Have you ever searched a product on Google and then 5 minutes later ads start popping up on Facebook or Instagram for the exact product you were looking for? Targeted ads is a whole separate topic…
But has it ever worked on you?
74% of consumers rely on social networks to help with their purchasing decisions.
The reason it may have worked on you is because, many consumers (including myself) prefer to stay within a social media platform to complete a purchase. The ease to click a few buttons and viola *order confirmation* pops up in your email while you casually continue scrolling, is what gets us.
In addition to this, did you know 54% of social media browsers use social platforms to research products (guilty as charged).
Surfing comments gives a great idea of what people are saying about the brand/product, how the brand responds to these comments (positive and negative) and if this product or service is a good suit for me, the curious consumer. A consumer simply searching these things can also determine if they will become a fan.
If your brand is practicing good social listening, interacts with your customers and shows appreciation for customers, then I, as a consumer, will be more likely to first of all, purchase your product, interact with your content, re-share your content (or tell my friends), leave a review, and maybe even create some content for you! Which means I am officially a fan of your brand.
Going hand in hand with this, some brands encourage their customers to leave reviews, and don’t shy away from a bad review every now and again. This helps consumers searching for their product to make a more informed decision and become a more loyal customer.
Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest now all have shopping options, making it much easier for your customers to buy from you. The process to set these up is quite straightforward and simple. If your business offers products, social media shopping is a great option for you.
Social media marketing is a much cheaper option for your business when advertising compared to traditional.
Cheaper, yet effective.
You are able to make connections with your audience and address questions and comments as they come, making you more authentic and appealing to your audience.
How does this actually look for your business?
Let’s take a look.
In order to calculate ROI you need to set goals. Do you want to increase brand awareness, business conversions, improve customer service, etc? Setting goals determines which statistics you want to focus on.
When looking to increase brand awareness, here’s some things you want to track:
Impressions(combined with engagement)
Identify the number of impressions for a given post, on a given platform
Identify the reporting period to measure, like a week, month, or quarter
Compare to previous periods to see a trend
Share of voice
Audience Growth Rate
What’s the rate of growth for your social media followers?
And, was it faster than the previous months?
Hope I didn’t lose you!
It’s okay if some of these don’t apply to you. The good news is you don’t need to track them all. Choose what is most important for your business to track and follow those stats.
The list looks different for business conversions, customer service and so on. So often we get lost with having too much information we don’t really know what even applies to us. There’s lots to track, some business goals are more difficult to track than others. But at the end of the day, you get an idea of how social media is working for you by monitoring your numbers.
In The Long Run:
Remember, it’s a slow game. You can have your strategy set, and it can still take some time to see improvement. The key is consistency.
Aligning your social media strategy with your goals, and keeping track is how you will really begin to see the benefit of social media for your business. Social media offers many great opportunities to reach your customers. Your customers are already searching for your business, creating a strong online presence will ensure they find you before your competition.
Hearing what I’m saying but still stuck how to put these points into action? Contact us today to see how we can make social media bring in business for you.
If you’ve known us at Panda Rose for a long time, you know these 5 words fit us well, and if you are just getting to know us or want to know more, here are some things you can expect!
I often hear people use this word to describe us at Panda Rose. Every employee is extremely knowledgeable, and quite multi-talented. If one person is ever stumped on a project, we collaborate and brainstorm with each other to reach a solution. This method is quite effective for us at Panda Rose, as so many employees are talented and knowledgeable in areas above and beyond their job title. Something really cool about us, is we actually train you how to manage your website on your own! We find it valuable for our clients to have control over their website and know how to run/oversee things.
(Or as some might say: quirky!) When I think of creativity, I think of Ms. Frizzle, the teacher on Magic School Bus! Her dress had different shapes and colours, her hair bright red and a little crazy sometimes, and her personality was always adventurous! And didn’t she have a pet lizard?
Anyway, while none of us drive a magic school bus (sadly, cause what a fun commute that would be), I would say this creative description suits us well! Most of us have quite adventurous personalities (and if you don’t believe me, watch a few of our YouTube videos and you’ll see what I’m talking about!) I would say our work matches Ms Frizzle’s outfit: it’s eye-catching, leaves a lasting impression, and displays your businesses personality perfectly (minus the tackiness)! Plus if you have glowing planet earrings you can believe we’re going to highlight it! In other words, whatever makes your business unique, we pay attention to the details and will design your website, mobile app, social media pages, etc. accordingly!
We like to have a good time at Panda Rose, and love to connect with people and network! If you are local to Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, and Saint Albert you have probably met someone from Panda Rose! We all love to laugh and have a good sense of humour, making us easy to get along with. One of my favourite social media posts we did was Father’s Day 2019. We sent out a bunch of dad jokes from people in the office, and you guys loved it! Creating an office and business atmosphere where people feel comfortable to express some of their biggest ideas, comes down the people. We are excited about your business and your future and our attitudes sure show it!
Panda Rose is located right here in Spruce Grove, and if you know anything about Spruce Grove, you know that we love to support each other’s businesses! Am I right, or am I right? This stretches as far as Stony Plain, Edmonton and surrounding areas. Good chance that if we work with you, we also look for any way we can support your business, such as buying your products because we genuinely love them or using your services! We are in the business of helping businesses, and we honestly want to see your business thrive.
We know how to work hard! We put in the time and effort it takes to generate results for your business so you see a profit. Your success = our success! Not sure if digital marketing, web development or any variety of things we offer will help your business thrive? We’ve seen time and time again that it does! But don’t just take my word for it, you can see for yourself! Check out our testimonials section on our website, and send us an email to see what we can do for you!
I’m going to spoil this whole blog by telling you the three reasons you should build your own eCommerce website in this very first sentence: eBay, Etsy, and Amazon. That’s it, there you have it, that’s why you should build your own eCommerce website.
I know what you’re thinking: “Deborah, you’ve gone completely bananas. I couldn’t possibly independently compete with those three!”
Well I hate to break it to you folks, but I went completely bananas years ago. You should know that by now. But that’s completely aside from the point and unrelated to anything I’m saying here. Just let me continue, and stop mentally interrupting me, OK? Thanks.
Even when you list your products on those sites, you are still competing with all of them. But let’s take a closer look.
Of these big three sellers, Amazon.com was founded in 1994. Who even remembers having the internet in 1994? My family had an Apple computer back then, but eventually switched to a PC. I think we got dial-up in 1995:
. . . and then that sweet sound of connection. It wasn’t long before I discovered Amazon.com. It used to be all books, all the time, and soon after, I could also get CDs and DVDs, and better yet, I could soon buy them used from other sellers! I’ll admit, I have Amazon Prime membership in both the USA and Canada. As a buyer, Amazon is pretty great.
But what about as a seller?
Amazon is complicated. Their fees are high. You’ve got a huge amount of competition, including people who buy and bulk, which isn’t great if you’re a smaller business. Not only that, but you are also in direct competition with Amazon itself.
Speaking of competing products, several major brands have refused to sell on Amazon because they don’t police the grey market well enough. One brand even preferred to sell exclusively on Walmart instead. Not to dis Walmart or anything (loyal shopper here), but I kinda think that says something.
Ah yes, the wild west of online sales. Or so it seemed to be back in those first few years. eBay was founded only a year after Amazon, in 1995. It started simple enough. The first sale was a broken laser pointer to a fellow who collected broken laser pointers, who would’ve thought? Initially, listing an item was free, but the founder’s internet services bill got too high, so he had to start charging a listing free, which people found pretty reasonable.
(As an aside, my first year of high school, my school’s principal, Tom Sawyer (yes, that legit was his name, no relation to the real fictional Tom Sawyer, though), was an expert at calling auctions. You know, that really fast-talking thing. Everybody in town would get him to do live auctions. Pretty amazing. eBay should have hired him for . . . something.)
Thousands of people have found success on eBay, but more and more, people have become increasingly frustrated. In the words of one former seller, “eBay sacrifices its sellers to its buyers”. I know that “the customer is always right” is a good general policy, but eBay appears to take this a bit too far. According to this same seller, “eBay ‘insures’ purchases by resolving all disputes in favor of the buyer, and then forcing the seller to cover the costs. Paypal helps them by seizing the seller’s funds.”
So eBay runs on a guilty-until-proven-innocent-system where the seller can almost never prove themselves innocent. It also leaves the seller open to buyer fraud.
eBay can limit your sales very arbitrarily, despite your good record (and bringing in lots of income to eBay itself). An ill-intentioned person can give a seller a bad review, a postal strike causing a delay in shipment, or any other little fluke can lead them to limit how much a seller is allowed to sell. One seller whose whole business. You are subject to eBay’s whims. You may feel like your own boss, but you are at the mercy of buyers and eBay’s poor customer service.
Etsy, the newest to the market. Launched in 2005 on the east coast, it’s the indie girl’s heaven for vintage, handmade, and craft supplies. Yes, I’ve purchased all of the above on there. Etsy has been great for sellers of these things, but in recent years, Etsy’s policies have changed for the negative.
Etsy is no longer friendly to small business, you are literally competing with huge shops in China. It’s sad really — you see someone has designed something creative and lovely, and within a few months, other people are copying that design and it’s all being shipped from China. Sure, maybe it was handmade, but do you really think the worker got fair pay for the work they did?
Not only that, but because of Etsy opening up their policy to this type of business, small business owners have faced lower sales volumes and increased competition due to the sheer volume of shop owners on the site, and it’s not exactly easy to differentiate your own shop from all the rest. You get a name and you get a logo. That’s about it. It’s very difficult to truly build your own brand.
On top of this, Etsy has their own weird SEO algorithms that work completely differently from most ordinary search engines, and at the same time, Etsy items don’t rank well in Google searches. And then there are the fees. They can arbitrarily hike the fees whenever they please, cutting into the profit margin of small businesses as well.
At the end of the day, is it really worth all this trouble?
Who are you really working for?
All three of these platforms make it somewhat easy to list your products in an online shop, but is it really worth it? How does it really benefit you as a business? Perhaps early on it might have been easy for people to search and find your products, but now they’re so over-saturated that it’s difficult for people to find you. You can’t truly build your own brand.
At the end of the day, with having to follow someone else’s ever-changing policies, very little control over how operations are run, and the inability to truly build your own brand while paying someone else fees, it sure sounds a lot like you’re doing a lot of work for someone else. You may have more flexibility than a typical job, but you’ve still got someone bossing you around.
But what else can a small business do?
Gosh, I’m sure glad you asked! The truth is, building your own eCommerce website isn’t that complicated. There are lots of options out there, though our two favourites are WooCommerce and Shopify. The great thing about your own site is you are in charge. You decide what your website will look like, your branding, everything. Nobody will tell you what kind of payments you will take, you get to decide that. You get to decide what shipping options you will offer, and where you will ship.
I don’t know about anybody else, but I’m pretty stubborn and don’t like being told what to do. I’m also a bit of a control freak, so being able to control every aspect of my business (or delegate to people whom I trust) is right up my alley. Both of these platforms offer countless tools to make it easy to do.
How will people find me if I’m not on one of these big sites?
OK, that’s the easy answer, but not the only one. Look at it this way: you’re not just selling stuff, you’re building a brand. Do you have a Facebook page? Instagram? Most of these eCommerce platforms have integrations with both Facebook and Instagram (WooCommerce: Facebook, Instagram; Shopify: online sales channels).
Back to Google though — this year they announced a new feature they are making available on their shopping search results. Currently their Google Shopping search results are all sponsored products, but this spring, in the US, they opened it up so that people could list their products for free (there would still be sponsored listings, a bit like regular search results).
This isn’t available in Canada yet, but one article suggests it will be quite soon for Canada, and another says that it will be global before the end of the year. I find this pretty exciting, as it’s another SEO opportunity for our eCommerce clients. It appears that already there are integrations for WooCommerce and Shopify.
OK, but what about the cost?
I’ll admit, there’s a bigger up-front cost with building a site yourself.
I take that back. Shopify isn’t all that bad, although they have monthly fees, because it is hosted, although the monthly fees might add up, but it comes with everything all-in-one full-meal-deal if that’s what you like. You can pay to have someone set it all up for you, have it match your branding and whatnot, or you can set it up yourself and you’ll probably get by either way. It’s a great option for someone who wants a store. Some pretty big brands use Shopify, including Hasbro, The Economist, Heinz, Crabtree & Evelyn, and Penguin Books.
WooCommerce is my favourite though. It’s a great option if you want a full website, more than just a shop. From what I understand the API is easier to work with, so if you like doing your own coding . . . stuff (sorry, I stick to html and css, disturbingly so), it’s a better option. I like that you can use their official plugins or third party plugins to make it do whatever you darned-well please. Many-a-time a client has asked “but can you make it do this?” and I’ve said “of course we can!” then gone to one of our developers and said “so . . . they asked me if we can make it do this” to be told “weird but . . . I guess so?”
As for cost, WooCommerce itself is free, though if you purchase it with a theme, it sometimes comes with other paid upgrades. There are paid and free plugins you can get for WooCommerce. Your main cost will be building the website, and then the monthly or annual fee of hosting it varies from provider to provider.
I may or may not be the Yes Girl, much to the chagrin of our CEO. (Sorry Kelly.)
Let’s do it!
So now that I’ve given you all the reasons why you really ought to have your own website instead of working for someone else, why don’t you give us a call, send us an email, or contact us through social media and let us help you get your business online! We can offer advice on what platform is best for you, or we can do all the work for you. Whatever level of service you need, we’re here for you.
It’s becoming more popular for people to work from home instead, or in addition to the office. But with this freedom, comes some hurdles you may have crossed a few times or will come across as you work from the comfort of your home. It can be easy to over work, or under work when the you bring the office into your home. You don’t have distractions from coworkers stopping by your desk or clients dropping in unexpectedly, but you do have other things that can easily pull you away from your tasks. Here we’ll give you some tips that have worked for highly productive people who work from their kitchen, living room or home office.
The early bird gets the worm, and this also applies in your own home. Wake up, make a coffee and get right down to business. I find the sooner I get started in my work the less distracting other things are throughout the day. The longer you make the transition from your bed to your computer the longer it will take for your morning sluggishness to fade. Waking up early is key to being successful throughout the day and staying on track with your list of things to do.
Recreate Your Office Routine
Without a commute to work, you have more time to get a few quick jobs done before you start work. The best thing to do to keep you on track is to create as much of an office space as possible. Work at a desk or your kitchen table instead of the couch. There you won’t have the temptation to turn on the TV. Listen to music while you work, if that’s what you do at the office. If it’s more distracting to work in complete silence turn on a TV in another room or the radio. If you like to sip on coffee or tea at work, do the same at home. I drink a lot of water at work so when I work from home I do the same, but I stay to drinking from a water bottle instead of a glass. This prevents you from leaving your computer so often and getting distracted by something else around your house.
Keep close contact with your office, so if your coworkers need something from you they can easily reach you. The best way is to use a messaging program like Microsoft Teams or WhatsApp for the office. At Panda Rose the office is connected to Microsoft Teams so when one person works remotely you can easily contact them. It’s a great way to keep updated on whats going on in the office and still feel like a part of the team.
Keep a Schedule
Either electronically or on paper. Keep track of your to-do list for the day. This will help you keep track of how productive you are. Actually, the busier you are the more productive you are. Once you are going it’s easy to keep going. And when you rest it’s easy to keep resting. Try to keep the downtime to a minimum and take on more tasks during the day even if they are small. It also helps make the day go by faster!
Set a Quitting Time
Working from home also means you can easily over work. It’s just as important to set a time that you log off as it is to take breaks from work during the day. To be the most productive during the day, take a break from screens and papers. Go for a walk, interact with other people instead of simply watching a few minutes of your favorite show. Setting a time to quit for the day ensures you are rested up for the next day. Try shutting off your computer, and closing your daily planner. Otherwise you will end up starting a task when you should be resting. Rest is just as important as work.
Enjoy Working From Home
At the end of the day, enjoy having the freedom to work from your home. You get to drink your own coffee from your favorite mug, and wear slippers all day. You can come across just as many distractions in an office as you can at home. Learning to manage the distractions at home can be more difficult but once you get into a routine it will be just like working at the office, but better!
Businesses of all kinds are finding their way to various social media platforms. I get asked a lot of the time how to increase following. While there are various “tips and tricks” for each platform, because they can not all be treated in the same manner, there is three basic reasons why people choose to follow a social media account.
People are seeking to be entertained. Whether you sell flooring, are wanting to become an influencer or selling homes, people are seeking the entertainment factor. People might not be interested in buying a home currently, but are more likely to follow a realtor’s account if they have an entertaining factor. A great local example of this is Tammy Colbow. She offers these fun and entertaining videos weekly to engage her followers. Gives them a reason to follow along and visit often. I often see her posts on Facebook and LinkedIn and I find myself stopping and watching without even thinking!
So entertain your audience. Find a way that feels most authentic to you and your company/brand and run with it. Maybe that means a weekly information video or memes (not too many!) or anything that resonates with your clientele. Maybe your clients are moms and you share interesting parenting articles with them.
Think about some of the bloggers you may follow. Why do you follow them? Maybe it’s a food blogger sharing recipes you love or a fashion blogger showing you the latest trends? We are acquiring knowledge from these people. Knowledge about parenting, fashion , fitness, technology, business or otherwise. They know something about an interest we have and are following them to learn more.
A great example of this is Tony Robbins. He has 3.6 million people following him on Instagram. I don’t know the reason for everyone following him but I know a lot of people follow him to learn. They are following him to learn about business or personal development and love all the information he gives them.
No matter if it’s online or in person, people are naturally designed to seek community. We want to be able to connect with other people, ideally like ourselves. Sometimes we find ourselves scrolling when we are waiting in lines or hanging out at home and we stop when we find ourselves looking at something we connect with. Or if you are apart of a Facebook group for example, you might find yourself regularly in there chatting it up with other people you “know”. Facebook’s algorithm shows the groups you are most active in and pages you converse with the most, because it shows you as part of the community.
Apply this to your own business social media strategies, but in a way that is true and organic to you and your brand, just like above for education. Think about your consumer and who they are. Aside from your company, what else might they be interested in? Connect with them on this level and ask them questions! This helps build the community, showing you care about them, but doubles as valuable customer data, so you can bring them the very best you have to offer that relates to them.
Ideally you will have a blend off all three of these things for a really solid account, but try to keep two in mind as you are posting. What value are you adding to your followers/potential clients.
Come check out all the entertaining, educational and community things we are doing at Panda Rose!
Your online presence has bearing when it comes to getting a loan for your business.
According to Statistics Canada from 2016, 51.3% of small businesses request funds to help with their business. Over half of those people are requesting the money from financial institutions such as banks. Many business owners are looking to purchase equipment to speed up processes, hire employees, get into larger spaces and purchase high volume of items. Whatever the reasoning your business is looking to expand, you may need a loan in order to boost your business to take it to the next level.
“51.3% of small businesses request funds to help with their business.”
Last week we were lucky to have Tom Yeo from Scotiabank in Spruce Grove stop by to chat about the importance of your online presence when banks are considering you for a loan. When looking at getting a loan from the bank for business, there are a lot of factors at play, but as Tom explains, they always look online at your businesses website. Whether you sell online items or not, they look up your website.
So what exactly are they looking for when they look up your business online?
Tom says the first thing he does is look at the company website. He looks at the About Us section to see if it is up to date, relevant and if there even is one at all. He is looking to see that there is contact information and that its up to date. He wants to know that your company is going to have business for the next 2, 5, or even 10 years. Tom says then as he’s looking at the website he is looking to see “that it’s professionally done. That then shows that the company takes pride in what it’s doing and is actually invested in it’s image that’s out there.”
“shows that the company takes pride in what it’s doing and is actually invested in it’s image”
Your business’ online image is important for a lot of reasons. It’s important for potential loaners, investors, clients and even employees.
Tom goes on to say that “there was a company I recently decided not to do business with, because when I looked up their company online, what came up was employee reviews and they were all negative.” Now we all know that in business, we can’t make everyone happy. We also know that sometimes there are people out there that make a point to try to ruin a reputation of a company. When I asked Tom if there was any bearing in responses from the company on reviews he replied that it’s important to “manage you entire presence” and that replying to reviews has a “huge impact if done in a professional response.”
There is a bit of a process when beginning to look at funding options for your business, and managing your online presence is one of them. Look for:
Reviews. Search your company online and find reviews. Respond to any concerns left by employees or clients. We even suggest responding to the people who left you wonderful reviews! It’s great for SEO and building community around your brand.
Your website information is up to date an relevant. Make sure your contact information is correct and that your products and services are up to date as well.
Your website looks professional.
Pop over to our blog post 5 Website Mistakes That Are Hurting Your Business for more tips!
About Tom: Tom Yeo is originally from the UK and moved to Canada a few years ago. He has been in the banking industry for approximately 10 years in a variety of roles including personal banking, business banking and investments.
Is your company being seen online? Hello? Are You There?
“Hello, it’s me. I was wondering if after all these years you’d like to meet?” Okay maybe the Adele “Hello” song is a bit over done, but the sentiment really is there. People no longer pull out the phone book and flip to a section to search for local company. People are pulling out their phones while waiting in line or hanging out on the couch to search for services and businesses.
93% of online experiences begin with a search engine and 46% of all searches on Google have local intent (Google, 2018).
This means that people are generally searching online for your business or (businesses like yours) and what it has to offer. We covered a while back Why A Good Website Is Important, but really we also have to bring people to said website. We use a number of things in order to do this from Social Media Marketing and online Ads, to SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
Generally we here at Panda Rose like to think that SEO is important and things like paid ads should be supplementary to SEO tactics. This is also the sentiment from Forbes:
Compared to the costs associated with other forms of online marketing such as PPC advertising, social media marketing, or purchasing leads for an email marketing program, SEO provides fairly good ROI. While PPC may drive more revenue and social media may be more important for your image, your organic SEO in many ways remains a bedrock of your online presence.
As we went through in our blog post What Even Is SEO search engine optimization is about working toward getting your business to the top of the list in search engines. If people are taking to search engines to find what they are looking for, we want them to find YOUR business. Potential clients and customers are specifically looking for exactly what you offer, help them find it, instead of one of your competitors.
Panda Rose Consulting Joins Clutch’s Research of SEO & PPC Agencies in Canada
Every business values exposure. When companies are looking to expand their customer base, it’s very important that they find a marketing firm that can understand the intricacies of their business and target the right audience. Our clients trust that our expertise in digital marketing can help their business grow and they trust that we’ll always deliver on time. On our Clutch profile, which was created earlier this year, you can see what sets us apart as one of the best companies for your SEO, PPC, and general digital marketing needs.
Clutch is a Washington, DC-based B2B research and reviews firm. They look to connect business buyers with the best service providers worldwide, using a thorough research methodology based on client feedback in the form of unbiased and accurate reviews. To collect reviews, Clutch actually calls our former clients and interviews them about their experiences working with the Panda Rose team. We have our first review on our Clutch profile, and already the feedback we’ve received from our wonderful client Krista Rumberg has been more than we expected. Check it out:
Because of our commitment to our clients and our expertise in SEO, Clutch named us as one of the top SEO companies in Canada. We’ve also been recognized as a top-performing firm on Clutch’s sister sites, The Manifest and Visual Objects.
The Manifest’s content includes lists of top performing companies, articles on trends within the tech industry, and helpful guides for business owners. We are included on their list of the top 50 social media marketing companies in Canada.
Visual Objects is Clutch’s newly launched site that acts as a central hub to view the portfolios of creative firms. Visual Objects features firms from a variety of industries including app development, web design, and branding. You can find Panda Rose listed on their list of the top digital marketing agencies in 2019. We’re happy to be one of the first firms featured on Visual Objects and we’re excited to see how the site evolves.
With the new year underway, we’re extremely appreciative of our clients for taking the time to speak with Clutch and reflect on their experiences working with us. To get honest and verified feedback through a third-party source is a great opportunity for Panda Rose and we look forward to seeing how much more we can grow our presence on each site until we’re considered the very best digital marketing agency in Canada!
You’ve got a website for your company. You are “online”, that should be good enough right? I mean, you don’t sell anything on your website, how important could it be to invest in a good website?
The world is digital and as we shared in our blog post “5 Website Mistakes That Are Hurting Your Business” 47% of users leave a website if its loading time is more than 3 seconds. Couple that information with studies showing that between 70-80% of people research a company online BEFORE visiting a small business or making a purchase with them. A killer website is far more important than we give it credit for. Crucial even.
studies showing that between 70-80% of people research a company online BEFORE visiting a small business or making a purchase with them
Join Kelly Rose from Panda Rose Consulting Inc for a Business Breakfast as he talks about the importance of your business needing a solid website at the Stony Plain Chamber Of Commerce. This is an opportunity to ask Kelly some questions about your company’s website and how it can perform better, while getting the chance to also do a bit of networking with local business owners.
Social Media has been an important part of business for a while now. It’s not going away any time soon and will continue to be a player in business. However, not all social media channels are created equally for business. Each has their place and purpose, especially depending on your businesses industry.
But where do you even start?
Sometimes it can feel like a daunting task looking at all the different platforms and thinking about signing up for, creating accounts for and content for all of these accounts.
The good news is; well you don’t have to do that. Yes, there are many platforms, and yes it would be amazing if you could be active on them all. However it’s not necessary. So let’s take a look at how to figure out what social media platforms are best for your business and how to keep them active.
There are many platforms but generally here are the major ones:
First, take a look at who your demographic is? Who is your client/customer? Do you service other businesses? Maybe a platform like LinkedIn and Twitter are a better place to spend your efforts connecting to other business people and building those relationships. Do you sell a product or service for a younger demographic? You are more likely to find them on Snapchat or Instagram. Do you sell craft supplies, fashion items or nearly anything you ship worldwide? Pinterest might be the place you put your time and energy.
Once you have defined your demographic and where they might be hanging out then you can start to develop a plan around building that platform. Find content related to your business or your client and start to post. Post often (3-7 times a week) but not too often (3-7 times a day!). You can share your own blog posts, ones you love, photos or memes.
Most importantly BE SOCIAL! Social media is about being social. Post things, but also engage with the people around you. Like and comment and have conversations on other peoples content as well. Did you read a funny meme someone shared and it actually made you laugh a bit out loud? Let them know! Was an article or blog post shared that you found great information in? Share your views on the topic.
Once you feel like you have got a good handle on a platform or that it’s performing well/has a decent following, then you can work on tackling another platform. This helps prevent a little bit of the burn out from social media channels and the overwhelm!
It’s said that the first blog started in 1994 and by the middle of 2006 there was over 50 million blogs. 8-10 years ago blogs became a primary source of information for many people world wide and of course are still used a lot today.
Blogging however is more then just a place for people to write about their day or feelings. Blogs are being used for business and information purposes every day. Clients and consumers like to research companies and products, so they are knowing who and what they are working with/buying. Here is where a blog comes in. This is you opportunity as a business to reach out to your clients and give them the information they are searching for.
1.Establish yourself as an authority
The first great thing about having a blog on your website, is that you have an opportunity to establish yourself as an authority in your clients eyes. By offering content related to what your customer is looking for, you are adding value and empowering your client to make information based decisions. By being an authority and having an empowered consumer, there is a built trust, instead of sales based off shakey ground. This helps increase client happiness and thus retention.
2.Boosts Website SEO
Trying to get to the top of search engines? There really is no quick fix that lasts a long time? Getting to the top of search engines takes some time and of course information is key. By blogging on your site related to the products or services you offer, it’s putting more of that relevant information on your site. The more information on your site, the more search engines believe your site is relevant to what is being searched. Google sees your site as an authority and ranks it higher.
Slightly tied in with the above, blogging can create something we call “Evergreen content”. Evergreen content is something that’s always relevant. Information that isn’t changing with the trends or seasons. (Kind of like an evergreen tree!). You of course can write about hot topics, but creating content on your site that is always applicable to your business, helps keep consumers informed and keywords on your site.
4. Answers potential clients questions
Some people visit FAQ sections, and some don’t think to. Some are not even sure of the questions they have until it’s presented to them. By writing about tips, tricks or general information you may just answer a question for a potential client. This can save both you and them some time. And when they reach out to you, they are informed and again higher likeliness to sign/purchase.
Creating blog posts and content on your site can provide enough information that people are interested in sharing it. If there is enough value (and it’s slightly entertaining right?) people want to share it. Share with friends or family or co workers etc. This sharing helps expose your business to more people who could potentially become clients/customers. They start to read your information, because an empowered, informed consumer and trust you to be that person that offers a service/product.
5.5 It’s fun
Okay maybe at first it’s not, but seriously gets the creative juices flowing some days!
Once something thought to be the stuff of fictional movies, now is becoming more and more reality for businesses from small to large. 3D Printing. You don’t have to be in a lab recreating a dinosaur part like form the movie Jurassic Park III.
There are endless applications for the use of 3D printers in today’s business world. Here are a couple simple ideas.
You can print signage as a whole or pieces that put together. Make an impact with your design on doorways, hallways and desks in your office. A simple way to keep consistent branding throughout the company while being able to print to size you need. In the Panda Rose office we printed off some decorations for the office too!
Printing pieces for repairing items you have built or things that are simply broken, is a lot more practical then you might think. Check out this blog post by Projects By Zac about things he has 3D printed to repair. Things from his simply fan to his car door handle! How many times in the office or shop has there been an item that is simple to fix or replace but it is a matter of getting or ordering the part? Sometimes with ordered parts you are forced to purchase many of them that you don’t even need and/or have to wait for them to be shipped too.
Scale models of projects and prototyping of designs is a huge application for 3D printing. So you have designed a part, invention or creation for a client, you are about to have hundreds, thousands or even millions made. with 3D printing you can give yourself a chance to have a good look at the design, feel it in your hands and make design adjustments.
In the case of custom metal or woodworking, you can print off specialty pieces that fit your clients/build exact needs, saving time and money on searching or adjusting your designs.
Need a thank you gift for a client or staff member? Print them off their very own promotional item. We printed a cookie cutter here at Panda Rose not long ago as a fun gift for a staff member who likes to bake. Gone are the days of promotional mugs you stock somewhere “in the back” with your old logo before your company did a re-branding. You can create custom promotional materials that suit your campaign/client/occasion.