Social Media Marketing

ByKevinD

What Is a Hashtag?

smartphone useWe have commented several times on “hashtags” and how important they are, especially to social media posts. If you are not using hashtags (or don’t know how to use them) then read our articles on this vitally important subject:

Please visit our home page to find out how Axiom Administrative Services can fill your digital marketing needs, including social media maintenance tasks like hashtags! Axiom understands the needs of small businesses, professional practices and nonprofits. Please visit Axiom’s small business services page or call Axiom at 800-888-6348.

ByKevinD

The importance of “Hashtag”

smartphone useMost young people will understand the meaning of the term “hashtag,” but if you are busy running your professional practice or small business, you may not understand the importance of these devices. Get a grip on this important social media subject by reading “What Is a Hashtag?”

Please visit our home page to find out how Axiom Administrative Services can fill your digital marketing needs. Axiom understands the needs of small businesses, professional practices and nonprofits. Please visit Axiom’s small business services page or call Axiom at 800-888-6348.

ByKevinD

Social Media Marketing – What Is Going On?

Social Media marketingIt’s almost the end of 2018, time for all good internet marketing agencies, professional SEO services, and search engine optimization services to stop and think about the changing environment. This is a good idea in any business, but when you are involved in developing branding strategies, SEO techniques or digital marketing solutions, it is absolutely mandatory! These days, a 12-month-old branding strategy is more out-of-date than a 25-year-old airplane.

So, where does social media and social media marketing stand at the end of 2018? It is easy to get confused about this, because we sometimes confuse headline news with the real world. The general news and financial headlines tell us one story, while actual real world evidence says something different.

If you have been paying attention to news organizations like Fox News, CNN or the New York Times, it would be easy to get the idea that the Facebook ship has struck an iceberg and is sinking. Facebook executives have been called to testify before Congress, the market value of Facebook stock has declined by about 35% since hitting its July 2018, high and European governments are threatening to impose regulations on the giant social media platform. Discouraging, but the typical buyer of lipstick, plumbing supplies, dental care, legal advice, popular music or beer hardly seems to notice. If Facebook use has declined slightly in the past few months, those users have not turned away from social media; they are simply looking elsewhere.

Before you look elsewhere yourself, keep this in mind:

  • In 2004, Facebook had zero
  • In the third quarter of 2012, the number of active Facebook users had passed one billion.
  • As of the third quarter of 2018, Facebook had 27 billion monthly active users.

Social networks are now well established; there is a core group of them that does not change much from year-to-year, but they do seem to trade user time around. According to Alexa Internet (the internet data collection arm of Amazon) recently, Facebook and YouTube swapped places in the chart of most visited sites; YouTube’s web address (URL) is now being visited more times than the Facebook site.

The problem with that statistic is that, while many people use YouTube as a social media site, a lot of others go to YouTube only to watch news or entertainment. They never interact with it in the way Facebook viewers click around to find out what’s happening locally. Please do not misinterpret this. At Axiom, we believe very strongly in YouTube and video in general. We only want to point out that there is a lot of disagreement about what, exactly, is a social media site and what is not.

We reviewed a number of sources (Pew Research, Alexa Internet, Neilson, Forbes, etc.) before writing this article and found a lot of inconsistencies. Every one of those experts agree that Google is the most visited site in the world, and many of the newer sources list YouTube as the runner up with Facebook third. The difficulty is that some of the experts place platforms like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and Pinterest in the social media category while others totally ignore them. Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp are basically messaging services, both owned by Facebook. The WhatsApp platform started as an alternative to SMS and now supports sending and receiving a variety of media (text, photos, videos, etc.). It gets a Facebook wedge firmly into the mobile device (smart phone) sector.

Without going on for too long, here is what we think is the bottom line for our clients’ digital marketing solutions as well as those others involved in branding strategy and SEO techniques. First, these were the most popular social media sites in May 2018. Remember that numbers one and two may have swapped places recently, and that important names like Google, Yahoo, Amazon and eBay are not on this list as they are not considered social media.

Social Media Platforms Ranking

  1. Facebook
  2. YouTube
  3. WhatsApp Messenger
  4. Facebook Messenger
  5. Instagram
  6. Tumblr
  7. Google+
  8. Twitter
  9. Reddit
  10. Snapchat
  11. Skype
  12. LinkedIn
  13. Pinterest
  14. Flickr
  15. Kik

We left out the data about time spent on sites, visits per day per user, clicks per site, etc. There is so much data that it is just confusing to most people. However, all of this tells us that Facebook and YouTube are still (far and away) the dominate players in the social media game. Two of the other sites in the top five are Facebook appendages (WhatsApp Messenger and Facebook Messenger) and Facebook will find some way to get those users to circle back to ‘home.’

If your business, professional practice, service or non-profit wants to engage in social media marketing, then Facebook and YouTube are still the places to start! That is why Axiom is often involved in social media marketing efforts for its clients. Look at some of these examples:

Of course, Axiom has other interests and skills, but we know that branding strategy and SEO techniques are more and more directed at social media. If you are struggling to find digital marketing solutions that work and branding strategies that can reach your target markets, turn to Axiom. Your business needs more than a cheap web design, and Axiom is more than an internet marketing agency. Axiom Administrative Services has the professional skill and small business SEO skills needed to help your web presence penetrate your market. Our business marketing team can combine traditional marketing tools like direct mail advertising with local SEO services to build your branding strategy. Please visit Axiom’s small business services page or call Axiom at 800-888-6348.

ByKevinD

The Power of Video Marketing

marketgingAre you using video content to advance your branding strategy? Video marketing is no longer the new kid on the block of internet and social media marketing. It is very much a “here and now” way to communicate that branding strategy and to achieve the digital marketing solution you need.

This is evermore true across all demographics and in almost all markets. Video is a way to expose your branding strategy, your brand story, to explain your product or service and build relationships with customers. According to HubSpot, a leading maker of software tools for social media marketing, 80 percent of customers recall a video clip consumed in the past 30 days. This includes customers and consumers from adolescents to seniors.

A recent Axiom communication pointed out that the internet, social media and online video watching is now very much a part of the senior lifestyle. If your branding strategy is using social media only as a platform for reaching younger generations, you are probably missing out. Seniors, especially Baby Boomers are a powerful consumer demographic.

Why is video so effective in reaching seniors? Because Boomers love video for the same reasons as other age groups – video goes beyond demographic factors and reaches all of us with what it means to experience life. That experience might be pleasant, as in riding in a new convertible or walking on a beach. It might be problematic, like discovering that your roof needs repair or your trees need trimming. It could be instructive, as in explaining Medicare benefits or tax rules.

What kind of video marketing/branding strategy appeals to the senior lifestyle?  There are as many ways to approach video marketing/branding strategy with seniors as with any other group, but here are some hints.

  • Do not assume the audience is just like your grandmother or grandfather; many seniors relate very well to material that would appeal to younger generations. Avoid stereotypes.
  • Use the right references and avoid any terms that may seem patronizing. Do not refer to limitations, but appeal to seniors in the light in which they want to be seen.
  • Provide video content that is insightful and offers tips on making the most from life.
  • Baby Boomers are highly optimistic about their futures, so make them feel they are having the best time of their lives.

AXIOM Administrative Services is particularly well positioned to help you tap into the senior lifestyle market and reach senior consumers using video. Axiom is based in one of the most senior-centric population areas in the United States – the central and east-central geography of Florida. Axiom has long experience in producing and using video material on websites and on social media platforms like YouTube and Facebook. Using these tools, Axiom has helped one of its senior-oriented clients achieve an enviable growth over the past two and a half years.

In mid-2016, OurSeniors.net did not even exist, and its forerunner, Finding Assisted Living, had only begun to make an impact. In the months that followed, OurSeniors.net has expanded from its Volusia-Flagler base to cover seven of the most senior-friendly counties in Florida (or the entire nation). Along the way, OurSeniors.net has attracted partners like Humana Health, The Volusia Flagler Family YMCA and Plan Life Care.  Take a look at some examples of Axiom’s video work, done for OurSeniors.net and placed on social media platforms.

Besides its video production, web maintenance and social media management functions, AXIOM Administrative Services also creates and manages direct mail efforts for OurSeniors.net. A big part of this client’s success is due to the digital marketing solutions and branding strategies that Axiom has created. If you are trying to reach this important demographic group, let Axiom connect you to OurSeniors.net today. Our business marketing team can combine traditional marketing tools like direct mail advertising with local SEO services to build your branding strategy. Please visit Axiom’s small business services page or call Axiom at 800-888-6348.

Meanwhile take a look at this recent e-mail promotion produced by Axiom for Ourseniors.net.

ByKevinD

Google Plus to Close (there is a lesson here!)

internet searchIf you are reading this for the first time, the blog title is correct, Google is pulling the plug on Google Plus, its social media platform that was created and designed to compete with Facebook. Google plans to phase out the service over a 10-month period, to be completed by the end of next August. During the shutdown period, Google will make available information about migrating and saving data from Google Plus accounts, and explain how other Google services (if any) will be affected.

News reports have indicated that this shutdown is due to a large data breach that occurred months ago. A security review found a software bug that gave developers access to the private data of over a half million Google Plus users, although there was no indication that compromised information was ever used. Nevertheless, the company has decided to end Google Plus service, citing security concerns about the platform. This story sounds a little funny, especially when we remember Facebook’s much more serious security problems earlier this year. Facebook’s data loss was larger, more intrusive and was almost certainly used for a sinister purpose. So, what is the difference?

The fact is that Google Plus was just not a big player in the social media world, and Google decided that cleaning up the security problems was just not worth the effort to save its “also ran” social media site. Many people are quite surprised to learn that Google has failed at anything, but this is not the first time a Google project has not worked well. Do you remember “Google Video,” the free video hosting service similar to YouTube? It just never attracted many viewers away from YouTube, so Google did the logical thing; they bought YouTube for almost two billion dollars!

What can we learn from this? Maybe the most important thing is the continuing dominance of Facebook over the social media battleground. At a market value of over 450 billion dollars, Facebook is just too big to be bought by anyone, even Google. Facebook remains the place where branding strategies, Search Engine Optimization techniques and professional SEO services test and prove their worth. As dominant as Google has been in many areas, Google Plus was mostly an afterthought for social media marketers and internet marketing agencies.

What have you done to maximize your presence on Facebook? Are you building an SEO strategy that directs viewers to your Facebook page? The truth is that in many of today’s markets, a Facebook business page is more important, more frequently viewed and a better digital marketing solution than a website or a billboard. Just as Axiom manages websites, local SEO services, and even direct mail marketing, it also manages Facebook pages for our clients. That is an integral part of any good digital marketing solution. Like great webpages, a Facebook page must be well designed with a good amount of useful content that appeals to and helps users.

Take a look at Axiom’s own Facebook page to see for yourself. The page is kept up to date with useful, well produced videos and articles. Also, see the Facebook page examples for a few of Axiom’s clients at OurSeniors.net on Facebook or Dr. Christian Birkedal of Facebook. Like our own Facebook page, Axiom’s staff keeps these clients social media sites useful, current and well maintained. As we said above, it is a critical part of any good digital marketing solution!

How well are your digital marketing solutions working? Do you have a well thought out SEO strategy, an organic SEO plan or even a professional logo design service? Along with a website and a Facebook page, these are important parts of your overall digital marketing solution. If you are struggling to find marketing solutions that work and branding strategies that make your business stand out, turn to Axiom. Your business deserves more than a cheap web design, and Axiom is more than an internet marketing agency. Axiom Administrative Services has the professional skill and small business SEO skills needed to get your web presence the ranking it deserves.

Our business marketing team can combine traditional marketing tools like direct mail advertising with local SEO services to build your branding strategy. Please visit Axiom’s small business services page or call Axiom at 800-888-6348.

ByKevinD

About Facebook

FacebookLast week, Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, spent several days testifying before Congress (both the Senate and the House of Representatives).  At the same time, celebrities, politicians, knowledgeable and clueless ‘experts’ began to chime in with their opinions ranging from doom to “who cares.”

Take a moment to think over the history of Facebook. Ten years ago, Facebook hardly existed. Six months ago, people were predicting that Facebook, Google and YouTube would come to rule the world. Last week, Facebook was under attack by almost everyone concerned (including Mr. Zuckerberg). Some of those people announced that Facebook would follow MySpace into the digital graveyard.

There is no doubt that Facebook has suffered a big black eye from the Cambridge Analytics fiasco, but let’s not rush to the conclusion that it is going into headlong decline. The users that Facebook has lost in the last few days are expressing concerns over their personal data being insecure. That is a real and legitimate concern, but it probably does not affect small business, professional practice or service provider sites. To begin with, those types of Facebook users want their data shared! They want potential customers, clients, patrons or contributors to know their address, phone numbers, business abilities, etc.  That is why they are on Facebook, Google +, YouTube or Pinterest!

The indirect effect that the Cambridge Analytics affair may have is that fewer people will be going to Facebook for sharing of personal experiences and information.  That may spill over into a somewhat smaller audience to see your products, services, created content or branding strategy on Facebook. It should not change the digital marketing solutions that are working for you. The users that do abandon Facebook are not going to take up newspaper reading or going to local libraries to get information about the best dentist, hair stylist or auto mechanic. They are going to stay on their mobile devices transmitting or looking for information of all types.

If you don’t believe this, take a look at any of the press photos of Zuckerberg while he testifies. Behind him is a row of earnest people, all bent over and looking intently at their mobile device of some type. If Facebook comes under some form of government regulation, it is likely to rebuild consumer confidence by adhering to personal privacy guidelines. This will not change the importance of creating digital marketing solutions that involve social media. SEO techniques, SEO link building and local SEO services directed at the local market are still going to be the keys to success. This too shall pass!

Meanwhile, if you are struggling to find digital marketing solutions that work and branding strategies that make your business stand out, turn to Axiom. Axiom Administrative Services is more than an internet marketing agency. Axiom has the professional and small business SEO skills needed to get your web presence the ranking it deserves. Our business marketing team can combine traditional marketing tools like direct mail advertising with local SEO services to build your branding strategy. Please visit Axiom’s small business services page or call Axiom at 800-888-6348.

ByKevinD

Updated Statistics for Social Media

smartphone useThe Pew Research Center is a public interest organization the collects and publishes data on subjects ranging from politics to religion, science and technology. Pew has a reputation for gathering accurate, unbiased information in numerous areas. Just a few weeks ago, Pew published its summary of social media statistics for 2017.

Pew’s “Social Media Factsheet” reports that more than 70% of all Americans now use some form of social media. Keep in mind that the term, “use” includes diverse things ranging from connecting to family and friends to shopping to gathering news. The biggest news story for the social media in general has been the possible misuse of this technology to manipulate political opinion. For an internet marketing agency, the biggest story is still. “How do we fashion branding strategies, SEO techniques and create digital marketing solutions using social media?”

Pew’s report does not directly answer these questions, but it does point to some useful clues. You can read the entire report at pewinternet.org, but here is a brief summary.

  • Facebook continued to lead the social media race in 2017, BUT Facebook is still the most-widely used social media platform, but only if you do not count YouTube as social media. Pew reports that more adults now use YouTube (73%) than Facebook (68%). Strictly speaking, YouTube is not social media in the sense that Facebook is; you cannot post on a YouTube ‘wall’ or timeline or exchange cute notes. However, as a medium for transmitting a message, YouTube is outstanding. Anyone fashioning branding strategies or designing digital marketing solutions can put up their message free-of-charge after it is produced.

    Importantly, you now find YouTube links embedded in Facebook pages. The two media are embracing one another to make a formidable team. This offers opportunities for an internet marketing agency to build in organic SEO and create SEO link building completely within its own control.

  • Twitter is in decline. Twitter’s growth has been flat and many business analysts doubt that Twitter can become profitable (see Forbes.com’s article, “Why Twitter Is Not The Future Of Marketing”). They ask how often people make buying decisions based on someone’s ‘tweet.’ For most people, even those who go to Twitter frequently, the answer is “Never.” Twitter’s usefulness in digital marketing solutions may be limited to directing readers to a YouTube, Facebook or Instagram site.
  • In 2017, smaller numbers of Americans used Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat and LinkedIn. However, the growth of Snapchat and Instagram has been impressive, especially among young people. Like YouTube, Snapchat and Instagram tell stories and convey messages visually. To a large extent, these stories are of only personal or group interest, but internet marketing agencies are beginning to incorporate these platforms into their branding strategies and digital marketing solutions.

All of this information may be interesting, but how useful is it to a small business owner, a nonprofit organization or a professional practitioner?  Probably not very much; you do not have the time or inclination to deal with these matters. Axiom Administrative Services has the professional digital marketing skills needed to guide your web presence to the rankings it should have. Axiom is more than an internet marketing agency. Our digital marketing and business marketing teams are able to combine traditional marketing techniques like printing and direct mail with creative web services. Please visit our home page or call Axiom at 800-888-6348 to find out how Axiom Administrative Services can fill your digital marketing needs.

ByKevinD

What is a Hashtag?

Social media text and icons on speech balloonsMost young people will understand the meaning of the term “hashtag,” but if you are busy running your professional practice or small business, you may not understand the importance of these devices. Yes, a hashtag is a device, a method of tagging a social media message, a picture, an embedded video or other web-based material with a user generated name or ‘tag.’ Using hashtags makes it easy for other web users to find material about a particular subject or theme.

A content creator such as a business owner, an individual or a webmaster creates a hashtag by using the symbol, ‘#’, followed by a string of letters or numbers. For example, on the social media platform Facebook, the hashtag, “#mybaby” allows viewers to locate all the posts that have been tagged using that hashtag.

Without getting technical about ‘metatags’ or ‘metadata tags’ and how search engines use them, there are several things that you should know about hashtags. Most importantly, hashtags can be a critical element in a branding strategy, SEO strategy, any digital marketing solution or small business SEO effort. Secondly, hashtags tend to be specific to a given social media platform (the biggest are Facebook and Twitter). For the past year, the best-known hashtags have often been associated with Donald Trump, the most famous ‘tweeter’ in the world. Mr. Trump might not put it this way, but the hashtags he has created (and those created about him) have been absolutely essential to his personal branding strategy and his political success. For better or worse, social media and hashtags have played an important part in making him the president.

If you are struggling to find a digital marketing solution that works for your small business or professional practice, you should consider a professional internet marketing agency like Axiom Administrative Services. We have the digital marketing solutions needed to give your web presence the rankings it should have. Axiom is more than an internet marketing agency. Our digital marketing and business marketing teams are able to combine traditional marketing techniques like printing, direct mail advertising and a logo design service with creative web design. Please visit our home page to find out how Axiom Administrative Services can fill your digital marketing needs. AXIOM understands the needs of small businesses, professional practices and nonprofits. Visit AXIOM’s small business services page by clicking this LINK or call Axiom at 800-888-6348.

ByKevinD

A Click is Worth a Thousand Words

internet marketingAXIOM ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES does many, many things. AXIOM’s pros can help you or your small business with branding strategies, local SEO services, SEO techniques and even with direct mail marketing and direct mail advertising services. Historically, this has been the way that professionals like AXIOM have provided digital marketing solutions. That has been how any internet marketing agency has met its clients’ needs. But now there are new ways to reach customers or clients.

Businesses large and small are using platforms like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Google+ to communicate their marketing messages. Apple can give customers a peek at their newest smartphone or iPad. GM can tell you about a new model or a special deal on an older one. The beautiful thing about these social media platforms is that potential customers seek them out on their own. The business owner or service provider did not have to pay a TV or radio station, a newspaper or magazine publisher, or a billboard owner.

More and more people, young and old, turn to online media like YouTube or Facebook to get news and information. Your small business, professional practice or service can put their message in front of people in your local market. Take a look at how AXIOM used YouTube to help its client, OurSeniors.NET, to introduce its new printed and online magazine –

AXIOM Introduces OurSeniors.NET Magazine

Or to market its services to help find assisted living facilities –

Find the Right Assisted Living Facility

Or to help a surgeon demonstrate a better surgical procedure –

Minimally Invasive Weight-loss Surgery Technique

Or about the training required to become a surgeon –

What Training is Required to Become a Surgeon?

The possibilities are endless, but only if you take advantage of them. Axiom Administrative Services can build a digital marketing strategy that starts with professional web design, professional SEO services

and then provides a full range of web services, including social media content.  Axiom will coordinate internet marketing, online advertising, SEO, an email campaign and the full range of internet digital marketing solutions and services that you need. Start now by thinking about your needs and then contact Axiom Administrative Services by clicking the link or call Axiom at 800-888-6348.

ByKevinD

How to get your website noticed by smartphone users

smartphone useRecently, we came across an amazing statistic. According to Flurry Analytics, a company that specializes in analyzing consumer interactions with mobile applications, the average American now spends five hours a day using his or her smartphone. This estimate sounds a little high to us, but no one can deny the incredible rise of smartphone use. According to Flurry, the average American now spends more time with their smartphone than watching TV.

In the daily lives of many Americans, ‘apps’ have now replaced stations or channels. This has huge importance for all advertisers, including local businesses or service providers. It means that big-budget, professionally produced video ads are less likely to be viewed then an amateur YouTube video that goes viral. As Flurry puts it, “Apps have grown more popular than watching TV — something that speaks to users’ interest in apps for more than just utility.”

The key to getting your small business or professional practice noticed by smartphone users is a compelling visual presentation. A static website must still be the foundation of your branding strategy, and you must still have a sound SEO strategy. That is the place users go when they are seeking basic information like a business’ phone number or map directions.

However, Flurry also reports that U.S. users are spending huge amounts of time in social media, messaging and media and entertainment applications. Facebook, the leader in smartphone time, holds a 19 percent share of the smartphone usage clock. Facebook is more than a site for looking at baby pictures or videos of your last party. It is also where users go to shop for shoes; they can see 3, 4 or 20 different styles on actual feet. It is where they go to see how a CPA would use QuickBooks to help their small business or to watch a walking tour of a house for sale.

In short, audio and visual presentations are the best way to draw attention to your small business, professional practice or service business. Axiom Administrative Services can provide professional help in producing these video presentations, placing them on Facebook, YouTube and Snapchat (the new and rising social media), and linking them to your other internet marketing vehicles. Social media plus video equals a more memorable, compelling result. See how by clicking on AXIOM VIDEO IN FACEBOOK.

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