Thursday, February 14, 2019

Week 4; Post 1

Below are two websites that I see have potential problems for visitors.

First Website:
Jamilin 
This website has several issues that will make it difficult to ascertain what is going on and is actually painful to view.

Firstly, I'm struggling to find a singular message on which to focus. There is so much text to wade through to figure out what this website is about. There is no primary theme to start from and the content is chaotic. The website owner seems quite enthusiastic about her content, it's just not organized or clearly laid out. In the top navigation bar, there are too many colors. There should be a statement near the top that tells a visitor what the site is about.

Also, in the top banner it says she is 60 and on the lower right side, she is 59. That is confusing and distracting and detracts from the value of her message. The video she profiles in the center is from 2013. The profiled video should be her most current work and if not, then should be placed on her media page.

The 'Welcome" message is below the fold, meaning you have to scroll down to find it.

She clearly has a lot to say but, it is difficult to ascertain what her core message is through the noise of the print.

I would suggest improvements in the organization of her content. Pick a clean template, this one is choppy and outdated. A Blogger, WordPress, or a Wix could be more streamlined. Create a clean navigation bar with the most pertinent content and the rest archived on a separate page.

Second Website:
Gates and Fences
Wow, who would have thought there was so much information about gates and fences! There is a plethora of information and photos about gates and it's so busy looking. The home page has so much information and the left side navigation bar is so detailed and long I found myself skipping the information and just looking at the different gate designs.

It looks as if they sell products on the site as well. I would suggest organizing the navigation into categories such as home page, gates, fences, photos, products, and contact. Then each category having a page to display the information that is relevant for the visitor.

This site could use a more up-to-date look and feel. (I do appreciate the American flag on the home page.)

Both of these sites could use the changes I suggested and the result would benefit the visitor and possibly increase understanding of the offerings and more sales. There is so much online to vie for our attention, we have to make it easier for visitors of our site to know what we are talking about, offering and hopefully they will want to be a consumer. In the case of these two sites, I say, less is more.

Now let's contrast two sites that are doing things right.

First Website:
Penny Juice
Refreshing! This site is clean and sticks to the point of its mission. The background color is bright and clean. The kids' faces are cute and the slogan 'It makes cents' is clever. That and the name Penny Juice is good branding. The site is clean which makes it pleasant to browse through. The nav bar only has three tabs; Home, Childcare Juice, and Order. The information is very simple and digestible. It is even easy to order the product.

This site has a clean design, pleasant aesthetics, and clear on its branding. I consider this a happy site and happy sites make people feel good.

Second Website:
Head Hunter Hairstyling
This site is fun. The home page has a video of someone trimming har making it feel interactive. The colors are calm and welcoming green. The top nav bar is straight forward highlighting the services, gallery, stylists, about and contact. I don't have to try and figure out where to click for information.

Having a website that is clean and easy helps a visitor engage. We have too many options and we have to make it easy on our potential customers so make it easy for them to want to stay.






















Monday, February 11, 2019

Week 3, Part 2: Examples of Business Websites and Social Media Use

For this exercise, I chose those in the business of media; podcasters, TV hosts, authors, and coaches. The first three are high profile and faith-based, the other two are fellow podcaster friends of mine. I chose them because I have a podcast titled, Catholicism is Cool and co-host Reinvention Radio and Beyond 8 Figures podcasts and want to learn as much as I can about what fellow podcasters are doing to grow their brand and patterns I am noticing, which I will share in my research below.

1. Jen Hatmaker: Christian blogger, author, a show on HGTV with her husband and five children called "My Big Family Renovation".
Jen HatMaker's Website
She is using the following social media feeds to promote her brand:
Facebook 729,000 followers. Last post - Feb 7 - Posts often
Twitter 155,000 followers. Last post - Feb 10 - posts daily
Pinterest 15,000 followers. Last post - can't tell - lots of activity, no dates
Instagram 412,000 followers - posts daily
Blog - Last post - Dec 14, 2018
Jen, along with the other high profile people I am highlighting, must have social media people helping to keep their content very consistent. It's all about consistency and keeping a conversational and friendly tone with followers.
Jen utilizes FaceBook the most and Instagram is in second place with Twitter in third place. I think that is due to her personality. She is good on video and plays it well.

2.  Joyce Meyer - Christian TV host, author, special events, bible study, and inspiration
Joyce Meyer's Website
She is using the following social media feeds to promote her brand:
FaceBook 11,603,000 followers. Last post today - posts multiple times a day
Twitter 5,860,000 followers. Last post today - posts multiple times a day
Instagram 2,000,000 followers - Posts daily
Youtube 292,000 subscribers - Posts daily
Joyce has so many followers on her TV show that much of her content is repurposed for social media.
It's a good formula. She uses Facebook as her main message stream with inspirational quotes and bible quotes. Twitter is repurposed from that feed most likely.

3. Joel Osteen - Christian preacher out of Texas. Took over his father's ministry. He and his wife Victoria fill a sixty thousand person stadium every weekend. Author, podcaster, known for inspiring people to live their best life through their faith.
Joel Osteen's Website 
He is using the following social media to promote his brand:
FaceBook 21,000,000 followers. Posts multiple times a day
Twitter 8,469,000 followers. Posts multiple times every day
YouTube 700,000 subscribers. Posts daily
Instagram 2,700,000 followers. Posts daily
Joel has built a loyal following due to his successful televised Sunday sermon.

4. JJ Flizane - JJ is a fellow podcaster and entrepreneur. Her approach is health and fitness. I've shared a stage with her and she will choose a subject she is interested in, such as the law of attraction, diet, exercise and create a podcast around it then track which show gets the most listens.
JJ's Website 
JJ is using the following social media to gauge the popularity of her topics.
FaceBook 2694 followers. Posts multiple times a day
Twitter 17,600 followers. Posts multiple times a day
Pinterest 728 followers. Posts weekly
Instagram 2051 followers. Posts daily
YouTube 1000 subscribers
JJ is continually honing her focus on the reaction from her listeners/viewers to decide which podcasts to put the most effort into to grow her business and brand.

5. Allana Pratt - I've known Allana as a follower from my online business for at least ten years. She has slowly and surely developed her business primarily using YouTube. Today, she is a powerful coach and media personality.
Allana's Website   
Allana is using the following social media platforms to promote her brand.
YouTube 22,512 subscribers. Posts multiple times a week
Twitter 7612 followers. Multiple posts a day
FaceBook 7500 followers Feb 7. Posts daily
Instagram 2794 followers Feb 11. Posts daily
Allana is very comfortable on video and she has stayed consistent with her posts and it has put her on the map in her category and coaching business. She is becoming a top expert in her field and her coaching business has quadrupled in the last year by her efforts.

What I discovered through this exercise is that consistency and longevity are key to posting content online to successfully build a brand. There are social media platforms that make it easier to write the content once and post it across multiple platforms. With just a click of a button using an app such as Repurpose.io can help one achieve that desired effect.

The businesses I profiled use multiple social media platforms because they draw visitors to them. Most likely they have a team helping them post their content. As I mentioned, the repurposing of content makes it easy to see where your audience is and how they are consuming your content. I'm noticing people want shorter bite-size content to digest and in more quantity to consume. Another good thing to strive for is getting a fan to bounce from an initial site such as a Facebook page and then 'bouncing' to YouTube for more content.

Text. Audio. Video. Writing a blog was a big deal and everyone was rushing to be a top blogger. Audio platforms, such as podcasting and Anchor.fm, have become even more popular as we can listen as we go. But, if we like someone, we want to hear them and see them. I have my favorite YouTuber's who post 10 to 15-minute videos every day and I watch them while having my morning coffee.

Understanding how each media platform works and serves the customer will help to decide if it is one for you to use to promote your brand. We don't have to use all of them, just a few that we feel most comfortable using. I don't like blogging even though I'm a writer. I like audio the best. I currently use Zoom as a video and audio platform and post the audio on Anchor.fm and iTunes and the video on BingeNetworks.tv.

It's important to have a niche product, service, or message, that will profile you to your ideal audience then head over to that platform. For instance, I've never been on Snapchat, that is not my audience and the younger set is most likely not interested in my material.

In my opinion, people can be successful on all social media platforms if they have a team posting content every day to each one. People starting out in their business need to figure out where their potential customers consume their content. Fish where the fish are.

Classmate Blogs I Posted On
Michele Cortez
Peyton Jansma 
CarlyRose








Thursday, February 7, 2019

Week 3A - Communication - Business & Consumer

Have you ever experienced difficulty communicating with a business? 
I've had experiences where arrogance took over and the business owner didn't care that much about the complaint.  I remember an experience I had taking my young daughter to a dermatologist to have a wart removed from her thumb. She cried and pulled her hand back because this was the second attempt to have it frozen. She remembered how much it hurt the first time and in anticipation, she pulled away. The doctor walked out of the room and with no explanation, never came back. I gave him a review on Yelp just explaining our experience and how disappointing it was and I received a bill from his office.

I do believe social media can be a virtual megaphone to get noticed and to get a problem solved. If one uses social media for a complaint, and the business owner cares and is paying attention, they will most likely try to remedy the situation. I also like good old fashioned phone calls enacted calmly, and reasonably, to seek a solution.

Have you ever had a positive experience communicating with a business through social media? 
I have had positive 'outcomes' settling an issue through social media, however, I think the threat of the potential damage a person can do to business over social media scares business owners so they will pretty much do anything not to experience the negative social backlash. As the old adage goes, 'it's easier to keep a client than to find a new one.' I host vacation rental properties, and 5-star,  reviews are at the heart of my business. I can't see my guests' review until we mutually post, then the reviews are released. If I don't get a 5-star, I reach out to my guest and ask how I could have made and improved their stay.

How would I respond to positive or negative comments? I'm using my two vacation rental properties as an example for this exercise because I receive multiple reviews a week. When I receive a positive review it is usually expounding on the exact areas of the experience I am hoping they receive and they have voiced it directly to me in person so I don't respond online - probably something I should rethink. When I receive a three or four-star review I respond immediately asking what went wrong. With the rare occasion of those lower reviews, I read what they have written and reach out to let them know I care. Sometimes, they just want to be heard and other times they're just miffed and I can't do anything.

What made the experience negative or positive? As I mentioned in the last line, I think it's really important to hear people and what matters to them. Do I think people bring a bad attitude into any given situation? Sure. Do I think there are legitimate complaints? Sure. I think going forward, everyone has to take responsibility on both sides with social media. It is so easy to say whatever we want through a keyboard that we wouldn't say in person or over the phone.




Thursday, January 31, 2019

Week 2A- Overview of Social Media

What social media platforms seem geared toward personal use?
I use certain platforms for personal use such as Facebook, SnapChat, Instagram, and Pinterest. They are popular because most people use them to communicate with their friends and family. I have teenagers who use Snapchat and Instagram to communicate with their friends and only use it for social purposes. I rarely use these platforms and if I do, it is Facebook Groups, some Twitter and a little bit of LinkedIn. Facebook, Instagram, SnapChat and Pinterest are perfect for personal use because people can input their lives into the posts via videos and photos.

Which platforms work better and seem more suitable for business? From my experience, I would use LinkedIn and Facebook Groups for my business. LinkedIn is a professional/business social website which connects people and makes it easier to meet others in the business world. One can also post articles they have written and it is an excellent way to look for a job. Facebook allows you to create groups for an ultimately larger group of people to engage and create a community of like-minded folks around a particular subject.

Do any of the platforms seem to work well for business and personal? How are they used differently? From my experience, Facebook and Twitter work well for personal and then I would add in LinkedIn for business. As for one platform working well for personal and business, I would probably head over to Pinterest and Instagram especially if in a visual business such as design, showcasing products, selling real estate as the customer base is already there looking for ideas and inspiration.






Thursday, January 24, 2019

Week 1B - Blog Comments

I commented on the following blogs so far:

Matthew Daigneau

Jason Bush

Giuliana L.

Michelle J.

Week 1A - Blog Theme

I chose this theme because I really like the blue and green combination, it inspires spring and hope. On my work website, I have pink and black but, this combination makes me smile.

This is a good example of why I am glad I enrolled in this class. I need to be proficient making quick edits on my blogs. It took me a few tries to get even one template to work. For some reason, certain templates wouldn’t populate for me.

Now, I want to work on cleaning up the look of the text; for example text color and font size.


Week 4; Post 1

Below are two websites that I see have potential problems for visitors. First Website: Jamilin   This website has several issues that wi...