The Web For Business.com Blog

Internet marketing observations, perspectives, tips and tricks for your education and enlightenment.


Engagement - without rings

Mark Kawabe - Monday, November 25, 2013

Social media iconsCustomer engagement is a lovely buzzword that marketers like to toss around. It sounds good, but what are we talking about when we refer to "engagement"? Is it something that can be measured or is it just a fluff term?

Right now, you are reading this blog post. You are interacting with content that I have provided online. At its base, this is engagement. The interaction with online content is the key. HOW visitors interact with your online content can also be measured (somewhat imprecisely), so it's not fluff.

Here are a few ways you can measure engagement on your website or social media platforms.

Amount of time spent on website and pages

Knowing how long people are spending on your site and on individual pages you can better understand how interested people are in your content. It's relatively easy to get people to visit your site. Keeping them there and getting them to take action is a challenge.

Subscriptions to newsletters or blogs

If you're not getting many subscriptions on either, your content may not be compelling enough for people to want to receive it regularly. If you're not providing content relevant to your visitor's needs, they won't see the value in subscribing. Consider putting out questions to your audience asking what topics they would like to see covered. Knowing what your audience wants will make it easier to tailor your content to them, increasing engagement.

Follows / Likes / Shares / Comments / Pins etc. on social media platforms

Getting visitors to "like" you on social media isn't all that hard. Keeping them as followers and getting them to share or comment on your content is more challenging. With every post, tweet etc., you have the opportunity to measure how engaging your content is. There are also degrees of engagement. On Facebook, for example, a "share" is more valuable than a "like", and a comment is more valuable than a share.

Contacts and sales opportunities

This is really the "ultimate" measure of engagement. If your website and/or social media campaigns are consistently creating contacts and generating sales opportunities, it's reasonable to assume that you are doing pretty well at customer engagement.

This is not an exhaustive list, but it's a good place to get started in understanding how to improve the overall engagement of your website and social media campaigns. Have a great time implementing on this chilly Monday!

It Is What It Is

Mark Kawabe - Tuesday, October 18, 2011

We've all heard this before.

I use it a lot when I need to accept things I can't personally change.

When it comes to me, I try NOT to use it.

After all, just because something is the way it is doesn't mean that it can/will/should stay that way forever. Especially when it comes to behaviours or attitudes that could use adjusting.

I think a lot of people have an "it is what it is" attitude about their websites and online presence. If they looked carefully, they'd find things that could be improved. No improvement takes place though, because "it is what it is" - it's "good enough" for now.

I remember hearing someone say that "good enough" is a synonym for "I have no reason to do better".

Do you have a reason to do better? Then "It is what it is" probably isn't good enough for you.

Your Enemy is You

Mark Kawabe - Thursday, September 02, 2010

This is related to my earlier blog post about how search engines don't owe you anything.

A client and I were discussing a local company that has managed to crowd out the first page of Google results for a variety of keywords and phrases. My client asked what could be done to compete with this company in Google. Two ideas came out of that question.

One: The "Problem" Might Not Be a Problem

When I did some checking into the popularity of the keyword phrases in question, it turns out there were very few searches registered in Google. In other words, the competition was dominant for phrases that few people used in their searches. Fighting to get a top ranking for an infrequently-used keyword phrase is probably not worth my client's effort.

Two: Doing Nothing Is Not an Option

I strongly encouraged my client to do something with his website. Small businesses don't have a ton of time to keep sites updated. Those who do can gain an advantage over time in two ways. First, the search engines will have more content to crawl so their sites will be more likely to show up for a variety of searches. Second, the HUMANS who come to their websites will be more likely to do business with them if the company has a helpful website - which requires content. Doing a little bit of SOMETHING consistently is better than consistently doing nothing.

Our worst enemies are ourselves. Doing the right things for ourselves takes effort. Just ask anyone who's tried to start and stick with a diet or exercise program. You can make a big difference with small efforts over time. Starting today, what will you do to make a difference in your business?

Copyright

Mark Kawabe - Monday, March 29, 2010

Here are a few words that ruined my day around a year ago:

" 'ABC Company' can find no reference to this image having been licensed for reproduction on your website. The usage above directly violates 'ABC Company's' and the artist's exclusive rights to reproduce, adapt, display, distribute, and/or create derivative works. Be advised that any entity that violates these exclusive rights of the copyright owner is an infringer of the copyright and is thus liable, regardless of prior knowledge of the unauthorized usage. Also note, the Copyright Act provides for individual liability for all those associated with the infringement as well as corporate liability."

There was more (courtesy of 'ABC Company's' lawyers) but on the "Claim Invoice", the amount of the claim made by 'ABC Company' on behalf of its client was $4020 + GST for unauthorized use of the image.

Let me help that sink in a bit more.

$4020 + GST for the unauthorized use of ONE image on a website.

Ouch.

In this case, the image in question was provided to me by a former client for use on their web advertising. However, after consulting with a lawyer specializing in copyright law, I learned that I was still responsible for the copyright infringement because I hadn't confirmed with my client that the image in question was free of copyright and further, not only did I not check, but I didn't have anything in writing from the client.

Fortunately for me, 'ABC Company' shifted their attention to the former client and that appears to have been the end of the story for me. I suspect hundreds if not thousands of people worldwide receive letters from 'ABC Company' and other rights management companies with claims of copyright infringement. For me, it was an important lesson to learn, so I thought I would share it with you.

Whenever you get new artwork, ensure with your graphic designer that the work is indeed free of copyright. Ask where the image came from and whether they have permission to use it. Image licences can be purchased for as low as a few dollars from many stock photography sites so there's really no reason you should ever get stung with a copyright infringement.

Just a word of warning from one who's been there. It's worth $10 or $20 now to avoid the stress that could befall you in future.