Social Media expert Martin Reynolds reveals his top tips for making social media work for any small business.  Listen to his podcast here How to use social media in business

 

Neil Foley:                           Welcome everybody to our third podcast. This is Neil Foley for the Business Growth Club. We’re really fortunate today to be talking to Martin Reynolds, social media guru and expert. I’ve Known Martin for a long time and he’s agreed to share with is some of his top tips. I would hope by the time you finish listening to this podcast you’ll have come great tips for social media, why it’s important and things you should be doing. Welcome and good morning, Martin.

Martin Reynolds:             Morning, Neil. Thank you for inviting me.

Neil Foley:                           Well, pleasure! How are you today?

Martin Reynolds:             Very good. Very good.

Neil Foley:                           Let’s just get straight into the meat of it, if you like. When we’re talking about social media. I mean, I know social media is a really broad term. What does it actually cover, Martin?

Martin Reynolds:             For a business?

Neil Foley:                           Yeah.

Martin Reynolds:             It’s basically a different way to market your business. It is the way to market your business these days.

Neil Foley:                           Okay.

Martin Reynolds:             A great way to build brand awareness, generate traffic for your website, and talk to your customers. Listen to your customers and talk to your customers basically.

Neil Foley:                           Okay. More so than traditional advertising that you would’ve done years ago.

Martin Reynolds:             Absolutely, yeah. It’s more a two-way conversation these days as opposed to years ago. It would’ve been a one-way conversation. You would’ve been advertising and broadcasting your message out there. These days, you’re listening to conversation and, like I say, listening to your clients, potential and existing clients. Then engaging with them.

Neil Foley:                           Guess that’s a good definition actually. The old days, marketing was far more about broadcasting and “This is me! I’m shouting from the rooftops!” Whereas now you’re actually engaging them and trying to converse with them.

Martin Reynolds:             And that’s the key, is the engagement. We can broadcast all day long as a business-

Neil Foley:                           Yeah

Martin Reynolds:             Telling people how good we are and what we do, but it’s the engagement that we’re looking for.

Neil Foley:                           I guess there’s a difference depending on whether I’m selling, what they call B2B, in other words, direct to businesses or direct to consumers B2C . What mediums would I use for which?

Martin Reynolds:             I would suggest LinkedIn is excellent for B2B. You’ve got your Managing Directors and CEO’s, they are all on LinkedIn.  And Facebook. You can use them both. It’s still for B2B , and B2C, and Twitter, likewise as well. Certainly, LinkedIn for B2B.

Neil Foley:                           With so many of them with Instagram’s around, isn’t it?

Martin Reynolds:             Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Neil Foley:                           Pinterest. How many should a business actually use?

Martin Reynolds:             You just need to be using that ones that you know where your audience is going to be. It’s pointless, going out and using six different platforms when all your followers, all your audience, all your potential customers- say, for example, just using Facebook. My recommendation is to get comfortable and be good at using one platform rather than trying to spread yourself too thin over five or six different platforms. Everybody seems to think there’s all these platforms out there and they should be using all of them. Again, depends on what business you’re using. If you’re a photographer, obviously Instagram and Pinterest are going to be key. For an accountant or financial advisor, then you’re probably looking at LinkedIn.

Neil Foley:                           I guess that’s a good point, isn’t it? You do see websites, don’t you with the symbols, where they’ve got six or seven different social media platforms. My guess is the same posts go on every one.

Martin Reynolds:             Yeah.

Neil Foley:                           Why bother having six or seven?

Martin Reynolds:             Yeah, you’ll probably just reword or tweak the message. You’ll want a different message going on Twitter as opposed to LinkedIn or Facebook. Again, I should be practising  what I preach, I guess. I’ve got the six or seven different logos on the front of my website. Probably, I’ll be using Facebook and Twitter and LinkedIn far more than I would be using Instagram or Pinterest.

Neil Foley:                           Yeah. LinkedIn, of course to a degree, has come of age, hasn’t it? In that I know they were bought not that long ago one day last year for an unbelievable sum of money. Whereas it used to be seen as just a recruiting tool, but I don’t’ think it is now, is it?

Martin Reynolds:             No, it’s more a social media platform. I would suggest, if you’re going to use two platforms, if you’re going to use Facebook and LinkedIn, there’s no reason why you can’t put that same message from Facebook straight onto LinkedIn. There’s tools out there you can use where you can schedule that and do that automatically.

Neil Foley:                           Okay. If I was playing devil’s advocate in terms of social media, generally thinking there’s all this noise about it. Why would I be bothered? Why would I even bother at all?

Martin Reynolds:             People expect to see you online these days and especially having a website, but they expect you to have social media presence as well. Social media has changed the way we market our business completely. Like I say, people expect you to have a presence online and they will generally search for you in Facebook, they’ll search for you on Twitter. It’s just a way of getting your message out there. It is about brand awareness, getting your message seen. Like I say, listening to your audience, your clients, your customers. Listening to them and then engaging with them, show them that you care about your customers as well.

Neil Foley:                           You touched on a point there in terms of most of us in business would have a website. Purely because for a variety of reasons to prove that we exist, although, clearly it doesn’t, but to prove we exist or to have a presence. How do I fit social media with my website?

Martin Reynolds:             Social media is a great way to drive traffic to your website. Ideally you would be writing a regular blog, I would say, ideally once a week or at least once a month. It’s a great way of driving traffic to your blog. The way Google works these days, the way it’s changed its algorithm over the last couple of years and the way it ranks webpages, it’s brought social media into its algorithm. It’s basically looking at your social footprint, so the social signals are on your website. The more you are doing around on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and so on, Google’s basically going to be rewarding you for that. You’re going to see your profiles that are going to have a natural sounding description but including your keywords, but also seeing the posts and the engagement that you’re doing everyday around social media is going to reward you when it comes to ranking your webpages and ideally your blog and search engine results.

Neil Foley:                           Even though Facebook and Google are competitors, if you’ve got something on Facebook or you’re putting stuff on Facebook from a business viewpoint, Google will recognise that?

Martin Reynolds:             Absolutely.

Neil Foley:                           Okay.

Martin Reynolds:             It is one of the signals they bring into their algorithms now, so social media plays a big part in your search engine optimization.

Neil Foley:                           I guess that comes on to another point. You mentioned about doing a blog and I know from experience, that it’s a bit like newsletters. You can start off with great ideas and you dump your newsletter and that’s fabulous. Your second newsletter isn’t quite so good. By the time you get to the third one, you’re probably thinking “I don’t know what to say.” How do you get over that problem with a blog?

Martin Reynolds:             With the blog, what I’ve got to be careful of is that you don’t “We” everywhere. We do this, we offer this, talking about yourself. The best way with a blog is to think about common questions that your customers generally ask you. If you can answer those questions, they are great blog posts. There’ll be great blog titles. Even doing some keyword research will generate some useful blog titles because using Google’s keyword planner, you can do some keyword research. You may just find one or two search terms which particularly questions that people are asking, that you can write a blog post about.

Then when you write a blog post, ideally it needs to be a minimum of 300 words. You use your social media channels then to distribute that blog.

Neil Foley:                           Okay.

Martin Reynolds:             If you’re using tips, for example, find tips on how to use social media for your business. You can then use those tips individually as Facebook post or as tweets. Then just keep recycling them with a link back to your blog post. It’s going to keep generating traffic to your website and to your blog.

Neil Foley:                           Oh, okay. It takes a bit of planning?

Martin Reynolds:             Absolutely.

Neil Foley:                           They don’t have to be long, do they? If you’re saying 300 words, that isn’t that long, really, is it?

Martin Reynolds:             No, I think Google is saying they like to see 1000 words. From my experience, I would say 300 words is the bare minimum. Obviously, if you’re going to write 1000 words, you just use as much work space as you can. Break that text up, use images or video to break that text up. Or even write two or three blog post. Break them up and use them as a series.

Neil Foley:                           Do top tips still work? I know you mentioned top five and things of that bit. Are they a bit old hat now or are they still?

Martin Reynolds:             Yeah, I think there’s still a place for the top tips. You’ve been helpful, you’re offering advice. You’re offering educational content. That still tends to work on social media. There are some stories based around your business as well. That’s what I was saying, you don’t talk about “we do this, we do that.” If you you’ve got an interesting story based around the business, by all means, write about that. You’re still going to be generating traffic and bringing traffic back to your website.

Neil Foley:                           My guess is every now and then you can have more of a sales pitch so that it can be general in terms of “This is what we do” and helpful ideas and tips. Every now and then, I guess you could have a quite blatant plug, can you?

Martin Reynolds:             Yeah, generally, I’d say around the 80/20 rule. So, 80% of the time it’s got to be useful content. 20% of the time just regular old sales pitching. Presumably as a social media blog, that’s what you do in terms of helping people anyway. Blogging I think is an essential part of social media and it should be the core of your social media. Clients we work with, they’re blogging on a regular basis. It makes our life a lot easier.

Neil Foley:                           If we talk about Twitter just for a second. What’s the use of Twitter from your viewpoint in terms of do you think it’s B2B rather than B2C?

Martin Reynolds:             Yeah, there’s a good combination there, but from my experience, again, B2B tends to work.

Neil Foley:                           I’ve never quite got my head round it, just because the number of characters that you can use is quite limited, isn’t it?

Martin Reynolds:             Yes

Neil Foley:                           Are you really all the time trying to link it to something else, so you’re linking it to a video or a podcast or an article or a landing page.

Martin Reynolds:              Ideally, you’re restricted to only 140 characters, so you’ve got to get the message in there very quickly.

Neil Foley:                           Yeah.

Martin Reynolds:             Ideally, with a link, the makeup of a tweet would be – I say, keep it 120 characters.

Neil Foley:                           Okay.

Martin Reynolds:             That just allows for somebody retweeting.

Neil Foley:                           Otherwise, if they retweet, then they cut- 150 characters still applies?

Martin Reynolds:             Yeah. Absolutely. The good thing is Twitter now allows you to add an image and it doesn’t count into your count. So, about 120 characters is still a good position to aim for. I think the good place to aim for is 140, but I would have, for example if you’re linking it to one of your blog posts inside of a blog post, you generally don’t have a keyword in there. The link to the blog post and a couple of hashtags. I wouldn’t use any more than two hashtags. Hashtag a couple keywords. From research and my experience as well, two hashtags work. Any more than that, the response rate goes down.

Neil Foley:                           Two hashtags? You mean two key phrases or two keywords?

Martin Reynolds:             Yeah, absolutely. If you’re going to say, for argument’s sake, social media, you would make that one word. Put the hashtag in front. Symbols don’t work when it comes to hashtags. They’re just used basically as a filter, so anybody searching for social media with the hashtag, my post is going to appear. Also, you can find conversations by clicking on that hashtag and finding conversations based around that hashtag, so it filters out all the rest of the noise on Twitter.

Neil Foley:                           Do people use them? I’ve never been on Twitter and searched for anything?

Martin Reynolds:             Yeah, absolutely. I wouldn’t use them on Facebook. Facebook allows you to use hashtags, as do LinkedIn again. They just recently brought them back in. I wouldn’t use hashtags on Facebook or LinkedIn. I would certainly just use up to two hashtags and no more on Twitter. When it comes to Instagram, at least 11 hashtags.

Neil Foley:                           11?

Martin Reynolds:             11. It’s the research and that is more engagement and more reach from post with at least 11 hashtags. So, that’s one of the areas where people try to automate the whole process. They connect Instagram to Facebook. I would recommend disconnecting that because if you do a post on Facebook- Sorry. Post on Instagram, with 11 hashtags, it’s just going to look better. It will actually look awful on Facebook.

Neil Foley:                           What do you use Instagram for? Is that more of visual thing in terms of- I know you’ve mention before about photographers using it for instance.

Martin Reynolds:             Yeah, it’s more visual. There’s photos and videos.

Neil Foley:                           Right.

Martin Reynolds:             It works more for visual companies.

Neil Foley:                           Presumably, the dominant player really is Facebook.

Martin Reynolds:             For me, it still is because of the sheer numbers. I think, at last count, there was 1.6 billion active users around the world.

Neil Foley:                           Wow!

Martin Reynolds:             Apparently, if Facebook was a country, it’d be the third biggest country in the world.

Neil Foley:                           Really?

Martin Reynolds:             Absolutely crazy. Everybody seems to be using Facebook. The downside for a business page is the organic reach is declining.

Neil Foley:                           Oh, is it? Because of the numbers?

Martin Reynolds:             I think it’s more- It comes into it because if Facebook were to put content from every page you liked on Facebook, your timeline would be just spinning like a wheel, it’d be going so quick. If it brings an algorithm like Google, where it determines what appears in your timeline. It’s going to be content that you’ve engaged with, content based on your profile and content that you’ve shared in the past. So they deliver results on that, that’s why the key is to get the engagement.

They’re also being quite clever in their throttle on the organic reach to push it down the advertising route.

Neil Foley:                           I was going to say, the cynic in you would say there’s something in it for Facebook.

Martin Reynolds:             But Facebook ads is effective. It is, don’t get me wrong. I was one of the first sign, then when I have to pay a penny to Facebook. I’m gone. Facebook ads is very very effective.

Neil Foley:                           Hmm.

Martin Reynolds:             Especially compared to the traditional forms of advertising.

Neil Foley:                           And because you can be extremely focused, can’t you?

Martin Reynolds:             With Facebook, which is the bit that really worked.

Neil Foley:                           You don’t have to spend a lot of money do you?

Martin Reynolds:             No.

Neil Foley:                           Don’t you set a daily budget or something of that nature?

Martin Reynolds:             Yeah. I think the minimum amount is £5 a day and you can set your ad to run for one day. Set it to run for two weeks a month, and you can pause it at any time. It’s quite effective, like you say, you could be very focused with that. You can create a custom audience, you can create an audience that you want to advertise to, and be very specific with that audience

Neil Foley:                           I’ve heard that people get some good results from Facebook. That, as you said, is a learning curve. It doesn’t cost you the shirt off your back.

Martin Reynolds:             No. We had one company who supplied bi fold doors and they were very reluctant to use Facebook and Facebook advertising. We looked at their audience, their past customers, where they were in the UK. We set up a targeted ad, just trialled the £5 a day. Ran it for 10 days, I think we spent about £48. They got £23,500 worth of orders, so-

Neil Foley:                           Good grief! £48 and £23,000.

Martin Reynolds:             Yeah, absolutely, I mean, to be fair, the minimum product was £7,000 and they sold three doors, and it’s now part of their marketing strategy.

Neil Foley:                           What a return! That’s fantastic, isn’t it? If we just go back to Twitter just for a second. One of the things that I see is this Twitter Validation or whatever the people use. You sometimes see that- I can’t get my head round why you would use that?

Martin Reynolds:             It’s people they just don’t want to be spammed by people following them left right and centre. There is a lot of spam, there’s a lot of fake accounts on Twitter. You can probably understand why they’re doing it, but they’re restricting themselves. Me personally, if I follow someone, and they use Twit Validation I just don’t bother.

Neil Foley:                           No.

Martin Reynolds:             I don’t bother going through the process of going through the CAPTCHA code and follow the-

Neil Foley:                           No.

Martin Reynolds:             So they restrict themselves on how many followers they’re going to have.

Neil Foley:                           I can see why it’s good for Twitter Validation.

Martin Reynolds:             Absolutely.

Neil Foley:                           I couldn’t quite get my head round why anybody else would really bother.

Martin Reynolds:             I think Twitter Validation are only going to be the only winners with that one.

Neil Foley:                           Yeah. No, it sounds like it, doesn’t it? If we think of post for a second. I know you talked about the importance of posts and I understand that, blogs, etc. What are the worst sort of posts that you see?

Martin Reynolds:             Apart from the blatant sales pitches?

Neil Foley:                           Yep.

Martin Reynolds:             They’re never going to work. People don’t go on social media to be sold to. As we talked about earlier, we don’t want to see what we’re going to be having for lunch. Unfortunately, food, babies and dogs or pets tend to work. But as a business it is generally not going to be a very good idea to be posting pictures of your lunch.

Neil Foley:                           No. So is that the difference, then? I do still come across people that say “I don’t want Facebook because I don’t want the invasion of privacy” if you like. Now, my understanding is that you have to have a personal Facebook account because that’s the way it works.

The reality is you don’t have to put anything personal there, do you?

Martin Reynolds:             No.

Neil Foley:                           Then you can create a business one.

Martin Reynolds:             Yeah. There’s no reason for you to have to link- I mean you can add yourself publicly as an admin to your business page. There’s no obvious link there for anybody from the outside looking in. There’s no link between Neil Foley and your business page.

Neil Foley:                           Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Martin Reynolds:             Unfortunately some businesses still use a personal profile on Facebook as their business profile. There’s downsides to that, Facebook is clamping down on that. They’re suspending accounts that run their personal profile as a business profile. Plus as a personal profile you’re restricted to 5,000 friends. Once you get to that limit you can have anyone else basically follow you. A Facebook personal profile will not get indexed by Google, whereas your business page will. Of course when it comes to the follower count, the likes, it’s unlimited for a Facebook page. You can just keep going and going, you haven’t got to worry about that 5,000 limit.

Neil Foley:                           If you have a really cute dog, you can put a picture of that on your personal. Just never do it on the business side.

Martin Reynolds:             Yeah. A lot of it comes down to personal preference and looking at your audience as well, what your audience interests are. I would generally say keep your personal and your business page separate. We have got clients who use a dog in the office as a mascot. Yes, that can work.

Neil Foley:                           Yep.

Martin Reynolds:             Unless you’re running a restaurant, we really don’t want people with pictures of food and pictures of your lunch on there.

Neil Foley:                           No it’s probably not a good idea, is it? You still see them, don’t you? The worst sort of posts are pictures of dogs and the rest of it. People mixing up the personal and the business.

Martin Reynolds:             It’s still good sometimes to see that personal element beyond the brand. Rather than “I’m just a logo”, but I would possibly more images of your staff or your team.

Neil Foley:                           Yeah.

Martin Reynolds:             Rather than your dog.

Neil Foley:                           I suppose that is the balance isn’t it. If you’re too corporate- The whole point is to engage by being human and a real person. Maybe not the dog and the dinner. In terms of protecting your privacy, we’ve touched a little bit on that. Are there other things that people should be doing on the privacy side?

Martin Reynolds:             When it comes to Facebook?

Neil Foley:                           Yes.

Martin Reynolds:             If you don’t want people actually posting on your business page, you can go into your settings and just check a box there to say that nobody else can post on your wall. Yeah, you can just block anyone from posting on your page, you can block certain countries from your page appearing there. If you’re just UK based, you can just set your posts to appear in the UK. You can set a targeted audience for your page, so you can see where your boost will be going to. People would often say to me “Why? Why would I want to limit my audiences? There’s 1.6 billion people on Facebook. I want as many people to see it as I can.”

If you actually go in and set your targeted audience, your preferred audience of Facebook, you’re delivering your posts. You’ve got more chance of your posts being delivered to your exact audience as opposed to just the public on Facebook. They wouldn’t be interested in what you offer, what products you offer, what services you offer.

Neil Foley:                           It’s exactly what we would talk about in terms of target marketing. You don’t want to shout and have a conversation with everybody. You want people to think actually this is talking to me. This is the sort of person I want to engage with.

What are the best tips you can give. I know we talked about top tips being really important? Have you got any in mind that you can think of?

Martin Reynolds:             Yeah, certainly with Twitter. Well we already mentioned the two hashtags, but a lot people I see don’t tend to make the most of Twitter lists. You can basically create lists in Twitter from your audience. Even if you don’t follow that person, you can still add them to a list. Whatever list, you can either make private or public. That’s your own personal preference.

Neil Foley:                           Twitter lists?

Martin Reynolds:             Yeah, Twitter lists. You can either have them set as public or private. That’s your own personal preference, but I would say in private lists for competitors, potential clients, prospects. Public lists, anybody can come to your Twitter profile and look at your lists, so that you can be seen as being helpful then by providing lists of people of a certain industry in a certain area and so on.

The main benefit of the list, you use them as a filter. When you click on that specific lists- Say we’ve got one for Norfolk businesses. That will filter everything else around Twitter and just bring in tweets from the members of that list.

Neil Foley:                           You can have more than one list?

Martin Reynolds:             Absolutely, yeah. I don’t think there’s any limit on how many lists you can have.

Neil Foley:                           All right. Do many people use these lists in Twitter?

Martin Reynolds:             People are starting to use them more. Generally in my experience, we’re not saying people are not using them enough.

Neil Foley:                           There’s a bit of work up front to get the filters right. Then you can create your lists.

Martin Reynolds:             Yes. Absolutely.

Neil Foley:                           Any other tips for any of the other mediums?

Martin Reynolds:             I would say Facebook, using your newsfeed on your Facebook business page.

Neil Foley:                           Okay. Newsfeed, you mean just posts?

Martin Reynolds:             When you look at you Facebook business page, down the right hand side on the desktop, you’ll see a section called Page Feed. What is Page Feed? You click on that and you can like other business pages as your business. We would connect with them on behalf of our clients as the business. You’re then tapping into their audience as well. Basically what that Page Feed does, similar to Twitter lists, it’s filtering out all the other noise around Facebook. You’re seeing the newsfeed from those other pages that you liked. It gives you a chance to engage with them just by liking commenting or sharing on their posts.

For argument’s sake, if we were to tap into EDP Business- I don’t know how many thousands they’ve got liking their page, but we commented on one of their posts. Suddenly, all their thousands of followers are seeing Martin Reynolds commenting on their post, as the business page, not personally.

Neil Foley:                           It’s not sufficient just to share. You actually have to say something about it.

Martin Reynolds:             Yeah, absolutely.

Neil Foley:                           It’s easy to share, isn’t it? I supposed I do that and it’s probably the lazy way, isn’t it? Whereas actually you need to say “This is interesting” or “A good read” or “I’m sure I agree with this” or whatever.

Martin Reynolds:             Yeah, just put your spin on it. Just like you say, it’s easy just to click that share button. Just by adding the comment there, you’re putting your spin on it, People are going to see what your opinions are, what you think of certain subjects, news articles. It’s just a way of increasing your exposure across Facebook as well.

Neil Foley:                           Okay. That’s a really good tip. Any others that spring to mind?

Martin Reynolds:             Certainly look at Facebook groups and reading between the lines of what marks up or what was recently said about the functionality it’s bringing into Facebook groups. I think that in the next few years, we’re going to see more functionality from business pages coming into groups. I would certainly participate more in groups. Unfortunately, you can only that personally and as a business page. You can’t join a group as a business page.

Neil Foley:                           Oh, okay.

Martin Reynolds:             You could join as Neil Foley and obviously it would link back to your business page. The good thing is there’s no limit on the- there’s no throttle there on the organic reach in a group. If you set up your own group and you put a post in there, 100% of those people are going to see or get a notification that your post is in there.

Neil Foley:                           Whereas that’s not happening on your business page?

Martin Reynolds:             Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Neil Foley:                           Groups I think are going to get bigger and bigger in the next couple incoming years.

Martin Reynolds:             Yeah.

Neil Foley:                           I didn’t pay much attention to when Zuckerberg said, in terms of recently, but I saw the headlines saying “Was he going to run for President?” Or whatever. Isn’t that part of the message that he’s going to take over the world?

Martin Reynolds:             He’s said so much recently, I think you just have to skip through and read between the lines on some of the stuff he said.

Neil Foley:                           Any other tips that you can think that you want to share?

Martin Reynolds:             If you’re sharing videos- I mean videos are becoming great on Facebook. It’s getting more reach. Facebook loves video, video has just become bigger and bigger. If you’re going to post video on Facebook, try and make it relevant, so it’s a video that you’ve created yourself as an .mp4 file that you can upload into Facebook as opposed to serving up from YouTube or Vimeo. You’ll be keeping viewers in Facebook. Obviously Facebook have given you more reach for imbedded videos than opposed to sending you to YouTube or Vimeo.

Neil Foley:                           Yeah. I suppose YouTube is owned by Google.

Martin Reynolds:             Yes.

Neil Foley:                           I don’t know who owns Vimeo, I suppose that makes sense. Actually, I know from my experience with the videos and the posts, videos don’t have to ultra professional.

Martin Reynolds:             No, absolutely not.

Neil Foley:                           I mean, they can be and I’ve had some great one produced by Just Another Label. The reality is the handheld with my iPhone actually works pretty well.

Martin Reynolds:             Absolutely. People don’t want to see a Hollywood blockbuster.

Neil Foley:                           No.

Martin Reynolds:             It doesn’t have to be two hours long. You know, a couple minutes long. I love the videos that you do. They’re completely natural.

Neil Foley:                           Yeah.

Martin Reynolds:             That’s what people related to.

Neil Foley:                           You see people using Facebook live now, don’t you?

Martin Reynolds:             Yeah.

Neil Foley:                           It’s quite common now, isn’t it?

Martin Reynolds:             Yeah, it’s getting bigger and bigger. I think they brought advertising into Facebook live as well. It remains to be seen the way that is going to go. I don’t think you’ve got any control over what ads will appear on your Facebook live. I think you can select that you don’t want ads to appear, but Facebook live is becoming bigger and bigger because it is live. There’s no limit, no restrictions on the reach of who’s going to come and watch your video.

Neil Foley:                           It’ll be interesting to see how people do it from a business viewpoint, isn’t it? All the live ones I’ve seen- Some of them have been very good. In particular, sort of personal trainers or martial arts so I can understand that. Some of the others, you know, “Here’s my dog!” Victor Ling did a great one. I don’t know if you saw Victor, he was doing some decorating.

Martin Reynolds:             Okay.

Neil Foley:                           Painting a wall and we were more stupid for watching it. It was like watching paint dry.

Martin Reynolds:             It was!

Neil Foley:                           Lots of different comments. It’ll be interesting to see how Facebook live goes.

Martin Reynolds:             Yeah, absolutely. I think, again, that it’s going to become bigger and bigger. I’ve got to get over the hurdle and practise what I preach again. As I’ve said to you before, I’ve got the perfect face for radio.

Neil Foley:                           You and me both! You need to, yeah. You need to. Before we wrap up then, Martin, are there any other bits that you were thinking “Actually, there was one message I wanted to get across.” Or something else? Anything else you can think of?

Martin Reynolds:             People are sort of still dismissing Google+.

Neil Foley:                           Yep.

Martin Reynolds:             There’s been rumours going about that people are going to ditch it, but the rumour’s been there for two or three years. Google+ is still there. I would personally say you’re not going to get much traffic, you’re not going to get much engagement or inquiries for Google+, then for the SEO, for the Search Engine Optimization value alone, it’s worth having a Google+ profile on a page.

Neil Foley:                           For the ignorant like me, can you tell me what that is?

Martin Reynolds:             Basically, by getting the content into your Google+ page. Again there would be a keyword rich description. I love keeping it natural, but  that links back to your personal profile. It’s going to have a benefit again, why Google ranks the website or webpages. It’s only natural that Google’s going to take more notice of it’s own platform as opposed to Facebook and Twitter and LinkedIn. All of them amount together have got value when it comes to SEO, but there’s still certainly some value there.

We’ve seen a level one client who didn’t want to do and SEO, but running his Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+ for him, we managed to pull him from page five onto page one.

Neil Foley:                           Wow.

Martin Reynolds:             We believe a lot of that is down to his Google+ profile because we’re kind of active on that.

Neil Foley:                           Is the Google+ profile the same one where you’d have your Google reviews?

Martin Reynolds:             Yes. It’s basically all linked to your Google accounts, your Google and business listings. It’s basically got Google Maps. Yes, your Google reviews come in to that as well.

Neil Foley:                           It’s not difficult to set up then?

Martin Reynolds:             Absolutely not. No. Very similar to Facebook when you set it up, you can have a personal profile and a business page. You have touched on there with the Google reviews. I think these are important as well. To get reviews from your clients. Again, we’ve seen people with more reviews getting a better search position than those that haven’t.

Neil Foley:                           I guess that’s perfectly logical from Google’s viewpoint, isn’t it? It’s on their platform and as you say, why wouldn’t they just self promote?

Martin Reynolds:             Yeah. It’s just trust and credibility coming into to it.  I’m not saying just by going out and loads good reviews, it’s going to push you onto page one because Google has got so many factors into their algorithms. This is where social media comes into it again. All these different factors, if you can get as many of them direct as you can, you’ve got more chance of appearing on page one Google than you would compared to who’s not active on social media.

Neil Foley:                           Hmm. What about some blatant self promotion? I can understand the ideas of blogs and posts and the need to do this and the need to that. Part of the problem can be, which is why you do my social media, is actually I haven’t got the time or the expertise. What’s services do you offer then, Martin?

Martin Reynolds:             This is the biggest issue is that businesses don’t have the time. They know they should be doing social media but they haven’t got time to do it. They should be focusing on the areas in their business that are more important to them. It’s what they’re good at.

This where we come in. We’ve got the social media management package. Each package is tailored to the client. We look at their needs, we look at where the fault is likely to be. We will set up a package and a strategy for them. We have to have a goal and a target in mind before we even sell this strategy. We need to look at what your goals are, what you need to get from social media, and then we set a strategy and a plan in place. Put that in place to actually manage your social media on a daily basis.

That’s not just posting for you. We’ll be looking at increasing your following by engaging your following as well. The software we use, we can manage any mentions online of your business or specific keywords. It’s important to manage your brand online. If people say to me- I’ve had clients come to me. They were reluctant to go onto social media because then negativity around social media. Regardless of whether they’re on social media or not, somebody’s got a complaint or a criticism about their company, they’re going to go to social media and vent their anger or vent their frustrations. Whether you’re on social media or not, they’re still going to do that.

If you’re active on social media and you’re monitoring your brand, it gives you chance to respond to that negativity and turn that into a positive. We do all that for the client. For you as a client, we do that, so we mention your brand, mention keywords. That allows us to listen and tap into conversations as well. These could be “I’m looking for a business coach”. We could find that conversations on Facebook and Twitter. That’s our chance to go in as the Business Growth Club or Neil Foley and join that conversation. In turn, that conversation possibly into a sales lead for you.

It isn’t just about brand awareness and being there. You could be very specific and say “What I need is to generate unique visitors to my website.” Then it’s up to me with whatever conversion strategies to convert those into paying clients.

Neil Foley:                           Yeah.

Martin Reynolds:             You can be very specific. It could be general, if you need some awareness. It could be very specific. “I’ve got a campaign or an event or an exhibition coming up and I need to drive people to come and see the exhibition.”

Neil Foley:                           Absolutely . Okay, well that’s great. Really appreciate your time, Martin.

Martin Reynolds:             You’re welcome. It’s been a pleasure.

Neil Foley:                           Thank you very much, indeed. Hope everybody enjoyed that. What I will put is the link to Martin’s website at the bottom of the podcast. If you want to know more, go businessgrowthclub.net and thanks for listening.

www.martinreynolds.co.uk