June 30, 2015

Social media metrics for small businesses: 4 tools

Are Oktopost, Cyfe, Klout & Hootsuite in your arsenal?

Post by Adi Englander

Adi EnglanderOne of the biggest challenges that small businesses face with social media is cutting through the bewildering fog of metrics to focus on what truly matters.

Why is this such a big challenge?

Because according to Manta, 60% of businesses reported that they didn’t gain any benefit from social media engagement.

As David Spark pointed out in the aptly named article “Are you using social media to serve your needs?”: “Every time you delve into a new social media program, ask yourself what purpose it fills for you personally or professionally.”

The antidote is to “focus entirely on what you’re trying to accomplish with your social media program or campaign and then identify the Key Performance Indicators that will tell you, over time, whether you’re getting there.” Continue reading

June 23, 2015

The recipe for success that earned Lynda.com a $1.5 billion payday

Lynda Weinman
Lynda Weinman at the Traction conference in Vancouver (Photo by JD Lasica).

This is the second of a two-part series on the Traction conference. Also see:
• Part 1: Traction: How to spur growth for your startup

Target audience: Startup teams, entrepreneurs, small businesses, marketing professionals, SEO specialists, PR pros, brand managers, nonprofits, educators, Web publishers, journalists.

JD LasicaYesterday I highlighted some takeaways from the cool new Traction conference that debuted last Wednesday and Thursday in Vancouver. The event drew roughly 800 entrepreneurs, startup team members, marketers and angel investors.

One of the inspiring keynotes of the event came from Lynda Weinman, founder of Lynda.com, which LinkedIn purchased for $1.5 billion in April. (She mentioned that she’ll be leaving LinkedIn soon to pursue another entrepreneurial opportunity.)

Lynda recounted her journey from running in-person computer training courses to the dotcom crash of 2000-2001, which forced the company to pivot to online tutorials. That early mover advantage gave Lynda.com the ability to set the pace for all the e-learning sites that followed. Continue reading

June 22, 2015

Traction: How to spur growth for your startup

traction-audience
Attendees at last week’s Traction conference in Vancouver (Photo by JD Lasica).

This is the first of a two-part series on the Traction conference.

Target audience: Startup teams, entrepreneurs, small businesses, marketing professionals, SEO specialists, PR pros, brand managers, nonprofits, educators, Web publishers, journalists.

JD LasicaI‘m just back from one of the best inaugural tech events on the West Coast: the two-day Traction conference, which drew some 800 entrepreneurs, startup team members, marketers and angels to Vancouver last week.

Speakers included marketing superstar Neil Patel, Lynda Weinman (whose Lynda.com was purchased by LinkedIn for $1.5 billion), Ryan Holmes, CEO of Hootsuite, Marketo CEO Phil Fernandez, SurveyMonkey president Selina Tobaccowala, Jeff Lawson, CEO of Twilio, and a host of others.

Here’s my Flickr album of 23 photos taken at the conference.

Highlights of the Traction conference

I’ve been on Twitter for eight years, but I’m a bit old-fashioned in that I think a blog post summary will offer more long-term value than thousands of uncontextualized tweets, so here are some of the highlights I gleaned while attending the conference as both an entrepreneur and journalist:

• “In a world where 1,200 startups are launching every year, the hard thing is no longer, Can you build a product as a startup? The hard part is, Can you get traction? … Traction trumps everything.” — Justin Mares, co-author, “Traction: A Startup Guide to Getting Customers.” Continue reading

June 17, 2015

4 best practices to establish your personal brand

personal-brand
Photo courtesy of University of Salford Press Office (Creative Commons BY)

Post by Taylor Tomita

Taylor2In a world that is becoming engulfed in technology, the relevancy of social media continues to skyrocket. We’ve seen businesses come to terms with the fact that they have to become more social to remain relevant.

But what about you? Just as companies are finding their voice and creating a social presence, you have your own opportunity to create a personal brand and burnish your online reputation. Whether you are a business owner, the host of a podcast or an independent agent, it’s important to hone your personal brand if you’re to establish yourself as a thought leader within your industry. Continue reading

June 8, 2015

3 social media changes every small business owner should know about

3sites

Post by Megan Totka
ChamberofCommerce.com

MeganTotkaMore businesses than ever realize the vitality of social media — 94 percent of small and medium businesses use social media as a marketing tool and recognize the many benefits it provides businesses.

However, the social media arena is always evolving, and it isn’t quite the same as it was last year. If you are not getting results using social media, there is a reason why. Popular platforms Facebook and Twitter have made three changes that every small business owner should know about. Continue reading

June 3, 2015

Google wants your business to invest in community engagement

mobile-phone

Target audience: Marketing professionals, SEO specialists, PR pros, brand managers, businesses, nonprofits, educators, Web publishers, journalists.

Chris AbrahamSearch has changed dramatically in just a few short years. Google now severely penalizes sites that are buying links or are invested in private blog networks. Sites that have dominated search in the recent past are being penalized or de-indexed, going from the first page to page 20 or being removed completely, stripping many ecommerce sites of millions of dollars in revenue.

Let’s unpack some of the recent developments. Continue reading