Category Archives


6 Things You Didn’t Know About Social Media

Social media is a really neat tool for business owners to use to connect to consumers and other business owners.  It’s free marketing and pr.  It’s a great way to give potential customers a deeper insight into who and what your business is all about.  We’ve been over the basics, but here’s some things you might not know yet about your social powers:

1.  Pinterest Images can be posted several different ways. You can pin images directly from your website or upload them via the Pinterest website.  When you upload an image via Pinterest’s website- be sure to add your keywords and the domain (url) people can go to for more information on where the picture came from.  And one more tip- post your Pinterest pages as status updates to your Facebook page.  This can help co-promote and build your fans and followers on both social networking sites.

2.  Facebook posts can be scheduled- but that doesn’t mean you should do it!  Facebook used to “punish” users for scheduling posts or using scheduling software (think Hootsuite) by preventing scheduled posts from showing up on people’s newsfeeds.  They say now that they don’t mind if you do it (they even added a scheduling option right to business page admins).  So why not schedule?  It’s tricky to know why Facebook doesn’t care when it used to be a big deal.  If you’re using scheduling software to make your posts, it’s much less personal and Facebook knows this.  We think there may be a correlation between how your posts show on fans’ newsfeeds and how you send those posts out.  We would sure say it’s okay to use scheduling software once in a while, but since it doesn’t take long to post an update to a page, so why not just do it manually if you can take a few seconds?

3. Speaking of scheduling- don’t think you can “Set it and Forget it”.  A lot of business owners who manage their own social media will sit down one day a week, month, etc. and set that week/month’s tweets up in Hootsuite and then won’t touch it again for another week/month. What happens if someone responds and you miss it?  Besides that, if you’re scheduling tweets and posts for a week or month, then you are probably missing out on the main goal of social media- communication. Setting tweets/posts without the intent of checking back in for a few days misses the whole idea of connecting and reaching out to your followers.  Talk to your fans, compliment them, question them and interact with them. Be sure to check in once every day or two at the most- it only takes a few minutes and can be a valuable addition to your business!

4. Your keywords can help through social media!  Keyword density is also important in social media.  If a big goal of yours is better search engine optimization obtaining better rankings for keywords, then remember to use your keywords in the things you post.  Just be careful not to go overboard.  Your primary target is your audience, not search engines, but it’s always good to post about your keywords from time to time.  It won’t make a gigantic difference, but all these things can add up to better rankings.

5. It’s not as easy to see when another business has “liked” your Facebook fan page.  You get notified everytime a person “likes” your page, but you don’t get notified (nor is it included in your fan count) when a business “likes” your page.  You have to look at your “Likes” click on “See All” and then select “Pages That Like This” in order to see if any businesses/pages have “liked” your page.  Do this once every other week or so- and always “Like” them back!  Whew! That’s a lot of LIKES!  Don’t forget that networking with other businesses can be a great marketing tool.  If you both have Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc., use them together to co-promote.  Since we’re rolling with the cliches: Two heads are better than one!

6. It’s noted throughout the web that a whopping 70% of social media users trust unknown users reviews versus trusted experts and brands.  That means that 70% of your fans would rather read the comments on your Facebook page and other social media sites, than go through your website to learn about you and the work you do. With a number like that, make it count.  Facebook allows users to leave recommendations for your business on your Fan Page.  Ask your users to leave reviews and always ask your customers to leave reviews.  Even a good tweet your way from a happy customer should be retweeted and promoted on your own site.  A little goes a long way!  🙂


What do you think of these tips?  Do you think they’re sound advice? Anything you’d like to add? Post it on our Facebook page!

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5 Things You Can Do On Your Own To Boost Your Website’s SEO

We get people all the time who come to us saying- we need help with SEO but can’t afford to hire someone!  Working with Small Businesses, we understand how budgets can be tight. Building your traffic organically can be time consuming, but it doesn’t have to cost a lot.  We have a few tips you can use to help boost your site’s search engine rankings all on  your own.

1. Images– Your images should be saved properly.  One of the easiest things you can do is save the images on your website and include keywords to help describe the image.  Since search engine spiders can’t tell what an image is, this helps to tell them what the picture is about and how it relates to your site.  Try saving that image of your storefront titled: “img01.jpg” to “chicago-pet-food-store.jpg” instead.  Try to use your keywords in the title, but make sure you’re still accurately describing the picture.

2. Links–  One of the most important factors Google and other search engines take into consideration is the links that point back to your site.  These links should be of high quality and be from websites that are  related to your business.  So ask your colleagues to give you a link to your website from theirs- and you can return the favor if you’d like.

3. BLOG!– We’ve said it before and we’ll keep saying it.  Your site needs a blog.  The more you blog, the more fresh content you are putting on your website.  We can help you get a blog installed on your website and even teach you how to use it most effectively for SEO.  It’s not that hard, and is well worth the little amount of time it takes.

4. Socialize– Twitter, Google +, Facebook and other social media sites like Pinterest are really important to search engines. Having active social networking accounts can help show you put the effort in to help promote your company- and search engines like to see that! Plus setting these up are all FREE!

5. Update your site– The more you update the content on your site, the better.  Websites with fresh content that are updated frequently tend to rank higher in search engines than those that aren’t.  So in addition to your blogging, don’t forget to update the rest of your website!

There’s a lot to a successful SEO campaign, but little things like these can make a real difference when it comes to how your site gets indexed by search engines.  The most important thing to keep in mind is to remember that SEO takes time, and a lot of effort, so take the time to network, blog and socialize and your website will be rewarded for it in the long run.

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Local Marketing for Your Small Business


Countless small businesses are missing something from their marketing campaign:  Local Marketing.  Do you own a storefront?  Are your main customers people within a 25 mile radius?  How do they find you? As a local business, you need to make sure you’re advertising in the right places.

One of the best and least expensive ways to get started is to create a local listing.  It’s easy to create one- head over to Google’s Local Business Center.  Log in with your Gmail or Google apps account and claim your listing.  Add tags that are appropriate to your business- think of what you’d type in a search engine if you were looking for a company like yours.  Google will even help you with suggestions if you aren’t sure which keywords to choose.  Don’t forget to upload images of your products (up to 10), add your address, your website, your hours, and your phone number.  You can create special offers, coupons and deals too with your local listing- be sure to take advantage of this!

Now that your local listing has been created, it will take a while for it to bump up to the top of the search.  To be sure your listing moves up the list, make sure to update it regularly, and be sure you have accurate information about your business.  Ask your customers to rate your business through your places page. The more ratings you have, the better chances you have to move up the list.

As you wait (and pray!) for your local listing to move up towards the top of the list- you might be interested in trying one of Google’s PPC campaigns.   You should try out Google Boost. Google boost gives your add a “boost” to the top of the list for your selected keywords.  It’s a relatively inexpensive and effective way to boost your local search results. As a local business, you may even find that Google Boost is more effective than Adwords for your small business.

Have you tried Google Boost?  Is your places page up to date?  Tell us what experiences you’ve found with Google Local Listings for your small businesses.  Leave a comment below or come and find us on our Facebook page!


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What Was Facebook’s PR Firm Thinking? You Can’t Fight Google!

In case you hadn’t heard the news,  Facebook and Google are big time competitors.  As two of the internet’s biggest competitors go head to head in the social networking game, there’s been some foul play.  Facebook was recently busted by blogger Chris Soghoian for attempting an unethical smear campaign against Google Social Circle, a social network that Google attempted about 2 years ago that just never took off.  It all started when a public relations firm that Facebook hired (allegedly to spread the word about Google’s so-called disregard for privacy) wrote an article for blogger Soghoian and then offered to pen his name to the article and promised exposure on several large news and PR sites.  Soghoian, sensing something was up decided against offering up his name and instead published the emails between Facebook’s PR firm and himself online.

We’re wondering what this big time PR agency was thinking by asking Soghoian to do something like this.  Soghoian is huge advocate for internet privacy and cyber security, so of course he would be interested in news that Google knew they were violating user privacy, but at the same time, Soghoian is all about following the rules- he is an ethical kind of guy who would verify the facts and know where the information came from! We can’t figure out why they thought someone like Chris Soghoian would want to publish an article he didn’t write, which didn’t contain accurate facts, on behalf of a PR firm, who wouldn’t even disclose who their client was!

So Burson Marsteller has officially pointed the finger at Facebook claiming that Facebook made them do it.  We’re trying to figure out who exactly would believe them?  Facebook, along with Google, is one of the most powerful companies in the world.  Despite their competition with Google, Facebook could not have possibly conjured up the idea to release this story.  The guys at Facebook know that you don’t really want to mess with Google.  While they did hire Burson to represent them, we highly doubt they went in saying “Hey, go spread these lies about Google”.

The point being, you can’t beat the competition with black hat techniques.  Google is a powerful company, who’s dealt with far larger issues than what Burson Marsteller claims as privacy issues.  And now, we’re wondering where will be showing up on a Google keyword search for PR firms.

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Why Your Small Business Needs A Facebook Landing Page

Well, we’ve been busy, but today wanted to spread the word on the value of a Facebook Landing Page, as sooooo many businesses don’t have one! Facebook may not be for everyone, but increasingly businesses are seeing the value of it as a marketing platform.

Your Facebook page speaks volumes about your business.  But, what exactly is it saying about your business?

Is it active?

Does it offer up information on what you do?

Does it show off your brand?

It should not only be a place for people to come to talk about your product/service, but it should be an additional place where they can learn about what you do and how you do it.  Now, we’re embarrassed to admit that Insignia’s Facebook page hasn’t been following those rules (Hey! We’ve been busy!) but we’re going to be practicing what we preach (and what we do for our clients!) from now on, so keep an eye on us!

The key to giving new visitors to your Facebook Page the best information about you is to have a landing page.  Your landing page can do a variety of things from showing off your new products, getting visitors to sign up for your newsletter, offering up another branding opportunity for your small business, and even showing off a video or pictures of your products.  With the use of Facebook iFrames, there is really no limit to what you can do with your Facebook page.  And- a good landing page will help your visitors convert to “Likes”- which is exactly what you need!

What would you want to show off on your Facebook landing page? Leave a comment here or head over to our Facebook page and tell us what you want out of a landing page for your small business!  And stay tuned for our list of top 10 ideas for marketing on Facebook coming next week!

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Cabernet and Twitter

Businesses, big and small, should be using Twitter.  There’s lots of reasons why, but one of the best I can think of is that it gives your followers a chance to connect with your company on a more intimate level.  Giving your customers a more personal side of you and your company can give you an opportunity to forge a connection between them and your business.  When they need something you sell, and they’ve formed a connection with you, you’ll be at the top of their list and they’ll more likely to refer you to friends and family.

Here’s a great example:  It’s no secret I love wine.  To me, there’s nothing like a good glass of cabernet or pinot noir at the end of the day.  I found a wine that I really love, but the problem is, that I can’t find it anywhere near my house. And today, when I started searching for it, I had a tough time finding any local shops who carried it, so I turned to Twitter.

I realized that the winery that makes the wine I love- NxNW (King Estate) is on Twitter.  And I was delighted to see that they were using it effectively- so I followed them and asked them for any local stores who carried the wine.  A few minutes later, they followed me back.  A few seconds later, I had a response from them and an email address that I was able to get a list of the local stores who carried their wine.  They did everything that they should do in my book- they followed back, they answered (really) promptly, and they showed personality and thanked me for complimenting their product. Just as they’ve “developed strong, creative relationships with growers and fellow winemakers”, they’re doing the same with their customers. And now I’m writing a blog post about them and maybe sending a few of you their way to get some wine!

Any business can work like this.  Using Twitter to effectively connect and engage your customers is time consuming, but well worth it- no matter what industry you’re in.  Now go follow @KingEstate on Twitter.  I’m headed out to get some cabernet!

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