Mastering Social Media to Grow Your Small Business at Small Business BC June 2018

Join Mhairi at Small Business BC or from the comfort of your office and learn about the basics of social media as we share our tips and tactics for success.

Seminar Date

Thursday,  June 28th, 2018 – 1:00pm to 4.30pm

Mastering Social Media to Grow Your Small Business

Just because you know what social media is, does not mean that you necessarily understand how to use it to grow and develop your business. This workshop focuses on understanding social media, what is it and how it’s connecting people.

Learning Objectives:

  • Learn how/if social media should be an important part of your marketing strategy.
  • Understand what opportunities are available for you to leverage social media for business growth and prospecting.

This seminar is hosted at Small Business BC in Vancouver and delivered to other locations via live webinar. All webinar participants will also receive access to a recording for seven days after the live session.


Register to attend at:

Listing Your Business on Google

Is your business listed on Google?

Listing your business on Google is a great way to help you get discovered and it also goes a long way to validate your business. In Canada most of us use Google to search the Internet so having a presence there iOut-Smarts Listing business on Googles vital.

To find out if your business is listed on Google, simply Google the name of your business. If the right results show up on the right hand side of the page then you’re listed thanks to Google. Checking this before setting up a new one helps avoid the headache of duplicate listings.

Note that if you’ve ever set up a Google + page then you likely have a Google business listing and you may have 2 since Google also set up a bunch for every business it could find.

Listing your business on Google / claiming Your Google Listing

Once you’ve determined whether you have a page or not, go here to create your listing OR click on ‘Claim this listing’ (you’ll find this below your phone number on the results to the right of your screen when you Google your business name).

Google My Business listing terms of service boxGoogle will step you through a process to verify your name address and location. Make sure all of the details are correct then click on the check box to verify that you are authorized and that you agree to the terms of service. Google will then call you with an automated message giving you the four digit code you need to complete the verification process.

Note that this will set up your business listing AND your Google+ page as well as Google maps.*

Once you are set up you should add more detail about your business along with photos, and your logo to brand your presence.

*It is important to differentiate between Google+ which is Google’s attempt at a social network and Google My Business which is a directory. You should have both and they should be linked so when you are setting them up remember to login and use your Google account when stepping through the process (the one you use for Adwords and Analytics too!).

Why you should have a Google Business Listing

1. Gets your business discovered online locally – and this is huge
2. It shows the world that you are for real!
3. Provides valuable links from Google back to your website
4. Helps your customers quickly and easily find you both online and off

If you need some help with this get in touch.

Your Twitter Feed Sucks – Here’s How To Fix It

It is apparent to me that most  X (formerly Twitter) users using the network for business don’t have a clue what they are doing. It is sad to see how many X feeds simply Tweet out content for the sake of it and miss out on the opportunity this tool provides. I suppose it has to be expected, many users come from a traditional marketing background and in the old days communication was a one-way street.

X is fantastic for making connections, building relationships and nurturing community. When using the tool for marketing and business development you are wasting your time if all you are doing is posting links to content (especially if that content isn’t even yours).

75% of Tweets go unnoticed and fewer than 5% get retweeted. If this resonates then perhaps you should get off X and start doing something more productive. Or, you could consider the following list of tips to make better use of X for business development.

Listen and Respond

If someone retweets one of your posts, have the decency to thank them or at least acknowledge the Tweet. Your community can become a powerful advocate for you and a great way to grow your following but only if you stroke it and respect it. If someone retweets your content regularly and you don’t even notice it shows how little you care and sends a negative message and they will soon stop, or worse start dissing you.  Don’t create trolls!

Be Community Minded

A community relies on the interaction between members. Don’t forget to offer value to your community and you’ll receive value in turn. Engage with as many relevant people as you can – it’ll pay dividends and enhance your X experience. Remember, your social network (on X and elsewhere) is part of your business capital. Make sure it gives you best value, and protect it.

Don’t Over Tweet

It is important to consider your followers and not to be in their faces too much.  If you post Tweets every minute of the day it can get annoying for those on the receiving end unless your content is hot (and you will be perceived as having no other work to do!).  Another terrible habit some Twits have is to use a tool that allows you to automatically post several Tweets at once.  We use the 3 strikes and you’re out the formula and unfollow when this happens.

Don’t sell or spam

Overt selling on X is bad.  If we wanted to be sold to we would be watching the ads on prime time TV instead.  If you use your X presence as a blatant sales tool people won’t want to follow you.  Be subtle with your sales pitch.  Try to follow the 80-20 rule and add value 80% of the time then promote 20%.

Don’t Cheat

Don’t plagiarise other peoples Tweets without acknowledgement (remember the “RT”). Retweeting can be a strong tool to make a direct connection so use this as an opportunity to build rapport rather than annoy.  All it takes is a little @.

Don’t be greedy

Watch your follow to follower ratio.  If you are following way more people than you have following you then it looks like you are desperate.  People are less likely to follow you if you have few followers.  You should always have more followers than you are following.

 Be strategic

Get smart with your X time.  Focus on following the companies and people on X that you want to do business with.  Follow them and then look for ways to interact with them, to add value and to get their attention.  When posting content, think strategically about your audience – posts shouldn’t be all about you but all about how you can add value for them.

No one cares what you had for lunch

Lots of Twits still insist on posting inane drivel on their feeds.  You can get away with this if your feed is simply personal but if you are using X for business, this doesn’t cut it.   Here’s a tip – try speaking your Tweet, if it sounds boring and banal then spare us all and don’t post it.

Employ Tools to Help

Your Twitter strategy can be made easier using the right tools. You might want to manage multiple accounts, or deal with multiple timelines – there are tools to help. We use Hootsuite in all of its forms to help us manage our multiple feeds across our team.  You should check it out.

Create Your Follow Policy

Don’t waste time dithering about whether to Follow someone or not. Decide on your Follow Policy from the outset and don’t stray from that – it’ll save you lots of valuable time.

Measure, Measure, Measure

You can’t manage what you can’t measure.  Set goals for your X presence in terms of follows counts, interactions and traffic to your website and make sure you have the tools in place to help you measure your success.  That way you will know whether your time is well spent.

Get with the Program

Too many businesses get on X without having a clue how to use it properly and then have the audacity to turn around and say that X doesn’t work.  Reality check: it isn’t X that doesn’t work, it’s the way you are using it.

Want it done right?  We manage and maintain X feeds for our clients and would love to add you to our roster so give us a shout.

9 Tips for Building and Implementing Effective Social Media Strategies

Many businesses fail when it comes to social media.  Why? Because organisations don’t give due consideration to strategy before they start. A social media  strategy can be as long or as short (on the back of a napkin!) as you want it to be, but it should take into account and reflect:

  • Your brand, message, corporate mission and vision
  • Your target audience
  • Which tools you will use and who will do what
  • Quantifiable goals and tools to measure success
  • Content – how will you add value
  • What needs to be done and when

Here are 9 important factors that you need to consider when building and implementing your social media strategy:

1. Your strategy on-line must be reflective of your overall business strategy

Successful social media strategies augment your existing business plans, reflect your brand, goals and target audience.

2. Take a holistic approach to Internet marketing

Your Internet marketing should include your website (as the backbone), email campaigns, SEO, SEM, online ads and mobile marketing.  Each component should cross-pollinate with the others (i.e. your website should be social media ready, and the words you use in your website content should be similar, or the same, as the keywords you use on Facebook, Twitter or your blog).

3. Choose your social media tools wisely

There are thousands of social networks and you can’t use them all, so choose 2 or 3 and use them really well.  When deciding which tools to use, consider which tools your target audience is most likely to use, which tools best reflect your offering and which tools you will have fun incorporating into your online strategy.

4. Start small and grow

Identify one area of business and run a pilot.  Doing so will allow you to test the waters in a manageable way, allowing you to prove concepts and build.

5. Social media education

Education should be an ongoing consideration and component of your social media plan.  Educate your staff and executives as to what social media is, how to use it effectively from a business perspective and make sure to keep abreast of new tools and methods.

6. Make it measurable

What you can’t measure, you can’t manage.  Take time to consider what are your goals for implementing social media, quantify these and determine which tools you will use to track effectiveness.  There’s a wide array of social media measurement tools out there and many of them are free – use them!

7. Create a social media policy

This is important.  Every employee should know what is expected of them, what to post, and what not to post when using social media on behalf of the organisation.  Creating policies that build best practices helps ensure that everyone is on the same page.

8. Content is key

When it comes to social media you need to remember that it’s not about you but, instead, about your audience, and this is especially true for content.  Make sure that your content adds value for your audience, doesn’t overtly sell and makes people want to share it with their networks too.

9. Listen

Social media listening should be ongoing from day one.  Listen for mentions (and respond!), keep an eye on competitors, peers and luminaries.

Here at Out-Smarts, one of our core services is working with clients to build and implement effective social media strategies.  You know you need one, so contact us now!