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:

Link Building – 9 Ways to Get More Links to Your Website

What is Link Building

Link building is the process of getting external sites to link back to your site. The more of these links you have from high-quality sites the more this positively impacts your position in the search engine results pages.

Here at Out-Smarts, we often get asked to assess company websites from a search engine perspective, to ascertain why their page isn’t appearing higher on Google. One reason is that they don’t have enough backlinks to their website or they have the wrong kind of backlinks – links from other websites tracking back to their site.

Rusted chains hangingDespite Google’s algorithm changes, links are still valuable online, the more your website has the better its ranking will be but you have to be really careful how you go about building links. Link building can be extremely time consuming, can seem like a fruitless task and if you do it wrong can be damaging.

Here are 9 ways that you can build links back to your site:

Link Building Techniques

1. Social Networks – use your social networking presence to link back to your site or blog posts. This will drive traffic to your site and traffic is one of Google’s rank factors (double whammy!). The links to your website in your social bios and about sections are really important to so make sure you’ve included those and updated them to https.

2. Directories and Citation Sites – beware the directories – there are gazillions of websites that simply list the URL’s of other websites (rather like the Yellow pages but online). Submit a link to your site only on directories that have a good page rank, are relevant to your target audience and locality but avoid the ones that ask for payment or reciprolinks and absolutely ignore sites that simply link farms – linking in those does more damage than good.

3. List Your Business on Google My Business and Bing Local – these are really high-value citation sites, if you are not listed on Google My Business, get on it!

4. Content – make sure that the content on your website or blog is great, it should answer the questions your buyers ask when researching and evaluating a purchase. The higher quality your content is the more likely people will find it and link back to it. Link to other key players in your industry, your suppliers and sources as this gives you a reason to reach out and ask for a link and to tag them on social to encourage shares (and traffic!).

5. Widgets  – add widgets that allow visitors to easily share your content on the network of their choice.  These links are not high value from an SEO perspective but they do drive traffic (which is important for SEO).

6. Relationships – ask partners, clients and organisations you are a member of to place a link on their site back to yours but only on sites that are relevant and appropriate within your area or industry. If you are already a member of an association make sure that your listing in these directories includes a link to your website.

6. Advertising – consider advertising online: Google Ads can be a valuable way to drive traffic to your site.

7. Influencer marketing – many influencers are happy to link back to your site, although many of them will charge you for it. It’s worth considering though as this can help you in a number of ways including extending your reach to there audience.

8. Outreach – make a list of sites that have a high domain authority or page rank and reach out to them asking for a link – you can do this by email or phone. One we got recently offered us a lifetime subscription to their software which caught our eye and made their communication stand out from others.

9. Blog Comments – we had written this technique off ages ago but a recent blog post from Neil Patel has us revisiting this. If you use blog commenting though you have to think your comments through and make sure they are valuable and related to the post so that it isn’t perceived as spam and deleted.

Thanks -wink- for the great Flickr image.

Updated July 2020

Create a Content Schedule for Facebook

For those of us who manage Facebook pages, coming up with fresh ideas for content that will engage your audience can be a challenge. Rather than posting content adhoc, it is a really good practice to get into the habit of creating a content schedule for Facebook.  Similar to an editorial schedule for a magazine, a Facebook content schedule outlines what you will post about at specific times throughout the week.

The infographic below from contains a great example of content creation strategies that will help you stay on track and engage your audience.

Note that how often post updates to your Facebook page will vary by audience. If your target audience is younger ( under 35) then posting several times a day is expected but if your target audience is older then once a day might suffice and more often will be a put off. Finding your own secret sauce will depend on trial and error.

When you are posting content to your Facebook business page, remember that text such as inspirational quotes, anecdotes and updates, is likely to garner more interactions than posting links and that photos and videos get even better response rates.

Having a schedule like this can really help you stay on track and will improve your productivity in this social network.


Create a Facebook Content Schedule
Create a Facebook Content Schedule

Source: Cornucopia Creations

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!

How To Customize Your Facebook Page

As the Facebook population grows, more and more businesses are using Facebook Pages to promote their business in this forum and to reach out and connect with fans there.Your Facebook page may be the first contact a prospect has with you and it is important to stand out from the crowd. One way to do this is by customizing your Facebook page to include tabs that go beyond the basic “Wall” and “Info” tabs in the vanilla page set up. Once you have created these new tabs you can customize each page. Here’s how:

Customize Your Facebook Page

First thing you need to do is add the Facebook Mark Up Language to your Page. To do this, Facebook search “FBML” find the FMBL application and click to add it to your site.

Once you have added this, go to your Page and click edit. Under “Applications” you will see FBML. Click to edit to add a new tab.

The box title shows “FBML”, edit this to show the title you want to appear on the tab on your page. Click to save. The new tab will now appear on your Facebook page.

To edit and add content to the page click to edit your page again and click to edit on the pertinent FBML application you just created. Finally, add the code you want to appear on the page.

The easiest way to generate the code is to use a CMS editor. I used WordPress to generate the code for the connect tab content I created on the Out-Smarts Page.

To add images to your new tab page, upload them to WordPress and use the hyperlink functionality if you want to link the image to an external page (exactly like you would if you were uploading and linking an image to a blog post).

Once you are happy with the content, copy and paste the HTML code into your FBML window. To find this click on applications then edit as before.

Click to complete and save. Go back to your Facebook page and voila, you will have a new tab there and if you click on the tab the content you created in WordPress will appear there.