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1 Promoting Your Business Using Social Media Building a Strategy Name:

2 Promoting Your Business using Social Media Workshop Contents: Power point slides Task 1: What are the benefits of promoting your business online? Notes page Task 2: Put together a list of the different ways businesses can promote online? Notes page Task 3: Social media: What am I talking about handout? Help Guides: A guide to e-business terms and acronyms Helping your customers to find you Building a social media strategy E-Business tips Learning Objectives The learning objectives for this workshop are: Learning objective 1 To understand the free web tools available to promote your business Learning objective 2 Identify different types of social media tools Learning objective 3 To consider appropriate e-marketing strategy for business Learning objective 4 Plan their own social media strategy Learning objective 5 To look closely at specific social media tools and evaluate how they will fit your strategy

3 A guide to e-business terms and acronyms Blog: A web journal used for posting thoughts and articles. Browser: A software application used to search information posted on the internet. Two of the most common are Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox. Content Management System/ CMS: An administrative software system that enables a user to add or change content on a website. DSL: (Digital Subscriber Line): A technology designed to bring high-bandwidth information to homes and small businesses over ordinary copper telephone lines. Telus high-speed Internet service is an example of DSL. E-business: The use of internet technology to conduct or facilitate business. E-Commerce: The trading of goods and services over the internet. E-Marketing: Business promotion activity via the internet Firewall: A system designed to prevent unauthorized access to or from a private network. Firewalls are commonly used to prevent unauthorized Internet users from accessing private networks connected to the internet, especially intranets. Hashtag: This refers to this symbol # most commonly associated with Twitter. Adding a hash tag in front of keywords indexes them as key topics on the site Home Page: The main page of a website that a user first sees when they connect to a website. HTML: (Hypertext Markup Language) A code used to build web pages. A common language used to share data over the web. Hyperlinks: Embedded connections in web pages that allow users to jump from page to page anywhere on the internet. Internet: The Internet is a global network of computers with millions of users all over the world. Anyone can join this network and from your computer you can send and receive information anywhere in the world - all at the cost of a local phone call, 24 hours of the day. The Internet offers many business benefits. Intranet: An intranet is a private internet which is not necessarily linked to the Internet itself. ISP (Internet service provider): Also called an Internet Access Provider. An organisation that provides access to the internet either digitally or via analog for a monthly fee. KPI: Key Performance Indicators help an organisation define and reach its goals. Multimedia: Applications combining the use of more than one media, i.e. data, voice and video.

4 ROI: Return on Investment A performance measure used to evaluate the efficiency of an investment or to compare the efficiency of a number of different investments. To calculate ROI, the benefit (return) of an investment is divided by the cost of the investment; the result is expressed as a percentage or a ratio. Search Engines: Search Engine software packages (such as Google, Yahoo, Alta Vista, WebCrawler, Dogpile or Lycos) helps you find what you are looking for on the Web. You can type in a word or phrase to describe what you are looking for and the search engine matches this against its index, recording all likely matches. Most search engines are free. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO): the process of improving the volume and quality of traffic to a web site from search engines. This can be done via targeted key words. Server: A network device that provides services to client PCs, for example file access, print spooling or remote execution. Social Media: includes web-based and mobile technologies used to turn communication into interactive dialogue Status Update: a form of micro-blogging, mostly associated with facebook. Refers to sending out a short message to friends or followers Tweet: This refers to the 140 character message sent out through Twitter updates, a form of micro-blogging. Re-tweet or RT refers to someone seeing your message and sending it on to their own followers, quoting you as the source. URL: (Uniform Resource Locator): The alpha-numeric address used to locate a website. Web hosting: An organisation that provides users who do not have their own web servers with serve space to park their website and allow others to view it over the internet. ISPs also host websites and those such as AOL, will allow subscribers a small amount of server space to host. Social Media is it a Passing Trend? To put social media in context check out this youtube link:

5 Building a Social Media Strategy It is widely publicised how social media should now play a prominent role in a company s marketing strategy, but before wildly signing up on a site that may just prove a waste of time and resources, it is important to take time to build a strategy. Reflect Don t forget all that hard work you put in establishing you mission, aims and objectives, looking at who your customers are, what you want you message to be. Bring those things back to the forefront before making any marketing decision online or offline Research Who are your competitors? How are they using online marketing? What tricks are they using on social media that are working well? Could you adopt those? Look at the websites you are considering using. Look at their information and guidance on who their core user group is and their users habits to know whether your customers can be found there, and what time they are most responsive. You can use Google Trends to check your keywords, to find out which ones are most used by those searching on Google, giving you a good idea of which ones are most key to throw in to make sure you are found Strategise o Traffic Light Touched on in our Planning for Success Course this is a key part of strategic planning not to forget. Rather than going all guns blazing and joining every social media site out there, prioritise as GREEN the one or two which will be of most use to your business. Those that you would like to add to your strategy when you have a little more time place as AMBER and those that in truth you are working hard to justify how you would use it to reach one or two possible enquiries, leave as RED and look at further down the link as growth strategy o Prepare content ideas Set up Google Alerts for keywords in your industry to keep up to date with latest news and trends that you can comment on, and make a list for yourself of key dates, events, milestones that might warrant a mention. o Time budget Decide how much time each week you are going to allocate for marketing, and stick to it! Think of it as a budget, and only renegotiate that time with yourself in the same strict way you would if physical cash were involved. Set up time saving tools like Tweetdeck or Hootsuite where you can pre-upload content and time it to go out through your social media channels. This keeps them fresh even when you haven t got time to log in directly. Go for it! The best way to learn is to just have a go! Sign up and see. Plan your strategy, and set KPI s (Key performance Indicators) that you can measure success against. What are your goals? More interaction? To gather feedback? To increase website traffic? To increase sales? Once you have been through this full cycle, don t forget to return to the beginning regularly to REFLECT on how things are going in relation to your KPI s, to RESEARCH where competitors are up to and what new tools are out there, STRATEGISE based on this new information and GO FOR IT!

6 For more information check out this article by E-BEL s Jo Austin: Task 1: What are the benefits of promoting your business online? Notes page.

7 Task 2: Put together a list of the different ways businesses can promote online? Notes page

8 Helping Customers to Find You There are a whole host of websites and social media tools to help you to promote your business. This diagram shows some of these and the different categories that social media tools fall into: Let s look closely at some key elements of these Publish Blogs are a great way to increase your SEO (Search Engine optimisation) and keep your online content fresh. Ideally a blog would be updated at least once per week with an interesting article related to your industry. Blogger.com is an example of a free one to use Network Facebook is the most familiar example of online networking. Another useful site is linkedin. This is a more professional version of facebook and is used almost as an online CV to show your experience and background. Networking online works similarly to offline. It s about building rapport and keeping in touch rather than the hard sell. Discuss Micro-blogging Share (Photo or Video) a great tool for retail businesses or businesses who hold events is to use a photo sharing site such as flickr. Set up albums for New Stock or so people can spot themselves at your most recent event Book Marking Sites like Pinterest or Delicious allow you to collect together useful weblinks. Pinterest does this by helping you to bookmark pictures from off different websites, Delicious and other bookmark the weblink themselves. You could again use these tools to show yourself as an expert in your field. Grouping together useful content to share with others, helping people to buy into you more. Commerce If you haven t got a selling function on your own website, there are websites through which you can sell products such as ebay or Amazon. See the next section of this booklet for tips on how to sell through these sites

9 Task 3: Social Media What am I Talking About? Under each of these headings, think of 3 key points you could share/discuss online. Current News (what is happening in the world that could be relevant for you to comment on?) Happening in my business today (what products and services are you currently offering, where are you going/who are you meeting that might be of interest?) Coming soon to my business (what does the future hold? Any big announcements on the horizon? Any events you will be attending?)

10 E-Business Tips Tips to help you establish and keep up a successful E-business. Keep an eye on your competitors Often news of new products or services offered by a competitor will be released on their website allowing you to understand what advantages they may have and enable you to respond in a timelier manner to their changes. Stay Consistent Your website is part of your corporate brand and fits seamless with the other elements that make up your corporate identity. Consistency with visual elements such as logos, fonts and colours are as important as consistency in tone, language and overall message. Test your website The owner of a website seldom visits the website after the first few months of its launch. The explanation for this behaviour is the mistaken assumption that once the site is tested and launched any further testing is unnecessary. Constant review and testing is crucial when determining the success or failure of the objectives of the website. Know Your Visitors Knowing who is going to use your site is the key factor in determining how the site is designed and what technology will be used. The abilities and expectations of your visitors must be reflected in the navigation, content and user interface of the site. Don t Hide Your Domain Name A surprising number of companies spend thousands of pounds on a website their customers don t know they have. Don t hide your domain name; it should be on your letter head, business cards, uniforms, vehicles, exterior building signage and on the signature of all business related correspondence. Answer All Your s Unlike a ringing telephone, is easy to ignore; the fastest way to loose customers is to ignore their s. Unfortunately many business owners still consider communications unimportant and stubbornly refuse to accept the reality that is quickly becoming the medium of choice by both consumers and businesses. Don t Believe the Hype If you are starting up an internet business just because your friends told you to or as the result of an unsolicited that claims you can make a lot of money, it s time to step back and re-examine your motives. The internet is a great if not necessary tool for business, but your web strategy needs to be well thought out and planned, just like any other aspect of your business. Review Your Server Logs Your server logs and other tools such as Google Analytics can tell you who is visiting your website, what pages they are viewing, how long they are staying, where they are coming from and a whole host of other useful information. Use these statistics to update pages that perform poorly and to help formulate your e-marketing strategies.

11 Don t Forget SEO Search Engine Optimisation Even if your website has a great design and user friendly interactivity, it is of no use if no one can find it. Write your content for your users, but make sure those keywords are in there and are in the right places. You don t have to pay an arm and a leg for good SEO, just write your content well and submit it to search engines. If you have the time and energy you can delve deeper into the ever-changing world of SEO but remember, SEO tricks are no substitute for good content. Update Your Content Your users want current information and so do the search engines. If your content is out of date, your potential clients will move on to the competition. Stale content also does poorly in search engines. A great way to keep feeding your clients with good info and generate new leads is to set up a blog on your site. The internet is now the primary source of information for consumer research. Up to date information keeps people (and spiders) coming back to your website. Further useful websites: Small Business Help sheets and guides: Social Media tips Facebook https://www.facebook.com/page_guidelines.php Promoting your Business using Social Media Additional Information For additional information regarding using Social Media to promote your business please see the following websites. How to use social media to promote your small business Twitter Linkedin Business.aspx Google +

12 You can follow us on: twitter.com/hewomensorg Search for The Women s Organisation to join our group/fanpage

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