New Partnership with Online Marketing Company Nightlite Media

New partnership with CityMax.com

New CityMax.com partner

We are excited to announce that CityMax has partnered with Nightlite Media.

One of the most asked questions we get is: “How do I get visitors to my site?” Nightlite Media are experts at helping people successfully draw visitors to their sites using:

  • search engine optimization (i.e. getting your sites ranked highly on search engines like Google)
  • social media (e.g. Twitter, Facebook)
  • email marketing

We know it’s sometimes difficult to learn and then find the time to promote your site. The reality is that for many of you, getting a company to help you is the best choice. So, our marketing team searched out the best of the best online marketing companies and then put together custom packages we thought made the most sense for our customers. Check out the special packages here.

How important is it to get your online marketing started? Here are some facts that Nightlite Media has put together:

  • 97% of potential customers are searching online first
  • 61 billion online searches were made in August 2010 alone
  • 77% of North Americans are online (that’s a huge 266 million people!)

You can contact Nighlite Media for a 100% free consultation by going to http://websitedynamics.nightlitemedia.com or by calling 1-888- 418-3839. Why not jumpstart your online marketing today!

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Add a Twitter Plugin on Your Website in 30 Seconds

Posted February 15th, 2011 in Branding, SEO, social media by Adrian

twitter 300x225 Add a Twitter Plugin on Your Website in 30 Seconds

Image by Rosaura Ochoa

Twitter is a “real-time information network” that allows people to connect with others that they find interesting. For example, business owners like you can quickly share information with people who are interested in what you have to offer and you can begin to build relationships with potential customers.

If you’re not using Twitter to help grow your company, there’s no better time to start than now!

Twitter Plugins

When you tweet your messages for the world to see, the messages are normally confined to Twitter’s own website and are viewed by those who have subscribed to receive them. As an extra bonus, Twitter also offers a plugin which allows you to install a widget on your own website to display tweets.

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How to Use Facebook Social Plugins on Your Website

Posted February 9th, 2011 in Selling Online, social media by Adrian

1273169132 facebook How to Use Facebook Social Plugins on Your WebsiteFor those who have been under a rock for the past few years, there’s a social juggernaut called Facebook which has captured an audience of over 500 million people. Facebook is a fun place to catch up with your friends, post photos and videos of your vacations, and to simply socialize with all of your connections in a convenient place.  The ability to tap into this vast resource would be hugely beneficial for any e-commerce website.

Luckily Facebook offers you, a website owner, the ability to add some of their own functionality to your website, plus it’s much easier than you think!

Figure Out Which Social Plugin is Right for You

The first step is to head on over to Facebook’s developer pages and determine which plug-in best suits your needs.  There are many to choose from, like the simple, yet effective “Like Button” which shares pages from your site to the users’ Facebook profile, and the “Comments” plugin, which allows users to comment on content on your site and have it reflected on their Facebook profile to be displayed to all of their friends.

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How Kenneth Cole Lost Thousands of Customers in 1 Easy Step

Posted February 3rd, 2011 in Branding, Online Marketing, Selling Online, social media by Patrick

Kenneth Cole, international shoe brand and fashion trend-setter, decided to comment on the horrific situation in Egypt this morning. In past blog posts, we’ve explored how your small business can leverage timely events to boost marketing efforts, but we didn’t mean like this:

kennethcolefail1 How Kenneth Cole Lost Thousands of Customers in 1 Easy Step Continue Reading »

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Trendsetters, Influencers and Connectors

andrea headshotclr  Trendsetters, Influencers and ConnectorsGuest post - Andrea Baxter is a senior marketing professional and a co-founder of Smart Cookies, founded in early 2007. Educating women on how to be smart with their money while living fabulously, the Smart Cookies have appeared on CNN, Oprah, MSNBC, and ABC News. They have published two best-selling books and host their own TV show.

As a businesswoman, more importantly, an entrepreneur, I have come to learn that there are 3 very important people you must surround yourself with in order to help your business grow and make it successful: trendsetters, influencers and connectors. Why? Because these are the people who are going to believe in you, believe in what you are doing and will want to help you grow your business as ferociously as you do.

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What should Sarah Palin learn from the Air Force?

Posted August 4th, 2010 in Selling Online, social media by Patrick

sarah palin1 240x300 What should Sarah Palin learn from the Air Force?

It seems like you can’t go two seconds now without hearing someone recommend social media marketing for your business website. The friendly side of social media seems straight-forward to any entrepreneur: it’s fun, and you interact with your customers while receiving lovey-dovey feedback on how great your product is.

But what happens when people have some not-so-nice things to say about you online? For example, on Facebook?

You COULD delete negative posts on your Facebook page, but something like this might happen. In this case, Sarah Palin (while probably a little higher profile than most of us) unfortunately ran into an audience motivated to reveal EVERYTHING commentors posted on her page.

To be fair, several of the deleted comments were completely inappropriate - yet many of the deleted comments were simply polite disagreements. John Dickerson of Slate.com explores this in a post-deletion letter from Alfred Petross: “I just wish you would listen to me as a resident of the 3rd Congressional District. All I am doing is voicing my opinion and my posts keep getting deleted….” (These comments were then deleted.) “Having my posts deleted were extremely disappointing,” says Petross, who went on to post his letter to Palin on his Facebook page, “because I was under the impression that Sarah Palin was in fact a political activist who was all about hearing the opinions and voices of the constituents of the United States.”

The Lesson: Deleting everything that doesn’t bring a sparkle to your eye might not be the best strategy.

Instead, take a hint from the United States Air Force - who are surprisingly on top of their social media game. Nancy Lyons and Meghan Wilker of Spin Sucks took a closer look at their tried and tested rules of engaging with responders. The Air Force even released their official flowchart cheat sheet!

air force 199x300 What should Sarah Palin learn from the Air Force?

Here are 3 key criteria the Air Force uses any social media response:
1) Transparency - disclose who you are, and your connection to the organization
2) Timeliness - take the time to create a well thought out response
3) Tone - respond in an manner that reflects appropriately on yourself and your business

For businesses, it’s completely normal for the social media honeymoon to end at some point. However, having a response strategy (including a couple of these tips) will hopefully prepare you for that day if it comes. Good luck!

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Northern Voice 2010 Wrap-up

Posted May 11th, 2010 in social media by Patrick

image001 Northern Voice 2010 Wrap upThis weekend the CityMax.com small business website builder team hit Canada’s largest social media and blogging conference six years running, Northern Voice (#nv10). There, we learned all about the changing face of media, how to shape our online voice, guerilla marketing and more. We brought along our @OfficeChicken to ruffle a few feathers, but he turned out to be a total ‘chick magnet’ (click here for more pics).

For those of you who couldn’t make it, renowned Vancouver blogger and social media expert Miss 604 documented both Day 1 and Day 2. Noted local academic Raul Pacheco-Vega (aka Hummingbird604) also live blogged a few of the sessions in great detail – including Googler Chris Messina’s keynote speech and Alexandra Samuel’s excellent talk on “Coping with Social Media.”

All in all it was an excellent weekend of learning and connecting! What’s the best conference you’ve been to lately and why?

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Does Facebook Really Matter? Yes.

Posted May 6th, 2010 in Branding, Contests by Patrick

1273169132 facebook Does Facebook Really Matter? Yes. You probably already know all about Facebook. You might even be thinking, why should I care about Brenda’s late night out or what Tommy had for lunch?

The answer: with over 400 million active users (50% of them logging on every day), businesses big and small are using Facebook Pages to connect with customers and enhance their relationships.

When you consider that the average user has 130 friends, you can quickly see that Facebook provides an unparalleled opportunity for businesses to engage and network.

With that in mind, we’ve decided to launch the CityMax Facebook Page - better late than never, and we want to hear what you have to say! Go to www.facebook.com/CityMax and hit the “Like” button to start contributing to the conversation.

Why connect with us on Facebook?

  1. access to special promotions and offers,
  2. the chance to promote your own website, and
  3. the opportunity to leave and ask for feedback.

To celebrate our launch, we’ll be giving away an iPad! To enter, simply join the page and tag yourself in a “Save a Chicken, Win an iPad” photo.

The CityMax.com Facebook page has a “Favorite Pages” section – that spot is reserved for all of our customers’ Facebook Pages (which is why you should create one for your business!).

One example of a great Facebook Page is CityMax.com customer Classic Shaving – their page has an impressive 1,505 “Likes” (formerly known as “Fans”).  Their page offers special discount codes, and allows customers to ask questions and leave comments.

With the growing importance of “Likes” in 3rd party websites and its use in search engine optimization, we recommend that all online businesses have a Facebook Page. To get started on your own page, click here: http://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php.

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Small Business Math: Customers + Fun = Revenue

Posted April 14th, 2010 in social media by Patrick

2010 04 14 ladies Small Business Math: Customers + Fun = Revenue Foursquare, if you haven’t yet heard, is the newest social media craze that is driving business revenue. Users “check in” with their phones at locations and businesses around town, and are subsequently earn points, “mayorships” and badges for their loyalty. It becomes a fun and competitive game that encourages people to try new places and revisit old favorites – while increasing repeat customers and branding.

Gabe Zichermann
, of tech blog TechCrunch takes a look at how three other businesses (Facebook, FedEx, and Amazon) could incorporate more fun to encourage consumers to buy: http://techcrunch.com/2010/03/27/facebook-fedex-amazon-fun/.

As a small business, what could you do to increase enjoyment for each of your customers’ experiences? Is it a free widget with their 10th purchase? Could you be using Foursquare or another “fun app” for your business?

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Viral Marketing Does Not Exist

Posted March 31st, 2010 in Branding, Getting Visitors, social media by Patrick

That’s according to Brian Solis, renowned public relations expert and digital thought leader. In a recent blog post, Solis explains why most viral marketing attempts fail, through analysis social scientist Dan Zarrella’s work on why ideas spread and the seven types of “sharing motives.”

A few key takeaways:

  • Identify and pre-seed your message with appropriate key influencers
  • Some of the top emotions that motivate sharing are: Personal, Relevant, Timely, and Humor
  • Define the action you are trying to provoke
  • The ability to share with one-click essential to spreading your content/message
  • Videos are much easier to spread on Facebook compared to Twitter

It’s not a short read, but definitely great food for thought as you market your small business. Read it once, chew on it awhile, then read it again!

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