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Monthly Archives: January 2018

January 24, 2018

The Power of Social Media for Business

Social Media

In today’s world, businesses are no longer inquiring as to “if” they should be utilizing social media, they are researching strategies on “how” to incorporate social media into their business.

Social MediaThe extremely rapid adoption and integration of social media for businesses is becoming increasingly apparent among businesses and how we all do business. The term “social media” is a relatively broad description of the various online technology-based tools that allow individuals to communicate with a high level of ease and through the means of internet sharing and state-of-the-art resources.

You are what you share….” – Charles W. Leadbeater

The various methods that may be utilized by today’s businesses through social media include posting relevant content on forums and blogs, sharing business-related photographs and other types of images, posting audio-based clips, sharing videos, sharing and exchanging links, and creating brand-building profiles on networking websites that permit for the regular posting of updates. All of these are typically done with an integrated mechanism for feedback.

There are various outlets in terms of social media. Despite their similarities and abilities, the platforms that encourage social interaction and exchanges for businesses have landscapes that are ever-evolving. The following outline some of the most popular types of activities that may be pursued by a business and the platforms on which those activities are pursued:

  • Social Bookmarking – The most popular websites for social bookmarking include Digg, Pinterest, and Reddit.
  • Blogging – WordPress, Blogger, and TypePad rank as most popular for blogging endeavors with a social overtone.
  • Business Pages – To get social with a business, you want to opt for Facebook Pages, LinkedIn, and Google+.
  • Video Sharing – Does your business create and share videos of products and services? If you answered “yes”, you will want to opt for YouTube, Vimeo, and even Daily Motion.
  • Social Network Endeavors – For social networking, your best bet are sites like Facebook, Ning, and MySpace.
  • Micro Blogging -Twitter, Friend Feed, and Tumblr are excellent resources for businesses that wish to engage in the act of micro blogging.
  • Photo Sharing – Have a desire to share photos for your business? Go for My Shutterbox, Flickr, and Wallspace.
  • Reviews and Ratings – If you want user reviews and/or ratings for your business, go with Google, Yelp, and Yahoo.

Numerous benefits surround the use of social media; especially when it comes to your business. The main advantages of utilizing social media include the following:

  • You have the capability of reaching and extending those that you have a desire to market to in a quick and affordable fashion.
  • You may increase the overall awareness of your brand on the World Wide Web.
  • Traffic will instantly be driven directly to your website.
  • You may create “buzz” and excitement about your products, your services, and any events that your business will be hosting.
  • You will be able to educate and provide information to your customers on the launches of products and services associated with your company.
  • You may personalize your level of customer service and develop solid relationships with your customers.

If you are ready to learn more about social media and its impact on your business or want to start reaping the rewards of a social media marketing regimen, contact us today: https://brickroadmedia.com/facebook-engagement-and-seo-campaign/

Resources:

https://docs.lib.purdue.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1012&context=cgttheses

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/young-entrepreneur-council/the-10-best-social-media_b_11654820.html

https://www.wordstream.com/social-media-marketing

January 8, 2018

Making Websites Accessible to Everyone Part III

man looking through tablet screen

man looking through tablet screen

Website accessibility is more than hoopla. Businesses all over are starting to figure it out. A few grocery chains have discovered ADA actions speak louder than words.

In 2013, Safeway prepared and released the details of its negotiated commitment to make its on-line grocery portal accessible to disabled customers.

In 2014, the US DOJ settled a web accessibility complaint with Peapod, self-proclaimed as America’s leading Internet grocer.

Accessibility practices accepted by the company included a posted Accessibility Information Page, a designated web accessibility coordinator, and the use of WCAG 2.0 AA. Both actions received a great deal of attention and the results provided compliance guidance to help other private businesses begin or analyze their website status.

The result of another action on June 13, 2017 showed that compliance was indeed expected.  Winn-Dixie lost the first trial regarding the ADA and a private company’s website accessibility.

Winn Dixie Millidgeville, GA (7967696910)

A blind shopper filed a lawsuit because he could not access certain portions of the company’s website, such as online coupons. The chain’s loss demonstrated the Court’s concern about the relationship between technology in the digital age, civil rights, and accessible digital content.

The decision was a reminder that certain business practices must be followed, whether by choice or a harsh directive provided by law.

There is a sensible way to achieve current and pending WRA Section 508 compliance. It starts by developing an accessibility strategy. Following that is locating business communications that need changed and doing it. Next, widen the search to address all forms of communications and accessibility. Change the required areas to fit federal, state, and local guidelines.

Thousands upon thousands of small and large companies have questions about how Section 508 affects their operations and how to avoid legal action. Guidelines are available to indicate ways websites meet the accessibility standards for people with disabilities regarding:

  • Information and communication technology.
  • Products and service.

Other well-known laws supporting Section508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the ADA include the:

  • 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010. It addresses advanced communications products and services.
  • Communications Act, Section 255 addresses telecommunications products and services.

Accessibility Checklist Excerpts

The U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services created a free accessibility checklist for web-based intranet and internet information and applications. Helpful hints you’ll find include how to:

  1. Put in audio descriptions.
  2. Give alternate links to Image Maps.
  3. Create text transcript.
  4. Make an alt tag for every plug-in, video, audio file, etc.

Upbeat Attitudes Make Compliance Simpler

When you address compliance challenges with a can-do attitude and take it step by step, it's easier to get the job done. Increase accessibility as you transform company culture and processes while changing documents. A company website that can be used despite disabilities like hearing loss, photosensitivity, and limited movement encourages more traffic and discourages complaints. Invite user feedback and run a test yourself using the accessibility checklist. Confirm HTML tags deliver the right information and graphics do not overcrowd the page. Keep a running documentation of results, recommendations, and changes that reflect your goal of making the website accessible to everyone.

 

RESOURCES

Accessibility checklist, 1194.22 Web-based intranet and internet information and applications

Web Accessibility for Grocers, http://www.lflegal.com/2017/07/grocery-access/

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