Thursday, 28 April 2011

Making Website Visitors Stick

Businesses often spend a large amount of time and money trying to increase traffic to their website using a variety of marketing channels. Most of the time they are successful in doing this, however if these visitors are not converted into customers the time and money spent on the website are lost.
Here are some tips for converting those one time website visitors into long term customers.
1. Make their job easy
Ensure that it is easy for website visitors to respond to you or your offering. For example, if you have them fill out a form make sure it is short and simple.
2. Test
Make sure you are consistently testing your forms, landing pages, etc. to ensure that you continually have information that will help you to improve conversion rates.
3. Provide multiple communication channels
Not everyone prefers the same communication channels so ensure that you have provided multiple methods of contacting you (phone, email, filling in forms, etc)
4. Know your visitor demographic
Make sure you know who your potential customers are and how to speak to them, as well as what matters to them and how they make decisions. Pay close attention to ensuring your offerings are relevant to them.
5. Provide a clear call to action
Visitors need to know what you want them to do and it needs to be easy for them to do it. Make sure it is prominent, clear and direct.

Be sure to follow us on Twitter (anneleroux ) and to visit our Facebook page ( ) for more helpful tips and tricks for helping your business grow.
Web Sources

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Sometimes, When I'm All Alone, I Google Myself

Ego-surfing, or searching your name using Google or another search engine, is a common practice among most Internet users. Ego-surfing, however, is not always an egotistical action. Both individuals and companies do this as a means of monitoring online conversations about themselves or their company. This is an excellent way to receive valuable feedback that you may have otherwise been unaware of. It is especially important that job hunters be aware of their Internet presence as well as the presence of those sharing their name as employers can use your online presence to make an employment decision.

In this blog entry we will mainly discuss blogs and websites with and without RSS feeds.

First, blogs and websites with RSS feeds. RSS feeds make it extremely easy to monitor reactions about your blog because you can choose to be notified automatically whenever there is any mention of your or the company name. You can do this by typing your name in any blog search engine (i.e. Google) and subscribe to your news reader's search results feed.

With regard to websites without RSS feeds, the only way to track your name is to go through Google web search. Unlike the blog search, you can't sort results by date and no RSS feeds will turn up in the search results. Fortunately, there is a method to automating this daily routine:

1. Go to Google Advanced Search and select "past 24 hours" in the date field. This is to filter out all posts from more than 24 hours ago.

2. Type your name enclosed in quotation marks in the search box. Also include any common misspellings separated using the OR operator.

3. Copy the Google URL in the address bar and paste that into the search box at This will create a RSS feed of your search results that you can subscribe via email or any news reader.

Doing this will ensure that anything mentioning your name will be sent to your inbox or RSS reader, helping you to effectively and efficiently keep tabs on conversations surrounding you and your business.

Web sources:

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Safety in Social Networking

As social networking websites are used more and more often for personal and professional purposes, there is more opportunity for hackers, spammers and identity thieves to take advantage of these users.

Here are some helpful tips to ensure that you can be safe while still using social media as a highly effective tool for maintaining your networks:

1. Use caution when clicking links sent in messages. In general, if you treat these as you would treat emails containing links you can avoid harmful links. If you don't recognize the sender or if the link does not seem to relate to something a person you know would send then use caution.

2. Keep track of what you have posted. Hackers can often use information that you have posted or listed (for example, your birthday on your profile) to answer questions such as "Forgot your password?" and gain control of your account.

3. Don't allow sites to scan your email address book. Often when you join sites they will offer to scan your email address book so you can find more contacts. To do this you provide your email address and password. What these websites will often do is email all your contacts or even anyone you have sent an email to from that address.

4. Be very selective about who you accept as a friend or connection in your network. Hackers can create fake accounts in order to gather your personal information.

5. Use caution when installing extras on your site. Some social networking websites allow third-party extras to be used on your personal page. These applications can be interesting and helpful, but make sure that you have properly protected your computer and are aware of what could be a harmful application.

By following these basic tips and actively monitoring your social media account, you can maintain a safe and fun social network.

Follow this blog for tips and tricks about social networking. We also have a Twitter account, anneleroux, that we use to post regular updates about technology, social media and related topics.

Happy networking!

Monday, 18 April 2011

Is Your Blog Networked?

          “Bring your blog to Facebook and Facebook to your blog.” Though most people use Facebook only for “traditional” actions –finding and keeping in touch with friends, sharing photos and videos and planning events- there is so much more to this incredible social networking tool. One feature in particular, the application “NetworkedBlogs,” allows you to connect with all blog authors who have linked their blogs to this Facebook app. The great thing about NetworkedBlogs is that you can use it to establish a newsfeed that only contains content from blogs you’re interested in and have therefore subscribed to, so it is a highly effective tool for everyone, not just those with blogs.

As there are over 3000 blog categories on NetworkedBlogs and over 1.6 million monthly users, there is no shortage of information for those following or looking to follow blogs. It is relatively easy to find blogs of interest to you, especially when you first sign up as they ask you to follow your first 5 blogs and as such will suggest some fairly popular and relevant blog sites.  In addition, authors often attach tags to their blogs when posting in NetworkedBlogs so if you search for a topic of interest to you you’re likely find a blog on that topic fairly easily.
For more information about a variety of social networking media, follow this blog and our Twitter account (!/anneleroux ) and check out our Facebook pages and groups (search ES Computer Training). Happy blogging!

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Fan Pages: The Great and the Pointless

I tend to classify fan pages into the great and the pointless.  The great majority of fan pages are pointless. No one really likes them (I mean Facebook like, not highschool like).  They are a billboard lost in an ocean of billboards that no one really pays attention to.  Alternately, your fan page can be great and Nike has proven that.
Nike’s recent fan page (which I ‘like’) falls into this category.  Nike has defined a target market (women, over 20, into fitness), and created a page for this market featuring inspiring information and photos of women who are successful, inspired, empowered and engaged in fitness training. 
Quotes from fan page “Nike Women”
“Make Yourself Lean. Knee Tucks really work it. They’ll increase your heart rate, burn fat, build up your shoulder stabilizer muscles, develop your core, and give you a power boost. Just be sure to keep your weight over your shoulders and your abs tight. Want more moves? Download the Nike Training Club app” 
Nike is speaking to their target market and engaging them, providing them with something useful and of value.  When creating a fan page, always keep in mind the intended audience.   Here is another example. 
 Nike  Sport inspires hope, instills discipline, reduces depression and disease. What has sport done for you?      NikeBetterWorld   
“Dedicated to serving the athlete and making a better world through sport  Learn more about Nike's plan and ongoing efforts towards factories, environment, communities, and public policy.”
The most important thing to remember is that the page is meant to speak to your target market and be useful to them. 
Answer these questions when creating your fan page: 
1.      Identify your customers.  Who are they?  Why are they doing business with you?  What are they looking for?  Can you segment them?
2.      What are they looking for and why are they doing business with you? 
3.      How can you fulfill that need through inspiration and verification?
4.      Can you connect them to the inside track?  Can you give them special insights, special inclusion and membership in a group?  Social Networking is all about exclusive networks. 
And like Nike says:  “Just do it”  . 

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Do You Make the List?

Using Lists on Twitter

Twitter lists are generally used when one is following many Twitter users (i.e. 100 or more) and can’t actively use Twitter more than once or twice a day, therefore getting a build-up of tweets in their timeline (homepage) making it look more like useless noise rather than informative.
To create a list, simply sign in and go to your homepage. Then click the “Lists” button (directly below where you would write a tweet). A drop-down menu should appear, from which you should select “Create a list.” This should take you to a screen where you can name the list, choose to make it public or private, and you can opt to include a short description (this is recommended for public lists).
Once you have created your list(s), you can view all the users you are following by clicking on the Following button on the right side of your home page. When your list of followers is visible, click on the white button with lines on it next to the button that says “Following.”  Your list of lists should then drop down and you can select the list you would like to add this user to.
Using lists will help you sort through all the information you receive from users every day, helping you to use Twitter much more efficiently.
Check here for regular posts with information about Twitter, Facebook and other social media.We also offer courses about Social Networking for professionals. Visit for a full list of courses and their schedules, and follow us on Twitter for regular updates about social networking as well as interesting facts, quotes and stories from around the world:!/anneleroux

Thursday, 7 April 2011

“Video Killed the Radio Star” and Video Blogging Killed the TV Star

With the availability of the Internet, consumers expect that they will have information about the brands they buy and the people behind them readily available as well. Though blogging is often used by businesses and consumers alike, video blogging can also be an effective way to share information about a business or product. There are not many corporate video bloggers, so video blogging is a great opportunity to get your name (and face) out there.

By using videos, it is easier to create a more personal connection between you (and/or your product or service) and your viewers (and potential customers). When viewers get a glimpse of your personality, mannerisms, etc., they feel that they know you and experience a stronger feeling of trust.  Trust is crucial when consumers are trying to pick a product or service to spend their money on.

According to a comScore Internet survey, YouTube is now the number 2 search engine, and it has been found by a recent Forbes/Google survey that 75+% of C-level executives watch work-related videos on business websites at least once a week.

Not only is video blogging effective, it is also economical. All that is needed is any kind of camera (webcam, video camera, etc) as well as a room with some sort of lighting. Once your video is created, it’s easy to upload your video to a large number of sites, including Vimeo, YouTube and DailyMotion.

Here are some tips before you try your hand at video blogging:
1. Move focus from your product to unique content
Viewers are constantly looking for new and interesting material when viewing videos online. If viewers gain a more positive take away from your material, it’s more likely they’ll remember you and your brand.

2. Choose a video format and stick with it
Make it easier for yourself and your viewers to stick with your video blog – pick one format to use (i.e. quick tips, product reviews, etc) and stick with it. It can be exhausting and complicated to try and maintain different concepts.

3. Show your true personality 
It will be obvious to viewers when you aren’t showing your true self on your video blog. Allow yourself to be authentic and to make small mistakes (viewers can find this endearing!) and anything that sets you apart from other video bloggers will keep viewers coming back for more!

4. Market and promote this video blog (vlog)
Though it is often assumed, it isn’t often the case that because you have posted it online it will be found. Use other media that you’re online with (your website, blog, social networking websites) to promote your video blog and create noticeable and memorable headlines for your videos to grab viewers’ attention.

You may also find this article and video helpful about how to get the most out of Youtube Editor:

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Using Facebook Fan Pages for Business

     A Facebook fan page can be a great tool for marketing your company or product. Facebook users simply have to “like” the page and they will receive any and all updates you post to the page in their home newsfeed.  An important thing to consider when creating a fan page is how much access you want to grant to your fans (i.e. whether they can post comments, photos, etc to the page). If you have many people who like the page, it may be best to restrict their access to these features, as it can result in many notifications for your fans and it can be difficult to constantly monitor for negative commenting, etc.

     To restrict fan access to your page, simply visit your page and click the “Edit Page” button on the top right hand side of your page. This should bring you to the “Manage Permissions” page for editing. By default, the three options (users can write or post content on the wall, users can add photos, users can add videos) will be selected. Simply deselect these to restrict user access.

     If you would like to allow certain people to be able to post content to the page, simply go to the “Manage Admins” page (under the same list as the “Manage Permissions” page in the Edit mode).  You can add an Admin by typing a friend’s name where it says to do so.

     Facebook fan pages can be an extremely useful tool in marketing when used correctly. They can act as a sort of one-way public broadcast to your fans by posting in their newsfeed, effectively sharing with them the latest news about your company or product. Make sure you’re inviting your Facebook connections to visit your fan page and to like it if they so choose. This is the best way to promote your page. Check our blog daily for more tips and tricks about a variety of social media.

     We also offer a course on Social Networking for business, mortgage, insurance and financial professionals. For dates and locations, visit