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Starting your own business means you suddenly become the owner of several hats – one for selling, one for bookkeeping, one for planning, one for looking after customers and one for marketing to name but a few.

The marketing element of a start-up is one of the most complex, especially given the changing ways small businesses need to reach customers in a digital world.

Digital marketing can be a bit of a mystery to many small business owners, so to help you explore how you make the most of the opportunities it offers, we’ve asked Tink Taylor, founder of dotmailer, to share some simple tips to get you started on your digital journey.
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We’ve all heard it; “You just have to be using social media marketing.”

And the response from many business owners is; “I’m keen to try using social media to promote my small business but I’m not sure where to start.”

If this sounds like you, here are ten simple but effective tips that will help any business starting out with social media, no matter how big or small your budget.
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For many small business owners, the term ‘digital marketing’ could very well generate a concerned or baffled look, and the temptation to turn around and hide in a darkened room.

As an established small business, or even someone setting up a new business, you might know all about offline marketing like posters and billboards, flyers and direct mail, and word-of-mouth advertising, but when it comes to promoting your business online, it’s unchartered territory.

So to help you safely navigate the online marketing landscape, conquer new marketing activities and promote your business in the digital world, here’s a small business guide to the basics of digital marketing; Continue…

If you are not already an avid tweeter, Twitter is an online tool for creating short messages (tweets) that can be read by anyone who wants to receive them (followers).

Sometimes your followers will forward your tweet to their followers (retweet), and so on, until your original message is being read by everyone on Twitter that is at all interested in what you have to say. Although it is a social medium, it can be used for marketing purposes, as long as you are careful not to spoil all the fun. Continue…

As long as brands have existed, consumers have loved to talk about them. While 90% of conversations about brands are happening offline, today millions of people talk about companies on social media, and these online conversations now offer a new dimension in marketing.

Whether consumers are aware of it or not, these branded conversations are increasingly being watched by businesses.

Being faced with so many conversations happening in real time can be a daunting prospect, particularly for small businesses, but ignoring them can be a huge missed opportunity to influence how the world sees your brand.
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Social media is widely hailed as the latest big thing in brand perception and reputation management. With the number of people using social media growing by the day, more and more businesses are recognising the need to connect with this audience.
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Ever since social media became so prominent, companies have seen a huge online fan base as something of a marketing holy grail, with the number of Facebook fans and Twitter followers becoming a benchmark for success.

Unfortunately, lots of companies jump into social media with energy and enthusiasm but quickly get disappointed or frustrated when the results aren’t quite as big as their ambitions.

The road to building an online fan base that is both big, and crucially, of value, is a long and winding with very few shortcuts, but here are five steps to think about in order to succeed: Continue…

Social media is often misunderstood as something new, something complicated and something only the techies really know about. In reality it’s one of the oldest communication methods in use – it’s just that today we’re using new technology to help us do it.
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Chris Hutchings, partner at Hamlins LLP, looks at the potential pitfalls and benefits of using social media sites for business purposes.
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If you thought ‘You Tube’ was annoying, or ‘Facebook’ was vacuous, now’s your chance to enjoy the charms of the web’s latest phenomenon – ‘Twitter’. In this light-hearted piece, we also discuss if it is likely to benefit small businesses in anyway.
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Love it or hate it, Twitter – the latest social media phenomenon – has grown at an astonishing rate in recent years.
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Every time we communicate publicly via the internet, we leave a little trace of ourselves. If we post a message on social networking sites such as Twitter or Facebook, for example, we create a record that others can access.
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When you meet business owners in real life at events, there’s a question that a lot of people are starting to ask each other: Are you on Twitter?
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