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I’m Working From Hermit’s Cave

If you haven’t seen me in the office this past week, or out and about much at all, there’s a reason for that.


No, I am not actually working from Hermit’s Cave, however, I do appreciate the humor of it. This has been our DESTINATION : Council Grove’s office greeter, Margaret Wyatt’s, standard line during my absence. I think it’s pretty awesome. Just me, my laptop, and the ghost of Giovanni Maria Augustini.


I’m actually taking some uninterrupted time to work from home on the all-new CouncilGrove.com. That’s definitely not as cool as working from Hermit’s Cave, but it’s mighty productive.


We’re giving our website a complete and total overhaul! This baby will be a workhorse for our community, and I can’t wait for its launch.


As I have been doing this (mildly mind-numbing work . . . so much data entry), I have been thinking a lot about websites, social media, and branding. We have 109 members in our Association, and we just finished completely researching and entering data for all of them. All. Of. Them.


There are some opportunities many of us have to improve our web presence, so I thought I would give you my top ten tips for maximizing your places on the interwebs so that they are working as hard as possible for you.


So in the spirit of David Letterman, although lacking the same substantive humor, here is today’s “Top Ten List” . . .


Tip #10 : Claim your Google Business Profile. You don’t need to update this quite as much as some may have you believe, but it's smart to have the basics out there.


Tip #9 : A logo. If you are a public-facing entity, get yourself a logo. Churches, community organizations, farms, whatever you are, make, or even better, hire a professional to create a logo that you plaster on everything. Logos claim space and provide recognition.


Tip #8 : Facebook needs all your information. Ensure your address, website, phone, email, and links to other social channels are up to date and filled in.


Tip #7 : While you’re filling in your Facebook missing pieces, do you have a profile picture with-your-logo? No? Change it. Your Facebook profile picture is important in the never-ending quest for brand recognition.


Tip #6 : Do you have a website? No? That's totally fine. But, if you do, everything you produce should point your right people in the direction of your website. Websites are silent workhorses, but they can be expensive. Make sure you're getting the most out of yours by pointing people to it every chance you get.


Tip #5 : Want to increase your Facebook following? An easy way to do this is to tag other entities and businesses. This gets you their awareness and in front of their audiences. But do it organically, and don’t get too spammy about it.


Tip #4 : Another trick, that puts the social in social media : like and comment on the comments you receive. The more interaction on a post, the higher it is boosted in the all-so-mysterious Facebook algorithm. Thank people for comments and shares. Social media is supposed to be about interaction, so interact!


Tip #3 : Stop with the overuse of hashtags. Hashtags are great if you truly have a purpose for them. Want to see all of the photos from an event? Use a single hashtag. Love these for weddings, not so much for #Entrepreneur or #BestDayEver or #RoadConstruction. These kinds of hashtags don’t do anything for you. Replace them with your website for more bang for your buck.


Tip #2 : Have a website, but don’t understand SEO (Search Engine Optimization)? Most platforms have an SEO tool to help you here, but, and here’s the catch to SEO, you must have written content in plain text, not graphics, on your site. So write about your thing, a lot. Even if you don’t do all of that crazy SEO stuff, your odds of getting found increase dramatically with every keyword you incorporate into your website’s text, especially the homepage.


And, the #1 tip for maximizing your online presence (and stop giving me a heart attack when I go to tag your Facebook page) : Give your Facebook page its “handle” and make it logical. When I go to tag the Council Grove Republican in a post on Facebook, all I have to do is type @CouncilGroveRepublican and boom! They’re tagged. If your handle isn’t in place, tagging you can be pretty tough.


Need an easy way to know if your page has a handle or not? Go to your Facebook page on any browser. Then click the link in the address bar. Does it say something like : Facebook.com/CouncilGroveRepublican, or is it Facebook.com/$tnr43iohq9t1u3h34n? If your Facebook address is nothing more than gobbledygook, then you don’t have your handle set up.


The Council Grove Area Trade & Tourism Association is here to help our members, if all this sounds overwhelming. Stop in and see me, and bring your laptop. We can go over these tips together. Once I’m back from Hermit’s Cave, of course.


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