Twinkling lights lining neighborhood porches, the smell of Douglas Fir pines, and those holiday sales on top of sales – yup, it is beginning to look a lot like Christmas. With the biggest shopping days of the entire year lining up, the holiday season is an important time for small businesses. And while you have your list and we are sure you are checking it twice, there are a few things to keep on your radar as the year draws to a close.

Improving Digital Experience
Creating mobile responsive web designs is old news, however, continuing to improve upon the digital experience is going to continue to be of importance. The dominant use of smartphones and other mobile devices have made things like download speed and website security more of a necessity. Technologies like Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) and Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) will continue to make this area a hot trending topic.

People are Putting More Trust in People (and Brands) That They Know
With the consistent growth of social media and the overwhelming amount of information online, customers are putting more of their trust in both the people and the brands that they are familiar with. And in the age of ad blockers, gone are the days of traditional ads reaching their target audiences.

So what can you do to stand out against your competition?

The answer really is simple, build that trust and build it through creative marketing. From small business to large corporation and the new companies popping up in between, the secret ingredient to creating brand loyalty lies with the understanding that building trust is important. In the upcoming year, you are likely to see a rise in content marketing, influencer marketing, and referral partnerships along with social media marketing methods that provide actual value to the end user.

Helpfulness and Authenticity Versus Technology and Automation
Time leverage is everything when running a successful business, so it comes to no surprise that marketing automation and technology is going to advance to help us work smarter. And while we are all looking for ways to operate more efficiently, our consumer markets are looking for that personal touch. Finding that balance is going to be key to leveling your business above the competition in 2019!

As 2018 starts to wind down and you start prepping your marketing strategy for the new year, we suggest keeping these top trends in mind. Certain things might not be the best fit for your business but preparing for these up and coming marketing concepts could set you up for a great kick off heading into 2019! And if you are feeling overwhelmed with all these holiday to-dos or you are just not sure where to start, our Maui marketing team are here to help. Schedule a free consultation today and our experts can help map it all out!

After a slow battle with the internet, Google Plus passed on October 8th, 2018 at the age of 7.

Google + was born on 28th June 2011 in Mountain View, California to search engine giant, Google LLC. With the vision of a connected world neatly organized into circles of friends, Google + set out to compete against the social media network Facebook. After racking up apparently 90 million users, the “virtual ghost town” was seeing a dramatic lack of engagement and made a series of appointments to pinpoint a diagnosis. In 2015, Google Plus went through treatment to eliminate the requirement to use a plus account when signing on to other Google services such as YouTube in hopes of increasing engagement.

A close review of all Google + APIs back in March 2018 uncovered a bug in the Google Plus People APIs that potentially affected 500,000 accounts on the platform. While it has been since patched, the breach has revealed significant challenges in creating as well as maintaining a successful media platform that meets user expectations. These challenges and low usage has ultimately led to the sun setting on this branch of the Google family tree.

A 10-month wind-down has been arranged for those more active users to migrate their data and the funeral service will be held privately amongst a small circle of family and friends in California.

I’d like to start off by acknowledging that managing and maintaining a Facebook business page properly can take a significant amount of time as well as requiring a good grasp of current marketing and customer service principles, particularly as they pertain to the online world. It’s not easy by any means, so I hope these tips to successfully manage and maintain your page will help guide you in the right direction. I’ve broken things down in, what I hope to be, an easy and consumable way. Let’s get started!

Manage & Maintain Facebook Business Page for Success

Answer Potential Clients ASAP!

Reply to people asking questions in a timely manner. The sooner the better! If someone takes the time to leave a question on your Facebook business page, don’t make them wait long for an answer.

Think about it, if someone calls your company, you answer the phone and you answer their questions immediately. The same should happen with email or a form submission from your website. All social media communication like Facebook should be treated the same.

Many consumers actually prefer to contact companies via social media and messaging rather than going through phone, email or a traditional contact form. And why not? It’s quick and easy!

Not only is social networking becoming a highly adopted method of communication, but those who use this medium are expecting a swift response. Facebook has even rolled out a “Very Responsive to Messages” badge that shows when business pages respond within 15 minutes and have at least a 90% response rate.

Note: There are ways to set it up so you receive notifications each time there is page activity and they also offer a Pages Manager app that can help you maintain and manage your page.

As well as providing excellent customer service to the person who originally asked the question on your Facebook Business Page, there are additional reasons you will want to answer them fully and in a timely manner:

  • Showcase your professional demeanor. Interaction with visitors on your page is displayed in public view for all to see. A lack of prompt, professional attention reflects badly on your company and its customer service (or lack thereof).
  • Unanswered questions not only look bad, but they are easy targets for competitors to come in and offer their services to the person asking the question, or anyone else on your page who sees the conversation.

Post Regularly

Don’t let your business page followers forget about you! You can safely post multiple times a day (depending on the post) and be sure to keep the subjects fresh and interesting. The bare-minimum weekly posts recommended is at least 3 times. Keep your brand out there and fresh in their minds.

Mingle With Fans

They took the time to comment, so why can’t you take a moment to interact with them? If it is a basic statement, a simple “like” of the comment will do. If it is an interesting, engaging or amusing comment, take a little more time to reach out and connect. It shows them, and everyone that sees it, that you’re interested in what they have to say!

Look out for Spam

It’s not only annoying to you, but to the people who are following you. If they see a bunch of spam posted on your page or in comments of your posts, many will leave and not return. Spam can be out right blatant, or more sneaky like these travel companies making nonsensical comments on another travel related pages posts.

Adore what? Amazing comment? Please! Stop trying to get your travel page noticed on my travel page!!

Think About Facebook Ads

Especially if you are are just starting to grow your page following, Facebook Advertising can really help get you out in front of the right audience. From Facebook Page Like ads to Post Engagement ads, running a campaign can get you showing up in your target demographics FB feed. The more people that like and share your page and posts, the more reach Facebook will give you within the feed.

Keep in Mind

These tips should help your business page on Facebook grow to succeed. Stay tuned for an upcoming planned post, Anatomy of a Great Facebook Post, where you will find a number of general tips which should help to increase the effectiveness of your posts on Facebook.

As mentioned previously, effective Facebook marketing does take a fair amount of time and marketing know-how; if you find yourself running short on either we offer Facebook maintenance services in which we would assist you with posting, monitoring, and converting visitors to your Page. If you would like more information on these packages, contact us for a free consultation.

With the United States midterm elections upon us, for those running for office or involved with elected officials in some way, you may be wondering if now would be a good time to make a last ditch pitch to your constituency via Facebook (and Instagram) to help position you or your party to win the election come November. If you are already running political ads on Facebook, then yes, by all means make that final push and make it count. However, if you or your party have not yet run any political ads on the world’s biggest social network, you may be better off planning your social media strategy for the next election. Why? Read on . . .

As has been widely reported since the events of the 2016 Presidential Election, many have placed blame on various groups for unduly influencing the nation’s most recent major election, with much of this interference being placed squarely in the hands of outside groups whom, for obvious reasons, should not have been able to so easily attempt to disrupt something as important as the voting process. After much research and debate, Facebook decided to take the step of fortifying their network against future attempts to exploit and influence content related to politics and other issues of national importance via numerous network-wide measures. One such safeguard which has recently been implemented is validation of those looking to run paid advertising for political campaigns on Facebook.

While regular paid advertising for businesses on Facebook can basically be had just by giving the social network your credit card info, when looking to run ads, boost posts, or create any other type of paid advertising for a political campaign, Facebook makes you work to throw money at them through the new validation process. Take a look at what you now must do/prove to Facebook in order to let them let you pay them to show people your campaign ads:

Confirm your identity.
Facebook wants to make sure the account tasked with running ads is a real person, who resides in the U.S., and can prove it. This means you need to provide them with much of the same type of identity information you would provide a bank or mortgage company prior to applying for a loan, including:

– A copy of your driver’s license or other government issued ID, both front and back sides, clearly showing your legal name, date of birth, etc.

– The last four digits of your Social Security number.

– Your home address.

– Your phone number. Note: Facebook runs a check to make sure that the phone number you provide is yours, and is registered in your name. If it finds that it is not in your name (which can happen even if the number is currently yours) then you will be required to perform additional steps on your phone or computer to complete this part of the process.

Wait for a letter in the mail.
Although a digital company by nature, Facebook has decided to take the extra step of snail-mailing a letter to the home address you provide during the first identity confirmation steps. As with many retailers online, Facebook does not accept anything less than an actual residence (NO P.O. boxes!). Facebook recommends waiting a good 3-7 days for this letter to arrive; if it doesn’t show up you’ll need to request (and wait) for a new letter to be sent to you. Once received, follow the steps outlined in the letter to complete this portion of the validation.

Two Factor Authentication
If you have not already, Facebook will require you to activate two factor authentication on your account to prove once again that you are the human being authorized by Facebook to run these types of ads for your specific Facebook page.

That’s it, right?
Not quite. In some circumstances, Facebook will require that you submit additional supporting documentation for identity validation. If these documents are required, they will notify you via Facebook, and may lengthen the time it takes to process your validation request from 3-7 day to 2-4 weeks (assuming they accept all your documents at the time you submit them).

Finally, once you have jumped through these hoops and have been successfully verified, Facebook will require two additional steps to be completed before allowing you to run your ads:

1. Link your page to your validated account. This will give you permission to run political ads on your linked page.

2. Add a short disclaimer stating who is paying for the advertising, to be shown on every ad that you run. Example: “This ad paid for by the friends of Mark Zuckerberg 2020”.

Once these two steps have been completed, Facebook will once again churn through the data and, if all looks good to them, will FINALLY give you permission to run ads related to politics and/or issues of national importance.

So there you have it. If you’re lucky, you could begin this process RIGHT NOW and maybe, MAYBE, be verified just in time to run a few days worth of Facebook ads for your campaign. Or, you could keep this information in mind for your next (re)election campaign. Or, better yet, you could just remember that this verification process is not just time consuming, sometimes confusing, and occasionally frustrating (and that’s before you start the process of actually running an ad!) but also something the Social Media Marketing Experts at Meyer Computer, Inc. can help with to make the process far simpler for you! Shoot us an email, or request a free consultation, and we’ll help get you and your next campaign ready to take full advantage of Facebook’s far reaching campaign advertising platform.

With three months left of 2018, we figured there is no better time than the present to take a look at some popular social media trends to see if they are…well, still trending. As one of the top marketing strategies at the beginning of the year, social media marketing has officially become something that as a business you cannot ignore. A marketing campaign with a social media presence contains a key branding platform that could give you a competitive edge against your competitors.

With layout redesigns and constantly changing algorithms, what was trending at the beginning of this year might not hold true towards the ending. So what is still trending?

Live Videos
Still making waves after its debut in 2017, Live Video is more appealing to consumers with 82% preferring live video to a static social post. This is a great way to connect, engage, and share your message with your target market. And as live streaming has become increasingly popular throughout this year, amongst businesses as well as consumers, this is a trend that your business will want to incorporate into your campaign strategy.

Chatbots
Dating back to the early days of AOL instant messenger, chatbots are not a new feature of the internet in the slightest. But just like everything else online, they are evolving with the times and chatbots are now being integrated with social media platforms to easily open a line of communication with the consumer. On both ends of the conversation, the automatic responses are offering a cost-effective alternative to customer support while still benefitting the end user.

Influencer Marketing
With social media algorithms constantly changing, being seen as a brand can get difficult at times and can sometimes end with users simply ignoring the “noise”. Influencers have been an increasingly more common solution to the ever-changing platforms and can ultimately help get your brand name out there. While most companies seek influencers with a significant following, micro-influencers can provide the same benefits without breaking the bank. Not only are they are more accessible to the small business (or budget) but they are typically more loyal to the brand relationship and carry a valuable level of trust amongst their followers.

Paid Advertisements
In 2018, gone are the days that you can consistently post across multiple platforms and speak to the masses. In addition to influencer marketing, another solution to the change to show more family and friends and less company content is paid advertisements. Brands are taking full advantage of the opportunity to get their posts in front of a targeted audience and platforms like Facebook are making it easy to set up audience precisions as well as a daily or weekly budget.

User-Generated Content
While the previous two trends require a substantial marketing budget, user-generated content is a great way to grow your business’s online presence with very little work and money. Encouraging your customers to talk about your company over social media creates a powerful connection to that user as well as their followers. It is also a great way to capture your product/service in action to reshare on your own social profiles.

One reality to face is that referral traffic and organic reach are in decline, so brands have to come up with alternative methods to reach potential customers. As we mentioned before, online advertising and influencers are current marketing trends that your business might want to explore. Another thing to keep in mind is that other small businesses are increasing their social presence, making it more crucial than ever to be putting in the same effort as the competition.

Feeling a little overwhelmed? With so many social platforms out there to manage, it might be worthwhile to hire a social media marketing manager to help maintain an active profile. This not only leaves the marketing to the experts but it also allows you to get back to the core of your business.

Schedule a free consultation today and we can chat about the best trends to follow that benefits your business!

Shopping for a new website, some assistance in marketing your business online, or both? While there may be numerous options to choose from, there are also a number of considerations you will want to take to ensure you and your business receive the level of quality in service that you deserve. Here are a few things to consider:

Depth of Knowledge

Does your web professional know their stuff? Like really, really know their stuff? If you’re considering contracting someone to design your website, build your database, get you millions of followers on Instagram, provide customer service via Facebook, run your digital advertising initiatives, and make your brand #1 on Google, prepare for disappointment. Simply put, an effective web presence requires an effective team of experts doing what they do best to put your business in front of the eyes and ears of those who your business values the most: new, well targeted, customers. With the online landscape being an ever changing place, not only should you have a team in place to take care of your digital assets, but you want to be sure that they are qualified to do so. To assess their qualifications: ask them a few basic questions relating to web design, search engine optimization (SEO,) social media marketing, Google advertising, etc. Even better, schedule a meeting with our experts at Meyer Computer, Inc. and ask us how we can help your business grow online!

Marketing Strategy? What’s That?

Every business has a unique set of needs when it comes to marketing themselves online. While certain methods may work for some, they may completely fail when it comes to implementing them for others. When marketing your products, offerings, or services online, your chosen agency should be willing to meet with you to discuss a strategy tailored to the specific needs and goals of you and your business. If they instead attempt to offer you a “one size fits all” type of service, it’s time to move on and find an agency who will to work with you and your needs (i.e. the friendly, knowledgeable staff at Meyer Computer, Inc.!)

Seeing the Results

Now that you have your new website up and online marketing strategy in place, it’s time to take a look at tracking your progress, in the form of online analytics and reports. For example, marketing clients of Meyer Computer, Inc. have numerous reports available to them, many updated in real time, including:

  • Traffic Stats/Analytics Report
  • Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Success Report
  • Social Media Activity Reports
  • Facebook Advertising Report

Ready, Willing and Available

Not only should your marketing agency be able to answer your questions during your initial consultation, but they should be available to answer any questions that may arise during your business relationship. Additionally, you should be able to meet (preferably face to face) with your agency to discuss current and future strategies, additions or updates of new marketing products/channels, current campaign performance, etc. at regular intervals. As we like to remind our clients, regular communication is essential to maintaining top performing marketing campaigns; so be sure to hire an agency that is aware of this very important fact.

Benefits to Hiring an Outside Marketing Agency

Marketing your business online is a full time job. From optimizing content, running and managing ads, analyzing traffic, to setting up and maintaining your social channels on a regular basis; marketing online can easily take a team of full time professionals to do properly. We are often asked for our thoughts on whether a company should hire someone to be their in house online marketer, or if they should contract an agency such as Meyer Computer, Inc. to help their business meet its potential online. As such, we have compiled a few items to consider prior to making a decision:

In House

  • Will your budget allow for having full-time employees dedicated to Internet Marketing? Salary ranges from $55,000/yr. for a beginner to well over $90,000/yr. a year for a marketing veteran. Not to mention the taxes and other expenses that come along with having additional employees.
  • In addition to budgeting for each new employee, remember that you will need to have a separate budget for buying ads online through Google, Facebook, etc. as well.
  • As mentioned earlier; online marketing, done properly, requires a healthy amount of knowledge, skills, and time commitment, as well as constant learning and adaptation to new methods, trends, tools, etc. Do your new hires understand all that their job entails?

Contracting an Agency

  • Prior to hiring an online marketing agency, meet with them to discuss the needs and goals of your business. You want to paint as clear a picture as possible of how you want your brand represented online, and what kind of growth you would like to see prior to hiring an agency for your marketing needs.
  • Discuss with the agency how their team members will best address your needs, what strategies they suggest be employed, etc.
  • Consider contacting other clients of theirs whom may be willing to give you feedback on their services.

Following these tips will help you make the decision which is best for your business.

If, after reading all this, you have more questions or would like to discuss how Meyer Computer, Inc. can help your business grow online: contact us today!

Earlier this week, Facebook announced visual and feature changes to the layout of mobile business pages. With the redesign of mobile pages, the social media giant plans to make it easier for consumers to interact with local companies on the platform.

So just what can you, as a business, expect with these changes?

Recommendations
When looking for a place to shop, eat, or utilize a service, more often than not people are going to first seek recommendations from their friends and families. Facebook understands this and is now making it even easier for people to recommend your business through text, photos, and tags that show up directly on your Page. With a minimum character count and the ability to include images, customers are encouraged to post thorough referrals and feedback directly onto a business’s page.

After all, customers are really a company’s best ambassadors and this gives you the unique opportunity to connect with those who are talking as well as searching for your business to create as positive of an experience as possible.

Action Buttons
In response for the demand of more mobile-friendly websites and social media, Facebook is using newly simplified and prominently featured action buttons that enable customers to book, order, and send messages all without leaving the mobile app. As an internet marketing company, we plan to make the most of this updated page design for ourselves as well as our clients and we encourage you to do the same! Just make sure that you select the options that make the most sense for your business needs.

Events
Whether they are planning a vacation itinerary or simply filling up a weekend, people are increasingly using Facebook Events each month to find things to do. Local businesses have been using Events for a while now to bring not only their customers together but the community as well. The latest version allows for tickets to be sold directly through Facebook with new ticketing integrations and businesses now have the option to promote their upcoming events through Event Ads.

Jobs
In the effort to help more small and local businesses hire employees, the social media platform will be expanding the current job postings to all people and companies across the world over the next few months.

Small or large, these changes have been made to help you leverage social media to help better your business’s brand and gauge how you can best serve your clientele. Not sure where to start? Talk story with us and we can help you get set up!

For decades, Akina Aloha Tours school and tour bus service has served visitors and residents on the island of Maui through a wide variety of transportation services for groups big or small. In early 2018, Akina Aloha Tours took the bold step of re-branding itself to their new name: Akina Tours & Transportation. This rather major name change brought about a need to revamp Akina’s entire lineup of promotional services; including a rather substantial web presence. That’s where the website and marketing experts at Meyer Computer, Inc. stepped in to help!

As the premier web and marketing provider of Akina Aloha Tours for many years, Akina Tours & Transportation asked us to assist them in transitioning the entirety of their web presence to their new company name as well as help in promoting a host of new and improved group tour and transportation services here in Maui, Hawaii. In a bid to maximize promotional efforts, Meyer Computer, Inc. created an entirely new customer-centric website for Akina Tours & Transportation, which has just launched!

Upon first entering the all new AkinaTours.com, customers are treated to an expansive selection of views from the island of Maui; starting with a high resolution intro video featuring Akina Tours & Transportation’s newest luxury mini-coach set against a backdrop of the lush green West Maui Mountains, and continuing with a vibrant slide show of some of Maui’s most enjoyable beaches. Once you have been awed by the initial splendor of Maui, scroll down to quickly “Get a Quote!” for group tour and transportation services, view a quick introduction to the Akina Tours & Transportation company, use the 4-up on-page quick menu to instantly view transportation service options, and discover the newest tours and latest happenings with Akina Tours & Transportation and the Island of Maui.

Delve deeper into the new AkinaTours.com and you will find everything you need to learn more about Akina Tours & Transportations tour and service offerings, reserve your group transportation, and much more! Some highlights:

  • High resolution photos detailing the many transportation options available.
  • 360 degree virtual tours of select passenger coaches.
  • Quick access to learn about and book transportation services for groups, weddings, corporate get together, and more.
  • Introduction to the new range of specialized tours being offered by Akina Tours & Transportation.
  • High definition tour video integration.
  • Custom “Build Your Own” tour informational page with quick “Get a Quote” booking prompts.
  • Integrated online direct booking of specialized tour options.
  • Easy access to custom quote and information forms throughout.
  • Convenient Search option at the top of every page.
  • Fully responsive/mobile optimized design.

As a premiere client, Akina Tours & Transportation also benefits from a wide gamut of internet marketing and optimization services offered by Meyer Computer, Inc. to increase client acquisition, direct bookings, top ranking in Google and other notable search engines, brand loyalty and recognition, community growth, current and prospective client engagement, and many other notable web metrics.

At Meyer Computer, Inc. we are proud to provide the knowledgeable owners and staff at Akina Tours & Transportation with web services that enhance their client relationships while helping to take their business to new heights (or, in Akina’s case, roads!) Mahalo!

So your sleek new Hawaii business website is complete and you’re ready to grow your organic, social media, online advertising and/or local search engine presence… finding the perfect Marketing and SEO company can be tough to find. You need to find a reputable company that is easy to work with, tailors their marketing campaign to your needs and that understands your business growth goals. That can be a tall order, but far from unattainable!

So should your Hawaii business go for that big mainland company or choose local? Consider some of the following benefits of island businesses using a local Hawaii SEO and Internet marketing company (like us!).

Who Knows You Better?

Whether you are on Oahu, Maui, Kauai, The Big Island, Lanai or Molokai — Our Hawaii Internet marketing company has done a great deal of research on where to get your business found in our local target market. Are most of your customers on the mainland? No problem! From directories, local blogs, citation listings, social media and paid advertising, our company knows the ins-and-outs of getting your Hawaii website the exposure it needs.

Understanding of Hawaii

If you choose a mainland company, how are they going to give any of your content copy, ads, profile write-ups, social media posts, etc. that aloha feel? When creating content for your business, choosing another Hawaii company has its advantages. Being local means we understand the subtle nuances and specific things unique to our region.

Dealing with island SEO references to local areas and all the Hawaiian words is another reason it’s best to stick with a Hawaii company. We know how to spell the words and we know when and when not to use things like the ‘okina or kahakō. What would a mainland company do with that?

Our Hawaii SEO marketing services can help you include important regional references in your marketing strategy, giving you a local edge.

Personalized Experience

Once we’ve done the initial meeting to lay out goals and expectations, it’s easy to build a good relationship of clear communication with our Hawaii web design and marketing company. You always know who you are going to talk to. That ability to call with any concerns you have makes you less stressed and feeling free to ask even the smallest of questions. Whether by phone, email or setting up a meeting that fits your schedule, we are here for you. You can even stop by our Maui office just to say aloha!

Working with larger mainland companies, they tend to have high turnover and you can be passed around. It can be more difficult to communicate overall with the time-zone issue, which makes asking those “quick” questions harder, and you’ve lost that personal touch.

Buy Local – Buy Hawaii

Not only does working with a local company benefit you, but it also benefits the local economy. As a locally owned business, we see that first-hand. Whenever we can, we make sure our money goes right back into purchasing local products and services which continues to strengthen our community. We are invested in Hawaii’s future and are honored to give back to our community.

Reputation

Working with other Hawaii businesses to build their online presence, our marketing company here on Maui takes our reputation very seriously. We know how coconut wireless works… Meyer Computer, Inc. has been going strong for over 20 years now. Over that time we have built up some wonderful island relationships and look forward to building many more.