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What we learnt at Startup2017

By Thomas Costello - February 13, 2017

In January 123 Reg sponsored Enterprise Nation’s flagship event StartUp2017. The event brought together over 1,000 small businesses to the headquarters of KPMG and HSBC in London as well as hundreds of small businesses across the UK.
Across the day, 123 Reg hosted a number of workshops aimed at those aspiring entrepreneurs on topics including Search Engine Optimisation, Social Media and businesses can turn website browsers into customers.
The start of the year is a great time to start a business. Our research shows that website registrations in the first week of January rise (on average) by 20 percent, with people 10 percent more likely to set up than in other periods of the year. Our prediction is that over 10,000 were be registered in the first week of 2017. With this entrepreneurial spirit, Startup2017 was a day full of great advice for budding start-ups. We spoke to hundreds of small businesses, and here some of the questions, and the answers, that we gave.

Why should I bother with social media and what should I post?

Social media has become one of the most important tools for people to stay connected, so it is hard to believe that 57% of businesses in the UK don’t have a social media presence at all. Social media is far more important that seeing who has more likes, it is a way of engaging your customers, offering customer support and presenting yourself as a great business to work with. On top of this, social media is a great way to win new customers with 46% of web users looking at social media accounts when making a purchase.

But, knowing what to post and when can be somewhat of a minefield. Too many people think that when it comes to social media, this is what you should talk about. It is important to remember that people are on social media to be educated and entertained, so finding content that is relevant to your audience is key to winning this battle. By following or liking your social media account, your customers have given permission to interrupt their day. So, be respectful of their attention and make sure you create a warm space in their heart for your brand.

Here’s a great way of looking at it:

  • Consider stuff that your audience will be interested in.
  • Then consider stuff that they need to learn to become your customer.
  • Finally, there’s stuff that you’re expert in and can speak about with authority – your opinion will be important to people!

Why should I do SEO?

The easiest way to answer this is with three facts:

  • 93% of online experiences start with a search
  • 88% – Google’s current share of the UK search engine market
  • 75% of users never go to page 2 of the search results


So, SEO can help you build a stronger online presence, get found in search results and help to rank on the first page of search engines like Google.

But, the real question you should ask is: Why aren’t you already doing SEO?

What are the best free tools to use for social media content?

Tools like Tweetdeck allow you to see what users are sharing. So, for example, you wanted to know what kind of advice start-up businesses are interested in, you can see what they are searching for and take inspiration from that. A really great tool is Quora.com which is a great place to find out what questions people are asking. On Quora, users ask questions and have them answered by experts. Simply search for the topic that you’re interested in and find out what people want to know.

Any more questions? Get in touch via Twitter @123Reg or on our Facebook page.