Tag Archives: Google

How Do You Choose the Right Social Media Platform to Market Your Business On?


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There are a few things to consider when choosing your social media platforms. Here are 11 tips about social media platforms to help you decide what’s right for you . . .


Tip#1 Know Your Target Audience

Before attempting to use any social media, make sure you know your target audience. It is also helpful to develop a marketing persona with a story behind it and use that to learn what social media platforms might this person be using and why. Will you want to use a messaging platform or highly visual platform? Where is your persona shopping and when?


Let’s take a look at 10 popular social media sites and see who uses them and why –

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Tip#2 Twitter

Twitter is the 140-character count communication method, which you can interact with customers, monitor conversations and see what the competition is up to. Who uses it? A very broad sector of population worldwide uses Twitter for their news, trends and communications. This is a platform that must to kept up with by tweeting daily, responding to notifications with retweets, follows and keeping track of the analytics. Twitter is not a place to display product lines or try and direct market followers, but it is good for –

  • Using #hashtags in your tweets to gain viewers and followers and stay trending
  • Reaching a large audience fast
  • Staying in touch with new trends and news in your industry
  • Using as a customer relationships tool
  • Fast and easy way to share your useful content
  • Easy to set up and get started

Tip#3     Pinterest

Pinterest involves making great images and works well for e-commerce sites. It is quick and easy to set up and doesn’t take a lot of time to keep up with the platform. Through your pins you will gain exposure. The nice thing about Pinerest is you don’t have to pin everyday so if your time is limited, Pinterest maybe for you. The demographics for Pinterest are less broad than Twitter. I have heard people say mostly women use Pinterest but don’t believe it. True, there are a large number of brides and party planners pinning but there are also car enthusiasts, home builders, designers and tech pinners to name a few. If you choose Pinterest to feature your brand, make sure you give your boards catchy titles and viewers can also clearly understand titles what your board is about. Carefully tag your pins so you get credit when they are re-pinned. If you are lucky, your board can go viral and be seen by millions of pinners. Include backlinks to your website and make sure your pins are colorful and of excellent quality.

Tip#4    Facebook

It is estimated that over a billion people use Facebook. This alone puts it into a large and diverse demographic. Using Facebook to target your audience means you should create a business Page. It is essential to update the page on a regular basis with useful posts. Facebook Ads is another paying means to reach your customers. Make sure you have the time and resources to keep up. People can browse through your products, leave messages, run promotions for followers and develop a community around your business.

Tip#5    LinkedIn

This is a valuable site for business people. It is not a site to directly sell your product but a site that will help build professional relationships. Join as an individual and as a business, sign up for groups in your industry or start your own group, contribute useful information you come across, make important contacts, answer questions. Groups are a fast way to get exposure to thousands if it is a large group. This is another easy platform to set-up and not a lot of time is necessary to successfully use LinkedIn. Linkedin is a way to establish your self as an industry expert.

Tip#6    Social Media Search/Review Sites

Viewers use these sites to find restaurants, locate specific types of retail, and make travel plans. Pick your search sites carefully, use sites that have been around and are well know that people use frequently like Yelp! The advantage of using these sites is customers can write reviews and you receive instant feedback about how well your products or services are working and how your customer feels about your company. Even if it’s bad, it’s good to know so you can make corrections. Some popular search sites include Yelp, Digg, City Search, Stumble Upon and Google Places.

Tip#7 Instagram

Instagram is great for mobile users, easy to upload photos from your smartphone and apply various filters to make your photos unique. The larger demographic for this platform is younger ages teens through young adults. It can be used to post snapshots of your business showing the human side of your company. Share your Instagram feed on your Facebook page, sell products and get shared by other Instagram followers.

Tip#8  YouTube vs. Vine

Just about everyone has at one time watched a YouTube video. YouTube is an easy way to put tutorials on your site. Make your video on a smartphone, upload to your YouTube account and embed the code on your site and you have instant tutorials on your website. Certain products and services lend themselves better to this type of format. Vine, on the other hand is a 6 second commercial that can be looped. You need to be creative and quick. Share your Vine videos on your Facebook and Twitter timelines. Vines are meant to be fun videos showing your audience something they will want to see. If your Vine goes viral, we may see you on the Today Show!

Tip#9    Tumblr

Tumblr is another microblogging platform and social networking site you can sell products on. Like Pinterest and Instagram, it is a visual site, mostly with a young demographic. You can easily post videos, links, music, and text and of course photos. If you have multiple types of media you want to post to your site, Tumblr is a simple way to accomplish this.

Tip#10 Snapchat

This app is quickly becoming a very popular messaging app with teens and young adults. Snapchat is a video message you can send which will self-destruct in a few seconds after it is sent. Why would you want to use this? This is quick way to send messages to followers, it doesn’t matter what time you post snaps, it’s not effected by a timeline, your snaps stay open until your followers have time to open them, then they disappear. Great way to tell a story, show a product in action, add humor. You can draw on snaps, giving a compelling reason to follow you with your witty, fun snaps.

Tip#11 Google+

Used by over 300 million people, Google+ can provide many search ranking benefits to your business. This is a platform that you must keep up being interactive with users and update your page as needed. There are too many services and benefits on Google+ to mention here but Martin Sherrington has a wonderful comprehensive guide at www.martinshervington.com/what-is-google-plus/.  

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There are many social media platforms out there, choose the right social media sites by –

  • Knowing your target audience

  • Develop your marketing persona

  • Find sites that lend themselves best to your persona

Do your homework and you and your business will have Social Media Success!


10 Free Tools for Data Visualization

It has long been proven that we are visual  creatures.  Data is much easier to digest when  displayed in a visual form than to read large amounts of lists.  Taking data from it’s natural form and making it into colorful charts and graphs can be a daunting task. Fortunately there are many tools to help you convert your data.

Lets explore 10 free tools to help you get your data into a visual form.

  1.  Google Charts

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Google Charts

Google Charts  has a large gallery of interactive charts which are customizable.  Connect your data in real time using Google’s data connection tools.  Google makes it easy to combine multiple charts in the dashboard and gives you interface widget controls to manipulate the data.   Google Chart Guides top bar menu explains how to connect your database to Google Charts, how to ingest data from other sources and how to implement a new type of datasource among many other helpful topics.


2.  ZingChart

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Download  and modify your chart template from the large gallery.  Some coding skills are necessary to use ZingChart. Interactive tutorials are on the site http://www.zingchart.com/try which allow you to practice using this tool.  The basic free service includes access to the entire ZingChart library of charts, maps, modules and features. For more features and support, paid subscriptions are available.

3. Visualize Free

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Visualize Free

Visualize Free uses your uploaded data file, spreadsheet or CSV file with their drag and drop user interface.  Choose your chart type and custom controls.  This cloud-based tool by default is private but can be changed to share with anyone.  To share datasets and visualizations, change the Protected mode on the detail page and email the link or embed on your blog with the iFrame code.  Free tutorials are offered on the site and a helpful FAQ section will hopefully answer any questions about how to use Visualize Free.

4. Timeline JS

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Timelines JS

Timelines are used in advertising and web posts as a quick and easy way to get a lot of information to readers quickly.  Timeline JS  by knightlab is an open-source tool to build interactive timelines.  It works on any site with 4 easy steps. Use their template to build a Google spreadsheet and drop your data in. Publish your file to the web.  Copy the URL that will appear in the window and paste into the box next to the Google Spreadsheet URL.  Embed the code by pasting it onto your site.  Timelines JS recommends up to 20 slides at most for readers to slide through.  Pull your media from any social media platform like YouTube, Vine, Flickr, Twitter and more.  Visit this free tool at timeline.knightlab.com.

5.  Modest Maps

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Need to make an interactive maps ?  The Javascript based Modest Maps gives you the basic controls to have an interactive map by allowing features like ranger sliders to animated zooming and setting the boundary on how far your map can be panned out.  Other features include adding popups, zooming levels, track points on your map and highlight specific regions on your map.

6.  Kartograph

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Kartograph  generates  inactive maps with Kartograph.py  which creates maps from its Python library using SVGs and Kartograph.js which runs on a stand alone basis, no server needed.   Download the framework from the site.  A basic knowledge of Adobe Illustrator is a must and Python and Javascript experience may be necessary in order to utilize the full potential of this tool.

7. Jp Graph

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Looking for a simple graph or line plot chart ? Jp Graph is an object-oriented graph creating library for PHP and can be used in any PHP scripts.  Plot types supported by Jp Graph include Line, Pie, Bar, Scatter, Geo Maps, Radar, Contour to name a few. This tools also supports creation of  anti-spam images which prevents automatic sign-ups to mailing list or on-line services. There is a pro-version available which supports Barcodes, Windrose and Odometer graph types.

8.  Dygraphs

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These inactive charts are a open source Javascript charting library.  They can handle large data sets with millions of plot points.  It works in all browsers and zooms down for mobile devices. The quick links menu has free tutorials to bring you up to speed to use Dygraphs. Customize your graph with the many options available.  Zooming, panning and mouseovers are all on by default.  New features of Dygraphs include being  retina compatible and dropped point optimization.

9.  Online Charts

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Chart Tool

Anyone can use this tool to make colorful charts and graphs. No experience in coding or extensive computer knowledge is needed. First pick your chart and follow the easy to use the data menu.  Customize your font colors, background appearance, transparency levels, grid line colors and more.  Over 12 types of charts to choose, just add your data and preview your chart before saving and sharing on-line.

10. ChartGo

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This on-line chart maker is for anyone who wants to make a colorful data chart or graph. It’s  for simple applications of data.  The format is easy to follow. Click the Create Chart link on the Home page. The Create Chart page is where all your data will be entered.  Two important  sections on this page are the Settings section which contains options that control what your chart looks like and the Data section where your data is entered. Hit the Results page to see your new chart and share it with others.

There are many more visualization tools out there and I hope you try some of these great tools. Some tools are more suited for the developer but as you can see here, there are great tools for average person who wants to spice up their data.  Remember, all the tools I have mentioned here are FREE ! So try them out and find the one you like.

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Successful Social Media Tip of the Day . . . Good SEO Practices

Are you trying to boost your SEO for your Blog or Website?

Fall Traditions

Fall Traditions

Start with good SEO practices to enhance your rankings and search engine visibility. Here are a few tips to try –

1. Are your post to long ? In today’s busy world, our attention is drawn in every direction 24 by 7 hours a day.  We don’t have the time to read long winded posts that keep restating the obvious. Most of us have become experts at skimming articles or posts to pick up the most important take aways.  A good average is between 300 and 1000 words per post.

2. Have you been posting?  Don’t let your site go stale. Google likes a site to be fresh and see that action is happening on it.

3. Are you duplicating your content somehow on your site ?  This confuses search engines. I am guilty of this with photos sometimes so be aware of placing content in more than one area on your site.

4.  Are you linking to other sites ? The best links are in-bound links but you can also link to other sites you like and try not to link to spam type sites which could lead to a bad link.

5. Are you using a site map so search engines can find all your pages?  All your pages should be linked with a HTML link. Avoid using to much JavaScript which can be difficult for search engines to navigate.

6. Are you checking your links ?  Links can go bad and search engines do not like broken or bad links.  This is another reason to be careful if you are posting content from other  websites.  Their content  could end up becoming unsupported and now you have the content on your site.

7. Are you using a social media analytics tool to discover which content is being shared the most? There are many analytic tools out there.  Depending on what social media sites you use the most, many offer their own free analytic dashboard.  WordPress, Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook all do.

8.  Have you verified your site with Google ?  You can do this for free through Google’s Webmaster Tools. This will give you information about traffic through your site and it’s free of course!

Improve your SEO with good practices and keep posting ! Search Engines like Google or Bing like to crawl all over new content.  Happy Indexing !

Successful Social Media Tip of the Day . . . SEO Tips for WordPress

SEO or Search Engine Optimization is a way to have search engines notice your site.  There are good SEO practices know as “white hat” and bad SEO practices known as “black hat”.  You want to stay on the “white hat” side.  Here are a few ideas to help your SEO . . .


Page Rank – good SEO practices will raise your page rank position and help your website get noticed. How do you do this?

Google is one of the largest search engines with the most search traffic on the web.  Google uses a formula to create a Page Rank for web pages.  This assigns a value to your content based on Google searches.  The exact formula is secret but there are a few knowns about Page Rank.

– links to other sites – more isn’t always better – Google likes to see links to pages with high page ranking, the higher page rank of the links on your site, the better off you will be.  Just having a lot of links that do not lead to sites with value will not help your Page Rank.

– links back to your site – this is what you want to have happen, visitors linking back to your site will help your SEO

How do you find your Page Rank ?  If you use Google Chrome, you can add a plug in to your browser or use a Page Ranking website like http://www.prchecker.info

Don’t worry if you don’t get a page rank, if your site is new you may not have a rank yet. Also, keep in mind that the scores from page ranking websites are an estimation not the actual Google page rank score, Google keeps that secret!

To use the page rank checker you will need to know your URL which starts with the http://  or https:// for most sites.

Permalink – What about your permalink? WordPress gives each post something called a permalink. You can see your post permalink listed just under your post title in the post editor. If your post title has words in it like -the,a  or any non essential words that could mislead search engines, this is where you can remove those words and replace them with Keywords or simply just shorten the post title.  For example, if your post title is “the day I walked the dog by the store and got my big showbiz break”, the permalink would look like this – http:// xyzstore.com  / the-day-I-walked-the-dog-by-the-store-and-got-my-big-showbiz-break. You could edit the permalink to look like this instead – http://  xyz.com / day-I-walked-dog-got-showbiz-break.  (NOTE – there are extra spaces inserted into these examples in order to prevent them from actually being a link to a site).

SEO and images you use – don’t forget about any image you are using in a post – make sure to use keywords in the description of your image.  Be sure to fill in the details in your media library with the image title, alternative text -( which is for visitors using assisting devices to read website pages)- and a caption.

Categories – make sure the categories you are using are the correct.  WordPress automatically fills in the last category you used so if you have several on your site, make sure the right one is checked.  You can use as many of your categories as you like if they are appropriate for the post.

Lastly for today, Tags – this is just under the Categories Box on the right side of your post. Tags are a way for others to find your content. Searchers will use certain keywords to find what they are looking for on the web and your tags will help your content surface in searches.  Do not over use Tags, search engines and searchers will not like it if they are searching for vacation home and you tagged your post about feeding birds with a vacation home tag.  Most posts do well with search engines if they have between 3 and 10 tags per post. WordPress keeps a record of previously used Tags, just start typing the tag in the Tag Box and WordPress will automatically recall your tag so you don’t have to re-type the entire tag.

For search engines like Google – good SEO is honest SEO – no tricks, no spam, keep your content fresh and honest and you will find the search engines will like you.  

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