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Costly Mistakes That Sabotage A Business’s Local Search Presence (And How To Fix Them)

More customers are actively searching for small businesses online than ever before. Google processes over 3.5 billion search queries per day, over half of which take place on mobile devices. That’s a lot of on-the-go mobile shoppers looking for nearby stores. But that traffic is worthless to businesses that fail to optimize their local search.

Social Media for Small Business OwnersImproving your business’ online visibility and placement in search results is one key to attracting more local shoppers to both your website and your small business location. That said, local competition can be fierce. Small businesses that want to connect with local consumers online can’t afford to make marketing mistakes that place them at a disadvantage.

Although there’s no perfect formula for dominating local search, there are certain mistakes that you must stop making to keep from sabotaging your own visibility. Today, we’ll examine the most common mistakes and what can be done to remedy them.

Writing Content For Search Engines, Not Local Customers

Done right, content marketing can be a powerful tool for local businesses. Publishing consistent content allows you to tell your brand story and educate consumers about products, news, and trends, all while establishing your small business as an industry leader.

Quality blog posts also help search engines learn more about your company, which can lead to increased credibility and higher rankings in search results. To be specific, Google loves E-A-T content — content enriched by the author’s expertise, authority, and trustworthiness. Local small businesses need to take it a step further and realize content is most effective when it has a bit of local flavor. A local perspective can infuse blog content with personality, make it more relevant to readers, and help the business build a stronger connection with local customers.

Sacrificing Backlink And Citation Quality For Quantity

Gone are the days when those scoring the most backlinks are guaranteed to come out on top. Backlinks are the number of other websites that have a link in them pointing to your small business website.  Sure, having lots of citations and backlinks pointing to the business’ website can still be great for SEO, but only if the sources are authoritative and credible.

Businesses that invest in high-quality link-building and submit listings to respectable local directories will see a boost in their online visibility. However, search engines do notice when a site receives most of its traffic from untrustworthy sources, which can result in lower search rankings.  Luce Media has a very cost-effective program to get your business on the top 50 online directories.  To check what your online visibility looks like, click here.

Instead of trying to get as many backlinks as possible, focus on earning high-quality citations from reputable sources. The citations themselves should offer up-to-date information, and the business’s name, address and phone number (NAP data) must be consistent across the web.

Here are a few suggestions for improving your web presence through backlinks and citations:

  • Submit small business listings to high-quality local directories
  • Contribute guest posts to authoritative websites
  • Sponsor a local charity event or Little League team
  • Include the website in social media bios for the business

Just remember: Quality is more important than quantity.

The online visibility of any small business is essential for getting found by consumers in this digital age and, if there is bad data, duplicate listings or no listing at all, then small businesses are losing customers. Luce Media has the tools and the technology to make sure your small business is highly visible online.  Online visibility is not a “one and done” process. A small business’s local presence must be monitored, maintained, and adapted based on algorithm changes on a consistent basis.  Contact us here at Luce Media to find out how we can help you improve your SEO and be found more often in Google searches. Luce Media helps companies in McKinney, Allen, Plano and Frisco with social media marketing.

Written by Bernadette Coleman and originally appeared in Advice Local’s blog.

Social Media for Small Business Owners

5 Ways Small Businesses Can Improve Their Social Media Presence

If you are like most small business owners, undoubtedly you have a very busy schedule.  There always seems to be a never-ending list of things to do that will help provide success for your company.  One of the many items on the list is probably or should be, to spend time and attention to your small businesses’ social media presence.  In today’s fast-paced world, social media is of utmost importance to the success of small businesses.  Today’s Social Channels are Sales Channels.

Social Media Marketing sign

There are several things that you can do to improve your presence in the social media outlets that you have chosen for your small business.  Below are a few ideas you should review to ensure your business is maximizing what it already has in the social space

  1.    Choose your Social Media Outlets Carefully, Depending on your Audience.

When you are running your own small business, you don’t have a lot of spare time; however, it is important to make some time to attend to your company’s marketing efforts and that often means your social media platforms.  The trick is to choose which platforms you use very carefully.  Research suggests that the majority of people who enjoy social media use Facebook.  Others enjoy Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, and the like.  It can be overwhelming to try to post on every social media site, and statistically, it probably does not make sense for you to do so.  Therefore, choose 2-3 networks that you believe will reach your loyal customers effectively, and devote time and attention to your social media presence on those platforms.

  1. Decide Your Small Businesses’ Plan and Goals Prior to Posting.

     Put some serious thought into what you would like to highlight in your social media posts.  It may be wise to write up a long-term plan for a monthly, quarterly, or yearly calendar.  People receive plenty of “junk mail” through emails or on social media sites, so it is a good idea to avoid posting “fluff” items that don’t really have a lot of meaning or purpose.  Choose topics that your customers will find useful in their daily lives.  Also, choose topics that you are very familiar with and ones that you are passionate about.  Stay true and honest to your small business in your social media posts, and aim for posting snippets of value for your customers. This is incredibly important so I will say it again – bring VALUE to your audience and then start building a relationship with them.  They will greatly appreciate it, and in turn, will continue to follow your posts regularly.

  1. Commit to Staying-on-Top of your Social Media Posts.

Social media provides a two-way street between a small business and its’ customers; therefore, you need to commit to staying current with your posts and reply to customers, as needed.  It is important to respond to any unanswered questions, as well as thanking your customers for positive comments.  Conversing with people online should be done in the same way you do it in person. Be genuine.  This shows that your company is interested in their customer’s opinions, as well as setting a good example for other clients who may be watching.

  1. Keep your Posts Consistent and Clear.

     You may decide to choose one staff member or a team of members that have the responsibility of operating your social media platforms.  By appointing one person or small group of people this task, your posts have a better chance of remaining clear and consistent on a regular basis.  Even though you may have multiple people that can contribute to social media ideas or posts, it is a good idea to have one person act as the “poster”, the editor, the monitor, and the responder, should the need to respond arise.  Choosing social media posts can be very challenging and stimulating, so it’s a positive thing to have ideas from several different sources.  Several people can provide input in all of these areas, but by using one responsible person for the final social media product, it will be simpler to have the same “voice” throughout multiple posts.

  1. Post on Social Media on a Regular Basis

It is a wise idea to post on your social media platforms on a very regular basis.  You can either achieve this by creating a calendar and following through with that designated schedule, or you can use one of the many sources available that will automatically post things for you.  There are software programs available that can be used to post snippets automatically, once you create all of the settings.  You might also decide to outsource the project of providing a social media presence for your small business.

Lucé Media is a company that offers full-service social media marketing and a project-based approach.

Summary

If you own a small business, then having a social media presence is vital to the success of your company in today’s society.  People are so interconnected via social media platforms these days, that, as a small business owner, you should really be a part of this connection.  Social media sites are not just for promoting your small business, but they also provide a place for you to give valuable information to your audience and share the knowledge and expertise that you have acquired over the years.  Use this outlet wisely, and chances are that social media will not just benefit your small business, but will prove beneficial to everyone who sees your posts.

There are a couple areas that will give you free information on how you are currently performing in digital and social media marketing.  One tool allows you to see how visible your company is online, in searches and on multiple platforms.  Click here to add your business and zip code and get your free report.  The second free service is a topline review of your current social media efforts.  To get that review, click here and schedule an appointment.

Title image: What Happens in an Internet Minute

What Happens In An Internet Minute

Did you know that every 60 seconds on the Internet around 700,000 hours of videos are being watched and more than 400 hours of videos get uploaded to YouTube? How about 46,740 photos are posted on Instagram every minute. During the same measure of time, an average of 69,444 hours of video was watched on Netflix.

Just a month ago, it was revealed that Facebook has more than two billion active monthly users. That means that in any given month, more than 25% of Earth’s population logs in to their Facebook account at least once.

This kind of scale is almost impossible to grasp.

The scale of the internet is so great that it doesn’t make sense to look at the information on a monthly basis, or even to use daily figures.

Instead, let’s drill down to just what happens in just one internet minute:

what happens in just one internet minute

If you’ve ever had a post on Facebook or Instagram fizzle out, it’s safe to say that the above proliferation of content in our social feeds is part of the cause.

In a social media universe where there are no barriers to entry and almost infinite amounts of competition, the content game has tilted to become a “winner take all” scenario. Since people don’t have the time to look at the 452,200 tweets sent every minute, they naturally gravitate to the things that already have social proof.

People look to the people, brands, and businesses they trust to see what’s already being talking about, which is why influencers are more important than ever to marketers.

In the end, the key is to understand what types of content work to break through the clutter.  Understanding when your audience is online and open to receiving your content matters as well.  And making sure you are posting content that is truly engaging will all bust this huge flood of content.

At Lucé Media we know how to create the type of content that will breakthrough.  Our long history of studying digital media and creating companies to measure effectiveness allow us to open new doors for your growing business. More locally-owned businesses are turning towards the internet to market their wares and services.  Click here to get a free digital marketing analysis.

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Reflections of a Corporate Woman: Becoming an Entrepreneur

EntrepreneurAs a sophomore in college I needed to find a job that was relatively close to campus, allowed me to work full time, and paid enough so I could cover rent, car insurance and living expenses. At 19 years old I had no idea that job would turn into a corporate career lasting more than 20 years. During my career I had incredible professional and personal opportunities, but I also became an expert at operating within the confines of corporate life. I unintentionally built a lifestyle centered around navigating corporate bureaucracy with a reliance on what I perceived as a secure financial path.

Ever since I was a little girl I had this feeling in my gut that I was going to do work that made an impact. I have always been driven to succeed and to be my own person. So how did I end up spending most of my adult life (up to this point) in an environment with very specific “rules” for success? Did going down this path mean I no longer had the ability to truly be who I had always intended to be? And was it all bad that I had chosen to grow my professional career in large organizations? Almost one year in as an entrepreneur I have had some “aha” moments and I have come to some conclusions that might be surprising.

Making the Leap

A few years ago, if someone had suggested I leave my role as a senior leader in HR at an incredibly successful global company to run my own company, I would have laughed out loud. Why would I walk away from a good salary, bonus, and stock to take the risk of starting a company. I would have also expressed uncertainty that I have what it takes to build a company, doubting I had the skill set or the creativity. For me that was probably the most challenging barrier, being able to see myself as uniquely positioned to lead and help others. It was the downside of truly believing I was part of a team, part of something bigger than myself, and operating collaboratively at the expense of my own identity.

Many people I worked with during my career would likely say that I am outspoken, confident and authentic. But what looks bold and different in an environment that emphasizes governance, compliance and the unwritten rules for career advancement, can be an effort to keep intact some pieces of identity and not totally lose sight of the leader I had always hoped to be.

So last summer when a good friend made that suggestion that I go out on my own, I had a moment of complete terror. Then I started thinking, why not? Contemplating building something that reflected my ideas and values, I realized that for too long I had allowed myself to be constrained by my own doubts and fears. I paused and reflected on the direction I want to take my career and realized that taking risk, making a bold move, and creating something that was really an authentic reflection of me was exactly what I wanted to do.

Can a Corporate Woman really become an entrepreneur?

It would be easy to assume that by choosing the big company path for so many years, the one that provided me a fairly clear career progression and steady pay, I would not be well suited for this role as the owner of a startup business. But in fact it is just the opposite, all those years have positioned me well and here are a few reasons why:

o I know exactly the type of work environment I want to be part of and I want to help others create. This was formed through some really great experiences and by some that left me feeling disconnected and in a constant state of stress. With this clarity it feels quite natural to build a company based on authenticity and collaboration, and to help others do the same.

o After more than 15 years of my career dedicated to Human Resources I have come to some conclusions. First, HR is a dirty word and leading with that closes doors. Second, my drive to invest in people and to fundamentally transform the employee experience is as strong as ever. Third, because I am so committed to the employee experience it is my obligation to shatter the perception of HR. And finally, I want to run a business that reflects my personal belief that human resources leaders must demonstrate strong business acumen, provide a strategic perspective, and at times be fearless in their communication with executives.

o Being a HR leader in a large company afforded me unparalleled access to business strategies and results, making the connection between employee experience and customer experience crystal clear. Leveraging this knowledge and perspective to influence the people strategies of small and mid-size companies has become my passion.

o Vulnerability is essential. This was a hard lesson for me, as I tend to be a perfectionist and at times careful about taking action. I was raised in a conservative environment and that sense of being cautious, not offending others, and taking a more measured approach is my natural tendency. It was through my corporate experiences, specifically my involvement with inclusion work, that I had an epiphany about the value of vulnerability. I have carried that through as a consultant and entrepreneur, committed to being genuine and inviting productive conflict. I believe this is what leads to connection and true change.

o I have invested 15+ years of my career in human resources, with roles that have developed my breadth and depth of knowledge. This includes experience in talent development, labor relations, talent acquisition, strategic planning, and global leadership. I have come to appreciate that and realize I am uniquely positioned to teach, influence, and lead change.

o In a large company it is easy to form a false sense of security. For many years I was “head down” completely focused on my work, confident that the formula was hard work, performance, then promotion. And while there is value in this belief it doesn’t allow for the complexities of business and it doesn’t acknowledge the politics that are inherently part of complex organizations. As I have witnessed many well-respected colleagues be negatively impacted by reorganizations and business challenges, I have become more honest about the role each of us must play in creating our own outcomes.

The defining corporate experience that led me to this place

Looking back over my career I have come to realize there was a defining role that prepared me for the future entrepreneur I would become. It wasn’t the most senior position of my career and it wasn’t the largest team I managed. It was however the opportunity to be part of creating a new global division within a much larger company.

This experience allowed me to be uncomfortable every day, to jump into a business that I was previously unfamiliar with, and to engage employees and leaders whose life experiences and perspectives were radically than mine. Being completely honest, the first couple of months were really tough. I felt a sense of being overwhelmed and not quite getting it right on a daily basis. As I continued forward with the work I came to appreciate that I was building something new and there was no script to follow. I got to create that script, which sometimes I got right and other times not so much. But by trusting myself to take the chance, by connecting across the total organization to create partnerships and solve problems, I realized that I had the ability to be resourceful and collaborative and truly make a difference.

So what does the future look like?

These days I embrace the fact that I can’t predict it, and I realize now that I never could. But what I do know is my passion to make a true impact by influencing companies to provide a meaningful employee experience and to enable strategic organizational development, drive me forward as an entrepreneur. I am energized by doing work that provides leaders, in business of all types and sizes, to have the opportunity to lead authentically and to intentionally connect employee experience with customer experience (and ultimately company performance). And I am confident that I can handle whatever challenges I am faced with, because I am inspired by the adventure of making a difference in my own way.

Andrea Cooper is a human resources executive with more than 20 years of retail experience, most recently serving as the head of human resources & talent acquisition for Shopbop (an Amazon.com company).

She previously held multiple senior leadership roles with Walmart Stores Inc., including: head of human resources and talent acquisition for the Health and Wellness division, director of organizational development for the global procurement division, and serving as senior director of global diversity and inclusion.

Andrea operates strategically and influences organizational change, introducing employee-centric strategies that align with business success. As an experienced global leader Andrea has worked in 15 countries, leading teams and providing guidance to executives around the world. She has designed and implemented programs and solutions aimed at improving business outcomes and increasing employee engagement, recognizing that one size does not fit all. She consistently delivers meaningful employee experiences and makes a business impact through effective organizational analysis and talent planning. She has achieved strong results with a proven ability to diagnose organizational opportunities, create strategic plans, deploy the right resources and drive for results. Andrea is one of the key team members at Luce’ Media

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Welcome to Luce’ Media – Social Media Strategy and Metrics

Welcome to Lucé Media.  We are glad you stopped by.

Lucé Media is a collective of some of the best digital, social, video and innovation talent around.  I hope you had a chance to read about our group on the Our Team page.  Our company, Lucé Media is created to be a digital innovation consultancy designed to help business owners realize the true potential of this digital age. If you need a helping hand from experts in the world of digital innovation, our goal is to exceed all your expectations with our exceptional solutions for today’s digital world.

Our Luce Media - Digital Agency & Social Media Marketing McKinney, Frisco, Plano, Dallasunique and forward-thinking company strives to venture into the unknown. We don’t tread the same ground as other companies in the digital world, and that’s why our business solutions can completely reinvent companies such as yours. Our experience is unparalleled and our level of customer dedication and satisfaction is what really sets us apart as the gold standard in providing the best services.

The team we have constructed can help in many different areas.  Perhaps you have a special project that need a high level of digital expertise -whether that is in developing content, building software or as we have done before – taking the idea you have and building it from an initial visualization to launching it.  We have the talent to build all the elements in between.  So, a big part of what we do is analyze your touch points, evolve your brands and take advantage of “big idea” thinking.

We support our clients with digital strategy and innovation driven by data, web design, digital marketing, social media branding and video production…all guided by an overarching strategy.  We use an integrated and flexible approach, utilizing the diverse skill sets across our team, and we dedicate ourselves to constantly improving results. Thanks to our focused approach we design digital experiences that meet the demands of your clients and customers.

Please call us or shoot us an email.  We are happy to talk your opportunity and how to make it huge success.