Tag Archives: Social Media

Social Media – We Help you Get Up to Speed

 

Don’t know your Twitter from your Twiglets? Your Facebook from your Fat Face? Decidedly social media unsavvy? Well, read on. This one’s for you.

So you’ve heard about this magical thing called social media, and how you need to get on it, but don’t know where to start? And, really, you’re busy enough, got plenty of clients, so why bother? It just seems a bit unnecessary, to be honest.

Well, I’m here to tell you that it’s time to drag yourself – kicking and screaming, if need be – into the 21st century. It is 2017, after all.

Social media’s been around for a while now, and it looks like it’s here to stay. It may have begun humbly enough with Friends Reunited and MySpace. But it’s all grown up now, and they’ve finally found a way to commercialise it. So now it’s time for you to tap in and mine those massive databases of personal data for yourself.

And, while you might be currently happy with your generic four-line Yellow Pages ad, there will most likely come a time when that business dries up.

Not just a pretty face

Let’s look at the world’s most popular social media platform, Facebook, which celebrated its 14th birthday earlier this year. What began as a platform for Harvard College students to rate each other’s hotness, Facebook is now one of the internet’s most frequently visited websites. As at April 2017, there were 1.97 billion active Facebook users.[1] That’s a lot of eyeballs.

On the face of it (see what I did there?), Facebook might seem like a harmless way to while away the hours. But look a little more closely, and you might catch a glimpse of just how devious this platform really is.

Unlike traditional ways of getting to know your customers – you know, like, by actually talking to them – Facebook has done all the hard work for you. No, scratch that, Facebook’s users have done all the hard work for you. Registering for an account is just the beginning. Every time a user interacts with the site – “likes” a post, shares a post, likes a page, posts a picture, tags a friend – they are adding to their growing user profile. Over time, Facebook has built a massive database of users’ likes and dislikes. The information Facebook knows about its user base is staggering – and not slightly frightening.

And you can use this to your advantage. But how?

Getting to know your clients

Ask yourself this: how much do you know about your current customers? Their name? Maybe their post code? You might be able to guess their age, but you wouldn’t want to take a punt. At a stretch, you might know what team they barrack for, or what they did on the weekend. But that’s about it. Now think about all the personal information that users willingly share on Facebook and other social media platforms. It’s a wonder identity theft isn’t more prevalent.

Targeting your market

Perhaps you think your customers or target market aren’t using social media. If we take a closer look at Facebook’s demographics, however, we can see that a significant amount of people in each generation regularly use that social media platform.

social media

Figure 1 Source: Sprout Social

So you see, Facebook isn’t just for millennials, or boomers or grannies. Everyone’s on it.

So why aren’t you?

Fear of missing out

Remember those 1.97 billion pairs of eyeballs that aren’t seeing your business on Facebook? Well, guess what. They’re seeing your competitors instead. And they’re not just liking and following your competitors’ pages, they’re communicating with them as well.

And it’s not that one-way style of “communicating” synonymous with those old technologies of newspapers, radio and TV. Oh, no. It’s now two-way. A dialogue rather than a monologue.

But that’s not the only difference between social media and more traditional forms of communication and advertising. As you will see below, the advantages of social media can enable you to communicate with your clients and reach your target market in ways previously unheard of.

Advantages of using social media

Cost

Traditional forms of advertising, such as TV and radio, are often prohibitively expensive. Even mass marketing efforts like catalogues and letters incur some form of cost. By comparison, social media is inexpensive and often free. It has clearly levelled the playing field, removing many costly barriers to entry for smaller businesses, enabling them to compete with the big boys.

Time

In today’s digital age, who’s got the patience for long drawn-out production and printing times? It’s all about instant gratification. We live life on the fly, juggling multiple things at once, and we expect a response within seconds of asking the question. Social media enables users to connect with you instantly rather than having to wait on hold while listening to elevator muzak.

Reach

What a waste of time and energy it is targeting people who have no interest in your business. But this is exactly what more traditional forms of advertising do. This scattergun approach is expensive and ineffective. With social media, however, your efforts can be targeted with sniper-like precision.

Distribution

Think about the last time you received junk mail in the post. It’s called junk mail for a reason. Compare that to the way people share and disseminate promotions and offers on social media, often to the point where it goes viral.

Out with the old, in with the new(ish)

So faced with all the glaringly obvious advantages to being on social media, what’s stopping you? Sure, it can be scary to try something new for the first time. But the risks involved in launching your business on social media are relatively low, when compared to other more traditional forms of communication. It’s quite acceptable to dip your toe in and see if it gets bitten off. We dipped our toes a while ago and really enjoy it.  Follow us on twitter @holdeverything1

Let’s face it, if you’re not on social media, you may as well be invisible.

 

David Miller

 

How do you manage? A message from Richard Cooper

 

How do you manage your teams as a business owner or leader?

I will guess that you are in your current position because you are efficient, good at what you do and have a degree of success in your industry?

Do you manage people the same way?  Is that the right way?  Where am I going with this?  Well, I have had an increasing number of conversations from people starting up in business who have left “jobs” because of overbearing and “stuff based” management.

What I mean by “stuff based” is that we seem to be going back to the era of the Yuppies in the 80’ ( who remembers that term? ) – sharp, money motivated managers who have a background in how to manage property, buildings and items, but don’t really have the people skills to manage a diverse range of people.

How do you identify someone like this?   In my experience, they usually manage buildings, telecommunications, ordering and facilities, with the graze and ease of a true professional.  Their conversations with people will start with  “I know” , and they may be dismissive of staff feelings, interrupt with their “position”.   In short great managers of “stuff” but dismissive of people.

Considering the alternative may be scary to some bosses and companies however. Someone who doesn’t have great technical skill in running their business but who works on an intuitive level?  Gets involved with staff issues, and is much more of a people person.  Surely this would be a nightmare, as nothing would get done effectively and there would be so much to train and teach?

I personally believe that if you need someone in your business with people skills, you can have the best “stuff manager” in the world but you will struggle to develop their tact and diplomacy skills.  They won’t see emotion how their staff do and most likely wont care either!   However if you have someone with the right “people skills” you can show them how “stuff” works.  There are manuals for that.

In my businesses there I times when I have to “tell” my team “stuff”.  It isn’t negotiable and has to be done – such as legal compliance.  However where I can I am learning that the people are the most important asset to my business.  Fobbing them off, being fake and trying to be their best friend will never work if it’s not genuine and meant.  It’s the most dangerous form of management and one thing is for sure, it WILL end in a mess.

So my message this week is:   If you have the right people person, they will pick up the facts as they learn.  Remember people are not facilities, they have feelings which whilst you don’t HAVE to account for, a good manager will always consider.   And finally, never ever try to take someone’s dignity, it means nothing to you but will mean everything to them.

Until next time

Richard Cooper – Virtual Office Visionary

Follow me @holdeverything1

A message from Richard Cooper – Is Social Media destroying your business?

 Social Media is bad for your business?

I personally believe that Social Media, used properly can be and IS extremely powerful for a business.

There are a number of businesses who claim to be Social Media “Gurus” and many businesses will use them.  Other businesses don’t see the point.  I’m one of the middle people.  I greatly see and benefit from the value of social media.  I work with businesses who support my strategy, however there are certain tasks I keep “in – house”.   Why am I sharing this?

Well this week I saw a comment on a Facebook page that has done damage to their business. The sad thing is, they probably don’t realise it.

Virtual Office - Steps for Succes

A friend of my contact put a comment on their wall enquiring about some work they needed doing.  In my book if someone is going public with a desire to do business from you, it’s a massive buying signal.

Instead of taking the conversation off line to negotiate – the response I (and probably the 600+ friends this person has on Facebook) saw was along the lines of.

“Yes that’s fine, if I can be bothered to contact you, and if you can wait until I’m ready, it’s your call”

It wasn’t this word for word; it actually came across a little sharper.  This is, however, how I read it. I wonder how their other contacts saw it.

I met up with one of these contacts a couple of days later and interestingly enough the comment came up in conversation.  Shockingly he had decided after that comment to no longer do business with this person.   He said he never wanted to be treated like that!

Is this hasty or is this the way that real-time business has now become?  I would strongly suggest that how we portray ourselves online – especially on sites such as Facebook where personal meets professional.

Do they have any idea?  Should I tell them?  Are they a business person and do they have ANY idea the damage they have done?

My top tips for this week are based on social media.

1)      Stay professional, as the saying goes “Face it, don’t Facebook it”.  Even with friends and family, the words you write stay forever.

2)      Remember how you write something, is not necessarily how it will be seen by others.

3)      Never EVER underestimate how a “bad moment” could turn your business on its head.

 

Whether there was history behind this relationship, or an “in joke”, business has been lost.  Think about how YOU want to be seen.

Until next time

Richard Cooper – virtual office visionary

Follow me @holdeverything1

 

 

More Perspective?

Many of our clients are small businesses and something that I feel particularly passionate about is perspective.

Whilst we have an established team here are Hold Everything HQ, many business owners work alone and the thing about this is that often, there is a different level of perspective.

I remember when I was starting out alone in business. It was me against the world.  My business was my life (and in many ways still is!).  The trouble was that because I worked only with one part time member of staff,  sometimes the pressure of everything all at once felt a little bit too much.   I would feel alone and that there wasn’t anyone I could turn to.  

As the business has grown, this has become less of an issue, however when I speak to a client who is wound up about something that really isn’t as bad as they think it is, I remember being there.

My top tips for you if you ever find that things are getting a little too much are:

1) Take a five minute break.  Sounds obvious?  Sometimes just moving about and taking a deep breath can make that difference. Ask yourself “in the great scheme of things is this really as bad as it seems.

2) If you have received a “bad” email, message or voicemail – wait 24 hours before responding. Your replies are permanent. Don’t do damage by biting back, no matter HOW tempting.

3) Find other businesses in your position.  I met numerous great businesses through business networking.   If you’re just starting out there are many that are free to go along to.   Having others to talk to really helped me to realise that things aren’t as bad as I sometimes thought.

If you are a bigger business dealing with smaller companies:

1) Remember that just because something that isn’t important to you, it doesn’t mean that it’s not essential to someone else.

2) Can YOU take five minutes to listen to a small business? What are your business doing to support start up mentoring?

3) Stay professional at all times regardless of how someone else is behaving to you and if you have been in that position, remember how it felt.

There are so many terrible events going on in the world and sometimes we need to step out and see the bigger picture.  Theres always an answer.

This week our thoughts go out to those affected by the awful events in the USA.

Until next time

Richard Cooper – Hold Everything
Follow us @holdeverything1

 

I don’t give a Hoot!

Something that always interests me about the business people I meet, is the approach that they have to their company and those around them.

Now, whether you believe in Karma or not, I personally see an unwritten code of conduct that businesses tend to follow. Examples of this include:

  • Acting with honesty and integrity
  • Treating fellow businesses with respect
  • Good manners
  • Assertiveness without aggressiveness.
  • Basic dignity and respect as a minimum.

All pretty standard? So one would think!

Increasingly I am seeing more and more business behaviour which has an edge to it that isn’t necessarily positive.

From non negotiation to nothing more than playground bullying and games. Not talking to each other (especially business partners) and even worse, taking issues to social media to air them in public are acts I see more and more regularly.

Clients usually come to us because they want a defined barrier between their home and business life. Who wouldn’t want this?

However when businesses start attacking each other and using online tactics to put each other down, what can you do?

Marie Coles – founder of Business Connections and all round social media superstar shares the following quick tips on how to handle the “playground antics”:

1) If it’s a business partner who is taking their issues to air with facebook/twitter etc, then arrange a face to face meeting. Consider a professional mediator. The cost of their services may save you a serious amount of money in the long run. Do NOT engage with any online debates or arguments. It will damage your reputation more.

2) If it’s a competitor or business relationship gone wrong, try your best to ignore them. Most of them go away in time. However if it’s blatant slander or reputation damage, seek legal or where necessary police advice.

3) Always remember that even bullying online is still bullying. Act assertively and protect your business but always remember good ethics and manners. Don’t be afraid of the “block” button on social media.

Marie x

These tips are extremely valuable. Are you involved in any arguments or issues? Are they really necessary and are you acting like a good business should? My tip for the week is to step back from your business for an hour. Look at it and walk around your premises if you have them. Ask yourself “am I facing the issues I need to” – because if as a business manager or owner the answer is no, then you need to look at all of the people affected by it. Making changes to your business, your staff and their responsibilities isn’t easy, but its much easier than losing good business contacts and staff because you don’t. Just be wise and know your allies as well as your enemies.

Until next time

Richard Cooper