Top 11 Reasons to Use Social Media in Business

Over the past few years, to say social media has exploded would be an understatement. Members of social media sites have discovered it’s the easiest way to find, learn about, and share information that directly influences their purchasing decisions. It is this reason alone that every business should be on multiple social media sites in an effort to reach as many people as possible.

Below are the top 11 reasons to use social media in business:

  1. Build relationships – personal and professional; connect with all types of people – past and present coworkers, current clients, prospects, vendors, competitors, and marketing professionals to build your network
  2. Share information – share your blog posts; share interesting and useful articles, other blogs, webinars, podcasts, presentations, and poll/survey results with your fan base
  3. Gather valuable information – research similar products/services, competitors, prospects, marketing tips, blog ideas, create your own poll/survey – the amount of information available is endless
  4. Join a social network of like-minded individuals or start a new interest group where you can further brand your product/service, build relationships, and share ideas and information
  5. Stay current with the latest trends – write a blog or join a discussion on a trending topic; become aware of new social media sites that might fit the needs of your business
  6. Land a great new job – using your new connections on various social media sites, you can get the inside scoop on companies that are hiring, as well as resume and interview tips
  7. Discover a new passion in life, become a volunteer, or start a fundraising event
  8. Get found by prospects by using inbound marketing tactics – spread the word about your product/service through social media sites; to form a complete marketing plan, combine this with outbound techniques (interruptive marketing)
  9. Build business reputation and brand – constantly add value to all your posts and become a trustworthy leader in your industry; to quote Bob Burg, “All things being equal, people will do business with and refer business to those people they know, like, and trust.”
  10. Build a marketing department inexpensively – for start-ups, employing inbound marketing tactics is a cheap way to start marketing your product/service; most social media sites are free to join, while others have a minimal monthly or yearly fee
  11. Help increase conversion rates – use social media and inbound marketing to steer more organic traffic to your website and convert more leads into sales; the average conversion rate is 2.3%, but varies by industries according to ClickZ, Marketing News & Expert Advice, http://www.clickz.com/clickz/column/1691779/benchmarking-average-conversion-rate.

I recommend choosing a handful of sites to manage and start getting your feet wet. Not every social media site available will be right for you or your business and it would overwhelming to try them all. For example, consistently maintaining a blog, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+ pages, a YouTube channel, as well as a Twitter account might be a great place to start. Depending on the type of business, a Pinterest, Tumblr, or Flickr account might or might not be worthwhile, but obviously they are great certain brands.

If you need help getting started, there are countless different types of resources. I have used the An Hour a Day book series on Facebook Marketing, Twitter Marketing, and Social Media Marketing. They address each entity in a step-by-step fashion that is very user-friendly. I also find Hubspot to be extremely helpful. They are continually publishing user guides that contain valuable information, tips, and tricks. Lastly, when creating your profile on the various social media sites that best fit your marketing plan, it’s a good idea to connect with other marketers to check out what they are doing to boost business.

Do you have a tip or trick to share with newcomers to social media? Share it with us; you are more than welcome to post questions and/or comments here!

10 Grammar Tips for Your Twitter

10 Grammar Tips for Your Social Media

There are some very often grammar mistakes that occur in the Twitter messages. We have summarized a list of for you.

You may know that marketing needs a compelling copy of your business ad and to write a compelling copy, you need a good grammar and a medium to display. The internet is a vast field and it accommodates almost every business through various types of social media ads. One of the various best social media sites is called Twitter.

Entrepreneurs who are marketing through the web are aware of this fact that tweets can be retweeted but often times they ignore the very important aspect of writing a good tweet by putting in or just ignoring the grammar related mistakes.

1. Compose your tweets with caution. My college professor always said that if I count the words that I write, I am not writing the words that count. This happened before the birth of Twitter. Today not only the words that we write are counted, we even count our characters that are written. It is recommended to proofread your tweets before posting.

2. We often communicate through writing but not always with a pen as the mediums of writing have changed, the digital media has only changed the tools. As a matter of fact, with the evolution of the new ways of communications, the importance of traditional skill of writing to convey information has gained more prominence nowadays.

3. People often confuse “Accept” and “Except” or vice versa ignoring the fact that what is needed or which word is required. “Accept” stands for “receiving” or “admitting” anything, for example, you must accept the reason of the accident or she accepted the medal on behalf of the entire company. Whereas, “Except” stands for “excluding” someone or something, for example all the students are going to picnic except Jane or I like all nuts except peanut.

4. People on Twitter also confuse “Advice” with “Advise”. Advice is a noun while Advise is a verb, the improper usage change the whole meanings, for example if someone write “The advice he gave to me helped me a lot” means the direction given was helpful. On the other hand if anyone writes “He advised her to be vigilant while dealing with certain people” it means that there is sort of a caution in the speech for a person who is going to deal with certain people.

5. Same is the case with the words “Among” and “Between”. Among is used for a group, for example, “mingle among the people”, in the other case it is “between two people” or “between two points”.

6. “Anxious” and “Eager” are also confused by people while tweeting. “Anxious” stands for a worry or someone is worried or restless about something, like, “Why are you so anxious about this job?” whereas “Why are you so eager to get this job” stands for a keenness or willingness for a job.

7. People/Peoples: This is a common mistake. There is no such word like “peoples” and “people” itself is a plural.

8. Illicit/Elicit – The common confusing words for Twitter followers. “Elicit” is “to obtain”, like, “Ask questions about the subject to elicit the views of others” while “Illicit” stands for “Naughty” or “prohibited” like “illicit drugs” or “illicit motives”.

9. Be careful with “loose” and “lose”. “Loose” carry the meanings like “free” or “irresponsible”, for example, “a loose knot” and “a loose talk” while “lose” carry the meanings like “loss” or “missing”, for example, “I lose my homework so doing it again” or “I cannot afford to lose my watch”.

10. “Disinterested” = unbiased, fair. “Uninterested”= unresponsive, unconcerned.

Examples: We should seek a disinterested person to settle our dispute.

The student is so uninterested in the class that she fell asleep.

Social Media Marketing Myths and How to Best Use Social Media

These days, everyone in the business world seems to be talking about “social media marketing” and how it can grow their business. Everyone wants to believe that taking on a social media strategy will magically drive in tons of new visitors to their website, which in turn will make them into customers at their business. However, for many small businesses, these expectations don’t always seem to come true. Here are several of the most common myths about how social media marketing will grow business, and tips on better approaches to using social media.

1. You need to hire a “social media guru” to handle your company’s social media accounts

Think you need some “internet ninja” to take care of your company’s Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social media accounts? You most definitely don’t. Many businesses take one look at the words “social media marketing” and decide that they’d be better off with paying some young person to manage their social media accounts, which will cause business to magically grow on its own. Think again! Not only can social media accounts often be maintained by staff who already works at the business, but also, social media is not just some fad that only young people understand. Websites used for social networking are easy to use and easy to navigate – they wouldn’t have as many users as they do if this weren’t the case. You don’t need to know any fancy language or need to be a computer genius to make the most of social media sites.

2. You can be fluent in “Twitter”

While the average person who is new to Twitter may take one look at the site and feel instantly confused, there really isn’t that much to it. Twitter is used to broadcast short and quick statements to the public about what you’re up to, where you are, or in the case of business: what promotions are going on, new blog entries, or other news. Here is all you really need to know about using Twitter:

a) # – Hashtags

Hashtags (#) are used to make categories, or “trends.” You can put a hash tag between a word or multiple words (just remove the spaces) to create a category, or discuss a category that is already trending. You can tell what is trending based on the “trends” list on the right of your screen. For example, if you are “tweeting” about the weather and you want your tweet to fit into the category of “weather,” your tweet might look like this:

“Today is a beautiful day. #weather”

Don’t overuse hashtags – you should really only use them when you’re trying to make a certain part of your tweet searchable so other users can find what you are saying based on that category.

b) The @ sign

The only function that the @ sign serves is to direct your tweet at another Twitter user. If your friend’s username (or handle) on Twitter is Bob, you could tweet “Today is a great day, right, @Bob?” if you want all of your followers to see it. Or, you could send a Direct Message to Bob by saying “@Bob hi how are you?” Talking directly to your followers via the @ sign is a great way to build relationships with potential customers.

3. People are going to find YOU on social media sites

This is one of the most popular myths about social media, yet it couldn’t be further from the truth. Unless you happen to work for a company that already has tons of customers, fans, or followers in real life, it is probably going to be a challenge to find followers on your social media accounts. This is where promotion and word of mouth come into play. Make sure your in-person customers know where to find you on these sites. You can inform them of your username via a poster, a business card, or an email campaign. Provide incentives to people who do follow you or friend request you. For example, you can tell customers that you often have deals on your social media sites that are only available to followers. This is a guaranteed way to increase the amount of followers and fans on your pages.

4. Every business needs a strong social media presence

When considering your own business’ social media strategy, ask yourself one question: what does my actual customer base look like in real life? If you are catering your services to a population that is older or probably won’t be using digital media in the first place, don’t waste your time (and money) on social media. Stick to more traditional methods of marketing and customer relations. Although it is all the rage to use Facebook and Twitter for your business, there are many businesses that can get by just fine with an effective website and listings in online directories.

Tips on Managing Your Workforce Remotely

So many people are now working from home (WFH) 100% of the time. Hopefully if this is the case for you, you can maintain productivity and stay positive during the COVID-19 pandemic.

While a lot of us are used to living the entrepreneur life from a home office, it’s still a big adjustment to have to self-isolate and stop all face-to-face interactions with coworkers and clients.

I encourage you to use this time to take a closer look at your overall business goals, focus on your health (both physical and mental) and self-care, and enjoy some family time at home.

I think many small business owners are having to pivot their marketing strategy, and what they do when the coronavirus passes could look quite different from what they did before.

I wanted to share some useful tech tools that can make your day-to-day WFH life much easier.

Team Communication Tools

This is probably the biggest WFH product decision you’ll have to make. Your team needs a reliable and easy-to-use tool that lets them instantly message coworkers. The right one for you depends on your business needs and challenges, team size and budget.

1. You may have heard of Slack. This tool gives you the ability to create channels around multiple topics and invite users. From marketing content ideas to social media tactics to office dog photos, your team can create relevant channels for easy chat and collaboration.

It also integrates with many useful tools, including Outlook Calendar, Twitter, HubSpot and Salesforce, so you can see what’s going on at all times right in the Slack app (no need to click in and out of your daily calendar or Twitter feed, for example). There are SO MANY fun and creative emojis you can use too, making remote messaging in a challenging time like this a little more lighthearted.

2. Another popular platform is Discord. Popular with gamers, this voice, video and text tool isn’t just for talking to coworkers, but for finding like-minded communities and new friends. You can create “servers” and “channels” for specific topics, similarly like you do for Slack channels. While Slack has more business integrations, Discord has voice channels, so you can easily chat with team members. Discord also lets you set user roles and permissions.

3. Flock is a cloud-based team communication tool with video and audio calling, screen sharing, text chat, integration with other business applications and more. You can tag colleagues in comments and to-do lists, upload documents, images and videos and set reminders and due dates. Polls, code snippet sharing and group discussions are available, and it integrates with other apps such as Trello, Github, Google Drive and Asana.

Team Collaboration Tools

Your employees need to be able to share their work, whether they’re creating on a marketing strategy or editing a press release. Here are a few that might fit your small business needs.

1. G Suite is a Google product that’s made up of cloud computing, productivity and collaboration tools, software and products. In one suite of tools, it offers email, word processing, spreadsheets, presentation decks, shared calendars, cloud storage, and more.

You can comment and make suggestions on specific documents through Google Sheets and Docs, edit documents online simultaneously and collaborate on projects and documents. It’s easy to give users permission to specific files.

2. Evernote: This is more than a note-taking app. Evernote helps you capture, prioritize and share ideas, track projects and to-do lists. I find it super helpful for note-taking, obviously, but also as a sort of “digital filing cabinet” that simplifies organization. There’s a free, basic and business package available.

CRM Tools

CRM stands for “customer relationship management,” and CRM tools help you with things like inbound lead management, sales tracking, social tracking and eNewsletter delivery. Here are three to consider:

1. MailChimp is an all-in-one marketing platform with tools to create everything from emails to postcards. They have a great selection of templates to choose from that can then be further modified to suit your brand. Their intuitive interface and thorough reporting are great, but things can get expensive as your subscriber list or number of emails increase. You can compare their different plans on their website.

2. Constant Contact has always been a big rival with MailChimp to be the brand name in email marketing. It’s a huge company and a great option if Facebook is a big part of your online marketing strategy. Constant Contact has an email option that is designed so users can easily share your newsletter on Facebook.

This option can be considered the most social media-friendly and has all the major features of the others noted. If your online marketing involves Hootsuite (you can integrate this into Hootsuite) and you focus your efforts on gaining traction on social media then this is a great newsletter tool for you.

3. AWeber is an extremely popular option and recommended by many professional marketing companies. It gives you five plans to choose from and a long list of features such as unlimited email marketing campaigns, follow-ups, lists and Auto Responders.

Many people believe their Auto Responder platform is superior to other companies, allowing businesses to automate the process of delivering personalized emails to customers on a schedule.

Project Management Tools

A collaborative task management tool lets everyone track and manage all of their projects. Think of it as an online scheduler, taskmaster, and collaboration tool to manage your team’s workflows.

1. Asana is one of the leading tools and gets a lot of positive feedback. It allows everyone on your team to follow the whole workflow of a project in an easy visual tool. You’ll always know where your team is at and who’s responsible for what and when.

From daily reminders on a task that’s due, to the ability to easily add collaborators or assign teammates a sub-task of a project, Asana makes it simple to see what everyone’s day, week and month looks like (but you can easily move things around if plans change).

2. Monday.com is a pretty simple, intuitive visual team management tool (it’s really a project management platform). It runs processes, workflows, and projects in one digital workspace. Visually, it looks the same as a collection of very customized spreadsheets, in which every team member can log their tasks and update them with status reports and other relevant information.

That means that every person can see all active tasks and keep count on their progress. Team members can work on multiple projects without getting lost by using Monday’s weekly overview. The workflow can be customized just about any way you want it to communicate priority, what’s done, not done and so on. The colourful designs and big buttons don’t hurt either!

Social Media Management Tools

Many small businesses will already have a social media management tool set up. A social media management tool allows you to manage all of your accounts from one dashboard, which saves you both time and frustration. These tools share your content at the best possible times throughout the day, so your followers and fans see your updates more often. It’s a smarter and more efficient way to schedule and share your social media posts.

The best part about these tools is the built-in analytics system, which will give you a glimpse into what’s performing well, and when your social media posts are making the most impact.

Here are two social media management tools I personally use:

1. Buffer shows your scheduled posts and analytics (how in-depth those analytics get depends on the plan you choose). Many small business owners choose Buffer because of its sleek, clean interface that’s easy for beginners to get the hang of.

2. I find that while Buffer is great for less demanding social media needs, Hootsuite is where it’s at if you want to see your timelines, replies, and more across all your social networks.

Both Buffer and Hootsuite offer free and paid plans, so you can always try them out and see which one feels like a better fit for your small business.

***

And while it’s not a tool your entire workforce might use, I’m liking MoneyMinderOnline during these uncertain times. It not only gives you a place to track your spending, but you also get insights into your spending habits, and you can look ahead to improve your cash flow, clear your debt, and start saving for your big goals.

I hope I’ve given you an overview of some tools that will help boost your team’s productivity and morale while you’re all working from home. You may also benefit from our article on boosting business efficiency on our website.