Top 7 Questions Small Businesses Ask About Social Media

Most small businesses we come into contact with realise how important social media is for their business and recognize the need to have a presence on the social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook and Google+.

Most businesses who are too busy running their business tend to find social media marketing and the technology surrounding it, intimidating.

Social media can seem daunting at first but because many small businesses realise that social media is not a fad and it is here to stay they generally have some questions that they would like answered before they decide to get involved.

social media

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions. Hopefully a question that you might have asked is included:

1. What is Social Media Marketing?

Social media marketing involves interacting with your customers and other users on social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

You do this by sharing information, opinions, knowledge and interests. This process allows you to build online communities or networks, encouraging customers to participate and engage with your business, which will promote customer loyalty to you and your brand.

2. Why does my business need to get involved with social media?

The way that your customers communicate and use the Internet has changed dramatically. Most people now access the Internet via their smartphones and tablets where the information is literally there at their fingertips. There are literally billions of people of all ages now using social media and they expect your business to be there too.

By embracing social media your business will:

  • Increase your online presence
  • Raise awareness of your products and services
  • Build loyalty with existing customers
  • Build trust with prospective customers
  • Increase website traffic through social sharing

Not only that, but you could see an increase in your search engine rankings. Likes, shares, tweets and social authority are all taken into consideration in the search engines’ algorithms.

3. HELP! I don’t know where to start

Marketing on social media sites is not really much different from other marketing campaigns that you may have run. It is a good idea to start with a plan. Write down your goals and objectives you want to achieve with your social media campaign.

With a well-structured plan you will be able stay focused and not get distracted, which is so easy to do with social media.

4. How much time should I spend on Social media each day?

It does not have to be particularly time consuming, especially if you set off with a clear objective about what you want to achieve.

The only time it gets time consuming is if you are allowed to get sidetracked by all of the ‘noise’ and activity happening on the site. You can easily have a profitable marketing campaign by spending just 10 to 20 minutes in the morning and 10 to 20 minutes in the evening.

5. When should I post on social media?

The best time is when your target audience is likely to read your posts. In order to determine the best time to post consider the lifestyle of your target audience. For example, if you want to target people who work, post in the morning when they are most likely be on their way to work and check their messages on the journey. You could then post at lunchtime and again when they are travelling home again after 5pm.

If want to target an audience that is retired or does not work, post mid-morning, mid-afternoon and mid-evening.

With practice and experience you will soon be able to decide when the best time to post comments for your customers. The secret is to test and to measure the responses and comments that your posts generate (or the lack of them). Over time you will discover what works best for your business, industry and customers.

6. Which social media platform should I use?

There are a number of popular platforms you could choose from. Facebook is the most obvious choice with well over 1 billion users and the number is growing daily.

Facebook is a good choice for businesses as you can target audiences with a variety of advertising options. Not only that, but Facebook is now part of people’s daily routine and they check their accounts many times a day.

Twitter is another platform, which is part of people’s lives. It is fast paced and gives users access to information and news much quicker than traditional news channels.

As tweets are limited to just 140 characters you need to learn how to get your message across using as few words as possible. It is a reminder of how people’s attention span on social media and the Internet in general is extremely short because there is just so much information out there. People tend to scan information online rather than read huge amounts of information.

3 relatively new social media platforms are becoming incredibly popular.

The first one is Pinterest. Pinterest is a visual platform used to upload and share photos of literally any subject you can think of. It has a huge female following but is starting to level out as more men are discovering and using it.

Google+ (Google Plus) is starting to flex its muscles now. It is owned by online giant Google, so has huge financial backing. Google+ is widely tipped to be the social media channel to challenge Facebook as the king of social networks.

LinkedIn is a business-to-business social media platform. It is a lot more formal and corporate than the other social platforms. It is an excellent way to connect with peers and network professionally within a specific trade or industry.

There are many more platforms but these are the ones that are more widely used by businesses.

7. How much does Social Media cost?

If you are a small business with little or no marketing budget then the only cost is the time you spend out of your busy working day.

If you have a modest budget and would like to increase your company’s exposure then you could consider Facebook advertising, which can be affordable and very effective.

As with many areas of marketing it is always best to tailor the marketing strategies within the context of your business, industry, customers, budget and time.

If your question has not been answered then please don’t hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to share our experience and expertise with you.

As we said earlier, social media is not a fad and it is here to stay. It is being used by your customers (and probably your competitors) on a daily basis.

Another point that is worthy of a mention is that Social Media is not just for big brands!

You don’t have to be a global conglomerate to get involved with social media. In fact social media platforms give all businesses, no matter what their size, a level playing field.

Small and medium sized local businesses just like yours can reap terrific benefits from the range of opportunities that social media has to offer too.

A lot of small businesses that we talk to find social media daunting. Many don’t know where to start or lack the time simply because they’re too busy running their business.

That’s why we’ve designed our cost effective local business social media management service.

You can trust us to look after every aspect of your social media strategy – from publishing new content to responding to customer reviews.

Engage with customers and grow your audience…

To successfully grow your audience on the social web, you need to be actively sharing relevant content that engages with your fans and followers.

Providing good relevant content and engaging with your customers will keep your business in their minds and help generate awareness of your products and services.

Our team helps to grow your audience by:

  • Selecting the social networks that are right for your business and industry
  • Building your social profiles so they look professional and can be found by people searching for businesses like yours
  • Creating and sharing great content to attract new followers, likes and links
  • Starting conversations with your customers and talking about topics relevant to your business
  • Promoting your content across multiple social media websites to maximize your online exposure
  • Helping you to design and publish special offers that will attract new customers and encourage customer loyalty
  • Publicising any special events that your business is holding

If you want to give your business a wider audience then we look forward to hearing from you so that we can show you what we can do for your business.

Why Google+ Is Good For YOUR Business

Few brands are as familiar to us as Google.

It is now one of the most recognised brand names in the world next to Coca Cola, Microsoft and Apple. The very word Google has even entered into our everyday vocabulary. You never hear anybody say ‘I Yahooed’ something or I ‘Binged’ something. It is testament to Google’s overall popularity, the fact that ‘to Google’ is a commonly accepted verb.
Figures show that around two-thirds of the world’s internet population uses the Google search engine as opposed to other search engines.

Despite heavy advertising and a huge advertising budget, Bing has struggled to even make a dent in the search universe and Yahoo, once king of the Internet search, is fading away.
None of this has come around by accident. Google has made the science and art of search into a technology that continues to innovate and is managing to remain relevant despite the rise in popularity as social platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.

Google’s creators don’t provide all of these great search results and tools out of the goodness of its heart. Google is a well-oiled money making machine and its core product of search produces revenues of over $30 billion a year. For that kind of revenue to continue it needs to constantly evolve its product and services with a host of features and functions that are relevant, mobile and social.

One way that it is doing that is with Google+, the search giants answer to Facebook. This is a new face of social media and Google is relying on Google+ very much. It is the key and core to Google’s web strategy and business. When it was announced almost everyone said “not another social network“. They thought that Google was mad for taking on a beast like Facebook. However, just over a year since its launch in June 2011, it has rapidly increased in popularity and has now passed 250 million registered users.

Why Should You Use Google Plus as a Social Network?

Rather than ignore or dismiss Google+ as a passing fad or as a poor rival to Facebook it is very important as a business that you add it as part of your arsenal of Internet marketing tools.

Google plus is actually a good platform for business people and the average user alike. The majority of businesses and marketers online have included the Google plus one button above their content to become a part of this vast social network.

The ‘Plus one’ button is the Google+ equivalent of a Facebook ‘Like’. It makes it very easy for your viewers to share your content on the Google plus network if they like it.
Another key feature of Google plus is that you can follow people and their content in a single group or different groups. This could include family or friends or you could also create a group of people sharing the same interest on a particular topic.

The major advantage of using Google plus is that if your content is shared on Google plus then it gives a solid positive signal to the Google search engine that your content is quality content. This is great for your business and helps you in getting a good ranking, resulting in more traffic and potential customers.

Here are three powerful reasons why adding Google Plus account is important to your business.

1. Google Plus Circles

In Google Plus, “Circles” is the equivalent of Facebook “Groups”.
This allows you to place all your contacts in different circles such as friends, colleagues, work etc. From a business point of view it makes absolute sense. It means that when you post content you can choose the different circles where you want them to be displayed.
For example if you want to say how much you loved the latest Batman movie you would probably only include this information with your friends and family. But if you wanted to talk about the latest networking event that you attended or some news that happened in your industry or service sector then you would place the content so that only your business associates could see it. Another good feature is that you can also choose the update to be public if you want the content to be seen by everyone or you can keep it private.

The majority of conversations on Google+ happen in private within these “Circles”. This has led to Google+ being accused of being a ghost town when in fact it is full of vibrant passionate communities and tribes. What you see on Google+ that is visible and public is just the tip of the iceberg to what is really going on beneath the surface.

Sharing content that is relevant to your target audience is important for you as a business. The Google Plus Circles feature allows you to share content that is specific and targeted to a specific group.

2. Google Plus Hangouts

When it was launched, Google Plus Hangouts was seen as the Ace card that Google help up its sleeve. Hangouts are a place where you can create your own video chat rooms. You can have up to 9 participants in the chat.

It’s an excellent feature where you can have a live chat with multiple people at a time. This is the best place to educate your clients, share ideas or tell customer stories and case studies. You can create hangouts with customers where you can share information face to face and build the rapport without having to jump on a plane or travel miles in the car.

Google+ has made it easy to do. It has forced Facebook to sit up and look at its own model and how it can up its game to produce an equivalent feature. You can now initiate or answer a Hangout call from a person that uses the Google+ app for iOS or Android.
Live face to face video on the web is transforming communications and is allowing businesses to build online relationships with companies and their clients easier than ever.

3. Google Plus Is Search Engine Friendly

Google has invested a lot of money in Google Plus. The investment by Google of over half a billion dollars provides a hint as to how important Google sees Google+ in the future of the internet.

It sees Google+ as being the core to the future of an expanding social web and it is determined that it will remain active and relevant for everybody using it.

And because Google owns and controls this social platform you can be sure that they are using it for capturing signals for their search engines. They are also using it to capture data that will enable them to serve up more personalized data to its search users and paid Google “Adwords” customers. This is all made easier because they own it and have complete control.

So what does this mean for your business? Well, the advantage to any business being on Google+ is that you are providing content and information vital to Google’s dominance. Google will then reward you by improving your search engine results (sometime called SEO or Search Engine Optimisation).

Many online stores rely on these organic search traffic results to drive free traffic because 90% of all search results happen when your website appears on the first page of Google. That is important!

Why Google+ is Here To Stay

As a business resource Google+ is huge .If you don’t have a Google+ business page, with proper SEO, you’re missing out on potential high rankings in search results. Simply put, this could be the difference between a potential customer finding your business, and not knowing you exist.

Google is making sure their social network is here to stay. To ensure its prominence all new Google users have to sign up for an account and, as a result, Google+ is gaining 625,000 new members each day and is predicted to reach 400 million members by the end of 2012.
Google+ is integrated into Google’s black bar when you’re logged into your Google account (look for the ‘+You’ tab on the black bar at the top of the page), it’s visually appealing and it’s very easy to navigate.

All of this indicates why it is so essential for any business that takes its Search Engine Optimisation seriously uses Google+.

Free Social Bookmark For Your Business In Surrey Or Sussex

In order for your company to gain more exposure, you need links to your web site.

Social Bookmarking can help you with that. As part of our network of sites and social bookmarking accounts, we can help you gain more traffic.

To get you started, we are offering FREE Social Bookmarking until end of April 2012. Some of the sites we will bookmark you with are…

DiggFacebookStumbleuponTwitter

 Social Bookmarking is exactly that… social. It gets people talking about you / your brand / your company, plus, the search engines absolutely love social bookmarking sites.

How to get your FREE social bookmarks

Simply contact us with the detail of your site. We need the web address and a short description, and then we can do the rest!

What Are Social Media Sites?

Social media can be defined as a fluid means of disseminating information from many different sources that can be edited, added to, or changed in many different ways. It is usually available with little or no time lag between production and reception. The internet is the primary source of this type of media, which leaves some people wondering, “What are social media sites?

social media sites

Social media sites are places on the internet where users create the content and it changes all the time. YouTube is one example. On this site, users are able to upload videos of activities they participate in, news stories they witness, and more. As soon as the videos are uploaded, they are available for viewing by other users.

FaceBook is another such site. Here, users can create online profiles, upload photos, and share information with friends all around the world. Users can even make friends with people located all the way around the world and share information with them through their friend pages.

Twitter is also considered a social media site. On this site, users are asked the question, “What are you doing right now?” They may answer in any fashion they wish, though responses are limited to only 140 characters, including spaces. Other individuals may choose follow a person on Twitter and be able to view any of that person’s posts, called “Tweets.”

Flickr is a social site that allows individuals to upload photos and share them with other users.

In addition to the examples mentioned, the internet contains thousands of forums where people with similar hobbies, jobs, tastes, and other traits can visit and post discussions of these interests. Other users have the option of making a direct reply or posting a comment on the post and sharing this other readers as well.

Users also have the option of creating Blogs, user generated sites where an individual can compose and write his/her own content about any subject. The content of these entries immediately becomes searchable on the internet and can be viewed by anyone with access and an interest in the topic of the content.

Social media sites were created for the use of individual users who wished to share information. More and more businesses are finding that these sites are useful tools for them to use in raising product awareness. They can use these sites to generate trust in their opinions and expertise. However, directly trying to push a person to buy a particular item does not work on these sites and could get a business banned from access. Consumers are usually repelled by such overt advertising techniques.

The most important thing you need to know about social media sites is that 100 percent of the content is generated by users of the site. This content is fluid in that it can be edited or changed at any time by anyone. These sites allow individuals to reach a worldwide audience and to interact with others located anywhere in the world, often in real time conversations.

Free Social Bookmarking for Surrey & Sussex Businesses until end of November 2011

In order for your company to gain more exposure, you need links to your web site.

Social Bookmarking can help you with that. As part of our network of sites and social bookmarking accounts, we can help you gain more traffic.

To get you started, we are offering FREE Social Bookmarking until end of November 2011. Some of the sites we will bookmark you with are…

DiggFacebookStumbleuponTwitter

 

 

 

Social Bookmarking is exactly that… social. It gets people talking about you / your brand / your company, plus, the search engines absolutely love social bookmarking sites.