BOSS (Business Owner Strategy Support)
Sat Nov 12, 2016 3-6pm, BP’s (Memorial Dr NE)
Review by Debra Popplewell (keener meetup attendee)
I attended the latest meetup focused on Social Media Strategies hosted by Richard Allen owner of a few different businesses who started BOSS as a network support for small business entrepreneurs like himself. Richard has established a very large network on Facebook alone and continues to evolve his business of Clixsaver.com to promote other small businesses through this exposure as well as various marketing efforts.
Attending the meetup included a sampling of entrepreneurs like a financial planner, health and wellness educator, property investment facilitators, lead generation specialist, SEO specialist, lingerie/martini party hostess, custom closets, specialty imports, career consultant, and myself (a budding website builder entrepreneur). Each meeting brings different types of business owners in Calgary looking to network and gain advice from each other.
Through this BOSS meetup I learned two main streams of things:
More about what BOSS offers:
- Free meetups to the Calgary community – promotion/network/advice sharing, camaraderie (via pub nights)
- Sponsorship opportunities to showcase businesses on Facebook, meeting materials
More about Social Media as per these highlights below:
Go Live (as in real-time, as much as possible and especially at first)
- Can’t beat meeting and sharing your business with your network in person and as you articulate your business offer business cards/ postcards with social media links and follow-up online asap (next day), if so bold you could offer to show your prospective client your website, FB, etc. using their phone if you can do so unawkwardly
- Ask prospective clients and people generally to follow you
- Make yourself easy to find
- Hire social media expertise or learn yourself and build your online presence depending on which is most relevant to your business and your audience (business website, LinkedIn, Facebook, twitter, Instagram, snapchat, etc.)
- Link, market, and monitor your sites
Facebook (FB) for Business 101
- Know that FB is designed to make business owners pay to market and advertise; there are costs and limitations (e.g. mass inviting restricted to 500)
- Features: 6 or so different types of business pages, ratings feature (like yelp.ca)
- Target your audience and messaging (focus your content on your business and what’s relevant in your industry e.g. post trends, primarily add humour/distraction as it relates to your business
- Cross reference your business profile with your personal profile (and remember to keep your personal posts neutral if you’re going to do that)
- Follow your followers (acknowledge positive posts, questions, complaints ASAP); factor timing and relevance, “now generation” will forget you in minutes, replying three days later on a post too late, etc.
- Likes vs Shares – be careful of reposts, tags, do not send if you haven’t received permission, don’t just “shout out to the wind” like mass-message “hope to see you all there!”; need to factor CASL rules around unsolicited private messages [KNOW CRTC CASL RULES]
- Don’t over-send too frequently and especially if not significant (you will annoy, be blocked, unfollowed etc.)
- Groups not valuable, pages are better
- FB based on impressions (views, likes, shares, etc.) not webpage clicks as far as SEO stats go
- FB great for storytelling your business, photos (e.g. showing “before/after” reno-work), show you and your business interacting with your clients, other community-based aspects
- Run contests
- Offer discounts
- Announce and plan events (don’t use third-party software to mass invite on fb, fb will ban your site temporarily)
- Have a business website link at the top of profile and promote FB followers to visit your website easily so hopefully with curiousity they will look and learn more about your business outside FB (where distractions are rampant)
- FB offers immediacy that websites may not, e.g. people are frequently checking latest posts in their FB-feed (depending on how users have notifications setup)
General Digital Marketing Tips
- CASL – Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation, know it thoroughly and take seriously!
- USP (unique selling proposition), have one!
- SEO – search engine optimization (google analytics, visits to your site, etc.)
- “black hat marketing” (e.g. buying likes or using gimmicks to increase likes even if completely unrelated to your business like having a woman model herself to gain likes followers who has nothing to do with your business)
- “viralability” [how fast social media topics spread]
- Hashtags e.g. #BOSS, #lifegoals, #[makeupanythingyouwant]– use them to attract new followers (may even be unrelated to business but exercise judgment on ROI and perceptions of doing so)
Engage your “social hubs” (people who are happenin’)
- Find and engage those who are well connected and frequent users of social media
- Stroke ego’s of your clients, followers, commenters
- Seek win-win’s, make things worthwhile and valuable for others
- Less focus on this, it was thought to be a dying platform or at least not as relevant to ROI
- ROI minimal, effort to post new, create content very time consuming
- Depends on your business, may be great if you are featuring many photos (e.g. photography, reno’s, food, jewelry, personal care, etc)
- Not discussed, similar to Instagram
- Not discussed, similar to Instagram
In conclusion, Richard is BOSS and works hard to engage the group and keep the momentum of this network going. He’s knowledgeable, personable, approachable, highly networked.
BOSS meetup was BOSS so come to the next meetup and be a part of it!