by cygnet-strategies-2022 | Feb 17, 2018 | Blog
The Small Business Revolution is looking for a small town to receive a $500,000 boost and star in Season 3 of Small Business Revolution – Main Street. One of our friends — Bastrop, Texas — made it to the Top 5. We were proud to be a part of Top 5 announcement in Bastrop!
As most of you know, I’m committed to generating at least 1,000 votes for Bastrop as it competes in The Small Business Revolution. We anticipate the winner will need between 750,000 and 1,000,000 votes to win.
Why should you show some love?
You can vote every day through February 20 for Bastrop to win this year’s Small Business Revolution competition:
- Bastrop’s population is 8,500 and it is competing against communities 2X, 3X, and 5X larger
- After working on projects in Bastrop over the past few years, the community is near and dear to my heart
- Bastrop has weathered SIX major natural disasters over the past seven years and keeps coming back
How can you help?
Things to do today:
Learn about The Small Business Revolution
Thank you for making a difference for one small town—maybe next year we’ll all be voting for your community!
Vote for Bastrop to win The Small Business Revolution.
Cygnet Strategies in Bastrop for The Small Business Revolution announcement.
by Anne Swoboda | Jan 14, 2018 | Blog
Every business and organization should track their digital marketing metrics on their website and social media accounts. It’s the only way to know whether you’re reaching your digital marketing goals. It also ensures that your time and efforts spent on digital marketing are worthwhile.
First, we’re going to touch on which website metrics are important to track and where to find them in Google Analytics. Then we’ll dive into basic social media metrics.
If you don’t already have Google Analytics set up, this set up guide can help you connect your website and start collecting data.
There are three basic components to look for in to website analytics: traffic, audience demographics, and website content behavior.
Website traffic metrics tell you how many people are visiting and finding your website.
To find the number of times your website was visited in Google Analytics, go to Acquisition > Overview. Here you can also see how many visits were from new users/visitors to your website.
For a more detailed look, go to Acquisition > All Traffic > Source/Medium. Here you’ll see how many visits are from direct traffic, organic search traffic, paid search traffic, referral traffic, or customized campaign traffic.
Direct traffic is where visitors typed your URL directly into their browser. Organic search and paid search traffic is from visitors who searched keywords that directed them to your website. Referral traffic tells you which websites or blogs link to your website.
Campaign traffic is from campaigns that you created in Google’s Campaign URL Builder for email, social media, or other advertising efforts. These can be tracked separately in Google Analytics and indicate metrics generated directly from your campaigns.
If you post content on social media that links to your website, you’ll want to know how many people click through to your website. To see this, go to Acquisition > Social > Network Referrals. This data will help you determine whether your social media fans and followers are also website visitors.
It’s important to know who visits your website. Go to Audience > Demographics > Geo > Location and click on United States to see a breakdown of visitors by region/state. Click on any state to see a city breakdown.
Go to Audience > Mobile > Overview to see how many visitors saw your website on desktop, mobile, and tablet. You can even see which brands and models of devices were used.
On any metric view, you can add a secondary dimension. This is especially important when considering how many visitors used a mobile device to view your website while they were in your city. To do this, click Secondary dimension and select Users > City.
As with the traffic metrics above, it’s good to know how much traffic came from mobile devices, how long mobile traffic stayed on your website, and how many pages mobile devices visited.
How many times a return visitor viewed to your website is essential knowledge. Go to Audience > Behavior > New vs Returning to see how many sessions/visits are by new visitors. View the frequency and engagement of these visits in the Audience > Behavior tab.
Visitor age, gender, interests, and additional data are also available this Audience view.
Website Content Behavior
Now that you know how many people visit your website and who they are, it’s time to delve into which pages they want to view, which pages draw people to your website, how fast your website loads, and which pages are uninteresting to visitors.
The top pages on your website will tell you what content people want to view and learn. This can be viewed on Behavior > Site Content > All Pages. The Landing Pages indicate which pages visitors see first, as well as what content draws people to your website.
Similarly, the Exit Pages tell you the last page visitors see before they leave your website. This may indicate whether they found pertinent information or not. Analyzing this data can help you determine if specific content is missing on those pages.
Bounce rates will tell you how many people left your website without clicking through to any other pages. A high bounce rate indicates that visitors aren’t interested in your content. To measure your bounce rate, go to Behavior > Site Content > All Pages and look at the Bounce Rate column.
Website visitors are becoming increasing impatient on slow loading websites. By going to Behavior > Site Speed > Page Timings, you can see how quickly your website pages load. Speed Suggestions are provided to make pages faster.
Basic Social Media Metrics
Knowing your social media metrics are just as important as knowing your website metrics. Track how many people you reach on social media and how they engage with your content.
Below are the basic metrics to track in your social media efforts.
On your Facebook page, go to the Insights tab to view and export your Facebook data. Click Export Data to download your Page and Post metrics for a specific date range. These exports will provide most of your basic Facebook metrics.
The Page Level export indicates the number of total fans as well as new fans generated during that date range. Total reach and total impressions are also available in this export. The reach and impressions data in this export are for any content associated with your page, not just your post content.
The Post Level export indicates the reach and impressions per post. Click on the Lifetime Post Stories by Action tab to see the total count of interactions/stories from your page posts. These include post likes, comments, and shares.
As you analyze these metrics, it’s important to assess which types of content (photos or links) and which topic themes generate the most reach, impressions, and interactions.
If you promoted any posts or ran Facebook ads, view those metrics in the Facebook Ads Manager.
Go back to your Facebook page Insights tab and click on the People tab to see fan gender, age, and location demographics.
Instagram metrics can be viewed in the app if your account is an Instagram business profile. Tap the bar graph icon in the top right corner of your profile to view Insights such as total followers, total posts, and top posts.
Use a free or paid third-party tool, such as Iconosquare, to see likes, comments, and engagement rate, and to get an exported metrics report.
To see basic Twitter metrics, log in to Twitter and go to the Twitter Analytics home page. Here you can see a 28-day summary and monthly metrics, including the number of tweets, tweet impressions, profile visits, mentions, and new followers. Your top tweet, top mention, top follower, and top media tweet are also displayed on this page.
The Tweets tab provides a more detailed look at your tweet impressions, engagements, engagement rate, link clicks, retweets, likes, and replies. You can also export data from this screen for quick number crunching.
The Audiences tab provides demographic data such as gender, interests, occupation, household income, and more.
Cygnet Strategies offers three versions of Digital Assessments for individual businesses and communities to help you generate strong results from your digital marketing efforts. Contact us today to see how we can help you.
by Anne Swoboda | Jan 11, 2018 | Blog
The number of people researching businesses online before they visit is increasing. Smartphones have replaced phone books and potential customers expect easy access to hours of operation and the ability to plug in driving directions.
To provide adequate customer service before the customer even steps foot in your door, there are a few standard website basics that must be included on every small business website.
A company website should be clean and up to date, both in terms of content and design. Hours of operation should be listed and easy to find. The current year’s copyright date should be included in the footer. Images should be engaging, in focus, and not look dated.
Each website page should include the business’ contact information to increase SEO. This includes business name, full address, phone with area code, email address and logo. Contact information should be listed in text, not placed as an image in the header. Search engines cannot read text in an image.
The website’s navigation should be intuitive and include social media links in the header or footer. Content and links should be verified regularly and dead links should be removed as they indicate that the business information may not be accurate.
Most importantly, all business websites need to be responsive on mobile devices. If a potential customer does not have an easy, user-friendly experience visiting a business website, there’s a good chance they will not visit in person. The font should be large enough on mobile and desktop.
In addition to a website, business listings on Google, Yelp, and TripAdvisor should be claimed and updated.
Many businesses utilize social media in addition to their website. Facebook is still the powerhouse for nearly all businesses, with Instagram and Twitter following, depending on the nature of the business. Some businesses also use Snapchat, YouTube, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Flickr.
A business should look at their target market before joining a social media platform. If the target market is not using one platform, it might be worth the effort to update that platform with business content.
Facebook pages should be updated 2-3 times each week. Some businesses like to update theirs daily. We recommend not updating your page more than once per day unless it’s being used to communicate emergency information.
The page should have a decent number of fans in order to make the time spent updating the page worthwhile. An ad buy may be needed to advertise the page to current and potential customers on Facebook. Signs should be placed in the business (on the door or by the cash register) to let customers know they can follow the business on Facebook.
Each business Facebook page should include a square profile image of the business logo, larger cover image, full contact information, and hours of operation. If staff uses Facebook regularly, Facebook Messaging should be turned on so that customers can contact the business directly through Facebook.
Instagram & Twitter
Both of these networks should be updated more regularly than Facebook. Instagram posts should be engaging images and utilize appropriate hashtags. Twitter content should be original, with appropriate hashtags, and not be linked to Facebook posts.
To build followers on Instagram and Twitter, it may be necessary to search for and follow potential customers based on interests, locations, or hashtags. Promoting the network inside the business will help current customers connect online.
Our Digital Assessments
Cygnet Strategies has worked with dozens of communities and small businesses in assessing digital marketing efforts. We offer Digital Marketing Assessment packages for individual businesses as well as communities. Contact us to see how we can help your business with digital marketing.
by cygnet-strategies-2022 | Dec 16, 2017 | Blog, EXPERIENCING PLACES
Events are an important part of a community’s economic impact. In many communities across the country, funding is getting tighter and tourism revenue is going down. This is why knowing the economic impact of your event is so important to a successful event.
Montana Folk Festival
One example we like to showcase is the Montana Folk Festival in Butte Montana (population 33,000). It’s a free, multi-day music festival that covers most of the Uptown area. Starting as the National Folk Festival, this event has grown into an annual tradition. Like many events, the Montana Folk Festival has struggled with fundraising, recruiting volunteers, and the weather but because the committee was willing to get past “we’ve always done it this way” and explore new options, the 140,000 attendees don’t know this. They simply experience exceptional performers in a stellar setting and spend more than $8 million annually.
Annual National Storytelling Festival
Another great example is the Annual National Storytelling Festival in historic Jonesborough, Tennessee (population 5,300). This world renowned three-day storytelling event started with no more than 60 attendees and storytellers in 1973. As with any event, the program adjusts over time to meet the needs and interests of attendees and sponsors. The National Storytelling Festival added live-streamed events a few years ago which grew to 35,000 listeners from around the world. The small-town festival draws more than 10,000 attendees and has an economic impact of $7.6 million annually.
World Championship BBQ Goat Cook Off
Brady, Texas (population 5,425) has been home to the World Championship BBQ Goat Cook Off for the past 44 years. Over time, attendance and revenues dwindled. In 2016 the local Chamber of Commerce was faced with a decision – continue to watch the event decline or make bold changes. Cygnet Strategies provided an honest assessment of what was working and what wasn’t and then reviewed every aspect of the event with them. Difficult decisions were made, forming the foundation for a challenging, but productive, year of reinvention. In 2017, this one-day event brought 10,000 people to Richards Park (double the attendance in 2016) and created nearly $500,000 in economic impact. There is still more work to do, but the positive feedback from attendees, cookers and vendors showed the board they are moving in the right direction.
How to Move Forward
As you look forward to 2018, now is the time to determine your event’s economic impact and create a plan to rev up your event. Having this knowledge is the power needed to fight for or defend your budget, generate new sponsorships, create passion in volunteers, and increase event attendance.
Cygnet Strategies has provided Special Event Assessments and Event Economic Impact Analysis for events across the country. With our customized approach, we can create a plan that ensures the success of your event for years to come.