Check out the newest website creation from DivergingSoul – www.MealPlanningMoms.com. The Meal Planning Moms, Jennifer Kahn and Ira Lapsley, share weekly menus and recipes on their blog. They including step by step directions, pictures, and a weekly grocery list for everything you need to recreate their healthy and delicious meals. For this project, we brought the Meal Planning Mom’s old blog site over to our own hosting. We also completely renovated the site using the WordPress content management system to be more visually appealing, easier to navigate, and user-friendly. Keep up with Jennifer and Ira’s menu creations each week at www.MealPlanningMoms.com.
Big brands may have the big budgets to spend on big advertising campaigns, but according to SocialMouths‘ Francisco Rosales, small businesses have the advantage when it comes to social media. Through social media, small businesses can interact on a personal level with customers, forming trust and loyalty. Rosales offers 5 reasons small businesses can take home the social media gold:
Strategy. Or not? Small businesses have a much smaller checklist than big brands when it comes to social marketing. To get started, your small business needs the necessary product and industry knowledge, social network sensibility, and a set of goals (both daily and long term). “Having a set of goals in place and knowing what you are aiming to achieve with your daily activities is enough for an entrepreneur to dive in and adjust as needed.” In contrast, in order for big brands to succeed they need heavy documentation defining brand representation, language, tone, crisis management, employee involvement and outsourcing, among other items.
Being Human No matter how hard they try, it is nearly impossible for big brands to form true engagement with customers. Indeed, small businesses have it much easier. In a small business, an individual can become the voice of the company – building trust, solving problems, offering advice, and personally interacting with its customers. This voice may even be the company President, while big brand CEOs remain distant.
Satisfaction Small businesses are able to ensure customer satisfaction and provide good customer service quicker, more personally, and more efficiently over social networks than big businesses. It is often difficult to get in touch with big brands, and communication with them over social networks can get drowned out and often all together ignored.
Management A smaller social media management team allows for small businesses to handle issues with honesty and ensure satisfaction more efficiently than a big business, who will often instead take a damage control approach.
ROI While big brands have big, messy numbers to sort through and calculate to measure their ROI, small businesses can take a much simpler approach. They can measure their cost on time spent, rather than money spent on media. They can also measure their success on social networks through directly asking sources how they came across the business, or through the number of personal connections formed.
Big brands may win out in the all-around, but when it comes to social media, they can’t stick their landing. With a few goals, a focus on customer satisfaction, and a personal touch, small businesses are favored to take home the social media gold.
Infographic from Social Mouths – Small Business in Social Media
Google Maps may not be able to map out the Internet, but Russian programmer Ruslan Ekineev has done it for us. Ekineev has mapped out the world’s Internet connections as they appeared at the end of 2011 in what he titled, well, “The Internet Map.” “The Internet Map” is a collection of circles, or planets, of different sizes and colors, resembling a galaxy. It plots 350,000 websites from 196 countries. Each circle represents a website, and the size of each circle is determined by website traffic. The colors of the circles pertain to their country of origin. For example, China is yellow, Russian is red, Japan is purple, and the United States is teal. The circles are then arranged relative to how often users switch between the sites. You will notice that sites with the same country origin and similar content will be clustered closer together on the map. Ekineev has also added a search bar to his map for easy finding of your favorite sites. Check it out and see where your favorite sites map out in the galaxy that’s not so far, far away.
Feeling overwhelmed with trying to keep up with all of those social networks, all of the time? Not sure if you should hold conversations with your clients on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+? Well, a recent infographic from the business consultant network Zintro will help you sort out which social platform you and your business should be using, and when, to get the most of of your social media campaign.
Here’s a quick look into the top social networks:
- Facebook is best for interacting on a more personal level with contacts
- Twitter is best for short, to-the-point updates; monitoring conversations about your brand and finding potential customers.
- LinkedIn is best for showing off your professional accomplishments and linking to others.
- Google+ is best for starting conversations and adding specific people to it.
Dave and Brian Gravel were recently honored to be invited by North Shore Community College to speak to students participating in their Early College High School Initiative. The summer program, which is comprised of first generation college bound students from Lynn Classical High School, focuses its curriculum on technology and college success.
On wednesday, Dave (President/CEO of GraVoc) and Brian (co-founder of DivergingSoul) visited the program to speak about the business and creative applications of technology. They talked to the students about GraVoc and DivergingSoul, the path they took to get there, and the uses of technology within their businesses. They also offered words of advice and lessons learned to help these future college students reach their goals. Dave and Brian would like to thank the Early College High School Program for the opportunity to educate and make a difference.
This past weekend, members of the GraVoc family were proud to participate in the Janice McCarthy Memorial Golf Tournament. GraVoc Vice-president Cathy Gravel helped to organize the event, while President/CEO Dave Gravel, Steve Rizzo, and DSoul’s Brian Gravel and Matt Molk teamed up on the course. The tournament was part of a series of fundraising events organized as a tribute to the memory of Janice “Janny” McCarthy, a GraVoc friend who passed away in March. We would like to thank all those involved in the golf tournament for such a great day.
For more information on Janice, and the events held in her memory, visit ‘Remember Janny’ at www.RememberJanny.org.
Only a few years ago, there existed a world without Google, Facebook, Wikipedia, and of course, smart phones. Today, that world seems ancient. Try to imagine it- What would you be doing right now instead of reading this? How would you get life’s toughest questions answered without Siri? Where would you be without your GPS, literally?
According to this infographic from Online Education, our information wouldn’t come from a simple question to Siri or Google, but a $1,200 Encyclopedia Britannica set. Of course, the internet has brought us much more than information, entertainment and convenience – it has given us jobs. The internet creates 2.6 jobs for every one it makes obsolete, and Facebook alone has created 450,000 jobs in the US. DivergingSoul certainly wouldn’t be here without it. So here’s to you, Internet – we can’t imagine life without you!
Consumers continue to flock to their computers, rather than the mall to make their purchases. Why? Because the internet gives the people what they want – a simple shopping experience that allows for easy searching for those who know what they want, and organized browsing for those web window shoppers. And as an extra bonus, it saves on gas. While this mass push to ecommerce could unfortunately be detrimental for some businesses, for many others it presents a great opportunity to expand. Expanding your business to the internet can reach a greater customer span, and ultimately greater profit. In fact, American online retail sales are expected to rise to $224.2 billion this year. However, like all things digital, ecommerce is constantly changing and updating. In their “Evolution of Ecommerce Series,” Litle & Co. shared “5 Hot Ecommerce Trends to Watch” to help you adapt your online shop to these changing times. Here are some of the latest trends:
- Unusual or Commoditized Products – Offer products that are difficult to find anywhere else, competing on individuality rather than price. “Far more important is establishing a brand and reputation for quality that will, in turn, drive demand.”
Selling commoditized items is typically more difficult online, as consumers feel more comfortable buying them from major retailers. However, affiliating yourself with these major retailers offers a way around this, and can bring you success.
- The “Mom and Pop” Effect – While they are dwindling in the real world, “Mom and Pop” stores are still alive and well in the digital world. In fact, they can have an advantage with their personalization and customer loyalty. Some companies, such as SumAll are working with these “moms and pops” to provide them with analytics and tools to compete with the larger retailers online.
- Remarketing – With so much retail competition online, static marketing just isn’t going to cut it anymore. You may want to think about a new marketing strategy – remarketing. Remarketing uses ”multiple touches to generate continued interest in the product.” This strategy can be used to basically “follow” potential customers around the web. When a potential customer leaves your page without making a purchase, your ads can then appear on other sites that person views. Although it may sound creepy, it is advantageous as it can be the one thing that entices that customer back to your site to make a purchase.
- Mobile – Due to their convenience and portability, ”mobile devices are fast becoming the preferred method of accessing the web.” Therefore, it is important to optimize your site for mobile access, or create a mobile app. Mobile optimization will allow people to access your site and make purchases at any time, anywhere.
DivergingSoul is proud to announce we recently launched an online shop for the local sports apparel store, Old Time Sports. Old Time Sports is “about unparalleled craftsmanship, attention to details and a design niché that celebrates the heritage and tradition of hockey“. They are located in Salisbury, with a new retail location at the North Shore Mall in Peabody. Their online shop allows for easy searching and categorization by team, item and price. Check it out here, and stock up on some team pride!
There are over half a billion websites on the internet today (that’s a lot!), and that number is growing everyday. With a number that big, comes a lot of big competition for the attention of search engines. So, how do you step above the crowd and get those Google’s and Yahoo’s to notice you? With Search Engine Optimization, of course!
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of modifying a website to make the site and it’s content relevant for search engines and searchers, so that it can be easily found and placed high in the search engine rankings. Clearly, SEO is important to get your business out there on Google’s front lines and connect with prospective customers.
According to a recent infographic by BlueCaribu, people all over the world are realizing this and talking about it everyday. In fact, 3.5 people look up “SEO” on Google every second, adding up to 9.1 million each month! The top SEO search term people are looking for is “SEO services”.
If you’re searching for SEO services too, look no further. Here at DivergingSoul, we pride ourselves in being SEO pros. We will work with you to tailor your website so that search engines and prospective customers can find you.
Take a look at some other fun SEO facts from BlueCaribu:
You’ve heard us preach about how important it is to market your business online. Taking your marketing campaign to the World Wide Web has the potential to reach, well, world wide. However, there are many different approaches you can take to spread your business across the globe. So, what’s new in the world of online marketing? Content Marketing.
Content marketing, as defined by copyblogger.com, “means creating and sharing valuable free content to attract and convert prospects into customers, and customers into repeat buyers.” The content you create and share must be relevant to your business. This serves as a way to acquaint prospective customers with your business, and gain their trust. Your content can come in the form of blogs, video tutorials and email newsletters, among many others.
To be successful at content marketing, you need an engaged audience. The content marketing agency BlueGlass is letting you in on their secrets on how to build that dream audience, and keep them coming back. The “Secret Trifecta for Building an Engaged Audience” breaks it down into 3 key strategies:
- Build an audience with content
- Utilize social media
- Increase your subscriber account
Check out the guide below, or read more at Mashable.com.