Are People Talking About You?

Recommendations of friends are trusted more than any other form of brand marketing. This is true for consumers of all ages. Social proof, a psychological and social phenomenon where people assume the actions of others in an attempt to reflect correct behavior in a given situation, also factors in. Bottom line, getting people talking about you to their friends is a powerful way to market your business.

People love to hear, watch and share stories with the people who they are connected to. The story features on Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook and Google encourage users to share their choices and experiences.

How do you become the topic of these stories? Deliver products, services, and experiences worth sharing.

People Are the Basis of the Best Stories

People value authentic human connection in a brand experience. So, your people need to be at the heart of your storytelling. Tell stories about your people, both personal and business-related. Your audience will be interested to get to know them.

Be Visual

Create opportunities for visual connections to your brand. Post pictures and videos that tell your story. Offline, create photo ops that anyone can use to share an experience related to you.  This can be something that is part of a brick and mortar experience or even the packaging or presentation of your product. Make both something people will want to share.

Creativity Wins

As you create text, images, and video, be creative. How can you tell your story in a unique way? Can you find another perspective? What haven’t you talked about before.

Often, businesses avoid the things that people ask about the most because they are not “on message.” Embrace your audience where they are. Start where they are to capture interest and then use your story to take them to the place you really want them to be.

Be Consistent

Tell your story, but stay focused. Be consistent in your brand messaging, keywords and imagery. Keep all your content connected. Your great stories should build the larger picture of your business.

Fight Cyberbullying

Guest Post by Katherine Clarke, Media Relations, Patient Advocacy Group

According to the Megan Meier Foundation—a foundation created by Tina Meier after her 13-year-old daughter, Megan, took her own life as a result of being cyberbullied—approximately 34 percent of all school-aged kids have endured cyberbullying at some point in their lives.

While many people think of this type of bullying as strictly a teenage issue, one study conducted by Pew Research Center found that cyberbullying isn’t something that stops upon high school graduation. In fact, as many as 40 percent of adult internet users indicate that they’ve been bullied in one way or another while they were online.

What Is Cyberbullying?

The >Cyberbullying Research Center (CRC) defines cyberbullying as a “willful and repeated harm inflicted through the use of computers, cell phones, and other electronic devices.” Thus, in order for someone’s actions to be considered cyberbullying, they must be:

  • Intentional,
  • Occur more than once,
  • Cause harm to someone else (whether actual or perceived), and
  • Be conducted via a technologically-based source.

It is the fourth element—the technological source—that distinguishes cyberbullying from other types of bullying, some of which include physical, verbal, and sexual.

How Cyberbullying Happens

Kids Safety explains that there are several different “forms” of cyberbullying, or ways that one person can bully another online. Each one is designed to impact the victim in a different way.

Some of the most common forms include:

  • Excluding the victim from activities, conversations, or social network sites so they feel socially isolated and alone.
  • Harassing the victim via abusive and/or threatening messages, causing them to fear the person doing the cyberbullying.
  • Dissing the victim by sharing something personal about them, the intent being to damage their reputation or damage their relationships with others.
  • Outing the victim (sharing a piece of extremely private information) in an attempt to humiliate them. Sometimes, the cyberbully gathers this information through trickery by first gaining the victim’s trust in an effort to extract the information for release.
  • Cyberstalking the victim, causing them to feel as is if their physical safety is compromised. This fear can be real or perceived.
  • Fraping the victim, which involves impersonating the victim by signing in to their online accounts, then posting something that could damage their reputation or otherwise put them in harm’s way.
  • Catfishing, or setting up fake accounts with the victim’s information and images, then posting things on these accounts that will likely damage their reputation.
    Sometimes the cyberbully’s identity is known by the victim, especially if they use their own online presence to attack the victim. Other times, the cyberbully may choose to set up a fake profile to hide who they are.

It’s also possible that the cyberbully doesn’t know the victim personally. This occurs in cases of “trolling,” which is when someone goes online with the intent of provoking a response by commenting on social media posts and in online forums in an effort to degrade or destroy the original poster’s credibility or self-esteem. Thus, anyone who spends time online is a potential cybervictim.

To read more about this article and the following below click:

Warning Signs
Why People do it
Who is at Risk?
Link to School Bullying
Substance Abuse Connection
Ways to Deal
Helping Others

Digital/Cyber Security For Kids

Search Engine Marketing Tips

You want your business to appear in searches when your target customer is looking for you or your services. You need to pay attention to search engine optimization (SEO) rules to make that happen.

Like other online activities, SEO needs its own marketing strategy. You need to have a plan for ongoing activities to monitor and improve your SEO.

Search Result Pages Have Changed

A keyword or phrase that cranks first organically is no longer the top result seen by searchers. Google has changed search engine results pages so that organic results are no longer at the top.

Today’s results pages can have one or more of these elements before any organic results:

  • Google Ads – paid placements at the top of the page. There can be none, one or several, depending on the keyword searched.
  • Featured snippets – summaries for the searcher’s query that appear just below the ads
  • People also ask – a feature that includes related queries to the original search phrase
  • Knowledge Graph – boxes that include data ranging from companies to celebrities on the right of search results page
  • Local packs – several local listings appear together, often under a map marking the location of each one
  • Carousel listings – interactive visual display of results for things like movies, songs and restaurants
  • Image packs – often a single row of images appearing on the results page
  • Sitelinks – multiple links to subpages within the website result visible below the primary website
  • Reviews with star ratings

In addition to these items, organic results are now longer. This pushes even the second result down further on the page or even to the next page.

Create Your SEO Marketing Strategy

You can manage and improve your regular organic results.

First, set your target. Unless you are a very large business, you cannot rank well for every keyword related to your business. You need to target your efforts.

Narrow to less than five keywords and phrases. You want to pick them based on their relevance to your business. Verify that they are actually searched, but do not have high competition.

Look at how your website ranks for your keywords today. Set realistic expectations. Your best chance of success is in taking words you already rank for and optimizing to rank better.

For every word or phrase you want to target, you need this at your website:

  • A web page with a title that has the keyword
  • A page URL with the keyword
  • Content that features the keyword

Create Page Titles for SEO

Keywords should be at the beginning of SEO page titles. (These are the titles that appear on search results pages.)

Many companies have their name at the start of the title, followed by the name of the page. Flip this. The first words tell search engines what to rank the page for.

Work Keywords into Your Content

You need to strike a balance with page design, clarity, and SEO strategy. You don’t want to ruin content by putting keywords everywhere and ruining flow and meaning. Find opportunities to naturally work in your primary keywords and close variations:

  • Headlines and subheads
  • Image captions
  • Image names
  • Image alt text
  • Use for link text
  • Expand page content

Set a schedule to revisit and revise content regularly. Search engines generally rank older content lower than newer content.

Leverage Factors Beyond Content

Website design, technical considerations, and sufficient responses to questions (i.e., voice search) can all help your keywords rank better. Important factors to consider include:

  • Links to your site from other sites
  • Functionality on mobile devices
  • Page load speed
  • Voice search
  • HTTPS encryption

Use Strategy to Stay in the Game

SEO is not easy or fast. You’ll always have an organic presence. It’s just a matter of how good your visibility is. You need to stay attentive to the details to do better than the competition.