Market research firm Forrester Research publishes an annual technological report that addresses how general consumers finds websites, among other usage patterns.
The information they gathered in their 2012 report is rather interesting, when, as a marketer or business owner, you consider how your customers or clients find your website. The study, which shows usage patterns and preferences in website discovery resources, remains unbiased by surveying people from all generational cohorts.
• 54% of respondents preferred natural search results as their discovery resource. 
• 32% of respondents found websites through social networks. 
• Links were the third most important means of website discovery, with 28% saying they found websites from links on other sites. 
• Only 18% of those surveyed said that they used search ads for website discovery. 
I’m sure for many this data is not surprising. A quick skim of most website analytics reports will show about 50% of visitors come by organic search. (Most often the number one keyword is the business’ name.)
The number two traffic resource, according to the report, is frequently becoming social media channels. The reason for this being that companies are publishing and sharing more content than ever before. In general, the customer is not actively thinking about a brand or company, that is until they read or hear news about them. With social media at their disposal, more companies are getting their messages (and name) in front of their customers’ eyeballs on a regular basis.
Also, the consumer is familiar with the social platform interface. They know right where to find the website URL on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc., should they want visit the website. For the social media user, it’s quicker to find the URL via the company’s social channel than remembering the exact spelling of the URL or looking them up on Google.
Twitter has launched a tweet performance measuring tool available to all Twitter account holders on the Web at analytics.twitter.com.
While it does provide some helpful metrics including a profile of your followers and number of clicks, retweets and favorites on individual tweets, it seems that Twitter’s motivation for providing the tool is to ultimately increase advertising revenue.
Tweet data can be downloaded in CSV format for record keeping and client reporting.
A couple other great Twitter analytics tools that I used previously are Followerwonk and Topsy. These tools and many others like them are still great and should not be abandoned completely for the official Twitter Analytics tool.
Twitter is clearly a viable marketing tool for large corporations and brands with massive marketing budgets. The mico-messaging social network’s marketing dominance was evident during Super Bowl XLVII, with fifty percent of advertisers promoting their company accounts or campaign hashtags during the big game.
To bring this discussion down to a local level, I think — for the most part — local businesses have a good handle on the major social network, Facebook, as a marketing tool. They understand how to use it, and, more importantly, they understand the value in it. However, I have yet to see many local businesses harness the marketing power of Twitter.
Maybe it’s because their audience (as a whole) is not on Twitter — valid point. But, I would argue that in most regions of South Dakota, there is a Twitter market to be won.
The video below, which was produced by Twitter, does a good job broadly explaining how businesses of any size and nature can tap into the marketing power of Twitter. From promoted accounts to promoted tweets, you can develop a following, have your company’s message seen, and market to a niche audience without exhausting your advertising budget.
Remember, Twitter is not necessarily a solution for all businesses. Although I do strongly believe there are many businesses in South Dakota who could be reaping the benefits from advertising and participating on Twitter. Contact me if you’d like to discuss a Twitter campaign or other social media strategy.
Fused Interactive is happy to welcome summer intern Tyler Bouma to its team. Tyler is a student at Dakota State University in Madison, SD, where he studies information systems and networking and systems admin — all that basically meaning that he’s a computer geek like us.
Learn more about Tyler in the brief Q&A below and follow him on Twitter @tybouma.
What is your major and minor at DSU?
Major: Information Systems; Minor: Networking and Systems Admin
Are you in extra curricular activities?
I am a member in Student Senate, Computer Club, CRU. I like to longboard, run/workout, play Battlefield, and browse Reddit (too much).
What college jobs do you have outside of class?
I work as a Tech Fellow in the college of BIS. We develop websites/server systems.
Is this your first internship?
No, I worked at Omnitech last summer as a software engineer intern.
What do you want to do when you graduate?
I hope to work in the web industry in some capacity whether that be as a developer or as an administrator . . . maybe both?
Things you hope to learn during your internship at Fused?
Obviously I hope to learn more about web development/design, but I also hope to learn more about the web production cycle of a small firm such as Fused Interactive. Oh, and how to work this Mac mouse.
What are your hobbies?
Long boarding, running/working out, playing video games, Reddit, Dr. Who, systems admining, landscaping.
Any side projects you are working on currently?
My current side project that I am working on is making a fully functional FTP server out of an old desktop that I have. I am also looking into building a Linux distro from scratch.
Any vacations or other plans this summer?
My family and I are going to Lake Florida in Minnesota (go figure) sometime in July — we will be there for a week.
What is one thing you want to cross off your bucket list in the next six months?
I really, really, really want to go to Skyzone this summer.
Top two favorite music artists and/or TV shows?
It’s a toss-up between Dr. Who and Prison Break. My favorite band is Macklemore & Ryan Lewis.
Speaking on behalf of everyone at Fused Interactive, we are really excited to be back in Sioux Falls. The downtown scene is a perfect fit for a tech company such as ours. Besides having more coffee and lunch options, we also have new networking opportunities and increased visibility.
The office is still a work in progress, as you will notice while browsing the move-in photos. But we hope to have everything finished as soon as possible—ideally by June. Stop by and say hello sometime!
Fused Interactive’s new address:
8th & Railroad Center
401 E. 8th St. Ste. 306
Sioux Falls, SD 57103
Sioux Falls, SD — Mar. 15, 2013 — Fused Interactive was awarded a Gold ADDY at the 47th Annual South Dakota ADDY Awards held at the Orpheum Theater for their work on the website project OhMyCupcakes.com.
Fused also took home two Silver ADDYs; one for Bike Brandon, a not-for-profit project in conjunction with the Brandon Valley Chamber of Commerce, the other for Coquette Couture email template.
We feel privileged to have our work alongside the outstanding work of other interactive and traditional advertising agencies in South Dakota.
The South Dakota Advertising Federation has made a complete list of award recipients available in PDF form on their website.
Thank you, SDAF, for putting on the event, and to the Selection Committee for honoring Fused Interactive with these three ADDY awards. Also, a huge thank you goes out to all our clients who made earning these awards possible in the first place.
The days of keyword stuffing and other various black hat SEO tactics are long behind us. (And I couldn’t be happier.)
Nowadays, SEO is all about quality on-page content, truthful page titles, solid meta tags and relevant keywords. The new school of SEO teaches, that for a brand to succeed, they must share content that readers want to consume — whether it be through photos, videos or great articles — Internet users are much smarter than the spammy SEO techniques of old gave them credit for.
Avid users of Instagram—the sleek photo sharing service for Android and iOS devices—have long pushed for a mobile version of the native app. And it appears they won’t have to wait much longer.
In a recent post on their blog, Instagram announced they will be rolling out web profiles for all users over the next few days.
I’ve been tracking this daily since the announcement was made. Some personal friends of mine already have updated web profiles, but for the most part, the push has only been made to company and brand profiles.
To see your personal web-based Instagram profile simply type www.instagram.com/your-user-name into the address bar of your web browser. Of course, make sure you type your actual username into the space after the forward slash.
If your profile is not updated yet, don’t worry! It will come soon. In the meantime you can browse the profiles of other people you follow.
Here are a few that I’ve found already: PUMA, Nike, MTV.
As of today, Pinterest is allowing users to very their profile’s website address.
Under the page settings, click the “Verify Website” button next to your web URL. Pinterest will give you an HTML file to upload to your web server. Once the code is added, you simply click the confirm button and immediately you will notice a red check mark next to your URL, indicating it’s authenticity.
This is a great move by Pinterest to help distinguish legitimate businesses and personal pages from the rest. Anyone can create a Pinterest account nowadays since there is no longer an “invitation only” barrier of entry.
I see this update being very useful to businesses and Internet celebrities alike. It indicates complete legitimacy because the person or business must have access to the innards of their web server in order to verify the account.
We’re looking for a full-time, entry level designer to help us design and produce interactive materials such as online advertisements and website pages. We aren’t hiring based on experience—we are hiring based on ambitiousness and desire to learn. The ability to learn on your own is a huge plus.
The person hired for this position will learn from and work closely with our lead designer. Ideal candidates are great at working as a team and accepting of criticism. We’re excited to add another creative mind to our team!
A good understanding of Adobe Photoshop CS3+ and Adobe Illustrator CS3+ is required.
Bonus points will be awarded to those who know their way around Adobe Flash.
We’re hiring as soon as we find the right person for the job. To apply, send your resume and/or cover letter to email@example.com, or stop by if you can’t wait to get started!
If you’re currently a student, please don’t hesitate to apply. If your talent is what we’re looking for, we are willing to offer this position part-time until you graduate.
Portfolio and work samples are greatly appreciated.