7 Billion Pound Retailers, 1 Industry, 0 Facebook Pixel.

When you think about big retailers with huge turnovers it’s easy to assume they’ve got it all figured out. Surely companies with billions in revenue would have Facebook Pixel installed on their websites?

Turns out not to be the case.

Continue reading “7 Billion Pound Retailers, 1 Industry, 0 Facebook Pixel.”

Hacking (my own) Growth

Self-help and personal growth are big business.

Most of us want to be able to ‘improve’ in certain areas of our life. Better body, eating healthy, picking up chicks/dudes or shaving some time off that 10k.

Over the last nine months, I have actively taken steps to associate myself with experts in my desired field, social media and digital consulting.

Continue reading “Hacking (my own) Growth”

Why I’m Doing A Video Every Day For 1 Year.

If you want things to change you need to change how you do things. This year my main two goals were to give up alcohol altogether and start putting out some video content. Fast forward to April and I’m going for a video every day.

Both of them are going pretty well so far. Into month 4 without alcohol but the big one for me is video.

I started this with baby steps, things like Snapchat and Instagram Stories and finally graduating to YouTube and Facebook.

Continue reading “Why I’m Doing A Video Every Day For 1 Year.”

The 7 Best Social Media Channels for Small Businesses

Do you know which of the many social media channels is right for your business? To save you a bit of time, I have listed the most popular below.

If you are not convinced social media is right for you, check this out. Cutting to the chase here is the list.

The 7 Best Social Media Channels

Facebook

By far the beast when it comes to social media. As I write this post there are 1.81 billion monthly active users on the platform with 1.15 active daily mobile users. Facebook is here to stay and if you were going to pick one platform to go all in on it is this. You should think of Facebook as the current state of the internet and learn it like the back of your hand. This is the most powerful tool available at the moment bar none. With so many potential customers reachable through Facebook having a Facebook Page for your business is a must. Keeping this page updated with daily content should need to become part of your routine.

You should think of Facebook as the current state of the internet and learn it like the back of your hand. This is the most powerful tool available at the moment bar none. With so many potential customers reachable through Facebook having a Facebook Page for your business is a must. Keeping this page updated with daily content should need to become part of your routine.

Invest a significant amount of time into growing your Facebook following and you will see results for your business. Fact.

Instagram

If for some reason you have not heard of Instagram, it is a photo sharing app. Bought by Facebook for $1 billion dollars there are 500 million daily active users who have shared over 40 billion photos to date.

Instagram was created initially with a simple selling point in that it enabled users to add filters to their photos. This made users want to share the photos as they felt more professional.

As it stands today Instagram presents a huge opportunity to connect directly with your target customer. It should be learnt and prioritised if you haven’t already. You will need a smartphone to be able to use it. Instagram is great for shots of products, pictures of staff, behind the scenes, work and developments within the business itself. Used right it can take care of the persona behind the business.

An in-depth Instagram tutorial to be added in the near future so keep an eye out for it.

YouTube

Did you know the world’s most popular video oriented site is actually the 2nd largest search engine in the world?

With hundreds of hours of video being uploaded every minute, YouTube presents huge opportunities for your business. So, having content on YouTube which is correctly optimised for search can big benefits.

In addition, video content is prioritised over other content types.

If you have a business which lends itself to creating interesting video content then YouTube may be the route for you. It will give customers a visual insight into your business or product. All you will need is a high-quality recording device, iPhone is fine and a bit of confidence.

Twitter

Twitter is a social media channel that used to have a lot more value than it currently does, but it’s still worth a mention.

With over 315 million active users Twitter is a good way for people to interact with your brand quickly and handle support queries at lightening speed.

As far as getting your content noticed on Twitter is has become increasingly crowded. However, if you are going to use Twitter to directly reach out to your ideal customer one on one it may still be worth looking into. Check out the Twitter Search feature to find people who are local are may like what you have to offer.

If you want to keep track of what is trending then Twitter is good for that (and now Facebook).

Snapchat

Snapchat is a platform which has exploded in popularity in recent years. The disappearing messages app turned down an acquisition offer from Facebook years ago and has grown to have hundreds of millions of users.

New to social media and want to see quick results from your social media use, maybe leave Snapchat. It is undergoing an interesting transition period right now.

However, if you are an incredible spontaneous story teller, download it and give it a shot. Note, you will have to use other channels to grow your user base as discovering interesting users is tough on Snapchat.

Pinterest

If you have had limited social media channel exposure then you may not have heard of Pinterest but there is a huge opportunity here. With more than 100 million users Pinterest is a very powerful tool for turning browsers into buyers.

In short, Pinterest is a very visual platform which lets you pin things you like or are interested into boards or collections viewable by others.

A huge 87 percent of users have purchased a product because of Pinterest with 93 percent using it to plan a future purchase.

Pinterest is ofter overlooked due the all the other channels that are available but if you are a product business looking to use a platform to drive sales then Pinterest may be the way to go.

A great feature of Pinterest is that it has a powerful analytics tool which enables you to see exactly what is working and what isn’t. Give it a shot.

LinkedIn

In the B2B space? LinkedIn is the one you should be focussing on if you want to have the ability to go straight to the decision maker.

It is the largest social media channel for business people and professionals. But I bet you most small business owners still don’t have it on their radar marketing wise. This is a prime platform for generating leads. LinkedIn is slightly more serious than Facebook (although it could be argued that it has become less so recently) so a more formal approached is expected.

One of the more powerful features of LinkedIn is LinkedIn Groups where people in the same industry get together. Leverage these for your ideal target customer. So sign up and join some groups and start relevant discussions. You’ll be amazed by the people you can reach.

Summary

Remember signing up to all social media channels from hour one can end up being counterproductive. Be selective and see which ones best suit your business.

Godspeed.

The Small Business Social Media Guide part 1 – Getting Started

So you’ve decided that you need to start using social media for your small businesses.The Small Business Social Media Guide is made for you.

If you have never used social media for your business then you’re in the right place.

Getting started isn’t hard so here are 7 steps you can take to start.

The Small Business Social Media Guide

As a small business owner, there are huge amounts to get done with limited resources.

If you have ever spent money on traditional marketing methods you know that it costs money. The good thing is, social media can be used as a completely free way to reach your customer with direct interactions.

Although the social route is free it comes with a trade-off, TIME. You will need to put in the time to use social media each and every single day to see real results.

Read on if you have limited resources but are willing to put in the time.

#1 Research

Before getting started with social you will need to do some research. You will need to be able to connect with you desired audience authentically and to be able to do that you need to understand them.

Start by defining who your customer exactly is, what their interests are, what they do for a living, and personal details like age and sex. Once you’ve got this either build that picture in your head or find a picture online and save it on your computer.

Do this for each type of customer that will use or buy your product or service.

Once you have this you can start to find out what social media channels they prefer.

Each channel has a different audience.

#2 Setup And Integrate

Now it’s time to set up your profiles on the channels you want to get started with.

If you are a bit stuck with how to do this there is a tutorial coming soon but read on!

The next thing you are going to want to do is to make sure that all the social channels are linked up to your website in the relevant places usually on the footer of the home page and attached to any blog related content. Haven’t got a website? Drop me a line by clicking the ‘Book a Free Chat’ link in the top right-hand corner or click here.

This will enable people who visit your website to discover your profiles and engage with your content. It’s like the start of a long distance relationship.

If you are currently sending out an email newsletter that is another good place to drop in the buttons. Most popular email products like MailChimp can handle this easily.

#3 Get Started

Now that you have got an idea of who your target audience is and how you are going to reach them we can start putting out some content.

The best bit of advice I can give anyone is, start small but be consistent.

Make sure what you are doing is manageable and doesn’t start to seem like a burden from day 1. Try and incorporate it into your daily routine and it will be second nature.

How you do this is up to you. Either book a slot in your day to get it done, do it first thing in the morning or when you’re eating your lunch but make sure you set the time aside. To get started it should take about 30 mins per day.

This time will obviously increase as you start to share more content but like I said, start small.

If you are someone who likes to plan, check out Hootsuite. It is a super useful tool for scheduling outgoing content!

#4 Listen For Chatter

Now that you are a bonified social media user you will want to be able to listen out for anyone who mentions your businesses so you can interact with them.

Try using a tool called Mention which will let you find anyone mentioning your name or predetermine keyword.

Here’s a tip, if you are struggling with content ideas then Feedly is an amazing tool which can aggregate content from multiple sources. Find interesting pieces and get them scheduled on Hootsuite. All for FREE.

#5 The Daily Routine

Incorporating social media as part of your day is the easiest way to stay consistent so make a plan.

For instance, if you are using 2 social networks to start with it may be that you want to post once on Facebook and post once on Instagram in the morning then once in the afternoon.

If Pinterest is the place where your users live then make sure you are repinning at least 2 images per day.

Each interaction is unique to the platform and will have different effects. I will dive into this in another post.

Once you are at the stage that you’ve got the basics down you can start to include some interacting with other content.

Also, a big win for when you are starting out is to message each new follower on the relevant platform to start building that relationship immediately. This is often overlooked but a huge source of value.

#6 Paid Advertising Options

If you have slightly deeper pockets, paid advertising is a quick way to grow your social channels.

Starting with the king, Facebook. It has a huge amount of solutions which you probably encounter every day. Tailor your paid offering to maximise reach, website clicks or app downloads.

Once you’ve cut your teeth on Facebook and you also want to spend some pounds on LinkedIn and Google.

This is not to say that if you have a small budget you can’t try it. Facebook posts can be ‘boosted’ for as little as £4.

More on this another day.

#7 Track and Measure

You are going to want to know how many people visited your website and which channels got the most results right?

Then tracking how your posts performed through the native analytics tools and Google Analytics will be your best friends.

Keep a spreadsheet of every post and measure how they performed.

Did one particular post do better than the other at driving people to the website? What was it about the post that made this happen?

Once you are armed with the data you can refine your content.

To Sum Up

Building a social following can seem like a slow process at the start but don’t be discouraged. It is a marathon so stick at it and be consistent.

There are lots of tools and strategies you can use to help you along the way but the main thing is to just get started.

Godspeed.

My Mission To Help Small Businesses With Websites And Social Media.

In the interest of keeping this short, let’s cut to the chase. I want to help as many individuals and small businesses as I can with websites and social media.

Over the last few years, the digital landscape has been changing so quickly that many have been left behind. The many are small business owners falling into a certain age bracket (i.e. not a ‘millennial’).

I’m talking about owners of brick and mortar shops, salons, builders, decorators, garage owners, dentists and cobblers. Before you say, ‘I know a cobbler with 100k followers on Instragram’, we’ll work off an average.

Things are changing so quickly that even people with their finger on the pulse struggle to keep up.

It’s intimidating to know where to start and have the confidence to know you are doing it right.

So, I have made it my personal mission to help as many small businesses and entrepreneurs bring their business online and feel comfortable enough using the relevant social platforms. To the millennials reading this we know things our parents would love to know. Let’s teach them.

Starting My Own Small Business

As a member of the newly self-employed, the main question is how to bring as much value to as many people as possible.

The easiest way to do this in today’s world is to document.

I will be documenting the entire journey of starting from zero to who knows where. The equipment I have to do this isn’t fancy, it’s an iPhone, a webcam, a desktop computer, a tripod, some box lights and what’s in my head.

Back to documenting. I will be documenting on here by good old fashion text form, video and audio.

All of which will be documented on here (the website) but more regular content will be posted through social channels, Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, Anchor (audio), Podcast and YouTube.

Oh btw…putting your first YouTube video out is as scary as it seems. Here is the first video, I promise they will get better!

What Value Can I Bring Small Businesses?

Here are the facts, websites aren’t expensive. They can be done quickly for a reasonable amount of money, anyone who tells you otherwise is trying to pull the wool over your eyes.

That is the first small business essential, a good functional website.

Secondly, if you are currently playing the ignorant card to social media,  you will metaphorically die a slow death. Other small businesses who do you use social media well, will take you customers and put you out of business. That’s the bad news.

The good news is you’ve now realised you have to do something and you are in the right place. I can help.

Here you have a couple of options. I can teach you or your employee how to use social effectively or I can manage it for you. Either way, you need to have active social media accounts.

If you are in a position to have it managed for you then great. You’ll see an improvement from day 1.

On the other hand, learning isn’t hard. All it takes is knowing the difference between a Twitter hashtag and an Instagram hashtag. Once you have the foundations laid and you feel comfortable in what platforms you’ll be off to the races.

I said this post would be a short one so we are going to stop it here but if you fall into the context of the post please do get in touch.

Book your free call in the top right-hand corner and we’ll have a chat about how I can help.

If you are not a fan of the phone then email me at tom@tomosman.com.

Tom

The Small Business Marketer

Email tom@tomosman.com

Helping Small Businesses With Video - Tom Osman

Nina Tandon – Founder of EpiBone

Today in tech for good we introduce EpiBone. The company that grows bones from your own cells.

Founded by Nina Tandon, EpiBone is a revolutionary bone reconstruction company that allows patients to “grow their own bone”. The pioneering technology utilises a scan of the patient’s bone defect and the patient’s own stem cells to construct and cultivate a defect-specific autologous-like bone graft.

EpiBone is strategically positioned to provide a superior bone graft that provides exact defect repair, a simplified surgical procedure, improved bone formation and regeneration, and shorter recovery times. All this without the complications of foreign body implantation, to the over 900,000 patients who undergo bone-related surgeries each year.

At the heart of EpiBone is a bioreactor platform technology for engineering custom-designed autologous bone grafts. Using data from CT scans, EpiBone can fabricate anatomically-shaped scaffolds, seeded with stem cells derived from the patient’s own tissue. It then places them in a proprietary bioreactor system for pre-conditioning and maturation of the bone.

This platform is the product of 20 years of fundamental research and experience with tissue engineering in the orthopaedic field. Bioreactor cultivation of human stem cells in an osteogenic scaffold has been shown to support cell survival, differentiation, maturation and deposition of bone matrix. This happens while restricting the development of unwanted lineages and facilitating a continued remodelling and vascularization following transplantation.

EpiBone is currently for people who are suffering from congenital facial defects or trauma to the bones of the head and face. EpiBone can potentially provide patient-specific, anatomically-customized living bone graft that functionally and immunologically integrates into the body. Starting with head and face bones, with potentially we can engineer all kinds of bone, ligament and cartilage.

This technology is revolutionising how bone matter is reconstructed or repaired.

Good work Nina.

If you know a business using technology for good,  get in touch on tom@tomosman.com

Keller Rinaudo – Founder Of Zipwire

Today on in tech for good we introduce Zipwire. The company that delivers medical supplies to the unreachable.

Zipline is a company that launched the world’s first drone delivery program for medical supplies in Rwanda last month. It recently announced it raised $25 million in funding with investments from venture capital firms Andreessen Horowitz and Sequoia Capital.

Visionnaire Ventures led the latest funding round, which brings the tech for good drone company’s total capital raised to $43 million.

In October, the Rwandan government launched a program with Zipline to deliver blood to clinics in the western part of the country, in collaboration with the UPS Foundation, the parcel service’s charitable arm, and Gavi, a vaccine fund backed by Bill Gates.

As the program continues to roll out, the plan is to eventually service 21 clinics in Rwanda. The plan is to fly between 50 and 150 on-demand deliveries a day. Delivering blood by drone costs about the same as traditional motorbike delivery, which can be slowed by poor road conditions and isn’t always an option.

Clinics often lack resources to properly store blood. Using drones, blood can reach clinics within 30 minutes of receiving an order.

What next?

There is no limit to the reach of Zipwire as all around the world there are people who are miles from medical help. Zipwire solves this problem. One key part which will need to improve for Zipwire to be truly effective is communication to understand where these supplies are needed.

We have all read about drones being used for destruction, but this is an amazing example of using tech for good! Good work Keller.

If you want to read more about Zipwire then head over www.zipwire.com.

Follow Keller on LinkedIn or Twitter by clicking on the links.

p.s. if you have any suggestions for someone or a company who are using technology to positively impact the world then send an email to tom@tomosman.com.

5 Free Tools That Increase Productivity For Your Small Business

If you looking for tools that increase productivity, these 5 tools are a good place to start.

Picking the ones that work for your team is crucial so here are the 5 things that increase productivity at the startup where I work Teachers Register.

Number 1 – Slack

At its core, Slack is an instant messaging app for teams.

Slack Messaging App - Increase Productivity
Improve your communication with Slack

In reality, it is so much more than that.

We all spend too much time in our inbox. That’s a fact. By moving all team communication through Slack you can start to claw back your time.

Organise your teams into channels, private groups or send someone a direct message.

It’s free, get it, you’ll wonder why you didn’t sooner. Also, they have just announced the addition of voice chat with video following shortly after. Move over Skype.

Head over to www.slack.com, you won’t look back.

Number 2 – Asana

Working on a startup is chaotic. As tasks mount up it’s tough to keep track of it all.

Asana is the easiest way for teams to track work and get results.

Asana Task Management Software - Increase Productivity
Organise your tasks with Asana

Create a project space, assign tasks and follow progress. The dashboards are easy to navigate and it comes with a great mobile app.

Never miss a project update again.

Get it at www.asana.com.

Number 3 – IFTTT (If This Then That)

A new one for us here but it has already automated a lot of our work.

If This Then That App (IFTTT) - Increase Productivity
Automate your tasks with IFTTT

If something happens then do this. Here’s an example.

Get a mention on twitter, then set up IFTTT to create a notification in Slack.

Another application is to send your spouse a notification when you leave work. Warning – Turn this one off if you’re heading to the pub.

There are hundreds of pre-made “recipes” so give it a try. Once you’ve got it setup, you can count on the productivity increase.

The link is www.ifttt.com.

Number 4 – Dropbox

This should be a pretty well known one by now.

Dropbox File Sharing App
Make your files available to your team with Dropbox.

Dropbox gives you free cloud storage and access to your files anywhere.

Never lose a file again. Distributed team? Get this. Increase Productivity win.

Get it here www.dropbox.com.

Number 5 – MailChimp

Send better email.

MailChimp Email App - Increase Productivity
Send better email with Mailchimp

Email is going to be a thing for a while. So while it is we should all try and send the best emails we can right?

If you have a product or service to sell MailChimp is perfect. Building an email list, MailChimp is perfect.

Even if you have an existing email list and want to apply some basic analytics. Find out who opened your email and when. You can even find out the best time to send your email. If that doesn’t increase productivity I don’t know what will.

I guarantee if you start using this you will increase conversions.

Oh, and it’s free (up to around 2000 subscribers).

Get it at www.mailchimp.com.

All applications mentioned above are FREE and have already saved hundreds of hours.

In the small business or startup world, that’s a win.

Have a good day,

Tom

The Collison Brothers – Irelands Youngest Billionaires

Introducing Stripe, the unicorn founded by two twenty-somethings from Ireland.

Stripe is an American online payment gateway service provider covering over 25 different countries. It allows individuals as well as large enterprises to perform integrated online payment using their credit card or any other major online payment method.

Continue reading “The Collison Brothers – Irelands Youngest Billionaires”