4 Reasons Why Twitter Is a Waste of Time for Small Business Owners

We’ve all heard the hype: “you NEED to be Facebooking, Twittering, blogging and YouTubing if your business is going to survive in the next five years.”

But spare a thought for the humble small business owner, generally a one or two person operation, maybe up to five… time poor, money poor (GFC?) and with little computer education let alone a working knowledge of the internet and social media.

But with all the so-called ‘Social Media Gurus’ out there whose advice do you follow (even if you do have the time to invest in learning)…?

For many small business owners Social Media is the bane of their existence, a necessary evil they HAVE TO DO… just because everyone else is doing it. Yet, if they’re going to take time out of their busy schedule to ‘do’ Social Media how on earth are they going to make money from it, how are they going to get a return on their investment?

Social Media is full of wishy-washy slogans like ‘enter the conversation’, ‘meet customers on their terms’ and ‘let customers tell you what they want from your business’. How is a small business owner to make sense of any of this, let alone make money for their business?

Twitter is a much talked about Social Media website yet it could be the undoing of many small business owners that dare to spend their days ‘tweeting’, re-tweeting, following and hash tagging.

Here are 4 reasons why Twitter is a waste of time for small businesses owners:

1. Time – tweeting takes time, and what small business owner do you know that isn’t time poor? If you had a few hours spare each week to tweet, there are better ways to spend it.

2. Money – we’re all in business to make money, yet when it comes to social media a select few seem to know how to do it. We hear how Dell Computers made $4million on Twitter last year. Is Dell a small business? No. They have a huge team whose sole responsibility is to perfect their social media. But how is a time-poor small business owner going to make money from Twitter? They could hire someone but at what hourly cost? They have to make that back and more to make it even worthwhile.

3. Lead Generation Strategy – for a small business to run smoothly they must have one or more lead generation strategies. And when it comes to Social Media the same SHOULD hold true. Yet the majority of small business owners use social media randomly – a tweet here, a post there – but where’s the system? To make it work you need a strategy. Twitter is a place for you to build you ‘expert’ status. Credibility which leads to expert status takes time and what small business owner has unmetered time?

4. Customisation – Twitter allows you 140 characters per ‘tweet’. Sure, you can customise the picture on your profile, but who cares? Twitter allows zero customisation to give your business profile an edge, nor does it offer opportunity to capture business leads.

For small business owners who want a return on their Social Media investment they need a tool that can help them do that. They need a system in place to get the results they’re looking for and it needs to run on auto-pilot the majority of the time. If Twitter can’t offer this, what Social Media Site can?

The answer is Facebook. Facebook ticks all the boxes that Twitter doesn’t. With Facebook, Small Business owners can:

– invest little time, but with the RIGHT knowledge, can gain a financial return on the time they invest

– Invest little money aside from an upfront setup cost (assuming they hire an expert to set it up for them)

– Systemise a lead capture procedure that brings in qualified leads right to their email inbox

– Customise – as of March 10, 2011 Facebook offers customisation for anyone to insert a ‘mini-website’ within their Facebook Page which gives them full control over the content they place on their Facebook Page.

Small Business Needs Massive Traffic: Getting Leads for Your Home-Based Business

There are many people, looking to generate more income in today’s market who are turning to a home-based or small online business in order to reach their desired level of success. More and more people are finding that this is the ideal solution to getting the income they need in a market where making a suitable income in a traditional job setting is harder than ever. This has lead to a whole new generation of entrepreneurs and ones who are helping to change the way today’s job market operates entirely.

However for the entrepreneurs of these small businesses; it is important that they know what to do to help not only get their company off the group but to get their small business to find the growth and success they are looking for. If you are one of these individuals you will find that even with a small business on your hands, even the smaller businesses need massive traffic. This is important in order to find success and in order to make sure they are getting enough visitors to their website so that some of these visitors will actually have a legitimate need for the products and services being offered.

It is important that customers, leads or prospects are able to find the website or the central hub for your small business in order for you, the entrepreneur to make money. The great news is for small businesses to get massive traffic, many times a lot of upfront money is actually not required.There are a number of companies that will help you set up a business and will help you with the most important part of that company; generating traffic and getting business leads that will lead to income.

For the many people interested in earning money from their own business who have heard that they can ‘make money in their sleep’ this is how they will be able to do it. When you turn to a professional company that will help not only in establishing your home based company but helping you drive traffic to that website so that you can find success, you have a much better chance of earning the type of income that you are looking for.

There are all different types of ways to generate sustainable traffic to your website between search engine marketing, affiliate programs, pay-per-click and more; all of which can be overwhelming for any small business owner to navigate on their own. This is why turning to the help of a professional who will work to get that traffic needed from a proven system is always the smart decision for those looking to take their small business to the next level.

Lead Generation for Small Business Owners – Part 1 of 5

Do you have a strategy for generating leads? You do realize that without leads you will not have new customers. Attracting and generating leads is a necessary component in growing your business. The lead attraction process is not overly complicated.

In order to generate leads for your small business you must have a lead attraction strategy. There are five primary steps needed when designing your lead attraction strategy.

1. Be visible – you must promote your business. When you send an email your email tagline should contain your business information and a call to action that directs the reader to your website, social media sites, or blog. An email auto-responder or the resource box on your articles or press releases will also generate leads for your business. Your business information must be visible and contain a call to action directing traffic to your website or squeeze page.

2. Offer or Give away – people love free. You will want to offer a free eBook, tip sheet, special report or a coupon on your blog, website or squeeze page. A squeeze page is the preferred method. You do not want your lead to get distracted by clicking on other buttons and then navigate away from your offer. Your goal with your squeeze page and offer is to capture his or her information.

3. Contact information – when your lead clicks to download your free item or makes a small purchase you will want to collect his or her contact information. At a minimum you will want his or her email address. If you are able to capture a phone number or mailing address you will be able to follow up using various methods.

4. Follow up – you must have a strategy for following up with people that receive your free report. You will want to send another report or your newsletter. If your lead purchased something you may want to follow up with a phone call or send him or her something in the mail as a thank you.

5. Continue to follow up – you will want to continue to build rapport with your leads. This can be done using your ezine, print newsletter, or via social media. Do not SPAM their email account with emails. Remember, to follow FTC guidelines. You must follow up after the initial contact. You must make time to establish rapport and build the relationship.

Lead attraction and lead generation are necessary steps in growing your small business. Today, you have many free resources at your disposal to aid in growing your business. When you capture your leads contact information and follow up without spamming you will continue to grow your business.

This article is the first of five and is an overview of the lead attraction and lead generating process. Please read the remaining articles in the series for more specific steps to designing your lead attraction and lead generating system.

Small Business Websites – Why A Small Business Website Does Not Produce Results

When a small business decides to take their business online there are usually several mistakes that they do. This is partially due to lack of experience and often lack of knowledge. There seems to be a trend that small businesses think of their website as an online business card instead of a marketing tool. That is where the majority of them go wrong. So let’s take a look at some of the most common mistakes done when a small business takes their business online.

1. Order of links

So many times you visit a small business website and they proudly flag the “about us” link as their first link. This is called the pride link because they often think that telling people about the company is the most important thing. The links should be in order of importance. Not in the order of the business owners EGO! If you use a website designer and he does consult you on the order of links, chances are you should be using someone else or at least make sure you educate yourself about online marketing because your website designer sure hasn’t!

2. No focus

Most small business websites lack focus. When you enter you are not sure where to go next which makes it hard for the user to understand exactly what he is supposed to do. The website should flow and the user should be able to make sense of the site within a few seconds of opening it up.

3. No sale / No lead setup

Many small businesses do not use their website to increase sales directly or capture leads. It is nothing more than an online brochure or business card. Sometimes the information is more confusing than it is helpful. If you competitors site is easier to navigate and captures either the sale or lead, you just lost a client. A small business websites needs to be even more on top of catching leads than a corporate website because every client lost counts more!

4. No analytics

Most small business websites have no clue what people do when they enter their site. No clue what users are really looking at and where they are losing their potential sale or lead. If customers just walked in and out of their place of work eyebrows would be raised and something would be done. Shouldn’t the same thought process apply to the site? You need to know what is going on with your small business website and what users are doing.

5. No marketing purpose

This is the biggest “Whammy” of them all. Small business websites tend to fail seeing the potential of using the website as a complete marketing tool. The fundamental reason to take a business online would be to do marketing. The lack of marketing vision explains the mistakes from above. If just this single piece was in place when a small business builds their website, many of the other things would be solved because they would educate themselves about what it means to have a marketing tool!

6. No results!

This is no surprise considering everything above. If there is no purpose, no focus, no vision and no marketing thought behind the site then there are probably no results from the site either. What is even worse is that most small business websites do not even measure results or understand how to measure results from their site. Once again it is a lack of understanding more than anything!

So what can a small business do when they are ready to take their business online and setup their small business website? The most important thing is to educate themselves in a few areas. The most important ones being, what you need to consider before building or having someone build your website. How to use the website as a marketing tool and it would be extremely beneficial to you if you at least had some understanding of what SEO is and how it works. What is the difference between a website designer, website developer and an online marketing company? All of them do different things and have a different understanding of how to use the internet; the question is what purpose is your website supposed to serve? For most it should be a marketing tool, because the internet is the most effective marketing tool available!