, but fundamentally, I think it’s about speed of delivery of technology to the business, and that’s always been a problem in the IT sector, and SaaS really makes the promise to solve that problem.

Patterson: So what is it about SaaS that has either reached an apex, or what is it that is now demanding non-IT employees to buy in as well?

Duguid: I think there’s two parts to this, right? The first part is that at the end of the day, SaaS has largely been driven by demand from the business. IT historically has struggled to keep up with the requirements of the business, and so the business is constantly pushing for the latest and greatest technology.

I think the other side of it, is now there’s a proliferation of SaaS vendors out there, when in the early days it was the big boys like the Workdays, and Salesforce and the likes. There’s not a SaaS application for everything, for every business function, for every industry, no matter how large or small, and so as a result there’s really this thirst or appetite for the business to get in and self-serve, even if IT’s not willing to be a part of that journey.

SaaS Adoption Is Outpacing Business’s Ability To Secure It

Two-thirds of ITDMs at large organisations are concerned about keeping up with security requirements for SaaS adoption

As the rate of cloud and SaaS adoption increases in businesses, IT teams are primarily concerned with data privacy, new research contends, with 64% of ITDMs believing that their organisation’s SaaS adoption is outpacing their ability to secure it.

But nearly half agree that their organisation is hesitant to adopt SaaS-based security solutions, according to a survey of 200 ITDMs by cyber security firm iboss for its 2018 Enterprise Cloud Trends Survey Report.

In the early days of SaaS, security was one of the primary concerns limiting adoption because the SaaS delivery model was relatively new, and companies felt uncomfortable storing sensitive data outside their own security measures.

Although the SaaS model has matured and has so far proved to be highly stable and secure when compared to on-premises solutions, it is easy to understand why there are still outstanding concerns around it.

Three-quarters of ITDMs told iboss that their organisation’s data was more secure using on-premises, purpose-built appliances rather than a SaaS solution. The most likely reason for this is because they feel that their data is less secure when using a SaaS solution, because such solutions store their data on shared servers – a reason 66% of respondents agreed with. A quarter also thought that security wasn’t a priority for SaaS solution providers.

“While these concerns aren’t unfounded, they also aren’t completely legitimate,” argued iboss CEO Paul Martini, analysing the findings of the report. “There are an array of cloud types and delivery models that both laymen and tech pros aren’t aware of that address many of the top concerns found in the survey head-on.”

Of course, there are many vendors who are committed to security, and to keeping their clients’ data safe, with incoming GDPR data protection rules meaning that they could be held partially responsible for any breaches.  Part of the solution is being diligent when choosing an SaaS provider, especially if they will be processing personally identifiable information or financial data.

A good vendor will be transparent in their security practices and be able to demonstrate multiple layers of security to protect customer data. This can include physical site security of the data centre facility, as well as application and database security, where defenses are core to the software development process.

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