3rd Street Boys & Girls Club of Decatur

We were lucky enough to be able to donate this wonderful video to the 3rd Street Boys & Girls Club of Decatur. Those kids are amazing!

I’ll add the donation button as soon as I get the link, but in the meantime, call them! Give them the support they need.

Also, we were awarded a Community Impact award at a recent Boys & Girls Club Banquet/Fundraiser!

By | 2018-06-21T21:10:09+00:00 June 21st, 2018|Post|0 Comments

How to Combat Fake News- Part 3

Social Media Annoyances: Why they Exist – Part 3

 

What’s up with Fake News?

Last week,  I explained how any sort of news media made money, through ad revenue and why fake news gets more likes and shares than well-researched data. But are there things that we can do to decrease the spread of fake news? One solution alone won’t cut it. Especially with money being involved in creating media, and emotional strings being used to spread information more quickly. There is also balancing free speech with censorship.

 

New Ways to Pay for Facebook

subscription, fake news

Facebook sells ad space to keep Facebook free for its users. But when it comes to something like ad space, if people are going to make a profit off of it, they are going to try and make as much money as possible, oversaturating the platform as a result. And no one likes ad oversaturation, because it can be harmful, especially to developing children.

Well, Facebook has a couple of routes that it could take:

  • Heavily restricting advertising content via algorithms

While it would certainly scale back some of the fake content, relying on algorithms alone is not a good strategy. Computers don’t pick up on variables unless they are specifically told to. For instance, if you were a hospital and there was a photo of a doctor doing surgery, what is to stop the algorithm to flag it for excessive gore? What about pro-LBGT spaces, would they be penalized for being crude? Those algorithms also need to be coupled with human oversight if there is to be an increase in quality over ad space.

  • Decreasing the ad space that is available and make up the lost profit by charging businesses more money to advertise on those spaces.

While it would weed out scammers that aren’t established, the extra charge in these spaces will most undoubtedly give larger businesses a greater advantage over smaller ones that couldn’t afford to pay for advertising on that platform.

  • Remove advertising completely and start charging subscription fees.

This will definitely put a halt to fake news since advertising would no longer be available to anyone. However, there would be strong resistance from users who are used to not paying for social media for so long. There would be a large decrease in users, but there would most likely be enough diehard fans for Facebook to still be up and running.

 

Equip People with Ways to Discern Fake News

sourcesYou would think that it would be mandatory in America’s compulsory education system to teach students how to discern and look for sources in what they read. However, outside of teaching high schoolers how to cite their own sources, that is all they cover. At least that was my case.  I wasn’t taught how to discern the reliability of a source until I went to community college. Even, then, I didn’t know about things like primary, secondary, and tertiary sources until I was a junior in college. Or how statistics are easily manipulated to spin a message.

I could go on about how the compulsory education system could be improved. But the point that I am making, is that people don’t often research as much as they should. Mostly, because they don’t know how.

A great way to stop the spread of ignorance is education, so there should be educational platforms that encourage people to fact check and consider sources while browsing social media.  Given that over half of Americans get their news from social media, it would be only right to use a platform for discourse like Facebook to educate people about things like cognitive bias, and logical fallacies.

What’s more, those type of PSAs would be great publicity move for Facebook. Instead of just telling people that they are changing, they can illustrate this through their actions.

 

 

This article was written by the Purple Tie Guys, an Alabama SEO, Web Building, and Marketing firm. If you want to read more content like this, check out our blog. If you want to book an appointment, click on the popup here!

By | 2018-06-05T16:34:23+00:00 June 15th, 2018|Post|0 Comments

What Causes Fake News? Part 2

Social Media Annoyances: Why they Exist – Part 2

 

What’s up with Fake News?

Last week, I touched on a case of fake news and click-baiting that existed before computers were even invented, the yellow journalists of late 1800’s New York. The problem, though not as on a mass scale as Facebook, has happened before and has gone away over time.  But, I only briefly touched on the parallels that Facebook had with newspapers at the time.  Both share a strong common motivator for fake news in the first place, profit from advertisers.

 

The Internet, Newspapers, and Ad Revenue

digital advertisingWhat if I were to tell you, that newspapers, websites, and social media platforms don’t make money off of their content alone?  According to Matpat’s Film Theory: Is Fake News Killing the Internet?, It is not the job of news companies to convey important information. The real job of news companies, social media platforms,  and search engine sites is to sell advertising space to their captive audience.  The reason that we don’t currently pay a dime for Facebook is that it became less of a platform for people to connect with one another, and more of a space for advertisers.

Advertisers pay Facebook money for space for their advertisement, the same way that advertisers did for newspapers over a hundred years ago, whether it comes in the form of a picture or an article.

Just like a newspaper advertisement, the more people pay attention and respond to a product with advertising attached, the more both the platform and the business who bought advertising space would profit.

Here is how a click works according to politifact.com “The publisher gets to have a broad say in what categories or types of ads would appear, but overall the network decides what specific ad shows up. Advertisers, meanwhile, negotiate with the network on an amount they’ll pay if someone clicks on their ad. That amount is measured in fractions of a cent per click. If a reader on the publisher’s website clicks an ad, that advertiser will pay the network. The network then shares some of the revenue with the publisher.”

 

Advertising through Gossip and Fear Mongering

These advertisers want to make as much revenue as possible, so, they figure it’s important to draw as much attention to their advertisement as possible. So, they encourage clicks, likes, and sharesfake news by attaching juicy gossip with their advertisements. Why do they do this? To create an emotional investment from the target audience. Does that sound familiar?

People spread and share information when something is emotionally relatable. If something makes someone happy, sad, or angry they will most likely share it with the people around them. However, some emotional responses are more potent than others when it comes to convincing people to share information. According to studies conducted by MIT in China, people share information the most when they are angry.

People don’t share articles with rational information, because it doesn’t arouse a strong enough emotional response. So, it should come as no surprise that advertisers would be more likely to buy ad space from fake news sites than on a site that shares statistics. It just gets more attention.

It also properly explains why people on Facebook are getting more and more argumentative. But is this spread of false information hurting anyone? Absolutely.

At best, fake news would waste some time and utilities. At worst, it has lead to accusations of fraud to people going through legitimate tragedy, changed the course of local elections, and damaged the reputation of a company so badly that stock prices began to fall within fifteen minutes.

 

Conclusion

So, now that we know the motivations of social media platforms and news stations when it comes to advertising and profit, one last question remains.  How do we fix it? What will it take to stop this spiral of madness? I will be sharing an idea or to on how to slow down the process of fake news or at least decrease its effectiveness.

 

This article was written by the Purple Tie Guys, an Alabama SEO, Web Building, and Marketing firm. If you want to read more content like this, check out our blog. If you want to book an appointment, click on the popup here!

By | 2018-06-05T15:11:34+00:00 June 10th, 2018|Post|0 Comments

What’s with Facebook and the Fake News Scandals?

Social Media Annoyances: Why they Exist – Part 1

 

Troubleshooting Today’s Social Media Issues

Social Media platforms are both a blessing and a curse. Like most tools that allow people to find and share information, social media platforms can help people find long-lost connections, can help others communicate in an emergency, and help people start out a side business or a hobby.  It can, however, just as easily serve as a place to manipulate strangers, spread false information, or serve as a battleground for a deluge of unnecessary arguments.  And when a social media platform does not have proper checks and balances, especially one so integrated into most people’s daily lives, it can do a lot more harm than good.

Anyone who has ever participated in some social media platforms in the last couple of years knows what Facebook is, and the different ways that people use it. And anyone, who has ever watched a news station for the last couple of weeks, knows about the investigation of Mark Zuckerburg by the US Government. Since the debacle, Facebook has been making multiple publicity ads promising the removal of spam and fake news from their platform. The questions that have plagued my mind from all this are simple. “How did we get here?”  and  “How does it all work?”

That’s why the next few articles are dedicated to finding out how platforms like Facebook got into the mess they were in, and what could be done to fix certain problems.

 

What’s up with Clickbait?

One of the most annoying thing in the world to deal with is clickbait. It is annoying to be surfing on social media only to find a sudden pop up about a political campaign, or an offer that is in no way related to what is happening in your life. It is a pain to scramble for the volume down button in the doctor’s office when you hear an automatic ad playing on your phone. So, if these ads are so annoying, why do social media sites host them so much? The short answer is profit. The long answer is a little more complicated than that.  The best thing I can think of to do is look to the past to find a good analogy.

 

Newsies

newsies, fake news, clickbaitIf you want to know why clickbait happens, we first need to look at a media outlet that made a profit off of sharing information: The newspaper. Yes, this oversaturation of fake news, the practice of outrageous headlines for a profit, and the articles created to inspire outrage in other people existed during the time of your great-grandparents.

In the late 1800’s, newspaper publishers in large cities like New York made money more differently than the subscription-based-newspaper publishers of today. Their business model at the time was to print a number of publications and sell them in bulk to homeless children, who would independently sell the papers.  The more papers were sold in bulk, the more a profit was made for the press.

So, the children, motivated by not wanting to starve, made a living by shouting headlines day and night. At best, these starving children would just be shouting past midnight and at worst, they would be actively making up headlines and fight rivals for the best spot with the most foot traffic.

It was also important to note that newspapers who sold in bulk did not allow these kids to sell back any of those papers that didn’t sell that day, so it was understandable that these orphans would be desperate to sell as many papers as possible because they would absorb monetary losses instead of the press. This format didn’t change until the newsboy strike of 1899.

News companies started to notice that the children who sold more papers were the ones that exaggerated headlines, and decided to make the headlines more scandalous to increase sales.

This lead to a type of reporting known as yellow journalism.

 

Yellow Journalism – The First Fake News

 

The term yellow journalism was coined by people who were well aware that the stories in the newspapers were highly exaggerated and poorly researched. The presses that were the most guilty of fake news, yellow journalism, writing fake articles and scandalous headlines for sales were Joseph Pulitzer’s New York World and William Randolph Hearst’s New York Journal.  They had an intense rivalry and would do whatever it took to sell more papers than their rival.

Both the Journal and World used a series of tactics that were seen as underhanded by more respectable journalists at the time. The tactics included:

  1. scare headlines in huge print, often of minor news
  2. lavish use of pictures, or imaginary drawings
  3. use of faked interviews, misleading headlines, pseudoscience, and a parade of false learning from so-called experts
  4. emphasis on full-color Sunday supplements, usually with comic strips
  5. dramatic sympathy with the “underdog” against the system.

These tactics were so effective that the New York Journal even got the American public begging to go to war with Spain. All it took was a made up front page story about the sinking of the USS Maine to get the US to go to war with Spain.

That is how destructive fake news can get.

 

Conclusion

It doesn’t take much for people motivated by profit to delve into shady tactics whether it is over 100 years ago, or today. The technology might have changed but our habits haven’t. But this didn’t happen forever, so what changed then and how could it solve Facebook’s problem with fake news? Wait for parts 2 and 3 to find out.

 

This article was written by the Purple Tie Guys, an Alabama SEO, Web Building and Marketing firm. If you want to read more content like this, check out our blog. If you want to book an appointment, click on the popup here!

By | 2018-06-03T11:23:36+00:00 June 3rd, 2018|Post|Comments Off on What’s with Facebook and the Fake News Scandals?

When is Advertising too Much?

When Ads get too Intrusive and Obnoxious

Marketing and advertising exist as a professions because someone has to promote the right products and services to the right people. When done right,  marketing/advertising can bring the right amount of awareness to businesses and events both large and small. But when I hear about players in the NBA selling ad space on their jerseys and Sony Entertainment creating a 90-minute advertisement for theatres, it does make me ask an important question. “When is it enough?”

According to the latest 2o18 polls, people are starting to get burnt out on the insanity of advertising. Out of a group census on Hubspot, 87% of

people say there are more ads than two years ago. What’s more this frustration is killing the reputation of businesses as well as marketers and advertisers.  72% of consumers say they would have a lower opinion of a brand if they subjected the consumer to a pop-up ad and 81% of consumers have closed a browser or exited a webpage because of a pop-up ad.

So, if the way we are advertising now is hurting us and our clients more than it is helping, what changes can we make to reduce ad fatigue to our audiences?

The short answer is to just change our advertising habits.

The Problem with Intrusive Advertisement

There is more than meets the eye with ad complaints if you dig a little deeper into the issue. When researching how people felt about ads, I came across this interesting statistic.  “77% of consumers agree that they would prefer to ad filter than completely ad block. ” This statistic speaks a lot more about the reality of their frustration more than I realized.  People are fine with the idea of advertising. They have accepted it as a part of their daily lives.  Their problem isn’t with advertising in general. Their problem is with the intrusive nature of online advertising.

And it makes perfect sense.

If you were minding your own business,  sitting in a doctor’s office the last thing you would want to deal with is a door to door salesman bursting into the room and interrupting the quiet atmosphere with a loud pitch. It is obnoxious, annoying, and counterproductive to the person trying to sell their product in the first place.  That is the reason that businesses post signs all over the place that state “no solicitation”.

So, if interrupting someone at an inconvenient time is considered a sales faux pas, then why don’t we expect the same behavior from online advertising?

Would you be willing to listen to someone weigh in on a conversation if they were interrupting with no idea of what you were talking about?  Of course not. You would be annoyed, confused, and a little angry that you were interrupted.  That is the feeling that customers are getting with pop-ups and autoplaying videos.

Now that we know where the problem lies, what can we do to fix it?

Advertisements that Work

Vieodesign said it best, “Successful digital ads don’t overtly disrupt the consumer’s browsing experience in an intrusive or annoying way. They make sense in the content and location where they’re placed, look professional, are easy to understand and use. They are well targeted to the consumer, so they’re relevant and speak the consumer’s language. They’re clear about what’s being offered, so people don’t feel tricked.”

We have to be honest about the product and service we are selling, our intentions as advertisers, and we have to be relevant to the people we are adverting to.

Customers need to feel like they have a choice in what they are consuming, and they need to feel at ease with what we are offering as well as how we are offering it.

 

This article was brought to you by Purple Tie Guys. We specialize in web design/ creation, social media management, and SEO services. If you like what you read, check out this article! Or this one! If you want to book an appointment, Click here and check out the Pop-Up!

By | 2018-05-19T22:40:35+00:00 May 19th, 2018|Post|Comments Off on When is Advertising too Much?

Marketing Case Study- Hobby Lobby

Is Politics in Business a Good or Bad Thing?

2012 was a big year for America when it came to answering and reanswering important questions. Are corporate entities people? If corporations are people, do they have a voice? Can a for-profit corporation use their money to exercise their first amendment rights and if so, do the rights of a company outweigh the rights of the employees working for the company? When a corporation makes an openly public stance on religion or politics, does it hurt or help their revenue?

Today, 4 years after the 2014 hearing of Burwell v Hobby Lobby Stores,  I am going to examine this through the lens of a marketer.

 

Hobby Lobby

 

hobby lobbyHobby Lobby is an arts and crafts store chain that was founded in Oklahoma City, in 1972. Since then, the business has grown since then to 600 stores nationwide as of April 2015.

It was founded by David Green, who started the company on a $600 loan. Mr. Green is a devout Evangelical Christian who has stated to have come from a family of preachers and has donated much of his earnings to a portfolio of evangelical ministries since at least 2010.  Mr. Green has not been shy about stating that his company had been founded on Christian values and makes a habit of incorporating it into his business policies over the years, such as giving employees mandatory Sundays off for time to worship and spend with family members.

 

Can a For-Profit Company Exercise Religious Belief?

In 2014, political activists from both liberal and conservative lines and the people that were caught in between all the madness watched as Hobby Lobby make its way to the Supreme Court for a ruling. The conflict had come as a byproduct of the Affordable Care Act, that required health insurance provided by employers to cover emergency contraceptives or pay a government fine. The owner of Hobby Lobby stated that providing this was a violation of his, and by extension, his company’s religious liberties and took it to court.  After several arguments over multiple court cases, a decision was finally made.

The Supreme Court ruled in favor of  Hobby Lobby from a  5-4 Yes to No vote. A company can be exempt from having to pay for certain medical treatments based on religious exemption. But the ruling is a lot more nuanced than most people realize.

It does back up the notion that for-profit corporations are persons, that can set policies based on religious exemption. However, there are a few basic requirements that need to be met for that exemption to apply.  For starters, the company needs to be ‘closely’ held by 5 or fewer people. Whats more, this small group of people needs to at least own 50% of the business assets before it can claim any religious exemption.

 

How does this Affect their Business?

profit

 

With the ruling made, there was only one loose end to this story. Did this legal battle hurt their business? After all, Hobby Lobby sparked quite the spirited political debate over its unwavering stance on its religious policies. There were even articles stating that it was a bad marketing decision. But the truth is, it didn’t cause any negative impact on the company, whatsoever.

Hobby Lobby’s annual revenue in 2011 was 2.28 billion dollars. 5 years later, their revenue has almost doubled at 4.3 Billion dollars.  And it is important to note that this is a craft store that has little online activity and does not even have a barcode system for their stores. They also barely spend any money on marketing materials or promotions compared to other chain business stores on that scale.  So, why didn’t they lose any business after all the insanity over this political issue?

 

Reasons Why They are Thriving

 

  • They had free promotion from the court case

Not many store chains can say that they took part in American History through a Supreme Court case. Whether you agree with them or not, they were the talk of news stations for over two years. And they didn’t even have to buy that sort of publicity. No other craft store chain could say that. It was a great marketing tactic on their part, intentional or not.

  • The Greens never made their belief a private part of their identity

This was a business that openly declared that they took Sundays off for religious observance. They also openly donated money to various Christian charities. Of course, they were going to take a conservative political stance on something like health insurance. To expect otherwise would be incredibly ridiculous. They knew where they stood and so did their customers.

In order to lose a customer base,  a business would have to either subvert public expectations or just stop self-promoting. So, it would make sense that they didn’t get any damage from the fallout.

 

Web Design By Purple Tie Guys Decatur Alabama, alabama seo company, huntsville marketing company, alabama marketing companyPurple Tie Guys is a  Huntsville Alabama Marketing company that specializes in Online Marketing, SEO, Web Design, and More! If you want to know more about us, Click here! If you want to see more business analysis click here!

By | 2018-05-11T21:11:47+00:00 May 11th, 2018|Post|Comments Off on Marketing Case Study- Hobby Lobby

Influencer Marketing and Reputation Management

Company Representation Matters

When it comes to the reputation of a person, there is one rule that everyone follows, when they pass judgment. Who you associate with and their group behavior will determine how other people will define you. If someone catches a group of people doing good things, they will see anyone associated with them as good people.  If they catch a group of people doing harmful things, they will lump that group of people into the category as harmful.  That is the reason why most of today’s public see politicians as liars, policemen as violent, and teenagers as foolish.

cliquesThe rational part of a person’s brain knows better than to assume that not all politicians are liars, or that all teenagers are stupid, but humans are emotional decision makers first.  People are prone to creating bias. Even without full context.  It is not a fair rule, and it takes a long time for a person to build a positive reputation over a negative one. But all things worthwhile will take the time and effort in order to succeed.

The same logic can be applied to companies, brands, and mascots. As long as a person can attribute a personality to a brand or a company, they will use the same judgment. And when a business starts to gain traction and a community starts to develop its product, influencers will start to appear. But how do you know who should represent your company? Nobody wants to stake the reputation of their company on someone that is a poor fit or is just unreputable.  Today, I will focus on the traits that a company should look for when choosing to back a marketing influencer.

 

Does your Influencer Align with your Company Values?

company values, group values marketing influencer

Your influencer doesn’t have to believe everything that the owner of the company does, and does not have to approach certain things the same way.  After all, people are different.  And it takes a team of different people with different talents to make a company work.  But, it is important for everyone that works for your company to have the same goals and mind. Especially the face of your company.

Is your company community minded? Are they about embracing diversity, being a child-friendly platform, or promoting creativity? When you are able to pin down your company’s values, you start to shape its identity.  When you start to shape its identity you will be able to get a better idea of what kind of face to give your company.

Your influencer should be able to share and promote the values of your company in order to use their powers of influence marketing to give audiences the right impression of your business and its products.

 

Does your Influencer have an Understanding of Ethics and Social Responsibility?

 

 influencer marketingThis is one of the major lessons in hindsight that large companies and even some political groups are learning the hard way.  If your marketing influencer has little understanding of just how seriously people take their actions, you should not use them as the spokesperson. If your marketing influencer does not have a clear understanding that people will associate their behavior with their sponsors, you should not endorse them.  Your prospective endorsee’s first reaction to criticism about making openly racist slurs on social media is “It’s just a prank, bro” then you should not be dumping millions of dollars from your advertising budget to have them represent your brand!

If you expect to have workers in retail to be polite, you should at least expect the very same from your marketing influencer.

That is why Youtube as a brand and company is going through a serious reputation scandal, and why Fox News has lost many advertisers before they fired Bill O’Riley.   These scandals all came to light within the time frame of late last year to early this year.  Even more of them are coming to light because companies are focusing on excusing bad behavior instead of cleaning house.

If you want to avoid this sort of fiasco while your business is growing, you should have the foresight as a company to react appropriately to that behavior and nip it in the bud. When your company is in the middle of the hiring process pay attention to what they are doing with their influence already. Should they be using their influence to brag about their income, or treat other people with open disrespect, then they are a walking talking PR disaster waiting to happen.

 

Does your Influencer Understand your Product/Service?

 

influencer marketing

 

Anyone popular can stand in front of a camera, hold something up and say “Buy this”.  But let’s be real with ourselves. If that tactic worked today, we wouldn’t be spending so much money on

marketing research.  Popularity alone doesn’t sell. People are emotionally attached to what they want to buy.  People only buy what they believe works.

And if a marketing influencer is involved in the persuasion process, then they need give off the natural impression that they believe in the product they are selling. The more they believe in what they are sponsoring, and the more they can convey that to an audience, the more the audience has faith in their purchase making decision.  It would be an added bonus and excellent boon to your company if you are able to find an influencer that:

 

  1. Actually believes in what they are selling.
  2. Are able to explain the product to someone outside of their target demographic.

 

If you want to know more about influencer marketing, click the article here. If you want to schedule a marketing consultation, head Home and click on the pop-up!

By | 2018-04-24T15:17:51+00:00 April 21st, 2018|Post|Comments Off on Influencer Marketing and Reputation Management

Being Social on Your Social Media Part 2

Being Social on Your Social Media

 

Aside from a few bigger companies that fear no controversy, most small to medium-sized businesses are very passive with their social media presence.

It’s like, they are aware of what social media is, and put up a page. However, they hardly do anything with it aside from the bare minimum.  It’s almost like they understand the media part of “Social Media”, but don’t understand its use as an interactive platform. So, I am going to go over some ways that you can make your social media more social.

 

Ways to Interact with Other Businesses

 

Brag About Your Business in a Fun Competition

One of the major things that people do on their private social media, is brag about the good things that happen in their lives. Sometimes, its a picture of a scrumptious meal, other times, it’s a photo of an amazing outfit or a breathtaking view. The point is, that if something awesome is happening in their lives, they are going to feel the need to brag about it.  Why shouldn’t businesses social media accounts do the same thing?

It always brings a boost to someone’s day when they get a chance to brag about something they love to do, and it gives your audience on social media a chance to take part in what makes the people in your workplace excited.

For example, I know that one of the few things that everyone on the internet can agree on is that baby animals are adorable.

So, when the Smithsonian national zoo posted, a picture of their latest arrival,

View image on Twitter
 The Virginia Aquarium decided to throw down a challenge that their animals were cuter.
View image on Twitter
After that, a friendly “twitter war” from every zoo and animal rescue center was declared over which animals were the cutest.
Who won? Everyone. Audiences got to see some adorable animals, the zoos got some free promotion, and everyone was left feeling happy.

And it doesn’t have to stop!  Not all friendly twitter wars need to be about adorable baby animals! It can be about how ridiculous someone could dress up in a costume shop, or how much cool stuff can be found in a retail store, or how creatively a grocer can stack the soda display. The possibilities are endless! As long as things are kept light-hearted and amusing, there would be no reason that you shouldn’t brag about your business social media page.

 

Collaborate on a Charity with a Rival

 

charity event,social media

 

There is an old saying, “The enemy of my enemy is my friend”.  In a world full of self-interest, profit margins, and bottom lines, we don’t hear that often about businesses working together to fight for a cause.  While healthy competition can be a good thing for growth, our society also relies on cooperation for survival. Even Charles Darwin had even outright stated in his published work The Descent of Man, ” There can be no doubt that the tribe including many members who are always ready to give aid to each other, and to sacrifice themselves for the common good, would be victorious over other tribes. And this would be natural selection.”

So, why don’t you try a new approach to your business’s publicity by collaborating for a charity? Find a cause that you have in common with your corporate business rivals and create a charity event. Maybe the public schools in your area are underfunded? Or perhaps, you both know a children’s hospital that you would be willing to donate to? Whatever the cause, as long as you can be seen doing right by your local community, you will only receive the best of publicity. And what is one of the best ways to record and share a collaborative charity event? Your company social media. When you do something for your community, people will take notice and every business needs the occasional positive attention.

 

We are Purple Tie Guys, Social Media Experts, SEO Enthusiasts and Top-notch Web Designers from North Alabama. If you like what you read, check out this article! Or this one! If you want to book an appointment, Click here and check out the Pop-Up!

By | 2018-04-14T17:38:30+00:00 April 14th, 2018|Post|Comments Off on Being Social on Your Social Media Part 2

Being Social on your Social Media Part 1

Being Social on Your Social Media

 

Like anyone who has a specialized job or skill, you often live, breathe and die by your knowledge of your trade. Naturally, that means you incorporate it to as much of your daily life as possible. My sister, for example, is a psychology student, and she can’t go a day without noticing things that factor into an individual person’s behavior. It is the same way with me and marketing or visual design. So it should come as no surprise that I, a person who has dedicated herself to a career of marketing in a business filled with social media experts, notice a trend in businesses and their social media accounts.

Aside from a few bigger companies that fear no controversy, most small to medium-sized businesses are very passive with their social media presence.

It’s like, they are aware of what social media is, and put up a page. However, they hardly do anything with it aside from the bare minimum.  It’s almost like they understand the media part of “Social Media”, but don’t understand its use as an interactive platform. So, I am going to go over some ways that you can make your social media more social.

 

Interacting with Other Customers

 

Greet Each and Every Follower

 

seo experts, social media, customer serviceAny business owner with a brick and mortar store will tell you that the most important thing to do, to gain business, is to interact with your customers. A good employee and a good store owner would go out of their way to ask customers how their day was, figure out what they are interested in, and find something in common.

If that’s the foundation of customer interaction, then why on Earth should the level of customer service go away as soon as your business became digital?

People are using social media to inform their purchase decisions more than ever! Why waste an opportunity to engage with them? Heck, even in the latest study that polled multiple customers, they stated that response was the utmost important thing to them on a business’s social media page!

When people visit your social media account or add you as a friend, they are doing the digital version of walking through your door and looking around.  If you do not provide them with a friendly greeting or are silently watching them comment,  you are literally doing the opposite of customer service. It would be no different from ignoring somebody while they are talking to you.

It doesn’t need to even be an overly official or a grand gesture. A simple “Thanks for liking our page!” is enough. Staying silent on your social media is doing a disservice to your business because customers will not have made a connection, ultimately leaving your business to be forgotten.

Offer Opinion Posts and Ask Questions

 

Whether your company has a mascot, or if the face of the company is its workers, it is beneficial for your business to use social media to engage in public posts. By striking up a conversation or posing a question to your audience, you are giving the public a stronger impression of your brand. This may seem difficult to someone who is not “social media-minded” or knows any social media experts. However, your customers will find your company more likable if they feel they have someone or something to relate to. And the best way to relate to someone is an open conversation.

For instance, most people work at a 9-5 job. A simple statement of “Yikes! It’s another Manic Monday!” or “Free at last on Friday night!” are ways to get people to relate to you and by association your company in a tasteful and harmless way with a pinch of humor.

 

customer engagement, social media, seo experts

 

The key to pulling this off successfully is to abide by a few general rules of social media etiquette:

  1. Don’t be disrespectful or  have malicious intent with your posts
  2. If you are not qualified to talk about a topic, do not engage in that conversation.
  3. Avoid taking hard-line stances on opinions ( unless it is satirical like pineapple on pizza.)
  4. Don’t state opinion as fact or declare something without evidence.
  5. Avoid talking about sensitive topics things like politics or religion unless it is your literal business.
  6. Be polite with people engaging you in conversation.
  7. Spell and grammar check everything before you post.
  8. Never post when you are tired or angry.

 

Good Examples:

A coffee shop on Instagram with a photo of several cups of their unique coffee drink mixes asking, “Which one is your favorite?”

A toy store with an employee posting a photo of him holding his favorite childhood toy with text below stating, “This was my favorite toy growing up. What was your favorite toy as a child?”

Bad Examples:

A clothing store employee posting about their terrible breakup and using the companies Facebook business page.

A restaurant business owner stating on Twitter that he was sick of immigrants taking over the country. He then states that he spots a few illegals in a rival restaurant from across the street, in hopes of destroying their reputation.

 

More suggestions in Part 2!

 

We are Purple Tie Guys, Social Media Experts, SEO Enthusiasts and Top-notch Web Designers from North Alabama. If you like what you read, check out this article! Or this one! If you want to book an appointment, Click here and check out the Pop-Up!

By | 2018-04-06T12:56:32+00:00 April 6th, 2018|Post|Comments Off on Being Social on your Social Media Part 1

Advice for SEO Content

Good Sources for  Writing Quality Content- By an Alabama SEO Blogger

Google, these days, are ranking websites based on not only how much you post, but also by how useful that post is to others. This is the major rule of thumb that I have learned as an Alabama SEO blogger. Which means that unless your keywords are relevant to the posts you are making, Google would either ignore or outright penalize you for bad content. If you have trouble coming up with new or informative content, click here and read the related article. If you have already gone past this part, I am going to be focusing on the “relevant” part of the Google SEO search algorithm.

So,  if you have a topic in mind that you want to blog about, what do you do about gathering the right information? Here is where we start talking about…

 

blogging, alabama seo

Minding Your Sources

The internet in the U.S. has done amazing things for us over the last two decades. We are free to find almost all the information we could ever want about every subject with a lack of censorship, and we can connect to pretty much any community with common interests. However, the ‘power of the internet’ is more of a double-edged sword than most people think. Because the internet isn’t as regulated as some other forms of media, there is little to nothing stopping anyone from spreading false information or forming a negative community. So, how do we appear reputable to our readers and to Google? This is where minding your sources come in.

What Makes a Good Informative Source?

Know The Sources You Need

primary sourceAfter being an Alabama SEO blogger for multiple companies for over two years, I’ve learned if you want to prove a point or provide an answer, you need to err on the side of primary sources. If you are writing an opinion piece, or if you are just trying to share a recipe that will match a certain theme or ingredient, then you would bebetter off to use a secondary or even a tertiary source.

According to Willamette University, these are the three types of sources of information, when it comes to accuracy and filtration:

  • A Primary Source is “a first-hand account or individual representations and creative work. They are created by those who have directly witnessed what they are describing, and bring us as close to the original event or thought as possible without being filtered, influenced or analyzed through interpretation.”

General Examples: Letters, diaries, speeches, interviews, correspondence, original works of art or fiction, analyzed results from a biological study, etc.

  • Secondary sources build off of primary sources with more extensive and in-depth analyses. They summarize, evaluate, and analytically interpret primary material, often by offering a personal perspective. While these are used to check what other experts in the field have to say, they are not considered evidence.

General examples: Textbooks, monographs (books), encyclopedias, analysis, review articles, dissertations, thesis, reviews of other experiments, lectures.

  • Tertiary sources are These are sources that index, abstract, organize, compile, or digest other sources. Some reference materials and textbooks are considered tertiary sources when their chief purpose is to list, summarize or simply repackage ideas or other information.

General Examples: Dictionaries/encyclopedias (may also be secondary), almanacs, fact books, Wikipedia, bibliographies (may also be secondary), directories, guidebooks, and manuals.

Things to Consider when Choosing a Source

What source would be considered credible? After all, anyone can claim anything and claim its a study. After all, one scientific journal claimed that vaccines caused autism and since then we had eradicated diseases come back thanks to anti-vaxxers who read it. So, who can you trust? What makes a good source?

First, you need to ask these questions, when considering a source:

  • Do they have an agenda?
  • Are they an expert in their field?
  • Are they being paid by a company for favorable results?
  • Is there political or religious motivation involved that could bring bias?
  • Is money a motivation?
  • Do they intend to educate people?
  • How current is this source?

Cite Your Sources

Even an Alabama SEO blogger like myself knows that citing your sources is crucial to gain credibility with your audience. But in the case of the SEO writer, it is also crucial to Google website rankings.  Google penalizes plagiarism, and if you don’t cite your sources, your website will suffer and all the SEO in the world can’t save it.  So how does Google recognize when you are citing a source? It isn’t like blogs have an MLA or APA format.

That is where backlinks come in.

By backlinking your sources, you are telling Google and your audience, “This is where I got my information from!” The older the website, and the more relevant the information, the more the backlinks will actually count in your favor.

What’s more, if you link to other relevant parts of your own site, you will gain further credibility as a someone who has taken the time to study the relevant subject matter.

Web Design By Purple Tie Guys Decatur Alabama, alabama seo company, huntsville marketing company, alabama marketing companyThis Blog was brought to you by Huntsville, Alabama SEO experts, the Purple Tie Guys. If you want to read more about something like this, click here! If you want to set up an appointment to get your business visible on the web, head to the home page and click on the pop-up.

By | 2018-03-27T17:12:23+00:00 March 27th, 2018|Post|Comments Off on Advice for SEO Content