InterCoastal Net Designs Offers Part II for VRMA [Webinar]

 

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Last April, InterCoastal Net Designs was offered a speaking engagement at VRMA Eastern Regional Seminars in Atlanta, GA. Our very own, April Burns, delightfully informed attendees, the tricks of the Facebook trade when it comes to increasing engagement. The reception was overwhelming.  Many learned important caveats about the role social media plays in their business. And here’s the best part: They asked us to do it again.

Tune-in on Thursday, August 25 to the VRMA webinar “Get More Engagement Through Social Media With Your Team – Part II”. Starring April Burns and ICND social media specialist, Dan Sever, for an informative and fun outline of what your business can do to increase web traffic through social outlets. Starting at 1PM EST, this one hour session will cover:

  • Social Analytics
  • Attracting more potential guests
  • Reputation management
  • Facebook Ads

Back with brand new “April’s Action Items”, attendees can expect more key takeaways to help boost their online conversions. To register for this webinar, Visit Here

VRMA 2016 Eastern Conference

It’s amazing how much can change in a single year. Since we left VRMA Eastern last time, Team ICND has been busy – to say the least.

We streamlined our code base, launched around 25 high-converting vacation rental sites, and even doubled the size of our offices! Needless to say, we’ve learned a lot more about the vacation rental marketing industry along the way.

icnd-vrma-eastern-2016

That’s why we’re so excited to see you at the VRMA Eastern Conference this year. We love giving back to our industry, so we put together two awesome presentations to let you in on the secrets we’ve uncovered.

If your company utilizes VR Marketing of any sort, you can’t afford to miss these talks – and we can’t wait to see you there!

Dominate your competitors with Social Media.

The first presentation from ICND is called Get More Engagement Through Social Media With Your Team. As you know, Social Media is incredibly important in the world of Vacation Rental Marketing – and is only becoming more so.

Over the years, we’ve made much use of its great power and have consistently improved and adapted our strategies along the way. It’s been a long yet rewarding road for ICND to discover the Social Media strategies that actually worked best for our industry.

That’s why we want to help you to skip over that struggle by teaching you everything we learned – putting your company on the fast track to Social Media domination!

The talk will be held from 11 – 12 a.m. on Monday, April 25 and will be presented by our own Account Executive April Burns. Come learn how ICND has been able to get our clients more engaged social traffic, as well as improved online recognition and reputation management – and how your company can do the same!

Onboard new homes easier than ever before.

Our next presentation is called How To Onboard New Homes Effortlessly. In the Vacation Rental Marketing industry, we all know how confusing and long-winded the onboarding process has the potential to be.

That’s why ICND want’s to teach you how to properly take on a new vacation rental home, all the way from signing on to adding the home to your website.

The talk will be held from 3 – 4 p.m. on Monday, April 25 and will be presented by ICND President Brandon Sauls and our Digital Marketing Director Conrad O’Connell.

Come learn about the “Ready To Rent” Checklist we’ve developed for Property Managers (who now love us for making their lives easier), and how we keep our property owners happy from day one by effectively marketing their homes online.

There are a lot of takeaways from this talk – and it’ll leave you wanting to run back to the office to put our strategies to use immediately!

Come see us!

At the end of the day, no presentation can cover everything – no matter how awesome. That’s why we hope to meet you in person this year at VRMA Eastern!

Come by our booth (# 33) and we’ll be happy to answer any burning questions you’ve got – or we can just shoot the breeze!

At ICND, we love throwing around ideas with our fellow Vacation Rental Marketing friends. So, come see us at VRMA this year and let’s get Summer 2016 started off right!


Click here to get the full schedule for VRMA Eastern.


Can’t attend the conference, but want our marketing advice anyway? No problem – reach out to us via Facebook, Twitter, or drop us a line at 866.249.6095 – we’re always here to help!

On The Road With ICND

This year, the team at ICND will be attending the annual NAVIS Leaders Conference. The event takes place February 24th-26th and will be held at the Rosen Centre Hotel in Orlando, FL.

ICND founder Brandon Sauls is a NAVIS Certified Partner, and will be giving a presentation titled Website Conversion Rate Optimization that’s not to be missed.

The biggest names within the hospitality sales and marketing industry will also be attending/speaking at the event, so this could truly be the most important conference many businesses attend this year.

We know Conversion Rate Optimization.

If there’s one company within the vacation rental industry that knows about conversion rate optimization, it’s ICND. Since our President Brandon Sauls founded the company way back in 1999, the creation of highly converting websites has been a large part of the infrastructure of ICND as a business.

And we want you to learn from our mistakes.

Of course, you can’t do what we do for as long as we have without making some mistakes along the way. With such a large variety of sub-categories within the hospitality industry, there’s a seemingly endless variety of websites in need of conversion optimization. The tactics that work for one type of site will not necessarily work (and often simply won’t work) for a site of even a slightly different variety.

So, come on down.

That’s why you need to come hear Brandon’s “Website Conversion Rate Optimization” presentation. Over the many years, ICND has worked to optimize an incredible variety of sites and has come to understand which tactics work (and which really don’t work) for any given site. Brandon’s presentation will serve to illuminate these secret tactics, and help you avoid the mistakes many companies are making (some without even realizing it).

We’ve got this covered.

At the end of the day, there’s really no better measure for experience than a business’ longevity. As you know, within the marketing industry the number of truly long-lasting companies is relatively microscopic. ICND is one of the rare exceptions, and that’s why we know you’ll be running back to the office immediately after our presentation to implement the tactics we’re going to teach you.

Industry leading guest speakers.

This year’s NAVIS Leaders Conference will be wrought with industry leading experts. Just to name a few, Larry Mogelonsky and Peter Yesawich (of LMA Communications Inc. and MMGY Global, respectively) will be guest speaking. There will also be a variety of presentations from NAVIS Certified Partners (our very own Brandon Sauls, for example).

Who you’ll actually get to talk to.

We’ve all been to conferences that are so over-scheduled that they leave no time for discussion or one-on-one time with the speakers. This is not that kind of conference. Rather, you’ll have plenty of time to ask questions at the end of each presentation, or to speak directly with the speakers at their individual booths.

It’s the perfect chance to network.

The skills that you will take away from this conference are one thing, but let’s not forget the fact that you’ll be surrounded by the biggest names in the hospitality sales and marketing industry. That means that you’ll get the chance to build lasting business connections with the companies in your industry that truly matter.

Thought-provoking industry discussions.

It is quite common to attend a conference only to realize that many of the presentations were included simply to fill time. Once again, the 2016 NAVIS Leaders Conference is not that conference. Instead, it will be packed with a large variety of stimulating presentations from industry leaders.

That relate directly to your business.

It’s one thing to give an interesting, thought-provoking presentation. It’s a whole other animal to give one filled with strategies that listeners can immediately take back to the office and implement the very next day of business. That’s what makes this conference so different – every presentation you’ll see fits the latter criteria, and none are simply time fillers.

Come ready to learn and participate.

The conference was designed precisely to connect businesses with industry leaders so that these extremely important discussions could be had. So come ready to both learn and participate, because that’s the perfect recipe for building a better business (and a better industry as a whole).

Don’t miss out on the latest industry knowledge.

If your business is anything like ICND, you can’t stand to miss out on the latest trends and best practices within your industry. With the state of modern technology, these “best practices” can literally change from one day to the next.

We want to meet you!

That’s why you need to attend Brandon’s “Website Conversion Rate Optimization” presentation and stick around for questions afterward so we can keep you ahead of your competition in the coming year. We can’t wait to meet you in person, so make sure to swing by our booth and say “Hi”!

And this is the perfect chance.

The NAVIS Leaders Conference is the biggest annual conference for sales and marketing companies in the hospitality industry. If your business falls into this category, this could be the single most important event you attend all year. So, don’t let your competitors pass you by in 2016 – follow ICND on the road to Orlando. We’ll see you there!


Can’t attend the conference, but want our marketing advice anyway? No problem – simply reach out via Facebook, Twitter, Email, or drop us a line at 866.249.6095 – we’re always here to help!

Busy April Results in 8 Sites Launched By ICND

A lot of positive vibes have been flowing through here this first quarter at InterCoastal Net Designs. With exceedingly high standards, our team has launched 8 quality websites– all within the vacation rental market. With any redesign process our expert team considers the freshest aesthetic as well as optimizes for the best search engine practices.
Continue reading “Busy April Results in 8 Sites Launched By ICND”

Announcing Greybeard Rentals

The real estate company, Greybeard Realty, located in Black Mountain, North Carolina, recently worked with InterCoastal Net Designs to have the vacation rentals division of their web site redesigned and made more social media friendly for its users. ICND started with providing the rental division — Greybeard Rentals — with its own domain.

The new site built for Greybeard Rentals includes the integration of a Vacation Rental Booking Engine that streamlines their reservation process. There are plenty of new photos of their rentals added to the site and you’ll find the navigation to be more user friendly as well.

As one of our newest search engine optimization (SEO) clients, Greybeard Rentals will have regular and thorough optimization performed on their web site on a monthly basis by ICND, which in turn results in higher ranking among search results for relative keywords and phrases in their industry.

To celebrate the inauguration of their new website, Greybeard Rentals are offering the Christmas Lights Getaway Package, a chance to explore Asheville from now until Dec. 31st. while staying in one of their selected rental cabins. Included in the package is a 2-day daytime pass to the Biltmore Estate with an additional candlelight tour during the evening. They also will have a Christmas tree, decorated and lit, as well as Cadbury drinking chocolate awaiting your holiday arrival at your Asheville Christmas cabin. For more information on this and other packages, visit the guest services division of their website.

Announcing Greybeard Rentals

New Social Media Plans

InterCoastal Net Designs has three new social media plans to tell you about. The plans are Bronze, Silver and Gold and are defined below.

The Social Media Bronze Plan includes 6-8 hour setup and provides 5 hours of ICND time per month. We teach you how to manage your social media the right way and mentor you to success. This is ideal for those who would like some training and assistance in managing your own page. Perfect for a small budget conscious business.

Social Media Bronze Plan Set Up Includes:
Getting Started

Pre-launch Social Media Audit
Creation of Facebook and Twitter accounts if they have not already been created
Creation of other social media accounts: Foursquare, Google+, LinkedIn, Gowalla, and many more.
Vanity URL creation, customize information, add applications based on need.

Dynamic Design
Facebook Welcome Page Design
Large Facebook profile photo to take advantage of the full dimensions allowed by Facebook
Twitter Background
Twitter Avatar

Website Integration
Addition of Facebook Widget in the most optimal place on your website
Addition of Twitter Widget in the most optimal place on your website

Social Media Bronze Plan Monthly Interaction Includes:

Manage & Monitor

Post up to 15 posts per month on both Facebook and Twitter (light moderation of page conversations and daily monitoring)
Monthly analytics and reporting

Consulting
(1) 45 minute training sessions teaching how to optimize posts and manage the pages more effectively.
 
Targeted Twitter Followers

Geographically & Demographically target users
Up to 3 keywords

 


 

The Social Media Silver Plan includes 8-12 hour setup and provides 10 hours of ICND time per month. While continuing to work with your appointed on-site social media manager, we assist you in engaging your fans with highly interactive contests. We train and help with posting, monitor and growing your page the right way.

Social Media Silver Plan Set Up Includes:
Getting Started

Pre-launch Social Media Audit
Creation of Facebook and Twitter accounts if they have not already been created
Creation of other social media accounts: Foursquare, Google+, LinkedIn, Gowalla, and many more.
Vanity URL creation, customize information, add applications based on need
 
Dynamic Design
Facebook Welcome Page Design
Large Facebook profile photo to take advantage of the full dimensions allowed by Facebook
Twitter Background
Twitter Avatar
Custom Header Images used to highlight key products, services, specials or features of your brand.
Custom Fan-gated content page enhancing fan acquisition and fan conversion rates

Website Integration
Addition of Facebook Widget in the most optimal place on your website
Addition of Twitter Widget in the most optimal place on your website

High Powered Launch
E-blast sent to your current database introducing your new Facebook and Twitter accounts
Blog entry written by our copy writers and posted on your blog introducing your new accounts

Social Media Silver Plan Monthly Interaction Includes:
Manage & Monitor

Post up to 15 posts per month on both Facebook and Twitter (light moderation of page conversations and daily monitoring)
Monthly analytics and reporting

Consulting
(1) 45 minute training sessions teaching how to optimize posts and manage the pages more effectively.

Targeted Twitter Followers
Geographically & Demographically target users
Up to 3 keywords

Monthly Contests
Manage a contest to encourage interaction and exponentially grow your fan base. Includes: developing theme, compiling rules, creative/design, application management, and entry/voting.

 


 

The Social Media Gold Plan includes 8-12 hour setup and provides 15 hours of ICND time per month. We become a much more active player in your social media team to post, monitor and grow your page the right way. This is meant for companies that want to take their Facebook presence to the next level. We will help you increase client engagement, grow your fan count and provide you with new strategic initiatives to enhance social media growth.

Social Media Gold Plan Set Up includes:

Getting Started

Pre-launch Social Media Audit
Creation of Facebook and Twitter accounts if they have not already been created
Creation of other social media accounts: Foursquare, Google+, LinkedIn, Gowalla, and many more.
Vanity URL creation, customize information, add applications based on need

Dynamic Design
Facebook Welcome Page Design
Large Facebook profile photo to take advantage of the full dimensions allowed by Facebook
Twitter Background
Twitter Avatar
Custom Header Images used to highlight key products, services, specials or features of your brand.
Custom Fan-gated content page enhancing fan acquisition and fan conversion rates

Website Integration
Addition of Facebook Widget in the most optimal place on your website
Addition of Twitter Widget in the most optimal place on your website

High Powered Launch

E-blast sent to your current database introducing your new Facebook and Twitter accounts
Blog entry written by our copywriters and posted on your blog introducing your new accounts

Social Media Gold Plan Monthly Interaction Includes:
Manage & Monitor

Post up to 30 posts per month on both Facebook and Twitter (daily moderation of page conversations)
Monthly suggestions for improvement and strategy.
Monthly analytics and reporting
 
Consulting
(1) 45 minute training sessions teaching how to optimize posts and manage the pages more effectively.
 
Monthly Contests
Manage a contest to encourage interaction and exponentially grow your fan base. Includes: developing theme, compiling rules, creative/design, application management, and entry/voting.
 
Focused Twitter Campaign&
Geographically & Demographically target users
Target based on up to 5 keywords

 

 

Google Promotes Mobile Sites

Just because you can see your web site on a mobile phone doesn’t mean it’s mobile-friendly and a joy to use. In fact, it’s quite the opposite! If your website is not mobile-ready you are missing out as your customers will choose the easier site to use over yours time and time again. Your customers are already online using their mobile devices and by the year 2013, more people will use their mobile phones to get online than they will their home and laptop computers.

Google recently published the site — How To Go Mo — to explain their recommendations and "best practices" toward building your mobile site.

InterCoastal Net Designs builds mobile sites following these 10 mobile site best practices. Our sites are accessible across all mobile devices and all handset orientations. Sites are designed for better visibility on a small screen and for larger hands to access small buttons without the aid of a mouse. Navigation is simplified and seamless on these sites, making the mobile version of your site fast and user-friendly to those with mobile devices. Images are compressed to keep them small and help with loading time. Everything is streamlined. Studies have shown users on-the-go prefer to access mobile sites for businesses in their local area.

The wave of the future has arrived and users of mobile devices compare prices of products and services on their cell phones while on the go. The preferred sites they reach time and time again are the mobile versions of desktop sites. Mobile sites are specifically designed for a smaller screen, with the needs of mobile users in mind. A mobile-friendly site can help your business connect with customers and drive conversions.

We can configure your existing site to automatically tell if visitors are using a mobile device and then redirect them to the mobile-friendly version of your site. Your customers will get the best version of your site for their needs and can easily return to the desktop site if that is their preference.
 
People are also using their mobile devices to help locate businesses in the area. Many businesses are adding GPS coordinates to their mobile sites along with maps and directions to conveniently lead viewers directly to their door.
 
ICND is busy making mobile sites for our customers among those being seasidevip.mobi, cbsloane.mobi and oceanisleinn.mobi. Give us a call today and we’ll tell you what’s involved in converting your site to add a mobile-friendly version.
 

Google Plus Pages are OPEN for business!

Summary:  Google+ doesn't aim to be another social network, it's creating a social data layer that will impact nearly every Google product from search to shopping.  With a broad array of services like Search, Gmail, Chrome, Android and YouTube, Google offers tools that are fundamental to the online lives of consumers; and these can be tied to Google+.

Google+ Page Elements:  Google+ is new for everyone so I wanted to take just a moment to explain each part of the page and show you how to optimize your new brand page.

  1. Profile Picture – This is a 200 x 200 pixel image.  This will also be shown as the thumbnail so it is important to utilize this space wisely for branding and for a visually appealing page.
  2. +1 Button – It's merely a light-weight action a user can give saying "I recommend this page/company/service"  It has ZERO stream implications unlike Facebook's counterpart (Like button)
  3. Share Button – G+ users can use this button to endorse and share a link back to the page on thier own profile.  It can be shared with a single circle, multiple circles, individual users or publicly.  Users can post a comment with the shared content and it will be seen in the stream of users.
  4. Page Name and Caption – The tagline below is meant to be 10 words however I have done some testing that shows it can display 83 characters before truncating.
  5. Circles – This is the Google+ version of the Facebook Like button, but it comes with greater ability to categorize the page.  Once a page has been added to a circle, the page can then add that user/page into a circle of their own.
    • Pages cannot add a user to a circle without that user first adding the page.
    • You can have as many circles as you want.
    • Maximum of 5,000 users can be added to each circle.
    • If a user deletes your page from their circle, they will automatically be removed from the brand's circles.
    • Circles are only visible to the owner of the page so a user can't see what circles they've been added to.
  6. Photo Bar – Post upto 5 images.  This section supports Animated GIFs.  Take a look at Burberry's Page.
  7. Who's Following Who – On the left section, you can choose to showcase who "you are following", who's "following you", and "followers in common"
  8. Posts – This is the home for all content posted to "Public".  Users are able to +1 (giving endorsement of your post similar to a Facebook Like), comment and share with friends/circles.
  9. About – This section gives the opportunity to introduce the brand and give additional information including contact info and links to other social networks.
  10. Photos & Videos – This section houses any media posted as well as any albums created.  Followers can also add photos and videos here.

Google+ Hangouts:  This is a highly engaging video chat tool to communicate with users on Google+.

  1. You can control invitations to these events
  2. This is limited to 10 users at a time
  3. G+ is currently testing expansion of this tool to include shared notes & sketch pad, Google Docs integration, and Screen Sharing.

More!:  This is going to be ever evolving, especially here at the beginning where many early adopters are providing feedback.

  1. Direct Connect – Shortcut to joining a circle.  For example type "+pepsi" in a Google search.  This is still rolling out to all pages.
  2. Badges – This is very straight forward and simple to add.  These allow users to publicly acknowledge the page with a +1 or add that page to a circle.
  3. Search and Adwords Integration – Google+ could be a huge signal for Google search.  As social activities of +1's become more a part of how sites are ranked, Google could lean pretty heavily on this data.  For example, Google's advertising algorithm will start to factor in a user's +1 history as well as the history of people in a user's circles.

Conclusion:  It is vitally important for brands to engage early on Google+ to gain some of the first mover advantages, especially for the SEO implications.  Content relevancy will be very important and strategically shared amongst a page's circles which will create a greater challenge for a winning content strategy. 

If you'd like help putting together your winning content strategy, maximizing your online potential with Google+ or just have questions, don't hesitate to contact our team to see how we can help!

Jenny Isgett For City Council Website Launch

We are pleased to announce the launch of the newly designed website Jenny Isgett For City Council designed by our professionals at InterCoastal Net Designs. Attorney Jenny Isgett has formally launched her campaign for the District 3 seat in Columbia, South Carolina.

Jenny Isgett For City Council
Jenny was born in the Colleton County town of Cottageville and moved to Columbia in 1995 to attend the University of South Carolina. She announced her campaign — Jenny Isgett For City Council — in late October.

The district encompasses Shandon, Wheeler Hill, the University of South Carolina and Five Points and other areas. But its boundaries are about to be enlarged because of redistricting prompted by the 2010 Census. The U.S. Justice Department has yet to give approval of changes in two of the city’s four single-member districts.

Jenny, a Shandon, SC resident who is seeking her first public office, is active in her city’s historic preservation and arts community as well as urban development issues. She holds a B.S. in criminal justice, a law degree from Campbell University and teaches real estate law at Midlands Technical College.

Tilghman Resort – Social Media Contest

Tilghman Resort, a hotel client of InterCoastal Net Design, recently held a “Cutest Costume Contest” successfully using the Facebook social media as their platform. They increased their reach for this promotion by advertising on websites of main markets. Their very successful contest drove nearly 500 new “Likes”, increased post views 136% to almost 240,000 post views in just a few short weeks and increased post feedback by a whooping 415%.

Tilghman Resort - Social Media Contest
As a North Myrtle Beach Resort they have more Facebook “Likes” than all of their competing resorts. And the best part is, they are directly from sources of their feeder markets. ICND will continue to work feeder markets from quick drive markets and approach the North East to promote to in Spring 2012.

Beginning with management and marketing at Tilghman Resort, new strategies are launched daily to maintain high visibility of the resort both in the community, across the country and on the Internet. Combined with exceptional work from their partners within housekeeping, maintenance and front desk and they’ve achieved an exceedingly great combination of success, stirred by the hands that mold “The Tilghman Experience.”

It takes opportunity to truly define the experience. Understanding what it takes to exceed expectations, Tilghman Resort builds their reputation from excellence. They expertly utilize the means necessary to measure high-caliber and dedicated staff then position them to be instrumental in providing each and every guest with an outstanding experience.