Poker, Angry Orchard and Dreams of … #Movember? Why Small Business Should Be More Social.

Tag: SMM

Poker, Angry Orchard and Dreams of … #Movember? Why Small Business Should Be More Social.

I had a dream and in this dream…no not like Martin Luther King. At least I didn’t think it was a dream of a better world but in a weird way it kind of was. When I say weird, I mean it. I was dreaming of social media hashtags…one in particular that was mentioned casually at a friend’s house during Poker night and apparently got stuck in my head.

FYI: This post is not really about a weird dream but about trending topics for small business and the influence of social media in our culture and how entrepreneurs can capitalize on it for success. (So please stay with me here.)

I had seen vague references to the hashtag #Movember over the last couple weeks but had been too busy, with web designs and keywords for a new law firm client, updates for other various websites, and numerous other day-to-day tasks of running my small business, to look into it.

TrendingTopicTuesday750Why was it in my head now then, two weeks into November?

That is where the Poker and Angry Orchard came in.

During the banter of that friendly poker game in the basement of a friend, one of the players made another vague reference and specifically said “hashtag Movember” … I was about to ask what that was all about but then the topic quickly moved onto things like Monday Night Football and Sci-Fi Movies.

Then at around 2:30am I woke up from a weird dream that would not leave my head…a dream revolving around hashtags, specifically #Movember. I don’t know why I was dreaming about this one stray comment, I can only guess that maybe it was my choice of adult beverages, Angry Orchard instead of the usual Stout or Lager.

Still wondering why I am writing about a topic I don’t know much about? Good Question, it gets to an important idea I am familiar with, the influence of social media and how small business can benefit from it in a variety of ways.

Social Media is not like marketing materials like the Yellow Pages, a brochure or a Flyer, it is about the connection to the community. Social Media for business is now a mix of both sales and marketing, it is more of an online business card exchange or an interactive seminar with Q&A.

Social Media can give small business owners a window into the lives and interests of their prospects and what the current trends are that can be leveraged for increased sales and to strengthen business relationships.

BransonLifeEducation650I have been on Social Media for quite a while and this is a lesson I am still learning. When you see vague references to something like ‘Movember’, unlike what I did, take just a couple minutes and do a quick online search to see what it is about and if it might be relevant to your customers or your business. There could be some great opportunities to become more active in your community which could build stronger long term relationship and win you some lifelong clients.

Some topics on Social Media can indicate the interests and needs of your customers which can help you adjust your products and services or your sales process. I will admit there can be a lot to sort through on social media to find the things that are relevant to your customers and your business. However, if you can find the pulse of your consumer, isn’t that really priceless?

About 10 years ago you needed a website to make sure you were found by your prospects, then as more competitors got websites you needed SEO (Search Engine Optimization) to get noticed by prospects. Your business website had limited interaction and you usually paired it up with an email marketing list to convert your prospects into clients. Now the trend is interaction with your prospect on Social Media.

Do you still need a good website with SEO? Absolutely! However, your competitors are also on Social Media and if you are not talking to your prospects on Social Media then your competition will.

SocialMediaNews500The key is to find the social media platforms where your prospects go; so you can be part of the conversation, or at least see what the discussion is about. For example, if you are B2B it could be LinkedIn, if you are targeting younger consumers you might want to use Snapchat or Facebook Live.

I could go on all day on this topic, but my point here is to pay attention to your community of prospects. They are most likely on social media somewhere looking for information related to their business and maybe even sharing their priorities. You can then let them know about all the great benefits you provide with your products or services that help them solve their challenges or that focus on their priorities.

Today, start asking your clients if they are on any social media and how they use it. As they say ‘birds of a feather flock together’ so learning about how your clients use social media and joining the conversation can help you both strengthen those relationships and find prospects that are similar to your current clients.

In case you came here to read about Movember or were still were wondering what it is all about. I finally took my own advice and did a little research…here is the story of #Movember (www.Movember.com):

mobromovember300“The Movember Foundation is the only charity tackling men’s health on a global scale, year round. We have one goal: to stop men dying too young.
From humble beginnings in Australia in 2003, the Movember movement has grown to be a truly global one, inspiring support from over 5 million Mo Bros and Mo Sistas around the world.
Movember’s success can largely be attributed to the strength of the global community. Regardless of the city in which we live, we’re part of something bigger, united by a commitment to help change the face of men’s health.”

Basically, it looks like good cause to help improve Men’s Health around the world, where men grow Moustaches (‘Grow a Mo for a Bro’) to start a discussion and therefore raise awareness for physical and mental health issues; including suicide prevention – something that has affected my personal and business life…losing some loved ones and even valued clients to suicide.

I hope you found this article informative and somewhat entertaining. The moral of the story here is to pay attention to the trends in society there are a lot of things we can learn from each other in life and in business.

Please join our conversation with any feedback or how you applied any of the tips above meant to help you Make Your Business Bloom!

Stop and Smell the Roses…Remember to Enjoy being an Entrepreneur!

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Tag: SMM

How Small Business can Convert Prospects into Clients with Conversations on Social Media

Featured Follower Friday – Author Nicky Kriel @NickyKriel

Nicky Kriel’s latest book – Converting Conversations to Customers: The Essential Guide to Social Media Sales Success is packed with a lot of good information for Small Business Owners and Entrepreneurs which is why she was chosen as our Featured Follower along with a sample of some of the good info in this book.

There is a reason for the word ‘Social’ in Social Media. Social Media is not so much about technology, but about people and relationships.”Social Media is about People and Relationships

Nicky goes on to say that while technology is important in that it gives you the ability to reach a wider audience and build a bigger network of people, it is people and relationships that drive sales…the lifeblood for business success. Her goal in this book is to help us as business owners to increase sales without being ‘salesy’.

I will highlight a small portion of her strategies and ideas here that I think are most relevant to small business owners like the clients I work with, as well as some of my own thoughts and marketing experience.

Some of the key goals that are helpful on social media are:

  • Build a personal brand so people fell that they know, like and trust you (a key here is to be authentic).
  • Attract the right customers (so they seek you out.)
  • Listen for business opportunities (learn what to look for on social media daily streams)
  • Build and nurture the human relationships so when people are ready to buy you are top of mind.

Small Business Typically Should Focus on LinkedIn and Twitter

Ultimately, Social Selling is a process and not about the platforms. You need to interact with your customers where they hang out, not where you are most comfortable. At the moment, the platforms where sales people get the best results for generating leads for business are LinkedIn and Twitter.” “…when you use both together, they complement each other nicely.”

While every business is unique and you should take a look at all the social media outlets to see which is most likely to reach your target audience I agree with Nicky Kriel’s decision to focus on LinkedIn and Twitter for Small Businesses that don’t have an internal marketing department and/or have a small marketing budget. (Facebook dominates social media but is not business-centric and has become primarily a pay-to-play platform, where you often need to pay for ads to even reach the majority of your followers.)

smallbusinessownersmmTo grow and thrive in the long run you shouldn’t ignore social media, but you need to focus on the right priorities for your business, not necessarily the number of followers or likes, etc.

The question everyone should be asking is: How can I make sure that Social Media works toward my business objectives?”

You don’t have to use social media to follow celebrities or politics, you should use it to connect with current and future clients and build relationships.

For LinkedIn you need to focus on your business, things that you would focus on in a presentation to new prospects (Goal: Professionalism).

For Twitter you should show your human side, yes they should know you own a business but it also should reflect your personality and interests so you can connect on a deeper level. (Goal: Likeability)

LinkedIn

LinkedIn should focus on demonstrating your experience, skills and knowledge. While you can typically only contact people you know or ask for an introduction, a big advantage is that you own your own contact database – you have the option to download your contacts from LinkedIn and save them.

LinkedIn offers a great search feature to find people based on job description, keywords or company. This means you can often find the right contacts for your type of product or service. (Of course this is not a secret so these key purchasing managers may be getting deluged with some pushy sales people trying to connect.)

Twitter

Twitter is more of a focus on who you are … can your future customers get to know, like and trust you? Here you show both your expertise and how you interact with people. Potential customers for your small business get an impression of you and can connect your website, blog articles and LinkedIn profile to learn more about your products and services.

The big advantage with Twitter is that you can contact anyone; you are not restricted to a limited network of people.

Social Media Marketing Benefits

Using Social Media to sell your products and services does not mean you never have face to face meetings or interactions by phone, these are still essential for the sales process. It can shorten the sales process and help prequalify your prospects, and can usually be done on a smaller budget than some of the more traditional methods of developing qualified prospect pool.

Social Media is not about instant sales; like any other social group you need to become part of a community of trust to earn the right to talk about what you offer (without being seen as pushy). Also remember as I mention often; people don’t care about the features of your product they care about how it solves an issue they are having or how it benefits them specifically. (WIIFM – what’s in it for me?)

researchsmmBuild a strong Personal Brand: Visibility creates opportunity. Get found on Google > LinkedIn profiles rank high on Google (by name) as do Twitter accounts and mentions.

70-90% of the buying process has already happened before buyers approach a company.

If someone is considering doing business with you there is a good chance they will pay attention to your online presence. A neglected and dusty social media account does not make a good impression. Remember people do business with people they know, like and trust so let them get to know you as well as your business (within some professional limits of course.)

You can build a foundation of trust with Social Selling not just with one-on-one interactions but also with your blog articles, posts, tweets, etc. Delivering consistent messages that demonstrate your value and show potential customers how you write, how you think, how you behave, and how you respond to complaints can be invaluable to building trust online. Once you have that baseline of trust the one-on-one interactions can lead to shorter closing times on sales.

Selling is about understanding where the customer is in their journey, and what their needs are and the timescale of their needs.”

Social Media allows you to be in your client’s mind at the moment they are ready to buy.”

They key to your small business success in Social Media is finding the where and when for your current and future clients.

Social Media makes it easier to find people with specific interests or who have indicated they may be in the market for your products or services.

shutterstock_101547316LinkedIn/Twitter Strategies

If you find a key purchasing decision maker on LinkedIn but don’t have a direct connection option, search for them on twitter to follow their interests and begin connecting on similar interests and interact to start building a relationship and later bring that connection to LinkedIn or offline.

Optimize your social media profiles, think of them as your online CV or Resume to highlight the benefits of working with you and your business. Make your profile as complete as possible, for example fill in all experiences and skill sets on LinkedIn and also make your profiles rich with relevant keywords.

Write your profile for the person who will be reading it, focus on the benefits you provide to others; who you are, who you help and how you help them. This gives the reader the info to know how you can help them or someone they know. Write your summary as a story with an introduction to pull them in, a middle to tell your story, and a conclusion ideally with a request for action or contact info.

FollowerFriday750

Please share this (simply copy and paste into your social media):
“Featured Follower Friday spotlights Entrepreneurs that can #MakeBusinessBloom with resources and tipshttp://bit.ly/followerfri

Tweet your ideas for resources, articles, tips to: @eRoseWeb

Wrapping Up
I recommend this book if you are looking for some good tips and strategies on growing your business. Social Media Marketing is not going away anytime soon, and as you know in business if you are not growing you are likely falling behind your competition.

Please join us in conversation on this topic, we would love to hear any strategies you use or learn from this book that help you Make Your Business Bloom. Share your thoughts in comments or social media.

Stop and Smell the Roses…Remember to Enjoy being an Entrepreneur!

rose

Tag: SMM

Has your Small Business Marketing Gone to The Dogs? Solutions to Make Your Business Bloom!

For those of you who are not yet on our eMail Newsletter list, one of our regular newsletter articles is centered on our mascot, Shayna, who is an Australian Shepherd Mix. We have found that there are many fellow dog-lovers who are also Entrepreneurs and Small Business owners, so we wanted to use this theme in a video to explain a little about our business and how we can help improve your Marketing in order to Make Your Business Bloom.

We have a 30-second version of this you may have seen on our social media, but have included this original 90-second version here for more detailed info. We hope you find this video can be the start of a conversation on how to improve your bottom line return on investment for your business marketing. We pride ourselves on providing excellent value for your marketing dollar.

After watching the video, please give us your feedback as well as any ways we can help you to grow your business with web or marketing services.

Stop and Smell the Roses…Remember to Enjoy being an Entrepreneur!
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