Making social media work for your business (part 3)

Now we know that maintaining an interesting presence on social networks is not for all type of businesses and it is also hard work. More often than not, small businesses don’t have the means to hire a digital marketing person to do it all, so they end up doing it themselves. The good news is that you can scale it down or up according to your strategy, needs and capacity. Sometimes it is about quality, not quantity. And about persevering.

You have your business strategy, decided where you want your business to focus, planned your 6-12 months worth of content calendar and now what?

No, you cannot just forget about it and focus on doing some actual work (like baking your delicious cakes). The key of any marketing activity is keeping track of its results and adapting it – if needed – to meet your goals. When starting in this social media business, you will have to test your different posts, images, call to action you are using until you are comfortable with your way of writing, posting, etc. Analytics will be a key ally to you. It will give you more information on what is working or not, so you can adjust your plan accordingly. You will then compare results with your own business goals (was it to get more likes, followers, shares? More people coming in to your shop? More online orders?).

Remember that these channels are also your eyes and ears to your customers, it is where you will have a conversation with them. And as you can imagine, it requires some dedication to reply to them, listen to their suggestions and complaints, make sure you answer their queries. And it is also a good idea to encourage them to write a review, share your posts – as long as the content lends itself to sharing,  etc.

In summary, social media might not drive huge sales, but for some small businesses it will be key to put their names out there and generate a lot of talk around their services and products. It is also where your clients can easily find you. Make sure you are making the most of it.

Happy International Beer Day

So apparently there is an International Beer Day and it is on the 1st Friday of August. So we will be heading to our local pub at the end of the day to celebrate it!

Did you know that there are over 1,200 operating breweries across the UK? It takes more than just appreciating a good beer to become a home brewer, but don’t get put off by needing to learn new skills and the highly competitive market. Any refreshing change of career would require you to learn something new and, sometimes, face tough competition. As with any new product in a crowded market, you have to do a lot of research and have a solid business plan and strategy to stand out. The good news is that although the consumption of alcohol in the UK dropped, when it comes to beer and ale, it went up. So there is a market for it, in the UK and in Europe. All you need is to learn the techniques to become a master of brewery, a lot of dedication, time, patience and hard work.

If you are all set to start your new business, or if you already in the business, you need to make sure you have the right tools to help you succeed. Whether you are thinking of hiring an in-house sales team or getting freelancers to do the selling, a simple and easy to use online contact management software like Clevertim will help you along the way. Your main clients are pubs, local shops, grocers, and your sales team will be constantly on the road meeting with potential clients, attending beer events, networking. Your CRM and contact management software needs to be intuitive and easy to learn and use, simple but effective. You won’t need a full bells and whistles tool, because you won’t use it. Unless you are planning to spend all your work time in front of a computer, learning to use your software, trying to figure out how you can make the most of all the features you don’t really need, you need something that will keep your work to a minimum and will be fast to perform actions. It’s like paying a fortune for the latest model of a MacBook when all you use your computer for is checking emails. Save your bucks and your time for better things, it’s the advice we give you.

Our simple contact management solution is perfect even if it is just you in the business in the beginning. Start by adding the companies and their contacts from your researches and networking, record your sales opportunities, save your emails and notes in one place. As your business grows and you have more people working with you, it will be much easier to share the information and bring the team up to speed. Clevertim is also very easy to learn, so it shouldn’t take long to figure out how to use it.

And make sure you let us know when your brewery is up and running as we would love to try your homemade Ale.