The Fundamentals of Social Media for Small Businesses

When you first discover the power of using social media for your business, it almost seems too good to be true. Providing access to an enormous network of users who can help you to not only maximize the quality of your services but also with the potential to reach a distant audience you would never have found on your own; social media has meant a lot for small businesses today.

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Getting started with it and using the platform as a tool can be more challenging than you think, though, and many business owners are still struggling to get the most out of it. Learn the fundamentals to social media marketing and use it to your advantage – while your competitors are still trying to figure it out.

 

Learn to Listen

 

Many business owners are using social media to gain a presence online, to build their network, and as a platform where they can express the personality of their business. They’re talking a lot, in other words, and making sure that their audience is exposed to the brand on a regular basis.

But they forget that social media is all about listening if you want to gain an advantage and truly understand the market; it’s about what’s important to the audience, not what’s important to the business.

You’ll be able to create the kind of content and provide the type of services that they are interested in when you manage to listen, read the content they’re posting and join in on the discussions. It’s as simple as that – observing, contributing, and growing.

 

Learn to Specialize

 

If you have a business blog, you know how important it is not to create generic content and contribute to the chaos in your audience’s news feed. Millions of new blog posts are posted every day, and many of them talk about the same stuff, creating nothing original, and providing no value to the audience.

The same goes for what you’re posting on social media; learn to target what people would like to hear about and discuss, keep the conversation specific, and build a strong brand around this. You won’t be able to help them out with specialized content unless you keep an eye on what they might be discussing and learn to know them.

That’s the beauty of social media and something we would never have been able to do before without market research companies. You can speed the process up a bit by hiring a social media expert, by the way, and learn as much as possible from the process before going at it on your own.

Learn to Wait

 

Patience is what most small business owners lack when it comes to social media. Everything happens so fast these days, and the pace of an online audience might seem too quick to keep up with, yet success with social media marketing is a long-term commitment. It won’t happen overnight, and you’re not going to achieve anything by giving up too soon.

Continue to reach out to your market, observe their behavior, and provide them with the kind of content they’d be interested in. Although it’s a slow process, you’re expanding your network and building your brand – it’s just going to take some time before you see the results.

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Handling Your Own PR When Running A Home Business

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Whether you’re operating an online shop or offering freelance services from your house, PR can boost your home business. Although a lot of your time will go towards your main operations, spending a little time on PR can go a long way.

You can use PR to entice new customers and boost your reputation. As a home business, you may need to handle your PR by yourself. However, there are ways to do this that can be quick and rewarding.

Use Social Media

Social media is one of the most important aspects of PR. This is a prime way of communicating with current customers, as well as finding new ones.

Opening a Twitter account is one of the best ways to get your business noticed. Taking part in hashtag discussions for specific interests can help you get your name out there to your target demographic. Your posts can also be followed and shared by others, expanding your reach even further.

If you sell products, Instagram and Pinterest can be good places to post high quality photos of what you’re selling. This is a good, largely informal way of advertising your business to regular people. Getting a good following across social media networks also improves your business reputation, so make sure you sign up to at least one!

Get A Virtual Business Address

When dealing with business postage, using your home address can look a little unprofessional. This will be your return address on any products you send out and also the address you receive business mail to. Because of this, it is a good idea to buy a virtual business address.

Having your virtual office located at a respectable business address makes your home company look better. Additionally, this saves you from putting your personal details out there. These services offer mail collection to keep your business mail separate from the rest. You can also pay a little extra for mail forwarding.

Renting a real office can be expensive. Using a virtual office is a small investment that can make your business look bigger, so it’s worth the price.

Push Out Content

Associating content with your business can entice more people to what you’re doing. Simply having a website and a blog for your business can be a good place to start. This way you can post interesting news, infographics and how-to articles related to what you do. However, there are also ways to reach out further.

Writing content advertising your business can be sent to other blogs related to your field. You could also open your own YouTube channel, allowing you to demonstrate what you offer in videos.

Today’s customers are content frenzied. A good article or video will often be shared across social media and the best will even be spread by word-of-mouth.

Be Media Friendly

Finally, make yourself available to the media. If you have an interesting story related to your business, send a press release to magazines and blogs. They may pick up this story and get the word out there to more people.

Also don’t be afraid to provide interviews and quotes to journalists. More publicity can only help increase the profile of your business.

[post contributed for tamarhela.com]

Businesses: You’re Getting Facebook All Wrong! Here’s Why…

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As a tech enthusiast, it’s so frustrating to see businesses ruining their chances with social media. The worst part about it is that instead of trying again, they’ll dismiss it as a poor marketing technique. It’s almost as if business owners see platforms like Facebook as an easy, quick fix. When it doesn’t provide the intended results, they get irritable.

Why would anyone think that Facebook is a quick fix? Just like any other marketing technique, it takes time to master. If you aren’t willing to put that effort in, you’ll end up with the mistakes that you see below.

Inconsistency

 

The one major thing that always stands out to me is how inconsistent businesses are with their social media output. Many of them seem to think that after the initial few weeks, they can allow it to die out. That certainly isn’t the case. A good social media page will be managed on a daily basis for hours at a time. Consistent and engaging content will build a following, but this isn’t something that will develop overnight. You need to give it time if you want to be successful.

Ignoring Your Customers

Facebook gives your customers a lot of ways to get in contact with you. They can direct message you if they want to, for starters. Then, they can go and post a visitors comment if they don’t get a response. Finally, they can post comments on statuses that you have placed yourself. You better believe that if you’ve got an angry customer that isn’t getting a response, they’ll make themselves heard. It’s important to respond as quickly as you can to everything you receive. This will improve your reputation considerably.

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Forgetting Analytics

Facebook provides an analytics service called ‘Insights’ that will monitor things like demographics and engagement. You can tell how well each post has been received, helping you to determine future strategies. If you’re getting big results from a particular hashtag, you can use it again in the future. If you’re struggling to generate interest with big blocks of text, you’ll know not to use them next time. Don’t ignore this invaluable tool.

Missing Out On Paid Services

There a lot of options available to you when it comes to paid services. I know, I know: Facebook is free, right?! Yes, but why should you be limited to what you can get for free? Marketing has always cost businesses money, and Facebook shouldn’t be any different. Firstly, there’s the ability to boost your posts with real money, allowing you to target a greater amount of people. Then, there are expert marketing services that can help you to manage your Facebook account more effectively. There’s always the ability to buy ‘likes’ as well, but that isn’t normally as effective.

Offering Nothing Of Interest

And, we come to the most important part of it all. If you’re not interesting, you aren’t going to engage others on social media. Marketing spiel won’t work here, either. You’ve got to tap into the social media way of doing things, so educate yourself about how to do this. Include plenty of images, videos and trending content to encourage others to pay attention.

[post contributed for tamarhela.com]

5 Reasons Why You Should Outsource Your SEO

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Via: Flickr

 

Search is a vital part of running a successful online enterprise. But, it is an area that is always changing and developing, which can lead to a lot of confusion for business owners. It is possible to learn all the ins and outs of SEO yourself or to hire a full-time member of staff to take care of things. But, for the vast majority of small online businesses, it is often more efficient to outsource to a third party. In today’s guide, we’re going to reveal five reasons why you should outsource your SEO. Let’s take a closer look.

Ever evolving

As we mentioned above, search is an ever-evolving online marketing technique. And, according to SEO Rank Up, a well-executed SEO campaign is never finished. It’s a constant work in progress that needs attention to keep ahead of your competitors. It makes sense, then, to find a third party company that keeps up to speed with the latest developments in the SEO industry. They will be able to introduce new elements as and when they come along, and you can concentrate on the more important aspects of your business.

Access to tools

SEO firms use a variety of tools to improve search rankings and analyze data. Many of these tools are expensive and take a time to master. It’s going to take a lot of investment of time and money to access these important tools yourself. But, by outsourcing your SEO, you will be buying into expertise and common knowledge of how they work.

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Workload

You might be a business owner with a great idea and a lot of experience. But, your expertise probably lies in areas other than creating SEO campaigns, content, SEO copy, and link building. All of these – and more – are important factors in improving your search engine rankings. And, they all take up a tremendous amount of time. In fact, if you decide to go it alone, it is unlikely that you will have space in your diary to do anything else. Especially if you are coming to the subject as a rookie. So, offload those tasks to a professional third party with the right expertise. It will be a lot more beneficial for your business.

Cost

It’s expensive to hire full-time employees, and your time is probably worth more than you think. So, you are far better off paying a third party to work on your SEO – it’s just way more efficient. It means you will have time to focus on the money making activities that drive your business forward.

A fresh approach

When you work within an industry, you learn a lot about the way things are done. However, this can often lead to stale working practices that are fixed into narrow confines. A good SEO firm will come in and ask you a lot of questions, as they may know nothing about your industry or how you work. And, it can often reveal some fresh new ideas that you have never considered before.

[post contributed for tamarhela.com]

 

Why is SEO Important for Businesses?

Search engine optimization is something that your business really has to get to grips with if it hasn’t already. But that’s probably something that you’ve heard before now. So, why is this the case? What makes SEO so important for businesses? The answers can be found below.

Most People Click the First Link on a Search Results Page

Most people who search for something on a search engine will click the first result on the page. This is something that probably won’t surprise you. We all use search engines and none of us like trawling through pages and pages of results. And if your business’s website doesn’t rank very high on results pages, your business miss out. You will miss out on visits to your website, and on sales as well. This is not something that any business owner wants, so you need to give it some thought. It could be the reason why you are not seeing many people visit your website. Using SEO to your advantage could change all that though.

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You Need to Keep Up with the Competition

Every business has competitors, and all business owners want to keep up with them. If you don’t stay ahead of your rivals, then your business’s entire future could be put at risk. The chances are your rivals are using SEO. And you need to be using it if you want to keep up with them. If you fail to do this, it won’t be long before they are dominated the online market in your business sector. With the growth in online sales, this is not something that you can allow to happen if you are serious about your business and its future. And even if your rivals are not on top of SEO, this presents you with a chance to pull ahead of them.

SEO Gets Results

SEO techniques still work and manage to get results for businesses. This is the main reason why businesses should embrace them in order to grow their market share and dominate online custom. All case studies show that businesses do better online when they are using the right SEO techniques. Businesses that ignore these issues do not do as well, so the proof is there. And you can’t afford to ignore it if you want to find business success in the 21st century. If you don’t know what the best SEO techniques for your business are, get help from a company like Webstasy.

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Search Engines Are Continuing to Grow

Anyone who thought that the influence of search engines would decrease over the years has already been proven wrong. Search engines are not going anywhere anytime soon. So, rather than ignoring them, you need to learn how to make them work for you and your business. It’s no good wishing you didn’t have to because this won’t have any impact on the reality of the situation. In the coming years, they will continue to grow. A huge amount of website visits originate on search engine results page. It’s the main way in which people discover new sites and businesses.

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[post contributed for tamarhela.com]