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Even if it doesn’t result in a same-day sale, social media can be an important part of a customer’s decision to purchase.

 DKemp Designs Social Media Marketing Matters

DKemp Designs Social Media Marketing MattersIn a recent Manta poll, 45% of small business owners said they invest marketing dollars in social media. Social media marketing can help you build awareness and engagement with customers by posting interesting content on popular platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and others. But can social media marketing really help you increase sales?

The short answer is yes, social media marketing can help small business owners and contractors increase sales, but it often takes time to see positive effects.

“Social marketing efforts that are done consistently over time will absolutely generate business, but it’s not an overnight thing,” said author and small business expert Melinda Emerson. “It takes at least seven and as many as 21 quality interactions to turn an online connection into a paying customer. Social media credibility must be built over time.”

Business owners often get frustrated trying to calculate the elusive ROI of social media. Tools like Google Analytics can help you better understand how social media is (or isn’t) leading to sales, as well as which platforms and posts are most effective.

“Make sure you understand what role your social efforts play in your customer’s path to purchase,” said Brian Jensen, CEO of Congruent Digital. “We’ve found that for many industries, social plays more of an assist role, or acting as a touch point during either the awareness or consideration phase.”

The bottom line is that customers are watching what your business says and does through social media. Not only can these interactions drive sales, they can inspire loyalty. At the same time, neglecting the social media channels you build can limit growth and even create a negative reputation for potential customers.

So choose just a couple of platforms to focus on and engage with your audience in a transparent manner. This is the best way to build loyal customers who will recommend you. For a friendly, free consultation, contact DKemp Designs and get up to 30 minutes of advice and no high pressure sales tactics.

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Mock ups can really showcase graphic design so that the public can get a ‘real world’ view of the end product. Do you use mock ups to enhance your presentations? If so, buying them for different purposes can really add up. Here’s a chance to get hundreds of mock ups now and in the future for one reasonable price.

 

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Need some cute summer graphics to spice up your posts and blog? Try these tropical inspired graphics for a really low price to add fun in the sun.

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Techsnoop Girls Want to HackGirl Scouts will now offer badges in cybersecurity according to Gizmodo. This is GREAT news for Techsnoop who has a 5-year-old female relative in Daisy with a strong interest in science. The Girls Scouts had the radical idea of asking girls what they wanted to learn. Surprisingly, girls want to learn cybersecurity and they want to join hackathons. Take note school districts across America; girls want to hack. They are interested in science, computers and robotics. And if they are struggling in math, it is the fault of the schools, not the girls.

“We surveyed a lot of girls,” Girl Scouts CEO Sylvia Acevedo told Gizmodo. “In those evaluations, girls repeatedly said they wanted more computer science and they were really interested in cybersecurity in terms of protecting themselves online. Bullying is a big issue. Also figuring out hackathons, they wanted to do that as well. (via Gizmodo)”

So, step up teachers across the country. Wearing pink and purple and glitter does not mean a lack of interest in science, technology, engineering and mathmatics. Rather, it means girls want to look good while putting the cyber smack down on cyber criminals. The differening perspectives of women in tech can unlock critical issues in self-driving cars, AI and ecommerce. Time to leverage this huge resource in the STEM industries.

 

Watch out Silicon Valley, this new army of cheeta prints and glam wardrobes are coming to a computer near you.

 

 

SEO, SEM Techsnoop

SEO and SEM are Tools to Take Control of Your Business.

Small business owners have a choice; hire someone to completely control your digital destiny. Or, learn the basics of SEO and SEM to enhance your website and local business search results.

  • SEO: Search Engine Optimization. When you or your web designer edits the metadata and content of your site, the search engine crawlers move your site link up closer to the top of the results. In local search, the customer’s location data is used to further filter these results. Search engine algorithms are constantly updated to push link-bait and spam sites further down and genuine sites further to the top of the results. Review the recommendations of Bing, Yahoo! and Google to lift your search rankings.
  • SEM: Search Engine Marketing. SEM is paid ads on sites like Facebook, Google, Yahoo and Bing. These ads show up at the top of search results and on the right sidebar of search results. This can be an effective short-term solution to help enhance your SEO efforts.

Organic search results are the results that naturally occur when a customer searches for your type of business. An example is ‘web design’ which used to be a keyword that businesses would overuse in their metadata and on their pages. The newest algorithms are able to determine web design from the page content without overuse of the word. In fact, today’s search engines will actually penalize your site for ‘keyword stuffing’ as this is now considered spam.

Providing good, relevant content that is updated often is the best way to reach the coveted first page of search results. These are the results most likely to be clicked by customers.

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Galaxy Note 8 Concept

Galaxy Note 8 Concept

The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is far and away the best phone Techsnoop has ever owned. But it is now getting a bit dated and tired. Unfortunately, Samsung released the Note 5 with out the expandable storage and the Note 7 was a fire hazard.

But the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus are both huge hits and the ‘infinity’ display is a compromise between the edge display and usable screen real estate. So now we wait for these same specs to be bumped up for the flagship phone, the Note 8. Rumours of 6GB of RAM are enough to make a tech geek drool.

Smartphones are a central part of our lives now with the ability to locate and start your car, lock and unlock your home door and control smart home devices. In addition, apps like Samsung Health help you keep track of fitness and dietary goals to improve your health, eliminating the need for additional devices. And importantly for Techsnoop, there are great productivity apps for web design and business.

In his final post, Walt Mossberg states that technology will soon become ‘ambient’ or just a part of the everyday objects we use. The combination of artificial intelligence / machine learning, augmented reality, virtual reality, robotics and drones, smart homes, self-driving cars, and digital health / wearables (Walt Mossberg, the Verge) will make the computer an invisible butler in accomplishing our tasks.

So it only makes sense that smartphones will continue to be an important link between other computing devices and our interface. Making a power house phone like the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 a true value.

Are you waiting on the Note 8 or did you take the S8 plunge? Let us know in the comments.

Webdesign Ninja Techsnoop

Starting or updating a small business website? Interview your web designers like you would for employees. Here’s some tips.

Small business owners are busy wearing multiple hats running a business. So when it comes to technical solutions, most small business owners choose to outsource their website creation. To select a great designer or agency, you need to know some designer-speak. If terms like SEO, SEM, newsletters and list building are foreign to you, keep reading.

The purpose of your website is to increase your business income. Even if you don’t have an e-commerce site, bringing customers to your store or enticing them to call is the primary focus of a website. But if your site is not found by potential customers, no conversions can happen.

SEO = Search Engine Optimization; the process of having your site appear in search results high enough to cause clicks by customers.

SEM = Search Engine Marketing; the process of using paid search results to drive marketing activity.

To prepare for the web designer interview process, make a list of goals for your website. Decide on a color scheme and branding that you think reflects your business. Next, write a description of your ideal target customer. Having a picture of who you want to target helps direct the design process.

Does the designer communicate well?

Every tech person communicates differently. But when developing your website, the designer must be able to understand your goals and communicate how they will accomplish this. Is the designer clear, using normal English or do they use technobabble to make themselves sound smarter? This is a sign that working with the designer will be difficult.

Is there a portfolio you can review?

Does the designer have a range of work styles? Or do all their projects look exactly alike? It is ok for a designer to specialize in one area of design, but if your web site does not fall into their speciality, it won’t be a good match. Also see if the designer can do other things such as business cards to match your site. A web designer with multiple talents helps you to keep your branding consistent.

How will the web site be managed?

What platform will the designer use? Will you use an administration board to update the site or will the designer make updates for you? Will the designer train you to use the back-end? Most designers can offer a flat monthly fee for updating your site. But there are many options for making small updates to content, photos and prices yourself. Consider if you have the time to do this task.

Responsive Website Techsnoop

Will the Designer create a wire frame or mock-up of the site?

There are many wire frame or prototyping tools available so that you can get a good view of how the site will look and behave. Does the price include creating a wire frame or mock-up? If not, this is an important add-on feature that you should consider. You don’t want to be surprised with a difficult to navigate site that is not user-friendly.

How Much Will It Cost and What does it include?

Know what your budget is for a website and what features you need to accomplish your goals. Be sure to get a written proposal of the functions included and the total price. Understand that any changes will come at an increased cost.

Does the price include editing photos, uploading starter content and training? What about a logo? These are usually extra features that may cost more.

If the web designer is good to communicate with, offers the services you need and is within your budget, you are most of the way to your new website!

Need more help? DKemp Designs is always happy to help with a free consultation call.

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Ever wondered which Adobe tool to use to create your latest masterpiece? So many great tools and they all create great designs, it is hard to choose. Well Terry L. White, a great Adobe Evangelist has your answers. So grab your favorite caffiene drink and learn from the expert so you can create with confidence.

princess-leia-regalGirl Geeks everywhere are in mourning. Carrie Fisher, the embodiment of true butt-kicking girl geek power, is dead. While Star Wars fans everywhere may be sad, this is especially difficult for the girl geek squad because it took so long for women to be accepted as action heroes. Princess Leia may have been the pinup dream girl of young boys, but for girls she made it ok to pick up a lightsaber, laser pistol or tree limb and be the rescuer, not the rescued.

Princess Leia laser pistol

Princess Leia on HothPrincess Leia brought princesses out of the ivory tower and into the action-packed fray of real life. Girls every where saw that they could give orders, deliver justice and even fix a beat up Millenium Falcon. Princesses began to pick up wrenches, learned to code, joined the military and became heroes.

And in real life, Carrie Fisher spoke bravely and honestly about struggling with substance abuse and mental illness. She also detailed her family struggles with grace, humor, and dignity.

Thank you Carrie Fisher, girl geeks everywhere are lighting their lightsabers in salute. May the Force be with you Always.

Unless you have been in a cave, you know that animation and video effects are taking over the web. The trick is to have unique content to bring visitors to your site. Adobe has released several new tutorials to keep you up to date with the newest technology.

Check out the latest video and let Techsnoop know what you think.

Adobe Character Animator Tips & Tricks (December 2016) from Adobe professional video on Vimeo.

Technology is expanding the boundaries of what is physically possible for humans. This wheelchair is a cool concept that needs to be expanded to every wheelchair.