10 Essential WordPress Plugins For Your Website

10 Essential WordPress Plugins

Here on Bizzebee, we have talked about how important your website is to your business and why, when you create one, you should be using WordPress to build it.  One of the great things about WordPress is that there are literally tens of thousands of WordPress plugins that you can install to your site to fill a number of different roles.  That could be for a design purpose, security, SEO, etc. or in all likelihood, all of the above.

In this post we look at some essential WordPress Plugins for your website.

Make YOUR Social Media Profiles Profitable With Patreon.com

Did you know that there is a way to turn your Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube channels into paid memberships? Yep, that’s right, there is a way for people to pay you to get more of the content that you share without having to build a dedicated website.

With YouTube, you can earn from the adverts shown on your videos if you are a YouTube Partner enrolled into their AdSense system but this is not always as profitable as some people would hope. Unfortunately more and more people are using ad blocking software to block adverts from showing on websites including YouTube. This has drastically reduced people’s income and potential income for new starters.

How to attract new customers through social media

Today I want to share with you how social media can be a tool that can help you expand your business opportunities, so what is your social media strategy ? well Social media are extremely powerful in attracting new customers.

It’s all about relationship marketing, it’s a huge platform to share your life your heart our products in your passion with others this is allowed me to share my energy and enthusiasm is contagious and it helped me to grow my relationship which then of course grows my business with clients, be transparent vulnerable authentic be the best you and share you two lines into your post people who know if you’re a salesperson or servant use social network to look and listen for needs of others and then offer an opportunity disturbance meet those needs and remember to always ask yourself what impression does this post give me about the culture in the company of our bond marketing is no longer about the products that we make but the stories you tell about those products you used that gave you those result.

Výsledek obrázku pro social media

Networking is not collecting contacts, networking is about planting relationships. You can get new potential customers over the Internet using social media with a social media strategy for your business to attract, encouraging them that  your practice has a good reputation and  your current customers are satisfied with the quality of services provided.A number of factors today a customer wants to buy a product or service or make sure there is a cure.Firstly, they want to know that they can support the company they were about to establish a business relationship with the count.This is especially true in the case of a service-related industries and other relationship-based business is important; they want you to answer all your questions, and feel that they are in capable and supporting hands. They want to know a little about the doctor they’re going to work with, and learn about the value of the action.

For This Purpose, They Will Look For You On The Different Social Media Platforms

  • Read about your practice in the content you provide in your posts.
  • Check your online reputation by reading clients’ comments and testimonials.
  • Establish a direct communication with your practice, for example through private messages on Facebook and Twitter, learn Communication & Presentation Skills if you have trouble getting your point across.

Increase Your Exposure:While allowing potential customers to know more about your practice’s social media presence is the main reason, it is not alone.
Now on social media platforms also have a positive impact in terms of SEO. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) consists in improving the visibility of a website in search engines, including Google, Yahoo, Bing, Ask, etc.It has a direct impact on the number of Internet users find your website (and your pages on various social media sites)When you follow the rules and regulations pertaining to your business, and thus on the number of visits you receive.This positive impact will occur in two different ways. Firstly, search engines like Google take into account the social sharing website, has a higher ranking in the most attractive ones.Secondly, social media networking site a high ranking, and now on they will achieve greater online exposure.Výsledek obrázku pro social media

The best way to improve your social media if you are a beginner is to look for a professional agency, you see a few other ways to improve your online business that way. For example, you have the option to interact with other companies in the sector.You can use this unity in many different ways (such as having access to better sources of information, enhancing their credibility and participate in cross-promotion processes).You will also have your customers spread the word for you. By engaging with the content you provide,They are your friends and family aware of its existence and the services you provide.

Social Media Platforms: Although many different social media sites for your business can benefit from it there (Google+, LinkedIn, Youtube, etc),In this document we are going to analyze and expose the main advantages of the three of them: Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest. Of these three, Twitter and Facebook has been created for a while, While Pinterest is a young platform (the number of users that the exponential increase). All of them offer marketing and network solutions, and facilities that any business can not ignore. All of them prove to be an excellent tool to create a growth company (both in terms of number of customers and reputation).

Microsoft to buy LinkedIn for $26.2B in cash, makes big move to social media

Huge News today in the world of social networking services. Microsoft has announced it will acquire links, social network for professionals, with about 433 million users, for $ 26.2 billion, $ 196 per share, in cash. The transaction has been approved by both parties.

Microsoft is buying professional social networking site LinkedIn for $26.2B billion U.S.dollars. Microsoft says it will pay $196 dollars a share in an all-cash transaction. That’s an almost fifty percent premium to LinkedIn’s stock market value as of last Friday. Under the terms of the deal, LinkedIn will retain its own brand and independence and CEO Jeff Weiner will stay on. Microsoft CEO Satchya Nadella said the two companies share a mission of connecting the world’s professionals and helping people work more efficiently.The deal is one of the largest tech takeovers on record and is expected to help Microsoft gain a solid foothold in the social network market.

Microsoft to buy LinkedIn for $26.2B In cash.

Today is a re-founding moment for LinkedIn. I see incredible opportunity for our members and customers and look forward to supporting this new and combined business,” said Reid Hoffman, one of the co-founders and current chairman in a statement. “I fully support this transaction and the Board’s decision to pursue it, and will vote my shares in accordance with their recommendation on it.

Associated with the brand and its products will be retained, and become part of the Microsoft productivity and business processes. Jeff Weiner, LinkedIn CEO, will report to Satya Nadella.

Microsoft

The deal for Microsoft to buy for $ 26.2B LinkedIn is a big step for both sides. For Microsoft, it’s a key to the company’s strategy to build more services for the job. Microsoft today is mainly focused on software.
LinkedIn will give the company a far wider reach in terms of social networking services and professional content.Early indications social network Yammer for $ 1.2 billion company with 2012 kicks off.LinkedIn’s wider social network could also allow Microsoft to use it as a potential sales channel to sell more of its products.

The LinkedIn team has grown a fantastic business centered on connecting the world’s professionals,” Nadella said in a statement. “Together we can accelerate the growth of LinkedIn, as well as Microsoft Office 365 and Dynamics as we seek to empower every person and organization on the planet.

LinkedIn

For LinkedIn, the official declarationof Microsoft to purchase LinkedIn unity puts to blazing descend questions of how would the social media company compete considering companies that are aiming to construct greater than before developed software upon top of their social graphs. For a while, it seemed like this was the direction that LinkedIn aimed for.

Recently, however, problems with user and revenue growth and subsequent decline in the share price, link put on the defensive. However, even with a share price below a 12-month high of $ 258, link one of the technology companies in the public markets remains better performance.

Just as we have changed the way the world connects to opportunity, this relationship with Microsoft, and the combination of their cloud and LinkedIn‘s network, now gives us a chance to also change the way the world works,” Jeff Weiner added in the statement. “For the last 13 years, we’ve been uniquely positioned to connect professionals to make them more productive and successful, and I’m looking forward to leading our team through the next chapter of our story.

The Online Story Of A Real Life Printing Business | Bizzebee

The Online Story Of A REAL Life Printing Business

Hello Readers,

Things have been really busy for me in both the online and offline business world of late, and as such I wanted to write this weeks’ post to give an update on the offline business that I have involvement in. It’s been 3 years now since I started to use Social Media to network and create more business opportunities for it and as we’ve just recently moved to our new printing premises, I thought it would be apt to share this post with you all today.

As you may (or may not) know my family business in the offline world is in Printing and Graphic Design I make now secret of how hard this industry is, and during the last 5 or so years it’s taken a really big hit. 3 years ago or thereabouts I decided to give myself a little “project” and that was to see exactly what social media was about for business, and more importantly HOW it could help my family business with more opportunities. I have been working tirelessly investigating new avenues to reach new people, market some of our products and offers too, and when I realised the strength of Social Media if applied correctly I’ve steadily grown the business month on month over the last 3 years now.

Our business handles all sorts of different jobs. Sometimes we just have to design a logo for someone’s website or business, and other times we have to handle printing whatever fliers they will be distributing. We also do poster printing as well as invitations, and signs of all different dimensions. As varied as our business is, it can be difficult at times to let potential clients know we are available and provide these services, which is why I undertook this project.

Before I progress, I just want to let you know, we do not rely 100% on Social Media efforts for getting new business, and neither should any business – it’s just ONE part of the marketing mix. 

I’m a firm believer in never putting all your eggs in one basket, our Social Media work forms a part of a much bigger picture, and I only have an allotted amount of time that I can dedicate to this particular business, because of all the other work that I have going on. The business has a clear cut marketing plan that combines both the traditional marketing methods, along with the new, and I think that it is very important for ANY business to not pigeon hole themselves or be ‘closed’ to any opportunity to network / create new business possibilities.

WHY? Because in this world today, all types of marketing has a time and a place, for anyone that doesn’t believe in the power of one method, or places one over another, I would just urge you to research and keep an open mind, not all marketing tactics and plans will work for each business, but without investigating the possibility further, you could simply be missing out that vital ingredient that could transform your business.

3 years in and our turnover has increased by £100K during that time and is growing month on month. Mainly from a promotion of selling 500 Business Cards for the price of 250 (£27) Make NO mistake I am not stating that this is a life changing figure, but what I am trying to highlight is that in a ‘real’ business selling products in an industry that is effectively killing itself with undercutting on pricing, our achievements are commendable. None of those orders are ‘bad debts’ either, we have taken zero risk in selling print, none of those orders taken have been on a ‘credit’ basis. All orders are exactly the kind of clients and customers that any business today who wants to try and do better needs. Payment always in advance / at the time of order.

The Online Story Of A REAL Life Printing Business | Bizzebee

The Online Story Of A REAL Life Printing Business | Bizzebee

The Online Story Of A REAL Life Printing Business | Bizzebee

The great thing about using Social Media to achieve this is simple – it requires minimal effort (in the grand scheme of things), being realistic here, as long as you are there everyday (at some point) you are naturally going to meet people and make connections and build relationships. The biggest bonus of course is that the only real thing it costs is your time (which to be fair is actually of real value – but a lot of people tend to judge “cost” in monetary terms, so in that respect its “free”)

The printing business is a family run business, and my Dad is very hands on in his role as the boss, we sit down and regularly review orders in, who our new clients are, the promotions and offers that we want to run, and the more you throw yourself into getting involved the more momentum builds. He now leaves the running and managing of this side of things to me and across the social networking sites people now know me as the ‘face’ behind the company.

I am a big believer in showing your personality, and I do honestly believe that this has been a big part in developing our online presence. People feel like they ‘know’ me, they know if i’ve been away, TV shows I’ve been watching and all kinds of things on a surface level. On the other side of things, as someone who tweets, uses linkedin and connects with various facebook pages I find I am naturally more drawn to those profiles that I feel I can ‘see’ a person behind the company name.

Without a doubt the work that I have been doing has created brand loyalty, these people that we have printed business cards for and designed logos for will recommend and praise our services to their peers if they ask for a good, affordable, reliable printing company! The best thing here is, we have not asked for a single recommendation. As a consumer, when something is good today, we all love to make a deal out of it and share it with the social networking world. And I think that is a key factor right now.

Social Media encourages ‘sharing’ as much as we might have frowned or disagreed with Mark Zuckerberg at F8 Conference when he introduced timeline and said he wanted to bring the world together to connect and share their life experiences, he was right (to a degree)

If you have immersed yourself in Social Media on both a business and personal level, you want to share stories and experiences with your peers. I have, and will continue to do so. If I get a good service, or I rate a product I’ve used, then I will tell people about it ….. and similarly I do the same when I have a bad experience too!

Do you know what else is great? Out of all the orders in the last 3 years we have generated, a LOT of them are returning customers …. Something that as a business we feel is very important, because it proves that we have built trust and provided a good service with these people, and for a business relationship born out of a ‘virtual’ environment clearly means that we have been doing something right.

One customer who has been with us for the last 2 years is continually growing his monthly spend, and if things continue, he could be spending between £5k a month with us by the end of the year. We are working together to nurture our relationship and build the trust on both ends, and for now, this is a risk free customer, who we are dealing with on a ‘pay as you go’ basis.

I had a conversation only last week with yet another returning customer, and he said to me this ‘its amazing what the power of ONE tweet can do’ And I am inclined to agree with him you know! The facts truely do speak for themselves.

In conclusion to this post, I think the message I want to get out there to you all is this:

If you are wondering ‘can Social Media work for MY business’ or you are wondering whether it is worth the effort, all I can say to you is ‘TRY’ You have absolutely nothing to lose, and everything to gain. If I didn’t make the effort to try this out with the offline business, I probably wouldn’t be sitting in the position I am now in (for the opportunities it has opened for me personally is unbelieveable) and more importantly my Dad’s business wouldn’t have reached the amount of people it had, nor built an online following that has allowed us to reach new prospects AND turn them into paying customers.

Finally, like I have said many times before, I am no Marketing ‘expert’ or ‘guru’ I am just a regular person, who saw an opportunity and took the chance to explore and develop it. The printing industry is a tough place to be, and with not much going on around me, I got nosey, and with time on my hands during work hours I decided to make myself busy. So if you think ‘I don’t have a clue’ then trust me you are not alone, because 3 years ago or so, I was that person – I used facebook to upload and tag pictures and talk to my friends!  Now I am advising people and helping people to make a start using these free tools that are at the end of our fingertips to establish their business’ online and make a big difference to how they approach marketing, all thanks to the ‘on the job’ research and training I have done with the Printing business.

Check out this timelapse we did last week on an iPad showing our new machine entering the building – again a great use of social media to connect and show people who we are 🙂

I will continue to update you with the progress that we are making with the offline business, but if you want to stay in touch then give us a follow on any of our social channels – Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram or G+

Speak to you all soon 🙂

Clair

The Power Of A Retweet

Morning Everyone,

So it’s been a wee while since I wrote a post about my most favourite social networking site, so I thought today would be an ideal opportunity to do so.

The focus of this post is the Twitter ‘retweet’ and I want to give you a few tips that can help you create a more powerful retweet.

But firstly, what exactly is a ‘Retweet’

This is Twitter’s answer to giving someone a ‘shout out’ So when you see someone that you follow tweet something that you like, find of value/interesting, or even funny you can show your appreciation for this by broadcasting that tweet to your followers.

This of course works both ways, so if you are posting things on twitter, you may well find that your followers are also showing their appreciation by doing the exact same to you (providing of course you aren’t tweeting complete gibberish that has no value / benefit to your followers)

Like everything today, there are of course ways in which you can improve how you use the retweet facility that can give you a better chance in your tweets going viral across the network (and obviously this is the name of the game – maximum exposure)

Here is an example of a retweet that I have recently shared in the account for Affordable Printing

The Power Of A Retweet | Bizzebee

In some Social Media dashboards you might see that retweet look a little something like this

@APC_Printing RT @neondigital “Are you looking to get into the web design industry? Check out our handy tips!” 
#SouthendHour ow.ly/wKqV8 #webdesign#tips

Let me break this down for you:

RT = retweet = your followers know instantly that this information hasn’t come direct from you, but you have shared this via someone else.

@neondigital = this simply credits the person you are quoting (@ + their name)

Are you looking to get into the web design industry? Check out our handy tips!”  = A Compelling Headline (that will entice people to want to read more)

A URL of where your followers can read the article.

Most of us simply hit the ‘retweet’ button and the tweets are shared exactly like the image above.

BUT WHAT IF YOU WANT TO MAKE MORE OF AN IMPACT?

You can make a few tweaks / changes to the content, to try and entice others to WANT to share it with their followers, because the more its’ retweeted, the better chance you have of the post going Viral.

Try looking at it like this:

Are you looking to get into the web design industry? Check out our handy tips! ow.ly/wKqV8 RT @neondigital  – Great tips!!! 

Here are my 7 steps to creating a more powerful retweet

  1. MOVE THE HEADLINE – For maximum impact the headline needs to be at the front of the tweet – a compelling start will entice people to read on and click through.
  2. ALWAYS INCLUDE THE NAMES OF OTHERS MENTIONED IN ARTICLE/TWEET – If other people are mentioned in the content you are retweeting or sharing, its polite and good karma to mention their username in the post.  The reason for doing this is so that it draws attention to all people the tweet has relevance too, which by the nature of how twitter works would encourage them to retweet to their followers, thus expanding the reach of your tweet.
  3. ALWAYS INCLUDE THE URL AFTER THE HEADLINE WITH A URL SHORTENER – Always remember, you are restricted to 140 characters, so you need to ensure that you are using tinyurl or bitly to shorten external web links
  4. MOVE ‘RT’ & ORIGINAL POST USER TO AFTER THE LINKS – This means you can still credit the original person posting it, but are shifting the entire focus towards the headline and the link.
  5. ADD YOUR OWN COMMENT TO THE POST – So important to include your own ‘voice’ – show appreciation, opinion – remember Social Media is all about collaborating and sharing ideas so people want to see you have actually paid attention and not just hit ‘retweet’ without actually looking into what you are retweeting!
  6. INCLUDE A HASHTAG – SO SO SO important!!! Hash tags are searched, and by adding a relevant one to the retweet, your are categorising the tweet. People have streams set up for their industry and interests by hash tags, so by adding one you are automatically giving your post a higher chance of being seen by people outside of your followers.
  7. KEEP IT SIMPLE – 140 characters is NOT a lot of words to play with, so don’t waffle … keep it short | simple and to the point. And if you want others to retweet it, leave enough characters for someone else to add their own bit to it!

I hope that you can put some of these tips into practice the next time you are going to retweet information, and pay attention to the new followers / and shares that you get! – It’s always worth looking into and checking what works and what doesn’t – a really great way of connecting and using these is by checking out Twitter networking hours – which I am a massive advocate of, and wrote a long list of all the networking hours in the UK which are worth looking at. If you want to check that then please click here.

7 Step Plan For Your First Week Blogging

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I wrote a post recently about people hesitating on starting a blog, which let’s face it, many of us do when first starting out.  This led to a few questions though on social media asking what people should actually do within their first week blogging.  Well ask and you shall receive.

I’ve put together a simple 6 step plan for you to follow during your first week blogging.  Now, this isn’t a strict “Day 1 do X, Day 2 do Y, Day 3 do Z…” kind of plan, it is more of a loose guide for you to follow.  The main aim though is to highlight key areas that you should be focusing on initially so that you don’t get distracted by smaller, insignificant details that can wait for later.

So without ado, let’s get blogging!

1. Pick Your Niche

If you plan on starting a blog, THE most important decision that you will have to make is on what subject to focus on.  This can/will determine whether your site will be successful or not almost from day 1.

I go into much greater detail in a previous post about picking a niche to blog about, but essentially you need to take some time to really think about and analyse your preferred subject.  Rushing in and committing to a blog all about your favourite hobby may sound like a good idea to you, but does it appeal to a wider audience?  Without a large enough group of people who would be interested in your site, it is doomed from the start.

On the other hand however, if you pick a subject that is too broad, you run the risk of being too generic and not attracting visitors.  There is a definite balance that you need to find;

  • Blog niche is targeted at a large group of people.
  • Blog niche isn’t too generic that people won’t know what your site is about.
  • Blog niche is too small to appeal to enough people.

Let’s take a look at an example.  Say you had a passion for cheese cake and wanted to start a site on that.  A blog that focused purely on cheese cake would probably be aiming for a much too narrow niche to attract that much traffic (and you’d likely run out of ideas pretty quickly).  If on the other hand you broadened it out to include all types of cakes, that would appeal to a much broader audience.  Take it to the furthest extreme though and broaden it out to “cooking” in general and you risk being too generic.  If people know you as a “site about cakes” or “the cake blog” they know what they are getting.

Cake

2. Set Up Your Site

A pretty important part of setting up a blog online is to actually set it up.   Now this is a lot easier than most people first think as all you really need is;

  1. A domain name,
  2. Web hosting,
  3. WordPress,
  4. WordPress theme (optional).

A domain name is essentially the address of your site (e.g. www.ExampleSite.com) and every site needs one.  If you can, always go for the ‘.com’ version as that is what 99% of people will type in without thinking about it.  We would recommend you to GoDaddy* to get your domain, we use them for all of our sites and have never had a problem with them.

Web hosting is essentially the space where your site is stored online.  In order for people to access a site 24 hours a day, all the images, text, website files, etc. need to be stored on a server somewhere.  This is why you need web hosting.  Bizzebee and the whole Bizzebee team use HostGator to host our sites online and would recommend them to you.

WordPress is a CMS (Content Management System) that makes it incredibly easy to setup and manage your blog, and what’s even better is that it is completely free!  You simply install it onto your web host and then you can add posts, images, edit the look of your site, etc. without the need for any complicated coding.

You may want to install a WordPress theme for your site, as this can greatly improve the look of your site.  There are plenty of free WordPress themes available online, but for a professional looking site you probably want to go for a premium one.  There are lots of sites that offer high quality themes for you to buy, such as StudioPress.

3. Set Up Your Key Pages

Once you have actually setup your site online, it can be tempting to just start writing your blog and focus on that.  You really need to setup some important pages before you do that though, including;

  • About page – Who you/what your site is about.
  • Contact page – Allowing people to get in touch with you.
  • Sitemap – Very important for the search engines to find all your content.
  • Subscription page – Allowing people to subscribe to your newsletter if you have one.
  • Legal page(s) – Affiliate disclosure, earnings disclaimer, privacy disclosure, etc.
  • Category pages – Allowing people to easily find all your content.
  • Home page – With a good, clear layout.

Creating these pages right at the beginning of your site will help greatly in the long run.  You may need to come back and edit them now and again, but at least people will be able to navigate around your whole site easily.

4. Get Writing

Blog-Writing

You have started a blog, so at some point you are going to have to start blogging.

As this is your first week, there is no need to go mad and publish tons of content.  One or two posts would be more than enough to launch your site with.  After all, you will probably be spending most of your time this week on the other points that we have listed.

One thing that you should do, however, is to make a list of future posts that you want to write.  This doesn’t need to be a definitive list of post titles, more like a list of ideas that you can pick from.  You will need to produce regular content for your site every week (2-3 posts at least) in order to begin to build up an audience, so having a list of ideas to draw inspiration from is very beneficial.

5. Plan, Plan, Plan

Successful sites don’t happen by accident.  Owners have planned out where they intend to take the site over the weeks/months/years and work towards achieving that.  Since you are just starting out, planning is more important than ever, as without a plan you are destined to fail.  As the old quote goes;

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” – Benjamin Franklin

…or another of my favourites;

“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Think about how you will;

  • Attract new traffic to your site,
  • Get people to navigate to your key posts/pages,
  • Compete with other sites in the same niche,
  • Make your site stand out against the competition,
  • Develop and grow your site over time,
  • …and much more.

6. Set Up Your Social Media Profiles

A massive part of attract traffic to a site and building a brand is linked with social media.  This is why it is very important that you take the time to, not only, setup social media profiles for your website, but also take time to be active on them as well.

Again, as we are focusing on your first week blogging we shall just look at setting up your profiles.  It is better to do all these at the beginning as then people will be able to find you on their preferred network.

Start by setting up profiles/pages on;

  • Facebook,
  • Twitter,
  • Google+,
  • LinkedIn,
  • Pinterest,
  • YouTube,

Depending on your site, you may want to create profiles on sites like Instagram and Flickr as well.

It is also important that you brand each of these profiles in the same way.  A brand identity can be built by consistently using your logo for each profile picture.  What you don’t want to do is create profiles that all look as though they are by different companies.

7. Get Involved

Lastly (and this links in nicely with our last point), you need to start getting involved online to help spread the word about you and your site.  There are literally hundreds of ways that you could do this, but some methods would include;

  • Follow people within your niche on social media,
  • Get involved in conversations online to do with your niche,
  • Get involved in the comment sections of rival sites (don’t spam though),
  • Keep up to date on what is happening in your niche,
  • Join forums within your niche,

Essentially, just get involved with the community that you are aiming your site at.  Ask questions, answer questions, be helpful to everyone and always remember that what you say online can (and will) reflect on you in the long term.

Go And Get Started!!!

There is no getting away from the fact that there is a lot of work to do to get your site up and running.  If you are serious about starting a blog though, you will approach it in the right way.

Blogging is a fantastic industry to get involved in.  It is great to, not only be involved in an online community that you are passionate about, but also to be at the heart of that community where people come for information.  I am a firm believer that anyone can create a successful site online, they just need the right attitude and a good plan.

Are you thinking about stating a blog?  What would you add to this plan to do in the first week of blogging?  Do you have any questions that you would like to ask us?  Please feel free to get in touch via the comment section below.

Rules Of Engagement | Bizzebee

The Rules Of Engagement

Your friendly resident Queen Bee is back at the reigns again kicking this week off with a new post talking once again about all things social media.

The focus of this post something which is completely key to building your brand online – ENGAGEMENT

The basis of building your brand online is down to this.  By engaging with people, you are building relationships and trust which is what Social Media in essence is based upon. You may hear the term ‘Relationship Marketing’ be thrown around these days, this is just a phrase people are using for engaging with prospects. The beauty of using Social Media is that it allows you to build good foundations with your prospects (and existing customers) by just being SOCIAL and having a chat!

So how do you go about ‘Engaging’ with people? 

I specifically want to talk about Facebook here with you all.

Facebook gives you 2 ways of engaging with people : Your personal profiles, and your business pages. Both are EQUALLY as important for driving traffic to your pages & websites. Part of Facebook’s T&C is that you can’t really use your personal profile to ‘sell’ it is personal for a reason and your business page is there to serve that purpose.

Using your personal profile you can post updates, announcements, videos that relate to your business – the only thing you can’t really do (and nor would I advise you to do) is directly sell.

There is absolutely nothing wrong in mixing up the content on your personal Facebook wall.

For example I recently posted some new photos and updates about my Puppy to which I had a lot of my friends (real life friends here) comment underneath it, not long afterwards I wrote a really great (in my opinion) blog post about Twitter optimisation and I wanted to share it with as many people as possible, so I also posted a link on my personal profile wall – this saw a slightly different type of people start to comment under this – a few of my friends who are interested in what I am doing, but then some like-minded people interested in using Social Media also commented and shared this.

Now because we are talking about personal profiles, people automatically assume that it’s just a place for your ‘Friends’ (you know those people you know in REAL Life) To a degree, this is correct, and if you choose to have no association to your business page, or just want to keep it personal then that is absolutely fine. However, if you are serious about your business / brand product or service, then I would suggest that you look to add and become ‘Facebook friends’ with like-minded people within your niche/industry.

I am often asked ‘Why should I add people outside my circle of friends?’  – Good question!

In order to build relations you have to TALK to people (it’s not really rocket science) common sense tells you that unless you make the effort to look for people to engage with, and make the effort to talk to them then you really are limiting your chances of building your brand and getting your page seen, and growing with subscribers and followers.

There is a couple of ways you can do this – starting with your own newsfeed. The Facebook newsfeed is put together based on the algorithm Edgerank, so you are automatically receiving the updates from the people you connect the most with, so I would suggest that you change how its sorted to ‘Most Recent’ rather than ‘Top Stories’ Have a look what people are up to? Are they asking questions, looking for advice that you can help with? Answer it …. Start talking!

Have a look at some of the popular pages you LIKE – see what conversations are happening over there, and get involved! Yes its VERY powerful to post as your page name across any other page on Facebook (90% of the time I am on Facebook, I am working as my business page), but sometimes you should go over there and be YOU – Comment on pictures, wish people happy birthday – it sounds all so simple, but really there is no hard and fast trick to it. PEOPLE BUY INTO PEOPLE.

When you are commenting and engaging as your ‘Page’ you will soon realise you are forming relationships with people behind other pages, so make the effort to network with them on a personal level too – get to know the page owners, and then add them against your personal page – you can then keep them in a separate list away from friends and family, and at a quick glance you can search them in one place. None of what I am telling you is hard, its just about thinking smarter:

  • DO YOU WANT TO GROW YOUR BUSINESS?
  • DO YOU WANT TO REACH PEOPLE YOU WOULD NOT NORMALLY GET ACCESS TOO?

Of course you are answering YES here, so you have to be consistent, using any social media platform does require that you engage with people on a daily basis, but there really is no big Secret to gaining hundreds if not thousands of followers / likes – it’s just about having a chat, helping out where you can, and providing valuable content to people interested in you!

A very wise internet marketer once told me that you spend 50% of your time commenting on other peoples pages – getting your name / business page seen, and you spend 50% of your time adding content and value to your own timeline (business page timeline in this case) so irrespective of how long you have to spend on social media activities everyone can get their name out there and grow their following. The more people see your name and associate it with being helpful, friendly, useful the more they will want to know more about you – so they will send you a friend request, and they will Like your page – (people are inquisitive) so it’s very important to make sure that you are on the ball and engaged.

I’ve a few general tips here I just want to finally run through to help you start engaging the content in front of you and getting that conversation flowing:

1)       Make use of the variety allowed in your status updates – Text, Links, Images (are THE most shared item on Facebook) & Video …. Variety is the spice of life and certainly does help increase user engagement!

2)      Apply the ‘Pareto’ principle (or the 80/20 rule as it’s more commonly known as) 80% of your status updates should give value to your fans / followers first, whilst 20% of status updates can be promotional or brand specific.

3)      Be a person, not a brand …. I’ve said it once and I will say it again PEOPLE BUY INTO PEOPLE, so speak like a person, the other people reading your updates will respond much more to language they can connect with. Too much jargon and PR styled writing can destroy any potential relationships and people quickly disconnect with you.

4)      Make announcements / breaking news – Announce product updates, special offers, event news, industry news on your wall (and if applicable post to personal profile too) If people see that your wall is a reliable and timely source for information they will keep coming back for more, thus increasing the engagement levels.

5)      Like other pages as both your personal profile and business page – This is important – mention the pages, thank them for their content, updates etc. to encourage cross promotion relationships or to try and develop a tagging partnership (where you are jointly tagging one another to increase visibility)

I know that many people often struggle when it comes to raising engagement, especially on Facebook now they have added in the lower organic reach, so I hope that you have been able to take something away from this post to perhaps help you in some way or another. But the main point of the post I think is to really try and drive home the fact that people buy into people.

As always, if anyone has any questions then don’t hesitate to get in contact via any of our social channels or email directly.

Customising Your LinkedIn Profile | Bizzebee

Customising Your LinkedIn Profile

Afternoon Bee’s,

Firstly apologies for no Thursday post this week, it was our little techno bee Miz’s turn to share some insightful information, but where he is based (Chittagong, Bangladesh) he is experiencing some extreme weather which has left him facing a mass power outage. So being the helpful and great team we are, I offered to step in and send out a post today for you all to read.

This post is going to have a little look at customising your LinkedIn profile, and I’d quite like it to be an actionable post today, rather than a theory based one! Therefore, I’ve created a little video kicking off the first point I want to share with you, which is how to customise your LinkedIn URL.

LinkedIn doesn’t automatically give you a customised URL like mine –  uk.linkedin.com/in/clairtrebes/ – infact if you take a look at my collegue Matt’s you will see the generic default of your LinkedIn URL  uk.linkedin.com/pub/matt-smith/36/390/887

It’s quite easy and simple to change your URL – so check out the video below

Myother top tips to make sure you are giving off the right ‘image’ online are:

Look professional, but friendly! It is no good having a photo taken in a meeting room where you look rigid and uncomfortable with your arms crossed, looking quite unapproachable. Experts say that the key here is to look polished but accessible. Career counsellor Miriam Salpter is quoted in an article by Eve Tahmincioglu on msnbc.com as saying “Look at your picture and ask yourself: Would I want to go to lunch with this person?”

Keep Up Appearances. Stay away from fashion clothing or jewellery that’s trendy right now, because in a few years it might look dated. Both men and women should opt for darker colours – navy and grey are good ‘power dressing’ choices. Women should keep accessories to the bare minimum, and men should wear a tie with a simple design. Headshotphotographermatch.com says you should avoid summer wardrobe choices and stick with the autumn choices, and if all else fails they say to bring a change of clothes and get advice from whoever is taking the corporate photos!

Timing is everything (isn’t it with all things?!!!) I read a blog entry from a US based Photography Company who recommends always waiting a couple of days after a haircut (to allow it to look more natural) and making sure the photo shoot is in the morning. You will feel more energised, and the daily grind will not have taken its toll! Get lots of rest and make sure you drink plenty of water!

LinkedIn is deemed as the most “professional” of all the social networking platforms out there, so it really does matter how you pitch yourself on there, so I do hope you found this post a little helpful, with some practical tips to steer you in the right direction!

Have a lovely weekend everyone!

Your friendly resident Queen Bee Clair 🙂

How To Create A Gif Image For Free. [Moving Picture: Video Tutorial]

One thing we bizzebee’s have noticed is the increased popularity of the .gif image being used on social media. For those of you who are not aware what a .gif image is look below and you will see what appears to be a video playing on loop.

street fighter

What Is A Gif Image?

Well that is not a video it is in fact an image file, pretty impressive isn’t it? These moving images are great for businesses who want to stand out in a busy news feed on Google Plus. These moving images sat surrounded by many static images and text posts stand out and catch the eye of the viewer.

Bizzebee Gif

Unfortunately Facebook do not yet support .gif images but I am sure that must be their next move when you consider the increase in popularity of the gif image. Twitter allows very small .gif image files to be used as profile images and they stand out against the rest. It makes sense for Facebook and other social media networks to follow Google Plus’ lead otherwise they could soon be losing a lot of users.

How To Create A Gif Image For Free

What I found out recently by accident is that they are pretty easy to make using a free software. This software is an online vide tool that I love and regularly recommend for newbies to use when creating video tutorials.

logo

There is a paid version that allows you to record longer videos and access editing tools for only $15 for a whole year. That is an incredible price however you do not really need to use the paid version if you are happy for your .gif images to have their watermark across your images.

Ideally I say spend the $15 and invest in the full software licence for the year and avoid having their watermark on your videos as it will detract from what you want to use .gif images for which is marketing and branding.

You do not want to make a great looking moving image designed to drive traffic back to your business or website which has another website written all across it no matter how subtle it is.

I see a lot of potential for .gif images for businesses, most people use them to create short funny clips of people falling over or of cute animals doing something even more cuter.

The adult industry was one of the first to start using .gif images in their marketing to drive people to buy memberships to adult sites because they could see the power and potential of having a small video clip playing without the need of a large video file.

It is this power and potential that I think will mean more businesses will be using .gif images on their social networks like Google Plus. As you can see, they work brilliantly in WordPress sites too and they add a whole new dimension to a post.

Creating A Gif

In the video below you will see what .gif images look like in Google Plus and I also show you how I made the .gif image above using a series of slides and using the screen capture tool from Screencast-O-Matic.com. Enjoy 🙂

How To Create A Gif Image For Free

Have any thoughts and opinions on this post? Please share them with us below 🙂

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