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Business Profile: Janet Bebb (Social Progress Ltd)

Managing Director of Social Progress Ltd

Current Job Position?  Online Social Networking Specialist,  some would say a Network Tart and MD of Social Progress Ltd.
Best thing about your job?  I love to help people shine and brim with confidence in using online platforms such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook etc. I like the flexibility my job gives me & the very best bit is finding out all about the people I work with – from all walks of life and different businesses ranging from cake makers, NHS suppliers, solar panel suppliers, HR Consultants, Recruiters, Printers, Coaches, Trainers, Marketeers, Web Developers etc etc etc
Worst thing about your Job? Not being able to support all the new start-ups & those small traders struggling to make a crust cos those people are possibly the ones who need the most help and coaching with online social networking and face to face networking.
Favourite Restaurant in Huddersfield?  So many to choose from – Bradleys & Nosh have to be two of my most favourite restaurants but sadly I haven’t managed to get to either in a while. Bradley’s make the most amazing Crème Brulee & I love the choice and variety of dishes at Nosh – always something new to try out!
Your best achievement?  Gosh – hard to say! Feel like I’ve achieved so much on different levels. Raised a fair old bit of cash for various charities over the years by completing 11 Great North Runs, 11+ Race for Life’s, completed an Abseil down the front of the Galpharm Stadium, a Tandem Parachute Jump from 13,000 ft, did a Static Line Parachute Jump from 3,000 ft and other ‘stuff’. Renovated a derelict old barn & lived in two caravans for 4 years while we did it with Hubby & 2 small children (both under the age of 5yrs). Lost 3.5st in weight which changed my outlook on life! And setting up my own company, Social Progress Ltd after being made redundant.
Interest and Hobbies? Skipping (1200 skips per day in under 11 minutes – I challenge you!) & Running (but sadly can’t do the distances I used to) – I’m training and getting fit for a Spartan Race I’m taking part in with a group of other ladies & gents in August 2012 – (Yes I know we must be mad!!!). We’re raising money for a very worthwhile local cause – Youth Routes an organisation that helps young people to achieve outside of their academic environment.I also enjoy music a great deal. Music is constantly on all around me and get along to as many live concerts as I can. I’ve worked behind the bar at Leeds Fest for the past two years to get free passes and some time out to see band like Muse, Mumford & Sons, Biffy Clyro, Bombay Bicycle Club, Dry the River etc etc. I’ll be volunteering for Oxfam this Saturday (9th June) to raise awareness for Oxfam’s GROW campaign and see Coldplay at the same time. And my favourite band of all time are one that you won’t have heard of but hopefully one day you will – Kassidy. 4 young guys from in & around Glasgow who play guitars and have wonderful harmonies – and they don’t look half bad either!
What do you value most about being a member of a networking group? The friendships you develop and support you gain through really getting to know people at networking events. Also I love to connect people with others that can help their business grow. That might be a business contact, customer or support agency they’re not aware of. As my dear old Dad would say “give freely and expect nothing in return” – that’s what networking is for me!
Website 

Linked In 

Twitter 

Facebook

www.socialprogress.co.uk 

Janet Bebb 

@SocialProgress1 

Social Progress Ltd 

Bio:

I’ve had a checkered career from working in Financial Services for more than 25 years to Trainer, NVQ Assessor, Skills Broker for Train to Gain (government initiative if you remember it – funded training) and then this service transferred to Business Link and I was transferred with it! I’ve worked as a Customer Service Adviser, Team Leader, Change Facilitator, Business Adviser & Change Manager.

How did I get into what I do now? Well I started out using online social networks eg. Facebook to track what the kids were up to (But the kids blocked me – Tch! maybe the same for you). I found it relatively easy to navigate & soon understood it. Then when I joined Business Link, LinkedIn was seen as a useful tool to network and find out what was happening out & about. It was also a place to find new clients and build your network of useful connections.

As we approached the last 18 months of Business Link we went from just over 400 staff to just under 100 in the last 8 months. We had three rounds of redundancies and throughout this time I used LinkedIn to find and apply for jobs.  I also found jobs for my colleagues and passed these on to them. There’s lots of jobs on LinkedIn that aren’t advertised anywhere else & so by using LinkedIn you stand a better chance of getting that all important foot in the door than using more traditional routes. I did get interviews from this approach for myself & others – see my recommendations on LinkedIn.

I was asked to show others within Business Link how to get the best out of LinkedIn and then one of the external trainers asked me to show him how to use this powerful tool and said he’s pay me to do so once I left Business Link – BINGO! Lightbulb moment! I asked a few of my trusted colleagues for their honest thought/opinions (see it’s all their fault) and here I am!  Master of my own destiny J.

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Infographic: Which of your social media profiles will give you the best lead generation?

Digital Media Report…What has the biggest impact on lead generation?

Infographic sourced from SearchEngineLand

As a business were very active online; we have social media profiles on Twitter, Facebook, Linked In, WordPress and a few other networking forums. Whilst our social media activity had been great to increase brand awareness, strengthen our existing relationship with contacts/customers and even start new relationships; were always looking for ways to help increase lead generation through social media. 

This Inforgraphic has helped us identify which of our social media channels is most likely to generate leads. Overall, we’ve found that Linked In is the most succesful social media channel for generating business leads but we’ve started getting more results through Twitter. However, over recent months we have develop a Facebook page and from the results of this infographic we will definitely be focusing our efforts on generating more leads through this channel as it has clearly worked for many other businesses. 

Speaking of Social Media; you can follow us Twitter @smilessms @ME_Consultancy or on our Linked In Company page, ‘like’ our page on Facebook ‘ME Consultancy Ltd’  and read our blog

Infographic ‘Digital Marketing Report’ sourced from http://www.searchengineland.com

Find out how to use your social media channels to increase your SMS subscriber list

Article sourced from ‘SmartBlog on Social Media’ 

In a world with more than 800 million Facebook users and more than 200 million new tweets per day, few doubt social media’s importance in building customer relationships. Less recognized, however, is the tremendous opportunity that social media presents to help you build your SMS subscriber lists. As people who have clearly expressed an interest in your company, your social media followers are an ideal audience for your cross-channel marketing efforts. By getting them to join your e-mail and SMS lists, you will be able to give your biggest advocates offers that are more personalized, when and how they prefer to receive them.

How can you use social media to successfully grow your SMS and e-mail lists?

  • Drive people to a Web form on Facebook or Twitter. Adding a Web form as a tab on your Facebook account or sending a tweet with a link to your form on Twitter is a simple yet powerful way to introduce fans and followers to your subscription list.  By adding that fan to your subscription list, you can deepen the relationship by sending personalized and targeted content via e-mail or SMS. With SMS, you can be confident your customers will open and read your messages, as 83% of all text messages are read in the first hour of receipt.
  • Encourage people to text to receive a coupon or offer. Offering incentives for opting-in is a good way to spur your list’s growth. Culver’s, a Midwestern fast-food chain offers new subscribers a free value meal for joining its eClub on Facebook and a free scoop of frozen custard for joining its Text Club.
  • Run a sweepstakes or other social promotion. The second most popular list-growth tactic is using social promotions to drive subscriptions. Sweepstakes, voting contests or trivia campaigns both engage your followers while also allowing you to add them to your e-mail or SMS lists as the price of entry.
  • Offer referral bonuses. A common tactic used by your favorite daily deals site is rewards for referrals. Ask all new subscribers to refer their friends to also join and give them the option to do so via Facebook and Twitter. You can give each friend an offer or coupon for joining, and give the referrer a special offer of even greater value if they refer a specified number of friends.

Current state of Social Media

Social Media has become a much more powerful marketing tool with the development of Facebook, Twitter, Linked In and You tube which gives businesses another channel of communication which they can use to reach out to their target audience and marketing their products and services.

However, many SME’s don’t recognize that even if your not a big brand social media is still a very influential tool for communicating your marketing message to your target audience. The main advantage of social media is the large quantity of people you can access from having a Facebook page to people following you on Twitter. To stress this point please take a look at the infograph below sourced from ‘One Lily Creative Agency’ which identifies just how many people (potential customers) are actively using social media sites, which stresses the important for businesses to use social media sites as part of their marketing activities.

'Current State of Social Media' sourced from 'One Lily Creative Agency'

Councils ‘use radio most’ for school closure message but why not use texting?

Article sourced from BBC News

Scotland’s councils rely most on radio bulletins and word-of-mouth to let parents know schools are closed due to bad weather, BBC Scotland has found.

The news website asked all 32 local authorities what policies they used to get the message across.

Of the 31 which responded, all said they used local radio bulletins and 15 said parents’ passing on the news to other parents was also key. But new technology is being used with 17 on Twitter and 13 sending e-mails.

The school closure communication policies of most of Scotland’s councils were tested this week following relentless snow falls and freezing temperatures. Thousands of pupils at hundreds of schools have been away from the classroom for three days or more.

Read the rest of this entry

How to change your settings in order to allow your fans to tag photos on your Facebook Page

Many Facebook users will agree that the ‘photos’ application is the most vital platform for engaging with others on Facebook & is the most popular application. Therefore, when developing our ‘ME Consultancy Ltd’ Facebook page we planned to place emphasis on uploading albums from various events we attend. We felt this would be a great way to create a call for action to our Facebook page and encourage people to like our page. Many bloggers and social media experts place great emphasis on ‘WHY’- why should people like you page? We figured that by offering exclusive pictures from events that this would be our ‘WHY’ platform to like our page. However, after uploading a few albums from recent networking events we attended an issue arised. We found that as a page we could only tag other pages; this was a big issue as now we could no long complete our ‘WHY’ platform strategy. I figured that there had to be a way around this issue so starting researching on social media blog pages which often give great advise on how to use Facebook effectively & I found the solution to solve my tagging issues. On Facebook pages you can change your settings in order to allow people to be tagged in your photos; please read below. This helped solved my problem and has allowed use to implement our ‘WHY’ strategy. Another, way to get around the issue we found was that if you liked the page from your own profile then you can tag your friends in the photos through commenting on the photos. I hope this helps others who are having similar problems to us solve there Facebook issues.

Follow this Link to read more blog posts from ‘TNW Facebook’.

Photo tagging is a great way to grow the fans of your Page and add engagement for your existing fans. What many people don’t realise is that this currently isn’t set to default for Facebook Pages and it is not as easy to change as you might hope! To allow fans to tag photos on your Page, first go to the ‘Edit’ section of your Page, then click on ‘Apps’ on the left hand side. Scroll down to photos and click on ‘go to app’. You’ll then see the option to change your photo settings, which includes allowing fans both to upload photos and also tag photos. When this is done, why not let your fans know and get them to tag a photo on your Page?

The benefit of using social media as a SMB

Article sourced from ‘eMarketer digital intelligence’. Read the full article here.

Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) surveyed in April 2011 by Pitney Bowes rated social media as highly cost-effective and easy to use, rivalling email in its benefits. More than seven in 10 SMBs surveyed by social marketing platform Roost in May said social media was effective as a marketing channel, and nearly 90% thought it was at least somewhat important to their marketing efforts.

“Creating a profile on a social network” was named the most effective marketing or advertising tactic used according to the nearly 5,000 local business owners polled by Merchant Circle in June 2011. Additionally, 34% of respondents in the Deluxe Corp. study who had used social media said it helped them reach new potential customers and 15% said it increased sales.

SMileS Comment;

Me Consultancy Ltd is an example of a SMB using social media to provide us with exposure. Social marketing has been a great networking tool helping us to generating new business and strengthening our relationship with current contacts. Firstly, we developed our ‘Linked In Company profile’ account which is our primary method of networking. SMileS which is ME Consultancy sister company even generated business from an event group on ‘Linked In’ as our SMS Software was used to send out text messages reminders to inform members of group all the relevant information they would need in order to attend the event. This shows how we have used the social media site ‘Linked In’ to network with the right sort of people effectively generating business. Read the rest of this entry