Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Marketing Responses Millennials v Gen X v Boomers

How do Millennials respond to online content compared to Baby Boomers? Here's the latest data on which groups respond best to which online content.

How Millennials, Boomers, and Gen X-ers Respond to Content Marketing

Whether you're creating eBooks, blog articles, or videos, you need to 
intimately understand how your target market is consuming content online 
to increase your reach and engagement.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Why You Should Join Linkedin And What To Do Next

Business Is Now Social - How To Find The Right People 

Businesses are looking to open up new opportunities for sales and what’s often hard in doing that,  is to find out who it is in the business that makes the buying decisions.

Reaching out to establish new contacts who could lead to new business is a basic function for any business and one that done right can secure the future of the business.

This is especially so in this new marketplace where new options for customers are appearing all the time and sidelining a lot of the old suppliers that customers once relied on.

"You're Nowhere, Man!"

Understanding the opportunities in the marketplace as this changes takes a good ear to the ground and an excellent place for that is Linkedin.  Using Linkedin means that you are in 'the club' that understands being visible online as a professional in your industry is now a basic requirement.

Conversely, not being found on Linkedin can send the message that you are not serious about your business and keeping up with modern methods and are stuck in the past.

Linkedin lets you 

  1. Join industry specific groups to share information and learn from peers in other locations.
  2. Learn from thought leaders.
  3. Become a thought leader.
  4. Identify the people you want to make contact with in other companies.
  5. Showcase your professional credentials and scope of work competency.
  6. Give you a platform to demonstrate your expertise in your area of business. 
  7. Is an excellent way to manage your business contacts and relationships

Linkedin is yet another free resource that you can use for your business grow your business and your circle of influence. 

Attract Good Connections By Being One

Many of those on Linkedin are looking for the benefits they can get from it. Here's a better idea. Before you worry about what you can get out of it, think about how you can help the people who you are connected to on Linkedin.

You think Mary is a great hairdresser. Action: Write Mary a recommendation.
You have used the services of Greg the accountant and found he was meticulous and well organized and didn't gouge you with excessive fees. Action: Write Greg a recommendation.

You work with businesses and see that they are struggling because they are good at their trade but not good at streamlining their operations and procedures.  Action: Write a recommendation for someone you know who can help them with that, and send these businesses a copy with a personal note.

This is not difficult but it does require using some 'social muscles' that you may not have exercised until now.

Connections Can Lead To Relationships

On their own, connections don't mean much. But they do let you see more of the visible network that surrounds people. You see who they endorse and who they follow, who they relate to and who relates to them.

The real value in Linkedin is the potential to show interest in those people with whom you connect and have some common interests of a professional or personal nature, and develop that into a real relationship. Your contact on Linkedin does not have to be just an online one. Phone calls and meeting in person can facilitate closer bonds.

Linkedin Becomes An Always Up-To-Date Contact Management Centre

Those network events you go to and collect a bunch of cards? Now you can elect to connect on Linkedin and keep track of people that way. They update their own contact details if they should change, unlike the out of date business cards you have in the drawer at your office.

Changes in jobs, promotions, major events - you get to see them all (and your network sees your wins), and without any effort you keep informed about the people who are important to your professional life.

Linkedin - A Water-Cooler Online And Local News Centre 

Your Linkedin account is really the online water-cooler for business to touch base and learn about what's going on in business in your local area, and your industry. Used intelligently, it can be a source of new business and valuable relationships. That's what the platform offers. It is up to us to make the most of it to bring this value into being.

Getting started on Linkedin

  • Join Linkedin
  • Complete your profile fully with a suitable picture of you – not a logo! 
  • Let it access your contact address book to find all the people you know who are already using Linkedin. 
  • Spend 10 minutes every day just catching up with Linkedin. 
  • Make it a challenge to learn one new fact about how to use Linkedin every week.

Related posts:

Sunday, July 5, 2015

How Community Groups Can Be Spreading The Word Online

Community groups are the glue that holds our local areas together and with tight economic conditions, saving every penny helps.

What many community groups (and local businesses) don't know is that there are many resources and tools available online that they can access for no cost at all, that will help them spread the word about what their cause and let people know how to contact them, how to help them and how to find them. And importantly, what they do.  Combined, all these community groups give depth to the wealth of experiences people in the local community, and visitors to the area, can access.

That's a story worth spreading! 

First things first. 

What purpose does this group serve? 

The beginning of any marketing exercise should be clarifying the purpose of the group. What's the legacy model for the group? Is it for a short term objective, or is it a group meant to go on even beyond when those who started it move on. 

What outcomes do you want for the group to generate online? 

There is no right or wrong answer, but the purpose when well-defined, will drive the activities that follow.      

Some examples:
  • Raise awareness of the local group 
  • Raise awareness of a cause
  • Fundraising 
  • Attract new members 
  • Attract volunteers 
  • Showcase the work of volunteers and businesses who support the group
Once you are clear on the objective you can plan your online content - the posts you make - to support that result. 

With your objective clarified, next step is to identify who your target is to attract, what characteristic they have, where they spend time online. The more you can clarify this the more you can tailor your content to be for and to be posted in places where they can find it. This applies online - but also in the physical world. 

1. Your Website 

This is your primary location online.  While many are relying on Facebook to present their business or group, your website is the only online property online for which you get to determine the rules. Social media is like being a tenant and we have no control over that - Facebook does. Use it while it is useful but not at the expense of developing a useful website. 

2. A Blog 

In the old days a website was a difficult thing that required a lot of technical expertise to be learned in order to operate it. Not now. 

Where a website has fixed 'pages' that content is written on, a blog is easy to update and takes no extensive technical knowledge to operate. If you can write a Word document, you will be able to manage updating a blog easily. 

While there are many ways to begin a blog and some can involve a lot of technical knowledge, the alternative is to use one of the free blog systems that are available which can be set up in a matter of minutes, will show up online looking neat and all they need you to add basically, are the stories and pictures you want to add. 

Some blogs have the option to add static pages. These are just links to common pages that you want people to see, for example they may be tabs that go to your Contact details, frequently asked questions, or events calendar.

This blog you are reading is hosted on and is a free blog host that you can use too. Wordpress also has a free version, with more functionality but is somewhat less simple to use, I find. If you look around my blog you will see how all the different elements work in practice. 

A Blog Gives You Content You Can Share

When you go online to spread the word, you need articles, writing of some kind and images to share to the different social platform. 

By using your blog to post your articles on and items of interest, you can then share these articles with your social platforms - which links your social media update back to your blog!  (which may be your 'website').

This is an efficient way to organise your information that you want to share, and many items that you post on the blog will be of a general nature that is not time sensitive which means you can share at different time on the different social platforms you choose to use. In other words, write it once - and use it over and over again. That's a smart way to manage the time spent and ensure that the crucial information you want to make available is always close to hand. 

You can also share these links in emails and even printed off if you wished to have a fact sheet for some topics. 

3. Email Mailing List - Opt in Online 

This could be for your newsletter or announcement list.  An email list should be a current list of people who have opted-in to receive your emails.  You can use an online service to host your email list and from here you can create and send out your newsletter or announcements.  There are several reasons to use a service like this.

Firstly, it lets you send to a lot of people without triggering an alert that you are a spammer. You don't want that to happen with your personal email account!

Secondly, by using an email list service, you can get good feedback on who is opening the email, what links they are clicking on to stories in your newsletter and visiting your website.

And importantly, it gives you a copy of your newsletter online, which you can share the link to with your social networks.

4.  Social Media Platforms 


Linkedin is a professional network. Mostly suitable for people who are in the career phase of life. Linkedin provides the perfect place to showcase your professional skills and qualities and network with other people in the workforce.  This is a business platform, not really suitable for hobby topics.

Facebook Personal Profile 

Facebook is a social network that operates using the 'social graph'. That is to say that people connect with people they know and people who share common friends.  Your personal profile can be set to private and only let friends see your posts and pictures.

Your personal profile must not be used for business or community groups. To do so is to contravene the Terms of Service of Facebook and means that your account can be shut down without notice.

Facebook Business Page 

A Facebook Business or Community Page is ideal for posting updates and photos and inviting friends to support your not-for-profit or business.

Note that the name of your group as it appears at the top of the page will be in white text so ensure that the image you use is dark where this will be behind the text, so that it stands out.

Fully complete the About section on your Facebook Page and include a map if applicable, a link to your website and full description of the group.

TIP: Setting Administrators: Once you have created your group invite another person who is on Facebook whom you trust to be a second Admin. Even if they don't actively work on the Page, this gives you another way in if for some reason you are unable to get into the account to manage it.

Posts to a Facebook Page are public and can show up in search engines.

When setting up your Facebook Page you will be given a range of categories for your Page - choose the one that best suits your group.

Across the top of the Page is space for you to add a good quality photograph for your cover picture.

You'll also have a smaller square picture you need to update that will be the avatar and a small version of this will show next to your status updates.

Sizes for these images vary from time to time an you should search for the most current image sizes to use.

Facebook Groups 
Groups on Facebook are a good way to have private discussions about housekeeping issues for your group.  These can also be set to be open (public) groups if you wish. 


Twitter is a micro-blogging platform. Tweets are updates and have only space for 140 characters, best to keep them to 120 characters so that others can retweet your updates.

Twitter is a good place to follow others who are in the local area or share your interest or cause.

With a following on Twitter, you can share your updates and let more people know about what your group is doing.

As with Facebook, you can add a custom cover picture and avatar to your Twitter profile.

Instagram & Snapchat

These are both photo sharing social networks. These are used heavily by people under 30 and can be a good option if your group is involved in a topic that generates a lot of good photographs.


Pinterest is essentially a bookmarking site where you can collect webpages with stories or blogs that you like (if they have a picture with the story). You can also upload your own photographs.  These are collected on boards for the categories of things you want to save. Unlike Facebook which uses the social graph - Pinterest uses an interests graph - so you follow people whose pins you like and want to save and see updates for.

You can start a board for your group, for the local area, for other topics that relate to your group's main focus.

Resources And Free Online Tools 

There are many resources and tools available to use free to make the most of your efforts to promote your group online. Here are some you may find useful.

Tweetdeck -  Makes Twitter easy to monitor, with columns you can set for topics that you want to watch. It lets you see any messages that are sent to you so you can respond when you have time.

With Tweetdeck you can also schedule posts to post to your Twitter feed when you are not able to be there to do it yourself.

Good for reminder notices of events that are coming up.

Google+ My Business 

This is for groups that have a physical space where people meet. Attaches to Google Maps and is a free listing from Google that lets you update your status (like on Facebook), and show your location, add photographs and link back to your website.

You need to Claim this free listing. While there is some rigmarole attached to making your claim for listing this is an excellent free resource to use for your business or community group.

Free Directories Online 

A search online will show up directories that you can use for adding a listing for your community group.  These are free and should be checked to make sure the contact number shown is correct, or your listing added if it is not already there. Add a link to your website (or blog) too.

Your Council Website

Check the community section of the local council website to add your group listing to their website. This is a service that council provides so do make use of the help that is available. This one shown is for Port Stephens Council community directory.

Mailchimp - is an email management program for newsletters that you can use online free for up to 2000 subscribers. It also has good video tutorials to show you how to get set up.

Eventbrite - is an invitation platform that is good to use for managing tickets to events. You can use it for events that are free or paid (for a small charge in that case).  Means you are collecting emails as people register for tickets and can manage the information for future reference.

Canva - is another free program, this time an image editing program online that you can use for making banners and picture quotes and other images to use for posting online or custom graphics for print.


As you can see there is a lot to take in when it comes to spreading the word for your community group online.

With so many tools available there is a lot that can be used - that costs nothing. Except time.

As with any social engagement, the more help the easier it is. Getting together to share ideas with other community groups is a good way to get more spread of news about each group with the least amount of effort. Sharing ideas, trying things out together and supporting each other is the essence of social media. Be willing to take it offline too and meet for coffee and share ideas. That's where the real magic can happen for all of the community groups.

And spread that message far and wide!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Marketing Your Veterinary Practice

Precious Pets on Pinterest
Marketing a veterinarian practice today means there is a lot of competition for the customer dollar and positioning your vet practice as the one to go to needs attention, and a budget allocated. Just like any business. 

Customers are complex. They have expectations and access to more information and more options than ever before. And perhaps we are even more extreme in the way we make pets a focus of our life and are willing to spend on them. 

Do we have too many vets? Whether we do or not, for the veterinary services provider already operating the reality is that there is stiff competition and being able to differentiate your veterinary practice from the next will be crucial to being successful in the long term. For the customer looking for good care for their precious pet, they need to make a decision and what they base that decision on - will be largely up to the veterinary practice to determine. 

How Can A Veterinary Practice Influence Customer Choice? 

The vet clinic will affect that decision by the good word-of-mouth they generate with existing customers, their pricing models, their community outreach and all of that gets multiplied by the factor of social media and online presence. Or fail to generate. 

Even the referrals from other business associated with pets will be influenced by these factors, as well as the process in place that the veterinarian business has to nurture relationships with other businesses and professionals. 

This needs to be an ongoing constant commitment to getting good feedback and visibility to keep the vet clinic top-of-mind with pet owners. 

Industry Trends

According to one market research study into the veterinarian services industry:

 "Demand for veterinary services has been promoted by growing awareness of animal health issues and the increasing availability of advanced surgical and diagnostic procedures for animals. Due to higher incomes, people have been increasingly willing to spend more on vet procedures to prolong the lives of their pets. Despite flat growth in dog and cat pet populations in the past five years, the industry has expanded due to higher expenditure on companion animal vet care. Increased pet ownership over the next five years is expected to drive industry revenue growth."

Precious Pets 

Consumer Reviews

Meanwhile Choice last year, researching the veterinarian services industry, found a wide variation in costs and the potential that some owners may be paying more for their pet care and services than they strictly need. 

Let me give you an example of how touchy this can be. From my own experience I can say, the hairdresser pushing to up-sell their expensive potions to increase their margins can sell more product but unless done with sensitivity and finesse can just cut themselves out of return visits from customers who don't like to feel coerced. 

Methods of selling products, commercial relationships with other businesses all have the potential to increase margins - and drive bad feeling.

Online Presence And Social Media 

Your marketing needs to address all the concerns of the customer in setting up a strategy that can incorporate your business vision and communicate that strongly, together with your point of difference. That thing that sets your veterinary services practice apart from all others.  It can be a difficult concept to pin down and needs quite a lot of work to get to the critical elements. If you think it's easy - you probably don't have it yet.

This point of difference, the values of the business in expertise, operational efficiency, communications with customers and internally - all of these have  bearing on social media. That is the social media presence that Others give you.  For the practice, your 'voice' online needs to be crafted carefully and monitored diligently, and it should align with and be fully congruent with your vet service in practice. 

When you get this right, then you're on your way to getting that positioning that you want. Then your mission will be to Keep It. 

Lindy Asimus
0403 365855

Related posts: 
"Word Of Mouth. First Stop - Your Website." by @lindyasimus on LinkedIn 

Sunday, May 24, 2015

How To Create A Pinterest Board For Your Business

Businesses can get great value by using Pinterest to promote interest in their business.  Forget what you heard about Pinterest being just for craft-mad women, all you need to know for your business is that Pinterest is a search engine and helps drive customers to products they like and want to buy. 

Select A Heading For Your Board

Choosing a heading for your board is the first step when you begin to set up your Pinterest account. You want simple headings that say what is on the board so that people searching for that topic can find it.  Don't be clever - search engines are literal and don't interpret your clever titles they just ignore them if they are not a match for the person's search query. 

To create a new board on Pinterest just log into your account and use the box on the left hand side to click and set up a new board. 

Add a description to your Pinterest board

A description is important. It builds on the relevancy for the board in search and tells people what to expect to find there. If your business serves a local customer base make sure you add your location so that people know where these lovely pictures and articles you are pinning to the board are. If they don't know they can't know if it is somewhere they might actually get to. 

Add your location if you serve customers in the local region

I see a lot of wineries, resorts, restaurants, cafes and local businesses that neglect to add their location and contact telephone number which are important for people to have so they know they can buy easily.   If you ship products say so, and specify where you will ship to so customers can try on the idea of making a purchase through your store. 

You can see on this image where the description fits when the board has been edited.

Make it easy for search engines to find your Pinterest board

Below is the pop-up window that opens to edit your board. From here you can set or change the title for the board, add the description, change the image that shows in your board gallery for this board and select a category for the content. This helps with search.

Notice there is only one contributor to this board. Later we will see that another has been added.

If a map is appropriate you can set this but this will only be if the board is all about a single location.  You can test the look and change it back if you don't like it. 

See that there has been a collaborator added to this board - which means that you still manage the account but the invited person can add pins to your board. 

Once the invited person has accepted your invitation, you can see there are now two accounts showing on this board who can contribute pins. Only the board owner has access to change the description. 

Like to know more about using Pinterest for your business?  Use the contact form and ask your question.

Related articles:

Using Pinterest for architects, builders, designers and landscape professionals 

Pinterest for service businesses #marketing

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Best Quotes On Inbound Marketing

Recently Hubspot posted a selection of best quotes from the INBOUND 2015 convention in Boston, for sales and marketing professionals.


Take a look! 

25 Powerful Quotes From #INBOUND15 

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Brian Solis: Fighting For Change

In 2015 - 2016 we're going to start living a much more digital life and current business models and executives are not aware that the need to change is here. Now. 

People are stuck in the way of everyday business - but don't give up! Brian Solis shares how you can survive in this changing environment. 

When the digital way takes over the old business models, be ready. 

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Using Pinterest For Builders, Architects and Designers

Business owners often ask me what they would put on social media if they used it.

Let's look at Pinterest for businesses in professional fields related to the home construction industry.

Here are some ideas for businesses in construction, builders, tradies, painters and decorators, plumbers, general contractors, interior designers, architects or landscaping contractors.

Help send visitors to your website or blog. 

On Pinterest, pins are pages that are bookmarked and when clicked on will go to the original article if there is one, with more details, or you can just upload a photograph. This gives you the chance to link back to your own information on your website. This is helpful for your search results on Google.

As well as helping with visitors to your website or directly to your business, Pinterest allows you to show the personality and interests of the business and show prospective customers how well you understand your market and importantly the personas of your ideal clients.

house and home pins on Pinterest for business to showcase

Visit this board on Pinterest

kitchen design pins on Pinterest for business to showcase

example storage design pins on Pinterest for business to showcase

styled room design example  pins on Pinterest for business to showcase
garden and landscape design example  pins on Pinterest for business to showcase

Colour palettes for choosing colour scheme on Pinterest good for business showcase

Old Style architecture examples on Pinterest good for business showcase
 architecture examples on Pinterest good for business showcase

Pinterest is just one way you can develop a following on social media. Like to know how you could use this to develop a strategy for your business?  Call now.  0403 365 855


Using Pinterest for service businesses

Need help? Social media packages 

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Facebook For Business: Basics Training

Facebook For Business: Get The Basics Right 

Training business owners in social media means I get to see just how frustrating social media can be for them. Business owners are often time poor, have employees whose time is already allocated to existing jobs and are trying to fit in working on social media accounts in between other jobs. It can seem like just another chore without any benefit that they can see.

 Facebook For Business: Get These Basics Right First.

 Here are 7 points to keep Facebook working for your business. 

 Here's what to do to keep your Facebook business page working

It happens regularly that people come to me or I hear a case of someone who has bought a business or is building a business and using Facebook to build a following.
Then the day comes when they can’t log in.
That’s NO good! You need to keep Facebook working for your business!

 Facebook Marketing: Is It Hot Or Not? 

“Nobody is seeing my posts now on my Facebook business page!!!!”  is the common cry now on social media.

Facebook has throttled the feed to those who have Liked our business page – not only that, they have moved it out of regular stream and now we need to go look for the Pages stream for updates. 

Who does that? Not me. Not often anyway.  Do you?

Find out what to do about it  
Facebook For Business: Still Hot Or Not?

Need help with social media for your business? Call now to discuss your needs. Social media packages

banner for Facebook Twitter and Linkedin training packages

Monday, January 19, 2015

This Is Why Your Business Needs Social Media Marketing

"Nobody can tell me why I need it. 
I still don't understand why I need to be using social media for my business." 

If you look online you'll find dozens of articles about social media marketing for business but still business owners are hemming and hawing about getting serious about online marketing.

Most of the articles are not read by business owners who spend their time working hard in their business. Most of the articles they would not really understand because they are frankly written for other marketers.

We could talk about increasing brand awareness. That's valid and important. But it doesn't really grab business owners in a way that they can get excited about.

We could talk about your brand looking more legitimate if your business is actively engaging online.  But that too is not something business owners get excited about.

Increased sales. Now that's something a business owner could get excited about.  But you may not if have a website and no way to know if it is doing anything to help your business attract customers or result in sales. If your website is like so many (not just small) business websites there is a good chance it is neglected and not optimized for either Google or for people, don't update the website or know how to read analytics (if you have any) so as to know about what is happening with your website.  In that case, you might have no understanding of the difference when your website and an online marketing strategy is in place and working effectively to deliver sales.

Perhaps customer service is of interest? Probably not. If there is no functional funded online marketing strategy then there is slim chance there is a good focus on customer service in the business. Marketing. Sales. Customer Service. They are the Three Graces of business but are often starved in business, treated like stray dogs.

No Structure To Hang The New Information On

So what is the value for business owners in using social media marketing ... and why don't they get it?

It comes down to that 'you don't know what you don't know' thing.

The world has changed so much in the past five years. We have gone from using fax machines to having a generation who doesn't know what a fax machine is and children and even adults now, who expect to be able to access any information any time online.  There are no "business hours" online. If we want something, we want it now - we don't want to wait! We certainly don't want to wait for things we don't have to wait for. Things we could just take action to get right now.  Want insurance? Go online and get a quote and buy it.  Want a new book or set of saucepans? Go online hunt down the one you want and pay for it and get it delivered. That's what we expect. It's what we want.

The technology behind that which makes it possible is fantastic. And it is improving and changing all the time. It is easy to use but complex to make work. We don't need to know what makes it work to use it. Just like we didn't need to know how to build a television set to know how to change channels.

So we come to understand the changes in the market place and we fall into the trap that lets us think because we can post a photo to Facebook that we know anything about how it all works in the background.

We think because we have a website it is now "on" and active. It isn't! You have to plug it in!  You see, the website is just a program, like on the TV. Without access to it, without knowing what it is and what channel it's being broadcast on, and with no batteries in the remote ... the chances of seeing that program are nil!

Social marketing lets us make the conditions right 
so that people who could be customers can find our website.

Without that knowledge to bring it all together we cannot know how to make it work successfully.

That knowledge we need to know to bring this together and make it work is changing too. And requires a deep understanding of the mechanics of how online marketing works.  How all the different facets  relate back to helping people find the website, who are looking for what we do, and being in the space where  customers, are spending time.  Without that background understanding the new changes that will continue to be a part of this new environment are just confusing. We can't understand because we don't know how it works in the background.

So.  That means, if you want that TV turned on and your business showing the program that customers are going to watch - all of that background knowledge has to reside in your business too.

Your business needs to be doing everything it can to ensure that you have a good program for the customers to see and buy. And everything clear for the potential viewer/customer to get access to it.
To find it. To be able to buy it and to make it - your business - just another part of their day, which they can reach from their phone any time they want to.

That's your business intelligence around social media marketing. A lot of work and a lot of knowledge to incorporate into a business.

Without it, that TV isn't even plugged in.

It took me years to learn this stuff and continues to take hours and hours that I spend so that I am able to keep up-to-date.

Fortunately, you can access that business intelligence!
The quick and painless way.

Why does a business need a good online strategy? So we can get to know you and what you stand for.
That's the start of  Know Me, Like Me, Trust Me. And that, is where sales start.


Related posts

How to start blogging for business - and what to write about
10 Steps To Local Marketing Online
The Dirty Secrets Business Needs To Know About Social Media
Why You Need To Build Your Mailing List And How To Do It
How To Get Your Local Business Found Online
How-To: Developing A Social Media Strategy For Marketing
Quick & Dirty Business Review
Test Your Website For Roadworthiness
What You Should Know About Social Media For Business

Marketing in 2015