Social Media Tips

As a fellow business owner, I know that it is very easy to get overwhelmed with everything that it takes to be successful. Business owners are usually very busy running their businesses and have little or no time to dedicate to all of their marketing channels.

However, social media is definitely one that should not be ignored. With this extremely popular and effective form of marketing, you can connect and build relationships with customers and put your business at the top of their minds when they need your product or service.

Regardless of whether your small business has a website or not, you can benefit from the social media craze. Social media will allow you to stay engaged with customers, as well as attract new customers due to the viral nature of social media.

Social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and others are taking the Internet world by storm and are expected to grow at exponential rates in coming years. Therefore, businesses have to do everything they can to put themselves right there in front of their existing and potential customers.

Establishing a presence on these social networks allows you to establish a great conversational and engaging relationship with your social media community. This will ultimately result in more prospects, more loyal customers, more sales. Although social media is one of the most important aspects of connecting with local consumers, it can be somewhat overwhelming for business owners. Most of them don’t understand what it all means, where to begin, and how to make money social media.

Social media networking is real time, it’s available 24/7, and it’s more conversational than conventional advertising. When done effectively, it’s a new way for local and offline business owners to interact with their target audience, resulting in more sales and profits. Social media also allows you to manage your company’s brand. People will use social media platforms to talk about your business and tell the GOOD and the BAD.

So, if you don’t stay on top of things, your business could be vulnerable to a bad reputation. However, social media allows you to handle and respond to customer service issues or unhappy customers  – as well as happy customers. Let’s take a look at a few of the most popular social media platforms that will help you build a loyal list of followers as well as generate new customers.

Facebook

You have probably heard of Facebook… many people today spend most of their time on Facebook while on the Internet. Not only that, but you’ve probably noticed that most businesses are quickly trying to establish their ground on Facebook.

Just about every website, TV commercial, flyer, and any other advertising methods include a statement such as, “Like Us on Facebook,” or “Connect with Us on Facebook,” or “Find Us on Facebook.”. So, it’s no secret that Facebook is crucial when it comes to marketing. If your business does not have a presence there, you are missing out on a LOT of potential business.

According to official Facebook statistics, there are currently more than 750 MILLION active Facebook users and 50% of them log in EVERY DAY. People spend over 700 BILLION minutes per month on Facebook. Not only that, but more than 2.5 MILLION websites have been integrated with Facebook!

I’m sure you are starting to see the big picture here… Facebook is HUGE. Facebook started out as a site where people connected on a personal level, but it has grown into an extremely powerful marketing tool for business owners. There are several ways for businesses to connect with local consumers using Facebook. And it’s easy since Facebook marketing can be easily geo-targeted to people in your local area.

One way to really connect with your local consumers is to create a business Facebook FanPage. This will allow you to communicate with your customers on a consistent basis. In fact, many people today “expect” businesses to have a FanPage.

Your FanPage acts as a “website” on Facebook, where you can share information about your business, communicate with your followers, and offer coupons and other promotions. If your audience love your product or service, they will GLADLY remain a loyal fan!

Twitter

Twitter is another social media network that is similar to Facebook, but it’s different in some ways. With Twitter, you can send out what is called “Tweets” to your followers – similar to your Fans on Facebook. However, Tweet messages have to be extremely short as there are only 160 characters allowed. But this is still enough to stay in front of your potential customers.

Social media doesn’t stop at Facebook and Twitter… there are many other social networks that businesses can use to tap into the powerful world of online marketing.

The Right Way To Use Coupons & Vouchers For Promotions

By using coupons and vouchers you can drive a lot of customers to your business, but if you are not careful you can also lose your shirt, you need to have a system in place to capture the names and numbers or emails of all of the people who have used a voucher or coupon with your business.

Just using a coupon once and hoping the customer will return is leaving too much to chance.

For example, Groupon is great for driving customers to your door, but if you capture all of the people coming to you with an SMS short code (see other posts for more info on this) then you have the opportunity to market to them people over and over again.

If you don’t, then you have just paid for a one time discounted customer!

This advice applies not only to Groupon but to any marketing campaign you are running that uses coupons. Start driving more customers through your doors today by using coupons.

Getting Your Business Listed On Google Places

Google places listings if you haven’t heard of them, are the listings that come up on a web page when you type a local search into Google. If you have any online presence at all then Google may have already found you, and you just need to verify your listing. If they haven’t found you then you need to add a listing, it’s very easy…you just need to open a free Google account and when you log in you will see Google Places.

You need to fill in all of your details, you also need to add photos and videos, the more complete and optimised your listing the higher you will rank in the search results.

The amount of traffic Google can deliver when you are on the front of Google places is amazing!

I have hundreds of clients that range from an ironing service to a major insurance broker and all of them report an increase of enquiries and sales from Google places.

Just type your keyword and location into Google and see how well your competitors are doing!

The beauty of Google Places is that it is essentially democratic and designed to give the true local business owner the edge over larger corporations who may have a local outlet or presence but are not locally based.

As such, it is an unparalleled opportunity to surge ahead of these corporations and their multimillion pound budgets in the search engine rankings, giving the local business owner a far greater chance of raking in their share of the profits.

How To Make Video Marketing Work For Your Business

People love watching videos, playing online slot games and don’t find them intrusive, in fact studies show most people would rather watch a video than have to read. This is especially true if your company, products, or service require deeper explanation or has higher consideration values.

YouTube is the largest video sharing site on the web but there are lots of other video sharing sites out there, the more sites you have your videos on the more potential for people to see them.

It boasts more than 2 billion video views monetised per week, and can also provide a low-cost to no-cost way to create a social marketing channel for your business.

Video also has many other uses you can add it to your website for extra content, it will get ranked by the search engines and be displayed in their search results, you can use it in your social media marketing.

Anyone with a mobile phone or a flip cam can create a video these days and often ‘home grown’ type videos outperform professional videos and stand more chance of going viral.

The best results come from a video that goes viral the best chance you have is by keeping your video short and adding humour in it with a strong call to action at the end of it.

One client with a limo hire company does a short video, free for clients who want one (mainly hen and stag parties), and posts it on YouTube, he doesn’t have to do any more marketing because his clients do it for him. Nearly everybody in the video will link to it via Facebook or whatever social network site they use and sent it to all of their friends, making them viral quickly.

All he does is make sure the last few frames show his companies contact details! How could you make video marketing work for your business?

Why Not Having A Mobile Optimised Website Could Lose You Money

A mobile optimised website is essential these days as most people now use their smart phones to view websites. If you look at a website that is not optimised for a mobile device then you will find the most it shows is your top left hand corner of your site. Here’s what Gartner had to say about mobile website’s:

By 2013, mobile phones will overtake PCs as the most common Web access device worldwide. According to Gartner’s PC installed base forecast, the total number of PCs in use will reach 1.78 billion units in 2013. By 2013, the combined installed base of smartphones and browser-equipped enhanced phones will exceed 1.82 billion units and will be greater than the installed base for PCs thereafter.

Mobile Web users are typically prepared to make fewer clicks on a website than users accessing sites from a PC. Although a growing number of websites and Web-based applications offer support for small-form-factor mobile devices, many still do not. Websites not optimised for the smaller-screen formats will become a market barrier for their owners — much content and many sites will need to be reformatted/rebuilt”.

A well designed site with a strong call to action not only looks better but will lead to more sales and enquiries.

If your website is not optimised to be viewed on a smart phone you are losing money.

Increase Your Company’s Visibility With Press Releases

One public relations tool small businesses can easily implement to gain relatively inexpensive visibility in their markets is the small business press release. A press release is a specific who, what, where, when and why announcement about a company’s newsworthy event that is distributed to the media to entice them to write and run an article about the company.

Make your Press releases short and succinct, the compelling small business press release is skillfully crafted with creative, newsworthy content to engage reporters and media outlets.

Posted on your own small business website, a press release rich with keywords that attract search engines can secondarily function as a marketing tool. A small business press release can attract new customers, garner publicity for your business, and bring more traffic to your website.

There are a number of common events for almost any business that can be newsworthy milestones and appropriate for a small business press release. These events demonstrate your innovation, expertise, company growth, and industry recognition.

• Release of a new product or new product features
• Hiring of new employees
• Announcement of awards or recognitions
• Promotional or charitable events
• Announcing new business partnerships
• Reporting on interesting survey results

Use these press releases in as many places as you can find to get your news out there to your market. People trust press releases plus they give you authority and a lot of exposure you wouldn’t normally get.