Tag Archives: business

Social Media: a Free Lunch or the Thief of Time?

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You wouldn’t do your own books if maths isn’t your strong point or design your own website if you barely know your way around Microsoft Office, so why would you even attempt to manage all of your Social Media? And, as a business owner, you invariably lack the time and inclination anyway, right?

If you’re going to commit to Social Media then you need to truly commit because infrequent participation will not work; the immediacy of Social Media also dictates that your content should never really be more than three to five days old.

Yet, that Social Media is free remains one of the biggest misconceptions surrounding this form of marketing. The platform(s) you use might be but your messaging is not. Even if you are looking after all of your marketing internally the cost is still there in the form of your precious time. And, the more invested your business becomes in its Social Media presence, the more resources and time you need to devote.

Whether you outsource to a Social Media Manager or use somebody internal, the reality is that as a business you need a dedicated person to push all of these efforts. Regardless of how much time your business is spending on Social Media, make every moment count so that it doesn’t become the thief of your time.


5 Social Media What Not To Dos

These days, it can be hard not to feel bombarded by Social Media, what with 900 million active users on Facebook and 200 million plus on Twitter. The majority of the small business owners I train or work with certainly feels a heightened sense of obligation and urgency to navigate the Social Media landscape. But, in the rush to, they invariably end up making critical and costly mistakes for their businesses. Check out these five common mistakes and Soci@lite’s suggestions for how to avoid them:

1.  The Best Things Online Aren’t Free 

Social Media does not cost anything other than in time and effort. It’s free to join Facebook, create a Twitter profile or set up a blog – fantastic news for small businesses, right? Not once you factor in the constant commitment that Social Media demands, from updating your channels with fresh content to engaging with your followers and industry peers, not to mention keeping tab on your competitors.

Potentially, it could be taking you or a member of your staff (if you’re doing well enough to have one) as much as ten hours a week to manage all of your Social Media accounts – you do the maths! Consider outsourcing your monthly Social Media activity to somebody with the time, the tools and the inclination.

2.  Don’t Compare or Compete with the Giants

If you’re running a small business, the hard earned money you’ve allocated for your own marketing budget is merely a drop in the Atlantic for the likes of Coca Cola and Starbucks and there is little if anything you can do to change this. The good news however, is that your business doesn’t need to even attempt to keep up with the big brands, particularly when it comes to contests and campaigns.

Whilst incentivisation via giveaways and competitions is one of the most effective ways to generate new likes and improve overall engagement, small businesses should not feel pressurised to offer flashy prizes that are well beyond their budget. Instead, consider giving away one of your services or a free e-Book instead of a free iPad. This may not the sexiest prize and is unlikely to generate universal interest amongst your potential followers, but whoever does participate is already a captive audience, enthusiastic ambassador for your business and a potential client.

3.  Value of Exchange versus Hard Sell 

images (7)  This is perhaps the most difficult lesson for the small business owner to learn and take on board without a large marketing budget to spend. Whilst it is a marketing channel, Social Media requires an altogether subtler approach, in other words no Buy Me Now buttons or blatant promotional copy.

If your Social Media strategy is purely about marketing or sales then you need to rethink it NOW. Whilst it holds true that you can increase your sales figures from Social Media, this should not be your focus 100% of the time. As a general rule of thumb, only 5% to 10% of your status updates, Tweets, etc. should be selling.

Social Media is all about building relationships and growing trust, from answering questions to providing helpful information, to acting as a trusted resource and an industry authority. These are the activities which will grow your bottom line in the long run, albeit it in a slower fashion.

4.  It’s Not About You! 

Other business owners often comment to me that they don’t want to put what they had for dinner on Twitter. And my response to this is always the same – you wouldn’t walk up to somebody at a networking event and tell them what you had for dinner last night or what you watched on TV, so why do it online?!  And there’s nothing more irksome than being on the receiving end either. We’ve all been stuck at an event or dinner party with the self-absorbed person who talks at not to you and only about themselves to boot.

To be liked online, you’ve got to be a good listener, genuinely interested in what others have to say, gracious about constructive criticism and not dominate the conversation. Ask questions and encourage participation and comments, engage (within reason) with everybody who posts on your wall and share great content of others in your industry, in fact anything that you think will resonate with others or be interest or use to them.

Put simply, the same etiquette you employ offline applies online – don’t do or say anything you wouldn’t in person and you will be fine.

5.  Quality not Quantity 

Linkbaiting imageThere will always be some new up and coming network threatening claiming to be the next Facebook or Twitter and unless Social Media IS your business, you will never be able to keep up with it, but guess what? Nor should you.

Doing Social Media well does not mean being anywhere and everywhere. Instead, it’s about choosing one or two of the most relevant and effective channels for reaching your customers and focusing on them.

It is better to have no Social Media presence at all (although highly unadvisable!) than a neglected account as this will reflect badly on your business and, rightly or wrongly, result in a perception.  And let’s face it; online more than anywhere else, perception is everything.

Again, if you don’t have the time and resources to actively manage and participate on your Social Media channels, consider outsourcing your monthly activity to somebody with the time, the tools and the inclination.

I hope that you have found this article useful – please feel free to leave me comments or questions. In closing, it’s important to remember that the business principle of 50 years ago still ring as true today – doing business with those that know like and trust you will make you money, Social Media is merely the platform. Keep these principles in mind when planning your Social Media activity and you will be a guru before you know it!

Simple Tips for a great online Bio

Katherine Hanson Socialite  Online MediaWhy are Bios so important? Everything you write should support your Personal Branding Statement or mission, which should be able to fit on a single line on your business card. You should also include in the header of your website and/or blog if possible. Mine, for example, is: Soci@lite helps businesses to navigate the world of online marketing and master the metrics.

A Personal Branding Statement is essential to promote the brand or image you’ve decided on and everything you do or say needs to underpin it. From this, you can produce a really effective and powerful Bio. Whether you write in first- or third-person include something about whom and what you are. People are looking for a personal connection when they read a Bio, so make sure you are giving them a feel for you as a person, not just a business.

Here are some important points to bear in mind:

  1. Your personal Bio should be no more than a single-page document about yourself
  2. State who you are and how you can help clients
  3. If you make a claim, make sure that you can support it
  4. Write from the you/your and WIIFM (What’s In It For Me) perspective. Remember, it’s about them, not you. People are only interested in how you can help them – leave your background/experience information for your About page (if you must include it) or a link to a Social Media Profile
  5. Call To Action – Tell them what to do next, for example, visit my website to find out how I can help you in your business, subscribe to my newsletter and receive a free eBook on…., etc.
  6. Create a very short version of your Bio for social networking sites
  7. If you write a Blog you will need two Bios: a short intro on your Blog’s landing page and a longer version for your About page
  8. Your longer one-page Bio will be invaluable if you regularly speak publicly, guest blog or offer your services elsewhere
  9. If you are talking about yourself, it’s more natural to write in first-person. But if the bio is going to be used by others, use third-person

BrandYourself-Logo-with-Tagline1BrandYourself “makes it as easy as possible to help anyone improve their own search results and online reputation”. BrandYourself started in 2009 after one of the co-founders couldn’t get an internship to college because he was being mistaken for a drug dealer in Google. BrandYourself aim to “put the power of SEO and online reputation in everybody’s hands, regardless of how tech savvy or wealthy they might be”.

Search engines such as Google are increasingly integral to your reputation, however unless you know how SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) works or have thousands to spend on an online reputation company, you have very little power over them.

BrandYourself’s Top 3 pet hates about Online Reputation companies:

  • They deliberately mystified the Search Engine Optimisation process, making their customers feel trapped
  • They often used quick, manipulative “black hat” tactics that only help search rankings in the short term instead of focusing on long term “white hat” techniques.
  • They overcharged customers for something they could easily do themselves if they simply had a platform that educated and empowered them to do so.

In 2012, BrandYourself conducted a national study in conjunction with Harris Interactive which explored the Googling habits of over 2,500 US adults.

Key Findings:

  • 86% used Google or another search engine to find more information about another person: 75% of adults searched their own name, yet 48% of that number said that most of the search results about them weren’t positive and 30% found nothing about themselves online at all
  • 45% found something that made them decide NOT to do business with a company, with 42% having searched someone before doing business with them

Click here to download a copy of the Harris Interactive study.

Related Articles:

LinkedIn Company Pages

LinkedIn Company Page logo

A LinkedIn Company Page is a very effective way to showcase your business, products and services and will encourage sharing of your content. You can also take advantage of a Company Page to increase engagement and ensure your company provides the most tailored and relevant messages, such as adding a logo and clickable URL and videos to make your Page more dynamic and interactive.

More than 150 million professionals are following 2 million or more companies on LinkedIn. Who are these followers?

They are job seekers, employees, potential customers, purchasing managers, current clients, or interested observers. They follow companies to stay in the loop on new developments, compare products and services, track potential business opportunities and keep an eye out for job openings. Members are not­ed of such developments via network updates or emails. When members want to know more about your company, they look to your Company Page on LinkedIn

A Company Page is comprised of five main sections:

1.      Overview

This tab provides a friendly introduction to your business. It’s a place companies can start spreading their message and opening up the conversation with members. Members will see:

  • A high-level overview of the business
  • Company posts on topics ranging from company announcements to product releases to industry news
  • Friends & colleagues who are connected to the business
  • Careers: This tab is a way for companies to interact with millions of passive and active job seekers on LinkedIn. The Careers tab requires a paid subscription by the company

2.      Products & Services

This optional tab can be made visible by company. It is used to highlight products or services. Members will see:

  • A showcase of products & services
  • Recommendations from LinkedIn members
  • Links to the members making the recommendations

3.      Follower Statistics

This tab shows total followers, impressions, new followers in the last 7 days, etc.

4.      Page Statistics

This tab shows page views, unique visitors, page clicks over the last 7 days. It also shows page views by tab, page visitor demographics and more.

LinkedIn Company Page Analytics image

5.      Insights

This tab shows employees with new titles, departures, where employees worked before and after and most common employee skills.

LinkedIn Company Page Insights image

LinkedIn Insights

This tab is only visible to administrators of the Company Page. Analytics help understand who is following the company, who is viewing the page, and what content appeals to them. If you check the stats that appear on your posts about 24 hours after your status update goes live, you can see what types of information and links create the most Likes, comments and clicks

LinkedIn Company Page Insights image

source: www.linkedin.com


To read more about LinkedIn visit http://www.social-ite.info/services/linkedin.

Top Tips for a great About Us page

1) State who you are and how you help your clients

2) Write from the you/your and WIIFM (what’s in it for me) perspective. Remember, it’s about them, not you. No one cares about your background, experience.  What they care about is how you can help them

3) Tell them what to do next – this is called your ‘Call to Action‘, e.g. Find out more about how we can help you in your business by visiting our website

4) Offer an Ethical Bribe, e.g. “Sign up to our Newsletter to receive your free e-book”, “Subscribe to our Monthly Social Media Tips at….”, etc.

Email Marketing – Seven Savvy Sweeteners!

Newsletters are a quick, easy and FREE way to drive traffic back to your website and keep your customers and target audience returning regularly.

1. Communicate

Email newsletters are fast and inexpensive to create. So you can send them more regularly than paper ones. And email marketing puts you in customers’ inboxes more accurately than regular email. So you’ll avoid spam filters and be seen by more people. And you’ll stay top of mind with people who want to hear from you.

2. Targeted Messaging

Create different lists for different types of contacts based on their interests, etc. They are then more likely to respond and act on your email because it is more impactful.

Continue reading

Four Simple Steps to Solid Social Media Relationships

When it comes to establishing and maintaining relationships via your Social Media profiles, there are really only FOUR STEPS:


Find people interested in your products or services
1. Find people interested in your products or services
Post content not adverts, e.g. articles, blogs, comments, etc.
2. Post content not adverts, e.g. articles, blogs, comments, etc.
 Capture information with an ethical bribe for their name & email address, e.g. a free e-book
3. Capture information with an ethical bribe for their name & email address, e.g. a free e-book
Stay in touch and create a valuable exchange with Newsletters, webinars, how to videos, etc.
4.  Stay in touch and create a valuable exchange with Newsletters, webinars, how to videos, etc.