Social media marketing is one of the most effective and the most affordable methods to use for any local business. With the new Google+ Business Pages, you can use many different tips and techniques to get the most out of your social networking for your own company, no matter how big or small.Here are a few ways that you can optimize your company’s Google+ page in order to have an effective social media marketing campaign.Get your profile SEO ready.Just as you do with your website and blog content, you want to make sure you are including targeted keywords in the description of your business page. You also want to have a single-line description that will pop up when someone hovers over your company name on his or her Google+ feed.Get a Google+ Vanity URL.Google+ URLs can be a little lengthy and hard to remember. Go to Gplus.to and you will be able to make a much more memory-friendly vanity URL, which you can use in emails to customers and clients in order to look more professional and to be easier for people to remember.Use static photos for easy marketing.You can update your pictures frequently, which means you have an effective and easy way to keep important marketing images in front of your followers. You can have photos of your store, employees or products up at all times.Use Extend Share to blast posts to other social media.When you are using Google Chrome for your web browser, you can download “Extend Share” in order to be able to share your Google+ posts on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social networks. Since Google+ does not have a way for you to blanket-share your posts, this is a helpful way to keep you from having to manually post to your other sites.Add some flare to posts with basic formatting.It doesn’t take a whole lot to take your posts from the same-old, same-old to something that can get a reader’s attention. Use basic formatting tricks in order to add italics, bold some keywords, or strikethrough for emphasis. For bold, you will use *text*. To italicize, _text_. For strikethrough, -text-. With a little creative formatting, you can give your posts headlines and add some dimension to what are usually pretty bland-looking posts.Get the Google+ mobile app.It’s so nice to have the ability to use social media on the go. This is especially true for businesses that use social networks for marketing. Google+ has a mobile app that you can add to your iPad or iPhone, as well as other smartphones and tablets. You don’t have to be tied to the desk in order to keep tabs on your Google+ feed and update your status.Google+ is definitely starting to become a contender in the social media marketing game for local businesses. It is simple to use and can bring you great results.What do you like best about the new Google+ business pages? What are some changes that you would like to see in the future? Share with us!
The only hope: let’s go back to its roots.The best thing that ever happened to social media marketing was the hacking of the 2016 US election of Donal Trump by the Russians. Why? Because it laid bare what many in social media marketing has known for a long, long time: that social media platforms are a joke, their valuations are based on imaginary users, and their integrity lies somewhere between Lucifer and that guy who eats people’s faces in the movies.For marketing consultants such as myself, recommending existing social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram has been increasingly difficult, because -quite frankly- many of us don’t trust the metrics.And why should we? Facebook doesn’t.This is from Facebook’s 2017 SEC filing (emphasis mine):The numbers for our key metrics, which include our daily active users (DAUs), monthly active users (MAUs), and average revenue per user (ARPU), are calculated using internal company data based on the activity of user accounts. While these numbers are based on what we believe to be reasonable estimates of our user base for the applicable period of measurement, there are inherent challenges in measuring usage of our products across large online and mobile populations around the world.The largest data management company in the world says it doesn’t really know if its numbers are accurate. Estimates? What marketing professional wants estimated results after the fact?It gets worse. Emphasis mine:In the fourth quarter of 2017, we estimate that duplicate accounts may have represented approximately 10% of our worldwide MAUs. We believe the percentage of duplicate accounts is meaningfully higher in developing markets such as India, Indonesia, and the Philippines, as compared to more developed markets. In the fourth quarter of 2017, we estimate that false accounts may have represented approximately 3-4% of our worldwide MAUs.Let that sink in. Facebook is admitting that “approximately” 10% of its monthly active users are fake. Interestingly, they don’t mention what percentage of their daily active users are fake.And that’s the problem with social media. You don’t know what’s real and what’s fake anymore.Social media hasn’t been real for a while.As marketers and advertisers, we pride ourselves on accuracy. In the olden times of marketing and advertising, we obsessed over rating numbers of tv shows, readership for print promotions, and delivery success rates for direct mail.In all cases, the platforms of the day were heavily audited. You knew, with fair certainty, was the audiences were for any particular medium or channel because there was usually a point of review somewhere for the numbers.Traditional media such as radio, TV, and print had been around long enough that there were thousands of case studies one could study the success or failures of individual campaigns. Because these mediums were part of the public record, it was easy to work backward to see what mix of media and budget worked and what didn’t.As an industry, we could quickly establish benchmarks for success – not just based on our personal experiences- but in the collective experiences of very clear strategies laid bare for everyone to dissect.Well, that all went out the window with social media.Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram’s numbers were always a joke.In days of yore, company valuation was based on revenues, assets, and human capital, and performance.That all changed when someone came up with the concept of “daily active users.”The race to gain users became the driving force for social media platforms in a way that we’ve never seen before. Now, the obsession with user growth opened the door to advertising and marketing fraud on a scale that just wasn’t possible previously.Let’s get something clear: any platform that allows for people to create thousands of fake profiles so others can buy likes, followers, retweets, or shares is toxic to advertisers and brands alike.Now, I understand that the word “allows” is doing a lot of work in that sentence, so let me expand a bit what I mean.I don’t think I’ll get many arguments when I say that -regardless of what I think of them- the most successful social media platforms on the planet are also some of the most sophisticated technological enterprises on the planet. They have -arguably- some of the best AI around, as their entire business models revolve around being able to crunch numbers, facts, and obscure pieces of data millions of times a second.They are also massive corporations, with an army of lawyers and IP bulldogs waiting to protect their brand against any hostile outside forces.So explain to me, how is it, that even after all we have seen in the news people can still buy Facebook likes, or Twitter followers, or Instagram fans?The reason: it was always a scam. And we got conned along with everyone else.If your company is valued on your number of users and the activity of those users on your platform, what do you care if they are fake or not? If you did, you’d hire an armada of auditors to ensure the integrity of your userbase. I don’t believe they ever did and will never do this.Social platforms deploy their honey trap.Initially, social platforms such as Facebook and Twitter lured brands and companies onto their platforms with promises of free marketing and advertising. The ability to quickly grow a fanbase and follower base, without the need of hiring marketing shmucks like me. Why waste time on hiring a professional when you can do it all yourself for nothing?At first, I was a supporter of this. I believed that marketing and advertising was often something that only larger companies could afford, and that small business marketing was being left behind. Social media marketing allowed for even a mom and pop shop to compete online.So many businesses spent countless hours and thousands of dollars in human resources to grow their followers online.Having lured them into their honey trap, social media companies then held followers and fans hostages. You had to pay to have access to the userbase that you built up and cultivated.Suddenly the numbers didn’t make any sense. You had to pay to promote or boost posts when previously it was free. The result was disastrous for many businesses. The ROI’s didn’t add up, but with so many of their customers on these platforms, they had little choice but to continue to try and get whatever value they could for them.Moreover, the move to such promotions opened up the Pandora’s box to further abuses. The drive for revenue seemingly caused social platforms to continue to look the other way on fake profiles and social media bots because they drove ad sales. Personal data was harvested and manipulated in ways that users could not fathom and did not agree to.Mostly, it did something to marketing that I’m not sure we can recover. For many digital marketing firms and marketing agencies, it forced us to down the Kool-aid with everyone else. People that should have known better doubled down on social media marketing for our clients when we knew -for most of them- it was unnecessary.Marketing and advertising agencies became accomplices after the fact.Like I said earlier, marketing and advertising agencies and consultants are supposed to obsess with accuracy. We want our clients to have the very best ROI available.However, like professionals in any business vertical, we’re self-serving.One of my favourite examples of how people who would know better will say anything for a buck is real estate agents.Have you EVER heard a real estate agent tell you it’s a wrong time to buy a house? In all of my days, I have never read an article by a real estate agent saying that people should hold off on a purchase. House prices going up? A great time to buy; you’ll make your money back immediately! House prices going down? It’s a buyers market! Lock in your savings now!Marketing and advertising professionals did something similar with social media marketing.We saw the platforms’ rise in popularity and didn’t want to get caught in a lurch. The buzz was building behind them, and clients were often demanding us to help them. So -even though Facebook and Twitter were mostly unproven with little to no actual case studies to speak of- many firms told their clients to throw money into the black hole of social.What was the result? The majority of social media campaigns are disasters. I only know of a fraction of companies that continue with any seriousness on social media compared to the rates companies did with traditional advertising or even SEO and non-social digital ads.You see it in the positioning. When digital marketers talk about social media, they discuss it regarding “reach,” “exposure,” “presence,” “awareness.” That’s code word for “throw your money away.” Do an online search of the effectiveness of social media, and you will find the results filled with SEO and social media marketers praising the platforms and the strategies.Real marketers talk about ROI. Impact on sales, and impact on lead generation. You can’t pay the rent on brand awareness. I’m saying this as someone who builds brands for a living.And it’s not just me saying this. One of the largest brands in the world, Proctor & Gamble, gutted their ad budget and walked away from a host of agencies because of digital advertising and marketing fraud.Social sharing has been automated to death:According to Buzzsumo, average social shares per article had declined by 50 percent in 2017 in comparison to 2015. Their data also shows how fast most hot topics become saturated with articles, leading to only a relatively few winners getting the majority of the societal shares and hyperlinks.Another found that, that bots automate nearly two-thirds -66%- of all HTML links posted on Twitter.Again, if social media platforms truly valued their user-experience and cared about social being social, they would have banned such practices years ago. No more social automation. If you want to engage with your fans and followers, you have to be there for them. You have to be live, online, ready to connect.However, bots are good for business. They boost their daily active user accounts; they make their platforms look more popular than they are. Bots post content, bots like content, bots share content, bots follow people, bots message people -it’s endless.Bots account for an ungodly 52% of internet traffic in 2017. That number is only set to rise further as social media continues to be an arms race. Caught in the middle of all of this are businesses who think their digital marketing metrics have any meaning.Your Influencer isn’t that influential.I’m a firm believer in influencer marketing because I believe it is a natural extension of relationship marketing. People will buy from people they trust and will accept the suggestions of people they like.However, with the growth of online influencers, things have taken a turn for the surreal.First off, many fans and followers of social media influencers are as fake as anything. Social media bots follow celebrities as a means to spam their pages and/or a means to scrape a list of people to spam later with content.Secondly, as marketers and advertisers, we are supposed to care about accuracy. But the ability to verify the fan base of an influencer is almost impossible within the platforms. You have to go to third-party apps to try and get any real understanding of the legitimacy. Moreover, even then, you are at the mercy of the third-party to provide you with accurate data. Should Instagram decide to shut down the API to these applications, you will have no idea how popular your influencer is.The future of social media: live, direct, and transparent.The way to solve the social media problem we’re facing today is simple: social media was great when it was social and personal. A return to the basics is needed.No more automationIf you don’t have the time or the energy or the interest actually to ENGAGE with human beings, then social media is not for you. What’s more, you’re not for social media.Automation should stop. Period. Let’s return to a more natural engagement between brands, companies, customers and leads. Human interaction is the most powerful driver of revenue and sales, as is the best metric for the real value of a platform.See and be seenThe use of live video to establish authenticity in an age where everything is anonymous will be a dominant driver of change in the next five years. Instead of hiding behind memes, and curated content, companies should leverage influencers and their employees to champion their brands. Reconnect with the basics: one-to-one or one-to-many communications.The revolt of investorsI genuinely believe that the majority of social media firms have fudged the books when it comes to their userbase, activity, and popularity. It’s time for investors to demand third-party audits of the data before the entire house of card falls on people’s heads.Look, I’m a marketing consultant. I enjoy using social media. It allows me to stay in touch with the people and the brands I care about most in the world. But at the heart of it is a flaw -a glitch in the Matrix- that needs to be sorted out.There’s a bubble out there, and social media firms that allow for fake profiles and anonymous users are at the heart of it.
If you’ve ever gone out to purchase many items of clothing or even a whole wardrobe at once, you’ve probably seen how expensive women’s clothing can be. Ladies’ clothing is a booming industry, with millions of dollars each year being spent on designer labels, and even more being spent on casual clothing. Not everyone can afford to purchase a lot of clothing at once, however, so if you change sizes quickly or need to buy a different type of wardrobe (career versus casual, for example) you may be facing a large bill.One way to cut down on your women’s clothing bill is to have a clothing swap. Get together a group of your friends (preferably a group who wear similar sizes) and have everyone bring some gently used, in good condition, clothing. Separate the clothing by type (pants, shirts, etc) and size and let everyone choose among the clothing items. In this way, you can get a few new outfits (well, at least new to you!) without having to spend any additional money.Another way to find inexpensive women’s clothing is to shop on line retailers. Many Internet stores are able to offer ladies’ clothing at reduced rates, because they can save on the costs of running a physical store. They also tend to offer many different styles by different clothing makers, so that comparison shopping can be easier than in a mall or store. If you don’t mind wearing items that may be previously worn, sites such as eBay offer even bigger bargains, with regular women posting unwanted items (sometimes even designer) at low prices.Women’s clothing is not only about fashion or brand names – it’s also about practicality and frugality. If you’re facing buying many articles of clothing in the near future, using tips such as a clothing trade or hunting for bargains on the Internet can be a great way to save money.
People often do not prioritize their health and visit the hospital or their doctors while detecting some disease-causing symptoms in their bodies. However, preventive care is the best possible way everyone can undertake and cease the risk factors before the symptoms become dangerous and life-threatening. The following article will focus completely on preventive health care and how it helps reduce further costs involved with healthcare.
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What is Preventive Care?
Preventive health care or prophylaxis involves the measures that people consider for preventing any diseases. The form of healthcare includes utilizing medical services or precautions that fight against the potential health crisis. It is the most important step that people can adopt in better management of their health.
Several factors such as genetic predisposition, lifestyle, environmental factors, and disease agents affect people’s health. Hence, everyone must undergo periodic health check-ups and screening tests from the doctors.
People opt for preventive health care for maintaining better health, and eliminating the disease becomes serious. Preventive care in conjunction with medicines will save a patient from health breakdown and save money from future expenses, especially if the patient is suffering from a chronic disease.
What are the Preventative Care Services?
Here are some of the examples of preventive health care services, along with their frequencies. ·
Annual Check-up (1 per calendar year): During the annual check-up, the doctor or Primary Care Provider (PCP) checks all areas of a person’s health, including physical and psychological. Examining the patients in detail helps in detecting any health care concerns in the early stages.
· Flu Shot (1 per year): Most health plans include flu shots and protect the patients from all strains of flu viruses.
· Mammogram (1 calendar year, after the patient attains the age of 40 years): Patients over the age of 40 must undergo routine x-rays of breast tissues and check for signs of cancer and other abnormalities. Some health plans might cover the costs of 3D imaging. ·
Colonoscopy (usually once in every decade after the age of 50) for detecting colon cancer.
· Vaccinations, including boosters for such as measles, rubella, polio, etc. administered during childhood.
Preventive health care helps keep people productive and active, enabling them to earn well during their senior years. Studies show that approximately 35% of people have to consider early retirement, even before they are financially ready. Opting for affordable, preventive care helps in reducing the numbers.
Why Should Patients Opt for Preventive Care?
Access to preventive health care helped reduce healthcare costs among Americans, as the physicians can prevent or treat the disease before the patient needs emergency room (ER) care. Almost one-third of costs in America include hospital care, which is undoubtedly very expensive. In 2010, 21.4% of adults paid at least a visit to the emergency room, which reduced to 18.6% in 2017. Adults not having affordable access to preventive care are more likely to pay a couple of visits to the emergency room.
Statistics show that 7% of the adults in the age group of 18-64 paid visits to the ER in 2014, as they had no other option, regardless of their health insurance status. About 77% of Americans went to the emergency rooms due to complications in their health, including those whose doctors advised them for emergency room care. Approximately 15.4% of uninsured adults in 2014 are more likely to use the emergency room, as they lacked other providers.
Undoubtedly, the cost of ER care for uninsured patients was extremely high. Hospitals provide care, even if the patient fails to provide fees for their services. As hospitals must recover the cost, they shift to Medicaid and health insurance premiums, which increases the healthcare cost for everyone.
Impact of Preventive Care Cost on Health Care Costs
Chronic diseases are the major leading cause of death among people, either preventable or manageable with regular visits to health care. These include:
· Heart diseases
· Stroke and
· Chronic lower respiratory diseases
Poor nutrition and obesity are the leading cause of heart disease and stroke. Genetics and smoking lead to lung cancer, which is the most common type of cancer. Obesity also risks several other forms of cancer.
Treating these chronic diseases is expensive, even before they reach emergency room status. Approximately 90% of the 3.5 trillion USD includes health care expenditures for people suffering psychological problems and chronic diseases. Patients who never went for preventative care or did not have any prescription coverage failed to afford the treatments, screenings, regular check-ups, and medications that would manage the underlying conditions of the disease. Instead, they head up to the emergency rooms with cases of strokes, heart attacks, and other complications.
However, with regular access to affordable, preventive care, the patients were more likely to discover and manage their chronic conditions. Doing so lowers the chances of visiting the emergency rooms and investing more into expensive treatments for those diseases, which passed regular management. With the decrease in the expenditure for treatments, the overall healthcare cost also decreases for everyone, as the hospitals no longer try to cover the treatment cost of the uninsured patients.
When and What Preventive Health Care is the Most Suitable?
A patient’s primary health care provider will help him or her coordinate the most suitable shots and tests. While analyzing the beneficial shots, the health care provider will consider certain aspects such as family history, age, sex, current health status, and several other factors.
Preventive health care often covers 100% of health plans and offers the patients several benefits both in cost and health. However, if the patient experiences doubts or are in dilemmas about the things covered and tests conducted, he or she must communicate with the physician at the earliest.
Everyone knows, “health is wealth.” If a patient is healthy, he or she will perform the best. However, it is also important to adopt a healthy lifestyle, reducing the risk factors and saving the patients from spending money on medicines.