With the help of Tanya from Sweets and Treats we decided to select 12 businesses on the high street to feature in the clip. The reason for making the video is that you can create links between different search engines and websites (called back links) so your Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) gets a boost and this in turn can benefit your website exposure on Google.
As 90% of all local search engine traffic goes through the Google search engine, I thought this would be a good thing to do. My logic was I can help promote others while helping myself. So I set about informing the business owners of my video clip project.
Being an inquisitive type of person when I met the business owners not only did I get my brief information for my video, I asked further questions about their business. I wanted to know how they developed business using whatever means at their disposal.
Lynn from Bromley Brides found that she had built a strong business by using the traditional word of mouth. Her business has a good reputation and she is able to build other business links through wedding fairs. She does not have much online exposure, by that I mean she has no website, Facebook or Twitter and quite frankly because of the way she has built her business she does not need to, word of mouth and after care sales service is enough.
Another success story came from James at Sporting Life. He mentioned how he especially uses Twitter on a daily basis. They have built up a following of 2385 people/businesses and James says that as long as he sends message out enquiries are coming back in. He sends out around 5 messages a day through twitter and finds it easy to do so when the shop is empty. So here is the thing, when no one is in the shop James has an audience of 2385 people. Begs the question when is the shop A Sporting Life better off, when people are in the shop or out. The answer is probably both.
When I spoke to other shop owners some said that either they had no time for social media or they had tried it but run dry of inspiration of what to write. This is a common scenario of people starting to use social media but then stopping after about 3 months. Others simply did not have the technology /equipment to participate during working hours because they do not use an iphone or an android to be able to send messages.
If you have access to the right equipment / technology you can use twitter or facebook whilst on your premises and it does not take very long or require a huge amount of imagination. It has to be said that my conversations on the high street was only a snap shop and not conclusive, however my observations showed that some business owners had created other contacts via business networks or social media networks and have developed other income streams through extra exposure.
So what can we conclude from this? I think that external networks work for businesses. Having another 1000 people having exposure to you business via social media is a good thing. Business owners have some options at their disposal. They can embrace the whole networking and social media world by joining in. Business owners can acquire the right technology and take some training to learn how to use it. This would be a good investment because it's not going away.
Or another option is find someone or a business to do it for you. Social media like accounting or book keeping can be outsourced for a period of time to help get you involved. The best of Bromley Borough has launched 'Connecting Messages' which is all about connecting simple business messages through different media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter and Youtube. We can also help businesses that have no social media exposure what so ever a chance to start by helping them set up accounts and offer some basic training.
If you would like to find out more about 'Connecting Messages' contact Ivan Reffell on 07711839948.
Here is a link to the video clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8k_qZ8o7-kg