Tag Archives: social media

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.

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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.

5 Marketing Lessons From Miley Cyrus

23 May

By Viki McAdoo

1. Make your brand innovative

I wouldn’t say Miley is an industry innovator as there have been many child stars that have created a wholesome image only to try and destroy it in their teens, but Miley is a veritable branding machine icon. Brands always evolve and yours should too. Perfectly timed business strategies saved brands like Apple, Gap and Netflix from going bust.

miley

 

For some local Northern Ireland businesses the wholesome family-run image is important to them but this doesn’t mean the future can’t be embraced. The future is digital. Your customers are digital people. Some businesses may not believe it but people are embracing technology and so should your business. For now you may still sell more in-store but how long will that last for? It is time to step up, make your brand evolve and prosper into the future. If people are searching for your products online you need your brand in front of them.

2. Social Media can be king

With 18.1 million Twitter followers & 47 million on Facebook, Miley is a social media machine. Social media is a personal insight into your brand for customers, so it is not all about selling, selling, selling. Miley “leaks” details about her projects to her followers so they know first but also posts day to day things like her and her dogs so followers see the “real” her too. Next time you’re posting for your business think about that amazing view from the office and share it or even offer followers a discount code specifically for them. People want to feel special, even to brands so always make your content accessible and shareable. Miley even put a hashtag in the title of a track (#23) to really push her marketing message.

miley2

3. There’s a right time for everything

Miley’s Wrecking Ball hit came just at the right time when she was broken hearted about the split form her fiancé and fans could relate to her. It also came on the back of her much hyped VMA performance.
miley3

Think about your products and your target audience. What events are important to them? Talk about them on social media and show that your brand is about more than selling.

Create a strategy for your business. When you’re thinking about promotions for your products sit down and think about more than “oh, it’s summer, we should promote our golf club”. Instead react to the Masters or the US Open on social media to show that you really have an interest in the interests of your customers. It’s about creating more than a sales based relationship with customers and connecting with them at the right times. When setting up your business calendar consider all the marketing opportunities that could be coming up, seasonal or otherwise.

4. The importance of target marketing

Miley gets criticised for her outfits, what she says, her lyrics, her twerking, but she doesn’t care. Her entire brand is targeted towards rebellious tweens and teens who have grown up with Hannah Montana and have grown out of her too. The majority of people who are criticising Miley Cyrus are 40+.

miley4

The lesson here – your brand won’t appeal to everyone but embrace that. If you get criticised by a customer take the feedback on board but also consider how prevalent they are to your target market.

Digital marketing gives you the perfect method to drill down into your customer based and serve them with highly relevant, specialised ads to niche customer segments. Traditional advertising methods can’t provide this.

5. Partner up

Miley has pared up with everyone from Madonna to Will.I.Am to change her sound, target similar audiences and create innovative projects. Your business should do all of these things, well possibly without the need of Will.I.Am!

Blogging is great for so many reasons (SEO, credibility, walking the walk etc.) and guest blogging can be a great way to build up relationships with other brands targeting the same customer base. It can benefit both brands as you have access to new potential customers within your target market who have actively engaged with a partner brand. Social media is the perfect way to begin to create these types of relationships so start retweeting and replying to begin to build strong partnerships.

Love her or hate her Miley Cyrus is a marketing and PR machine. She is turning into an early reinventions queen, ticking off the controversy check-list and molding the image she wants to. Surprisingly, there are many marketing lessons to be learned from her and many that can be applied to most businesses. The digital footprint she leaves will not be easily forgotten and neither should your businesses. She brings a new meaning to the term ‘making a hash if it’.

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

 

 

Facebook, a work experience student’s view on the “social” network

31 Mar

By Andrew Thompson

Taking the shameless selfie seems to be the norm these days… but getting caught in public well, you tell me what you would feel like.

Myself, being a 17 year old student (keep the word student in your mind), find social media like chalk and cheese. It allows me to meet new people, interact with friends and, if used efficiently, can be used in an ample amount of ways to benefit you.

However, without it, an application to Oxford or Cambridge could have been on the cards. The amount of time I’ve wasted by sitting on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat, with most of the time spent refreshing the same thing over and over again so much you are to find that the next day you can almost perfectly recall what was said that night, is a sickening thought.

Social or Real World

This “social” world is quite ironic as, in fact, anxiety and social awkwardness have increased in a direct manor as social media has grown.

Taking yourself out of the real world and engaging in a “social” world is one of the main reasons why these “networks” have been such a great hit. Think of all those calls you haven’t had to make because you’ve Facebook-ed, Tweeted or Whatsapp-ed instead. What about when you’re busy – it’s much easier to resort to trolling on Facebook whilst the TV mumbles in the background than do the important job that’s waiting for you. Little did we know, or refuse to accept would be a more suited phrase, that at the time this theory does not make the situation better in fact just makes the workload increase.

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Average day

My day, just like any other teenager’s day I would presume, would consist of

  • waking up – check phone

  • lunch time – check phone

  • Get home until bed – phone (with maybe a little school work).

  • Any other spare time I get? You’ve guessed it, phone.

Reading this you may think I have major problems, but think back to your day. Yes, I agree that answers will depend on my audience, but technology these days is just like the go-karts you spent days building and spent hours racing. It’s just like the puzzles you sat down aimlessly connecting pieces to in your front room. OK, I agree these options are the more healthier option and cuts out the sedentary lifestyles that we live today, but that is how society has changed.

Why is it addictive?

So why do we as a society find it so addictive?  The first reason is that with even the most basic technology – most, if not all social media sites are accessible. They are free to join up and free to use, and we all love something that is free!

Another reason is that everyone is on them – over 70% of people in Northern Ireland have a Facebook account so people feel that if they don’t use it they will miss out on something. In reality… this is rarely the case. Like I mentioned before, we tend to just re-read the stories we have already read, yet we still don’t change our ways.

So, after giving social media quite a mixed bowl of bashing and praise – I will leave you with some questions to ask yourself. Would life really be life if social media just vanished? Would it really make you more sociable? Or is it just a sign of the times? Without social networks, would you really use your time on more useful things or would our ability to procrastinate about almost anything find you something else to waste time on?

Ireland, Digital Marketing And The Big Bang

20 Mar

Okay. I’ll admit it. The Big Bang makes my head hurt.

So when I hear that the people who seem to have a level of creative thinking (one that makes my development of a number of good, indeed prize winning, advertising campaigns seem somewhat mundane) talk about the beginning of the universe, I get lost.

For example, where did the Big Bang happen thirteen odd billion years ago? Apparently that is the wrong question, as it happened everywhere at once, or something along those lines. And what did it bang into? Don’t go there…

Ireland Inspires The World

So here is my take on it, inspired a little by the #irelandinspires video on YouTube.

The Irish, both North and South, have expanded like a big bang across the world. Starting on a small island with a tiny population, we now see that there are millions of Irish people spread across the world, particularly in the US. Everywhere you go there will be someone who knows someone who knows you…if you are from Ireland. (Other people from other countries don’t believe this – but it is true).

Space Invaders

The expansion of digital and social media has mirrored the expansion of the Irish. The video game Space Invaders gave us the first hint of things to come. In one summer every player knew the cheats. How, before the internet? Simply by word of mouth (we are talking 1979 here). People exchanged information that must have come from one person working for Atari, and it exploded around the world. In Belfast, Fergie brought it back to us from the US.

Now you have connections everywhere all the time. Facebook, Twitter, Google, LinkedIn, Instagram, Whatsapp, Tumblr and more are the multiple big bangs of communications. You can trace these. From a bedroom in Harvard, an office in California, a garage in Idaho (I think I made that one up). And like the Big Bang they are expanding at an exponential rate, with more people spending more time on more forms of communication than ever before.

So we start with the Universe, go to Ireland and end up with digital media – what does it tell you?

That I wrote a blog inspired by two things; St. Patrick and a tremor in the first trillionth of a trillionth of a second…