What type of social media platform is best for small businesses?

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If you are a small business social media can grow your business and your profits.

There are lots of different social media platforms – Facebook, twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram to name just a few options. It can be confusing knowing which social media platform to invest your time into.

Not all types of social media are suitable for all types of businesses. However, Facebook is one social media platform that is suited across all small businesses. Once you become experienced with using Facebook you can decide if you need to add other social media platforms such as twitter or LinkedIn.

According to Business Insider Australia as at April 2015 there were approximately 13 million Australian active on Facebook each month and Australians are some of the highest Facebookers in the world. Every day there are 10 million Australians are active on Facebook, of which 9 million are on a mobile device.

According to a Nielsen report, the latest Australian stats showed on average, of those that have discovered new information on Facebook, 60% would go on to learn more and about 35% of people who have discovered a business or product on Facebook would share that with their friends.
The main benefit of having a Facebook page is that your customers can help do your marketing for you. If you appeal to your existing customers they will share your posts with their friends and followers.

Starting up a Facebook page may be daunting but the potential for growing your business, expanding your customer base and making more money is just as vast. However, a Facebook page does not run itself, you have to put time and effort into running your page to reap the rewards.


Why your website will be better than ours!

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As a website developer, I find that developing and designing for yourself is often one of the hardest projects, after all, you are your own worst critic. Some of the most talented design agencies I've had the pleasure to work with have had some of the most dull websites and portfolios, as the saying goes, a 'builder’s home is never finished' (and as the son of a builder, I can attest to that!) 

Then there are other agencies that have it all sorted! A clear style and branding to their business and a stellar quality website. However these companies generally have higher overheads, additional staff for internal communications and marketing which all costs money and needs to be paid for by their clients.

We are a small, busy team and often as a result we put our own projects to the bottom of the list resulting in our own work often never being completed. Our website has been one of them. The more I’ve been working with small businesses over the years, the more I find this similarity, the business’ priority is dealing with their clients and customers, providing their front line product or service (as it should be) and leaving their own business and brand to the bottom of the list, resulting in poor or little promotion of what could be a top quality business.

When working on a client’s website, we are often in the fortunate position of essentially forcing a client to stop and focus on their own business. When asking them to supply website content, we discuss their brand and the image that they want to portray to the world. It forces them revisit and take stock of what their company is about, how they see their design and their branding. We even take photos of their business or the image they want to portray and weave this into their website. This whole development process often reignites an old flame that may have been close to extinguishing - and we like to see that drive for success rise to the surface of our clients. 

Developing a new website or re-invigorating an old one is not just about platforms, downloads and location maps. It is about working together with a small business to create a presence and face for the business. It is about making each small business an online individual with a space that proudly and passionately says who they are.

We are passionate about our role in helping small business grow and we enjoy working with them.


Promoting your new website

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So you have your new look website. You’re proud of it. It has loads of information on your products and your wonderful customer service plus it looks fabulous.

Now comes the hard part. How is anyone going to find your website? There are now millions of websites. Gone are the days when people could go to Google and type in a topic or product they were seeking and up would pop your website. These days you have promote your web address at every opportunity you get.

Some very simple ways that you can use to start promoting your website immediately are:

  • Create a Facebook page
  • Purchase Facebook ads
  • List your website address on everything
    • your business card
    • stationary
    • Front of door or building
    • Brochures
    • Direct mail pieces
  • List your website address in your email signature block
  • Donate time or resources to a charity – negotiate for them to promote your website
  • Sponsorships – if you sponsor a sporting team or charity

Promoting your business is a never ending task. And promoting your business website is also a continual process. Learning how to advertise your website is all about starting, getting feedback and adjusting your tactic.


A New Year brings small business marketing opportunities

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For many people this is the first week back at work following the festive break. While we may still be trying to get the sand out of the car and have yet to pull down the Christmas decorations, January is often a quiet month that gives us the opportunity to reassess our business accomplishments (and areas of concern) from 2015 and focus on 2016. 

Assess your Christmas activities

If Christmas is one of the major sales times for your business, now is the time to measure your Christmas efforts. Review which products and services performed well and which didn’t. Did you have enough staff to handle the increased Christmas traffic? Make heaps of notes and KEEP THEM! You will need to refer to them before next Christmas. 

Lots of marketing people talk on and on about ROI … What is your ROI? … Were you pleased with your ROI? 

ROI stands for Return on Investment – basically, did the hard work and money you spent in promoting your business / service / product pay off? 

Plan to attract new customers in the new year

Go mobile. Customers are searching for products and services from their mobile devices, now more than ever, and we can be sure that the percentage of mobile searches will only increase in 2016. Do you have a mobile site? Could you sell more products and services online? Get on social media. If you aren’t already using social media to market your business you need to start this year! If you are, consider adding one new stream to your efforts. Create a Facebook page, Google+ community, a Pinterest or Instagram account to add to your digital marketing efforts.

Update your website. Leaving a website sitting there with no updates or changes is the same as building a retail store and never updating your products or displays. There’s no point to driving traffic from Facebook or Google Adwords to your website if it’s old and out-dated. You’ll lose those online leads very quickly.

Do a little housekeeping. Is the contact information on your website current? Google yourself, is the information found online correct? Going over some small business housekeeping items will keep you organised and productive.


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