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The Social Web

21 Aug

By Tim McKane

You’ve just caught up – and the game has changed again….The Social Web.

I’ve been thinking. There are so many titles for what we do that it becomes difficult to capture it all in one phrase. Social media marketing, digital marketing, inbound marketing, content marketing, search marketing, e-mail marketing…it goes on.

But there is something that I have been trying to pin down and it is as easy as nailing smoke. Where is the web and internet marketing going next?

My take on it is that we are seeing a merging of different channels. The main thing is that web sites and social media are becoming one and the same.

Let me explain.

Is Amazon a social media site?

No? It is a sales site? But one of the ways that Amazon has been most successful in selling is because it is also a social media site.

Yes Amazon have a presence on Facebook and Twitter, and people recommend books and other products on those sites, but the real social engagement is on their own site. That is where people read reviews, recommendations, and find books that other people like them read.

The key is other people like them.

Currently there are two ‘things’ the web and social media. You go here, and then you go there. To Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and more. But if you build some social media style tech into your web site, then you could create engagement on your own site, and your customers would find ‘other people like them’ and your brand could be the reason that they engage.

This is the natural extension of the blog on your site. Moving away from specific blog content to content in general – so that your home page is interesting, engaging and prompts a longer visit with more brand interaction.

It isn’t here yet, but it is on the way.  The social web.

A Simple Guide to Twitter Advertising

22 Jul

By Viki McAdoo

Facebook has become the social media advertising king in recent times but Twitter has started to challenge it in some pretty interesting ways. I’m going to give you a quick crash course in how to get your mind around Twitter advertising.

Twitter Advertising Blog

Set up your credit card details and you’ll get £25 free advertising credit from the powers that be at Twitter!

There are a couple of options for campaign types on Twitter, I’ll explain them below.

Twitter Advertising 2

Promoted Tweets are…

Like regular Tweets but they get a little boost. They come up in Twitter feeds like normal Tweets but have a little “promoted” symbol below them. Of course they can still be retweeted, replied to and favourited. They will reach more people and are great to encourage click-throughs to your websites or can promote events your business has coming up, plus a lot more.

photo credit: opensourceway via photopin cc
Twitter Advertising Promoted Tweet

Promoted Accounts are…

Suggested Twitter accounts that users may be interested in but do not follow yet. You’ll spot them under the “who to follow” suggestions. They are great for reaching potential followers who have a real interest or affiliation with your brand. Promoted accounts are about seeing the bigger picture – rather than just aiming for numbers of followers it is about gaining followers who will drive leads and purchases further down the line.

Twitter Advertising Promoted Account

App instalments & engagements are…

Tweets which focus on promoting either the download of apps or the engagement of users through their apps. They offer users the chance to download the app if they do not already have it, or open it if they have already downloaded it. These are great for targeting people who already have an interest in similar apps and are likely to download your app.

Promoted App

Once you have selected what type of ad is going to produce the best results for your aims fill in the relevant details like campaign name and you start and end dates. If you choose to do an app instalment campaign there are a few extras you’ll need like the app ID which would will get here:

App ID Twitter Advertising

At this stage you will also have to choose between App downloads OR App engagements. For a lot of companies app downloads may seem like the obvious choice but it all depends on what stage you app is in its product life cycle. Promoting it to users that have already struck up a relationship with your brand can be a great way to reignite fresh interest and increase active app users.

Targeting

Targeting on Twitter is a little different to the targeting you may do for other digital marketing methods. There are four choices for targeting on Twitter:

  • Keywords
  • Interests and followers
  • Television
  • Tailored

Not every option is available for each type of advertising but I’ll give you an overview.

Table

It is always important to select your location carefully. For each campaign I would set the location to Northern Ireland, rather than waste impressions on people who are outside the target area.

Watch out for this each time you are setting up a new campaign.

Twitter Location Setting

If I was a Garden Centre and I was trying to advertise on Twitter, this is how I could use each of the methods…

Targeting using keywords

This is basically using keywords on interests, topics people Tweet about or topics people engage with to grasp and audience that will have an interest in your product. So for my florist I would use:

  • Flowers
  • Gardening
  • Garden
  • BBQ
  • Lawn

To find out more about Broad matches and Phrase matches click here and learn about match types.

Targeting using interests and followers

It is beneficial to target users on their specific interests but to target followers takes a little thought. Before delving into this it is worth researching competitors on Twitter as well as people of public interest in the area you are targeting. For my Garden Centre in Newtownards I would target the following:

Twitter Targeting using followers

The box on the right hand side give lots of useful information about how the targeting will affect your campaign.

#TopTip make sure you put as @ sign and the exact user name of the account you want to use.

By then adding in an interest category can broaden your reach…

Twitter Targeting Followers and Interests

Targeting using television

Targeting using television can be a great way to reach emerged used who are already interested in your topic but it is also a clever way to think outside the box (excuse the pun) and think about users other interests that may not be directly linked to your product. I have used a mixture of gardening TV shows, a TV personality and soaps to reach potential new customers in the area.

Twitter TV Targeting Advertising

Targeting using tailored audiences

Tailored audiences can be used to reach audiences by outlining potential and existing clients. You can base these lists on web browsing behaviour – such as people who have visited the barbeque section of the Garden Centre site, – email address or Twitter IDs – all which may already be managed in a CRM system.

The further customisation of your campaign can be done in a couple of ways, these are outlined below:

  • Customize where Promoted Tweets appear (users timelines or search results). This will depend on
  • Limit targeting to specific devices (iPad, iPhone, Android etc.) This is useful when promoting App instalments for specific devices and impressions are not wasted.
  • Limit targeting my gender
  • Limit targeting by language
  • Limit targeting by excluding list audiences (using email or Twitter ID lists)

Budgeting

Twitter offers you a couple of budgeting options

Twitter Advertising Budgets

It is always good to put in a total budget even though it is optional. This help keep campaigns within budgets and is more manageable. Daily budgets are required and by setting them alongside a total budget you can calculate the possible length of your campaign.

Pacing

Standard: Your ad will be shown as evenly as possible throughout the day

Accelerated: Ads are shown as often as possible from 00:00 onwards. This is very rarely a useful pacing technique unless your aim is simply brand awareness.

Promoting

For Promoted Tweets and Accounts you will also need to select the Tweet you want to promote. Doing this manually ensure you are promoting the message you want to and are creating a campaign all based around the same promotion. You can also do it automatically for Promoted Tweets. This lets Twitter promote up to five of your best recent Tweets with the highest engagements. However this doesn’t mean you will get the best results or the message across that you want.

The key to setting up a successful Twitter campaign is clearly outlining your aims before you start and then working out which targeting method will get the best results for you. This can take a while at the start but advertising on Twitter is a great method for reaching potential clients who have already expressed an interest in either your type of product or the general area you work in.

 

 

 

 

Four ways to gain more Twitter followers

2 Jun

By Dee Jardine

We’ve all seen those too good to be true adverts and spammy messages that promise 10,000 new Twitter followers for less than £20.  You might think having more followers is crucial, but is having 10,000 followers that either don’t exist or don’t live in the country your business operates important?  Obviously, the answer is no!

The common thought of those who buy into these offers is that people are more willing to follow you if you already have a decent Twitter following, as you are obviously credible and worth the follow.  Which is to an extent true.  We are all so impressionable, and are often reluctant to follow someone with only a handful of followers!

Think about it this way, what is the purpose of your Twitter account? In most cases it’s to promote brand awareness, increase website traffic, network and gain sales. If this is why you’ve set up a Twitter account why would you then want to gain audience who; if they do even exist, are not your target market and in fact have no influence on your target market.

There’s no magic key, but be patient and follow our tried and tested tips.

1. Engagement

At Navajo Talk this has become a big priority recently for a client of ours who operates predominantly in the business to business sector.  We’ve been retweeting others within the industry and commenting on their posts to try start conversations.  Hopefully this will help to generate rapport with these brands who have a similar goals to ourselves.  So far we’ve seen a positive reaction from those who we’ve retweeted and even received the odd private mail regarding possible collaboration.

2. The Content King still reigns

If you want people to retweet, reply and follow you, you have to post content that appeals to their interests or provides them with helpful information.  Tweet things that people care about.  Broadcasting offers and news about your company is great way to get information out to potential customers.  However, it can also come across very dry if it’s all you post, show your personality.  Try Tweeting about relevant news, industry trends and the odd comical link.  For example at Navajo Talk while we often Tweet links to our blog and website we tend more often to Tweet about interesting things that are happening in the world of marketing and share handy tips.

 

Tweet

 

Be visual.  We’ve mentioned this before, Twitter like the rest of digital world is continually becoming more of a visual place.  According to recent Twitter studies posts that include photos average a 35% boost in Retweets and Videos gain 28%.  We’ve put this into practise for a client in the fashion industry by using pictures along with text when referring to latest trends, celebrities and offers.

This one is fairly obvious, but you need to Tweet more often to up the chances of your Tweets being seen and retweeted. When you post something to Twitter only a fraction of your followers or people searching for topics you are posting about will be online.  We often schedule the same links at different times on Hootsuite to make the most out of the content by reaching a wider audience and increasing the likelihood of subsequent follows.

3. Tweepi Tool

We love using Tweepi to manage our Twitter accounts.  On Tweepi we can quickly follow the followers of another successful account, in the hope that by doing so they will return the favour and follow us back.  This is a great way to increase a relevant audience.  For example we can enter @NIBusinessNow and select followers of theirs to follow, with the knowledge that the majority of their followers will be local businesses in Northern Ireland.  We tend to follow those you will be most likely to follow us back and interact with our posts – so we select those who have posted recently.

If you’re worried about about the impression following more people than you are followed by might give, Tweepi also has a useful tool that lets you “flush” those who didn’t follow you back!

4. Twitter Ads with Competitions

You can increase your following on Twitter through the use of  Twitter Advertising, particularly with the use of with a competition incentive.  You can make competitions fun and interactive, for example if your a sporting store targeting an advertisement at local football fans encouraging them to follow and guess how many goals will be scored in the World Cup for a chance to win some new football boots.

While having a decent amount of Twitter Followers may make a good first impression, it’s more important for your business to have relevant followers, who are far more likely to make your goals a reality.

Will your Twitter followers hit the mute button on you?

13 May

By Dee Jardine

Twitter announced yesterday that they are introducing a mute button.  This will allow users to secretly silence those whose Tweets they don’t enjoy without having to unfollow them and risk the potential social fallout.

For businesses you can continue to follow users who have followed you and receive mentions from them, while having them muted in your feed.  This is great because it will save time scrolling through your feed for relevant posts to Retweet or engage with, without costing you the followers it might by blocking or unfollowing.

This move has been a long time coming from Twitter, as Facebook have had a similar option for a while now.  Allowing users the option to restrict their feed may result in your businesses posts being silenced without you being aware.  Potentially, if you have 800 followers, hundreds of them may have hit “mute” if they have found your tweets repetitive and irritating.

We’ve listed Tweeting tips to stop your business being “muted”.  They’re common sense really, but so many businesses are guilty of these social misdemeanors.

1. Over hashtagging

A relevant and well used hashtag can increase engagement and new followers, multiple hashtags however are like spam emails, cluttering users’ feeds with little relevant information.  If you use too many hashtags you simply won’t have the characters left to say anything meaningful or Retweet worthy. Save the hashtag overload for your Instagram account instead.

tweet fail

2. Repetitive Tweets

There’s nothing wrong with tweeting something you’ve tweeted in the past, especially if you’ve spent time writing a blog or creating an image. You’re followers won’t all be online at the same time, and often won’t scroll far enough down their feed to see your tweet.  Post tweets at different times of the day to get the most value and click throughs from your content, and tweak the Tweet wording a little so your profile won’t look too repetitive.

However, we’ve all seen that culprit who is constantly tweeting the same post multiple times throughout the day, for weeks and months in a row.  Their posts are usually deceiving, written for shock value, when you click through the link it leads to an irrelevant let down…highly frustrating.  Don’t be that guy or we’ll mute you!

3. Continuous Tweeting and Retweeting

Small businesses often only get the chance to check their social media accounts a couple of times a week.  Often when they do get online this leads to them posting a barrage of Tweets and Retweets all in one morning.   Another case where quality is much more important than quantity.  If your followers wake up to a feed full of your posts they will get irritated and will most likely mute you, more so than they will unfollow you for posting infrequently.

To have a regular Twitter presence without overdoing it try using a tool like Hootsuite where you can schedule in posts throughout the week.

4. Thanks for the follow

We’ve all seen those annoying shout out to new followers posts.  Sending a generic Tweet to the five people who followed you yesterday adds no value to your brand and provides no opportunity for quality engagement or Retweets, yet so many brands have a habit of doing this everyday. Just avoid it.

5. Asking for Retweets

Asking your followers to “RT if you love our brand” comes across desperate and like you’ve thrown marketing your brand out the window in favour of begging.  If this is the brand values you want to portray, go ahead but that mute button will be hit more than the Retweet.

6. Continuous promotion

Twitter is a great place to link back to your website, encouraging website traffic and increasing sales.  However if your Tweets are too sales-y too often you risk disengaging your followers.  Try linking 1 out of 3 posts back to your website for promotions,  the rest of the time post information your customers will find interesting, useful or insightful.  Get involved in conversation with others, Retweet information relevant to your industry and comment on other business’ Tweets.

Need some more help with your social media?  Get in touch to find out how we can increase your following and drive traffic to your website through quality posts.

 

Do your digital marketing efforts have customer service at their core?

28 Apr

By Dee Jardine

I’m not going to name names, but recently I’ve had a major frustration with a service provider and their online activity.  There are a few companies that rile me on occasion, but none quiet like this one.

Things go wrong occasionally, I can appreciate that.  Technology, unforeseeable circumstances and basic human error affect the best of companies, but it’s how you handle these slip-ups that really matter to your customers.  The service provider in question irritated me as they refuse to acknowledge their Twitter account as a valid place for customers to complain.  They handle these complaints in the most outdated manner, avoiding giving customers real information and providing no solution for the customer.

Communicate

Social media platforms are there to interact with your customers. Use these platforms to your advantage to generate meaningful conversation and to genuinely respond to individual complaints.  Too often companies see their Facebook and Twitter pages as an extension of their website,  a place to showcase a portfolio and broadcast information about their services.  While these platforms are a great place to display promotions and provide information, they serve your customer as a place where they can publicly review you while seeking feedback to issues they have incurred.

If you respond to complaints in a way that shows you genuinely understand your customer’s frustration and provide them open, honest information about what went wrong they are more likely to sympathize with your error and use your service again.

I recently posted a complaint regarding my laptop purchase to an online retailer’s Twitter which they outright ignored (rude).  However my “favourite” service provider did respond, only to inform me that they do not respond to social media complaints and refered me to a form on their website to relay the same details over again.

Time is off the essence

To make matters more infuriating this service provider then sent me an automatic response email to state that they could take up to 14 working days to respond!  14 working days, around 3 weeks?! I’ve worked in retail and seen how panicky customers get it you cannot solve their problem in a matter of minutes. Since when was taking 14 working days to respond acceptable, I mean we are talking about email here, it’s not as if they have to factor in time in the postal service.

Fortunately, they didn’t take their full 14 working days, they responded just shy of two weeks later. While they did apologise and give a lengthy explanation regarding what had went wrong with their systems on the day, it was clearly a generic email they had come up with for the incident, as it didn’t not answer my query about also being charged twice on the day to then avail of another service ran by the same provider.  So I will have to email them again for clarification on this issue and perhaps wait another couple of weeks.

Their response also directed me to another form to fill out and post to them regarding my complaint, in order to lodge the complaint formally (excuse me for thinking I’d already done that by filling out the form on their website.)

Provide a solution

The basics of dealing with a complaint online or in person are to apologise, reassure and provide a solution.  From the responses I received online it would appear that this service provider has no real intention of solving their customer’s complaints.  Just like they couldn’t on the day of the incident, when they couldn’t provide an alternative service free of charge considering I had already paid for the service they could not deliver.  Instead I paid twice the money for the service I did not want, at a time I didn’t want, after a whole lot of stress and inconvenience.  It seems to me that this provider has such a formal procedure, because they want to make it as inconvenient for customers as possible to complain and get a refund.

Think Global – Act Local – a cliché that is now true in digital media.

24 Apr

By Tim McKane

Facebook is huge. You knew that already, but we are talking really huge here. Their latest figures show an increase in revenues for the quarter up 72% to $2.5 billion – that is 2.5 with nine zeros after it.

The big growth – mobile ads. Mobile ads for Facebook are promoted posts on the news feed for those accessing their account on their tablet or phone. And it is a click through cost, so a successful ad, that generates a lot of clicks generates a lot more money for Facebook. Facebook were a bit slow off the marks with mobile, but now they have caught up and then some.

Facebook, Twitter, Google and Linkedin are the first truly global media channels. This has only occurred to me, and I am not sure why, but there you go. They are making money from almost all corners of the world. We buy media space on Facebook (and the others) for our clients in Northern Ireland, and target them based on location, interests and other profile information that we use to target effectively. All over the world there are agencies like ours that are buying space for their clients, as well as those that buy directly, and with every click on an ad, there is a little click on that money counter in Facebook HQ. It is just that we have a population of 1.7 million and in India 100 million people are on Facebook and the US user base is 146 million.

146 million people that you can advertise to, getting them to click through to your landing page to buy,register, or give you an e-mail address.

No media channel in the past had a worldwide audience or potential sales opportunity. Newspapers, television, radio and outdoor were all localised. There were major media companies, but they were conglomerates of multiple titles and channels, not single title world wide audience media channels.

The numbers are reflecting this. Facebook now has over 1.1 billion users. Smartphone access to Facebook is now seeing a revenue growth of 59%. This means that the accessing of ads is through mobile devices. You can see a large advertiser in the US getting a bill from Facebook for thousands of clicks  – the ad was targeted well, the copy was good, the image was strong, and that one ad generated $50,000 dollars at a click rate of 50 cents – or whatever. Which is why bid management is so important in digital campaigns. In a small country, it will make a small different, in a large country, with a much higher number of people in the catchment audience, the impact is huge. A cent on a click through of 100,000 is $1000.

The media is both global and local. You can access it wherever there is wi-fi, anywhere in the world. You carry it around in your pocket. You check it regularly. And, look, there’s an ad.

But it is also why the days of using Facebook to try and generate free brand awareness are coming to an end. There are so many pages trying to get onto people’s newsfeed that they are cancelling each other out, and advertising is becoming the only really effective way to use the digital channels.

Growing and growing. That’s the digital world, and that is why you need to get in and get going. Now.

What every social media marketer needs to know about Facebook’s changes

23 Apr

By Dee Jardine

Set aside the frustration, learn about the latest changes, the opportunities they hold and how to adapt.  It’s not all bad news!

Facebook are rolling out more changes across their platform, if you work in social media marketing this likely fill you with dread.  With every tweak Facebook makes to their algorithm, EdgeRank, it’s getting harder for brands to reach their desired audience without having to pay for it.  It’s easy to see how this can be upsetting to companies who have spent so much time and money already investing in gaining Facebook “likes”; for the majority of these fans to now not even see their posts.

Try not to become too disheartened, believe it or not Facebook are doing this for all the right reasons.  Lars Backstrom, of Facebook claims that on average there are 1,500 Facebook posts a day that could appear on each user’s feed.  No potential customer can take in this amount of content, it would be overload, and so Facebook is forced to decide what each user may find most interesting.

Facebook aren’t doing this to force you to pay to be seen (although I’m sure it’s an advantage they aren’t complaining about), Facebook are doing this because they have to in order to keep their users engaged, and avoid losing them to other social platforms such as Twitter or Google+.  You can’t make any money from your Facebook account and adverts if all your customers are leaving the platform out of boredom.

Visual Value

Visual is the digital marketing trend for 2014.  Our customers have increasingly shortened attention spans, images are getting larger on both Facebook and Twitter to grab users attention while they can. Facebook photos will now span the width of the newsfeed.  For any brand with high quality and interesting imagery this offers a larger opportunity for promoting brand values.

Spammy images will appear less often on users’ newsfeeds.  This is good news if you’ve been playing by the rules and marketing the right way.   Facebook aims to cut down on the visibility of “memes”, “like-baiting”, and posts with deceptive links.

Less of this 

cat meme

More like this

coke imagery

 

Auto-play videos

Continuing the visual theme, video posts on Facebook now automatically play without sound as customers scroll through their feed.  If a customer wishes to watch the video they can click on it to hear the accompanying sound.  Automatically playing the videos helps to catch potential customers’ attention and encourage them to watch more.

This change has been rolled out slowly from September 2013 and has gone down well with brands so far.  According to Adobe’s Social Intelligence brands who videos have been auto-played on newsfeed have noticed a 58% increase on engagement during the first three months, compared to the prior three months before the change.

More Brand Content

Facebook is doing marketers a favour and tweaking their algorithm to help brands expand their audience. If a brand tags another brand in an update, their post can now be seen by fans of both brand pages, encouraging networking and allowing brands to make the most of existing relationships.

Breaking News Stories

Facebook altered its news feed algorithm to feature more news, current events, and the resulting conversation/debate this generates.  This is what Twitter does best, Facebook are attempting to compete, by attracting those who enjoy this aspect of Twitter.  This is motivation for brands to produce current blogs and quality news features to share on their Facebook.  Not only will this content improve your reach on Facebook but also your rankings on Google if links lead back to your website.

Resurfaced Content

Facebook wants to ensure users don’t miss out on stories that may interest them by repeating this content on their feed.  This change will mean users will keep seeing the same stories as friends continue to comment on them.  This holds further opportunity for a brand who can create and post interesting content, if you engage and encourage conversation your posts will be seen more often.

What does these mean for your brand?

All these tweaks will irritate those companies that until now have cheated their way to visibility on the platform through “like-baiting” and irrelevant “memes”.  However, if you are a brand who wants your Facebook account to reflect your brand’s personality and values, these changes are the ones you’ve been waiting for.  You can catch attention quicker with interesting videos and eye catching images.  If you post up-to-date articles and content driven blogs you won’t have to compete for their spot on the newsfeed with rival companies “like-baiting” posts.

Find out more about social media marketing