Notoriously known here as "Queen Bee" Clair is a huge fan of all things Social Media, Online Marketing & Branding along with being a BIG lover of House & Techno music. With a whole load of experience under her belt in all things marketing from both an online & offline business, what she doesn't know about Social Media, probably isn't worth knowing! Clair is heavily involved in her family business and also runs her very own successful online business Clair Trebes Online and its affiliated site. Cross The Line Clair enjoys writing and has been featured on many different respected blogs in a variety of different areas.
You can follow Clair on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.
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Today I’ve wanted to write a post about how important Social Media can be for your Personal/Business branding. Without wanting to sound really obvious on this post, I think it’s important that people really understand this, because its’ something that I think is SO obvious, it’s often overlooked.
When you are trying to develop and build a branding strategy – be it personal or business, possibly THE most powerful tool you have at your fingertips is Social Media, and that all important active presence that is needed.
There are so many benefits to being active on different social channels which will really ramp up your branding if you actually take stock and really take advantage of them.
Today I am going to give you 6 ways that you can really get yourself moving with the whole business / personal branding development.
Social Media Showcases Your Expertise
To really make a success of your business online, you really ought to establish yourself from the word go as THE “go to” person in your field / industry – this will not only establish your brand, but its also the deciding factor between hiring / buying your service or products over someone else in the same industry.
This is where the power of Social Media REALLY comes into its own – you can utilise your different social channels to really showcase your knowledge and expertise which will then give you the status as an expert in your industry. By keeping your finger on the pulse, sharing, writing articles that are relevant and matter to your potential customers. (A little like we’re doing over here at Bizzebee) Answering questions, responding to comments and offering support as and when applicable alongside sharing breaking industry news – It’s a little bit like Givers Gain here –the more you give the more you will eventually get back. By sharing this kind of stuff, you are solidifying your status as an expert and the more people learn from you, the more they will come back to you to learn/ buy more from you.
Help Others Through Social Media
This goes hand in hand with showcasing your expertise. Using social media puts you in a unique position to help others who need it. When someone asks a question about your industry and you know the answer, you become a trusted resource. People buy and hire from those they trust, so the more you help others through social media, you are increasing your own opportunities for future work and jobs to happen.
Use Social Media For Market Research
There is NO doubting the success Coca-Cola have had with their branding through Social Media
Do you need ideas for blog posts?
Are you wondering what type of data people are looking for in your industry?
Would a video series about a certain topic be well received by your audience?
Social media is a great way to carry out market research
Ask your social media fans and followers, and you’ll get a wealth of information, which can help guide your content marketing efforts.
I’ve done this myself countless times, I’ve been stuck for ideas on my blog – I head on over to my Facebook page or the Facebook group I’m an active member in – asked the question and within a few minutes I’ve got my inspiration, and not only that I know it’s what my followers want to know about!
When you share other peoples content, not only are you being a good member of the social media community, but you are helping to build your brand because you’re sharing information with your audience (which, in turn, reinforces your role as a trusted resource)
Make Valuable Connections Through Social Media
You might be sick of hearing this – BUT, if the collective of bizzebee didn’t choose their social channels correctly then we would not have built this site, because we would haven’t of made the connections with eachother to do this.
Therefore, it’s important to pick the right social media networks because you want to be present on the channels where your audience is, and be open to ALL opportunities to grow and develop. As you build your social media presence, you can begin making valuable connections with others. Social media can help you connect with potential customers and employers, colleagues and peers, and thought leaders and influencers. Make sure you have a strategy to connect with all of these groups so you can maximize the networking power of social media.
Social Media Lets You Show Who You Are
This is probably my favourite point of this article.
Personal branding is about the “person” and even to a degree so is business branding– and there’s no better way to show your personality than through social media. Talk about your favourite recipes, snap a picture of your morning walk, or share a vacation photo or two. People want to connect with a person, not an entity. You don’t have to reveal your entire life, but share some personal stuff (even if it’s just on a surface level) to reveal the “human side” of your brand. That’s where you’ll make the deepest connections with others, because people buy into people.
Social media is a powerful tool in your branding arsenal.
When you manifest and leverage social media in these ways to build your online authority, show your expertise and humanize your brand, you will emerge as an approachable and trusted source that people will want to know more about it. There are many fish in the sea, especially when it comes to entrepreneurs and professionals and online business owners. Use social media to boost your online brand so you can rise above the rest, and get those opportunities and offers you deserve.
Social Media today is VERY different to 12/18 months ago, and today I wanted to share this post, which is kind of a culmination of the head bee’s thoughts and ideas – which came to light at our last Google hangout. I decided it would make a great post, because it is something we are going to measure and monitor with the growth of the Bizzebee community.
Firstly I should start out by saying that Google hangouts are basically FREE conference video calls that marketers and business owners can use in so many different ways – from 1 on 1 chats, to larger webinar style set ups. All which can be recorded and uploaded to YouTube at a later date!
Anyhow, us Bee’s rely a lot on hangouts for our team meetings – lots of miles between us so this is a simple and easy way to communicate (often from the comfort of our own homes!)
Which leads me nicely into this post really, Google are really upping their game as a social channel – interconnecting all of their products and then rewarding business owners with SEO juice for simply setting up and using their products and facilities (Maps, +, Local Places, YouTube, Hangouts to name but a few)
Facebook has always been deemed the KING of the social networking platforms since it stole the crown from MySpace in around the 2007 mark, with personal use still soaring, I have to ask that for business owners (specific types of niches and industry’s here only) is it still THE place to be to develop your online profile?
I never thought I would weight Facebook lower than any other sites, let alone Twitter too, but over the recent weeks I’ve been taking a serious look at the effectiveness of all major sites and wondering if business owners could be achieving more and getting a higher ROI outside of a Facebook business page and 140 characters.
Bizeebee as a brand is new; we’re establishing what we do and why we do it. Whilst the people behind the concept are all established business owners and marketers with their own large successful following’s, Bizzebee is a newbie – people need to learn about it in their own time.
We’d been looking at ways to develop it’s presence – Doing the usual – spinning out it’s Facebook page across our own successful pages, getting right into Twitter and talking to those users we normally engage with as our separate entities – with some really high hopes of growing our following on these in good time.
As it stands today the Facebook page has 78 likes and the Twitter account has 316 followers (the latter isn’t so bad) Overall as someone who is enthusiastic about the power of these 2 platforms I am a little disappointed by their numbers, and more importantly those people engaging in those numbers.
I remember when I started my Clair Trebes Online Facebook page I managed to hit 100, 500 and then 1000 likes fairly easily and with very little financial outlay, so something must have changed for the Bizzebee site to not achieve the same. We’ve paid for some adverts and some “get more likes” feature within Facebook and its probably gained us around the 25 likes mark – which is a really bad cost per like when you actually weigh up what we’ve spent.
As far as I can see, the change has come from Facebook – with the power to add more businesses and actually fill people’s newsfeeds with “sponsored” stories (which those people didn’t agree they wanted to see) as opposed to the old Edgerank, which worked out what people would want to see based on their use inside of Facebook, the users are deeming some of these sponsored stories as Spam and marking them as such (which you can actually do)
What that does infact is negatively impact other businesses in the same / similar niche – less people are seeing your posts when you send them out and when you pay for them to be seen – and also people just switch off to them.
The whole Internet marketing / make money online niche is SO over saturated and technically Bizzebee fits into that category so our job is made much harder with Facebook now, because of how people use it.
If we were a health site offering vegan food recipes and yoga tutorials I firmly believe we would be playing a very different numbers game – because people are interested in those things in their free time.
In my opinion, your industry will have a MAJOR effect on your ability to use Facebook successfully now, because people want it to be social and not spammed with unrelated posts because someone parted with $$ to promote.
Twitter is such a powerful place, I really believe ANY business can make a great online following over there, but again it’s awash with people abusing the hashtags just to get their sales pitch seen – that doesn’t work either, and when you are trying to standout in a sea of self promoting posts, that can be really hard work. So much so, that I’ve been questioning the relevance of some of the Twitter networking groups that are out there some of them are filled with people posting and not actually talking to the others who are getting involved.
I’ve kind of spear headed the direction that Bizzebee are going to take on it’s quest for Social Media domination, but the other team members are all agreeing with me over Facebook & Twitter (and that’s not to say that we’re giving up – failure is NEVER an option) but instead, we’re going to look at other social networking avenues to help really establish the Bizzebee brand – With LinkedIn and Pinterest being seen to accept a little more “business” and Google+ being geared up to house businesses across the board – we’re going to focus a larger percentage of our efforts in those areas to see how quickly (and if at all) it benefits the brand.
It’s an interesting one, with taking some different approaches on the platforms, LinkedIn we’re gearing up around our group – The Bizzebee Colony. A well-managed group on LinkedIn is almost like a whole bunch of email subscribers all in the one place – so we’re actively developing and growing it and the conversations – whilst slow to start are happening (far better than Facebook and Twitter)
Pinterest is always going to be a profitable exercise if you can get the balance right between business and good images – we’re trialing different boards and different ideas and with one of our posts getting over 300 pins to date, you can’t argue with facts like that. It’s worth the effort in the long term we feel.
Google+ – too many benefits, we’re making videos, we’re having community discussions, and we’re also working on building an email list inside of their via the Google groups facility (It’s going to have a forum type feel to it) but it’s all in early stages – the tools Google offer which are interlinked far outweigh any of the other sites out there.
Nobody is marking us as spam on these last 3, people are asking to get involved and joining us, and we’re not actually outlaying any $$ in doing so. It’s a fairly slow process and very much time consuming – but it shouldn’t be any other way.
As for the effectiveness of our new direction socially – time will tell. Our last analytics report stated Facebook was still our biggest referral traffic source (to which I’m not surprised as individuals with successful pages we share content via there) But in taking a side step and approaching from a different angle we are going to really spend time looking at traffic sources and will be providing updates moving forwards.
This is a mini case study on ourselves – one that we hope gives us (and you) the results we expect, so moving forwards your time and efforts are spent in just the right places to bring your web businesses to light!
Twitter is a thriving online business community, with networking events / hours and live chats happening all around you, but if you are a business how on earth do you know what / when and where these are taking place?
Business opportunities happen during these hours, online relationships are formed and you have a way of tapping into people you would have NEVER known existed without these hashtag keywords that are fully clickable, opening up a live feed of people all wanting the same thing.
To promote their business and meet new potential people to do business with.
You can insert a hashtag anywhere within the 140 characters of your tweet, infact I am thinking of starting our own one #askabee or something like that in the not too distant future as some kind of online help clinic (I’d be interested to know your thoughts on this matter too, or do you have a better hashtag we could utilize)
If a hashtag is powerful enough, then it can end up trending, and if your lucky enough to be involved in a live chat / networking hour that is trending then think of the potential audience you are in front of.
With that said, and seeing as I am UK based, it made a lot of sense for me to compile a daily list of some of the most popular networking hashtags here.
#UKBizLunch 12PM-1PM GMT (for those people lucky enough to take a lunch break)
#BizHour – Mon-Fri 2-3PM GMT – a great place for businesses to meet
#B2BHour – Everyday 3-4PM GMT – general business networking
#WarksHour – Mon-Fri 1-2PM GMT – daily Warwickshire business promoting
#WomanInBiz – Mon-Fri 6-7PM GMT – daily networking hour for all the women in business
#BizMumFollow Monday 9am-9pm – All day networking for entrepreneurial Mums
#BiziScots Monday 8-9pm – Networking Hour for anyone who wants to connect with Scottish based people
#UDoNetwork Monday 8-9pm – Networking hour for UDoNetwork
#MondayMadness Monday 830-930pm – General UK Businesses
#TwitterBrothers Monday 9-10pm – Networking for Men on Twitter
#MumpreneurHour Monday 9-10pm – Networking hour for Mumpreneurs
#MallowMummies Tuesday 830-930pm – Networking hour supporting Small Businesses
#SmallBizHour Tuesday 9-10pm – Promoting UK small businesses
#UDoNetwork Wednesday 12-1pm – Networking hour for UDoNetwork
#FlutterBiz Wednesday 6-7pm – Twitter networking for the UK
#MenMeanBiz Wednesday 7-8pm – Networking Hour for Men in Business
#BuyBritishBrands Wednesday 830-930pm – Promoting all things British
#WedChat Wednesday 830-930pm – Wedding chat and networking
#WeddingHour Wednesday 9-10pm – Wedding chat for wedding related businesses
#TwitterSisters Thursday 830-930pm – Networking for women led businesses
#WelshIntroBiz Thursday 830-930pm – Networking hour for Welsh businesses
#MumpreneurHour Thursday 9-10pm – Networking for entrepreneurial Mums
#SWChat Thursday 9-10pm – Networking hour re Social Workplace
#FreegleHour 1st Thursday of everymonth 9-10pm – Networking hour to discuss reuse, recycling & freegling
#ConnectFriday Friday 10-11am – Informal networking for green businesses
#EcoHour Friday 12noon-1pm – Eco Friendly Chat
#PartyBizHour Friday 1-2pm – Networking hour for the Party and Fancy Dress Industry
#GBHour Friday 4-5pm – get involved with some Great British Networking every Friday
#SatChat Saturday 8-915am – Networking for Saturday mornings
#Speednetworking Saturday 6-7pm – Networking for UK Businesses
#WomaninBiz Sunday 8-9pm – Networking hour for Women in Business
There are also regional networking hour hashtags as follows
#SouthWestHour Monday 2-3pm – Networking hour for South West of England
#CumbriaHour Monday 7-8pm – Networking hour for the Lake District
#BrandYorkshire Monday 8-9pm – Networking hour for Yorkshire
#BiziScots Monday 8-9pm – Networking hour to meet great Scottish businesses
#CheshireHour Monday 8-9pm – Networking hour for Cheshire
#ConnectingEssex Monday 8-9pm – Networking hour for Essex
#HarrogateHour Monday 8-9pm – Networking hour for Harrogate
#LincsHour Monday 8-9pm – Networking hour for Lincolnshire
#NorthEastHour Monday 8-9pm – Networking hour for the North East
#NorthEastHour Tuesday 2-3pm- Networking hour for the North East
#AvYourSay Tuesday 8-9pm – Networking hour for Amber Valley in Derbyshire
#CalderdaleHour Tuesday 8-9pm – Networking hour for Calderdale
#ChesterHour Tuesday 8-9pm – Networking hour for Chester
#DiscoverRipon Tuesday 8-9pm – Networking hour for Ripon
#DoncasterHour Tuesday 8-9pm – Networking hour for Doncaster
#HampshireHour Tuesday 8-9pm – Networking hour for Hampshire
#KingsLynnHour Tuesday 8-9pm – Networking hour for KingsLynn
#MerseyBiz Tuesday 8-9pm – Networking hour for Merseyside
#SheffieldHour Tuesday 8-9pm – Networking hour for Sheffield
#WestMidsHour Tuesday 8-9pm – Networking hour for the West Midlands
#WetherbyHour Tuesday 8-9pm – Networking hour for Wetherby
#WyreFyldeHour Tuesday 8-9pm – Networking hour for Wyre & Flyde
#WiltshireHour Tuesday 830-930pm – Networking hour for Wiltshire
#KentHour Tuesday 830-930pm – Networking hour for Kent
#SouthEastHour Tuesday 830-930pm – Networking hour for businesses in the South East
#BathHour Tuesday 9-10pm – Networking hour for Bath
#BrizzleHour Tuesday 9-10pm – Networking hour for Bristol
#EssexHour Wednesday 2-3pm – Networking hour for Essex
#DGHour Wednesday 7-8pm – Networking for Dumfries & Galloway
#StirlingHour Wednesday 7-8pm – Networking hour for Stirling
#AndoverHour Wednesday 730-830pm – Networking hour for Andover
#CambsHour Wednesday 8-9pm – Networking hour for Cambridgeshire
#CardiffHour Wednesday 8-9pm – Networking hour for Cardiff
#CornwallHour Wednesday 8-9pm – Networking hour for Cornwall
#DevonHour Wednesday 8-9pm – Networking hour for Devon
#EastMidlandsHour Wednesday 8-9pm – Networking hour for East Midlands
#MidlandsHour Wednesday 8-9pm – Networking hour for the Midlands
#NorthWestHour Wednesday 8- 9pm – Networking for the North West of England
#OxHour Wednesdays 8-9pm – Networking hour for Oxfordshire
#SalisburyHour Wednesday 8-9pm – Networking hour for Salisbury
#StaffordshireHour Wednesday 8-9pm – Networking hour for Staffordshire
#WolverhamptonHour Wednesday 8-9pm – Networking for Wolverhampton
#YorkBizHour Wednesday 8-9pm – Networking hour for York
#YorkshireHour Wednesdays 8-9pm – Networking hour for Yorkshire
#OxfordshireHour Wednesday 830-930pm – Networking for Oxfordshire
#ShropshireHour Wednesday 830-930pm – Networking hour for Shropshire
#ScotlandHour Wednesday 9-10pm – Networking hour for Scotland
#StirlingHour Wednesday 9-10pm – Networking hour for Stirling
#IrishBizParty Wednesday 9-11pm – Networking party for Irish businesses
#TeesTime Thursday 2-3pm – Networking for Teeside
#BlackpoolHour Thursday 8-9pm – Networking hour for Blackpool
#BradfordHour Thursday 8-9pm – Networking hour for Bradford
#DerbyshireHour Thursday 8-9pm – Networking hour for Derbyshire
#EastAngliaHour Thursday 8-9pm – Networking hour for East Anglia
#HuddersfieldHour Thursday 8-9pm – Networking for Huddersfield
#HullHour Thursday 8-9pm – Networking hour for Hull
#KirkleesHour Thursday 8-9pm – Networking for Kirklees
#LancashireHour Thursday 8-9pm – Networking hour for Lancashire
#LeedsHour Thursday 8-9pm – Networking hour for Leeds
#LiverpoolHour Thursday 8-9pm – Networking for Liverpool
#ManchesterHour Thursday 8-9pm – Networking hour for Manchester
#NorthantsHour Thursday 8-9pm – Networking hour for Northamptonshire
#NorthwichHour Thursday 8-9pm – Networking hour for Northwich
#NottsNatter Thursday 8-9pm – Networking hour for Nottingham
#NWalesHour Thursday 8-9pm – Networking hour for North Wales
#SomersetHour Thursday 8-9pm – Networking hour for Somerset
#SouthWestHour Thursday8-9pm – Networking hour for the South West of England
#WakefieldHour Thursday 8-9pm – Networking hour for Wakefield
#WarringtonHour Thursday 8-9pm – Networking hour for Warrington
#WirralHour Thursday 8-9pm – Networking hour for the Wirral
#YorkHour Thursday 8-9pm – Networking hour for York
#SussexHour Thursday 830-930pm – Networking hour for Sussex
#ClevelandHour Friday 10-11am – Networking hour for Cleveland
#YorkBizHour Friday 11am-12noon – Networking hour for York
#NorthWestHour Fridays 9-10pm – Networking for the North West of England
#BrandYorkshire Saturday 8-9pm – Networking hour for Yorkshire
#WalesHour Sunday 8-9pm – Networking for Wales
#England Hour Sunday 9pm-10pm – Networking for businesses in England
#FPSBS Everyday – all day – #FPSBS is run by @TeamFreddiePig – use the #FPSBS on your tweets and Freddie Pig and his followers will retweet your tweets – you are also entered into a competition to be the ‘Showcase of the Day’ and if you win will be featured on Freddie’s homepage www.fpsbs.co.uk.
#PurpleBiz Everyday – all day – PurpleBiz is run by @PurpleDogNet – everyday of the week #PurpleBiz is awarded to a UK Business by @PurpleDogNet – The #PurpleBiz competition is won by tweeters retweeting the #PurpleBiz tweets.
#SBS Sundays 5pm-730pm – Small Business Sunday competition run by @TheoPaphitis – send Theo a tweet about your small business on a Sunday between 5-730pm using #SBS. Theo will then pick his favorite 6 and will retweet their tweets to his followers as well as place them onto his website www.theopaphitis.com.
#MOM Mondays 1-3pm – Men on Monday competition run by @Jacqueline_Gold – Jacqueline invites business men to send her a tweet about their small business on a Monday between 1-3pm using #MOM. Jacqueline will then pick her favorite 3 and will retweet their tweets to her followers.
#WOW Wednesdays 1-3pm – Women on Wednesday competition run by @Jacqueline_Gold – Jacqueline invites business women to send her a tweet about their small business on a Wednesday between 1-3pm using #WOW. Jacqueline will then pick her favorite 3 and will retweet their tweets to her followers.
Other useful Hashtags
#Bizitalk The #Bizitalk was started by @Bizitalk and is used by small businesses as a way to connect, engage and network. By simply adding #Bizitalk to your tweets you can find other small businesses to follow and engage with as well as receive retweets from fellow Bizitalkers and @Bizitalk/@Bizitweet.
#FF or #FollowFriday Fridays – All day – #FF or #FollowFriday is used on a Friday for users to recommend other users for their followers to follow – some people send tweets starting with #FF and then a list of usernames for people to follow – other people will start their tweets with #FF and then a user’s name and then a reason why you should follow them ie “#FF @bizzebee1 – a reliable source for boosting your business online”.
There is an AWFUL lot to take in on this post, and I hope you can see a lot of opportunity to find new contacts and leads. For anyone embarking on a Twitter sales / marketing campaign I would highly recommend / suggest you bookmark this post (heck bookmark and add to Feedly our whole site) as I guarantee this will be an awesome tool in your online business arsenal!
During the course of me running my own Facebook business page, I’ve seen a lot of changes from Facebook HQ with regard to its algorithm (known as Edgerank) that calculates who see’s what when you are posting from your business page.
Some “experts” believe that Edgerank is pretty much null and void now with the introduction of promoted posts / boost post on Facebook, and to a degree I make them right.
The essence of this post is to highlight the best ways in which you should post updates from your Facebook page in order to reach the most amounts of people organically (without parting with your hard earned pennies)
Since the introduction of promoted posts / boost post irrespective of how many likes your Facebook page has, you will only ever reach around 12% of your audience for free, and that is being generous!
Facebook “weight” posts and they de-value many posts for a number of different factors, and if you don’t understand this, you could be potentially reaching far less people than the 12%.
It’s NO LONGER good practice to “share” updates from page to page! Not so long ago, as a page owner working through the newsfeed and connecting with other pages you liked, it was good Facebook ethic to “share” a post with your likes from somewhere else inside Facebook.
** Newsflash **
Facebook have completely DE VALUED this function, and it receives the lowest organic reach out of ALL the updates you can make as your business page. I’ve personally found this one a bit of a blow to be honest, and I know so many of you reading this will too.
Facebook encouraged sharing, infact it was the biggest trigger and the most heavily weighted in the Edgerank algorithm – but on a page-to-page level it is no longer the thing to do!
If you don’t believe me, then you need to go and take a look at one of the posts you have shared from another page to your own – I think you will be quite shocked at its organic reach.
I am not so sure of the whys and where’s of Facebook making this decision or quite where it leaves their whole “sharing” mantra, but I am telling you now you are wasting your efforts in making those kinds of updates page to page.
I now make a lot of effort to share information from a page to my personal profile because that does work. A post is still seen to be popular if it has a lot of shares – and yeah of course that makes sense, but to those people who are sharing the posts, they just won’t be reaching the level of people they think they are.
Sharing On Facebook – Best Practices
If you REALLY want to get the most visibility on your 12% organic reach (and actually reach a little further) then you need to be sharing TEXT only updates.
I know what you are thinking here “but I have a link to my website I want to share” – that’s FINE, there is always a loophole, and I’m about to let you into a little secret!
If you make a post that is only text, and you include a URL, if you “Remove Preview” from the URL Facebook treats it like a text only update – the link is still FULLY clickable and you will reach even more people organically (within the approximate 12% I mean)
This is an image direct from my own Facebook insights, my latest post contained a URL, which I removed the preview from, and Facebook thinks that the post is only text, thus pushing it out further organically than if it contained the preview which showed it was a link to somewhere outside of Facebook.
The next image shows a post that Facebook clearly sees as a link – and you can see the reach is FAR lower
In order to help my own cause (and believe me I don’t like paying for Facebook Ads) I make sure I share ALL my website links via my Facebook page to my personal profile – it helps with the reach, if you got 5 people / friends to share your page post on their own timeline you would see your reach jump up to as many as 1000 FOR FREE.
Combine that tactic with some well placed hashtags inside your text only post and you will also find that more people are in with a chance of discovering your post, and more importantly YOUR BUSINESS!
Photos used to be the single most shared and seen thing inside of Facebook, but again, unless you have a VERY compelling image that actually has a purpose, rather than just for the sake of it, and you are teaming it up with quality text and the right keywords for the hashtag search, then it really is a pointless exercise.
Facebook are making it tough, with no direct word over the changes to do with Edgerank weight, a lot of people out there (like myself) who are constantly analysing their insights and running different kinds of tests, are making these discoveries to try and help the people like YOU.
If you don’t have the budget to pay for those likes to see your posts, then don’t – you can speak to any member of the Bizzebee team who would be happy to help you find some more innovative ways to be “seen”
Engagement is WAY more important than total likes NOW – there is no point in having 1500 Facebook likes and only 2 people talking about your page. Those 1498 likes might as well not even exist, and that is why we are here to try and help you make sense of how this works, and you learn from the benefit of our experience.
So it’s happened, you knew it would only be a matter of time, but there you see it right in front of you on the screen. Someone has left you an unhappy message on your Facebook wall, or sent out a Tweet to all their followers expressing their concerns with something you’ve said / not done / sold.
That’s the problem with the public nature of Social Media, it’s given the people power!
Now the comments could be fabricated, perhaps a little mountain / molehill situation, or maybe absolutely on point. I’m here to tell you today that this isn’t the end of the world, and (if) handled correctly will not have as much of a “bad” impact as you are first thinking.
Kneejerk reactions are great (believe me I’ve made them myself) in the heat of the moment, when someone is unhappy they say things they might not mean/say on reflection, so it’s VERY important that you don’t react in a similar manner.
Building your online reputation takes time and is hard work – the effort and thought gone into your website, email marketing campaign, even your social profiles all counts. You really don’t want to see that destroyed by an irritated customer.
Dependant upon your business type and where the negative comment was posted will determine the effect it has on your business however.
For example, if you are running a hotel / B&B and you are in Trip Advisor, or a hotel booking site like booking.com, or you are an Amazon seller and something negative has been said it can be a little bit devastating.
If it’s a rogue tweet, it tends to disappear from the newsfeeds quite quickly so it doesn’t tend to be too much of a problem, that said however I do firmly believe and recommend that you respond – follow up with a call, email or message to try and rectify the situation.
In those situations, take note of it, and try to avoid it from happening again in the future.
Responding to Negative Comments on Facebook
The easiest and most simple way here is to delete said comment if it has been posted on your own Page wall, or alternatively you can just make a few page updates – text, links, photos, videos and pretty quickly the comment will just filter down the page list, without too many people seeing it.
If the comment is made on another person’s Facebook page then the only option you really have is to ask the page owner to remove it, or report it to Facebook or just ignore it (which yes I know can be hard, especially if you find it to be untrue)
Personally I’m actually a fan of the negative comments, they give you an opportunity to REALLY excel with your customer service skills and actually turn a positive into a negative pretty quickly.
Take a look at the screenshot below – a perfect example of someone who was disgruntled by some Facebook advertising appearing in their newsfeed so decided to take it out on the page post. Some carefully polite words later, another person picked up on the attitude of Affordable Printing Co’s good manner and actually said that reading the response had made them sit in that person’s mind for any printing if they needed it in the future. The disgruntled customer didn’t come back with any reply, but it certainly sparked some good feedback.
Responding To Negative Comments On Twitter
The same goes with Twitter; the very public nature of the platform with the hashtags means that if an unhappy customer tweets with a relevant hashtag to your business it will be seen by all who are looking for that keyword.
You need to be quick off the starting blocks, don’t ignore those messages / tweets if they are persistent. By remaining silent those people who are seeing these comments with your business name attached may think you simply don’t care.
My advice in that instance is to respond with all the relevant hashtag keywords used directly to the user, and offer to get the situation resolved in a mutually beneficial way, and steer the conversation onto email asap – out of the public domain.
People don’t like to be ignored, they know that by using their virtual “speakers corner” they will be heard and taken seriously. I’ve seen many instances of negatives becoming positives by the swift action of the person at the centre of the negativity.
Responding To Negative Comments On Your Website / Blog
The good thing about your website / blog is that you are often in control of who / what posts on it. People generally respond and will warm to those who keep their cool, so its very important to remain composed in these instances.
If the comment on the site isn’t derogatory or carrying bad language I’d be inclined to let it ride on the site, and you respond demonstrating your company’s ability to handle the good, the bad and the ugly.
State fact: if it’s over lost or damaged goods, provide proof; offer an alternative solution that keeps the customer with you.
Ask yourself “are you at fault? If the answer is YES then you apologise and make the situation right (i.e. refund, resend goods, re supply service)
There are those people that no matter what / how you respond will just go on a rampage of negative comments, this can be quite tiresome. Aside from taking legal advice if the comments are bordering on slanderous, the only thing you can do is try to use it to your advantage.
Screenshot the comments, and put it out there for your happy customers to see – let them respond, or collate testimonials in favour of your services, if you are doing a good job the ratio won’t take long to imbalance itself in your favour. Varied positives from different customers soon stamps all over repeated comments from the one source.
In conclusion, don’t panic! It’ really isn’t the be all and end all on your social channels if this does happen. You can use this to your advantage, and turn it into a PR success! If, you don’t feel confident in your responses, then the Bizzebee community team are here and happy to provide impartial advice on the best course of action you could take to keep your brand in the best possible light.
Clair here again, I thought it would be a great idea to follow up on my last post, where I tried to break down “Where Would I Be Without Social Media” and talk to you this week a little bit about the Social Media commitment.
In order for Social Media to “work” there is a level of commitment involved often far bigger than anyone would realise from the outset. I hear and have spoken to a LOT of people who talk about ROI, and is Social Media really worth it?
The simple answer is YES it is, but it doesn’t come without work ethic and a level of commitment from YOU.
Your commitment is to TURN UP – for example, if you are running a Twitter account, it is your responsibility to BE THERE.
For me, because pretty much all of my working life revolves around social media sites, my audience know that over a weekend I am “off work” and that is across the major sites that I manage a presence on.
The ROI from Social Media comes once the trust has been built between you and your followers, the trust only happens when you’ve proven yourself to those around you – this can / is easy to do in a variety of ways, but all essentially boils down to the fact you need to be committed to your profiles on the platforms and be there.
There is nothing more frustrating than someone recommending another business or person for a service and then when you go check their profile out to find they aren’t utilising their profile. There are countless people out there all hungry for business, so you need to ensure you do whatever it takes to win that business, or at least be in the running too.
Unfortunately I see this all the time in my line of work. When I speak to people and ask them “what happened” I’m often met with the response “it doesn’t work for me” or “I don’t have time” – Both answers are true, to a degree if you don’t understand what it takes to make this commitment work.
If you embark on a Facebook page campaign or open a Twitter account – make your intentions clear from the outset – let your audience know when you will be around and who is managing things – this is a part of your virtual shop front, and very much an extension of your customer service team. That is the Social Media Commitment and you should stick to it without question.
Building trust doesn’t need to take a lifetime.
You don’t need to be knocking down doors 24/7 trying to sell one service after another through your social channels.
What you do need to be doing is talking to the people around you – look for those locally, those in your industry and forming bonds with those people. Are they after a recommendation for a service you’ve experience with, and then tell them where you’ve been!
Recommendation is the driving force in the success of Social Media marketing for small business owners. You get that “seal of approval” from a fellow twitter user, 9 times out of 10 you’ve then got the business.
As much as people will engage with you if you are active and out there, they won’t come looking for you if you suddenly go quiet – for the most part anyway. You’ve got to have a very good bond with your fellow social community for that to happen. There’s only so many times a person can walk past a shop to see if its open, until they start going elsewhere.
There is no “comfort” zone with social media, you never really get a chance to “rest” or feel “safe” if you want continued connections and success you need to keep working hard at it, and that is a commitment.
As business owners I appreciate that your time is precious – whilst it’s the most affordable thing you can often spare in the beginning, the whole commitment to turning up during the days you are open can be off putting, so use the time you have got and make it count.
Whether you have 30 minutes or 3 hours – you need to ensure you schedule your time properly.
There are lots of great third party apps out there that let you set up auto tweets (which are essential for time management and productivity) so you NEVER forget to get your important messages out there. Syncing profiles together so Facebook talks to Twitter (or Vice Versa) so you aren’t “doubling up” on some messages, which means your available time is put to real time engagement – replying to messages and tweets, reading through your timeline, getting involved in networking hours, live chats and generally seeing where you can add value.
Bizzebee as a collective understand the commitment needed to really make Social Media work, during the coming weeks as the site develops more you will see some really excellent training and advice from the team to really help you streamline your social media efforts which makes the whole social media commitment easier, and most definitely worth it!
This is my first post for the new Bizzebee community site, so I thought I should start my work with you all answering a very important question, because it will help you understand where I am coming from and WHY I am so passionate about Social Media. But more importantly might trigger some thought patterns inside your own mind if indeed you are curious about Social Media and your business.
“Where Would I Be Without Social Media?”
This is a question I often ask myself, infact I find it quite strange that I can’t quite imagine either my work or personal life without Social Media.
Quite simply, Social Media has transformed my day-to-day life, and just like each of you reading this post I am a regular person going about their daily life trying to make a living in an economy that is in downturn.
Social Media has changed business for the better – that is because it has allowed people to talk publicly about their experiences, their likes, dislikes and also bridge the gap between those in business power and those who keep them there (the consumer)
Don’t get me wrong, Social Media Marketing has not replaced traditional marketing methods – such as guerrilla marketing, flyer campaigns, email marketing and the like, but what is has done is add an additional element to the marketing mix which has broken geographical boundaries.
I GENUINELY BELIEVE THAT EVERY SINGLE BUSINESS OWNER NEEDS A SOCIAL MEDIA PRESENCE
Whether you are the local sweet shop or a large blue chip corporation, your business can and will become better and achieve longevity by tapping into the social networks that surround and consume our daily lives.
I wanted to test the theory that I had about Social channels – as someone who has been enthusiastic about Social Media since the MySpace days, I sat in my office wondering where people were looking for services, aside from the obvious of typing into Google.
I started with Twitter, I looked at it’s search facility, I looked for businesses and people I knew, and I studied their tweeting habits, I looked up specific words (just like I would with Google) only this time I saw something different, I saw people asking “can anyone recommend _____” rather than a load of businesses with something to sell filling up a Google search results.
That was my light bulb moment
Nobody told me “how” to “do,” Twitter, I sat there and over the course of about 6 weeks I’d figured it out – BE HELPFUL. So I was. I Created a business Twitter account and then started life as a great person offering my experience and help on many different things – relating to printing and design right down to what to do in Berlin.
It was relatively easy to gain my first “sale” via social media too. 6 weeks into having the business Twitter account we’d sold our first set of business cards for £27, and since then have built an exceptional reputation of being a good Twitter community member, so much so that we have approximately 15 regular clients (so have come back to order more than once) and in the last 2 years have increased the company turnover by about £60K
Some Examples Of Our Customers Comments In The Twitter Public Domain
At the time of writing this post, our company website has only been fully functioning for the last 4 weeks.
Ask me if having the company website alone without the social channels would it have had the same impact on company turnover, my answer would be NO.
Social Media is FREE – it has cost the company nothing except for my time, had we have relied on the website alone, we’d have spent a LOT more on SEO & Advertising.
I’m not saying you don’t need to pay for those kind of things (because they are an integral part of your business success too) but if you are a business start up then money is often tight – the one thing you can often spare is time – whenever you have 20 / 30 / 45 / 60 minutes you can tap into your social networks and carry on building / forging those all important relationships that build trust.
Trust is what gets you the referrals. If someone trusts what you are about and believes in you as a person they will recommend and open you up to their network. It’s exactly the same as face to face networking groups, only its online and not geographically tied.
Without social media my family’s business wouldn’t have even been in existence to some of the people we have done work for. They simply wouldn’t of known who we were.
I teach people like all of you reading this the principles to move forward and bring your brand online. When someone says to me “it doesn’t work for me” I spend my time wanting to learn more about their approach. If it works for me, then it will work for you, it just means you are going wrong somewhere along the line.
Systems Work, People Fail – it really is that black and white
In my now role as someone who helps others learn the social media ropes, I’ve made some AMAZING contacts, its opened up opportunities to learn and grow in both my personal and business life.
People I’ve worked with on Social Media efforts, that without Social Media I’d of NEVER connected with
Infact, if it wasn’t for social media I wouldn’t be the Bizzebee I am now, working with some of the most honest and helpful people in this industry on this amazing project that is only going to give you all the benefit of our experience and the truth about succeeding and what it takes to get there.
In conclusion, I’m going to try and answer my initial question for you.
“Where Would I Be Without Social Media?”
Behind the times, falling down behind my competitors, losing business I didn’t even know I could have got, probably facing some tough decisions with the family business and how we carry on operating.
It is NEVER too late to build your social presence, which is why we took the best of the best, put us all together and built this bizzebee community.