7 Tips For Developing A Social Media Strategy

Most consumers are looking to engage and connect with their favourite brands on social media.
Developing a stucessful social media marketing strategy will help increase your brand awareness, followership, and drive traffic to your website .

Here are 7 tips to help you with your social strategy in order to build your business presence.

1. Who is your target audience

Knowing and understanding your target audience is incredibly important to your digital marketing strategy. Decide who you are aiming to reach so your efforts will be aimed at engaging that audience.

2. Use a Blog on Your Company’s Website

Whether you use your blog used for news and updates, sharing valuable knowledge or expressing an opinion about a relevant topic in the industry, every company should be using a blog on their website.

3. Know Your Social Media Goals

Do you want to drive traffic to your website or build leads?
Every post that you publish and share on your social networks should have a goal, and purpose.

4. Share Engaging Content

By sharing engaging content– offering helpful advice, tips, and expertise, you are working to position your brand as a leader in your field.
This same concept applies to your social media marketing strategy – the goal is not to solely promote your products but to share value so your followers view your brand as a valuable source that they can turn to for assistance.

5. Be Social

Just don’t share your content and hope people will interact with your business.
Comment, Like and share your follower’s content. When fans respond to your content, highlight them in the comments.
These small and personal touches can give you an edge with your audience.

6. Customize Your Company’s Facebook and Twitter Page

Is your company’s Facebook and Twitter page a fair reflection of your brand, products and services? Use a customized background to create a truly memorable Profile page.

7. Test your results

You need to test your efforts to ensure what you’re doing is actually working. A social media management tool like Hootsuite will give you access to analytics tools which enable you to get a better understanding of the shares and content which are generating the most engagement and those that are not.
This is invaluable information, as you’ll be able to determine which content to focus on and enable you to provide more to your audience.

 

Businesshands

Businesshands brief introduction to SEO

This is a brief introduction to SEO.

Businesshands aims to inform you what SEO is, but not to teach you how to become an SEO expert.
If you do your own SEO you will still likely want to chat in SEO forums and read books on the topic before starting. Many of the printed books can go quickly out of date, but if you ask around there will likely be at least a couple good guides .

What is SEO?
SEO is the art or science of gaining top search engine placement for relevant keyword phrases through making search engines believe your site is more relevant than your competition’s websites.

What are Keywords?
Keywords are terms or (more often) phrases you would expect someone to search for to find your website. With SEO you pick your keywords and create pages focused on them. You can only focus each page on a specific keyword phrase or few specific keywords. One of the best tricks to SEO is to gain traffic using many pages focused on specific terms vice focusing on broad single word terms. Specific terms are usually easier to rank well for and often have a higher conversion rate (since a longer query is often associated with greater searcher intent).

Using the Correct Domain Name
Acquiring links is important to rank well for competitive terms. When possible you want the links pointing at you to use your keywords in them.  It is usually a good idea to use your keywords in your domain name when possible.

SEO Content
Having interactive, unique and engaging content is extraordinary for not only your site guest but also for search engines.
The more effective, informative and interesting content you have, the more probable that your guests will stay and look around on your site. Furthermore, it influences search engines to put a greater numbers of your website pages in their search indexes.
To know how SEO works, you will need to know how to use content marketing in an SEO-friendly manner. To do so, you may begin by just making blog posts on your site, and as your audiences develop, you can grow your content to suit your business.
• Here are the different kinds of quality content that you can offer –
1. Blog Posts
2. Articles
3. E-Books
4. Tutorials and How To Guides
5. Slides
6. Videos
7. Podcasts, etc.

Gaining Top Rankings does not happen overnight
Your main competitor is likely to have been around for a long time and built many links  up over time.
Yahoo! usually shows more links to your site than Google does, and each search engine will likely show some links the other is not showing;
Search engines know of and evaluate many more links than they show using a backlink check. Even though all links do not display, checking backlink can help you estimate the popularity of a site.

How to Build Links
Register your site in the major directories such as the Yahoo! Directory . I also register my clients websites in many of the smaller directories and niche specific directories. Search engines often do not count links that go through redirects, so before spending money on a listing you will want to check if the directories provide static links.

  • Write press releases and articles and syndicate them on other sites. Link back to your site using your keywords when possible) in the article signature block.
  • Ask friends, product manufacturers, product distributors, and other business partners to link to your site.
  • Buy advertising from related websites
  • Sponsor sites and get them to link to you.

 Businesshands – We hope you enjoyed reading this article

Common branding mistakes

 

Here’s a quick summary of the most common branding mistakes  and some brand-building advice.

  • Not taking the time to develop a brand platform

A brand is a set of perceptions that live in the mind of the customer. If you haven’t even identified what perceptions you want to own with your target audience, how on earth do you expect to build those perceptions? The first step is deciding what those perceptions, known as brand pillars, should be:
a) they must be meaningful – something that the target customer wants
b) they must be credible – something your brand can own
c) at least one of them should make your brand different from the competition.

  • Your brand is not focused tightly enough and you re not communicating consistently .

Branding is often about sacrifice and letting go of the desire to appeal to everyone .
Do a good job of clearly and consistently communicating your brand messages in multiple ways. Keep your message simple and the chances of owning it are much greater.

  • Not having a Plan B

There are many businesses that think a brand is something you establish and then it takes care of itself. You should constantly refine and revise your offerings to deliver better quality and adapt to the changing needs of the market. Not all branding strategies will work the first time. In those instances, you need to be ready with a second plan to ensure that recovery is immediate.
Managing a brand is not easy. But you must always understand that your business is more than just its products and services. Success depends on the way you shape the experience of your customers. This is what defines your brand identity.

  • Not realizing the importance of brand cascading

It’s a common mistake is to lose sight of the fact that a big part of a brand is the people behind the brand. If your people don’t know how to live and breathe the brand, how do you expect the brand message to get through to the target audience? Brand cascading sessions – in which employees brainstorm ways they can help bring the brand to life in what they do each day – are critical to strong and consistent brand delivery at all points of contact with the target. These sessions not only serve the purpose of communicating the brand essence to employees, they also involve the employees and get them thinking creatively about how they can help bring the brand to life in their specific areas. It also helps get everyone, regardless of individual roles, in the mindset of serving as brand ambassadors and not simply as employees.

  • Not focusing on first impressions

There’s no logic in trying to get an audience before you’ve established what your brand is about. Branding is the first step to entering the marketplace, and you should prioritize it before trying to make money. The first impression is always the first point of contact between your brand and the customer

Businesshands

How to make the most of a quieter period in your business

 

Its the start of the new year, phones are quieter out and there’s little activity in the office, what should you be doing with your business to make the most of this quiet period ?

Here are some suggestions…

Do a review of your business performance so far this year
Go deep into your figures to really understand what’s happening in your business. How is it performing against last year? Are you spending more in some areas than you should be? Are the buying trends of your customer base changing? Are you in front or behind where you were at this time last year in terms of sales? Why is that?

Review / revise (or even create) your business strategy for the rest of the financial year
No matter how small your business is, you should already have a well-developed business strategy in place. Ask yourself, what do you need to do, to make this year the best year ever? What is stopping your business getting more sales through the door? Are there events you could be attending, what about networking, what about your marketing / advertising?

Define / refine / streamline your customer journey
How do you currently get a new customer through the “door”? What does it take to move a prospect from an exchange of business cards through to an exchange of contracts… or from a new follower on Twitter to a new and valuable customer? Do you have a defined sales process in place? What is it? Is it effective and could it be better?

Take some time to bond with and train your team
Of course, you could continue to push you team to make hundreds of sales calls a day but the reality is, the summer months are the least effective time for many organisations to acquire new business. That means it’s the best time to take days out for training, team building and refocusing of minds for the months ahead.

Review your suppliers
Are you really getting the best deal on your purchases? It’s time to take stock of your suppliers and make sure they are still the best ones to take your business forward. If you can find cheaper or better elsewhere it’s time to renegotiate your contracts or switch to something else. Don’t just do this for physical stock either… think software services, IT support contracts, office cleaning and anything else that’s provided to you as a service.

Get your marketing in order
It’s time to do a deep dive review of your marketing. Do you have core messages that you’re delivering to your customers? Are they still relevant? Are you still pushing your messages out to the right places? Analyse your marketing in depth. Which bits are driving traffic, creating enquiries or closing sales? Which ones are adding no value to the business at all and can be stopped? Where are you wasting money? What could be done better?

Focus on your own well-being
If you’re a business owner or a senior leader within an organisation, now is the time to plan some downtime, take some time off to re-energise and reconnect with hobbies you once had, friends you haven’t seen and places you used to go. Happy and relaxed people make better decisions and are able to get more done so take some time off whilst you can.

 

Businesshands

 

Here are four reasons to consider a website redesign in 2018.


Technology and design styles change quickly and so too can the focus of your business. It is important that your website remains current with these changes and that your business is getting the most out of the new online opportunities that are available. The reluctance to outlay the expense of a new website design is understandable especially in the early stages. But if this is done well, redesigning your website can be a high return on investment.

Here are four reasons to consider a website redesign in 2018.

1. Your Content Management System or Website Technology Is outdated
It has been said that one human year equals at least four Internet years. That’s how fast technology is progressing, however some website platforms and content management systems haven’t kept up. They may have been great a few years ago, but if your website has been built on older technology you may find your editing choices will become limited as new features become desirable, and you may also be more vulnerable to security breaches and unwanted hacks. By having your website redesigned on a more contemporary, flexible and progressive platform your website will be able to adapt with technology and maintain greater security.

2. Your Website Should Be Mobile-Friendly
Mobile users expect to get what they want very quickly and easily, and want to have “mobile intelligent” features.It is important that your website is optimized for mobile devices to ensure the best user experience and if you are simply delivering your users to the desktop version of your website you will be losing business due to accessibility issues.

3. Your Website Design Looks Outdated
The first impressions is valuable. Research shows that you only have a few brief seconds to get the user’s attention and engage them. Also the quality of your website design is a direct reflection on your business image, so it is important that your website looks professional, fresh and contemporary. Additionally, if the aesthetics of your website design is old the chances are that the user experience is also going to be lacking.

4. You Aren’t Getting the Results You Expected
No matter how much you like your website, you would probably like it more if you got the results you wanted. Getting results is a direct result of how you attract, engage, convert, measure and optimize your website towards your business goals.
Before committing to a redesign, look at your current website and reassess what you would like to accomplish. Think about new technology to really improve your online opportunities.

Business goals change over time and you want your website to support these changes. The great thing about new technology gives your business more opportunities to expand into different areas.
Social media, online review sites and cloud applications. If you don’t redesign your website to integrate new technology into your business you may find it hard to keep up in your industry.
Your website is a living part of your business, and it should evolve and change as your business grows and as technology progresses.

Learn more about website design service to really help drive your business forward.

Plan your 2018 end of year target with this to-do list

 

With the Christmas holidays now coming to a close, it’s time to turn our attention once again to business and helping you get more of it through the door. With that in mind, here’s a helpful to-do list to help you meet your 2018 target.

Set your objectives
Sit down and confirm your objectives in writing. What is your revenue target? How many sales does that equate to? What must the average sale value be for you to achieve your target? Define lower and higher sales value thresholds and calculate how many sales of each you would need to still achieve your goals. Don’t just pick numbers out of thin air – use historical data from previous sales to understand your average transaction size.

Plan how to maximise your average sales value
There are two ways to increase sales revenue.
Increase the average deal size
Increase the number of sales you make

If your revenue targets are looking challenging or quite simply, if you want a better chance of hitting your targets – you’ll want to put a strategy in place to maximise the value of every single transaction. Look at the portfolio of products or services you sell and ask yourself…
Can I cross-sell purchases of product/service A and also sell them product/service B?
Can I upsell them from product/service A to a product/service A+
Can I create a value bundle by combining a selection of my products to increase the overall transaction size? (the profit per item may be less, but the overall profit will better)

If you have customers that pay on a monthly basis, can you create an offer to persuade them to purchase a years’ worth of product/service up front?
Plan who you are going to be selling to
You’ll need a separate strategy for each of the following:
New customers who you want to sell in to
Existing customers who you want to sell more to
Existing customers are traditionally “low hanging fruit”. They already know and trust your brand and you simply need to get them to spend more. Think time-limited money-off vouchers, seasonal related campaigns (Halloween, the day the clocks go back, Diwali etc.), weather / news related offers and general “thanks for being a loyal customer” deals.
For new customers, ask yourself:
Where am I going to find them?
What am I going to do when I do find them?
What is my “multi-touch” strategy to bring them down the sales funnel (people rarely buy from a company the first time they see / hear from them so you’ll need to have a consistent marketing strategy in place to build trust before a sale will take place)

Build your strategy
No single activity on its own will “bring in the goods” so you need to think about your sales and marketing mix. Will you need to make outbound sales calls? Will you be writing regular content (this is pretty much a “must” for all businesses)? What does your social media campaign look like? Will you be using paid advertising (AdWords / Social PPC)? What about social and blogger outreach? Don’t forget email marketing. That’s a lot of things to think about and a lot to figure out if you’re to make it a success.

Decide if you have time or if you need help
There’s no point in doing the above half-heartedly.  You need to commit serious time and energy to both the planning and implementation stages if you’re going to pull this off. Random unstructured content or social media posts don’t work. Neither does the occasional half-baked sales email, so if you think you can “wing it” as and when you have a bit of spare time, let us save you the effort by assuring you that challenging revenue targets cannot be achieved unless you put your sales and marketing strategy at the very top of your agenda – day in, day out until the end of the year.

If you don’t have the time, the skill-set or the inclination to do this in-house, that’s where we come in. Here at businesshands we offer a comprehensive outsourced marketing department service which includes everything from in-depth marketing strategy through to content creation, social media, email campaign management and much more besides.
Want to know more? Contact us this week on 0207 458 4788 to get you sales and marketing strategy in motion and don’t leave it a moment more. They say time is money and in this case, the greater the delay in starting your strategy – the greater the loss in revenue to your business before the end of the year.

Thanks for taking the time to read this post.

Simple things you should do to your website

 

So you’ve just  brand new website built is ready to be launched and its  packed full of glossy images. Stacked full of information about your company and jacked up to the nines with widgets to let people follow you, sign up to your newsletter or even book a meeting. It’s all very exciting and you’ve led the project from start to finish. You really feel it shows off, not just your creative genius but also the values and the personality of the brand it represents. But before you hit the “launch” button, there’s a few things you should be checking to make sure your website doesn’t end up doing more damage to your brand than good. Things which you’d be amazed how many businesses fail to do.

Check for spelling and grammar errors
For every website that is spelling and grammar error free, there will be five more websites that are littered with literary mistakes and that’s bad for business. If you’re building an all singing, all dancing website, it can be easy to get caught up in the aesthetics and the functionality and forget to proof read the information your website displays. For best practice, get at least two other people to proof read the entire website before going live. If you’ve already gone live, go back and do it anyway.

Check for inaccurate or outdated information
Yes, this might be a shiny new website, but for many, the temptation to copy and paste at least a few paragraphs from the old website will be strong and why not. After all, the company has probably not changed much over the years so where’s the harm? Well, if your website contains statistics or outdated processes from a decade ago, it’s not going to look very relevant today. Similarly, expressing pride for winning an award back in 2012 isn’t going to make you look like a very forward thinking company. But what’s more important than both of these however, is if your website mentions laws or regulations that have changed. You could become liable if a visitor comes to your website for advice and then suffers because of it.

Check all your links work
Links between different areas of your website are good for SEO and depending on the size and type of your website, your links could run into the tens or even hundreds. But faulty links have the opposite effect. They’re bad for SEO and bad for the customer experience so check every link works before going live. The most common link failures we come across are the social media icons, which often still link to the web developer’s social media sites or don’t go anywhere at all.

…. A further note on social media links
If you have no intention of implementing a social media strategy and will not be using your social media regularly, we would recommend not putting links to them on your website. Social Media is used by prospective clients as a validation tool to aid in the buying process. If you are not using social media, it’s better to not advertise the fact. If you have an existing website with social media links and you’re not using social media, ask your development team to remove them.

Make sure your contact information is correct
Its easily overlooked, but check the website developer hasn’t left a “filler” number in the contact information field or in the footer by mistake? If it looks like the right number, just go through it slowly. You’d be surprised how many times a couple of numbers are the wrong way around or one of the numbers is missing. What about the email address. Is that correct? Is it still in use? Have you tested it recently? It would be a shame if customers are emailing you and their message is going into an online abyss. And of course, don’t forget to test your contact forms too. Do they work? Where do they point to? Will your customer receive an automated responder once they send in a query?

Check your website works equally well on a mobile device
With well over half of all internet traffic taking place on a mobile device these days, if you’re website is not mobile compatible, your business will seriously miss out. It’s worth remembering that Google rates mobile friendly websites higher than non-mobile friendly sites, so even if your website is viewable but not “mobile compatible” your Google ranking will be affected. And if your web developer says your website is mobile friendly, don’t just take their work for it. It’s up to you to thoroughly test your site. Often developers will use website themes (like a template) which automatically adjusts the website for different devices, however they don’t always work as they should and you might find different parts of your website end up overlapping or become unusable.

Get feedback
Last but not least, ask someone who is not immediately involved in your organisation to look at your website and explain to you what you do and the value you offer. So often, the content of a website is written by someone so entrenched in the company and the industry they represent that the message they deliver is not coherent to people on the outside. Remember, your message has to explain to a potential customer, the value you deliver and why they should have an interest in your products or services. It doesn’t need to deliver a detailed historical account of your company or provide in-depth technical specifications for your offering (unless you are an e-commerce site).

So there you go. . simple things you can do right now to make your website that little bit better.

Businesshands

Things to consider when creating a newsletter for your business

 

 

Things to consider when creating a newsletter for your business

Make it easy for users to subscribe

Post a signup form on your homepage, blog, Facebook page, and wherever else your customers and fans are already active. Tip- Don’t make too much required fields as if its takes too long to subscribe people get scared off.
Tell subscribers what to expect. Whether you plan to send company updates, letters from the president, e-commerce sales, daily deals, or weekly tips, it’s important to tell your readers what to expect and how often to expect it.

Send a welcome email

You might even send new subscribers a special offer or exclusive content, as your way of thanking them for their loyalty.

Design your newsletter to fit your brand

Your email campaigns should match your brand’s look and feel. If you’re using a template, you should customize it to include your company’s colours and logo in the header. If important to keep your emails consistent with the rest of your company’s content.
Send people content they will want to read Email newsletter services offer features like groups and segmentation to help you make your content relevant to the people reading it. Segmentation allows you to target certain subscribers on your list. If your store is having a sale, then you could send a campaign only to people near a particular post code because subscribers who live in other parts of the world don’t need to know about it. Sending relevant content will keep your readers engaged, and engaged readers look forward to your newsletter and also share it with friends.

Keep a publishing calendar

A regular newsletter is a commitment. If you go several months without sending anything, then your subscribers will forget about you, and they’ll be more likely to delete the next email, or worse, mark it as spam.
Test. Different email clients and mobile devices display emails differently. Send test emails to yourself and colleagues. Testing reveals design mistakes before it’s too late, and testing programs can predict whether or not a campaign will get caught in a spam filter.

Is it mobile friendly  

If a campaign doesn’t show up on mobile devices, it’s not going to get good results. Everything you send should be mobile-friendly
Know your spam rules. A lot of innocent people send spam because they didn’t know any better. Read up on the CAN-SPAM act to avoid any issues Your are allowed to send bulk email only to people who specifically asked to be on your mailing list. Include an obvious unsubscribe link in every email.
Make it easy to be shared. Send content that people want to share, and make it easy for them to do it.. Be sure to Include a link to the web version of your campaign so people can read it outside of their email programs, and consider adding Twitter and Facebook links to your newsletter, so readers can share your content where they’re already active. Then when their friends start sharing and subscribing, you’ll know it’s working.
Keep an eye on your statistics. Most email newsletter services offer free reports that contain helpful information. Pay attention to your open and click rates, and identify any patterns that make those numbers go up or down.

Be friendly Feel free to use a casual tone in your email newsletters. Since most emails come directly from one person, people expect human voices in their inboxes. If you collect first names on your signup form, you can dynamically include them in your email greetings.
Only send email if you have something to say. This one seems obvious, but too many companies start email newsletters with no plan on the content.

 

Businesshands offer a professional email marketing service … learn more

Reasons why having an database information system is important

Reasons why a database information system  is important.

1) Businesses can constantly improve their efficiency of their operations in order to achieve higher profits. They can do this by constantly having the correct amount of stock in store for consumers.
2) Information systems play a major role for businesses in creating new products or services. New business models can be created and these can describe how a company produce, create and sell there products or services.
3) The better services a company provides its consumers with then the more likely it is they will come back to them.
4) Information systems make it possible for managers to use real time data when making a decision. This allows the company to make better decisions and not have to waste time looking for information.
5) If companies achieve any of these reasons to use Information systems they will generally create a competitive advantage over their rivals.

Conclusion

As our slogan goes “our business is to help you do more business”, we are proud to work with your business and bring it to another level at a very competitive price. Building your own in-house software development team is almost impossible because the cost attached to it is enormous and there is no guarantee that they can produce a perfect solution for the business. This is where we come to deliver the best solution for your business and help you stay ahead of the game and build your business information system . Learn more about what our database design services.

 

Where does your business measure on the social media scale

 

Someone once said to me “to understand how to do something well – you need to understand what good looks like” and he was right. Only when you know “what good looks like” can you put a structured plan in place to help you achieve it. So in today’s blog, we’re going to introduce you to what good looks like in the world of social media and give you the opportunity to understand where your business sits on the social media scale.  You’ll find a handy graphic above  illustrating your social media readiness.

Goals and Channel Integration
One of the first things to note about social media, is that it’s not just about posting messages and following people. If you’re going to do social media well, you first need to understand why you’re doing it and what you want to achieve from it.
Social media is part of the customer journey. A person finds and follows your company on social media, then they see an interesting post from you and click on it to get to your website. Next (hopefully) you’ve got some kind of call to action or sign-up form and from there (if you’re really good) not only will you receive an enquiry or sale, but your visitor will also be fed into your e-newsletter list or a set of automated mailers. By putting this structure in place, it helps you to understand what posts are good for social media and what posts aren’t so good. Having an endless stream of links to articles on other websites for example (as many organisations do) is not going to add any value to your business.

Community Management
The next key takeaway in this article is that social media is a 2-way communication platform. That means you need to be encouraging conversations and watching for and responding to your followers if they decide to communicate with you. If you’re really good – you’ll be actively searching the social media world for mentions of your organisation and proactively involving yourself in those conversations.

Content planning
Put your hands up if you have a 1-year content plan in place… anyone? What about 6 months… or 3 months? Ok – last chance, how about 1 month?
The chances are, when you think of social media, you think of short posts and images – but the reality is that the majority (and most successful) of posts contain links to articles. If you’re not writing your own blog / regular article – then your only option is to post links to articles on other websites and that immediately throws your highly effective customer journey out of the window.
Devising and creating regular content is critical to the success of your social media. The further you plan your content in advance, the more strategic it can become and the more value it will deliver to your organisation.

Paid Social Media Advertising
If we think back to the customer journey – perhaps the most critical part of it is to make sure you get found in the first place and that’s where paid social media advertising comes in. Social media advertising is hugely powerful, allowing you to target specific age groups, interests, geographical locations and even times of the day. Not only that, but you can set goals tied into your advertising. Do you want to acquire more followers, increase web traffic, get app downloads or increase newsletter sign-ups? Anything is possible. Here at Business Hands, we put a strong emphasis on social media paid advertising because we believe it offers better targeting options, better results and better value than traditional PPC (pay per click) methods through platforms like Google AdWords

Evaluation
Lastly and probably the least practiced – evaluation is the most value-add part of the social media journey. Let’s equate being a social media manager to a farmer. To get a high yield from your social media you need to invest in the right tools, you’ll need to try different strategies, you’ll need to nurture your crop (your community) and you’ll need to measure and evaluate everything you do. With the right technology in place, it very quickly becomes clear what is working and what is not and as time goes on you can fine tune your social media feeds to maximise audience engagement, drive website traffic and most importantly – increase sales.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this introduction into what good social media looks like. You’ll find a helpful graphic below to help you plan to take your social media to the next level and obviously we’d love to help you achieve that.

Business Hands offers fully tailored content, social media and email marketing packages for every size of business at very competitive prices. To find out how we can help your business, contact us today on 0207 458 4788.

Businesshands.