Social Entrepreneurs: Do these 3 things and you’re 90% ahead of everyone else…

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My name is Joy Foster and I’m the founder of Made with Joy. Made with Joy is a social enterprise which provides digital training to young people who have never worked before and adults who have been out of work for an extended period of time. Our trainees work on live projects and if successful, they move into paid positions on our team.

Made with Joy specializes in WordPress and digital marketing. This purpose of this video is to give you 3 pieces of valuable information to help you grow your social enterprise. The information in this video is relevant not only to social entrepreneurs, but also to people running non-profits, charities and small sole proprietorships. 

Now, I’m going to ask you three questions, so get a piece of paper and something to write with…

The first question is – Do you know how many hits your website got last month?

For many of you the answer will be ‘I don’t know’ or ‘I’m not sure’ or ‘I should ask the web developer’.

Understanding how much traffic your site it getting is KEY to understanding the significance of your website. If no one is going to your website, then what is the point of having it?

Equally, if people are going to your site but you don’t bother to see what they are doing when they get there, you have no way to improve their experience and therefore no way to improve the use of the website within the greater scope of your organization.

Top Tip:

For those of you who have a WordPress website, you can add the JetPack plugin or a Google Analytics plugin (something like the free version of Yoast Analytics will do). Having these plugins installed will help you gain control of your stats. I would recommend setting up both, although some people don’t like JetPack because of it’s size. We’ll be producing a video shortly which will walk you through the pros and cons of each, how to set them up and how to analyze them. Make sure you’re signed up to our newsletter so that you don’t miss the video when it is released!

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Let’s move on to question number 2: Do you have a newsletter and how often do you send it out?

This is one of my major pet peeves with organizations. Very often they say that they have a newsletter, but they don’t actually send it out with regular frequency. Newsletters are still the MOST POWERFUL form of communication with current and potential customers.

There are a couple tips for newsletters. First, make sure it is easy to sign up to and in a recognizable place on your website.  Second, don’t be that guy that adds everyone you meet to your newsletter – only add relevant people and people who you think truly want to receive your emails. I always recommend that you let someone know that you’ve added them to your newsletter BEFORE you start sending the newsletter to them. But, if you insist, then make sure people know how they got onto your list and then always make sure it is easy to unsubscribe.

In terms of open rates, research we’ve conducted on our own clients shows that email lists which people signed up to of their own accord had open rates of 60-80% whereas email lists which people were forced on to have open rates of only 20-40%.

Top Tip:

For WordPress, you have several popular options. Two of them which we use with our clients at the moment are MailPoet, which is a plugin that can be managed directly from your WordPress backend or MailChimp, which is a newsletter software which is external to WordPress but which you can connect to WordPress using clever plugins like Mail Munch.

We’ll also be doing a step by step video to show you how to set these up in the future so make sure you are subscribed to our mailing list to stay informed of when we release the video.

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Ok… let’s move on to question number 3: Are you using Social Media effectively?

Did you know there are now literally 100s of social medias out there that you could be using to spread the word about your business. The trend that we are starting to see is that each social media platform serves a different purpose and therefore the message you want to send will directly affect the type of social media you want to use.

If you’ve been running multiple social medias already, you should have a good idea of what is working and what isn’t working. For example, if you have 600 followers on Google+ and only 200 followers on Facebook but you’ve been contributing equally to both, then you should re-focus your efforts on Google+ and consider whether you need to carry on using Facebook at all.

If you’ve never set up social media or you’ve set it up but not used it enough to make a distinction about what is better for your business, do a little research. Who is doing what you are doing and where are they posting? In the fashion industry for example, instagram and Pinterest are huge. It also has to do with the country in which you are based. For example, with our clients, we find the Americans are using Google+ much more than the Brits. The Swiss hardly use Twitter, while many of the British organizations rely on it to connect with people they don’t know.

My recommendation is to grow your social media organically, don’t try and grow it by paying for followers, at least in the early stages. If you make it a point to interact with at least the first 1000 followers who are relevant to your organization, you’re miles ahead of everyone else.

Top Tip:

There are many more tips I can give you, but you’ll have to wait until we can put together the videos for each social network. In the meantime, if you have WordPress, you can use the JetPack plugin to easily integrate your Twitter feed and a Facebook like box. You can also use the Pinterest Pinboard Widget plugin and the Instagram Feed plugin to make your site come alive with recent pins and instagram pics.

Exciting news!

I hope that you’ve found this video useful. If so, please pass it on to others who you think might benefit. AND… if you are based in Oxford, we have a big announcement to make! Oxfordshire Buiness Support has offered to supplement the cost of a one day WordPress course and a one day Digital Marketing course to anyone who qualifies*. We have set the dates for 6 courses which will run from September to November 2015. More information, the dates and a link to register will be live in August, but in the meantime, you can email your interest to joy@madewithjoy.org.

* And remember, even if you don’t qualify for supplemental support from OBS, you can still register, you just won’t receive a 50% discount. The course will also be available online.

Well, that’s it from me! I hope this information has been useful to you and we’ll see you again soon. Please make sure you sign up to our newsletter in order to receive future videos directly in your inbox. We’d also love to connect with you on Twitter (which is our most useful social network!). Our Twitter handle is @madewjoy. Have a great day.

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This video has been made possible to you for free because of support from UnLtd and the Spark Award. We are grateful to have the support and would encourage anyone interested in social entrepreneurship to find out more by going to the UnLtd website