Seven Steps to Social Media Success for Small Business

clock June 5, 2015 07:07 by author Ogoing Team

What are the Seven Steps to Social Media Success for Small Business?

How can a small business achieve measurable success and consistent ROI using social media marketing on a budget? oGoing founder Sanjay Dalal presents seven steps to social media success.

Small businesses are beginning to launch and grow their social media initiatives. These companies need guidance and education on how to create an effective social media strategy, navigate the social networks, manage customer interactions, analyze the results, and achieve consistent ROI.

oGoing is USA's leading local business social network. Join oGoing to get found online, share your story, promote products & services, and attract new customers. Join here.


 oGoing presents the Seven Steps to Success with Social Media Marketing for Small Business guide:


Seven Steps to Social Media Success

Social Media Success Step 1: Set social media objectives and goals


What does the business want to gain from social media marketing initiatives? What is the key objective? Is it to increase qualified leads, deliver better customer service, get more business, create a great brand, obtain better reviews or gain more trust? If the business is starting out on social media, it will take a lot of effort and time to undertake multiple objectives simultaneously. Ask the marketing manager or owner what their immediate goals are! Be very specific about the social media marketing objectives.

Social Media Success Step 2: Determine the social media channels, and create a beautiful profile or two

It's easy to fall in the trap of creating profiles on multiple social media channels, and then forgetting about them. Just having a profile is like an empty store front. No customer would dare go there. Social media is all about engagement. Each social media channel takes at least 4 to 6 hours of management every week. A business needs to be judicious of the time and resources, and start out with one or two social media channels. Creating a beautiful profile that exemplifies the business and gets customers excited is the first step.

Social Media Success Step 3: Listen and learn from the customers, partners and industry experts

Ask this question: "Who are our customers and what can we learn from what they are saying and doing?" Most of the business' customers would already be using social media. It's easy to find these customers (search for them), and see what's going on. The business also needs to think about "Who are the customers' customers?" In short, a business must take the time to learn about the customers' needs, and understand the customers' perceptions. The business should also learn how the partners are using social media, what the experts are saying and the industry trends.

Social Media Success Step 4: Make new connections with customers

It's time to connect! Once the business has determined who the customers, prospects, partners and experts are, it should begin connecting with them. Connect slowly! It may not make sense to connect with competing customers at the same time. It's best to follow a few customers, and engage well with them. Are more connections better? Just connecting with many users without real engagement does not yield promising results. Do not get caught up in the game of buying new followers or fans for the social channels - most of the paid connections are inactive users and the business will not materially benefit from them. Quality of connections matter a lot, not the quantity.

Social Media Success Step 5: Engage with customers

Promote the customers, ask customers for feedback, and provide answers to questions. Once a business begins listening and following the customers, the managers should share what their customers are saying. Promote the customers' updates. Respond to customers' messages. Get feedback about the products and services from the customers. Ask questions from customers about their updates and begin a conversation. Whenever possible, answer the customers' questions immediately and frequently. Engage with the customers! The more a business engages with their customers and prospects online, the better the ROI.

Social Media Success Step 6: Share relevant content. What would inspire and excite the customers?

Ask this question: "What do your customers want to learn from you?" Are customers seeing and treating the business as the subject matter or industry expert? Does the business have something interesting, inspiring and useful to share that will get them excited? Customers do not have the time to check your business updates, stories, product briefs and services daily. Customers have their own businesses to run. Customers want something that can help them do better business, and the job of social media managers is to provide this information. This is where the rubber meets the road.

Social Media Success Step 7: Analyze and repeat

Did the business realize the aforementioned social media goals? If the business followed through on the six success steps above, it would achieve most of the said objectives. How does one achieve all the goals? It's quite simple: Do more of what's working. Correct what's not. Be nimble! Social media is a fast-changing paradigm. It pays to be creative, and if a business has to start all over again, that's fine! The best barometer for success: Are the customers engaged?

Many small business owners and entrepreneurs need help with their social media management. The experts at oGoing have created a highly affordable social media marketing program for small business that begins at only $99 a month. Learn more

About oGoing

oGoing is USA's leading local social network for small business. Over twenty thousand entrepreneurs, small business owners, startups, service providers and SMB are using oGoing to connect, share, network, promote and grow their business. Join oGoing today



oGoing B2B Social Network - Get found online and Boost SEO

clock June 1, 2015 17:21 by author Ogoing Team

 

Online Business Networking and Marketing for small business on oGoing

 

"Every small business owner should be on oGoing"

- Stephanie Ardrey, iVentLABS, Newport Beach

 

Join the B2B Social Network

 

oGoing is an amazing platform and network to:

1. Share Your Story
2. Get Found Online
3. Online Business Networking
4. Social Media Marketing
5. Attract New Customers

 

Join oGoing Now

 

Join the B2B social network for small business oGoing

 

Why Join oGoing?

 

Small businesses are vital to America's economic future; 28 million small business owners, service providers, entrepreneurs, startups and SMB create two-thirds of all new jobs and spend over $5 trillion annually in USA. There are over 125 million small businesses worldwide. Most small businesses have no web presence, much less social media visibility. oGoing's mission is to help promote local businesses throughout the world. oGoing provides entrepreneurs, owners and professionals a powerful social media network that promotes the business, boosts online visibility, increases website traffic, improves SEO ranking, generates warm leads and attracts new customers.

 

 Jumpstart Social Marketing

 

Social Media Marketing Boost for small business on oGoing

 

Ogoing.com provides over ten thousand professionals, service providers, owners, entrepreneurs and consultants the most amazing social media marketing and business networking platform to connect, network, share, promote and grow their business! Sanjay Dalal, serial entrepreneur, founded oGoing - the leading B2B small business social network. Dalal is on a mission to grow the small business community to over 10 million startups, small businesses, SMB and growing companies.

 

 Grow Your Business Network

 

Get found online, Expand your Business Network and Grow your Net Worth on oGoing

 

Leading B2B Social Networking Platform

 

Join oGoing Now

 

"Have you ever tried a side by side comparison between oGoing and other networks? I suggest you do it, and you'll see a huge difference in features and capability. On these criteria you'll really appreciate what oGoing is offering small business owners, service providers and entrepreneurs in a clearly superior way. And this is not a subjective "plug" for oGoing but an objective, direct comparison of features. It is simply giving credit and recognition to where it is due - and I believe oGoing deserves it!" - Alejandre Abaygar



oGoing Max - Affordable Blogging, Local, Social Media & SEO marketing solution

clock January 7, 2014 07:40 by author Ogoing Team

oGoing Max - Affordable Social Media Marketing Service for Small Business

What is oGoing Max? 

It is an affordable blogging, local, social media and SEO solution for small business by oGoing. 

Who uses oGoing Max? 

Small Business Owners, Professionals, Entrepreneurs and Service Providers who don't have the time and resources to promote their business, are looking to grow their business with more leads, and want a powerful marketing solution that is affordable and doesn't break the bank! Our satisfied customers and partners include PromoKing, Zyllion, Day1, NatraGood, GRA, Madison, Gene Morris, CEO Advisor, JanMart USA, TriTech SBDC, Shaun Hurley, RBN Relationship Building Network, Largest Mixer, Brightside, Irvine Chamber to name a few. 

What's included in this Excellent marketing service that will Jumpstart your lead generation:

1. oGoing team manages and markets your beautiful social media profile. When a new oGoing profile is created, your profile gets automatic 25 new connections and backlinks from reputed oGoing members. 
2. We promote your oGoing profile multiple times a month to potential customers on oGoing, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn and Twitter. Continuous marketing exposure delivers consistent results. 
3. We share your key updates, on your behalf, on the entire oGoing small business community multiple times a month! Great exposure in front of an engaged community. 
4. We feature your business profile on oGoing.com website home page and category pages, and give you instant visibility in front of potential customers multiple times a month. 
5. We introduce your business to the entire oGoing small business community through one sponsored email blast (when we begin the engagement). 
6. We write pertinent articles about your business and value proposition every month (one story per month), and distribute it on the high-PR oGoing blog, and share it on the oGoing small business community. 
7. We facilitate new qualified connections between your business, and your prospects and customers and help attract warm leads. 
8. We submit your oGoing profile and website once every month to 70 search engines including Google, Bing and Yahoo to increase your SEO page ranking.  
9. We make sure your Google Local, Yahoo Local and Bing Places for Business listing is accurate, and live so that customers can find you online. 
10. We tell the world that you are on oGoing Max Business. This creates tremendous trust and improves online engagement with your customers. 
11. We invite you to our weekly Social Media Best Practices and Tips webinar every Wednesday at 12 pm PDT. Engage and Learn from oGoing founder & CEO Sanjay Dalal, who has trained over 1,000 owners on social media marketing, on how to navigate and win with social media. 
12. Bonus: We will give you an exclusive copy of the Social Media marketing eBook for Small Business - Seven steps to success with social media now best practices and tips. 

Our competitors charge upward of $300 a month for a service such as this with six months commitment, including a setup fee. oGoing Max is highly affordable and our monthly cost is $99 per month, there is no setup fee, and you can cancel any time! 

Go here to get started now 

(you will need a PayPal account to sign up). 

Questions about oGoing Max? Please email us or call us at: 949-829-2742

Sincere regards, 
Sanjay Dalal 
founder / CEO, oGoing



Express Your Business Needs on oGoing

clock December 23, 2013 05:58 by author Ogoing Team

Express Your Business Needs on oGoing

I am excited to share with you some changes we have made on oGoing 

Starting today, members can now share their business needs and posts in the following 7 areas on oGoing: 

1. Startups - Post any question or need about starting your business, entrepreneurs 

2. Funding - Post any question or need about funding or financing your company 

3. Marketing - Post any question or need about marketing and growing your business 

4. Technology - Post any question or need about using technology for your company 

5. News - What's going on? Post your news, events and goings at your organization 

6. Services - Post specific question or need for service providers in over 100 categories 

7. Offers - Post your time sensitive deals, promotions and specials that create traction 

Did you know that all your posts on oGoing are shared with the community on the Live oGoing wall? 

Login to oGoing today, and start expressing your specific needs now. 

BTW, the three most engaged members in December will each get a $100 Starbucks gift card (for USA members). 

Remember the First Rule of Marketing that I shared last time:

Your customers and prospects are not interested in you or your company. They are not even interested in your product. They are only interested in solving their current particular problem as they perceive it, or generally in meeting their own perceived needs towards their own felt desires." 

The key reason for making this change was this epiphany of how oGoing can help small businesses and professionals find solutions to their needs. 

As 2013 comes to a close, our thoughts gather around family, friends, and those business acquaintances that helped us along our journey every day of the year. On behalf of the oGoing team, I would like to extend heartfelt thanks to you for your support and belief over the past year. 

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas! 

Sincere regards, 
Sanjay Dalal 
founder / CEO, oGoing
 
p.s.  check my recent interview on YouTube 

 

 



Connect with (949) Local & Jim Froling, Your Internet Marketing Encyclopedia!

clock November 1, 2013 12:48 by author Ogoing Team

Jim Froling is President of (949) Local, an Orange County-based business that is committed to helping local businesses and professionals successful in building a strong online presence. His commitment to helping other professionals utilize the Internet in order to market themselves in more successful ways.

1. Can you tell us about you and your business?

(949) Local is an online marketing agency that helps small and medium businesses maximize their visibility in local search.  This entails both local organic, "on the map" of a search engine result for relevant queries from users looking for the services of our clients as well as "Sponsored Links", or Pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns to gain them visibility outside of their immediate area and/or in searches where they normally do not get first page ranking for a variety of reasons.  We also manage client's online reputation by procuring positive reviews from satisfied customers and effectively deal with the occasional dissatisfied customer.

2. How is your business doing? 

Our business has grown significantly, especially in the past year.  Most of our new business now comes from the referrals from satisfied clients, which is a source of great appreciation for us.  It tells us that we must be doing something right.

3. What gets you going?

Our client's progress and success.  The fruits of our efforts can take time to ripen but to see steady progress in their organic search ranking is a "rush".  To hear them tell us that they have new customers from our efforts is a thrill.  Knowing that we are improving their business, enhancing their lives and those of their families and employees is very gratifying.

4. What are your 2013-2014 goals? Did you kill them?

As our business and client count has increased, the demands upon our company infrastructure have increased as well.  We need to add dedicated and determined teammates to help provide our clients with the service that they expect and deserve.

5. What are your biggest challenges?

This past year has, and continues to present significant changes in the way Internet search engines (and Google in particular) deal with local businesses.  This isn't your older brother's Internet anymore.  Staying abreast of the constant changes, opportunities and pitfalls is very time consuming and sometimes frustrating.

6. How do you find new customers, or how do customers find you?

We find new clients primarily through offline networking events in the area.  New clients find us through referrals from present clients and our online networking, including our participation in the oGoing communities.

7. Do you have any tips to share with our readers?

The days of "gaming" or tricking search engines are over.  Now the secret to high ranking in search is all about creating a positive experience for the customer.  On your website and in your daily interaction with customers.  Content and quality are the key drivers.  So, the best advice for improving your ranking and your business overall is to strive to provide your customer with the best possible experience.  Engage with them.  Share with them.  Listen and respond to them.  Do this with genuine regard for them and your success will be a natural byproduct. 


Connect with Jim and (949) Local on oGoing:

Want to go Pro? Learn how your company can become an oGoing Pro business


3 Easy Steps To Engage With Customers On Social Media

clock October 30, 2013 14:10 by author Ogoing Team

The majority of professionals miss the mark when it comes to engaging with customers on social media. oGoing presents 3 Easy Steps to engage effectively with customers and generate better ROI.

3 easy steps - courtesy EditionGuard Blog

oGoing is the nation's leading small business social network. oGoing provides an amazing online business networking and social media marketing platform where small businesses, entrepreneurs, startups and owners connect and network online, express business needs, share insights, ask questions and ask for referrals. Professionals announce their news and events, promote their products and services, and post offers. oGoing has a bold mission to promote nation's 28 million small businesses and make them successful.

"Customers are continuously bombarded by non-stop social media updates from their followers. Eventually, these customers stop following you and stop listening to what you are saying. oGoing provides the best business social network for effectively engaging with your customers," Sanjay Dalal, founder / CEO, oGoing.

The majority of professionals use social media to promote what they do. They share continuous updates about their products and services, company news, offers and specials, and upcoming events. These professionals believe that their customers are eagerly consuming these updates. Unfortunately, they are dead wrong! Customers do not want to be blasted by constant promotional tweets or posts. Customers want to see something that interests them and helps them do better business.

Social media is not about self-promotion. As a matter of fact, when a company or individual promotes themselves frequently on social media, their customers become even more disenchanted and disengaged. What are then the best ways to engage with customers on social media networks? The three answers will surprise the business community.

oGoing presents three easy steps to engage more effectively with customers on social media:

Step One: Ask Questions

When a professional asks a question on social media, their customer instinctively pauses to read and answer this question. This is human nature; a person always pauses to think when someone asks them a question. If the customer has a ready answer, they will respond to this question. This is how customers start and remain engaged on social networks. When professionals phrase their status updates as questions, these initiate conversations with their customers, resulting in higher engagement.

Step Two: Answer Questions

By the same token, a professional should always be on the lookout when their customer asks questions on social media. Most professionals do not even listen to what their customers are saying or asking. When customers ask questions, professionals should answer them to the best of their knowledge as soon as possible. The more answers customers receive to their questions, the more engaged they become with the professionals.

Step Three: Promote Customer's Updates

When a professional promotes their customer's updates, three great things happen: Customer becomes excited and happy because their post received a social media boost; Customer becomes curious and begins to pay more attention to the professional's updates; Customer will return the favor in the future. There's one more thing. The social network determines that the professional is doing more than just sharing their own updates, and hence provides more visibility to this professional. A simple act of promoting a customer's update results in follow-on engagement and more exposure.

oGoing is the only business social network that provides easy tools for professionals to ask questions, provide answers and promote customers.

About oGoing: 

oGoing launched oGoing.com, USA's leading social network for small business. oGoing provides owners, service providers and entrepreneurs a powerful social media marketing platform that promotes the business, attracts new customers, boosts online visibility, improves website traffic and accelerates sales.

oGoing Helps Small Businesses Find New Customers! Join oGoing Now



Meet Colleen Montini, Small Business Entrepreneur Who Keeps On Going

clock October 14, 2013 09:24 by author Ogoing Team

Meet Colleen Montini, Small Business Entrepreneur Who Keeps On Going

"Our lives may be short on fairy-tale elements, but our generosity and our willingness to serve well the people we live with lead us toward an ending happier than we can imagine." ~Unknown

Colleen Montini is an entrepreneur who keeps on going! She knows a thing or two about entrepreneurship, staying focused and surviving, and doing well. Check out her inspiring small business story:

1. Can you tell us about you and your business?  

My name is Colleen Montini and I have had my Mary Kay business since June, 2000. I did Mary Kay full-time while I finished my degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management at the University of Houston and have continued doing it part-time ever since. 

2. How is your business doing? 

Great! Mary Kay is designed to be whatever a woman wants and for me that is having wonderful customers who enjoy the products and keep coming back for more. I am proud to say that I have customers who have been with me since I started my business 13 years ago! 

3. What gets you going? 

I like interactions with people where I feel I can make a positive difference in their day. 

4. What are your products or services, and key benefits? 

More than 3 million people worldwide are Mary Kay Independent Beauty Consultants. I offer Skin and Body Care for Men, Women and Teens, Fragrances, and Color Cosmetics. The benefits of being with such a trusted brand and company that just celebrated their 50th Anniversary are enormous. I don’t have to reinvent the wheel and Mary Kay is a name people know they can trust. The products sell themselves.

5. Who are your customers? Can you share a brief success story? 

My customers are mostly women (and a few very important men!) of all ages. I have done presentations for Girl Scout Troops on how to care for your skin and use make-up responsibly and then had the privilege to watch them grow into beautiful young women who are still customers.

6. How do you find new customers? Or customers find you? 

I have moved around a lot and have customers in roughly 12 states. Most of my customers come from referrals and networking.  They can find me through my Mary Kay personal website or on Facebook. I also volunteer and attend community events and try to make sure it comes up in conversation.

7. What is your biggest challenge? What help do you need to overcome this? 

Lately, participation. I have been trying what I think are cute or clever contests and incentives but am not getting the bites I’d like. I think the repeat customers are just more likely to buy when they need something, regardless of the promo (and this is okay too!). More customers is always a plus.

8. What are your 2013 goals? Did you kill them? 

My goals have been to make enough to have fun with, keep getting new customers, and keep the ones I have happy and loyal. I’ve been killing that for 13 years.

9. Can you share some tips with our community? 

Make sure you are doing something you love and don’t quit! Even the most successful businesses will have their ups and downs. As a Mary Kay Independent Beauty Consultant, I get a lot of representatives from other companies (It Works, Jewelry in Candles, Premier Designs, etc) trying to recruit me because they believe their business and products would be "great in conjunction with Mary Kay". If you are going to start any business of this nature, my advice is to research them all very carefully and then choose the ONE that fits your goals and lifestyle and is the one about which you can be passionate. With any business like this, the initial roll-out is typically to friends and family and there are only so many things in which they can support you. It is also difficult to build a loyal customer base when your customers can't be sure where your loyalties lie. Lastly, if you wish to truly be a breakout success then you will need to devote your full time and energy; this is impossible if you have spread yourself too thin and have goals that compete with each other. You cannot serve two masters (or three or four) so do the due diligence, find your passion and stick with it.

Connect with Colleen Montini 
oGoing http://www.ogoing.com/CMontini
Website: www.marykay.com/cmontini
Facebook http://www.facebook.com/ColleensMK 
LinkedIn http://www.linkedin.com/in/colleenmontini/ 
phone: 916-896-5355



oGoing Pro | Social Media Marketing Solution for $39 per month

clock June 10, 2013 08:02 by author Ogoing Team

 oGoing Pro | Social Media Marketing Solution for $39 per month. Expose your Business to Thousands of potential Customers Online! Grow your Social Media Brand and Boost Your SEO Ranking!

oGoing Pro is an Affordable Online Social Media Marketing Solution for your Small Business
for a nominal cost of only $39 a month!

oGoing provides a 30 day free trial to get your business going now. Let us show you how we
promote your business for 30 days without any cost to you!

What's included in this Excellent social media networking service that will Jumpstart your sales:
 

1. oGoing team manages and markets your beautiful oGoing profile. When a new oGoing profile is created, your profile gets automatic 25 new connections and backlinks from reputed oGoing members.

 

2. We promote your oGoing profile multiple times a month to potential customers on oGoing, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn and Twitter. Continuous marketing exposure delivers consistent results.

 

3. We share your key updates on the entire oGoing small business community multiple times a month! Great exposure in front of an engaged community.

 

4. We feature your business profile on oGoing.com website, and give you instant visibility in front of potential customers multiple times a month.

 

5. We tell the world that you are on oGoing Pro Business. This creates tremendous trust and improves online engagement with your customers.

 

6. We invite you to our weekly Social Media Best Practices and Tips webinar every Wednesday at 12 pm PDT. Engage and Learn from oGoing founder & CEO Sanjay Dalal, who has trained over 1,000 owners on social media marketing, on how to navigate and win with social media.

 

7. Bonus: We will give you an exclusive copy of the Social Media eBook for Small Business - Seven steps to success with social media now!


oGoing Exposes your Business in front of Thousands of potential Customers for only $39 monthly! UNBELIEVABLE!!

Who uses oGoing Pro?
Small Business Owners, Professionals, Entrepreneurs and Service Providers who don't have the time and resources to promote their business, are looking to grow their business with more leads, and want a powerful marketing solution that is affordable and doesn't break the bank!
 
Ready to Get Started?
oGoing provides over $1,500+ worth of integrated online marketing and social media services for a very reasonable price of $39 monthly (now with a 30 day free trial!). Get powerful social media, email marketing and online marketing service that will blow your competition away!! Your business can cancel any time.
 
Sign Up for Powerful Online Marketing for only $39 monthly: (free 30 day trial; cancel any time!)


We Love Small Business Owners! Here are Six Reasons by Nellie Akalp

clock April 24, 2013 12:59 by author Ogoing Team

Love Small Business Owners - oGoing

According to a 2012 Public Affairs Pulse Survey, 88% of adults interviewed have a favorable view of small businesses. Only 16% said the same about major corporations.

Here are six reasons why I love small businesses and will continue to support small business owners in every way possible:

1. Small business owners work tirelessly

Entrepreneurs and small business owners are used to working long hours. The latest SMB Wellness Index from Manta found that small business owners are working longer hours than they have in the past. Nearly half (49%) said they worked more than 50 hours/week in 2012, compared to 40% in 2011. 26% worked up to 60 hours a week in 2012, 14% worked up to 70 hours, and 9% admitted to working more than 70 hours a week.

2. Small businesses are the heart of the American economy

If you had any doubts about the importance of small businesses to our economy, take a look at the following statistics from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). Small firms:

  • Make up more than 99.7% of all employers
  • Create more than 50% of the nonfarm private gross domestic product (GDP)
  • Make up 97% of exporters and produce 29 percent of all export value

3. Small businesses spur job growth

It’s the small business engine that’s turning our economy around and putting our country back to work. The latest figures from the SBA show that small businesses create 75% of the net new jobs in our economy, creating more than 15 million net new jobs between 1993 and 2009. Small businesses employ half of all private sector employees and hire 43% of high tech workers (scientists, engineers, computer programmers, and others).

4. Small business owners are gutsy

The bulk of small businesses are self-financed, with owners digging into their savings, home equity, stocks, 401k/retirement accounts, and credit cards to fund their business. The large number of bootstrapping startups is in part due to a tighter lending market; most small business owners find they need to sign a personal guarantee in order to get a loan. This kind of bootstrapping makes a small business self-reliant, but it’s also risky as owners may stand to lose their entire wealth in case this business fails. Yet despite this fact, small business owners are ready to take the plunge because they believe in their vision and want to do whatever they can to make it happen.

5. Small businesses build relationships

As the founder of a small business, I enjoy doing as much business as I can with fellow small companies. Small businesses often share a uniquely genuine culture – after all, small business owners typically have a closer connection to their customers and marketplace. There are fewer bureaucratic layers and armies of consultants standing between the owner and customer. Smaller organizations take a vested interest in the needs of their customers, and build strong relationships with their customers and community.

6. Small business owners are optimistic

2013 brought a flurry of small business surveys all pointing to increased optimism for the coming year. The SMB Wellness Index from Manta found that more than 75% of the small business owners polled are confident about their company’s growth prospects in 2013. A Dell Think Tank poll showed that business owners in their six markets expect their finances and sales to improve this year. And the American Express OPEN Small Business Monitor found that 77% of small businesses polled are optimistic about their business prospects.

 

While these findings are certainly indicative of positive trends in our economy, I think that by nature, small business owners are an optimistic group. It’s an unfailing belief in themselves and a hope for the future that gives entrepreneurs the strength to take risks. And I hope more courageous and creative individuals join the ranks of small business owners in years to come.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally written by Nellie Akalp on Small Business Trends.


Nellie Akalp Nellie Akalp is CEO of CorpNet, her second incorporation filing service based on her strong passion to assist small business owners and entrepreneurs in starting their business. Free guides, advice and videos on small business legal topics are available at her Small Biz Corner.

 

 



Winning with Social Media during the holidays

clock October 31, 2012 02:07 by author Ogoing Team

Is Social Media Marketing imperative during these holidays? If you go by these statistics, social media is must-have for marketing and winning during the holidays:

* 66% of Black Friday purchases resulted from social media interactions.
* 52% of social media users are willing to pay more for brands that they trust (and brands who participate in social media are more trusted).
* 80% of those who interacted with a brand’s social channel ended up buying from that brand.
* Gift recommendations from social media users are twice as likely to lead to a sale.

According to Lab42, 61% of holiday shoppers plan to research that perfect gift through their social networks before they pull out their wallets. 

When most big companies are bombarding social media users with daily deals and requests to “like” and “follow” them, how do you stand out from the pack? Do you need help managing your social media marketing? It takes about six hours a week to get real benefits and ROI from Social Media. Do you want exposure in front of tens of thousands of potential customers? Ogoing has an amazing marketing program for only $39 monthly! Learn more



Seven Steps to Social Media Success

clock October 21, 2012 17:58 by author Ogoing Team

Seven Steps to Social Media Success by oGoing

How can a small business achieve measurable success and consistent ROI using social media marketing on a budget? oGoing founder Sanjay Dalal presents seven steps to social media success.

Small businesses are beginning to launch their social media initiatives. These companies need guidance and education on how to create an effective social media strategy, navigate the social networks, manage customer interactions, analyze the results, and achieve consistent ROI.

"Small Businesses don't have the time, expertise and resources to jumpstart social media marketing. oGoing provides affordable social media management services and best practices to get them going!" - Sanjay Dalal, founder and CEO of oGoing

oGoing is USA's leading small business social network. oGoing presents the Seven Steps to Success with Social Media for Small Business guide:

Step 1: Set Your Social Media Objectives and Goals
    What does the business want to gain from social media marketing initiatives? What is the key objective? Is it to increase qualified leads, deliver better customer service, get more business, create a great brand, obtain better reviews or gain more trust? If the business is starting out on social media, it will take a lot of effort and time to undertake multiple objectives simultaneously. Ask the marketing manager or owner what their immediate goals are! Be very specific about the social media marketing objectives.

Step 2: Determine your social media channels, and Create a beautiful profile or two
     It's easy to fall in the trap of creating profiles on multiple social media channels, and then forgetting about them. Just having a profile is like an empty store front. No customer would dare go there. Social media is all about engagement. Each social media channel takes at least 4 to 6 hours of management every week. A business needs to be judicious of the time and resources, and start out with one or two social media channels. Creating a beautiful profile that exemplifies the business and gets customers excited is the first step.

Step 3: Listen and Learn from your Customers, Partners and Industry Experts
     Ask this question: "Who are our customers and what can we learn from what they are saying and doing?" Most of the business' customers would already be using social media. It's easy to find these customers (search for them), and see what's going on. The business also needs to think about "Who are the customers' customers?" In short, a business must take the time to learn about the customers' needs, and understand the customers' perceptions. The business should also learn how the partners are using social media, what the experts are saying and the industry trends.

Step 4: Make New Connections with Customers
     It's time to connect! Once the business has determined who the customers, prospects, partners and experts are, it should begin connecting with them. Connect slowly! It may not make sense to connect with competing customers at the same time. It's best to follow a few customers, and engage well with them. Are more connections better? Just connecting with many users without real engagement does not yield promising results. Do not get caught up in the game of buying new followers or fans for the social channels - most of the paid connections are inactive users and the business will not materially benefit from them. Quality of connections matter a lot, not the quantity.

Step 5: Promote your Customers, Ask Customers for Feedback, and Provide Answers to Questions 
     Once a business begins listening and following the customers, the managers should share what their customers are saying. Promote the customers' updates. Respond to customers' messages. Get feedback about the products and services from the customers. Ask questions from customers about their updates and begin a conversation. Whenever possible, answer the customers' questions immediately and frequently. Engage with the customers! The more a business engages with their customers and prospects online, the better the ROI.

Step 6: Share relevant information. What would inspire and excite your Customers?
     Ask this question: "What do your customers want to learn from you?" Are customers seeing and treating the business as the subject matter or industry expert? Does the business have something interesting, inspiring and useful to share that will get them excited? Customers do not have the time to check your business updates, stories, product briefs and services daily. Customers have their own businesses to run. Customers want something that can help them do better business, and the job of social media managers is to provide this information. This is where the rubber meets the road.

Step 7: Analyze and Repeat
     Did the business realize the aforementioned social media goals? If the business followed through on the six success steps above, it would achieve most of the said objectives. How does one achieve all the goals? It's quite simple: Do more of what's working. Correct what's not. Be nimble! Social media is a fast-changing paradigm. It pays to be creative, and if a business has to start all over again, that's fine! The best barometer for success: Are the customers engaged?

Social Media Marketing Boost from oGoing

Many small business owners and entrepreneurs need help managing their social media. The experts at oGoing have created a highly affordable social media marketing program for small business for only $39 monthly (including a free 30 day trial). Learn more about the oGoing Social Media Pro Service and sign up today!

Contact oGoing team if you have any questions: Main: 949-829-2742 (7 am to 5 pm PDT) or email us at: sales@ogoing.biz 



oGoing Interviews Mark Hartsell of CEO Advisor

clock October 4, 2012 08:40 by author Ogoing Team

Mark Hartsell, CEO & President of CEO Advisor

How do you make the Owner, President or CEO of a company better?

More often than not, the entrepreneur has too much on his or her plate, is wearing multiple hats and working 24/7. How can someone help this entrepreneur focus and do more? That is a tall order indeed. Meet oGoing Pro Member Mark Hartsell, the CEO and President of CEO Advisor. He is on a mission to grow the CEOs, Owners and Presidents of young and emerging small businesses and startups in Orange County and Southern California. Mark helped me earlier this year on the oGoing business, marketing and financial plans, and getting them ready for potential investors or partners. I had the opportunity to ask Mark a few questions about his company, and what's going on. Here are the five answers that can help you grow your business:

1. What led you to start CEO Advisor? How is the progress?
Prior to selling my software company to Digital River, I focused on what my post-sale career would look like.  It was clear to me that I wanted to spend the rest of my career as a small business advisor helping entrepreneurs grow to the next level toward a successful exit of their own.  CEO Advisor has grown every year since its inception in 2004 and I really enjoy engaging with and helping CEOs tackle their many challenges.

2. What are your key services? What problems do they solve?
CEO Advisor focuses on the challenges and opportunities that every CEO and small business owner encounters.  These issues span across the entire business, including preparation for fund raising, fund raising, accounting, operations, sales, marketing, mergers and acquisitions, and my services solve problems in all of these areas.

3. What is your favorite customer success story?
I have many customer success stories, but I most like seeing my clients grow and prosper, as in two clients that are currently on the Orange County Business Journal - Fastest Growing Companies list out this week.

4. Why do customers love CEO Advisor? What makes you different?
My clients value my services due to my broad range of business expertise, and one-to-one meetings with a hands-on approach ensuring progress on a weekly basis.  I am also goal and accountability driven and my clients like this, as well.  My biggest differentiator is my hands-on approach to producing work and deliverables for clients each week versus the verbal coaching that I see in this field.

5. How do you define success within your company?
I measure the success of my company by the success of my clients.  When my clients are motivated, happy and seeing results this is very gratifying to me for my efforts.  Additionally, I enjoy what I do to such a high degree that it simply does not seem like work.  That is real success.

Connect with Mark Hartsell on oGoing today! His firm has great offers for oGoing members also.

Mark A. Hartsell, MBA, CEO/Pres. 
CEO Advisor, Inc. 
www.CEOAdvisor.com  
www.CEOAdvisorNetwork.com 
 (949) 759-8676


oGoing Interview - Manny Lopez of Brightside Advertising

clock October 2, 2012 09:34 by author Ogoing Team
Manny Lopez, President & Founder of Brightside AdvertisingWhat's the definition of a passionate entrepreneur? Meet Manny Lopez, Founder & CEO of Brightside Advertising. I have met Manny a few times, and every time I see him, he exudes cool confidence of a seasoned businessman, and an infectious enthusiasm about his work and life. When I introduced oGoing Pro membership for small business, Manny was the first owner that called me on the same day, and signed up as a new member! When Manny sees new opportunities for his business, he seizes them immediately! I was fortunate to catch Manny this week to answer a few questions, and he provided insightful responses. Read on...

1. What led you to start Brightside Advertising? How is the progress?

I had a background in SEO after years of promoting different forms of advertising (print, mailers, TV, radio, etc.) and what I saw most was my clients wanted more word of mouth business. It was the most profitable, and provided the best form of advertising. I saw Facebook as the perfect opportunity to help businesses capitalize on that market. Thus, Brightside Advertising was born. 

2. What are your products and services? What problems do they solve?

We have many forms of online marketing which I will outline which each problem they solve:

Facebook Websites:
Our Facebook Websites allow companies to really brand themselves on the biggest website in the world where everything is connected. It's basically a website on steroids! We give you the branding and function of a normal website, with the viral marketing aspect of social media where every interaction creates a story that is shared with their network of friends to help generate more referrals and repeat business. 

Mobile Website Apps:
Our mobile website apps allow our clients to not only mobilize their website, but they are downloadable to any smartphone as an app for iPhone, Android, Windows, and Blackberry. They give our clients functions like: 1-touch click to call, maps / directions to their locations, lead capture, appointment setting, social media integration, plus dozens of other features all from a mobile device. 

Online Video Ads:
Video marketing is one of the fastest growing forms of marketing out there. With our online video ads, our clients can reach out to consumers in a short 1 minute to minute and a half video that outlines their products and services with professional voiceover, background music, animated transitions and backgrounds and full of content like text, pictures, and video clips. 

Our "Reach & Presence" program:
We have 2 different programs for online marketing with your brand, Presence & Reach. Presence allows us to get a company started online by building them a website that's SEO optimized and helping them build a brand that is unique to theirs. Our Reach program is for companies that already have an established online presence and is looking for more exposure which we help by the way of website citations and display advertising. 

Mobile Banner Ads:
Once a company has got a mobile website from us and wants to drive more traffic than is already coming, we have our mobile banners ads that can help. It's a cost per click basis which allows our clients to only have to pay for engaged users of their brand instead paying for people just to see and hope they take action. And at 1-10 cents per click, it's THE most cost effective approach to driving traffic to your business. 

3. What is your favorite customer success story? 

We've helped over 250 businesses develop true online branding with our products and services over the past 2 years and we've had tons of success stories between that time, but if I was to choose one that really stood out, I would have to say 7 Day Dental. When they started with us, they had nothing on social media or mobile as a way of marketing their brand. We helped grow all 4 of their Southern California locations with Facebook Websites and Mobile Apps. We taught them how to ask for recommendations and referrals from their existing clients and have grown their business extensively over the past year and half they have been with us. They are constantly getting new likes and referrals along with daily recommendations on their Facebook pages without having to spend any money in Facebook Ads to help drive new traffic. 

We started asking for recommendations this year, and check-ins and so far, they've had anywhere between 400-500 check-ins on each of their Facebook pages along with close to 500 likes in each page as well. Without spending $1 in advertising, that is a great success. 

4. Why do customers love Brightside? What makes you different?

Customers love Brightside because in everything we do, we make the customer satisfaction our #1 priority. Everything we do is on a month to month basis, we don't lock anyone into a long term contract. So each month, we have to prove to you why we earned your business and I think that is the only way we can make sure we see 100% effort in anything we do. I come from a background where customer service is the key to success and if you are just there to make the quick buck, you'll always lose.

What makes us different is not only our pricing, but the level of customer support they receive for the price they pay. My customers always tell me how we should be charging more than what we do for what they get. A lot of people are suprised at how low we charge. I also give my direct cell phone number to each of my clients so they have multiple ways to get in touch with me should they ever have any questions about utilizing our services. 

5. How do you define success within your company?

I define success with my company not by the amount of clients we sign up or how much money we make, but by how many of our clients stick with us for the long haul. Most of our products come with a monthly service fee to cover updates, training, and monthly service and my goal is to maintain at least a 95% retention rate with my customers. Currently, we are at 92%. Some may see that as success but I will always strive to do better then yesterday. Once we hit 95%, I will keep raising the bar. Brightside Advertising will become a household name. That's the ultimate goal and we will always strive to give additional value to the customers we have now and the future. 

Connect with Brightside Advertising on oGoing today! They also have great offers for oGoing members.

Brightside logo

Manny Lopez

Founder & CEO
Brightside Advertising
Direct: 714-603-1114


How Ogoing helps small business owners generate leads! Watch our Video

clock August 1, 2012 17:55 by author Ogoing Team

Ogoing is the nations leading Small Business Social Network.

Jump start your small business on Ogoing and grow! Ogoing Social Network powers online Business Networking, Lead Generation and Social Media Marketing for the small business. Use Ogoing to share what is going on at your business, get new leads and accelerate sales! Join Ogoing today: http://ogoing.com



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