Posts Tagged ‘business’
In the digital world we live in today, social media is growing rapidly in both popularity with people and in the business world. Social media acts a gateway between the business world and a vast amount of people around the world, and more social media websites are being created.
One social media platform that stands out currently was created by internet giant Google. Google+ came to our screens in 2011, so in retrospect a little late to the game compared to the likes of Facebook and Twitter. So is Google+ just another social networking website or does it hold value, particularly as a business tool?
In short, yes, I believe that Google+ does hold value for business, and you should use it to promote your business. Unlike other social media platforms Google+ has a decent range of tools that can be used to help your business. Here’s what it can be good for:
SEO – All social media websites can be good for your websites SEO/digital marketing campaign. Google+ is no exception as it can really help your websites performance using keywords, hyperlinks and engaging with people so they may visit your site.
Brand – Enforce your brands identity and get your message across by connecting with a mass audience using social media. Having your business logo, mantra or even slogan on social media can do wonders for your business as it be seen by millions.
Communication – Inbound and outbound, Google+ can be used as a brilliant communication tool to connect with vital people. You can use Google+ to connect with your potential clients and customers through updates, however you can also connect with people buy using Google+ as host to hold a video conference.
What’s Hot? – Google will display the latest trends on the internet. This could be a video that has gone viral or something as small as just a #tag that is trending. This can be such an effective tool to use as a business can really dive in a find relevant hot topics and communicate with their potential clients.
There are of course a longer list of uses and effective tools that Google+ can bring to your business. These are just some of the ones I personally prefer as I think that they are some of the most effective to use in business. It could be argued that Google+ may not be as big a social media heavyweight as Facebook, but really it can a really effective tool to promote your business.
Keep an eye out on Friday as Debbie will be going into further detail on how Google+ can benefit your business. Have you had a play with Google+? What did you think of it?
A very wise man once said “The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.” (Alan Watts, British philosopher). How can this sentence apply to you? Do you accept change or do you fight it?
Arguably, one of the biggest changes we have seen in the business industry within the last few years is social media. Social media has been around for a fair while now but the importance of it crept up on us and it soon became a standardised service that marketers were offering. After understanding the importance of social media, more and more businesses slowly but surely started investing in it. However there are still a lot of business leaders that do not see the value of it and refuse to even look at it.
Nowadays there are so many social media platforms available that it almost becomes overwhelming for the user to know which to use. Could this be the reason business leaders are not keen to interest in social media? Too much choice? If that is the reason for you then here’s a quick summary of the main social media platforms that we use for ourselves and our clients.
– A good platform for consumer based clients. Using engaging techniques like posting tips or posting photos you can really interact with your audience and enforce your brand. Facebook can also be very effective for events as you can set up an Facebook event, send out invites and gain a following.
– This micro blogging website allows you to post updates (no bigger than a 140 characters) and retain an audience. Twitter is a brilliant platform to show off your expertise and start a conversation that could lead to work.
– LinkedIn is the host to a thriving business community from around the world. Depending on your business you can engage and interact with people in your local area. Through LinkedIn you can start discussions to a mass audience, share expertise and gain valuable advice through other members.
– YouTube is a video sharing website, you can upload, watch and share videos from all around the world. Videos can prove to be a vital part of business so uploading them to a site visited by millions of people a day can prove very effective.
This list goes on and on but these are some of the main social media platforms that we use. We are always looking at other social media platforms and keeping up to date with the new updates or new platforms. The ones listed – among others, have proven to be the most effective for us and our clients.
Remember that using social media does not mean posting updates about what you had for breakfast, or what you thought of the latest football scores. It’s a marketing tool that you can use to improve your relationship with your clients and show professionalism and expertise to potential clients. It is also another platform to use to get relevant people to visit to your website/get in contact with you and then convert them to a client/customer. So instead of battling with change, just accept it and join the dance.
For more information on social media or if you would like further tips on how to use it in business, send me an email. Does your business use social media? If so what social media websites does your business use and which ones are effective? Facebook? Twitter? LinkedIn?
‘People buy people’ is a phrase you’ve probably heard more times than you need to, but when you sell a service it really is important. I’d like to share a story with you, to show you how important it is to develop a good reputation in business.
A few months ago my friend Mandy moved to a new job. She went to a different industry but within the same town, so kept going to the same networking meetings. Because she’d been networking in the local area for some time, it was easy for her to stand up and talk about the new job and business, because people already knew her. She might have changed jobs but she hadn’t changed – she was still the same reliant, efficient, well connected person. She was doing a great job of raising the profile of a local business that many people didn’t know about, because no one from the business went networking.
After being in her new job for just a couple of months, Mandy told me that she had smashed the sales targets she’d been given. Her job is mainly about handling enquiries that come into the business and converting them into sales. How did she manage to do this, having been in the job for such a short time? Mandy is a people person, so instead of just sending a standard reply to email enquiries, she picks up the phone and speaks to people. She talks them through the options, to help them decide on the best service for them. She’s converted a lot of small jobs – ones that her customers tell her they could have got cheaper elsewhere – because she takes the time to speak to her customers and get to know them. They tell her that they’re giving her company the work because she’s put in the effort. Making a quick phone call doesn’t take up much more time than sending an email and doesn’t cost much more – and it has much better results for Mandy.
So do people really buy people? When you’re selling a service, rather than a product, then yes they do. You need build up your reputation – in your industry or local area – and really get to know your potential customers. When you can do that, you’ll find it much easier to find new clients.
What can you do to improve your reputation and help people buy ‘you’?
I meet a lot of social media ‘experts’. At least they tell me they are experts. When I ask how long they’ve been doing social media, the answer is usually about a year! In my book, to become an expert you need many years of experience in a field; to have seen it from all angles and to have worked out the best way of doing it.
The problem I see with social media ‘experts’ is that they know a bit about some tools, but not how to create a plan that works. They jump into recommending something without looking at it long term or in relation to other marketing. Here are some tips on how you can do this for your social media and your business.
Successful marketing starts with a plan and the same applies to social media.
1. Where are you now? Start with looking at where your business is now – how much do you know about social media, how much do you use it, how much time do you have for it and what’s been successful? If you’ve not used social media tools before, or you don’ think you’ll have time, you might need to look for someone who can help you. If you’re using social media tools but you don’t know what’s working effectively, stop and measure your activity before you go any further – you really need to know what’s working and what isn’t before you spend any more time and money.
2. Where do you want to be? Too many people start using social media tools without clear objectives. What do you want to achieve? If you want to increase your sales, develop an online presence or build a strong reputation, you’ll need different tools and tactics. Until you’re clear where you want to go, you won’t know the best way to get there.
3. Who are your ideal clients? Who do you really want to work with? Be specific so you can find the places where your target market hangs out. Too many people try a bit of everything with social media, without thinking about where their potential clients are and how to reach them.
4. What are the best tools to use? Once you’ve worked through the first three stages above, you’ll have a clearer idea of which tools to use. Don’t be tempted to ‘have a go’ at different social media tools without doing this planning. Only then is it safe to look at the different tools available. Create a short-list of the ones you want to use and before you make any final decisions, look at each one in relation to these areas:
- Who will do it? You’ll know from the first stage of the planning process if you’re the right person to do your social media. If you love writing, are full of ideas and have the time, then it’s over to you. Otherwise, look for people who can help.
- How much will it cost? If you can do it yourself, the only cost is your time. If you need help, there will be a cost to set up your social media tools and costs to keep them going. Think about how much you can afford to spend and how much you can save by paying someone who can do it more quickly than you.
- How long will it take? This is in relation to getting the work done and how long it takes to get results. Remember that even though social media happens quickly, you might not get the results you want over night.
When you’ve looked at your short-list of social media tools in terms of who, how much, what return and how long, you can be selective and pick the tools that will work for your business. Don’t do everything – it’s better to do a few things really well. Spend some time planning your social media before you rush in and you’ll get much better returns for your time and your budget.
And then let me know how you get on!
Rainbows of Newbury is a lovely little craft shop (in Newbury, Berkshire.) It’s a treasure trove of all things crafty – things to cut out and stick down, or stick on, or paint or patchwork. One of the owners of Rainbows, Fiona, was telling me how she regularly moves things around inside the shop and the amazing effect it has. She can have something on display in a basket for months and not sell any. Then she moves the basket to a different position in the shop and people who have been coming in on a regular basis see the basket. “I didn’t know you sold these,” they tell her and they start to buy them!
Rainbows has only been open since the end of 2012 and already it’s building up a number of loyal customers who keep coming back. By moving things around inside the little shop, Fiona can encourage her customers to buy something they’ve not bought before, simply because they haven’t seen it. She told me how she assumed that because they’d been into the shop a few times, they knew what she was selling. But that’s not necessarily the case. Things get overlooked – especially in a shop that’s full of all sorts of lovely things to distract you! If Fiona’s customers know there will be different things to buy or try out the next time they visit, they’ll keep coming back.
You’ve probably heard the phrase ‘your website is your shop window’. It’s the online way of showing customers what you do and what they can buy from you. If they come once and don’t see what they’re looking for, you need to encourage them to come back another time. How do you keep them coming back? By moving things around. Try putting your ‘products’ in a different place in your ‘shop’. Find different ways of displaying them, to catch the eye of your visitors. Just like Fiona in her shop, you don’t actually have to give your customers something new to buy every time they visit – just think about different ways of displaying what you’re already selling. Add content that explains in more detail the benefits of your service. Put up a client testimonial or case study to show how other people use your service. Write a blog that will give people ideas on how they can use what you sell.
Treat your website like the shop window it is for your business and just like Rainbows, you’ll be able to create a loyal base of customers who keep coming back and keep buying from you.
If you want to know about Rainbows, you can find them at www.Facebook.com/RainbowsOfNewbury.