Which social platform works best for business?

socialiconsAlmost every business owner asks the question ‘What social platform works best for business?’ We hear it time and time again.

The reason they ask is if they are going to embrace social media, they want to spend the least amount of time with the most benefit. Of course this is true of almost everything a business owner does. With social media, however it is not usually this simple.

In truth – there is no right answer to the question ‘which social platform works best for business?’

Here are a few qualifiers we use before making recommendations for our customers, not necessarily in this order:
1. How tech-savvy is the client or the staff member assigned to social media marketing for the business?
2. Does the client currently use facebook personally and how comfortable are they with it? How many friends do they have and the percentage of personal friends vs business friends?
3. How much of their business do they conduct on their cell phones? Do they receive and respond to emails, read news items, etc. on their cell phones?
4. I ask to see their existing marketing material for insight in to their current marketing efforts. I look to see if they provide ‘useful’ information or simply a sales pitch.
5. Is the client a story-teller?
6. Of course, the industry or nature of their business is important as well
7. Target market: consumers, b2b, etc?
8. And finally, we ask if the business hosts events, offers workshops, etc.

There are actually quite a few more questions we ask, however this is a good beginning. We ask these questions to get a feel for what the business would be capable of accomplishing by utilizing social media in the most efficient manner and with the least effort possible. Social media works better if it comes naturally.

How do we determine what to recommend: Many times the recommendations are based on the answers above.

For example — We are not likely to recommend twitter to a business owner that never uses a cell phone. Twitter tends to be more instantaneous and requires a certain amount of diligence in responses, sharing and viewing of tweets. Twitter is just easier with a cell phone in our experience. It can be managed from a computer as well, however – the twitter accounts that do extremely well in attracting followers and engaging those followers are those where their operator is always active, providing photos and tweets on the go.

If you have questions about social media, or would like an opinion about your business, please email debi@ydvgroup.com with your question, or for a no obligation mini-analysis of your marketing.


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Great tool for analyzing your facebook business page

likealyzerHere is a very helpful tool for helping you analyze your facebook business page. It not only analyzes the page in a simplistic form for ease of understanding, it gives you hints and tips as to how to increase likes to your page. It also gives you information on how to create more engaging posts and tells you how you compare to others in your industry.

LikeAlyzer by meltwater is amazingly simple to use. You will love it.

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Working the web

How a website makeover can help Canadian companies soar

(NC) In a few short years, the Internet has become indispensable for business. Today, a website is a vital tool for many companies. However, Canadian entrepreneurs lag in using the Internet to boost sales and reach customers. Only 40% of small businesses in Canada had a website in 2012, according to Statistics Canada. And even those with a website often don’t use it effectively.

It means Canadian businesses are missing out on huge opportunities, says Michel Bergeron, Senior Vice President, Marketing and Public Affairs, at the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC). “This is how customers find products and services today, when more than 50% of the purchasing decision process takes place online. A website is your digital storefront and lets you showcase your products 24 hours a day to a worldwide market.”

Start with a plan

To get started, step back and create an online strategy for your website, Bergeron suggests. It doesn’t have to be fancy or incredibly detailed. The idea is to sit with key staff and hammer out your website’s goals, target audience and key messages.

You don’t need to invest in a big, costly website at the outset, Bergeron says. Free and low-cost services such as WordPress and GoDaddy allow businesses to design and update a site quickly, with no programming know-how. Social media pages also let companies promote themselves with no upfront cost.

Make sure your site is aligned with your online strategy and tells visitors the essentials of your business—what your company does, what your main products are, and what makes you special. Also, prominently display your contact info and a “call to action”—for example, a button or pop-up that invites visitors to call you or sign up for a newsletter.

“As you become more sophisticated, you can expand your site and add content,” Bergeron says.

If you use one of the free or low-cost website design services, it’s easy and cheap to test different layouts, photos and text to see what gets the best reaction from web visitors, he adds.

“That’s why digital marketing is so powerful. It gives you great tools to measure, learn and optimize.”

Website makeover

George Tsopeis says a website makeover helped his employer, Zenith Jet, boost annual sales growth from single digits to double digits. Zenith Jet is a Canadian aviation services consulting company whose customers are almost all outside the country. They often get their first impression of the company from Zenith Jet’s website.

But the company’s site was bland and dated. It was bogged down with too much text, but gave only sparse details about Zenith’s services. The company hired a website design firm to improve its site and then brought in a web consultant to help develop a strategy for getting more prospective clients to visit the site.

The result: a new site with a clean, sharp look. Stunning aerial photos pull in visitors on every webpage and underline the fact that Zenith is in the airplane business. The redesign made it easier to quickly find information with a minimum of scrolling and clicking. Zenith’s contact details are prominently displayed on every webpage.

Sprinkled throughout the new site are so-called keywords—terms that Google and other search engines use to rank sites in web searches. Zenith learned that choosing the right keywords is a science—and is critical in ensuring that a company’s site ranks high in web searches.

The changes caused Zenith Jet’s site to shoot up exponentially in web search results—where it had gone virtually unseen—to the top of the first page. “Traffic to our site went up from double digits each day to triple digits,” Tsopeis says.

Even more important, Zenith was finally drawing in the right visitors—ones likely to contact the company and become customers. “To say we hit a homerun is an understatement,” Tsopeis concludes.

Bergeron says Zenith’s experience shows how critical a good website can be for a business. “The first judgement of a brand is online right now.”


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Are you afraid to LIKE and Comment on Facebook?

unfollowpostIf I had a nickel for every time I have been told, ‘yes, I saw your post and wanted to comment, but I didn’t want my email inundated with the responses from everyone else, so I didn’t’, I would be rich!

Did you know! You can shut off email and notifications on specific posts! It is quite simple to do and takes seconds to do.

How? Simple. After you comment on a post, simply click the down arrow that appears beside the post and select ‘unfollow post’. This stops the notifications for future comments after your comments. If you don’t do this, you will get notified each time someone else comments to the same post.

If you truly want to see other’s comments, don’t change anything.

An example of when to ‘unfollow’ a post would be:
Your teenage son posts on facebook some ridiculously silly thing he is about to do. You feel the absolute need to comment, but know your email and phone will start notifying you every few minutes from new comments on the post, given the number of friends your son has that will undoubtedly comment as well.  By clicking the unfollow link after you post your reminder to ‘smartin’ up’, no notifications will come your way.

You can use this for birthday wishes, sympathy messages or controversial posts that you know will get a large response.

The ‘unfollow post’ link is a great feature of facebook to know about. In this way, you may comment a little more often, knowing you can shut off the responses if you do not want the notifications.


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Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) What is it?

So many terms SMB, ROI, CRM. It’s an abbreviated world these days. While many of us are familiar with the first three, do you know CLV? Sure, the title gives it away, but do you know how to calculate the CLV for your client-base?

Most business owners probably have this value for their customers in the back of their minds but have never physically calculated the customer lifetime value for their business.

For those that do not know here are a few questions to help you work out the CLV for your customers.

1. What does your average customer spend with you on a monthly basis? $__________

Multiply question 1 by 12 (12 months) in a year                                      = $_________

2.  How many years do you keep the average customer?                                _________

Multiply your 12 month $ value by the answer to Q#2                          = $__________

This is your Customer Lifetime Value.

Always a good number to know!

I always thought I knew this number. I took the time to calculate it for my business. Wow, was I off — just goes to prove a little bit of leg work, is worth the effort to grow your business!


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Cell phones are changing how we give

Cell phones are changing how we give

Mobile giving

(NC) Since Canadians are known to rally when there’s a good cause – and since most of us have at least one mobile device – take a look at this creative idea that combines both principles.

  The Mobile Giving Foundation Canada (MGFC) allows mobile users to donate $5, $10, $20 or $25 to their favourite charity with a simple text message. A call-to-action may come from an ad on the radio or television, or even on social media, letting donors know they can text a keyword to a specific short code to instantly pledge a donation to a registered charity. The entire donation goes to the recipient charity, and the donation appears as a charge on the donor’s monthly wireless phone bill as a tax exempt charitable gift.

  While many mobile campaigns are initiated by a specific event, as seen with the outpouring of donations for disaster relief following the flooding in Alberta, there are currently 125 registered Canadian charities that offer mobile giving as a part of their ongoing fundraising strategies. Text message donations are very popular as they can be made anytime and anywhere. Since 2010, MGFC has collected $1.6 million for Canadian charities.

  If you would like to make a charitable donation from your mobile phone, or if you are a Canadian non-profit organization that is interested in mobile giving and want more information, visitwww.mobilegiving.ca or contact support@mobilegiving.ca. The Web site also allows mobile users to obtain an official income tax receipt for all donations initiated and completed through text message.


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The Marketing Plan. Do you have one?

The Marketing Plan

Do you have one? 

We Don't Know What We Are DoingJane, walks in to ABC Company offering a full page ad in the local paper for 50% off. Jane tells them how important it is to advertise and considering this is such a great deal at half price, convinces ABC Company to buy the ad. So, now ABC Company has this half price ad, but what do they advertise?

Consider: Does it make sense for the business at this particular moment, or are they simply buying the ad because it is a good deal?

Taking the time to create a marketing plan for your business is well worth the effort. A long-term plan (next 5 years), the current year and quarterly breakdowns should be established. The most detailed will be the monthly plan. This process is much like creating a business plan with concentration on the marketing structure. Take the time to document the plan. It rarely works, if it is in your head.

Stop swimming with the little fish, develop your marketing strategy and get on your way to becoming a BIG fish!

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