The Value of Sharing on Social Media
sharing on social media

If you imagine a world without social media websites (quite hard but think 1997) then the word ‘share’ would probably make you think of an everyday decision of whether to share your Twix or not. Sharing on social media is truly about caring – handing something to someone else because you know they will appreciate it and get some value from it. This is why sharing plays such a large part of success on social media.

Good web design now focuses on integrating social media and usually facilitates the option to share a page or post, where possible. In most cases, the homepage is still the most popular page for visitors to land on first, as they will find it through Google or through finding your business on social media profiles. However, blogging is particularly effective for providing value to your audience with popular posts. These posts are often more likely to be shared by people on social media, as they can provide more value rather than reading snippets of information on the homepage. Therefore, some posts can become the main landing page for visitors to your site. They may read the article before clicking through to the homepage or services page.

When browsing social media platforms like Twitter or Facebook, you will often see promotional posts from businesses you follow and some even request that their particular post is shared. If you are a business to business company then it could be good practice to retweet, like or share other businesses’ posts, particularly if they are the type of company you would like to work with. On Twitter, you could create a private list of your target audience businesses or people and take time to share their posts, where appropriate.

Social media enables us to be social about all aspects of our life, whether it’s recommending a service to your friends, share someone’s charity appeal post or interacting with a popular topic, you are providing positive value and input. Whatever you choose to share, your audience appreciates your efforts and will respond and share your posts too.

Remember sharing is caring!

Jon Exton

Why Market Research on Social Media Improves Your Business
March 24, 2016
market research
Market research plays a fundamental role in the success of a business, although it can be an expensive process. Social media, however, represents an extremely helpful and cost-effective tool that global businesses have started using in these last years to conduct practical and economically convenient research about their target markets and competitors.

The majority of social media platforms provide different methods that allow business owners to analyse market trends, without spending money and time.

Facebook and Twitter are among the most popular social media networks used by companies for market research purposes.

Social media enable you to discover who your potential customers are, where they are located, what interests they have, what type of social medium they like using the most, what groups they are part of and most importantly, what aspects all of them have in common.

In addition to this, social media gives you the chance to understand who your competitors are and see how they behave as well as what techniques they adopt on social media. To get a clearer idea about what marketing strategies should be implemented in order to attract more followers, and consecutively a bigger number of potential customers, it is recommendable to carefully observe other businesses’ behaviour on social media, especially the biggest competitors.

You will, for instance, find out how they interact with their followers, how they deal with sudden issues, how they satisfy their customers’ needs, what offers they provide, what hashtags they use, what type of content they post, how frequently and with the implementation of what tone of voice. This type of approach will enable you to learn from the most successful companies and apply similar methods.

Facebook can be used as an extraordinary tool for market research purposes. On the App settings section, for example, you will notice what apps other businesses use. By looking for nearby businesses, based on specific categories and locations, you will see what pages your friends, or any other user, like. Posting pictures and videos with a catchy headline presenting a question to your followers, can also be a strategic way of getting feedback and engagement.

Reading customers’ reviews on Facebook, or websites as Yelp and Trip Advisor, can give you an idea about what are the most trending businesses in your area and why people like them or not. In case such businesses are successful, it would be again useful to double check their activities on their social media accounts.

On both Facebook and Twitter you have the opportunity to daily discover what the biggest trends are, as well as the most used hashtags, allowing you in this way to rapidly understand what people are currently interested in. By learning such information, you can immediately start using the same hashtags and try to implement similar trends, in order to understand what the market appreciates, while at the same time, attracting more followers on your platforms.

Via Jon Exton - Social Ant

How is your social media strategy working out?
social media

Are you the type of company or organisation that has just got over the fact that social media marketing is actually here to stay? Or maybe you have grudgingly accepted that social media isn’t actually “all about people eating their breakfast”?

Perhaps you’ve even whispered to some folk on your team “We need to set ourselves up on social media?”

I can tell you straight up where your next social media strategy mistakes are going to be. Ready for the big list of chronic misadventures in the life of the reluctant entrepreneur with their social media strategy?

1. Friends and Family
You ask your friends and family – all those that seem to ‘get it’ – to find out what all this social media milarkey is all about.
Bad, bad idea! They don’t know anything about your clients needs and how to shape your message around their questions on the right platforms using the right tools. And let’s not even start with a social media strategy fit for purpose!
2. Interns
WRONG! Interns know as much about social media MARKETING and nurturing relationships with your target audiences as you do about Snapchatting with your bomas.
Let’s be honest here, if you wouldn’t send your intern out to network on your company’s behalf, why let them loose on your online brand reputation? They may very well be good at ‘chatting’ with their mates on a variety of platforms but I can promise you they know NOTHING about conversion rates and the buyer journey.
3. Generic Social Media Strategy Workshops
Now, there’s nothing wrong with generic workshops per se. You can pick up a fair few tips and tricks to grow your business online. In fact, I have been known to offer a fair few in my time. Still do, in fact.
However, what’s good for the goose, ain’t necessarily good for the gander!
The strategy for a hotel is completely different to a law firm, which is completely different to an online estate agency or a pizza franchise.
General rules and tips about social media will get you not truly get you much closer to building a robust social media strategy, that’s perfectly tailored for your business objectives.
4. Social Media ‘Experts’
Well, without wanting to diss anyone in particular … (wait for it …), taking lessons about Facebook or Twitter marketing from people who patently have few followers, reach, community, brand or engagement has got to be one of the worst business moves in the universe!
Since there are no barriers to entry, everyone and their grannie is able to set themselves up as social media experts. You will only get good results from companies with a decent track record in engagement and have built an active community around them. Not to mention track record in your sector, testimonials, blah, blah, blah.
5. Making It Up As You Go Along
Cheap, yes. But doomed to failure.
Making up certain things as you go along will only take you so far. Doing your own accounts, legal documents, marketing, administration, events management and social media will burn out your resources pretty quickly.
And let’s not even talk about some rogue troll messing with your carefully constructed reputation. Do you know how to manage negative comment? Or a story about your company that’s going viral in the negative direction? Can you handle all the content demands that the various platforms require? Can you measure the impact accurately?
The best businesses survive on focusing on their core strengths and outsourcing all the rest. Fools rush in to social media strategy and marketing where angels fear to tread. Rushing in to do social media marketing without a plan, a strategy and some skilful execution is tantamount to walking to Paris without a map. Or building a skyscraper without a plan. Or making a chocolate eclair without a recipe.
How To Get Your Social Media Strategy Right Every Time

The only way to get your social media strategy to work effectively for you is to follow these simple steps:

Consultant / Consultancy: Pull in a brilliant social media strategist (again, no names, lol) with a proven track record in delivering results
In-House Workshops: Work hard together during a full-day / 4-day workshop to uncover a plan that meets and compliments your business objectives both on and offline
Marketing KPIs: Develop a strategy and target KPIs that are easy to implement in terms of the company resources: people, budgets, communities and content assets.
Technical Training: Get trained up on the key platforms that work for your target audience groups (journalists, prospects, donors, existing customers, etc)
Coaching: Get follow-up coaching on a monthly or quarterly basis to ensure all skills and resources are optimised with new developments in the sector, new resources, new staff, new platforms, etc.
Over To YOU
What’s your preferred method of approach to your company’s social media strategy?
Do you generally wing it?
Has your organisation got any more wacky approaches to their social media marketing?
Have you heard of ingenious ways companies are coming up with their strategies?
I’d love to hear some fun stories on how folks are getting it sooo wrong. Give us all a laugh!
For more information on Content Marketing Workshops tailored to your company’s business objectives, get in touch! [email protected]

3 Internet Marketing Tips for Small Businesses

Source: Social Media Today

Thought you might find this helpful!

1. Internet marketing is not a business model or a replacement for marketing basics
There’s a certain amount of confusion around this what Internet marketing really is. For some, Internet marketing is a business model – i.e. you have built an Internet based business. But for most small businesses, the Internet is a new media channel that can be used to reach your target market.

If you view Internet Marketing as another tool in your toolbox, then your mindset changes and you can apply basic marketing concepts to your efforts – that is who is my target audience, where can I find them and why would they want to connect and do business with my company?

2. Internet marketing is not a quest for the most likes, followers and friends
Internet marketing is about building relationships and gaining visibility within your target market. Unfortunately there is something inherently important about fan counts, and it is human nature for people to check out your company profile on Facebook or Twitter and instantly judge them based on the metric of followers, friends or fans. But having many fake or uninterested followers does not help your business. So although growing your Facebook fans or Twitter followers organically seems tedious, those who follow you may actually care about and support your business. Using a service to quickly add 2000 fans only hurts you in the long run if you plan to do anything to market to these fans or followers.

3. Internet marketing is not about chasing the next new shiny object
Internet marketing is about creating a solid marketing plan, staying the course, evaluating your results and then modifying your activities as needed. I advise small business owners to create a marketing plan that’s flexible, can adapt to changes as the Internet evolves and fits your specific needs and overall marketing strategy. Not every new and improved online tool will be right for your business.

Still not convinced about Social Media?
February 17, 2015

Think everyone who is raving about social media is pulling a fast one?
Convinced none of your customers are online?

You may be missing a trick and letting the proverbial business grass grow around you.
And let's not mention the fact that while you are thinking about whether to dive in to social media or not, you are giving your competitors plenty of time and space to get up close and personal influencing and building relationships with your prospects and clients online!

You do realise that when ... and it's a "when" not an "if" ... you finally decide to build a strategy for your business on social media, your competitors will have already set up a massive forward offensive on every platform you need to dominate in your niche.
Let me give you a couple of teensy wee suggestions why you might find Facebook to be a very fine thing for your business.
Why Every Business Should Be Doing Facebook Marketing!

Let's start with some sexy statistics
• Almost 1.3 billion people are on Facebook
• 5 Facebook profiles are set up every second
• Users spend 20 minutes during a visit
• 510,000 comments are posted every minute
• 53% of shoppers make a purchase from a Facebook Page
• Consumers from Facebook spend an average of $100
• 68% of marketers say Facebook ads are effective

It's quite clear to see that almost every single person - whether they admit to it or not - has a private Facebook page.
And the only way Facebook can provide this enormous service to consumers? Sell ads.
And those ads, if properly constructed and targeted, appear in front of the targeted prospect, at the right time, whenever they log on, in a friendly and informative way.
Facebook Advertising for Retailers.

Now, you're bound to have heard a lot of marketing 'experts' tell you how Facebook is impossible to operate, how it's run by the CIA and how it invades people's privacy. But as a Facebook expert, I can tell you the opportunities for businesses are immense.
What's certainly true is that Facebook has become so complicated to operate that when newbies attempt to get busy with advertising, it can cost a lot of money with precious few results.
For example, if you have a ski shop and want to tell people about your fabulous ski sale, we could put up a post on Facebook that was targeted at all those who have liked 'Ski-net,' 'PowderMag,' and half a dozen of your competitors. And who live with 25 miles of your shop. And who were aged 17 – 54. And who have visited your website in the past month.
By my calculations, there are 84,000 people who fit that criteria (without adding all those that visited your website ... and I've assumed the shop is somewhere in Edinburgh). Pretty interesting, right?

So, are you ready for the really crazy, sexy cool bit?
Announcing Facebook Newsfeed Ads!
I can make sure your ski shop message lands right inside the timeline of those targeted people the next time they log into Facebook to find out what's happening. This is not one of those ads that sit on the right hand side. These are ... (drum roll) ... NEWSFEED ADS!

Facebook Ads
You'll maybe have even come across them yourself on your newsfeed. Every 10 items, there is a 'sponsored post' aka an advert.
Precise Targeting With Facebook Ads
Yes, entrepreneurs and companies will have chosen to advertise to you because you fit their demographic. Some of them target crassly like "all women over 25 who live in UK" (you can guarantee that that advert is costing them a pretty fortune).

But if you want to target a very precise niche, then the price comes down massively.
For example, if my client wants to target, all women who live within 25 miles of Aberdeen aged 25-45 who are engaged, who like Mercedes Benz and the Institute of Chartered Accountants, I can serve up my client's messages to them on a regular basis ... on their newsfeed!

Annoying Facebook Newsfeed Ads
Of course the trick is to make sure the ads don't look like ads. The key ingredient is to remember why people go to their social media platforms of choice - to be entertained and informed. So if you keep that in mind, and NEVER sell or pitch you'll do fine. It's the crass and vulgar types that give Facebook ads a bad name by imprecise targeting, copy, images and messages.
Keep your messages informative, useful, amazing or fun and you'll not get people switching off in their 1000s. In fact, you'll get folk merrily clicking through and recommending your invaluable post to their friends and family!

In other words, do it wrong on Facebook and your brand (and wallet) will suffer.
Do it right, and as Proximo in Gladiator says "Win the Crowd and you will win your freedom" Well, certainly your financial one on social media.

Are you an enthusiast on social media or a hater? Do you refuse to engage your business on social media for fear of the harm it can do?
Or are you somebody who loves what social media does for their business but recently with all the changes, you can't seem to get the same results as you did in the past?
Let us know your thoughts on your experience, and share the ups and downs of social media.

Free Consultation
If, as a result of reading this blog piece, you have become inspired about developing your social media strategy, contact me for a free consultation to discuss your options.