We hope this handy infographic helps to shed some light on the dangers you could be facing online as a business owner; thank you to our partners at TruShield Insurance for offering such valuable insights on cyber security and ways to protect our businesses!
Written by Katy Takaoka
“However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.”
– Winston Churchill
I love this quote. As someone who loves getting down ‘n dirty into the nitty-gritty of a social media strategy, it’s easy for me to get caught up in the strategizing without frequently checking to see if it’s actually working. I keep this quote front and centre, because it reminds me to consistently check my progress.
It’s one thing for me to tell you to measure and analyse your results. But first, you need to figure out what it is you’re even measuring! In this article, I’ve laid out some common social media metrics and how to find the results on Facebook.
You do not need to track all of these metrics. The metrics you use will vary greatly depending upon what your social media goals are. My best advice is to start out by tracking the 2 or 3 that are most relevant to your goals.
1. Audience Size
Ideally, your Facebook fan-base will grow steadily. The way to check this, as with any FB metric, is through the Insights tab on your Business Page. I recommend doing this from a desktop browser rather than mobile, as more data is provided on desktop. Here’s how to find the info:
- Go to your Business Page
- Click on Insights
- From the left-hand navigation menu, click “Likes”
On this screen, you’ll find your total number of likes (or fans), along with a graph that shows gains and losses of fans over a period of time.
Why this metric is useful: it shows how your audience is reacting to your posts and which times of year have the highest growth
2. Best Times for Engagement
There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of “When is the best time to post on Facebook?” You need to test, and test, and test again so you can start to gather some actual data. Continue reading How to Make Sure Your Facebook Strategy is Actually Working
Written by Nicole Christen
In the startup stage, entrepreneurs are on the lookout for the most cost-effective ways to reach customers. Many turn to social media as a marketing tool, but quickly become discouraged. Why do so many early-stage entrepreneurs struggle with social media marketing? Often it’s because they’re focussing their attention on, and putting their effort into, the wrong things.
One year ago, I decided to take up yoga. When I first started, I decided I would save money and figure out how to contort my body into various asanas using solely my determination and an iPhone app. After a few weeks of sore muscles, frustration, and minimal progress, I abandoned my DIY approach and invested in a membership at a local yoga studio.
One of the first things I learned when I started receiving proper yoga instruction was the concept of effortless effort. Highly challenging asanas became doable once I had learned the fundamentals of alignment and breath. The same holds true with social media marketing: getting a positive ROI for the time you spend online is much easier when you know the fundamentals.
BE CLEAR ON YOUR TARGET CUSTOMER
People buy based on what they want, not necessarily what they need. With this in mind, who is going to lay money down on the table without hesitation because they want your solution to their problem? Is your answer “other moms” or some equally general answer? If so, then you need to dig deep and get far more specific. Why? Because when you post on social media, your target customer needs to feel as though you’re reading their mind. You can only do this if you get super-specific on their stage-of-life needs, their desires, their most pressing obstacles, and their typical day-to-day experiences. First-time moms tend to have completely different interests and challenges than moms of tweens (not to mention different social media habits!). Engaging your target customer becomes much simpler when you know exactly with whom you’re trying to start a conversation.
SHOWCASE YOUR PERSONALITY
People buy from people. Are you hiding behind a logo, or do your prospective customers know who you are? If you’re a solo-entrepreneur, chances are good that your personal values are highly aligned with the values of the brand that you’ve created. You may have built a business based on a problem that you experienced, to which you found a solution. Share your ongoing story with your customers through images, videos, and regular posts. Share the experiences which inspired you to take action and start a business. Talk about the things that you value in your personal life with your prospective customers. Show pictures of your business behind-the-scenes. Let people know that there is a real person within your business who understands what it’s like to be in their shoes.
Written by Andrea Rowland
Ready to tap into the power of search engines to drive traffic to your website? You don’t need a fancy tech degree, or to shell out big bucks for an SEO expert, to get started. Anyone can learn the basics of search engine optimization.
“This is understandable stuff,” said Moz founder Rand Fishkin. “There’s no mystery here; there are no secrets; it’s just a matter of finding the resources you need and putting them into practice.”
Here are five SEO pointers to get you started:
1. Use search-worthy keywords
Take the time to identify the words and phrases people use to search for your type of products or services online. Then use a tool like Google Keyword Planner (it’s free) to research how many monthly online searches those terms generate. Pick a target keyword for each page of your website. Now, go back through your website’s content and weave the keywords naturally throughout each page of your site.
Pro tip: Be sure to include the target keyword in the main headline for each web page. Continue reading Top SEO tips for your website
Discover the benefits of using IFTTT (If This Then That) as an automating tool for your social media channels, with 10 Ways to Use IFTTT to Boost Your Productivity!
Download this in-depth e-Book, courtesy of Elite+ Mompreneur® Member Laurie Knechtel of eMotivate Marketing+Design, provided as part of the “Social Media” learning module courtesy of Mompreneurs® Momentum Enterprise of Canada and the Coca-Cola 5 by 20 program.
Images are everything when it comes to enticing users to gain interest in what you have to sell. It’s crucial for entrepreneurs and small business owners (or their marketing teams) to choose interesting images that tell a story or convey the right message, in order to maximize efforts with online advertising.
Whether you take your own quality photos, or hire a professional photographer, or use a stock photography company, the key is to remember the message you are trying to convey, and stick with that.
The image should be interesting to look at, but shouldn’t overpower the copy.
Picking the right image means striking the right balance. Given things like ad fatigue and banner blindness, you’ll want to pick a visually engaging image that will draw attention and catch people’s eyes — but at the same time, it shouldn’t stand out too much or it will overpower the copy and messaging. The image needs to work together with your ad’s headline and text to tell a cohesive story.
Different marketing channels need different types of images.
Images aren’t one-size-fits-all. An image that works on Facebook might not work on a banner ad. Each marketing channel behaves differently and has a different goal, and should be treated as such when you’re selecting images.
For example, with email campaigns, you’re trying to (re)engage customers, so the images should convey a specific mood and encourage them to take a specific action. A landing page, on the other hand, is more focused on purchases or sign-ups, so these images should clearly depict what you’re selling, or else you’ll confuse your audience and lose their attention.
At the end of the day, the message you send out to current and prospective clients will determine your future success. You already have passion and drive for your business; all you have to do is make sure you are strategically conveying that passion to others, in order to make the most of your efforts.
Featured image courtesy of shutterstock.com
Written by Katy Takaoka
With 2016 halfway through, many of us entrepreneurs have been reviewing our results for the past 6 months and setting business goals for the rest of the year ahead. I know this is true for me and I’m sure that by now you’ve at least started thinking about your 2016-2017 goals if you haven’t actually laid out a plan for them yet.
Common business goals include a revenue goal. That’s a pretty important one, not gonna lie. It’s always the first one I set! A new goal for me this year is to book more speaking engagements. I decided last year that I wanted to add public speaking to my overall marketing strategy, and I booked 9 altogether, but I didn’t have a concrete goal or plan in place. This year, I definitely have goals for where and when I want to speak!
So, once you’ve set your business goals, it’s time to set some social media goals that are in alignment with your overall goals for the year. Let’s call them SMGs. For the sake of consistency, I’ll show you how I created SMGs that align with some of my own business goals.
Example Goal 1: Increased Revenue
Let me be brutally honest for a moment. Actually selling on social media is hard. Can it be done? Absolutely. It’s a little easier when you’re a product-based business, but if you’re service-based like I am it becomes trickier. This is because you need to build relationships with your followers and establish trust. If they don’t trust you, they’ll never do business with you. And to trust you, they need to get to know you and figure out whether they like you – the Know-Like-Trust (KLT) Factor. Continue reading Setting Social Media Goals
Written by Karen Bivand
You can’t do anything these days without being bombarded with hashtags, status updates, apps and SEO. If you are not technologically savvy, you may increasingly feel like everyone else is speaking a different language. When you are trying to run a business, your inability to use these tools can put you at a significant disadvantage.
Here are some strategies that will help you catch up:
Make a list of the tech savvy tasks that you need to learn.
These might include figuring out your email, setting up a Twitter account, creating a simple website, or using the calendar on your phone to schedule meetings. Once you know what you need to learn, it will be easier for you to get the answers that you need.
Find resources in your community.
Look for resources that will help you learn about Twitter, Facebook, email, and mobile devices. Many libraries offer free workshops on these topics. Continue reading Help! I Can Barely Work My Computer!
Written by: Katy Takaoka
With 2016 now upon us, many of us entrepreneurs have been reviewing our results for the past 12 months and setting business goals for the year ahead. I know this is true for me and I’m sure that by now you’ve at least started thinking about your 2016 goals if you haven’t actually laid out a plan for them yet.
Common business goals include a revenue goal. That’s a pretty important one, not gonna lie. It’s always the first one I set! A new goal for me this year is to book more speaking engagements. I decided last year that I wanted to add public speaking to my overall marketing strategy, and I booked 9 altogether, but I didn’t have a concrete goal or plan in place. This year, I definitely have a goals for where and when I want to speak in 2016!
So, once you’ve set your business goals, it’s time to set some social media goals that are in alignment with your overall goals for the year. Let’s call them SMGs. For the sake of consistency, I’ll show you how I created SMGs that align with my some of my own business goals. Continue reading Setting Social Media Goals That Boost Your Business
When it comes to choosing smartphones for your business, you probably have questions. Should you choose Apple, Android, BlackBerry or Windows? Can you work with more than one? Should you go with business or consumer wireless plans? What value do tablets offer?
Lewis Greenspon, Sales Manager with the TELUS Small Business Team, was in the TELUS Talks Business studio, answering these questions. Watch the TELUS Talks Business webisode below and learn:
- How to choose the right smartphone for your business
- How you can work with more than one smartphone platform
- How to choose the right wireless plans for your team
- When and why tablets make sense