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Getting into Social Media with your business? Good!

Checking your accounts for activity and posting regularly? Awesome!

But are you keeping an eye out for what everyone else is saying about your business online? If you are fortunate this will be a difficult task because everyone is talking about your restaurants delicious falafel or your company’s incredible service and product.

The trouble is that we are drops of water in the ocean of the internet. There is so much data and now with social media there are literally hundreds of millions people talking at the same time and it is next to impossible to keep track of what they are saying about you. There are ways however, to get a bit of an idea.

A great way is to use Yelp. Yelp is a social media site for reviewing everything from car rental to small “mom and pop” shops. If you have a business, odds are somebody has reviewed it on Yelp. This site offers an incredible insight into the mind of your consumers. You can see what parts they liked and what parts they didn’t and can help pinpoint the places in your business that could use work or that need to be accented. Naturally, the sites content depends solely on the people, so it works far better inside major cities and places with a larger population.

Otherwise there are plenty of free and paid reputation trackers online that comb social media sites and blogs for mentions of your company, allowing you to see what people are saying. This puts you in a position to directly address a complaint or share a praising post. Trackers like Google Alerts and Buzzlogic are quite popular for this.

When your source material is internet reviewers, take everything with a grain of salt. When it comes to reviews, they are written as though what they are reviewing is either the best in the world or the worst thing that ever happened to them. It’s the internet, people embellish exaggerate and over-dramatize all the time. Try to sift out what useful information you can. These tools can help you cut off bad reputation at the source and help you spread around your praises as they come.

As anybody living in the 21st century will tell you, the internet is a very odd place. As businesses, all we can do is adapt to the people we serve as best as possible. We go where they go, and today they are all on social networking. Who knows where they will be tomorrow? One thing is certain though, wherever they are, clever entrepreneurs will be right behind them with their various wares in hand. Good luck!

Kevin Proulx

As a business manager, you have probably heard of the Canadian government’s new anti-spam law that will come into effect on July 1st or, if you prefer, on Canada Day. This year, this usually festive day is maybe causing headaches if you are not sure what the anti-spam law is about and what you need to do about it. Today, I decided to explain you everything you need to know about it so that your business will be ready to face the changes it will bring.

 

It is very important to know the law and to prepare your company adequately

 

To Whom Does the Law Apply to?

Before delving into what the law says, it is important to know to whom it applies to. In fact, the law applies to the vast majority of organizations including charities and non-profit organizations. To know if your company is impacted by the law, ask yourself the following questions:

-    Do you use email, social media or instant messaging to send commercial or promotional information about your organization to reach your customers, potential customers or other important markets for your business?

-    Do you install programs on people’s computers or mobile devices?

-    Do you perform these activities in Canada or from Canada?

If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, your business is impacted by the new anti-spam legislation.

What is the Anti-Spam Law?

The law passed by the federal government prohibits the following practices to protect Canadians:

-    Sending electronic messages without the consent of the recipient. This includes all messages sent to email addresses, to social media accounts and any text messages sent to cell phones.

-    Any change in the transmission of data in a message that causes a user to be redirected to a different page without his consent.

-    Any installation of a program on a computer without the owner’s consent.

-    Any use of false or misleading information in promoting products or services.

-    Any collection of personal information obtained by accessing a computer system using a method that violates federal law.

-    Any collection of email addresses obtained using computer programs without the owner’s consent.

In addition, it is important to understand that the law comes into effect in 3 distinct phases. The 1st phase, which is about the content of the law’s Section 6, regulates the sending of commercial electronic messages. This is also the one that will come into effect on July 1st.

The second phase of the anti-spam legislation is connected to the law’s Section 8 and will act on the installation of programs on people’s computers without their consent. It will become effective on January 15th 2015.

Finally, the third phase will target the launch of lawsuits against individuals or companies that do not respect the law. Indeed, starting July 1st 2017, Canadian citizens will be able to launch a lawsuit against people or organizations they deem offenders of the anti-spam legislation.

Spam Canada Image

How Can You Obtain Consent from People to Whom You Send Commercial or Promotional Messages?

By law, consent may be obtained orally or in writing. However, it is you, as a company, that will have the onus of proving that you obtained consent and not your recipients if you are asked to prove the consent of a person to whom you send information electronically.

Please note that there will be a transition period provided by the law. Indeed, when there is already a business or non-business relationship between a business and the people with whom it communicates the consent of these people is implied for 3 years starting on July 1st 2014. During these 3 years, the sending of electronic messages to an individual absolutely must come to an end when he or she tells you to stop. The transition or implied consent period with that person ends at this moment.

Despite the 3 years of implied consent planned by the law, I encourage you to be proactive in your efforts in connection with this legislation and to take action as quickly as possible to obtain the consent of the people you send commercial or promotional messages to. Send them an email in which you mention that you wish to obtain their consent to send them offers or messages that promote your business in the future. Include a button or an image where people can click on to indicate their consent to receive messages from you.

If you send promotional private messages on your social networks, explain the situation to your followers and redirect them to a short form where they can consent to receive your commercial or promotional messages.

If someone does not respond to your attempts to obtain consent, it implies that he or she does not want to receive your communications. After sending a first email, you can send them a reminder email in which you mention that this is the last communication you will have with him or her if you do not get consent. Indeed, it is useless to overwhelm your contacts with emails because:

-    The implied consent period of 3 years makes it that you don’t have to obtain the consent of a person with whom you already have a business or non business relationship with to send your messages. (However, if you continue to send electronic messages to people that you just asked their consent and that they have not answered you, your initiative falls flat and it will hurt your image.)

-    If the person does not respond to your first email or your email reminder, it is because he or she has no interest in receiving your company’s messages.

In short, by acting proactively and asking the consent of the people you want to send messages to, you will show your good will to be compliant to the law. I therefore recommend you to act in anticipation of the changes that the law will bring.

Who Will Ensure That the Law is Respected and What Are the Fines That Offenders Face?

3 government agencies will work together to ensure that the anti-spam law is respected. They are the CRTC, the Competition Bureau and the Office of the Privacy
Commissioner of Canada.

In addition, the law provides for substantial fines for individuals and companies that perform activities that are against the law. Indeed, fines can be up to $ 1 million per violation for individuals and up to $ 10 million per violation for companies.

Finally, senior executives of a company can be held responsible for the actions of their employees if they directed, authorized or participated in an act prohibited by the law.

This concludes this article on the Canadian government’s new anti-spam legislation that will become effective on July 1st. If you want to read the complete legislation, click here. If you have any questions about the law or you’re wondering what strategy you should implement with respect to this law, do not hesitate to contact us.

Kevin Proulx sur Google+

Kevin Proulx

On June 11th 2014, we had the privilege to welcome a Google representative during a conference that was held at the Times Hotel in Sherbrooke. For this occasion, we invited more than 30 business men and women from the region to help them discover how Kezber’s experts could help them to take advantage Google’s Internet marketing services.

Google’s Internet Marketing Services are Essential for Businesses

 

The first part of the event was hosted by Claire Domenget, Business Account Executive at Google. Ms. Domenget helped our guests understand that we are now in the digital era where people spend more time interacting with a connected device (computer, tablet, smartphone) than they do watching television. She also showed that their clients are searching for them on Google and that as business managers, they must take the necessary actions to build a strong web presence to be seen by people seeking their products or services. According to Ms. Domenget, an effective hybrid strategy (organic and PPC) is the best way to be well positioned in Google’s search results pages and to achieve optimal results for an Internet marketing campaign.

Déjeuner-conférence Google/Kezber

In the second part, our president Alan Kezber introduced our company and the various services it offers and also talked about 2 clients success stories which we are very proud of, Radiologie Dix30 and Cité Cosmo.

Radiologie Dix30 is an interesting case. Indeed, we had to ensure that the clinic received a lot of visibility when it had just opened and was unknown to most people. To do this, we launched an AdWords campaign in November 2013, taking care to choose the best keywords possible and targeting people who live within 30 km of the clinic. The results were so satisfactory that the customer has increased the budget for the campaign on 3 separate occasions. Today, more than 50% of Radiologie Dix30’s website traffic that comes from PPC.

The Cité Cosmo case, a condo project located in Montreal, differs from Radiologie Dix30’s by the use of a remarketing strategy. Remarketing, in simple terms, allows a company to follow their website visitors to other websites and show them promotions with the help of banners for a specified period. Before starting such a campaign, we first launched an AdWords campaign on the Google Search network to boost the acquisition of the 1 000 visitors needed to launch a Remarketing campaign on the Display network. The Cité Cosmo condos were sold out quickly in large part because of the Remarketing Campaign. Kezber’s efforts were responsible for over 30% of the company’s website traffic.

This concludes this report on the conference we organized in collaboration with Google. The event was a great success and we greatly appreciated Google’s collaboration throughout the project.

Kevin Proulx sur Google+

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