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.

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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.

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

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? 

How to Choose A Good SEO Agency

How to Choose A Good SEO Agency

SEO can boost or harm you business, so don't risk it! Read How to Choose A good SEO Agency | www.bigthinkingonline.com

 

If you think it might be time to put an SEO Strategy in place,

but have no idea where to start, then here are some questions to consider before you call in the professionals.

 

What Do You Want To Achieve By Implementing SEO?

The most important step to take first is to understand for yourself why it is important for you to implement an SEO strategy for your business. If the only answers you can come up with are along the lines of “because I’ve heard I need it” or “because I want to rank at the top of Google” then I suggest you don’t have a clear enough goal.

 

If you can’t explain to yourself why you want SEO then you won’t be able to hire someone to do the job you want doing.

 

Instead, establish some goals that you want to achieve. It might be to increase the number of leads or phone calls you get by a certain percentage, it might be that you want to be known for a different service than people currently use from you, or perhaps you are launching a new product. If you know your goals, it will be easier for an SEO agency to provide the plan that meets your needs.

 

Get To Know Some Of The Basics Of SEO

I understand that the point of hiring an expert is because you need them to do a job that you can’t. However, in order to make sure you are getting the right job done, it makes sense to know enough of the subject matter so that you don’t get confused by jargon, and that you are confident enough to ask and understand relevant questions. Think of the last time you made a significant purchase, whether it was a house, a car or a new phone you probably did some research. Investing in a good SEO strategy for your business is no different, if you do your research you’ll be more satisfied that you made the right decision and that a good job has been done.

 

Ask Around

If you know anyone else who has a business, whether or not they are in a similar industry, why not ask them about who did their SEO? What did they like or dislike and what would they recommend?

 

Get In Touch

Find an Agency, or a few agencies, that you’d like to find out more about and get in touch! Talk about your goals and what you want to achieve and find out how they would approach the issue. Don’t expect specifics at this stage, a good agency will want to do a little research on your specific issue before giving you any solid feedback.

 

You should, however be able to get a sense of how they approach their work, if they are methodical or seem a bit slapdash. You’ll be able to get a sense of how knowledgeable they are about their industry, or whether they are just hoping for a quick sale. You’ll also get an insight into their personality and if you think they’re someone you’ll be able to work with.

 

Find Out What The Bigger Picture Is

SEO is not a “one stop marketing shop”, meaning that on its own it won’t solve all the problems with your online presence. If the SEO Agency is going to be tasked with revamping your site so that it’s better placed in the search engines, it could mean that more work is needed across the site in order to give you a better result. For example, if your website is old and outdated the technical structure you have just may not support a robust SEO strategy.

 

It might be that your website needs completely rebuilding in order to support your SEO campaign, if so, can the same agency do all the work, or will they want to outsource?

 

Experience

Whilst there are plenty of SEO Agencies around, not all of them are equal! It should go without saying that a good SEO Agency will be able to show you examples of how they have helped other clients achieve their goals. Be very wary of anyone who guarantees you a top ranking – this is almost impossible to guarantee through organic SEO, especially for competitive keywords.

 

There are also agencies that specialise in particular niches or industries, choosing someone who specialises in working with similar businesses to you can have an advantage that they are familiar with the key words and terms, or the disadvantage that they are already working for a competitor in your area. Always check whether or not they offer any exclusivity in their contracts.

 

How Do They Track And Prove Results?

One of the best things about online processes is that almost every aspect can be tracked and measured, this allows a great transparency to businesses who are relying on others, such as an SEO Agency, to complete work for them.

 

Find out how your chosen agency plans on tracking their progress against your goals. How will this be communicated to you? How often? What are their processes for ensuring goals are met, and do they adapt these without telling you?

 

The more you can understand about how your agency works, then the easier it will be for you to trust them to do the job.

 

Are You Ready For A Long Term Partnership?

Don’t ever think that SEO can be done once and the results will last forever. It is an ongoing exercise. Search engines constantly update their algorithms, your competitors constantly tweak their own websites and therefore if you want to stay current your SEO will always need to be worked on. Make sure that whoever you choose to work with you are happy with their style of working, as to get any real benefit you’ll probably have to work together for a minimum of 6 months. 

 

If you want to know more about our own SEO offering and the businesses we’re currently working with then get in touch! We’d love to hear from you! 

 

Effective Email Marketing in 5 Easy Steps

Effective Email Marketing in 5 Easy Steps

Email Is Still One Of The Best Ways

To keep in touch with both your customer base and people who are interested in your business but who may not be customers yet. We’ve all received countless business newsletters, some good, some terrible and many that don’t get read at all.

 

So how do you make sure that the email updates you send from your business fall into the “great” category?

 

  1. Create Compelling Content

The first thing you need in order to conduct a successful email campaign is some fabulously written copy. Regardless of your subject matter, there are four elements that you need to nail.

  • A Compelling Subject Line: This is what entices your readers to open the email. You have one short line to get your point across and convince someone that your message is worth reading. Think of how many emails land in your inbox every day, and how many of those you open. What is it that makes you click?Create Compelling Content

  •  

    One Central Idea: People are busy, so don’t confuse them or waste their time with multiple or scattered thoughts. Make sure that after reading you email, there will be no doubt in anyone’s mind as to what you were talking about.

  • A Clear Call to action: Why are you sending this email? No matter how compelling your subject line, and how concise your point it, if you’re not asking people to do anything after reading your message, there is virtually no point in sending the mail. Do you want people to watch a video? Click through to your website? Reply with a comment? Whatever action you want them to take, make sure you ask them to do it in a way that leaves no confusion.
  • Relevant to Your Audience: This should go without saying. If people have signed up to your mailing list to hear news and updates about your business, don’t send them photos of your Cat (unless your business is cat related…) Keep your newsletters on topics around what your audience expect to hear about from you – otherwise you will not hold their attention for very long.
  1. Make It Look Professional

If you’re sending out a newsletter, or a group marketing email then you must make sure that your email looks professional rather than spammy. There is no excuse to just write the email in your regular mail format and copy and paste everyone’s email addresses into the BCC line, or even worse, the CC line.

 

There are plenty of mail programs out there that allow you to make smart email newsletters, or to prepare any other kind of group mailing and these are often easy to use and relatively inexpensive. If you’re not sure where to start take a look at Mailchimp, iContact or Aweber.

 

  1. Ensure Compatibility

    Compatible across all Devices

 

Don’t assume that just because when you check the newsletter on your own browser that it will look exactly the same and perfect to all other readers – it’s often not the case. There are so many options for people when it comes to different web browsers, and the different email packages that your list are using themselves may also format your email differently. There’s also more chance that people will read your email from their smart phone than from their desktop, so make sure your message is mobile optimised.

 

It’s also wise to give people the option to view the email in either HTML or Text format. Finally do your best to ensure that your email won’t end up in their spam filter by running it through a spam analysis checker.

 

  1. Know Your Audience

If you want to stay on the good side of your audience then adopt a policy of “one size does not fit all” when it comes to your email updates. This might mean you have to keep several different email lists and send slightly different messages to each one. For example, you might want to send a certain offer to customers who are on you database to thank them for their loyalty, or to let them know of a new service you’re offering before the general public see it. Alternatively, you might want to have a different welcome offer for prospective customers who have signed up through your website.

 

  1. Track and Analyse

Being able to track and subsequently analyse everything that you send out means that you can get a great understanding of what works and what doesn’t. Every time you send something out, compare it to your previous message. You’ll be able to build up a picture of what headlines work the best to get people to open your mail, what topics people respond best to and more. Good analytics can tell you which links in your emails are getting the most attention, and which ones you may need to tweak in order to get them to work for you. You should also pay attention to the number of emails that bounce, and if necessary remove them from your list.

What is your most effective tip when it comes to Email Marketing?

What You Need To Know About Digital Marketing Trends!

What You Need To Know About Digital Marketing Trends!

If you want to stay current in the online world here's What You Need To Know About Digital Marketing Trends | www.bigthinkingonline.com

If There’s One Thing You Can Take For Granted About Digital Marketing,

it’s that it changes all the time. What worked well six months ago probably doesn’t give you the same results today and if you find something that does work for you right now, chances are in a few months everyone else will have caught on to that too.

 

Don’t Sell!

Digital Marketing is not about sales. Instead, you need to promote your business more subtly, through offering value to your audience in the form of information, asking questions of what they want and need from you, or answering questions about your industry. The more value you’re providing, the people will pay attention.

 

Think Mobile!Is Your Website mobile optimised?

 

As of this year, the UK has more people accessing the internet via mobiles and tablets than via computers. You need to think of ways to get your message to your audience on their phone, and not just hope that they will spontaneously navigate to your website to see what you’re up to. Social Media is a great way to get your business in front of people, particularly on their mobiles.

 

Personality Counts!

So much has been said about the importance of Social Media, but the most important message that so many brands fail to maximise is that you need to show who you are. You need to be human, not just a machine sending out blog updates twice a week. Let your audience get to know the face behind the brand, use a storytelling kind of style to build up a picture of your brand or products. Also, make sure that even if you are posting your own content on Social Media that you also post a mix of other content too. Tag relevant people or brands, and above all, be consistent!

 

Re-Think Your Social Media Strategy!

You really can’t underestimate the power of social media, and if you don’t think social media works for your business then you are definitely doing the wrong thing. Even if you had a clear picture of your ideal customer last year and a clear strategy to reach out to that person, as I mentioned earlier the trends change so quickly that you are probably not reaching that ideal customer any more.

Are You Social Media Savvy

You also need to keep in mind that social platforms change at the drop of a hat. A year ago no-one had heard of Periscope, but now quick thinking business owners are using it to show their audience live behind the scenes updates and question and answer sessions. Again, this fits in with the culture of showing the personality behind your brand and of course, it’s mobile.

 

Video Is Becoming Increasingly Important!

Who would have thought a year ago that we’d be saying that video has moved on from Youtube? While YouTube is still the main platform of choice for any video that you want to keep around for a long time, Facebook, Instagram and of course Periscope are all proving to have a strong hold on the rapidly growing Video space. 

 

Worldwide, there are more than 4 billion video views on Facebook every day, and video uploaded directly to Facebook rather than embedded from YouTube will play directly in a user’s newsfeed meaning they get a glimpse of the action to entice them to click through. This has allowed creative thinking businesses to take advantage of the opportunity to grab people’s attention with the first few seconds of footage and entice new fans to their brand.

 

Periscope offers a different format again, the idea being live video streaming that anyone can join in to watch and ask questions. The video is saved on Periscope for 24 hours, but can also be saved to YouTube if you choose.

 

Analytics Can See What You’re Missing!

Understanding Analytics can help you follow Digital Marketing Trends

With so much going on in the Digital Space and so many different ways to reach your target audience, it is simply impossible to be everywhere at all times. The good news is that your analytics will be able to show you exactly what is working and what isn’t, and you should make sure you monitor everything you do to understand what works, what works better, and where you really need to focus your energies.

 

Automation Is Your Friend!

Marketing automation is not a new tool, but with the ever growing online tool kit, it really is a huge benefit to take advantage of. Automation means you can schedule your blog posts in advance, have your social media updates go out when the most people will see them and allows great access to tracking tools and statistics that I mentioned above. By automating posts in advance you are also able to free up time as you won’t constantly have to go back and post individual items, you can find and post all your updates at once. Just remember that you still need to comment and reply to your audience, consider logging on at certain times twice a day to respond to any comments or questions that might have cropped up.

 

You Must Be Eye-Catching!

In order to stand out online, beautiful visuals are now one of the most important criteria to fulfil. Sites such as Pinterest and Instagram are built on images, while pictures and video are the most liked and shared type of post on Facebook. Even business who don’t consider themselves to be image based should invest some time in figuring out a “look” that represents their brand visually.

 

What Digital Marketing tactics are working best for you at the moment? If you have any favourite tips or insights then let us know in the comments.

 

We specialise in helping businesses be found online and it’s our businesses to stay on top of Digital Marketing Trends. If you’d like our insider tips on building websites that sell then take advantage of our Free Download!

Power your business with a website that sells

Brits Just Grin and Bear Bad Dentistry

Brits Just Grin and Bear Bad Dentistry

 

The UK has endured a bad reputation for dentistry

For a long time, and it seems that this stereotype is still proving hard to shift.

 

Last week the Telegraph published Brits just grin and bear bad dentistry, claiming that malpractice is widespread and comparing our British Dental practices with what the author perceives to be a superior service in Germany.

 

Sadly for British Dentists, the article is overwhelmingly negative and will do nothing to help encourage scared or nervous patients to book in for their checkups. No matter how friendly, professional or patient focused your practice is, Dentists across the UK have an ongoing battle to turn the “Bad Dentistry” image around.

 

So what can you do for your practice to make sure you are seen in a positive light?

 

Reviews and testimonials

Show the world the great things your practice does! Reviews from satisfied patients are great because they speak directly to all those other potential patients who are looking for affirmation that coming to your practice will be a good experience.

 

Videos

A short video will go a long way to showing the true character of your practice. Consider making a video of a happy patient or a behind the scenes at the practice video. Video helps to make things seem more real, and patients know that video testimonials are hard to fake. It will also give patients a glimpse of your practice so they can see for themselves what it looks like.

 

A Great Web Presence

Being online isn’t just about having an old website from 1998. You need to have an easy to find, user friendly website that allows patients to find you quickly and easily. You also need to make sure that you can be found by new patients who may not know your practice name but are just searching for a specialist in your area. Many people spend the majority of their time online using social media, so if you want to be seen make sure you are on social media too.

 

We’ve worked with Dental practices across the country to improve their Online Reputation and to help them reach out to new patients. If you would like to know more about how you can improve your practice’s reputation by making a few immediate improvements call us on 0161 850 4413 now.