It is important to know what is happening around you ..

New media is changing the way we interact and communicate, and this especially true in the business world.

It is important to understand and adapt to these changes quickly, organisations that have the ability to adapt and evolve to rapid change are more likely to succeed.

Having more Twitter followers won’t necessarily get more traffic to your website, which should be your strategic goal – to bring in increases sales.

Sometimes you need to look both ways!

Brad Smith in Social Media Today highlights 3 Worst Ways to use social media, and how to counteract these:

Don’t:

  1. Create too many social networks
  2. Rely on others to share for you
  3. Focus on Easy, Ineffective tactics

Do:

  1. Invest more resources into LESS tactics
  2. Drive visitors to specific point of conversation
  3. Focus on business development, not just community management

You goal should be one of online business development, rather than Twitter chat or blog comment.

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!

The whirlwind of social media

The whirlwind world of social media is like Pandora’s box – it holds powerful tools that can seriously boost your business to attract new customers, retain loyal ones, and engage the digital world…or it can be a heap of resources wasted if you don’t use them properly.

Some myths need busting
Some myths need busting

Here are five of the major Social media myths debunked.

Myth 1: Social media is a weekday job

You may be on a 9-5 shift during the week, but social media outlets run 24/7 you might actually have more success if you engage on weekends and odd hours.

Myth 2: I don’t have enough content to feed the outlets

Content gets posted, pushed down, and becomes irrelevant before you know it. Re-post the same content in different ways to build concepts and values that your brand represents. The key is to not make it repetitive. Just put a new spin on it when you re-post it a few weeks later.

Myth 3: I can’t show personality

Your content should be mainly targeted at your demographic and within your industry, but don’t be afraid to show some personality.  Throwing in some humor through office pictures, or interesting news articles can humanize your brand’s message.

Myth 4: My target demographic is older, so social media isn’t worth it

Contrary to what you may think, the older crowd is quite active on social media. According to a 2012 survey by the Pew Research Centre’s Internet and American Life Project, 52% of online boomers and 32% of online seniors are on social networking sites, especially Facebook.

Myth 5: Social media marketing doesn’t drive bottom line results

This may be the biggest misconception about social media and its effectiveness.  Social media creates leads and inspires new customers. Fact proven: companies that use Twitter average twice as many leads as companies that don’t – the proof is in the profit.

So in summary: Social media outlets are the perfect places to create a platform for your business and showcase it for current and potential customers, you just have to know how to use them – and that means knowing the truth behind the myths.

What marketing myths have you heard that should be added to the list?

(from an article on Linked In)

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 Basics

So where to start on your social media travels …

Choose your platform (160 different ones) carefully to target your audience – be selective and set time goals – be SMART

“If Facebook is the Primark of social media, then LinkedIn is the Harrods – so choose your platform and language, post carefully so as NOT to offend other users.”  Zoe Cairns

Autumn Colours
So Autumn is here – time to start your Social Media Strategy

Facebook is now used by >35 yr olds, Instagram for the <35 yr olds, and Snapchat is for 8 – 24 yr olds – think of your target market, and choose and post accordingly. 

YouTube channel is for EVERY business – you can signup easily by opening a  gmail account (free), then why not use apps like VideoScribe or Animoto to create simple videos to post with your messages.

Find the key influencers for your line of business (use LinkedIn for this) and then follow them – get them to follow you as this will increase your social media reach.

Create a Target Audience Sheet and from this design your strategic 8 point social media plan – then you won’t get overwhelmed.

  1. Set your goals
  2. Define your target market
  3. Select your key influencers
  4. Research your competitors – look at their social media platforms
  5. Design your content strategy and campaign
  6. Monitor your activity – respond to the market immediately
  7. Join conversations and engage with the market
  8. Measure and analyse your social media actions to refine your goals – start again.

 

All campaigns will have a slow start and might take 6 – 9 months for ROI, so don’t be put off in the beginning – remember to keep to your strategy.

Use the Facebook algorithm to ensure your posts remain in the public view the longest:

Affinity + Weight = Time decay engagement

  • Affinity is how much you engage with facebook – must be a 2 way channel
  • Weight is quality of content – where text/links/pictures/video (text worse – video best)
  • Time decay engagement is how long the post stays up in public view.

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!

Attention Grabbing Headlines

I came across this amazing fact whilst surfing the net, that 4 out of 5 (80%) of people determine whether to keep reading about your products or services on the basis of your website headline.

Now with that in mind your website headline becomes THE MOST important part of your page.  No confusing double talk, clever ‘click through’ links – just capture your readers attention.

Charlie Cook in his how-to guides outlines three typical mistakes we all make:

  1. If you’re not a household company brand name, frankly most of us are not interested in knowing what you call yourself.  Move branding to the side and make room for a more creative headline.
  2. Don’t bother with a ‘welcome to my site’ first line – you don’t see this in the printed media?
  3. Avoid vague lengthy sentences containing business speak – who cares? Use language we can all relate to and understand, widening the net for potential customers.

We all unconsciously, so I am led to understand, look at web sites in the same way we read magazines ads – scanning to see if it is something we want.

Headlines therefore should:

Racing for the finish line
  • Clarify
  • Describe
  • Define
  • Explain
  • Emphasis
  • Compel

Headlines should NOT:

  • Confuse
  • Obscure
  • Be Vague
  • Lack drive
  • Be BORING

Now start surfing and see how many sites follow these simple guidelines – great sport.

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!

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!

Making more of your IP

Baroness Wilcox at Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd

Are old Intellectual property Minister, Baroness Wilcox, challenged UK firms to make more use of the ‘green channel’ that helps speed up the patent process for innovative eco-friendly ideas and gives a real boost to their businesses.

“ Protecting your intellectual property and maximising its economic potential, makes a real impact especially for small companies which are the lifeblood of the UK economy.”

Read the full article here  However, once you have your ideas, you’ll need help in marketing them.  The National Centre for Micro Businesses can assist in this.

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!

Invent or Die

There was a fascinating article in The Times which caught my eye.  (Camilla Cavendish, 2/2/2012)  It highlighted the growing issue that for businesses to succeed they must be continually reinventing themselves.  This is the innovation economy: invent or die.  The world is going south, east and digital at an extraordinary speed.  Think of Nokia in 2003 – where is it now?

As an ex teacher of all things technological I lament at the news that we western citizens are not putting in the hours necessary to take the science, technology, engineering or maths (STEM) courses, whilst China and India have many more students taking these subjects then we (in the UK) have students in total.

To compete in the global market as a small business you need all the help you can get.  At The National Centre for Micro Business help is at hand.

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!