Got A Small Business? A Beginner’s Guide To Social Media

If you own a small business, we are sure that you have already realised that traditional marketing can be a real drain on your funds. If you are looking for ways to connect with a wider audience, we think that social media marketing could be just the solution! We have shared seven steps that you should take to ensure that your social media strategy works for you.

social-media

  1. Do your homework
    Social media is all about connecting with your audience on a genuine level, so you should start by defining your audience. Determine three main marketing messages that you want to convey to your audience.
  2. Coordinate your channels
    Treating each social media platform as a stand-alone campaign will limit your success. Prominently display your social icons in the header or sidebar of your website, integrate live feeds and include share buttons.
  3. Always start small
    Whilst you might be excited to jump right in, social media takes time and energy. Start small and with a manageable load – start with one or two platforms and dedicate a block of time each day to work on your strategy.
  4. Listen and share
    Be sure to respond to comments, mentions and feedback – even if they’re negative. To avoid getting bogged down, file away content that you think will be interesting to share so it is easy to find at a later date.

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  5. Create daily plans
    Make a list of the activities you plan to do each day – comment on and/or link content on three Facebook pages, tweet and re-tweet three to five times per day, and join groups to target specific demographics.

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  6. Boost with advertising
    If you want to accelerate your social media performance, it’s worth looking into paid advertising options. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn all offer paid or sponsored advertising options to get your brand out there.
  7. Lather, rinse, repeat!
    This last step is actually the most important – make sure you measure and analyse your results. Google Analytics is a great for this, and make sure you regularly take a step back to assess how things are working.

Whilst using social media in the promotion of your startup or small business is certainly going to be beneficial, it is important to think of it as a marathon rather than a sprint. It’s going to take time to set up your campaign and then to see results, but if you are organised and persistent you will start reaping the benefits very shortly. We wish you luck in your social media endeavours!

Blog Engage Start Newest Guest Blogging Contest

It feels like 2014 has only just begun, but already Brian (owner of social network, Blog Engage) has announced their first guest blogging contest for the year.

The general idea is pretty simple – all they are asking is that interested parties post a guest blog on the Blog Engage website and then promote it as much as possible. Those bloggers with the most social activity and comments on their blog at the conclusion of the competition will win a share of US$500.

It also gives Brian and the team at Blog Engage a chance to thank the sponsors of the contest (a full list can be found below) without whom this wonderful prize would not be possible.

Contest Sponsors


Guest Blogging
 

Sandy "AIDY" Hoffman - Writer. Gamer. Awesome.
 

Garden Directory
 

Go Garden Guides
 

Just Gardening Fun
 

Segura Trading
 

Hydroponic Production
 

Earth Care Greenhouses
The contest runs from January 10 until February 15 with the winners drawn and notified on February 28. In between the competition closing and the draw date, entrants are still able to collect as much promotion as they can.

The advantage of Informational Content

  • Websites with informative content trends more because near about 50-80% of search queries are informational in nature. Such websites can easily capture the Search market share.
  • The average website has a ratio of 80/20 navigational content to informational content. But Blogs have a higher ratio of 60/40 navigational content to informational content.
  • Informational content largely falls under two categories

1) Time-Limited

2) Evergreen

  • Time limited informational content includes informative blog which covers Facts, News and Current Affairs which gets outdated in a few months. On the other hand, Evergreen content remains relevant for many years.
  • The most popular of the Evergreen content is the “How to” content which should be included in the websites and other posts. For example- How to design a website? How to promote your business through social media? etc.

Content Marketing Campaign

  • The discussion feature in Google allows you to determine that what people related to your industry usually search in Google. To do this, search for a keyword, like [Social Media Optimization]. Then, click on the “More” drop-down menu and select “Discussions.”
  • The time-limited content tends to be more effective at gaining links and attention whereas evergreen content is generally more effective at gaining rankings for specific keywords. Hence the key is to make sure that the type of content is truly helpful to searchers and not just written for SEO.
  • The best way to build audience out of your informative content is by integrating the content well. The content should be easily accessible and therefore it shouldn’t be posted just everywhere. You can consult with your designers and user experience team to determine where it fits best.

A closer look at the working of white hat and black hat SEO

SEO has completely revolutionized the Internet Marketing Domain and has become an indispensable part of online businesses. Business owners all around the world are hiring SEO services for better results, improved ranking and for good web presence. SEO is a broad field which is mainly categorized in to two parts- Black Hats and White Hats. Both these methods of SEO are widely practiced all over the world however it is important for you to select the right method for better results of your business.

White Hat vs Black Hat SEO

Black Hat technique violates Google’s rule to improve your web presence. Black Hat is therefore regarded as an illegal way of improving your web presence, website ranking and other such results. On the other hand, White Hat technique is a much legal and safe way of SEO process. White Hat technique works in a well organized and systematic way by strictly following then Google’s norms and regulations.

Black Hat technique follows unethical SEO methods and low value tactics by cheating the system and harming the search quality. Low-value tactics tend to fade quickly. As Google gets more aggressive, low-value tactics are also getting riskier. These low value tactics of cheating the system does not proves handy in the long run. Once they fail, and they usually do, you have to start over and chase some new low-value tactic.

Whereas, White Hat technique focuses on relevancy and true SEO practices by completely following SEO rules and policies. White Hat technique includes using keywords and keyword analysis, backlinking, link building to improve link popularity and other legal practices. White Hat SEO is extremely popular among businesses who believe in making long term investment in their website. White Hat SEO is therefore regarded as Ethical SEO.

5 Things You Should Never Do In Your Online Marketing Strategy

It happens to the best of us – we get so caught up in the excitement and costs of a new website that we just want to share it with the world and ensure that we actually get some visitors. Some of the online marketing techniques that people implement, however, tend to do more harm than good. These are the top 5 techniques that you should avoid at all costs:

  • Unsolicited bulk emails – It doesn’t matter whether you sent out these emails with good intentions or not, unsolicited mail is labeled spam and you could end up with a blacklisted server.
  • Black hat SEO – Some people think using black hat (unethical) SEO is a great way to shoot them to the top. This can, however, result in blacklisting and even bans for your website.
  • Dishonest promotions – Yes, offering free stuff is a great way to get people to your website. Doing so through a fake online marketing campaign, however, is a great way to send them away.
  • Excessive link placement – Many people try to add their links to as many forums, blogs, discussion boards and so on as they can. You must, however, only post links on sites that are relevant to yours.
  • Promote half-finished sites – Don’t bother trying to market your website until it has been completely finished and made live. Promoting something that has been untested can really turn users off.

For some strange reason, there are still plenty of online marketing experts and companies out there that think the above techniques are fine to use in the promotion of their new website. Unfortunately, this is why there are plenty of websites out there that are getting penalized or just being blocked entirely; don’t let your site become one of them!