Mark Zuckerberg’s story so far is truly incredible; it demonstrates the true power of the Internet and social media. Facebook has only been in existence for eight years and is already a huge success story. Launched in February 2004 with a plan of connecting Harvard students together it soon took off and was used to connect other colleges. The expansion since then has been dramatic – by February this year Facebook had increased its user network to in excess of 845 million people! Half of the people in the UK are already signed up to Facebook. There has already been a film based on Mark’s life and the creation of Facebook, as well as several documentaries. Mark is now 35th richest person on the plant with a staggering 17.5 billion estimated wealth according to the Forbes magazine. At 27 years old he is also the youngest person in the top 200 on the Forbes list. Microsoft’s founder Bill Gates is the second richest person on the planet with an estimated personal wealth of 61 Billion. If Facebook enjoys the same success that it currently enjoys then we could see Mark move towards the top of the list in no time at all!
Facebook is also preparing to float on the stock exchange, it is widely expected to back the 100 billion Dollar value. This will certainly raise Mark’s personal wealth to a new level. Facebook is always evolving and I believe that this will keep enhancing the success of the brand. If Facebook stayed still and did not introduce new ideas then it would soon disappear to its competition. The world of social networks is certainly a delicate one as users can easly advertise the next new social website on their Facebook page! Most other Social Media sites have had to embrace their competition and add Facebook into their site so the feeds and updates are automatically posted to Facebook.
So why is Facebook so valuable? The advertising capability is amazing – where else does an advertiser get to target the complete demographic of their audience? With Facebook advertising you can target the age, sex, location and interests of the user. Another powerful revenue source for Facebook is the gaming. There are lots of very addictive games that are really great fun to play. The idea is that you will share your progress with your friends on your news feed. Some of the games require you to earn money or coins. You can earn this during the course of the game, however you can effectively cheat and buy coins to help you get ahead of your friends and this is where the money is!*
*Obviously, no one at Ikroh needs to do this as we are far too good at playing the games!**
**Although not during work hours, of course 😉
This guide is help stop you falling into the traps that most start up businesses fall into – not making the most of the internet and online marketing.
Let’s start at the beginning, you have a wonderful vision for a new business. Many new entrepreneurs see a gap in the market for a product or service that is either missing or in their view not run as it should be. Once the funding is in place you are ready to start and here is a quick guide to one of the most important factors for many businesses – the internet. Around 90% of UK businesses are now on the web but how many are using this powerful tool as they should?
- Website – Thinking about having a website built can be daunting thought, however the right decisions at this stage are vital. Who are you going to get to design and build your website? A friend who has some basic knowledge has offered to create your site for a low fee. Sounds wonderful but this could be the start of your troubles. Unfortunately the old saying you get what you pay for is so true. Not only does a website have to look enticing and be user friendly and intuitive, it also has to be seen by the Search Engines. If I had a pound for every person that said I have had a lovely site built and thought it would get me some business and it didn’t. Websites should be built by companies that specialise in Search Engine Optimization. This way you have a head start when it comes to your site’s visibility. Your site should be bespoke and tailored to suit your vision, after all this is your business and it needs to stand out. Remember why you started out in the first place – a new product or service should be shouted about, or if you think you can do it better than your competitors here is the best place to start.
- SEO – If you want people to find your business you have to ask yourself where are your new customers going to look for you? There are a wide range of answers to this question and it depends on the type of business that you run. However you can guarantee one of the ways people will search for a product or service is via the Internet. There are two ways to be top of the search results – there are natural search results and Pay Per Click results. It is estimated that 60% of people will click on the natural search results. However both of these methods will require investment and should be included in the initial business plan. The instant win is the PPC campaign which means that you will set a daily budget and buy clicks. This is a great way to start to test the market and see the conversion results for various keywords/phrases. The natural search along with the PPC will require a specialised company who will set up and run the campaigns. A good SEO company will sit down with you and give you some ideas and more importantly listen to you and your ideas. Your SEO company should be in regular contact with you to make sure that any changes within the market are quickly identified.
We know there is a lot to think about when starting a company and here at IKROH, we have an extensive knowledge of the web. IKROH can design, build and manage your SEO. Our aim is help you and watch your business grow.
Lady Gaga has hit the magic 20 million! No we don’t mean she is a multi millionaire – I’m sure that happened a long time ago. Lady Gaga has now got over 20 million followers on Twitter; she is the first person to reach the 20 million followers. Justin Bieber is not too far behind with a cool 18 million people following. Just because Lady Gaga has been so popular on Twitter does not mean that she has fallen behind on the other social networks. She has a massive 48 million Facebook fans! and over 800,000 on Google’s latest social network site Google +. Google + asks people to add the favourite people into their circles. Although the search engine giant suggests people that you can to your circles, generally people have to search and find their idol.
Lady Gaga puts her social network success down to the fact that she updates her accounts personally. A lot of the top stars, use agencies to update their social sites and communicate to their fans. The agencies obviously are probably far more cautious about what info they put out in the public domain. However Lady Gaga’s posts & tweets are directly from her thoughts, this allows her follows, fans and people within her circles to really feel like they are getting to know the star.
Has her social networking gone to her head? Well she is preparing to launch her own site and inviting all her friends and followers to join her new site. ‘Little Monsters’ is due to launch shortly and rumoured to be like another new arrival on the scene – Pinterest. We will have to wait and see and we will be sure to report back our findings.
The power of social media, can it be harnessed and turned into profit? With the correct Social media campaign it really can. Lady Gaga is a case in point selling around 8 million copies of her latest album which was advertised via her social channels. Obviously not all of the 8 million would have be generated from this source but even a reminder from your favourite star that their new album is out would certainly help boost sales. So one of the most important rules of a successful social media campaign can be taken from Lady Gaga’s success. Engagement is the single most important factor that can make or break a social media campaign.
The spotlight has been on Google lately for collecting personal information. It is an online advertiser‘s dream to be able to gather information on their potential customers. Adverts can then be placed in the right places at the right times and appeal to the right audience. However the cost of this information is a loss of user freedom online. Everything you do whilst searching in the web in a Google browser will be recorded. They have confirmed that the user could not be identified from the information gathered. Religious and sexual views and beliefs will also not be recorded. You would not fancy your local supermarket following you around whilst you shop monitoring everything you look at and purchase. This is effectively the same, just online!
Smartphones are also at it, gathering personal information via apps. The big concern is that smartphones are able to collect a lot of data about an individual. They can effectively track a person’s movements via GPS. Obviously the browsing history can also be recorded. Apps with social networking sites can see what you are talking about with your friends. With all this information there is a great responsibility to make sure it is used appropriately and fairly. The other issue is security, it is quiet rightly drummed into your head to take Internet security seriously. However how many people have got security on their phones?
Big brother is definitely watching you!
Unreliable servers can really cost you money and potentially lose your site’s ranking position. Google penalises unreliable websites for downtime, and slow servers will ultimately affect your Google search engine ranking position and lose you visitors. Google use a system to scan the web collecting keywords and key phrases as they go. If Google bots cannot find the content in your website or it is slow to load,the keywords that you are trying to target can fall in the rankings, or even worse be dropped temporarily. Most of the time Google will re-instate the website in the listing next time it scans the web. However do you want to be invisible for that long?
Therefore it is vitally important that you keep an eye on your server downtime statistics. You normally find that most hosting providers will run at 99% up time. Although it does not sound like a lot even a 1% downtime can equal around seven hours a month of downtime when your visitors will be unable to view your website content or make a purchase! How many potential customers could you be missing in this time? If a new customer clicks on a link to your site and cannot reach the website the chances are that they will never re-visit. This can seriously harm your business and the reputation that you are working hard to gain.
There are several solutions to this problem. The best option appears to be virtual servers or dedicated servers. Make sure that you go for an option that if the server crashes it bounces onto the next server and so on also know as RAID. This will result in virtually no downtime at all, merely a pause in service whilst it goes to the next server.