Google+ for Business – Three Reasons You Need To Be Here

Social Media can be hard. Really hard. There are so many different platforms and it can be hard to keep track. If you aren’t already using it I am going to add another one to the list – Google+. There are three major reasons I recommend Google+ (the main one being that it is owned by Google!) Here are three reasons to start getting more active with Google+ 1. Google+ Affects Your Search Results – Google themselves have said that Google+ affects search results. If you are on Google+ it will affect your rankings and whether your business is found. “Think of your Google+ page as your brand hub. Your page, along with your profile image and recent posts, is eligible to show on the right-hand side of our results when relevant to a customer’s search. Relevant posts can also show up within search results for your page’s followers.” 2. Google+ Gives You Access To Excellent Video Conferencing and Streaming – In my opinion, the best feature of Google+ is the hangouts. Run 10 way video conferences, stream and share information with clients. It’s a great (and free) way to interact with your customers face to face. If you connect your hangout with a YouTube account 3. Google+ Gives you access to great analytics – There is no point being active on a Social Media channel if you are not tracking your results. Otherwise you are just wasting your time. Google+ Analytics can integrate with your traditional Google Analytics so you can see how Google+ is adding value to your business. You can find out more information here. Whilst...

LinkedIn for Business – 5 Top Tips for Success

LinkedIn is one of the most popular social networking platforms out there. It is also one of the most poorly used platforms in my opinion. it seems littered with people who have set  up profiles, made connections and done nothing further with their account. I asked a question of LinkedIn usage on another social networking group today and got some interesting responses – from “I don’t get it” to “LinkedIn is pointless.” LinkedIn is definitely not pointless.   This article cannot possibly extol all the virtues of LinkedIn but I am going to share with you 5 tips to boost your chances of success.   Make sure your profile is filled out with a professional looking photo – LinkedIn is ostensibly a social networking platform but it is for business professionals. A nice corporate headshot works well on LinkedIn. You can use a picture of your wedding  photo or a holiday sap on Facebook but you should avoid this temptation on LinkedIn. if you want to be taken seriously you have to be serious with your profile. Be strategic with Connections – Who you connect with is a strategic decision. Personally I will connect with anyone and everyone if they ask me, but I won’t go out of my way to connect with people I don’t know – unless I ask for an introduction first. When making an approach for a connection on LinkedIn make an effort to change the default text in the invite. Tell people why you are trying to connect and what you hope to achieve by connecting with them. Make your profile interesting –  Don’t...

Facebook for Business – 3 Steps to Success.

This article is about Facebook Pages. I am not going to talk about groups or personal profiles, although we will discuss these at a later date. The article is about using Facebook for Business and the 3 steps required for success. If you follow these steps you improve your chances of success and will be able to better reach and engage with your target market. The 3 steps for success are outlined below: Building your Facebook Page – Without a Facebook Page, you will struggle for success on Facebook. You need to build your page and update it regularly.  You need to create a cover photo, have an image as your page’s profile picture and make sure the about us section is filled in correctly. There are some rules about Facebook Cover images and you need to ensure that you follow these rules. Successful Facebook Page updates are short and visual (you need to use lots of images for a successful Facebook Page so if you are not proficient with Photoshop you need to engage someone who is. Facebook also provides you with useful insights so you can quickly learn what is the best time of day to schedule a post for peak interaction with Fans. It is important that you also set up your own Facebook unique URL.  You can go to facebook.com/username to set this up. Connect & Engage – Once you have created a page, you need Fans for your page. There are a number of ways that you can get Fans. You can invite friends and family, you can send emails to existing clients and...

Twitter Hashtags. Some Do’s and Don’ts

Are you on Twitter? Are you sometimes confused by some tweets that people put out where particlular words or acronyms are proceeded by a #. Hashtags are a useful tool on Twitter and a way Twitter account holders can better manage tweets and conversations. Twitter Hashtags are a useful tool for your business if used correctly. In this article I want to share with you some does and don’ts when it comes to Hashtags. Used effectively, hashtags are a great networking tool and can help find you new clients and prospects. Used badly and you will likely end up turning people off and alienating potential customers. Hashtags help to catalogue tweets about particular topics. They may be tweets around a conference or event, they may be tweets associated with a particular sporting event or they may be tweets around politics. Twitter Chats are also popular. A Twitter chat is a real time conversation whereby each tweet uses a particular hashtag so participants know you want to be part of the conversation. One of my personal favourites is #ozsbchat. This is a regular twitter conversation for Australian Small Business Owners. If you want to add some hashtags to your tweets here are some tips I would suggest: 1. Make sure the hashtag is relevant – There is nothing wrong with adding a Hashtag to a tweet, but make sure it is relevant to what you are talking about. 2. Make sure you participate in the conversation – if people are chatting around a particular topic and it is trending, don’t just add links and tweets to the conversation. Participate by...

Fan Engagement – What Business Can Learn from Sport

Customer Engagement is critical, and businesses can learn a lot from sport. Let’s face it, a Fan is better than a customer. Fans have an emotional attachment to a brand. Sporting teams create fans but they are also, in essence, businesses. We can learn a lot from these brands. For example, I am a fan of the Essendon Football Club. 2013 has been an emotional roller coaster for Essendon Fans. But I am still a member and I will be a member next season. I will still by merchandise and still attend games. I will stand up for my team when others criticise them. Don’t you want people to have this emotional reaction to your business? Wouldn’t it be good to have some Fans in your corner if something goes wrong? Here are some things you can learn from Fans in growing and marketing your business. I’m going to concentrate on the Essendon Football Club because I am a passionate Essendon Fan but I am also a believer that they utilise channels well. Utilise a variety of channels – Essendon FC has a prolific communications department creating content across their website, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter amongst others. They combine video, pictures and text well. Mix up your content – Essendon FC utilise a variety of content forms –  photos, news, questions, special offers, insider views – to keep their customers engaged. There is not only one type of post that would quickly bore a customer. They utilise a number of different content styles to ensure that customers don’t get bored Control the channels – Whilst on Facebook Essendon has...

Small Business Marketing – The Importance of The Elevator Pitch

Small business marketing budgets are often relatively small. You need to get in front of prospects and you need to get their attention quickly. First impressions count. You’ll likely have no more than a minute (probably less but I am being generous) of attention from a prospect so you need to grab their attention with your important message. (As an aside, if you don’t understand, the name elevator pitch comes from the ability to answer the question “so what do you do?” if you are stuck in a lift with someone for 20 seconds or so.) The Elevator Pitch must contain the following elements if you truly want it to be an effective tool in your content marketing arsenal. No Jargon – Industry jargon and buzzwords do not impress anybody. They can also be hard to understand. The best elevator pitches use simple but powerful words and create a strong impact. Under 45 seconds – I haven’t scientifically tested this one but in my anecdotal experience, people’s attention spans are getting shorter so you need to practice your elevator pitch until you get it under 45 seconds. this is all the time you will have to hook someone in before you lose their attention. Tells a story – Position yourself as a problem solver. Tell a story. Help illuminate what you do in the mind of your prospect. Stories are more likely to keep them interested than boring statistics or features. Targeted – Make sure your audience wants to hear what you have to say. If you have a number of target audiences you may want to write a...

5 Basic SEO Tips for WordPress Blogs.

WordPress, whilst initially built as a blogging platform, has become one of the most popular platforms for website Content Management systems. I am not going to share with you why WordPress in this article. That is an article for another day.  The purpose of this article is to share with you 5 basic SEO tips to improve your SEO using WordPress. Download a Plugin to help manage the process of Basic SEO– WordPress Plugins make everything easier. A good WordPress plugin will simplify your SEO process and save you a lot of time.  I recommend YOAST. Ensure META Tags are filled in appropriately – Google loves the META Tags. As they say “Meta tags are a great way for webmasters to provide search engines with information about their sites.” With META tags you can tell search engines what a page is about so they can rank them in search engines appropriately. Choose appropriate keywords and descriptions and you will boost your rankings. The plugin mentioned abovemakes it easy for you to update your META tags. You can do it as you are writing your posts and pages – there is no need to alter HTML code yourself Ensure an appropriate permalink structure – Permalinks, the link structure you use in the address bars is important. My personal recommendation is that you go with the structure Post Name – eg www.domainname.com/postname Ping site update services – You should share links to your articles. You should share with automatic ping services that you can default setup in WordPress.  This can be done under Settings Share your content and build backlinks –...

The Sponsorship Proposal – What Clubs Need to Offer

Sporting teams or community organisations that want sponsorship need to become effective at selling. They don’t have a choice. Personally, I have seen sponsorship from both sides of the table – I have worked with committees looking at sponsorship and I’ve been involved in businesses sponsoring other organisations. This article is focussed at clubs and community groups looking at sponsorship. You need to remember that sponsorship is not a donation. Businesses that sponsor teams or community groups a return on investment. The first thing you need is the sponsor letter. Here are my tips for the sponsor letter first (as without the right sponsor letter your prospects won’t even get to reading the proposal. Ensure you have the right formatting – If your club or community group doesn’t have a letterhead you need to get one. You are suggesting a business proposition and a professional relationship – as such you need a professional appearance. Letterhead can be easily made in Microsoft Word – just put the logo in the top left corner and the contact details of your group in the top right corner. Remember, you are suggesting a formal business arrangement with a sponsorship proposal so you need to ensure that your proposal letter and document looks professional. The first paragraph should explain the purpose of the letter and proposal – Before you even get to telling your prospect about you or your organisation you need to tell them about what the letter is for and why they should keep reading. Remember, you always need to be answering the question “what’s in it for me?” Tell the prospect...

Business Marketing Strategy – Measuring effectiveness

For many small business owners, their business marketing strategy is an afterthought – if there is a strategy in place at all. Marketing for these businesses is a haphazard approach at best – something that they do if they have the time between the day to day running of other aspects of their business. It shouldn’t be this way. Business marketing strategy, as a solution for driving sales, should be front and centre in all decision making processes. It should be front of mind and be considered before anything else in your business. Without a business marketing strategy you will unlikely find you get many leads and your business will struggle to thrive. Business Marketing Strategy – What to measure. Part of any business marketing strategy should be measuring and tracking results. Here are some of the things you should be measuring (at a very minimum.) No of leads generated and where they come from – Without leads, without someone interested in potentially buying your product or service, you won’t make any money. Any business marketing strategy should involve a number of different marketing channels and measuring the effectiveness of these channels. This means that your strategy should identify how many leads are generated and where they came from. You should then concentrate your efforts on those that generate you the most leads. Total qualified leads – A word of caution though. Not all leads are created equally. You need to qualify the leads that are generated and you should measure the total number of qualified leads you generate. Your business marketing strategy should also identify those marketing channels...