Make it Big: Social Strategy for Small Businesses

While the tools may be similar, the tactics you use for your small business will differ from the Nikes and McDonalds of the world.

HootSuite’s Social Media Coach, Vicky Truong, ran a very interesting webinar on October 31st demonstrating the practical tips that make sense for your small business – be it a cafe, boutique or bakery.

She covered many topics including

Vicky Truong
  • How to connect to your customers online.
  • How to monitor across social media platforms.
  • Effective ways to represent your brand online and ideas to help improve your web presence.
  • How other small businesses have used social media successfully.
  • How to turn your online traffic into customers.
  • The best tools for measuring your progress.

For more details on this and further webinars goto: http://www.bizlaunch.com/

If you want to stimulate new business, get better ratings with search engines, improve your search engine optimisation skills,  then make contact – drop me a line  – A little help can go a long way!

Steps to engaging with customers

It is most important that your existing customers spread the good word about your business, the volume of business referral this generates can make a huge difference to your turnover as your new business develops.  If this is not happening then it could be that your “engagement marketing engine” is not revved up – so says Patricia Resicker in her latest article.

The Engagement Marketing Cycle

Engagement marketing here is not about feel good conversations on your blog or Facebook pages, but rather when people qualify themselves – “yes, I’m interested – help me know a little more”.  First hand word-of-mouth and social media marketing can be game-changers for small organizations looking to achieve more success.

As someone who ran a small hotel, I know that delivering a great customer experience is crutial to business growth, and one way to achieve this is to do some thoughtful naval gazing …

  • When people telephone are they put on hold?
  • Can you access your website from a smart phone?
  • How “smart” is your website – does it use “Flash”?
  • Do you deal with complaints (or complements) straight away?

Hmmm, how did you do?

Keep in touch with your customers, don’t assume they will come back on their own, repeat business is bread and butter and cheap to deliver, so don’t waste these opportunities.  By engaging with people though online content you can deliver interesting and relevant content to take them to action – repeat sales!  Keep in mind that online participation translates often into offline engagement and sales.

Key Points:

  • Figure out how you can provide a WOW! experience to your customers. It doesn’t have to break the bank, it just needs to be delightful (being on time, nice packaging, thank-you notes, customer rep phone calls to ensure everything is OK and so on).
  • Start with one initial connection method (e.g., email newsletter or a blog) for enticing customers to keep in touch. Remember engagement marketing is an opt-in strategy, so give customers a reason (i.e., a benefit) to keep in touch with you.
  • Once you have that piece gaining traction, add a social media platform (where your customers hang out) and experiment with different types of content to see what your potential customers like. Be sure to measure results and repeat what works.

See Social Media Examiner for more on this topic.

If you want to stimulate new business, get better ratings with search engines, improve your search engine optimisation skills,  then make contact – drop me a line  – A little help can go a long way!

How to be Creative

Jonah Lehrer author photo
Jonah Lehrer

You can think of many creative characters from history; Dylan Thomas, Ludwig van Beethoven, William Shakespeare, Steve Jobs,  but if you read this article it turns out that anyone can be creative, with a little help…

‘Next time you’re assembling a creative team, be sure to seek out the fresh voice,’ writes Jonah Lehrer in his new book Imagine.

So often we settle for the ordinary when we could seek out the extraordinary.

If you want to stimulate new business, get better ratings with search engines, improve your search engine optimisation skills,  then make contact – drop me a line  – A little help can go a long way!

50 Ideas on using Twitter for Business

Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook are all social media products that didn’t exist a few years ago. Business was simple then, marketing media was straight forward, understood and had been like that for years.

New marketing required
Stormy skies ahead for all of us

The digital age has changed all that, digital natives ‘shop’ in a whole new way, and if your products are not in the windows that they look at, sales will suffer …

Came across this article: ’50 ideas on using Twitter for business’ by Chris Brogan which gets straight to the point as to why using these new media products are so important to sales as businesses grow and develop.

If you want to stimulate new business, get better ratings with search engines, improve your search engine optimisation skills,  then make contact – drop me a line  – A little help can go a long way!

What you need to know about Hashtags

Came across this fab article on Hashtags in Entrepreneur online magazine.  It’s really worth looking at.  If you would like to find out more about how to use twitter in your business or how the web can help your business …

If you want to stimulate new business, get better ratings with search engines, improve your search engine optimisation skills,  then make contact – drop me a line  – A little help can go a long way!

Top Tips for Media Success

Some thoughts regarding social media and how to make a success of your web presence:

  • Be more popular– capitalise on your existing base of customers, they want to engage and participate, they are just waiting for you to contact them …

    Take a new look from a different perspective
  • Engage proactively – anyone out in the big wide world can be an influencer on social media, you never know who could be re-tweeting or for that matter looking at your tweets, so give complements and make your followers feel good …
  • Get noticed – do some keyword research, use YouTube, Google, etc, start typing a phrase you might like to use into YouTube or Google, the auto feature will cut in to try and guess what you’re typing and that’s how you can find those popular search phrase terms …
  • Be credible – if you’re serious about using social media invest in it, don’t let the intern or apprentice be your blogger, it should be someone who is very experienced …

Now get working and see what you can find.

More ideas to follow soon …

If you want to stimulate new business, get better ratings with search engines, improve your search engine optimisation skills,  then make contact – drop me a line  – A little help can go a long way!

Social Media vs Your Business Goals

Any social media strategy you design must help you achieve your business goals.  This makes the assumption you have clear business goals in the first place, which in the case of small businesses might not be as high priority as keeping the work coming in … However, putting this aside, here are 3 simple business goals (there are many more) that relate to social media and which will apply to most small businesses, as you read them give yourself a current score from 1 to 5 where 1 is the most important and 5 the least.

Sometimes you need to start small and grow
  1. Increase online presence
  2. Attract more traffic to your website
  3. Grow online sales

Add up your scores at the end – if you scored more than 7 you need to pay more attention to using social media as a marketing tool in your business …

If you want to stimulate new business, get better ratings with search engines, improve your search engine optimisation skills,  then make contact – drop me a line  – A little help can go a long way!

10 Blogging Mistakes

Came across this interesting article in an old copy of the FSB magazine, some good stuff here, well worth sharing.

Blogging can be a rewarding way to make an online living.  Building up your own community who listen to you, follow you, and discuss your ideas is the ideal we all strive for.  As your blog grows your online traffic goes up, and you don’t need to spend anything on advertising and then you get invited to speak at conferences … well that’s the dream, unfortunately not everyone makes it to a dream life.

So if you’re starting out in the blog-a-sphere avoid these simple mistakes:

  1. Blogging irregularly

    Try to avoid the common mistakes – now which rope did I let go?
  2. Writing for search engines
  3. Not analysing your blog stats carefully
  4. Not have a reserve post up your sleeve
  5. Using pre designed templates – as is
  6. Not moderating comments quickly
  7. Not responding to comments
  8. Ignoring other social media – they all link!
  9. Not using multi media – video
  10. Not building a mailing list

Now if you understood what all this means and can then avoid these common mistakes – you might have a good chance of getting noticed.  If NOT we need to talk …

If you want to stimulate new business, get better ratings with search engines, improve your search engine optimisation skills,  then make contact – drop me a line  – A little help can go a long way!

 

Search Engine Optimisation

Most people are going to find your site because of its listings in search engines or directories and therefore search engine optimisation is crucial for anyone who wants people to visit their Web site.

Search engine optimisation is just the simple process of making web pages attractive to search engines, no magic involved, just straightforward logic.

It is important to constantly trim sails to maintain efficiency. Web sites also need to be tended.
It is important to constantly trim sails to maintain efficiency. Web sites also need to be tended.

It’s a fact that most people who use search engines only look at the first one or two page of search listings. Your goal in trying to achieve effective search engine optimisation is to get your pages listed on those critical first few pages for particular key search terms. (My thanks to “Small Business in Canada” for help with the following tips.)

So how do you do this? Here are 5 simple rules to help.

1) Remember that each page of your site is a viewed by search engines as a separate entity. It is therefore important to apply basic search engine optimisation techniques to each and every page.

2) Your choice of appropriate key words or phrases for each page is crucial. Choose your phrasing carefully.  Many more people search for the term “effective search engine optimization” than for “effectively optimizing for search engines”.

“To find out which key words or phrases are more popular than others, you can use a tool such as Google AdWords Keyword Tool; enter your chosen phrases and you’ll see how many people searched for that term recently.”

3) Give each page an appropriate title that includes the key word or phrase at least once. Don’t fall into the simple mistake of using your business name as the title of all your pages.  Is every page of your site the same? Probably not.

4) Put the key words or phrase that you’ve chosen in the page’s title tag, meta keywords, and meta description.

5) Be sure your chosen key words or phrase is repeated carefully throughout the content of the page. Don’t overdo it, or your page may be rejected as spam.

These are just the bare bones of effective search engine optimisation.

If you want to stimulate new business, get better ratings with search engines, improve your search engine optimisation skills,  then make contact – drop me a line  – A little help can go a long way!

Social Media Strategy

Whatever your business, you need to start thinking about social media and capitalising on it as a force for benefiting your business sales.

Watch this short video if you have any doubts …

Using The Centre for Micro Businesses  and our business links and mentors, we can help form a strategy that will work for you.

If you want to stimulate new business, get better ratings with search engines, improve your search engine optimisation skills,  then make contact – drop me a line  – A little help can go a long way!