The best way to use social media for business

Social media has become an integral part of business marketing and their communication strategies. With the increasing number of people using social media platforms (4.26 billion in 2021 predicted to be over 6 billion in 2027), businesses can now reach a wider audience and engage with customers in real-time. However, using social media for business requires a well-planned approach that is tailored to your business goals and objectives. In this article, we will explore the best ways to use social media for business.

  1. Identify your target audience
    The first step to using social media for business is to identify your target audience. Knowing who your target audience is will help you tailor your content and messaging to meet their needs and preferences. You can use social media analytics to gather information about your audience such as their age, gender, location, interests, and online behaviour.
  2. Choose the right platforms
    There are numerous social media platforms available, and it’s essential to choose the right ones for your business. Consider the demographics and preferences of your target audience when selecting social media platforms. For instance, if your target audience is millennials, you may want to focus on platforms such as Instagram and Snapchat. On the other hand, if your audience is primarily professionals, LinkedIn may be the best choice. Just because you can set up Twitter, it doesn’t mean it is right for your business.
  3. Develop a content strategy
    Once you have identified your target audience and chosen the right platforms, the next step is to develop a content strategy. Your content should be informative, engaging, and relevant to your audience. It’s essential to strike a balance between promotional and non-promotional content to keep your audience interested. You can use different types of content such as blog posts, infographics, videos, and images to keep your audience engaged.
  4. Engage with your audience
    Social media is all about engagement, and it’s essential to engage with your audience to build a relationship…..hence social media as the name. Respond to comments and messages promptly, ask questions, and encourage feedback. You can also create polls and surveys to get feedback on your products or services.
  5. Use social media advertising
    Social media advertising can be an effective way to reach a wider audience and promote your products or services. You can use various targeting options to reach your desired audience and choose from different ad formats such as sponsored posts, banners, and videos.
  6. Monitor your performance
    It’s essential to monitor your social media performance regularly. Use analytics tools to track your engagement, reach, and conversions. Analyse your data to identify what’s working and what’s not and make changes to your strategy accordingly.

Social media can be a powerful tool for business if used correctly. It raises online and brand visibility and has no geographic boundaries and, by going through the steps outlined, you can create a successful social media strategy that will help you achieve your business goals.


The difference between organic and paid for search engine optimisation

Search engine optimisation (SEO) is an essential component of any digital marketing strategy. It involves optimising your website’s content and structure to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs) and drive more traffic to your site. The best and most effective SEO is achieved through combining both organic and paid methods as each has its own advantages and disadvantages.

What is organic SEO?
Organic SEO is the process of optimising your website’s content and structure to rank higher in search results pages naturally. It involves creating high-quality, relevant content that is optimised for specific keywords and phrases, as well as improving your website’s technical structure and user experience (UX). Building a strong, organic position in search is a long-term strategy that takes time and effort to implement, but it can yield significant results in terms of increased traffic, engagement, and conversions; 33.59% of people searching click the results that show organically.

One of the main advantages of organic SEO is that it is cost-effective in the long run. While it may take time and effort to see results, once you have achieved a high-ranking position in the search results, you can continue to generate traffic and leads without having to pay for each click or impression. Additionally, organic SEO can improve your website’s credibility and authority, as search engines like Google tend to favour sites with high-quality content and a strong user experience.

What is Paid SEO?
As it says, paid SEO, involves paying for advertisements that appear in search engine results pages. Paid SEO, also known as search engine marketing (SEM), involves creating ads that are displayed at the top of the search results page for specific keywords and phrases. Although the percentage of people clicking ads is lower than organic results, paid SEO can be a highly effective way to generate traffic and leads quickly, as you can target specific audiences and pay for clicks or impressions.

One of the main advantages of paid SEO is that it can generate results quickly, often within hours or days of launching a campaign. Paid SEO can also provide highly targeted traffic, as you can target specific keywords, geographic locations, and demographics. Additionally, paid SEO can be highly flexible, as you can adjust your campaign settings and budget as needed to achieve your desired results.

However, paid SEO can be expensive, especially for highly competitive keywords and phrases. For example, terms like ‘business services’ can cost over £60 per click. Additionally, paid SEO does not improve your website’s credibility or authority in the same way that organic SEO does, as search engines prioritise organic results over paid results.

In conclusion, both organic and paid SEO have their advantages and disadvantages, and the best approach will depend on your specific business goals and budget. Organic SEO is a long-term strategy that requires time and effort to implement, but can provide sustainable, cost-effective results. Paid SEO, on the other hand, can provide quick results and highly targeted traffic, but can be expensive and does not improve your website’s credibility and authority in the same way that organic SEO does. By understanding the differences between organic and paid SEO, you can make an informed decision about which approach is right for your business.

What are the facts about digital marketing

Digital marketing refers to the use of digital channels and technologies to promote products, services, and brands. The rise of the internet and social media platforms has transformed the marketing landscape, allowing businesses to reach a wider audience and engage with customers in new ways.

The Importance of Digital Marketing

In today’s world, digital marketing has become an essential component of any marketing strategy. With over 4.9 billion people using the internet, businesses have the potential to reach a vast audience, regardless of their location or industry. Moreover, digital marketing is cost-effective, allowing businesses to save money on traditional advertising methods like print and television.

Digital marketing is also highly measurable, meaning that businesses can track the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns and make data-driven decisions. This is particularly important for small businesses, who may not have the resources to waste on ineffective advertising.

Types of Digital Marketing

There are many types of digital marketing, each with its own unique advantages and disadvantages. Some of the most common types of digital marketing include:

Search Engine Optimization (SEO): This involves optimizing a website’s content and structure to improve its ranking on search engines like Google. By ranking higher on search engine results pages, businesses can increase their visibility and attract more traffic to their site.

Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising: This involves placing ads on search engine results pages or social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. Businesses only pay when a user clicks on their ad, making it a cost-effective way to drive traffic to their website.

Content marketing: This involves creating and sharing valuable, relevant, and engaging content with the aim of attracting and retaining a clearly defined audience. Content marketing can take many forms, including blog posts, videos, social media posts, and infographics.

Social media marketing: This involves using social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to promote a brand, build relationships with customers, and increase visibility.

Email marketing: This involves sending targeted emails to a list of subscribers with the aim of promoting a product or service, building brand loyalty, and driving traffic to a website.

The Future of Digital Marketing

Digital marketing is constantly evolving, with new technologies and platforms emerging all the time. As the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning becomes more widespread, businesses will have even more tools at their disposal to create personalized, targeted marketing campaigns.

Moreover, as more and more people use their smartphones to access the internet, mobile marketing will become increasingly important. Businesses will need to ensure that their websites and marketing campaigns are optimised for mobile devices if they want to reach this growing audience.


Digital marketing has revolutionised the way businesses promote themselves and interact with their customers. By using a range of digital channels and technologies, businesses can reach a wider audience, build brand loyalty, and drive sales. With the continued growth of the internet and social media, digital marketing will only become more important in the years to come.

How do I drive traffic to my website

This is called digital marketing and, this might be stating the obvious, but websites need lots of traffic 
from as many different sources in order to help them get more visitors and ultimately appear higher organically in search results. The little spiders at Google want to see lots of different platforms linking to your website so that they sit up and take notice. So much so that they want to see what all the fuss is about and go and take a look themselves (this is called site indexing)

But how do I do this?

I have banged on and on about this, but content on a blog within your website should be one of the first things that you do. You need your content to be written for humans, be localised wherever possible, be fresh and authentic and be content that people engage with. Your content should also be regular so that you have a dynamic area on your website that visitors almost come to as a source of information or a point of reference. 

Other key ways to drive traffic are – 

Optimise your website for your search terms.
Google wants to see that the websites it lands on have been put together correctly with nice, ‘clean’ code, labelled images, correct page properties and the right balance of appropriate words for it to scan read.

Submit your business to search engines
Use Google Places for Business 

Submit your site map to Google Search Console
Use Google Search Console
Google Search Console

Add new products or content to your website daily
….or as often as you can. Sites that display lots of products for you to browse and buy generally get lots of visitors as there is so much more to look at. 

Add downloads or whitepapers to your website
A report or a guide that informs readers about a complex issue and presents your philosophy on the matter is a good way to attract attention. Write something that can be downloaded which helps readers understand an issue, solve a problem, or make a decision

Use email marketing and send out campaigns
Use a platform like Mailchimp. 

Guest blog for other websites
You are the authority in your sector. You know what works, what doesn’t, what people like etc. Offer to write about it on other blogs as your knowledge WILL get noticed.

See what your competitors are doing! 
AI like SEM Rush allow you to see exactly what your competitors are up to; what works for them, what content has the best reach etc.

Google also wants to see answers to questions that you put into its search bar or via Siri so that it can direct you accurately to what you are searching for and it doesn’t want to see the same information multiple times (duplicate content).

Other ways to drive traffic to your website is to keep active on social media. It’s no surprise that what someone types in the search bar of Instagram or YouTube is the most important signal to search. Social Media looks for relevant usernames, bios, captions, hashtags, and locations to send you to.

The above initiatives are all ‘free’ to use. However, they need a strategy to be effective and need doing professionally. Once you put something out there, it is out there for life so do not just jump straight in and start sending out poorly written content or shoddy eshots. Similarly, social media is called social media for a reason. It is a dialogue not a monologue so interact with people. And by the way, nobody really cares about your evening meal or your son’s birthday (sorry!).

The next part of your strategy to attract more site visitors is to use paid traffic and I will give you some pointers in my next post.

Is Content marketing good for SEO

A fact about content

Original and quality content gives Google and its spiders more to look at on your website aiding your organic SEO. This gives you a higher position in search and ultimately generate more clicks to your website, blog and/or online shop.

How and why?

Google likes to see activity on a website and a blog is likely to be the part of your site that you will most frequently update with new information to keep readers engaged.Each new article or post creates a new page with a new URL and hence, allows you to optimise it accordingly. Your content is also vital for building consumer trust, but also for Google SERPs (search engine page results). 

But why is organic SEO so important? 

Regular Content

Organic SEO matters because a staggering 75 percent of searchers don’t even click past the first page of results. If you’re not ranking on that first page when people search for what you offer, you guessed it — your website won’t get any traffic which ultimately means your site will struggle to bring you sales or enquiries.

This means that having well written, authentic and helpful content which gives the reader some value by, for example, answering a question, actually develops relationships with them. Similarly, written (or video) tutorials and how-to guides are a great way to engage your audience and help them. Most content on websites are factual – About Us, What We do, Contact Us….whereas the content you create on a blog or a video really allows you to create a personality for your company. 

Consumers look beyond traditional marketing tactics nowadays and crave more unique and engaging online content. Put simply, today, customers expect high-quality, consistent content from their favourite brands and this is why some organisations rank so well in Google. 

How often should content be generated?

Sit down for this, but ideally weekly. Weekly content is what is suggested by Google as the best way to see increased traction from your content marketing. But, if you are already posting content, it might be just as beneficial to go back and update that content first, especially if after a little while, you want to give certain posts a boost. This is because Blog post traffic is compounding, which means it gains organic results over time. This is why updating posts are important. This gives you more reads, more recognition, and possibly, more subscribers or ‘fans.’

Another way of using content is by engaging the services of an ‘Influencer,’ who is a personality endorsing your product or service via social media. I’ll write a post on this next.

Is there anything you’d like to know about? Drop me a line 01225 436426. 

Research your customer and use Google to target them

Google. SEO

When it comes to knowing your customer, are there any seasonal trends that will allow you to focus on with targeted marketing or times the year where that service is required more than others like accountancy at the financial year end? Similarly, is there an existing media that is seen by your potential customers like a trade magazine or website? 

A great deal of success is down to the use of the little grey cells; the thought process, the rationale….the strategy. No one wins any prizes for launching a 1 hour for £50. Take time to research your customer, their buying behaviour, their market, what they read, where they go etc. Take time to develop your ‘offer’ to them and take time to make sure your offer is going to resonate with them and take time to design it. 

Nowadays we only have to turn on the TV to see corporate companies offering to make a website in a few hours or to design a logo in 15 minutes. Surely something as important to marketing shouldn’t be signed, sealed and delivered in less time that it takes to do a gym workout? Not only that but we all know that Twitter, Instagram and Facebook are awash with pointless accounts published because they are free and easy to set up only to stand still after the initial posting stampede! 

Time is a valuable commodity whatever sector you are in so use it wisely. I remember an old road safety campaign that said. Stop. Look. Listen. Do the same with your marketing. 

Also, have a serious think about who is best placed in your organisation to do marketing. If it is you, do you have the time or the expertise or even the inclination? If it is someone else in the business whose job title is marketing, can they do everything an external specialist could do? Do they need support in specialist areas like SEO?

On the subject of SEO, please, please, please, invest in this area of marketing. Invest in a professionally designed and built website that can be optimised for Google. 

Remember, Google has a huge market share (over 92%) and it also has more than just the search network to display the results. There is a common misconception that Google finds websites. It sort of does, but it mainly finds pages. This means you MUST use other digital platforms to spread your message and attract your customer. Content marketing is vital when it comes to being visible online for example. These SERPS (search engine page results) can include organic search results, paid Google Ads results, blog posts, whitepapers and YouTube videos so do your research, construct a strategy and get marketing!

Marketing. Are you visible to your customer

When it comes to effective marketing, the challenges ahead can be daunting. To start with, there are so many platforms out there at you could use to get your message to market – online, offline, above the line, below the line…….which ones to do I use? Not only that, what do I say to my potential customers and when? More importantly what does the ‘line’ actually mean!?!
Let’s face it, marketing is sector full of noise. Thousands of companies selling themselves everywhere you look. From petrol pump nozzles to ads on cashpoints, everywhere you look is someone telling you what to buy. 

However, before we get to platforms and messages, we need to stop and think about what our aims and objectives are. What do we want to achieve with our marketing? Despite working in the industry for 30 years, without question the most prominent objective is to make more sales.

So in order to make more sales, a company needs to visible; visible to the market it is selling to, but also visible at the right time, saying the right things for the right reasons. This might sound like common sense, but it’s not as straight forward as you might think. For example, if you knock up your own website and post it onto the world wide web, just because you can see your website when you look for it, it doesn’t mean the potential customer will. 

A great deal of this visibility since Covid reared its ugly head has been online as people at home flocked to Google to find things from news to games to interiors to things to do. Internet usage and search volumes rocketed; I saw a statistic that said internet search volumes increased 54% in some sectors with Google adwords seeing a 23% increase in ad conversions.  

This means that the emphasis on where your services or products appear in search has increased even more when it comes to marketing. The response to a user’s search query can be the difference between success and failure! 

In 2022 every business primarily needs to create a strong digital footprint which will make it visible to its potential customers. My advice is that marketing is a marathon not a sprint. It’s a process not an event. Think about your customer – who they are, where they are and what their buying behaviour is. Invest in the strategy behind your marketing. Constantly revisit what you’re doing. Make sure you have a mix of activity and methods of tracking effectiveness. Test things and ideally, consult a specialist. 

Shall I start my own business

It’s a horrible fact, but a very high percentage of start-up businesses fail; about 90% with 10% failing within the first year of starting. Of the 90%, 42% of start-up businesses fail because there’s no market need for their services or products. 29% failed because they ran out of cash. 23% failed because they didn’t have the right team running the business and19% were outcompeted.

This means that starting your own business is a decision you shouldn’t take lightly. But it also means that opening up your new venture is something that needs proper research, proper planning and proper investment.

But where should you start?

In my opinion, far too many people think that they are good at what they do as an employee so the transition to doing it for yourself should be simple. Wrong. Take a big step back and start at the beginning. Firstly, if you’re doing something new research whether what I am offering is in demand, where, why, by who, for how much etc. Also, what are your personal plans and what are your business plans?

If you’re breaking away from being an employee and starting up by offering the same sort of product/service, how am I different from the employer?

We’ve all seen Dragons Den where people arrive in the Den with what they think is a great idea only to find it isn’t. In a nutshell, ask yourself, boil it down and question, what problems am I solving and for who?

To ‘launch’ there are a wealth of practical elements you also need to consider. From what am I called to where am I working from. From how am I doing invoicing to do I need a website? From what emails do I use to how do I register with Companies House?

Start by thinking about what significant problems you could solve and how. Look for areas where solutions are already available but you can do better than existing companies either regarding efficiency, innovation or cost. You should look for areas where you can provide significant savings to the customer vs competitors. These types of businesses grow incredibly fast, particularly during recessions.

Hard to do I know, but try to think into the future, what will the world look like in 5 or 10 years? Thinking about the future will allow you to think about new markets and niches that may open due to innovations and new technologies.

The above are indications of questions to ask and elements to consider, but, to me, one of the major elements that quite often is not given the importance it should have, is the actual marketing of your business and this starts with putting together a marketing plan

Read next article on marketing planning >>

What is digital marketing?

Digital marketing is pretty much any form of marketing that involves electronic devices. When you
think about it, digital marketing is just marketing. It’s how today’s businesses are getting their message in front of their best prospects and customers, but using online platforms. 

Whether we like it or not, most purchasing decisions begin online. None more so than now, customers are online: hanging out in social media, staying updated on current affair sites and blogs, and searching online when they have a need for a product or service. Your customers use Google and YouTube and many are now using voice search on their phones so effective digital marketing puts you in those same channels.

Think about the latest thing you looked for and/or bought. Regardless of what it was, you probably began by searching the Internet to see what was available, who provided them, and what your best options were. Your research may have also included by reviews you read, the friends and family you consulted and pricing. 

Talking to your potential customers on digital platforms means you build brand awareness, set yourself as an industry thought leader, and place your business at the forefront when the customer is ready to buy. Not only that, but digital marketing can collect valuable insights into your prospect market, audience behaviours, customer engagement, traffic sources and customer retention. 

What makes up digital marketing

Search engine optimization (SEO). 

SEO is the process of optimising the content you have online. Primarily, this will be a website and/or Blog. Google indexes pages so elements like the technical setup, the content, the URL, the page properties etc all play an influential part in helping your pages appear at the top of a search engine result for a specific set of keyword terms. 

Having a high, organic position in Google is one of the most desirable elements of effective digital marketing. Not only for visibility, brand building etc but effective SEO drives visitors to your site when they’re actually searching for the services and/or products you offer. Recent figures suggest that over 90% of people look for organic positions over paid ads……….

Paid search. 

Paid search, or pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, typically refers to the sponsored result on the top or side of a search engine results page (SERP). These results take the form of pre designed and written ads which charge you for every click. They have the word Ad next to them.

The beauty of paid search is that you can tailor your ads to appear when the desired search terms are entered into Goggle. This means your ads can be shown to prospects seeking something specific. This is called targeting in marketing speak! However, Google ads work very much like a bidding system; the higher your budget, the more change your ad will show and the more chance of getting a click. This is marketing speak is called visibility!

Content marketing. 

Content marketing has become a vital part of digital marketing. If companies can generate authentic, original and educational content consumers using a blog or a video, tag the item correctly and post to a website, channel or Insights platform, Google will be your friend forever! Some staistics indicate that content marketing gets three times more leads than paid search advertising so make the additional effort.

Social media marketing.

Socials have been all the rage for a while now, but……and it’s a big but, just because there are lots of platforms to use and these platforms are primarily free, it doesn’t mean that every company should have a profile on all of them. 

The key to effective social media marketing goes far beyond simply having active social media accounts. These platforms like Twitter come under the heading of social media as you need to create engaging content and interact with people. The more your audience is inspired to engage with you in return and the content you post, the more likely they are to share it. Once shared, your network will expand. 

Social media though, is time consuming so pick the platform that works for you and that is where your market it. Integrate activity with your other marketing efforts and, above all, don’t tell people you are going for a coffee on Twitter!

Email marketing. 

BMC is a massive fan of email marketing. Very much a push strategy as you push out your message to a database and it is still the quickest and most direct way to reach customers with information, updates, offers etc. Your eshot needs to be engaging, relevant, informative, and entertaining and tick the following 5 boxes – be trustworthy, relevant, engaging, consistent and be considered.

Yes, there are huge amounts of junk emails flying about, but these are simply mass market blasts that have no relevance to you. A quality, clean and relevant database of recipient is also vital.

Mobile marketing. 

Much as we all cannot live without our mobile devices, mobile marketing can be deemed as invasive. Think about a ping on your phone; you pick it up and it is a SMS or in app marketing advert. Delete.

Mobile marketing is quite young as a digital marketing platform but it can be effective. Not only that the ability to reach your customers directly on their devices is attractive, especially if your selling actual products, but consider your other digital marketing channels and the offer you make.

A great article that elaborates on this area is from Megan Mars.

How much do you charge for a logo

To me the identity of an organisation is one of the most important elements to take to market and, much as I understand that costs are vital to a business, what I think organisations need to consider is the value a professionally designed logo brings to their business rather than simply asking “how much do you charge for a logo?”

Logo design uses combination of text and imagery that tells people the name of your small business and creates a visual symbol that represents your vision. It’s a big part of your brand identity and is quite often the first thing a customer will see. A good logo is memorable, differentiates you from everyone else, and fosters brand loyalty so embrace it.

BBC-logoHowever, logo design can cost a huge amount of money.

For example, when the BBC decided to invest in its brand, it invested £1.8 million. Now, digest that figure for what is basically 3 letters in a row. But….this logo has been familiar to consumers for years. It is minimalistic, clearly defined and most consumers will not associate these letters with reliability and other, positive values.

2012_Summer_Olympics_logo.svgWell, what about the 2012 Olympic logo? What do you think? How much? What if I said about £625k? Worth it? Can you see the London style of architecture in the design? No? Me neither.

Accenture-red-arrow-logoWhat about the global company Accenture? Yes, the company specialises in strategy, management technology etc, but what about the costs for this? Well…how does about $100,000,000?

So, in a nutshell, what I am saying is that a logo shouldn’t be decided purely on the costs and the time it takes to draw. Your logo is the public face of your company; it is what the organisation represents and simple logos comprised of only essential elements are often the most difficult and also successful.

I have seen companies offering logo design on Twitter for $100, but remember, you get what you pay for. Using a dose of clip art and a bit of a creative font on your text doesn’t make you a designer almost as much as changing a light bulb doesn’t make you an electrician. There are logos like the Nike tick which probably took about 1 hour to actually design, but the thought process and the actual value of creating a clever, professional logo can take months and sometimes years. Therefore, the execution might be quick, but that doesn’t mean that is all you should pay for. Good designers and marketeers train for years to ply trade and this allows them to design things and make strategic decisions and sometimes, asking a designer to make the logo bigger or to change the colour of the typography isn’t actually a decision you are qualified to make!

This all may sound harsh, but it is true. A good designer will take a solid brief and then go through a multiple of ideas and concepts before working up their ideas. Trust them and work with them and above all, pay them accordingly!