Social Media Plan Campaign and Monitoring For SMB’s


As much as your website is critical to your business success in creating an excellent first impression with your prospective clients, it is also imperative that you maintain and grow your brand through continuing interaction with your clients.

One method we use here at OTR with our own sites as well as clients sites is as follows:

Create a corporate Blog (WordPress is a popular one that can be hosted direct with WP or on your current website server using your own domain name such as ) with articles of about 400 – 600 words at least once per month. Your blog article should not be blatant advertising about your company, products or services, but should provide relevant information about a segment of your industry.  In other words and for example, if we are going to talk about web design we should write about the attributes of good design and how it is critical that you create an excellent and memorable first impression. At the end of the article it is ok and good to have a call to action that makes a statement about your services.
Create a Facebook corporate page and if you are writing one article per month then go through the article and write 12 Facebook status updates of about 80 to 400 characters (a short phrase or sentence is more likely to be read) and include at the end a link back to your Blog page. Again we are not creating blatant advertising here but phrases that relate to the article. Using the web design again for example we might write, “Poor web design will drive traffic away. Make the time and resources to do it right.”  As opposed to “Contact OTR Web Solutions today for an excellent first impression website!” Note … We are not going to enter the Facebook status updates yet … hang on we will get there.
Create a LinkedIn page and include the same information as you have on your Facebook status updates (most likely this is going to different people) again don’t make the status updates as yet.
Create a Twitter account and write about 22 short phrases (remember no blatant advertising as we want people to follow the link and read the article and blatant advertising will push your readers away producing a negative impact) each no longer than 80 characters and again include a link back to your blog post page.
Invest in a Social Media management tool. There are a number available such as Postling, HootSuite, SocialOomph , Sendible or our own OTR WEB SM where you can order our platform separate from our Social Media Campaigns.  At OTR we have used all of these resources and found that each has its good and I wish that could be improved aspects.  All of the tools above will schedule posts to your WP Blog, (however HootSuite will not post to your hosted WP blog,) Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn Social Media accounts. Scheduling is very important as this is what allows  you to publish custom status updates and tweets on a scheduled basis. Sendible also allows for extensive monitoring of your Social Media exposure and will send an email to you making you aware of mentions of your name .. both positive and negative which allows for direct interaction with your clients.
Choose your Social Media management tool and then enter and schedule your blog post/article and individual status updates and tweets. Using the single blog post/article per month above we would take the 12 Facebook entries and schedule them at the rate of 3 times per week over the course of the month.
• The 12 LinkedIn entries we would also schedule at 3 per week over the course of the month.
• The 22 Twitter tweets we would schedule at 1 per day over the course of the 22 work days in a month.

Around the middle of the month you would prepare your next blog post and repeat the process above … scheduling everything in as required for the ensuing month. I would then however move the original 22 Twitter tweets into a separate random schedule of 3 or 4 tweets per day thus keeping your blog posts active and not overwhelming your readers with massive amounts of tweets. Just a note … if you do not want me to “Follow” you on Twitter then write and automate numerous tweets per day. The first thing I do is look at how often you tweet in your Twitter Profile and if I find a lot per day … I say goodbye!

Social Media Management is a vital task and cannot be left undone. It takes time to write and monitor articles and interact with your clients. If you understand you need to have good Social Media exposure then you are on the right track but you must be consistent in your approach. What I have written above is a basic minimum and that will take dedication and a person that has been specifically tasked with the project and with the appropriate skills.

Our experience over the years has been that most businesses in spite of their good intentions do not have the manpower to consistently manage their Social Media. That is where OTR Web Solutions comes in with our Social Media division. OTR can write everything we have listed above (and more) as well as manage the results, all for a cost effective monthly fee.

At OTR we do not just research and write but we take the time to interview you and determine jointly the article for the blog, inserting the correct key search engine phrases (SEO) and writing captivating copy from our professional copywriters. One blog article per month is a minimum, however articles and subsequent status updates can be as often as 3 time per week … in which case OTR would write one Facebook status update per blog post to keep within the 3 posts per week.

Contact OTR now for more information at to allow us to help you with your businesses Social Media campaigns.

Ian Conklin
OTR Web Solutions Inc.


Social Media Content Marketing – Now find the time



Social Media Content Marketing is a must for business; but many SMB’s will not spend the time necessary due to varied internal constraints.

We all have the best intentions when we read an article or blog post on what we need to do to make our business better by reaching out to customers, answering their queries and expanding our brand. We say we have to do this … but then we get busy running our business and we just never get it done. Maybe we even assign someone to look after the Social Media component but it is in addition to their other work and well it seems that the job just never gets done right. That at least has been my experience with many of our clients … good intentions but a lack of time to make Social Media work for them successfully.

So what are your alternatives? I think we can all agree that the status quo is not going to cut it so where does that leave your business? You can:

  1. Do nothing … there is just no time for this Social Media stuff
  2. Do it yourself and just make the time … oh and learn how as well
  3. Delegate to another staff, train them and move some of their current responsibilities to another person
  4. Hire a new staff person whose sole function is Social Media and Content Marketing
  5. Select and hire a firm to look after your Social Media and Content Marketing

The Lead Copywriter at OTR recently wrote an excellent blog post about the difficulty in extracting copy from new clients and how we resolved the issue with the end result of creative market ready copy in a timely manner for our client web sites. A positive “win-win” for both the client website and our copywriter’s sanity.

This concept of direct personal client interviews and in-house research followed by effective and creative copywriting that portrayed the brand and message of the client company has proven very successful. The natural progression was to migrate this same concept through to our Social Media Content Marketing for our clients creating another “win-win” service.

If you can effectively develop, write, monitor and manage your Social Media and Content Marketing campaign within your company then you are well ahead of the game. If not, then you can look to a company like OTR Web Solutions to develop, write, monitor and manage your campaign for you … and at a reasonable monthly cost.

OTR will provide you with your own control panel to review and add Blog posts, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and many other Social Media platforms as well as the scheduled posts we will make for you. OTR offers professional Social Media management.


OTR Web Solutions Inc


I Can’t See You – Is Your Business Invisible?


Quoting from a recent Google initiative –

“A business with a couple of dozen employees is a small business. That same business without a website isn’t even a small business. To potential customers, it might not even exist.

Visibility is a problem for most small businesses in the digital marketplace.

According to a study commissioned by Google Inc., 59 percent of small businesses in Michigan do not have a website.

And nationally, 63 percent of small businesses lack a website, said the same study, conducted by the French research and marketing company Ipsos. The study defined small businesses as those having 25 or fewer employees.

About 23 percent of Michigan businesses do not have any Web presence at all, said Michael Miller, director of online sales and head of Google’s Ann Arbor office. That means no social media, no online local listings and no presence on maps such as Google Maps, where close views show the locations of businesses and other landmarks.

“They’re completely invisible if someone is actually going to do a local search or trying to find a product or service online,” Miller said. Becoming visible represents an economic development opportunity for the region, he said, given that most jobs come from small business.”

You might recall an ad on TV where a customer comes into a bake shop and munches away on their samples … all the while telling the owner of the store that she is invisible to him and the many like him. He disappears out the door of the store as though he never existed and all because they had no internet presence. Great ad and I wish I had the budget to do one like it!

It is not self serving of me to say your business NEEDS a web presence.  If 63% of business does not have a website … well that seems like a statistic that suggest now is a good time to position your business in the forefront of your market.

There are some simple steps available to get you started such as Social Media including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and an online Blog. Social Media will get your business at least out there where people can hear about you and your brand.

Local Search … local people or people coming through your town need to be able to simply and efficently find your business. Listing with Google Places Business is a great place to start to get your business listed in their maps.

Website … that one goes without saying. Here is where people find out who you are and what you have to offer.  There are template web hosting providers if you have the skill set and time available to write your own content. Remember though … you only have one crack at a good first impression. If you cannot do it right then you are better off to outsource and get a professional to do it for you.

Copywriting … one of the more critical aspects of your website aside from the actual design is your web copy. Research into Search Engine compatible key words and phrases and the integration of those phrases into your site architecture and web copy combined with delivering your companies message and brand are essential to your online web success.

If all of the above seems a bit overwhelming or if you just do not have the time to make it happen then contact us at OTR and we can help bring your business to the forefront. OTR delivers.

Ian Conklin
OTR Web Solutions Inc


What do copywriting and dentistry have in common?


A number of years ago I spent time perusing writing forums in search of help and inspiration. Trying to extract information from my clients was like pulling teeth.  I wondered if other copywriters were having as much difficulty as I was. I discovered many of them were experiencing the same woes with their clients.

For the most part, business owners are a busy lot and the tyranny of the urgent always seemed to override my pleas for content notes.  Unless the website had been assigned to someone specific at the company who had been tasked with corresponding with me, my questions and emails usually went unresponded to.

Ideally, we would meet with our clients, tour their facilities and then build their website.  However, the international scope of our clientele would necessitate travel and lodging and thus an added expense that both we and our clients didn’t feel was warranted.  A solution needed to be found because the slow and painful extraction of information method I was using was not working.

When was the last time any of us used a tape recorder?  For me it was the 8th grade and I was recording the top 10 count down from the radio or something.    While my techie boss is somewhat appalled at the use of such a dinosaur as a lowly tape recorder (he wants his “word nerd” to be a little more savvy in matters of technology-after all we are a web firm), even he admits that the result has been impressive.  The reward has been a copious supply of copy notes in a concentrated amount of time. I am able to get a “feel” for who the client is and effectively deliver their message in the web copy we produce, without the expense of traveling to them.  Because I am able to build a personal rapport with key people in the company, I have prompt responses to any follow up questions.  A process that used to feel like months of pulling teeth has been pared down to a few simple 30-minute telephone interviews.  Now that the value of this new method has been proven, I have no doubt that the boss shall force me into the digital age.  Until then, does anybody have some blank cassettes lying around?

Theresa Conklin BA Ed Hons is a copywriter for OTR Web Solutions Inc