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Archive for October, 2009

Use Twitter. Seriously.

But I thought Twitter was just for teenagers and self-centered adults?

Not anymore it’s not. Twitter is a tremendous business tool.

I just finished my second meeting this week where using Twitter to drive traffic to a website was one of the main topics. Is Twitter going to be the magic solution that you need to increase traffic to your website? No, probably not. But if used properly (and yes that means actually learning the community, spending time finding people to follow and building your followers, and having meaningful things to tweet)  it can be a huge boon for your business.

Excuses

I’ve heard a lot of excuses to stay away from Twitter, and can counter them all (have any reservations that I missed? Comment and I’ll get back to you!):

  • I don’t have anything to say. Be creative! Tweet a quote of the day. Tweet links to blog posts (more on Blogging For Your Business in an upcoming post). Tweet random advice. Tweet links to useful articles related to your business. There’s no end to what you can do if you put some thought into it.
  • I don’t understand how it works. Learn. Seriously, it’s worth it. Take some time to look over the Twitter pages of businesses that you know. Sysgen Media, for example. Or contact us if you’re looking for a more guided tour. We can talk to you about all of our Internet Marketing packages.
  • There’s no way I can fit anything useful into 140 characters. You’d be surprised how much info you can stick into two sentences if you try. Check out the tweets of businesses you know of for examples. And use a url shortening service like http://www.bit.ly to shorten urls for your tweets. For example: http://www.ultimateathletemagazine.com (38 characters) can become http://bit.ly/3nnh6V (20 characters).

Connect With Your Clients and Customers

Just as important as Tweeting however, is connecting to other Twitterers. The search feature of Twitter is amazing. Once you’ve created your account, search for people with similar interests. Find existing clients and follow them. Find potential new clients tweeting about products or services that you offer and connect with them. The possibilities are endless.

Brand Your Twitter Page

This goes beyond just filling out the basic information that Twitter asks. A plain twitter page is boring. Make sure that you grab the eye of anyone who visits your site with a custom background. And make sure that this background is consistent with the look of your site and any other promotional material you use.

If you want to display more information than the basic twitter fields allow (and you should!), make sure that that background includes all of this extra information on the top left-hand side of the screen.

Let Us Help!

Still unsure if Tweeting is right for you? Need help figuring out how to get started? Contact us for help with your Internet Marketing and Branding! We’re working on this type of work for a few clients now, and are always looking to help more people.

As always, if you have any questions or are interested in help getting your website started or improved upon, feel free to get in touch with me either at nlandis@sysgenmedia.com or (631) 343-2211!

Sometimes Less is More

Last week, as I was browsing various websites that I frequent, I stumbled upon an interesting blog post titled: The Myth of the Rational Buyer: How Too Much Thinking Can Hurt Your Brand. It was an interesting read, and to sum up the relevant portion of the article,  it states that many buyers don’t think rationally and that sometimes saying too much gets them thinking too much… and then they don’t buy your product.

From personal experience, one of our biggest points of delay when setting up a new website for a client is getting content from them about their business, product, or whatever they else they want to talk about on their website. Perhaps they are just thinking about it too much.

Take the iPod packaging for example. iPod

It’s sparse, with just a bit of detail of the product and the iPod itself. In short, it’s brilliant.

While an approach that’s this sparse probably won’t work for everyone, perhaps it’s a good model to follow to a point.

On the other end of the spectrum, check out this youtube parody of what would happen if Microsoft created the iPod package.

My Point

If you’re having trouble figuring out exactly what to put on your website, just keep it simple. Especially in this age of information overload, many people really don’t take the time to read more than the first few things they see. Instead, as a starting point, just get the facts out and get your website online.

As always, if you have any questions or are interested in help getting your website started or improved upon, feel free to get in touch with me either at nlandis@sysgenmedia.com or (631) 343-2211!

Geocities: Goodbye to a Giant – Our Hosting is Cheaper Anyway

End of an Era

When I got to work this morning and checked my email, I had a pretty huge surprise waiting for me. I’m a member of the NY Tech Meetup email list, and someone sent an email to the list announcing that Geocities would be shutting down at the end of the month.

For many younger web developers (myself included), Geocities was where we got our web design start. Suddenly web design was accessible to just about anyone who was curious enough to put in the time playing around with their free tools. In fact, about 10 years ago I put up a (relatively useless) site on Geocities with my own web design tips. I only vaguely remember it, but I’m pretty sure it was mainly about then-cutting-edge things like changing text colors and sizes when you moved your mouse over it. Ah the good ol’ days.

But what about all of those websites still on Geocities?!

I have a website at Geocities. What do I do now?!

To everyone who still has a Geocities page and is unsure what to do, I’d like to help. For starters, if you have any basic questions, you should look through the FAQ that Yahoo! has put up about the transition located here.

To sum it up, you have until October 26th to move all of your site files to a different web host or they will be lost.

The New Era

Of course, Yahoo! suggests moving to their paid hosting (big surprise, right?)… but what surprised me is that Sysgen Media web hosting is actually cheaper than Yahoo! web hosting.

Yahoo! Monthly Pricing Sysgen Media Monthly Pricing
$4.99 first year / $9.99 after $4.95
 

Yahoo! is offering hosting at $4.99 per month for the first year and then $9.99 per month after that. If you look at our hosting plans you’ll see that our cheapest hosting is $4.95 per month if you pay upfront for the year and will stay $4.95 as long as you don’t need extra space or monthly data transfer.

Save Over $60 Per Year with Sysgen Media Website Hosting

Your savings: First year – $0.48. Woohoo! But your savings each subsequent year: $60.48.

You’ll need to purchase a domain name (such as sysgenmedia.com or yourdomain.com) but that’s a low one-time-yearly cost, and you’ll get at least 3 email addresses at your domain (ie: yourname@yourdomain.com), possibly more depending upon which hosting plan you select. We’ll be happy to guide you through the process of transitioning to our hosting, and are also available to help move your site for you at a low cost.

Sign up for Sysgen Media website hosting here today!

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me at nlandis@sysgenmedia.com and I’d be happy to answer any questions you may have about our hosting, moving your site to Sysgen Media web hosting, or anything else website related.

And don’t forget, we’re Website Designers and Developers too!