5 Reasons Why Small Businesses Should Budget for Social Media Marketing

According to Hootsuite, social media budgets have increased greatly.  In fact, they have grown from $16 billion in 2014 to $31 billion in 2016.  This means that they not only have a social media presence but are willing to spend money, and get the necessary financing they need to market their business. So, now the question is, why are they focusing so much on the phenomenon that was mistaken as an ephemeral fad by many when it first arrived? Let’s explore the reasons why these businesses are opting to go social and see if there is a trend emerging here.


Low entry barrier

The best part of social media is that there is a very low barrier to entry, says Entrepreneur. In today’s world, it is essential to incorporate social media pages into your marketing plan.  Using Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and others will allow you to reach your biggest audience.  It is very easy to communicate with these tools.  Most companies are using them now to communicate with customers.  So, not having social media is no longer an option

Cost effective

You need to shell out a small fortune to advertise in a newspaper or be visible on TV. But it costs you much less to be on social media.  According to Forbe, developing a cost-effective social ad campaign on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram allows you to reach several people for a smaller price.  Just make sure you set it up to reach your target audience.

Expert branding

Through social media, even small businesses can develop a cult following. It all depends on the quality of content they share. Forbes also says that using different methods to spread your message will also help improve your brand.  For example, creating a live video, and putting it on YouTube, and other social media pages will give a bigger message than just a still image.

Being interactive will also help your brand tremendously.  Knowing that someone will get back to them quickly will make customers want to communicate with you more often, and they may even spread the word about you.

Traffic and SEO

A good social media following also means enhanced traffic. If you have a lot of followers, some of them will surely click on the links you post and visit your website.  But now, more than ever, it’s all about being mobile.  SEO in the modern world means you have to take into account that most of your customers will be mobile users.  The experts at Moz say that your site needs to be mobile-friendly, or you’ve already lost the battle.  People will go to another website, and you’ll be left in the dust.

Also, consider accelerated mobile pages.  In short, AMPs will allow your website, and it’s pages to load faster.  Not only should you consider mobile-friendliness.  You also have to realize that people who are on the go want fast results.  If your site is a slow mover, they will move on from you.

Building Relationships

Social media is interactive by nature; this is the main asset compared to traditional media. However, according to AdWeek, it is even more important for professional relationships.  You can now use video, and live chat, on several social media platforms to communicate with others.  In addition, it also gives you the opportunity to reach more people with your story.  If you become part of a niche, you can also join social media groups, and lists.  Doing so will spread your message even further.


Having a social media marketing plan in your business’ budget is essential in today’s world.  It has become the main method with which we send our messages.  Companies are noticing the trend, and using it to build their customer base, and increase their bottom line.  Heeding these tips are the first steps to helping your company’s business grow, and succeed.


Nick Rojas combines 20 years of experience working with and consulting for small to medium business and a passion for journalism to help readers grow. He writes about technology, marketing, and social media for the aspiring entrepreneur. When Nick is not sharing his expertise, he can be found spending time at the beach with his dog Presto. You can follow him on twitter: @NickARojas


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Tips For Launching a New Website


[Updated January 23rd 2018]


You’re about to or have already launched a new website.

Is it a redesign or is this a new website for your new business? No matter the reason you need to market your fancy new website. After all the point of having a website is to drive traffic to it so you can generate more sales.

Follow the 10 steps I’m about to layout. These steps will help you track visitors, get noticed by the search engines and let you know if the search engines find anything wrong with your site.

1) Install Google Analytics

I’m amazed at how many people don’t have Analytics setup on their website. Do you? If not, the launch of your new website is a good time to start.

Even if you were tracking data on your old website, you’ll need to set up analytics on your new website.

Analytics can give you amazing insights about your website visitors. I’ve already blogged about how to install and analyze Google analytics data. Read that post so you can ensure you’re tracking your website visitors data.

2) Install Google & Bing Webmaster Tools

Google wants to help you succeed. They offer lots of free services. Webmaster tools is one of those.

Webmaster tools provides information about the health of your website. They do this while their crawlers are on your site. They’ll let you know of any issues that might be hindering your search engine rankings.

Once again I have blogged about how to verify your website and setup Google Webmaster tools.

You can read this post to set up Bing Webmaster tools. People do use Bing to search and you shouldn’t forget about them.

3) Add 301 redirects from old urls to new ones

Chances are good that the url structure of your website is going to change.

Let’s say your contact page has been at http://yoursite.com/contact-us/. That url has been indexed for years by the search engines. So if people search for your contact page a few months after your new website has launched, Google or Bing will display the above page as a result.

But let’s say your new website’s contact page is http://yoursite.com/contact/. Those people who searched for your contact page and click on the search result directing them to the http://yoursite.com/contact-us/url will land on a blank page.

Obviously, you don’t want to piss people off.

In this case, you want to use a 301 redirect. So people visiting the /contact-us/ url get redirected to the /contact/url.

This is very handy if you change your domain name and still own the old domain name.


4) Create new sitemap and Submit to search engines

A sitemap is a listing of all the webpages/urls on your website. Once your new website is live, you’ll want to create a new sitemap and submit it to Google and Bing using their respective webmaster tools.

Create a sitemap if you don’t have a WordPress website or use this plugin if you have a WordPress website.

5) Double check all links are working

This should happen before the website is live and being tested on an old server. But you want to make sure all your links to point to pages.

Use this tool to scan your website’s links to see if any are broken.

6) Test website speed

Your website’s new idol is Usain Bolt. Yep, your website needs to be fast like Mr. Bolt.

If your new website takes too long to load, Google will not want to promote your website to searches as they have to wait too long for your page to load. They want to provide searchers with the results they need fast. In saying so, having a fast loading website helps big time.

Here’s a post on how to test your website speed.

7) Test your website on mobile

Everyone has a smartphone. And a good data plan to boot.

The chances are good 35%+ of people visiting your website are doing so on a smartphone. The question remains, is your website frustrating mobile visitors?

You will also want to test the website load speed on your mobile website.

8) Test any contact forms

If your website is not a sieve and focused on capturing leads, you’ll have contact forms listed all over.

Make sure you test every webform and make sure the proper person is getting the email requests. For this website, I create a new form for each page I post a form on. That way I can track what url someone contacted me from to see what pages convert better.

9) Update website in business directories and Social Networks

This applies only if you have a new domain for your website. Make sure your website is listed properly in business directories and social profiles.

Simply search your business name to find all the business directories you are listed in. Then contact them to have the link changed to your new domain. This is important for backlinking and search rankings.

10) Claim new business listings

As I just mentioned backlinking is huge for your search rankings. You can get backlinks from business directories like Manta, Yellowpages and Yelp.

But you’ll need lots to make an impact. Especially with a new business and website. We offer United States and Canadian business directory listing service.

11) Optimize website for search

Whether you believe it or not, local SEO is not dead.

The chances are good that your web designer hasn’t properly optimized your website for search. From the content to the page titles, your website needs to be properly optimized so search engines can better understand what your website is about and what search terms you’re are trying to target.

So make sure your website is properly optimized for search terms people use to search your product or service. Read this post on how to properly optimize a website for the search engines.

12) Reach out

Now it’s time to reach out. Contact friends via email and social media. Ask them to share your website.

You can also contact other businesses involved in your industry. Or even those businesses that deal with your target market as well.


Seeking Potential Clients Online

If you know anything about this blog, it’s loaded with SEO related posts.

Time to time I do blog about social media and other online opportunities. Well, this is one of those posts where to venture of the SEO path to introduce you to a amazing revolution.

I’ll tell you what that revolution is a bit.

Your Market Is Online

Your potential clients are online. Some of them even use social media. The chances are good they’re on Facebook, Twitter or Google +.

But you already know that. You tweet and share stuff out none stop hoping that you will reach these people. However you need to leave your home base from time to time to find new potential clients.

You can’t stay at home and expect to always have people come to you. Nope. You have to get out there and find them.

How though?

The Social Media Revolution

So what is this social media revolution I was speaking of? It’s two things actually. I’ll talk about the second one in a bit.

The first one though is the hashtag. Yeah this thing # that is the pound key or numbers sign.

In the social media world, it’s oh so much more.

You probably think it’s just some cool trend. But in the online marketing world, it’s how you can find people in your hometown.


Go to Twitter and type in the search function a hashtag and the city your market is on or it’s airport code.I live in Victoria BC Canada so we could use the search “#Victoria” or “#yyj”.

This search would bring up a massive list of tweets from people talking about Victoria. If I wanted to get more followers, I would simply follow all of those people who have tweeted about Victoria. This would give me a nice targeted follower list.

Of course I would have to engage with them and build a relationship with them. But I at least have potential targeted customers who I am now following.

Even Facebook is allowing people to search hashtags. Here’s a link to a Facebook hashtag search of #yyj https://www.facebook.com/hashtag/yyj

This will bring up users who have softer privacy settings so you can see their post with the #yyj hashtag.

Twitter Search & Reverse SEO

I blogged last month that Twitter can act as reverse SEO. SEO is where people search for your business, but using the Twitter search function will allow you to search for them.

All you have to do is generate a list of key phrases and narrow your search down to tweets within your city.


I do contracting work for a DJ website. They wanted to promote a blog post they just wrote which helps those who want to learn to DJ.

I told them just go to Twitter a few times throughout the day and search for people who tweeted they want to learn to DJ. Amazingly there about 50 tweets a day with people tweeting they wish they could learn to DJ.

Twitter   Search    learn to dj

Since we had a blog post that was very helpful, we felt those people should read that post. So we started to respond to those people directing them to that blog post.

We never tried to sale them right away. Instead we wanted them to read our blog post and hopefully others. Then make the decision to purchase a monthly membership.

This is really the best way to find potential users online right away.


Is Local SEO Dead and Still Important?

Is local SEO dead?I’m sure you have a really pretty new website. Really, I’m sure it is. By no means am I attacking its design.

All I am saying is that a nice new website is nothing without SEO. Sure some industries and businesses that are doing social media well don’t need to invest into SEO.

But the majority of you do need improved search rankings and more website traffic.

After all, why did you invest all that money into a new website? Because you believe it’s important. Of course it is. But if it’s not optimized for search or ranking well, what’s the point of that pretty website that no one can find?

Having a pretty new website but not investing into SEO is like buying a nice car that doesn’t come with an interior. The exterior of the car is like your website, nice and pretty. And the interior is like SEO, functioning as tool to generate more leads and sales for your business.

But without an interior you wouldn’t be able to maximize the car without being to sit and drive it around right?

The same can be said without SEO. You can’t maximize your pretty website without having it optimized so people and the search engines can’t find it.

Don’t Listen to the Hype

Social Media Experts or Ninjas or whatever self proclaimed cheesy name they have will tell you it’s all about social.

Gary Vaynerchuk happens to be one of my influencers. But he tends to blur the lines between local businesses and global businesses. He helped his family wine business by using social. But he had an e-commerce website and a very entertaining Video Wine Blog.

He does provide many great examples of local businesses doing well using Social Media in the “Thank You Economy”.

But local SEO is not dead and still important for many local businesses. Especially those whose products or services aren’t all that sexy. Think of any form of contractor, dentist or any business where their clients aren’t raving on Facebook or Twitter about their latest bike rack they got for their car.

I guess this is why we’re finding many of our clients and leads are either in the auto or home improvement industries. They’re not super sexy. You have to get creative when using social media if your product or service isn’t sexy or talked about much.

Besides, it’s hard for business owners like you to find the time to post and monitor your social media accounts.

That’s why I like SEO as an option. Someone else does it and your rankings stick. Plus, people will always be searching. It’s a fact. And they’ll be searching for your business.

The question is, will they scroll past the first page and discover that pretty new website of yours?

If not, it’s time we talk.

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The Opposite of SEO is Social Media

Twitter Advanced SearchIf you follow this blog, you’ll know it’s mostly SEO related. I personally find that it has more value and results for my clients who don’t have the time to invest in social media.

But I do post tips on how to use Twitter from time to time. This is one of those posts.

Regardless if we are an SEO Victoria company, this tip I’m about to share on using Twitter is so powerful. It can help you find clients and hear what people are saying about your product or service in real time.

The best part about this is it takes all of 30 minutes a week. So when you hear about the ROI of social media, well, it’s right here with this simple and profound tip.

What exactly is it?

The Search Function!

In SEO people search your business. But with Twitter, you can actually seek them out.

It’s like reverse engineering in a way and why I call it the opposite of SEO. Make sense?

Depending on how big your market and reach are, using the search function will make way to larger results. If you’re a small business in a small town, you should still see results.

So what do you do?

  1. You create a list of terms or words (much like you would with doing keyword research in SEO) that people might talk about when using or looking for your product or service.
  2. Then you head to the advanced Twitter search function and enter those terms (one at a time)
  3. Place your city location(s) you’re targeting or do business in
  4. Hit search
  5. Then make sure to click all (see second image below)

Powerful Twitter strategy

After you hit submit be sure to click on all to see all Tweets with your keyword of phrase in it.

Powerful Twitter strategy


Here’s a couple of examples of how you can use this.

I already talked about how Victoria realtor Scott Garman used Twitter when he moved to a new city and was looking for clients.

He created a list of words people might using when buying or selling a home. A couple of words were:

  • realtor
  • house for sale
  • home
  • moving
  • house value

I also chatted with our newest clients The Wonderdogs a few weeks back on ways they could use Twitter.

Let’s say they wanted find people who needed dog training in Victoria. They could search for terms like:

  • dog barking
  • dog misbehaving
  • dog trouble
  • dog command

If they wanted to look for potential clients who need doggy day care in Victoria, they could search for terms like:

  • doggy day care
  • dog kennel
  • pet hotel
  • dog care
  • dog boarding

Ben Kersen is also a international dog trainer. With this he could leave the “Places” form empty to search globally for these terms:

  • dog trainer
  • train dogs
  • learn to train dogs

The ROI of Social Media

Everyone who owns a business wants to know the ROI of social media. If you can afford 30 minutes a week or 5 minutes at the end of each day searching Twitter for the keywords people might mention when looking for your business, I’m sure you will see improved social media marketing results within 2 months.

Let me know if you have done this before and what type of results you have seen.