My Voucher Codes

National discount voucher website company, myvouchercodes.co.uk are starting a ‘local’ page which will show the geographical locations of a number of selected small businesses who are offering special offer discounts to attract new customers.

Take a look and see if there’s something of interest in your area.

The listings for Southend are being put together as we speak.

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Social Media Marketing For Business

A 2009 survey by Alterian discovered that 66% of companies will be investing in social media marketing for business strategy in 2010.

Listening first and then communicating and engaging have become “musts” for any successful social media campaign and a large proportion of those companies plan to utilise more than 20% of their traditional direct marketing budget in social media.

However, it’s all very well saying that but how should a small local business get the best out of any social media interaction? We know that just bombarding potential customers with direct messages or continually linking to products just turns their attention away so what’s the best method of engaging and connecting?

Here’s a great post that talks about how to integrate social media marketing for business with traditional advertising methods.

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Local Search Engine Optimisation

Some small business owners are rather scathing of local search engine optimisation but, invariably, this is as a result of it not being done properly on their site.

There are people who will tell you that they rank #1 on Google but haven’t received any customers as a result.

Invariably, this is because their website has been optimised solely for the name of the company.

This is rather pointless because the people who will be searching Google for your company name will probably already be customers.

When selecting the metadata for your site, you need to work out what your potential customers are going to be typing into Google.

But, it’s a bit more complicated than that because, if you are a coffee shop and you just use the keyword ‘coffee’ on your site, you’re going to be in competition with an awful lot of other coffee shops around the world. You need to take geography into account and use local search engine optimisation

If, like Mike at The Ark, you are offering various types of massages in the Southend area, your future client base would be searching for ‘massage in Southend’. If his website did not show up on that search, then his business would not exist to those customers.

However, another reason for lack of customers could be as simple as there is no effective tracking system in place to check who’s visiting your website and where they came from.

If there is nothing on the site that requests prospective customers to let you know how they found out about your business or if no one asks them when they telephone/email, then they may not voluntarily tell you.

You have to set in place proper systems for tracking where your business is coming from – and that includes paid advertising because, without that, you don’t know how effective any campaign is. If it’s costing you money, it is vital that you have a way of working out the value of every customer that is achieved through that method to assess whether the financial outlay is worthwhile.

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Business EMarketing – Social Media Marketing Is Dying

When I read this article by Duncan Wierman, I have to admit that I agreed with him. I get so many people who either friend me or thank me for following them on Twitter by sending a Direct Message.

Invariably this is just a ruse to send me a link to their affiliate/product page. This is a really bad way to go about your business emarketing.

The way social media is supposed to work for marketing is that you friend people in order to build a relationship with them. You don’t sell… unless they ask you to. And they won’t ask you to unless you have built up a level of trust.

It’s all very well using software to search Twitter and Facebook for those individuals who are talking about keywords that relate to your product/industry so that you can interact with them – but they’re not stupid. If you only do it to bombard them with ads every time you post anything, they’re going to delete you pretty damn quick.

Certainly that’s what I do when it happens because I suddenly realise that I have an inbox full of ‘spam’. So the strategy really does have to be slowly and softly. You make them aware of your brand through the Twitter User Name or Facebook Fan Page but, otherwise, you don’t mention your product or services.

The whole thing that needs to be remembered when formulating a business marketing plan is that it takes seven exposures to your brand for someone to be ready to buy. That’s subliminal messages to their brain, be it through the logo on your company van, an ad in the local newspaper, a post on a relevent blog, a signature in a forum account on the subject, your Twitter account or Facebook Fan page.

Just like a virtual Derren Brown, you are sending them cues that will hardwire their brain to put forward your name if and when they have a problem that could be solved by your product/service.

Constantly ramming it down their throat will only cause immunity, bad feeling or deletion.

I thought long and hard about actually including the article because it is an article with a resource box that refers you to a type of software that builds leads by not using social media. However, in the spirit of article marketing, I have done the right thing as I think he makes some valid points.

Social Media Marketing is Dying
By Duncan Wierman (c) 2010

If nothing is certain, one thing is – social media is losing its magic. What once was a new and improved way to keep in touch with your closest loved ones has become just another sales pitch to convince you to sign up to another dreadful business prospect, newsletter, product, or service. There is no opening or closing – simply raw advertisements that lack sincerity. The people advertising their products don’t care about you or your general interests. They’re too set on the idea that you’re going to sign up and turn them into a success.

What’s wrong with this picture? Could it be that the advertisements lack taste and real value, or could it be that the people who want your business care less about who you are and what you are interested in?

What business entrepreneurs are forgetting is that they are on the other side of the fence of social media. They are on the advertising end, which means without a real connection to the “the people,” they are getting nowhere. At some point, a real connection needs to be established or otherwise all efforts to make a sale or spread the word are pointless.

The truth? No one cares about you unless you care about them, particularly when it comes to social media. Let’s say that you’ve got an account with Facebook. Each day when you see those tiny red notifications, you’re dead sure that they signify a message from your friends or family. Unfortunately, you open your inbox and all you see are loud advertisements. What do you do? You delete them, and you do so automatically without any interest whatsoever about what they say.

Advertising gurus are no longer “gurus,” they are simply annoying spammers who have no clue what they are doing. Business owners are missing the point. If their emails are getting read, it’s only by other advertisers just so they can compare tactics and techniques. Another sad part of it all is that no one is coming up with new techniques. Everybody is following someone who they think is successful, but in reality, no one is making any money because of their lack of effort and knowledge.

If you haven’t noticed (and you most likely have), all online entrepreneurs go about advertising their businesses in the same way. First, they request you as a fríend or become a follower (Twitter). Some of them may greet you with a “thanks for the request” or some other similar phrase, while others jump straight to the point and start bombarding you with their “winníng” sales pitch. Who are you more likely to communicate with? Nothing screams “delete” louder and faster than a sales pitch.

Some of the “thanks for the request” people might actually make it, as long as they don’t jump the gun too quickly. Unfortunately, the majority of them end it right there and automatically go on a link-posting frenzy, and immediately begin flooding your inbox with details about their products with no mention of how they might benefit you individually. It’s almost as if they are “demanding” that you purchase from them without any clear reason as to why.

On the other hand, some people are making sales. They are the ones who take their time in getting to know people. They ask questions and take a true interest in their prospects. Developing customer relationships is the most important part of advertising on social media because in the real world, customer relationships are a must.

It helps to wear the shoe on the other foot. Picture walking into a store with workers that aren’t friendly and don’t seem to have your interest anywhere in their top priorities. They are anxious for you to purchase something and that is it. They don’t care what you purchase or why, they just want your money. When you leave, they want you to come back over and over, even if you’re not interested in what they’ve got. It’s a horrible experience for both you and them.

When you look at it from a different perspective, it helps to see why social media is dying for your company. What people want is warmth and a display of interest in who they are, not lousy sales pitches. As soon as business professionals establish a connection, then they might have a chance, but until then, it’s best to just stick to more familiar means of advertising and leave social media to what it was always meant for. Bring common sense back to your marketing.

About The Author
Former Software CEO turned Internet Marketer. Duncan Wierman shows you how to use creative marketing methods to create a full time income online. Duncan is the original creator of the software that finds business LEADS and converts them to income. Get a trial copy at:
http://www.onlineleadfinder.com/

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