Small Business Blogging

My experience blogging about small business over the last couple of months has really opened my eyes to the importance of the medium. Tracking local entrepreneurs, and discussing how social media can increase their business has been an amazing experience. Small businesses in there nature are already community orientated. By taking that community outlook, and extending it to social media efforts, small business owners can expand their reach exponentially.

 

Below are 3 ways that blogging about your small business, can help you gain more insight, and hopefully in the long run gain new customers.

 

  1. Establishing your self as an expert in your chosen field. Blogging provides an open, and immersive forum to share your knowledge on a subject that is important to you. If you are a small business, that often means you are passionate about a smaller niche product, or service, that other’s want expert information on. Sharing your knowledge through blogging is a great way to engage, and enlighten potential customers by a building a community of like-minded people.

 

  1. Dive into the blogosphere, and use feedback to refine content. All blogging activities should be seen as an opportunity to refine your content, and narrow down your niche target audience. Be proactive, and define metrics, that you feel are important to your business. By defining your metrics before you start tracking you’ll be able to streamline your refinement process.

 

  1. Actively seek out new information, by reading other blogs. Blogging has been around for many years now, and that means there is probably a lot of information out there that is similar to your postings. By reading other blog’s and learning the best practices for more experienced user, you will get better at creating content. That being said give credit where credits due, be sure to provide links and reference to ideas that you do reuse.

 

Get out there and find your voice! Every small businessperson had to take a leap of faith when starting his or her endeavor in the first place. Blogging is just another calculated risk, which can have a big return on investment for your business.

Tracking social media sentiment for local businesses

Hi all,

 

This week I have challenged myself to track the social media impact of a local small business that I admire, Save-on-meats.   Save-on-meats, is a wonderful restaurant, and butcher shop, that is located in Vancouver’s downtown east side. Founder, and serial entrepreneur, Mark Brand has create an awesome gathering place that gives back to the community through various social programs.

As the theme of this blog is highlighting small, and local business, this exercise is a great example of how to see what the world wide web is saying about your brand.

Here we go. I started by running the Save-on-meats brand name through howsociable.com, a website that rate a brand on the number of mentions it receives on certain social media sites.

 

Yikes!! Seemingly not the best score, but to give some perceptive Nike achieved a 7.7 magnitude. The second tracking site I visited was socialmention.com here are the results.

 

This provided a little more insight into what’s being said about Save on meats online. Save on meats being a small, well known in the community, but not well known outside of Vancouver brand I figure I would have to look elsewhere for more relevant measurement tools.

I decided to keep it local, searching for local mentions of Save on meats, by the highest rated Vancouver food bloggers. I rated their sentiment to obtain an overall score.

 

Ratings key:

+1 Positive comment

0 neutral comment

-1 negative comment

 

Conversation 1:

Despite their location, Save-On-Meats is a great place to get a burger and food in general. My only suggestion is that you should double up on the patty and make sure you really build the burger your way. I suggest this only because the standard build of burger is only around $8-9 and if you really stack up the patties and extras, the burger is really only going to cost you about $11-13, which is what you can expect at other places for a good burger.

Positive sentiment +1

Conversation 2:

I was pretty excited about the Save on Meats burger, having read about it now from many food bloggers, food critics and Twitter feeds. This is a no-nonsense, no frills burger, just meat, cheese, tomato, lettuce, a thick piece of bacon, sauce which was ketchup mixed with mayo and a soft, toasted burger bun. All held together with a huge toothpick stabbed through half a pickle. The top bun wasn’t artistically placed at a slant and brushed with butter to shine like at Romer’s Burger Bar. This was a real dive burger. And I loved it!

Positive sentiment: +1

Conversation 3:

The Good:

– It has got history

– Reasonable prices

– Friendly people

The Bad:

– Other than the burger, the food is hit and miss

– Well, some people might be turned off by the location (I’m not…)

Neutral comment: 0

Conversation 4:

Not the best food around town, but it’s decent. Definitely think Save On Meats is definitely big on nostalgia: the pricing, the sizes and perhaps maybe the prep and taste of their food.

Neutral sentiment: 0

Conversation 5:

Overall, we all agreed they had fun desserts and amazing milkshakes. One problem we had were the varying portion sizes and how hard it was to figure out if that dish would fill you up. A few items were a hit and miss, but you can’t go wrong with the Ribs or the Save on Meats Burger.

Neutral sentiment: 0

Conversation 6:

Yes for a cheap but tasty diner meal.

Positive comment: +1

Conversation 7:

It is not just a cheap burger it is a dam good burger. As for greasy burgers go, it ranks at the top, I would say better than Veras.

Positive sentiment: +1

Conversation 8:

I was so busy having a good time, however, I forgot to explore the other side where the butcher shop and take-out window are located, delivering the already infamous $1.50 breakfast sandwich. I may have to abandon my “new places only” practice to return and try this signature item.

Positive sentiment +1

Conversation 9:

I’ve always said that dining should be an experience. This is a Vancouver must in my books. At the end of my meal my bill came to $13.09. That’s with an entree, dessert and a drink. Not to shabby.

Positive comment +1

Comment 10:

We all enjoyed our meal here. The atmosphere was very laid back and the staff were friendly. This was a good place to get cheap traditional diner food in the neighbourhood.

Positive sentiment +1

 

Overall score: 7/10

Save on meats had great reviews on the most influential food blog’s in Vancouver. If I was to do this exercise again I might choose to include the comments, of the average customer, via yelp reviews or Urban Spoon. Using the consumer as opposed to a food blogger would give another set of useful quantitive data to help refine social media practices.

Word on the street is Save on meats has one of the cheapest, and best burger’s around, get down to this local landmark.