Macomb County Celebrates Business Community’s Impact on Economic Growth

By Daniel Lai

Six Macomb County businesses were honored in grand fashion during the fifth annual Macomb Business Awards on Tuesday. The awards recognize organizations that strive to build a strong workforce, expand their market share, achieve efficiency, embrace diversity and are good neighbors. In total, 52 businesses were nominated by their peers.

This year’s award recipients included:

  • Champion of Workforce Development: R&E Automated Systems
  • Corporate Citizen: Binson’s Medical Equipment and Supplies
  • Diversification Leader: Baker Industries
  • Efficiency Expert: JEM Tech Group
  • Model of OneMacomb: Arts Academy in the Woods
  • Startup Business to Watch: United Shore Professional Baseball League

In addition, Macomb/St. Clair Michigan Works was named the 2017 Economic Development Partner of the Year by the Macomb County Department of Planning and Economic Development.

In delivering his keynote remarks, Richard Sheridan, founder and CEO of Menlo Innovations, encouraged business leaders to create an engaged workforce by cultivating a culture that values both customers and employees.

“The most important question a leader can ask of his or her company is, ‘who do we serve?’” Sheridan said. “We don’t think of our company the same way we think of our customers. We have to keep our attention focused externally but shape the company internally to match that focus.”

For more information and photos from the Macomb Business Awards, visit www.macombbusiness.com.

Daniel Lai is a communications specialist and copywriter at the Detroit Regional Chamber. 


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Grand Valley State University Partners on Detroit Promise 4-Year Program, Madonna University Also Signs On

By Daniel Lai

Grand Valley State University (GVSU) is the latest higher education institution to partner with the Detroit Promise program. Officials announced the university’s commitment during a signing ceremony last Friday, making Grand Valley the 13th public university to offer a tuition-free path to a bachelor’s degree for qualifying Detroit students.

“Grand Valley is delighted to become a full partner in a program that puts a college degree within the reach of many more students from Detroit,” GVSU president Thomas Haas said. “Grand Valley has the best graduation rate among Michigan’s regional universities, and we know that college-bound students from Detroit will find their passion and obtain a degree at our university. We’re excited about the partnership with students, the Chamber and the city.”

The Detroit Promise picks up on the work that began with the Detroit Regional Chamber’s Detroit Scholarship Fund initiative, Gov. Rick Snyder and the Michigan Education Excellence Foundation (MEEF), by providing a dedicated funding source to guarantee students in Detroit will be able to attend college tuition-free, no matter their economic status. It is funded through a combination of private fundraising through the MEEF and the Detroit Promise Zone, a program created by the state Legislature that allows for the capture of a portion of property tax revenue generated in the city.

“This partnership is an unprecedented opportunity for the city of Detroit,” said Chamber president and CEO Sandy Baruah. “We are honored to have Grand Valley on board, participating in this true partnership among the state, the city and our university and philanthropic communities.”

Citing the long-term economic impact of retaining local talent, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan called the Detroit Promise, “one of the most important” initiatives for the city.

There are more than 260 students currently enrolled at a four-year university.

In addition to GVSU, Madonna University also signed a partner commitment with the Detroit Promise.

“We are excited to see Madonna University join the list of participating Detroit Promise partners, offering our students another high-quality university option close to home,” said Greg Handel, vice president of education and talent for the Chamber.

For more information on the Detroit Promise, visit www.detroitchamber.com/econdev or contact Greg Handel at ghandel@detroitchamber.com.

Daniel Lai is a communications specialist and copywriter at the Detroit Regional Chamber. 


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Legislative Update: Brownfield TIF Act, Gov. Snyder Budget Proposal

Transformational Brownfield Bills Can Spur Development

Last week, the Michigan Senate re-introduced legislation to expand Michigan’s Brownfield TIF Act (Senate Bills 111-115) to provide gap financing for large, transformational projects. Michigan’s growth and prosperity depends on attracting and retaining talent who seek vibrant urban places to live and work.  Development projects in our urban cores continue to face significant economic gaps, as market rents fail to support major ground-up construction or rehabilitation of large, distressed historic structures.

The Chamber’s advocacy team continues to actively engage lawmakers on this issue and serves as a leading member of the MI Thrive coalition, supporting this key component of Detroit’s continued revitalization. The coalition consists of 40 community and economic development leaders and chambers of commerce across the state.

Education a Top Priority in Gov. Snyder’s Proposed State Budget

Gov. Rick Snyder has released his proposed fiscal year 2017-18 budget, and the Detroit Regional Chamber continues to advocate for pro-business priorities that support quality education, affordable health care and a talented workforce. Key takeaways impacting business in Southeast Michigan include:

  • An increase of $10 million for the Skilled Trades Training Fund
  • An increase of $213 milliion for road infrastructure
  • Continued support for the Healthy Michigan Initiative
  • An increase of 3.4 percent in higher education funding
  • Increased funding for at-risk K-12 students

The Chamber continues to engage with administrative and legislative leaders in support of a competitive tax climate while also supporting investments in essential programs and services for Michigan’s residents and businesses.

For more information, contact Jason Puscas at jpuscas@detroitchamber.com, or learn more about the Chamber’s 2017 Legislative Priorities.

Butzel Long attorney appointed to State Bar of Michigan’s Appellate Practice Section Council

Joseph A. Richotte, an attorney and shareholder with Butzel Long, has been appointed to the State Bar of Michigan’s Appellate Practice Section Council.

The Appellate Practice Section works to advance the administration of justice in the appellate courts so that the Bench and Bar may better serve the public interest.

Honored by DBusiness as a top appellate lawyer in Detroit, Richotte chairs the Firm’s appellate practice. He focuses on high-stakes civil appeals, criminal appeals, appeals from government enforcement actions, and media appeals.

Richotte also maintains an active criminal defense practice. Recognized as a “rising star” within the white-collar defense bar by Michigan SuperLawyers, he regularly counsels corporations, executives, and other professionals who are under investigation or charged with white-collar crimes or facing increasingly common parallel civil proceedings, such as securities fraud actions, asset forfeitures, debarment actions, and private civil suits capitalizing on the government’s investigation.

Richotte also is a member of the Firm’s media practice. He is Assistant General Counsel to the Michigan Press Association and represents national and local media organizations and journalists. He handles First Amendment cases, defamation actions, and open-government issues.

About Butzel Long

Butzel Long is one of the leading law firms in Michigan and the United States. It was founded in Detroit in 1854 and has provided trusted client service for more than 160 years. Butzel’s full-service law firm offices are located in Detroit, Bloomfield Hills, Lansing and Ann Arbor, Mich.; New York, NY; and, Washington, D.C., as well as alliance offices in Beijing, Shanghai, Mexico City and Monterrey. It is an active member of Lex Mundi, a global association of 160 independent law firms. Learn more by visiting www.butzel.com or follow Butzel Long on Twitter: https://twitter.com/butzel_long

Michigan Coalition for High Student Standards Testimony

This week, the Detroit Regional Chamber joined the Michigan Coalition for High Student Standards in support of maintaining rigorous career- and college-ready standards in order for Michigan to remain competitive in the 21st century. The Chamber’s government relations team testified against the passage of House Bill 4192, which would repeal and replace Common Core standards in classrooms across the state. Repealing Common Core would be detrimental to Michigan students and undo important progress made in recent years. The coalition includes statewide education and business leaders, parents, teachers, principals and military families.

Read the full testimony:

Thank you for the opportunity to testify today in opposition to House Bill 4192.

In addition to speaking to the views of each of our respective organizations, we are also testifying on behalf of the Michigan Coalition for High Student Standards. This coalition is a statewide partnership of education and business leaders, parents, teachers, principals and military families, committed to maintaining clear and rigorous academic standards for all Michigan students.

The ultimate goal of our K-12 education system is to prepare our students to succeed after high school graduation – no matter what their future holds. We oppose House Bill 4192 because it would be detrimental to Michigan students and undo important progress that we have made in recent years.

Our opposition comes down the three main factors. First, rigorous career- and college-ready academic standards are important for student success. Second, changing academic expectations for students and teachers now would undo recent progress. Finally, students and educators need certainty and consistency – not further change.

Career- and College Ready Academic Standards are important for student success.

Michigan moved to our current academic standards after recognizing that too many of our students did not have the skills and knowledge to succeed after high school. Far too many students graduate, but were unprepared to enter the workforce or begin credit-bearing coursework in training and degree programs.

Our current academic standards were designed to build seamlessly from kindergarten to 12th grade, preparing students to succeed in the next grade, and eventually in career, college and life. Unlike prior standards, they focus on real-world skills like critical thinking, problem solving and deep comprehension, rather than simple memorization.

Changing standards now would undo recent progress.

The shift from our old standards to our current standards was not easy and did not happen overnight. Our teachers have been asked to teach at much higher levels, and our student have had to learn at higher levels. Countless hours have been spent by teachers and districts preparing for this shift, implementing higher standards and developing standards-aligned curriculum.

All of this effort has paid off as students are graduating better prepared to succeed in their path after high school. Over the next several years, we expect this progress to accelerate.

Students and educators need certainty and consistency.

Finally, over the past several years, there has been tremendous change within Michigan education, including the challenging work of implementing much more rigorous academic standards. While these changes have been difficult for our school and teachers, they have been absolutely necessary for preparing our students to succeed in the next grade, and eventually in careers, college and life.

Michigan educators and students have stepped up to this challenge and we are beginning to see these efforts pay off. Now, students and educators need consistency and time to meet – and exceed – our higher expectations.

Unfortunately, this legislation would stall the progress that has been made over the past several years and add volatility and uncertainty for our students, educators and families. As a result, we are strongly opposed to this legislation.

Our broad and diverse coalition recognizes the importance of having clear and rigorous academic standards that help students build toward future success. We are making important progress and need to continue doing so. For the reasons discussed today, we are opposed to House Bill 4192.

Thank you for your time.

Michigan Coalition for High Student Standards

 

For more information, please contact Lindsay Case Palsrok at lcase@detroitchamber.com.

Walsh College to Host ‘Automotive Cybersecurity: Threats and Opportunities” Webinar on March 8

New vehicles come equipped with devices and features that are making cars safer and more comfortable.

There are safety systems, like sensors that alert the driver about everything from low tire pressure to when it’s time to change the oil. There are also lights and buzzers to alert drivers about cars in their blind spots, or if they’re driving too close to the lane markers. The vehicle will even alert emergency personnel if the air bags are activated.

There are also comfort accessories, like Wi-Fi, satellite radio, heated seats and steering wheel, and a GPS system that can help drivers find the fastest route to their destination.

All of these conveniences, however, come with risk.

After all, a vehicle that is accessing Wi-Fi, has a phone plugged in or is being tracked by a GPS is connected to the outside world. Any vehicle with a sensor that can stop the vehicle without the driver’s assistance or can park itself has a computer on board.

That connection now means that it has cybersecurity issues, such as hacking personal information, invasion of privacy, and even the driver’s physical well-being.

Walsh College will host a complimentary webinar titled, “Automotive Cybersecurity: Threats and Opportunities” from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on March 8. The webinar will provide an overview of the challenges facing the automotive industry in securing vehicles against unauthorized intrusion.

Barbara Ciaramitaro, Ph.D., CISSP, CSSLP, PMP, chair of Decision Science, professor of Information Technology and Cybersecurity, and director of the Center for Cybersecurity Leadership at Walsh, will host the webinar alongside Sam Abbott-McCune, an expert in automotive cybersecurity. “Automakers and their suppliers are working hard to resolve these types of issues, but there is a tremendous need for trained professionals in automotive cybersecurity,” Ciaramitaro said. “In this webinar, we’ll talk about some of the threats that are inherent in connected automobiles.”

The webinar is open to everyone, but it is geared toward current cyber specialists or those with an interest in automotive cybersecurity. It is a specialization that will continue to grow as the world features greater connectivity and autonomous cars.

“The idea behind driverless cars is the notion that eventually they will be safer than human drivers; they will prevent human error and distracted driving,” Ciaramitaro said. “But so much infrastructure work has to be done before this can become a reality. How do you secure the cars from being hacked? How do you prevent someone from tampering with the infrastructure?

“All of these questions will have to be addressed, and that’s why we’re offering this webinar, to start talking about the types of cyber professionals that will be needed and the issues they will face in the very near future.”

For more on “Automotive Cybersecurity: Threats and Opportunities” or to register, visit www.walshcollege.edu/webseries.

Walsh College is a leader in cybersecurity education, offering several degrees as part of its cybersecurity and IT curriculum, including the Master of Science in Information Technology with a concentration in cybersecurity (MSIT-CS).

Walsh College also offers a Cybersecurity Certificate, which consists of four to six courses, depending on the student’s prior education. The program is available to students holding a bachelor’s or master’s degree. Students who complete this certificate can apply up to 18 semester credit hours of advanced standing credit toward the MSIT, MSIT-CS, MSITL or dual MBA/MSITL programs.

Walsh College Offers Three Professional Development Exam Prep Courses

In keeping with Walsh College’s commitment to educating current and future business leaders, the College is offering three professional development exam reparation courses this winter at its Troy campus: Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) CP/SCP exam preparation course, part two of the Certified Management Accountant (CMA®) exam preparation course, and a Certified Treasury Professional® (CTP) exam preparation course.

These courses give students the latest educational tools and personalized instruction as they prepare for certification exams.

“Walsh College is a life-long business education provider for the community. Our exam prep courses, taught by both professors and industry leaders, prepare students to earn the credentials necessary to excel in our competitive and ever-changing business environment,” said Jenny Tatsak, Ph.D., Chair, Business Communications, Walsh College.

Society of Human Resource Management certification

For a career path that includes Society of Human Resource Management certification, passing the SHRM Certified Professional (SHRM-CP®) or SHRM Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP®) exam is required.

Like any advanced-certification test, preparation is the key to success. Walsh College’s SHRM Human Resources certification prep class is designed to provide that preparation. Classes begin Feb. 15 and run through April 19. The class meets on Wednesdays from 6 to 10 p.m.As part of the course, students will receive the 2017 SHRM Learning System for SHRM-CP® and SHRM-SCP®. Comprised of comprehensive learning modules in print and e-reader formats, these study materials streamline study time, accelerate learning, and build confidence for passing the exams.

The course will be taught by Rebecca Davies, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, and Tina Marie Wohlfield, SPHR, SHRM-SCP.

The cost of the course is $1,495. SHRM members and Walsh alumni will be charged $1,295.

Certified Management Accountant – Part Two

Part two of the Certified Management Accountant (CMA®) exam preparation course begins March 9. The seven-week course runs from 6 to 9 p.m. on Tuesdays. Part one was offered in the fall and will be offered again in the fall of 2017. Fall dates have yet to be determined.

The course is designed to assist accounting students in preparing for their CMA exam. The CMA designation is granted by the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) and signifies a mastery of principles and practice for corporate accountants and corporate finance professionals.

Walsh offers the only CMA classroom-based prep class in metro Detroit.

William Greshak, JD, CMA, CFE, and a professor in the Finance Department, Walsh College, will lead the instruction, which also includes an online study component.

The class meets once a week on Thursdays and the cost is $1,620. The cost of the prep course for Walsh students and alumni is $1,450. There is an early-bird price for all others of $1,550 if registered by Feb. 15. Enter the code “earlybird” when registering.

The Certified Treasury Professional® (CTP)

The Certified Treasury Professional® (CTP) exam preparation course meets every Tuesday from 6 to 9 p.m. beginning March 7 and running through May 23. This classroom-based program is taught with the official Association of Financial Professionals (AFP) Treasury Learning System™.

The full 36 hours of class- time, books, and online tools from the official AFP Treasury Learning SystemTM are included in the tuition price.

The AFP Treasury Learning System is a comprehensive professional development and exam preparation program based on the Essentials of Treasury Management®, Fifth Edition – the official body of knowledge (BOK) tested on the CTP exam.

The CTP designation serves as a benchmark of competency in the finance profession and is recognized as the leading credential in corporate treasury worldwide.

Stephen Sholty, MBA, CTP, a clinical assistant professor in the Finance Department, Walsh College, will teach the course.

The cost of the course is $1,595, however there is an early bird discount of $1,450 if registered before Feb. 17. Enter the code “earlybird” when registering. Walsh students and alumni pay $1,200.

For more information on any of the exam preparation courses, and for the student and alumni codes for registration, contact Walsh College’s Cindy Rush at crush@walshcollege.edu.

Sixth Annual Entrepreneur-YOU Conference Slated for March 15

Registration is now open for the sixth annual Southeast Michigan Women’s Entrepreneur-YOU conference, a collaborative initiative to help women become successful business owners.

The conference is presented by Inforum, Michigan Women’s Foundation, and Walsh College, with the support of Fifth Third Bank, and will held on Wednesday, March 15, from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Troy campus, 3838 Livernois Rd., Troy.

Entrepreneur-YOU features workshops presented by leading business practitioners and successful entrepreneurs, with the goal of helping participants understand what resources are required to launch, manage, and grow businesses.

“At Entrepreneur-YOU, women entrepreneurs will find the guidance and support they need to elevate their aspirations into reality,” said Stephanie Bergeron, president and CEO, Walsh College. “This event is a great way to network with like-minded businesswomen. It is a day dedicated to inspiration and education.”

Event panelists have expertise in areas including finance, accounting, legal services, marketing, social and traditional media, and other important business practices.

Tickets are $45; $25 for students with identification. For a full list of speakers and to register, visit www.walshcollege.edu/EYOU.

“Over the past six years, the EYOU conferences have provided knowledge and insight necessary to take the dreams of an aspiring entrepreneurs to market. Michigan Women’s Foundation is proud to provide access to ongoing education, mentorship, and capital that makes this possible,” said Carolyn Cassin, president, Michigan Women’s Foundation.

“Inforum is proud to collaborate with EYOU because of the valuable learning and networking opportunities it provides for women entrepreneurs. We are equally proud that many EYOU speakers and participants have been part of Inforum and our inGAGE™ Master Class that helps second-stage entrepreneurs grow and scale their companies,” said Terry Barclay, president and CEO, Inforum.

Here are just a few of the session topics. A full list of topics is on www.walshcollege.edu/EYOU.

Beating the First Year Failure Trend
Super Charge Your Social Media Presence
Setbacks to Success
Creating and Managing Your Personal Brand
Will My Credit Score Haunt Me Forever?

Entrepreneur-YOU
Entrepreneur-YOU is a collaborative initiative between Inforum, Michigan Women’s Foundation and Walsh College, to help women become successful business owners. Among its varied business-building activities, Entrepreneur-YOU conducts all-day workshop taught by leading business professionals – to teach women entrepreneurs about the resources necessary and available to open, run and grow a business.

INFORUM

Inforum is the only professional organization in Michigan – and one of the few in the country – that combines strategic connections, proven professional development programs, a respected forum for new ideas, and original research to accelerate careers for women and boost talent initiatives for companies.

FIFTH THIRD BANK

Fifth Third Bank, Eastern Michigan, is based in Southfield, Michigan and led by President David F. Girodat. Fifth Third Bank is metropolitan Detroit’s fourth-largest bank and has $4.2 billion in assets.

Fifth Third Bank serves customers in eight southeastern Michigan counties: Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, St. Clair, Shiawassee, Livingston, Genesee and Washtenaw. Fifth Third Bank currently operates 91 banking centers, and more than 150 ATMs throughout eastern Michigan.

Fifth Third Bank is proud to be named as one of the “101 Best & Brightest Place to Work” by the Michigan Business and Professional Association and a “Top Place to Work” by the Detroit Free Press.

MICHIGAN WOMEN’S FOUNDATION

With a 31-year history of high-impact work, Michigan Women’s Foundation is devoted to fostering economic empowerment for Michigan’s women and girls through philanthropy and investment. MWF and its partners and supporters have committed financially and intellectually to leaving this world a better place for women and girls.

WALSH COLLEGE

Founded in 1922, Walsh College is an all-business, private, independent, not-for-profit, fully accredited college. It offers 15 undergraduate and graduate business and technology degrees, as well as certificate programs. One of the region’s largest business schools and one of Michigan’s top three graduate business schools, Walsh has locations in Troy, Novi, Clinton Township, and Port Huron, as well as online.

Walsh degree programs include accounting, finance, information technology, management, marketing, taxation, and other fields. The faculty integrates theory and application to prepare graduates for successful careers. It includes four Fulbright Scholars, the most of any business school in the state of Michigan. There are about 27,000 alumni, most of whom live or work in Michigan.

Walsh is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (www.hlcommission.org) and has received specialized accreditation for its business programs by The Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (www.acbsp.org).

5 Reasons Why You Should Hire a Digital Marketing Intern

By Lucia Seprino
Oakland University

If you or your Digital Marketing company hasn’t hired your first intern yet, there is no better time than NOW. It might be time to ask yourself why you haven’t taken advantage of the opportunity. The increasing amount of pros outweigh the cons when it comes to hosting an internship program and these are the top five reasons why you need an intern.

1. Shape Your Future Employee

It’s likely that you will be providing one of the very first experiences that your intern will have in the digital marketing field. There are two ways you could look at this scenario. You could view this as an annoyance – you have to go over the basics with them, spend extra time being a mentor, etc. But you have here a golden opportunity to shape and guide a young mind into your dream employee. Most interns are in their junior or senior year of college, with hopes to attain a position in the field after graduation. The National Association of Colleges and Employers has consistently reported that 20-25% of new hires are sourced from the employer’s own internship program.

If you look at your intern as a potential future employee, things become much simpler. Take this time to teach them how to do things correctly the first time. They will be looking to you as an industry leader. If you guide and teach them the ins and outs of the business, it will make your job easier in the long run because you will know that you taught them (almost) everything they know! Your techniques, strategies, and company values will become the backbone of their real-world education. So shape those young minds and skip the hours of going through endless resumes. You have your future employee right here!

2. Give Back to the Community

You were once in the shoes of these eager students. In a competitive job market, it’s not unusual for companies to require new hires to have experience in the field before they will even be considered for an entry level position. The only problem is this has also caused a competitive internship market. Open up your company’s doors – you have the power to create an opportunity that will give someone the skills to succeed in their career. Bonus: It serves as a great public relations technique for strengthening relationships in the local community.


MORE: Hear more about ways to improve your digital marketing strategy at the Digital Marketing Boot Camp, Feb. 15.


3. The College Student Perspective

Students are social media savvy! Always on top of the latest trends, college students will let you know what’s “in” and what’s not. Their insight can be very valuable if your target market happens to be in their age range. Not to mention, they will keep you up to date on all of the events going on campus that could be useful for promotional purposes.

4. Increase Productivity

We’ve all heard of the stereotypical intern tasks – coffee runs, paper shredding and filing. Don’t fall into the trap of forgetting about your intern and shooing them away with meaningless tasks. If you find yourself having less time to focus on your top priorities because you are so busy crossing everything off of your to-do list, have your intern help lighten the load. Students are excited to learn every aspect of the job. Sometimes we feel like we need to take on the responsibility for every task but there is nothing wrong with handing the baton over to a newbie. As long as they are trained properly, this will create less stress. Time management is extremely important, and instead of always being “busy” you need to refocus to make sure you are being productive. Use your intern as a helpful tool to make the company stronger.

5. Word of Mouth Advertising

As soon as word gets out that a digital marketing company is offering an internship program, word spreads FAST. Did I mention it’s a competitive market out there? Local colleges will soon reach out to you to offer tables at internship mixers, job fairs, and to have your employees offer seminars or be guest speakers on campus. Career service centers and related department chairs keep close tabs on local internships that are available because it is their responsibility to help students find them. Some colleges even require students to have at least one internship completed before they are able to graduate. It won’t be long before you’re one of the most sought after companies to work for by post-grads with a great reputation and relationship with several local colleges and universities.

Tip: Many universities have websites with internship listings that are only accessible to view with a student login. Reach out to college career service centers and they do the hard part for you! Send in your position description and they will be sure to spread the word and post on student pages that would otherwise be inaccessible.

Your new intern will be your biggest brand advocate. If they enjoy their time as an intern, they are going to tell everyone about it. Never underestimate the power of connections. You never know to whom your last intern is going to gush about your company. It very well may turn into your next big client. Having a new intern (or a few) cycling through each semester brings in a lot of new faces. It’s important to check in with them periodically throughout the internship to make sure they are comfortable and they are feeling fulfilled throughout their time with your company.

←Back to Digital Marketing Boot Camp

Use Social Media and Digital Marketing Analytics to Increase Your ROI

By Brianna Shreve
Social Media Marketing Consultant
BST Athletics

This post is part of the Digital Marketing Boot Camp series, a new set of blog posts across different mediums designed to provide intel to people and companies looking to improve their digital marketing strategy.

Brianna ShreveAfter working with small businesses to improve their social media marketing efforts, one thing is certain – many business owners are so busy with the day-to-day duties their business demands that they’ve failed to realize the importance of monitoring marketing efforts. Without tracking the analytics of your ads, however, there are no metrics to examine if they are effective. Learning a new skill can be time consuming, but there are options available that gathers the data for you, thus making it easier interpret the statistics to make more informed resource allocation choices for the future. The following five tools aid in this process:

1. Facebook Insights

This may seem like an obvious choice since it is built into the core of Facebook, however there are features within the tool that allows you to not only track the performance of your posts, but your competitors’ posts as well. The Pages to Watch feature will allow you create a list of your competitors’ pages to compare performance. You can use this tool to look inside your competitor’s post to see the success rate, and refine your approach accordingly. Moreover, on your specific posts, you can see how many people your post has reached, the location, gender, and age demographic, which is useful in determining if your post is relevant to those it is reaching.

2. Twitter Analytics

Twitter Analytics is a great tool to use when determining whether your tweets are effective and relevant. Twitter may still be thought of as a social media sight, however it is important to know that it is a source for news! It gives you the ability to analyze which tweets are a hot topic, and the demographic of the audience that it engages by net worth, interest, gender occupation, etc. This will give you the ability to segment your audience to provide more relative news and updates.


MORE: Learn how to utilize analytics from experts all across the region at the Digital Marketing Boot Camp, Feb. 15.


3. Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a tool that every business with an online presence should use. It has many tools and functions, and if you are advertising on Google Adwords, it can help provide insight to improve your conversion rates and remarket to site visitors. With this tool, track the demographic, bounce rate, session time etc. to provide more relevant content. This tool can be a little more complex, but help articles provided can help you navigate usage.

4. Instagram Insights

Similar to Facebook Insights, Instagram Insights provides a limited view into your customer base. One feature that should be noted, however, is high traffic times. View what time of the day the majority of your audience is using the application to gain the most impressions. Given that the new story feed format is no longer in chronological order, it is not a guarantee that your post will remain on top for long organically. This feature can help identify what time you should post to reach as many people in your targeted demographic as possible.

5. FanPage Karma

FanPage Karma is a tool for analytics and monitoring that works with Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. It can help you identify the best times to post, the strongest and weakest posts, as well as how frequently you should post. Moreover, it also gives you the opportunity to learn about your fans, and other pages with a similar fan base. It is not completely free like the others listed above, but it does allow for excel reporting and other in depth features that can help allocate your resources more effectively.

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For more on marketing strategies:

5 Keys to Building a Solid Digital Marketing Strategy