Tag Archives: business Tips

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

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We are here specifically for new and fledgling businesses.

                          

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Social Media Mistakes

1 Mar

One of the things I come across a lot in my line of work, is the questioning of how a company can obtain actual results or return on investment (ROI) through social media marketing.

The truth is that in the start of the social media revolution; to “appear online” was just enough and there were few companies on Facebook (and even less on Twitter), so it was easy to get attention.

With the popular adoption of social media, it is now even harder to keep companies prominent in this social standing wave. Moreover, social media is very different from traditional marketing.

Social M Mistake

These difficulties, adding to the fact that social media marketing is relatively new, cause small companies inevitable mistakes and costly missteps can happen.

Below there is a list of the top five mistakes (or gaffes) small companies can find themselves making..

Mistake 1: Speaking/Selling TO people instead of engaging with them

Many small companies see social media as another way to spread information, such as a website or news feed. Then they wonder why no one talks to them.

Example: “We continue following the people, but they do not follow us back! Why don’t they talk to us?”

The answer to this question in social networks is the same as the real world. Would you spend time with someone who just kept pushing their own agenda every time you met with them?

Start a conversation based on a mutual interest. You know that Just talking non stop about yourself, even if you move from group to group, will not engage people. They will become bored & “switch-off”.

Join the conversation, and add VALUE to the dialogues.

Instead of seeing social media as another place where you can disseminate promotional messages (offers, releases, new product announcements, etc.), businesses get better results by engaging with the online community by actively participating.

Mistake 2: The mentality of “If you build, they will come”.

Most small companies are excited when they enter Twitter and Facebook and then they look around and ask, “Where is everybody?”

Absolutely everyone is busy on the Internet connecting with friends, family and people who enjoy subjects of common interest. People do not have the time, interest, or simply ability to connect with each company or brand that tries to contact them.

As an example, consider that on average a person on Facebook is connected to 130 people and 80 pages, add to that groups and events. If each of these upload 5 publications in day, there will be more than 1,000 updates in one day to be seen by each individual.

Your company should have a plan to promote your accounts on social media with VALUE to those with whom you connect. Not simply create an account and consider that the world will interact!

Mistake 3: Obsession with having the largest number of fans / friends / followers.

A study done last July showed that only 3% to 7.5% of your Facebook fans actually see your posts.

Thus, rather than focusing on the amount of “likes” that your page has, you should focus on creating quality and relevant content so that you can build engagement with your followers.  Add to this, the new algorithms introduced by Facebook recently, aimed at enhancing the individuals experience by cutting down “spammy” advertising posts. You really have to know how to write & enhance your post.

Mistake 4: Not being prepared for questions or problems.

When small companies enter the world of social media, they should be prepared to answer basic questions from time to time. Consumers expect companies that are active in social networks to be able to respond as if they were a customer service desk; this means that if your company has constant problems, they are likely to appear on social networks.

This should not be a surprise to anyone, but unfortunately, many small companies are not prepared. Make a list of the 10 most frequently asked questions you are getting by phone or email and be prepared to deal with those in social networks.

Mistake 5: Lack of a clear plan.

The biggest root cause for not having satisfactory results in social networks is the lack of a plan. Since accounts on social media networks can be created free, it is common that most companies create and start publishing “things”.

The problem is that without a plan, some “things” that are posted are most likely to be of no interest to your target audience. Even if your audience is interested in “things” that you post, it may be difficult to create a link between social media interactions and the real value you are looking for. Example: engagement with the brand, brand building, brand association, orders, sales, conversions, etc. Without goals and a defined plan, it will be very difficult to measure any kind of success.

It may sound daunting – BUT Social Media is an absolute must for any business now.

However it doesn’t have to be difficult and you can have fun whilst using it but it is essential for every business to be using it effectively.

Just remember that your customers always come first and want to be made to feel special.

The way your business comes across on Social Media will give an instant impression of your business.

Make it a friendly, professional, consistent one.

Contact Rocoja Limited for help and advice.

We are here specifically for new and fledgling businesses.

                          

Is Bigger always Better?

25 Feb

Rocoja has had the pleasure of working with some lovely new businesses over the last 2 years – From cake makers who work from home & celebrities starting out in the music industry to construction & building companies; all of whom needed some direction & assistance with their marketing.

From full marketing support with Flyers & e-shots to just handling Twitter; Rocoja has helped, advised & created business plans that has afforded them a stream of marketing opportunities they didn’t know existed.

However there are still those which take the business plan we prepare (For free) after spending time with them & learning about their passions & goals; researching their products & services, learning about their history & ethics; then go with a “larger company”.

Why – Because many businesses & individuals are still caught up with the “bigger must be better” falsehood..

Bigger Better?

One of the latest companies we have helped was paying just under £1000 per calendar month for a “Full Social Media presence” to be built. However this wasn’t translating into visitors to the website (an e-commerce venture) & the reports at the end of the month from the “Agency” was showing lots of work happening so it just wasn’t making sense.

Through a referral, we carried out a full investigation & prepared a detailed report, showing that lots of tweets were indeed happening BUT with no interaction. The same was apparent on the Facebook page – lots of posts, but only 7-10 people seeing each one & then no interaction.

Worst of all The Social media platforms were not even branded & looked completely separate from each other.

There was a conveyor belt  of “blogs”, “posts” & “tweets” on behalf of the business with links to websites & news stories BUT not relevant or researched & not linked back to the company.

We know that at the start of the Twitter revolution it was seen as a FACT that you had to have as many followers as possible to be even considered successful but now we all are painfully aware that just isn’t true. A business / individual trying to build a quality profile will need concise, targeted followers who will help grow a loyal customer/fan base, engaging  & sharing information..

My point is, did the large agency spend the time to know the small business; its owners, its history? Did it post articles that the companys potential customers would like to read about? Do you think it wanted to spend that time, getting to know its client?

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Or did it hope they were stuck in the Bigger is Better frame of mind & churn out analytics & charts which look good?

Yes a larger agency may have expertise & more manpower but a smaller consultancy has the expertise & flexibility they may not have (despite promising such). The smaller consultancy will also (usually) be much more accommodating with things you need actioned quickly, or invoices etc you need to defer a few days; as we understand time pressures & financial constraints of a small business much better than an “expert” in a team of people in a large business where they do not have to deal with such things.

We also feel a smaller consultancy is the best choice if you are looking for individual guidance, as well as marketing; as we are more likely to involve you if you wish & that can only be a good thing for your business.

Afterall hiring a consultancy gives you other bespoke options, such as having someone come in & help you on-site if you wish, to learn how to eventually take over the marketing yourself. Its also a great way to have the marketing completed, while you run your business but with the option to move to a larger machine if (we hope  – when) your business is big enough to warrant a bigger more impactful agency led campaign.

Unfortunately from experience of many of the small businesses we have assisted, the thing at the forefront of what the companies find when hiring a bigger agency is Bigger usually extends to the Bill at the end of the month!

Is Social media relevant to the Small Business Person?

Contact Rocoja Limited for help and advice.

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Social Media for your business?

15 Feb

You’ve been told over and over again that networking is the lifeblood of running your own business.

Social media business

You know that you have to build rapport and forge strong relationships with people in order to gain a trusted reputation within your business community and hope that you will be recommended to potential clients once this has been established. Yet, so often, you neglect the biggest networking opportunities that are constantly available via Social Media.

Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn are the three most commonly used social media networks and it’s crucial for every business to use them regularly.

Creating an online brand – an identity for your business, is essential and that’s where the use of social media really comes into play. Everything you do on each of the social media networks is a glimpse into your business identity. It allows the people that interact with you to gain an image of you in their mind’s eye – everything from the logos and pictures you use, to the content shared and the way you speak; it’s all taken onboard and snap decisions made about whether they like you and want to interact with you further. It’s the interaction that takes your customer from potential to closed sale.

Twitter is perhaps the most effective social media site for gaining fresh, new customers. This is the personality driven network, the one that everyone is using and the best way of engaging quickly with large amounts of people. Interaction is the name of the game at Twitter, by sharing stories and content through tweets you can quickly identify yourself as an industry expert which builds trust amongst your audience – showing them that you know what you are talking about and therefore, must be good at what you do!

To use Twitter effectively you have to be consistent and just like at a real networking event; don’t sell to the room. People do business with people. So you want to encourage people to warm to you and trust you. Constantly selling and ignoring what others have to say will only encourage people to listen politely before walking away!

Being consistent with your posts makes you come across as reliable and being helpful will earn you instant kudos! The more you give; the more you receive. So don’t be afraid to advise people for free if you have the expertise to help them – they will remember you for it and come back to you in the future when they need your particular product or service.

Facebook is all about listening to and interacting with your audience. Facebook isn’t so much about gaining new customers, its more about keeping in touch with your existing followers / friends and showing your expertise and products, along with allowing a forum for customer service to shine through! Most page likes are from people who already know and like what you do. So treat your Facebook page as a small community built around your business – share content, special offers, ask questions, respond to feedback and learn what makes your customers tick. By understanding your customer better, you’ll instinctively adapt your business to meet their needs and requirements and thus, make more sales!

Social media doesn’t have to be difficult and you can have fun whilst using it but it is essential for every business to be using it effectively.

Just remember that your customers always come first and want to be made to feel special.

The way your business comes across on Social Media will give an instant impression of your business.

Make it a friendly, professional, consistent one.

Contact Rocoja Limited for help and advice.

We are here specifically for new and fledgling businesses.

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Social Media for Small Business – Why Wait?

15 Dec

The Importance Of Social Media In Business 

As a business, no matter the size or industry, you have to consider one thing very seriously: where do you get your customers from?

social-circle

Chances are in most cases, and certainly in the more traditional or manual based industries such as plumbers, builders or mechanics, your customers come from repeat business and referrals.  So if you have one happy customer who then refers one friend to your business that is a real bonus. Now consider this the: the 500 million people on Facebook have an average of 336 ‘Friends’ to share content with.  If that same customer goes on to their Facebook page and recommends you, ‘Likes’ your business page and shares it with their ‘Friends’ you have effectively been given a personal recommendation to 336 new potential warm leads without spending any money and without lifting a finger!  Next thing to think about is that your customer in question will on average check his or her Facebook page on their Smart phone around 14 times a day.  This gives you the incredible benefit of being able to remain at the forefront of their mind next time they require your services or a friend requests a recommendation.

Putting The ‘Social’ In Social Media Comes In. 

When you create a social media account you are not there to sell your services.  Alison Evans from F.E.W. Waterproofing says: “You have to provide information and…be prepared to share your knowledge. It’s a different mindset for small business…you must make yourself the authority figure of your field”.  

So yes you can throw in the occasional deal or offer within your posts, but generally you are there to build and develop a relationship with your current and potential customers whilst simultaneously building a database of people who know about you and may need your business.  So update your business pages with easy, fun and relevant content such as:

  • Blogs or news articles relevant to the local area or your business
  • Infographics
  • New technology or techniques in your field of expertise
  • Tips and tricks
  • Photos of you ‘on the job’
  • Videos of you to help create the feeling that you are the ‘go to’ authority in your industry
  • The occasional offer in return for a subscription to your email database

Update your social media accounts every day, or at the very least every other day, so that at least once during those 14 visits your customer will see your post and be reminded of you and the fantastic job you did, even if it is only subconsciously!  blog-writting

Creating an interesting, relevant ‘guru-like’ status is easier and quicker to do on social media than it is on a website or in person, and by adding in the local news or interesting blogs and infographic posts too you are opening up your relevancy, interest and customer potential far more than by simply posting your website link and price list every day.

The Social Media Platforms For Business 

The key social media platforms to use for business are Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Youtube (due to the current surge in popularity of videos on social media at the moment) and your own website blog.  You can occasionally run paid ads on Facebook, but don’t waste your time paying for ‘Likes’ as you get far more return from ‘organic’ Likers such as the ones from your customer and their friends than strangers who happened to see your advert and clicked Like.  For example, that stranger may live on the other side of the world and so by default they are no ‘use’ to you as a business and you have therefore wasted your advertising spend.

If the concept of using social media every day is daunting to you, or else you are far too busy to put the necessary time in to build your followers, fans and likes, then contact a company like Rocoja; Any social media management company, aimed at looking after small businesses  should be able to give you an appraisal of your existing online presence & an overview of what they can do & how. This should be a free service…..

The main issue for many small, fledgling or even well established businesses who attempt to use social media is that they set up basic websites and social media platforms filled only with poor content and then (unsurprisingly) get little or no return.

Having someone to help you, who knows the “arena” is invaluable.

So don’t worry, it takes a little while to build your online persona, but once you have the right help on board, you will wonder why you waited so long!

For any more help / advice  or Small Business Tips & Trick

Please contact us

contactus

Info@Rocoja.co.uk 

Karin

Please join Rocoja on any of the social media platforms below

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Stay Safe – Email Invoices

3 Nov

Rocoja Limited has just had the email below sent through –

Email Virus

It is appearing as an invoice from TM Group Billing with a subject of  “A new invoice has been created”.

Attached to the email, is what looks at first glance to be a Document (word doc).

This is another email scam, aiming for a click on the document as the originators of these viruses are being a little more clever now, by using what look like business email addresses and associated subjects that may entice a user to read the email and open the attachment.

A shift has recently happened, which has seen a high proportion of these scam emails, being targeted at small businesses, with the hope of getting a better response.

Practically all of these also have a password stealing component, with the aim of stealing bank, PayPal or other financial details along with your email logins.
Many of them are also designed to steal the Facebook and other social network log in details of small businesses, along with Website log ins & FTP files  (if you manage your own site).

The companies & employees who are mentioned in the emails are normally completely  innocent and have been picked at random.

Never get involved in any way, even if your “good” heart tells you to let the company involved know what’s happened; the best advice is – dont.

With regards to the aforementioned  TM Group “new invoice” email; on hovering over the attachment, it appears to be a genuine word doc attached, however it is most definitely corrupted and contains a horrible virus.

Overall – all I can say is – Be very careful with email attachments.

The basic rule is NEVER open any attachment to an email, unless you are expecting it.

Also – as great as Virus protection programs are; don’t just rely on the “Real-Time” scanning available with many of them – If you absolutely have to check the attachment – do this..

Save the document to a safe location on your computer, normally your downloads folder or your documents folder and THEN scan it with your antivirus.

Many antivirus’s do not automatically detect macro-viruses in real-time protection and you need to enable document or office protection in the settings.

Also be aware that there are a lot of dodgy word docs spreading that WILL infect you with no action from you if you are still using an outdated version of word. This is a good reason to update your office programs to a recent version and stop using office 2003 and 2007.

Many small business owners use older versions of office programs, because  they are convenient, have the functions and settings we are used to and may have never seen a need to update to the latest super-duper version.

BUT the risks in using older version are now seriously starting to outweigh the convenience, benefits and cost of keeping an old version going.

I strongly urge you to update your office suite to the latest version and stop putting yourself at risk!

For any more help / advice  or Small Business Tips & Trick

Please contact us

Info@Rocoja.co.uk 

Karin

Please join Rocoja on any of the social media platforms below

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