Small Business Unleashed https://www.smallbusinessunleashed.com Thu, 08 Dec 2011 21:10:42 +0000 en hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.2.1 Chris Green no Chris Green iamchrisgreen@hotmail.co.uk iamchrisgreen@hotmail.co.uk (Chris Green) Copyright © Small Business Unleashed 2011 Small, Business, Marketing, Small, Business, Sales, and, Marketing, Online, Marketing, for, Small Small Business Unleashed https://www.smallbusinessunleashed.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/podcast-image-small.jpg https://www.smallbusinessunleashed.com “The Plan Never Survives Contact With The Enemy” is not a good enough excuse not to plan. https://www.smallbusinessunleashed.com/plan-to-succeed/ https://www.smallbusinessunleashed.com/plan-to-succeed/#comments Thu, 08 Dec 2011 21:07:20 +0000 Marcus Cauchi https://www.smallbusinessunleashed.com/?p=443 Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail.

I get put off by the enormity of the task ahead. I get bogged down into detail. I get distracted by life. I’m too busy. Not now. Can you feel the noise? My head is rattling with ideas, problems, people, commitments, holes in the bank balance, deadlines, kids Nativity plays, sick parents. Add to this my fear of failure, concern that if I raise the bar others will expect me to keep the bar raised … and my apathy wins. My internal dialogue is calling me all the names under the sun – fat, stupid, slow, lazy, useless; I have the voices of those I allow to have control over me working overtime in my imagination.

So what’s the impact?

I don’t write my plan down. I have all the potential to be a “meaningful specific” …. and instead, my inaction and avoidance, turn me into a “wandering generality”.

We teach that “What you measure on purpose, happens on purpose. What you don’t, happens by accident!”

Do you wallow in your excuses for not taking a decision and failing to follow up with decisive action? Do you blame others for how you feel about yourself?

What evidence is there that you have absolutely no control over your situation or the conditions you would like to avoid?

Is there nothing, no matter how small that you can do to overcome your obstacles?

What can you do to address that problem now, even if it is small and won’t eliminate the problem entirely?

Is there nothing, no matter how small for which you are responsible for about resolving the situation you want to improve?

What evidence is there that it has to be that way?

What action can you take now for which you are responsible for improving your situation?

Is there nothing at all that you can do to limit the reach of this problem in other areas of your life or business?

What evidence is there that the far reaching effects of this problem have to be that way?

What action can you take today to limit the impact of that problem on the rest of your life or business?

How long are you willing to tolerate this problem or situation before you have to act? Before you are willing to take action?

What evidence is there that the future you fear or current situation you want to get away from, has to persist?

What steps, no matter how small or seemingly inconsequential can you take now, to help overcome this problem so it doesn’t have to be that way for so long?

What steps are you going to take?

Working back from the end or outcome you want, what are the 5 major steps you will need to take or milestones you will need to reach, if you are to achieve the improvements you want to make or hit your goals?

If there are more than 5 steps involved in attaining your goals, break each step down into subsets of no more than 3-5 subgoals or achievements. Work backwards from the end and work your way to where you find yourself today. (read Richard Wiseman’s “59 Seconds” on goal setting for a really simple process)

Ask yourself “What do I expect to have happen?” and assign it a percentage probability of your expected outcome happening. Eg. 80% probability that reacting angrily to my wife’s well-meaning chiding will result in a argument.

Then offer yourself a better alternative behaviour that you can measure and track. And give yourself a probability of the outcome you expect occurring when you apply this alternative behaviour. e.g. If I fall back and apologise for mis-communicating, and ask her what she suggests I do to remedy the situation I give it a 95% probability she’ll clarify her concern and we will avoid an argument.

Check after each attempt to track the results whether your gut feel for the outcome was in any way accurate. It will teach you to refine you trust in your gut instincts.

As to planning, my recommendation is have 3 BHAAGs (big, hairy-arsed, audacious goals). Get these needs met in you, and experience tells me that everyone around you will also get their meeds met too. Look after number 1 if looking after number 1 means looking after those you love and have responsibilities for.

I have one final exercise for you to take away your right to whine and hide behind excuses.

Write down all the excuses you can think of or have ever used for not prospecting. I said ALL of them. Come on! Try harder! Any that you’ve used int he last 12 months or expect to use in the next 12 months.

The deal is simple.

You may not use any of these again without paying a fine to the political party you loathe the most of £100.

You may not use any of them. Instead you must come up with an ORIGINAL EXCUSE in which case you add it to your list of taboo excuses for next time or you can TELL THE TRUTH ABOUT WHY YOU’RE AVOIDING taking decisive action to help yourself.

You cannot hide from yourself or from the Truth. Let today be the day you decide!

Take control over your life for those elements you can control.

And plan for, but don’t be phased by, those you can’t. Shit happens. Failure is universal and part of the human condition.

In CBT they have an acronym I like for fear:

Face Everything And Recover!

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SBU 003 : Podcast – Facebook Marketing Strategies https://www.smallbusinessunleashed.com/sbu-003-podcast-facebook-marketing-strategies/ https://www.smallbusinessunleashed.com/sbu-003-podcast-facebook-marketing-strategies/#comments Mon, 05 Dec 2011 18:50:35 +0000 Chris Green https://www.smallbusinessunleashed.com/?p=433 This is the third Small Business Unleashed Podcast. We’ve covered getting started online and making passive income with Pat Flynn in the first podcast. We covered guerrilla marketing techniques with Barry Plaskow in the second podcast.

For this one,we are talking to Viv Craske about Facebook Marketing for Small Businesses. Hope you find this useful, don’t forget to leave your comments below…

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https://www.smallbusinessunleashed.com/sbu-003-podcast-facebook-marketing-strategies/feed/ 2 This is the third Small Business Unleashed Podcast. We've covered getting started online and making passive income with Pat Flynn in the first podcast. We covered guerrilla marketing techniques with Barry Plaskow in the second podcast. - For this one, This is the third Small Business Unleashed Podcast. We've covered getting started online and making passive income with Pat Flynn in the first podcast. We covered guerrilla marketing techniques with Barry Plaskow in the second podcast. For this one,we are talking to Viv Craske about Facebook Marketing for Small Businesses. Hope you find this useful, don't forget to leave your comments below... Chris Green no 23:18
Why Blogging Can Boost Your Business Profits https://www.smallbusinessunleashed.com/blogging-for-small-busines/ https://www.smallbusinessunleashed.com/blogging-for-small-busines/#comments Tue, 29 Nov 2011 17:37:38 +0000 Andy Calloway https://www.smallbusinessunleashed.com/?p=423

Whenever I talk to a business that is considering taking their products online or boosting their current online presence, the first thing I ask is “have you got a blog?” Sometimes the answer is “what’s a blog?” but many times it’s “I started one, but I ran out of things to say.”

Can you believe that people run out of things to say? Well, it’s true – they do and so their blog sites there with an old date on it and so it gets ignored by both people and Google. Some would argue that it’s best not to have a blog at all rather than have one sitting in an almost catatonic state where everyone can see that you haven’t been bothered to update it for such a long time. I would tend to agree.

So why bother with a blog? Can it really bring you any more profits and does it matter to Google and people? The answer is obviously a loud and very shouty “YES”.

Blogs have been used by many people now to promote their products to a wider audience but their very nature means they have a lot more value than simply getting a bit of information out – they appear as a friendlier window onto your business and therefore as a softer sell to those who are reading them.

For example, many corporate websites have news and information about their products and services spread all over their website, but this is usually marketing-friendly content that has passed through many filters before it’s been published and eventually consumed. However a blog seems to be far more relaxed and as it should include content that wouldn’t normally make it to the news pages – for example news about fund raising or things the teams within the business has been up to – it’s a far easier read.

The benefits are that you tend to build up more of a rapport with your customers if you use a blog and you can be more frank and open with them. As you are open, they tend to be more believing and eventually more trustworthy. If they trust you, they are more likely to buy from you and therefore you have a greater chance of selling to them.

And that’s the key. If you want to sell to a customer you need to ideally warm them up to the idea of buying from you and the best way to do that isn’t from sales tactics or any kind of trick, it’s simply a matter of being open and honest and as a blog is a great way of doing that – it means you can effectively sell more through your blog than you ever have through your normal site.

 

 

(Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/6066695)
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Getting Over the Fear of Cold Calling https://www.smallbusinessunleashed.com/getting-over-the-fear-of-cold-calling/ https://www.smallbusinessunleashed.com/getting-over-the-fear-of-cold-calling/#comments Thu, 03 Nov 2011 12:37:48 +0000 Joshua Morris https://www.smallbusinessunleashed.com/?p=380 Cold calling is by far the fastest way of getting through to a business owner, securing a meeting and closing a sale. There are many other forms of marketing, but all lead back to the same thing. In the end you are going to have to communicate with the business owner in order to get the sale.

Many people think that by sending out direct mail or emails first, you are somehow warming up the prospect. Well the only way I think you are warming him up, is by making him angry. On the rare occasion that the business owner for some reason called you back, you still have to have a conversation that is focused around you trying to get him to go to a meeting with you.

So why not just jump right in and try to make the cold call and get the meeting first. It’s the fastest way of getting to the business owner, and by 3 minutes you can have a meeting in your pocket. The two biggest reasons why people don’t cold call is the fear of rejection, and not knowing what to say. In this article I will just discuss the fear because I think that even if you know what to say, this fear will still keep you from cold calling, and stop you getting the clients you need.

The best way to overcome the fear fast is by realising that cold calling is not meant to be seen just one cold call at a time. Look at your cold calls as groups of calls, and the fear of rejection goes right out the window. Affiliate marketers get an average of 1% conversion rate, which means a 99% rejection rate, but they rejoice for every sale made. That is because they are looking at the visitors as groups, 100 visitors = a sale.

You should look at cold calling in the same way, but for you the conversion rates will be much higher. You can get 30% of your cold calls turning into meetings, and meetings are just easy to close. If the business owner agrees to a meeting, you know you are in with a very good shot.

So when you get rejected, and you will, remember that’s its a marketing method that has to be looked at in groups. If I told you that you would have to make 50 calls tomorrow, but you WILL get 5 meetings out of it, would you do it? Even though you know you will have to face 45 rejections, its worth it to get those quality meetings. Remember this is a very high conversion rate so you are succeeding faster and easier than most of the other marketers out there trying to promote their SEM businesses.

While the Direct mail stacks up on the desk, the emails build up in their spam box, and the lovely flyers are lining their bins, your cold call will get through, you will get the sale, and you will make money.

 

Photo by HowardLake

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Soaring with Eagles https://www.smallbusinessunleashed.com/soaring-with-eagles/ https://www.smallbusinessunleashed.com/soaring-with-eagles/#comments Tue, 25 Oct 2011 13:29:17 +0000 David Holland https://www.smallbusinessunleashed.com/?p=367 So what are the principles of flight? In order to fly you need lift, in aircraft the lift is provided by the motion of the wings through the air, it is the design of the wing that creates the lift.

The concept is very simple – the wing of an aircraft is curved. As the wing moves through the air, air passes over the wing – both above it and below…

The air that goes over the top of the wing has further to travel and becomes less dense, and the air pressure is correspondingly lower. At the point where the difference between the two pressures is great enough to lift the weight of the aircraft – the plane will rise into the air. This is why planes need a runway…

So there are two main components to achieving flight;

1. Pressure on the bottom of a wing.

2. Vacuum or reduced pressure on the top of a wing.

The third component is usually that of motion to create the effect – fixed wing aircraft have engines to push them through the air and create the lift whilst helicopters spin the wings themselves in order to create the lift.

The final component of a successful flight is having a destination in mind so that the flight becomes significant and useful outside of merely proving the effects of aerodynamics.

So how does this help us in achieving success in our own personal and business lives. What are the fundamental principles that we need to recognise such that we can metaphorically fly as high as we want and achieve whatever we choose..?

The four main principles that apply to the achievement of actual flight apply to the achievement of anything.

We need;

  1. Motion
  2. Pressure
  3. Vacuum
  4. Destination

How do we achieve these principles and what do we need to do first..?

The Gurus will tell you that you have to start with your destination in mind, that without that you will end up somewhere but it really doesn’t matter where. I understand this, however, I didn’t know what I wanted to do when I was younger, in fact I don’t know exactly what I want to do now – it is the journey that excites me and the possibilities it generates.

Motion

It is the activity you take to get your business or your life started. It can of course be the setting of a goal or destination, but a destination of itself does not achieve anything. Taking action, getting busy with learning, building relationships, networking and selling your ideas all creates motion

Pressure

We all need pressure in our lives; the pressure to achieve, the pressure not to fail. We can either apply the pressure to ourselves or we can have someone apply the pressure to us and hold us accountable. Too much pressure can of course be debilitating and we all have our own limits and levels that we can sustain – but where there is zero pressure there will be zero lift.

Vacuum

We have to create space for ourselves to move into when the pressure is applied. We can create a vacuum in our lives by setting goals and objectives, by having conditional rewards that we will have for ourselves only when we achieve a milestone.

Destination

Isn’t it true that until you have clarity of view, you can’t see where you want to go? The destination you choose when you are on the ground will be limited by the horizon you can see from your vantage point. When you achieve flight, and your altitude increases so does your perspective; I guarantee that once you are flying high your choice of destination will change.

So in order to achieve success we have to recognise and balance the four principles and recognise that whilst we may not like the pressure, feel uncomfortable with the vacuum, or not want to do whatever it takes to achieve motion towards our destination; it is exactly these issues and opportunities in our lives that will enable us to achieve the success we choose.

 

Picture by Dazzie D

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Measuring the success of your website… the easy way. https://www.smallbusinessunleashed.com/website-success/ https://www.smallbusinessunleashed.com/website-success/#comments Sun, 23 Oct 2011 20:38:38 +0000 Nathan Littleton https://www.smallbusinessunleashed.com/?p=363 In this article, we’ll take a look at why you need to be measuring your website’s successes and failures, ways of doing so, and how you can make improvements based on this information.

Why bother?

For most businesses, investing in a new website or having an existing website improved represents a big commitment of time, resources and money. So it stands to reason that it would be essential for the website to meet the goals you set with your web designer. You did set goals, right?

Setting goals

If you didn’t, that’s the starting point in measuring the success of your website: having a point in the distance to aim for. That might include a target number of visitors, number of enquires/online purchases or number of article views. It depends entirely on your business and why you decided you needed a website in the first place, but whatever it is, make sure you set them!

Next, write them down. Whether the well-known ‘Harvard Goal Setting’ study of 1953 is mythical or not, it has been proven in several studies since then that one is more likely to achieve specific, written goals than verbalised or merely idealised goals. Website goals are no different to personal ones in that whatever we set our mind to and concentrate our efforts on will be the most likely area to see improvement. And if you’re working with your web designer on a long term basis, they can help you set achievable goals and be held accountable for playing their part in helping you to meet them.

How to measure your website’s performance

The next stage in measuring your website’s vitals lies with the technical systems behind it. There are many statistics and analytics packages available online, from simple, free systems to advanced options which might set you back a couple of pounds a month. The exception to this, and my recommendation, is Google Analytics – a tool offering advanced website statistics, automatic e-mail reporting and campaign management with no charge. Google’s offering has become something of an industry standard, making it difficult to justify paying for a complex analytics package when arguably the best option is free. You might like to seek the help of a geek to set this up. It’s not the most difficult of tasks, but it’s important to have it setup correctly to make sure you’re seeing accurate statistics.

What should I be measuring?

This depends entirely in your business, and so it’s important to think carefully about what’s important to you. The goals you set from the beginning will help you to decide on short-term objectives. For example, if you decided that you wanted to make £5000 in website sales over the first year, you might break this down into 12 months, making £300 in sales in Month 1, £500 in Month 2… etc. Take into account that your website may not instantly bring in the millions of visitors you’re looking for, search engine optimisation and efficient marketing (both online and offline) will bring your audience to you.

However, here is some food for thought on what you might want to measure:

  • The number of visitors you get per month
  • The average number of pages those visitors view
  • Your bounce rate: How many visitors come to your website and then disappear before viewing anything else?
  • The average time spent on your website, and each page – these stats should give you an interesting view of how well your website is converting visitors into ‘engaged visitors’ and how valuable, or how rubbish, your content is
  • The most popular pages – if you’ve spent valuable time and money on a new advertising campaign for your new range of swimwear, why are more people viewing your exclusive line of rubber ducks?
  • THE BIG ONE: How many of these visitors actually do what you want them to? That might be to buy, contact you for more information, click specific links, or anything else. How many are doing it?

Conclusion

Measuring these vital statistics should give you valuable information that helps you to make decisions. If you did spend money on that new advertising campaign for your new range of swimwear, and it’s not getting the results you wanted, you should be looking at how effective the campaign is or how easy it is to find those products on your website.

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Don’t talk to strangers https://www.smallbusinessunleashed.com/business-networking-2/ https://www.smallbusinessunleashed.com/business-networking-2/#comments Mon, 10 Oct 2011 07:35:08 +0000 Phil Jones https://www.smallbusinessunleashed.com/?p=344 When many of us are looking for new business we can find ourselves in the mysterious world of business networking; but for most, attending open networking events is a less than enjoyable experience. We all know that to find new customers we must speak with more people, so why do so many of us find this such a daunting task?

The reason we find this difficult is that we were all conditioned as children by a simple sequence of words- “Don’t talk to strangers”. The first challenge is to defy that conditioning and I’ve found that the easiest way to resolve this is to understand that pretty much everybody else is feeling the same as you.

Getting over the initial ‘fear’ is one thing, however, to succeed in a network here are some simple rules that have worked for me, and I am sure if you choose to employ them they could have significant benefit to you too.

1. Have a plan.

Regardless of the size of the event it is unlikely that you can develop lasting business relationships with all in the room and I am certain that there will be some people who will be of considerable more value than others. Set a goal and stick to it, It may be to make a number of new connections or to set a meeting with a specific person. Just turning up and seeing what happens is leaving your success to chance.

2. Know what you are going to talk about.

Starting a conversation is the hardest thing to do when entering a room full of strangers. To open conversation the easiest place to start is talk about a subject that you all have in common. The one subject that you all have in common is the event you are at. As such plan a series of questions related to the event.

3. Talk of how you help people.

“So what do you do then?” This is a question that you are almost guaranteed to be asked yet each time I witness it the receiver of the question looks startled and bemused and hesitantly gives their job title or profession as the answer. Your goal from this question is to open a conversation by being interesting to them. So when asked this question please rephrase it in your head to “How do you help people?” and answering that question instead.

4. Sell to the room.

This goes against what you are often told when networking yet is based on the simple reality that your best referrals come from existing customers. Therefore to gain a quantity of referrals you need a good number of customers within your network. Now this does not mean forcing your products or services on people but simply having a simple entry level offering that makes it easy for people to try your offerings.

By utilising some if not all of the above tips I am sure you will reap significant returns. Good luck in your networking!

 

 

 

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What Running A Marathon Taught Me About Running A Business https://www.smallbusinessunleashed.com/what-running-a-marathon-taught-me-about-running-a-business/ https://www.smallbusinessunleashed.com/what-running-a-marathon-taught-me-about-running-a-business/#comments Fri, 07 Oct 2011 16:46:39 +0000 Pete Dickson https://www.smallbusinessunleashed.com/?p=339 Recently, at the time of writing, I ran the Berlin marathon. It was the second marathon I’d run in the space of one year, and I ran it 45 minutes quicker than the first time around.

On reflection, I learnt… or rather I was reminded of a few lessons about running my business from training for this second marathon. And I’d like to share them with you…

Winners Start With The End In Mind

It may be cliched, though it’s absolutely true. If you want to achieve anything in business, or life for that matter, getting a clear picture in your mind of what the end result looks like is of paramount importance.

Otherwise, how do you know what you’re aiming for… and what success looks like when you get there?

For me, with Berlin, my “end in mind” was to run the marathon in under 4 hours.

Now, I wanted to do that in my first marathon but, as we’ll see later, starting with the end in mind is only the beginning.

Why, Why, Why?

Figuring out where you want to go is important. Knowing why you want to get there is vital.

Why?

Because if your “why” isn’t big and clear enough, you may find it really tough to keep going when “stuff” happens and gets in the way. It’s rare for any kind of journey to be completely plain sailing, so a clear vision of why you want a particular end result helps enormously to keep on keeping on.

For the Berlin marathon, my “end in mind” was important to me simply because I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it. I’ve started and not finished too many things in my life. This wasn’t going to be “another of Pete’s failures”.

Build A Plan

Once you know what success looks like, and you know why you want it, you get to ask yourself the question… “How am I going to get there?” And don’t be afraid to get, and pay for, outside help, particularly from people who’ve done what you want to achieve.

Because I’d already tried, and failed, to run a marathon in under 4 hours, I knew I should probably do something different in my training for Berlin. I turned to a running coach who had developed a six month training programme with the specific aim of running a sub-4hr marathon.

Get Discipline

So far, it’s easy! Once you’ve figured out what you want, why you want it and found or built a plan that you’re confident will get you there… that’s when the “rubber hits the road” (sorry about the cliches!).

If you don’t execute your plan, you won’t get your end result. Simple as.

And execution requires discipline. Trust me, I’d much rather stay in bed at 5am on a rainy morning than hit the road for a 5 mile training run… but this is where you get to test how big your “why” really is, and how important it is to get to your “end in mind”. If it’s big and important, you’ll do what you said you were going to do. If it’s not, you won’t. Simples!

Relax, Enjoy, Have Fun!

If you’ve followed the previous steps, you can relax and enjoy yourself because you’ve done everything possible to get what you want.

At the start of my training for Berlin, running at the pace required to run a sub-4hr marathon, just over 9min miles, was at the limit of my ability.

When it came to actually running the marathon, I comfortably ran 8min 26sec miles to cross the finish line in 3hr 41min. And during the race I danced past most of the live bands and high-fived a lot of spectators! You CAN have fun on the journey, and still get what you want!

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How to Get More Referrals https://www.smallbusinessunleashed.com/how-to-get-more-referrals/ https://www.smallbusinessunleashed.com/how-to-get-more-referrals/#comments Thu, 29 Sep 2011 12:19:16 +0000 David Holland https://www.smallbusinessunleashed.com/?p=334 Referrals are probably the best types of Leads that we can receive in business, and unfortunately one of the most overlooked – our rate of conversion will be high, and the type of people we get introduced to will be consistent, and best of all they are FREE…

So here are my Top 5 ways to build your referral based business – the SPROUT process…

1. Suppliers

Referrals should come from your Clients and Suppliers. I make it a condition of working with my company that all my suppliers bring people to my events, promote my services and introduce me to their network. This way I don’t have any overheads – just a series of Marketing Investments that brings me a great return.

2. Positioning

Make sure that at the start of a customer or supplier relationship you are absolutely clear that you will be looking for introductions. I have found that most people are absolutely fine with this – providing of course you always deliver value to the people they introduce you to.

3. Reciprocation

The best way to attract a referral is to give one. Always look for new clients and contacts to introduce to your suppliers and customers and those within your professional network. Give written testimonials to all your clients and suppliers; guess what they will do – reciprocate with referrals and testimonials for your business.

4. Offence

Sometimes saying thank you and doing a great job for a referred introduction will be enough, indeed paying for Referrals directly can actually be offensive to some people. The reward should fit the referral and be congruent with your business , your ethics and culture. Try giving people position rewards – Referrer of the Month for example and send them a couple of cinema tickets, publicising the fact they have given a referral makes them feel good and is good for them and their business.

5. Update

Always update the person who introduced you about how the Referral is working out. Remember, you are effectively representing them and good or bad, their reputation will be affected by your behaviour. Communicate consistently and they will feel comfortable about passing you more Referrals.

6. Timing

When your client or supplier has achieved something amazing with your help; that is the time to ask them for an introduction. “I really enjoy working with you and your company; who else do you know that we could help that is just like you who would also be a great client for us..?”

 

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How to find out if you are wasting hours on Social Media https://www.smallbusinessunleashed.com/how-to-find-out-if-you-are-wasting-hours-on-social-media/ https://www.smallbusinessunleashed.com/how-to-find-out-if-you-are-wasting-hours-on-social-media/#comments Mon, 26 Sep 2011 11:53:18 +0000 Philip Oakley https://www.smallbusinessunleashed.com/?p=325 Jack Welch the famous CEO of GE said “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it. If you can’t manage it, you can’t improve it.” which he also translated to “if you can’t measure it why would you do it”

This can and should, in my opinion, be applied to Social Media for business, where many businesses have asked what’s the point or will it work for me? Many businesses now track and measure their web site analytics to see their visitor numbers, what their popular pages are and may even be tracking ‘Bounce Rate’ (ask Chris Green) as one of their web KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators). Now with many more businesses investing time and effort in Social Media (Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin etc ) how many of them are tracking and measuring their activity, interactions and results?

New Social Media Analytics tools to track and measure performance are appearing all the time but before you start spending money on these solutions I would look at what you can get from the main products themselves:

Facebook

If you are business has a Facebook page you will have access to ‘Facebook Insights’ these pages will show you page views and post views over time in colour coded graphs including showing you which content is getting the most interaction.

Linkedin

With the new Business Profile section of Linkedin there is also a tab for Analytics showing how many views there has been of your company website from how many unique visitors.

Twitter

Twitter has been promising their own analytics platform for some time and it looks like something will be available soon (Twitter have recently purchased Backtweets a Twitter Analytics service)but their are many 3rd party solutions available to understand a bit more about your tweeting. One of my favourites is https://www.Hootsuite.com which is not only Twitter and Facebook client, similar to Tweetdeck, to help you post across multiple accounts but it also will show you analytics on your Twitter account including how many clicks you have got on your links.

Combined

Once you feel comfortable with Social Media Analytics you can start to combine some of these statistics to see if they are really benefiting your business. Hootsuite is just one of the services that allows you to combine Facebook, Twitter and Google Analytics. For example you can see your Twitter activity and Google analytics overlayed on a graph to see if your increased Twitter activity can be seen to produce more visits to your website.

Conclusions

Maybe some will say just like Social Media itself that looking at the analytics is a big waste of time. I would argue that the effectiveness of any business communication and promotion can only be known if you measure it and measure regularly and against your relevant goals such as website visitors, newsletter subscribers or actual sales.

  • But whether looking at Web Site Analytics or Social Media Analytics never forgot the fundamentals
  • Learn what the reports mean (get assistance if you need it)
  • Measure regularly and consistently
  • Look for trends and try to understand any possible causes and their effects
  • React and change things because of what you learn – that’s the point
  • Set goals and try not to lose sight of these when looking at the numbers
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