In this article for American Express’ OPENForum, Geoff Williams discusses how to best promote your startup or small business using sales that will increase sales and bring in new customers as opposed to costing you time and money. His suggestions include:
Make sure you’ll at least break even
Watch out for the deal hunters
Know who you want to attract
Know why you’re having a sale to begin with
Click the article title above to read the full piece and get all of the details.
In this article for Social Media Today, Monica Wells shares some surprising tidbits about social media that will be helpful for any entrepreneur trying to market a startup or small business to know. Click the article above to get all of the details.
In this article for Forbes, investor Josh Linkner shares the top ways entrepreneurs put their foot in their mouth when pitching their startups to venture capitalists and angel investors. Click the article title above to get all of the info.
In this piece for the Wall Street Journal’s Small Business section, Chris Gay gives 4 examples of entrepreneurs who were able to spread the word about their startups and small businesses without spending a ton of cash. To learn how they did it and see if you can apply these tactics to your business, click the article title above.
This week we’re chatting with Paul Wilson, the founder of PR Wilson Media, your social media personal trainer, and a Guinness World Record Holder. Check out the interview below to hear about Paul’s interesting journey into entrepreneurship and to learn what’s going on in the U.K. Then be sure to subscribe to Paul’s channel on YouTube and to follow him on Twitter.
Social media seems pretty straightforward and simple on the surface, but it’s incredibly easy to let it fall through the cracks when there are a million different balls you’re juggling in your business and you haven’t created a clear plan. When developing your social media strategy, it’s important to create an “editorial calendar” for yourself identifying what you’ll post, on which platform, on what day, and at what time.
You want to draft the schedule to keep yourself organized for a few reasons:
Firstly, it’s important that you keep your social media properties up to date. If you go weeks without posting, the potential customers that visit will notice that inactivity and wonder if you’re still around or if you’d be responsive to them if they became customers.
Secondly, you want to space out the different types of posts in a logical manner. You shouldn’t post 27 photos in a row and then not post another photo again for 3 months. The goal is to keep your social media followers interested by providing variety and quality. When you create a posting schedule, you’re more likely to strategically share the different content you curate as opposed to just randomly posting.
Along the same lines, it’s important to have some consistency in how often you post. If you post everything real time as you see it or think of it, there will be days when you post 15 times and then weeks when you have nothing to share. Again, that’s not good for building customer trust, so you want to curate your content constantly but schedule when you share it strategically.
Finally, if you create a plan you can determine when the most effective times to post various content are in order to receive the most engagement from your followers. While you can and should look up statistics about when users are active on the different platforms, this varies so greatly between groups that it’s important you do some of your own testing. As you post, track what posts get the most engagement and note any patterns: times of day, days of the week, types of posts, etc. Then use that information to adjust your strategy and give your followers more of what they want, when they want it.
To help you out with your content scheduling so that you don’t have to sit online all day every day, as well as to help you track engagement, I highly recommend utilizing one of the many services that can integrate all of your social media platforms and allow you to schedule posts in the future. I personally use Hootsuite but there are many similar platforms out there and whichever you’re most comfortable with is the one you should use.
*** UPDATE*** As I mentioned in the original post, I use Hootsuite for my social media management and when I shared this post with my social media and business networking communities, they all seemed to say that Hootsuite was their favorite tool as well. If you’re interested in giving Hootsuite a try, click here and you’ll get a 30-day free trial of their pro version. This is an affiliate link, meaning I will get paid if you purchase through this link. I want to be totally upfront about that, but I also want to make clear that I am promoting Hootsuite because I use it and love it, not because I get paid.
Now let’s hear what works for you: Do you have an editorial calendar for your social media posts and how far in advance do you plan? What’s your favorite social media management tool – Hootsuite, Buffer, or something else? Let me know in the comments section below what works for you.
If you found this video helpful or interesting, please spread the word. Like it and share it with someone whom you think would benefit from the information and I will be hugely appreciative.
Because social media only costs in time and not in clear, clean dollars, the ROI is a little more slippery and many business owners don’t bother to track if their social media strategies are succeeding or not. But time is money, so you need to know if you’re wasting it or spending it wisely. To make sure you know whether or not your social media efforts are time well spent, here are a few basic ways to track if your social media efforts are being successful or if you need to reevaluate:
The point of all of these metrics is to make you aware of what is and is not working so that you can adjust your strategy. Remember, this is about taking a step back so you can improve your strategy, i.e. work on your business instead of just working in your business.
Google+ hasn’t always gotten much respect as a key social media channel for business promotion, but that’s changing. Google+ is growing rapidly and provides some extra benefits that some of the other big players don’t. It’s also one of my top traffic referrers, so I recommend that anyone not already using it for their business at least give it a try.
Not only is Google+ a property of the largest search engine in the world, Google (duh), but also it has a great interface and isn’t completely overrun with spammers yet so you can still get some great interaction from other users pretty easily. Google+ is similar to Facebook in that you can create both a personal profile and a company page, so if you want to promote your business you should get started by creating both.
Check out the video below to learn more about why and how you should be using Google+ to help promote your business.
Every entrepreneur needs to assess the pros and cons of each potential marketing avenue and not every social media platform is right for every business. However, if you haven’t checked out Google+ yet, you’re missing out. The SEO benefits as well as the level of engagement you can generate from other users make it a platform that all entrepreneurs should at least try out before deciding if it’s right for them.