Which Social Media Platform is Right for My Business?

Choosing the best social media platforms for your business can ultimately mean the difference between failure and success, especially if you have a very targeted audience and demographic you want to reach in mind. Selecting the most prominent social networks for your brand ensures you are able to optimize each post, update, and social media marketing campaign you launch.

 

Facebook

facebook, social media

Facebook is currently the largest social media platform available, with billions of registered users worldwide. Connecting with fans and potential customers on Facebook is possible by launching a page for your brand in addition to creating new Facebook advertising campaigns to run across the network.

Using Facebook is ideal if you prefer in-depth analytic and data from each marketing campaign you launch. Facebook allows you to run campaigns targeted to specific genders, income levels, and even interests or hobbies relevant to your business and brand using keywords and phrases of your choice. When you want to launch robust social media marketing campaigns, Facebook is an optimal social network to get started.

 

Twitter

twitter, social media

Twitter is another way to gain exposure while promoting links and boosting your website’s overall SEO, or search engine optimization. Twitter users enjoy getting involved in personal threads, witty comebacks, and snarky gossip, which is why Twitter is a network that is ideal for brands targeting younger audiences and audiences more entrenched in the realm of technology and social justice today.

 

Instagram

instagram

Instagram is a leading social media platform that is highly recommended for brands who have media-heavy updates and content to share with followers and prospective customers. Using Instagram is a great way to showcase advertisements, promotions, and updates to followers with the use of vivid and attractive imagery, graphics, typography, and photography. For businesses and brands that utilize design in advertisements as a part of their branding, using Instagram is a must. Instagram is also useful for remaining current with the latest trends in various industries with the use of hashtags, phrases, and other keywords that are currently trending on the platform itself.

 

Snapchat

snapchat, social media

According to Elevated, “Snapchat didn’t fade away and disappear. In fact, the opposite happened. More and more people started using it and now it’s getting so big that it could soon be battling Instagram and Facebook to be the most popular social network.” Using Snapchat is idyllic for brands that are interested in utilizing video media or simply want to reach an audience that is younger and more current with pop culture and today’s latest trends.

 

Pinterest

pinterest, social media

Using Pinterest is a way to connect with creative audiences and audiences who prefer customized and personalized items. With Pinterest, share tips, how-to’s, and various tutorials to keep your followers and loyal customers genuinely interested in what your business has to offer.

 

With the right social media platforms, maximize your brand’s online reach while appealing to the largest audience possible regardless of the market or industry you represent. Understanding the ins and outs of all social media networks today is a way to truly take advantage of each platform and what each one has to offer to businesses and brands.

5 Ways Design Impacts Publisher Sales

One of the critical lessons all creative professionals learn at some point early in their career is that sales have very little to do with creativity and far more to do with the expectations of their intended audience. Many of these expectations are either met or not met by the design work invested in a published product, whether it be a book, an educational paper or a periodical.

The centrality of that design work often becomes more, not less critical over time. As creative people learn what works and what doesn’t, specific patterns begin to emerge. Some are encouraging. Others aren’t. The reality is there isn’t much a publisher can do to change them since demand creates supply. This pattern issue is the primary reason Hollywood makes sequels and adaptations instead of original films. The market punishes originality and rewards the familiar.

This reward should be the first consideration for publishers seeking better sales.

Familiarity

The bottom line is prospective customers do judge books by their covers. Publishers who fight this characteristic of the market go out of business because the market can remain stubborn a lot longer than the average publisher can stay solvent. According to B Squared, “we exist to design and make printed goods that help people better communicate and conduct business, from the seasoned marketer who needs a large banner produced for their client’s big launch tomorrow, to the Wall Street banker who expects high-quality presentation posters…”

 

Publishers looking for “printing services near me” for example are going to want to see something that conveys what they expect from a printer. They’ll do what everyone does. If they see what they expect, they’ll buy. If not, they won’t.

Simplicity

The most effective designs are simple. The reason they should stay that way is that prospective customers use confusion as an excuse to move on. People must be able to understand what you are selling instantaneously. If your design can do that, you have a chance of making the sale. If, on the other hand, your plan is all over the map, customers will just move to the next thing.

Title

If you don’t think the title is the essential part of your design, just ask anyone who registered a domain name using a homonym. Welcome to which.com! Instant loss of everyone who types witch.com, and vice-versa. Titles are the foundation upon which your entire design depends. Get them wrong, and it doesn’t matter what happens afterward.

Font

Fancy fonts are a great way to create unreadable designs. If the title is your most important consideration, making it readable is number two. That swirly glittery calligraphic font might be whimsical and fun, but it’s going to burn your publication to ash in the marketplace. Get rid of it.

Color

White on whatever is the best contrast combination in our solar system. This contrast is correct because of the properties of light from our sun. White works, so use it. Don’t try to be creative with subtle shades of orange on brown or purple on blue. All that does is hurt your readers’ eyes and destroy sales. Make it white on red so it can be seen from the opposite side of a Walmart. Then you’ll see results.

All this might make it sound like design isn’t all that creative, and to a certain extent, that’s true. However, it should be noted designs benefit far more from what is taken away from them than what is added. Plan accordingly.

 

Small Business Secrets for Achieving First-Time Milestones

If you want to get more out of your small business, then you need to adapt new strategies. Many new businesses stay small because they get stale in their processes and fail to achieve major development milestones. By using new strategies and taking calculated risks in your processes, you can avoid pitfalls and get to your milestones faster. Don’t miss out on chances to get your big wins sooner. Use the secrets below to speed up your path to the finish line!

 Small Business Secrets for Achieving First-Time Milestones

Define Outcomes

If you don’t have a clearly defined outcome, you won’t ever reach it. You need to be more specific with your goals if you want to achieve them. Saying “we want to increase revenue” is too vague to energize your employees to perform. Take time to sit down and write out your goals. Then share them with your team so everyone is on the same page. Be sure you have time-specific outlines to help you stay on track.

 

Get More Attention

You can have the best company in the world, but you need positive attention for it to survive. If customers don’t know you exist, they will never pay you a dime. Focus on the top end of your funnel. The bigger the pipeline of business you have, the more customers you can close and the faster you will grow. Check out online advertising strategies you may not be utilizing. This could be social media, SEO tactics, or online ads. Connect in spaces where you’ll find the most customers interested in your product or brand.

 

Build List

Getting to 10,000 subscribers is a big milestone for many companies. However, if you are going to reach that goal, you need to have a strategy. First, you should have an opt-in email box on all your website pages. Second, be sure to actually send out regular promotions when you get people on your list. If they come to like your messages or coupons, they will tell their friends and help grow your company faster. Use monthly newsletters to keep subscribers informed on your business and new products.

 

Stepping Up Transportation

The kind of vehicles you use can have a big effect on how customers see you. Rent cars for business trips and picking up clients that portray the image you’re going for. After all, appearance is everything in business. If you use delivery services, be sure you have a fleet or use a transportation service with great quality and track records.

 

Stay Social

If you aren’t using social, get on it! Social media is free most of the time, and lets you scale to the whole world. No matter what you’re trying to accomplish, you can get there faster with more exposure and hype.

 

When it comes to running a small business, it is necessary to outperform your competition in a few key areas you specialize in. That way, you can stand out from the crowd. Pick a few of the tips above and put them into use as it pertains to your business. That way you can gain loyal fans for life and grow your company faster than before.

Important News from Wiregrass Advertising!

Over the past 11 years, we have worked to offer you the best in marketing, hosting, and website design.  In January, we are continuing our services under a new name: Ignite Creative Marketing Agency.

Please be advised that there will be no change that affects you negatively. By the name change, we hope to expand the company as well as keep up the good reputation we have built. We will continue providing the same services as well as offering new cloud-based and hands-on marketing services.

For any inquiries, feel free to contact us at (334) 513-8705 or at ask@ignitehere.com.

I want to personally thank you for being our client and let you know how much I value your business.  I wish you a wonder-filled Christmas season and an amazing new year!

Sincerely,
Christian Helvin
Wiregrass Advertising (soon to be) Ignite Creative Marketing Agency
www.ignitehere.com

Domains and the Power of .com

In a world full of domains and .whatevers :), .com is still the most powerful and standard domain extension you can get.  It has grown over to the years to greater than 110 million registered domains!

Take the next step in growing your business. Join the millions of businesses that have found success on a .com.

.com means business. .com is the standard for doing business online. Give your business the recognition that comes along with a .com to help connect with new customers and partners.

.com means credibility. Your name says a lot about your business so why associate it with a less credible domain? Customers know .com, and that’s why every Fortune 500 company and the world’s 100 fastest-growing companies have a .com. Align yourself with the domain more businesses rely on to grow online.

.com means confidence. Every business can benefit from an online identity customers know and trust. Thanks to over 15 years of reliability, security and availability, .com enables you and your customers to confidently connect online.

Get started registering yoru domain today!

Vine: Your 6 Seconds in the Spotlight?

Vine.co Social NetworkIn today’s world of social media, there are so many ways to connect with your audience.  Everything from Facebook and Google+ to Intragram and Flickr, choosing the best ones for your business can be difficult.

I’m going to review yet another social network: Vine. Owned by Twitter, Vine uses the same concept as the popular microblogging service: six second videos.  Being always short and to the point, this could be one reason this network has gained so much attention.  Let’s cover some the features that could make this a must for your business.

First, let us cover the fact – that yes! – every video is 6 seconds long, no more, no less!  This should not inhibit your creativity but instead blossom many ideas to fit your brand and message within that period.

The next item to keep in mind is your business on Vine might not promote to the right audience for your niche. Contrary to many of the most popular social networks, Vine is less of a complete social network in its traditional form and more of a mobile app.  As of now, unless you embed specific videos on your website, you are not able to view a single video or interact with other users on their website: only when using their app on your mobile device.

If your products or services speak to this type of audience, then get started!  Make videos to promote your new product lines, show customers little hints or ticks or announce your company news. The options, though might seem few with only six seconds, are pretty much endless. Below are some examples of what we found to be good advertising to help spark your imagination.

So if you believe Vine can help your business grow, sign up today to get started.  Here at Wiregrass Advertising, we are here to serve your business with any social media marketing need you have.  Feel free to contact us anytime.


BangSlush! – The Revolutionary Way to Clean Your Water Heater

We are very pleased to present our new website, BangSlush! We worked closely with a remarkable gentleman who invented a product to absolutely save you money while promoting your family’s health!

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The BangSlush! Invention

Did you know that within a couple years time, your water heater’s bottom element will be surrounded by slushy deposits? Instead of heating nice, clean water in the tank, it begins to heat up those deposits!

With the BangSlush! Hot Water Heater Cleaning Apparatus, you can simply and easily clean the muck, slush and mineral buildup out of your water heater, extending the life of both the heater as well as the heating elements.

In addition to his amazing cleaning product, he also innovated a common water heater product: the element socket. Usually element sockets allow you to unscrew the heating element, however they provide no stability or support to remove it from the actual tank. The BangSlush! Element Socket not only unscrews the device and provides stability to remove the element, but also attaches to any regular drill for easy removal!

Originally coming to us for a simple marketing consultation, we had the pleasure of working with the complete branding, video shoot/design and website design.

For more information and to purchase yours today, please visit www.BangSlush.com

The Moving Truck

I recently rented a moving truck and car dolly from Budget Truck Rental; needed to move some stuff cross country quickly but wanted to spend as little as possible. Budget Truck stomped the competition by about $500 so I was pretty stoked.

Excitement quickly waned when I went to pick up the truck and discovered that the car dolly was in another city, about thirty miles away. The rental agent knew it was there, he had confirmed it by phone earlier in the day, but that was where his customer service ended. If I still wanted it I could drive the 60 miles round trip to get it. On the way to the next town I also discovered that the air conditioning did not work. I discussed the situation with the Budget Truck folks in their national call center only to be told that they “understood my concerns” but if I would keep the truck since another was not available they would make a considerable compensation at the end of my trip. That should have been a warning- they refused to say what the compensation would be.

Forced against the clock I opted to continue with Budget Truck. To make a long story short, two days later I arrived at my destination with second degree sunburn from having to leave the windows rolled down due to stifling heat and one instance of the truck breaking down enroute. After returning the truck I made the dutiful call to Budget truck to see what my “significant compensation” would be. Amazing! They were willing to drop a $1200 bill down by $25. Yes, $25 for sending me 60 miles out of my way and suffering in pain for two weeks as sun-caused blisters slowly healed.

I am always looking for a good deal; priding myself on being price-conscious. But over the years I’ve come to realize that good deals are not always good in the end. I’ve listened to hundreds of clients explain to me the woes of past “budget” website designers. How the designers failed to keep their promises, gave a song and a dance that drew them in only to send them on an unfulfilling distant journey that left them bitter and hurt.

I started Wiregrass Advertising with the mindset that I would be honest with people- fair and upright. I would design every website as if I was designing it for my own business and was dependent on that website for my livelihood (which in fact, I was). I knew the only way to become successful in my business was to make my clients successful, so I sat down with everyone of them and gave heart-felt advice, even when it was not asked for. Many of my clients took my advice and saw their businesses grow. Others scoffed or ignored and many of these folks are out of business now.

I’m not saying that I am perfect, or that I have not made mistakes. But when it comes to my business and my web design clients, I feel they deserve more than the “Budget Truck” business model. They are coming to me for a website that works, and that’s exactly what I intend to give them.

Website Malware and Where to Begin

Malware… the big, the bad and the ugly. It is never fun to deal with. In our experience, a small piece of malware on your computer can affect your entire website if you have your website’s passwords or FTP information saved to your computer.

Now choosing to not save your information on your computer and inputting your website’s credentials from memory or paper each time can be an impossible task, especially if you have a number of websites to work with.

Content management systems have helped to cut down on the amount of ability for a malicious script (malware) to insert its code into the site. However if a cms is not kept updated to protect from threats and intrusions, it can become a nightmare for you to clean both your filesystem and database.

Don’t let this scare you out of maintaining your website and going offline altogether! There are tools to help. We recommend having a preventative maintenance plan.

  1. Scan your computer regularily with your antivirus program. If you don’t have one, get one. We personally use Microsoft Security Essentials, but there are quite a few out there to choose from. The biggest tip for all of these programs is to keep them updated. Many malware scripts come out each day and these updates help to protect you from them.
  2. When you see that something strange on your computer, you can search a bit deeper by using a comprehensive scanner, such as Malwarebytes.

If you want to promote your security to your online customers and visitors, you can go a bit further and add on website scanning services, such as SiteLock. We do not always recommend going this far, but feel free to contact us and we will be happy to help you with it!

I know malware can be a scary compromise to your computer, but with a good plan, you can say protected. On our websites and servers, we work hard to keep your websites protected as well. If you ever have any ideas or concerns, please feel free to contact us anytime.

 

Merry Christmas!

As I’m writing this newsletter, I am about 30,000 feet in the air traveling out west for a family Christmas. This has given me quality time to reflect upon this great year and the many good lessons learned. Our company has enjoyed it’s eighth year in serving you, and we are excited about some things coming this new year to you. We’ll cover those in a bit. First, I want to wish you Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

When Tim Alexander first envisioned and began what is Wiregrass Advertising, he began it with a heart for excellent customer service and professional marketing strategies that enable your website to work successfully. When I resumed his role in January of this year, I quickly found how big his shoes really were to fill. I have truly learned much and have enjoyed this growing experience. I want to thank you for hanging in there with us and allowing us to continue to serve you.

We are excited about some things coming to you this next year. We have worked on many server upgrades and enhancements to allow your websites not only to stay up and running, but also enabling them to work faster!

Also, this past year we launched a new project entitled Low Cost Easy Websites. You can now receive a professionally designed website built onto a cloud based platform making it easy for you to make changes and add items, all for a very low price. Our next newsletter will further focus on the features and aspects of this project as we officially roll it out. In the meantime, check out www.lowcosteasywebsites.com.

We also have been working really hard on a new webmail program that is much easier to use and is both mobile and tablet compatible.

Even though the economy may not be at its peak, we are still here for you in the long run. I have never been more excited about the opportunities we have been working on and also the ones in the works.

I know that my career completely comes from you. For that, I want to thank you for being part of the Wiregrass Advertising family! Anytime you have questions or just want to chat, feel free to contact us or come by if you’re in the area.

Sincerely Yours for Success,
Christian P. Helvin
Wiregrass Advertising, Inc.
“Websites That Work!”