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Gregg A

Save The Date for Cayman Social Media Clinic on November 9th, 9AM-12PM

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We’ll be hosting a morning workshop/clinic on beginner social media for business on November 9th from 9AM-12PM at the Cayman Islands Chamber of Commerce. More details to come, but expect to learn everything you need to know to get your business started using social media tools like Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Foursquare, and more. You’ll also learn what not to do so you’re not wasting your time. Stay tuned for more information!

Sand Dollar Studios Welcomes Little Trotter’s

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We are happy to welcome Little Trotter’s Farm and Nursery School as our newest client on Cayman! While they’ve had a one-page website for years, it has little information for prospective clients and existing parents. We’ll be developing an all-new WordPress website where they will be able to provide information on their pricing, mission statement, calendar, curriculum, as well as share what is going on at the school on a day-to-day basis! We’ll post again when we launch the site in four to six weeks…

Social Media on Cayman Done Right: LIME Saves The Day

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thumbsup1“@LIMECayman Any idea when my iPhone data will be working again? 3 weeks without service…”

I was enthralled when LIME responded the next day asking me for my phone number. I supplied it, and within 24 hours my problem was solved by someone higher-up at LIME then those in the retail stores.

This is how social media is supposed to work. This is social media done right. Twitter and Facebook are NOT just new advertising channels for you to tweet your weekend deals and sales. It’s a two-way street where your customers can ask you questions directly, without going through all the call centers. It’s a way to publicly show you care about them. If you’re using social media to better your customer serivce, you’re doing it right.

We sorta blogged about this in June, you need to actually monitor your Twitter account and respond when people mention your company – ESPECIALLY if it’s a question or a customer service issue. Otherwise, you’re probably going to loose that customer. Even if they just mention what an awesome meal they had at your restaurant, write them back and say “Thanks.” It builds loyalty in your brand.

On a related note, we’re putting together a social media training seminar that will take place in the next month or two here on-Island where we’ll discuss more on this. If you want to be notified when we have a date more info, contact us and we’ll let you know. Or, send us a tweet @sanddollarky. ;)

Facebook Ads May Have Higher ROI For Travel Sites

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otb1A recent study by a UK travel site, On the Beach, showed that Facebook ads offered returns seven times higher then other search marketing efforts like Google Adwords or other pay-per-click networks. While it’s a limited study, over 30 different campaigns were compared so it’s a good indicator that Facebook may return more customer conversions for travel sites then other options. The research targeted people 18-64 and they used multiple ad designs and split testing. Check out the story by clicking here.

Adobe Flash: It Was Great Five Years Ago, Not So Much Today

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noflash1Adobe Flash used to be a great way to make your website stand out. Today, it’s definitely not. Why? It comes down to mobile device compatibility. You may have heard, but Flash doesn’t work on most mobile devices – most importantly, those by Apple. More then likely, it will never work on Apple mobile devices like iPhones and iPads. While some other platforms run it, like Android (but only if you have the right version and only on the newest phones and tablets), Apple simply has the market share and will continue to have market share for years to come. Check out this article by Engadget, where the latest comScore results (a company that tracks Internet statistics) show that 97% of all US-based Internet tablet traffic comes from iPads (and 89% of world traffic).

More and more people are using mobile devices to surf the web – and even more so when they are researching shopping decisions on the go. If your website is built with Flash, they’ll see nothing!

Flash was great five years ago because you could do things that HTML couldn’t. That’s not the case anymore; just about everything you can do with Flash you can do with HTML, CSS, or JavaScript. Plus, you’ve probably noticed a trend recently – people like websites that are simple and focus on content, not on “flashy” bells and whistles.

Sand Dollar Studios can help you design a website with just the right mix of creativity and content that will work on every web browser and mobile device!

Twitter: Don’t Send Out a Dozen Tweets In 60 Seconds

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In a quick followup to my last blog post, I wanted to offer another useful suggestion for those of you who are tweeting on Cayman. If you’re sending out multiple tweets a day, don’t do them all within a short time span. I’ve notices a few businesses and brands firing out 6-10 tweets in a few minutes, and this can actually hurt the effectiveness of your social media efforts. Why is this bad? Tweeting multiple tweets in a short time period has two adverse effects:

  • When you fill your followers stream with a multitude of tweets in a short time span, they’re much more likely to pass over all your tweets because it’s simply too much to digest at once.
  • If you do all your posting for the day at once, you’re missing the opportunity to keep your brand on your follower’s minds all day. If you spread out your tweets, your followers are constantly thinking of you as they receive your tweets.

There are some useful applications like HootSuite that allow you to schedule your Twitter and Facebook posts throughout the day. That way, you can still plug in all your tweets at once and let the magic of automation help you spread your message during the whole day.

Social Media – It’s Not Just About Advertising!

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twitter-mistakes1Social Media is not just a new advertising channel. While it’s a great way to get your message out to followers, if all you do is blast advertisements and SPAM, you’ll find they’ll quickly tune you out or un-follow your brand. If everything in your social media feed are advertisements, people will quickly begin to ignore you. Be selective with what you choose to post.

Furthermore, if you don’t interact with those who reach out, you’ll find they may quickly loose interest or un-follow you. For example, I’ve both experienced myself and seen others who have sent @ messages on Twitter to companies who then never respond to questions or acknowledge these messages. You cannot simply set up a Twitter or Facebook account and use it only as a one-way communication method. When your customers mention your brand on Twitter or post to your Facebook wall, not acknowledging them or responding is like a cold slap to the face of the customer.

Imagine visiting a restaurant and telling the manager that you had a good experience (or bad) and they don’t bother to look up to respond. How would that make the customer feel? Or, what if you asked a customer service representative an important question and they just ignored you?

If you’re using social media, make sure you’re communicating with people who choose to interact! That’s the best way to build brand and customer loyalty in the long run. Social media should be thought of just like any other customer communication, be it by phone, email, or person-to-person. If you don’t have the time or resources to manage your social media, you might be better off not using it at all!

Why You Need a Web Partner

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robot1Two weeks ago, an article appeared on CNN about a bookseller on Amazon who had a book valued at $3.99 listed at $23,698,655.93 USD – plus shipping. The book, “The Making of a Fly” was nothing special – it wasn’t even autographed. How then, did the seller think it was worth $23 million? He didn’t. The actual cause of the ridiculous price was an improperly configured “pricing robot;” a tool many online retailers use to help set the price of items they are selling based on competitors prices. What happened, was that two different sellers of the book had misconfigured pricing robots that had no ceiling price set – so the two battled each other over the period of a few weeks until reaching comical levels. Read the full story over at CNN.

This is a great example of why businesses and retailers need a partner like Sand Dollar Studios who can help you avoid mistakes like this.

97% of Consumers Use Online Media to Shop Locally

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ecommerce11We meant it when we said it – the phone book has seen it’s day! According to a new study just released by BIA/Kelsey and Constat, nearly all shoppers now use online media when researching products or services in their area. Among consumers surveyed, 90 percent use search engines, 48 percent use Internet Yellow Pages, 24 percent use vertical sites, and 42 percent use comparison shopping sites.

According to the study, on average, consumers are using 7.9 different media sources when shopping for products or services in their local area, up from 6.5 sources in 2009 and 5.8 in 2008, revealing a noteworthy increase in audience fragmentation. Additional findings include:

  • 58 percent of respondents report using an online coupon when shopping for products or services in their local area in the past year.
  • 19 percent of respondents report making an appointment online in the past six months for a service other than a restaurant reservation (e.g., business appointment, health-care appointment, auto service or personal service such as a beauty shop).

What does this mean for you? Not only are tourists and island visitors using Google and other search engines to find you and research you, but locals are too! This has two important takeaways: First, you have to be found when searched for. Second, your website and content needs to look good in order to attract potential clients to your product or service as they compare you with your competition.