Tag Archives: small business

5 Social Media What Not To Dos

Social Media: a Free Lunch or the Thief of Time? | Soci@lite BlogThese 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.

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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!

How Do You To Do?

How do you To Do!?

When you are a Small Business Owner, in the run up to the festive season it can be all too easy to lose focus and push back half of your reminders to the week you are off work, if indeed you take the time off!  I am as guilty as the next person for doing this, in the ambitious but vain attempt that I will get everything done during this magical period of headspace and strategic planning.

But this year I have decided to try a different approach and just focus on three small but key projects which I know I will be able to do well rather than feeling overwhelmed and ending up doing ten things badly.

It wasn’t easy and I was halfway through a list of more than twenty but only halfway through November before I decided enough was enough.  Time off is time off right?  And what is the point if you dread your time off because although you are away from the office you have a To Do List as long as your arm to get through?!

So what I have decided to do is this….

 

Not use it as an Admin bucket list but plan Social Media activities for 2013 instead!

 

Here goes…..

 

1.        Editorial Calendar

A more realistic plan which I will actually stick to, e.g.:

  •  Mondays and Fridays for blog posts / reTweeting
  • Tuesdays for quotations
  • Wednesdays for Industry News
  • Thursdays for Social Media Tips & Tricks

 2.     Scheduling for 2013

  • Newsletter Reminder – via Twitter/Facebook/LinkedIn a week ahead of release for every month of the year
  • Article Submissions – article creation and upload to key article submission sites once a month
  • Quotations – one for every week of the year – finding them will be fun but time-consuming enough!
  • Video Tips – one scheduled for release every month of the year (all this will require is half a day to create 12 short videos

3.     Affiliates / Referral Scheme

 Completing the set-up of this – I’ve started so I’ll finish!

 4.     eBooks

 Create a new eBook for Amazon and Kindle

 5.     Social Media Training

 Create more Screen Capture training for my website

 6.     Backlinks

Create more backlinks and reciprocal links to my site and follow the blogs of more industry professionals and those of people I admire or feel have something interesting or entertaining to say

 

What do you think?  Okay, so that’s 6 not 3 tasks but enough to be getting on with, right? And they’re all interrelated and the work will crossover.

How do you To Do yours? I’d love to hear what you have planned – let me know below!

Tweet your way to Triumph with my Training!

Twitter TrainingCome along to my next Twitter Training session and see how it’s done at a fraction of the price you’d pay anywhere else!

Not sure if Twitter is right for your business? Check out these statistics:

1.  34% of marketers have generated leads using Twitter
2.  55% of us access Twitter via our mobiles
3.  There are over 100 million active Twitter users worldwide

You will learn how to:

  • Post messages of fewer than 140 characters using blog links, news, events,  etc. to reiterate that your business is an industry authority
  • Measure your Twitter success by analysing how followers engage with your content via free metrics to help you make best use of your time
  • Integrate Twitter with your website to display at-a-glance information to drive traffic
  • Create a bespoke background in your Twitter profile
  • Use Socialbro to explore your Twitter community and discover the best time of the day and week to tweet and real-time analytics to see who is using Twitter at the same time as you, etc.
  • Use lists to promote and track your industry and competitor activity
  • Use #Hashtags to make your Tweets more searchable
  • Find your Facebook friends on Twitter
  • Insights into what makes people Retweet (RT)
  • Decipher the main Twitter jargon
  • Use Linkedin to increase your Twitter presence and no. of followers
  • Use scheduling tools – which remember to post content even if you don’t!

Click here to Book your place receive a 10% Earlybird Discount if you do so by Tuesday 31 July!

Details: Tuesday 14 August 2012 – 2pm to 4pm: Basepoint Business Centre, Aviation Business Park, Enterprise Close, Christchurch BH23 6NX

Other Options:

  1. One-to-one Training – at your desk (or at here at my offices if you work 10+ miles from BH6 5AF)
  2. Remote Training – don’t live locally? Take advantage of my one-to-one Telephone & Video Training – contact Katherine for further details

Get LinkedIn to the right training session!

Book your place by Tuesday 31 July and receive a 10% Earlybird Discount!

LinkedIn is your interface to professionals who want to find out more about your company, job openings, culture, recommendations from their network on products/services, etc.

Need to create a Company Page or increase your activity but not sure where to start? Want to get the best out of LinkedIn, raise your profile, expand your network and ensure your company provides the most relevant, tailored messaging?

Come along to my next LinkedIn Training session and see how it’s done at a fraction of the price you’d pay anywhere else!

You will learn how to:

  • ‘Follow’ your favourite companies and receive automatic updates in your LinkedIn feed
  • Use the Follow button to help users discover who they know at your company
  • Add the LinkedIn plug-in to your website displaying at-a-glance information to drive traffic
  • Create a Company Page to increase engagement and ensure your company provides the most tailored and relevant messages
  • Create a custom URL for your public profile, e.g. http://www.linkedin.com/in/katherinehanson
  • Export your connections to a spreadsheet and add them to your Marketing list or Newsletter
  • Utilise LinkedIn recommendations – nothing beats word-of-mouth recommendation versus a testimonial from a stranger
  • Use LinkedIn Groups to promote and track your industry and competitor activity
  • Use the Careers Tab to shape job seekers’ understanding of your company
  • Utilise ‘Updates’ to build new connections and discover what people in your industry are sharing

Details: Tuesday 14 August 2012 – 2pm to 4pm: Basepoint Business Centre, Aviation Business Park, Enterprise Close, Christchurch BH23 6NX

 

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Other Options:

  1. One-to-one Training – at your desk (or at here at my offices if you work 10+ miles from BH6 5AF)
  2. Remote Training – don’t live locally? Take advantage of my one-to-one Telephone & Video Training – contact Katherine for further details

Ad agencies don't run many ads for themselves | Seth Godin

Spending money on your own account is a difficult psychological hurdle. Lots of small businesses get stuck in this chasm, happy to pitch, to network, to send out proposals and to work far into the night, but hesitate when it comes time to pay actual cash money for marketing, trade show booths or other sorts of media.

For the bootstrapper, for the woman who has worked so hard to get to positive cash flow, it feels dangerously daring, on the verge of insanity.

The question is: do successful businesses spend money on media, or does spending money on media make you successful?

(I think it’s some of both.)

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