It’s that time again. I hope you all have had a good week. This week we have all been busy doing various things. Clair has been enjoying some parties in Ibiza, Matt has enjoyed his last week visiting family in Japan, I have spent most of this week fighting with the new kitten and believe me they do sap productivity!
Mizan has been beavering away coding and developing a WordPress plugin, Sam has been busy keeping the site on top form as well as enjoying time with his children and John, well John has a secret bunker somewhere where he develops new products and marketing tools. He has something cooking but even we bizzebee’s have to wait until he is ready to unleash it. So what have you been doing this week?
We have 10 great articles for you to read this week. So let’s get into it.
Our first article comes from Lee Odden over at his excellent Top Rank blog. Here we are given 10 fantastic tools that we can use to create and distribute our content. Have you heard of Contently or UberFlip? No I hadn’t until I read this article. When marketing online or building an online business we need tools that make our jobs easier and ways to analyse how well we are doing.
I suggest you pop over to the site and take a look, you might find something there that you could use to make your work easier or better.
Heidi Cohen is a well-known and popular blogger, in fact she is an actionable marketing expert. When she speaks we all listen. In this post Heidi gives us 4 examples of how we can use micro content as part of content marketing.
For those who don’t know content marketing is where we give good quality content to build up trust, following and a good reputation which helps build our brands and in the long run make us more money. For many people content marketing takes up too much time and money, some companies may not have the workforce to help with it.
If a lack of time, money or workforce is preventing you from going forward with content marketing then maybe you should think small. This post could be just what you are looking for with some excellent tips and advice as well as examples.
Matt one of our SEO experts put this article forward. We cannot do a weekly update without some Google related posts. Google have recently rolled out a new Now Card system across the US (even though a screen shot was for London?!?!) where you will be shown details of what is happening at a place when you search for it on Google Maps.
The Now Card is the system designed for the Google Glass and for Mobile devices. It is another exciting development for businesses. Imagine doing an event at a popular building and when people do a search for that building they are shown a Now Card that informs them of your event. Free traffic and potential customers thanks to Google. 🙂
This is the first of two articles we share today about the use of #hastags. This is from Mashable.com and is an excellent guide aimed at beginners. That could be you, I once was a beginner when it came to understanding #hastags.
Many social media networks use them. Twitter was the first with Google Plus and Facebook following with other sites like the photographic social media site Instagram using them too.
Written by Rebecca Hiscott, this is a very detailed post with great tips, advice and information that everyone needs to know about the use and understanding of #hastags. My personal opinion of this post? #veryinformativeanduseful 🙂
This is slightly different to the usual post as we have a video here on YouTube by Google’s very own Matt Cutts. Here he discusses whether redirecting a user based on their location is considered spam by Google. It is a short and very informative video which you will find interesting.
Some people say Matt Cutts is Google’s very own Ministry of Misinformation, only this week I heard the excellent quote by SEO Expert Alex Becker… ‘Asking Matt Cutts how to rank in Google is like asking a dad how to get into his Daughters knickers’ boy did I chuckle to that. Whatever you think about Google and Matt Cutts, this information is likely to be trustworthy and useful.
Another one of our favourite people is Kim Castleberry of Just-Ask-Kim.com fame, Kim is a WordPress specialist as well as a font of tech knowledge, all of the important tech tips online marketers and businesses need answering, she will know the answers. Her site is a treasure trove of useful information and tutorials.
In this post Kim discusses a tool called FB Purity that allows you to block certain posts and statuses being shown in your Facebook newsfeed. Before to block people or posts you either hid them or unfriend them. You could remove the post but on the whole it was remove the person completely or have to see the posts.
With this tool you can set it to block posts coming into your newsfeed by creating a list of ‘words’ to block. So for example if you are fed up of seeing posts by people promoting the awful ‘Empower Network’ (I certainly am) you add that phrase to your list and it will stop them from being shown.
How cool is that? The tool is available for the browsers Firefox, Chrome, Safari and Opera.
This week we take another visit to John Paul Aguiar’s excellent blog. This post was put forward by John Banks who is no stranger to making money on Facebook and loves a marketing dabble or two with the social media giant.
This article is written by Carter Schimpff and is an excellent and fun post crammed full of ideas and advice on how to make the best of your marketing on Facebook. Essentially it is all about creating a plan and being focused but it is amazing how many people generally overlook these tasks.
If you are thinking of using Facebook to help grow your business, and you should be as it is free, then we recommend you pop over and take a read of this cracking article.
Another Facebook and social media post by Patricia Redsicker over at the excellent Social Media Examiner site. I said earlier that we had two articles that discussed #hashtags, well this is the second one.
We know Facebook uses #hashtags but how well are they working? This article explains what is and isn’t working on Facebook from a marketing point of view. This is a report that has recently been published showing that #hashtags are not working on Facebook as they were first hoping.
If you are using Facebook as part of your online business then you really should check out this article.
This is a great article from one of our friends over in Australia. Kapil Jekishan is the owner and blogger behind the LatestCrunchs.com site. Today he discusses the great software that can be added to your website and blog which allows you to chat to site visitors and potential customers in real time. I (Andi) have used Zopim chat and found it really useful for chatting live to people who have questions.
Kapil has listed six other great software plugins that allow you to chat to site visitors. Pop over and take a read and don’t forget to say ‘Hi, Andi & the bizzebee team sent me’ 🙂
Rounding up this week’s list of important readables is this excellent post…
Ste kerwer is one of my favourite bloggers and he isn’t one to mince his words. His blog Dukeo.com is a great resource of blogging information and experience. In this article he tells us what is the most important skill you need to be a long term successful blogger.
In his words… ‘Conversation. The most important skill you can have for long-term blogging success is to be skilled at engaging in conversation. Easy, you say? Not so fast’
You might be good at writing, you could write an article that reads like a book but believe me and I agree with Ste here (I wonder if he thinks I am a good conversationalist?) if you cannot write engaging content that ‘talks’ to and with your readers then you are not going to go far.
Articles that prompt people to want to ‘reply’ and ‘respond’ will help you to grow your blog and business faster than those that don’t. Simples.
Today’s fun wildcard post comes from Engadget.com and is one for us Sci Fi lovers and the science geeks among us.
AlphaDog is an autonomous machine, or robot to you and me, that is wandering around the wilderness in field test which is now learning how to master rocks. So is Atlas another autonomous machine which is a bipedal robot that can now also ‘climb rocky paths’
This is a fascinating article with video updates to show the advancements of modern robotics, but I do fear that it could all end up with some system called ‘SkyNet’ and semi naked Austrian robots shooting guns everywhere shouting ‘I’ll be back’.
Maybe we should pull the plug on it all now! What do you say? 🙂
All there is left for me to say is please share with us your favourite post of the week in the comments section below. We are more than happy to read your recommendations. Please remember though, only serious articles to do with blogging, marketing and social media etc. We do not mind some fun and interesting posts or articles just not the dodgy ones and you know the ones I am talking about 🙂
Some time somewhere in your blogging career you might feel the urge to promote your old blog posts which can be very helpful to your new readers. And in this way you can promote your ever green post more often to your readers and the search engines to have a great domain and page authority. But if you have to do it manually by changing the dates then it will be tiresome and in most case you will give up.
Besides, if you choose to re-post then as duplicate content , even if it is on your own domain – you will be penalized by major search engines like Google. Plus it won’t reflect to your feed which might be connected to your newsletter so your subscribers wont get any updates at all.
If you think there is no solution for this issue, ah well I have good news, nothing is impossible in this world! There are many different methods you can use for promoting your old blog posts. I am going to share 2 of them with you now! This handy dandy tutorial shows you two different methods for promoting your old blog posts automatically. Let us get started folks.
Old Post Promoter (OPP)
Old Post Promoter is a free WordPress plugin that automatically promotes your old blog posts. It randomly selects an old post and resets the publication date to now and hence promotes older posts from back to the front page and also in your RSS feed. So your post automatically notifies your subscribers and gets shared on connected social media accounts.
After activating the plugin go to its options page from within the admin area. The plugin lets you set minimum interval between old posts promotion, randomness interval, post age and more. You can even set the post position where the old blog post appears after promotion.
Tweetily – Tweet Your Posts Automatically!
Second best plugin you can use for promoting you old blog posts is “Tweetily – Tweet Your Posts Automatically!“. It allows you to promote old posts by tweeting them to Twitter automatically with hashtags. It provides you many useful options where you can set it and forget about it.
Install and activate the plugin, then go to Dashboard -> Tweetly. Connect your Twitter account to the plugin and select your options. It lets you set tweet interval time, number of tweets to do, maximum and minimum age of post, categories to exclude, additional text before or after the actual text (you may use this for adding ‘RT’ and ‘via’ etc), you can even set it to automatically create hashtags from post tags or categories.
I hope you liked my post. Please share with me your favourite tool that does the same. Feel free to ask me any question regarding this.
This post may be useful for people looking to know:
How To Promote Old Blog Posts Automatically In WordPress ?
Promoting old WordPress blog post
How can I promote my blog post automatically in WordPress
Wahey it is Saturday again. I hope you have had a good week. This week we have been busy writing and recording videos but it hasn’t stopped us reading. We have some seriously good articles to read this week. Several articles are about Google and the changing world of SEO and others covering social media and we have one looking at the Google Garage believe it or not. Did you know Google started out in someone’s garage?
No neither did we, we shall come to that later but first we recommend you take a look at this great article about Google Plus.
Written by Julie Deneen over at FabulousBlogging.com this article is a great beginners introduction to the fastest growing social media network owned by Google. If you are new to Google plus or have never used it then you should pop over and take a read.
Google Plus is growing in numbers and many people are now choosing it as their primary social media network. Are you missing out? This beginners guide is a great read if you are Google Plus virgin. 🙂
In this post Marcus Sheridan writes about the recent Google Hummingbird update over at the fantastic site TheSalesLion.com. Hummingbird isn’t just another Google update, it is a proper over haul of the algorithm to make a super new improved algorithm. Wahey!
Marcus also explains what 5 trends will occur as a result of the Hummingbird update, serious content marketers should be safe, Google want to have in their results sites and pages that are full of excellent educational content. If you have been creating good educational content then you need not worry. For more information on the latest Google update pop over and take a read of this article.
Over at one of my favourite sites Entrepreneurs-Journal.com Yaro Starak discusses the different ways two well known and successful bloggers Daniel Scocco and Joe Gilde make money from their blogs.
Yaro creates excellent posts which are crammed full of great content which is often inspirational and motivational as well as educational. Yaro likes to interview very successful people and in this post Yaro tries to help you work out what path is right for your blog by showing you the different ways you can monetize your site and online business.
Not every style suits everyone, for example, newsletters recommending products might work for one market but it won’t for others. Pop and say hello to Yaro and take a read of this excellent article.
If you have not yet heard of SEOMoz.com then where have you been? It has recently had a name change and now simply called Moz.com but it still has its excellent Whiteboard tutorials hosted by site owner Rand Fishkin.
Today Rand discusses about the apparent ‘Robbing of Keywords’. Google is slowly taking away keyword data and making it hard for people to better their websites by matching it to what people are searching for. I personally believe it is a plan to force people to forget organic SEO and use their AdWords system. (Not very nice Google!)
As Rand says… ‘The agreement that marketers have always had—that website creators have always had—with search engines, since their inception was, “sure, we’ll let you crawl our sites, you provide us with the keyword data so that we can improve the Internet together. I think this is Google abusing their monopolistic position in the United States. Unfortunately, I don’t really see a way out of it. I don’t think marketers can make a strong enough case politically or to consumer groups to get this removed. Maybe the EU can eventually.’
Pop over, see what he says and tell us what you think.
John Paul has an excellent list of those really good Twitter practices that can go bad very quickly. Twitter is a great place and social interaction and conversation is a must on Twitter which includes thanking people for sharing your Tweets.
The problems come about when you send individual thank you Tweets each and every day. It won’t take long for you to really cheese people off when you clog up their newsfeeds with useless Tweets.
Read the rest of the tips that can go bad over at John Paul’s excellent blog.
Love him or hate him Glenn Allsopp of the infamous ViperChill has his finger firmly on the pulse of SEO and his hands around Google’s throat it would seem. I think Glen is an awesome SEO experimentalist who shows that what Google says does and doesn’t work is as close to the truth as that ‘Lock Ness Monster’ photo released in 1934.
Glen has enjoyed his most profitable year and it is all down to him doing the exact opposite to what Google want us to do, stuff they say no longer works. Surely if it doesn’t work then he cannot land pages and sites on the first pages of their results in weeks even days and then profit from them quickly? Well, he does, what do you say to that Google? If Google were the Empire, Glen then is a SEO Jedi, I am just not sure whether he is on the dark side or the white side of the SEO force.
I thought it was only fair that we followed Glen ‘The Google Slayer’ Allsopp’s post with a trip into Google’s Lair. Well, maybe not their actually new home but the place where it all started 15 years ago. Mashable take us on a tour of the garage where Larry Page and Sergey Brin started to develop and build Google. It was a garage that they rented off a person who has since became a senior VP of Google. They remember those who helped them which is nice.
Did you know Google was started in a garage? No neither did we, Google pride themselves on their motto ‘Do No Evil’, they may not do evil, but that doesn’t mean they do nice either… Just saying… anyway you can read the Google history in this post.
This time we go over to the excellent TopRank website for an article by Alexis Hall. In this article she writes about the advice Andrew Davis, author of Brandscaping gave at the Content Marketing World conference recently.
With the internet being filled each day with information the world is really suffering from information overload, I mean, there are 17 new web pages published every second and 2 million blog posts are published every day. So how the hell do you stand out and get seen in all of this information.
Andrew Davis gives us 5 excellent tips to help us be seen and not drown in this giant digital sea of stuff!
If you did pop over to Glen Allsopp’s ViperChill post you would have seen that it mentioned extensively Alex Becker, Alex is another ‘SEO Jedi Google Slayer’ who knows all the tricks and truths of SEO. Black hat, white hat, or grey hat, whatever your thoughts are on what they do, they do it very well.
So when you start to hear about SEO you will hear about link wheels, link pyramids and link tiers and if you were confused then I am not surprised. It can be very confusing when you are new to it all.
In the Bible it says ‘The meek will inherit the Earth’ (I think) but if you know SEO then ‘The Geek will inherit the Web’ 🙂
That is why I have added this post by Alex which is found over at his excellent Source-Wave.com site, this is a detailed online guide to all things SEO and link strategies. I am not saying that SEO is about doing simple 5 minute tasks and you are done but what I will say is that understanding SEO can open up ‘King Solomon’s Mines’
Rounding up this week’s list of important readables is this great post…
Written by Ian Lurie, this is one article of epic proportion that comes with great advice and discusses the future of internet marketing after Google’s updates andapparent ‘keyword robbery’ (as touched on by Rand in his whiteboard post on Moz.com)
With Google creating new ways to integrate data to rank sites and pages where does it all leave you and what can you do to survive these major changes? Well Ian will explain why dispersed citation is what it is all about.
Ok so that is it for the serious articles by serious people now it is time for some fun and here is this week’s wild card post.
Today’s fun wildcard post comes from the Huffington Post and is a compilation of excellent funny Twitter posts that came about due to the ‘Shut Down’ of the American Government. If only it was true! Be nice if the UK Government would follow suit, but then again if they did we probably wouldn’t notice. 🙂
Being English I am quite partial to no 7 on the list. I found it very amusing indeed but that is how I roll. And number 18 is a bit of clever political humour which I find scarily true too 🙂
So get yourself over to the Huffington Post and have yourself a good chuckle.
All there is left for me to say is please share with us your favourite post of the week in the comments section below. We are more than happy to read your recommendations. Please remember though, only serious articles to do with blogging, marketing and social media etc. We do not mind some fun and interesting posts or articles just not the dodgy ones and you know the ones I am talking about 🙂
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.
Any respectable business these days has a social media presence online. Some will have just the one social media profile while others will have the full bag. Either way if you have just one or have many there is one thing that you must do from the outset.
The value of a good timeline cover design is vitally important and will go a long way in getting a Facebook Like, or a Twitter Follower or being added to a circle in Google Plus.
As with all your branding for your business you should obviously keep a running theme throughout all your profiles. So, if your website’s primary colour scheme is green do the same for your Facebook timeline cover etc. This rule should also apply for all other accounts. People get familiar with a brand and the logo. Colour schemes as well as fonts will all be on the readers/fans/followers eyes. They will expect familiarity here, so give it to them.
What should you include on your Timeline Cover Design?
The rules change all the time with the social media giants, for a while up until recently Facebook used to have a 20% rule, meaning no more than 20% of the timeline cover could have text on it. There are some reports of peoples covers getting rejected with very little text on them.
I am pleased to announce that they have now relaxed those rules and companies are allowed and should be encouraged to put their details on their timeline cover designs.
I would advise to put at least the following basic details on any design cover where applicable:
· Name (Company or personal)
· Website URL
· Email and Telephone Number
Although Facebook have relaxed the rules, I would still edge on the side of caution with it. Nothing major is going to happen if they do not like it – they will just tell you to remove it, or remove it themselves. Don’t fill your covers with text. I personally would avoid large brash “Calls To Action” like “Buy My Latest Book Here” – they look too desperate.
Remember branding – try to include a snapshot of what your business is all about. For example, if it is a restaurant try and use a picture that shows the buzz and atmosphere of the restaurant. Include the logo where applicable and use high resolution pictures/photos where you can for your covers.
The thing in the past that has been a problem for marketers and company owners is that the sizes of the various social media timeline covers has been a little bit unknown. It can be a little annoying if you get a great cover picture made up and when you go to install it on the page it does not fit or half of it is cut off.
Well, the simple Infographic below shows the sizes of the more popular social media networks so you no longer have to worry. Also included are the sizes of the profile pictures. Keep to this and you will be fine. All sizes are in pixels. Not to scale.
So, there we go. A handy little guide to getting the best form your timeline covers. Please share it if you think it is helpful.
Have you experienced any difficulty or rejection in getting your timeline covers set up? If so, get in touch and we can help you. Please drop a comment in below.
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!
Everybody online in business or otherwise is aware of social media. But today we are going to look at some alternative social media sites that are not so in the mainstream and people may not be aware of them. Take away the big three (Facebook, Twitter and Google+) and what do you have left?
Well, loads. If you were to look at the close runners behind these three you will see LinkedIn, Pinterest, Stumblupon, Tumblr – the list goes on. But what about beyond that? Well, again there are plenty…
Some are catered directly for specific niches, some are catered for specific industries, some are bookmarking sites, some are designed for photos/pictures like Pinterest. Yet I would say that they all fall into the social media bracket. This is my view.
So why would you even need these alternative social media sites?
Facebook announced in May 2013 that it had 1.1 billion users, this is ridiculous. One point one BILLION. And from this each day around 665 million were active on the site – again, ridiculous. I am saying ridiculous because if you have not setup your Facebook business page – you really should. The numbers speak for themselves. Some companies only have a social media presence on here and if you were only to pick one this would be a good one.
But, this post is about alternative social media sites, many have spun off from these. Some are just simple bookmarking sites, whilst others have gone down a completely different approach like learning how to sell on amazon. It may not be your business that gains value in terms of marketing from some of these but you may still find value. Some of these can be a great resource for content, ideas whilst others can be great tools to have. Others simply serve as great “link building” platforms.
But it is the specialist social media sites that may benefit some business and individuals. Take App.Net – this social media network was designed purely for application developers to showcase their work but then got so popular it became a fully fledged social network. There is a premium to pay ($5 a month) but it has been kept “real” by its users, no ads. Which makes it a virtually private network.
Anyway, below is an infographic that gives details of eight alternative social media sites, and don’t forget to get help from a Social Media Marketing company. You may have heard of them you may not have. Also, you may find them useful or your business may not have a need for them. However – one thing to think about, are you missing anything by not checking out these sites?
So -what do you think? We would love to hear from you if you use any of these sites. Please tell us your experiences with them in the comments section below.
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!
You might have noticed that over the last year or two there has been an economic crisis going on around the world. Some places are hit worse than others, while Europe and America have been surfing the waves of ‘will they’ or ‘won’t they collapse’ places like Australia were not hit as hard.
The effect of countries like Ireland, Greece, Portugal and Spain crashing and requiring to be bailed out does mean that countries like Australia will and have been affected even though their economy wasn’t mixed up with the awful greed and mismanagement of the banking systems here in the northern hemisphere.
Picture courtesy of NyTimes.com
But let’s put those economic woes aside for a minute and think about what else is going on. You see the world we know is a lot different to the one we knew 20 years ago. In fact it is a lot different to what it was like only 10 years ago.
Back To The Future
I am 39 so I am going to use my experiences as examples of the changes. You see I feel relatively young, well mentally, my knees do now have a bit of a creak but I put that down to years working in the building trade. I still feel like I am in my late teens – early twenties and that really doesn’t feel that long ago yet, unfortunately it was 20 years ago.
When I went to the big Helter Skelter raves at Milton Keynes the DJs would mix vinyl records that were often carried into the event by the DJs friends in big boxes. These days music is mixed on laptops and memory sticks. Some might still use CDs but then the format of the music is probably MP3.
Just that one example will explain why big stores like Woolworths and HMV have been on the decline; you see the way we buy things has changed massively. Very few people buy vinyl these days and why would you? When you can buy music by any artist from anywhere in the world instantly as an MP3 from shops online like iTunes and download them straight to your mobile phone or MP3 player?
In fact, MP3 players will soon be a thing of the past themselves, with smart phones and tablets becoming more powerful, well they are actually hand held computers with a huge amount of memory that can not only do tasks like ‘call people’ …
· They are cameras that can hold thousands of images which can be modified and shared with the world in seconds.
· They can access the internet and search thousands of websites worldwide and connect to all of your favourite social media networks like Twitter and Facebook.
· You can check your bank account, send and receive money and pay for items with them.
· They can hold and play more songs than what you will find in the average music fans CD library.
· They can now hold and play full high definition movies thanks to the MP4 format
And get this…
· They can live stream TV, films and webinars from the internet!
· Oh and did I mention that you can set your TV to record a show or turn the lights of at home from anywhere in the world?
So believe me when I say that MP3 players will be a thing of the past even though they are relatively new gadgets.
So you can see, technology is changing and it is changing fast. Stores that were selling records, CDs and DVDs have been closing down in droves and that doesn’t have anything to do with the economic crisis. It might not have helped but it was a dying market anyway, the fact people couldn’t afford to buy music or film like they used to is irrelevant, if they could then the majority would most certainly buy them in MP3 and MP4 formats.
It’s Not Just Music & Movies
Things like clothing and food is now bought online in increasing amounts by more and more people. I myself posted T-shirts all around the world when I used to have a T-shirt printing business on eBay. My father used to run a local corner shop selling groceries and believe it or not renting out videos to the local community. He relied on the people living in the surrounding area and passers-by to earn his income.
He was amazed when 20 years later I was sending parcels out to places as far away as Moscow, Singapore, Australia and The USA etc, all from my own home. Only bigger companies with money were able to import and export stuff but now virtually everyone has access to this thanks to sites like eBay & Amazon and companies like UPS & DHL who have improved global postal delivery.
The End Of The World Is Nigh
The world is changing and we must change with it, years ago when industries were being closed down like Coal Mining. People really thought that was it for the country. Thousands were out of work and people feared the future employment for the children.
It might have been only 30 years since we had the Miners strikes and closures of the coal fields in the UK but the world our children live in today is a million miles away from those days.
In fact I am one of the children from that era and I have worked since I left school and have had a lot of different opportunities that they thought were not available. Much of the work I have done was not even thought possible at that time. Imagine telling someone 30 years ago that I get paid to write articles for people overseas that I have never met or spoken to and that my money is in the bank that very same day.
They wouldn’t believe it was possible, but it is and so are many different new and exciting opportunities. Today people are creating software and apps to go on phones, tablets and now even smart TVs. We have people who can now set up services like TV on Demand and the greatest invention for any television addict pausing live TV and recording it without a video tape or disk.
All of this new software and technology needs to be designed, made, packaged and delivered so even for those people who cannot use the internet as a way to work such as being a freelance writer or social media manager the internet and modern advancements are still creating jobs for them.
The future isn’t bleak, it is what you make it and we are at an exciting time in our history to make more money than we ever thought possible with all of the advancements in technology and the great connections and networks we can now make thanks to them.
Not only can you get paid to write content for websites that are owned by people you have never met but you can hire people overseas to write a lot of it and then sell it on for profit after you have checked it.
There are so many ways to make money these days with the internet and modern technology. Isn’t it time you started to utilise it and take your share?
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.