Social media for small businesses– a 5-step approach

Small businesses find it hard to embrace social media. Not because they are conservative, but because they tend to dedicate all their valuable time to their core business. The consequence is that they risk missing out on opportunities to get new leads and new clients.

Small businesses stand to gain a lot from social media. The question is, how do we get engaged without making a lot of mistakes and losing valuable time? The following 5-step approach can be used as a guide to get your business quickly and safely involved in social media.

  1. Plan and measure

Every social media campaign starts with a plan; what are your goals, who do you want to reach and where do you find them, how much time and money are you willing to invest. By putting this carefully in writing and keeping track of everything, you create measurable goals. With the help of tools –some of which are available as ‘freeware’ on the web- you can measure the effect of your campaigns on a regular basis.

  1. Start small and be careful

Don’t start straight away with Facebook AND Twitter AND YouTube AND… Think carefully which medium fits your business. Find out what clients and competitors do. Develop a feel for one medium. Develop your profile, make sure the information about your business is complete as well as representative. Build from there and expand your network.

  1. Communication is not the same as promotion

Have you ever managed to get a new client by telling him how wonderful you are? Social media are not suitable for sales talk but meant for serious, honest communication. Listen, ask questions and respond to online comments. Especially to the negative ones! The main issue is to come across as authentic and reliable – just like your products.

  1. Give freely of your time and do it with passion

And I thought it didn’t take much time! Time which we haven’t got. Well, it’s not about spending a lot of time, it’s about spending time on social media consistently over a long time. Even if it’s only ten minutes a day. If you are not seriously and passionately engaged, you might as well forget it.

  1. Don’t do everything yourself

The classic pitfall of many a small business entrepreneur. Thinking that you need to do everything yourself, while there may be someone in your company who has a passion for social media. Make him or her responsible! And don’t hesitate to engage outside help, it will prevent you from making costly mistakes and losing valuable time.


The Joy of Article Spinning

Resultado de imagen de spinning

Don’t we all dream of effortlessly rewriting our articles and posts and boosting our rankings while we sleep? Article spinning promises to do just that, but you can’t be too careful. Below is an example of an article of mine on which I did a triple spin…. just have a read and smile at the result.

 

Social media for smaller enterprises – a 5-step approach

Smaller enterprises find it hard to embrace social media. Not because they are conservative, but because they tend to dedicate all their valuable time to their core business. The consequence is that they risk missing out on opportunities to get new leads and new clients.

Smaller enterprises stand to gain a lot from social media. The question is, how do we get engaged without making a lot of mistakes and losing valuable time? The following 5-step approach can be used as a guide to get your business quickly and safely involved in social media.

Web arranging for humbler endeavors – a 5-stage approach

More small attempts envision that its difficult to understand web sorting out. Not by righteousness of they are preservationist, yet rather in light of the way that they have a tendency to submit all their vital time to their inside business. The result is that they threat abandoning a wonderful open entryway for chances to get new leads and new customers.

More minor attempts stand to get a unimaginable game plan from web arranging. The solicitation is, in what manner may we get pulled in without presenting a tremendous measure of oversights and losing advantageous time? The running with 5-stage methodology can be utilized as a manual for get your business rapidly and securely consolidated into web sorting out.

1. Plan and measure

Every social media campaign starts with a plan; what are your goals, who do you want to reach and where do you find them, how much time and money are you willing to invest. By putting this carefully in writing and keeping track of everything, you create measurable goals. With the help of tools –some of which are available as ‘freeware’ on the web- you can measure the effect of your campaigns on a regular basis.

1. Plan and measure

Every web sorting out effort begins with a strategy; what are your objectives, who may you need to reach and where do you discover them, the measure of time and cash are you willing to contribute. By putting this totally in making and watching everything, you make quantifiable objectives. With the assistance of mechanical gatherings –some of which are open as “freeware” on the web-you can gage the impact of your battles always.

2. Start small and be careful

Don’t start straight away with Facebook AND Twitter AND YouTube AND… Think carefully which medium fits your business. Find out what clients and competitors do. Develop a feel for one medium. Develop your profile, make sure the information about your business is complete as well as representative. Build from there and expand your network.

2. Begin little and be careful

Try not to begin straight away with Facebook AND Twitter AND YouTube AND… Think precisely which medium fits your business. Find what customers and contenders do. Build up a vibe for one medium. Build up your profile, ensure the data about your business is done and masters. Work beginning there and build up your system.

3. Communication is not the same as promotion

Have you ever managed to get a new client by telling him how wonderful you are? Social media are not suitable for sales talk but meant for serious, honest communication. Listen, ask questions and respond to online comments. Especially to the negative ones! The main issue is to come across as authentic and reliable – just like your products.

3. Correspondence is not the same as movement

Have you ever constructed feeling of how to get another customer by letting him know how splendid you are? Web frameworks organization are not suitable for game plans talk but rather proposed without a doubt, true blue correspondence. Tune in, make demand and react to online remarks. Particularly to the negative ones! The vital issue is to emit an impression of being authentic and proven – simply like your things.

4. Give freely of your time and do it with passion

And I thought it didn’t take much time! Time which we haven’t got. Well, it’s not about spending a lot of time, it’s about spending time on social media consistently over a long time. Even if it’s only ten minutes a day. If you are not seriously and passionately engaged, you might as well forget it.

4. Give uninhibitedly of your time and do it with imperativeness

Also, thought it didn’t require much theory! Time which we haven’t got. In light of current circumstances, it’s not about contributing a tremendous measure of imperativeness, it’s about placing time in web sorting out constantly over quite a while. Despite the probability that it’s just ten minutes a day. On the off chance that you are not by any stretch of the imagination and enthusiastically connected with, you should disregard it.

5. Don’t do everything yourself

The classic pitfall of many a small business entrepreneur. Thinking that you need to do everything yourself, while there may be someone in your company who has a passion for social media. Make him or her responsible! And don’t hesitate to engage outside help, it will prevent you from making costly mistakes and losing valuable time.
Triple-spun version

5. Do whatever it takes not to do everything yourself

The huge trap of different a little business visionary. Assuming that you have to do everything yourself, while there might be some individual in your affiliation who has an imperativeness for web sorting out. Make him or her subject! Similarly, don’t flounder to pull in outside help, it will keep you from submitting over the top goofs and losing basic time.


Pigged your pipes lately?

Pigged your pipes lately?

The other day I was hired by a company to rewrite their brochures, website and other assorted texts. They are all ‘hard-boiled’ engineers and their business is laying and repairing pipelines across the globe. What they needed was somebody with a fresh view and the ability to clear their copy of an overabundance of technical jargon and make it readable and attractive.

I’m always intrigued by the specific terminology of any branch of business, because it’s highly interesting to see how they’ve dealt with the problem of describing new products and activities. I remember, back in my university days, translating computer manuals for IBM and literally having to invent new words because I was describing new processes that had not yet been named. Quite a thrill for a budding linguist!

But back to pipe laying. I started on the new job by reading through all the client’s brochures and web copy. And indeed it was full of incomprehensible terms like ‘pipeline integrity’, ‘spool piece design’ or – and here I was suddenly thunderstruck: ‘temporary pig traps’. Temporary pig traps!!?? I immediately conjured up a vision of a squealing pig trapped in cage, but what in heaven’s name did this have to do with pipes?

I read on and soon found related terms like ‘piggability studies’, ‘intelligent pigging’, ‘pig launcher’ and pig catchers’. But how and why on earth was the term pigging coined? Here’s the answer: ‘Pigs’ are cleaning devices that are pushed through a pipeline for cleaning or inspection purposes. Nowadays these pigs are highly sophisticated devices with built-in cameras and sensors, but the original ones were made from straw wrapped in wire. As they traveled through the pipes they made a squealing noise, somewhat like a squealing pig, hence the name pigging.

You can imagine my delight as a self-proclaimed wordsmith in coming across these gems. But more than just being a funny and very evocative term, ‘pigging your pipes’ seems to me a wonderful metaphor for cleaning up your act, whatever that is. As copywriters, pipe layers or simply as human beings, pigging our pipes is something we should definitely do on a regular basis.


Smaller enterprises & social media – a quickstart

Smaller enterprises find it hard to embrace social media. Not because they are conservative, but because they tend to dedicate all their valuable time to their core business. The consequence is that they risk missing out on opportunities to get new leads and new clients. Smaller enterprises stand to gain a lot from social media. The question is, how do we get engaged without making a lot of mistakes and losing valuable time? The following 5-step approach can be used as a guide to get your business quickly and safely involved in social media.

  • Plan and measure

Every social media campaign starts with a plan; what are your goals, who do you want to reach and where do you find them, how much time and money are you willing to invest. By putting this carefully in writing and keeping track of everything, you create measurable goals. With the help of tools –some of which are available as ‘freeware’ on the web- you can measure the effect of your campaigns on a regular basis.

  • Start small and be careful

Don’t start straight away with Facebook AND Twitter AND YouTube AND… Think carefully which medium fits your business. Find out what clients and competitors do. Develop a feel for one medium. Develop your profile, make sure the information about your business is complete as well as representative. Build from there and expand your network.

  • Communication is not the same as promotion

Have you ever managed to get a new client by telling him how wonderful you are? Social media are not suitable for sales talk but meant for serious, honest communication. Listen, ask questions and respond to online comments. Especially to the negative ones! The main issue is to come across as authentic and reliable – just like your products.

  • Give freely of your time and do it with passion

And I thought it didn’t take much time! Time which we haven’t got. Well, it’s not about spending a lot of time, it’s about spending time on social media consistently over a long time. Even if it’s only ten minutes a day. If you are not seriously and passionately engaged, you might as well forget it.

  • Don’t do everything yourself

The classic pitfall of many a small business entrepreneur. Thinking that you need to do everything yourself, while there may be someone in your company who has a passion for social media. Make him or her responsible! And don’t hesitate to engage outside help, it will prevent you from making costly mistakes and losing valuable time.


Social Media for Municipalities – Part 2

Right, so as a municipality we have decided we want to get started with Social Media. And we have even taken the first tentative steps to get involved. But how can we get seriously going and in a controllable way? And how do we now if it works?

The answer is simple; by employing a well-founded strategy. Which describes what your goals are, who you want to reach, why and how you are going to do it. Some principles for building a solid strategy:
• Social Media are not exclusively the domain of marketeers and communication officers; all employees should be involved.
• Make sure you have a single, clear image of the municipality that you want to project.
• Distinguish carefully between the public and the private use of Social Media.

The fundaments of the Social Media Strategy

• Determine your goals. What do you want to achieve with Social Media? Better contact, more understanding, greater support for your policies etc. Make sure your goals are measurable.
• Perform a baseline measurement to determine how, where and by whom your municipality is being discussed and what your reputation is.
• Determine which media are suitable to get involved with en who will be responsible.
• Determine which subjects are suitable for discussion and in which Social Media.
• Schedule your activities on a daily or weekly basis.
• Monitor the activity of the target groups based on specific keywords and subjects.
• Measure! Use a clever tool which allows you to measure all activities and which delivers accurate reports.

A Social Media Policy
Before you embark on a major Social Media campaign it is wise to put together a Social Media Policy or Code of Conduct which deals with topics like:
• What types of messages you do or do not respond to.
• Who is allowed to say what on behalf of the municipality.
• How you address your target groups (respectfully).
• How you deal with confidential information (yours as well as that of others).
• How you deal with controversial issues.

This database contains lots of examples of Social Media policies.


Social media for municipalities

New research shows that less than 50% of European municipalities (towns and cities) make any use of social media. Yet over 390 million Europeans are involved in social networking and see Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, blogs and other social media as primary means of communication. A missed opportunity if ever there was one. But why should municipalities employ social media? How can they benefit from them?

Many municipalities view social media as an inconvenient phenomenon. Yet a majority of civil servants, when not on duty, use social media on a daily basis to interact with friends, family and even to do business. So where is the catch? Apparently some of the municipalities’ regulations and habits with regards to communication with citizens stand in the way of embracing these new technologies, which causes municipalities to miss out on a unique opportunity to engage citizens.

Here are just a few of the ways in which municipalities can benefit from social media:

  • Find out more about what citizens want and care about
  • Make citizens more engaged with and understanding of municipal policies
  • Create more and better ways of involving citizens
  • Create wider support for municipal initiatives
  • Improve citizens’ knowledge of municipal facilities by making available online data
  • Improve quality of municipal initiatives through citizens’ and businesses’ contributions

A three (or thirty) step approach
OK, so as a municipality we can benefit from the use of social media. But how do we go about it? Just starting to tweet or setting up a blog will not do the trick, surely? No, as with every initiative, careful planning will help you to be succesful. On the web there are a great deal of plans available, some simple, some very elaborate. Have a look at http://www.slideshare.net/HeatherWhaling/social-media-for-municipalities-government.

Basically, it comes down to three steps:

  1. Listen carefully – what’s happening in the municipality, who is saying what and how about municipal issues, how does this affect us
  2. Facilitate citizens – make social media available to talk with and about the municipality, through dedicated Facebook pages, Twitter accounts, blogs and sites
  3. Take part in the conversation – listen, divulge and react – and keep it up!

In part 2 we will discuss social media strategies for municipalities.


Webteksten en andere zaken

De afgelopen weken weer druk bezig geweest met o.a. keyword research, optimalisatie van homepages, schrijven van webteksten, analyseren en finetunen van AdWords campagnes en het schrijven van brochureteksten. Onderwerpen variërend van mode tot CAD-software tot woninginrichting tot drukwerk.

Never a dull moment!


Welke toon slaat u aan op het web?

Ieder bedrijf dat zichzelf serieus neemt, denkt na over de toon waarop het zijn klanten aanspreekt. Een consistente toon in al uw communicatie zorgt voor herkenbaarheid en onderstreept uw ‘brand values’.

Hebt u er wel eens over nagedacht hoe u uw klanten aanspreekt op het web? En of dit past bij uw ‘gemiddelde’ klant? U zult begrijpen dat het nogal verschil maakt of uw doelgroep uit jonge kinderen bestaat of uit ouderen. Maar hoe vertaalt u dit in de toon die u aanslaat? En hoe consequent bent u daarin? Het gaat daarbij niet alleen om ‘jij’ versus ‘u’, maar om de woorden waarmee u uw producten en uw bedrijf presenteert.

Een stap verder gaat u door te bepalen welke toon past bij uw producten of diensten. Biedt u juridisch advies bij bedrijfsovernames, dan zult u wellicht een formele toon aanslaan op het web. Heel anders dan de ‘coole’ taal waarmee u computergames verkoopt aan jongeren. Maar weet u ook wat de ‘brand values’, de ‘waarden’ zijn die passen bij uw producten? En hoe u die omzet in de juiste taal?

Kijk eens naar uw product en uw markt en hoe uw concurrenten het doen. Klinken zij:

• Professioneel of nonchalant?

• Koel en afstandelijk?

• Warm en gezellig?

• Grappig of serieus?

De kunst is om de toon en de woorden te vinden die passen bij uw product én bij uw doelgroep. En vervolgens om deze consequent toe te passen in al uw online communicatie, zodat u een eigen geluid ontwikkelt.

Met behulp van een goede copywriter kunt u in kaart brengen welk taalgebruik bij u past en wanneer en waar u dit toepast. Zo wordt de stem waarmee u praat een belangrijk onderdeel van uw online marketing strategie.


De WK Voetbal en het 3D-syndroom

Bent u ook een van de vele tienduizenden die speciaal voor het WK een 3D-televisie hebben aangeschaft? Let dan even goed op, want er schijnt iets raars mee aan de hand te zijn. Hebt u het al gemerkt? Last van plotseling opstekende winderigheid, branderige ogen of een zeurend gevoel in de onderbuik? Toegegeven, dat laatste kan ook liggen aan de consumptie van gloeiend hete bitterballen of te veel friet, het favoriete Nederlandse eten voor de buis. Is dat niet de oorzaak, dan lijdt u zeer waarschijnlijk aan het 3D-syndroom.

Lees de hele column op http://www.allesovertvkijken.nl/de-wk-voetbal-en-het-3d-syndroom/


Samenwerking met Webstijl

Goede Zaken is een samenwerking aangegaan met internetbedrijf Webstijl. Voor de websites die Webstijl bouwt voor haar klanten, gaat Goede Zaken de keyword research doen en geoptimaliseerde webteksten schrijven.


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