As the Alphonse Karr quote goes….

“the more things change, the more things stay the same.”

The same is true when it comes to using social media as a way to connect with your consumer, client, or fan.

Recently I came across a blog post I published in 2009 that was inspired by an Advertising Age article written by Mr. Tom Martin. By early 2009 when the article was written, I had been active on Facebook and LinkedIn a couple of years and Twitter for 6 only months. Even so, Twitter had quickly become my social media platform of choice for communicating my thoughts and perspectives in 140 character increments at a time.

The Ad Age article talked about celebrities who were not managing their own Facebook pages. This meant in many instances the Facebook page was solely marketing-focused instead of communication-focused. A day before Mr. Martin’s perspective was published, I tweeted the following:

9 Feb 2009 Tweet - @ner1ssa
Shibuya Crossing

Great minds think alike, right? Social media should not be seen as a one-way street or a place where only one person talks and everyone else listens. You should instead view social media as a multi-way platform for engagement. As an avid traveler, I immediately envision the Shibuya Crossing in Tokyo, Japan when thinking about this concept.


Wagon wheel and social media analogyHowever back in 2009, I likened a brand’s use of social media to that of a wagon wheel. The core of the wagon wheel is the brand, each spoke is a line of communication and the rim is the population of social media users. If any piece isn’t fully engaged with the others, the integrity of wheel (brand equity) will come into question.


This is one of the reasons why we encourage our clients to speak to and converse with their consumers, clients, or target audience on social media. You start with a simple comment, post, tweet, +1, or pin to a social post, but it can turn into so much more. The social networks may change and evolve from time to time or you may not be as technically savvy as the next person, but the act of active listening in order to nurture relationships remains the same.

 

Need to enhance your social media strategy? Schedule a free initial consult with One Epiphany to find out how we can help you.

Adopt a mobile-first strategy

Back on February 26th, Google announced a couple of major algorithm changes that increased the weight of mobile-friendliness among its ranking factors. This created a big push encouraging website owners to have mobile ready websites before the changes took effect on April 21, 2015. If you still don’t have a responsive website for mobile devices, it’s not too late to adopt a mobile-first strategy in your web development and SEO marketing efforts.

 

This post won’t get into the details of how you should create your mobile-first strategy; however on a very high level, Googlebot — Google’s spider — that crawls your site must be able to access the website’s CSS and JavaScript. The Googlebot’s ability to crawl your site influences how your site is ranked. Don’t have a mobile friendly website; your ranking declines. If the negative impact to your search ranking doesn’t motivate you, perhaps the potential impact to your bottom line (i.e., revenue) will do the trick.

If you want to improve the mobile friendliness of your site, call +1 (646) 926-6584 or schedule a consult with One Epiphany and we’d be happy to help.

 

E-commerce sites get ready for mobile customers

On May 15th, the Wall Street Journal shed some light as to what may have been the driving force behind Google’s algorithm change – buy buttons.  According to the Wall Street Journal, Google plans to add buy buttons directly to its search results.  Google Chief Business Officer Omid Kordestani confirmed while at the Code Conference in Southern California this week, “There is going to be a buy button soon. It’s imminent.” The Wall Street Journal report offered additional information by stating the buy buttons will initially be available only on mobile searches. Hence the reason for the algorithm changes and the urgency behind the mobile friendliness of business sites; or so I believe.

Is your paid search game up to par? Or looking to purchase Ad Words (Google, Bing/Yahoo) at a discount? Give One Epiphany a call today (+1 646 926 6584) or schedule a consult to learn more.

 

The importance of mobile friendly websites

Buy buttons will appear alongside paid search ads results under a “Shop on Google” heading. “Organic” search results returned by the algorithm will not have a buy button option. As more people perform searches on their smartphones than on computers, the likelihood of making purchases using mobile devices increases. Even if you don’t have an e-commerce site, don’t forget people are more frequently making mobile searches that lead to offline purchase too. Mobile ready websites motivate users to stay on the website, click, and even purchase (online and off) because of faster load times and information being presented in a manner that is simple and easy to digest. The ease of navigation is another major factor in whether a user continues through the sales funnel or quickly exits to see if a competitor’s site is any better.

Does your e-commerce site provide a user friendly and seamless buying experience? Contact One Epiphany for an audit of your website and we’d be happy to let you know.

Image credits: Carlos Luna, MoneyBlogNewz via Flickr

Laughter does the body good.

A little project management humor to start off your work week:

Recently I was invited by Ms. Shaneil Stewart to be a guest on her Inspiring Ones TV Show, which is part of Miss Inspirer’s inspirational interview series. Given she is based in the UK and I am in the US, we met via Google Hangouts for ease of recording the actual interview. What an honor and privilege it is to be a part of her inaugural series! I will be sure to share the premier date of my episode with you once I learn of it.

Insights from One Epiphany CEO & Founder – Nerissa Marbury

Because I am sincerely excited about the series and think everyone could use a little inspiration and motivation from time to time, I decided to give you a deeper view of the leadership behind One Epiphany LLC (that’s me :-) ). The views below are responses I prepared based on a question Ms. Stewart posed before our actual interview day: What makes you an inspiring one. These views are not part of the video that is to come so rest assured you’ll receive even more juicy insight when the video is out. Enjoy!

  • Faith – Have faith. You are stronger than you realize. Learn lessons even during the most difficult of times.
  • Optimism – See the glass half full. Otherwise, what’s the point in trying?
  • Happiness – It’s not selfish or self-centered to focused on what makes you happy. It’s healthy.
  • Transparency – It’s not always good for people to know your stance, but it’s easier to be truthful and honest. In the end, people respect you for it.
  • Service-oriented – Be of service by doing what you love.
  • Travel – LOVE, love, love to travel. Get out and experience people, food, and cultures different than your own.
  • Risk – Step out of your comfort zone. Whether it is by an inch or by a mile, the courage to take the first step is the same.
  • Self – Love yourself! The good, the not so pleasant, and all that is in-between.

Smiles & Blessings,

~Nerissa

Want to learn more about One Epiphany and what makes its leadership tick?

The best places to follow us online are:

Twitter: @OneEpiphany

Google+: +OneEpiphanyLLC

LinkedIn: Company page and Nerissa Marbury

Instagram: @OneEpiphany

Website: the Blog by One Epiphany

New York, NY: One Epiphany LLC earned a Shorty Awards Honorable Mention for its contributions to the Hain Celestial’s Tyson’s Pro Tips® project in the category of “Best in Health and Fitness.” One Epiphany also received recognition in the Shorty Awards “Best in Family and Parenting” category for the company’s collaborative work on a campaign that promoted Ella’s Kitchen®, a premium organic baby food brand for Target.

Speaking of her role in building such vibrant and engaging campaigns for these notable products, Nerissa Marbury, Founder and CEO of One Epiphany, said, “It was great to take the digital production lead on two fun and creative projects, as well as work with a team as committed as those at ICED Media.”

 

Tyson's Pro Tips

Tyson’s Pro Tips®

The Tyson’s Pro Tips® campaign for Hain Celestial Group, Inc. cast NBA champion and Olympic gold medalist Tyson Chandler as a virtual personal coach for users of the online platform. Exercise and healthier eating were made relevant to a new generation of Millennial moms, caregivers and young athletes by effectively harnessing the real-time discussions taking place.

Results were driven mainly through earned media and garnered over 2 million earned impressions and a 5.6% organic project engagement rate.

 

 

 

Ella's Kitchen Farmacy

Ella’s Kitchen® Farmacy

The Ella’s Kitchen® campaign emphasized Target’s commitment to offering natural and organic products by promoting the brand’s made-for-Target exclusive products, including natural remedies for upset tummies.  Working with ICED Media, Ella’s Kitchen’s agency of record, One Epiphany helped create Ella’s Kitchen Farmacy, an engaging, informative digital experience designed to immerse visitors in a quest to customize their own Ella’s Kitchen® flavor from a vast array of organic ingredients.

More than one million engagements were earned through this innovative approach, which increased the brand’s share of voice by 34 percent within one month of the program launch.

 


About One Epiphany LLC

Founded in 2010 by Nerissa Marbury, One Epiphany LLC is a digital marketing firm specializing in online marketing strategies, website development, social media, and search engine optimization. The firm serves a diverse mix of clients in industries that include advertising, consumer products, entertainment, retail, beauty and travel, as well as the non-profit sector.

 

About Shorty Awards

Dubbed the Oscar and Tony of the twitterverse by The New York Times, Shorty Awards annually recognize communication excellence through social media.  The award program is now in its seventh year, and recipients are selected by members of the Real-Time Academy of Short-Form Arts and Sciences.   A who’s who of the entertainment, technology and communications worlds, Academy members include Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak; editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post Arianna Huffington; actor and producer Nick Cannon; celebrity chef Luanne Calvert, and Instagram co-founder Mike Krieger, among others.

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Since joining several years ago, I have used Twitter not only as my lazy man’s Google but also to become the ‘virtual fly on the wall’ and listen in on Twitter conversations. How you ask? Well, there are sophisticated and expensive social listening platforms such as Salesforce Radian6 that are affordable to fortune 500 companies and large organizations with enough cash in the coffers. Or there is a free social listening alternative specifically made for Twitter – aptly named Twitter Search.

Given the zero cost, searching Twitter to “eavesdrop” on public tweets should be a must for small businesses, entrepreneurs, travel organizations, public figures, private individuals, and the like. You will be able to learn the good, the bad, and the indifferent regarding your business, brand, reputation, competitors, product, etc. by searching public tweets for almost any topic your heart desires.

Over time you’ll discover industry trends, product ideas or innovation, keywords or language used by your ideal customer, and insights to help you better engage your intended audience. You might even learn of a completely new target market you hadn’t previously considered.

Using Twitter, along with other social networks, for social listening is one of my top uses of the real-time social media platform. Here are five other reasons to use Twitter.

  1. Stay up-to-date with news
  2. Drive awareness
  3. Post job openings
  4. Generate business leads
  5. Provide customer service

If you’re already a whiz at Twitter Search, you can expand your arsenal for finding meaningful conversations on Twitter with one or more of these additional tools.

  • Followerwonk – scan Twitter bios for relevant keywords and helps you explore and grow your social graph
  • Hashtagify.me – use the free Hashtags Encyclopedia to search over 43 million Twitter hashtags includes info on their popularity, relationships, languages, influencers and other metrics.
  • HootSuite – find custom, targeted conversations relevant to you across the globe or within your neighborhood
  • Social Mention – easily track and measure what people are saying about you, your company, a new product, or any topic across the web’s social media landscape in real-time
  • TweetReach – this freemium product offers snapshot reports perfect for quick insight into recently posted tweets or the full Twitter archive, going back to 2006

Do you know of other good uses for Twitter? What social listening tools do you use? Share your tips in the comments.

 

Use this simple worksheet and conduct a website audit. The worksheet will help determine which site pages you should work on first to begin optimizing your website for search. If you have too many tools in the kit, feeling a little overwhelmed, and unsure where to start first on your website, this is the worksheet for you. Request a copy of the free website audit worksheet today.

Otherwise if you’re the do-it-yourself (DIY) type person and want to optimize your website for search purposes, below is a list of 12 free tools used by many SEO professionals.

  1. Bing Webmaster Tools – A source of research tools and resources, such as the Bing Getting Started Checklist, to help you improve your SEO on the Bing search engine
  2. Copyscape – A plagiarism detection service to make sure your content isn’t being used elsewhere on the web
  3. Google Adwords Keyword Planner – A way to learn what your customers are searching for, identify new keywords, and research keywords to add to your list
  4. Google Analytics – Obtain website data and analytics
  5. Google Trends – Search and identify trending topics to consider incorporating into your content
  6. Google Webmaster Tools – Get data, tools and diagnostics for a healthy, Google-friendly site
  7. Optimizely – provides tools to help you increase engagement, interactions, and conversions
  8. MozBar – A web browser extension that gives valuable insights and metrics about a website; yours or somebody else’s
  9. SEO ToolBar – This toolbar works on only Firefox and displays lots of useful SEO related information about the website you are on
  10. SEOquake – This tool provides useful data for every website displayed during a web search.
  11. XML Sitemaps – A free online sitemap generator that will index up to 500 pages for any one website
  12. Yoast for WordPress – This plug-in is a must for any WordPress website or blog

 

BONUS Tool: WordStream Free Graders – Some folks use these tools for SEO keywords purposes; however, most use the three graders to gain insight into pay-per-click (PPC) account performance

 

Please share in the comments which of these tools you use to meet your SEO needs.  If you have a favorite SEO tool not listed above, in the comments let me know what it is and why you love it so.

 

Oh! And don’t forget to request your free copy of the website audit worksheet too.

I pride myself in being a daughter of a mechanic. As a result, I like to know what happens “under the hood” in many aspects of life and work. One example of my tinkering has been with my website. The one-epiphany.com website has been a “pet project” or more affectionately – a labor of love. It’s how I cut my teeth so many years ago so that I could understand and learn to speak developer language. In fact, I use my website for the same purpose even today.

 

My latest endeavor occurred in January when I undertook migrating my website from one host server to a new one. I simply enjoy learning the basic ins & outs of what my development team does even if I never plan to fix or update each & every component or feature myself. No, the website isn’t perfect. No, I’m not a programmer. And no, I’m definitely not the person who will write the code for the next technical project you graciously award One Epiphany :-) .  Now that the focus of my business is evolving and I’m driving more traffic to the website, the purpose (and appearance) of my website will have to change to be representative of the quality of work I provide my clients.  But let’s leave that story for another blog post. Today I am sharing my adventures as a do-it-yourself small business owner; a role I’m sure many of we all take on from time to time…..and shouldn’t.

 

Now, I had been planning to change host servers for months! The task was never made a priority until I realized the migration was the roadblock (real or otherwise) for why I wasn’t ready to implement the very blog you are reading now as well as some other website updates you’ll see in the coming months. Well, when I make up my mind to do something, I want instant gratification, immediate results. So of course, this was no different. Although there were folks I could call and have the job done in a matter of hours, it was late on a Friday and it was unrealistic of me to think I could find someone to start a job right as the weekend was kicking off.  Even though I had never migrated a website to a new server before, I vowed I would do it myself and get it done before the weekend was out. I honestly expected the migration to take me – a “never ever” – a day, maybe 1.5 days at the most. Well, fast forward 3 days later and I finally got it done! It gave me a huge sense of accomplishment. I even went walking around to find somebody, anybody to celebrate my recent victory over the battle of the server migration. However no matter how victorious I felt, the experience was one of the most frustrating ones at best. Frustrating because….

 

  • it ate up an entire weekend plus a work day
  • not everyone from the hosting company considered customer service to be king
  • I wanted the bragging right of saying I did it all by myself
  • stubbornness prevented me from waiting a few more days for “done for me” assistance
  • if I had my developer do it, it would have been finished 3x faster

 

Thankfully for me, what I learned from the experience has helped me with a personal website project I started (& completed) just a couple of days ago. Even so, I don’t recommend you follow my lead of being that stubborn business owner. You know the one who is too proud to ask for help or too stingy with money to realize when something is an investment versus an expense. If I had to do it again, I would hire someone to do the migration for me and learn how to do it myself at another point in time. It takes up too much time and energy to learn a new skill set you don’t plan on using repeatedly.  Instead use your time on something more productive and preferably revenue generating.

 

Lessons learned:
  1. Do not try to learn something new when time is of the essence
  2. Do not let pride get in the way of efficient progress
  3. Do ask for help, even when you want to do it yourself

 

Keep an eye on future blog posts related to being a small business owner and my own company website refresh project. If you want to discuss your particular online marketing concern or would like me to elaborate on anything described in this post, schedule a “virtual coffee date” with me by clicking the button below.

 

Schedule your “virtual coffee date”a 30 minute consultation & it’s FREE!

 

Photo Credit: Andrew Eason

I’ve been doing research for a client to determine customer relationship management systems (CRM) most suitable for her company. After creating a list of 40+ options, I decided enough was enough and to select my top CRM picks even if I didn’t yet have all the details to fill the numerous columns within in the spreadsheet I had created. Sometimes you have to move forward with imperfect action to make progress. Therefore, I went through the list and identified 6 or 7 CRM providers who fit the bill for this particular client. Then I went through the list again to focus on the features each offered. I was able to narrow the list down to 3 CRM providers based on this deep dive.

The 3 CRMs I selected are Nimble, Zoho CRM, and Insightly. They were chosen for the ease of use, price, features, and flexibility. I had planned to write a detailed comparative review, but it seems someone (or rather FitSmallBusiness.com) already beat me to it. I’m sure there are other similar pieces out there, but this particular comparison was so well written and organized, I felt it would be best to share it with you instead of trying to recreate the wheel. Without further ado, I present the link to the Best CRM for Small Business written by FitSmallBusiness.com.

 

Recently a small business owner reached out to get some advice on email marketing after reading Cynthia Price‘s article The 8-Second Challenge: Email Marketing for Our Shrinking Attention Span on Entreprenuer.com.  Here is what business owner said:

 

8 second attention span? Yikes. Who markets via email? What tools do you use and how often do you send emails? Do you segment your audience? Do you do a newsletter?

Email marketing is something I’m planning to do more of in the future. Whether it is for my business or a client’s here is what I recommend:

  1. Use a email marketing provider (MailChimp, AWeber, Ontraport, Emma, etc.)
  2. Add an email opt-in pop-up or “hellobar to your website if you don’t currently have one
  3. The frequency of emails should be based on the needs of your audience; however, also consider what you can commit to doing consistently.
  4. Absolutely segment your audience. Segmentation could be based on the type of content you create or the type of audiences you target.
  5. Consider creating a blog for your website versus a newsletter alone. This will allow you to create content that will drive your ideal client to your website as well as give you something to share or reference in your newsletter.

The above is just a quick high-level response to the small business owner’s questions. Keep an eye on this blog feed future blog posts will include email marketing provider reviews, thoughts on subscriber or opt-in tools, and more! If you want to discuss your particular online marketing concern or would like me to elaborate on anything stated above, schedule a “virtual coffee date” with me by clicking the button below.

 

Schedule your “virtual coffee date”a 30 minute consultation & it’s FREE!

 

Photo Credit: RaHuL Rodriguez