10 Tips to Make Your Website Stand Out From The Crowd

10 Tips to Make Your Website Stand Out From The Crowd

Today there are over 1,000,000,000 websites on the internet.

 

And they’re all vying to capture the attention of your customer.

 

I’m not telling you this to scare you. In fact I am probably not telling you anything you are not aware of already.

 

I’m telling you this to demonstrate that since there are over one billion websites online, the chances are there are at least ten, maybe even a couple of hundred in your niche and location alone.

 

And with figures like that, you need to make sure that your website is successful at helping you reach your business goals, capturing the attention of and building trust with your target audience.

 

In this post you will receive ten specific and actionable strategies to turn your online presence into a marketing asset so you can increase the number of leads you generate, the prospects you convert into customers and ultimately enable you to rise above the competition.

 

Have a Mobile Friendly Website

have a mobile friendly website

 

Whether it’s performing a search, opening an app, visiting a website or watching a video, people turn to their mobile device to get answers or take action.

 

If the website you have is not mobile optimised the user experience will be poor; it will be harder to click on buttons, more difficult to read the information and the user may not even be able to “click to call”, all of which can result in them moving on very quickly. Worse, if Google notice this, and they will, you will effectively be penalised and your website will be pushed further down the search rankings as a consequence.

 

Claim Your Google My Business Listing

 

Google is the most powerful and popular search engine, every second there are 54,907 searches globally and it has loads of great resources on offer as well. By taking advantage of Google’s resources you will also make your business more easily searchable. One of the best things to do is claim your Google my Business Profile and make the page your own

 

It’s important to make sure you’re including key contact and location information on your website and Google my business profile.

 

According to research by comScore, address and location are the primary pieces of information sought by local searchers. Here are some of the other types of info searchers are looking for:

 

local-search-intent

  • Businesses by category (In other words, searchers are looking for a particular type of business but haven’t yet decided which one to select.)
  • Phone number
  • Products or services (Again, they don’t have a particular business in mind, they’re searching for a specific product or service.)
  • Opening Hours
  • Driving directions
  • Coupons and special offers
  • Ratings and reviews

Given the desires of local searchers, it’s important to keep your content concise and actionable.

 

CLAIM PROFILES ON SOCIAL MEDIA

 

claim your social media profiles

Social Media can have a huge impact as it can put you in front of a huge targeted audience in a relatively informal setting. It’s also great for backlinks, getting your content shared and increasing the awareness of your brand. Having your own profile to link to also reinforces your brand image and gives you a good link back to a very highly ranked source.

 

These social media profiles are very relevant for your brand and can be used to protect your reputation from other companies or unwanted press articles appearing in brand related search terms.

 

Exclusive Report Reveals 49 Social Media Tips for Business.

Including How to build relationships with you customers so they come back again and again and again! 

Click Here to Get Your Copy Now!

 

Optimse Your Website for Search

 

If you want your site to show up in the search engines, then you have to make sure that the terms that people would use to search for your type of product or service are on your site for the search engines to see. For example if you are a Dentist, your potential customers might be searching for “loose tooth”, “straighten my teeth” rather than just “dentist”. Find out what your customers search for, and then optimise your site for these words and phrases.

 

optimise your website for search

Sit down and create a list of your products and services. Take each service individually and add the problems that you can solve. You then have the basis for a content campaign.

 

PRODUCE QUALITY CONTENT

 

Search engines are hungry for fresh content on websites. They see it as a measure of how up to date and relevant a site is. If you produce a great, fully optimised website don’t think you have done it once and can leave it forever without updating it. You need to add new content to your website regularly, not least because if people see that there is a lot of fresh new information they are more likely to come back time and time again.

 

The more good quality content you have, the greater the opportunity you have to have your website presented to a targeted user in search.

 

Grow your email list.

 

There should be a focus, a desired result so to speak, for everything that you do online. If you are going to create a website and provide educational, entertaining and enlightening content for your target audience then you should enable those targeted users to take the next step and become leads and future clients of your business.

captur

 

In order to do this you have to provide the website user with something of incredible value that will help them solve their problem.

 

An example of such would be that a legal firm who offer conveyancing services could provide a download for a user to subscribe to called “5 Reasons Choosing the Least Cost Conveyancing Quote Could Leave You Thousands of Pounds Out of Pocket”

 

If you are looking to buy a new home then this is something you want to know, so you can provide the user with that information in exchange for their email address and more importantly, permission to email them and market your strengths in that area.

 

ENCOURAGE COMMENTS AND FEEDBACK

 

Social Proof is very important. Think of any major purchase you’ve made and the chances are you did some research online. Customer reviews and feedback are often more valuable than a blurb or product description. They show that real people have bought, used and enjoyed the product or experience enough to come back and review it.

 

MANAGE YOUR REPUTATION

 

The internet is a huge open forum and no matter how many happy customers you have there will always be someone who leaves a bad review or a negative comment. While you can never stop these entirely, you need to be aware of what is being said about you online and make sure that you control your image and reputation as tightly as possible.

 

On the flip side when customers leave great feedback about your business you need to make sure those reviews and testimonials are everywhere that potential clients may be online.

feedback

 

ENGAGE WITH CUSTOMERS

 

It can be all too easy to hide behind the brand, with an online presence it’s good to be visible. Let your customers know who is behind the business, let them know who they’re talking to on Social Media. You don’t need to give away anything personal, just be personable, reply to comments so that people can see they’re being listened to and engage in conversations to create a bit of a buzz about your business.

 

MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR ONLINE PRESENCE!

 

A fully optimised, engaging online presence that draws customers in and encourages customer interaction takes a lot of effort and skill. If your online presence isn’t working for you, it more than likely means customers aren’t finding you, or if they are then they don’t like what they see. Done correctly, your online presence with your website at the centre should provide a constant stream of leads and ultimately be a full time sales person for your business.

 

Click here to get access

 

Do Customers Really Trust Your Business?

Do Customers Really Trust Your Business?

I’m sure your gut reaction says that yes, they do, but how can you prove it?

 

Let’s look at this from the customer’s point of view. If they are looking for the kind of service you provide, how does your business prove to those customers that you’re the best company for them?

 

The answer is, they look at your track record, and the quickest way for them to get a good idea is from your past clients who have already employed you to do the job that this new customer wants. So, they look at your reviews.

 

Online reviews and recommendations are now incredibly important, in fact they have contributed to the biggest shift in consumer buying in the last 100 years and few businesses are really harnessing their power.

 

Do you know how many reviews an average consumer will look up before making a decision?

It’s 10, yes that’s right, TEN.

 

If your business doesn’t have 10 reviews online then you’re giving your next potential customer their first reason not to get in touch with you (Source: Brightlocal).

 

Taking this one step further, the number of reviews that a consumer wants to see before they trust a business is actually very similar. Studies report that consumers want to see between 6 and 10 5 star reviews before they think a business is trustworthy (Source: Searchengineland).

 

The bottom line is that without those 5 Star reviews, your business isn’t trusted online. And that’s what we’re here to help you solve: How to Build Your 5 Star Reputation.

 

You might think that this sounds a little extreme, after all, how many people really read reviews?

 

Astonishingly, 97% of consumers aged 18-34 read online reviews to judge a local business (2015 local consumer review survey). This age group are the millennials, the next group of buyers. When 97% of them are using reviews to judge a local business before they call, or before they set an appointment, and way before they spend any money, it means improving your reputation is the most critical thing that you can do online for your marketing and to get customers.

 

If you’re sitting there feeling quite smug, knowing that millennials aren’t your target audience therefore online reviews and reputation needn’t concern you. WRONG.

 

If you widen the statistics for the whole population, that is ALL age groups, it’s 92% of consumers now read online reviews for local businesses (2015 local consumer review survey).

 

So how does increasing your positive reviews actually translate to an increase in business?

The University of California Berkeley published the results of a study of 328 businesses where they found that by increasing the rating by just half a star could increase revenues by 19% (Source: Economic Journal).

 

More importantly when we asked consumers – when you’re searching for a business online who would you call first? Only 18% said they would call a business that actually showed up at the top of the search results. 27% said they would choose the cheapest service. However, the majority of respondents said they would call the business with the best reputation.

 

The game of marketing has changed dramatically. You don’t need to be the business with the best SEO, and you shouldn’t have to offer the biggest discounts to attract peoples’ attention. What your customers are looking for is the most reputable company to do business with. Which is something we all should have been aiming for all along!

 

The next step for you to take is to implement a 5 Star Review strategy. Find out how to do this by signing up for our free report below.

click here

Are You Making These Mistakes With Your Social Media Presence?

Are You Making These Mistakes With Your Social Media Presence?

We’ve worked with countless businesses over the last few years,

to help them improve their online reputation and to help them grow and reach new clients. Social Media has become an increasingly important part of a businesses online presence, and an area that the vast majority of businesses seem to think they are comfortable and happy to use without guidance.

The problem is, that using social media for your business is vastly different from using it for your social life. In personal terms, you use sites like Twitter and Facebook to catch up with friends, share photos, gossip and find out about what’s going on in people’s lives. You don’t have a particular goal, or target to meet and can either share as much or as little as you’re comfortable with. 

In business, whatever your line of work, your social media should be used to help you win more customers, to help solve your customers problems, or to spread the word about your business to potential new customers. Do you see a pattern here? Social Media for your business is part of your business marketing, and you shouldn’t go into it with any other attitude.

With that in mind, I’m continuously surprised at the number of supposedly professional businesses who make very basic mistakes with their social media presence. Mistakes that can undermine the hard work they’re putting in in the real world to grow their reputation and business, and can even damage their perception or put new customers off.

Here are some of the most common errors that I come across that you could easily fix to improve your reputation.

Broken Links From Your Website

Broken Link to TwitterHaving links from your website back to your social media pages so that people can follow you is great – provided those links work! If you put in the wrong link to your social media pages then your visitors will be confronted with images like these.Broken links to Facebook

You’ll have to hope that those people are keen enough to search for your pages so that they can find and follow you some other way – the chances of this are slim as most people have too short an attention span. Fix the problem by fixing those links!

No Profile Picture

No Profile PictureThere is no excuse for not having a profile picture. Having no profile picture suggests that you can’t be bothered to complete your details, or that you have something to hide. Even if you are actively using your account, having no profile image suggests otherwise. Given how easy it is to take a picture on your phone and upload it to social media it’s hard to justify not having an image even if your account is new – you can take an image and upload it within seconds. If you have a business account, then you don’t even have to have a picture of yourself – you could use the business logo. Using a logo or image gives your business an identifiable “face”. It means that your customers and prospects know that there is someone behind the brand.

Protected Account

Protected Twitter accountAs a business, in order to grow you need to consistently attract new followers. Those new followers over time could turn into leads, referrals or clients. If, like this company on the right, you have a protected account it means that people can’t follow you unless you approve them first. It might seem like a small step to take, but it puts a lot of people off. Ask yourself what you are hiding by keeping your tweets private? If something needs to be private then there is probably a better way to deliver it than via Twitter. Do your business a favour and make your Twitter account public.

Profile Instead of a Page

Businesses should have a dedicated Facebook page. A page is different to a profile that you will have for yourself. The image below shows a business with a personal profile page, which is actually against the Facebook terms of service. As a profile, you have friends meaning that you have to either request or approve someone to be friends with you. Pages have fans, meaning anyone can Like the page and follow the updates. Pages and profiles also have different permissions when it comes to interacting in Groups and promoting offers. Pages also give you access to useful stats and insights, whereas profiles don’t. Profile not a page

If you’re using a profile for you business, close it down and set up a genuine Business page.

For more tips and advice on how to manage your business’s social media presence then you can download my free guide, 49 exclusive social media tips for business.

What are your biggest bugbears that you’ve come across with business social media accounts? Let me know in the comments!

Social Media For Business Free Download

Why You Should Pay Attention to Twitter’s Increased Follow Limit

Why You Should Pay Attention to Twitter’s Increased Follow Limit

Big News from Twitter last week!

They are increasing the cap on how many people you can follow from 2000 to 5000.

The follower limit is been in place as a way for Twitter to try and stop Spam accounts, or what it calls aggressive following. Following other accounts is one of the ways for other users to notice your account and many people will follow back someone who follows them. Following or unfollowing large numbers of accounts is therefore one of the things that Twitter monitors as it’s seen as being outside the realms of reasonable usage.

 

With the Follow limit in place, every user is now allowed to follow 5000 other accounts, once that limit is hit you see an error message that stops you from following any more people until you have more followers of your own. The number of additional followers you can add above 5000 is different for every user, but it is based on the number of followers you have. Twitter keeps the exact science behind this a secret so as to further discourage spamming.

 

Seeing as the previous Follow limit of 2000 seems huge, you might be wondering just how exactly having a limit of 5000 could benefit you and if you should even attempt to follow so many people.

 

Find out how Twitter’s increased Follow Limit can benefit your business! <-Tweet This!

 

Growing a targeted following on Twitter is a tough task, but once you have that following it is a very valuable asset. It means that those followers are interested in what you have to say, and are likely to be amongst the first people to react to new offers, updates and information that you Tweet out. There are many ways to go about growing a targeted Twitter following, and following your ideal accounts is certainly one way to get noticed. If that is part of your plan, then Twitter now allows you to follow an extra 3000 people, so it is a big deal!

 

There are several ways to find targeted users to follow, one suggestion would be to take a look at a similar business to yours and to follow the same people they do. If a certain number of these followers follow you back then you know they are interested in the type of things you’ll be tweeting about because they already follow an account similar to yours.

 

Make Lists

If you already follow more than a few hundred other accounts on Twitter then you know how quickly the tweets come through and how easy it is to miss updates. One way to manage your followers when you follow thousands of accounts is to create lists. Lists can be public or private, and can be made up however you want them to be.

 

For example, you might want to create lists organised by industry so you can see everything that the Legal industry is tweeting about, or everything that the Estate Agents you follow are saying. You might want to create a list of accounts that you know in real life, such as people you’ve met at networking events, or a list of businesses in your local area. If lists are public then anyone can follow them. A well curated list can attract a lot of followers in itself.

 

Public Vs Private

There are reasons to keep lists private too, you might want to have a list of your own customers and not want the world to know who exactly you are working with. You might also want a list of your competitors, or prospects so you can keep an eye on what they are doing.

 

Be More Social!

Another reason to follow as many accounts as you can is that the more you follow, the more information you will see. Whether it is news, opinions, blogs, jokes or anything else, bu following more people you are giving yourself more opportunity to see something that catches your eye, and to interact with the person on the other end. The whole point of social sites such as Twitter is to develop relationships and friendships, and to discover other like-minded people, and if you interact regularly with more people then that is a major positive.

 

Twitter has raised this limit for a reason, and while we may never know Twitter’s reason for doing this, us as Twitter users are left with a two options: Ignore the changes, or work with them. Which one will you choose? Leave me a comment to let me know, or better yet, Tweet me, @Big_Thinking

 

If you’d like more Social Media tips then download my free guide – 49 Social Media Tips for Business.

Social Media For Business Free Download

How to Use Social Media as a Lead Generation Tool for Your Business.

How to Use Social Media as a Lead Generation Tool for Your Business.

I’m Sure You’ve Heard About Social Media.

I’m also sure that if you have a business, you’ll also have some form of social media account for that business. What I would be surprised to hear, however, is that you’re successfully using your social media channels to generate new customers, clients or patients.

 

Whilst there are many businesses who generate much of their income from social media, and others who rely on social media for a large percentage of their leads, the vast majority of businesses do not manage to gain any discernible benefit from the time they spend Tweeting, liking and commenting on social media.

 

Winning new customers and generating leads via social media is not impossible, but if you’re not successful at it right now then you need to change the way you think about it, what you do with it and consider who you are targeting.

 

Which Social Media Platform is Right for My Business?

Focus on 1 or 2 Social Media PlatformsFor your business to thrive, you need to provide your customers with the best product or service you have to offer. It’s unlikely that you’ll be able to show your best self on every social platform, and it’s also unlikely that your ideal customer will use every platform in the same way. Therefore to bring in new customers, you need to determine which social platform you can effectively and consistently utilise to extend your business to new customers. If your ideal client is another business owner, try LinkedIn. If you target general consumers try Facebook, if you have a products that you sell maybe Instagram will suit you. Focus your efforts on just 1 or 2 platforms.

 

Engagement is Key

A great way to get new business on Social media is to have your existing customers engage with your pages. Most of your existing customers should be happy to like or connect with you – after all they have hired you to do something for them! Your priority initially should be to keep your social media pages updated with content that is engaging and relevant to your existing customer base, so that they will want to interact with you.Interact on Social Media

 

Build Relationships

By doing so you will start building stronger relationships with them, putting you in a position to retain business and repeat customers. These loyal social media followers are the ones who will see your updates first. Get your message right, and your followers will be compelled to like your content, sign up for your offers, and spread the word to their own friends who are likely to be interested in similar things.

 

Update Regularly

With frequent, attention grabbing status updates and content that gets “shares” and “likes”, the more your page will be exposed to other people. As your page is seen by more people, your following will start to grow also.

 

If every update is about your business, then you may end up annoying even the most loyal of your customers. Remember, the goal here is to keep your current customers here for the long term, whilst growing your following at the same time. Growth is important, because if you don’t grow your following, or increase the audience you’re talking to then your sales will plateau. This is true however you market your business – if you don’t reach out to more people you won’t make more sales.

 

How Can I Grow My Social Media Following?

Grow Your FollowersTo grow your audience with relevant followers who may actually want to buy from you, you should make it as easy as possible for other people to share what you do. If you’re already sharing great content on social media then continue to do this! But you should also make sure that you have great content on your website that people want to share and that you have sharing buttons so that they can share it. Take a look at this web page – there are sharing buttons for all the main social sites – go ahead, share this to your followers!

 

“To get more people to share your content, provide more opportunities via social share buttons in numerous places throughout your site.” <-Tweet this!

 

Growing a relevant following on social media is not easy, and it won’t happen overnight. It takes continuous effort and a good amount of determination but it is worth getting right! If you can consistently grow your following month on month then guess what – you will be creating those leads and opportunities that your business needs!

Did you like these tips? If so, you can download my free e-book 49 social media tips for business for a whole lot more!

What are your best Social Media tips? Leave a comment below.

Why You Should Use Pinterest – No Matter What Your Business Is

Why You Should Use Pinterest – No Matter What Your Business Is

Why You Should Use Pinterest – No Matter What Your Business Is | www.bigthinkingonline.com

Pinterest launched early in 2010

It was initially a closed beta project for a select group of users. It soon progressed to be an invitation only site, and I remember requesting an invitation to join early in 2011 after seeing friends’ pins popping up on Facebook and wanting to try it out myself.

 

I initially set up a personal account (which I still have) and I have to admit I didn’t really “get” it. I’m not a very visual or arty person and quickly got bored of looking at images of perfect homes and cookie recipes.

 

Pinterest stayed off my radar until it was time to plan my wedding, when it provided endless inspiration for my dress, hairstyle, invites, table decorations and everything else that suddenly becomes all important for the big day. But again, once the wedding day was over I quickly forgot about Pinterest.

 

Reading as many blogs and social media news sites as I do, I knew how important a site Pinterest had become for businesses. I could see a great fit for a lot of retail businesses, designers and anyone that makes things but I didn’t really think that it was something that would suit my business. 

 

My target audience is other business owners, typically UK based professional companies who work in the B2C space, for example Dentists, Solicitors, Estate Agents, and the work that I do isn’t “pretty” to look at – social media marketing, Website development, Reputation marketing – it just didn’t seem like Pinterest was the place to find either my ideal customer, or to showcase what I did.

 

However, I kept seeing more and more reports of how people were getting tons of traffic from Pinterest back to their websites and it got to the stage where I realised I had to give Pinterest another chance.

 

I have to admit, when I looked at it from a business perspective rather than the perspective of a casual social user I was very surprised. What I found when I searched was a great source of business blogs on every topic you can think of, written by the very people that make up my target demographic – Business Owners!

I was also surprised at the businesses I found to follow on there – Law Firms, Dentists, Estate Agents – all the businesses I want to work with!

 

It turns out that having “pretty” pins is only part of the story on Pinterest. If your content is interesting and you have headlines that grab people’s attention then Pinterest is a great place to share your work. And, as with any social media platform, the people you want to target are already there, it’s just a case of looking for them and making sure your Pins will catch their eye.

 

If you want to know more about how we help businesses to reach out to more of their target audience and grow via Social Media then take a look at our Social Media Packages.

 

Do you have a Business Account on Pinterest? What do you like (or dislike!) about it? 

Finally, if you love using Social Media but want to get more benefit from it as a business, then download my FREE guide, 49 Exclusive Social Media Tips for Business.Social Media For Business Free Download

Is It Time For A New Business Plan?

Is It Time For A New Business Plan?


When I first started my business,

I spent some time putting together a business plan. I laid out targets for growth and timescales to hit those targets. Within a couple of months that plan was unrecognisable with reality so it was time to revaluate and replan.

 

Sometimes it’s obvious when you need to re-think your business plan, brand new businesses for example often change so quickly that you know you need to update your goals in order to have a better handle on how your business is performing.

 

So what clues should you be looking out for and what can you do about it?

 

Are Your Sales Dropping?

If you find that sales of previously popular products and services are falling, it could be a sign that there is a disconnection between what you are providing and what your audience wants.

 

There could be several reasons this has happened.

 

Firstly, you might be marketing to the wrong people. Back when you first came up with your business plan you might have had a clear idea of who your ideal audience was and how you were going to reach them. Sometimes after an initial rush of success you can lose track of what you need to do and that’s where the disconnection happens. The message you’re putting out might not be reaching your target audience any more. Study your analytics and see what is happening now that wasn’t happening before – it could be the first step to you getting back on track.

 

Another reason could be because you’re product isn’t quite what your ideal audience needs it to be. On the surface, it might seem like you have the perfect solution to a problem, but once customers start using that solution it might not be exactly right. To identify if this is the problem, make sure you get feedback from everyone who buys from you. Find out what they like or didn’t like, if they would recommend you and if not, why not? You can then use all this information to improve your product  to make sure it does meet all the requirements that your customers need.

 

Are Sales Staying Flat?

Just because you’re not losing numbers you can’t feel complacent. A business that stays flat is not in good shape either, so you need to come up with a new business plan to help you start to grow again.

 

Things to consider might be to add a new product line to entice more people in. You may also want to think about raising your prices to increase margins, widen your focus to an additional niche, or conversely do you want to narrow your services and brand yourself as an expert?

 

If you’re sales are staying flat, you know that there’s nothing fundamentally wrong with what you offer, but you might need to up your marketing activity in order to get more people to notice you. Work out how many leads it takes you to make a sale, and from there you’ll know if it’s worth you buying leads, hiring another sales person or coming up with something to make your offer a little sweeter in order to convert people at a better rate.

 

Are You Doing Far Better Than You’d Planned?

This is the dream for many business owners, so congratulations! However growing a business very quickly can bring with it its own share of problems. You may need to reassess your business model to make sure that you can cope with the additional fulfillment, customer service and administration that extra customers bring with them. Likewise, you need to ensure that you don’t get so bogged down with closing orders that you forget to carry on building up your future pipeline.

 

Is your business model easy to replicate? If so, could you consider setting up a franchise model that you can sell on to other entrepreneurs.

If that is a step too far, then what about hiring staff? Do you go for administrative staff, sales people or a business partner? Can your existing premises support extra staff and extra customers, or will you need to relocate? Do you need to invest in further marketing, or perhaps if you feel overwhelmed you could sell leads on to a similar business.

 

What ever stage you are at in business you can never get too complacent and rest on your laurels. There is always something else to consider, always something to plan for and always another way to reach out to more customers!

 

So what are you waiting for? Dig out your business plan now and see if it’s still leading you on the right course.

 

If you’d like any advice on how to reach out to more customers online then why not take advantage of our free web strategy session and see if your business is realising its potential? Book Your Place Today! 

The Many Uses Of Social Media

The Many Uses Of Social Media

To get the most out of social media for your business,

You need to think of it in a completely different way than you would for your personal life. In business, social media isn’t just about liking everything your friends do, or sharing pictures of all your meals. You have to consider all the ways that you can use social media.

Customer Service

Social media is great for customer service. Not only can your customers get in touch whenever they have a question, but other people can see your answers too. This means that you may answer one question that benefits multiple people in one go. If you’re lucky, other customers may even see the question and answer it for you! Even if you are asked difficult or awkward questions publicly think of it as an opportunity to show the positive and helpful side to your service to let other customers know that you’re willing to deal with any problems.

 

Reputation Management

Your public image is a huge asset to your business – or at least it should be! Social media allows you monitor what is being said about you, try searching your business name on Twitter and see what comes up! You can also use social media to share positive feedback from your customers, and as an added bonus, now that Tweets show in Google for branded search terms if anyone Googles your business they’ll see your recent messages and know you are proactive about your brand’s image.

 

Getting Feedback

Because of the instant reactions on Social Media, it’s great for getting a snapshot of public opinion. On Facebook you can post quick polls on group pages, on Twitter you quite often see people asking “RT for X or Favourite for Y”. Next time you are working on something and need some advice, why not try asking your followers and see what they actually want? The answer might surprise you, and cause you to take your work in a slightly different direction than you’d intended.

 

Lead Generation

Whilst it’s almost impossible to sell anything directly over Social Media, what you can do is use it to find yourself some great leads and prospective customers. Social Media is excellent for building up trust in your brand, and helping people to get to know and like you. These things are key to converting followers to customers. Make sure that from each of your social media pages there is an obvious way for people to find out more about your business, sign up  for email updates, or to check out your latest offers.

 

News Updates/PR

In the not too distant past, businesses that had an announcement to make had no choice but to try and get a story published somewhere. Now, every time you have any news, whether it’s a new CEO, a great Customer Case Study or a regular blog post, you can get it out to the whole world at the click of a mouse. There is no excuse not to publicise your brand on social media! In fact, the more you put out there, the more it will do to help spread the word of your business!

 

Brand Awareness

Social media allows smaller businesses to compete against much larger rivals in a way that isn’t possible with traditional media. Whereas big brands can spend a fortune on television adverts, that’s out of reach for small businesses. However, those big brands will still use social media, and YouTube, and smaller businesses will show right alongside them. For that reason, social media is great for brand awareness.

 

Networking

Whoever your ideal customer is, they will be on social media – it’s just up to you to find them! Different social networks have different networking styles. For example, on Facebook you should try and join groups that are relevant to your business. You can also join groups on LinkedIn, but on LinkedIn you can optimise your profile so that people can find you more easily in search. On Twitter you can follow conversations via a certain hashtag, something that many groups do regularly.

 

What other ways do you like to use Social Media? You can find us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest, so why not follow us on your favourite network and let us know more about you.

 

If you enjoyed these tips and would like to know more, then download a FREE copy of my ebook, 49 Exclusive Social Media Tips for Business

 

Want to know more about how we help businesses to stand out online then check out our Social Media PackagesSocial Media For Business Free Download

How To Make The Most Of Your Business Facebook Page

How To Make The Most Of Your Business Facebook Page

If you struggle to get engagement on Facebook then you need to read this! How to make the most of your business Facebook page | www.bigthinkingonline.com

Facebook has long been one of the most powerful sites on the internet,

and is definitely one of the most popular. Whether you’re sharing wedding pictures, family holidays or a cat video you found on YouTube, getting your friends to like, comment and share is all part of the fun.

 

For businesses, it’s not quite the same, meaning that in order for a business to really stand out on Facebook they have to work much harder than an individual would.

 

Even a business with hundreds or thousands of Fans isn’t guaranteed a “viral” post.

 

This is all down to Facebook’s special Algorithm called Edge Rank. In other words, Facebook has a formula that scores every item of content posted to Facebook and determines how many people who follow that person or business will see it.

 

Whilst the initial “formula” for Facebook’s Edge Rank has been talked about extensively, the truth is that no-one outside of Facbook knows the exact way it is scored. The algorithm is also updated regularly to make changes based on what Facebook see is working best, or to allow different formats to be seen more. For example, when the Edge rank system was first introduced in 2010 fewer people were posting video to Facebook, whereas now video is very popular and is something that Facebook wants to encourage more people to use.

 

Edge Rank was initially represented by Facebook to look like this:

 

Facebook Edge Rank

 

∑ – The sum of each individual story, e.g. a status update, comment, Like, tag, etc. Each of these is called an Edge.

 

u – The affinity score. This factor weighs how close you are with the person doing the posting. Facebook is more likely to give the content a higher weight if you frequently interact with the person posting, have several mutual friends, or are related.

 

w – The weight for this edge. Not all actions are considered equal in the eyes of Facebook’s algorithm. For example, someone posting on your page would carry more weight than someone simply liking a status update.

 

d – The time decay factor. As a post gets older, it’s more likely that it has already been seen or that it is no longer as relevant. Facebook remedies both of these problems by taking the age of the post into consideration.

 

So taking the Edge Rank into consideration should give you a better chance of your posts from your Business page getting a better reach!

 

Here are some ideas that you can try and put into practice.

  1. Increase Your Affinity Score

You’ve probably heard countless advice telling you to build relationships and have conversations on Social Media. Increasing your affinity score is the reason behind this. If you encourage people to reply, comment and discuss things on your Facebook page you will increase your affinity score.

 

  1. Give Yourself An Edge!

To gain a higher edge score you need to create more stories. Try and ensure that the status updates you post are questions (because then people will comment – see the Affinity point above!). This is where you can show off how creative you are, because the more eye catching, entertaining and varied your updates are, the better you will do.

 

  1. Track The Time Decay Factor

Some posts are more time sensitive than others. If you are posting about a breaking news article for example it’s unlikely to stay at the top of anyone’s news feed for long. Other posts are sometimes more difficult to judge. A good measure is often to take note of how many people have seen your post, which you can see underneath any post on a business page. If the number is stagnant, your story isn’t going anywhere, post something else. On the other hand, sometimes a post might do well for a couple of days, so leave your audience time to enjoy it before adding something new.

 

  1. Take Advantage Of TrendsFacebook Trends

While Hashtags don’t really do the same on Facebook as they do on Twitter, Facebook does now keep track of what’s trending. Again, there’s no point talking about a trend just for the sake of it, but keep an eye on the trends panel on the right hand side of the Newsfeed and if there is anything that would be right for you business to comment on then do it.

 

  1. Share Content And Mention Other Pages

Whenever you share content from another brand, try and remember to Tag their Facebook page in the post. This is a great thing to do, because not only will the other brand see that you have mentioned them, but since the end of 2014 Facebook has increased the likelihood of the other brand’s fans also seeing the post as well. This is particularly true if your brands or audiences are similar, so don’t just go tagging big name brands to try and get exposure – you must stay relevant.

 

  1. No Hard Sales

Finally, this has also been said many times, but Stay Social! Social Media users as a rule don’t want to be sold to all the time. The occasional offer or promotion is fine, but not every post. Facebook will also recognise a sales post over a non sales update and if sales are all you’re posting, they’ll make sure you’re seen by fewer people.

 

Remember, there are no hard and fast rules for getting a better visibility on Facebook – this is just a guide! You might find that a certain style of update works really well for your business and if that’s the case keep doing it – but mix it in with a few other things!

If something is working for you then let us know! 

If you enjoyed these tips and want more, then download my free e-book, 49 Exclusive Social Media Tips for Business.Social Media For Business Free Download

7 Ways To Win New Customers!

7 Ways To Win New Customers!

Every Business needs a little inspiration from time to time - so here's 7 Ways To Win New Customers | www.bigthinkingonline.com

New customers, clients or patients are the lifeblood of any business.

For small businesses in particular, keeping a steady flow of new clients coming through on top of serving existing clients and tackling the day to day running of your business can be a constant struggle.

 

So, for any business that needs an injection of inspiration as to how to continually attract those new faces, here are some of the best tactics to add to your toolbox.

 

  1. Ask Your Customers To Refer Other People They Know.

Asking for referrals is definitely something that you should be doing. If you have given a great service to someone and they are happy, the chances are that they will know more people in a similar position to themselves who may also need your services.

 

If you ask every customer you work with to refer 3 people you know, you then get a “warm” introduction to a new group of people who will already have heard good things about you from their friend.

 

  1. Follow Up With Old Leads

We’ve all lost out on a few customers in our time, but getting a no doesn’t have to mean that you’ll never get a yes. It’s always worth keeping up a good relationship with anyone who you have never quite done business with, because as circumstances and requirements change you could find that you have another opportunity.

 

Similarly, just because that person wasn’t the right client for your business doesn’t mean that they won’t know someone else who might be – referrals can come from anywhere, but they typically come if you ask for them!

 

  1. Build Up A List Of Email Subscribers.

A list of email addresses allows you to stay in regular contact with a huge number of people cheaply and simply and in a non-intrusive manner. An email list is a great way to send out updates about what your business is working on, offers that might entice people back to you and most importantly, it’s a great way for you to build your authority by offering incredible value and be seen as the thought leader in your niche.

 

The next time that person needs something along the lines of what you do, they’ll remember your details because they see your emails and know that you can help, and that you want their business.

 

  1. Be Active On Social Media. 

No matter what your business is, social media is the main place where all your customers will be online. For many people, social media is their main experience of the Internet, it’s where they see recommendations to buy, read their news and chat to their friends.

 

The trick for businesses to do well on social media is to be friendly and conversational rather than sales focused. Asking and answering questions on Twitter is a good way to join the conversation there, try searching using relevant hashtags to find topics related to your business.

 

  1. Join And Participate In Relevant Facebook Groups.

If you manage a Facebook page for your business you’ll know how hard it is to reach more than a few of your fans with any given post. That being said, Facebook is still an incredibly powerful tool for businesses and shouldn’t be ignored. Try joining some of the millions of groups there are and joining in conversations, offering relevant advice and sharing appropriate updates from your business.

 

It might take a little searching to find the right groups for you, but it is worth it. Try searching for local groups if your business is location dependent, or groups geared at business owners, women, or groups for certain hobbies and interests that your business may align with.

 

When one of your page updates does well, consider boosting it as an advert. Typically if one of your posts gets a far higher than average engagement Facebook will ask if you want to boost it. It’s worth considering, because if your core customers and fans like the update, then the chances are that an extended group of people would also like it and you can raise your profile relatively cheaply to a much larger audience.

 

  1. Write Every Blog Post As Though It Is Directed To Your Ideal Customer.

Posting regular updates to your blog is a fantastic way to be seen as an expert, and to stick in people’s minds as someone they can turn to for advice, information, and eventually when they need your service, as a paying customer.

 

The thing to remember about blogging though is that you need to be consistent, not just with the frequency of what you write, but the actual content itself.

 

If your blog topics are vastly different every time you post then it will be hard to grow a regular reader base as they will be put off by the fact they never know what they’re going to get.

 

For example, readers of this site know to expect updates about Internet Marketing related topics, such as SEO, Social Media, Web Development and Online Reputation. What you won’t see on this blog are updates about holidays, family life or what I eat.

 

  1. Make Sure Your Website Is Search Engine Optimised. 

SEO is a great tool, and you should use it to your advantage. If your site is correctly optimised, then it won’t matter if people don’t know your business name, because when they search for the service that they need, your business name will appear.

 

It’s particularly powerful for locally based businesses, because if someone searches for a Dentist in their town you only have to compete against those few other Dentists near to you in order to show in the Top 3 of the Search results. A well optimised website can help attract a steady stream of new customers.

 

So there you have it, 7 ways to get new customers! I’ll even throw in a bonus number 8… Cold Calling! It may be unpopular, but it still works.

 

Have you tried any of these tactics for customer acquisition? What has been most effective for you?