Archive for the ‘Social Media’ Category

Key Learnings from my Four Favourite Business Books

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One of the main problems with reading a constant stream of business books is that each comes multitude of different ideas and strategies.

Obviously, it is impossible to take every idea and implement them into your business – no small business owner has the time or capacity to do so.

Instead, I have experimented with various strategies over time to see what will work for me (and what doesn’t). Through this experimentation, I’ve found that each of my favourite books has a key learning that I use in my everyday business life. In this blog, I’ll share those learnings with you…

Books to Read

“The Compound Effect” by Darren Hardy

The main premise of Hardy’s book is common sense when you stop and think about it. Each day, we constantly make small, inconspicuous decisions that shape the outcomes that we achieve in our lives. By making incremental changes to these decisions, we can achieve any goal that we set for ourselves – in health, family or business.

For example, if we consciously plan to add one extra social media marketing post into our daily business routine, we will reap the benefits down the track as our online footprint will be much larger than it is today – all because of the compounding effect of that small change we made.

“18 Minutes” by Peter Bregman

The key take-away point that I found in “18 Minutes” is to devote a small amount of time each day ensuring that the focus of your daily tasks is aligned with your overall objectives.

The “18 minutes” is used when you devote:

  • Five minutes at the start of business to clarify that all planned work is aligned with your overall objectives.
  • One minute at the start of each business hour double-checking that focus is adhered to.
  • Five minutes at the close of business determining the following day’s outline and plan.

“The E-Myth Revisited” by Michael E. Gerber

Gerber, through an engaging narrative style, encourages his readers to establish their businesses in a franchise-style – just like McDonalds – regardless of their size or employee numbers. He believes that through the creation and use of Operations Manuals, a business can provide quality and consistent service at all times, regardless of the employee delivering that service.

One thing that makes this book stand out to me is the multitude of real-life examples that Gerber uses throughout to illustrate his ideas and teachings. The book is very easy to read (almost in one sitting) and it makes you want to “spring into action” after you close the final page.

“Getting Things Done” by David Allen

Known as GTD, the process outlined in this book is almost gospel to some people. Once implemented, GTD helps shape the way you organise and complete tasks, anywhere in your life. It is so popular in fact that several software apps have been specifically designed to cater for devotees of the GTD method.

However, the GTD process wasn’t the main take-away for me. I was engaged by the phrase – “Your mind is for having ideas – not storing them”. Every day, so many things pass through our brains, it is impossible to mentally store each one away for further contemplation or action later. Rather than lose any ideas, I now keep a constant supply of Post-It notes close by and record anything and everything. The notes are then stuck to my computer screen for later processing.

In conclusion, please remember that these books have far more to offer than just the learnings that I have outlined above and I heartily encourage all small business owners to read each book. Take notes as you do – on post-it notes of course.

If you do come away with something totally different from one of the above books, let me know by leaving a comment at the bottom of this Blog…

How to Revitalise a Boring Website for the New Year

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New Years ResolutionsThe New Year always feels the right time to make changes – either in our own personal lives or in what we do throughout the year.

Some people resolve to lose weight, others want to quit a bad habit and some might just want to be better with their finances. It’s a perfect time to hit the “reset” button and start over with whatever we want to achieve.

So why not put together a News Year’s Resolution for your weary small business website?

There’s no better time than the present to take that old, tired website and give it a little bit of “love and commitment”. It’s not hard to breathe new life into a dead website and give your target audience what they need – an easy way to find and engage with your business.

Commit the time to make it WORK

Contrary to the belief of some small business owners, a website is not a guaranteed magic bullet for business success. Too many people believe that once a site is online, everything else will happen by “natural” causes. Nothing could be further from the truth – your site may not even be noticed by Google if you don’t put some effort in to get some attention.

Set aside a small chunk of your time each day (or a larger chunk each week) and commit yourself to making your site a success. The amount of time is up to you but this time should be spent on creating new content for your visitors, optimising your site for search engines, gathering customer testimonials for display or any range of website-related tasks. Try something new every week.

Get Some Inbound Love

Inbound LoveIf your site is low on inbound traffic, use your existing industry connections to turn it around in 2017.

You can reach out to your connections in a variety of ways: – through your blog (as we do every couple of weeks), your social media promotions, viral videos (with your web address clearly displayed), email newsletters or even your local newspaper. Anywhere there is an opportunity to create a connection.

Whatever the method you choose – the end-goal is always to boost the online traffic heading into your website so be sure to provide an inbound link in each situation.

Add Value for your Visitors

Once you’ve got visitors coming to your site (inboard), the trick is to keep them satisfied and make them want to return again and again.

The key to this step is answering this simple question – “Why are they coming?”

Nine times out of ten your visitors will be looking to somehow engage with your business. They will be looking for help on using your services, or maybe some more information on your products or, our favourite, just wanting to make a purchase?

Once you have worked out why customers are coming to your site, the next bit is simple –
Give ‘em what they want!

Freshen up that tired old site.

Freshen up that tired old siteThe final step in giving your website a new lease on life in 2017 involves stepping back and taking a cold-hard look at the current state of your site.

Use these questions as a guide: –

  • Does my site look like it belongs to a previous decade (maybe the 90’s)?
  • Is the site “responsive” to viewing on tablets and smart phones?
  • Are my key offerings easy to access and immediately identifiable?
  • Does my business brand match my online presence?
  • Do I offer helpful content to my site visitors? Do I give them value?
  • Can people find my website?

Providing the solution to each of these questions and implementing them on your website will put your site in a prime position for online success in 2017.

Good Luck and Happy New Year!

If your small business website needs any help to make your New Year’s Resolution a reality, get in touch with us at Rusty Mango Design and let’s make 2017 the best year for your website yet!

Does your Small Business even need a Website?

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Does your Small Business even need a Website?Yes.

Simple answer, isn’t it?

Oh, you still need more convincing?

Alright then – here’s ten good reasons why your small business needs to get its act together and get an online presence:

#1– The World’s largest Consumer Base

Over 3.2 billion people use the internet in some form on a regular basis, and from that enormous number, it is estimated that at least 80% have purchased goods or services online. That’s roughly 2.6 billion potential customers for you!

Any small business without an effective website is missing out on their piece of the action.

#2 – The Digital Consumer

The internet is now 25 years old – some of your potential customers don’t know a world without it. Your business needs a web presence to engage with the modern digital consumer – they are unlikely to look for you anywhere else.

#3– You can be Available 24/7

Consumers expect to have information accessible to them around the clock from a variety of sources and this includes from your business. A website makes you available 24/7 (even while you are asleep) to provide information, product help and online sales.

#4 – Engage with your Customers

A website helps you connect with your customers on an almost social level. You can communicate through the comments of a Blog (like this one), a website forum that you moderate or via the many channels of Social Media that are available for use. A simple social connection can often be the key to a successful business relationship.

#5– Create a Hub for your Marketing

Got a new product that you want to shout about to the world? Unleash the marketing power of the internet and spread the word like wildfire using your website as the hub and Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn as the tools to “hook” people in.

#6 – Customer Support

Reduce the number of customer support calls to your small business with the inclusion of “Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)” page on your website. For more sticky problems that need one-on-one attention, integrate a ticketing system on the site that can be answered promptly by your staff.

#7 – Match it with the “Big Guys”

With a solid online strategy and a well-built website that people can find easily, your business can take on the larger corporations at their own game. On face value, the internet is a great leveller of the playing field – you don’t need the large payroll or a skyscraper in a capital city to make an impact.

#8– Instant Credibility

A professional website with the right information allows your business to attain instant credibility in the eyes of both your potential customers and other businesses. A quick online search by these people could quite easily be the deal maker or breaker, depending on what they find online.

# 9 – Physical Phone Directories are DEAD

 If you need any proof of this, take note that both the Yellow Pages and Local Directories are now offering website services. This hasn’t stopped them still charging an absolute mint for listing in their telephone books however, by branching out, they have acknowledged that online is where the modern consumer is looking for goods and services.

#10 – Build an Audience for your Business

Even if your customers are not in the market right now, an online presence allows you to keep their attention so that when they do need something, your business will be “front of mind”. Social Media, email newsletters, podcasts and video tutorials are just some of the ways you can continue to engage with your customers until they need you again.

Put simply – if you want to grow your business in today’s digital age, it needs a website. Considering the continual evolution of our online population and the growth of businesses who are on the Internet, it could be expensive for your business NOT to have a website.

I’ll bet that your competitors do.

If this article has helped you make a decision about your business’ online presence, get in touch with Rusty Mango Design for a free website development quote.

The power of a #Hashtag

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The Power of a HashtagTwitter, the 140 word social media platform, has been with us since 2006 and one could excused for thinking that the #hashtag has been with us just as long. However the first tweets that featured a #hashtag actually appeared a year later when user Chris Messina decided to create a method of grouping like-minded tweets into the same clusters.

Nowadays, the #hashtag is an integral part of Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and even Facebook. It can be used as a powerful tool for online marketing and any business owner who wants to drive their social media marketing on to success need to master their usage.

Choosing the right #hashtag to engage with your target audience needs some thought and practice. They are very similar to the keywords that are used in conjunction with search engines to find a website, if the wrong words are chosen then the results won’t point towards your business and you risk missing out on potential engagements.

Thankfully, it is not too hard to select #hashtags that will work for you. Here’s some simple items to consider when using #hashtags on your Social Media marketing:

  • Ensure that the #hashtag is relevant to the topic. Don’t be obtuse.
  • Take a look around the web and use #hashtags that are already in circulation. This doesn’t mean that you can’t create your own but commonly used tags have already got a “readership”.
  • When creating unique #hashtags, use words that will directly link back to your business. For example, if I were tagging marketing memes, I could start a “trend” with #rustysmarketingmemes. Watch that you don’t be too broad, as tags can be hijacked, leading to detrimental effects for your business.

The perfect mix for #hashtags in any single Social Media commentary is between one and two. Any more and research has shown there is a 17% drop in engagement. That said, #hashtags in your tweets, posts and pins increase the chances of your message being passed along to others. You’ll also be surprised as to how many followers you will attain – people monitor for hashtags rather than tweets.

At the end of the day, as with any Social Media, there is an inherent risk involved. Don’t share anything in your posts (along with those hashtags) that may have a negative effect on your business or personal life. Think before you post/tweet.

As already stated, the #hashtag is a powerful tool and can be made to work for your business. Smart companies like Black Milk Clothing have built themselves successfully through smart Social Media marketing and there is no reason other businesses can’t follow in their footsteps. Integrate a Social Media plan featuring the use of clever #hashtags with your regular business website and help your online traffic grow.

 

Make Twitter work for your business

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Make Twitter work for your businessA huge chunk of the Social Media focus, especially in business terms, is given to either Facebook or LinkedIn. Poor little Twitter is often seen as the outsider. However, if you are looking to build your credibility and influence in the online world, there can be quite a bit of power in those 140 characters. The trick is to wield that power in such a way that you can build a following that works for you.

Below are a selection of tips that the small business owner can use with (and around) Twitter to create a following that will drive customers inbound to your website and ultimately, your business.

Tip #1 – Become a Tweeter worth following:

  • Whenever you are tweeting, be sure to post a variety of information that is relevant to your target audience. Create a mix of links, quotes, latest news, blog titles and retweets so that your followers can expect something a little different each time.
  • If someone follows you on Twitter, repeat the favour. As soon as they hook with up your Twitter, check out their profile and click their FOLLOW button. You may need to jettison them sometime in the future but, who knows, they might have an audience that you can reach into.
  • Always use hashtags to help your followers and potential audience find what they are looking for. With over 6000 tweets being sent out every second, hashtags allow followers to keep their Twitter viewing relevant.

Tip #2 – Get Visible

  • As detailed in the previous tip, searching is a great way to find other Twitter users in your industry’s area. Use this to seek out KPI’s (Key People of Influence) and industry commentators that you can follow. Two upsides for this trick: you’ll often find great content to retweet or repurpose for your own followers and, you may just score a “celebrity” follower – giving your own tweets more exposure (“Hey, guess who follows me now?”).
  • Don’t pretend to be the only source of information on Twitter – retweet the posts from others that you have found useful. The original poster will notice this action and may follow.  Plus your audience will benefit from someone else’s experience that you share.
  • For maximum exposure of your Twitter efforts, be sure to publish your Twitter tag everywhere (@RustyMango). Put it on your business cards, banners, signage, web sites and any traditional advertising so that you can get the Twitter conversation started.

Tip #3 – Act Strategically

  • Make sure your site has a Twitter FOLLOW button. If your site is built on WordPress, there are many excellent plugins that can help (https://wordpress.org/plugins/twitter-tweets-button/) or, alternatively, manually code the button into your site https://about.twitter.com/resources/buttons ). Your site designer can help with this.
  • Offer value to your Twitter followers with the occasional voucher or coupon – exclusive just to them. Roscoes Piazza in Innisfail does this on some slow nights (“Guess how many boxes are stacked in the store tonight. Closest number wins a free family pizza!”)
  • Twitter only allows a maximum of 2000 people that you can follow at any one time. That is quite a hefty number however, if you find yourself going close, make sure that you unfollow anyone who doesn’t follow you in return. Of course, make an exception for those on Twitter who provide you with worthwhile industry-specific tweets that you can pass on.

To keep a handle on all this Twitter action, use browser add-ons like Tweetdeck or Hootsuite. These two “programs” will allow you to tweet, monitor your account, view retweets of your content and provide an easy way to regularly work on your Twitter campaign.

Make it a habit to tweet/retweet every day – it will keep you abreast of worthwhile content and information from around the web and help to establish yourself as an industry leader in the eyes of your followers.  

How to choose the right Social Media for your Business

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Social MediaWhen it comes to choosing a suitable social media platform for your small business, there is no shortage of options. But with most business owners being enthusiasm rich but time poor, not every single one can be covered. In an ideal world, the small business owner would be able look into each and every social media channel and determine which would deliver the best results for them.

There are a whole range of factors that determine the success of a particular social media for you: your products / services, human resources, audience and financial resources all need to be taken into account.

Let’s look at the five big ones that may be useful for your business:

Google +

Google Boss Larry Page has trumpeted the growth of Google+ at every opportunity but you need to wary of this – his company has made “membership” of Google+ mandatory for usage of Gmail and Youtube. Apart from this, who actually uses Google+? I tried for a short time but found that the circles concept is fundamentally flawed to reach a larger audience with update posts.

On the plus side, Google+ is powered by Google so it isn’t disappearing without a fight. It’s also intrinsically linked to Google search so there may be benefits to some benefits in that one fact alone.

You, like me, may need to test this one out for yourself.

Instagram

Essentially an image sharing platform, Instagram is slightly more suitable for business than the other image sharer platform, Pinterest, through its clever use of hashtags and plugin integration. Whereas Pinterest allows people to collect images that are of interest to them, Instagram can be integrated directly into business websites allowing site owners to draw in real-time content from their own customers.

A great example is used in online fashion stores – with a simple WordPress plugin, a site owner can display their products as worn by their customers – after purchase! The customer simply has to take a photo and upload to their own Instagram account with a suitable hashtag. The website detects this tag and displays the image in the online shop. What a great way to show your products in use by everyday people – not shop models!

Instagram is great for businesses with a teen/young adult market – they are all over this!

LinkedIn

LinkedIn has been designed from the ground up to cater for the Business to Business market. At current, over 2.7 million businesses are represented on the platform but it may not suit your needs if you cater to the public consumer.

If your small business provides services to other businesses (large or small), LinkedIn is ideal for creating connections within your industry. By simply “connecting” with one person, a whole spider web of possibilities opens up to you. Your connections still need to approve your invite to connect, but this is lot more personable than a cold call.

Facebook

Facebook is the one Social Media that everyone knows and everyone is on. Luckily for business, it is fantastic no matter what service you provide or products you sell. If there is one social media you must be on, in my opinion, this is it.

Facebook not only allows businesses to build a fan-based community around their brand but it also enables the business owner to directly target their ideal audience. Is your target audience 15 year old boys who love to surf and skateboard? Facebook has them covered. What about pregnant 30 year old mums? Too easy.
By ensuring that users enter information about themselves, Facebook can specifically target these audiences.

You can boost your posts on Facebook through the usage of paid advertisements or, in the initial period, try it out with your own audience (people who click LIKE on your website).

Twitter

Another must in the Social Media arsenal for business owners, Twitter is great for a whole range of reasons. You can use it to start or participate in trending topics (once again using hashtags), both locally and worldwide. Better still, you can graphically the trends across the world.

Announce your latest news, products, blog posts and anything else you want to share, instantly. Start instant competitions for your business with no need for outside promotion (great for those times when business is slow).

Hashtags are the key. Before posting anything on Twitter, do a quick hashtag check (I use Tweetdeck) and see if there is a similar tag that you can use. This way, you will “hook” into a movement that has already started.

On top of the five mentioned above, there are many more Social Media channels to choose from, including the popular Foursquare, YouTube and Pinterest options.
When choosing the platforms that you want to use, don’t forget that nothing is set in stone. If, six months down the track, you decide to try something else, there is no barrier to stop you.

Just remember that as a small business, being on too many platforms can spread you out too thin, effecting your productivity and results. Hopefully, armed with the information written above, you can make an informed decision on which platforms to focus on to help boost your business.

Why IS your business on Facebook?

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Why IS your business on Facebook?Facebook is a powerful force in the online marketing world, easily second only to Google. You won’t find a member of Gen Y who isn’t using it and, over the past couple of years, Facebook’s “mature” user base has grown considerably. This growth is continuing with the increasing use of the platform by businesses around the world. The general attitude towards FB is becoming “if you are in business, you must be on Facebook.”

But why? If your business is only doing Facebook because “that’s what the others are doing”, then you might just be wasting your time.

But a small business owner doesn’t have any time to waste!

You should only get into Facebook if you have established a real goal for doing so. Your particular business’ goal for entering the world of Facebook could be to:

Humanise your business and brand in the eyes of your customer.

Genuine interactions and their associated connections are integral to any form of Social Media and Facebook is no different. It allows a business to put a human face to a brand that people can actually relate to. Through Facebook, your business can engage in one on one conversation with customers, share tricks and tips about your industry or display your latest wares after a customer has bought them, encouraging others to do the same. These types of “relationships” with your customers, draws them closer to you and much more likely to use your services or purchase your products.

Get people talking about your business.

The average user has, on average, 130 Facebook friends to share with. Imagine what could happen if you could get in front of those 130. If your brand is compatible with these people and engages with them, they might just LIKE you as well!

If only ten from that number decide to LIKE you, pure mathematics shows that the growth of your exposure would be exponential (10 x 10 x 10 x 10…..). There is no other (free) marketing method that can match this. Facebook also has paid options that can expose your brand to even more around the globe.

Directly target your ideal demographic.

Facebook knows everything about you. In your profile, you have entered your location, age, hobbies, even your favourite brands in some cases. A user would be naive to think that Mark Zuckerberg only wanted this information to help you share with your friends. Zuckerberg wants this information so that his company can sell targeted advertising.

As a business with a little advertising cash to spend, this is a golden opportunity. With such detailed information on hand and using Facebook’s paid advertising, a business can market more directly than ever before. For example, if you wanted to target expectants mothers, aged between 20 and 25 who live on the Sunshine Coast, you can. Your business information, once you set up an advertising account with Facebook, will appear on the pages of your exact target audience.

Put your business in front of your customers every day.

Even if you don’t opt to pay for advertising on Facebook, once a (potential) customer has liked you, any posts that you make on your Facebook business page will automatically appear on their feed. Don’t abuse this by posting multiple items a day (which will lose your following) and you have a “friend” for life.

Continue to offer conversation and social interaction, build that relationship up and you have a client who won’t look elsewhere for your goods and services.  A branded Facebook page is a very powerful way to expand your audience and increase the overall awareness of your business online.

#BeSmart when using #Hashtags

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How to use a HashtagTwitter, the 140 word social media platform, has been with us since 2006 and one could excused for thinking that the #hashtag has been with us just as long. However the first tweets that featured a #hashtag actually appeared a year later when user Chris Messina decided to create a method of grouping like-minded tweets into the same clusters.

Nowadays, the #hashtag is an integral part of Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and even Facebook. It can be used as a powerful tool for online marketing and any business owner who wants to drive their social media marketing on to success need to master their usage.

Choosing the right #hashtag to engage with your target audience needs some thought and practice. They are very similar to the keywords that are used in conjunction with search engines to find a website, if the wrong words are chosen then the results won’t point towards your business and you risk losing potential clients.

Thankfully, it is not too hard to select #hashtags that will work for you. Here’s some simple items to consider when using #hashtags on your Social Media marketing:

  • Ensure that the #hashtag is relevant to the topic. Don’t be obtuse.
  • Take a look around the web and use #hashtags that are already in circulation. This doesn’t mean that you can’t create your own but commonly used tags have already got a “readership”.
  • When creating unique #hashtags, use words that will directly link back to your business. For example, if I were tagging marketing memes, I could start a “trend” with #rustysmarketingmemes. Watch that you don’t be too broad, as tags can be hijacked, leading to detrimental effects for your business.

The perfect mix for #hashtags in any single Social Media commentary is between one and two. Any more and research has shown there is a 17% drop in engagement. That said, #hashtags in your tweets, posts and pins increase the chances of your message being passed along to others.

At the end of the day, as with any Social Media, there is an inherent risk involved. Don’t share anything in your posts (along with those hashtags) that may have a negative effect on your business or personal life. Think before you post/tweet.

As already stated, the #hashtag is a powerful tool and can be made to work for your business. Smart companies like Black Milk Clothing have built themselves successfully through smart Social Media marketing and there is no reason other businesses can’t follow in their footsteps. Integrate a Social Media plan featuring the use of clever #hashtags with your regular business website and help your online traffic grow.

 

Week 3 of 52 – Why Teens leaving Facebook could be great for Business

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FacebookResearch has found that a huge chunk of Facebook’s user base has started to desert the popular social platform in droves. Recognised by Facebook’s own C.F.O. David Ebersman in October 2013, this information has now been backed up by the 2014 Facebook Demographic Report created by digital marketing agency, iStrategyLabs.

According to the report, over three million teenagers have left Facebook in the past three years and that number continues to grow. In contrast, relatively new kids on the block, Snapchat and Instagram, appear to be growing user numbers at an extraordinary rate.

Facebook does not appear to be too worried about this data and neither should you, as the social media savvy small business owner.

Why?

Let’s face it, previously with so many teenagers on board, Facebook has had an image problem with a large percentage of adults who have chosen to stay away from the platform. This is largely due to bad press that Facebook generates and the media’s influence on the decision-making choices of our adult population.

To be truthful, you rarely hear of the positive side of the Facebook network. Online bullying is rife, teen suicides have been attributed to Facebook attacks and even here, in my home town of Innisfail, there have been huge family feuds/fights all based around what has been written to Facebook.

However, the winds of change are beginning to blow across the Facebook platform and it appears that the demographic is starting to mature. In the same timeframe that saw those three million teenagers leave, Facebook has gained 28 million adults in the in the age bracket 25-54.

This can only be good for your business.

These adults represent the majority of any target market for any business. Children and teenagers definitely have influence on purchases in a household, but the most potential for sales in products and services always lies with the adults – the ones with the real money to invest or purchase from your business.

And with so many more adults coming onboard the Facebook juggernaut, it will continue to grow at a phenomenal rate as the word gets around. For any business utilising Facebook, this will mean that they are more likely to hit the demographic that will actually buy their product. Facebook advertising will no longer be hit and miss.

Facebook is already used as a powerful marketing tool for the teen market. Now, with the increase of adult users, it has a chance to become a serious contender in the same way with the “more-mature” side of the purchasing public. Although there is still room for improvement, don’t be mistaken into thinking that Facebook is going to “fade away” any time soon.

Podcast #7 – Social Media – Which is best for your business?

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In the ever-changing online world, one thing seems to be staying consistent and that is the continual development of Social Media.  Rather than being a fad that will go away, Social Media is a growth industry and the main players have evolved to suit the changing nature of their users.

As a business, you need to be crazy not to incorporate some form of Social Media into your marketing strategy. But which ones are suitable for your business? You could take an all-bases attitude and have each one covered however if you are “flying solo” like me, this can take a considerable chunk of your time away from the key roles in your business.

Let’s have a look at the top four, how they are used and whether they are suitable for business use:

#1 – Facebook

The big Daddy. Great for socially engaging with your customers and can be used in effective ways to market your business and study your clientele. For example, Black Milk Clothing uses their Facebook page as an integral part of their strategy to gather information from their clients, what they are choosing to wear and what they want to purchase next.  If your client is strictly B2B (business to business), Facebook probably won’t be of much use to you because you need social information about (or interaction with) your customers.

Suitable for: Businesses that provide personal services and required social interaction.

#2 – Twitter

Twitter allows the user to generate instantaneous news updates about their business and the industry that are being catered for. It also can be used to great effect in establishing oneself as an expert in a field and a key person of influence. Stephanie Sullivan, a leading web programmer and advocate of the online world, uses Twitter regularly to post news and her latest information. Through her consistent, quality tweets, she has managed to create a following of thousands. This popularity has led to Stephanie becoming a sort-after key note speaker at conferences around the world.

Suitable for:  Solo Operators and Businesses.

#3 – Google+

Google+ is very similar to Facebook in some ways and very different in others. From a business perspective, being able to group your clients into your business circle only allows you to use the same social media platform for both work and play. It does not have the same magnitude of users as Facebook, however being backed by one of the biggest companies in the world ensures that it will not go quietly into the night. Its user base grows every day and, a big plus, has a great integration with Google Hangouts.

Suitable for: Businesses who need to network with other professionals.

#4 – Linked In

Linked-In is generally known as the professional’s network and it allows businesses to link individuals who can come from a wide variety of fields. For example, on my Linked-In profile, I have links to a number of my clients. However the real value comes from links to mutually beneficial professionals that support my field of business such as copywriters, printers and business coaches. Linked-In’s usage can be a little slow to start but builds great momentum once you gain a few professionals in your network.

Suitable for: All types of businesses once the initial network has been established. It is just the thing for B2B networking.

#5 – What else is out there?

Try Youtube for a new type of Social Media. If you are unsure of its capabilities, take a read of Gary Vaynerchuk’s “Crush it!” – and you will discover a whole new power to Youtube.

 

In conclusion, there is just one question that you need to ask yourself before signing on for any Social Media for your business: What is your ideal client using? Hopefully, after you have read the above and evaluated each of the platforms, you should be able to determine the answer to this if you know your clients fairly well.

If not, a very simple step could be to ask your clients the next time you interact with them,  or alternatively, make the enquiry part of your initial research into any new customers. Social Media must not be ignored; it has too many benefits and can help you drive your business up to the next level in its marketing effectiveness.

 

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Rusty Mango Design

Rusty Mango Design