Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Being on Social Media Means Being ‘All In’

By: Kristen Paquet, Sr. Account Executive, Leonard & Finco Public Relations


Are you ‘all in’ when it comes to social media? If you want a true online presence, you better be. It’s not enough to just have a Facebook (or other social network) account anymore. You have to figure out ways to leverage the use of social media to not only grow your online community, but to turn that growth into new business, new connections, new sales.

Social media is no longer independent of your other marketing efforts like your website, advertising campaign or PR strategy. You need to start thinking how all of these communication ‘branches’ can be intertwined with each other for maximum reach.

Everything needs to be intentional. Perhaps your reasoning for having an online presence is to steer people to your website. Not only do you need to generate content that will entice people to click on a link, you need to be certain your site is mobile friendly, is easily searchable by search engines (SEO) and that any link you post takes a person to the exact page you intended. See what I mean? It’s not enough to post quality content – users want more.

Here are a few other ideas for taking things a bit further:

  • Add Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn icons to pages of your website to make it easier for visitors to share and like your information.
  • Start a blog and post regularly. Cross-promote on your social networks.
  • Be sure to include hashtags, add places and tag people in your posts (assuming you have permission).
  • A good reminder: include your social media contact information on your email signature, business cards and all promotional materials you hand out.

So by now you’re thinking: “Who has the time for all that?” Well, if you want results that go beyond how many likes or followers you have, then you’ll have to put the work in to get it. Just like an effective PR strategy or ad campaign, it takes time to build your message and audience. Social media is no different. Be patient, be consistent and put the work in and you’ll end up seeing the results you are seeking.  

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Are you ready for Mobile-geddon?

By: Scott Stein, VP of Client Relations, Leonard & Finco Public Relations

Mobile-geddon is the term being used to describe the latest changes being launched by Google. The changes favor websites that are “mobile-friendly” thanks to Google’s new search algorithm use to locate websites based on your search terms. Those websites that are smartphone ready with large text that’s easy to read, well-spaced links and mobile-friendly plug-ins will be ranked higher on your smartphone and tablet.

That’s good news for those businesses that have upgraded their website and are mobile-friendly. But it could be very harmful for those that aren’t. Overall, it’s reported that only 38 percent of businesses have mobile-friendly websites, while the figure drops to about one in five for small businesses (according to the National Small Business Administration’s 2013 technology survey).  

As more and more of us surf the web on our smartphones – now estimated to be 60 percent of all web traffic – this is a significant change. Google says “users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their handheld devices.”

For businesses that rely on the web to drive traffic and sales, Google is sending a strong message – be sure your website is mobile-friendly. If it’s not, it’s time for a redesign. Your Google rankings depend on it.
Does your business rely on the web to bring customers through your door? Does your website need an overhaul to be mobile-friendly?

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Generational Bias

By: Susan Finco, President, Leonard & Finco Public Relations
When you’re in the communications business, you need to reach people in ways that are most effective. That means you have to know your audience and use proven methods to reach them. However, we’ve seen a growing trend among all age groups we work with to only want to communicate in the ways they personally get their information. We’ve dubbed it generational media bias.

Now, I know this probably has you thinking, “Yah, those over 50 CEOs always want to go to the newspapers or local TV to distribute their news.” Sometimes that’s true. In the past, we used to hear that a lot; especially when social media wasn’t widely used. But what’s been surprising to us is that we are now seeing generational bias more frequently coming from younger professionals who believe the only way anyone is getting their news these days is via social media. If you’re not new and innovative, you’re old news. That way of thinking is as dangerous as hanging on to “old school” approaches that may no longer work for your audience.

The truth is, traditional, online and social media, plus other methods of communication, should all be considered when you’re trying to reach your target audience. The ultimate decision as to what you actually use should be tailored to how your target audience gets its information. It’s that simple.

If you don’t know, do your research. Ask your clients, customers and target audiences, conduct surveys or polls and review best practices in the industry. Remember, just because you get your information one way, or you think it’s the latest and best method of communication, it doesn’t mean your target audience thinks the same. As communicators, we all have to put generational biases aside if we want our messages to be heard.