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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Google's possible acquisition means something for small business

For those of you exploring online advertising, Google's potential acquisition of Groupon could indicate a transformation in how small businesses promote online.

Google expects a decrease in spending for paid keywords especially among small businesses, which is why they see potential value in Groupon. While it's a large acquisition, it has consequences for small business because it's an indicator of a growing trend. The future of small business online advertising could be targeted e-mail messages.

Whether through the Loyalty Rewards program or your own efforts, start building your customer lists!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Interesting Facebook commentary and stats

When it comes to interacting with your customers through social media, an article from Ad Age discusses how relevance may be redefined in terms of what you put on Facebook. Consider this as you post things on your page. You could try a more subtle approach, other than strictly product/promotion, to engage your customers on social media.

Here's an obvious point: Facebook isn't going anywhere (at least for the foreseeable future). Facebook now accounts for 25% of the page views in the United States. Facebook and Google are quickly on the way to web traffic domination.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Valuable social media tools

The Internet makes everyone's life easier; however, at times, it may not seem that way. With all the social media outlets, it can be difficult to conceptualize how they can work for your business.

There are several FREE tools available to help you manage your social media presence. Click on the link, read the blog and decide which tool would suit your business best.

These options provide a much easier way for you to manage content on your social media sites, and they're FREE!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Twitter account for UH Web Forum

Since new media offers great synergistic opportunities, I just started a Twitter feed specifically for our group of web dealers. Posts on this blog will feed directly into the Twitter account.

Although celebrities and athletes receive the most attention for posting on Twitter, it can be extremely valuable not only as a marketing tool but also as an educational tool. When you choose who to follow, do it wisely because you will receive the information they "tweet" some of which can be quite valuable to you.

Even if you never post a "tweet," Twitter is a great way to monitor trends in your industry. What a great educational tool!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Small changes go a long way

Updating your web site is important because it keeps things timely, and your customers will respect the information on your site because they can see that it's getting updated.

However, in addition to frequently changing the homepage and other pertinent pages, plan to go through your web site every three months or so to make a change on every single page. Search engines like to see that changes are made to a web site.

For example, the "Contact Us" page probably doesn't need frequent changes, but every three months, plan to make a small change to that page.

The search engines will smile upon you favorably.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Google your store

You might be surprised what you can find on the Internet these days...or maybe not. There's a lot of information available, and it's not all correct.

Try a Google search for your store and see what shows up. You'd probably be surprised to see a lot of information on sites with which you have no affiliation. You'll see name, address, phone number, hours of operation, products and services and maybe even a review or two.

Periodically, perform a Google search for your store. See what's out there because some of it may not be correct (like your hours of operation), and if possible, you'll want to correct that information. You'll also want to monitor customer reviews that are posted on these sites and respond to them whether positive or negative.

So, Google your store and take inventory of the information available online because it's important to monitor and manage this part of your business.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Social Media Connection!

Social media has infected just about every aspect of society, and as it spread, business was swept up as well. Many small businesses have effectively leveraged Facebook and other social media to develop an even stronger relationship with their customers.

If you'd like to start a Facebook page or Twitter account, let us know. We can help you get started, and more importantly, we can put a link on your web site to invite customers to interact with you on Facebook.

If you already have a page, let us know because we'll provide the Facebook logo, and link it to your page!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

New Web Site Launch in Austin!

Austin, Minnesota has a new web site! Congratulations to Austin Builders Supply, a Golden Rule store, for completing their web site.

They chose a tier 3 web site, and we created a new catalog interface with them. We now have the ability to embed the catalog in your web site. We would still need an export from your POS system to show your store's pricing, but at least when it's embedded, it looks like your catalog and won't navigate away from your web site. Check out either Adams or Austin's web site to see how it looks.

As far as cost, if you're a tier 3, it would cost slightly more. It would be somewhere in the neighborhood of $150 more than the cost of a tier 3 site, which would put the total cost between the tier 3 and 4 sites.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

November Web Coupons

Below are a few sample coupons for November. To upload them to your web site, you just need to click on the picture and save it to your desktop.

From there, you can upload the picture to the web site, so that it appears to your customers.

These are just sample ads that we've taken from the corporate circular in November; however, please let me know if you need them to say a different price and we can certainly adjust it to your specific pricing.