Posts Tagged ‘Networking’

Due to the overwhelming calls and emails, VMS-Washington is giving businesses the Spring Deal of the Year.  For a limited time we are offering rock bottom rates for new and existing businesses.  The questions we always ask business owners are:

  • Have you checked out your current or potential merchant service company on theBBB?
  • Does your current provider or potential provider promote your business?
  • Does your current provider or potential provider send referrals your way?
  • Are you getting the best rates in town?
  • Has your current or potential merchant told you about the Durbin Amendment?

Wouldn’t you want an A rated company that and will promote your business though their social media and monthly newsletters.  For more information contact us.

 

Thank you,

VMS-Washington

To read more go to: Business Newsletter May 2012

VMS-Washington May 2012 Business Newsletter

 

Valued Merchant Services offers a free cost analysis to compare your current provider to us. In addition, anyone that sends us business our way will get $50.00 when sign the client signs. We also challenge you to beat our rates, if we can’t we will pay you $250.00 Cash. Has your current processor told you about the Durbin Amendment and how it can save you money on your processing rates and fees?

Due to the overwhelming replies and inquiries VMS-Washington wants to help your business out by giving you rock bottom rates for your processing.  We also can help your business by giving you great rates for unsecured business loans with an 90% approval rate for start-ups and existing businesses.  Call or email us if you want to know more.

Michael Roberts

VMS-Washignton
www.vms-washington.com
washignton@valuedmerchants.com
(800) 531.8575 ext. 697

Check out our previous Business Newsletters:

VMS-Washington April 2012 Business Newsletter

VMS-Washington March Newsletter has launched

Check out our February 2012 Newsletter

I am always comparing my company to other merchant services companies. Many times past and potential clients are so stuck with wanting to go with Costco for their merchant services thinking they are getting the best deal.  After much research and calls I have come to the conclusion that Valued Merchant Services has a much better deal than Costco for many reasons.  Did you know that Costco is a third party compared to Valued Merchant Services?  That means Costco has to find a merchant services processor (Elavon) to take care of your credit card processing and by doing that you’ll have to pay more because as we all know everyone has to make money doing business.  As you can see from the comparison below Valued Merchant Services received a 15 out of 18 compared to Costco’s 6 out of 18.  We all get Costco’s mailings and emails and by looking at the promotion you think you’re getting a great deal but after everything is all said and done, you’re not.  I am a proud member of Costco and I love getting great deals and paying less for their products and services but for merchant services I wouldn’t be getting a great deal and as a business owner I want to get the best deal possible so I can keep my costs low so I can survive this “Down Economy”.

As you can see from the graph below Valued Merchant Services has better rates and fees, less BBB complaints , cheaper equipment and leases, referral programs and much more. Wouldn’t you want an A rated company that goes the extra step by putting money in your pocket and networks your business?  *Also you can see that Costco has a two year contract with an $95.00 early termination fee with no auto-renew vs. Valued Merchant Services 3 year contract with an $395.00 early termination fee with an auto-renew.  This means when your Costco contract ends in two years you’ll have to re-negotiate the contract and by doing that the rates might be higher. Valued Merchant Services has an auto-renew contract which means you can have the same rate for the length of your business, the rates will never go up but can always go down.

To sum this up, Valued Merchant Services far exceeds Costco’s (Elavon) merchant services and can provide better pricing, better customer service and additional services that they cannot provide.  We are in all 50 states and Canada, provide excellent customer service, process over 100+ million a day and we are an A rated company that can take care of all your financial needs and services.

Thank you,

VMS-Washington

Email: washington@valuedmerchants.com
Website: www.vms-washington.com
Twitter link
Facebook link
Blog link

VMS-Washington – vs. Costco (Elavon)

To read more go to: Business Newsletter April 2012

VMS-Washington April 2012 Business Newsletter

www.VMS-Washington.com

VMS-Washington – April 2012 Promotion

 

Due to the overwhelming calls and emails, VMS-Washington is giving businesses the Spring Deal of the Year.  For a limited time we are offering rock bottom rates for new and existing businesses.  The questions we always ask business owners are:

  • Have you checked out your current or potential merchant service company on theBBB?
  • Does your current provider or potential provider promote your business?
  • Does your current provider or potential provider send referrals your way?
  • Are you getting the best rates in town?
  • Has your current or potential merchant told you about the Durbin Amendment?

Wouldn’t you want an A rated company that and will promote your business though their social media and monthly newsletters.  For more information contact us.

Thank you,

VMS-Washington

 

Due to the overwhelming calls and emails, VMS-Washington is giving businesses the Spring Cleaning Deal of the Year.  For a limited time we are offering rock bottom rates for new and existing businesses. The questions we always ask business owners are:

  • Have you checked out your current or potential merchant service company on the BBB?
  • Does your current provider or potential provider promote your business?
  • Does your current provider or potential provider send referrals your way?
  • Are you getting the best rates in town?
  • Has your current or potential merchant told you about the Durbin Amendment?

Wouldn’t you want an A rated company that and will promote your business though their social media and monthly newsletters.  For more information contact us.

 

Thank you,

VMS-Washington

With over 8 million members, StumbleUpon is a web 2.0 community site that discovers great websites and matches them to your interests. Its features allow users to rate Web pages, photos, and videos that are personalized to you using social-networking. StumbleUpon is a great place to discover new interesting articles, useful apps and funny videos. Aside from that, StumbleUpon has the potential to get new visitor traffic and generate some new fans. Many website owners and bloggers encourage the sharing of their articles to StumbleUpon in hopes of driving traffic to their sites. StumbleUpon can be a very powerful tool; when used correctly, some stumblers have garnered up to several thousand hits on a single post, in a single day.

If your looking to maximize results from StumbleUpon with minimal effort check out the tips and video below that cover how to use StumbleUpon effectively.

8  Great StumbleUpon Tips To Maximize Your Web Result

1. Add A Real Photo – Add a photo to reveal that you’re a real person. This is a straightforward task and one of the simplest things to do. Prove you’re a real person and people will more likely follow you. On the top right bar click ‘Settings’ and on the page that loads, click the ‘Profile Picture’ tab. 

2. Write A Catching Intro – The intro which is the spot next to your photo is another important addition. A new visitor who lands on your page will see this next to your photo which will help with credibility and proves you have a blog. Make sure to include links and apply HTML. For instance you can use the tag to separate all links from the actual bio. That way you make them more visible and you add a neat look to the whole intro. Keep in mind that using keywords as your anchor text won’t work, so just go with your blog name.

3. Take Advantage Of The Share Feature -The share feature is a good way to get more likes on your content which gives your content higher priority. “Sharing” can be done in two ways – via the StumbleUpon toolbar, by clicking “Share” and choosing the stumblers you want to share your content with or through the “Your favorites” page. After having someone followed on StumbleUpon a check-box “accept shares to my toolbar” below the “Follow” button appears. Sharing works reciprocally only. Even if you have checked the box, you won’t be able to see the other person’s shares unless he also accepts your shares and vice versa.

4. Get People To Follow You -Getting more followers on StumbleUpon isn’t as easy. Quality content is the single most important reason why people follow you. Problem is that in order to click the “Follow” button, people first need to find you. That can hardly happen simply by making a few stumbles. First place to focus your efforts is your blog and more specifically the “About” page. Believe it or not, the “About” page is one of the most visited places in a blog, so you’ll get plenty of visibility. My second approach is TwitterEvery now and then I’m posting a tweet along the lines of “Are you a StumbleUpon user? Check out my favorites!” Following others and getting them to follow back is another powerful technique. Unlike Twitter, StumbleUpon isn’t really about building relationships and engaging with others, so I don’t see a problem with the strategy.

5. Link to Other Bloggers Who Use StumbleUpon – If anyone links back to you, stumble that post. And be gracious when other people Stumble your pages and content. Say thank you! Positive and genuine interactions, partnerships and content are what give StumbleUpon and other social networking tools power.

6. Track Your StumbleUpon Favorites – It’s important when Stumbling your own website content to track and test which pages get the most attention. Then you know how to create specific content to StumbleUpon users.

7. Don’t Add Stumble Upon Buttons To Your Site – Social sharing buttons and widgets are great: they help your visitors to submit your stories fast to the social and bookmarking sites of their choice. But did you know that onsite SU buttons could be detrimental? StumbleUpon wants you to use the toolbar rather than using special widgets that “stumble” automatically. Simply use the toolbar on a regular basis, clicking I-like-it at any page other members would like to stumble upon. 

8. Keep a Good Follow / Followers Ratio – There is a limit of how many people you can followUnlike Twitter, that limit is fixed, currently at 500 followers. So in order to apply the ‘follow-back’ strategy, you will need to know who to stop following. I first unfollow the least active users. Everyone who hasn’t stumbled (again don’t confuse ‘stumbled’ with hasn’t been online) since more than five days is being unfollowed. After I’ve done that, I go through every page and open all profiles to find stumblers with similarity meter, showing less than 20%. They get unfollowed as well. Then I start unfollowing, folks who aren’t following back.

I hope that the above tips help you to make your Stumbleupon experience a better one and further contribute to the community.

Let us know about your experience of using stumbleupon in the comments.

Thank you for reading this blog.  If you have any questions or suggestions contact me.

Having started all willy-nilly with Pinterest like Joe-Joe the idiot circus boy, I put absolutely no thought into what I was doing while kicking the tires. Now that PT is hotter than Canadian Maple syrup at a swingers party I can tell you what I did wrong.

First off, like most of us I really didn’t know what it was. Therefore I was just so eager to get my hands on it and stake a claim. A few things fell out of that experience. I started a bunch of lists that were important to me such as “Zombies, DesigNation, Survivalistic” and near naked women at “Shabam.” That being said my account is more about me personally and not about me ‘the brand.’

First question to ask – “Are you supporting a brand (corporate or personal) or is this a personal Pinterest account?”

The point here is all I’ve really done with my current account is give people a reason to think I’m a porn freak-based doomsday prepper that has a insatiable interest in art, automotive and design. While that’s not wrong per se, it’s not necessarily a glowing presentation of the personal creative/social thought leadership that I’m trying to establish.

Well If you’re not launching a brand, I say let’s lose the dogs of war and find the weirdest shit you can. Pin it and your noisy co-workers will create new things to gossip about around the water-cooler – ”then last night he pinned 17 different kind of Chinese throwing stars with anime characters on them! I know right!?!” The other edge to this sword however is that it’s more about the real “you” in the real world. If you don’t want people thinking you dress up and play Phyllis Diller on the weekends, probably best not to pin up a roadmap to that effect.

Next question to ask – “How do I categorize and thereby subjugate by brand?”

It’s like constructing an information architecture for a website and the “pins” end up the relational sub-pages within the “boards” you create. If you where to launch a clothing line or related outreach you might do something like:

  • Men’s Tops
  • Men’s Pants
  • Men’s Accessories
  • Men’s Shoes

…rinse and repeat with gender and age-group variance.

The caveat being that your pin either be yours OR have an affiliate or referral agreement with the product line to show it, as there’s been some “gray” areas regarding copyright and terms as is pertains to Pinterest. ADDITIONALLY! It’s also important to note that Pinterest may make money using your links in a referral capacity with companies such as Skim Links and others. They literally piggy back your link posted on the site to see if it goes to a retail site with an affiliate program. Upon finding referral coding it adds an affiliate code that ensures Pinterest will make some cash from sales that derive from that link. While not illegal (yet) it has brought them under some scrutiny.

Other things I didn’t do that you should:

  • USE #HASHTAGS AND REFERRING (truncated) LINKS IN YOUR PINS!
  • Include links back to your website and landing pages in your pins to drive traffic back to your website.
  • Create a “Follow Me On Pinterest” button for my site and social channels. You can also now add Pinterest to your Facebook account.
  • Use it like a focus group and crowdsource with it.
  • Create boards that you can use as competitive reference or trends within your industries.
  • Pinterest, as of yet, has not created a business “Page” model and therefore it might be said that there will be a redux in the process given that this is the case. I can’t imagine they won’t, as most LARGE social channel models have adopted this as standard practice.
  • Actively cross-fertilize your ‘pinning’ with your other social channels to boost traffic (important to note however it will NOT increase your SEO as has been prosthelytized until you turn your search engine “visability” on in your settings.)
  • If I get to do it again I think I will sort media too. I’d create specify boards for video vs. photos.
  • Also look for really “different” visuals. No one will click through on a default logo, but a beret wearing ferret riding a monkey that has a beret and AR15 rifle just might get you “repinned.”
  • Engage other pinners + make nice = more followers.

I should have looked at who’s doing it right before doing it at all:

As always, I’m making this stuff up as I grow up. Let me know your thoughts. All my best.

Michael Roberts

The latest social media site to join the ranks of Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter is Pinterest. Haven’t heard of it? You will. With over 10 million users, it is quickly rivaling Google+ and YouTube for traffic.

For those of you who don’t know about Pinterest, it is a visual site that allows you to post or PIN pictures to your wall, or a wall of your choosing. It might seem more like a B2C site and it has been historically a strong site for people selling jewelry, crafts, or major retailers highlighting new products.

But lately, it has gotten some traction as a traffic generator for business marketers too. Here are a couple of considerations for including Pinterest in your social media marketing efforts.

  1. Pinterest is a visual medium, so think about the visuals you already have in your content library. These could be cool pics, images from the covers of your white papers or ebooks, visuals from your blog posts with links back to those posts, even pictures from behind the scenes at your company. All these could capture traffic from Pinterest and drive visitors back to your site.
  2. Expand your definition of visuals and you can include data and charts too. Graphs, charts, even illustrations communicate complex thoughts in a single picture. This type of content is perfect for Pinterest.
  3. Take photos of happy customers and PIN them as well. This gives everyone a warm and fuzzy feeling about your firm and helps potential prospects feel more familiar with your company and therefore more comfortable reaching out to you.
  4. Use dedicated landing pages associated with your pins so that you can track traffic from Pinterest and measure the effectiveness of your efforts.
  5. Comment on other people’s pins. This will give you some additional exposure and when people see your comments they might eventually find your site, your blog and your content.
  6. Promote your Pinterest content through other, more popular, social sites. Create a Tweet or a Facebook post that links to your Pinterest page. Pinterest is hot, so these extended networks might be interested in seeing what someone else is doing on a newer social site.

Check out our Pinterest page to see how we are using it to drive leads. Feel free to follow us and see our latest Pins! If you need help creating an ROI for your social media programs, we can help

Thank you,

Michael Roberts

In January of 2012 Google introduced “Search Plus Your World,” an integration of Google’s Internet search engine and its Google+ social network. In one move, the entire social graph of over 90 million Google+ users was funneled into Google’s growing knowledge graph.¹ Industry experts are still trying to sort out the impact of Google’s new social search on SEO, specifically on page rankings. However, we know a few things for sure:

  • Controlling roughly 2/3 of all Internet searches, Google is by far the largest search engine (Yahoo and Bing are both a distant second with approx. 15% of the search market, respectively).
  • Google+ is growing rapidly, with over 90 Million users by the end of 2011. With every new Google+ user and “+1” share, Google is adding data to their social graph.

SHARE THE LOVE

Google’s +1 share button (think of Facebook’s “like” or Twitter’s “tweet” button) , is the mechanism for Google+ users to share content. According to Google’s webmaster, the +1 share button “helps people discover relevant content—a website, a Google search result, or an ad—from the people they already know and trust. Adding the +1 button to pages on your own site lets users recommend your content, knowing that their friends and contacts will see their recommendation when it’s most relevant—in the context of Google search results.”

It is clear that Google is trying to use social search to improve the relevance of user queries. But how exactly does this work?

The general supposition behind the +1 share button is that you will generally only include people in your Google+ user circles that you know and/or trust. As such, you will be more likely to click on a website, a Google search result, or an ad that has been +1’d by someone in your Google+ circles. This content would presumably enjoy a higher click-through-rate (CTR); there is also a greater potential the link will be shared, whether it be on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or any social network.

SEO industry insiders have been trying to understand the relationship between social sharing and SEO for some time now. In early 2011, Rand Fishkin, CEO and co-founder of SEOmoz, tested the relationship between Twitter and Facebook shares and search results in Google. He found a positive correlation between the number of retweets and shares a link received and its search ranking. He found that the more the link was passed around on Twitter and Facebook, the higher the search rank of the page.³

Back to Google. Regarding the question of +1 button affecting a website’s performance on search rankings, its webmaster has this to say:

“Content recommended by friends and acquaintances is often more relevant than content from strangers. For example, a movie review from an expert is useful, but a movie review from a friend who shares your tastes can be even better. Because of this, +1′s from friends and contacts can be a useful signal to Google when determining the relevance of your page to a user’s query. This is just one of many signals Google may use to determine a page’s relevance and ranking, and we’re constantly tweaking and improving our algorithm to improve overall search quality.”

IS IT RELEVENT?

It is clear that Google is trying to use its social search mechanism, the +1 button, to make search listings more relevant to individual users. This is a worthy objective, to be sure. Unfortunately, in practice Google’s social search is oftentimes producing less relevant search results.

When users are logged in to their Google account (which many people are all of the time, whether or not they notice), their +1 personalized results are shown before public rankings on any Google searches. This can have a negative effect on search relevance for users, and SEO page rankings for companies.  As 352 Media Group’s Erin Everhart pointed out in a recent blog on this topic, “When I search for “web design company,” one of our top keywords in Google, it’s pretty clear what I’m looking for: A web design company. Two out of three top results, traditionally coveted for clicks, are filled with social mentions. And social mentions that have nothing to do with a web design company.” Social mentions may build trust and authority to search results, but not necessarily relevance.

TIME TO BE SOCIAL

Nevertheless, the fact that Google is the only major social network with a search engine underscores the importance of having an active Google+ brand page. More than that, companies who want to take fully advantage of Google’s social search then have to get their Google+ brand page into as many influential people’s circles as possible- no easy feat. Furthermore, these people also have to be in many other circles if companies have hopes of reaching people outside of users’ immediate network.  Companies should also integrate top keywords into Google+ posts to increase their relevance in important searches. Google’s social search is therefore compelling brands to use their Google+ page much like their own website.²

THE TAKEAWAY

The full impact of Google’s social search on SEO is uncertain. While we try to sort out the effects of +1 on SEO, companies should not abandon traditional SEO practices wholesale. SEO methods such as link building and relevant keyword usage should still be practiced.

However, in this new era of social search, brands need to produce quality content that users find interesting and useful, and then actively promote it on social media, especially Google+. Companies need to pay close attention to how they are shaping their online message, not only on their website, but across all social media platforms. As social media and social search become more widespread phenomena, brands are going to have to spend more time and resources managing their growing online presence.

Questions remain, but one thing is certain: this brave new SEO 2.0 world presents numerous challenges, but also numerous opportunities, for business.

¹ Mashable, “Google Merges Search and Google+ into Social Media Juggernaut”

² Mashable, “How Google’s Social Search Shift will Impact Your Brand’s SEO”


Do you need a business Loan for your company?  Are you over extended and cannot get a loan through a Bank or Private Funding? If so, this is a great opportunity to expand your business, pay off debt, buy that vehicle you may need, buy more inventory or just use the money for what ever you may need it for.  What’s the catch?  None, just have a credit score above 600, no collateral needed, no signup fees and cash within 7 business days!   For more information click here.   We want to help your business grow and thrive during this “Down Economy”.