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Welcome to The Social Forge Podcast. Our podcast is focused on helping small and medium-sized businesses grow. 

Our podcast will include audio versions of our Facebook Live show, The Social Gab which airs live on Wednesdays at 10 AM on the SocialMediaWright Facebook page.

Below you will find links to various media outlets where you can listen to the show from and subscribe so you don't miss future episodes. Our show notes will contain links and references to the items discussed in that days show.

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Apr 18, 2019

If you have been listening to our podcasts we like to start each episode with an inspiring quote from an entrepreneur or thought leader from around the world.

This Weeks Inspiring Quote is from a Japanese proverb which says  “Fall seven times, stand up eight.”

If this is your first time joining us on The Social Forge and you are looking for some inspiration, you can go to the SocialMediaWright website, we will have a link in the show notes and look for the menu button marked inspiration.

We have collected between 100-200 quotes from business leaders and entrepreneurs in a great graphic image that you can download or share on social media.

We also publish a new quote every morning at 7 AM on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Topics This Week:

  • In our Business Section: Business Cards, Paper and Virtual
  • In our Website Development Section: Mobile Websites
  • In our Social Media Marketing: Pinterest for your Business

Business Section

  • for every business I have been a part of from the start of my career, 25 years ago to current I have always had a business card
  • a business card provides a nice summary of who you are, where do you work, what is your position, and how if I want to, do I get in contact with you such as phone number, email and your business web address
  • business cards nowadays may also include a QR code, which is a square image that when scanned on a smartphone will take you to a place on the internet so a lot of companies will do it for your website, companies may also start to think about messaging app addresses as more people turn to text as a way to communicate.
  • business cards also give you the opportunity to distinguish yourself from the rest. The days of plain white thick paper and black print have been replaced with colourful graphics and logos.
  • for years business cards have been printed on a rectangular card in horizontal format but nowadays people are printing on a vertical rectangle, a square, circle or custom die cut in any shape you want, there are also mini cards if you want to demonstrate that you are concerned about the environment and conserving trees
  • materials have also changed from plain white to plastic, metal, kraft paper
  • your goal is to create a business card for your business that is memorable. Many printers will have online templates that you can use to create your business cards and if don’t see something that you like and you are familiar with software like Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator you can turn to a website like CreativeMarket and purchased a business card template in a design that you like. Add in the necessary information and upload it to a printers website.
  • there are also a lot of great printers out there, so one thing you might consider is connecting with a local printer in your home town, its great to keep that business local and you can build a relationship as you may have other printing needs in the future
  • if there is no one local or you want to check out the web, two companies I have used in the past are Vistaprint and Moo Cards. Each offers a lot of different options if you want to create a unique card for your business.
  • So you have decided on a design, you have had them printed now what? Always keep some on you where ever you go, you never know where you are going to connect with someone and its a great opportunity to snag yourself a business card case. Most cases are going to be for the rectangle design so for an odd shape card you may have to look on the internet.
  • a company that I have purchased a few cases from over the years is called Acme Studio and they have clever designs to ensure your business card case is not just like everyone else. Mine actually looks like a wall of bamboo with a tiki face on it. How many times have you seen that.
  • The other thing you can do is look for equipment or apps for your smartphone that will catalog your business cards that you receive.
  • so picture this, you are at your first trade conference or lecture with your peers and you come home with 50 or 60 business cards are you going to manually type them into your computer are you going to add them to your CRM system?
  • options if your looking for a high speed scanner for your business you can check out the Fujitsu ScanSnap which is what we use, you could look at Dymo Cardscan or Corex Cardscan, the advantages of a stand alone scanner especially if it has a feed is you can stick a group of cards in and the card gets scanned and the information gets added to your contact software.
  • apps you can check out ABBYY Business card reader, Evernote and CamCard which allow you to take a picture of the business card and the information will get added to your contacts
  • you can also look at apps that will take the place of your business card by sending an electronic version of your card. If you get paperboards from Vistaprint they offer an app called MyCard. Also CamCard offers the ability to send business card information electronically
  • in a future episode we will talk about contact management software, where you can store all the information you get from people’s business cards.

Website Development

  • would it be to far of a stretch if I told you we were becoming a mobile society if not already there
  • what I mean by this is that everywhere I go, people walking around staring at their phones
  • I’ve watched people walk into a busy intersection reading their phones oblivious to all of the cars and other people around them
  • so as we talk about website development its important that you don’t forget that a significant portion of your visitors may be viewing your website on a mobile device
  • now a few episodes ago we talked about creating a website and if you have gone to a website builder they likely already have something for a mobile platform and you may not have any ability to influence how your site is served up on mobile.
  • if they offer options like AMP which we will talk about in a few minutes with respect to a Wordpress platform then you may want to add those additional options onto your website to enhance your users mobile experiences
  • if you decided to use the wordpress.org framework like many people do, us included there are a number of things to consider when thinking about the mobile user.
  • so one of the first things you will do once you have your Wordpress framework installed on your hosting provider is look for a theme that is going to reflect what your website will look like to your visitors
  • you want to look for a responsive theme and this type of theme will adjust to the various different screen sizes that the theme may be viewed on
  • now one of the things I want to caution you about is that you could find a framework and a theme that is ultrafast and renders great on mobile platforms - excellent right
  • one of the things you will learn with Wordpress and we have previously talked about them is plugins which are little pieces of code that can increase the functionality of a website
  • now years ago I used to run marathons and half-marathons and I want you to think of your website when you have the framework and the responsive theme as an ultrafast runner
  • if your website was just made up of those components your users mobile experience might be great
  • as we added more and more features to our website it could be like adding a 10 pound weight to that runner and then a 5 pound weight, and then a 7 pound weight and after awhile that ultrafast runners is carrying an extra 100 pounds of weight and doesn’t perform as well
  • the reason I mention this is mobile users are going to be looking for websites that load fast, allows them to click a few buttons, may limit how much text they have to input to give them a great experience
  • if your website is running slow on a mobile platform there is a chance you will lose that customer
  • so one of the things you need to do for your website is run a speed test on your website to see how quickly things load and if there are any problems ensure you put a plan in place to address and fix
  • Google has a tool called Page Speed Insights and we will have a link to it in the show notes
  • enter your web address and check out the results
  • it will first give you the results on mobile and then on a desktop which tells you which platform Google thinks is more important
  • there are other sites you can use to check out your website speed which also may give you hints as to things you can improve upon like the GTMetrix website
  • when we did the SocialMediaWright website which has a phenomenal framework and responsive themes but has a number of plugins we scored a 32 on mobile which is pretty bad.
  • we made some changes to our site and Google now says we are a 59 which is in the average category but still has room to be worked on.
  • Our site past all of Google audits and they offer some tips on how we can improve our score
  • so lets talk about what we did for our Wordpress installation. We went to a company that we have worked with in the past and what they do is create strictly a mobile theme for tablets and smartphones with a lot of great mobile features
  • the company we used is called WPTouch and if you find your mobile website speeds are slow and you can’t make enough changes to increase your scores have a look at them and companies like them
  • so we made a couple of decisions about our mobile presentation, so unlike the desktop website that talks more about our business our mobile experience serves up first our blog posts so readers can consume our latest offerings and share them with their network
  • our site then has links to various other pages on the website that are rendered with mobile in mind
  • one of the features they offer is AMP which stands for Accelerated Mobile Pages which offers the user a better mobile experience by creating web pages that are fast and smooth loading
  • we went with better typography making it easier for our mobile visitor to be able to read our content
  • every mobile decision we make will be with the mobile user in mind because more than likely our customer may find us through their mobile device.
  • as an example we will continue to work through the Google Page Speed Results trying to increase that score and if we find that a feature that WPTouch offers will help to fix an issue that we have then its definitely a feature worth checking out.

 

Social Media Marketing

  • Pinterest was founded in March 2010
  • I believe the initial premise was that Pinterest was a large digital personal bulletin board
  • People could then take images that they found on the web and pin it to a board
  • So for example we have a SocialMediaWright Pinterest board that we created for podcasting equipment and so for us as we look at various equipment on the internet that relates to podcasting we will pin it to that board. So we can identify future purchases a collect information about that subject on that board.
  • Now someone else comes along and they are also planning on doing a podcast and they see our podcast equipment board and they can choose to follow that individual board or follow us and in their following section they will see all of our new pins
  • one of the things we look at is pictures of other peoples podcast studios and we pin those images because we hope to improve our studio over time
  • this gives us a great place to collect that information
  • you maybe thinking from a business yes-so what, well if you were a creator of podcast equipment lets say your Rodes Microphones or Shure Microphones you may want to pin content related to your products
  • and I may see those pins either because Pinterest knows I have an interest in them and curates them to my stream or I follow those boards and pin to my boards because I may become a future consumer of those products
  • think of Pinterest as possibly the starting point in a consumers purchasing decision. They may collect information about the products they are looking for on Pinterest and then decide to purchase on Amazon and then show off their purchases to their friends on Facebook
  • So setting up Pinterest is pretty easy, if you are a business you should consider signing up for their business account you will get a special business profile, you have access to analytics, you can claim your site that way your name and profile picture will appear on every pin.
  • Your profile consists of a photo, display name, bio, location and website link
  • as we mentioned Pinterest is about search and discovery
  • a digital storing tool to take action on later
  • you can create your own pinterest visuals to help drive traffic to your website or to a landing page that will help to grow your email list
  • things to consider in creating your pins, make them visual, photos are really important, its suggested to use a 2:3 ratio so sizes are 600 x 900 pixels or 735 px by 1102 px
  • include a call to action on your pin and in the description so it might be click to get x or receive y.
  • Link it to a page that explains what you are offering and why they may want to part with their email address
  • keep an eye on your pin metrics when you find a style of pin that generates a lot of engagement use that as a guide post for future pins
  • a successful pin is comprised of:
    • image
    • text overlay
    • context
    • logo
    • tell a story
    • call to action
  • List Building Activities
    • Create Lead Magnets - what are you giving to get someone’s email address
    • Design Multiple Pins - to promote your lead magnet
    • Pin to Group Boards - share to other peoples audiences
    • Maintain Your Pins - keep pinning on a regular basis
    • Create a Great Splash Page - explain why they are giving you their email address
    • Consider using TailWind so that you can connect with Tribes that will help to amplify your pins
    • use hashtags that are relevant, consider adding them to the end of your description. Try to be specific to the topic so that it doesn’t come off as spam. 1-3 hashtags.
    • pins should keep to your brand colours
    • make sure your fonts are easy to read
    • put logos in the middle or to the left
    • want to pin daily
    • three to four words on your pin

 

  • keep in mind that Pinterest for a lot of consumers may be the beginning of the journey. Maybe next year they will start to plan a trip to visit England and they will have a board dedicated to hotels in England, navigating around England, sites to see in England, restaurants to visit. If you were in the tourism industry in England you want to make sure your content will make it onto that persons boards because it provides you with the opportunity to potentially connect with a future customer
  • it also gives you the opportunity to drive traffic back to your website and as we mentioned above, if you check Google Analytics and see a lot of traffic coming from Pinterest, figure out which pins are driving that traffic and do more of the same.

Conclusion:

We want to close out every show with this thought. If you are not bringing value to the party, what are you bringing. We recognize that you pay us with your time, listening to the show and we hope that we have been able to offer you some value in ways to help grow your business.

If you are looking for a place to share ideas on how to grow your business with other entrepreneurs. Consider joining the SocialMediaWright Entrepreneurs Facebook Group. You can find the link on the socialmediawrights Facebook page.

If you like the show, please subscribe to it so you do not miss a future episode. We will be back next week, until then everyone have a great week.