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Still intrigued about how Instagram shopping will benefit your small business? You've come to the right place. In part two of our current blog series, we are here to talk about and discuss just that!
Welcome back to part two of our blog series discussing Instagram shopping for small businesses! Have you had an opportunity to go and begin the process of starting your Instagram shop for your business since our last blog? How has it been going for you so far? Have you been having any issues with the process or has it been enjoyable for you? We are excited to hear about your journey, so when you do finish this blog, please make sure to comment below and share your experience with us! This is still a new concept for us and many of our clients, and it has been an interesting journey to learn more about Instagram Shopping and to even experiment and try it out on our own time. There is an ease to it that helps the flow of in-app shopping more enjoyable, and it's so nice that you don't have to leave the app to find exactly what you're looking for. Many of our team members have commented that they'll see a post about amazing new products on Amazon, and they'll have to leave whatever app they're using and hop over to Amazon to find what they're looking for. While this really doesn't take all that much extra time, going right to what you want when you want it is very appealing. There is no wonder why it has been so successful! There is no in-between time to second guess if you should really purchase what you've seen on your Instagram feed or not! If anything should appeal to our small business owners considering adding all the shopping features to their Instagram page, that should be one of the top things to consider! When someone falls in love with your product and immediately has the chance to buy it, the more likely they are to follow through with the purchase instead of just leaving it in their carts! With that in mind, fellow small business owners, let's hop back into part two of our blog series!
What Will Instagram Do For Small Businesses?
We've said it a hundred times across all of our platforms, but not using Instagram to promote your business and products would just be crazy! Hundreds of millions of users are on Instagram every day and all of them follow at least one small business. This will cancel out a lot of distracts and steps for your customers, allowing them to continue what they're doing on social media and bringing your store directly to them. They can browse, save items, learn more, discover more, and buy everything right from the app. This also directly allows you to bring all of your products to your target audience without always including a call to action in your post or stories to have them visit your website. You can promote more and the products are already there in front of your customers.
Since its establishment and throughout the pivoting process that small businesses have been through in the last year, Facebook founder and Instagram owner Mark Zuckerburg has said that, "We're seeing a lot of businesses that never had online presences get online for the first time, and we're seeing small businesses that had an online presence now make them their primary way of doing business". All by taking those few simple steps of creating an Instagram shop, you are opening up your business to a larger market with ease and possibly a market you've never needed before. No matter what curve ball might be thrown at the business world next, this new addition will be a stronghold! This new idea and addition to Instagram will bring you closer to your followers and introduce your products faster, easier, and with better detail. By choosing an Instagram shop, you are cutting everything out of the middle and delivering your product right to your followers. Take the time to invest in your shop and watch how it helps your company grow!
The Future of Now
While Instagram will always be a very active social platform, it is also an up-and-coming e-commerce site that once it truly takes off, has the ability to become one of the most popular locations for small business owners to sell their products. While the destruction of the pandemic was felt through every part of our lives, online business kept us connected, calm and inspired when there was nowhere else to turn to, leaving in its wake a stronger e-commerce community than ever before. It's not only a huge step for small business owners to take freedom with their shops, it is also reviving the app itself. New apps such as TikTok have taken the spotlight away from Instagram and has left it in the dust with Facebook and its other predecessors. Thanks to the ease of shopping on Instagram, more users are returning once again - not only to go shopping but to open another platform for their products. This whole process is breathing life back into the app, which for those who adore the app, is also a relief! While the app has taken center stage, it had time while it was off in the wings to mature, grow, and become even more innovative than it was before. You can do so much more in this app that so many were already so comfortable with, that this lends even more benefits to shoppers. Users are already familiar with the app, so getting used to these new trends and new opportunities will be even easier to adjust to since no one has to go through and learn how everything works. You just have to tap, click, and pay, and before you know it your favorite new products are at your front door. What could be more appealing than that to all of our small business owners out there?
A Kickstart To The Finishline
You've learned a little bit about the overall process of what Instagram Shopping is, how to set up your shop, what its many features are, how it benefits small businesses, and what the future of e-commerce on the platform looks like, but you might be a little stuck with getting started. The secret is to just get started! When setting up your shop and creating posts that will grab the attention of your followers, current buyers, and future customers, a lot of your success will be found in many of the same tips and suggestions we've talked about when creating a powerful media marketing strategy for your overall business on Instagram. Think about these things when starting to focus on your shop, when you're creating shop-focused content, and when you're ready to start selling!
Instagram for Business and Instagram Shopping is here to stay and is going to continue to see amazing growth. Even if you don't think your product would be a good one for Instagram Shopping, why not give it a try and just test the waters? You might be surprised! The pandemic pivot taught a lot of small businesses that almost anything is possible, especially when you least expect it. You and your business deserve the best, so why not use the tools that are already waiting for you? Go on, give it a try, and let us know how it works out for you! Thank you so much for joining us in this two-part blog series about Instagram shopping! Don't forget, if you're looking to build a website, design a logo, rebrand your company, have social media management, marketing analysis and consultation, and search engine optimization (SEO). We are here to help not only provide these services to you but to help your company become exactly what you've always wanted it to be and more. Until next time, stay safe and stay caffeinated!
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Online shopping has seen an incredible rise over the last few years, throughout the pandemic, and it is still finding new markets every day to flourish and grow. In this two-part blog, we are going to be talking about shopping on Instagram and the many benefits it can offer you as a small business owner!
Hello, Summerville! Spring has never looked more beautiful on you! It's been amazing to see our little town come to life and open its doors as the flowers and trees are blooming like crazy. It's been our pleasure to get back to spending time with our community and enjoying our favorite spots around town! Today we are celebrating you, Summerville, and you, reader, who we are so glad found us today! If you've found yourself here on the Creative Consulting blog, it's most likely that you are here to learn more about the media marketing world, a little bit more about your business, or how to improve your growing small business every day! You've come to the right place! Here you will learn, read, and enjoy all of this and more!
We are here to help you add a website and branding design, SEO, social media management, marketing analysis and consulting to your company, your workflow, and your everyday life. We offer each of these services to our clients and we also talk about them right here on this blog. Welcome! Enjoy everything you see and find here! If you have any questions or comments, please don't hesitate to reach out or comment below. We want to hear from you! Today we are going to be continuing with more new and exciting things happening out there in the business world to help you grow and maybe even learn something new and exciting today! Today we are going to be talking about Instagram shopping!
What Is Instagram Shopping?
Online shopping has defined the last decade on the internet. With the boom of Amazon and how easy it is, and getting exactly what you want and when you want it without having to leave your house has become the new normal. Online shopping has solidified itself as the most common way to get all of your shopping done, no matter what you're shopping for. With Instagram shopping, it's taking the whole idea of online shopping, and its ease to a whole new level with an additional boost. Instagram users have turned to the app to discover more about the products they love and to discover more new and exciting items that they didn't know existed. When they saw something in the past that caught their eye or interested them, they would go to every link to find out more about the product and how to buy it. It's been a series of clicks, traveling to an app or website outside of Instagram, and digging through the said website until they find exactly what they're looking for. All up until now. With Instagram shopping, all of these extra steps have been eliminated and shopping overall for businesses of all sizes has just gotten easier. There are multiple new resources that Instagram has implemented and is now offering to both retailers and consumers alike, you just have to know how to become eligible, how to use these resources, and how to enjoy them.
Overall, Instagram shopping, in its own words is "a set of features across Instagram that lets people shop your photos and videos no matter where they are in the app". It's taking window shopping to the next level and putting it right into your hands. Not only that, but Instagram created and designed each of these new features so they match and reflect how Instagram users already use the app. In no time at all, these new features will feel very natural as you scroll through Instagram. Here's every step that you need to know, all from Instagram itself.
How To Become Eligible for Instagram Shopping
All these perks sound incredible, right? It's because they are! Small business owners are you interested in adding these features to your professional Instagram page? Here is what you need to do to become eligible! This is a seven-step process, so make sure to read below and follow along before you get ready to go after your Instagram shop!
How excited are you about Instagram shopping? As we've been doing our research, the more we are exploring within the app ourselves and it's a fantastic addition to the platform overall, and we are excited to see where it goes next! Tune in next time for part two of our blog sharing more important and vital information about Instagram Shopping and its benefits for small business owners!
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Wanting to generate more leads from your social media platforms? That's exactly what we will be talking about today!
Hello, Summerville! Hello, readers! Welcome back to the Creative Consulting blog, your one-stop blog for everything you need to know about media marketing! Looking to add website and branding design, SEO, social media management, marketing analysis and consultations, and more to your company? Are you looking to learn more about each of these topics and apply them to your company? You've come to the right place! Not only do we offer all of these services to our clients, we talk frequently about these topics right here on our blog. We want to work with you rather than for you, and we want to make sure that all of your ideal clients know who you are. Thanks to thousands of hours of research, we have created a solid framework that allows us to grow your company's presence both locally and online, allowing your business to be known as the go-to experts in your field! We all know what social media is, and we spent our last two blogs discussing what social media and SEO are supposed to do for your company. Like you, and many of our clients, we know you want the time and money that is put into your social media and SEO to generate leads, but how best can you do that? Let's talk about it!
What Are Business Leads?
A business lead, in so many words, is an individual who has come across your company and they're interested in the products or services you sell. Sometimes these happen organically by doing cold social media searches (which SEO helps with) and sometimes they can come from ads and the social media you are posting out into the social world that grabs the attention of your target audience. Once a lead is made, companies (of all sizes!) will follow up on each of them to see if the interested party is part of their target audience and if they will continue to want what your company offers. Remember, it is very exciting to get a lead, but it doesn't always mean you will be a good fit for one another. That's okay! Sometimes these leads can turn into good professional relationships, situations where they will recommend you to others who will need you, or they won't go anywhere. You never know what might happen with each lead you get, so it's important to follow up on them. You've been putting so much time, effort, and money into your social media, how can you utilize these platforms to generate more of these business leads?
Creating Leads on Social Media
When using your social media as a key component in seeking out and drawing in new clients, what should you be keeping in mind? Let's get down to the nitty-gritty of it!
How many of these tips and ideas are you using right now to generate your social media leads? Remember, each of these suggestions is fairly simple, and don't take the time you might think they do to add them into your workflow. Getting leads can happen organically, but that can take years before you get enough attention to become a profitable company. Why wait when you can have all of that right now? Don't overwhelm yourself, start with a few of these ideas, and begin to note how your leads increase. Even reading this blog, are you still not wanting to do this extra work for your company? We can help with that! Make sure to reach out to us now to get started! Until next time, stay safe and stay caffeinated!
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It is an app that has been the center of global speculation, brought comfort to so many people, helped many find a place to be creative, helped many find a support system they've never had, and it has now taken the world by storm. Its newest venture? It's helping small businesses sell more products and help many go viral! Today, we are going to be talking about the future of TikTok and business!
Hello readers and welcome to the Creative Consulting blog! Some of you might be very new to our blog and our company due to the topic and content of this blog. For those who are regular readers, we do urge you to suspend any disbelief at the moment and give this blog a chance, you might be very surprised at what you might learn! Today we are going to be taking a step in a new direction for Creative Consulting and talking about one of the biggest app phenomenons, TikTok. Before you leave the page please know this app has evolved, almost overnight, from an app for dancing tweens to users of all ages (Yes, all ages! We've personally seen some amazing videos created by individuals in their late 70's and 80's!), on all topics from cute animals, to incredible how-to's, recipes, artists, performers, and teachers. Musicals have been produced because of these creatives, important information has gone viral in a matter of hours, and it has given its users a sense of community when it was needed most.
Thanks to the pandemic we were all at home, many unable to see their families or friends for months, some still unable to do so. Many creatives lost their platforms to perform, share their art, or tell their stories. TikTok changed all of that. Many downloaded the app for the very first time once quarantine went into effect for entertainment, but they found a place to connect, share what they know, and not feel so alone. While the app has spent its fair share in the hot seat thanks to the previous administration, it looks like it is here to say. Not only is it here to stay, but to help all kinds of businesses become relevant in this new day and age and help their sales improve. How? This is what we are going to be talking about today! What's the buzz? It's a short-form video platform by the name of TikTok, where users can upload 60-second videos of their creation. As of last August, the app had been downloaded over two billion times and has quickly become a staple for internet culture for almost every age group. While it has become a global phenomenon, its rise to glory in the US has been a much different story, receiving a lot of fire in 2020.
The app is owned by ByteDance, a huge Chinese tech company. What was brought into question by the US government and the previous administration was how much information the Chinese company was receiving about the US and its citizens through TikTok, and if this leak of data could be a threat to its protection. It also questioned how much access the Chinese government had to TikTok's user data and if ByteDance was doing an appropriate job of moderating its content. To help with this, TikTok brought in a little Disney Magic and hired Kevin Mayer, an American who was Disney steaming executive. However, due to the political environment and atmosphere that the last administration was pulling TikTok into, Mayer quickly resigned. The last administration demanded that it sell to an American company or it would be banned in the US. While it has now outlasted three deadlines of being sold, the first in September of 2020, the second in November of 2020, and a third that just passed on February 18th, the mega-corporation reports that it is continuing to work out the details. During the first few weeks of the current administration, it hasn't been touched on a lot yet. The future of the app is still very much up in the air. Despite everything and the potential ban the app could be facing, ByteDance doubled its profit to $35 billion last year, according to Bloomberg.com
Before it became such a phenomenon with so much drama attached to it in the US, TikTok had its very own Cinderella story. The app first began as Musical.ly which launched in Shanghai in 2014 and had a strong following in the US. ByteDance followed in 2016 with a very similar app in China called Douyin. The app became so popular that ByteDance knew they could go somewhere with it. They rebranded Douyin to TikTok, bought Musical.ly in 2018, and TikTok was officially born. The question still lingers, how could an app designed for fun and entertainment help your business? Is this really becoming a reality?
According to HootSuite, TikTok had 800 million active users as of October 2019 and was predicted to continue with strong growth spurts. HootSuite went on to report that the app on average is opened 8 times a day by its users. With that many eyes on an app, why wouldn't you want to use that to your advantage? Just like any other social media platform, it can be an excellent source of free marketing, that if stuck to properly can help increase your sales. You don't have to make ridiculous videos or anything out of your comfort zone, you just need to make a 60-second video full of interesting marketing that is on-brand for your company. Many companies, Forbes says, are ignoring the app thinking it's just a fad or just for children. With that being said, we might have to remind you that Facebook and Instagram were also considered fads once, and look at them now! They're almost imperative to a company's success! Quite honestly, we might be standing at the doorway of a very important and untapped market. This is an opportunity to introduce your company to a younger generation, one who could introduce your products to their parents or want them for themselves. TikTok could also see the trend that Instagram and Facebook did, that as time went on more and more adults joined. Don't forget that this is a global app, and it could widen your market beyond what you could imagine. Your products could go global!
We've talked about this before in our previous blogs, but tools like Instagram and Facebook videos, Instagram TV, reels, and going live have become such a popular tool for getting your customer's attention and introducing yourselves to them in a fun and personable way. According to wyzowl.com the amount of time consumers spend watching videos online has gone up 52% from 2018 and is going to keep growing. TikTok is another platform to help you show off these videos you're already making for Facebook and Instagram, you don't even need to make different content, you can be consistent across all of your platforms. This can help you reach many different audiences with just one video across multiple platforms.
TikTok is a powerful tool to use for generating brand awareness and to help with your engagement. The videos you are creating cost nothing to make, but thanks to its algorithms you can see results almost right away when you do post. However, you can't just slap a video together to magically get the results you want and need. Just like Instagram and Facebook, you'll need to create something attention-grabbing, fun, to the point, uses all aspects of the app (Adding music and text), and you need to pay attention to what's trending to find this success. You can also take advantage of TikTok's ad platform on top of making your own videos to help spread awareness. This awareness can increase traffic to your website, other social media pages, and even drive up sales, especially if you can create a buzz on the app with other users talking about your products. This idea is very similar to the partnerships and influencer phenomenon that Instagram has been seeing over the years. Instead of a picture or story, TikTok gets its users talking about products, literally! It's very important to remember that you need to create content that's not just commercials or forcing sales down your audience's throat. You need to connect and communicate with your audience and have fun with them, just as you do with every platform of social media. TikTok has, as of last year, officially launched TikTok for Business with the specific goal of helping businesses grow and expand on its platform!
TikTok's goal with this new step is to "empower small and mid-sized businesses to tap into the power of TikTok for Business to grow their brand" according to the app. They are very aware of the power their app has generated and the marketing options available, and want small businesses to take part in that! TikTok wants its users to reach new audiences, optimize all the hard work users put into their marketing campaigns, and they have designed an easy platform for anyone to be able to enjoy this! While Facebook and Instagram have consistently grown in power for helping small businesses, many small business owners might agree that both platforms with their constant upgrades and changes make it hard and frustrating for its users to continue being successful on their platforms. We also might go as far as to say that TikTok wants to give small businesses the opportunity to use their platform along with all the tools they need to be successful, all while supporting them in every way they can. You will still need to spend money on their ads, they are still a business, but using ads on TikTok could offer more views and clicks than their social media peers due to the sheer volume of users. While the future of TikTok is still up in the air for the US, if it does stick around, it might change the face of marketing, just like Facebook and Instagram once did!
What do you think about TikTok? Have you started using it for your small business or are you still just scrolling through looking for cute animals and recipes? We do encourage you to do your own research about the app and do a little experimenting yourself. While it might not be for everyone, there is something for everyone on the app! We are very excited to see where the app will take the world of marketing and what might happen next. Keep your eyes peeled, we have a feeling this isn't the last you'll hear about TikTok! Until next time, stay safe and caffeinated Summerville!
To learn more and do your own research, follow the link below!
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While the dawning of direct message and text messages has overshadowed that of the emailing world, there are still so many untapped opportunities available for business owners to take advantage of when it comes to emails! Today, we are going to be talking about the importance of email marketing and how to utilize it!
Welcome to the Creative Consulting blog, reader! A special hello and shout out to our Summerville friends, local businesses, and customers. We are so glad you found your way here today, and we hope you're doing safe and well! Today we are going to be talking about emails and the power of email marketing. We know you might be rolling your eyes because you have hundreds of unread emails just sitting in your inbox that you're dreading going through. Plus, isn't email an old and outdated tool? Well, no matter what you've read, email and email marketing is still around and it still has so much to offer.
Just like any good tool, there is a reason why email marketing has lasted so long. Well-designed marketing tools grow and develop over time due to their needs and demands. Emails and the power of email marketing are no different. According to one of our favorite marketing tools, Hubspot, the first marketing email was sent in 1978, so the idea and the use of email marketing inst a new one. That one email lead to $13 million in sales revenue and launched this incredible marketing tool that millions use every day. Forbes goes on to say that email marketing is still delivering the highest ROI of any marketing platform, it is earning companies $42 for every $1 spent. Hubspot reports that 73% of millennials prefer to stay in contact with businesses through email and 99% of consumers check their email every day! With powerful numbers like that, it looks like email marketing is doing more than just hanging on, it's leading the charge. The big question now is not only if you're using it but if you're using it correctly. That is what we will be talking about today, along with giving a few tips on how to utilize this powerful tool!
Over the last year, we having all been glued to our electronics, companies have been forced to do a pandemic pivot. Many companies have turned to emails to keep communicating with their customers about new deals, opportunities, and changes, and many consumers have turned around and gone haywire with unsubscribing and getting annoyed with the number of emails in their inbox. While we understand this reaction, that doesn't change the importance of email marketing, it is still relevant and it is still working. Regardless of these sometimes harsh reactions don't give up on email marketing. Instead, maybe it's just time to look at your email marketing in a brand new way than you have before!
Using email as a marketing tool lives in its own very strange limbo and these professional emails live in a category all their own. They aren't personal emails from a friend or family member, and they are not spam. Even today, giving out one's email is still given with hesitation, thanks to the amount of cyber-crime and influx of emails you can get every time you give it out. You need to respect those who do sign up and trust you with their information. When you go out to create an email blast for your list of recipients, it's not just for a sale. You need to focus on building a relationship with this audience and continue to nurture it as time goes on.
The email you are creating and sending needs to be about your customer, don't make it directly about making a sale, about the company, or about you. Subconsciously your audience will enjoy the email and will look forward to the next email you send out! While it would be amazing to have a one on one relationship with every single customer, that's just not possible. Email can help you create that feeling along with saving you time, You can also nurture your relationships with your customers, stay in touch with them, provide them with important information, give them something to learn, give them something to apply to their life right now, or give them something to look forward to (i.e. a sale or a new product!).
Using Email As A Tool
Now that we know that the power of email marketing isn't dead, how do we go about using it as an effective tool?
The great thing about email marketing is that so much of the work you need to do is very similar to what your team already does for the rest of your social media platforms and marketing plans. While you continue to build up and perfect your social media marketing strategy, your email marketing can continue to grow stronger. Keep using this tool and keep working with it until it works for you! Are you at a loss with social media marketing and the future of email marketing? We can help with that! Until next time, stay safe and caffeinated Summerville!
Looking to learn more about email marketing? Check out this free download from Hubspot.com! Use this template to strategically organize your email marketing. Available for Microsoft Excel and Google Sheets.
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Dealing with spam comments on any platform of your online presence is sadly a very common thing that almost everyone deals with. In part three of this blog, we are going to be talking about how to deal with spam comments on your social media pages!
Hello readers and hello to our fellow Summerville businesses, residents, and friends! Welcome back to the Creative Consulting blog! We hope business is going well for you, and that you're working towards reaching your end of the year goals one day at a time! If you're not quite there yet, ask yourself what might be going on or getting in the way. One of the most overlooked things that can turn your business around is your social media presence. First of all, do you have any? Is your website skillfully designed and easy to navigate? Do you regularly post to your social media pages, do you respond to comments, emails, and direct messages promptly? Do you actually work on your SEO and Google ranking? If you answered no to any of those questions it might be time to reach out to us at Creative Consulting to help give your website a little TLC and truly give you the power that social media can provide. It's what we do, and what we are passionate about. We are also constantly dedicated to learning more about the social media industry to be up to date as much as possible to help our clients stay above and beyond their competitors!
In part one of this blog series, we began talking about the impact spammers and hackers have on your social media and internet presence and focused on how to deal with them in blog comments. Today, we are going to be discussing how to deal with spam comments and potential hackers on your social media platforms. While so many think that spammer comments and posts on your social media can just be ignored and buried by other comments, it is not a situation to be ignored or a time to hope that they won't be seen. These comments, posts, and the presence of spam comments can be very dangerous and damaging to your company and your brand. Remember, social media can be an incredibly powerful tool for your company; it can help build it up or spammers can help tear it down in an instant. They come in the form of fake accounts, spamming comments filled with hashtags, links, and one too many emojis, and direct messages that are not welcome. It takes time to deal with all of this, but it is well worth it to avoid any malicious intent or harm to your accounts or your actual trusted followers.
Taking responsibility against these spammers and bots is a responsibility that comes with having your business online. These are just a few of the tips available to you to help combat these issues. If you've come to the end of the road with these tactics, there are many others out there. Remember too, having an active social media account and monitoring your pages can help cut down on these malicious and annoying attacks. Active accounts can help you remain creditable and keep you in contact with your customers and target audience. While it might seem tedious, please believe us when we say that these actions are worth it. If you're having these issues or if you have any questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to reach out! Until next time, stay safe and caffeinated Summerville!
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Continuing with our current blog series, we are going to be discussing how to deal with spam and phishing in your inbox. Today's focus will be on how to spot these hazardous emails, how you can fight back, and how to protect yourself from any and all dangers lurking in your email!
Hello readers! Hello Summerville! Welcome to the Creative Consulting blog, coming to you from the heart of Summerville, SC just a little drive up from Charleston, SC! We hope that wherever you are that this blog finds you healthy and well! While we are still battling with the effects of a global pandemic, there is another difficult fight that many companies have to deal with daily; fighting spam and phishing comments, messages, and emails across their entire digital fingerprint. The scams and those behind them are becoming harder to recognize as spam, and they are becoming more intelligent and malicious every day. As we've been discussing through this blog series, it's something that everyone deals with, something that you can't give up fighting on, and something that sometimes is very hard not to fall into.
As we hinted in the first blog of this series, spam emails are starting to look more legitimate every day, becoming more tailored to their target audiences, and hard to recognize as spam. These emails can cause fear, frustration, lead to a virus destroying your personal or work computer, or expose sensitive information from your personal or professional life. We've seen it in the news multiple times as cybercrime has grown; a giant corporation will get hacked and millions will have their personal information exposed or personal information gets into the wrong hands. However, even more frightening is the fact that these scams can happen to anyone and any size company. These spammers and hackers don't discriminate, they just keep on working. How can you recognize spam emails and how can you protect yourself against them? That is what we will be discussing today!
How Do You Recognize Spam Emails?
Why put such a big focus on spam in email form? Why disguise them as big bank chains, Netflix, or Amazon? Email is a very cheap and costless platform that allows spammers and hackers to reach high volumes of individuals very quickly. Why the popular chains? It's the fact that almost everyone is connected to at least one if not all of these popular resources, making the scams look incredibly believable. According to westtek.com, more than 95% of emails sent throughout the world are more than likely spam. According to the Cisco Talos Intelligence Group, it has been found that 84% of world wide email traffic is unsolicited and malicious. With statistics like that, how can you fight against something so powerful? How can you recognize what is spam and what is not?
How Do You Protect Yourself From Spam Emails?
How Do You Report phishing or scamming?
Checking your email and text messages should never bring you worry or stress about spamming or phishing, but sadly it happens every day. We hope this guide helps you to combat this daily issue, that it helps give you peace of mind, and that it helps to keep you and your company safe! If you have any more questions or comments, please never hesitate to reach out to us! If there is a topic you would like to see as a future blog, don't hesitate to reach out and share that with us as well! Until next time, stay safe and caffeinated Summerville!
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Spammers, fishers, scams, viruses, and their threats have become a dangerous daily reality for businesses of all sizes. To help keep you safe and sane we wanted to talk about the realities of these situations, how to recognize them, and how to deal with them.
Hello, Summerville, and hello to you, reader! Welcome back to Creative Consulting's blog. We hope we find you happy and well. Are you feeling stumped or stuck with where your company is going or with your overall business goals? We might be able to help with that! We specialize in branding and online exposure marketing through social media and SEO, we build websites, create content, and run all of your social media pages, and much more. Help the world know who you are and what your business is through the explosive power of social media. You can't afford to put it off any longer!
We have a very soft spot for social media, and we are very aware of the highs and lows that come along with it. It is an incredible business tool that is always growing and expanding. It helps you stay in touch with your customers, helps be aware of your target audience, helps you stay ahead of your competitors, and helps you share and show off what makes your company unique. However, with the good comes the bad. The internet is such a vast expanse that allows anyone the freedom to get behind their keyboards and share how they feel, oftentimes without a second thought to who or what company they could be damaged. Often time these attacks come without doing any proper research, too. The internet is so free and open, it also allows for some very scary, dangerous, and disastrous cybercrime to exist alongside us all.
Cybercrime doesn't just attack multi-billion-dollar businesses, it targets small mom and pop sized businesses too, and it can appear in many different forms across multiple different platforms. Emails have become a very powerful tool for hackers, and they have become more eloquent in their attacks. Sometimes it is very easy to spot a spam email with its awful design and terrible grammar and spelling mistakes. However, they are becoming more advanced, look more professional, and claiming to know more personal information than they ever have before. They're becoming more aggressive, nasty, and frightening as time goes on. A trend we've started to see is spammers and scammers showing up in your direct messages on Instagram and Facebook, in comments on your social media, commenting on your blogs, and even emailing you regarding the copyright of images and graphics being used on your social media platforms. Since this trend is becoming popular as time goes on, we wanted to explore and discuss the topic with our readers.
First off, if you've been through an issue with a scammer or spammer, please don't be embarrassed, it happens! As we mentioned above, these scams and attacks are becoming harder to distinguish as being fake or not. No one is immune to these attacks, they can appear in anyone's inboxes and in response to the content you choose to use on your social media platforms. Even Creative Consulting isn't immune to it! Below you will find two examples of spam that we've received, and these aren't the only ones we've received either. We get emails like this more often than you might think.
The first image on the left is of an email we received regarding an image on our website claiming that it didn't belong to us, but that it belonged to and was the work of the sender of the email. However, the graphics in question were designed by us in house, so it was something we were able to laugh off and knew was fake. However, pay attention to the tone of the email, if this was received by someone who didn't design their website or have a trusted source that did, it could be very scary. Also, note the links that have been embedded into the email offering proof that the images in question are the author's, and they have also included a link for "legal documents". The author invites and then demands the reader to click on them in a very believable manner. Both of these links are probably some kind of scam, virus, or a tool that could open up your computer and allow a scammer to have access to whatever they wish. As the message continues, the threat becomes even more heated, saying the images that are hers need to be removed, cursing is used, and more threats are delivered. While we knew this was a harmless threat for us, it's still uncomfortable to read, and could be very scary to someone else.
The second image on the right is a much different example. This comment, and many that we have received like it, have been sent in for approval to comment on a client's blog. Many social media management companies and blog writers will turn on the option that requires the approval of comments before they're seen by the rest of the world. While we have the power to stop a lot of spam messages, sometimes we don't. These messages range from very tame and kind messages to threats, similar to what you saw in the first image. While this comment might seem kind, we've received the exact same comment from multiple different "people", who are most likely bots. Also, note the circled name on the image noting where the email is coming from. Obviously, that is not an appropriate or real IP address of someone you want to be attached to your website or blog. Having spam comments like this, even ones that seem harmless can damage your reputation, your Google Standing, and credibility. So, how do you deal with this?
Also, not staying on top of these comments, no matter how many you're dealing with, shows a lack of moderation and care for your website and blog, according to Forbes.com. Who wants to believe or follow the audience of a blog or website where it looks like no one takes care of it? Also, the readers you've had might lose faith in your credibility. What happens if you've been a long time follower and reader and because you put faith into this blogger, you don't question the authenticity of a link in a comment. Then, to your horror, you click on it and you have a virus and your personal information begins to leak out. You would quickly lose faith in returning to that website or blog again, right?
Next, you can use certain settings to help moderate your spammers. One option is to moderate comments from first-time users, according to NeilPatel.com. This will place these authors in moderation if they change their names, email addresses, or use an email link. If your blog platform allows it, turn off trackbacks, or you can install some plugins that have been built and designed to control spam. You can also shift the conversation to social media. Invite any questionable commenters to email you or continue the discussion on your social media platforms. This will show your fellow readers that you're handling the situation, and if you get no response, it's another way to justify deleting these questionable comments. If you use WordPress, make sure the settings to minimize and control spam are on. You also can turn off the comments on your blogs. However, according to Forbes.com, this can be a big disservice to your blog and company. If you decide to turn comments off on your blog, you could be missing a huge marketing opportunity.
Don't be discouraged by spam or the time you might have to dedicate to managing it. It is a battle you can win and we hope these tools and suggestions help you feel prepared. Please check back for part two of this new blog series discussing spam on social media posts and found in your direct messages! Until next time, stay safe and caffeinated Summerville!
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This blog will be dedicated to our continued discussion about what it means to be ADA compliant and the best route to follow when pursuing that goal. More questions will hopefully be answered for you, and more advice will be provided on this difficult topic that has little legal ground and ruling to guide anyone through the process!
Hello, my dear and wonderful Summerville! How are you, dear readers? So glad you've made it to the Creative Consulting blog. We hope that where ever you might be, that you're happy and well! Also, if you're finding yourself reading one of your very first Creative Consulting blogs right now, please note that this blog is part three of an ongoing discussion about ADA compliance, and to fully get out of it what we feel is best, we encourage you to go back and read the first two blogs in this series!
How are you doing so far in your 2021? Are you still working towards your business goals? Have you been following the plans you created for yourself last year to find success this year? After how tumultuous 2020 was, outside of making some of the most necessary and important goals for yourself and your business, it might have been hard to see a bigger picture while walking into 2021! This blog is, of course, a safe space for all of our readers and fellow business owners. If you were struggling with your goals and resolutions for 2021, we have one that you can work towards, and we won't even tell anyone that you made this resolution after the ball dropped! Why not strive towards becoming as ADA compliant as possible in 2021?
Becoming ADA compliant, as we have been talking about through this blog series, is important ground to break for your company, while it is also very shaky ground at the same time. While it is something that is pressing for every website to have and heavily suggested to implement into your website by the WCAG (the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines), we must remind all of our readers that there are still no official laws or rules about being ADA compliant. However, striving to make your virtual fingerprint enjoyable and accessible to anyone and everyone that visits your website is an incredibly powerful business move. Being inclusive in your web viewing audience is not only kind to humanity, but it can also help with your company's growth and sales. Being kind and growing exponentially at the same time? Sounds pretty perfect to us! However, while we have covered a lot of information on the topic, we wanted to finish out this blog series with just a little bit more about ADA compliance!
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF BEING ADA COMPLIANT?
WHAT ARE THE POSSIBLE RISKS OF NOT BEING ADA COMPLIANT?
While this topic is still an incredibly grey area, that doesn't mean taking the risk of not being ADA compliant is the way to go. There are still many risk factors that you could be facing. Remember, Creative Consulting can help you through the process and you must be very careful when approached by online poachers or online ambulance chasers. Their sole goal is to target websites and business owners unaware of ADA compliance and scaring them into paying huge sums of money for their so-called safety. Well, we guarantee that this is very false information. However, if you are choosing not to be ADA compliant and choosing not to make these adjustable steps, that's a different situation.
WHY IS IT SO IMPORTANT NOW?
We are not downplaying the fact that ADA compliance hasn't been important since the use of the internet became widespread and used by millions every day. However, as the years go on and we all become more and more connected thanks to the overwhelming and impressive power of the internet, now might be more important than ever to be ADA compliant.
The big takeaway that we want to give each of our readers to have from this blog series is the fact that becoming ADA compliant is simple, necessary, but nothing you should be afraid of. Work with the correct individuals, like us, to help you reach this goal and you could potentially see your business grow exponentially. Honestly, there is also no question about it. It is a company's responsibility to every citizen to allow them access to their website. It's the right thing to do, it's our duty to humanity, and not being ADA compliant is discriminatory, which is beyond unacceptable in our books. As online designers, what is also unacceptable is big web design moguls using scare tactics to prey on unaware and uneducated business owners. It is our responsibility, as business owners, to help them, educate them, eradicate fear, and bring everyone smoothly and safely into the kind and generous world of ADA compliance! Until next time, stay safe and caffeinated Summerville!
To learn even more in-depth information and to stay up to date on ADA Compliance, please visit their website: https://www.ada.gov/pcatoolkit/chap5toolkit.htm
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In this follow up blog, we are going to be continuing our discussion on ADA compliance on your website and what you need to know right now.
Hello Summerville, and welcome back to the blog! There is just nothing like a new year in Summerville. The whole town seems to be buzzing with new exciting energy working towards this new year's goals, new projects, and resolutions. It's a wonderful energy, and we can all feel it in the office. It has helped each of us stay focused, get to work, and inspired us to keep up with our own goals and resolutions. Thank you, Summerville! Let's make the best out of 2021 together, and let's be kind to one another. Who knows what this year or any year might hold for all of us!
One of the very first blogs we've shared this year was all about being ADA compliant, what that means, the challenges small businesses are facing right now because of it, the fact that many issues are caused due to lack of official guidance, and how the officials are going about correcting websites to ADA complaint before a bully shows up to do it first. Today, we are going to be following up with part two of that blog with even more helpful and important information to make sure your business is safe and ready to handle the changes ADA online compliance might bring this year.
What are the best ways to make your website ADA compliant?
Remember, you can do many of these changes yourself if you want to. Do not, we repeat, do NOT let anyone bully you into believing that they are the only ones who can make your current website or build a website for you that is ADA compliant and that you must spend an obscene amount of money to do so. You can work with us at Creative Consulting to achieve an ADA-compliant website or any top-notch design company that won't force or bully you, and our rates will be reasonable. Remember, outside of following these loosely based guidelines that have started to appear about being ADA compliant online, being ADA compliant can help position your business for long-lasting success and help to expand your customer base. While rules and guidelines are still not black and white, the WCAG (the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) and other groups are paving the way. Until then, here is a list of suggestions and tips on how to make your website ADA compliant right now.
Well, readers, it looks like the topic of ways on how best to make your website ADA compliant needed its very own blog! Don't worry, we still have a lot more to talk about, and will continue to do so in our next few blogs. This topic is becoming more important every day, and we want to make sure you are prepared and informed. We appreciate you coming on this ride with us about ADA compliance. We hope that with each of these blogs, you are taking the correct steps to ensure that your website fits these guidelines. Please take this topic very seriously. While there are no official guidelines set in stone by law right now, that most certainly doesn't mean that it couldn't change soon. This is one of the main reasons why it is so important to get ahead on this topic, so once it is set in stone, you either will already be compliant with the law or you will just need to make a few adjustments! Until next time, stay safe and caffeinated Summerville!