Archive | Uncategorized RSS feed for this section

New Year = Time for a revamp!

29 Dec

Your New Year Business Resolution – 5 things to do in 2016

How was 2015 for you and your small business?

January heralds a new start to a new year and that means it is an opportunity to do something to revamp your small business.

Here are 5 things you could do that on the back of what you have achieved in 2015 could bring some benefits in 2016

Update your website

Your website is your window to the world.  Giving your website an update is essential every new year. Making sure your 2016 products, services and prices are up to date is vital.  Changing a few images and bringing some freshness into the website really can make a difference. Then updating the content and ensuring your keywords are in place and just having fresh copy really lift your website and allow your business to lift off further from where you left it in 2015.

Revamp your Social Media

Along with your website your social media is important. Many companies forget that their social media also needs refreshing; a fresh image and some fresh wording describing your business just add some polish.  In 2016 make a concerted effort to use social media more, maybe spend a little time reading up and then putting an effective social media plan in place.

Re Brand

Your brand defines you. If your small business has been around while or even if it has only been operating a short time taking a look at your brand in line with your updated website (see point 5) and making a concerted effort to use social media more really is worthwhile.  A re-branding sounds hard work and sounds painful but having the right brand that conveys the right message about your business could just mean the difference between growing or standing still in 2016.

Plan your year ahead

Failing to plan is planning to fail and a new year is the perfect time to plan the next 12 months for your small business.  Whether you are a one man band or a small team, putting your goals, objectives and milestones down in writing in a formal plan gives your small business direction that is measurable. With a well-planned year and regular updates to the plan throughout the year your business is under control for the next 12 months the right strategic decisions can be made.

Get advice from someone outside your business

For many small businesses hiring a consultant seems like a crazy idea because the money can be spent better elsewhere. Yes this is true but there are plenty of people and organisations such as friends, accountants, chambers of commerce and banks who will give you valuable business advice on a variety of topics that can truly help your business for little or no charge. Nearly everyone knows someone that may be a specialist in marketing, social media, websites, planning or even trading overseas – take a look at your circle of friends, family and business associates and ask someone if they can help you. If you don’t ask you don’t get and you will be amazed at how many people will want to see you a success and who would feel proud to help you be that success.

2016 is going to be an awesome year ahead, these 5 simple tips could make it even more awesome and most of them will cost every little and each will bring outstanding returns on your investment.

We are here specifically for new and fledgling businesses, charities, performers and individuals who need to be in the midst of the Social Media buzz.

                          

Rocoja

Mobile Geddon – Google Algorithm change

21 Apr

This month, Google is implementing a major update to its algorithm that will change the order in which websites are ranked when users search for something from their phone.

The algorithm will start favouring mobile-friendly websites i.e: those that have been optimised to look better & react better on Mobile devices, utilising effect such as larger text & resized images etc.

Google will now be ranking them higher in searches with a “mobile-friendly” note on them.

Rocoja Mobile friendly

Websites that aren’t mobile-friendly will not be ranked as high as they usually were.

This has happened as more & more people are utilising mobile devices to access online content – that includes, shopping & service providers. Therefore Google wants to ensure the user still has a pleasurable experience & only wants the sites that are easy to use ranked highly..

These changes were announced at the beginning of the year, giving businesses ample opportunity to get cracking on updating their sites, making the changes that are necessary to keep their sites from disappearing from results lists.

However many small businesses may be adversely affected purely because they do not have a “webmaster” or a company managing their site & the algorithm change may have bypassed the MD’s / owners completely..

This is where the new buzzword “Mobile-geddon” has come from, as it may have a catastrophic effect on businesses that haven’t caught up with these changes.

I think the businesses most at risk will be the smaller ones, who rely on specific area searches – for instance a member of the public searching for a restaurant in their area, will now NOT see a local restaurant if it hasn’t updated its site & made the changes Google requested.

MobilegeddonOverall Google is making the user experience key. It’s no good if they point them to your site & they cannot actually see it as it hasn’t been optimized for mobile viewing, so here in lies the reason for Mobile-geddon.

If YOU are worried by this or need a fast, effective & reasonably priced solution for your website please contact us for some advice info@Rocoja.co.uk

www.Rocoja.co.uk

                          

3) Quick Tips for your Social Media campaigns

19 Mar

You need a good Social Media strategy nowadays.

Social media business

With Consultants like us, creating great content for our clients; small businesses are now, more than ever needing to ensure their Social Media is relevant & engaging;

And while I will still maintain, employing a professional is a much better (& safer) option, here is some help for all you “go it aloners” out there.

 

1)         Pick Your platforms carefully – not every business needs to be on every social media platform.Logos

Some businesses should be on visually rich sites such as Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube, while others  are more suited to the text only “quick-info” style of Twitter. You MUST understand your audience, do some research, have a look at what they are interacting with, before making the plunge, as a badly managed Social Media account can be detrimental to how prospective clients / customers perceive you.

 

2)        Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should! aka – Avoid the hard sell!

The main thing I try to explain to my small businesses is that Social Media is not about selling.  Your followers & friends will not thank you for appearing in their timeline extolling the virtues of your business, time after time & they will “switch -off”. I know we are all proud of our business & want to shout it from the rooftops BUT your Twitter / Facebook is probably not the best place to do that over & over again. A little bit of self-promo is ok once in a while, but try to make your overall strategy about enhancing your followers experience, encouraging them to share out the information you are bringing to them. remember although you see a screen when you post your content, the recipients are human & want to be spoken to as such.

3)         Dont think its a free for all online!

This is by no means a “free” marketing tool. In fact Social media is expensive! Just ask those people or companies who have been sued or have been ruined because Tweets sent were deemed to be offensive. Some famous examples of a Social Media storm have included – Courtney Love , Marlon Wayans , US HighSchool & these cases. Be careful what you post, make sure you are being truthful.

Social Media

Some other great blogs around this subject are here:-

Is Bigger always Better?       Social Media – DIY?       The 4 Platforms I love!

Social media language.        Should I Auto It?

 

Or contact us for some advice

www.Rocoja.co.uk

We are here specifically for new and fledgling businesses.

                          

 

 

 

 

 

The language of Social Media

9 Mar

Personally, building a Social Media business means I spend as much time on my computer as many of my friends spend “at Work” in a “Proper Job”.

In fact I spend much more time now, as now instead of reaching for a milky drink when Insomnia hits at 3am, I reach for my trusty Toshiba Laptop & get online to see what’s happening & if I (or any of my clients) should be a part of it.

You see – social media NEVER sleeps… Luckily neither do I (OK, I do, but just 3 /4 hours a night).

I think my family & friends are probably a bit tired of hearing how passionate I am about Twitter, Pinterest & social media in general, however it’s very different to someone coming home from a day’s work, effervescing about the flowers in their shop, or the lovely people that came into their retail outlet. It’s different because is so hard to quantify what my job involves.

In plain terms, I write articles & blog posts, I tweet, I post updates, write reviews, in fact lately I’ve branched out into more of a “PR” role for some of my clients.

Social Media

But overall It’s  very difficult to explain how those things above translate to building a brand/clientele to someone who doesn’t understand social media yet. (Something I can help you understand if you wish).

Social media is vital for business development, marketing, customer service & building a brand!

So, I work as a “Social media consultant” – well at least that’s what the insurance company who insures me categorises it as. In my eyes I am an additional service to small businesses who want to utilise word of mouth to build their business; but have accepted that word of mouth has changed forever to “tweet & update”!

To that end I have become bi-lingual, I have to translate between two worlds — that of the social media culture and that of the people have little to no experience with it. This is exciting & frustrating at the same time, but extremely rewarding when a client gets to see their customer base increase & they themselves can understand how it’s finally happened.

This is why the Bi-lingual part of my role is so important.

My clients may be in unfamiliar territory when it comes to marketing per-se, let alone social media marketing. They may be uncomfortable with change & unable to ratify the making of on-line relationships to finding & retaining new business. Many of my clients are used to the tried & trusted way of building relationships, Trade shows, Networking meetings, Door-knocking, Telesales etc. The new language of social media is very foreign & it’s a massive bonus to be able to translate it into an easily understandable language.

Introducing social media to a small business brings me the challenge of getting people to imagine the possibilities of something they’ve never experienced & I love it.

www.Rocoja.co.uk

Do I need Social Media? Click here

We are here specifically for new and fledgling businesses.

                          

Does your New Business need Social Media?

27 Mar Rocoja Limited

It used to be that a website was enough on-line presence for a company, but now as peoples lives are more stressful & busy, customers are turning to places such as Twitter & Facebook for recommendations of services they need.

ImageThis is partly due to the advent of very complex “Smart-phones” which enable the accessing of social media on the move but also many people (potential & existing customers) on-line feel they are well within their rights to be very honest when recommending a service.

Therefore, prospective users of services feel they can source valuable & honest recommendations.

Businesses that haven’t yet grasped how important this avenue of communication is are sadly falling behind, or worse, becoming prey to large swish Media Agencies who promise many things & charge a hell of a lot!

Also the world of conventional advertising is becoming more aggressive to cope with this shift, which has led to more cold calls & more inventive sales techniques from the traditional outlets such as Magazines/TV & Radio.

They have felt the shift & are desperately trying to recoup their losses.

Again this is something a Social Media naive small business may fall foul of.

However one of the ways that people (potential customers) want to feel valued & connected is through communication & feeling personally valued..

When a person visits a business’s website that has lots of relevant information and complete product and contact information, this of course gives the “what” they are seeking BUT they can get that from a thousand other websites also. Yes, of course this part of on-line marketing should never be overlooked but it should never be the only part of your on-line presence.

Now it is not just about having a website but about a business’s overall presence on the web.

To complete your presence you need to establish a connection and familiarity with people that makes them feel as if they are a part of your world & important to you.

Social Media really is very important & can have a massive effect if used correctly.

I am a small business myself & totally appreciate the challenges small businesses face;

I work on trust, The businesses I work with are almost like a family network now.

So I am helping them to build their “family” of prospective clients/suppliers/sales avenues/networks.

Of course, they could put my recommendations into practice themselves, or indeed take the plan I devise for them to another company. However I am hopeful that in this current economic climate, Small Businesses will appreciate my passion for what I do & realise this will be completely input into their business should I be involved.

We – the small business owner/director/manager are the backbone of the UK & I truly believe are the way we will rise from this recession.

We should support each other.

www.Rocoja.co.uk

Karin

Please join Rocoja on any of the social media platforms below

Image  Image  Image  Image  Image  Image

Or contact us via

 

To Pinterest or not to Pinterest

8 Mar

So, what is Pinterest?

Pinterest started out as a forum for collecting (online) images of things that inspired the user, it has since evolved into a hugely successful marketing tool for businesses as well as individuals.

There are so many uses….

Personally – Its a Virtual Bulletin board 🙂

For instance, what do you do if you are online and see an image of something you love and don’t want to forget?

You could copy & paste it into an email & send it to yourself or you could save the page in your bookmarks (hoping the owner didn’t remove it) or print out the image & tuck it away somewhere. All seem like way to much effort –

Well here’s where Pinterest comes into its own!

Simply “pin” the image to a board you have created. You can save images of Wallpaper designs you like, Cars you wish you could afford, Flowers you want in your wedding bouquet, the list is endless.  Pinterest saves all of your pins on your account so that you can access them easily. You can also follow friends and “repin” things that they have already saved.

Of course you need a Pinterest account BUT its as simple as heading to www.Pinterest.com & applying. You can choose the names of the boards you want & whether they are public or private. Next step is to install a “Pin-it” button on your browser.

This magic button will allow you to “pin” things straight from your browser to your pinterest account.- when you’re in your Pinterest The Pin-It Button is available from Pinterest in the “about” section.

So – Thats all great if you want to have a personal account & “pin” inspiration for a Wedding/Honeymoon, or Pictures of Houses or clothes you like BUT what about for business?

Pinterest has quickly become the third-most popular social networking site in the world, behind only Facebook and Twitter.

The success is closely linked to its simplicity.  Retailers and businesses have warmed to this format extremely quickly & because Pinterest is all about sharing different things you find online, its immensely satisfying as a small business owner, to see users pinning  your products / pins.

BUT its not a solo game – You will not be very popular if you try to sell your services / items only to followers, You need to interact with users & create a Brand online.

Boards showcasing other companies / related products & services to your own will be well received, as will re-pins of the “competition”. It sounds at odds with old marketing methods, but the whole process is based on “sharing” & so you need to be seen to be interacting with like-minded businesses & potential customers, to truly get the full benefit of Pinterest.

Image ImageImageImage

The other beautiful thing about Pinterest is the diversity of businesses on there – From Jewellery companies, Social Media companies, Designers, Property companies to Bakers, Artists & Charities.

I believe Pinterest can be adapted to benefit most businesses. Its not just for those that are very visual – Such as Clothing/Make-up…

However – For business, it needs a targeted & professional approach to ensure your reach is maximised.

Contact me if you would like further information.

Please join us by clicking the links below

Facebook Rocoja     Rocoja Google +     Rocoja linked in      Twitter Rocoja

 

or here –

Karin

www.Rocoja.co.uk

email us here – Info@Rocoja.co.uk

Facebook – Rocoja Limited

Twitter – @RocojaSurrey

g+ – Rocoja Limited

 

Tips for Success in 2014

7 Jan

Is 2014 going to be a great year for your business?

Here are 5 quicktips which will help!

  1. Stay Positive! – Above all, This is so important, your mood, attitude & persona really affects others around you;
  2. What makes you Unique? – Ideally you want to be recognised as a “specialist” in your field, or as having an advantage over others.
  3. Do people know you are there? – Get your business out-there. No matter what type of business you are in, get it on-line.
  4. Is cheaper better? – NO! Understand that people who buy purely on price are less likely to remain loyal, so don’t do yourself a disservice by trying to undercut competitors & then finding yourself working harder for less!
  5. Are you a Wiki-Guru? – Do you “know everything”? – NO! So don’t try & do everything, ask friends or family for help. Also employing other people who have a “specialist” knowledge (See tip 2 above) is key to success, as they will bring a passion for what they do to your business.

Lastly, just remember, there is no guaranteed plan for success, otherwise we would all be doing it BUT there is no journey without a step being taken!

Please have a look at some other pages for more tips & tricks:-

Image Social Media Tips   Image Small Business Social Media

Social Media really is very important & can have a massive effect if used correctly.

Please join us by clicking the links below

Facebook Rocoja     Rocoja Google +     Rocoja linked in      Twitter Rocoja

Gathering Intel

14 Nov

Part of the services I offer is the “Build a Database” service.

This includes capturing details of followers/friends (where possible) on FB / Twitter & placing these details in a basic format

(more commonly excel). This can be from scratch or from an existing list of followers.

This usually doesn’t cause much of an issue as I (or one of my colleagues) am the one compiling the list from scratch & 99% of the time this is done electronically (straight onto excel).

However I have recently come across a number of small businesses which are run from home offices etc, where the owner / director is still keeping manual records. This is something I happily transfer to electronic however I have been astounded at the level of sensitive information people have lying about in their home-offices.

I’ve seen folders full of names & addresses; customers scribbled down in haste and with information so sensitive its astounding.

Collecting customer information is VITAL for small business, a basic database is essential for mail-shots/loyalty schemes and information such as this used correctly can breed customer loyalty & promote sales.

However you must never forget your responsibilty to keep this information secure.

If you handle personal information about individuals, you have a number of legal obligations to protect that information under the Data Protection Act 1998.

see :- Data Protection

Please email me with any request for quotes on how to transfer your paper files to a basic database easily if you are in SWLondon or Surrey.

Karin@Rocoja.co.uk

Image

a Small Business supporting fellow small businesses.

Oh & PS – Try to make the writing easy to decipher – Pretty please

Join Rocoja here

Image  Image

Image  Active-Twitter-icon

Auto-tweets – A big fail – or a big help?

5 Sep

Depending on who you ask, people have differing & very strong views on whether Auto-Tweet companies are a good or bad thing.

Most consultants, like myself, who actually research their clients, spend time with them & then Tweet as if they were a member of their business, feel auto-tweet companies are a nightmare. However the owners of these companies must believe they are relevant, as must the companies that chose to use them.

But lets examine the process before I cloud judgements.

What are you as a business trying to say to your potential customers? 

Twitter BirdIs it “Hi there, this is us & what we are about & we would love it if you spent some time getting to know us on-line & we will in turn learn about you”.

or 

Is it “Hi, Want to know about us? We automate our tweets to pretendImage we are on-line & interacting with you, when we aren’t, But we don’t care, we just hope it hooks you”.

Ok, maybe I’m being a bit harsh, but as someone who has been pinged awake at 1am by a badly scheduled auto-message more than once; Its so irritating to see a timeline full of obviously automated, computer generated mundane, thoughtless, hash-tag full tweets.

As someone who is honest about the level of growth achievable when using Twitter, I am horrified when a client says they are going to get a company to automate their Twitter – as more is just …….GOOD… Isnt it?…

Quantity versus Quality seems to be the crux of the sales pitch.

I’ve seen the results of this first hand, timelines full of the same generic gumph (Which doesn’t engage anyone, just clogs up feeds). Iv’e seen the follower growth curtail & trail off (exact opposite of what these companies promise) due to tweets seeming more & more inauthentic & miss-leading. I’ve witnessed the “But I’ve gots lots of content on my timeline now” mentality that these companies thrive on to hook clients….

I am saddened when I have to break it to a small business that they may have lots of content, BUT is it engaging others? Is it being retweeted & Shared… Often NOT.

Its not enough to just post post post – at some point you have to educate people on who you are, what you do, and what you have to offer, to grab their attention & hold it!

That’s not to say, I (& many other consultants) don’t schedule posts – We do, BUT these are hand written & scheduled to catch the clients target audience at the correct times… Scheduling is lots different to automating.

Using scheduling as well as logging in to clients accounts & creating / maintaining conversational tweets is imperative when engaging a new audience. 

The automated companies set up drip feeds for clients and sometimes that’s the only way the clients information gets on-line. The drips go out and there is no engaging at all, Just hash-tags & links – which can only be seen by the company doing the dripfeeding & the client themselves. Its no wonder their overall presence on-line suffers is it?

In conclusion – Of course You CAN automate content BUT you can never automate connection….

If you would like to find out how to get a regular growth of Followers & ones whom engage with your brand, please contact www.Rocoja.co.uk via the buttons below.

Facebook Rocoja     Rocoja Google +     Rocoja linked in      Stumble upon     Twitter Rocoja

Kind regards

Karin

Rocoja Limited 

Behind The Scenes - Life as a Spoonie

The Fading Ghost / Professional Eccedentesiast

Road To Somewhere Else

the view from the dark side: politics, media, cities & culture

Streetsister

Conversations with Street People

companyformationuk

Company Formation UK|Business Start up UK|Accounting Services UK

Dennis Cardiff

Poems & Prose

The savvy bookkeeping blog

Bookkeeping tips for the small business owner.

Logical Quotes

Social Media for Small Business in Surrey & SW London

%d bloggers like this: