Did you know that you had a limit of how many people you can follow on twitter? If you do, you probably found out by accident when you could no longer follow any more people or businesses. Most likely one of the first questions that popped into your head was, "then why can Justin Beiber follow 122,496 people?" OK, maybe Justin Beiber didn't come to your mind ... sorry, I have 4 daughters ... but some famous person or brand that you relate to probably did. It is all about keeping a fairly even ratio. If you have more followers than you are following that is always good and you have plenty of room to follow, but if it is the other way around you need to be aware of the disproportion.
Is following as many potential clients and industry related brands a good twitter strategy given these limits?
Here is twitter's explanation as to why this is THE RULE.
Twitter's technical follow limits:
So, what is a tweeter to do when they find themselves in this predicament?
Open up your following page and keep in mind these tips to whittle down your following number.
Once you are aware of these policies you may begin to feel like a twitter snob, evaluating each follow and whether it is worthy of your follow back. If you are feeling like you are going to develop a mid twitter life crisis over this new revelation of twitter not being all inclusive as you thought it would be, I recommend you read "Ted's twitter back policy". It may just inspire you to forget everything you just read above and establish one of your own. Here is an excerpt and my favorite point ...
If you need help putting together an effective social media strategy, contact me and we can come up with a plan. It may not be about how many you are following, but rather how you are using twitter that could make a difference.
Thanks to some very astute clients, this new scam has come to my attention...
Beware of real looking invoices (they call it a statement, but they know that means invoice to you) from DNS Services, or anyone else making this claim, in the mail that appear to be for back up services, or any web related services, that you don't recognize.
Red flag #1: What keyed me into the scam was the nameservers 3 and 4, it seems they pull as much information from the domain's WHOIS listing and then add what looks like their supposed namservers to the record they send you. So you are supposed to say, "Oh, I must have signed up for that without knowing it and since it shows me right here I have been receiving the service, I guess I better pay for it." This scam has shown up from west to east coast, ignore it and they will be out the $0.45 in postage.
What is scary is that they have a very legitimate looking website, so I checked it out to see if the website listed on the invoice was an innocent victim of this mail in scam, but the same phone number and address is listed on the website too. So it appears they offer some kind of service, but they are hoping that you do not notice the inactive next to their nameservers that magically got on your WHOIS record according to their "statement".
Red Flag #2: They also have included an "this is a solicitation...." disclaimer mixed in with other text many are sure to miss to cover their asses.
Red Flag #3: What I am left thinking is how will they gain access to your domain without your consent, so do they offer a real service?
I had so much fun creating this website. The minute I saw a picture of the storefront of Cocoon Home Decor and Gifts, I knew I had to do something with those perfect Main St.-home town-lights over the awning. So, we came up with the idea of having a photo contest on Cocoon's facebook page to see who could take the best picture of the storefront including the top of the lights all the way down to the street, with good enough lighting and high enough quality that it could be used on a website. Check out Cocoon's facebook page for the results, the prize was great!
I did have to do some "voodoo" magic in Photoshop to eliminate shadows and such, but I am really happy with the results. Below is the winning picture of the storefront and the matching website.
If you get a chance visit www.cocoonhomedecorandgifts.com, and better yet if you are in the Grimsby, ON area visit their incredible store!
I really like the clean look that this website ended up with. I haven't created a website with a mostly white background in a while. I discovered that I love the shade of green in EBN's logo and when played off with grey and blue - all kept in balance - it creates a very professional, but inviting feel.
If you are a small business in Eastern Michigan, visit them today, they offer many solutions for benefits for business owners and their employees.
Yesterday, I drove through the pharmacy window, which is quite routine for me as a mother of five. But, I am not only a mother of five, I am a mother of four children who each have or have had their own significant health problems. As I signed my initials over and over again for the prescriptions I was picking up, the familiar face in the window whispered "It's Azsi's last day today." I looked through the window and could see Azsi, the pharmacy manager, was on the phone. So, I scribbled "Azsi we will miss you!!!!", instead of my last initials.
Just in time, Azsi hung up and ran over to the drive through window to tell me how much she would miss ME. She started to tell me how they loved when I came to the pharmacy because I always had a smile on my face. How most people get so frustrated with their one or two kids, but I have five and I always have a smile for them. As she is going on telling me where she is relocating across the country and where I can visit her ... the last seven years come flooding back to my mind. It was her smiling, happy, exuberant "hello Mrs. LeClaire!" that would greet me and give me the strength for the rest of the day, as I drove through her window to pick up prescriptions after being up all night at the hospital with one of my children. I have counted on her happy-to-see-me over the years to pick my spirits up after the letdown of doctor visits where the realization of a chronic condition in one so young hit hard. Over the years she was even greeting my children by name, noticing how they had grown older, and that they looked healthier. I don't know whose smile came first, but I happen to know she cared about every "patient" of hers.
I don't need the pick me up so often anymore, my kids are older, healthier and stronger; enabling me to grow my business and really enjoy satisfaction and success in my own life. I guess I have just come to take for granted Azsi's smiling face. But, yesterday it hit me hard to lose her. I never thought I would cry like a baby at a drive-through window with the face on the other side.
Azsi asked me if I would still be using her pharmacy after she left, my response was "are you kidding? I wouldn't dream of going anywhere else!" I have seen how she has passed on her loving nature to her staff. I could go anywhere for the medicine, maybe (and that's a big stretch) someone else could fill my orders more accurately, but that really isn't why I chose their store.
Social media has become a lot like that drive-through window. I have observed with local businesses that word-of-mouth is really the most powerful new business driver. A business owner with the same care and love for their customers can translate that to the online world. Genuinely caring about the individual behind the like or follow and following up with sincerity can go a long way. I couldn't help but tell you the story about Azsi, and that's what we humans do, when we experience an out-of-the-ordinary connection, we have to share it! I have experienced this give-and-take with many of my own clients who are thousands of miles of way.
So how about you? What can you do to show you care on your social media pages?
90% of consumers trust recommendations from people they know while only 14% trust advertising.
We can help you with effective social media marketing.
As of 2012, it is estimated that there are more than 8.3 million women-owned businesses in the United States, generating nearly $1.3 trillion in revenue and employing nearly 7.7 million people, according to the second annual State of Women-Owned Businesses Report, commissioned by American Express OPEN.
Read The Report
Thank you to American Express OPEN Forum for letting me share these info graphics.
Here is my newest website design project. This website was custom made from top to bottom. I loved experimenting with 3-D dimension and shadows. It was so much fun brainstorming with Jeanine Kinzie on this one. I learned a lot about insurance and finances! She is amazing at what she does and explaining these complex matters in a way everyone can understand. I hope her website makes you feel as much at ease she does in person.
Now on to marketing www.jeaninekinzie.com online!
OK, I am fired up. I got a call this morning from a Seattle, WA phone number [206-496-0928] that claimed I was getting a message from Google Places because my listing had not been verified. Knowing that I had years ago, - red flag #1 - I still accepted the call as my curiosity was peaked. - red flag #2 - was the fact that I know Google Places had been replaced by GoogIe + Local on May 30th this year. I was then forwarded to a woman who told me the same thing, but when she told me because my listing wasn't verified I could not be found on Google, I knew immediately what this was. She pretended to give me the wrong name for my business; I said "no that's not it." The rest of the conversation went like this:
"This is Rebecca LeClaire, right?"
me - "Yup!" I said, feeling the blood boiling for all my clients that have been scammed.
"Is your business MC Design & Services, LLC?"
me - "Yup."
"Is your phone number 616-881-3753?"
me - "Yup."
"You are very hard to find."
- is there something about that that sounds funny to you? If I was hard to find how did she know all the information about my business with just my name? red flag #3 -
me (ready to have a little fun) - "You're not Google are you?"
"No, Google wouldn't call you, we didn't say that, but you are very hard to find and..."
me - "you said you were Google when you called me, your being dishonest, something about how I know a thing or two about SEO, rant rant rant"
still going on....."you can't be found"...that's all that's in my script
me - hung up
I checked how my google rankings were doing while on the phone by making sure I was logged off of Google and picking random cities around the United States and Canada to set my location as.
Guess, what? I can be found. :)
Why would I log off and change my location on Google? Because Google tracks all your searches and tries to bring up what you are most likely interested in and also brings the results for products and services that are closest to your location. That is why you should never trust the ranking results over the phone or in an email that an "SEO expert" tells you. They could be in California and you could be in New York.
When I hung up I looked over at my four daughters, who are home from summer vacation and were all sitting on the couch, their mouths hung open with that 'deer in the headlights' look at the realization that their mom who expects them always to be polite and respectful just yelled at someone on the phone. Making me feel a little guilty they asked me if it was the poor lady's fault that she was making that phone call for her boss. I told them about all the people that have called me that have lost a lot of money to companies like that, that I was being told lies over and over again, and that the lady I was talking to needed to know she was working for a dishonest company if she didn't know she was lying.
OK, so maybe I still feel a little bad...so scammers I will try not to raise my voice next time, I will just hang up...and I advise you do too!
At MC Design & Services, LLC we will be honest with you about your search engine ranking. We will even tell you when you have reached a point that you may want to lower your monthly budget on SEO.
Contact Us for a truthful consultation.
With an estimated 900 million users on facebook world-wide as of May 2012 and over 140 million active users on twitter, you know you need to be generating some social media posts for your small business.
Combined with the fact that it is free to use, how can you ignore this opportunity?
But, running a small business is time consuming enough, how do you come up with content for this new source of marketing? Here are a few tips:
Is there a link in that?
Throughout your day, with everything that you do, be asking yourself, "is there a link in that?"
Ask For Feedback
Is there some aspect of your business that you wonder about how the customer experiences it? Ask. Don't forget to use #hashtags on twitter.
If the prospect of posting social media content every day still seems daunting, you can make it easier by setting aside a time to come up with messages you want posted in one sitting for the whole month. Services like Hootsuite allow you to link to and schedule future posts for all of your social media.
You may also be relieved to hear according to Chris Luo, the Head of Global SMB Marketing at Facebook, in a webinar I recently attended, it is not necessary to post every day, "at minimum around twice a week is enough." If you post too much you may start to be ignored or appear impersonal.
If this still sounds something you know you need to do for your small business, but you just can't find your way out of what you need to do and do well, then I am here to help! MC Design & Services, LLC can manage your social media marketing for you, while at the same time working intimately with your business. Ask about our affordable rates and how you can choose the budget that is right for you.
"It's a great feeling knowing you are taking care of things for us.
You give us peace of mind so we can keep on doing what we do best."
“Rebecca has provided a valuable service to our business by filling the need
for marketing and website development. Her skills are efficient, accurate, timely,
and very worthwhile for any small business. She manages our various priorities with great flexibility.”
"Rebecca has handled our online presence perfectly!"