Tag Archives: social media

Are You For Real?

There’s only one thing you need to get right if you are promoting your business in any way on the internet.

Are you real?

It might sound silly but Google is looking for signs all the time that prove you are a real business worth promoting to their searchers.

Here is my top list of ways to prove your real:

1: A website that has been built and left the same day in day out will slowly go down the ranks. Google will stop looking at it because nothing new is going on it and this proves no real value to visitors.

2: Add a blog to your site to add fresh content on a regular basis and also prove you are the expert in your field. Writing a blog takes dedication and a little bit of time. It does get easier if you build it in to your routine.

3: Links to social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest are essential but just like your website they must be updated regularly with engaging content. Get involved in discussions, reply to reviews and build your audience.

4: Make sure the web pages on your website are labelled correctly. You would be surprised how many businesses miss out key information like location. Ensure photographs are labelled too. Often pictures are labelled photo a for example which Google will not find any value in. Label them as a description and location. Right click on information pages/ images and view source to see what the labels are.

5: Add testimonials. People trust what other people say so a make sure there are fresh reviews on your site.

6: Add your business to as many local directories as you can- paid for or free. Just make sure you monitor them and ensure all information is accurate.

7: Act real! Add photos to your social media or websites of your staff, of you, of your work. Add testimonials. Respond to reviews and complaints. Respond quickly. Respond professionally.

8: Regularly Google your business to make sure there are no skeletons from your closet lurking in the search engine.

Above all see the internet as an opportunity to brand and promote your business.

Be aware though- you’re customers will be more demanding and expect responses quickly.

Don’t disappoint.

If I can be of any help please let me know

If you don’t ask you don’t get

I bet you’re on Facebook aren’t you? I bet your business has a website doesn’t it? Are you on LinkedIn? Are you on Twitter? Great-so when was the last time you messaged someone and asked for some business or a meeting or a referral? I’ve lost count of the number of people who add me on social media that don’t even say hi. So what’s their purpose? Adding people so their number looks high and they look popular? Possibly Last week I posted a photo of some garden waste and I needed removing from my garden and asked if anyone could give me a price. I got left lots of numbers and names but one company took the time to message me direct and leave a number. So I called him. In a reversed situation a local businessman posted on LinkedIn that he was looking for a company that could manage their Facebook, Twitter and website. So I messaged him to say I could help and what I could offer (Because I knew I wouldn’t be the only person to message him) He replied with his number and the negotiations have begun. I really don’t see the point of being active on Social Media and then just sitting there-ask people for their opinion, look at your competition, get ideas from people, ask if you can work with a business, offer them what they are asking for if your business is in the right field. It’s a buyers and sellers market. Nobody got anywhere by sitting in the shadows did they? There are some great stats on this Infographic. Take the plunge and start connecting with people-if I can help your business in any way ask me. I don’t bite (In the daytime!)

Selling Through Social Media to Close More Leads
Selling Through Social Media to Close More Leads
InsideView

Businesses Don’t Care

If you keep seeing negative comments about your business then you need to do something about it.

People often vent because they think that businesses don’t care about their consumers or that you won’t respond to any concerns.

You need to change your attitude in to thinking ‘I’m glad I can see what people think of my business because then I can act on it’

You also need to share the good things people say about you to ensure that all of your customers and potential customers are reminded how good you are.

Don’t beat yourself up-no one can be great all the time. Feel brave enough to give yourself a pat on the back when you see something great about your business.

Here are some of my personal experiences for you to read and maybe get some ideas from:

  • (BAD) I rarely take the time to complain but felt the urge after opening a bag of crisps from Morrison’s Supermarket. The contents of the bag were wet which was strange. I Tweeted a photo of the crisps to Morrison’s with a 120 character complaint. Guess what? Within 5 minutes I had a reply. ‘Ewww’ it said ‘Message me your details and the bar code’-which I did. Within 7 days I received £3 worth of vouchers and a covering letter. The supermarket has risen so high in my estimations. (And this is a large business)
  • (GOOD) My newspaper produced a poster to back our local football team with a local business as a sponsor. The customer on Facebook shared a photograph of the poster he sponsored and publicised his backing for our campaign. His adverts looked amazing and really captured his brand, the poster would reach his target market as he is in the motoring trade and his praise for our product is such great feedback-comments like this you can’t buy so I re-shared his post for others to see. Lovely for me as I worked with the editor in providing a good platform for a local business on the poster, great for the member of my sales team who worked with the customer, great for the newspaper to hear positive feedback and finally a great opportunity for a local business to brand his business alongside a product linked with a Premier Football team. (Lots of greats I know)
  • (BAD) Although I’ve recently turned 40 I absolutely love being out dancing in to the early hours and am happiest when I’m in Revolution in Swansea. I love the music and if I’m out of a night you can guarantee once I get in to the venue I don’t come out for hours. I was really surprised when I added the bar to Facebook the next day to see really bad reviews on their page. And even more surprised to see not one of the negative reviews had any response. Why is that important? All I can see is one side of a story. If I didn’t know about the bar and had checked them out would I have gone in-no way! if your business has a Facebook page and you allow customers to review you please make sure you respond in a professional manner. It will speak volumes about your customer care

These experiences have given me food for thought.

Don’t believe me…?

consumer_reviews_infographic

Digital Disruption In The Market Place

th

I read today that digital offerings are disrupting all of the traditional ways we receive information-television, press, radio, film and magazines. It offers something new to people where that was a gap in the market-and slowly it will replace them.

It’s happened plenty of times before so don’t think this is something new:

THEN Camera film + camera = printed photographs.

NOW Instagram, Facebook, Smart Phones= Storage of photos online

Another example:

WAS Records, then tapes, then CD’s, then ipods

NOW Online music streaming.

Now I work for a newspaper so you must be thinking I’ll soon be out of work soon and the newspaper will close.

Well I can say with hand on my heart that I have never found my job as exciting as it is now. I don’t know what the future has in store for me but I do know that I’m not afraid to go with the changes.

I bring material home to read on digital advertising-I’m understanding how much investment there is in the UK economy on digital advertising and as a frequent internet user I am the future. You can’t pretend to embrace change-if you don’t believe in it I say don’t go along with it.

Take for example this about use of devices through the day:

In the morning mobile internet devices are heavily used as people log on during their commute to work- that’s me-I switch on in the car once I’ve parked in the morning! Tabletop PC’s and laptop useage is high during 9am to 6pm when people spend a lot of time in work-that’s me! And tablet use is highest in the evening when people are browsing the internet at home. That’s me!

So how could I not love digital advertising when I am a typical digital advertisers target?

As an events sales manager in work I recently thought I’d try setting up my events on Facebook. I wasn’t really expecting too much.

I cannot tell you how much it has transformed the way I work.

I now have my Facebook on all days in work as people contact me for information on the events all day. Every time an exhibitor comes on board I post their info on Facebook.

More importantly I am engaging with people more than I ever did before. And I hope I’m creating enthusiasm and brand awareness for my events and my company.

It sounds childish to say I’m excited but I genuinely am.

I’m not a sales manager any more-I’m a sales and relationships manager. I’m not just selling-I’m creating products/events and campaigns that provide solutions to businesses and around it I’m adding marketing information relevant to the events.

With my events I am:

  • Encouraging likes for local businesses
  • Enabling businesses to network with each other
  • Reaching a new community of people to engage with
  • Providing a new method of getting in touch with me
  • Encouraging engagement with my brand
  • Creating a sense of expectation
  • Meeting new people and contacts

I’m just a beginner and don’t profess to be a social media expert but enjoyment comes first in anything.

Here are my events if you’d like to see how I’m getting on:

https://www.facebook.com/events/333304756808170/?notif_t=plan_user_joined

https://www.facebook.com/events/625080507559214/

https://www.facebook.com/events/541943052560755/

If you have any questions please get in touch

All the best

Dropping Balls

Are you finding it hard to market and advertise your business because you have so much to do and so little time?

business-juggler1-268x300

Over the years I have seen a lot of businesses go through challenging economic times for differing reasons and sadly cut backs are often made by reducing headcounts in marketing positions, admin positions and in advertising budgets.

With so many balls in the air you are bound to drop one.

I am yet to hear any business say in my 13 years experience that they have had an advertising budget increase!

So what happens?

  • Companies stop advertising themselves and become invisible to their customers which can result slowly in loss of business.
  • Employees have increased workloads covering admin duties leaving less time for strategic thinking/planning
  • Companies stop marketing themselves and lose their footing with their competitors

There are tools out there that can help you, however,  if you are finding it hard to juggle all these balls and run a business.

BUFFER

I’m really lucky to have a dedicated social media guru in my workplace who has helped me progress from a ‘tinkler’ on the internet to a blogger, Tweeter and social media competent. You just need to want to do it.

Buffer is a website that will schedule Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter posts to a time you choose depending on what audience you want to reach.

If you have no time in the day to use social media then don’t worry-spend a few minutes scheduling posts and they will be posted while you are working.

Buffer works best on Google Chrome because you can install an app that let’s you post directly from the web pages you are looking at.

Firstly join Buffer bufferapp.com

Link the accounts you want to post to

Share information now or buffer for later

You’ll look like you’re socially active all day-and you don’t even need to switch on your laptop.

TWERIOD

www.tweriod.com will show you what times your audience is most active. There will be a greater chance of your messages being seen if you schedule them on Buffer to the times Tweriod recommends.

ADVERTISING

(You knew I’d have to mention it)

I do really believe advertising is important to any business. Think of it as employing salespeople- an advert in a newspaper, on a website or a magazine can sell your products for you and broadcast your marketing message to hundreds if not thousands of people. Most companies will design the advertisement for you-kind ones will send it to you for you to include on your social media sites and like Buffer it will be working for you while you manage your business.

GET OUT FROM BEHIND YOUR DESK

The busier we get the more we can get caught up in admin. It’s a catch 22 situation-the more emails you send the more replies you get and before you know it all you’ve done is email. It doesn’t hurt every now and again to turn your emails off with an automatic reply saying all emails will be dealt with later. Or just ask people to ring if it’s urgent.  Lift your head up, get our of your chair and engage with your customers and employees.

Last week I went out on five appointments where I’m usually office based. It increased my enthusiasm for a job I already love-it reminded me why I enjoy it and gave me time away from the admin that can sometimes seem overwhelming. It’s important to help yourself climb out of what can sometimes seem like a quagmire of work and remember what’s important.

Keep those balls in the air and enjoy your week.

Please let me know if I can help you in any way

I Don’t Have A Wooden Heart

I might enjoy online shopping but I don’t have a wooden heart.

I still enjoy it when a business offers me excellent customer service and don’t hide behind e-commerce.

I’ll give you a good example-I bought some new trainers on Ebay last week-straight away I had an email me thanking me for paying so quickly. Then they offered to reduce my costs if the shoes weren’t posted in the box and then another email asking if I had received my refund. The trainers arrived 2 days after ordering. I was really impressed.

Even thought the transaction could have gone through without any exchange I felt customer service was high on the E-shops priorities and I would definitely recommend them.

It’s really easy when dealing with customers who can order in online shops or comment in groups on social media to be completely faceless but a thank you or a message to show that you appreciate a customers time can go a long way.

Is online customer service important? Great infographic below for you.

Thanks for reading my blog-don’t treat your customers like they’re made of wood

Customer Service In Social Media - Visual.ly

Who’d Have Thunk It?

work-hard

An advertiser called me today in a last ditched attempt to get his venue full for New Years Eve because he thought just by having a well known local band booked that people would come. I think he’d been watching Wayne’s World and truly believed if ‘You build it they will come’

When planning an event treat the event a bit like a shop-what are people going to buy in your shop? Booking a local band, cabaret artist, musician or celebrity etc. is the ‘product’ people will buy from you.

How will people buy from you? Think of how a shop advertises-they advertise in newspapers, on radio, they promote themselves with a sign outside the shop, promotes their wares on their website and via social media like Twitter and Facebook.

A busy shop doesn’t happen by accident and your event won’t be busy if you don’t ‘sell your wares to your public’

The customer who called me today hadn’t promoted the event on his own website-to the visitors which are his target audience. He hadn’t put it on Facebook either but would get his son to do it later.

Why wasn’t he fully booked by now he asked me.

RESEARCH!

It’s simple-people spend hours researching every aspect of their life-where are they going, what are they buying, who sells it etc.

If you’re not online you’ll start falling behind the competition.

You’ve got to start taking all this seriously if you want your business to survive in the future.

Learn how to market your business on Facebook- it’s a marketing tool and there is an art to it. Done badly and it can work against you. Learn how to use Twitter. Learn learn learn.

Someone said to me recently that they went on a short course to learn about social media and now update their pages while watching Eastenders. Don’t think of this as more work-think of it as networking.

If you need to advertise an event do it early and plan your campaign because you can’t expect a Wayne’s World moment to save the day.

The real motto is ‘Work hard and he bookings will come’

A Closed Shop Is A Shop That Will Close

Right now is your shop closed?
closing

By closed I mean are your doors are locked, the lights turned off and your business day is over?

Or is your shop always open?-even when your shop door is locked and the lights are out your Facebook page is still buzzing with interest, your Twitter account is getting messages, you are networking on Linked in and people are buying from your online e-commerce shop.

Are you the business owner who says there’s no point me having a social media site when all people do is put up photographs of what they’ve eaten for tea?

If you are the business that is closed then you need to know how much business you are potentially missing out on.

Most people are not browsing the internet for personal reasons in work (Although we’ve all seen the person who is in work and supposedly too busy to help when they have a shopping website open-come on we’ve all been there)

So when do we browse?

*Lunch break

*After work

*Break time

*Weekends

And ere are a few stats on what people do online during their own time:

  • 41% if people like or followed a brand on a social media website
  • 43% of people found, bought or used a voucher
  • 59% of people found things to do/places to visit locally
  • 76% of people accessed social website

And wait for it

92% of people shopped online!

Internet users are browsing, researching, shopping and BUYING which is why you cannot afford to have a closed business.

But I Don’t have the time?

Find the time or pay someone to set up your ‘shop’ for you.

Don’t think of social media or websites as luxuries-these are necessities of any business.

Think of them in the same way you think of your shop sign, your advert in the phone book, your shop window.

Think of social media as a wage you need to pay because if you do it right websites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn can tell more people about your business and what you are doing than any employee ever could.

I’m getting excited now- I want to shout out loud for you to believe, believe in the power of social media, create an open all hours shop and more importantly be a success.

Ok so calming down a bit now I need to end this blog-I have online shopping to do and a of course I want to see what my friends had for tea

Have a good week

Information on internet user habits taken from the great infographic below:
What do you do online?
What do you do online? is an infographic that was produced by Qmee

Cross Dressing and Divorce?

You don’t always have to be in full on sales mode to make social media work for you.

On November 24th 2013 Noah’s Yard in Uplands, Swansea changed their sign (As they do on a frequent basis) to Paul…I’m Divorcing you!

paul

Not the nicest of things to write perhaps but what did it do for Noahs?

300 people liked the post

38 people shared the post

37 people commented on it

It made front page news in the South Wales Evening Post both in print and online- four times with different updates!

And wait for it……. it also made The Sun newspaper too!

Wow!

So what’s my point?

My point is that hundreds of people engaged with Noah’s Yard and they weren’t trying to sell a thing.

  1. It brought their business to the attention of new customers
  2. It got people engaging with their Facebook page
  3. It got people talking about their business

How much would you pay to get coverage like this in the media?

I can tell you that if this was charged advertising space then the bill would be thousands!

As a newspaper we had a story which went viral meaning it was viewed all over the world-was it a sports story? Was it groundbreaking news? Was it a leak? No it was a video of a group of men dressed as women on a night out:

http://www.thisissouthwales.co.uk/Drag-queen-floors-thugs-Swansea-street-fight/story-12414029-detail/story.html#axzz2mKGExfP1

It’s not easy to get this exposure-some will happen by chance but you can be sucessful at being creative in the ways that you target your local audience.

It’s easy for me to tell you what not to do:

  1. Don’t always be in sell, sell, sell mode
  2. Engage with your audience and encourage participation
  3. Think of quirky things you can share about your business or business type.

I’ll add a great inforgraphic to my blog later for you to see a little more on how this works

 

Spread Your Net To Catch The Fish!

 fish

I’ve had some really good conversations with customers this week-I really enjoy being able to give advice on advertising and marketing-I’m not afraid to say when I feel that something won’t work. Money spent on advertising/ marketing that doesn’t work is not good business.

I’m not a fortune teller-I can’t promise 100% that a campaign will work-I can, however, guarantee how many people a campaign will reach, where those people live and what they read and where they read it.

I’ll give you a really good example- I spoke to a representitive from a large organisation who wanted to promote a scheme relevant to winter heating.

As a multi media organisation we can offer such a variety of ways to target local people that I can help any business ‘get seen’

After finding out what the company wanted to acheive I thought about the types of people that may need the service being offered. It turned out to be people of all ages and all walks of life- this may make it sound easy but in fact it’s much more difficult because for advertisnig to work you need to ‘reach out’ to people.

There are different ways you can reach out to people-it can be by way of:

  • A good headline
  • A specific offer
  • Marketing/advertising under specific headings so people seek to find
  • Marketing/advertising in a place where it will be seen by the right reader

For this specific campaign i decided the best route was to target by platform-so publicising the campaign in places I knew the right type of reader would see it.

 

Here is what I presented to the client and why-I thought this would be useful for you to see how to choose the right places for your business and why (I’ve left it generic because it can apply wherever you are):

  1. Classified section in the newspaper-people use classified on a seek to buy basis so it’s a great opportunity to attract the attention of readers who have money to spend plus they are in the buying frame of mind
  2. Television listing pages-think about where people are when they are reading the TV pages-warm and cosy in their homes-where better to be to make a decision about something home related? I also considered the age of a typical reader- it’s mainly the older generation that refer to in print TV guides as the younger ones tend to use on demand or info on their TV’s
  3. Run of paper-the main body of the paper is where people go to read the news-advertising has to be strong to draw people away from it-or newsworthy which is what this campaign is. I thought the message behind the campaign would be ideally suited alongside the news.
  4. Digital advertising- research has been carried out that people trust online adverts far more on a local news website than they do other sites. You can reach a whole new audience demographic and on our website a younger, more affluent reader-speaks itself.
  5. Reader offers-the company has some giveaways for our readers-an added extra to the campaign but great for the camapigns awareness and we don’t charge for this service
  6. Editorial- If a campaign is of huge interest to our readers we may support it with editorial coverage. In addition to the advertising campaign mentioned before this is the final cherry on the cake to make a campaign which:
  • Reaches a vast number of local people
  • Targets different ages/ reader types
  • Targets in print and online audience
  • Targets people across a span of a few weeks

I’m really lucky to be able to offer such a vast range of different media to local businesses. Unlike many others we can offer ways to market a business:

  • Online
  • In print
  • Sponsorship
  • Niche magazines
  • Events
  • Editorial

If you’d like me to help you or if you would like any advice please get in touch