3 Tips to Grow Your Social Media Followers

If you run a small business, you probably already know how important social media can be in promoting your business. Setting up a social media marketing strategy can be frustrated because there are so many social networks to choose from and ways to gain followers. We have gathered a few tips to help you build a loyal social media audience.

1. Use Keywords

No matter what social media site, whether Google+, Twitter, Facebook, or Tumblr, using keywords is vital to increase your followers. For most of these sites, hashtags work best, especially if you have your social media accounts connected with one another. This allows you to post something to all of your social media sites without having to do it physically.

Using keywords in your profile can help you attract people who are interested in what you have to offer. If they like what they see on your profile, they are likely to become an on-going follower.

2. Comment Wisely

Customers and clients love hearing from the small businesses they follow. By commenting on posts related to your business, you can get people interested in your business. You do have to remember to comment wisely, however, so that it does not feel like spam. You should also consider following people back if they start following your business on any social sites. People are much more likely to purchase from a business with which they are “friends” than one that is not on any social media sites.

3. Post Regularly

People want to hear from your business. The more they engage with you, the more likely they are to become customers or clients, so be sure to post regularly on social media sites.

Try to be as consistent as possible by posting special offers, giving tips, adding pictures, polls, or anything else you want without overwhelming your followers. Look at which posts get the most attention to see what your followers are interested in seeing. This will not only allow you to provide content in the future that is relevant, but it will also give you a good idea of the demographic engaging with your business.

Depending on how you do social media marketing, it can have a positive effect on your bottom line if you’re a small business owner. By keeping up with trends and ensuring that your content is what your followers are interested in, you will start seeing an increase in the people that engage with your content. This social interaction could ultimately lead to new prospects and customers for your small business.

Why Should Small Business Owners Hire Experts?

Short answer; most small business owners don’t know what they don’t know and they never seem to have the time to learn and implement what they need to do.

Despite all the free information that is available to small business owners, I recently read that 80% of all small businesses fail within 5 years. Why is that?

According to Michael Gerber, author of the E-Myth, most businesses are started by TECHNICIANS. People who have the skills to perform a specific task. They assume that because they have been doing that task for many years they will automatically know how to start and grow a thriving business.

This is a false assumption that leads to the high failure rate for business start-ups. Just because you’ve been a plumber for 10 years doesn’t mean you know how to run a plumbing business.

Are The Technical Skills You Have Enough To Start And Grow A Business?

So you worked in the IT department for a big firm for 20 years, does that mean you have the skills and knowledge to start and grow your own IT company? All the research says no.

Small business owners tend to wear many hats; they are the marketing department, the sales force and the bookkeeper. None of these important areas are usually part of their technical skills, so they end up doing them very poorly.

Do they teach a lot about marketing and sales in plumbing or IT school? How many hours of training on bookkeeping do doctors get in med school?

Business owners don’t or can’t find the time to learn and implement the things they need to make their businesses a remarkable success.

Hiring  EXPERTS will give them the best chance of succeeding beyond 5 years. Experts spend years developing their expertise, reading book/articles/magazines, taking courses, attending seminars and workshops, watching videos and listening to podcasts.

The best experts tend to be life-long learners and students of their specialized area. Partnering with an expert allows business owners to get access to a wealth of information, skills and resources without having to spend hours, even years trying to learn and implement things on their own. You can look at it as a short-cut to acquiring a massive amount of skills and knowledge.

Hiring an expert gives business owners the freedom to do the aspects of their business that they are passionate about. It lets them spend most of their time on the things they love to do; usually the daily technical part of their business.

Experts will strengthen your weaknesses, provide you with insights into things you would have never thought of and give you the best chance to succeed. The bottom-line is, no matter how smart or motivated you are, you can’t know everything or do everything for yourself.  Trying to do everything on your own will surely limit your success.

To get a FREE EXPERT Marketing Assessment go here for details: www.FreeMarketingHelp.ca


Is Email Marketing Still Effective?

Email Marketing vs. Social Media Marketing.


smal business marketing - email marketingShort answer, YES! It’s understandable why so many businesses and sales professionals are spending so much money and efforts on Social Media Marketing; there are many benefits.

However, all the empirical data I found during my research indicates that Email marketing can be more effective than social media marketing depending on your social media objectives. Email is still a more effective sales and communications channel than social networking sites.

Facebook’s organic (free) is averaging around 6%.  The average “click through” rate for ads is about 0.119%. Linked news-feed ads average around .3% “click through” rate.

Twitter ads “click through” rate is about 1.64%. The more followers you have, the fewer clicks you’ll probably get on your tweets.

According to Get Response, the average open rate for email in all industries is between 15-21%. And the average “click through” rate is around 3.57%.

In these cases, email marketing has the clear advantage, but depending on what your marketing objectives are, social media could be a better option. The bottom-line is, think strategically, don’t just jump into any marketing activities without strategic planning.

This is a general lay of the land.

Small Business Marketing Email Marketing vs. Social Media Marketing

Sources: Wordstream, Social@Ogilvy Signupto, QUORA

Author: Kevin Toney is “The Marketing Coach”. Kevin coaches small business owners and sales professionals on how to find and attract new customers, increase repeat business and generate a steady flow of referrals. Call 204-783-6342 for a FREE 30 minute over the phone Coaching Session. Get a Free Marketing Assessment here:  http://www.FreeMarketingHelp.ca

Do You Know The “Life Time Value” of Your Customers?

What is one of your customers worth to you over a three year period?

I was watching one of those Court TV shows; the judge was dealing with a bakery and a customer that had been doing business with the bakery for 30 years.

The customer ordered  two cakes for a total of $800.00 for a special occasion. The bakery messed up the order on both cakes. The cakes looked nothing like what the customer ordered. There was no one at the bakery to fix the cakes and her event was in two hours so the customer took the cakes and consumed them at her event.

The customer went back a few days later to ask for a full refund. The bakery owner offered her a $100 gift card. The customer insisted on a full refund, the owner refused. His reasoning: “I don’t want to give anything away, even to long-term customers”. The customer took him to court.

The customer told the owner that she will never do business with him ever again.

If the bakery owner understood the concept of “LIFE-TIME VALUE OF A CUSTOMER” he would have refunded her the $800.  I don’t know what the profit margin is on cakes, but lets say his cost was $400.00. Profit $400.00.

That customer had spent thousands of dollars over a 30 year period at his bakery.  The bakery owners gave up thousands of dollars in future sales because he was very short sighted. He did not do the simple math. Invest $400 in retaining a customer and get thousands of dollars back in sales. When you look at it this way, it’s easy to see he did not handle the situation correctly.

The judge awarded the customer $400.00, but from a business perspective, that’s irrelevant.

When dealing with your customers do you consider the “LIFE-TIME VALUE OF YOUR CUSTOMERS”?  Remember the quote: “What gets measured gets managed.”  Have you measured the “LIFE-TIME VALUE OF YOUR CUSTOMERS”? Knowing this number could help you get a fresh, new perspective on how to manage your customers.

How would you have handled this situation? Tweet me @dMarketingCoach.

Author: Kevin Toney is “The Marketing Coach”. Kevin coaches small business owners and sales professionals on how to find and attract new customers, increase repeat business and generate a steady flow of referrals. Call 204-783-6342 for a FREE 30 minute over the phone Coaching Session. http://www.FreeMarketingHelp.ca



Mindset is probably the major determinant of success in pretty much every walk of life. In other words, the thinking patterns you habitually adopt largely govern the results you achieve.

But different circumstances and situations require different mindsets, something that anyone looking to leave paid employment and strike out on their own, must be aware of. Unfortunately, not all would-be entrepreneurs understand the dramatic mindset shifts required, without which business success is unlikely.

Related: Shift Your Mindset, Save Your Business

So how, as a one-time employee, will you have to think differently to succeed?

1. You’re responsible for all decisions – good and bad. Entrepreneurs have an incredible opportunity to create something from nothing, in a way that’s not possible working for someone else. But this means making big decisions about what must be done, when and how. You can’t wait for things to happen, or for someone to tell you what to do, you must make them happen. Successful entrepreneurs also understand that opportunities may be short-lived, and so develop a sense of urgency that helps them achieve their goals.

2. You need to hold both short and long-term visions simultaneously. Work for others and you are mainly responsible for ensuring that what needs to be done now, is done. As an entrepreneur, you have to project your mind forward, thinking about the potential pitfalls and opportunities that lie around the corner, and making decisions based on uncertainty. This requires you to come to terms with the fact that what you do, or don’t do, today, will have an impact on your business three months, even five years down the line.

3. Feeling uncomfortable is your new ‘comfort zone.’ As an employee, you’re used to thinking ‘inside the box’ rather than outside it. As an entrepreneur, there is no box. You see what others don’t, test new ideas, seize new territory, take risks. This requires courage, a thick skin and the ability to keep going despite rejection and skepticism.

4. Learning is a continuous journey. As an employee, you have a job description, requiring a specific skill-set. Being an entrepreneur involves learning many new skills, unless you have the funds to outsource what you’re not good at or don’t want to do. That could be learning to set up a spreadsheet, getting investors on board, marketing your ideas, crafting your perfect pitch, or using unfamiliar technology. What needs to be done, has to be done – there is no room for excuses.

Related: Finding Growth By Changing Your Mindset

5. Numbers don’t lie. Where numbers are concerned, it’s enough for most employees to know what’s coming in and what’s going out. As an entrepreneur, you’d better learn to love numbers fast, because your cash flow is what will keep you in – or out of – business. Ultimately, it’s your sales, costs, profit and loss that will either give you sleepless nights or an enviable lifestyle. But without the guiding light of numbers, your business will be continually heading for the rocks.

6. Love your business, but be objective. As an employee, you can go on doing something you dislike just for the salary. As an entrepreneur, you will need to love your business because of the effort and long hours required. But you mustn’t fall into the trap of thinking and acting like an employee in your own company, working ‘in’ rather than ‘on’ the business, a ‘technician’ rather than the person who steers it forward.

7. Enjoy breaking rules. As an employee, breaking the rules could mean dismissal. Entrepreneurs on the other hand, aren’t interested in the status quo – they’re always looking for ways to do things differently. That means acquiring a global perspective, always peering over the horizon, or at least towards it, to where the next big thing is waiting.

8. Time isn’t linear. As an employee, you have a timetable to work to. As an entrepreneur, while you might not be tied to a desk or computer 24/7, you will always be thinking about your business, what it’s doing well and what it could be doing better. There will be no respite – you will live and breathe it.

9. Start now. Most people under-estimate the time it takes to make the transition to entrepreneur, so it’s sensible to start shifting your mindset while you’re still employed, perhaps even setting up a business to run alongside. This could give you the opportunity to develop skills and build experience while still enjoying the safety-net of a salary, something that at some point you will almost certainly need to give up if you want to grow your business.

So, employee or entrepreneur? Is it time to switch? The choice is yours.

Source: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/234894

If your company website is not mobile-ready, more than likely, you’ve been missing out on potential customers. When mobile users try to access websites that are not mobile responsive, it’s a truly frustrating experience.

Most of these searchers move on to your competitors’ websites and never return to yours. So as you can guess, these are lost leads.

But now, there’s another crucial reason to mobilize your website; Google is making some changes that will negatively impact any website that is not mobile-ready.

What is changing?

Mobile-friendliness has been a factor in Google search for a few years now, but no one knows exactly to what degree.  However, Google did announce that mobile-friendliness will now be heavily weighed as a ranking signal.

On February 26, 2015, Google wrote this statement on their Webmaster Tools blog:  “This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact on your search results.”

The Google mobile algorithm update in April, 2015 will significantly influence the organic results for web searches performed on mobile devices. 

Why the change?

More than 60% of all Google searches are now performed on mobile devices. So Google’s overall goal with the algorithm update was to provide a faster, smoother experience for mobile searchers.

When mobile users try to access websites that are not mobile-ready, it’s pretty much a waste of time. In order to match mobile users with the most beneficial websites based on their searches, the algorithm update will ensure that mobile-friendly websites get the most search engine attention.

What does this mean for your business?

Basically, if your site is not mobile-ready, it will suffer lower rankings on Google when users search for your type of products and services on their mobile devices.

On the other hand, if your website is mobile-friendly, you may experience an increase in rankings; especially in cases where most of your competitors haven’t optimized their websites for mobile.

What should you do?

  1. Make sure your website is mobile-ready. This may sound like a no-brainer, but just because your website looks fine on a desktop or laptop does not mean that it is the same for mobile devices.

Google has provided a free “Mobile Friendliness” tool where you can test your website for mobile. Here’s the link: http://cliks.it/click/ZYGAm

You can tell within a few minutes whether or not your site meets the basic standards for mobile optimization.

  1. If your website is not mobile-ready, it’s time to change that. Whether you go with a complete mobile-responsive website re-design or a stand-alone mobile website, take measures as soon as possible to ensure your business is not negatively impacted by this major update.

Having a website that is optimized for mobile viewing is critical. Not only is it important for providing convenience to your mobile customers and prospects; it’s now a major factor in how well these mobile consumers can find your website when searching online for your type of products and services.

Mobile Marketing Strategy

Now that 80% of the world’s population own a mobile phone and four out of five consumers shop using their smartphone, jumping on the mobile marketing bandwagon sooner rather than later is a strategy webmasters cannot ignore. Mobile marketing is not just trundling along – it’s going at breakneck speeds and is only going to get faster!

Mobile Marketing is the Future

With the way mobile technology is advancing, consumers will become more reliant on their handheld devices to do their shopping. Indeed, mobile marketing is the fastest growing industry EVER! According to Monetate Ecommerce quarterly, the growth of consumers using their mobiles to shop is steadily growing each quarter and has almost doubled from Q1 in 2012 to Q1 in 2013. Analysts estimate that mobile marketing will outstrip fixed internet access next year.

The simple fact of the matter is that the world is going SoLoMo – consumers are shopping socially, searching locally and using mobile devices to do it. Larry Page, chief executive of Google, said: “With more devices, more information, and more activity online than ever, the potential to improve people’s lives even more is immense.”

Only 17% of Online Businesses can Effectively be Viewed on a Mobile Device

Given the statistics above, it may surprise you to find that only 17% of websites actually work properly on a handheld device. There is definitely room for improvement. At the moment consumers are being patient, but once more website owners get on-board with mobile marketing, consumers will not tolerate websites they have to scroll through to see. Make sure you are one of the first to get on-board. Mobile marketing is an emerging market and to take advantage you have to get in there early.

40% of Shoppers Consult Three or More Review Sites Before Making a Purchase

The internet has taken word-of-mouth marketing to another level. The ability to leave reviews enables consumers to go online and find out what other people are saying about a particular product. However, they do not settle for one site as one voice cannot be trusted so register your products and business with several consumer promotion sites. This type of behavior puts the emphasis for quality on manufacturers which in turn helps small businesses sell merchandise.

4 out of 5 Consumers use Smartphones to Shop

Access to the internet is very convenient for smartphone users and they are using their handhelds to check out prices and reviews of certain products while they are in your shop. You can use this to your advantage by offering discount coupons for customers to download straight to their mobile and use in your shop.

40% of Searches have Local Intent

A couple of years ago, Google identified that the larger percentage of searches were local. The same pattern is emerging using handheld technology and as mobile marketing continues to grow, this figure will grow with it. If you own a local business on high-street, it is imperative to make your website stand out on portable handsets.

Mobile Marketing is Predicted to Overtake Desktop Internet Usage

According to the digital analytics firm Comscore, there will be more people surfing the net on portable devices next year than there will be using desktop computers. The stats show that mobile use is growing 14 times faster than desktop devices. The increase is largely thanks to 3G and 4G technology becoming more widespread on smartphones and tablets – especially in emerging mobile phone markets such as China and India.

Young People use Their Phones More Than Their Mouths

Young people don’t talk anymore – they chat. Okay, that’s not strictly true, but they do use their mobile phones to communicate and share online content. A recent survey showed that 61% of young people refer to social media sites to decide where to go and what to buy. The same survey showed that 78% of small businesses attract around a quarter of their new customers through social media networking and nearly all teenagers that own a mobile phone use Facebook.

70% of Mobile Searches lead to Online Action within an Hour

Given that mobile users are on the go while they are browsing for bargains, it makes sense that conversion rates are a lot faster than someone searching on a laptop. That’s because people searching on desktop computers are usually at home and have time to ponder their purchase options and continue their searches. Mobile shoppers are ready to spend and will buy on impulse.

Call (204) 783-6342 for a Free Coaching Session on how to develop your Mobile Marketing Strategy.



Although SMS (Text Message) have been around for a long time now, it’s still an effective form of communication all over the world. Marketing researchers forecast that SMS will continue to grow. The biggest advantage of SMS (Text Message) marketing is, all mobile phones have SMS capabilities.

But how does SMS marketing work? How is it done and how can your business benefit from using it in your business?

SMS marketing basically works by programming a software to send messages at scheduled times, for specific purposes. It may sound simple, but there are many marketing benefits you can get from implementing SMS marketing. 

  1. Appointment Reminders

Many small businesses rely on regular appointment visits by their patients or customers for income. A missed appointment will result in loss of income for the business.

Instead of manually listing the scheduled appointments, sending individual SMS or making hours of appointment reminder phone calls.

All you have to do is to schedule an appointment, input it to the system and a Text Message will be sent to the client reminding them of their appointment with you. 

  1. Gathering Leads

With SMS marketing, you can create an SMS/Text list that you can send periodic promotions or important information to.  For example coupons, announcements about specific events like anniversaries, sales or special promotions.

You can build your SMS/Text list by creating a short code that you include on posters, flyers or even your website. Start an SMS/Text VIP Club, run a contest. You have to give your audience reasons to opt-in  to your SMS marketing program. 

  1. Birthday Greetings!

Although your client knows this is automated, it still feels special if you “remember” their birthday and even more special if you offer  them a gift or reward for being a valued customer, client or patient.

These are just three of the things you can do with SMS/Text Message Marketing. Please contact me for a FREE Coaching Session if you would like to explore how you can use SMS/Text Message Marketing in your business.

Text Message Marketing Winnipeg- Kevin Toney the Marketing Coach from Kevin on Vimeo.


Kevin Toney is “The Marketing Coach”. Kevin coaches small business owners and sales professionals on how to find and attract new customers, increase repeat business and generate a steady flow of referrals. Call 1-800-796-4960 for a FREE 30 minute over the phone Coaching session.

www.MarketingCoaching.ca Follow me on twitter @DMarketingCoach