How to promote your business during the holiday season 2015?

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Promote your business online 2015October is one month of the year where promoting certain products becomes more important than at any other time of the year. There are special sales days and of course the winter holiday season. If you have followed our series “Promoting your business online” you may have found some useful tips and tricks. If you may have misses an article let us provide you with an overview. In our series we have published the following article:

Promoting your business online: Website
Promoting your business online: Online Marketing
Promoting your business online: Website Structure
Promoting your business online: Online Advertisement
Promoting your business online: Social Media
Promoting your business online: SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
Promoting your business online: Blogging
Promoting your business online: Facebook
Promoting your business online: Twitter
Promoting your business online: LinkedIn
Promoting your business online: Social Media Advertisement

In the following weeks we would like to follow up our series with additional posts starting with “Social Media Management” followed by “Social Media Management Tools”

If you are located in Vancouver and like to learn more about promoting your business online, we offer our Online Advertisement Seminar again and would be happy to welcome you in our consultation location. More information about our seminars can be found via the event list link or simply by clicking here https://teccrab.wordpress.com/event-list/

But unfortunately the upcoming holiday season also attracts those how like to find ways to trick you into providing your money to them. Those who will try to steal your identity and credit card information. Just like last year we have also for this year planed to host some events regarding Internet Security. We offered last year two different seminars with overlapping topics and combined the two into one seminar we like to call Internet Safety Seminar. You can find the seminar details at our event list or by clicking this link: https://teccrab.wordpress.com/event-list/

To learn more about us please feel free to follow the links below.

http://teccrab.com – Web
http://blog.teccrab.com – Blog
http://twitter.com/teccrab – Twitter
http://facebook.com/teccrab – Facebook
http://plus.google.com/+teccrab – Google Plus
http://www.youtube.com/user/teccrab – YouTube

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Happy Canada Day 2015

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Canada Flag
We wish everyone an amazing time and hope you will enjoy your BBQ, Fireworks, Parade or whatever else you have planed to celebrate. Have a good time and Happy Canada Day.

Promoting your business online: Social Media Advertisement

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SocialMediaAdsAfter introducing you to some of the main Social Media Platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn we would like to talk about Adverting on Social Media. As you know from our previous article about Social Media in general, the strength of Social Media is the fact that you can build an audience and interact with them. If done right it will add a layer of transparency to your organization and can even help you to collect information before introducing a new product. But today we would like to talk about advertising on social media and to make it a bit easier we will concentrate on Facebook and LinkedIn for now, since both of them are very similar.

Why advertising on Social Media in the first place?
If you are using Facebook and LinkedIn you will have noticed that you are adding a lot of information about yourself to your profile. Almost all of those information can be used when you as advertiser want to target a specific audience. This is a huge advantage compare to other advertisement options such as Newspaper or TV for example.

What is the right platform for your business?
If you are following our series Promoting your business online you know that Facebook is certainly more consumer and fun oriented while LinkedIn is more serious business and networking. This can lead to the misconception that B2C oriented businesses should only advertise on Facebook while B2B oriented organizations should stick with LinkedIn, but this isn’t necessarily true. You should keep in mind that many business owners are probably also on Facebook and targeting them there might be useful to introduce your product to them.

You may have noticed that we haven’t included or even talked about Google Plus and YouTube. The reason is simple, both are Google Products and since they are somehow connected we will talk about Google Adwords, Google Adsense, Google Plus and YouTube in separate posts.

We now would like to give you some tips to create your first ad yourself. But before we get started we would like to remind you that you will be much more successful when you advertise not only on one platform. A combination of several advertisement options will always work in your favour.

Target Group
As mentioned before you have a lot of option to target the right audience. You can select a specific location, gender, age group and there are many more options. Picking the right target group is very important and you as business owner should know best who is your clientele. However, you should keep in mind narrowing down your target group to much won’t be beneficial either.

Example: If you are selling a product that usually 23 year olds are buying, do not just target the 23 year old, have a age range that is a bit more flexible such as between 20 and 25 for example.

Budget
The first thing you have to be aware of is that there is a high possibility that you won’t get any new customers in your first month. You may see an increase in traffic, but usually a campaign needs 3 month or sometimes even longer to get you to the point where your investment sees a return. We therefore recommend calculating with a 3 month budget and will explain further how to split it.

Example: If you wish to invest $1,000 per month, calculate with $3,000 for 3 month instead.

The first month
After you know your budget and target group it is now time to build your advertisement on the platform of your choice. As mentioned earlier be a bit flexible with your target group and regarding your budget take a small amount of it to get started. Keeping our example of an overall budget of $3,000 in mind you should now invest maybe $500 for the first month. This will allow you to collect data which you can use to optimize your ad.

Optimization and second month
With the data collected in the first month it is now time to make some changes. Maybe you have noticed that you gain more traffic from a specific location and almost none from another one. Remove target groups that don’t give you the traffic you have wished for and therefore give more money to the audience that will most likely click on your ad. It is now also a good idea to increase the budget a little bit for the second month of your advertisement campaign.

Third month
After increasing the budget a little and gaining even more information you will have a much better idea to get more clients and can now create an ad optimized to your target audience. The third month is where you should invest the rest of your budget and hopefully your hard work is now paying off. Traffic to your site should increase and your sales should go up.

We would like to mention that the “1 month/1 month/1 month” rule we described in our post usually works for a lot of products and services. However there are so many other options how you can divide your budget, which might be better for your goals. Asking an expert can save you money, especially if you have a larger budget. Many experts including ourselves offer free consultations and we can only encourage you to take advantage of those opportunities. We also host seminars and can even setup one just for your team. Of course we would be happy to take care of your entire online marketing needs, but can also understand if you wish to do it yourself, especially if you are just getting started.

To learn more about us please feel free to follow the links below.

http://teccrab.com – Web
http://blog.teccrab.com – Blog
http://twitter.com/teccrab – Twitter
http://facebook.com/teccrab – Facebook
http://plus.google.com/+teccrab – Google Plus
http://www.youtube.com/user/teccrab – YouTube

Promoting your business online: LinkedIn

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LinkedInThe more professional oriented Social Media Platform called LinkedIn is in our opinion a must have for business owners. LinkedIn allows you to build an online profile based on your professional background, your work experience, education, skills and more. Connect with colleagues, send and receive recommendation, endorse or get endorsed for your skills and start networking with other professionals. You can also create a company page, showcase projects and join groups or become a well known publisher with hopefully a lot of followers. Today in our series Promoting your business online we would like to give you some tips to get your profile started.

Profile Picture
This may sound obvious but you should have a professional looking profile picture. Make sure your face is visible and upload the image in a good quality. After you have uploaded your profile picture you can make some adjustments. Try to make sure that your face is always visible in each of the previews you will find in the adjustment window from LinkedIn.

Skills and Endorsement
You can currently add up to 50 skills to your profile. Try to pick those that describe you best. Start with your strongest skills and keep in mind that you can more later. Depending on your settings your connections will see your profile from time to time with the option to endorse you for those skills. Make sure you are returning the favour and endorse others for their skills.

Recommendations
If someone is writing a recommendation for you, you will always have the option to read the recommendation before publishing it on your profile. Even later you can decide to unpublished a recommendation given by a coworker or business partner. If you receive a recommendation you may want to return the favour. We think recommendations are the best way to show that a real person is behind that online profile.

Work Experience / Education
This can be a bit tricky to find the right way to describe what you do and did before. Should you mention your internship at organization XYZ, which you did 20 years ago? Should you add the position you held at that one company? If you have worked for a long time you may have worked in many different positions and organizations. At some point you may want to remove the positions less relevant to what you do now.

Projects
Very much the same as with the work experience. You may have worked on many different projects and listing all of them would take way to long. You may want to reduce them to a few that stand out and leave out the once less interesting. Their are other platforms available that are much better suited to showcase all of your projects.

Public Profile Settings
Make sure you check your public profile settings and enable only those fields you feel comfortable with showcasing publicly. There is a lot of customization possible. You can for example enable or disable your skills, current position, past positions and language skills to name a few.

Make sure you are presenting yourself always in a professional way on LinkedIn. Connect with new business partners or contacts you made at the last fair as soon as you can to build up your network. The basic account is currently free, but you can have additional features when upgrading and paying for the professional packages, which you may want to check for yourself. We hope this brief overview of LinkedIn was useful. As always if you have any questions feel free to contact us. Check out the links below to learn more about us:

http://teccrab.com – Web
http://blog.teccrab.com – Blog
http://twitter.com/teccrab – Twitter
http://facebook.com/teccrab – Facebook
http://plus.google.com/+teccrab – Google Plus
http://www.youtube.com/user/teccrab – YouTube

One Person’s E-Trash is Another Person’s Treasure

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ERA-LOGO-large-simpleElectronic waste is the fastest-growing segment in an already unsustainable waste stream. While it currently represents only 2% of the trash in landfills, it contributes 70% of overall toxic waste.

We know that we are all dependent on technology. When was the last time you went a day, even an hour, without checking your phone, email, or flicking on the TV?

We also know that hardware has an expiry date, or at least a perceived one. Think about all of the electronic equipment you have owned: what did you do with it when you upgraded?

Maybe you even still have it in a drawer somewhere—most people do. Only 20% of cell phones make it to a recycling facility, so where do the rest of them end up?

While we don’t have the answer, we do have a solution. The Electronic Recycling Association (ERA) specializes in taking unwanted electronics, fixing them up if we can and repurposing them for a surprisingly large secondary market. Much of what we recover is then provided to deserving local charities at no cost, allowing them to better allocate funding to program development as opposed to purchasing computers. We have convenient recycling depots across Canada where anyone can drop off their old cell phones, computers and other electronic items for free. We even have next-day pickup services for larger quantities or corporate donors.

What about data security? A reasonable concern; information security is one of the main reasons electronic equipment does not get recycled or reused. There are numerous solutions to this concern. When you provide equipment to the Electronic Recycling Association, you have the option to select a data destruction process to protect your intellectual property and sensitive information. This can be either data wiping through the use of industry leading data erasure software or physical data destruction using one of our AmeriShred harddrive shredders. We also provide a certificate of destruction that guarantees all data has been completely removed and/or destroyed and is now irretrievable.

You have options when it comes to disposing of your electronics. There are countless recyclers who offer electronic recycling services. Unfortunately, the majority of these organizations are mandated only to recycle electronics rather than consider the reuse potential, thereby eliminating the possibility of reuse by individuals and organizations unable to afford new items. The Electronic Recycling Association’s primary course of action is to evaluate every item we receive for remaining productive life. Once confirmed, items that can be reused are refurbished and prepared to be redeployed into the marketplace. In the event items do not exhibit any reuse potential, they are sent to one of our accredited recycling partners for final recycling.

Drop-in-CentreAn extra value-add is the ERA’s commitment to the community. Reusing computers means we have the ability to donate them to deserving organizations operating within our community. Since 2004 the ERA has donated thousands of computers and other electronics to people in need. This activity compels community goodwill and encourages the community at large to be more cognizant about the environmental impact of improperly disposed electronics. By giving the ERA your old equipment, you will be helping us support the community and protect the environment, all while freeing up space in your home or office.

The Electronic Recycling Association accepts nearly all electronics: old desktop and laptop computers, monitors and TVs, servers, cell phones, smart phones, printers and toner cartridges, cables and accessories, stereo equipment, mp3 and other handheld music devices. If you aren’t sure whether or not we accept an item please contact ERA for confirmation.

Our goal is to make it easy for people to get rid of their old computers and other unwanted items. Contact ERA today to arrange a convenient pick-up or drop-off at 1.877.9EWASTE (1.877.939.2783) or info@era.ca, or visit ERA’s website http://www.era.ca

Promoting your business online: Twitter

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TwitterTwitter can be a challenging social media platform, but also one of the most beneficial for your business. With only 140 characters per message, Twitter is certainly one of the fastest social media platforms. We experienced that many small business owners had difficulties getting into Twitter, just because of the character limitation. But with the right strategy Twitter can become a fantastic tool. Today we would like to post some of the first questions we get asked when we introduce Twitter to new clients.

Why using Twitter?
Twitter can be a very powerful tool when promoting your business, services, products or events. You can update your audience on Twitter more often than on other platforms and this can be a huge advantage. But be careful not to tweet to much or you will loose your audience faster than you were able to build one.

How often should you tweet?
It does of course depend on the nature of your business, your current situation and also a bit on the tweets you are sending out. General speaking you want to keep the updates relevant and shouldn’t tweet to many updates in a short period of time. You may find yourself in a situation where you will tweet more on one day than another, which is absolutely fine. If you are using Twitter to promote your business, services, products or your event try to schedule tweets so you can have them send out at different times. There are many tools available and we would be happy to assist you finding the right tools for you.

Who to follow?
When searching the internet for this question you will find some posts where you will get the advise that a good strategy to get more followers is to follow people back who started following you. But we think you should follow only those accounts that are relevant for you. After all your Twitter Newsfeed should be relevant to you. It is of course advisable to check out new followers once in a while to see if they have updates you like.

In our opinion it is more important to interact with your audience than trying to get more followers. Having an active community should be your goal. Providing updates relevant to your audience and to interact is what will help you grow a healthy follower base.

With our series Promoting your business online we try to give you an overview what you may want to check out. In future posts we also would like to get into more detail for certain subjects. You can contact us if you have questions and we will do our best to answer them.

If you like to learn more about us please feel free to follow the links below:

http://teccrab.com – Web
http://blog.teccrab.com – Blog
http://twitter.com/teccrab – Twitter
http://facebook.com/teccrab – Facebook
http://plus.google.com/+teccrab – Google Plus
http://www.youtube.com/user/teccrab – YouTube

Promoting your business online: Facebook

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FacebookIn one of our previous posts about Promoting your business online we talked about Social Media in general. Today we would like to take a closer look on Facebook and why you should consider having a Facebook Page even if you are a B2B focused business. Let us start with some basics first.

Profile vs Page vs Group
Many are suing Facebook without knowing that there are some differences depending on how you want to use Facebook. We often saw business owners starting with a Facebook Profile instead of a Page. We therefore would like to explain the differences real quick.

A Facebook Profile is basically the account you need in order to use Facebook. A profile is just you, not your organization, just you. Facebook Profiles have a different protection when it come to updates and your privacy in general. You also need to have a Profile to login to Facebook.

A Facebook Page is your organization. You can give rights to others so they can publish updates, create events and answer comments or messages for you in the name of your organization. A Page is the right way to promote your business on Facebook. Updates published on a Facebook Page can also be seen even if a user is not logged into Facebook.

A Facebook Group is a space you can create on Facebook where you can exchange ideas. You can create a closed Group and invite others to join or have an open one. You could use it to build workgroups to exchange ideas with others while working on a project.

Why using Facebook?
It is the biggest social media platform at the moment. Having a page on Facebook can be very beneficial. You can easily connect your Blog with Facebook so updates from your Blog get published there as soon as you publish them on your Blog. You can also build trust and ask customers for reviews which will encourage others to trust your service more easily when finding your business the first time.

Advertisement benefits
Beside building trust you can also use Facebook for something else. Online Advertisement. Since so many millions are sharing various details about themselves you can have a variety on filter in place to aim for the right target group. If used carefully you can even, to a certain degree, see who would be interested if you plan to introduce a new product to a certain market.

Even if your business is more B2B focused you still can find new customers on Facebook. It is very likely that some decision-maker are also having a Facebook profile and running an ad on Facebook might finds its way to the right person. But everything does of course depend on your entire marketing strategy. If you like to learn more how Facebook can fit into your online marketing strategy we offer free consultations where we analyze your current online situation and advise you accordantly. We also have seminars available and will of course continue publishing more articles on our Blog.

If you like to learn more about us please feel free to follow the links below:

http://teccrab.com – Web
http://blog.teccrab.com – Blog
http://twitter.com/teccrab – Twitter
http://facebook.com/teccrab – Facebook
http://plus.google.com/+teccrab – Google Plus
http://www.youtube.com/user/teccrab – YouTube