Cut Throat Marketing Be Found. Be Cut Throat Mon, 16 Dec 2019 21:43:26 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Cut Throat Marketing 32 32 5 Interesting Ways To Improve Your 2020 Content Marketing Plans Mon, 16 Dec 2019 18:50:05 +0000

5 Interesting Ways To Improve Your 2020 Content Marketing Plans

Content marketing is so often the differentiating factor when it comes to top brands. You can optimize your PPC campaigns, target the right demographics on social media, and make your website a very welcoming place — but if you’re not putting out strong content that picks up attention and backlinks, you’ll struggle to compete.

With a new year approaching to wipe the slate clean, it’s a great time to start looking ahead and thinking about how you’re going to achieve more with your content marketing. Should you focus on quality over quantity? Absolutely. Commit a larger budget? Yes, very sensible. There are plenty of things you should do, but most of them are fairly obvious.

In this piece, moving past those obvious suggestions, we’re going to look at 5 content marketing tips that are interesting: not necessarily in the conventional sense, but in the sense that you might not otherwise think of them. Enough preamble — let’s get started:

Thoroughly review your old content

The main temptation with digital content is to keep your gaze fixed firmly forward. What do you need for the next piece? What’s trending right now? Barring exceptions in the form of hit evergreen pieces, digital articles tend to peak in value shortly after they’re posted — within days, or even hours, they’ve been swept aside by newer (and possibly shinier) posts.

Even so, if you want to make next year’s content better, you need to commit some time to reviewing last year’s content. Pay close attention to every relevant factor for every piece: how many visits it picked up, how many conversions it drove, how long it was, which demographics it reached, how many links it picked up, etc. You might find that you keep making the same mistakes, and you would have made them again with your next strategy had you not noticed.

Visualize your end goal

Yes, visualization isn’t the most rigorously-scientific practice, but such things in the motivational sphere should be judged on their efficacy. Take vision boards, for instance: regardless of what you think of universal vibration or laws of attraction, simply concentrating on the visual of what you want to achieve can radically change how you pursue your goals.

Think carefully about the overall point of your content marketing. To attract more business, sure, but what else? Looking back in 10 years, what will you be proud to have achieved? Do you want to prove your expertise? Make people laugh? Be a force for change in your community? Each of these things can be accomplished through content marketing at the same time as that primary goal — and if you make a concerted effort to visualize where you want to end up, you’ll find it much easier to make day-to-day decisions.

Start writing in your free time

How many content marketers actually know what it’s like to write for enjoyment and/or to hone their craft? Since many of them only started content marketing out of necessity, it’s reasonable to wonder if they view the writing process as dry, formulaic, and exceptionally dull. Is that a perspective that resonates with you? If so, you need a change of perspective — and that’s exactly what writing as a pastime can offer you.

If you’ve done a good job of getting content out so far, you might doubt the value of this. Why should you commit your limited free time to doing more of something that frustrates you so greatly during working hours? Here’s why: because it shouldn’t frustrate you so much, and that frustration can only lead to harder work and worse results. The best writing comes from a flow state, and that comes far more easily when you’re relaxed and engaged. Writing with no particular aim or deadline to hit might be exactly what you need.

Try different content types

Having just touched upon doing more writing, let’s go in a different direction and consider doing less writing — during working hours, at least. Regular articles and posts aren’t the only things you can produce: there are also infographics, podcasts, video skits, collages, slideshows, animations, and myriad other things besides. Why not diversify your plans?

It’s easy enough to see why people typically stick to basic text content. It’s simple, relatively fast to complete, and low-pressure (no one expects a great deal from a 500-word post), plus those other options can sound intimidating and expensive. Here’s my counterpoint: each of those things can be done surprisingly cheaply — especially with outsourcing — and you’ll only get good at them through practice. If you don’t try, you’ll never succeed.

Get more obvious with keywords

If you pay attention to the SEO world, your overriding keyword-related takeaway from the past few years might be something like “Stop concentrating on keywords” — and for good reason, admittedly. Keyword stuffing is more dangerous than ever, with search crawlers looking for language that seems natural and algorithms being ready to penalize any offenders. Yet I’m recommending that you get more obvious with keywords. Why?

Because just as the appropriate remedy for a complete lack of exercise isn’t running for eight hours every day, it’s perfectly possible to pivot from one counterproductive extreme to another, and the truth of the matter is that most people aren’t at risk of going overboard with keywords. This piece is about content marketing, and I could cram the keyword “content marketing” into it numerous more times without it being a problem. I won’t, but I could — because it’s justified in this context. And as long as your keywords are justified, you don’t need to dance around them in an effort to be cagey. Just use them where you see fit!

Do these 5 tips count as interesting? Well, that’s for you to decide, but I’m fairly confident that they’ll prove effective if you give them a try. 2020 could be the year to take your content marketing to the next level, so make a real effort. What do you have to lose?
The Only Four Ways to Delete Google Reviews Wed, 30 Oct 2019 19:39:23 +0000

How to Remove Google Reviews

Google is the undisputed king of the search engine world, but even professional search engine optimization can only take you so far. Potential customers want to see what real people have to say about you before trusting you with their business.

Even if they’re years old and obviously unfair, bad reviews affect your bottom line. One negative review might not sink your business, but it can certainly lead people away to other retailers. Without a customer review management strategy in place, a series of bad reviews could turn nearly everyone off to your company.

Google My Business Search View

So, what can you do about it? Is there a way to remove bad reviews from Google?

The quick answer is Yes, you can delete Google reviews. The longer answer is, naturally, a bit more complicated and subtle than that. Below, we’re going to walk you through the only four ways to remove negative reviews from Google search results. By the time we’re through, you’ll know exactly how to clean up your brand’s online reputation at the world’s most popular search engine.

1. Removing Inappropriate Google Reviews

Some people just like to watch the world burn. Those same individuals are frequently the ones behind negative, inappropriate, or even fake Google reviews of businesses, large and small.
Luckily, Google has some steps in place to remove this sort of content once and for all (or, at least until the next time it happens). There are, in fact, 10 different types of content that aren’t allowed on Google reviews:

  • Spam and fake content
  • Off-topic
  • Restricted content
  • Illegal content
  • Terrorist content
  • Sexually explicit content
  • Offensive content
  • Dangerous and derogatory content
  • Impersonation
  • Conflict of interest

Google does not allow these types of material to be posted on Google Reviews, Google Photos, or Google Videos. If someone has written a review of your business that includes any of the above inappropriate content, you can request to have it removed from Google search results.

How to Get Them Removed

The first step is to check the Google policy. This way, you can be 100% certain that the review’s material is not allowed by Google’s inappropriate content policy.

Second, flag the review in your account. Here’s the step-by-step process for requesting an inappropriate review to be deleted from Google:

Desktop Computer

  • Sign in to Google My Business.
  • Open the listing you want to manage and click Reviews.
  • Click More, then click Flag as inappropriate.

Phone or Tablet

  • Open the My Business app.
  • Tap Customers, then tap Reviews.
  • Tap More, then tap Flag review.

Google Maps

  • Open Google Maps on your computer.
  • Navigate to your business listing.
  • Locate the review you want to remove.
  • Click More, then click Flag as inappropriate.

The last step in each of these, as Google advises, is to be patient. It can take several days for each flagged item to be assessed by someone on Google’s content review team.

2. Ask a Customer to Edit or Delete a Negative Google Review of Your Business

Learning how to respond to bad reviews might take a little longer (and a bit more energy), but this method for removing negative reviews of your company can be majorly beneficial in the long run. If successful, you will have deleted a negative review and potentially converted a customer from a liability into a lifelong promoter of your brand. Here’s a step-by-step process for making the best of a bad situation:

When you notice a bad review of your business on Google Reviews, first take a moment to thoughtfully consider the customer’s point of view.

Ask yourself these questions: What exactly are they complaining about, and is it something that you can make right, now that you’re aware of the problem?

After you’ve assessed the situation, and assured yourself that the review is not fake or inappropriate, the second step is to write a response to the customer’s review directly on Google.

People have different opinions as to exactly what to say here, but the general gist remains the same.

  1. First, recognize and name the customer’s problem. Example: “It sounds like you had a difficult time with the product you purchased.”
  2. Second, express to them that you would also be frustrated given the same situation. Example: “I would be upset, too, if this happened to me.”
  3. Finally, guarantee that you can and will fix the issue for them as soon as humanly possible. Example: “I would love the opportunity to make this right. Please let us know the best way to get you a working product.”

Once you’ve written to the customer, the third and final step is to wait for their response (aka, be patient…again). With any luck, you’ll hear back from the customer and can begin a dialogue about what exactly went wrong and how to go about mending that relationship.

After you’ve addressed the issue with them, you can courteously ask for the customer to edit or remove their negative review on Google. If you’ve been successful to this point, it’s very unlikely that they’ll deny your polite request. However, if they still refuse to remove the review, you can always flag it for Google to assess; even if it’s not removed, the comments section will show that you — as the business owner — tried your best to remedy the problem as soon as you became aware of it. This can often speak even louder than a positive review by itself!

3. Tweet to @GoogleSmallBiz About Removing the Negative Review of Your Business

If you have exhausted the above two options and nothing seems to work, you can always resort to that age-old medium for discontent: Twitter.

Let’s say you’ve already flagged the review as inappropriate, but you never heard back; perhaps you even flagged it multiple times, to no avail. Maybe you also responded to the reviewer, but they never wrote you a response in return.

When you’ve done your due diligence, it certainly can’t hurt to complain to Google itself on a public medium. People can see what responses Google receives there, so it behooves them to address those concerns when they arise.
However, tweeting @Google isn’t your best bet. Instead, tweet about your situation to @GoogleSmallBiz. Follow them as well, so they can Direct Message you in return about your problem.

If you have any screenshots available, attach those to your tweet or DM (along with a short description and a link) to Google’s Small Business department. This can help them get a better overall picture of the issue and address it directly and quickly.

Google My Business Login Screen

4. File a Legal Removal Request for the Bad Review of Your Business

There’s one final option that exists to remove negative Google reviews of your company, but it will only apply to a limited number of cases. Google allows individuals to formally request content be removed if it’s illegal.

In the case of your business, this would potentially in the case of possible slander against you or your brand, which is illegal in the United States.

To report an illegal review, navigate to the Content Removal Tool and select Google My Business. On the following pages, Google will ask you questions relating to the review and your complaint about its specific content.

Google notes that “a copy of each legal notice we receive may be sent to the Lumen project for publication and annotation.” They go on to say, “We may also send the original notice to the alleged infringer or, if we have reason to suspect the validity of your complaint, to the rights holder. We may also publish similar information from your notice to our Transparency Report.”

In other words, Google takes these complaints very seriously, and with good reason. If you submit one of these reports, you might be alleging illegal activity or wrongdoing, so Google has to be sure that they follow the right protocol from start to finish.Finally, be aware that if you have multiple complaints you want to file through this system, each one has to be submitted separately “for each Google service where the content appears”.

Summary: Four Ways to Remove Google Reviews

These are the only four ways to delete Google reviews about your business:

  1. If the content is inappropriate or inflammatory, flag it as such.
  2. If you can address the customer’s issue, they may edit or remove the review.
  3. If these don’t work, you can always tweet to Google’s small business team.
  4. And, lastly, if the content is illegal or slanderous, you can submit a formal legal request for Google to take the post down.

At the end of the day, a negative review should not be a major cause for anxiety, especially if your customer review management pipeline is generating a much larger number of positive reviews to outweigh it. Google provides multiple avenues of support to get potential issues resolved in a timely manner.

How to Get More Google Reviews with Less Work Tue, 29 Oct 2019 12:56:21 +0000

How to Get More Google Reviews with Less Work

There are three main approaches to getting more Google reviews and two of them are a waste of time. If you want to get more positive reviews from real customers, targeted review automation is the way to go.

Learn More

Three Ways to Get More Google Reviews

As a business owner and operator, you already know that getting online local business reviews helps build your customer base. Reviews are a way to build trust with new customers while figuring out what is or isn’t working; in so doing, you create loyal patrons while improving your service and workflow over time. Naturally, something this valuable doesn’t always come easy. People are far more likely to leave a negative review than a positive one and manually managing your own reviews — reaching out to individual customers and directly handling every single review, over and over, hoping for the best — often does nothing but cause headaches for business owners who could be better spending their time actually running their business.

In this article, we’ll look at how to get Google more reviews, why fake reviews won’t help you, and why automated customer review management is your best option.

Are Google Reviews Really That Important?

Think about the last time you shopped online for yourself. You probably did the exact same thing that your own customers are doing when they read about your company on Google.

72% of customers report that positive reviews cause them to put more trust in a local business than they would have otherwise. In fact, a whopping 88% of customers shopping on the internet consider online reviews to be as good as a personal recommendation they received from someone they know. That’s nearly 9 out of every 10 online consumers!

9 out of every 10 consumers look at reviews as recommendations!?

With that many people giving that high of a credence to online reviews, you obviously want to make sure you’re getting as many positive ratings as you can. At the same time, you also want to minimize the negative ratings.

Method 1: Getting More Google Reviews by Hand

To get more online reviews, many local business owners — electricians, plumbers, shop owners, etc. — attempt to reach out to their customers manually. That is, they try to contact each and every person that does business with them on a case-by-case basis, one by one. This is slow, unpredictable, and takes way too much time.

If you like, imagine an incredibly long line of customers, single-file, extending all the way down the street from your business’s front door. This long march wraps around the corner and then around another, for miles and miles and miles, until you literally can’t see the end.

Show up in the map pack to get customers near you

This actually provides a very clear picture of the manual approach to dealing with your online reviews. If you personally tried to get through all of these people on your own, you would never have any time to actually run your business and get more customers — the very reason you want to have the good reviews in the first place!

Here’s what that looks like in more concrete terms:

  1. You can directly reach out to customers and ask them to write you a review on Google.
  2. You can find their email address and write a personalized letter to them, in which you request for them to write you a Google review.
  3. You can print off hard copies of postcards or flyers that you leave behind when you do business in someone’s home or office, on which you ask for reviews.
  4. You can add a bunch of pop-up windows and calls-to-action all over your website to encourage people to write reviews.
  5. You can respond to every single review that appears by writing a personalized note that personally thanks them by name, accompanied by a long and thoughtful post.

At first blush, these probably sound like great ideas — at least on the surface. They strike most business owners as the most reasonable route, which is exactly why most local business operators try out these methods for themselves.

The problem with all these approaches mainly comes down to the manual time and energy it takes to put them into effect. Think again about that line extending from your business all the way into the next county — that’s essentially what you’re dealing with here. If these manual strategies are how you get Google reviews, you can’t get more without putting in a lot more work.

Another major issue with a few of these is that customers simply hate them. Have you ever seen a pop-up appear on a website and said to yourself, “Oh, how nice! I’m so glad this window appeared to block what I’m reading, so that I can be offered something I didn’t want or ask for in the first place. What a great turn of events. My lucky day!”

Didn’t think so. And your customers probably have the same reaction.

Show up in the map pack to get customers near you

Method 2: Buying Fake Google Reviews

People often have a lot of questions when it comes to fake Google reviews:

  • What is a fake review? (In a word: spam.)
  • Are fake Google reviews illegal? (Potentially, believe it or not.)
  • How much do fake Google reviews cost? (It varies, but it’s never worth it.)
  • Will fake Google reviews actually help my business? (Almost never.)
  • Will fake Google reviews actually hurt my business? (Almost always.)

Most of the time, groups that operate in the ersatz review business will post ads that offer to provide “cheap and fast” Google reviews for less than the cost of a decent lunch. They may or may not be “cheap” or “fast”, but they will most definitely be fake.

These fake reviews are intended to look just like actual reviews written by humans, except they come from a third-party company that has never bought anything you sell or any service you provide.

They’re often written by a computer algorithm to make your brand sound incredible and appealing to potential (real) customers. These reviews glow and gush about how great you and your company are. What seems like a great way to achieve quick success turns out to be nothing more than smoke and mirrors that evaporate almost as soon as you look in their direction.

How to Buy Fake Google Reviews

It’s a very straightforward process:

  1. Click on the cheapest customer review management ad you see.
  2. Pay spammers to post fake Google reviews of your business.
  3. Potential customers mark the fake reviews as spam (which they are).
  4. Google punishes you for spamming people with reduced rank and traffic.
  5. Customers either choose someone else or never see your business at all.

(Optional step: Have the FTC come after you.)

Here’s our professional advice: don’t waste your time, energy, or hard-earned money on spam reviews. They nearly always come back to bite you in the end.

Method 3: Automated Customer Review Management

If you’re thinking that there must be a better way to get more Google reviews, you’re right!

The manual method doesn’t seem to work well enough, and it takes far too much energy, leaving you with no time to run your business. The fake review approach, by contrast, appears to be “quick” and “easy”, when in reality it’s nothing but an illusion of grandeur. Thankfully, there is a much better way for how to get more customer reviews online, and it’s proven to work more effectively and efficiently than any of the manual options.

Show up in the map pack to get customers near you

Automated customer review management blows every other method of getting more Google reviews out of the water.

Unlike review gating in which businesses try to divert customers from writing negative reviews about their experiences, BirdEye customer review management allows you to have access to (and manage!) customer reviews across every touch point, from every source, all in one place.

Because it’s all automated, collecting new reviews has never been easier. Simply connect your existing customer management software (or CMS) to BirdEye to automatically import your contacts.

Once this is done, BirdEye sends customers to top review sites to share their feedback, making the whole process seamless and effortless.

With Cut Throat Marketing and BirdEye, the process is 100% automated — you don’t even need to pull a report for the software. It just works.

Let Cut Throat Marketing Handle The Stress

No more manual email writing, postcard printing, annoying pop-ups, or (worst of all) badgering customers repeatedly for responses. Those days are long gone.

With Cut Throat Marketing, take the pressure off yourself, so that you can get back to running your business the way that you want. Automate your customer review management to get back on track and take the world by storm all at the same time. Contact us for a free consultation today.?

Setting up Google My Business Page Thu, 15 Aug 2019 20:21:52 +0000

Setting up a Google My Business Page for your Business.

For any business to be found on Google Maps you need to have a Google My Business (GMB) Page. This is one of the 4 main accounts you can have with Google for search engine optimization needs. Most commonly recognized as the information box that shows up to the right side of your screen when you search for a business, GMB is one of the best FREE digital marketing tools you can give your business and it helps people within a 5 mile radius find you with ease.?

Google My Business Search View

Even though it is free, roughly 56% of local retailers still need to claim their Google My Business listing and are missing out on all the opportunities it could bring. So this month we will be explaining how to set up and verify your Google My Business listing so you can show up in the Map Pack too!

Show up in the map pack to get customers near you

Create a Business Gmail Account

The first step is to create a separate Gmail account for your business. Trust us, you’ll want a gmail just for your business. You’ll tie all your Google products and other citation or directory accounts to this account. It will get spammed. You’ll get overwhelmed if you tie it to your normal email address as well as help you remember what email owns the GMB account. We get calls all the time, “How to get back into my Google Accounts?”or my personal favorite “I do not know who owns my GMB and now I cannot change my phone number !!” It takes time to have Google change the owner of a GMB listing and if someone still monitors the account and decides they don’t like you, you may never get back into your account.

Once you create a business Gmail, make sure you are logged in to it. Google likes to switch accounts back and forth from screen to screen, so make sure you are setting up your GMB listing under the correct account:

Choose The Right Gmail Account

Then once logged in go to the Google My Business sign-up page and this page will load:

Google My Business Login Screen

Click Sign In in the top right hand corner of the screen. If you are logged in properly, the next screen should ask you, “What’s the name of your business?” Type in your business name, don’t try to be cute or funny, just the name of your business and hit ‘next’.

What's the name of your business?

Setting Your Business Location

The next step is very important as it decides how people can find your business. Google will ask, “Do you want to add a location a customer can visit, like a store or office?” If you do have a location choose ‘Yes’ and fill out your address. If you put ‘No’, Google will then ask you for an area you serve. Please put the largest area here, as you can refine the area later. So if you serve your entire State, put the State here. If you serve just a city and surrounding community I would put the name of the biggest city here.? Then hit ‘next’.

Choosing Your Business Category

The next step is Choosing your Business Category. Choose the best category that fits your business services, as you start typing you will see Google only gives you so many options. So make sure you find the best match possible.? As you will see in my example below, digital marketing is not a category we can choose, so we had to try again and choose website design. Once you find the perfect fit, hit ‘next’.

Choose the best category for your business

Enter Your Contact Information

The next step is your contact information. It is really recommended that you have a website and a phone number you can put here. Even if you do not have a website, put your Facebook page here instead. It helps Google think you are a legitimate business. Then hit ‘next’.

Almost Done!

The last step is to hit finish and submit your listing. Google will then ask you to verify your listing, usually with a postcard that will be mailed to the listed address within 5 business days. Once you receive the postcard with the code, you will need to log back on to your new GMB listing and enter the code. There! Now you have set up your Google My Business Page and verified your location. Congratulations!

Google My Business Dashboard

Do Not Set Up and Forget!

But, do not think you are done with GMB, just because you now show up on the maps doesn’t mean you have closed the deal. Now you need to set up your profile adding your business information; including your hours and what your business is about.? Then add images and posts weekly to help get new customers regularly.?

Just like a new puppy, Google likes attention and must be maintained otherwise it will get out of your control. The right digital marketing partner can help you maintain as your business grows. Keep your time for what you love and allow professionals to make you look your best.

How Facebook Funnels Can Reduce Your Cost To Acquire a Customer Tue, 11 Jun 2019 20:59:57 +0000

How Facebook Funnels Can Reduce Your Cost To Acquire a Customer

Marketing online offers different opportunities and challenges, many of which depend largely on the platform in question. In particular, Facebook has become a no-brainer for businesses needing to advertise their goods or services to specific demographics. The social networking behemoth is second only to YouTube for daily website traffic in the US, to the tune of 68% of all Americans currently having an account. With nearly three out of four users visiting Facebook daily and spending over half an hour each day, it just makes sense. Pardon the pun, but it also makes cents. Facebook is a primary mover and shaker for online marketing for the reasons listed above, as well
as the immense power that marketers wield in re-targeting ad campaigns to gain visibility among highly specific user groups.

After generating interest among targeted demographics on Facebook, marketers can further reach existing and potential customers by focusing more tightly and narrowing the field of play. This happens in a variety of ways using a sophisticated sales funnel to drive engagement and conversion, while spending the least amount of money possible in the process. For this reason, Facebook ads provide an ideal space for targeting and re-targeting customers again and again.

Funnel Cost Break Down

Quality Facebook Ad Funnel

Here’s how the numbers break down for a typical Facebook ad campaign funnel (see image above). On average, initial, Awareness-level funnel clicks cost around $3.08 per click. These ads are aimed at a very broad audience with the intention of getting them to click a link that will take them to a company’s website. We can assume about 4% total conversion at this level of the funnel. At this rate, a company can expect to get about 1 customer in every 25 clicks/visitors (25 x 4 = 100).

Breaking the numbers down further, we can see that $3.08 per click at 25 visitors gets us to exactly $77 ($3.08 x 25 visitors = $77). This means that the actual cost for one converted customer at this stage of the funnel is $77. If a company’s average cart transaction is less than this, they will lose money on ad campaigns with this level of targeting. In other words, companies will end up spending more money to acquire the customer than they will ultimately make on the sale itself.

Now, compare these numbers to Facebook ad campaigns aimed at garnering Page Likes instead of website clicks. Page Like campaigns usually come in at about 68¢ per Like. The difference is an enormous decrease in cost over the broadly targeted web click campaign from before. Next, we add an additional qualifier, further refining the audience to those that have actually engaged with the brand’s page, costing about 21¢ per engagement. At this point, we are up to 89¢ in total: the first 68¢ covers the Page Like, and an additional 21¢ is spent to acquire the individual via engagement.

About 25% of these customers will organically enter the Consideration phase of the funnel on their own. Once we have a person engaging with the brand via Page Like, we can re-target ads to them, because they have essentially marked themselves as a primary target customer, someone that is interested in the product/services on offer. Here, we average a cost of about 26¢ per additional click, which brings the engagement cost up to a total of $1.15.

There is a 1-to-1 relationship between Page Likes and website visitors. 25 out of 100 people will naturally fall into the consideration stage. It costs an additional $6.50 to bring visitors in consideration back to the site: at 26¢ per qualified person x 25 qualified people = $6.50 in ad spend. At that cost, 4 qualified people in every 25 (16%) will convert on average. Another way to put it is that we can spend $6.50 to bring qualified traffic back to the site.

Those conversion costs are much more palatable: 100 Page Likes x 89¢ = $89 (Awareness phase ad spend). $89 + $6.50 (Consideration phase ad spend) = $95.50. $95.50 X .25 = $23.88 per converted sale. Compare this to the $77 per converted sale from the generic advertising campaign from before. This is a $53.12 improvement in conversion cost.

As you can see, it really pays off to know how to narrow down your market. With a highly focused, re-targeted ad campaign on Facebook, you can lower your customer acquisition and conversion costs substantially. To do this effectively, most companies are better off outsourcing to a team of professionals that can run their ad campaigns for them and achieve the greatest possible results consistently. Check out our PPC page to contact us and get started today.

Digital Marketing Campaigns: 6 Steps For A Powerful Digital Strategy Thu, 06 Jun 2019 14:25:10 +0000

Digital Marketing Campaigns: 6 Steps For A Powerful Digital Strategy


If you’re like most business owners, you know that a digital marketing campaign can give your business a serious boost. Running a campaign can attract new prospective clients, generate more leads, raise your visibility in Google search, and ultimately raise revenue.

But if you’re like most business owners, the thought of creating and running a digital campaign is overwhelming to you. There are so many variables to work through.

Should you focus on social media advertisements or Search Engine Optimization? Should you try to generate new leads or increase overall revenue? Where does content marketing fit into your overall strategy?

In this post, we’re going to break down the how, what, and why of a successful digital marketing campaign. Consider this a roadmap of sorts. It will help you think through the key elements of your campaign so that you can successfully execute it.

Ready? Let’s dive in.


Step #1: Define Your Digital Marketing Campaign Goals

The first step when creating a digital marketing campaign is to define your goals. This may seem obvious, but unfortunately, many companies neglect this step.

The common saying that you can’t manage what you don’t measure is particularly relevant when creating a digital marketing campaign. If you don’t know your goals, you don’t know your target and you can’t measure whether you’re successful or not.

digital market planning

So what sort of digital marketing goals should you set for your campaigns? Here are some common, relevant ones.



Brand awareness is exactly what it sounds like. It’s the overall level of awareness of your brand, particularly as it relates to your field of expertise. Building brand awareness involves strengthening the connection between your business and the products or services you provide.

A great example of brand awareness is Kleenex. Kleenex has become so associated with tissues that when a person says they need a Kleenex, they simply mean they need a tissue. Everyone knows what a Kleenex is and what it does.

Why is brand awareness so powerful?

The more you raise the general awareness of your brand, the more you’ll stand apart from the competition. Think about Google, for example. They have generated such awareness that they absolutely dominate the search engine industry.

Generally speaking, higher brand awareness also generates more leads and sales, as well as preventing competitors from taking away market share.



Consideration is another common digital marketing goal. Consideration is when a potential customer moves from simply being aware of your brand to considering your products or services.

For example, let’s say that thanks to an SEO campaign strategy, you’ve managed to get to the front page of Google for a particular term. This increases your brand awareness.

However, your goal is to get them to move beyond simply being aware of your brand to actually considering it. In other words, you want to develop a deeper relationship with the potential prospect.

And so once they go to your website, you present them with free content that is related to your brand and educates them about your products or services. This content marketing strategy is designed to get prospects to more deeply consider your brand.



When it comes to a digital marketing campaign, conversion simply means getting potential prospects to take a particular action. Often times this action is actually purchasing something from you, but that’s not always the case.

The action could be signing up for your email list, registering for a webinar, downloading a whitepaper, calling your business, or any other number of actions. Your goal is to get the prospect to actually do something.

If you’ve executed and fulfilled the first two goals effectively, conversions are much easier to generate. You’ve raised awareness of your brand and begun to develop a relationship with a potential customer. From there, the next step is often conversion.


When creating the digital marketing plan goals, you may want to focus on customer loyalty. In other words, you’re not trying to win new customers, you’re trying to retain the customers that you already have.

Some simple examples of ways to generate more customer loyalty are offering discounts to long-term customers, giving something to a customer on their birthday, etc. Your overall goal is to get the customer to become loyal to your company over every other company out there.



A final goal to consider in your internet marketing strategy is generating customer advocacy. This is when your customers are so passionate about your company that they’re not only loyal customers, but they’re also evangelists for your company.

They constantly tell their friends and family about you, doing everything they can to win customers on your behalf.

Advocacy is usually the result of you delivering a superior product or service in one way or another. Customers become advocates when you wow and delight them. When you overdeliver on every promise you’ve made.

You can win advocates through outstanding customer service, by constantly providing new, outstanding products, through innovation, etc.

Consider Apple in the early days of the iPhone. They created hundreds of thousands of advocates for their company by creating the first true smartphone. They gave their customers something that could be found nowhere else. The result was a passionate customer base that promoted Apple products to everyone they knew.


Setting SMART Goals

When setting your digital marketing campaign goals, it’s absolutely essential that you create SMART goals.

S.M.A.R.T Goals

SMART stands for:

  • Specific – Your goal can’t be vague, like, “We want to increase the number of leads we generate online.” It must be highly specific, such as, “We want to generate 150 new leads.”
  • Measurable – Your goal must also be measurable. If you can’t measure your goal, you’ll never know if you actually achieved it. For example, the vague goal of increasing the number of leads you generate isn’t readily measurable. Technically, you could generate a single lead more than before and hit your goal, but that’s not what you’re after. You want to attach specific, measurable numbers to your goals. A goal of generating 150 leads is easily measurable.
  • Attainable – If a goal isn’t attainable, it’s not a reasonable goal. If the most leads you’ve ever generated is 7, setting a goal of generating 1,000 leads probably isn’t realistic. Your marketing objectives need to be within reach. If they’re not, you won’t hit them and you’ll become discouraged.
  • Relevant – Relevant goals are those that will actually move the needle for your business. If you what you really need is new leads, setting a goal of increasing your overall Twitter followers isn’t a relevant goal. Set digital marketing goals that will actually make a difference in your business.
  • Time-Based – Finally, your digital marketing goals must be time-based. In other words, they should have a start date and an end date. These constraints help you measure whether you were truly successful in achieving your goals. Goals that aren’t time-based can stretch out indefinitely.


Step #2: Determine Digital Marketing KPIs


Once you’ve established your SMART goals, it’s time to determine the Key Performance Indicators. KPIs are the measures that are most important and relevant to your campaign. You’ll measure your digital marketing campaign against these digital marketing KPIs to determine whether or not you’re successful.

Your KPIs are going to be closely tied to the overall objectives you set for your campaign.

For example, let’s say you’re running a social media campaign strategy. You’re going to use Facebook ads to drive traffic to a landing page. The landing page is promoting a free ebook that people can get if they sign up for your email list.

Your KPIs for the social media campaign could be:

website audit

  • Number of leads generated
  • Overall impressions created
  • Number of clicks on the ad


Or let’s say that you’re running a content marketing strategy in which you’re promoting an important blog post that you wrote. Your KPIs for the campaign could be:

Google Analytics

  • Number of people who read the blog post
  • Number of links back to the blog post
  • Number of social shares of the blog post


It’s critical to remember that your KPIs should be closely tied to your overall goals. If your social media campaign goal is to generate leads, don’t focus primarily on the number of clicks you generate. Focus on the number of leads from the campaign. Don’t get sidetracked by metrics that don’t really matter.


Step #3: Determine Your Target Audience and Value Propositions

When creating your digital marketing campaign, it’s critical to determine both your target audience and the value propositions that you will present to that target audience. Your target audience is the group of people you are targeting with your digital marketing campaign.

For example, if you run an ecommerce store in which you sell products for babies, you may target men and women between the ages of 25-40. This is the audience most likely to have babies. If you’re an auto glass shop, you may target men and women who live in your zip code.

When creating your target audience, smaller tends to be better than large. If your audience is too broad, you’ll end up spending money to get in front of people who aren’t truly interested in your business. Ultimately, you’ll end up wasting money. Once you’ve created your target audience, you need to determine the value proposition you’ll present to that audience.

Your value proposition is the reason your target audience should interact with you. In other words, you’re giving your audience a reason to click on your ad or share your blog post or link back to a particular page on your website.

For example, let’s say you’re running a Pay Per Click Campaign where you display an ad on Google. Why should people click on that ad? What will they get out of it?

pay per click campaign

  • Will they get a discount on your services?
  • Will they get key information that will help them solve their problem?
  • Will they find the product they’re hoping to purchase?


Your value proposition is the big WHY behind your digital marketing campaign. Don’t just assume that if you start spending money on advertising, you’ll get results. You need to give your audience a compelling reason to interact with you.


Step #4: Build A Plan and Budget

budgeting and planning

After determining your core audience and value proposition, it’s time to build out a plan and budget for your campaign. There are numerous mediums that you can and should incorporate into your campaign. These mediums include:


Your Website

Ideally, your website should be optimized to achieve whatever your overall goal is. If your goal is to increase the number of leads you receive, your website should be optimized for leads. If your goal is to drive awareness of your brand, your website should be chock full of clear information that will educate visitors about your company.

If your website isn’t optimized for your goal, you’ll need to budget for a redesign so that it’s in line with your ultimate objective.


Search Engine Optimization

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of optimizing pages on your website so that they show up as high as possible in Google search results (and other search engines). Depending on your overall goal, SEO should be a high priority.

Showing up on the first page of Google is an outstanding way to raise overall brand visibility and increase organic traffic to your website..


Content Marketing

Content marketing involves creating a piece of content (web page, blog post, ebook, etc.) that is valuable to your target audience and then promoting it heavily to that audience.

The marketing process can vary, but often includes emailing select individuals to let them know about the content, promoting the content on social media, advertising the content, trying to get links back to it, etc. The goal is twofold:

  • To provide something of high value to your audience
  • To get the content seen by as much of your target audience as possible

When budgeting for content marketing, you’ll need to take into account the cost of getting the content created, as well as the time required to promote it across a variety of channels.


Social Media

There’s a good chance that part of your digital campaign will involve both advertising and organic promotion on social media. When it comes to advertising, you’ll need to budget for the time it takes to create the ads, as well as how much you’ll actually spend on the ads. In terms of organic promotion, you’ll need to plan out what you’re going to share on social media, as well as when you’re going to share it.


Pay Per Click

Pay Per Click (PPC) advertisements are the ads that show up at the top and bottom of Google search results. These ads can be a highly effective way to drive targeted traffic to a particular page on your website.

You’ll need to budget for both the time it takes to research and create the ads, as well as the money you’ll spend on the ads themselves.


Email Marketing

Believe it or not, email marketing is still a highly effective way to engage with customers. Ideally, your digital marketing campaign should incorporate some form of email sequence. This sequence can engage those on your email list, point them to particular web pages, highlight promotions, etc.

You’ll need to budget for the time it takes to create the emails, as well as the cost of an email service.


Mobile Marketing

Mobile marketing, in which you target users based on a particular factor related to their mobile device, allows you to hypertarget your audience. For example, let’s say you’re a downtown Colombian restaurant. Using geo-fencing, you can target people who are within a 1.5 mile radius of your restaurant with a 10% off coupon.

This kind of hypertargeting is an outstanding way to drive foot traffic to a physical location.


Step #5: Execute Your Plan


Once you’ve performed the first four steps, it’s time to finally execute your plan. If you’ve done your legwork, this shouldn’t be overly complicated. It simply involves putting into action the plan you’ve already laid out.

For example, if you’re running a content marketing campaign, you need to create the content, share the content, reach out to people to link back to the content, ask other people to share the content, etc.

Digital Marketing Strategy

If you’re running a social media advertising campaign, you need to create your ad on Facebook, Twitter, and whatever other platforms you plan on using.


Step #6: Measure Your Impact

The final step in any digital marketing campaign is to measure your impact. At this stage, you compare your actual results to your projected results. If you wanted to generate 150 new leads and you actually generated 200, it’s safe to say that you’ve run a successful campaign (all other factors being equal).

If you were trying to be in the top five Google search results for a particular search result and you’re in the 15th spot, your campaign wasn’t particularly successful.

Your digital marketing KPIs are essential at this stage. You may generate thousands of clicks upon a particular advertisement, but if clicks wasn’t a KPI, they’re not particularly relevant to your campaign. If your goal is to increase revenue by 40%, it doesn’t matter how many clicks you garnered if you only increase revenue by 20%.

Bottom line: measure your results against your KPIs.


Build Your Campaign

That wasn’t so complicated, was it? Building a digital marketing campaign primarily involves knowing your overall goals and then knowing the specific steps it takes to reach those goals. When evaluating the success of your campaign, it’s critical that you always keep your overall goals and KPIs in mind. Don’t get sucked into flashy metrics that don’t mean much when it comes to the overall success of your campaign. Keep your eyes focused on your goals and only call a campaign a success if you hit those goals. Now go forth and create an awesome digital marketing campaign.

What metrics matter the most when running a Google Ads PPC campaign? Wed, 29 May 2019 19:47:02 +0000

What Metrics Matter the most when Running a Google Ads PPC Campaign?

ppc ad

When it comes to running Pay-Per-Click (PPC) campaigns, what metrics matter the most? Should you be focused on Click-Through-Rate (CTR)? Conversion rate? The total number of clicks? The Cost-Per-Click (CPC)? There are so many different numbers and variables that it can get confusing. But here’s the thing… If you don’t know what metrics matter most in PPC campaigns, you won’t be able to measure the results effectively and there’s a good chance you’ll waste money or run a suboptimal campaign.

In this post, we’re going to break down the four metrics that matter most, as well as show you how they all intersect together. Let’s dive in

Metric #1: Average Order Value (AOV)

Simply put, the Average Order Value (AOV)?is the average amount a customer spends on a single order. In other words, if a lead converts into a customer, the AOV represents how much that customer will spend.

For the sake of this post, let’s say that we’re dealing with a glass company and the AOV is $1,500.


Metric #2: Cost Per Acquisition (CPA)

Cost Per Acquisition (CPA) represents the amount it costs to acquire one paying customer. It’s the amount you have to spend in advertising to bring in a single new customer.

So, for example, if the CPA is targeted at 15% of the AOV, the targeted Cost Per Acquisition is $225.

Metric #3: Conversion Rate (CR)

Conversion rate represents a percentage of people who take a particular desired action, such as making a phone call, signing up for an email list, or even making a purchase.

Let’s say that the glass company has a lead conversion rate of 4%. Put another way, 1 out of every 25 site visitors becomes a lead.


Metric #4: User Value

When you combine the Average Order Value, Cost Per Acquisition, and Conversion Rate, you get the User Value. This figure represents the average value of every single user that visits a website.

It works like this:


AOV x CPA X CR = User Value


For our example, the numbers work out as follows:

$1,500 x 15% = $225

$225 x 4% = $9.00

These calculations tell us that the value of each person who visits the website is $9.00.

Putting All The Numbers Together

So what do these numbers tell you?

First, they tell you how much you can spend for a campaign to be profitable. If you can deliver potential customers (website visitors) for $9.00 per click or less, then you will run a profitable campaign. Remember, the value of every user who visits the site is $9.00, assuming all the other numbers hold true. ?

Second, they allow you to calculate critical numbers like your Average Lead Value, which is Cost Per Acquisition divided by the number of leads you garnered.

Third, they allow you to compare actual numbers from campaigns to projected numbers and then make adjustments as necessary. For example, if the website is only converting at 3%, all the numbers will need to be adjusted accordingly. You’ll ultimately need to recalculate your User Value and then measure your results against the new number.

Finally, if you know how many leads were actually converted to sales, you can calculate your Return On Ad Spend, which is the amount of revenue you generated for every dollar spent in advertising.

This brings us to the final point.

increased sales

Ultimately, when you’re running a PPC campaign, the numbers that matter most aren’t the CTR or the number of clicks. The metrics that allow you to make the most informed decisions are Average Order Value, Cost Per Acquisition, Conversion Rate, and User Value. From there, you can monitor and adjust your campaigns, as well as determine your overall Return On Ad Spend.


Google Search Search Console Can’t Crawl Your Site Because of Robots.txt Thu, 23 May 2019 13:47:49 +0000

SEO 101: What to do when Google Search Search Console Can’t Crawl Your Site Because of Robots.txt

The first rule of Search Engine Optimization is simple: Make sure that Google – and the other major search engines – can properly access your site! If they can’t “crawl” your site, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that your search rankings aren’t going to be very good. In fact, you won’t show up at all. So if Google Search Console is telling you that your robots.txt file is blocking them from crawling the site… you’ve got a problem. The good news is that it’s not a difficult fix, and that’s what we’re going to walk you through here today.

First, some background. What does it mean to “crawl” your site in the first place? Search engines like Google use automated scripts to browse websites across the world wide web. These scripts are referred to as “spiders” and the process of reviewing your website content is known as crawling.

Simply put, crawling is the process that search engines use to gather information about your website. So, if your website won’t allow the search engines to crawl them, your site is basically invisible.

Which is not a good place to be!

If your robots.txt file is blocking Google from crawling the site, it’s usually because you’ve launched the site but forgot to update the robots.txt file beforehand. When a site is in development, it’s standard procedure to block search engines from finding it, because you don’t want website visitors stumbling across your half-built website.

But if you or your developer fails to update the robots.txt file ahead of time, it won’t be accessible to the search engines and you’ll get the following error message in Google Search Console:

Google Search Console issues

So let’s talk about how to fix it.

The first step is to update your robots.txt file. You can generally access this file through a website plugin or the source code itself. If you’re working with a web developer, he or she can do this for you very easily.

But simply fixing the file doesn’t solve the problem. Google Search Console won’t know that you’ve changed your settings unless you take action. Here’s what to do:

Step One: Open up Google Search Console and select “Go to the Old Version” on the left-hand menu.

Google Search Console troubleshooting


Step Three: Click “Submit”




Step Two: Choose “Crawl” and then “Robots.txt tester”




Step Four: In the dialogue box, choose “Ask Google to Update”


update robots.txt file


Step Five: Return to New Google Search Console, Inspect Home Page, and “Request Indexing”


how to fix Google Search Console "can't crawl" issue


It will take a few moments to process, and then your site will be placed into their indexing queue.

Check back a few moments later and you should be good to go! Once you’ve gone through this process, Google (and other search engines) will be able to access your site and include your website in their search rankings. If you have any further questions, we’d be happy to help. Simply click here to get in touch with us! And if you’d like to learn more about the technical aspects of SEO, click here to subscribe to our YouTube Channel.

See you next time!



Influencer Marketing in 2019 Tue, 05 Feb 2019 17:06:34 +0000

Influencer Marketing?


Fyre Fraud and Fyre: The Greatest Party that Never Happened


It isn’t often that multiple films come out at the same time about the same topic. And yet two new documentaries—Fyre Fraud?and?Fyre: The Greatest Party that Never?Happenedpurport to illuminate the strange case of the Fyre Festival.?

For those that don’t know, the Fyre Festival was a music festival in the Bahamas organized by Billy McFarland, a New York marketing CEO and scammer. McFarland and the festival’s organizers?claimed?Fyre was going?to be one of the most lavish and luxurious parties of the century. McFarland had promised amazing food, famous bands, beach-front accommodations,?and the ability to rub shoulders with some of the most beautiful?and most?powerful people in the world.??

When?guests?arrived, however, they realized that the festival was not as promised. Instead of yachts, pavilions, and food, guests received tents and sandwiches. Flights on and off the island were blocked, and the situation quickly deteriorated. Only a single local band played, and after 24 hours the lack of sanitation, food, and?shelter.??

?One of the major questions that?emerged?from the?failure of the festival was?how such?a?massive fraud could take place. People paid hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars to attend?based on?the promise of an epic?party. However, that promise was not made through traditional advertising. Instead, McFarland paid “media influencers” to talk about the festival with their audiences. Models like Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid, and others promoted the event, often without signaling that they were doing so as an advertisement. Consumers were then led to believe that these prominent people would be there and took that as a sign of the legitimacy of the event.??

What happened on the island was a clear case of fraud. However, the incident is going to be remembered more for bringing issues with influencer marketing into the spotlight.?The festival reveals the power and reach of media influencers—for good or bad.?


What?Is Influencer Marketing??


Influencer marketing is the use of a popular figure, typically on social media, to promote a product, service, or event. Rather than focus on a target market or a product, advertisers will use someone (the “influencer”) to mention?the?product, service, or event to their audience. The understanding here is that?influence sells the product—the?object of?the?advertising?doesn’t sell?itself.??

influencer marketing with beyonce drinking pepsi

This idea isn’t new. For centuries, companies have used individuals to sell their products. In the 20th century alone, the rise of commercials starring celebrities—everyone?from movies, TV shows, and music—was predicated on the fact that people wanted to use products associated with their favorite stars, regardless?of whether?the sales proposition of that product related to them.

The use of this?type?advertising has faded over time as many celebrities have determined that their integrity or social image would be damaged by hawking questionable goods. However,?stars might still sell products that?they actually use or that?don’t conflict with their image (or, in?cases of extreme commercialism, many?celebrities?simply shoot commercials in Asian countries to avoid damaging their reputation in the U.S.).??

Influencer marketing, however, has taken up the slack by plugging into everyone’s connection on social media. Instagram and Snapchat have become centers for influencer marketing, where individuals can build networks of thousands of people who follow their words, images, and recommendations every single day. It isn’t a prerequisite that an individual be a “star” to have influence. Regular people, smaller celebrities, or anyone with the time, skill, and inclination to build a social media audience can be an influencer.??


What?Is the Issue with Influencer Marketing??

The primary issue is that it isn’t obvious when someone is marketing to you.?


Take a commercial or an ad on Facebook. When that advertisement appears on your screen, you know exactly what it is: someone is trying to sell to you. That isn’t bad, necessarily. In fact, knowing that someone is trying to sell you something is the best way to determine if you want to buy a product. They must work, to some extent, on gaining your attention, trust, and money.??

Influencer marketing, on the other hand, is a bit more disingenuous. An “influencer” selling you a product might post their advertisement of that product within their social media feed as if it were any other snippet of their life. That is, they would convince you that they use a product, or work with some service, as part of their routine. They might praise that product for how wonderful it is, how well it serves them, how much it saves them money, and so on.??

Not much different from a commercial, right??Wrong.?

Because the ad is pushed in their social media feed, and because there currently isn’t much regulation on how influencers disclose their role as advertisers, members of their audience could be tricked into thinking that they?actually use?a product. What seems like an endorsement of a product by someone influential is?a?bought and paid for?advertisement.?

Influencer Marketing with the Kardashians and Flat Tummy Tea

Advertisers and influencers leverage the seeming “reality” of social media to convince audiences that the products they sell are?an?organic?part of their everyday lives. If one influencer mentions that product, then another,?and?then another, a shared audience might literally be tricked into thinking a product is taking off because of its merits and value.

More significantly, influencer marketing reflects the people that we follow and look up to. The reason the Jenners of the world can have such an impact is because few people really engage with them on anything more than a superficial level. So,?when they decide to take advantage of their position, those taken advantage of have no idea?about?what is?really?happening.


What Does the Fyre Festival Have to Do with Influencer Marketing?


Our initial reaction to the Fyre Festival is that rich and famous people were tricked into attending a party that really didn’t exist. We might not feel a lot of sympathy for them. Sure, it sucks that they lost out on that money, but they should have been paying attention.??

Except that the advertising tricks used by influencers can damage the brand and the influencer, and they?can?undermine the structure of social media?in the following ways:??

  1. If a brand associates with an “influencer” and that individual commits a crime or turns out to be a racist alt-right goblin, then the brand’s image is irrevocably damaged. Companies using influencer’s run the risk of tying their entire image to the brand in a more intimate way than traditional marketing, and thus taking a hit if that relationship doesn’t work out.??
  2. If the brand is fraudulent (as in the case of the Fyre Festival) then the influencers involved look foolish and lose a lot of credibility.?
  3. If everyone is looking to build an audience to advertise, then the line between authentic social engagement and advertising becomes?blurred. Instead of finding real people who might offer help or might look to start their own businesses online, we have individuals who gain a following only to turn around and monetize?their followers.?

Since influencer marketing is built on the relationship between an influencer and an audience, it also reflects the people that we associate with. If someone takes advantage of their audience, there is a direct correlation between that fraudulent marketing and the quality of the person advertising.?


Should I Use Influencer Marketing??


When it comes to small or mid-sized business, this question is less relevant.?There isn’t anything wrong with getting?endorsements and support if your customers?like your product?and your advertisers?present a respectable image for your company.??

However, if you look to “influencers” to promote your brand, realize that you are selling an image and not a product. Your goods and services are secondary to the sale, which isn’t going to promote longevity in terms of actual customer retention (unless, you know, you have a good product).??

Influencer marketing does teach us a lesson about sales, however. Don’t sell what you can’t back up. Don’t promise what you can’t deliver. It can be tempting to promise the world and use underhanded tactics just to get clicks, calls, sales, and support.?But in the end,?it will?all?fall apart. Use real advertising that speaks to your real target market?and that?supports?a product you are proud of. If you follow these principles, everything will work out.?

Social Media Safety Fri, 26 Oct 2018 15:08:13 +0000

Social Media Safety

Social Media Safety

Now-a-days,?more people get their information from social media than search engines. From recipes for the best fried egg and avocado dish to which local doctor?works with homeopathic remedies, we use social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for everything! But is it safe? Or better yet, is it?as?dangerous as?popular?media tries?to claim???

Social media usage should be compared to driving a vehicle-the safety level depends on the user. If you are a good driver, follow the rules of the?road,?pay?attention to the road you, and?should be able to make it through life?with very?few?hiccups.?If you are a bad driver, well it can cause severe damage and sometimes ruin a life. Now,?I am not saying you should have to get a license or be a certain age to use social media.?However,?I do think if you are going to get behind your phone and post your entire life for everyone to see, you should understand how it works. So here are?5?social media?safety?tips to help you stay safe online.

1) Passwords are?Your?First?Line of?Defense??

Passwords are?your?main line of defense when it comes to protecting your information and social media profiles.?Your?password should be unique?for every account you own?.?Under no circumstances should you?“recycle” passwords that you use for your banking or billing paying application because if your profile gets hacked, now you bank can be too!??

Passwords should be strong,?which means?longer than 8 characters and including?upper case?letters, lower case?letters?and numbers.?Also make sure you avoid the obvious?password phrases?like?dates?of birth, addresses, phone numbers,?anniversary’s?and names of children or pets.?Lastly, keep your password private! If you give it out, what is the point of having it?


2) Don’t?Fall for?Phishing?Attempts?

Have you ever?clicked?on a post to take a?survey?and?gave it access to your profile? Why did that application need access to your ENTIRE profile? Because it was really?phishing,?and you clicked?yes.

Phishing attempts happen on social media all the time.?In this situation,?I would go change your password and check your privacy settings. You can remove access to any application you have granted access to in the past.?Also,?be wary of any?Direct Massages that seem?off, do not click on links you do not know and reach?out?to the friend or profile that sent you’re the message.?They may have been hacked!?


3) Copy and Paste doesn’t do ANTHING to your profile?

Recently, the big trend is these posts going around saying?“Copy and Paste to see more?friends“, or?“Copy and Paste?=?they will HACK your ACCOUNT”. Neither is true. Copy and pasting is just?that…?copying content and pasting it on your page as a post. The only time this may matter is if you are copying and pasting a post that has a link in it and that link takes people to a scam site, then you are sharing a phishing attempt. But other than that, it is nothing but an?internet hoax and a waste of your time.

4) Share?with?Care, it?Really?Does?Stay?Online?Forever?

From blackmail and cyber bullying to sexual predators and human trafficking, social media connects everyone good and bad. If you are smart with what you post and share, then just like being a good driver, this shouldn’t affect you.?On that note, before you copy and paste?or post anything online, make sure it really is what you think it is. Everything you post online stays online!?Many colleges and?employers?these days?will look at social media before deciding to hire or accepted applications. This is really where?the?real dangers?of?social media?come in to play for professionals:?in how people may use you, your information and your images/video to hurt you.

Social Media Use

5) Think?Before?You?Connect??

Lastly, think before you connect.?We’ve all used Google or Facebook to connect apps on our phones or computers. And while there are many applications?out there that request access to your social media profiles that?are not?phishing attempts, they request more information?than?they really need.??

This is where your?common?sense?comes?in to play.?Does that candy matching game really need access to your phone book? How does Aunt Patty’s phone number help me pass this stupid level??If you take a few minutes and read what the application wants access to for you to keep track of your progress, you may find it is not worth?it to you.

We hope these tips help clear up some of the misconceptions about the power of?social?media. Remember:?if you are ever in doubt, just change your password and remove permissions for any applications. This should give your full control over your profile again.??