Frequently Asked Questions

Social Media

News and articles discussing social media and the top social networks today, as they relate to small businesses and organizations.

Twitter

The hashtag is a tool to link your statement to other similar tweets. As a business, it's a good idea to use hashtags to link new tweets with old tweets on the same topic, like #SocialMedia. Hashtag words are automatically linked as a keyword search in Twitter.

If you already used the phrase in your tweet, it's generally considered bad form to repeat the phrase with a hashtag. You could, however, add a hashtag in front of the phrase within your tweet. Hashtags do not have to always appear at the end.

If you have something to say on a trending topic, be sure to include the hashtag. However, avoid commenting simply because it's a trending topic.

Finally, don't hesitate to include hashtags on some of your other social platforms since savvy users may paste the tag into Twitter and look up your old tweets. #TwiiterTip

Twitter

The hashtag is a tool to link your statement to other similar tweets. As a business, it's a good idea to use hashtags to link new tweets with old tweets on the same topic, like #SocialMedia. Hashtag words are automatically linked as a keyword search in Twitter.

If you already used the phrase in your tweet, it's generally considered bad form to repeat the phrase with a hashtag. You could, however, add a hashtag in front of the phrase within your tweet. Hashtags do not have to always appear at the end.

If you have something to say on a trending topic, be sure to include the hashtag. However, avoid commenting simply because it's a trending topic.

Finally, don't hesitate to include hashtags on some of your other social platforms since savvy users may paste the tag into Twitter and look up your old tweets. #TwiiterTip

Social Media

We all have questions about Social Media. We'll try to answer some of them here. We'll also break out some of the questions for the more popular social networks.

Facebook

If you have a Facebook Page for your small business, here are some ideas on content you can post:

  1. Company news and announcements
  2. New services
  3. Pictures of work / clients
  4. Pictures of the business / staff
  5. Helpful Tips
  6. Answer questions
  7. Ask questions
  8. Links to articles of interest to your fans
  9. Links to your blog/article posts
  10. Compliments to your clients/fans or partners

Google+

"I have a Google+ Business Page but I cannot follow other users. Why not?"

Google allowed businesses to begin creating Google+ Pages. Google+ users are able to circle your business page, but you cannot circle other users until they've circled you first. Once a user has circled your business, you're free to circle them and follow their posts if you wish.

LinkedIn

The current maximum is 50. For some of you, you may also be wondering why you should join any groups at all? In a nutshell, LinkedIn groups are discussion forums where members can pose questions, talk about themselves or current events, or post links to articles they've written or found interesting. This is where LinkedIn can become particularly powerful and valuable to a good Content Marketing campaign. If you're a member of 45-50 groups where the groups are relevant to your business and industry, and post a link to an article that you've published on your website that is potentially interesting to the members of those groups, you'll receive comments on the group link, visits to your site, and comments on your post. Your mileage will vary depending on the group and the article you've posted, but if you give this technique a try, I'm sure you'll find it to be valuable.

There are other benefits and uses for LinkedIn Groups which we'll cover in seperate FAQs and articles.

Twitter

If you read a tweet in someone else's Twitter stream and like what that person says, you can retweet it (abbreviated as RT) and share it on your own Twitter stream. To do so, simply add RT and the original poster's Twitter username within your tweet (for example, "RT @susangunelius" would indicate you're retweeting, or republishing, something that I already published on my Twitter stream).

The retweet tag is an unofficial way to provide attribution to the original publisher.

Sometimes it's necessary to provide a link to a specific tweet. The most common scenario is when you would like someone else to retweet your tweet, so you want to send them to that specific Twitter post.

  1. Log into your Twitter account.
  2. Locate the Tweet you want to share, either in your timeline or in your list of previous teets.
  3. Look for the timestamp (i.e. 1 hour ago) and click it.
  4. Your tweet will open in a new window with a unique URL that you can copy and paste as needed.

Now you can direct people to any specific tweet that you want.

The answer, of course, is that it depends. Here are some considerations:

  • Post Twitter updates regularly enough so that your followers see that you're active and engaging.
  • Do not post so often that you might be considered spam.
  • You can tweet the same post if you want to, but avoid doing it over and over again in rapid succession. It's better to space it out and also rephrase if you can.
  • Try not to be sporadic in your posts. Be consistent in the number of tweets and space them out throughout the day.
  • Definitely do not "shotgun" tweets and post a bunch of posts all at once.
  • It can help to use a tool like HootSuite to create posts in advance and schedule them to be sent throughout the day/week. You can import posts via spreadsheet and use that to ensure that you're posting regularly and staying on topic.

The hashtag is a tool to link your statement to other similar tweets. As a business, it's a good idea to use hashtags to link new tweets with old tweets on the same topic, like #SocialMedia. Hashtag words are automatically linked as a keyword search in Twitter.

If you already used the phrase in your tweet, it's generally considered bad form to repeat the phrase with a hashtag. You could, however, add a hashtag in front of the phrase within your tweet. Hashtags do not have to always appear at the end.

If you have something to say on a trending topic, be sure to include the hashtag. However, avoid commenting simply because it's a trending topic.

Finally, don't hesitate to include hashtags on some of your other social platforms since savvy users may paste the tag into Twitter and look up your old tweets. #TwiiterTip

Every business is different, so your target audience, and their networks, may vary. That said, it seems like most blog posts should have Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+ links as of today.

You can use buttons, but widgets that allow your visitor to Like, Tweet or +1 with a single click are generally preferred.

I also recommend having a more general widget like the Add To Any button below which comes packed with many social networks and sharing services, so that if your reader is active on Bebo or MySpace or some other second-tier social network, they have an easy option to share your content there too.

Facebook

If you have a Facebook Page for your small business, here are some ideas on content you can post:

  1. Company news and announcements
  2. New services
  3. Pictures of work / clients
  4. Pictures of the business / staff
  5. Helpful Tips
  6. Answer questions
  7. Ask questions
  8. Links to articles of interest to your fans
  9. Links to your blog/article posts
  10. Compliments to your clients/fans or partners

Google+

"I have a Google+ Business Page but I cannot follow other users. Why not?"

Google allowed businesses to begin creating Google+ Pages. Google+ users are able to circle your business page, but you cannot circle other users until they've circled you first. Once a user has circled your business, you're free to circle them and follow their posts if you wish.

LinkedIn

The current maximum is 50. For some of you, you may also be wondering why you should join any groups at all? In a nutshell, LinkedIn groups are discussion forums where members can pose questions, talk about themselves or current events, or post links to articles they've written or found interesting. This is where LinkedIn can become particularly powerful and valuable to a good Content Marketing campaign. If you're a member of 45-50 groups where the groups are relevant to your business and industry, and post a link to an article that you've published on your website that is potentially interesting to the members of those groups, you'll receive comments on the group link, visits to your site, and comments on your post. Your mileage will vary depending on the group and the article you've posted, but if you give this technique a try, I'm sure you'll find it to be valuable.

There are other benefits and uses for LinkedIn Groups which we'll cover in seperate FAQs and articles.

Twitter

If you read a tweet in someone else's Twitter stream and like what that person says, you can retweet it (abbreviated as RT) and share it on your own Twitter stream. To do so, simply add RT and the original poster's Twitter username within your tweet (for example, "RT @susangunelius" would indicate you're retweeting, or republishing, something that I already published on my Twitter stream).

The retweet tag is an unofficial way to provide attribution to the original publisher.

Sometimes it's necessary to provide a link to a specific tweet. The most common scenario is when you would like someone else to retweet your tweet, so you want to send them to that specific Twitter post.

  1. Log into your Twitter account.
  2. Locate the Tweet you want to share, either in your timeline or in your list of previous teets.
  3. Look for the timestamp (i.e. 1 hour ago) and click it.
  4. Your tweet will open in a new window with a unique URL that you can copy and paste as needed.

Now you can direct people to any specific tweet that you want.

The answer, of course, is that it depends. Here are some considerations:

  • Post Twitter updates regularly enough so that your followers see that you're active and engaging.
  • Do not post so often that you might be considered spam.
  • You can tweet the same post if you want to, but avoid doing it over and over again in rapid succession. It's better to space it out and also rephrase if you can.
  • Try not to be sporadic in your posts. Be consistent in the number of tweets and space them out throughout the day.
  • Definitely do not "shotgun" tweets and post a bunch of posts all at once.
  • It can help to use a tool like HootSuite to create posts in advance and schedule them to be sent throughout the day/week. You can import posts via spreadsheet and use that to ensure that you're posting regularly and staying on topic.

The hashtag is a tool to link your statement to other similar tweets. As a business, it's a good idea to use hashtags to link new tweets with old tweets on the same topic, like #SocialMedia. Hashtag words are automatically linked as a keyword search in Twitter.

If you already used the phrase in your tweet, it's generally considered bad form to repeat the phrase with a hashtag. You could, however, add a hashtag in front of the phrase within your tweet. Hashtags do not have to always appear at the end.

If you have something to say on a trending topic, be sure to include the hashtag. However, avoid commenting simply because it's a trending topic.

Finally, don't hesitate to include hashtags on some of your other social platforms since savvy users may paste the tag into Twitter and look up your old tweets. #TwiiterTip

Blogging

Questions and Answers regarding Blogging as a content marketing tool for businesses.

Images help convey ideas in your blog posts.When training small business owners and in social media or blogging seminars, I always give them the rule that EVERY blog post MUST include one or more images. If I am building a website for a client, I actually include a field for the blog posts primary image and make it mandatory. There are actually several reasons why:

  1. Images allow your readers to connect to your content visually, and sometimes an image can communicate even more than your text. The phrase "a picture is worth 1000 words" is as true today as it ever was.
  2. When sharing content to social networks like Facebook and Google+, the image is included in the post and will help attract attention.
  3. Images provide an additional opportunity for great SEO through the use of naming conventions, ALT and TITLE tags.

Images also provide additional interest for your posts. Instead of a long block of text, images can and should be inserted to help break up content and keep your readers engaged.

There are a variety of third-party blogging websites like Tumblr, Wordpress or Blogger that individuals and businesses can use for their blog. They're free to use and come with many great plug-ins, so why shouldn't a business use them?

First, the point of any business blog should be to communicate to clients and potential customers and bring them to your professional website to review your products and services and take an action of some kind. Each of your new blog entries should use one or more of your targeted keywords so that when search engines like Google index the post, your ranking for those keywords improves. If the blog is physically hosted on a completely different site, then the improved ranking does nothing for your main website.

An additional concern is the fact that with your blog posts residing on a separate platform, you may not have complete control over them. The top platforms like Wordpress will allow you to export your entries so that if you choose to integrate your blog into your main website later on, you can save your posts. However, not all platforms offer this feature and you may end up having to sacrifice those old posts or manually transfer them to your new website.

Instead, businesses should build their new website on a fully-functional Content Management System like Drupal and have their blog integrated into their professional business website from the beginning.

Certainly, the more often you can post new blog entries, the better. However, more important considerations are quality and consistency. Your new content should be interesting and well thought out. Your blog should also have a fairly regular schedule, whether it's once a month or twice a week or daily. Write entries ahead of time and schedule publishing so that you stay on track.

SEO

Questions and Answers regarding basic SEO concepts and techniques.

Title Tags are seen in HTML code as <H1> or <H2> through <H6>. The tag preceeds a snippet of text and then must be followed by a corresponding closing tag, </H2>. The style of each heading tag is controlled using your site's CSS file, but typically the higher the number, the smaller font will be used for that heading, so a heading of <H1> should be significantly larger than a <H6>.

H1 Heading

H2 Heading

H3 Heading

H4 Heading

H5 Heading
H6 Heading

These tags are used to signify headings within text, like section titles. An example is:

Heading Tags Are Section Headings and Good for SEO

Heading Tags are good for SEO because search engines like Google understand that if you are using text as a section heading, it must be important. If you can therefore insert one or more keywords into your heading text, that keyword will be seen as prominent.

Heading Tags Are Good for Usability

Heading Tags are also good for your users and readers, as they are used as a tool to break up text into meaningful, logical sections.

The title of every page should be displayed using the <H1> tag near the top of the page. Subsequent sections should use smaller headings.

Meta Tags are snippets of code and text that appear in the header of your website. They are designed to provide search engines with information about your website and business. The most common Meta Tags include "Keywords" and "Description" but there are many more.

Not all website design companies or search engine optimization firms recommend the use of Meta Tags. Some feel that Meta Tags are no longer used much by search engines (which is true), and some feel that providing Meta Tags can give your competition a glimpse into your marketing strategy (also true). However, we believe that using Meta Tags has a greater overall benefit to you and your business and encourage their use.

Marketing

Questions and Answers regarding general marketing concepts and principles.

St. Louis Social Media and Internet ConsultingOur website and the articles and information it contains apply to any business and organization in the United States, and other countries as well depending on the nature of the business and services.

We are able to a great many consulting services to U.S.-based businesses. Ongoing consulting and maintenance can be done remotely.

Our workshops and seminars are typically provided in the Greater St. Louis Area, as are our face-to-face business consulting and strategy sessions. Onsite consulting and training for businesses not in St. Louis or St. Charles are also available, plus travel expenses.

Google Analytics is the enterprise-class web analytics solution that gives you rich insights into your website traffic and marketing effectiveness. Powerful, flexible and easy-to-use features let you see and analyze your traffic data. With Google Analytics, you're more prepared to write better-targeted ads, strengthen your marketing initiatives and create higher converting websites.

Google Analytics is completely free to use, and integration into your new website is included in your package.

To sign up, please visit the Google Analytics website athttp://www.google.com/analytics/. You will be asked to set up an account (if you don't already have one), then you'll proceed to set up a profile for your new website. You'll need to know the domain name for your new site so if you haven't yet settled on and purchased a domain, come back to this step later.

Once you've set up a profile for your new site, Google will present you with  code to embed into your new site. All we actually need is the unique UA number that Google has assigned to your domain. Once we have that, we will activate and set up the Google Analytics module within your site and from that moment on, you'll be able to log into your Google Analytics account to view your traffic reports.

Technology

Questions and Answers regarding general technology concerns and issues.

1. Add email account on iPhone.

If this is the first account you are setting up on this iPhone, tap Mail and then select Other.

If you already have another email account set up, go to the home screen and navigate to Settings, Mail, Accounts, Add Account then Other.

2. Enter account information.

Select POP and then add the following information:

Name: The user’s Display Name.
Address: The user’s email address.
Description: How you want to identify the specific email account. For example: "work email".

Incoming Mail Server

Host Name: Enter your Incoming Mail Server. You can use mail.yourdomainname.com.
Username: The user's username in the format user+yourdomainname.com
Password: The user's mailbox password.

Outgoing Mail Server

Host Name: host.stadiastudio.com
Username: The user's username
Password: The user's mailbox password.

NOTE: The iPhone will attempt to detect port settings.

Incoming Settings

Use SSL: OFF
Authentication:
 Password
Server Port:
 110

Outgoing Settings

Use SSL: ON
Authentication: Password
Server Port: 485

3. Complete the setup process.

Click SAVE and wait for the iPhone to test your incoming and outgoing mail settings and connect to your mailbox.

First, you must have a POP3 email account that has already been created for you. If you do not have a valid username and password, please go to your Control Panel and create an account, or ask for assistance.

Your email address will be in the format yourname@yourdomain.--- (.com or whatever your domain extension is).

Your username will then be yourname+yourdomain.---.

Your password is case-sensitive.

Incoming Mail Server: mail.yourdomain.---

Outgoing Mail Server: (SSL) host.stadiastudio.com (server requires authentication) port 465

 

To set up Outlook, follow these steps:

  1. Go to Tools and click on Email Accounts
  2. Select 'Add a new email account' and click Next.
  3. Select 'POP3' and click Next.
  4. Under User Information
    1. Type in your full name
    2. Type in your email address
  5. Under Logon Information
    1. Type in your user name (remember the +)
    2. Type in your password
    3. Check 'Remember password'
  6. Under Server Information
    1. Type in the incoming mail server for your domain
    2. Type in host.stadiastudio.com as your outgoing mail server
  7. Click on More Settings
  8. Within the General tab
    1. Type in a name for the account (can be anything)
    2. Type in your business or organization name
    3. Type in your email address for the Reply E-mail
  9. Within the Outgoing Server tab
    1. Check "My outgoing server (SMTP) requires authentication
    2. Select "Use same settings as my incoming mail server
  10. Within the Connection tab
    1. Select "Connect using my local area network (LAN)" unless using a dial-up internet connection
  11. Within the Advanced tab
    1. Incoming server (POP3) should be set to 110
    2. Outgoing server (SMTP) should be set to 465
    3. Check that the outgoing server requires an encrypted connection (SSL)
    4. Set Server Timeouts to 1 minute.
    5. Do not check to leave a copy of messages on the server unless you intend to use Webmail to occassionaly check for mail. Be sure to set a time limit then, or else you risk allowing email messages to build up on the server and use up your quota.
  12. Click on OK
  13. Click on Test Account Settings
    1. If everything checks out OK, proceed to step 14.
    2. If there are failures in any step, go back to Step 5 and double-check that all settings have been entered exactly.
  14. Click on Next
  15. Click on Finish

You are now ready to send and receive messages from your new Email account! We strongly recommend that you create a professional-looking signature for your account so that every message you send will have your company and contact information.

You can set up multiple email accounts. When sending a message, there will be a button in your toolbar where can choose to send the message from an account other than your default email.