Social Media Basics: Instagram for Small Business

While Instagram has more users than Twitter – over twice as many at the last count, it is still a newer frontier for growing a small business. While there are over half a billion users on Instagram, using this channel to promote your small business is a bit tricky. Users tend to be younger women between the ages of 18 and 29, but more importantly, outside the US. So how can you effectively market your business on Instagram?   Instagram for Small Business Instagram is a wonderful way to communicate a lot of information via pictures. Hashtags work similarly to Twitter, engagement is gauged based on likes and comments, and they already use user’s data to show them other relevant … Read More

Social Media Basics: LinkedIn for Small Business

We’ve covered how to act in your neighborhood (Facebook), how to report your small business’ news (Twitter), and today we are going to talk about how to use social media to network – LinkedIn. While you shouldn’t go around constantly reminding folks of your business on Facebook, LinkedIn is made for that. LinkedIn is where you can promote the heck out of your company unabashedly, refine your elevator pitch (your company’s About Us section), and network like crazy. Again, there are some different rules for how to act, but these rules of thumb should be more than enough to get your small business noticed on LinkedIn.   LinkedIn for Small Business: The Internet’s Cocktail Party Networking events are not an … Read More

Social Media Basics: Twitter for Small Business

Yesterday we talked about not alienating your neighbors on Facebook, but where on internet can you go to really promote your business? There are a few social media channels where you can speak openly about your business without worrying about alienating your network. The best part about social media is that it is totally free to promote your business and doing so in the right way can bring in lots of quality traffic and customers to your site. Let’s talk about Twitter today. We like to to think of Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn as the three social media channels that every business should be on and each has their own rules for engagement: Facebook for neighbors, Twitter for news, and … Read More

Social Media: Facebook for Small Business Basics

We touched on social media channels briefly in this post, but each channel warrants its own blog – maybe its own book – so here we are! Facebook is massive, nearly a quarter of the world’s population uses it at least once per month, over 80% of 18-29 year olds use the website or mobile app, of the over 2 billion monthly users, 1.66 billion are daily mobile users. And Facebook is  still growing! Facebook for Small Business Facebook is like an internet within the internet and that is pretty important for small businesses. It offers a platform for customers to engage with you – for better or worse – it allows a small business to have a page without having … Read More

SEO Basics: Viral and Evergreen Content

You’ve been working on crafting the best content you can to make your site as useful to visitors as possible, you have a backlog of blog posts to keep the content fresh and new, you have keywords that you are centering the content on and a good plan, but where is this all going? The plan is to increase traffic, increase your page rank, and bring more customers, no matter what line of business you are in. For our example, we are going to continue with a professional interior painter’s small business. They have a sleek website with excellent design, easy navigation, and a blog that has good content, and now they are trying to bring in more customers.   … Read More

SEO Basics: Content is Still King

There are a few different types of content out on the internet nowadays. Content is extremely important to any site, not just to help Google, but also to help your visitors. Imagine clicking on the image of a product and ending up on a page with the image of the product and a price and no other information. That’s not at all helpful.   Content is Dead, Long Live Content! Over two decades ago, Bill Gates said that content was king. These words are still true. Content is one of the top three things that Google uses to rank a site. However, this doesn’t mean that you can just fill your painting company’s site with useless content, emotional blog posts … Read More

Is Google Classist? Exploring Search Suggestions

If you pay close enough attention to your searches, you may start to notice a few interesting things here and there. Over time, Google has gotten better and better at anticipating a searcher’s tendencies and patterns. It is part of what makes predictive searches really powerful. Instead of having to type in your entire query, Google produces some results that you might just be looking for and a lot of the time, these suggestions are helpful, but what happens when you make a subtle change to a query? Plurals in Search Suggestions Google started trimming down on plurals a few years ago. By that we mean that the search engine stopped caring as much. Look at when you search for … Read More

Startup Migration and Small Business

Apparently this week is the week for socially conscious posts in the Businesstastic blog. We would be amiss if we did not address the issue of international workers, start ups, and the travel ban. Turns out, that it is incredibly limiting to isolate yourself – whether as an individual or a nation – when it comes to innovation. Presently, it is becoming harder for folks to get Visas for the US. The H1-B Visa is especially important as it the Visa that allows specialized internationals into the country for a longer period of time. Doctors, engineers, computer scientists, business professionals, and more are able to use the H1-B visa to get into and remain in the US, and that is … Read More

SEO Basics: Tracking What Matters

We mentioned a few different tracking data in our post about Google Analytics, but one of the biggest gains of SEO is the ability to track pretty much anything that is going on on your site. You can then use this data to refine your site, direct targeted campaigns at your audience, and increase your important metrics. The major caveat is that you have to be looking at the right data in order to get the most out of these numbers.   SEO Basics: The Right Numbers Setting up Goals in Google Analytics is a great step to tracking what matters on your website and distilling that into easily parsed numbers. These goals are going to be different for almost … Read More

Women in Tech: Office Equality

This is a constant hot-button issue and we are more than pleased to say that our offices do an excellent job of ensuring that equality and respect are constantly followed. In fact, it’s pretty much second nature for everyone that works around here – we share an office with our sister companies GRAYBOX and Run AMZ – so much so that no one batted an eye when our receptionist, Rachael, got to bring her new baby into work. Actually, we miss Mia. It makes it all the more troubling and confusing when articles like this surface, or the issues around Uber and their CEO, or any number of other problems with women in tech.   Equality in the Workplace Especially … Read More

News Roundup

This week has seen some pretty awesome news stories – from the futuristic to the bizarre – but we wanted to share a few of our favorites.   Overwatch is an Awesome Game A favorite game of the folks in our office, Overwatch, came out last spring. This story from Wired is both touching and touches on how amazing it is when a brand or business identifies with it’s customers. Turns out, one of their heros is autistic, which only came to light after an autistic young man wrote in to Blizzard.   The Future of Transportation Hyperloop, the vacuum sealed tube and sled combo that is possibly set to revolutionize transportation had its first successful test. As far as … Read More

Small Business and Core Customers

SEO, SEM, marketing, Google Analytics, and all of the data that comes along with all of this are really an effort to get to know your customers. Your small business offers a service that certain sections of the population want or need, but identifying those sections is crucial to success. Not every business has a sales person that could sell refrigerators igloo-to-igloo, but not every business needs that. With all of the data that is available at your fingertips simply by having a website, you can start to focus in on your core customers in an effort to serve them better and grow your business.   Core Customers: the Heart and Soul of Small Business In February, Grovemade CEO Ken … Read More

Net Neutrality: Day of Action

Today is the Day of Action when the issue of net neutrality is in the headlines. If you are like Nilay Patel, net neutrality is a bit of a moot point because the US has no real choice in ISP. If you are on Oregon Senator Ron Wyden’s side, you might be blindly optimistic – for good reason – in hoping that the internet remains a place where neutrality and freedoms reign. While the likes of Comcast and Verizon have sued the FCC over net neutrality issues because of course they have. It wouldn’t look great if the big ISPs came out in favor of something that would allow them to make billions more for providing internet.   What Does … Read More

Small Business Branding

Having a brand is an intrinsic part of doing business. It’s even gotten so far as people talking about branding themselves – no, not with a hot iron – and how to market oneself in such a way as to create a personal brand. It’s an interesting idea, the brand, that is much more than simply a logo. Recently, GRAYBOX’s Alicia Nagel, Senior Marketing Strategist, gave a presentation about branding. “Who Gives a Brand?” looks into advertising and how marketers can help clients create a memorable image for their customers.   Branding for Small Business Small business is almost synonymous with a very limited budget, especially when it comes to marketing and advertising. Take a landscape service, for instance: if … Read More

Amazon and Small Business

On June 30th, David Hughes, GRAYBOX’s Director of Strategy, gave a presentation on the “State of eCommerce” about the IRCE conference he recently attended. Although there were some pretty striking stats and pieces of information, one item has been pinging around in my head for the last couple weeks: Amazon sales grew by $25 Billion, while Walmart internet sales were $15 Billion!   Amazon: The eCommerce Frontier for Small Business Amazon started off selling books in 1994. Books! They outlasted about 98% of all of the tech companies that arose in the dot com boom in the late 90s. They have changed the way people shop. Remember when 3 or 4 weeks seemed like a short time to wait when … Read More