Top 5 Takeaways from the 2011 Aspen Business Expo

On Wednesday I spent the afternoon at the annual Aspen Business Expo listening to three panels about social media. A big thank you to the Aspen Chamber and all of the speakers for a great event, and to the St. Regis Aspen for hosting. Sitting in the audience being reminded of the fundamentals of social media and hearing from industry experts about the perceived direction of different social platforms, I felt juxtaposed between being in the search/social industry and also a small business owner in Aspen. I didn’t need to be convinced that social media is important. As a search engine marketer, I tell this to my customers daily. But, as you can tell from my lack of participation personally and professional on Twitter and Facebook, I experience the same challenge as the other attendees of not having enough time in the day. I took away a lot of tips and tricks from the panelists who also have busy jobs and lives, but find time to participate in social media and seem to enjoy it thoroughly. My top five takeaways are as follows. 1. Social Media Allows a Business to Connect with its Community – While it is hard to directly quantify the value of a Fackbook like or Twitter follower, there is undeniably tremendous value and RIO from social media. I was reminded of Cory Booker, the major of Newark who spoke at the Aspen Ideas Festival in 2011 and stated that social media allows him to connect on a daily, even hourly basis with his community which is invaluable as a leader. So to for business owners....
Google – More than a Search Engine

Google – More than a Search Engine

Over the course of our first tens months in business, we’ve been faced with a long list of operations questions. From service lines, pricing, and sales, to phones, email, website, customer relationship manager, and more, the list of questions has at times been overwhelming. Along the way, we’ve consulted with other small to medium sized businesses asking for advice and exchanging ideas. Fortunately, after much research the answer to our questions continues to point to one definitive resource — Google. Yes, we frequently turn to www.google.com for research, but more specifically to Google has offered tools and solutions. As a search engine marketing company there was no question we would utilize Google Webmaster Tools for SEO, Google Analytics, Google AdWords, and Google Website Optimizer, but as our business has grown so to has our use of more general Google products. Google Apps for Business has been a cost effective, efficient solutions for everything from email and phone to calendars, document sharing, and more. The Apps Marketplace has offered integrated solutions for accounting, customer relationship management, project management, and productivity. More specifically: Email, Calendar, and Shared Documents – Google Apps for Business has allowed us to create email addresses such as lindsay@webshine.com, shared Google documents, and shared calendars. With a single sign on for these tools and more, each day starts with a single login.. Phone – Perfect for a mobile office, Google Voice provides you with one number for all of your phones. Your Google Voice number can ring your cell, home, office, you name it. And you can control which numbers it dials based on the time of...