BHIVE blog

 

Your website is what gives your potential customers their first impression of your business. Unfortunately, many business owners are making costly mistakes that could affect their sales and their reputations. Many entrepreneurs decide to create their own websites in order to save money, but before you go this route you should keep in mind that making web design mistakes can cost you.

Here are the top oversights made on countless small-business websites and how you can avoid them:

1. No Call to Action - Without telling your customers what to do, they simply won't do it. In fact, a staggering 93 per cent of small business' sites don't display their email addresses while 49 percent don't share their phone numbers on their homepages. Want them to buy a product? Tell them to! Want them to contact you? Make your contact information the first thing they see when they land on your site.

2. Poor Design - If your website is poorly designed, what do you think your customers will think of your service or product? The design of your site is the first thing consumers see. Make them feel confident by giving them an organized, attract first impression.

3. Time-Consuming Updates - When you run your own website you're wasting countless of billable hours on updates, just as 64 percent of business owners do!

4. No Metrics - A whopping 75 percent of small-business sites don't use analytics to measure their website performance. Another 60 percent don't think they have the tools needed to make sense of their site's analytics or take action when an issue arises. Professional website designers know what to look for in order to ensure your site is not only attracting the right audience but is maintaining their interest.

5. Poor SEO - If you're not helping customers find your website, you might as well not have a website. With 26 per cent of small business sites not found in search results because of poor SEO, it's important to ensure you're not one of them! When you know the best keywords for your business to be found and incorporate them into your site's titles, meta information, and on-page content, you are on the right track to standing out amongst the competition.

6. No Social Media Links - You want your customers to share your brand with their friends. To help make this happen it's important to include social media widgets for Facebook and Twitter for easy sharing.

7. No Mobile Optimization - Since most people check out websites on their mobile devices it's important to ensure your website is optimized for their phones and tablets. Unfortunately, 60 percent of small- business websites aren't mobile optimized.

8. No Designation IT Person - Have you ever clicked on a website only to be brought to a completely different page? That site was likely hacked and is now facing costly and time-consuming headaches that could have been resolved if there were a designated IT person to prevent such a security breach from happening in the first place. With a single cyber attack costing, on average, $8,669.48 and 44 per cent of small-business websites having endured a cyber attack, it's important to put an IT person in place as soon as possible.

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As more companies adopt social media into their marketing portfolios, the need for dedicated social media employees is rising along. It’s no longer practical (or recommended) to outsource your social media brand building to an unpaid intern or a marketing rep with a bunch of other responsibilities.

As evidenced by a quick scan of any social media job board these days, the job title “community manager” is in high demand. And any job this hot usually attracts a lot of interest from people looking for a job in that field — along with those looking to hire them.

Has the increased exposure and demand for quality community managers increased the rate of pay that this position commands? Are there any industry benchmarks to gauge if you’re paying your current community manager enough to stay with your organization? How much can you expect to pay a community manager these days to make sure you’re attracting the most qualified candidates?

We polled social media industry blogs and spoke to several industry professionals to help answer these questions. Their responses and the data we found will give you an accurate salary range you can expect to pay, either to keep your current community manager or to entice qualified talent to this important role within your company. Read more...

Since the inception of BHIVE, we have been testing a number of different social media outlets. We must report that Facebook is the least favourite for any business looking to connect and engage with their target audience.  If you are considering using Facebook for your business, here are three reasons why you should reconsider:

1. Facebook double dings you.  First to grow your page and then again to "boost" your message to those you already paid to "like" your page.

2. Little or no engagement.  If you are looking to engage people on Facebook, you have to trust Facebook's targeting methods, which you don't know who will see your ad.

3. Chances are the Facebook runs a like farm of their own to justify your investment.  I mean, if you look at who is liking you, they are no different than the ones you can buy from "Buy Facebook Like" type websites.  Do we have proof?  The videos below makes some pretty strong suggestions to that same fact.  Facebook fraud? Maybe, but we couldn't say that and risk a lawsuit now. #lol

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Crowdfunding, or crowd-sourced fundraising, exploded in 2013 and continues to grow in popularity in 2014. Start-up financing has evolved from approaching investors to generating a supportive and generous community of peers. Embracing this method of raising funds as part of your business growth strategy can catapult you to the success you've been striving for, but don't think of creating a crowdfunding campaign without social media support. Having a social presence is integral to gaining the support you need for your crowdfunding campaign.

Social media is popular because people want to feel closer to the brands they use. Understanding this, as a business owner, you should view social media as a way of doing business rather than just a way to mingle. Growing your online communities to spread brand awareness, connect with consumers and other entrepreneurs, share ideas and information as well as engage in meaningful conversation helps to build trust and credibility.

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Ads no longer connect with clients the way social media does. The fact that you are reading this is testament.  
This is the new billboard.

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The Healthcare industry is finally starting to embrace social media. Consumers are now, more than ever before, turning to Facebook, Twitter, and blogs to research medical information, share symptoms, and share reviews on doctors and medical devices. View the infographic below for a breakdown of how healthcare patients are using social media in more detail.

Interesting article posted by John Greathouse from Forbes this past week about the cost of a fake following in social media is about $6800. We strongly suggest you give it a read.  It is surprising how many celebrities, actors, politicians and musicians take this route in establishing their social media fame.  As we have suggested very strongly in the past social media is about one thing, being social.  Connecting with individuals.  We are somehow going back in time where customer service is probably more important that the service/product a company sells.

Social responsibility is a must moving forward for any company.  Now for those who want to instantly build your social footprint, without building relationships the infographic below will help you get there.  For those who want to build their relationships, please find out more information about what we do at BHIVE, here.

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Crowdfunding
by definition, (alternately crowd financing, equity crowdfunding, crowd equity, crowd-sourced fundraising) is the collective effort of individuals who network and pool their money, usually via the Internet, to support efforts initiated by other people or organizations.[1][2] Crowdfunding is used in support of a wide variety of activities, including disaster relief, citizen journalism, support of artists by fans, political campaigns, startup company funding,[3] motion picture promotion,[4] free software development, inventions development, scientific research,[5] and civic projects.[6]

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Rush Memberships 2014

Touched by one of our bees?


Welcome to our very own news network which provides local and regional audiences with up-to-date news as well as enable us to interact locally on a one-to-one basis.  Find out more about our extended community we call our network here.

Why you should build your community, here is a (short 10 min) Peter Clayton podcast interview of Chris Brogan, author of Trust Agents: Using the Web to Build Influence, Improve Reputation, and Earn Trust -- listen here.

Positive Brand Tweets

Positive Brand Tweets are four times more effective than non-tweet ads!
Research by
Deloitte suggests that a positive-message tweet can be four times more effective at getting a consumer to engage with a brand (hence, driving sales) than a non-Twitter advertisement.  More details can be found in this 8-minute video below entitled ROI Research from Twitter, it's worth a watch as you considering using Twitter for your brand.

ROI research from Twitter

Facebook vs. Twitter

 


While we still offer custom audience, moderation, and content services for Facebook, we find that clients get more bang for their buck with Twitter and Linkedin, up to 9 times more leads!  Forrester Research on the other hand confirmed that Twitter followers are more likely than Facebook fans to buy from brands they follow.  Twitter 37% Facebook 21% and also more likely to recommend brands to friends (33% vs. 21%)  Studies and statistics speak volumes.  Read more here.

BHIVE VID

Do Not Purchase Fake Followers


We build organic communities. We do not purchase any followers. Be wary of websites promising you 10K followers for $99. You are better off taking a couple of clients/friends out for dinner for the $99, because we can assure you that you’ll have a better audience. Purchasing followers, while possibly buffering your “follower numbers”, also means no one is listening. Just take your friends out or save your money.  Click here so you can check your favourite twitter accounts for fake followers or read our blog on the subject here.

What Social Media Enables

What is the most important thing you would like to use Social Media for?