Carmela Obar | Birch River Design Group https://birchriverdg.com Your Scottsdale Digital Marketing Experts Mon, 13 Sep 2021 16:42:03 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8.2 https://birchriverdg.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/cropped-BirchRiverLogoIcon-32x32.png Carmela Obar | Birch River Design Group https://birchriverdg.com 32 32 5 Ways to Come Up with Content Ideas for September 2021 https://birchriverdg.com/brdg-column/5-content-ideas-for-september-2021/ https://birchriverdg.com/brdg-column/5-content-ideas-for-september-2021/#respond Wed, 11 Aug 2021 16:00:41 +0000 https://birchriverdg.com/?p=26305 Everyone runs out of content ideas once in a while. You’re going along, producing, and feeling creative, and then, suddenly, you run out of ideas. You’re stuck. You desperately search for inspiration. As a business owner, content creation is usually costly and exhausting. This means that staying on top of the game and keeping the […]

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Everyone runs out of content ideas once in a while. You’re going along, producing, and feeling creative, and then, suddenly, you run out of ideas. You’re stuck. You desperately search for inspiration. As a business owner, content creation is usually costly and exhausting. This means that staying on top of the game and keeping the audience interested requires a constant stream of brilliant ideas.

The problem is that there may be days when you struggle to think of something unique to offer. It can be frustrating and alarming. Do not fret, you don’t have to find a magic spring where you can simply scoop up fresh ideas whenever you need to. By being resourceful, observant, and intuitive, you will never run out of novel concepts to boost your content strategies. The following are some great ways to gather new content ideas:

Set up Google alerts

Be notified about the latest content available in your niche by utilizing the Google alerts tool. You simply input relevant search terms to track and start getting email alerts from Google right away. As an automated tool, you may not find every notification as relevant but you can still find sources that can serve as references for your new content.  This can speed up content creation as you save time on research!

Check out internal search queries and the search engines

The internal search functionality in your website reveals topics that people want or expect to see on your site. Check this data in your Google Analytics account to see queries that are not yet available on your site. You can also use this to know the topics that you should provide more. Creating content based on these queries will also improve the user experience of your site visitors.

You can also get content suggestions from search engines themselves. Whenever you type in any keyword in Google or Yahoo, notice the suggested search terms they offer. These suggestions are based on popular or similar keywords so it gives an idea of content that people are searching for.

Browse Answer The Public

One good website to check out for content ideas is Answer the Public. This automated tool will get you results about the questions that people are searching for about the keyword or terms you entered. This information is said to be a combination of data from Google and Bing search engines. Based on the results you will get, you can list down potential ideas for new topics to create.

Spy on your competitors

It always pays to be curious about what your competitors are up to. For content ideas, you can monitor the social media page of the top businesses in your niche to see their most popular posts as well as the least-liked. This lets you see the type of content that easily gets likes and shares.  Likewise, you can think of ways to improve their least liked posts and come up with better content. You also want to keep an eye on the ads that your competitors run. The content they choose to boost is usually the one performing well. This can give you an idea of a topic to focus on. Another easy way to see the best content of your competitors at a glance is by signing up for the email newsletters.

Ask your subscribers/followers

People dig content that seems tailored for their needs and interests. This is why thorough knowledge about your audience is vital in content marketing. Get to know about your followers by asking about their opinions on certain topics. You can also get insights into their worries and interests through surveys or interviews. Without directly asking your audience, the comments sections of a blog or social media post often contain hordes of clues about topics people wish to see. You should also pay attention to any emails/messages you get from people because you can turn their inquiries into useful content.

Getting your business ready for the digital world is exciting. However, this move would require you to get familiar with the latest marketing trends and face tough competition. Make it easier and with the help of one of the top advertising agencies in Phoenix, the Birch River Design Group. Talk to one of our digital marketing experts today and start plotting the most suitable strategy tailored to your goals!

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4 Ways to Get Your Audience to Open Your Marketing Emails https://birchriverdg.com/brdg-column/4-ways-to-get-your-audience-to-open-your-marketing-emails/ https://birchriverdg.com/brdg-column/4-ways-to-get-your-audience-to-open-your-marketing-emails/#respond Wed, 16 Jun 2021 16:01:00 +0000 https://birchriverdg.com/?p=26426 Imagine Jerry. He is a typical 9-to-5 office worker, and he so happens to be your target audience. Now imagine this: When Jerry is barely logging in to work he receives16 emails. During his lunch, he sees another 22 emails pop up. As he signs off from work, an additional 34 emails creep into his […]

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Imagine Jerry. He is a typical 9-to-5 office worker, and he so happens to be your target audience. Now imagine this:

When Jerry is barely logging in to work he receives16 emails.

During his lunch, he sees another 22 emails pop up.

As he signs off from work, an additional 34 emails creep into his inbox.

In the evening, 18 more emails manage to make their way into his inbox.

So, at the end of the day, Jerry might be left feeling like this:

A wave of emails

With so many people fighting for Jerry’s attention, it is easy for your own email to blend in with the background. So how do you break through the noise?

To make an email stand out requires extra work and attention to minor details. It is a marketer’s goal to create enticing campaigns to aim for a higher conversion rate. The more your email stands out, then the more clicks and awareness your business will get! Here are 4 creative ways you can add some spice to your emails to get those coveted clicks:

Write a Killer Subject Line

Think of a subject line like your resume. While it might not get you the job, it can land you an interview. Likewise, a subject line might not get you a sale alone, but it will persuade your subscribers to open your email and interact with your content. But what will get your readers to open your email? Make sure your email subject line does a few of these things:

  • Keep it short and simple
  • Ask a question
  • Make it personal
  • Be humorous
  • Arouse curiosity
  • Create urgency
  • Use numbers and lists

There are many ways to write an interesting, compelling subject line based on these techniques. But remember that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer to crafting the best email subject line. The best thumb rule to use when writing a subject line is to put yourself in the shoes of your recipients.

Develop Highly-Personalized Experiences For Your Subscribers

In today’s age, there is an abundance of user data that can make your subscriber’s email experience highly personalized. And with 71% of consumers feeling frustrated when a shopping experience is impersonal, you might as well go beyond adding your recipient’s name in the subject line of your outgoing email campaigns. How exactly can you tackle this? With merge tags!

Merge tags, also known as personalization fields, are something that we use to gather data on an individual level. These tags are used to insert unique user data from your mailing list into emails. For example, a MailChimp user who’d like to insert their subscriber’s first name into their email would use the merge tag |*FIRSTNAME*|. You can also add their last name, email address, physical address, email list name, the day they opted in, etc. Using merge tags in your emails helps to personalize your content and make it more relevant to the subscriber. If you are a MailChimp user, here is an awesome cheat sheet on the MANY merge tags you can use in your campaigns.

Engage Your Audience with Interactive Content 

Interactive content is content that requires active engagement from its consumers. More than just a passive viewer, the individual becomes an integral part of a dynamic, two-way experience. You can make your emails more exciting for subscribers by spicing up their experience through the use of animated buttons, how-to videos, and even gifs. If you own an e-commerce website, adding a carousel of images of your products or service is also a great way to give life to your email campaigns. It’s good to note that interactive content should minimize placement of outside links so users find it more easily and conveniently in order to accept your offer or respond to an invitation. 

Turn Customers into Advocates with User-Generated Content

Scrambling for ideas to put in your email campaigns can be less challenging by incorporating user-generated content (UGC). These are any type of content (e.g. photos, videos, reviews, testimonials) sourced from users themselves that can be transformed into marketing material. Sending out user-generated content is effective in capturing the interest of recipients, as the content comes from the users and can also enhance the brand’s credibility and trustworthiness.

Are you worried that your business is not keeping up with the demands of digital marketing? Here at Birch River Design Group, we are passionate about fueling the growth of small and medium enterprises through effective online solutions. Meet with one of our marketing experts today by contacting us here.

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June 2021 – Google Page Experience Update Is Rolling Out https://birchriverdg.com/brdg-column/june-2021-google-page-experience-update-is-rolling-out/ https://birchriverdg.com/brdg-column/june-2021-google-page-experience-update-is-rolling-out/#respond Wed, 12 May 2021 16:00:57 +0000 https://birchriverdg.com/?p=26372 Always. changing. These two words sum up search engine optimization (SEO). In a constant effort to improve its services, Google, the largest search engine, updates its search algorithm numerous times a year. While most of the changes are minor, Google also releases major updates from time to time. Even if many time-tested SEO rules continue […]

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Always. changing. These two words sum up search engine optimization (SEO). In a constant effort to improve its services, Google, the largest search engine, updates its search algorithm numerous times a year.

While most of the changes are minor, Google also releases major updates from time to time. Even if many time-tested SEO rules continue to be relevant after the updates, there can also be changes that can potentially drag a top-ranking site to the bottom of the search engine results pages (SERPs).

This is why digital marketers and SEO specialists should be aware that Google is set to roll out its latest major algorithm update this year. Set to be in effect around June 2021 is the Page Experience update.

What is in store regarding the Page Experience update?

Google recently put out the following statement about this upcoming update:

“We’ll begin using page experience as part of our ranking systems beginning in mid-June 2021. However, page experience won’t play its full role as part of those systems until the end of August. You can think of it as if you’re adding a flavoring to a food you’re preparing. Rather than add the flavor all at once into the mix, we’ll be slowly adding it all over this time period.”

The idea here is to ensure that websites appearing at the top of the SERPs are the ones offering the best usability. Aspects that affect usability include page loading time, website interface, mobile-friendliness, security, and web design. In the new algorithm update, Google called these ranking factors the Core Web Vitals which evaluates a site’s performance, responsiveness, and visual stability.

With this update, Google is encouraging website owners to implement changes and add functionalities that will make visiting their site a pleasant experience. At a glance, the Page Experience update seems entirely focused on the benefit of the users. However, since improving the user experience of your website will likely entice visitors to stay longer, visit again, and even recommend it to others, you can see that businesses are the ones to get the most advantage in the long run. In a sense, the Page Experience update is a way to gauge if a website is indeed helping a business achieve its goals.

How to prepare your website for the Page Experience update?

Preparation is key in overcoming any sudden change. For your site to continue thriving even after this update, here are some things you can do:

1. Optimize page loading speed

As people get used to quick solutions, it just makes sense that the fastest site wins. With immense options available, you cannot expect users to stay around too long in a slow-loading website. To keep up with the standard, a webpage should not take more than 2 seconds to load. Fixing 404 errors, compressing images, and updating the web servers are some of the ways to improve page loading time.

2. Use the Google search console

If you are not yet using it, it is time to explore the Google Search Console. This platform can help maintain a good user experience in your website because of its new Page Experience report feature. The Search Console tools and reports can help you measure your site’s search traffic and performance, as well as fix issues.

3. Check your bounce rate

What prompts the users to leave a page and what can you do to convince them to stay? You want to know the pages that users cannot wait to abandon. Identifying the pages with the most bounce rates will give you an idea of the things to improve on the site. Publishing compelling content and limiting external links are some ways to lower bounce rates.

4. Be mobile-friendly

Smartphone usage is just bound to increase in time, so you have to assume most of your visitors will view your site through mobile. To ensure a smooth user experience, you want a mobile responsive web design that users can easily navigate regardless of the device they are using. You can use this Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test to check if your site is mobile-friendly.

Maximize the potential growth of your small business by using leading online solutions. Our digital marketing agency based in Scottsdale, AZ, Birch River Design Group can assist you every step of the way. Contact us to talk to a marketing expert today!

Did you know you can also make your written content mobile-friendly? Read our blog “Mobile Copywriting: 4 Ways to Make Your Web Content Mobile-Friendly” to get started!

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Timing Matters: The Best Times to Market to Your Audience https://birchriverdg.com/brdg-column/timing-matters-the-best-times-to-market-to-your-audience/ https://birchriverdg.com/brdg-column/timing-matters-the-best-times-to-market-to-your-audience/#respond Wed, 05 May 2021 17:00:54 +0000 https://birchriverdg.com/?p=26340 A photographic journalist would want to be near the action of a historic political moment. Someone looking for love wants to be out in the world making connections. A vendor selling umbrellas would want to be in the middle of a sudden downpour in a busy downtown. When it comes to life, love, or business, […]

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A photographic journalist would want to be near the action of a historic political moment. Someone looking for love wants to be out in the world making connections. A vendor selling umbrellas would want to be in the middle of a sudden downpour in a busy downtown. When it comes to life, love, or business, we put a lot of value on being in the right place at the right time. 

Social media, and email are no different. You need to be in the right place at the right time. You wouldn’t send a time-sensitive business email at 5 p.m. on a Friday because no one would see it. The same way, you wouldn’t post on social media at 1 a.m. (unless your target customer is on the opposite side of the globe). 

So what is the best time to post, or hit send? 

How do you determine the best time for you? 

Does it really matter what time you post? 

We’re going to answer all those questions for you.

Factors that Determine the Best Time to Post

It’s hard to say that there is a ‘perfect time’ to post on social media, or send emails, but there are real factors that are specific to you to consider. The perfect timing carefully considers things such as:

Platform

When you post on instagram vs. when you post on linkedin vs. when you send an email could be very different 

Industry

If you are a B2C brand your strategy could differ greatly than if you’re a B2B company

Time Zone

Are your customers in the same time zone as you? If not you should optimize your strategy for where THEY are. 

If you’re just starting out, try posting during the most popular posting times for the platform, or try out a variety of days and times; anything to start collecting data on when people respond. Scroll down to see the best times broken down for different platforms.

Determining the Best Time for YOU to Post

If you’ve been posting for a while and are looking to improve, here are our tips for determining the best time for you to post on social media or send emails:

Dive into your analytics

Your analytics are THE most important tool in determining your best time. Use tools like Google Analytics, Facebook Insights, etc. to learn things about your audience that can help you understand when they’ll interact with you.

Check your engagement

From email opens, and clicks, to likes, comments, and shares, look for patterns that tell you when people are engaging with your content. 

Test, Test, Test

If you think you’ve spotted an opportunity for improvement, test it! A/B test your emails and send half at the new send time. Adjust the day or time that you post on social media and track whether your reach and engagements changed.

Remember that social media and how people interact with it are always changing. The Covid 19 pandemic shifted when and how people used the internet in 2020 and we have yet to see whether those changes will stick. 

Best time to send an e-newsletter

According to a 2020 report from Campaign Monitor, Tuesday is the best day to send an email campaign and Saturday is the worst. . As to the best time to send emails, a study from GetResponse shows that 10 AM on a weekday is ideal.

Both reports suggest that it is better to send emails on a weekday since it is probably the time when people are at the office and have time to check their messages.  

The right time to send emails can also depend on your recipients. One study from Experian shows that even weekends are a good time to send B2B emails for people who hold high positions in a company such as managers, supervisors, and owners. This report says that for business owners and company managers, 10 AM on Saturdays generates the highest click-through and open rates. 

Best time to post on Facebook 

Facebook is one of the most used social media platforms with roughly 2.89 billion users! Because of its global reach, Facebook is one of the best platforms to use for international strategies. As we stated above, when posting on Facebook, make sure that your posts are lining up with the times that your target audience would be active, wherever they are in the world.

In Sprout Social’s 2021 report, the best times to post on Facebook are:

  • Monday, Wednesday, and Friday 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Best time to post on Instagram

Instagram has evolved a lot from being just a photo-sharing app and will continue to evolve into the future. With all the unique features, when you post to your feed, Reels, or Stories might be different from one another.

Generally, the best times to post on Instagram are:

  • Tuesday 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. 
  • Weekdays ~11 a.m.

When it comes to Reels, no matter what time you post, it seems to matter how much you interact with the platform before and after you post, AKA don’t post and ghost. 

Best time to post on Twitter

Twitter is one of the first places a lot of people go for breaking information and developing stories, as well as live conversations around events like sports. When posting on Twitter it’s important to take your audience into account and think about why, and when they use Twitter in a way that you can reach them. Your audience may not be active during the general peak times.

The highest engagement times are:

  • Tuesday – Friday 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Keeping an eye on Trending Topics, or knowing what upcoming events your customer base may be interested in gives you a better idea of when to post. For example, if you sell basketball fan merchandise, tweeting and hashtagging during big games could be a great opportunity for exposure for your brand.

Best time to post on LinkedIn

Since LinkedIn is a professional-focused platform, the best times to post are going to fall in line with the general workweek. Keep your content on Linkedin work-focused since users are looking to get career related information they can apply to their professional lives.  

Today, the best days to schedule your LinkedIn post are:

  • Wednesday, 3 PM
  • Thursday, 9–10 AM
  • Friday, 11 AM.

Get the Right Partner

Along with minding the right timing, you can also propel your business growth by getting the best partners. For your online marketing needs, you want a partner that is trustworthy, competent, and passionate in what they do. You will find all that and more with Birch River Design Group in Scottsdale, Arizona. Our team can help set your digital marketing tactics in the right direction. Shoot us a message anytime so we can schedule a no-obligation consultation.  Reach out to us today!

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7 Tips To Improve Your Product Images To Get More Sales https://birchriverdg.com/brdg-column/7-tips-to-improve-your-product-images-to-get-more-sales/ https://birchriverdg.com/brdg-column/7-tips-to-improve-your-product-images-to-get-more-sales/#respond Wed, 17 Feb 2021 16:00:41 +0000 https://birchriverdg.com/?p=7189 Shopping online has quickly evolved to be the norm for society, and it is likely to stay this way for years to come. Statistics confirm this with a recent report saying that out of 7.8 billion people worldwide, 26.28% (about 2.05 billion) are now choosing to buy online. However, the rise of E-shopping has further levelled […]

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Shopping online has quickly evolved to be the norm for society, and it is likely to stay this way for years to come. Statistics confirm this with a recent report saying that out of 7.8 billion people worldwide, 26.28% (about 2.05 billion) are now choosing to buy online. However, the rise of E-shopping has further levelled up the competition and pressure for Ecommerce websites. This means that web developers need to continuously think of ways to enhance online shopping sites. While there are so many things you can do to attract new customers and generate more sales, one of the most important things you can do is improve product images.

Why is product image so important in an Ecommerce website?

Research shows that 67% of customers in an Ecommerce website consider the product image as a highly important factor in making buying decisions. The same survey likewise states that good product images matter more than the product descriptions and online reviews. So to keep your sales and revenues up in your Ecommerce shops, it would not hurt to follow these steps to improve product images:

Add more photos

You want to entice people to spend money online and you can help them make a wise decision by including more than one picture of the product for sale. We highly recommend being generous with product photos, as one study shows that more product images result in more sales. 

Showcase the product in various angles

Along with adding more pictures, it is best to feature the product in various angles. Online shoppers want to see all sides of a product to be sure that they really want to buy it. One study shows that online images that people can fully rotate up to 360-degree increases conversion rate by up to 27% as compared to static photos.

Present your products in all available colors and sizes

It is not enough to simply state in your description that the product is available in various colors and sizes. Make the experience more seamless by showing shoppers through pictures all the options available to them. In an online shop, a customer may see a dress in white as bland but then find the pink version as the perfect soon-to-be purchase.  

Include your customers

Do you want to add product images that subtly double as testimonials? You can reach out to happy clients who have shared photos of your products on social media. Ask permission to use their images and you can gain an original new image. You are also showing new customers that your product is worth a try. The customer who owns the image is also likely to share your Ecommerce website so you can get discovered by more people.  

Make the zoom option available

We all know the importance of adding clear and high resolution images. You can further make your photos apparent by adding a zoom feature. Some customers may think twice about buying online as they cannot physically hold it, since it is often hard to closely examine the product. By using the zoom feature to improve product images, you can help erase customers’ doubts because they can closely examine the product.

Optimize your images for the search engines

You can use your product images to drive visitors to your site by optimizing your images for the search engines. Among others, image SEO (search engine optimization) means adding important keywords in the image file name, using responsive images, and adding image sitemaps. You also do not want to use images that will slow down page speed. Likewise, you do not want to violate any law by only using images that you have permission to use.

Show a product demo

Consumers appreciate valuable information so they would likely welcome a step-by-step image showing how your product works. Along with the images, it is also a smart move to include a video demonstrating how to use your product.

Running an Ecommerce website can be as physically exhausting as managing an online store. Fortunately, agencies such as Birch River Design Group can provide guidance to make the process a breeze. Our team of digital marketing professionals can offer their expert advice and assistance so your business can maximize the benefits of online marketing. Your start-up is more than welcome to schedule a no-obligation consultation. You can also reach us through our social media channels in Instagram, LinkedIn, and Facebook.

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How to Stop Losing Followers & Gain Them Instead https://birchriverdg.com/brdg-column/how-to-stop-losing-followers-gain-them-instead/ https://birchriverdg.com/brdg-column/how-to-stop-losing-followers-gain-them-instead/#respond Wed, 20 Jan 2021 16:00:27 +0000 https://birchriverdg.com/?p=7146 Huge number of followers, likes, and engagement – these are things that any social media marketer would kill to get. These numbers have the ability to increase the success of any social media campaign. Getting many followers also gives your brand a considerable advantage over competitors. Thus, for a social media manager one of the […]

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Huge number of followers, likes, and engagement – these are things that any social media marketer would kill to get. These numbers have the ability to increase the success of any social media campaign. Getting many followers also gives your brand a considerable advantage over competitors. Thus, for a social media manager one of the first goals to tackle is most often to increase the follower number of an account. Still, the work never stops once you have successfully garnered a substantial number of likes or followers. Following and unfollowing a social media page can be done with a single click. So the large number of followers you have today can quickly dwindle down to nothing if you do not apply the proper tactics that will convince them to stay. The following are ways to gain followers on social media, common reasons why people unfollow a brand, and the things you can do to turn the situation around:

Tips to gain followers in your social media channel.

  • Fill your page with informative and entertaining content.

A study done by Sprout Social in 2019 states the top reasons why people decide to follow a page in social media. The first is to learn more about the products and services of a business. The second is to be entertained. The study also shows the importance of posting content that your target audience will find relevant and useful. You should be posting content that will help your target clients get to know your business and product more, all while being interesting so people stay.

  • Display your social media buttons

To gain followers, make it quick and easy to follow your page and social media content. An easy way to do this is by adding social media buttons on your website. It is also a good idea to add social media icons in every content or marketing material you publish, whether online or offline. Make sure that your social media buttons are easily noticeable and lead to the right link when clicked. For offline marketing materials, you can include a QR code that people can easily scan to follow your page instantly.

  • Connect with influencers

One way to find your target audience is by keeping a close eye on the popular influencers in your niche or market. If you are running a health supplement business, your prospects are most probably following influencers that promote healthy living. You can follow these influencers and share their content on your page. This tactic is likely to encourage the influencer to follow your brand and share your content as well. In the end, the influencer’s followers may discover your page and follow you too.

Tips to help your social media business page avoid losing followers

  • Be active and consistent.

Consistency is a major key to attract new followers and to keep existing followers on your page. People are bombarded with so much content in social media that if your posts are few and far between they can easily leave your page and follow a new brand. To gain followers, it is a must to regularly post content that your audience will find interesting and useful. Likewise, your page will benefit if you make it a goal to respond quickly to comments and queries.

  • Let self-promotion take a backseat

Are you posting regular content yet still losing followers? It is probably because you have been sharing too much self-promotional content. This is the kind of content that highlights the features and achievements of your brand or business. While self-promotional content can help your audience get to know your brand, overdoing it can make you posts appear like an advertisement. A study says that self-promotion can even make a customer lose trust in a brand. Your social media campaigns will have more chances to succeed if they contain varied and interesting posts. This isn’t to say you can’t post self-promotional content, but make it a priority to add content that focuses on captivating your target customers’ interests.  

  • Do not over-automate your page

Automation has made it so much easier for online marketers to manage one or several social media pages. While it is wise to use this technology to keep your business pages active, overdoing it can backfire. People may appreciate the quick response of automated bots but anyone would still want to talk to real humans. Since people crave real connections and real conversations, an over-automated page can be a turn-off. To benefit from the automation technology, it is best to balance the use of bots with real human interaction. 

A social media page without followers can be likened to a car without wheels, it will never run. So if your small business is struggling to gain enough followers and engagement in your social media page, you will surely benefit from seeking the assistance of Birch River Design Group. Our digital marketing agency based in Scottsdale, Arizona can take care of your social media marketing so your brand can have a strong online presence. You are invited to reach out to us today to schedule a no-obligation consultation!

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