How to deal with social media during holidays
August 1, 2017
0
social media holiday

‘Summertime and the living is easy!’ supposedly but what’s the reality for business owners. With a long list of tasks that need completing yesterday, the average entrepreneur can surely not afford to spend time doing nothing. Even if they desperately want a break, many don’t as time off often means wasted time that could have been spent growing the business. However, a holiday can be key to reassess your situation and work out a refreshed strategy with a clear head. In order to take a break, look at what tasks can realistically be put aside or ticked off before you go. In the same way, it’s good to list important jobs that need to be continued if you are to have time off. Who will manage the books, answer enquiries or sell to new people?

There are a number of plates that must keep spinning and increasingly, one of them is social media. Your potential customers now expect businesses to have an active presence on Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus and they will most likely connect with you there as the first port of call. What if a good business opportunity arrives in the form of a tweet and you are not there to see it, without your internet connection or phone on a beautiful beach somewhere? The truth is that that person will assume that your account isn’t active and stop following or even believe your business has ceased trading! That can be a nightmare for public relations so being able to engage with an audience, anywhere and anytime is essential. This is when a Social Media Manager can really help your business and help you to enjoy a relaxing holiday, hassle-free.

OM can advise on promoting, engaging and sharing via your social media platforms so your account can grow and clicks through to your website will increase. Get in touch and see what we can do for you over the holiday period. Many businesses tend to work in collaboration with us so they can always be assured that their social media is being reviewed on a daily basis, while they get on with other tasks.

If you find that you don’t have the time for social media and find it hard to grow, then contact us for more information and help. Simply having a profile on Opus Matrix can work well to help you get found and be shouted about through our social media channels.

The OM Team

5 Ways to get the most out of joining Opus Matrix
5

5 Ways to get the most out of joining Opus Matrix

1. Belong – to a community of like-minded women When you join Opus Matrix, you join a visionary community of women and small businesses committed to developing positive and effective ways of working together.

2. Engage – network with other women who are already in business or who are starting in business for resources, advice or collaborating together. Through our forums, blogs, newsletters and social media networks, you can reach 1000’s of like- minded people who can help you develop your ideas and business.

3. Use – our resources: useful articles, links and real life stories. Learn from the learned. We have 100’s of experts and inspiring female members who are here for you.

4. Sell – your goods/services in ready-made shop windows on the wow site (commission free!). All our members are given an activated shop within their profiles. This means that business and non- business members can sell products or unwanted gifts. As an added bonus, we are promoting all products or services through our 1000’s of social media networks for all our business members free of charge. Hurry up, if you want free advertising, sign up TODAY as this offer is only still available for a limited period!

5. Find – jobs advertised on the site or workers you need, or maybe the ideal gift in the Marketplace!

Find and be found according to your specific needs and wants, area or availability..…

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.

10 Ways to access Self Employment Opportunities
February 20, 2015
0

1) Find out what is involved and how to run your own business. There are lots of good sites. A starting point may be http://www.adviceguide.org.uk/england/work_e/work_self-employed_or_looking_for_work_e/self-employment_checklist.htm

2) Discern your gifts and abilities (type of work you will be doing, what you are able to do well and where your weaknesses are). Engage friends and colleagues to clarify.

3) Find people who will compliment your skills or provide that aspect of your business which you cannot fulfil yourself. wow-a2z is a site tailor-made for this purpose.

4) Fund funding - not always an easy thing to do. At wow we learned a lot in this area by asking around (again ask other wow members). It is most helpful if you can start off using your own savings or seek help from friends and family who are willing to invest.

5) Network – seek out other contacts by attending business network meetings, such as Business Gateway or network events run by wow. You will learn a lot from other people and you will make yourself known. LOOK OUT FOR WOW EVENTS IN YOUR LOCAL AREA.

6) Advertise – it is amazing how many people try and start off without even having business cards made. Depending on the kind of business it is, you can publicise it via existing networks (schools, work places, social hobbies), as well as investigate new areas. Nothing beats personal contact, but you should also consider using flyers, posters and newsletters. There are people on our site who can help you with this. Also, depending on your membership, wow will post 1000s of tweets for you on a daily basis.

7) Social Media – love it or loathe it – this is the way businesses of all sizes conduct their affairs. Start engaging with Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest. If it is too much, again, we have ladies registered with us, who can help you with that. OR JOIN WOW-A2Z

8) Website – build your own website and link it to other places where your customers are most likely to be attracted. If you find this too expensive, you could consider starting off by just using wow’s own site, where you can advertise in easy-to-fill shop windows. Again, we have professionals who can assist you. OR JOIN WOW-A2Z

9) Experiment – have a trial run and invite friends to be your BETA group to test your services for you and give you honest feedback

10) Have fun – remember why you got into self-employment: to fulfil your dreams and to be free to do what you really want to do. Celebrate every achievement with your friends and co-workers!

Still not convinced about Social Media?
February 17, 2015
0

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.

Getting started online in 9 easy steps

I love technology, I always have. I dreamed of the internet years before I finally typed my first search request into Google. I have an intuitive sense with IT. I never read manuals but prefer to launch myself into a new tool, app or programme and work it out as I go.
I know, however, that technology can seem like a black art to many people. The options and possibilities can be overwhelming. A constantly evolving landscape can appear difficult to navigate.

When it comes to creating a website or, as I like to call it, an online presence, it can feel like a mammoth task. Yet, with some support and guidance, it's quite feasible for someone already able to surf the internet to develop, manage and maintain their own site.

1. Keep things simple
The trick is to start gradually and create a firm foundation, and to prioritise what's important. Having a website with compelling content is much more critical than having an all singing, all dancing design. You can always revisit the design later. The key factor when you launch is to have a website that is pleasing to the eye but provides good information to encourage visitors to return.

2. Don't skimp on hosting
The first decision you'll need to make is around hosting. Building a website is very much like building a house. You need a plot of land on which to lay your foundations. The hosting is the space that your website will occupy.
It's tempting to skimp on hosting but I would recommend choosing a host that offers a good Control Panel and also functions such as a one click WordPress install. Hosting tends to prove its value in the unfortunate event that something goes wrong and then the hosting company is worth its weight in gold. A reasonable rate for a good host is between £65 and £70 per annum.

3. Be memorable
Some hosts also include a free domain name. If not, you can purchase a domain name quite easily for around £10 a year. One interesting fact to note is that your hosting and domain name don't have to be bought from the same company.
When choosing a domain name it needs to reflect you and your business but it also needs to be memorable. You don't want to have to spell out the domain name each time you refer a visitor to your website so avoid hyphens or very long names. If you're a sole trader it's worth contemplating using your own name - this is instantly easy to remember and also provides an umbrella for new projects as your business grows.

4. Create a business email address
Once you have a domain name you can then create an email address to match. Always a good marketing tool and keeps you branding consistent.

5. Use WordPress
My tool of choice for designing websites is WordPress. With a one click install it's easy to create a WordPress site and the dashboard gives you an interface that you can use to manage and maintain your site. To create a look and feel for your web pages, you can install a WordPress theme. This is an upload that can be customised to make your website unique. There are many sites where you can download themes - again, it's worth investing in a good theme as you're also paying for additional functionality, security and automatic updates.

6. Plan first
The next step is to plan! I'm a passionate advocate of planning. I recommend creating a mindmap to outline the site navigation and give you a one page summary of all the content you will need for your site. You can see how everything links together and can streamline the detail you want to include. A plan also gives you an overview that you can continue to use to grow your site organically. Whether you're working with a designer or planning to build the site yourself, it's definitely best not to over complicate things. Some of my favourite sites are very minimalist and I deliberately keep my own site simple too.

7. Do the work
The work really begins once your website goes live. Certainly in the early stages, you'll want to invest some time developing content, writing blog posts, networking online, perhaps creating an email newsletter with a sign up incentive, and starting to engage on Social Media. A plan comes in handy again. There are no hard and fast rules that you need to adhere to but a key principle is being consistent. Writing one really good and regular blog post each month is much better than none at all. Whatever schedule you choose, visitors will soon anticipate your content.

8. Doing it your way
Growing your website has to work for you. The style that you choose, the tone, the frequency of updates, whether you engage on Twitter or Facebook or both. The idea of writing blog posts may not appeal to you but if you're great on video or audio, this could be a different medium to use.
Your website is a reflection of you. By aligning your online presence with who you are offline, you're more likely to attract your ideal clients. Just be who you are. Not only will this make the process of updating your website more pleasurable for you but it will also create greater resonance with your prospective customers.

9. Constantly evolve
Be ready for your site to change. A website, once built, is not static. It constantly evolves. WordPress is an ideal framework as it makes it easy for you to change your site as your business grows.

Find out more
If you would like to find out more about creating an online presence, you can download my Get Started Online eKit here.

More info: http://nicolawarwick.com/

How To Assess The Right Social Media Expert for Your Company
October 12, 2014
0

One major piece of advice today. If you're thinking about getting a social media expert to help you with your strategy or training, make sure they have a following themselves.
What I mean by this is ... if the expert only has 150 followers on Twitter, 75 on Facebook and their engagement rates are zilch, chances are, if they can't help themselves, how will they help you?

How To Assess Your Next Social Media Expert
To find out whether the social media expert or guru has a good following or not, it's dead simple. Go check the figures.
To find out if they have a good engagement rate or not, it's a teensy bit more laborious but pretty straight-forward.

On Facebook, take the total number of 'Likes' on the social media expert's business page and divide that by the 'Talking About This' (TOT) figure. If the total is less than 3% (some would say 5%), it's a wah-wah oops. Don't even go there, girlfriend!

On Twitter, take a quick gander through the person or company's Twitter stream. If there is tonnes of content that consists of 'check me', 'here's my article', 'look at this', 'follow me' then they are seriously not developing any relationships, engagement or traction online.

Why is this bad? Because everybody gets bored of 'check me' people on social media and are quick to unfollow them. The clue is in the title. It's SOCIAL media, not ego media!
Do they have recommendations and testimonials on LinkedIn? And I don't mean the endorsements.

These can be lovely but honestly? I've been endorsed by folks I'm pretty sure have never experienced my work. It's too, too lovely of them to give me a thumbs up but the 'endorsements' section is not where you find the real meat and potatoes on LinkedIn.

Key Social Media Advice
The whole point about being successful on social media is engagement. NOT promoting your own content. There is a place for promotions on social media of course, but it has to be part of the mix.
You cannot PUSH content or INTERRUPT people, like traditional TV, Billboards, Newspapers, Flyers and Direct Mail.
It's all about listening and conversing. In other words, while Content may be King, engagement is Queen and she rules the house. So if your social media expert is punting content and using social media as if it were another outbound marketing platform, give them a wide steer.

Or even better, show them this blog! Social media isn't rocket science but you'd be surprised how often simple things are overlooked in the rush to 'get on social media'.

Let's Get It Right For Everyone
It's important in this industry to really encourage talent, and there's a lot of it about. But it's also important to make sure this very young industry as a whole is not getting a bad rap from eager opportunists.

Similarly, social media experts without a marketing or journalism background may not be your best bet either. Even if they have a good following on their social media platforms, they might not be able to help any other sector or industry outside of their own niche.

Over To You
Agree or disagree? I'd love your thoughts. Ever got some bad advice? Who do you really rate? Do share, we'll all the wiser for it. Do you think there should be qualifications or a body that regulates practitioners? Any other suggestions for rooting out the good'uns and the not so good?

Fin Wycherley
Supersize Media
Tel: 07951 585 832
"Social, Media and Soul"

PS. I'm going through a re-branding at the moment. The new business name is 'Supersize Media.' Join me on Facebook to keep up to date with all the news and tips for your business on http://www.facebook.com/supersizemedia

Trumpet Call
February 12, 2014
0

We know what it’s like, so we know what you need!

We all know or have heard of the benefits of social media, but how much time have you spent trying to get your word, product or service out there? Do you have the time to go through the various networks? How would you like us to do all the work for you?

With wow-a2z, you don’t have to worry about not having a website, blog or business page/s. We provide you with all you need to get your idea or business straight into the market. All you have to do is create your profile to get instant access to your ready-made shop from which your product, service or even unwanted items can be sold.

Your profile, including uploading pictures, takes only a few minutes to set up. Once that’s done, through our networks on twitter, facebook, pinterest and linkedin, we will circulate your information to over 14,000 people, thus saving you 100’s of hours of work and stress!

Don’t keep this to yourself - share this by tweeting and liking this blog!

4 Tips Make To Be Memorable In Social Media
June 12, 2013
0

Source: WOBC Magazine

Believe me we were tempted, but we never compromised, and this is why!

Social media provides an excellent avenue for getting your brand out there and creating awareness in areas you never would have had access to before.

Cheap, easy, and immediately effective, social media outlets are a godsend to business owners all over the world, and they have been taking this outlet on with fervor over recent years.

Making your brand memorable on social media is the key to making sure you get noticed and stay on peoples' minds as they make purchasing decisions.

More info: http://www.wobcmagazine.com/7164/s/social-media

Social Networking for Business

There are so many advantages of social networking for your business, such as millions of business contacts at your fingertip; you can share news and updates live; attract visitors to your website; it is quick and effective. This article provides some very useful tips too.

Website Description Est. Monthly Visitors
Facebook Online Community 750,000,000
YouTube Video Sharing 450,000,000
Twitter Micro Blogging 250,000,000
LinkedIn Professional Networking 110,000,000
Blogger Web Log 75,000,000

Advantages of Social Networking
• Completely gratis
• Millions of business contacts at your fingertip
• Share news and updates live
• Attract visitors to your website
• Quick and effective
Disadvantages of Social Networking
• Distracts you from work
• Detracts from real relationships
• Reputation can quickly be ruined online
• Eyesight and physical health can be affected

Social Networking Tips
Begin with a Clear Purpose
Decide what your purpose for social networking is and then use it for that purpose only. Write your purpose down and make it visible before going online. After every session, ask yourself, "What did I just attain while social networking today and was it in line with my purpose?"
Set Up Advice: Take time to set up a profile on all social networking sites. Always add your photo and fill in the ‘About’ section with pertinent info. Include a link to your website. Connect all social networking sites so they point to each other, saving you some time. Everything you do on your sites should remain in line with your purpose.
Begin with a Clear Time Frame
Decide beforehand the exact amount of time you want to spend social networking and then stick to your time limit. Disable instant messaging while working or have intentional times when your purpose is to chat with a clear time frame of how long you intend to chat to people.
Update Advice: The best time to update your status is daily around 3pm on weekdays, Wednesday 3pm being the top time of the week. If you want to post twice a day, update at 11am or 8pm in addition to your 3pm post. Updates outside of these times will attract less attention but you should monitor when your target audience are most online. Take a break from 3pm Friday until 11am Monday – it will bear little fruit unless your target audience are specifically online over weekends for some reason.
Begin with a Clear Target Audience
Decide beforehand who you need to connect with and stick to these ‘friends’ only. Avoid searching for past friends or loves – they will take up all of your time and bear no fruit. Be intentional! See who is following people in a similar line of work to you and connect with them too.
Friends Advice
Don’t feel bad for not accepting a friend request or blocking someone, knowing who not to connect with is as important as knowing who to connect with. Some people are likely do more damage than good and once a good reputation is lost it’s very difficult to win it back.
King’s Daughters offer a social media workshop called SHOUT as well as one-¬on-¬one business consultations with a free business health check.