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THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Economic boosters poised to open Southland’s first high-tech business networking hub 4343
THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Economic boosters poised to open Southland’s first high-tech business networking hub 4343
Reggie Greenwood of the Supply Chain Innovation Center and Business Incubator at Governors State University shows off the logo for 4343 Ascending House in Matteson, a hub where small-business owners and other professionals may rent space, network and access technology.
Reggie Greenwood of the Supply Chain Innovation Center and Business Incubator at Governors State University shows off the logo for 4343 Ascending House in Matteson, a hub where small-business owners and other professionals may rent space, network and access technology. (Ted Slowik / Daily Southtown)

Small-business owners and other professionals in the south and southwest suburbs will soon have the chance to access shared office space, technology and networking opportunities.

The innovative hub at 4343 Ascending House will be the first of its kind in the area and give entrepreneurs access to new tools to grow their businesses, said Reggie Greenwood of the Supply Chain Innovation Center and Business Incubator at Governors State University.

“We don’t have anything like this,” Greenwood said during a tour of the 6,000-square-foot office space being renovated at 4343 Lincoln Highway in Matteson. “We want this to be a networking center for the region.”

For as little as $1,000 a year for a “hot desk,” members will be able to drop by and tap into Wi-Fi from an open, shared space. They will be able to print documents or host a Zoom video meeting from a conference room.

They could record a podcast or stream a Facebook Live video from a studio with professional lighting, audio and video equipment. Manufacturing companies will have access to a $25,000 3D printer that may be used to produce spare parts for equipment, Greenwood said,[Most read] Going to the Notre Dame vs. Wisconsin game at Soldier Field? Here’s what to know, including the schedule for ESPN’s ‘College GameDay’ and the new bag policy. »

For $2,000 per year, members can reserve a semiprivate cubicle. For a $3,000 annual fee, patrons can secure a private office. The rates are introductory and subject to change, Greenwood said.

Amazon, Comcast, Nicor, Mi-Jack, other sponsors and grants have covered costs of renovating the space.

“We’ve raised $500,000,” Greenwood said.

The facility’s numeric name was inspired by 1871, the nonprofit Chicago technology and entrepreneurship center that opened in 2012 on the 12th floor of the Merchandise Mart.

One could feel exasperated that it took nine years to bring a comparable facility to the often neglected south suburbs, or one could rejoice that such a valuable enterprise is finally here. The target opening date is Jan. 2, Greenwood said.

Reggie Greenwood of the Supply Chain Innovation Center and Business Incubator at Governors State University gives a tour of 4343 Ascending House in Matteson, where small-business owners and other professionals may rent space, network and access technology.
Reggie Greenwood of the Supply Chain Innovation Center and Business Incubator at Governors State University gives a tour of 4343 Ascending House in Matteson, where small-business owners and other professionals may rent space, network and access technology. (Ted Slowik / Daily Southtown)

Several various programs and entities that support small businesses will share the space and create opportunities for innovation and collaboration, Greenwood said.

“Having programs connected to a space makes them more real, I’ve found,” he said.

Greenwood also is executive director of the Chicago Southland Economic Development Corporation, an agency affiliated with the South Suburban Mayors and Managers Association.

The space at 4343 Ascending House will be used to host networking events, from morning seminars over coffee to afternoon classes on entrepreneurship to evening gatherings with wine and hors d’oeuvres, Greenwood said.

Shared spaces include a kitchen that can accommodate catered events. It is unclear what policies will determine the fate of food left in the office refrigerator or penalties for leaving the office microwave a mess.[Most read] Ask Amy: Generous father plans a blues cruise »

All kidding aside, 4343, as Greenwood calls the center, sounds like it will create exciting opportunities for entrepreneurs to share ideas and grow their businesses.

There also is an, “If you build it, they will come,” element to 4343, to borrow a line from the film “Field of Dreams.” There seems little doubt that there is sufficient demand to fill the six 30-square-foot cubicles and 10 office spaces that range from 100 to 190 square feet.

The Supply Chain Innovation Center and Business Incubator is conducting a pilot course on e-commerce strategies and training. Nineteen entrepreneurs from the south suburbs are enrolled, Greenwood said.

“They are all small companies and they are all doing such a great job in the class,” Greenwood said. “One of our ideas is to be inclusive, and I think all of them are minority women.”

The center’s emphasis is e-commerce, which involves logistics, online sales and other services.[Most read] ‘Foundation’ review: Apple TV+ takes a big swing adapting Isaac Asimov’s sci-fi book series »

“E-commerce is a methodology of creating new connections for your customers,” Greenwood said.

Reggie Greenwood stands outside a brick office building at 4343 Lincoln Highway in Matteson, where 4343 Ascending House will offer space for small-business owners and other professionals.
Reggie Greenwood stands outside a brick office building at 4343 Lincoln Highway in Matteson, where 4343 Ascending House will offer space for small-business owners and other professionals. (Ted Slowik / Daily Southtown)

Those opportunities might include a storefront retailer accessing new markets through internet sales or a restaurant attracting new customers by offering pickup or delivery services through an app.

The services at 4343 will help entrepreneurs implement and execute their ideas to expand their enterprises.

“As you use digital marketing more effectively, it requires a change in the entire supply chain,” Greenwood said. “E-commerce is a strategy for your company that involves the evolution of the supply chain.”

It helps that corporate sponsors include the behemoth online retailer Amazon, which is on the verge of opening huge new fulfillment centers in Matteson and Markham in addition to its facilities operating in University Park, Monee and elsewhere.[Most read] ‘This is such a grand facility.’ As historic Arlington Park crosses the finish line, horse racing workers wonder how they’ll fill the void »

Amazon’s newer facilities rely heavily on robotics to aid in packaging, sorting and distribution. The workforce of the future will include many employment opportunities for technicians to program and service robotics equipment.

That’s why 4343 also will be the new home of the Southworks Engineering and Robotics Competition. The Chicago Southland Economic Development Corporation created the annual event to give teams of high school students the chance to show off their chops in applying concepts learned through courses in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM.

Greenwood said he hopes to continue expanding services offered through 4343 once it opens early next year. He said he’d like to get a company to sponsor an electric vehicle charging station in the parking lot.

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In addition to the confirmed availability of a high-tech 3D printer, Greenwood said he would like to offer members opportunities to use blockchain technology to mine for Bitcoin.

“Blockchain’s application involves more than cryptocurrency. It’s part of the supply chain,” Greenwood said. “If you’re buying something, it’s provenance is important. Let’s say you’re buying organic coffee. You want to make sure your organic coffee came from an organic farm.”[Most read] Chicago aldermen question mayor’s plan to raise property taxes, rely on federal COVID-19 aid in new budget »

I did my best to grasp the many potential opportunities involved with 4343, but some of the technological concepts seemed over my head. I told Greenwood the introductory offers of $1,000, $2,000 or $3,000 a year for memberships sounded affordable.

The bargain prices are just one more reason now is good time to consider investing in the Southland, where costs are low and the potential for growth is high.

Ted Slowik is a columnist with the Daily Southtown.

THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Economic boosters poised to open Southland’s first high-tech business networking hub 4343

Four New Countries and Launch of Multi-Currency for WooCommerce Payments

Our native payment solution, WooCommerce Payments, is available in four more European countries! If you’re a merchant in Spain, France, Germany, or Italy, you can now benefit from a secure and fully integrated solution that supports new local payment methods.

In this latest iteration of WooCommerce Payments, we’ve also introduced Multi-Currency. You now have the power to accept payments in multiple currencies on your store – without the need for an extra extension!

Get started for free. No set up costs or monthly fees – just a small charge per transaction.

Increase your conversion rate

Did you know that the average cart abandonment rate is over 84% across all industries? There are a number of reasons why this happens, but a poor checkout experience is almost always a contributing factor.

With WooCommerce Payments, you can streamline the purchase process for shoppers by keeping them onsite the whole time – no redirecting to a third-party payment provider required. And with the option to save their card details on your store, future purchases are even faster.

For an even speedier checkout experience, why not offer Apple Pay® for a one-click checkout?

Go global with Multi-Currency

Dreaming of international expansion? Or maybe you want to give your existing international customers an easier way to shop? With Multi-Currency, you can choose from 135+ additional currencies to add to your store, enabling your customers to shop and browse in their preferred currency.

Now available straight out of the box – no additional extension required.

New local payment methods

Attract new customers by offering additional ways to pay. WooCommerce Payments comes with the popular European payment methods giropay and Sofort – giving you the ability to tap into new markets and offer more flexibility to your customers.

We’ll be adding more local solutions to WooCommerce Payments later in the year. Let us know what you’d like to see!

Manage everything within WooCommerce

Get access to the important transaction data you need, without having to log in to another system. As a fully integrated solution, WooCommerce Payments enables you to monitor charges, handle disputes, track deposits, and manage recurring revenue with WooCommerce Subscriptions, straight from your store’s dashboard.

Where would you like to see WooCommerce Payments next?

WooCommerce Payments is currently available in 10 countries – the U.S., U.K., Ireland, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Spain, France, Germany, and Italy.

We’re continuing to launch WooCommerce Payments in more countries this year. Keep an eye out for future announcements, and let us know if you’d like to see your country on the list.

Get WooCommerce Payments
Manufacturing Ecommerce Success Series –

With a new sense of urgency for entrepreneurs and manufacturers to create a strong digital presence, join us for a discussion on the necessary steps to implement a highly effective eCommerce strategy for your business. In particular, we tackle how custom manufacturers can join the exploding eCommerce market.
  • Receive an eCommerce Checklist for manufacturers
  • Capturing 1st page rankings on Google
  • Creating effective landing pages that convert into RFQ’s & sales
  • Targeting customers with Google Ads & Google Shopping
  • Taking advantage of online marketplaces including Amazon & Alibaba
  • Explore a step by step eCommerce success story with Falconer Electronics
About the Presenter:
Curt Anderson founded an eCommerce company in 1995 that was ranked 3X on the Internet Retailer Magazine Top 1000 eCommerce Companies. Since selling that company, Curt has served as an eCommerce consultant targeting manufacturers including spending 4 years at the New York Small Business Development Center (SBDC). Curt is the author of “Stop Being the Best Kept Secret” and founder of , an eCommerce resource guide for manufacturers.

September 15th 11:00am - 12:00pm EST

Malicious Bot Attacks Continue To Cost Retailers Big Bucks

Bot detection and mitigation firm Netacea on August 11 announced its research reveals that businesses are paying a high price because of the expanding use of malicious bot traffic deployed against them.

Automated bots operated by malicious actors are costing businesses an average of 3.6 percent of their annual revenue. For the 25 percent worst affected businesses, this equates to at least US$250 million every year.

A key warning sign for retail sector businesses shifting much of their customer-facing activities online since the pandemic is that mobile apps are under attack more than websites. Retailers have been online for quite some time now and have followed their customers to mobile channels.

These businesses may have a long history of dealing with bot attacks on their websites. But the expanded exposure through mobile apps makes them a more attractive attack vector.

Even more concerning is the time it takes to discover these attacks. On average, more than 14 weeks pass between a successful attack and its detection. This makes it difficult to limit the damage done to a business’s customer satisfaction, reputation, and bottom line.

Malicious Bot Attacks Continue To Cost Retailers Big Bucks

Research Methodology

Researchers surveyed 440 businesses across the travel, entertainment, e-commerce, financial services, and telecom sectors in the United States and the UK.

They found that every sector had a substantial bot problem, with two-thirds of businesses detecting website attacks.

Almost half (46 percent) of respondents reported mobile apps had been attacked. Nearly one-quarter (23 percent) — mostly in the financial services — said bots had attacked their application programming interface or APIs.

“Last year, a particularly tough one for legitimate businesses already operating with razor-thin margins thanks to an economic slump, was a bumper year for those who use bots to leech off of those businesses — especially from bad actors who looked to take advantage of a significant shift to online working and retail,” said Andy Still, Netacea’s CTO.

Ubiquitous Bots

Businesses are affected by all types of bots. The report — titled “The Bot Management Review: What are bots costing your business?” — revealed the prominence of one main type of malicious bot. Scalper bots automate the purchase of inventory such as game consoles and other limited availability goods. These bots work faster than is possible for any legitimate user.

Other mainstream attack bots include the account checker bot, which uses stolen usernames and passwords to take over accounts. Account checker bots take advantage of data breaches and leaked passwords to compromise customer accounts.

Also noteworthy are the sniper bot and the scraper bot.

The most common example of sniper bot utilization is last-second bidding on auction items on sites like eBay.

Scraper bots automate the collection of large volumes of data from web pages and apps, such as product descriptions, pricing, inventory levels, and other public-facing information. That data is then used by nefarious actors to undercut deals, divert visitors or steal clicks.

Big Impact on CX

Over 80 percent of businesses reported that customer satisfaction had been negatively affected by bot activity. In particular, scalper and sniper bots were behind much of this customer dissatisfaction.

Typical businesses are not equipped to fend off these growing bot attacks which are more than minor nuisances. Malicious bots are taking a big bite from retailers’ bottom lines.

Few business security budgets are dedicated to bot mitigation, though for larger firms it is a little higher, at up to 20 percent, according to Netacea.

“While there is a greater awareness of the threat than in previous years, only five percent of security budgets is being used to target the problem. Businesses need to realize that bots are not a mere nuisance, but a genuine security threat, especially when a business is already struggling because of other factors,” observed Still.

Netacea’s previous research around the Genesis Market, an underground marketplace for stolen credentials, shows how sophisticated the industry is becoming.

Those operating bots do so at a professional level, with consultants, help desks, and highly specialized infrastructure providers accessible through covert forums, making bots widely available, according to Still.

Retailers’ Plight

For retailers, the bot assaults let the bad guys rig the buying and selling game. Looking at just one online marketplace like Amazon shows how bot attacks can hurt sellers.

It looks like a retail arbitrage (RA) game on steroids. If RAs can quickly purchase items on Amazon Deals or deep coupon discounts, then they can resell them for a profit, according to Jason Boyce, CEO and founder of Avenue7Media.

“In my opinion, it is not a long-term branding strategy, so I would never recommend it to anyone. Amazon’s system is fairly sophisticated about identifying scrapers to its website, but at the end of the day, it is a difficult challenge for them to completely block this activity,” he told the E-Commerce Times.

After all, they need shoppers to be able to easily search their website and buy from it. Limiting access to bots could harm their sales. They have to walk the tightrope here, he added.

Losing the Fight

Bots have been a part of internet life since the days of IRC (internet relay chat) and have impacted everyone who uses the internet, observed Bruce Snell, vice president of security strategy and transformation at NTT. People love those challenges to click each picture that has a boat in it to log into a website, he quipped.

“You can thank bots for that. Most of the time, bots are just annoyances, grabbing all the good seats when concert tickets go on sale or buying out all of a new sneaker release,” he told The E-Commerce Times. “However, bots are also used for a malicious activity like trying to log in to banking sites using leaked user credentials found in a data breach.”

Snell’s personal email address was in a recent data breach. For the past couple of weeks, he has been getting five or six emails a day from Instagram with a link to reset his password because a bot is trying to log in as him.

“Multifactor authentication can go a long way towards keeping bots from successfully compromising someone’s account, but at the end of the day, most bots look like regular traffic and can be difficult to identify by standard security tools,” he said.

Unfortunately, he does not see an end in sight because ultimately bots end up being a numbers game. A cybercriminal can use a bot to try logging into 500 different sites with stolen credentials. While many sites have fraud and spam detection measures in place, there are enough out there without protection that it makes a low-effort tool like a bot worthwhile to the bad guys, he explained.

MEP National Network by the Numbers: Industry Highlights

This is the first in a series of blogs examining the sectoral composition of the MEP National NetworkTM client project activity.

The MEP National Network has assisted over 26,800 unique manufacturing clients in every U.S. state and Puerto Rico and has completed over 71,600 projects with a total impact value of over $96 billion while creating or retaining nearly 530,000 jobs in the last five fiscal years.1

That’s a lot of manufacturers, a lot of projects, a lot of impact, and a lot of jobs!

But what does that all mean? Manufacturing is, after all, such a broad and vibrant sector of the economy and includes everything from the parts that make cars function and the computer chips that run the devices from which you’re reading these words, to the little plastic bumpers you can put under furniture to prevent scratches to hardwood floors. Who, or specifically, what industries does the MEP National Network help? The answer – the Network aims to serve all manufacturing industries.

By the Numbers

During this same time period, the MEP National Network has worked with manufacturers representing nearly 90 different industries (identified with 4-digit NAICS codes), which demonstrates the vast diversity of the U.S. manufacturing landscape and deep expertise of our Network’s manufacturing consultants who help manufacturers grow their operations, make strategic decisions and investments, and compete domestically and globally.

That’s the who, what, and how much, but how do these different industries differ in their engagement with the Network? In this first blog of the series, we’ll take a high-level look at the industries that drive the Network’s impact measures, like sales, cost savings, and jobs created or retained, and highlight industries that will be featured in future blogs.

Top Industries by Impact

The MEP National Network collects outcome information about our services and their impact from clients as projects are completed through our regular third-party client surveys. This includes client reported challenges, satisfaction and outcomes. For this blog, we will define “impact” as the total dollar value of MEP client-reported outcomes for new and retained sales, cost savings and new investments (e.g., production and processing, plant and equipment, workforce).

From FY2016 to FY2020, the MEP National Network’s top 10 impacted industries accounted for over $37 billion dollars, about 38% of the total value of the Network’s impact across all industries.

The top 10 industries by dollars of impact generated in ranking order are:

  1. 3363 – Motor Vehicle Parts Manufacturing
  2. 3261 – Plastics Product Manufacturing
  3. 3323 – Architectural and Structural Metals Manufacturing
  4. 3331 – Agriculture, Construction, and Mining Machinery Manufacturing
  5. 3327 – Machine Shops; Turned Product; and Screw, Nut, and Bolt Manufacturing
  6. 3115 – Dairy Product Manufacturing
  7. 3399 – Other Miscellaneous Manufacturing
  8. 3364 – Aerospace Product and Parts Manufacturing
  9. 5413 – Architectural, Engineering, and Related Services
  10. 3329 – Other Fabricated Metal Product Manufacturing
FY16-20 Client Reported Value of Impact Generated (in millions USD)

With a total impact value of $37 billion dollars in 10 industries, we’re talking about serious dollars. Work with the top two industries alone – 3363 – Motor Vehicle Parts Manufacturing and 3261 – Plastics Product Manufacturing – generated over $13.1 billion dollars and accounts for 35 percent of this group.

MEP Center clients in these industries have consistently reported impacts landing them in the top 10 category. For example, 3363 – Motor Vehicle Parts Manufacturing, 3261 – Plastics Product Manufacturing, 3323 – Architectural and Structural Metals Manufacturing, and 3331 – Agriculture, Construction, and Mining Machinery Manufacturing have been in the top 10 in dollars of impact generated every fiscal year during this period.

Top 10 Impacted Industries – Value of Impact Generated
3363 – Motor Vehicle Parts Manufacturing5
3261 – Plastics Product Manufacturing5
3323 – Architectural and Structural Metals Manufacturing5
3331 – Agriculture, Construction, and Mining Machinery Manufacturing5
3115 – Dairy Product Manufacturing4
3327 – Machine Shops; Turned Product; and Screw, Nut, and Bolt Manufacturing3
3399 – Other Miscellaneous Manufacturing3
3329 – Other Fabricated Metal Product Manufacturing3
5413 – Architectural, Engineering, and Related Services2
3364 – Aerospace Product and Parts Manufacturing2

Top Industries by Job Creation and Retention

Our jobs created and retained metric is exactly what it sounds like: the total number of client-reported jobs that were created or retained as a result of a project with an MEP Center.

From FY2016 to FY2020, our clients reported creating over 122,000 new jobs and retaining over 407,000 jobs for a total of nearly 530,000 jobs created or retained.

The top 10 industries in which the Network had the greatest impact in terms of jobs created or retained reported a total of nearly 210,000 jobs, accounting for 40% of the total value of all jobs created or retained by the MEP National Network.

The top 10 industries by job creation and retention in ranking order are:

  1. 3363 – Motor Vehicle Parts Manufacturing
  2. 3261 – Plastics Product Manufacturing
  3. 3364 – Aerospace Product and Parts Manufacturing
  4. 3323 – Architectural and Structural Metals Manufacturing
  5. 3327 – Machine Shops; Turned Product; and Screw, Nut, and Bolt Manufacturing
  6. 3371 – Household and Institutional Furniture and Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturing
  7. 3391 – Medical Equipment and Supplies Manufacturing
  8. 3399 – Other Miscellaneous Manufacturing
  9. 3331 – Agriculture, Construction, and Mining Machinery Manufacturing
  10. 3344 – Semiconductor and Other Electronic Component Manufacturing
FY16-20 Client Reported Jobs Created or Retained

The top 10 industries in terms of jobs created or retained should look very familiar – seven are also in the top 10 industry grouping by dollars of impact generated. The industries in this category have been more consistent in appearing in the top spots of the jobs created or retained ranking as six have been in the top 10 every year during this period.

This category does include three new faces: 3371 – Household and Institutional Furniture and Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturing, 3391 – Medical Equipment and Supplies Manufacturing, and 3344 – Semiconductor and Other Electronic Component Manufacturing.

Top 10 Impacted Industries – Job Created and RetainedFrequency
3363 – Motor Vehicle Parts Manufacturing5
3261 – Plastics Product Manufacturing5
3364 – Aerospace Product and Parts Manufacturing5
3323 – Architectural and Structural Metals Manufacturing5
3327 – Machine Shops; Turned Product; and Screw, Nut, and Bolt Manufacturing5
3391 – Medical Equipment and Supplies Manufacturing5
3399 – Other Miscellaneous Manufacturing4
3344 – Semiconductor and Other Electronic Component Manufacturing4
3331 – Agriculture, Construction, and Mining Machinery Manufacturing3
3371 – Household and Institutional Furniture and Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturing2

Top Takeaways

The MEP National Network is working with small and medium-sized manufacturers (SMMs) to help them grow, achieve meaningful impacts and create and retain good jobs in the United States.

From FY2016 to FY2020, the Network worked with manufacturers to deliver $96 billion in new and retained sales, cost savings, new investments and created or retained nearly 530,000 jobs. The two categories of industries by NAICS code that have experienced the most impact over the past five fiscal years (FY2016 to FY2020) represent 13 industries and thousands of projects that amount to 38% and 40% of the total impacts for those categories, respectively. Three industries have consistently benefitted from particularly high dollar value impact, three have consistently benefitted from high job creation and retention, and seven have consistently benefitted from both measures.    

Greatest Job Creation and/or Retention

What’s Next?

This blog is the start of a series that aims to explore how the MEP National Network supports different industry sectors. These blogs will provide industry overviews, MEP performance data and trends, success stories to help contextualize related MEP Center client projects, and what the U.S. manufacturing landscape looks like for SMMs.

We’ll feature highlights of industries that are mentioned in this blog as well as those discussed regularly in the news, such as:

  • 3363 – Motor Vehicle Parts Manufacturing
  • 3261 – Plastics Product Manufacturing
  • 3364 – Aerospace Product and Parts Manufacturing
  • 3391 – Medical Equipment and Supplies Manufacturing
  • 3344 – Semiconductor and Other Electronic Component Manufacturing

While these blogs will focus on the MEP National Network’s completed projects, manufacturers can always reach out to their local MEP Center for assistance with new projects. Stay tuned for more!

SEO news in August 2021: Google’s new title tag update, a new button on Twitter and more

Google has made changes to the way they show page titles in the organic search results and the SEO community is up in arms. But that’s not all that happened this month. There was lots of SEO news in August 2021 and as usual, our resident experts Joost and Jono discussed all of it in our monthly webinar. Want to know what they talked about? In this post, we’ll go over the highlights of this month’s webinar.Watch the August 2021 SEO news webinar

In this blog post, you can find the highlights of our August 2021 edition of the SEO news webinar. If you’d rather (re)watch the webinar, you can find the video below.

Pro tip: Don’t forget to register for our next SEO news webinar on the 28th of September, 2021. We hope to see you there!The latest Google news Google is rewriting page titles in the search results

For years now, Google has been changing up meta descriptions to match them with specific search queries. The idea is that they understand the user’s intent and want to make sure that the meta description aligns with that. Now, they’ve started doing the same thing with title tags by rewriting and showing different titles in the organic search results. However, it seems that in some cases this isn’t going as flawlessly as they hoped.

Great job with that title rewrite for the POTUS, Google.— Mark Williams-Cook

creating dynamic search ads

Google is changing the wording and in some cases, this isn’t for the better. As the example above makes clear, these rewritten titles can lead to some weird results and even wrong information. This is a massive issue when it comes to reliability, reputation and even legal aspects. Which, logically, led to quite some commotion around this in the SEO world.

To give some perspective, the reason Google is rewriting these title tags is that there are still a lot of pages out there without proper title tags. Homepages that show up with the title ‘Home’ in the search results, or page titles that are stuffed with keywords in the hope that they will rank better. With this new update, Google wants to make sure that page titles describe what the page is about and give enough context.

Now, keep in mind that in many cases this isn’t going wrong. Your page titles might be exactly the same or might have even changed for the better. But to be sure, we advise you to keep an eye on your key pages. Make sure to provide your pages with great page titles that are specific and not stuffed with keywords. And monitor your pages by checking out how they are showing up in Google and by looking for possible places where your CTR might have dropped (or your bounce rate might have increased). If you are noticing any wrong titles, Google has a thread where you can give feedback.Google announces new ways to find deals and shop

Google is launching new sections and tools to showcase deals in their search results and in Google Merchant Center. Now, promotions and deals uploaded in the Merchant Center will be automatically surfaced to Shopping users. Google is investing a lot of time into these new ways to find deals and shop online.

We’ve talked about Google Merchant Center quite a bit these past few webinars and that’s not without reason. If you are selling something online you should really look into getting your products on there. You can simply add all of your product information and they will become eligible for Google’s services (Images, Search, Discover and YouTube). Even if you’re not running any paid advertising. More and more, the lines between organic results and Google’s Merchant Center are blurring and you want to make sure that you’re part of this ecosystem.Google adds author URL property to identify authors

Google has been trying to identify authors of online articles for quite a while now. Which they are now able to do, by adding a recommended author URL property. To elaborate, this author.url property is a link to a page that identifies the author of an article. This can be an author’s social media page, about me page or any other page that helps identify them.

Our Yoast SEO plugin has actually been doing this for quite a while. If you’re a user of Yoast SEO, do make sure that you have links to your social media pages on your WordPress author profile page. That way Yoast SEO can output the necessary information on your authors. This news is also validation that we’re using the right approach when it comes to Schema in Yoast SEO. When you use our plugin, it will output lots (and we do mean lots) of structured data that makes it easier for Google to understand your pages and show them as relevant results.Larger images in Discover improve click-through rate

This is a bit of fun, but probably not shocking, news. Google did a case study and found out that using larger images in Discover positively impacts the click-through rate. It’s great to see that both examples highlighted in the case study are running Yoast SEO. This came out of a change they made in 2020 when they introduced a meta tag that allowed them to feature publishers’ images in larger formats.

This change has led to publishers reporting greater visibility of their content, including increased traffic to their site and improved click-through rates. So if you have large images on your website, make sure to add the max-image-preview:large meta tag to your pages to benefit from this. Both WordPress and Yoast SEO can actually do this for you by default.The latest internet news YouTube is overhauling its search results

If you’re not doing anything with video right now, this might be the moment to get started. YouTube is making a few changes that can be very interesting in regards to marketing and SEO. One of the things they’re doing is making more content available to users by using automatic translations. This means that when you search for something on YouTube and there aren’t any fitting results in your own language, it will now return results in other languages by translating them automatically.

Another thing they’re working on is the integration of Google’s search results. When there’s not enough relevant video content to return, YouTube is experimenting with showing Google search results. For a while now, we’ve seen YouTube videos show up in the search results and now Google is looking into an integration that works both ways. The line between the two platforms seems to become less hard and the distinct difference in format mediums blurs with it. This calls for an evaluation of the mediums that we’re using to communicate content to our audience. Some searches or user intents might be much better served by a video than by text. Video is becoming more important and should be a structural part of your marketing efforts, instead of an extra. And you need to think about whether to host your videos on YouTube or your own website.US Apple maps users get the ability to rate places

If you’re not familiar with it, Apple Maps is a web mapping service that works similarly to Google Maps. And now with their latest update, users are also able to rate places on Apple Maps. The difference with giving a review on Google Maps is that you’re not able to give a written review, but you can give a thumbs up or down on several aspects.

This update is another indication that Apple is becoming more involved in search. If you want to know more about this, Tom Anthony actually did an interesting talk on what an Apple search ecosystem might look like. He discusses how this would look different from Google’s search and how Apple would use data that they can collect through their own apps. This Maps update, for example, can have a profound effect on the discoverability of shops and restaurants, so it’s worth keeping an eye on.Twitter is testing a newsletter subscription button

Twitter recently acquired Revue, a newsletter platform. Now they are testing a feature that will allow Revue users to add a newsletter subscribe button to their Twitter profile. If you are a Revue user and you’re not seeing this feature yet, don’t fret. Initially, the button is only being shown to a smaller test group but it will be available to everyone using Revue.

It’s here

Today, we’re starting to test a feature that allows people to subscribe to your Revue newsletter directly from your Twitter profile.

It’s available to all Revue creators immediately. To start though, your newsletters will show only for a test group on Twitter.— Revue (@revue) August 19, 2021

This feels like an elegant and subtle integration. It also feels like it’s part of a bigger trend that we’ve been seeing during the pandemic: the rise of a creator economy. We’re seeing more focus on the individual that writes and analyzes online. Journalists that aren’t just part of bigger companies, but that you can now also follow or subscribe to on social media or through a newsletter. This shows us that your company website isn’t the only way to reach people and that selling products isn’t the one and only way to monetize your business.

Having a content model that produces content that gets people interested, in exchange for their email address, opens up a whole new world of possibilities. It can help you get discovered, it’s great for branding, and establishing trust and a relationship with your audience. And if you have an ad-based website, which isn’t great for SEO, this also opens up new possibilities when it comes to your advertising model.The latest Yoast news Yoast was acquired by NewFold Digital

Perhaps you’ve already seen this news flying around somewhere, but we are joining NewFold Digital. NewFold Digital is a big company that has lots of brands that can help customers of all sizes build a digital presence that delivers results and brings value to businesses. There are already lots of fun conversations happening on what we achieve together. Our team is staying on, so it’s still the same people who are working on Yoast SEO and all of our other fun projects. And of course, we’ll continue to work towards our mission of SEO for everyone.Newest releases of Yoast SEO

We’ve had a few releases of Yoast SEO during the last few weeks. With our 16.8 and 17.0 releases, we’ve added support for Slovak and Norwegian. This means we now support a total of 18 languages when it comes to readability! With our 16.9 release, we’ve introduced another SEO workout that helps you clean up your content. This is kind of cool as this workout walks you through your orphaned content (content that doesn’t have any links to it) and helps you figure out what to do with it. We’ll be adding more of these workouts to Yoast SEO Premium to help you improve your website, step by step. Where Yoast SEO is your gym, Yoast SEO Premium becomes your personal trainer.

If you are thinking of going Premium, it might be worth your while to rewatch this month’s webinar for a fun surprise. You can find the video at the top of this post!Other events and fun stuff

In August of this year, we’ve held our very first Summer School. And it was a blast! We had four workshops on different topics and loved the interaction with everyone attending these virtual events! If you’re wondering what you’ve missed, make sure to read our recap of the best bits. But you can also rewatch all of the workshops (for free) in Yoast Academy.

Screenshot of the workshop How to use internal linking to rank higher with the right content

We also did two podcasts this month! The first one was with Cindy Krum and it was all about passage ranking, PWA, voice search, and the new MobileMoxie SEO tools. The second one was with Marcus Tandler and it’s on making the web carbon neutral and the importance of online user experience. Topics that are quite different from each other, but both podcasts are a lot of fun and give you interesting insights. Make sure to give them a listen when you have some spare time.That’s it for our SEO news in August 2021

Those were the highlights of this month’s SEO news webinar. We hope you’ve enjoyed them! If you’re left wanting more, I would suggest watching the entire webinar as Joost and Jono discuss lots more in it. They also answer some interesting questions asked by the audience. And if you have a question that you would like to ask them, make sure to register for our next webinar on the 28th of September. Hope to see you there!

Online UK marketplace Fruugo plans IPO

Yesterday by Ecommerce News. About Funding with tags FinlandThe United Kingdom. 503 views.

Online marketplace Fruugo plans IPO

Fruugo, an online marketplace that’s originally from Finland, is said to be planning to launch an initial public offering (IPO). The UK-based ecommerce platform should go public as soon as this fall.

Fruugo is one of many popular online marketplaces in Europe. It was founded in Finland in 2006, but but after some financial troubles, the company shut down its office in Helsinki in 2012. It’s now a UK-based company that operates in over 46 countries across the world.

Marketplaces going public

Things are looking far more positive in 2021, as Sky News reports the online marketplace, together with bankers from Panmure Gordon, is busy planning an IPO. It follows in the footsteps of other marketplaces that decided to tap public markets. For example, Etsy held its initial public offering in April 2015, while Farfetch did the same in September 2018.

It’s still unknown how much money Fruugo is hoping to raise from the IPO, but according to Sky News reports suggest it could be as much as several hundred million pounds (at the moment, 100 pound is 116 euros).

Fruugo is one of the fastest-growing companies in Europe.

Fruugo is an online marketplace that lets small and medium-sized retailers sell to customers all around the world. The platform is available in 28 languages and covers over 30 different currencies. Eerlier this year, the Financial Times listed Fruugo as number 285 on a list of fastest-growing companies in Europe.

Total transaction volumes doubled

Online UK marketplace Fruugo plans IPO

According to sources close to Fruugo, the company’s total transaction volumes on its platform more than doubled last year to almost 116 million euros.

Beginner’s Guide To Social Media Marketing

“You don’t need a corporation or a marketing company to brand you now: you can do it yourself. You can establish who you are with a social media following.”

Ray Allen

Man doing some social media marketing

In the time before the internet, marking was limited to newspaper adverts, television, and curbside posters. Marketing was expensive and not something that was always available or affordable to small businesses. And when it was, you could only advertise to people who lived near you. 

Then the internet and social media came along and changed everything. 

Suddenly, it became possible for businesses being run out of people’s sheds to advertise on a platform with over 1.7 billion daily users and to reach customers across the world. 

With social media offering the opportunity for organic growth, it is possible for any business to grow using the power of social media. All they need is a social media marketing strategy. 

Every business should be putting a social media marketing plan in place to help capitalize on the amazing benefits social media can offer. And today, we are going to show you how to do that. We will be covering how to find your target audience, what social media to reach them on, and how to use social media to grow your business. 

Table of contents

  1. What Is Social Media Marketing
  2. Why Is Social Media Marketing Important
  3. Social Media Marketing Strategy
  4. Benefits of Social Media Marketing
  5. Summary

What Is Social Media Marketing

A phone showing some social media marketing

Social media marketing is a targeted use of social media that allows businesses and brands to interact with their customer base. 

There are many reasons why a business may want to do this, these reasons include: 

  • Increasing awareness of your brand 
  • Creating a community around the brand 
  • Boosting sales, leads, and conversion rates 
  • Driving traffic to your website 

As a brand, you will want to create a tangible representation of your company that your customers can interact with online. You can do this by creating content with a consistent voice and style. Creating brand aesthetics will also help with this. 

How you market your brand will depend on your target audience and on the social media platforms you are using. 

Each platform is suited to a different group of people, products, and situations. Not every platform will be effective for every business. It is best to do a few platforms well, rather than stretch yourself too thinly. Especially if you cannot afford to hire someone (or multiple people) to run your company’s social media full time. 

Producing consistent and high quality content is the key to building a successful social media platform for your business. 

Why Is Social Media Marketing Important

Man and woman doing some social media marketing

We have reached the point in the evolution of social media where it is now stranger for a brand not to have social media. In fact, many younger people tend to be suspicious of brands that have no online presence. 

That aside there are many reasons why social media and social media marketing are essential for all businesses. 

3.2 billion people are daily users of social media. No other media has a reach like this. More people use Facebook every day than watched the last 10 Super Bowls combined. Social media can expose you to a global audience, taking your reach from people in your immediate area to people anywhere in the world with internet access. 

Social media marketing allows you to present a tangible representation of your brand that customers can bond and connect with. You can use it to interact with your customers and create targeted posts that will encourage people to buy from you. 

Social Media Marketing Strategy

A man having ideas for his social media marketing

Your brand’s social media presence will be useless unless you have a social media strategy. 

However, there is no need to worry – we’re about to help you put the perfect social media strategy together. 

What is a social media strategy? 

Well, they are composed of two things – the goals your company has for their social media accounts and a targeted approach for getting those results. 

If you get both of these concepts cemented as soon as possible, everything else will fall into place. It is best to set your goals before you launch your social media accounts. 

Setting goals 

Before you set up any social media accounts you should have some goals. These goals should be inspired by the benefits you want your social media to bring your company. (Hint – check out the end of this article for what social media can do for you). 

You may want to use your brand’s social media to drive traffic to your website, or you may want to use it to improve your brand’s reputation – these are examples of goals you can set for your social media. 

Take a look at the brands you love and see what they’re doing online – there is nothing wrong with trying to learn from the best. 

Knowing what you want your social media to do for you, will help you understand what it needs to look like and how you need to put it together. 

Research Your Target Audience

There is one thing that your social media strategy cannot function without – knowing who your target audience is. 

Your target audience is your ideal customer. They are the people who you want to buy your products or services. 

Being able to narrow your target, you are able to market more effectively and waste fewer resources. 

Ways to research your target audience: 

  • Survey your customer base 
  • Look at who your competitors are advertising towards 
  • Analyze your market research 
  • Use tools like Google Analytics 
  • Hire a researcher to find this out for you

Determine Which Social Media Will Work Best For You

“It’s important to be where your audience of potential customers is today, and where they might be tomorrow. It’s better to be ahead of the curve than behind.” — Andrew Delaney, Social Media Marketing Manager at HubSpot 

Once you know what your target audience looks like, you will be able to narrow down your social media focus. 

If you run trade shows then your target audiences are largely B2B businesses. For you, Pinterest and Facebook aren’t going to be a good use of your time, like they would be if you were a craft business. Instead, you will want to focus your efforts on Linkedin and Youtube.  

Things you will need to know about your target audience:

  • Which social media sites your target audience use 
  • When they use them 
  • How long they spend on them 
  • What they are looking to see on them 

Best Platforms To Target

Now that you have set your goals and know who your target audience is, it is time to take a look at the different forms of social media that are out there. 

There are near infinite social media platforms out there, with more popping up every day. However, when you are first establishing your social media, you will probably want to stick to the big six. 

Their combined audience of over 3 billion users will offer you an unparalleled opportunity to build an audience for your brand. 

In this section, we will talk you through the 6 main social media platforms, who they are for, and how to use them effectively. 


Facebook is probably the first thing you think of when you think about social media. For good reason, it has over 2 billion daily users and has held the position of the most popular social media platform for over a decade now. 

Facebook is a well oiled machine when it comes to advertising and social media marketing. One of the things that you have to come to terms with on this platform is there is no such thing as organic reach on Facebook. If you want to reach new people, you will have to pay for ads.

This service is worth the money, their targeted ads system is the best in the field.  


Average age – 40 years old 

Facebook is designed for casual use. No matter your customer base you will benefit from a Facebook presence. Although it is not a place for hard selling. 

  • Use good product photos 
  • Do live streams for product launches and Q&A’s 
  • Engage with complaints positively 
  • Ignore complaints 
  • Get into arguments with customers 
  • React to constructive criticism negatively 
  • Rely on organic reach 


Twitter is a social media platform that limits posts to 280 characters. For this reason, every word matters, and audiences move on pretty quickly. 

One entertaining or provocative tweet can send your company viral and expose you to thousands of new people in an hour. You don’t have to pump money into this platform to see results – which is refreshing and great for smaller businesses. 

To succeed on Twitter you need to find your tribe. Find people who are interested in your market – i.e. people who love cycling if you sell bikes.  


Average age – 25 years old 

Twitter is about tribes. Users follow topics they are interested in. If your market has passionate followers then Twitter is the place for you. This is why fast food stores and bookshops thrive on this platform. 

  • Use hashtags 
  • React to current issues 
  • Use a more relaxed tone 
  • Be brave and interact with other companies 
  • Share positive feedback from customers 
  • Plan your content too far in advance 
  • Ignore current trends 


Instagram is now owned by Facebook and is more than a place to show off your lunch. It is a visual platform. 

It has a younger user database than its parent company. Trends do not change as frequently on Instagram as they do on Twitter. If you need to bulk-create content to save time, then this is the perfect platform. 

Sadly, advertising on Instagram is expensive and not available for everybody. If you don’t meet Instagram standards then you should look into paid advertising with influencers or mutually beneficial collaborations with people in your industry who aren’t direct competitors of yours. 


Average age – 29 years old 

Instagram is gearing itself towards being a shopping platform. People are looking for aesthetically pleasing photos that will sell them a fantasy. It’s not a platform for engaging or commenting. 

  • Use hashtags 
  • Post stories 
  • Have an aesthetic that you stick to 
  • Post very high-quality photos 
  • Engage with negative comments (their comment’s system isn’t designed for this) 
  • Steal content 
  • Jump on trends 
  • Post more than twice a day 


Linkedin is a business social network. It is a space for businesses to present themselves as professionals, rather than a brand.  

Linkedin offers paid marketing campaigns with better than average conversion rates. There is also a small amount of organic growth on the platform. But the platform is structured around keeping networks feeling exclusive but close-knit. 


Average age – 35 years old 

Linkedin users are professionals, who usually have more cash to spare. This is the perfect place to advertise to business owners and professionals. 

  • Be professional 
  • Share things about your industry
  • Share posts that will start discussions 
  • Engage as often as possible  
  • Share too often 
  • Share things that are too personal or outside of your industry
  • Share clickbait  


Youtube is the place to establish yourselves as experts in the industry. You will want to use the platform to share knowledge and add value to your customers’ lives. This is a place where you can sell by showing your customers that you know what you are talking about. 

You will want to build a niche and stick to it. Post regular content that engages your audience and you can’t go wrong. 

One of the downsides of Youtube is they regularly update their algorithm – meaning that to get organic growth you will have to tweak your content. This may mean editing the metadata of your videos, or something as simple as producing longer videos.  


Average age – 24 

People turn to Youtube to be entertained or informed. Users tend to be on the younger side and look for dynamic content with engaging hosts. 

  • Post regularly 
  • Post videos longer than 10 minutes long 
  • Fill your videos with information and content from start to finish 
  • Try to add value with your content 
  • Post too frequently 
  • Post without a schedule 


Pinterest is a difficult social media to use, however, 93% of social media marketing firms use it. Why? Well, 98% of Pinterest users say that they have bought something new because of the social network. 


Average age – 40 

The average Pinterest user is a mother between the ages of 30 and 40. She lives in America and uses Pinterest to find inspiration. 

  • Install widgets to make content easier to pin 
  • Share high-quality content that is themed 
  • Post regularly 
  • Keep track of the trends 
  • Use your own content and others 
  • Let your links go out of date or break 

Create Unique & Engaging Content

Once you have worked out which social media platforms you need to be using to reach your target audience – it’s time to start making content. 

When making your content you want to have a clear idea about your brand’s voice. You will want to keep a consistent tone and style across all of your posts. And you will try to avoid hard selling. 

The type of content you make will vary depending on the platform that you are using. However, there are here are some tips that will help you make great content for any platform: 

  • Keep a consistent brand voice 
  • Keep a consistent brand aesthetic 
  • Speak directly to your audience 
  • Create content that adds value
  • Keep paragraphs short 
  • Use subheadings 
  • Use high-quality pictures 
  • Stay positive 
  • Use calls to action 
  • Don’t ignore major events 
  • Share positive feedback from customers 
  • Don’t steal content 
  • Link to your other social media accounts 

Post Content At The Right Time

A lot of businesses miss this simple trick, which can be the main difference between a successful post and an unloved one. 

Google Analytics is a great tool to help you narrow down when your target audience is using their social media accounts. The platforms also release their own data on the subject which is worth keeping an eye on. 

When doing your research into your target audience you should have found a good deal of information about how they use social media. You should use this data to plan your posting schedule. 

For example, Linkedin sees a lot less use on weekends, so if you are advertising your B2B service like trade shows or training courses, then post on weekdays, in the morning. 

Goods times to share posts: 

  • Facebook – Weekday mornings (6-8 am) and lunchtimes (12-2 pm) 
  • Twitter – Weekday lunchtimes (12-2 pm) and early afternoons (2-4 pm) 
  • Instagram – Weekday mornings (6-8 am) and lunchtimes (12-2 pm) 
  • Linkedin – Mornings (7 am – 12 pm) 
  • Youtube – After 5 pm 

Analyze What Works And What Doesn’t

When you first begin posting, you will go through a phase of trial and error, as you work out what posts perform best with your audience. 

The best thing you can do during this stage is to experiment and keep an eye on how each of your posts performs. 

Every few posts, you should have a look at this data and see what types of posts are performing best for you. Over time very clear patterns will emerge. You should listen to the data and adapt what you are putting out. 

Each social media platform will have its own dashboard that will allow you to track these stats easily. They will show you the number of impressions and interactions each post has. Many platforms will also give you a profile of what type of audience you have (age, gender, location, viewing time). 

This data will help you to improve your social media strategy and reach a larger audience. 

Try To Respond Promptly To Enquiries From People

Finally, you need to use your social media to be social. 

This means replying to messages, comments, and inquiries. Lots of younger people will use social media as a way to reach out to brands, rather than calling or emailing them. 

Your customers will be checking how you respond to comments as it gives them an opportunity to get to know your brand values better. If you have multiple people using your business’s social media accounts then you should put together a company guide to interacting online. Keeping interactions consistent is important. 

Make sure that you are regularly checking your social media inboxes and notifications. So that you can quickly reply to inquiries and potentially convert customers. 

Another thing that is worth remembering is that anything you post on the internet is pretty much permanent. So, you only want to post things that will show your brand in a positive light. It can be tempting to snap back at rude customers but they can share what you have said and create some negative press around your brand. 

Keep it short, positive, and as helpful as possible. 

Benefits of Social Media Marketing

A laptop with some feedback from the social media marketing done

Before we go, let’s look at all the benefits of social media marketing for businesses. You can use these as a guide for setting the goals for your company’s social media. 

It Increases Awareness of Your Brand

Most people’s first contact with a brand is not through their website or a TV advert anymore. It is through social media. This may be an intimidating thought, but it is actually a great thing for smaller businesses. 

Social media marketing campaigns are a lot cheaper to run than traditional campaigns. And often require a lot less time. Social media is also a more informal version of advertising. It is about building a long lasting relationship with your followers. 

A successful social media account can introduce more people to your brand. Whether that is through a viral tweet featuring a pun about a recent news story or a breathtaking picture on Instagram. Social media offers you a chance to extend your reach much further than you could physically. 

A great way to increase awareness of your brand, even more, is to collaborate with other brands that are not in direct competition with you. For example, if you sell cookies you could partner with a local milk company and make posts together. 

Getting attention on social media requires you to be aware of the platform you are posting on, and of the current trends on that platform. You will want great content that is entertaining, memorable, and valuable. 

It Helps You Build A Relationship With Your Customers

Social media will help you to build a community around your business, made up of like-minded customers, with similar interests that are loyal to your company. 

Loyal customers are more likely to bring you repeat business – this is why so many companies run loyalty programs. Repeat customers are the cornerstone of any business. They require fewer resources to convert and are more likely to spend more with your company. 

If you treat your social media accounts like a loyalty program, you can recreate this feeling of importance within many more customers (and potential customers). Create content that makes these customers feel valued by your company. 

Offer your followers exclusive access to future product launches, show them behind the scenes footage, give them exclusive discount codes. 

Loyal customers are more likely to talk to other people about your company – providing you with free, positive advertising. 

This community will in turn make your company seem more attractive to people outside of it. People will want to join, to feel involved and valued by a company. This is an easy way to increase your audience and customer base. 

As Amy Jo Martin, Founder and CEO of Digital Royalty, said “Social media is the ultimate equalizer. It gives a voice and a platform to anyone willing to engage.” Interacting with your customers is also a great way to get honest feedback about your company. You can discover what is holding people back from buying from you, or things that have made your company seem more appealing. 

Can Boost Conversions And Sales

We mentioned above that building a loyal and engaged customer base can be the key to recurring sales. This is something that keeps businesses afloat, and this loyalty is its own form of free marketing. 

But what about first time sales and conversion, can social media help with that? 


Social media marketing improves brand awareness which in turn has been proven to improve both traffic and conversion rates.

With more people visiting your site you are likely to sell more products. When these customers visit your site after experiencing your social media, they have a better relationship with your brand. This relationship improves conversation rates. 

Millennials visit a brand’s social media twice on average before making a purchase. They are less likely to buy from a brand that doesn’t have any social media. For the younger generations, an engaging social media presence can make or break a sale.   

Social media also allows you to stay at the forefront of your customers’ vision – helping you to avoid the deadly trap of ‘out of sight, out of mind’. 

It is important not to go for the hard sell on social media unless you have a very large following. Otherwise, followers can find posts trying to sell repetitive. 

It Helps You Learn About Your Competitors

It’s not just your social media that can benefit your business, but your competitors’ accounts can help you too. 

Your competitors’ social media will be the most useful when you are doing your market research. It will give you a chance to study your competitors, how they present themselves, and their target audience – in a way that wasn’t possible before social media. 

If you run tradeshows you get an understanding of how they recruit speakers and stall runners. If you run a candle shop you can look at how your competitors advertise themselves and their price range. 

You should study how your competitors use their social media accounts. Note down what works well for them, and what areas they could improve on. Feed all of this information into your own strategy. 

You will want your social media to stand out from your competitors, so make sure all your posts fit into your company’s brand voice. Develop a brand color scheme and aesthetic as well. Make sure it is not easy to confuse with your main competitors. 

Being aware of your competitors’ social media presents will help to reduce the amount of time you have to spend on your own social media accounts, but it will also help you to understand your unique selling point. 

It Helps You Drive Traffic To Your Site

Finally, gaining attention on social media is a great way to drive traffic to your website. 

Social media has become most people’s first point of contact with new brands. This is not actually a bad thing if you are able to capitalize on it. 

You can introduce your brand through your social media accounts before funneling your visitors to your site, having already built some brand awareness. Which will make them more likely to buy from you. 

Place links to your site that are in easy to reach places all over your accounts.  


Social media marketing on with the tablet

Social media marketing is a low cost way to build a name for your business. 

At this point in time, it is seen as unusual for a business to not have a social media presence, however, so many businesses do not take advantage of all the benefits social media has to offer. 

On the whole, social media is one of the cheapest forms of advertising – with many platforms offering huge potential for organic growth. 

With a well researched social media marketing strategy any company can boost its outreach and brand awareness for less than $100. This article was created to help you do that. 

There are a few important things you must do if you want to grow your business online. 

Firstly, you must be aware of who your target audience is. You must understand how they spend their time online, what social media they use, and when they use it. 

Secondly, you must create content that interests your target audience and that is platform appropriate. 

Finally, you must gain an understanding of how each social media platform works, what kind of posts do well, and when to post them. 

With all this knowledge you will be able to grow your business using social media. What are you waiting for?

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Ecommerce 101 Webinar Youngstown State Univerty SBDC & Ecommerce MGMT

Learn how to optimize your e-commerce sales and cultivate new leads in the digital marketplace

About this event

eCommerce 101 Webinar Part 2 | August 11th 11am-12pm

Boost your eCommerce strategy!

Want to optimize your e-commerce sales and performance? Join the Ohio SBDC at YSU as we partner with Curt Anderson, eCommerce Consultant, to discuss the most effective strategies to boost your online sales and expand your market reach.

What to expect & learn

  • eCommerce Shopping Cart Selection
  • Optimizing eCommerce Product Listings
  • Learn Tips & Tricks for eCommerce Success
  • Maximize Opportunities with Online Marketplaces
  • Use eCommerce sales as an effective way to expand your business & increase profitability

Speaker: Curt Anderson | eCommerce Specialist

Curt Anderson founded an eCommerce company in 1995 that was ranked 3X on the Internet Retailer Magazine Top 1000 eCommerce Companies. Since selling that company, Curt has served as an eCommerce consultant targeting manufacturers, including spending 4 years at the New York Small Business Development Center (SBDC). Curt is the author of Stop Being the Best Kept Secret and founder of, an eCommerce resource guide for manufacturers.

Learn how to optimize your e-commerce sales and cultivate new leads in the digital marketplace

4343 Ascending House, GSU, Ecommerce EDU Complete First eCommerce Strategy Course for the Chicago Southland