Posted by: Floridadude | September 29, 2015

October Marketing Tips!

October means Fall and fun.  People start getting into the festive spirit early thanks to retailers pushing the “holiday” mode as early as September.  Personally, I hate it and think we have become a greedy society but then again Corporations think otherwise and that bottom line must be solid by year’s end so we start thinking about Christmas in September and by golly by the time Halloween is over every retailer in America has their Christmas products out, the holiday music playing and telling us “spend, spend, spend!”  Having said my peace now,  we are pretty much forced to get on the bandwagon or be left holding the left-over crumbs from the big box retailers right?  So here are my little tidbits of suggestions for the SMBs out there to promote your business for October.

Blog a Halloween make-up or costume suggestion.  Interact with your customers off your website or blogging page by suggesting fun costume or make-up ideas.  If your store sells Halloween products, this will draw them into your store.

Create content summary or “roundup” as they are sometimes called.  These are summary of events relevant to your business and can be really anything that may be associated to what you offer as a service or products you sell, or even related to your brand.

Sponsor or create an event.  Many small businesses like to put on or sponsor a community event.  You have an advantage over the big box stores doing this.  They often times need to get permission all the way up from their headquarters to do anything and typically it has to be done months in advance.  Here is your opportunity to shine and be in the limelight of your customer base.

Have a great Fall and enjoy it even though I might be somewhat of a “Bah  Humbug!” type of guy on seeing Christmas in September.

Posted by: Floridadude | September 8, 2015

Social Media Marketing On A Budget

I always try to focus on the small business owner and come up with solutions that allow them to maximize their investment in social media. The Mom & Pops that make up a large chunk of our business structure do not have the large marketing budgets of the brick and mortars, large box stores, or even professional practices.  Most of us know that advertising on the big 3 such as Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter is a common practice.   But are their other less expensive ways to go to promote your brand on social media platforms?  Looking around the other day, I did find some sites that might attract your market share or customer base and the best news is, your investment is minimal.  Lets take a look at a few.

First, you need to spend time actually finding the right sites.  Watch what your customers are doing and this is a pretty good clue where you need to go.  There are other search & find sites out there besides “Google.”  I found a site called Quora that is pretty cool that allows you to input some information about what you are looking for in the way of your business and it comes up with a data base of information and resources. It can be a bit cumbersome at first as a newbie but once you use it for a bit, it becomes more user-friendly.

A couple of other sites that as a SMB you might want to look at are:

Bubbly  This mobile app allows your voice to be recorded in weird variations and send a message.  Popular overseas and making its way fast to the US, this app already is gaining popularity among businesses, celebs, and others.  What a great marketing tool for mobile users!

Capshare  I have always been big on video applications for mobility and if you have read any of my previous blogs, you know the big ones out there.  Capshare is growing leaps and bounds and I have played around with a bit.  Besides videos and images, as its name implies, you can use captions to describe what you are posting.  Again, for small business, what an excellent marketing tool.  You are getting in on the ground floor and a mobile app that is gaining a lot of users world-wide.

Heard  My last suggestion for small business is Heard.  This is kind of like the 4-Square site where people can vote and interact with content that is posted.  Small Business can use this site to gain perspective on what is trending, what their market base is liking or not liking.  This site is not so much for you to advertise but to know where you could be using your marketing dollars to focus your brand.

Good luck and I hope these suggestions help you gain some insight on your hard-earned advertising budget and most of all, have some fun doing some out of the box marketing strategies.

Posted by: Floridadude | August 26, 2015

How To Be Hot On LinkedIn!

How To Be Hot On LinkedIn!
#linkedin, #socialmedia, #marketing

Posted by: Floridadude | August 19, 2015

Are You On Board With Video For Your Business?

Video on the web is here to stay and in some instances, if video is not integrated in your marketing plan, you probably don’t have anyone visiting your site.  Video makes up over 64% of internet traffic according to our good friends at Cisco. That number will be over 80% by 2019.  SMB’s even with the smallest of staff and budgets already know this.  They have seen the trend.  Working with younger employees or having millennial mid management, they see how video works within marketing.  So why all they hype on video?  In two words.  “It’s Working!”

For novice business owners, making a video has become much easier.  While some can actually do it themselves, hiring a professional video production company has come down in price as well.  The message can be told with more simpler graphics and digital effects.

Here are some tips to help make your next video for your business work for you.

SEO (search engine optimization) has and will continue to focus on video integration for ranking purposes. Having that video on your website will help boost those numbers.

Use keywords to boost your video. This is in the description, file, title, however you wish to use the keywords

Host your video on You Tube.  This, being owned by Google, is one of the largest locations for SEO.

Get people (friends, customers, clients, whoever) to like your video. The more likes, the more the push to your site.

Video is growing. Your business needs to embrace the technology. Get videos on your website now!

Posted by: Floridadude | July 29, 2015

Will Your SEO Make It Or Break It?

Having a SEO (search engine optimization) campaign can be easy or it can be time-consuming and costly.  Added to that are frustrations that nothing worked.  So how can you be assured your SEO campaign will work?  Here are some quick pointers that I found will give you some assurances that with a little work, planning, and some luck, you will have a great SEO campaign.

1.  Set some good goals.  Use Google or Bing.  Keep your service or product down to a reasonable choice.  Don’t load up with a bunch of stuff and expect everything to hit.   When you are starting out, pick that one key product you are offering.

2.  The cost is important.  If you are somewhat savvy on SEO, yes, you can get it down for free or for little expense. The problem with this is most small businesses do not understand the concepts of SEO and should choose  a professional to guide their plan through.  If you are in a highly competitive product line then expect to pay more.  As they say, “There is no such thing as a free lunch!”

3.  Keywords. What is this you ask?  Keywords are what goes into the body of your message such as your website.  When people begin that search for what they are looking for, search engines lock onto keywords within your demographic area first.  So if you sell widgets in  ABC County and in anytown within that county, you would come up under widgets. As to your ranking though depends on other factors.  Keywords involve a lot of data research and placement value.  Again, doing this yourself can be lackluster for your business and a disappointing ROI.  Not to say you can’t do it if you are in a rural non-competitive area but for most in larger markets, hire a professional.

4. The Rest of the mix.  Have a good website, good content, and track your data via Google Tools or other free data gathering software that is available.  If you are still unsure, then hire a professional marketing firm to do this for you.  Stay current and keep abreast of the current trends and social media tools to give yourself a chance to stay ahead of the game.  Good luck!

Posted by: Floridadude | July 15, 2015

Choosing The Right Social Media Marketing Partner

Being social with your business.  Not easy is it?  Those social media marketers.  They say it is important to their business but a lot of them find it hard to measure the ROI and even manage multiple campaigns for various clients.  So what do you do?  This sounds familiar doesn’t it.  Even for SMB’s who do not even hire a social media marketer to run their campaigns or social blogs, the world of social media and blogging is a mystery when it comes to what do I spend, where do I spend and how much do I spend to see a return on my investment.

Typically the first 90 days working with a social media partner should send you a signal as to whether or not they are doing an effective campaign for you.  Even if they are not, it is not always their fault.  Social Media is a quirky business.  Your business may be unique to social media. Some businesses are just not social savvy while others may have people buzzing all over your platforms.  Even with automation tools, you have to find that right niche that fists your business and attract the right customers.  Here are some basic questions to ask yourself when picking the right social media marketing partner to help you.


1.  How long does my campaign take to get out to the masses?

Typically, after on boarding can take up to a month.  Then the campaign rolls out.  The marketer needs to gather information about your business, get your logos or branding images, get the blogging or relevant content ready for distribution and so on.  Sometimes things can happen quicker and sometimes it may take longer.  I am giving you an average.  You need to have this most important information assured in writing before you write that check.  Taking too long can kill your ROI. Know in advance!


2.  When does the money roll in?


As I stated earlier, not all campaigns are written with a “money back guarantee.”  No matter how slick your campaign may look,  you still may not see an increase in sales.  You would like to, but not all business have an attraction to social media users.  there needs to be at least 6 hours a week invested in your social media.  If your partner is not doing that, chances are you are not getting any measured return.  The length of your program is also a consideration on that waiting paycheck!


3.  How Is my campaign measured?


Your campaign can be measured many ways.  By metrics, (SEO, SMO Ect.)  Most use fan base or followers, along with traffic hits.  Your content is crucial to success.  Make sure your content hits on relevant topics to your business.  Make sure your goals are clear to your marketing social media partner in what you want to achieve.  Good luck!

Posted by: Floridadude | July 9, 2015


Unless you been in the twilight zone these past few months, the biggest deal going on lately is Meerkat. So what is Meerkat?  It allows you to stream live via your cell phone or laptop web cam your live event via Twitter.  Simple as that.  I recently did a live event with a local band my wife and I enjoy in Florida.  I simply went onto MeerKat and clicked on my app and started sharing NightFly (the band) on Meerkat from Sebastian Inlet and there they were.  Within 45 minutes, we had 97 followers.  Pretty cool huh?

So let us talk about MeerKat.  What is this new app?  Meerkat came out several months ago as a video live app that integrates with Twitter.  You do need a Twitter account to make it work.  When you click on your web cam or cell phone cam  and go with Meerkat, you have created a live event.  People who follow you via Twitter will more than likely ask you questions like where are you, what is this event you are covering or  and so on.  If you are covering the event via your cell phone with no other resource, it is kind of hard to respond to your followers.  If you are doing an event from your laptop in your home or some other place then  yea, you can text back or type back to your followers.  It is always good to respond back to people who are following you in real time if  you can.  In my situation, I just said live on the mic on my cell phone, I was not in the position to answer any questions or Twitter questions due the fact that I was using my cell phone for the broadcast in  1080p.

MeerKat has now moved on to Facebook with the ability of brands  to link to Facebook for their live streams.  The only difference is that Twitter is in real-time  where Facebook is not.  Also MeerKat recently added Camo where your friends can take over your live feed if they wish.  This feature allows your friends to build upon whatever you are broadcasting  Cameo is already being used by big time broadcasters such as the Weather Channel , TMZ, Fox and the CW Channel.  Pretty cool huh?  .    If you have not downloaded this free app yet, you are missing out. Get MeerKat now!

Posted by: Floridadude | June 24, 2015

Getting The Media To Pay Attention To Your Business

So do you ever ask yourself how does my competitor get his business on radio, TV, or in the newspaper without paying for it? They do it with building relationships and offer a story that is interesting and not all about them.  Many SMB’s do not have a huge marketing firm promoting them and sending out press releases every day.  They get in the news by being relevant to a current event or subject and they just happen to put themselves in the limelight by making themselves available and knowing who is who in the local media.  So when something comes up like a new gadget or an appliance, you get those nice little “According to Joe Blow at Joe’s appliance shop, he states this product will be great and should be available in his store soon!”  And he did not pay a dime for that free tag.  So how do you get that free plug yourself?

Target media outlets and local journalists.  Know who they are. Read, listen, or watch their pieces they put out. Make a nice comment about it.  If you see them in person, introduce yourself in a non intrusive way.  They don’t bite and most are not above themselves to want to say hi.  I also suggest you use your own social media platforms such as your business Facebook or Twitter Account to introduce yourself and your business.  Media folks often will search these platforms looking for leads and story ideas.  Use your content marketing.  Using your web site or blogging platform also helps increase your visibility to media.  When they want a local expert or knowledgeable  authority on a subject, they will turn to bloggers or businesses who have content out there for help.  My last point is to mix up your information.  Do not always rely on formatted press releases.  Send a personal note or story idea to each of your contacts.  It makes you look like you personally sought them out to tell them of your media event or story idea.  Do not sell yourself or your business.  Sell your knowledge of the subject and the rest will come together.

Posted by: Floridadude | June 6, 2015

Social Media and Small Business. It is A Must!

Small Business Owners know social media is important in the way their customers interact today.  Many say they just don’t have the time or understand it all.  Oh sure they may have a Facebook page or have their face on Linkedin but what you do with that and the others you are missing out on is so important.  You have to take the time to interact and you have to take the time to update and post content otherwise why are you even doing it?  Is it staffing?  Do you think it because it is free it takes care of itself?  Do you feel you just don’t have the time?   Do you think your web site is enough?  Bottom line is if you don’t update or refresh, nobody will visit.  Plain and simple.  If you took the time to put in analytics, those within itself should be telling you something if you are taking the time to at least review the data.


So now that you feel that I am scolding you, the good news.  There is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.  Take time to schedule.  Read my other posts about Hoot Suite or other auto programmers for your social media.  Plan 30 minutes when you come home to post content about you as a person or your business.  Post content related to your business.  Make it interactive. Make your customers ask questions and take time to respond.  It makes you personable.  Consider Google ads or FB ads.  Consider video drop-ins.  All are very inexpensive and you are charged by the click. Oh yes those other social media platforms.  Instagram, Vine, Pinterest, and many others are fast becoming business friendly and now accepting digital advertising.  Why? Because their popularity is skyrocketing. Because digital media is fast becoming the social placement of Millennium’s and they are the ones with money to spend and are very social conscience.  Get on the bandwagon!

Posted by: Floridadude | May 13, 2015

Your Business On Instagram? Yes!

With today’s social media strategies, more and more people are turning to Instagram.  Why?  digital video and followers.  Instagram is hot right now.  Quick videos, posts, tie in to Facebook, it all adds up.  So are businesses using Instagram?  Absolutely!  But you need to pay attention to how you use Instagram to brand your business.  I will say that if you use Instagram on a business platform, it is probably going to take a dedicated team member or a professional social media consultant to engage your base.  Instagram is as says is “instant” or on demand marketing. You need to be ready to engage, respond, and follow through.  Having said that, here are some tips to use Instagram for your marketing strategy.

  • Use good clean photos or videos.  The videos can be from your cell phone but make sure they reflect your business and not some silly selfie of  you or “stunt”.
  • Tell a story of your marketing idea or brand.
  • Be yourself and be natural.  Don’t try to be that ridiculous used car salesman!
  • Engage and respond to your followers on Instagram and use # ( hashtags) to expand your band
  • Start Conversations! Talk about Who, What, and Why
  • Make a Call to Action.  Do things like Call now, respond to this promotional code, Share My post, make your followers do  something!
  • You can tag a follower and they actually do not have to be following you. If you tag a particular person, just use the @ symbol and their name.

I hope these points help you understand a bit about Instagram and its powerful platform.  Fortune 500 companies to small SMBs have turned to Instagram to get their brand out.  Now it is your turn. Use the video feature, engage your base, and use the hashtags!  Good luck with Instagram.



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