Tips for Small and Medium Businesses to Get The Most Out of Social Media

Social media presents great opportunities to small and medium-sized businesses – you can be nimble, fun and have plenty of character without having to worry about the layers of approval that larger businesses face when they use social media. I’ve worked on some tips to help you on your way to running great social media channels and thinking about the role it can play in your organization.

  1. Define your objectives – before you start posting with a scattergun approach, sit down and map out what is important to you.  Knowing what results you want will define how you go about using social media. Social media moves swiftly, but that doesn’t mean you should rush into it without a plan!  Do you want to:

– get clicks to your website?
– showcase your work?
– talk to your customers?
– take orders/bookings?
– invite people to your events?

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How to Get More Instagram Followers

1. Make your prof pic and bio amazing and noticeable

The first thing people see is your Instagram biography and picture when scrolling through Instagram. Make yours pretty to look at and different enough to click on. This can include plenty of emojis and any awesome quotes you want to feature in your bio. Make your name catchy and relevant to your brand as well. You want to catch the attention of the other 400 million accounts out there so have fun with your profile and don’t be afraid to stand out.

Trying different combos of C a P i T a L letters also gets you noticed. Play around and have fun with your bio and pic.

2. Pick 1 theme and don’t post selfies or #kidpics

You want your theme to be exactly what your audience loves to look at and can’t live without. If you sell shoes, post gorgeous shoe pictures, hashtag relevant #shoes, and throw in a few inspiration quotes on top of some of your shoe pics.

You just went to the park with your kid? Save that for your personal Instagram if you want to retain followers on your business’ themed account. This will promote trust and a loyal following of interested people.

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How small business owners can use viral marketing?

Think that you need huge budgets and resources to create effective viral content for your business? Think again. Going viral is easier than ever, even for small businesses who’ve never had any previous online presence. The most important aspects that you need to get right to go viral is creativity and originality. After that, it’s simply a matter of finding the right social media channels to promote your content through. Here are some tips that small business owners need to follow if they want to succeed in viral marketing:

Don’t be overly ambitious

There is nothing wrong with ambition, but sometimes it can cause more issues than it’s worth. Before you start planning out how your content is going to take over the world and result in record breaking sales for your business, make sure that you reel yourself in slightly and set your sights a little lower. If you’re a small business that only operates locally, then what would be the point in the whole world seeing your content? Not much. You want to make sure that your content is going viral with the right audience – which should be your customers. Anything else is a bonus.

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Audience Segmentation 101: Your Guide To Gain More Targeted Customers

In the business world, it’s important to gain the right customer base the first time in order to see positive results in your profits and from your marketing efforts. The problem is with such a broad spectrum of customers, it can be hard to work out exactly how to target the right customer so you can see more conversions and sales overall. If you’re in this predicament, here’s an expert guide on audience segmentation and how you can use it to gain more targeted customers for better ROI.

Audience Segmentation Can Improve Your ROI and Customer Base

Audience segmentation can help you improve your profits because it can drive in more customers that are directly related to your business and what you’re offering. Segmenting your audience is the process of narrowing down your audience until you have the most relevant customer. Why does it improve your customer base and ROI?

  1. Because it allows your business to market to the right and relevant audience.
  2. Because you place more money into the right marketing areas instead of the wrong ones, lowering your spending. This in turn gains you more profits.

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4 Simple Tactics to Motivate Your Employees Effectively

Being a business owner or someone in charge of a team of people is work which requires a great deal of responsibility, patience and fast thinking. Your job, among other things, is to make sure that your employees are motivated to perform their duties properly. Motivation is a tricky thing as it affects people’s productivity levels, the effectiveness and efficiency of their work, but also their overall work performance. So how to keep your employees motivated at all times? Surely, most people believe that the most effective way is to give them more money. While it seems quite logical, contrary to this popular opinion, there are a lot of other, more effective solutions for increasing the motivation in the workplace. These four simple, but smart tactics will surely help keep the employees’ spirits up and motivate them to do their jobs more productively.

Learn To Appreciate Their Work

While there’s a steady opinion that a successful and good leader should be strict, unforgiving and somewhat cruel, it has been proven that this tactic can actually undermine employees’ motivation and productivity levels, rather than increase them. A dictator-like behaviour might work in some cultures, but it’s much more effective to be loved rather than feared as a leader. After all, you’ll want to establish a sincere, friendly relationship with your workers where you’ll support their work, appreciate their performance but also give clear guidance. The key is to have integrity, but with style and to know when and how to draw the line between friendship and business.

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Managing Employees in the Workplace – A Guide for Entrepreneurs

The employees in your company play the most important role in the success of your company. If your employees aren’t motivated enough to work to meet their daily objectives, your company’s profitability will suffer. That is why it’s so important to maintain a chain of command in the workplace; managers are there to instruct the employees to ensure that there are checks and balances. Motivation levels vary depending upon the compensation they receive, the workload they have to deal with, and the general atmosphere in the workplace.

A good business owner not only knows how to spot opportunities and make deals; he or she also know how to manage their employees. Promoting leadership and engagement in the workplace are very important. Rumours can also have a major impact on employee performance. For instance, if there’s a rumour around the office of job cuts, your employees will obviously be more fearful. The following guide will help aspiring entrepreneurs to manage better their employees, which will ultimately improve the company’s profitability and performance.

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Top Techniques for Creating A Solid Email Marketing Campaign

When in the process of setting up a small business and marketing it for more sales, it’s important to look into all avenues of marketing to ensure you don’t miss out on any potential customers. One marketing method that’s used by many small businesses is email marketing. Email marketing is not only a cost effective strategy to use but has the potential to build a stronger relationship with your future customers. So how do you create a powerful email marketing campaign? This expert guide will give you the top techniques you can use to create a solid email marketing campaign.

Best Practices For A Great Email Marketing Strategy

Identify Your Target Audience

Identifying your target audience is the first thing you need to consider when creating a powerful marketing strategy. The idea of audience identification is so you don’t market your business to the wrong people who aren’t interested in what you have to offer. This just wastes your time and theirs. So how do you identify your target audience? The answer is audience segmentation. Audience segmentation is the process of breaking down your potential customer base and working out specific content that is targeted for them. You can start this break down process by placing your audience into selected categories. These categories include:

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Taking a Break to Improve Your Productivity

Do you do anything ‘fun’ during your typical work day to help keep you focused? It’s easy to get caught up in the busy-ness of business and often we just need to give our brains a break for the sake of our work, colleagues and customers. Oddly, this intentional act of removing ourselves from our work environment can in fact vastly improve our productivity levels. But taking these brain breaks consistently is no picnic. Whilst there are many ways to take a break from the demands of your business, as with most attempts at behavioral change, incorporating these into your daily routine is the only way to increase your chances of following through and seeing results.

Here are some tips to help you find ways to give yourself a true business break:

Get out for lunch

It may sound far too obvious but eating lunch at your desk five or six days a week is not a lunch break. Continuing work whilst eating not only reduces your effectiveness at the tasks you are completing but it also has a tendency to foster poor nutritional choices when it comes to what you actually eat. A couple of times a week you should actually go out for lunch for a full hour. Even better take a colleague, client or friend with you and make it a point to not talk business. You’ll be surprised about the serendipitous discoveries you may achieve whilst out and what you’ll learn about the people you already know. If you can get away with not having a device with you during lunch, you’ll be giving yourself some space to unwind without projects still floating around in your mind. By the time you get back to the office, the second half of your day should see you refreshed, full of energy and crushing it.

Get some fresh air

There is nothing better than to completely leave the confines of your office and take a walk around the block. Not only will it take your mind temporarily away from what you’re working on, the physical activity will help energise you and shrug off any sluggishness. Whilst walking you may want to just focus on your breathing so that you that you can find another level of calm. Another favourite is to take a picnic rug with you to a local park and sit with your headphones on and your favourite tunes. The goal here is to get you into the real environment that includes fresh air and natural sunlight. These elements can have a huge impact on the rest of your day and will positively impact your productivity more than if you just stayed in front of your computer.

Get in the break routine

Even if all you can manage in your particular work environment is short little breaks from time to time, take them. Even use them to reward yourself throughout the day as something to look forward to. As soon as you finish the next segment of the big project you are working on, celebrate hitting that milestone with a short break. Some people like to work with countdown timers that alert them when a certain period of time is over. This practice helps you stick to the routine of breaks but it will also help you fit more into your day as you give task’s deadlines to these chunks of time. These repeated breaks will help enormously, even if all you do is get out of your chair and in the hallway for a few moments. The idea is to get away from your computer or desk just long enough to feel you’ve been gone from them. Bathroom breaks don’t count.

Get the first break early

One great way to boost your productivity is to have your first break of the day early in your work day. That can be something as simple as a coffee break at 10:00 AM. If you started work at 9:00 AM, you have an hour to accomplish something more than weeding through e-mails and Boom! Time for a break. It will give you great motivation each morning, especially on those Mondays that never seem to end. An early break will make that day seem shorter and if you add another short break at 3:00 PM, you can really bust up a day and still be fresh and productive.

There is nothing wrong with working hard at your business but in the long run if you overdo it you won’t be much fun to be around and your brain will turn to mush. To avoid this try giving your mind and body frequent breaks during the day. In the competitive world of business, you need the edge to stay competitive and your productivity will do that and if you do it right.

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Carl is the co-founder of www.baskpicnicrugs.com.au Bask, an Australian store that specialises in premium picnic rugs designed especially for the lifestyles of active, healthy Australians. Bask’s unique range of picnic blankets compliment their philosophy about the importance of getting outside and among nature more often.

Five Ways to Stabilise Your Small Business Income

It’s 2016 and the world around you is changing. More and more people are owning small businesses. The internet has progressed and evolved since its early days, and people are flooding to get their small businesses out there through websites and other platforms. For those of us who are current small business owners, it was not easy to get here. So many hurdles to jump, so many failures to overcome. But here we are and we plan to stay here so long our income continues to go up and not the other way. Stabilizing your small business income should be at the top of your list of important things to keep in mind. With the economy note yet on its feet, it’s best to focus your attention on this subject. In this article we will give you 5 ways to stabilize your small business income.

1. Track All Of Your Expenses

This one might seem like a simple one but creating a budget for literally everything is essential when running a small business. Make sure you are keeping an eye out on ALL of your accounts as your small business keeps growing. It’s as simple as gathering all receipts used throughout the day and making sure to either write down or put in the computer any and all payments coming in and out. Do not leave anything out; meals you eat on the go, gas used to get from one place to another, supplies bought at another location – it all adds up in the end. By not keeping up with all of the expenses, you end up not being able to create a reliable financial statement or conjure up correct reports on your tax returns.

2. Boost your SEO

SEO is important when wanting to up your revenue or attract more customers. SEO is not difficult and should often be updated to keep up a certain amount of traffic on your small business website. You’re going to wanna utilize keywords that are a bit closer to your niche and that have fewer competitors. The URLs you use be able to take your customers back to your main site and should also have indicators of the content on the same page, such as the page title. Also, you’re going to want to avoid using numbers or odd strings of text in your URLs – this is so that you do not lead people away from your page. And finally, every article you publish on your page should also be be accompanied by social share icons that lead to your small business’s Facebook page or Twitter account. In a sense, it’s like killing two birds with one stone.

3. Learn To Separate Personal and Business Money

This applies to new and seasoned small business owners alike. It’s important always to keep business, and personal money separate. Try going with easy-to-use software, such as QuickBooks. Honestly, you don’t need to be an accounting expert to keep track of your income and expenses. However, if you know you won’t enter information into the computer software every once in awhile while it’s still fresh in your mind, you might want to get a simple cash book from the local supply store. Make sure to write all the money that comes in and all that goes out. You can end up with way too many financial headaches if you do not organize and optimize your financial records.

4. Stop The Habit Of Using Your Sales Tax Money

This one should come as no surprise to all small business owners. It will certainly cost you way more in future penalties, fees, interest, time and aggravation than obtaining some short term financing. The most reliable strategy is to discipline yourself to deposit all the sales tax money you gain each and every day into a separate bank account. Now, why do this you may ask; it’s simple; tax liabilities grow due to business owners using the tax money they collect and will gain working capital for their current operations

5. Don’t Forget To Pay Yourself The Right Amount And No More

It’s Friday afternoon, and it’s time for the weekend to begin. So like always, you pay yourself what you want and sometimes even take a little more out that you need for whatever weekend plans you might have. In the short run, this seems like an okay thing to do – but in the long term, this is just bankruptcy waiting to happen. Even when the business is thriving, it is important to continue to draw only YOUR salary. This is because the “down times” will be coming eventually through the natural business cycle of your small business. It’s not fun to leave the money in the firm during times of plenty, but it sure is nice to have those reserves when the company is struggling in future. So make sure only to grab what you need and leave the rest. It’ll surely help shortly.

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Joel House runs a leading Queensland based SEO Agency  – Black Shirt Marketing. When he is not growing businesses across Queensland, he has his head in books to ensure he is on the cutting edge of all things small business and digital marketing