WordPress is awesome as a platform and there is so many things in it that make my life and my clients lives better. And the great thing about what I do, is I am learning all the time. If we can learn, we can grow.
So, for today’s article, let’s grow a little together.
I wanted to give you a few insights I learned from Randy Mann, who is an accomplished marketer, IT & webguy. We got talking and he mentioned a few things that I know, and one that I didn’t think about before regarding WordPress (WP), various plugins and tips.
So here is Randy’s list…….
7 things to do to make your WordPress site rock and become more secure (Even more than it is now):
Back up, back up, and backup again.
There are free plugins that will get the job done. WP is great out of the box, but it’s just the core framework to everything else. Backing up your site isn’t one of the things. You’ll need a service or a plugin to get the job done.
WordPress isn’t always secure – and this is the most serious problem with WP.
Never login as admin. Change the username to something else as soon as you are logged in the first time. If hackers are trying to get into your site, “admin” will be the first username they try. This means you just did half of their work for them. Now all they need to do is figure out the password.
Always use secure passwords, NEVER the common ones.
Pick something complex with numbers, letters and symbols.
Update the WP core and plugins as soon as they are available. These usually fix common bugs and vulnerabilities.
Don’t download themes or plugins from unknown or unreliable sources.
Always use either the official repository at WordPress.org or other trusted sources like reputable theme sites.
Use a dedicated security plugin, like WordFence to protect you from common attacks.
WordPress tends to load really slow.
If your site is loading in slow, it could be images being too big, plugins taking to long to load or even font choices. There are good ways to figure out what is causing this drag in time, as it will cost you customers. See below to learn how to find out what is causing the issues.
Broken Links Happens over time and you have no real way of knowing. You could test them all by hand, but a lot of pages/posts equals a lot of time to do that. Use a plugin called Broken Link Checker to get it done.
****Also, at no charge, Randy already had some great training so I asked him if he could include it here… So you can now get Randy’s 30 training (short and sweet) videos on how to use WordPress effectively (again at no charge)****
Today, almost every business establishments, from small and medium enterprises to large corporations, are always aiming to do great things in their online or digital marketing campaigns. The majority of the public today spend a lot of time engaging online.
People have become so involved with the digital world that they expect to do just about everything and anything online, from banking to purchases to checking status updates. As a result, digital marketing is an ever growing and expanding playing field. You need to stay on top of what works and what doesn’t.
Maja Neable VP, Digital and Channel Marketing BMO FINANCIAL GROUP
According to Maja Neable, Vice President of Digital and Channel Marketing at BMO FINANCIAL GROUP, as the consumers move to expect more in digital, the marketers have adopted: better targeting, more relevant messaging, and more competition for the digital consumer.
According to Neable, their company has found the biggest impact when their knowledgeable representatives in branches and contact center help bring customers on board. Customers trust them and rely on their advice.
Their campaigns include a number of strategies and tools like videos, email marketing, ad targeting, and social media. Their whole strategy is anchored on fully integrated intuitive experiences: from targeting well with relevant messages, to then meeting the customer’s need by providing an easy experience. Treating customer interactions as a life-cycle, a journey, rather than an instance, provides for the most powerful and engaging experiences, and business results.
While this strategy has been fruitful for BMO FINANCIAL GROUP, it took time to work. It is a product of a learning cycle where they tested different strategies, encountering failures and learning from them. Developing a workable strategy really is not easy in digital marketing.
“Given the amount of competition, you also have to adopt and innovate as quickly as possible to remain relevant”, Neable discussed, “To compete in the digital space today, one must continually invest and re-invent itself. This requires a different approach and thinking for established financial institutions. The ones that are the fastest to change to this way of thinking, will be the winners.”
This is where a good networking and linking up with fellow digital marketers becomes very important. Learning from others successes and failures allows you to expand your horizon and identify possible ways to improve on your very own marketing campaigns.
If you are seriously looking to improve your digital marketing strategies, the 7th Digital Marketing for Financial Services Summit is the perfect conference to attend. This year it is happening at The Westin Harbour Castle Conference Centre in Toronto, on Wednesday June 21st & Thursday June 22nd 2017.
Here are five reasons why you should attend this summit:
Innovate at a digital speed.
Learn from C-level financial services leaders on how to create a competitive advantage.
Learn how to eliminate organizational roadblocks.
Connect with industry veterans and rising stars.
This is the only digital marketing forum for financial services.
BONUS Reason: Save 20% off your tickets (see below)
Boost your digital marketing and take it to the next level.
As Andrew Artemenko of Bank of America said, it is “encouraging to see innovative and creative ways to solve the issues, constraints and challenges in a highly regulated industry. It’s nice to get out of your comfortable home environment to meet peers face to face, who have new and inspiring ideas.”
As a business using social media marketing, you need to know what is the most important thing that you can do to attract customers to your business. You may be surprised to learn that the most important thing in online marketing is building trust.
Customers want a brand that they can trust and count on. They want a company that they can refer their friends to or that they can keep returning back to when they need similar services again. At the end of the day, the ROI (Return on investment) is not the biggest value that you are going to get from social media marketing. Through social media, you are going to be able to build up a trusting relationship with your customers, that helps them identify from you, and to learn from your insights. This will make you “front of mind” and become their first call when they need something.
The first step to gain this trust is to communicate with your customers and potential customers in your personal brand voice that is consistent always. This is most effective through writing social media posts in a manner that is human rather than through messages that seems very robotic in nature. You want to show off a relatable personality that will get customers to trust in you and your Company. Once you find the specific tone of your brand voice, you need to stick to it. Being consistent is key to gaining the trust of your readers and customers.
When it comes to actual posts, there are a few things that you need to do. You should post ideas that are unique and original for a few reasons. One, fresh posts help in ranking articles and two, when people see a different approach to a common topic, it can gain traction. These posts can be informative pieces or ones that are entertaining or a mixture of the two. You want to make sure these posts shareable so that your followers will want to share it with their friends, by having social media sharing buttons on each article or post you do. By doing this, you will gain more followers, which will increase the recognition of your brand.
A final aspect to using social media to gain the trust of your customers is through engaging with them. If a customer contacts you through social media about an issue with your products or services, be accountable and apologetic while trying to remedy the situation.
These are things that will help increase your customer’s trust in your brand. If a customer trusts you, they will be more willing to keep coming back for services and refer their friends and loved ones. Do not use your posts to market things all of the time, otherwise people will not want to follow you. You need to find a perfect balance between advertising and offering more value to your customers.
Remember this: Educate, don’t inundate.. Provide value, and people will trust and buy from you naturally.
Social media is one of the most important forms of modern communication and a brilliant way to connect with so many like-minded people. However, like all powerful tools, it should be used responsibly.
You want to create a positive online atmosphere for your business, one that creates sense of community with friends, peers, and potential customers.
Here are the top 7 do’s and don’ts in social media marketing that can affect your status online:
#1: Don’t Complain
This seems like a no-brainer, but you may be surprised at how often people complain about bosses, clients or customers. This can not only negatively impact the image of a business (giving the wrong impression), but it impacts how present and future customers or bosses view you. I will say there is the occasional time that you have a really bad experience. If this happens, and you need to vent, thread lightly and do not name names.
#2: Don’t Get involved in controversial conversations
Wanting to engage other users is one thing. Starting or fueling fights is another. If your opinion is controversial regarding hot-topic issues like religion, race, or politics, you might not want to announce it all over the Internet—particularly if you’re hoping to catch the attention of future customers, employers or business partners. Social media is a fickle thing that way,
#3: Don’t Spam your followers
This isn’t just a tip for casual users; it’s crucial for businesses that are looking to build an online reputation. Spamming is a bad tactic because it fails to form real connections with customers. After all, there’s nothing more annoying to the average person than logging on and finding their wall crowded with sales pitches, updates, or excessive private messages. If you provide a sales pitch, make sure it provides value first.
#4: Don’t Self-promote (rule of 5:1)
Alright, we all do it. However, when it comes to promoting your businesses online, it’s important to practice “moderation”. Otherwise, you just come across as an obnoxious horn-blower too big for your britches, and customers will move on to someone less noisy. While you should certainly share your business experiences and values, balance that with promoting others. It will make your followers more receptive to your message, and more likely to share your promotions on their other networks. My rule of thumb is 5 posts of great info for every Sales piece. And ALWAYS show the value in the sale piece.
#5: Don’t Share anything you wouldn’t mind showing strangers
A lot of people tend to treat social media as if it is their diary, but always remember that your business records, grievances at work, or details of your personal life are your business—and should be for your eyes only. Unless you are a reality star and want people to know.. then good on you.
#6: DO: LISTEN
Social media is more than just a way to advertise. It’s a way to communicate. You don’t have to verbally communicate to be able to listen. Lend an ear to what your customers are saying or talking about online by paying attention to their comments. See what they want, what they like, and work on pleasing them by developing a way to solve what they are wanting,
#7: DO: Have clarity
Rather than logging on to dozens of social media platforms every day, focus on the ones that contribute to your professional mission. Posting a cat video may seem funny at the time, but consider whether or not it’s actually relevant to what you’re trying to accomplish.
If you want to learn more about how to grow your business with digital marketing, connect with me and let’s talk.
Leverage your social media. In Business, it all comes down to “leverage” within your Social Media setups. You see, without it, we are merely talking to people and sharing ideas but it wouldn’t go farther than a few people.
I remember the days before true Social Media networking, when people would email out a funny(or not funny) joke or a great article and it would go as far as it could reach depending on who sent it to who (My father would send me at least 10 emails a day with something he found interesting). With social media, we can leverage that process through the platforms we use today and post a great article/video /call-to-action/quote, and the possibilities are endless on how far something can be shared and liked around the globe. It’s truly amazing to see where people are from when they re-tweet or like or share something I post.
In business, we need to embrace the fact that social media is now an integral part of our Marketing plan. It must be used on almost everything we do in order to get the most people to see what we want to show them. See, in business, we are always looking on increasing our profits (or in some cases, just making a profit). That is why we are in business. So it makes sense that when we post things on Facebook, pin on Pinterest, post on Linkedin groups and tweet about our latest widget, we are looking for a return-on-investment (ROI) for the time we put into it.
To leverage social media, you need to post content and links that people who will follow you will find interesting. The more the people that find it worth their time (in terms of being interesting, compelling, funny, serious), the more you will get shared/liked. By being shared, liked, tweeted, pinned, the content you post now gets put your content DIRECTLY into that sharing person’s Timeline. The benefit is that now all of their friends/followers will see that Share.
This is the power of leveraging the internet. Getting people to do the footwork for you. The more it’s shared, the more eyes on your content, the more chances of converting them into prospects. It’s a win-win (I can spend all day on how to convert people – that is for another article) and that is the start to move people towards the sale and seeing a ROI on your postings.
This is where is comes down to getting people to like/share your pages. How to do that, exactly you ask? At the moment, there are 2 things that get the most traction on social sharing/networking sites are:
1. Be Visual. Posts/pin/tweets with Images or Videos in them. We are visual creatures and our eyes naturally go to images. That is why Pinterest and Instagram as so big. So make sure when posting to add in an image or a video if none are present so that it will catch attention.
2. Asking good questions. A good question can go very far. Ask a question that you want people to answer either about your product or service or in the field that you are an expert. This will provide you with some Credibility, when comment on other people’s posts and comments.
I hope these two ideas and the concept of leverage sparks some great ideas for your Business!
Enjoyed this post? If so, please share on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest to let your friends know about it. Your help spreading the word would be really appreciated.
Social media is a great tool to use in order to communicate with people that already follow you and to help find prospective consumers of your product or service. With the help of Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin and more, there are many ways you can grow your business and reach a new unexplored consumer base. Social media gives you multiple platforms that expose you directly to the consumer and enables them to give you valuable information regarding your product or service. In order to be successful in today’s business environment, you must have a presence on social media. That’s a given. However, in order to assure consistency throughout all social media platforms, it is very important (even crucial) to have all your social media accounts leading back to one place. I called it the “Hub”.
Think of an airport. All the flights fly into one place however they all originally started from another location. This “hub” could be your Blog, your Company website, or whatever you fancy, but it should be where all your traffic merges. You may be bringing people back to your site to read a new article or discuss a new service or product or it may be showing people pictures of your services/products. Whatever it is, the end game is to always bring people back to this main “Hub”. By doing this consistently, people will start remembering your brand better as they get repeated exposure to it, what you do, and why they should be using you over everyone else. By keeping it simple, all of the main material on one site, you won’t split the attention of your prospects.
As an example, if you posted a new article that discusses a topic in your Business, it is best to have it on your Company blog. That way, you can use Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin and the other social platforms independently to drive those followers/friends back to one location to funnel the traffic to where you want them to be… on your site. It is also a great way to build up links back to your site and demonstrate social proof to the search engines (yes that is becoming a major factor in ranking) that your site pages should be ranked better. (Just a side note, when people land on your site, it should ideally be with some call-to-action such as Subscribe to my newsletter, Buy Now, Follow me, as you will get the most traction and more subscribers in your list by doing so).
Having one hub for your business will make it easier for you to find and develop relationships with prospective clients that are interested in your product or service as you will always be adding to your site and those that have visited before, could also return for each posting. Another side effect is that it will also help with search engine optimization using the newer part of their ranking algorithim for social proof.
If used properly, social media platforms can add so much to your business by having one central Hub. Your one Hub will help brand your Company more effectively online and allow people to automatically identify your brand to a certain product, service or post.
Are you already using your website as the “hub” of your Social Media marketing?
Enjoyed this post? If so, please share on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest to let your friends know about it. Your help spreading the word would be really appreciated.