Posts Tagged ‘twitter’

We backed the bid, now we really need to back team GB, using social media of course!

 

I’ve spent my weekend glued to the TV, the pc and my phone – why? Well I’m a huge fan of the Olympics whatever country they’re held in. So to have them on the doorstep is a real thrill and I’m loving the fact we can access every minute of every event. (I’m also looking forward to seeing some things live next week but that’s another story…..).

With a little help from my friends …

So if you have read some of my blog posts before, especially on my own site, you will have no doubt realised that there have been many occasions in my life where times have been tough and I have been left reeling. However, I am a strong believer in no matter what life deals you, if you get knocked down, you dust yourself off and bounce right back again, but this time not only stronger but also smarter because you learn from that episode in your life.

I know so many people who have gone through all kinds of challenges within their lives and they still keep fighting and smiling. So, why is it that when people receive knocks and obstacles within their business lives, they often crumble at the first sign of difficulty? Having gone through personal and professional difficulties, I believe I know the answer.

How important is Facebook to your business?

Social media isn’t going away any time soon, so platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter will have an impact on our businesses – or will they?

How do you use the social media available to market your business?  Does the information that 100,000 people in the UK have left Facebook recently worry you at all?

All this social media stuff doesn’t work!

So many people scoff when I tell them how active I am on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Ecademy and about 30 other networks.  “I don’t have time for all that,” they say, “It’s a time waster – and, anyway, it doesn’t work.”

“What do you want it to do?”  I ask.

It’s a question guaranteed to stop most people in their tracks.  The responses I get vary from a shrug to a bit of preliminary mumbling followed by “More sales!”

I can be really horrible and ask a lot more tough questions (I was trained as a coach once) like:

“Do you like people selling to you on social media?”

“Do you have a marketing strategy for your business?”

“How much time to do you invest in networking offline?”

I’ve tried asking some of these questions, but they scare people!

So here’s my opportunity to explain about why social media doesn’t work – and how it can work very well indeed.

History lesson

Social media has been around since the 1990s, Ecademy launched in 1998.  LinkedIn appeared early in 2003, followed by Facebook in 2004 and Twitter in 2006.  They’re not going away so people who don’t use their free services are missing a marketing opportunity.

Activity

Social media needs consistency – so one tweet a fortnight isn’t enough.  If you’re not making any noise people don’t know you’re there.  If you have a Facebook business page you need to keep it active, it won’t happy all on its own.  If you have a LinkedIn profile you need to be seen in groups and on the Q&A section for people to know you exist and get to know you.

Time management

The time issue is important – it’s true that you can get distracted and find a morning or afternoon has disappeared if you’re not careful.  However, most people are willing to attend one networking meeting a week to promote their business and meet people who may either become customers or refer them to others who need their products or services.

The challenge for most people is that it’s easy to get sucked in and spend half a day chatting to people about inconsequential trivia.  I’m not suggesting you shouldn’t have conversations, but they should be a conscious investment of time.

The average networking event lasts a couple of hours plus travelling time.  It’s part of your marketing effort – why would you not be willing to invest three hours a week in marketing online too?

Free Apps to Enhance Your Facebook Page

Facebook Pages are terribly dull places when you first create them. You have a wall, an info tab and a place to stick some photos. You might think of using the discussion area on there but mostly these are pages with only a few posts by the page admins. By and large, Facebook Pages aren’t very interesting until you add some apps and custom tabs. Here I want to run you through some of the free tools you can use to enhance your Facebook Page in an instant.

Add Google Maps

This app is a great contact tab for your Facebook Pages despite suggesting you simply get a Google Map added to your page. Instead of just that, you get to add links to your business’ other social network accounts on Twitter, Tumblr, Blogger, Flickr, YouTube and others. There is also a section to add a Google or Bing map to your page making it even easier for your users to find your business. To find the app, click here.

Pagemodo

I am probably not alone in thinking this but it is pretty hard trying to design a good looking landing tab on Facebook for those of us who were not blessed with a designers eye for detail. Thankfully a bunch of clever people created Pagemodo, the WYSIWYG page creator for Facebook Pages. With no technical knowledge at all you can create a Facebook Tab that shows off your business in a great light – no Microsoft Paint necessary! The best thing about is it you get one tab entirely free. Result!

RSS Grafitti

If you’re using your Facebook Page to get people onto your website, quite possibly via your blog, you could a lot worse than install RSS Grafitti. A lot of RSS tools that you can install onto your Page will give you a plain list of your most recent posts whereas RSS Grafitti allows you to add a great looking tab to your page that pulls all your content into a fantastic looking page. It automatically posts content to your wall and can be setup in a few minutes with you never heaving to fiddle with the settings again.

Static HTML

The guys at Involver certainly know how to make a decent app or two and their Static HTML tab gives you the freedom to create a tab using HTML that we all know and love. When Facebook stopped supporting new FBML tabs there were many who thought setting up a simple page with a few graphics and clickable links would become very difficult to run. Not so. Installing Static HTML makes the whole process real easy and you once again you can play about to create tabs that really make your Page stand out.

Lord Sugar and the Telegraph corner shop

As a marketeer I’m always on the lookout for inspirational ideas and stories about how businesses and business people are successful in marketing their products and services.  Few business people will fail to recognise the face of Alan Sugar, even fewer will fail to acknowledge the value of reading his autobiography – What you see is what you get. I’m currently about half the way through it and thoroughly enjoying the read. Apart from it giving me an insight into the man, it is also challenging a key tenet of my belief about the value of low pricing as part of a marketing strategy. The Amstrad strategy was always built on “stack them high and sell them cheap” and without a doubt it was a successful ploy; the company made millions that way. In my marketing workshops I advise small and medium sized businesses to avoid this strategy and to focus on quality and customer care because only the big boys with massive buying power can win in a low price war; it’s a well documented marketing theory and one that’s easily understood. Once the undercutting begins, only the player with the biggest and deepest pockets can win out.