Tag Archives: business


How to obtain leads through Instagram

If you’re using social media to obtain leads you’ve probably had business from Facebook and Twitter, but have you considered Instagram for promoting your products of services?

Once company that is successfully using Instagram for business is Square One Marketing and Design whose boss Elliott Richmond can be found on Instagram @erichmond.

Elliott’s strategy is to publish a mixture of personal and business photos using the hashtags #sq1hq and #sq1md on all business Instagrams. These consist of a mixture of web development and web design projects that he’s worked on.

Instagram is a great way of showcasing his company’s web development and design expertise, which was recently noticed by Kim Ellefsen of Norwegian company WNDR. You can find Kim on Instagram at @ellefsen.

Kim wanted to find a web expert to develop a WordPress plugin and was impressed with Elliott’s Instagrams. He got in touch and now they are working together.

If you have any examples of obtaining leads via social media, please get in touch if you would like me to feature your story as an example.


400 social media for business tips

Following the publication of my latest collection of 100 social media for business tips you can now learn about LinkedIn as well as Facebook, Twitter and Google+. All individual tips are tweetable so please share on Twitter and across your social networks if you like a particular tip. Thank you.

Please let me know in the Comments below which social network I should provide 100 tips for next; Pinterest or Instagram perhaps?

100 Facebook Tips from Intranet Future


Social Media and Business [INFOGRAPHIC]

Social Media & Business [INFOGRAPHIC]
Created by Merchant Money


How to start blogging for business in 10 easy steps

Following my interview on BBC Radio Gloucestershire (listen from 43:30) to kick off their blog week, here are 10 steps to get you started on blogging for business. Writing a business blog can have many benefits such as converting leads to new customers and improving your SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). See Step 1 below for other benefits then read on to discover how you can be up and running with your business blog in 10 easy steps.

1) Consider your objectives - Before you start writing it’s important to be clear about your business objectives for your blog. What is its aim or purpose? Do you want to increase the amount of traffic to your website, spread awareness of your business or perhaps demonstrate your expertise and thought leadership.

2) Choose your subject - What is your subject or theme going to be? It makes sense to tie your theme in with your objectives. If you want to demonstrate your expertise then it would make sense to write commentary and opinion about your industry sector. There are acres upon acres of content on the web, so to get noticed it’s a good idea to blog about a specific niche and/or make your writing personal. That is, write about your own thoughts, ideas and opinions thus making it unique and not simply a regurgitation of similar blogs and news sites. Think about what your audience wants to hear. What can you provide for them that will be useful and relevant?

3) Plan and then plan some more - Now that your blog has a purpose and theme it’s time for that most important step of all; planning. Planning takes the pain away from blogging. If you are always planning ahead with subjects, thoughts and ideas it makes writing your blog a lot easier. You should also set your own deadlines around the frequency of your blog. Are you blogging daily, weekly or monthly? I jot down notes during my day when I spot something of interest eg a new feature on a social network, and then I incorporate this in my next Social Media News blog.

4) Prepare content - A blog isn’t just about writing. A great blog will usually include some of the following; images, photos, infographics, video, audio, and helpful references to other websites. The best content is original content which provides your blog with something unique that your readers or viewers can’t obtain elsewhere. You can use a smartphone to shoot video and take photos and a tool like Canva to edit photos and produce great images.

5) Choose your host and domain - The best location for your blog is as part of your website. It makes senses for your readers that your they can find your blog at the same place as your website. Why ask them to visit it somewhere else? Your blog will help attract visitors to the rest of your website and will help with SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). If it’s not possible to include as part of your website then you’ll need hosting and a domain. For advice on this, I suggest you contact Rich Mehta of Rigorous Digital.

6) Choose a platform - If you are incorporating your blog in your website then there’s no need for an additional platform but if you are having a stand-alone blog the most popular option is WordPress, which can also be used for websites eg intranetfuture.com. You do need to be technically minded or have web development support for WordPress, but if you’re not then Blogger, owned by Google, is worth a look.

7) Write your first post - Now that the building blocks in steps 1-6 are in place, the stage is now set! It’s time to put your fingers to the keyboard and write your first post. If you’ve planned as suggested in step 4, you should have a structure which you can now populate.

8) Choose an eye catching headline - Your headline can end up being an afterthought but it should be given important consideration. It’s often the only part of your blog post that will be seen in social network posts and it’s the first words that your reader will see. Your heading needs to draw people into reading your post and should be unique, creative, clickable and eye-catching. Not easy!  Try to include works like ways, tips, reasons, tips, tricks or secrets or expressions like ‘how to’. If you’re reading this, the last suggestion clearly works! Try and get over the value or benefit your reader will receive by reading your post and make it sound exciting - eg ‘5 secret ways to boost your sales’ or ‘Learn how to jive in 60 seconds’.

9) Proof read - Once your blog is complete, check for typos, grammar and spelling mistakes. This is a step that I can certainly improve on! but it’s important for your blog writing to be professional. If you don’t have the time or inclination to do yourself then hire a professional like Sue Kelso-Ryan.

10) Share - Now that your post is finished you need to attract readers. Share your post across your social networks and where you can, include a reason for people to visit your blog or some extra comment. Eg Just finished latest post on juicing. Learn how I lost a stone in a month - “My 30 day juice fast”. Encourage your readers to share by adding social sharing buttons to each blog article, making it easy for them to share to their friends and followers. You can also get yourself noticed by posting appropriate comments in relevant blogs but make sure you are adding value and not just spamming.

And a bonus tip: End your blog post with a ‘call to action’ like this….

If you have tips on starting blogging for business, please comment below. 


5 benefits of LinkedIn Premium

LinkedIn is tremendously useful for professionals wanting to network and obtain leads and it’s a powerful tool for recruitment. The majority of users stick with the free version but there are good reasons for considering LinkedIn Premium. There are different upgrade options tailored for business people, job seekers, sales professionals and recruiters but they all have the following benefits.

1) InMail - this is the most significant benefit which gives you the ability to message pretty much all of the 300+ million members of LinkedIn - a very powerful too. The only exceptions are high profile people like Richard Branson. InMails are more likely to be read than emails; 7 times more likely according to LinkedIn. Recipients receive an alert displayed on the right hand side of LinkedIn as well as an email notification.

2) More search results - When you use LinkedIn search on the basic version, the maximum number of profiles that are displayed in results is 100 but on Premium this increases to a minimum of 500 profiles.

3) More filters in Advanced Search - You can find leads and contact people using the standard Advanced Search but Premium gives you the option to filter by useful criteria such as Seniority Level and Company Size.  This allows you to refine your targetting of potential prospects. Learn how to obtain leads using LinkedIn Advanced Search.

4) More Saved Searches - Once you’ve set up a suitable Advanced Search (see point 3) you can have the results emailed to you. This is much more convenient than having to enter your search criteria manually each time. You can have one Saved Search with the free version but upgrading to business gives you seven; handy for targeting different business sectors or roles.

5) More results for ‘Who’s viewed your profile’ - LinkedIn have recently improved this valuable feature and added a new How You Rank for Profile Views feature. To see all those who have viewed your profile in the past 90 days you’ll need Premium. On the free version you only have access to the 5 most recent viewers details. For ‘How your rank’ free members will see the top 10 members in their network and company as well as 10 members around them while Premium members will see the top 100 in network and company, as well as 100 members around them.

For more information and to upgrade to visit the LinkedIn Premium page.

If you’re local to Cheltenham you might be interested in the Learn about LinkedIn workshop I’m running on Tuesday 22 July. Alternatively, please contact me to arrange an appointment or book some time on the phone with me. 


Engaging Instagram for business campaign

Gastro pub The Tivoli in Cheltenham have come up with an engaging Social Media campaign using Instagram. The idea is for diners to take photos of their meals with Instagram and tag them with #TheTivoliMenu. Once The Tivoli have built a collection, they’ll create a special Instagram menu using the photos.

Visual menus are becoming an increasingly popular way of encouraging diners to make their food and drinks choices so this campaign is very much on trend. The campaign is a simple but engaging idea nicely promoted with cards around the pub which also mention their Facebook Page and Twitter profile.

If you need help with setting up a Social Media campaign to promote your business, give me a call on 01242 639023 to arrange a face to face meeting or book a phone call with me.


How to create or convert to a Pinterest business account

You can now set up Business Accounts on Pinterest or if you already have a Personal Account you can convert it. In addition, business users have access to some new tools, widgets and case studies as well as their own Terms of Service. As a business Pinterest can help you in a number if ways - here are 5 reasons to sign up.

There’s not a huge amount of difference between a Personal and a Business Account but Pinterest wants to encourage businesses so more resources, tools, cast studies and business specific features will no doubt follow. As with doing most things on Pinterest obtaining a business account is quick and straightforward.

To set up a Business Account:

1. Go to: http://business.pinterest.com
2. Select New to Pinterest? Join as  a business
3. Select your Business type
4. Complete profile
5. Agree to Terms of Service

You can convert your profile from Personal to Business by following the steps above except no need to do Step 4 as you already have a profile. You can also access http://business.pinterest.com by going to About/For Business after you’ve logged in.

To learn more about Pinterest check out my Pinterest for Business workshops which are regularly run in Cheltenham, England.


5 secret Facebook Page tips

Here are 5 tips that you can use to make your Facebook Page more effective and help increase your fans and grow your sales. You may not have come across these tips before:

1. Under About add a ‘call to action’ - include a web address eg “Visit our website at www.website.com for exclusive photos.”

2. Add your Twitter account name - add your Twitter URL to the Description or General information section. Hyperlinks are supported so this makes it easy for visitors to find and follow you on Twitter.

3. Create a ‘Welcome Page’ - following the introduction of Timeline there was disappointment at the loss of the Welcome Page. However, there is nothing to stop you linking visitors from your website (or anywhere else) directly to an app where you can welcome them with a special offer or competition.

4. Encourage fans to Message you - you may have noticed a Message button on the top of some Pages. Make sure that yours is enabled and encourage fans to message you. These messages are private so you could use to manage customer service queries.

5. Schedule your posts - by selecting the clock on the bottom left of the “Write something…” field you can date posts in the past but you can also schedule up to 6 months in advance in 10 minute increments. Great for planning your content.

If you have any other ‘secret’ Facebook Page tips please share them in the comments below.


5 reasons to join Pinterest today!

Pinterest is a fast growing social network that can help a business increase sales particularly if it sells visual products such as jewellery, food, drink, shoes, clothing, paintings, designs or similar products. Read about Oreck which is increasing sales using Pinterest to raise brand awareness and encourage visitors to its website.

1) Easy to sign up - Invites are no longer needed to join Pinterest and you can sign up straight away. Sign up is quick and easy if you use your Facebook or Twitter login details.

2) Low maintenance - There is no messaging facility on Pinterest so you don’t need to check for messages. It helps to pin regularly but it’s not essential.

3) Great for encouraging visitors to your website - According to Shareaholic’s website traffic report for July, Pinterest sends more traffic to websites than Twitter or Bing.

4) Pinterest users purchase - 79% of Pinterest users more likely to buy items they’ve seen on Pinterest compared with Facebook users, according to SteelHouse’s 2012 Social Shopping Survey,

5) Increases your visibility - Having a presence on Pinterest makes it more likely you’ll show up in Google Search. It’s an additional web property related to your brand that can be indexed. In fact, Pinterest is particular good for SEO (Search engine optimisation) so it can also help your website rank higher in search results.

To learn more about how Pinterest can help your business, come along to one of my regular Pinterest workshops in Cheltenham or ask me about one to one training.