Using Social Media for your Business May 22nd, 2013
Practical tips and suggestions from a business mum speaker at a Motivating Mum East Hertfordshire networking event
The first spring event was held on the 1st May at the Waterlounge in Bishops Stortford, where around 15 women (and some little ones) were able to meet up, network, listen and chat to Tanya Filer about her experience of setting up her own social media business, www.socialcirclemedia.co.uk, alongside family life.
There was a great deal of discussion and tips to be shared on using social media to benefit your business, and it definitely could have gone on for longer had there been time!
HOW TANYA STARTED UP HER SOCIAL MEDIA BUSINESS
Tanya started using facebook around nine years for her personal use, twitter and LinkedIn around five years ago (and then other types of social media as they have become available) and absolutely loves using them. Having gained a huge social media knowledge base she took on a bet from a construction firm that she could make a huge difference to their business by developing and running a social media campaign for them, and she was so successful in doing this that what started as a hobby, changed very quickly into a business about a year ago. Tanya gave up her day job of working as a financial assistant, and the demand and business has just continued to grow.
TOP SOCIAL MEDIA TIPS SHARED AND DISCUSSED DURING THE EVENT
Tanya was happy to offer some tips on using social media for business and to answer specific questions during the morning. Here are some of the main ones that came up, focusing on facebook and some on twitter:
1) A Fan page and a business page are the same thing
2) You have to have a personal facebook page to then set up a business one, and with a business one you must have a postcode and address to include on the page (and it is against facebook guidelines to operate a business group from your personal page)
3) Once you get to 25 likes on your business page you can set up a vanity facebook address (go into edit on the facebook page to do this)
4) Keep one facebook business page even if you have two businesses (just clearly mark the different businesses out on your page)
5) To get more facebook likes – search through discussion groups (such as Netmums, Mumsnet or Motivating Mum forum), make comments, offer suggestions etc, without being blatant about your business
6) People buy from people – when on any of the facebook groups, help by offering suggestions, answering queries etc and then sending a private inbox message if you think you can offer them something specific through your business to help them
7) Best times of day to post: facebook – 8 to 9 am and 5 to 7 pm (leave out school run times if targeting mums) and for LinkedIn – stick to between 9am-5pm on week days only
8) You can schedule facebook postings for set times via facebook itself (there is a clock icon on the page) or another option is to use sprout social (they offer you the chance to have a trial of this)
9) How many postings a day? No more than 3 postings a day on facebook, and no more than once every 4 hours
10) See if bloggers will be happy to blog about your business (offer to send some items free of charge in exchange for a review) Stephanie at Motivating Mum East Hertfordshire did a review recently with a gift company who asked for a review in exchange for free products, and this was then posted out via Motivating Mum groups and sites. Motivating Mum is very happy to receive samples of products for review or giveaway (or preferably both) - contact email@example.com for more details of this.
11) You can put people into lists to manage twitter news feeds (but be careful what you name your lists, as those people you put into lists will get a notification that you have done it!)
12) Retweet other stories about products/topics linked to your business to boost your follower numbersand follow a wide range of twitter accounts linked to your business
13) Unfollowing – it is fine to unfollow after a while (they won’t know and it means you can manage your twitter feeds to only receive the most relevant ones)
Hungry for more?
Tanya can offer 30 minute or 1 hour tutorials if this is needed for specific help.
FREE BUSINESS RESOURCES
During the discussion these free resources were mentioned, which may be of interest:
www.enterprisequest.com – tips, ideas and know-how for small and home business owners
Better Business Magazine – a free copy is available by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with ‘EQ magazine offer’ as the subject and you just need to include your name and address (Stephanie has a free copy and it is very relevant)
Thank you to Tanya for so many useful tips and suggestions based on her extensive experience, it generated a lot of discussion and some great ideas to take away!
JUNE EVENTS FOR MOTIVATING MUM EAST HERTFORDSHIRE
There are two events coming up in June, being organised, motivated and focused for summer (19 June, Bishop’s Stortford) and a workshop on: your website, IT security and internet marketing (27 June, Ware) Do check out the events pages at www.motivatingmum.co.uk to find out more!
“Make The Most” with Givers Gain Marketing! November 16th, 2012
For small businesses, marketing budgets are tight. Many ‘toy’ with the idea of running give aways to attract new customers but find themselves asking… ‘Does it really work? Will I get enough new business to cover the cost of my give away?’
Over the years I have run lots of give aways and I can give you some Top Tips for running a successful Give Away from the experience I have gained. Read the rest of this entry »
Tweet, Link and post your way to Business Success October 25th, 2012
A few snippets from a Motivating Mum East Hertfordshire workshop
Going around the full table at the Motivating Mum East Hertfordshire workshop in Bishop’s Stortford on the 10th October, a number of business mums were using social media a little for their business but had not really had the time to focus on it, but everyone felt they wanted to take advantage of it in the most appropriate way for their business. Everyone was therefore very keen to find out more!
The workshop was led by Liza Armstrong, resident Business Advisor at the ‘My Incubator’ in Ware, www.wenta.co.uk . With nine years of experience advising businesses, Liza was previously a Business Link Advisor in London helping business owners achieve business growth, and she is also the owner of a small business providing vintage china hire and tea party styling.
The workshop focused on three social media platforms: Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook, but also included Pinterest (you may want to take a look at a new and compact book called: The Ultimate Guide to marketing your business with Pinterest) and mentioned several others (and the list just seems to be growing…)
KEY BENEFITS OF USING SOCIAL MEDIA FOR YOUR BUSINESS
- Marketing and advertising
- Dialogue with customers
- Resource planning, documentation and project management
- Cheaper than traditional methods
BUT – “It won’t happen overnight…you should think of your engagements on social media like a courtship”
(Phil Jones, UK Sales and Marketing Director, Brother)
AND DON’T push for sales – use it to engage with your customers
- Launched in 2003, over 4 million UK members
- Geared towards businesses making new business contacts
- Particularly relevant if providing business to business services
- Offers the ability to connect with individuals and groups, learn and share and show you are plugged into current technology
- Key tip – invest in a professional head and shoulders photo
- Customise your Public Profile URL and add it to your email signature and business card
- 100 million active users and more searches each month than on Yahoo or Bing (from 52 cool facts about Social Media)
- Offers real time communication, and positions your business as ‘up-to-date’
- You can keep ahead of the latest news
- You follow individuals or organisations that have an interest in you (so you will receive their tweets – and a tweet is an update using no more than 140 characters)
- Establish what you want to get out of Twitter and observe for a while before tweeting yourself
- Learn the Twitter ‘Lingo’ and the etiquette and download the ‘Smarta Twitter Ebook’ (www.smarta.com)
- Launched in 2004, 900 million active users, the bulk of whom are mid 20’s to mid 30’s
- Opportunity to create a Facebook Business Page (once you have an individual profile)
- Opportunity to run a Facebook Group
- Opportunity to place advertisements
- Need to compel NOT sell
- It is quality not quantity!
NEED MORE HELP?
Thank you to Liza for a very informative workshop, which generated lots of discussion and subsequent action! There will definitely be a further workshop on Social Media (along with other workshop topics) – so watch this space!
The next Motivating Mum East Hertfordshire event is the pre-Christmas gift selling / browsing and networking event on the 7th November in Bishop’s Stortford, which is already well booked up so it should be really good.
After that, I am looking forward to putting the programme of events together for the winter term, and beyond.
Thank you to everyone who is supporting this group and I look forward to seeing it continue to develop and grow to support as many mums in business in this area as possible.
How to use Facebook: Networked Blogs April 13th, 2011
I’m still very much a newbie at this blogging thing. When I took over Motivating Mum in September last year, I had a personal facebook account (and had mastered Bejeweled Blitz and Farmville) but not much else. I did once have a try at blogging a couple of years ago but I soon realised that writing the blog is only the smallest part of it – promoting it and getting it out there is what matters. I was rubbish at that, and soon gave up.
This is why Motivating Mum has been such an opportunity for me. An established website and brand all nicely set up and ready to go, with a ready audience, and some fairly clear instructions from the previous incumbent about how to go about promoting it. Get on facebook. Get on twitter. Blog weekly.
So I’ve been doing that – although it hasn’t exactly been with a sense of purpose as yet. People tell me I can write and yet I feel I still need to discover my true blogging voice and get a sense for what my blog is really ‘about’.
One of the best ways to go about this research, and indeed one of the best ways to promote my own blog while I’m about it, is to go visiting other people’s blogs, commenting where I can, and also taking notes of cool things that make their blog interesting and different.
It was on one of these blog visiting missions that I first came across Networked Blogs. I was aware of Google Friend Connect – I have it on my own site – and this widget seemed to be just another version of that. I clicked it to follow the blog I was on and found to my delight that it is so much more than that.
Like I said above, I’m still a complete newbie, and the fact that having never heard of the site before, I was able to connect my blog to my facebook page and twitter stream within minutes, shows how simple it really is. Having got my own blog set up nicely on facebook I was further delighted to find out how easy it is to visit other mummy blogs from within the Networked blogs application.
Fast forward a few months and I’ve found loads more interesting blogs I want to read, and connected to a few of my favourites in a more user-friendly way than the clunky RSS feed. Not only that, but readers for my own blog are pouring in – it seems like the “I like yours and you like mine” etiquette so beloved of twitter, is alive and well here too.
So I can warmly recommend Networked blogs on facebook – give it a go – You can find my blog as a separate tab on my facebook page www.facebook.com/MotivatingMumUK , and with it the link to get on Networked Blogs yourself. This isn’t an affiliate link, it’s just that since Facebook mixed things up again, I’m not sure where else you can get hold of the app. But do please stop by and have a look at my blog on your way through – I promise I’ll follow you back…
How to use Facebook for Business – part 1 April 10th, 2011
I saw a statistic the other day that over half of all adults are now on Facebook. It was probably based on the USA, but I guess that figures in the UK are not far off. A significant number of these are now using Facebook for Business. Not bad for a tool that when I joined it only three or four years ago, I felt a bit embarrassed and thought I was one of the oldest people on there.
So I’m guessing, if you are the kind of person who has found Motivating Mum and is reading my blog page, that you probably have your own personal Facebook account. Maybe you keep in touch with friends – maybe you post photos and look at other people’s- maybe you share interesting stuff on the web. Maybe you play online games to pass the time (I have recently kicked a fairly serious FarmVille and Bejeweled Blitz habit that was threatening to take over my life).
But although most of us are old hands now at the personal stuff, many small business owners have yet to discover the joys of Facebook as a business tool. Quite a few people that I’ve met at Motivating Mum networking events say they just haven’t got round to it yet, or they just don’t know where to start.
It doesn’t help that Facebook changes the formats round and moves the goalposts every few months, so that even if you find out from a friend what to do, by the time you get to doing your own page it all looks completely different and could confuse the heck out of anyone.
I will freely admit that my Facebook page has been the most neglected of my social marketing efforts to date. I have focussed big time on twitter and had huge success there (more on that another month I think). I set up my Facebook page, and thanks to the wonders of Hootsuite, and Networked blogs (which I will cover in other posts if you haven’t got them yet), it is now just about a carbon copy of my twitter stream, with my blog added in for good measure.
However, I’m well aware that Facebook can be so much more. There are all kinds of apps out there to make your Facebook page really stand out and attract people to your business. Also there is just so much scope for connecting with people, getting to know them and hanging out, which has got to be good for business. I promised myself that once I had time, I would get over there, tidy up my page and make it the best that it can be.
The time for my Facebook cleanup has come. For the next month I’m going to be really concentrating on my Facebook page, cleaning it up, getting to know the users and finding a lot of other peoples sites to like and share information from.
I wil keep you posted about what I’m doing on this blog, and on the site itself, and I also intend to blog about the basics – setting the page up in the first place and what you can use it for.
So if you want to come with me and find out about Facebook in the next month or so, please hop over to the Motivating Mum Facebook page and press Like. Once you have done that, watch your own Facebook stream, as these blog posts should appear in it each time I write them.
Please join in too with my discussions, polls and competitions, and don’t be afraid to post up your own page details too. I’ll follow/like anyone who stops and says hello!