Monthly Archives: April 2013

Use LinkedIn to boost your online presence.

Use LinkedIn to boost your online presence.

Social media engagement has become vital for every business. It provides an excellent platform to develop their customer base and promote their brand. Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+ or LinkedIn, businesses learn quickly that an effective Social Media marketing strategy is an excellent way to drive traffic to their website.

LinkedIn is gaining in popularity and a powerful way to Boost your online presence.

Don’t make the same mistake that so many do when they turn to Social Media. LinkedIn is a force to be reckoned with, and one that’s only going to get stronger. The common misconception that LinkedIn is just a glorified Resume or CV site has lost it’s hold and couldn’t be further from the truth, a large amount of LinkedIn users have their own businesses and are looking for new customers, new ideas or guidance.

The key to success on LinkedIn is executing the 3-2-1 recipe, which is made up of three parts content, two parts engagement, one part personality with a dash of promotional activity, that’s according to Kevin Nichols (a thought-leader with The Oechsli Institute)

Nichols says

  1. Content may be self-generated, or curated from other news sources. Regardless of the source, it needs to be relevant to your connections.
  2. Engagement: sharing your opinion, liking and responding on your connections’ posts,  will bring your network to life.
  3. Personal: Being personal gives a pulse to your professional persona on LinkedIn. It’s okay to make personal posts on occasion as long as you remain professional. People are able to relate with you when you present as a real person.
  4. Promotion is an important part of what you communicate to your connection base. But you need to keep blatant promotion to a minimum.

LinkedIn is such a powerful resource and one of the best tools within it; is Groups! Joining groups within your niche provides you with vital information relevant to you and your business. Topics that will allow you to converse with other group members and first hand access to people who you will want to follow.

It’s important that any group you decide to become a member of is active. Is it just Active because a lot of people are posting links, stories and articles, or is it a properly active group with lots of comments and discussions? You don’t want to be joining a group where no one comments or reads your posts or articles. You want the users of the group to be actively and readily engaged regularly. (Look for groups that have a higher number of comments per week than discussions started.)

Following your social media marketing strategy and the steps above will help increase the traffic flow massively to your website, should you utilise it in the right way, it can have a massive beneficial effect on your business.

If you found this helpful or have any further queries, leave a reply below.

Kieran.


How do I create a simple Facebook Marketing Plan?

How do I create a simple Facebook Marketing Plan?

Take all the strategies that you’ve learned about Facebook Marketing and put them into a simple but effective plan.

  1. How to get quality engaged fans?
  2. How to incorporate images to sell your brand?
  3. How to make MONEY from Facebook?

GETTING MORE FANS
So what do we need to do first? Well the first thing we need is quality fans. Without these; it’s just not going to happen. Right? Well guess what?

YOU ALREADY HAVE THEM! – Yip, if you have TEN fans on your Facebook page, potentially, that’s ten people that you can turn into paying customers. Those ten people took the time to visit your Facebook Page and click your LIKE button. By doing so, those Ten people have already told you that they want to hear your message, they want to hear about your brand or your product.

Here’s a few simple ideas FB-Like-Box-Smallwhich could get your page a few more likes.
How many emails do you send out on a daily basis? 10/15 more? Well, why not have the URL to your Facebook Page in each of those emails? If you’re company has managers, supervisors, receptionists or whatever else, each email they send is a potential new Like on your Page. When someone visits your website, present them with a “Find us on Facebook” Like box, They don’t even have to go to Facebook to like it, the button is right there. Create business cards with a QR scan code. So many people are using the camera on their smart phones/tablets to scan these clever little barcodes, directing them straight to your Facebook page and closer to that like button. And the one that most people forget, and probably the simplest one of all. On your own “Friend” profile. The place where all your friends are, let them know you have an Facebook Page, ask them to Like It and Share It. For all you know, one of their friends could be looking for exactly what you’re offering right now.

PROMOTE
Let’s take a minute to think about the pages that you have liked on Facebook, why are you there?

  • You want to hear about what’s new and what’s on offer.
  • You want them to answer your questions or like your comments.
  • You want to feel as if you’re part of their community.
  • You want to know, that if you read one of their posts that you can trust it as a source of information about that brand.

With all of the above in mind, it’s time to start promoting your brand.

Images. At the minute on Facebook, images generate 53% more likes than an average text post and users are more likely to engage with your brand if you use images. But we don’t want to just put an image on without some sort of reason for your fans to become engaged. And at the same time we don’t want to just ask them a direct question with a Yes or No answer.

I find the best way to get your fans involved is to pretend that they are all your best friends. You’re uploading a picture to your Facebook Page so that your best friends can have a look at it. So if you’re talking to your friends; then that means the conversation should also be friendly. Have a look at the image below from one of my favourite eateries, Gardiners G2 Restaurant in Magherafelt.

cheeseboard

Here you can see how they use a simple picture of their excellent cheeseboard to promote the business, but that’s not all. The comment invites a reply. They are telling their “friends” “Hmmm, A nice glass of Red and a G2 Cheeseboard? I could go for that right now. :)“. It’s a brilliant conversation starter and the conversation starts almost instantly, fans start hitting the like button. So you can see what they have done here. Promoted the business with a nice picture, left the conversation open for their fans to join in. But that’s not all, they also came back and joined in with the conversation, they became a human being (rather than a brand) chatting with their friends. But they have used one more very clever trick. They tagged the in-house chefs in the picture, the people who created the meal, doing this extended the reach of the image to include the friend lists of the chefs.

But business pages can’t tag people, that’s true! So who-ever runs the page must have the chefs in his friend profile, then tagged them from his/her personal profile. I’ve used loads of simple wee strategies similar to this on pages i manage on Facebook and i can tell you, they really do work.

TIP: Own a bar/restaurant/coffee shop? Post a picture of your cocktail menu or your early bird menu in the late afternoon. By doing so, you’re planting a seed, you’re making your fans think “Maybe i’ll go there later”. Include links to your website under the conversation starter. Present them with options, if the picture isn’t what they’re looking for, then maybe they’ll find something which does by clicking the link.

There’s a load of excellent tools on the internet which will allow you to upload your own pictures and lay text over them to create promotional images. I LOVE PicMonkey and PicFont for this, though if you want to keep it simple, you could use SomeEcards or create a Wordle.

CREATING LEADS

Facebook recently changed the rules on how we use our cover pictures, (The image at the top of your Facebook page) before we couldn’t promote offers, add contact details or ask for likes. Well that’s all changed, now we can do all of the above as long as we keep the text below 20% of the overall image. But here’s a great tip, use text like “Click Here” or “Learn More” in your cover picture. Your Cover Picture is the same as any other image on Facebook, when the image is clicked, you have an area where you can add a description. (Conversation Starter)

Use it, add a link to your website, your blog posts, create a give-away or  an opt-in to your subscriber list. Take them away from Facebook, give them a reason to visit your site. This creates traffic on your site, and as we all know traffic can lead to sales. They might not buy from you straight away, but if they have subscribed to your mailing list, or have followed your blog, then you have created a lead, you have a way of grabbing their attention, a way of contacting them directly with your next promotion or your next give-away.

Another way to create leads is to use Facebook Offers, If your Facebook page has more than 100 fans then you’ll have the option to create Facebook Offers.  Facebook-offers

As an example, you would use text like “Download a FREE copy of our Online Marketing Tips”, or “Cook like a Pro-Chef, FREE easy-to-follow recipes that will WOW any guest.”

When a fan, clicks the “Get Offer” button, an email is sent direct to their inbox from Facebook with a link stating “Click here to redeem your offer“. This is where you get your lead. When your fan clicks that link, it opens an opt-in page. The user must enter their name and email address for the offer to be sent directly to their email account. This is the only way Facebook allows you to get into a fans email account.

Now the thing about Facebook Offers is they’re going to cost you a bit of money. Not that much that it would break the bank, but still, done right, it’s really worth it. When you create an offer or an advert or boost a post, you’re asked to fill in the blanks, Select a target age group, a geographical area, male or female or choose from an interest list….

But here’s a fact not known by many. Precise-interestsThe Power Editor (Chrome users only) has an added option. It allows you to target fans from similar pages to yours. If you know the exact name of the page you can type it into the Precise Interests option box. This places your advert/offer directly under the noses of your target audience. Directly to fans who like similar pages to yours.

I’ve used this strategy many times and with only £30, we created around 550 leads, and then repeated the same strategy over and over. (If it works don’t fix it.)

MONETIZING

So we’ve spoke about getting fans and creating leads, now what? Well, now we build trust, we’ve sent the Online marketing plan or the Cook like a pro-chef ebook. Now it’s time to set up an email auto-responder, a series of 3 or 4 emails that will add to what they initially signed up for, an added extra saying “Thanks for downloading our ebook, here’s another freebie”. (Part 1 of 3 or Part 1 of 4). Send all of these within the first 2 weeks. Then slowly (maybe once a month afterwards) start to introduce them to your other products, to different offers, when new products come in.

It might take some time but eventually you’ll start to see that the hard work you put in on Facebook is creating you sales and the best part of it, pause – repeat – profit. (Start all over again)

 If you found this helpful or have any further queries, drop me a reply.

Kieran.


How to merge duplicate business pages on Facebook

One question that I get asked regularly is “How do I merge duplicate pages of my business page on Facebook?”. Anyone who has a business were people can “check-in” often come across this problem. Mostly because users can’t find your FB page or they have spelt it wrong. But don’t stress, there is a way to claim the duplicate page and then merge it with the official page even if you are not the admin. Of course, Facebook will want to make sure you are, who you are, and not claiming a page that’s not yours. Follow the steps below….

How to merge duplicate business pages on Facebookimg1

 

1) Visit the place page that you wish to claim and click on the “Cog”. (Beside the Edit button). Then click on
Is this your business”.

2) Once “Is this your business?” is clicked a pop-up will appear, asking if you are the official representative of the business.

Check the box and then Continue.

img2

3) The next pop-up shown will ask you to confirm your relationship to the business.
Fill in all the relevant information and click Continue.

img3

4) Next, you will be asked to select the Email/Document in which Facebook can use to verify the information. Choose how you want to verify and click Submit. (For this i chose Email).

img4

5) The last box that will show will display a dropdown box containing the email addresses connected to your Facebook account. Select your preferred Email address and click Submit.

img5

That’s it, you will receive an email with a link to verify your account……. ‘Success’ job done.

Note: With the method I showed here, i was able to use an email address that includes the business’s name, (someone@BusinessName.co.uk). If you have a business email address, add it to Facebook. You can also use official documentation that has the business’s name, address and phone number on it.

If you found this helpful or have any further queries, drop me a reply.

Kieran


6 Reasons Why You Should Hire a Local Developer

Web design Nothern Ireland

Local Web Developer

6 Reasons Why You Should Hire a Local Developer

At Lanoc Web Design, we are finding that local businesses are trying to use cheap online website builders but are growing increasingly frustrated with the experience and lack of service. A common call to us is from a potential client who finally realizes, they either don’t have the time to create their own website or they can’t get the personal help they need in the process.

Contracting with a cheap online website builder may incur a lower cost of your website design project since these bulk providers develop thousands of website’s for businesses all around the world. Because they’re working in quantity, they can charge lower fees. The downside of their service is low quality of customer support, little control of the finished website you receive and poor performance on the search engines (Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc.).

A local web design company, on the other hand, will provide a better level of service because they can visit your business to meet you on a personal level. They can also learn more about the services you provide or products you sell. A local web design company will know who your customers are and how your website can serve them.

Reasons Why You Should Hire a Local Web Design Company

  1. They are a local company: This is obvious and needs to be stated again as the number one reason. You will meet the design team you’re working with in person, plus they know your community.
  2. They will help create unique content for your website: Site builders for specific industries such as real estate, restaurants and auto dealers can contain duplicate content (text and graphics that already exist on another website in your same industry). Duplicate content negatively affects a website ranking in the search engines. A local web designer is going to be sure your content is unique.
  3. They know your local community: Your web designer lives in your community and has a strong understanding of the area which should help you capture the local search market.
  4. Promoting your business locally: Once your new website is complete, your local web designer will want to share the great job they did with business associates, friends and family. Choose a web design company that gets face-to-face with more local business people through networking and volunteer work. They will most likely promote your products and services, not to mention use your products and services. Your web developer will want to display a screen-shot of your website along with a link to show examples for future clients, giving more visibility and credibility to your business.
  5. You are supporting a business in your local community: If you choose a cheap site builder, you might be sending your money overseas to pay for your monthly website fees. If you choose a local web design company, you will be supporting a local, professional business.
  6. They are interested in the future of your online presence: Your local web designer is a resource for you when it comes to adding new functions, sending enews, making website updates and making sure your website gets indexed in the top search engines (Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc).


At Lanoc Web Design we enjoy visiting a potential client’s place of business to get to know them on a more personal level, to get a feel for the business itself and to discuss the goals of the website. Our clients continually comment on the fact that they always feel comfortable discussing their website and email concerns with us. We are available by phone, we respond to email in a timely fashion and we make requested updates within 48 hours of receipt (depending on the complexity of the request).

Kieran