How do I use Social Media Analytics?

How do I use social media analytics

How do I use social media analytics

It is no doubt that social media can help your business if you use it properly, but how do you know if it’s working?

As social is all about relationship building, you may find it more difficult to track your social results in your regular analytics, which is where social analytics come in.

Most social networks now provide you with their own analytics reports, meaning you can get more out of your social, as long as you take the time to assess them and make changes accordingly.

These are being improved each day, as demand for certain functions grow, but for this post we are going to look at 3 of the biggest social media networks, where you can find your analytics, and how you can use them to smash your social media targets.

 

Facebook

Facebook has recently updated their analytics functions making them a bit more robust, with more options to look back over time, and breaking statistics into more segmented chunks.

If you go to your company Facebook page, you will see at the top of the page “page, messages, notifications, insights and publishing tools”. To get your analytics, you will have to click on insights.

Here your data is broken down into the following sections:

  • Overview
  • Likes
  • Reach
  • Page Views
  • Actions on Page
  • Posts
  • Videos
  • People
  • Local

 

Overview

As you would expect, this is an overview of all of your stats. So for a quick view of your reach, page likes, actions on page, videos and your 5 most recent posts. They also give you handy percentage indications to show if you have improved or decreased since the previous period.

 

Likes

You can see your total page likes over time and how they have improved or dropped. Your net likes, so when people have ‘unliked’ you, as well as when new likes. You can also view where your page likes happened.

 

Reach

This shows your post reach, both organic and paid. You can also see how many people are “reacting”, commenting and sharing. It also includes a handy graph that shows those who have hid your posts, reported as spam or unliked your page. These ‘negative’ results weren’t always easy to find previously, so being able to see when people have done this means you can pinpoint what content is driving your fans to negative reactions. Then finally you can see your total page reach, both organic and paid.

 

Page Views

Page views is quite self-explanatory, you can see how many people viewed your page! But Facebook has made changes, so you can now break that down by section of your page, age and gender, country, city or device. You can also view your top sources to your page, so for example if your website is pointing people to your Facebook, this will show up here.

 

Actions on Page

Actions on page is a great addition to the Facebook analytics, with businesses being able to view how many people clicked to get directions, how many clicked the phone number, how many clicked on to your website, and how many clicked on your call to action button. This can then be broken down by age & gender, country, city or device. Meaning you can really get a sense of how people are using your Facebook page, and if your call to actions on page (eg. ‘Read more on our website’ ‘Call us for a quote’ etc) are strong enough.

 

Posts

Posts is really useful for assessing your current content. Here, not only can you view when your Facebook Fans are online (giving you huge hints on when is best to post), but also how your different post types are doing, and the top posts from pages you watch. You can also review every post you have put live, and see its reach, number of post clicks and how many reaction, comments or shares it gained, which if monitored consistently means you can improve your posts over time by catering the right content.

 

Videos

As most social media users now know, videos and images are normally interacted with more than normal updates, so here you can check on just the videos you have posted. Here you can see you total number of video views, how many 30 second views you have had (showing people were really engaged with your content), and your top videos (with their reach, their views and average completion rate).

 

People

With this section you see a little more about the actual people who like your business. Their gender, age group and location all provide great info on perhaps who you should be targeting your marketing to outside of Facebook, as well as a good indication on who to advertise to if you do go through to Facebook Ads.

 

Local

Local is one of the latest functions Facebook has rolled out on their analytics, which has some really useful information regarding those who are in your immediate area. Though it is quite obvious this is meant to give you more data to use when you are paying for Facebook Ads, it does give you a good indicator of what those around you are doing. And if you are looking to grow locally, this is key. Finding out which gender and age group are most prominent around you allows you to create local “personas” to appeal to, as well as knowing when they are most active on Facebook and what day of the week you should focus on.

With Facebook’s organic reach getting smaller each day, I believe features like “local” will become more prominent, to encourage more businesses to use Facebook ad’s to promote.

 

How can I use Facebook Analytics?

Facebook Analytics are now incredibly in depth, so you can narrow down to key factors you want to improve upon, or more importantly for Facebook, key elements that you would pay to improve. Though there are a lot of paid options with Facebook, and a lot of businesses who have achieved great results from it, and it certainly seems to be the way Facebook wants to take. However, if you only want to keep costs down, you need to really keep track of the analytics that are coming in each week, and manually work on the elements that need more work using the data you have.

 

Twitter

To find analytics on twitter, press the little icon of your profile picture that is in the right hand top corner next to the tweet button and search feature. Select analytics, which will open a new window with your analytics. (If you are using this for the first time, you will have to set up your analytics first.)

You will see a number of headings that cover these topics:

  • Home
  • Tweets
  • Audiences
  • Events

 

Home

Is your overview page really, starting with your 28 day summary, this is a rolling 28 days, so whichever day of the month you click on to it, you can see up to date data on the last 28 days and comparisons to the previous 28 days before that. The 28 day summary includes:

  • The number of tweets and percentage change since last time
  • Tweet impressions and the percentage change since last time
  • Visits to your profile and percentage change since last time
  • Mentions of your company and percentage change
  • Followers and percentage change.

From then you can see a round up of each month, which includes your top tweet, your top mention, your top follower, your top media tweet, your total tweets for that month, your tweet impressions for that month, your profile visits for that month, your mentions for the month and your new followers for that month.

This is a great indicator straight off of how well you are doing on Twitter, and quite a motivational tool as you want to see your percentages in green rather than red.

 

Tweets

Tweets goes into extreme detail. You can see each of your tweets, their impressions, engagements and engagement rate for each tweet. You can look at all of your tweets, your top tweets, your tweets and replies, as well as your promoted traffic. You can also see an overview of your engagement rate, link clicks, retweets, likes and replies. You can also export this data, meaning you can come back to review it at a later date if you wish.

As with Facebook, knowing which tweets created a good reaction means you can update future content to be more like those posts, so you can work to gradually improving your engagement rate.

 

Audiences

Your audience tab breaks down various elements about your audience. From the demographics (gender, language, country, region), to the lifestyle (interests, TV genres), down to even your mobile footprint (most popular wireless carrier, and device).

Again this allows you an insight into who is actually interested in your company, allowing you to create ‘personas’ to market to, who are more likely to show interest.

 

Events

Is really useful for future planning, and allows you to browse events on twitter by category, location, or time, and sometimes can offer an anticipated audience size.

 

How can I use Twitter Analytics?

Twitter is quite similar to Facebook, in that it wants you to find what is not working on your page, and pay to improve these things (They’re still businesses after all). Which again is a valid option, but if you are looking to keep costs down, you will have to spend a little more of your time going over the reports. Take in the interests of the majority of your followers, create, retweet and like more content that relates to that. Use the event function to find relevant events, and use the stats from your own tweets to understand what people are reacting to.

 

LinkedIn

To find your analytics on LinkedIn, go on to your companies page, under your name you will see “Home, Analytics and notifications”. Click analytics.

Here you can view your

  • Updates
  • Followers
  • Visitors

The first thing you will notice is it is all based on one page, and is a lot less detailed than the other reports we have looked at.

 

Updates

On updates you can view each of your posts, the impressions gained, clicks, interaction, followers acquired and engagement percentage. You can also see your engagement figures in graph form, as well as your reach. Once again, the higher the engagement rate on the post, the more you should use that style of post.

 

Followers

On followers you can view your total followers, the demographics, as well as how you compare to other pages. This is great for checking if you are even in the same playing field as your competitors, and if not, how far you are off. You can also see if you are attracting the right level of people to follow your page, you may need to focus on attracting more decision makers to your page.

 

Visitors

You can view your page views, your unique visitors, as well as your visitor demographics. Which is really interesting to see who is visiting but not necessarily following your page. Could you make updates to your page to encourage people to hit the follow button?

 

How can I use LinkedIn Analytics?

LinkedIn is slightly different to the other two networks we have looked at, in a couple of ways. Firstly, it’s not as in depth, you don’t get half as much statistics and figures as you do on the other networks, and secondly LinkedIn is still trying to help you improve. Though they still offer a “sponsored” post option, they also provide pointers throughout their analytics of how to improve engagement, How to build relationships and a ‘get inspired’ page too, meaning you can learn more from the site itself on how to improve your posts for absolutely free.

 

So what do I need to do?

It’s a lot simpler than you think…

 

Look at what’s doing well, replicate it again.

Whether that’s a style of post, a time you post, the amount you post, or any other factor of your social media, do it more (but always in moderation, don’t post 60 pictures a day because people like pictures).

 

Look at what’s doing bad, don’t do that again.

If a type of content never receives a response, or your impressions figures drastically drop during a certain point of the day, then stop posting that type of content or at that time of day.

Much like those who preach that to be healthier you need to “eat less and do more” to be great at social media, you need to replicate the good, and ditch the bad. It’s a simple theory, which is correct in essence, but does skim over the hard work, patience and having to motivate yourself every day.

Keep at it, take note of your results, make changes, and things will improve.

 

So now you have all the knowledge of where to find your social analytics, and some idea of how to put it into practice.

If you’re still struggling with keeping track of your social media, then why not give us a call?

How do I get leads from Social Media?

How do i get leads from social

How do i get leads from social

Lots of businesses talk about getting leads from social media, but it’s all a load of rubbish right? No one can really gain anything from this chatter across the web and get serious business from it?

Wrong. There’s a reason everyone is talking social media, and that’s because it works. You just need to have a little more knowledge, and a lot of persistence to make it work.

Though that being said, there are no promises, it comes down to making sure you are in the right place, at the right time, with the right information for this to work.

And once you have social cracked it serves a number of purposes for your marketing. It’s your brand awareness, it’s your customer service and it’s your inbound marketing. So if you’re really looking to up the results on gaining leads through inbound, what should you be focused on?

 

Build Relationships

Social is not about instant sales. It is about relationship building. Don’t forget that when it comes to searching for leads. Taking the time to interact with others, and to not be anti-social is good practice to building for leads. You are much more likely to use someone you know for products or services, than someone you don’t know who randomly approaches you.

 

Business hours.

Local business hours on twitter are a great way to meet other local businesses and build up links between you. Working once again on relationship building, know that it’s not always about you! Business hours are a great time to promote others as well as yourself. You can also use this style of relationship building in LinkedIn groups and Facebook groups.

 

Utilise the search function.

Look for stuff. Sounds simple I know, but when was the last time you used the search function on your social media? Especially twitter where you can search a term and find people who are asking for that actual term. For example ‘can people manage my social media’ brings up a whole host of tweets that contain those words. Yes you have to search through those to see which actually qualify, but you may just connect with someone who is directly searching for your services.

 

Consistent posting.

You cannot expect to post once and gain leads from it. Social media serves as a reminder of your services, and if you’re not regularly posting, chances are people are not going to think of your name straight away. By consistently being there, not only do you reaffirm your presence, but you also build your credibility and reassure your audience that you know what you are talking about, and are someone they may want to work with.

 

Referrals.

Social media is a two way street, so you can’t expect people to refer you if you don’t refer others. If you use a great service, shout about it! The more you post about others, the more likely people will post about you. And once you start receiving referrals, your social reach becomes a lot bigger, leaving you open to a lot more traffic, and what is that traffic seeing? All nice lovely comments about you, making them much more likely to contact you.

 

Still struggling on being more social? We might be able to help, call us today on 01543 495752 to arrange to pop in for a cuppa. 

 

Social media tips for seasonal marketing

Social media tips for seasonal marketing

Social media tips for seasonal marketing

Social media can be hard to manage at the best of times. But throw in seasonal events, and more people using social networks, it can be hard to know where to start. How to get noticed, and how to make it work for you.

We have a few tips to get you organised, get your customers excited for your business and be able to repeat your success.

 

Start early, plan ahead

A lot of companies make the mistake with their social media, in thinking that you can throw up a few themed status’s before Halloween/bonfire night/Christmas, and the sales will come rolling in. Then when they don’t, it is declared that social media doesn’t work, and it is a waste of time.

Social Media is a brilliant tool. But it does need to be given careful planning for it to work. Take the time to create a content calendar. Which is not just selling your products, but contains useful information. And perhaps a little seasonal humour. Ease your customers into the season, and ensure they have a reason to keep looking out for your updates.

This planning can take a lot more time than you expect, so start planning early. If you use a scheduling tool like Hootsuite, you can schedule some tweets in advance, keeping things nice and organised.

 

Create a seasonal brand image

Now we agree this doesn’t work for every company. But some businesses can benefit from creating a seasonal brand image.

As humans, when it begins to get to winter, we dress ourselves up in our wintery finery. As we get closer to Christmas, we dress our houses, our tree and anything we can get our hands on really.

Creating a seasonal brand image communicates that message that you are ready for Christmas (or Halloween or bonfire night). As it’s a different from the norm, it catches people’s eye. So if you have people scrolling through their twitter news feed, and you’ve updated your image, they would be more likely to stop and check your content, than if you kept the same image.

 

Run a Facebook competition

There is a lot going on in the run up to big seasonal events. So running a competition can give people a reason to engage more with your company. Plus it is always nice to reward your customers, just for being them.

Don’t be mistaken though, you can no longer run competitions to encourage people to like your page. But a competition is a great way to bring awareness to offers you are already running. Say for example, you run a cafe, and in the winter months you are offering a free hot drink with every bacon roll. You could run a competition for a free breakfast every week, if you check yourself in to the café. More customers come in, are happy they’ve received a free hot drink. They check in and share your business online, and more people see it. You can also share the ‘winners’ of the competition enjoying their breakfast, to get people to keep checking in for a chance to win.

 

Christmas Twitter Hashtag

You can do a similar thing to the Facebook competitions, but with a Twitter hashtag. The hashtag gives a seasonal feel to your social posts, and again encourages users to engage.

Hashtag’s are something that have become a bit more of a big deal in the last few years. Especially with some bigger companies focusing their whole campaigns around a hashtag. Which you can read about in our post about popular Christmas campaigns.

So take some time to discuss this and what would work for your business and what message you want to send this season.

 

Get customers sharing their hints and tips

Rather than having a company hashtag, you could create a customer based hashtag. One for them to share their best seasonal tips. Though you can do this as an additional too, and across all your social networks.

Pinterest, what’s the best homemade gifts? Facebook, when is okay to put up my Christmas decorations? Twitter, what makes the best hot chocolate? LinkedIn, when should you send out company Christmas cards? You can gain different styles of tips from different networks, and get people talking. Just be sure that this chatter is connected back to you and your company. Perhaps you can post a blog of the best tips each week? So customers compete to get their tips on the blog, and the blog attracts more people back to your site.

 

Measure your campaigns!

We started with saying plan ahead, and we’re ending with measure the campaign properly. If you would like to repeat any success, you need to know what worked well.

Ensure you regularly check which are your most popular and engaging posts. So you can update your current campaign to include more of what your customers interact with. Most social networks now include their own analytics. So you can see straight on the page what is going well.

Keep an eye out for which posts receive the most interaction, which links are most clicked, and what days and times are getting the most action.

If you use google analytics, it also means you can track how many visitors to your website came from your social media efforts.

All of this information is vital to produce another social media campaign, and also to see your return on your efforts.

Now you’re set for your social media for this season!

 

 

 

 

 

inbound marketing – 5 priorities

5 priorities you should have when it comes to inbound marketing

5 priorities you should have when it comes to inbound marketing

You’ve probably heard a lot about inbound marketing now, (we’ve talked about it previously). How you should be working on a customer focused marketing and sales plan, opposed to something more company centric.

However you might not quite understand how to get inbound marketing to work in your company’s strategy or how to make sure you get the results you want. We’ve got five priorities you should have when it comes to inbound marketing and how to get your business noticed. Make sure your inbound marketing works.

Get found

You need to be visible to your potential customers. That means having a website for customers to find you.

That website needs to SEO friendly so it can be found by search engines. (Not sure on the lingo? Check out our SEO jargon buster). This means good keywords, good meta descriptions, using alt tags and ensure your site is fast.

Be user friendly

Once you’ve attracted all of these potential customers, you need to make sure they can get round your site. This may sound like a simple thing but with most companies never looking at their site from a customer’s point of view, it can be easily missed.

How many clicks does it take to get to your products or services? How prominent are your main services on the home page? Is it easy to find how to contact you? These are all things you probably don’t consider for your own website.

There is also another huge consideration. How easy is it, to use your website on a mobile phone or tablet, is it responsive?

Not sure how to create a user-friendly website?

Cracking content

Potential customers have found you and found where they want to be. Now you need to feed them information that will entice them in, inform them and encourage them to get in touch or purchase online.

How do I create this content? Well there is plenty of guides, including ours on creating the best, most useful content. You probably have tons of topics already that you can write about.

You want to make it as unique as possible, so change up those product descriptions where you can!

When it comes to blogs, you want a mix of evergreen content and news content. Evergreen content is the advice and tips which will always be relevant. The news will be updates in your industry, but they may change over time.

Social Media

Social media seems to have a bit of a Marmite reaction in businesses. Some businesses really love it and take advantage of every network they can, others are not convinced or just don’t have the time to do it.

The social media approach is brilliant for promoting the content you have created. It takes people straight to parts of your website that may be of interest and making you easier to find and connect with.

It’s a great way to connect with potential customers and keep in contact until the time comes that they are ready to buy. And if they have had hints, tips and advice from yourself. As well as an easy quick link of where to find your product or service, they are more likely to buy from you than from a competitor who doesn’t do social media.

Call to action

You’ve done a lot already to ensure your potential customer is happy, informed and can find you. So the last bit is to encourage them to act.

If your potential customer is interested, they may contact you automatically, others need a little more help. Using tools like landing pages means you can channel a sole ‘call to action’ to fill out the form on a page. By removing all other distractions and just leaving the form, people are more likely to complete it then go off and nose at another page.

You should now have plenty of ‘calls to action’ to follow up on.

There is an enormous amount to inbound marketing and lots more you can go into however most businesses still have a split approach with some outbound activity still going on, so time has to measured. Remember to prioritise the above and get those calls in!

If you need a little extra help with your inbound marketing, give us a call on 01543 495752 for a no obligation chat.

8 ways to increase your ranking on LinkedIn

how to increase your linkedin ranking header image

how to increase your linkedin ranking header image

Did you know that LinkedIn has a ranking system? Find out what you can do to boost your LinkedIn ranking and be found by more people.

LinkedIn is a valuable tool for making initial contact with prospects, but it can be hard to make sure what you are doing is worthwhile sometimes. Here’show The Marketing People can help you increase your linkedin ranking.

One of LinkedIn’s more recent features is a ranking system, which lets you see where you rank for profile views amongst your connections. As well as creating some competition and drive to regularly use LinkedIn, it also gives you an insight into how easy it actually is to find your profile. You can read in more detail about this feature in this blog by LinkedIn themselves.

8 Ways to increase your ranking on LinkedIn

Over the last 2 weeks I have improved my personal ranking by 25%. If you don’t know how to get the best out of LinkedIn, and don’t want to pay for premium, this is how I did it for free and you can too.

Find out more about your aims and goals you’re looking to achieve through your social media. Lets see where we may be able to help.

Find out how you rank on LinkedIn

Before we get started, let’s take a look at how you’re currently ranking.

8 ways to increase your ranking on LinkedIn

Log in to your LinkedIn account, and hover over ‘Profiles’ and click ‘Who’s Viewed Your Profile’. From that page click on the ’How you rank for profile views’ tab at the top of the page. Or if you are feeling really lazy, just click this link here to see how you rank.

You can then see how you rank amongst your connections, and see how your connections rank. If you have a free LinkedIn account, you can only see how the top 10 rank, and how you rank. If you have a Premium account, you will be able to see everything.

Now you know how you’re ranking, let’s look at 8 ways to increase your LinkedIn ranking.

Schedule posts to increase your LinkedIn ranking

Regular content is key. LinkedIn’s feed only allows a small portion of your updates to be seen. Around 20% supposedly. So the less you post, the less your connections see. The less your connections see, the less they will be inclined to click on your profile. Posting valuable and informative posts makes you a valuable connection, so consider this a priority.

Scheduling updates also means regular content that can be planned in advance. So if you don’t have the option to log in everyday you can spend a small amount of time planning ahead. Which saves you a lot of time, and hassle.

You can’t schedule updates directly from LinkedIn at the moment, but you can do it using a third-party application, such as Hootsuite or Buffer.

Re-connect with old connections

This isn’t quite the same as reconnecting with old friends on Facebook. With LinkedIn, and finding people you have previously working with, you may be able to work together collaboratively now.

Taking a look at their profile will probably mean they look back at your profile anyway. But being able to see from their profile if you are in an industry that is relevant to them now. Or even just that they have posted some great articles, or landed a new role is a great reason to reconnect.

In rankings terms, this could mean that once a notification has gone up on the feed that you two have connected, others may feel the need to view your profile too. Increasing your LinkedIn ranking has other benefits too, this could include a prospect opportunity, a referral, or just a nice catch up.

Welcome new connections

The main purpose of LinkedIn. To connect and work with others. But a lot of us are guilty of not really utilising this to the full. Or perhaps utilising this too much, and adding anyone and everyone.

New connections should be someone you know really. Continuing networking you have started in the real world, either face to face or over the phone. Make the jump to connect with them, and actually make conversation.

Again, the more people’s profiles you look at to ensure you know them, the more likely you are to receive a click back. Which in turn increases your ranking. So don’t be scared to properly view someones profile before you connect with them.

And always view as you, not as an anonymous viewer. Nobody appreciates it, and it will not help your ranking in the slightest.

Follow up from events

If you have attended an event, this is a brilliant opportunity to work with on social media in general. But especially LinkedIn.

Connect with and message those you met, or find the people they referred you to. Find those who posted about the event, or perhaps you saw their name in the networking or event list, but you didn’t get chance to meet.

You have a great opportunity to rapidly increase your rankings in a quick time due to the urgency of an event. Everyone will posts photos or register their attendance online, or will have a flurry of new connections. Get commenting, visiting profiles, and connecting with others to boost your ranking.

Interact with relevant posts

You don’t necessarily just need an event to comment on posts. There are a huge amount of opportunities on LinkedIn to interact with others.

Congratulate connections on new roles or work anniversaries. Congratulate that team who have posted that they are having a great week. Refer others if you see a post asking for help, and you know just the guy.

If you read pulse articles, take the time to write what you thought. You never know how many other people may agree with your point of view and want to connect. Or if you find a certain person’s posts are always valuable, ask to connect yourself. If they have influence, they may influence your ranking too.

If you want people to notice you, and visit your profile to increase your ranking on LinkedIn, you need to take the time to interact. Social media isn’t called social for no reason.

Talk/connect to those who view your profile  

What an opportunity to network! If you have a free LinkedIn account, you can see the five most recent people to view your profile in the past 90 days. If you have LinkedIn Premium, you can see everyone who has viewed your profile in last 90 days, unless they’ve chosen to turn that function off on their account. Which as we’ve said is not an ideal move when trying to rank.

Follow up with those who look at your profile and see if there is anything you can help them with. Even if it was an accidental visit, it shows you are proactive and, once again, begins the conversation between you and a potential prospect.

It also means they will probably view your profile once more. To remind themselves of who you are, and why they visited. More visits means better ranking. And if it’s also a potential lead that’s even better.

Update your profile to boost your linkedin rankings

Keeping your profile up to date means that your profile can provide viewers with relevant and current information about what you do, and who you work for. It also updates the main feed to say you have updated. This means that others will be inclined to check out your profile to see your updates.

More visits to your profile means more rankings. However, don’t take advantage of this tactic too much. If it appears you are updating your content everyday, others may not feel as inclined to click on it, rendering it worthless for improving your ranking.

Publish articles

Publishing articles is a relatively new feature for those on basic profiles, and it is a brilliant opportunity.

Publishing articles means you can attract people who may not normally see your profile. Through searches on LinkedIn’s Pulse feature, and others sharing your article, you can attract prospect to you who are relevant and interested. This is also a good way to build up trust with slow burning prospects by showing you have knowledge in your field.

Having a wider network of people viewing your work will encourage them to view your profile too, and maybe even connect. This is a huge opportunity to improve your ranking, and your connections too.

How to publish LinkedIn articles

Go to your LinkedIn home and click ‘Publish a post’ near the top of the page. This will bring up a new page where you can write your headline, write your article, and upload an image.

Keep your headline around 46 characters long, as it will get cut off in the sidebar if it is any longer. LinkedIn also recommend your image size is 700 x 400 pixels.

It may be a good idea as well to only part publish your article if it appears on your website too. So if people want to finish the article they can click the link to read it on your site. This means you still get your rankings up, but your website doesn’t miss out on traffic.

There are a lot of other ways to increase your presence on LinkedIn and to use it effectively, and this will change for each individual. These are just a few of the basic changes I made, that enabled me to see improvement.

What do you find helps increase your reach on LinkedIn? Have you tried any of our tips? Let us know in the comments.

 

If you want to read more tips for your social, take a look at our other social blogs. Or if you require a little more help with your company’s social, why not give our friendly team a call on 01543 495752 and take advantage of our free marketing consultation.

 


6 tips to help you get more out of LinkedIn

6-tips-help-you-get-more-out-of-linkedin

6-tips-help-you-get-more-out-of-linkedin

So you set up your LinkedIn profile with the hope of increasing your professional network. Which was lovely for the first 6 months, until the novelty wore off. You didn’t have time to check it and it became more like Facebook than LinkedIn.

This similarity to Facebook seems to be the bane of every LinkedIn member. Especially the fact that not every single post is professionally centred. In have crept the funny pictures, riddles, and motivational quotes. I bet your feed is full of them right now. Things like “Coca cola only sold 25 bottles in their first year, keep at it”. Or if you’re like me and have a lot of recruiters, you have meme after meme of Wolf of Wall Street.

So is it just really annoying or a clever ploy?

LinkedIn isn’t Facebook. They do have two completely different purposes. But Facebook style posts normally get more likes, shares, and comments.

Why? Because they are more relatable posts. In an ideal world, everyone would just post about their business. But unfortunately, that doesn’t connect you with everyone in an instant. Posting a cute dog picture with “Thank God it’s Friday”, relates to a lot more people. Will more than likely gain a quick smile at their computer and a like on your post. More than why your business is better than your competitors.

Only around 20% of connections see what you post, which can be a little disheartening. But for every like, comment or share from someone, it appears to around 20% of their connections too. Maybe the sharing of pictures is becoming a little more tempting?

So is it worth the Facebook style post on your professional profile? That’s up to you. And what your connections and prospects interact well with. However if you are posting regular content (like you should be), the odd “fun” post, should just add variety to what you’re putting out there.

So now we have put the LinkedIn or Facebook debate to rest. What ridiculously simple things could you do today, that would make LinkedIn work better for you?

 

Make sure your profile is up to date and relevant

This can sound too simple, but the easiest way to ensure you do business with the right people, is ensuring your profile is up to date with what you are doing as a company. A lot of people don’t take the time to update their profile if they are not job hunting. However having descriptions about what you do as a company and in your role specifically, can make you more searchable for people looking for your services.

 

Always communicate with those you are linked to

This can be a hard one to keep up with, but ensure you comment on others updates, articles and forums. The whole purpose of LinkedIn is to connect with people. So make the most of those connections!

 

Share posts and get posts shared

Only around 20% of connections see your posts. The more it is liked, commented on and shared, the more people see it. On this basis, you need to ensure the content you are posting is well thought out and valued enough to be shared.

 

Welcome messages

Message every new connection you have. This can be really hard to manage. But ensures you make the most of the opportunity that is there with the first contact. If you get it right, this can leave a great lasting first impression, which makes it easier to network online.

 

Recommendations rather than endorsements

Endorsements, though a lovely feeling, effectively mean nothing now. I don’t know about you, but brand new connections I have not even worked with yet, will endorse me for 10 skills at a time. The real ones from actual clients are lost within the sea of “endorsements for return endorsements”. Recommendations are hard to dismiss as not only is it from an actual person, but they have taken the time to write about you.

 

Using scheduling tools to ensure regular content

Regular posting is essential for keeping your name out there on LinkedIn, but can eat into a large portion of your day. Using scheduling programmes such as Hootsuite to plan out some posts, can enable you to only spend a small amount of your working day on LinkedIn.

 

Looking to get more views on your LinkedIn profile? We have 8 ways to increase your LinkedIn ranking without spending a penny.

If you need a bit more guidance when it comes to social media, why not take a look at the social services we offer?

How to create a social media strategy that works

Social media marketing consultancy meeting

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There seems to be a misconception that social media is easy. That all you have to do is update your status a few times and the leads come flooding in. But that’s not how it works.

As with any marketing activity, you need to know what you want to achieve so you can figure out how to get there.

 

Why you need to develop a social media marketing strategy

You’ve probably been told that you need to be on Facebook, or you need to be on Instagram. Whether you’re a small or a large business, you probably don’t have the time or resources to be on every social network. So you need a strategy to help you find out which networks your audience use.

Strategy helps you identify and understand exactly what you want out of social media. It allows you to plan how to get that ROI. Once you begin using social media, you can frequently review your activities and tweak things to get more out of it.

As we’ve already mentioned, you won’t get the ROI you’re looking for if you go into social media with a ‘spray and pray’ attitude. To reach your goals, you need a solid social media marketing strategy.

 

How to develop a social media marketing strategy

1. Set your goals – what do you want out of social marketing?

The first thing you need to do is identify the aim of using social media. Your goals will be unique to your business. But try to make them as specific as possible and set SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound). To make sure you’re setting solid and achievable goals.

A few examples of social media goals may be:

  • Increase revenue by 20%
  • Gain 10 leads per month from social media
  • Get 50 sales on a specific product or service from social media
  • Increase visits on your website by 30%

 

2. Research – where are your audience?

As we touched on above, you’ve probably read or been told that you must be on a certain social network, but that isn’t always true. To use Facebook because you “have to be on Facebook” is a waste of your time and resources if your audience don’t actually use Facebook.

To look at where your audience are, you will need a good idea of who your target audience and customers are. To find out what social networks they are using you can:

  • Ask your existing customers
  • Do some research – you can find research and studies which look at what kinds of people use which social network
  • Look at your competitors and see where they are performing well

You may find that your audience use lots of social networks. Which means you will need to evaluate which networks are going to work best for you. There’s only so much guesswork you can do without actually trying a social network. Remember that what works for you may not always work for your competitors and vice versa.

 

3. What’s your strategy?

By this stage you know what ROI you want from social media and you know which social networks you should be using. The next step is to work out what you need to do to reach your goal. This is where strategy comes in.

For example: you run a wedding stationery design company and your goal is to get 15 leads a month from social media. Your strategy might be to use Pinterest and Twitter to target engaged men and women, though mostly women, in the UK.

 

4. Tactics – the who, what, where and when

Once you know what the big picture is, you can drilldown to the specifics of exactly what you will do to reach your goal.

No matter which social network you are using, you will need to start off by doing basic things like:

  • Set up your profile and claim your vanity URL where possible
  • Fill in ALL contact information
  • Upload branded images
  • Add link to social network on your website

What comes next will depend on what network you’re using and what you want out of it, so you need to look at:

  • How often you will post
  • When you will post – this is particularly important if you’re appealing to audiences in multiple time zones
  • What type of content should you be sharing
  • What type of content do you need to produce yourself
  • Your tone of voice
  • When will you have time to manage social media
  • How will you monitor your goals
  • How will you handle any complaints?

Go into as much detail here as possible, because it will be really useful when you start using social media.

What could this look like?

If we stick with the example of a wedding stationery business, their tactics may look like this:

Twitter: we will tweet at least six times per day (ranging from 09:00 – 19:00) and share things that relate to weddings, interesting or funny examples of wedding stationery, our customer testimonials, examples of our work, share ‘behind the scenes’ photos of our processes, answer questions and respond to any engagement.

To generate leads on Twitter, we will search for people talking about wedding stationery who are based in the UK and tweet them.

We will need to make sure we take more photos of our processes, finished work and work in situ, where possible. We could also create images or videos of customer testimonials.

Our tone of voice will be helpful and friendly.

 

5. Monitoring & reviewing – don’t keep doing something that isn’t working

You should regularly review what you’re doing and the results of your social media efforts. It’s a waste of your time (time is money) and effort to keep doing something which isn’t working.

Sticking with the example above; let’s imagine the wedding stationery business has been using Twitter for two months and have generated 15 leads in total, instead of 30.

Of course you won’t see results instantly, but you need to review what you’re doing.

  • Are you using social media as often as you planned to?
  • Have you come across any issues?
  • What kind of content are you sharing?
  • Are you responding to engagement?
  • Are you self-promoting too much?
  • Is your tone of voice wrong?

Your competitors

As well as reviewing your own efforts, it’s worth knowing what your competitors are up to. Keeping an eye on their social media efforts can give you an idea of what does and doesn’t work with your audience.

If they’re finding something in particular creates a lot of engagement, look at why and what you could do to create similar kinds of engagement. As well as reviewing their strong points, look at their weaknesses too and what you would do to improve on them.

Your tactics may change as you use social media and review your efforts, but your strategy should remain the same.

We help lots of our clients develop a social media strategies which benefit their business. Get in touch to find out how we can help you develop a social media strategy that helps you reach your goals.

Six ways you can use leaflets

six ways you can use leaflets

We know that businesses want value for money and a leaflet gives just that. It has multiple uses and can provide your business with many benefits.

Perhaps you aren’t convinced though or don’t see how a leaflet could be of use to your business. If so, here are six ways your business can use leaflets.

 

Send them out with orders:

If you operate an e-commerce website, send a leaflet out with every order. To remind your customers about other products or services you sell.

It’s possible that some of your customers won’t be aware of all of the products or services you offer. So telling them about it may encourage them to repurchase.

If you’re a small business you may sell on Amazon and eBay. So sending out a leaflet with your website address on may encourage people to buy direct.

 

Offers

Whether you send them out with orders or hand them out to people, offering people an incentive to purchase (or repurchase) can help your bottom line.

It doesn’t need to be ‘25% off this product’. It could be: six months free technical support, a free ebook, a branded laptop bag or something else entirely.

What you can offer as incentive will depend on your business and who your customers are. As it needs to be something that appeals to them.

 

Send people to your website or social media:

Any piece of marketing material you produce should contain your contact information. Including your website address and any social media networks you’re on.

If people are happy with the service they’ve received or want to find out more they may visit your website or follow you on social media.

Getting someone to your website or to follow your business on social media gives you further opportunities to engage with them. And to move them down the sales funnel.

 

Exhibitions:

Having leaflets on your stands means that people who are interested in your brand, products or services have something to takeaway and read later.

This again may encourage them to visit your website or get in touch with you to find out more. If you can get a conversation started you’ve got a great opportunity to turn a prospect into a customer.

 

Go door knocking

Heading out to local businesses in your area and knocking on doors is a good way to get your name out there and initiate a conversation.

Often you may be told that the person you want to talk to is busy. Perhaps they really are, so there’s no harm in leaving a leaflet behind for that person to look at when they’re free.

If your leaflet represents your business effectively and is what that person is looking for you might get a call back.

 

Branding:

Anything you do that involves your business needs to represent your brand effectively. Whether it’s your website, a catalogue, a leaflet or something else.

Handing out leaflets is another opportunity for you to get your brand in front of people which can lead to leads and sales.

If you expect your leaflet to bring your business real benefits such as leads, sales and loyal customers. It needs to contain key marketing messages that mean something to the people viewing it.

We regularly design leaflets which benefit our clients by generating leads and sales, to find out how we can do the same for you fill in our contact form or call us to arrange a chat.

Seven social media marketing myths busted!

seven social media marketing myths busted

seven social media marketing myths busted

Social media is constantly changing. So there are plenty of myths about the right and wrong ways to use it for marketing.

With so much information available about social media marketing for businesses, it can be confusing trying to figure out what’s right.

To help you out, we’ve decided to bust seven of the biggest and confusing social media marketing myths we see.

 

Social media is free

This is probably the biggest social media myth we see. It doesn’t cost to join a social media network but setting up and managing one costs you time.

It takes time to look after a social media presence. Which means you’re either taking time out of your own busy day or paying someone to do it. Which means it definitely isn’t free.

 

Every business needs to be on social media

Social media isn’t right for every business. Whether that’s because you haven’t got time to manage it or you aren’t seeing enough results to warrant the time you’re spending on it.

If it isn’t working for your business there’s no shame in not having a social media presence. Especially if it means you can spend your time working on marketing activities that you know benefit your business.

 

Social media isn’t worth it

The polar opposite of the above. Some business owners aren’t willing to give social media a chance and believe it isn’t worth it.

As we mentioned above, social media isn’t right for every business. But for some it can be effective and lead to new customers and an increase in sales.

Before you dismiss social media completely, carry out a bit of research. Look at whether your audience are on social media and how your competitors are using it. If your competitors are having some success on social media, it’s probably worth you trying it.

 

You need to be on Facebook

Facebook may be the most popular social network at the moment but that doesn’t automatically mean its right for your business.

Most businesses with Facebook Pages are reporting that the number of people who view their posts is dropping drastically.

This isn’t necessarily because they’re using it wrong. In December 2013 it was confirmed that Facebook are reducing page reaches to encourage businesses to buy adverts to promote their brand.

 

You don’t need to research or plan

We understand this one; planning can be boring but the old ‘fail to prepare, prepare to fail’ is true.

Research and planning can help you identify which social network your target audience are using. As well as what kind of things interesting them.

Failing to plan means you’ll probably waste time and money doing things that don’t bring your business any benefit.

 

You don’t need to set goals

If you begin using social media and you don’t know why or what you want to get out of it, the chances are you won’t see many results, if any.

Setting yourself social media goals can help you create a structured plan to help you reach those goals, whether it’s getting 20 sales a month from social media or 200 website visitors from social media.

 

You don’t need to monitor your efforts

Once you begin using social media it’s important to monitor your social media efforts.

Though you may know what your audience like you might find that they react better to a certain type of post. Monitoring what you’re doing can help you build a better presence, engage with your audience, meet your goals and stops you wasting time posting things your audience don’t like.

If you’re based in the Burntwood, Lichfield, Cannock or Staffordshire area and need help with your social media marketing call us on 01543 495 752 to organise a chat to find out how we could benefit your business.

Is Using Social Media Risky for My Business?

Is using social media risky for my business

Is using social media risky for my business

Exactly how risky is it to use social media to brand and to boost your business profits? This all depends on how much you know, how much you’re prepared to do, and how quickly you can step in front of a crisis before it ends up spinning out of control.

Yes, there are many different risks associated with social media marketing. However, it’s important to realize that there are risks inherent in all types of marketing and in life in general. You can’t spend your time hiding from them.

Learn about the risks associated with social media for preparation purposes, but don’t let them scare you away from using social media as a tool to grow your business.

 

The Risks You Face when Operating a Social Campaign

1: The Risk of a Viral Disaster

One negative comment turns into a shared comment with a friend, who then spreads it around their network, and things start to spiral out of control in front of your eyes. You can get out in front of small disasters, but there’s a risk in social media of a full-blown viral crisis. It’s rare if you’re serious about quality control, but the risk is present nonetheless.

To prevent these potential viral disasters, you could implement some savvy steps into your branding.

  • Always apologize for any inconvenience, even if you’re not in the wrong
  • Reply to every legitimate criticism, even if it’s really negative
  • Try and quash bad situations with discounts and freebies if you can
  • Never ignore anyone
  • Be open and honest in your communications
  • Create guidelines for the process and have an avenue for people to contact you

 

2: The Risk of Poor Performance

You could hire a social media marketing consultant, read a ton of literature, have all the right programs, and still end up performing poorly in some areas. There is no guarantee of success in social marketing, and the inherent risk of failing in any area is always something that looms over everyone’s head. This risk should motivate you to try harder to succeed, of course, but the risk never goes away.

You’re constantly at risk of poor performance, and thus you may need some motivating factors. Try these tips to avoid putting your worst foot forward.

  • Run every post through a quality-control leg before launching
  • Split-test every ad to see which performs the best and where it performs the best
  • Never accept outsourced material unless you thoroughly go over it
  • Realize that a poor social media performance could cripple your brand image
  • Heavily scrutinize those you hire and those you have working on social campaigns
  • Try to outdo your previous performances with each new performance

 

3: The Risk of Wasted Money

Even though social media presents a low-cost form of advertising, you’re still going to spend a pretty penny to ensure that you’re targeting a lot of people on a site like Facebook. There’s always a risk of not properly assessing your market and spending money on ads that don’t attract people. Understanding this risk should make you more willing to research and target correctly before creating and launching material.

There are many different ways to waste your money in a social media campaign, from buying unnecessary add-ons to hiring people to put together simple posts that you should be able to handle.

  • Start off with cheaper approaches and build up
  • Research the rates for ads and the suspected reach they could bring
  • Never spend money on unneeded courses and coaches and the like
  • Invest in a solid ad-management app to get your money’s worth
  • Avoid outsourcing or hiring new people unless you cannot do the work yourself

 

4: The Risk of Being Hacked

Yes, hackers are prowling around social media sites in large numbers, just waiting to pounce on exposed information. They’re sending out malware in an abundance of links, and some unlucky few find out the hard way that they shouldn’t have clicked. The risks of being hacked are real in social media, and you need to be aware of them.

If you want to limit your risks of being hacked, here are a few measures you can take to keep you safe.

  • Use a different Facebook email than your actual business email
  • Never give out your main email address to people
  • Make sure your main website has a great security suite
  • Avoid giving out personal information of any kind
  • Change your password every few months just in case
  • Create complicated passwords: I4_aJZ$_mNo, rather than Qwerty or asdfjkl;
  • Never click on links that you don’t recognize

 

5: The Risk of a Dead Market

If you think you’re the only brand operating within a certain niche, you need to quickly come back to reality for a visit. There is ample competition in nearly every conceivable niche, and the things you’re trying, no matter how original, aren’t exactly going to break new ground. So there is a risk that you’ll run into dead tactics, where the audience is immune, or even a dead market, where the audience is tapped out.

How do you avoid running into these dead markets? For starters, you can try:

  • Thoroughly researching the market before you decide to target it
  • Sending out feeler posts and ads to measure your response
  • Testing multiple demographics to see which is the most vibrant
  • Changing your approach and consistently testing new demos within the market
  • Researching what your competitors are putting out there
  • Trying new tactics for engagement that haven’t been done to death
  • Avoiding flooded markets and looking for smaller niches and subsets

 

6: The Risk of an Unprofessional Image

Brands successful at social media management understand that letting a personality develop is important for the context of a social atmosphere. However, there’s always a risk here inherent in this humanization of a business. You run the risk of coming across as unprofessional – an amateurish business that doesn’t command the proper amount of respect.

You don’t have to present a suit-and-tie Wall-Street-like image, but you also can’t risk presenting a devil-may-care, unprofessional image. Here are some things to avoid to ensure your image stays respectable.

  • Don’t get into those vitriolic, profanity-riddled social troll debates
  • Keep your personal life personal
  • Don’t post material that’s offensive to anyone
  • Be careful with what you think is “humor”; it might not be funny to some
  • Keep your grammar clean and to the point
  • Don’t mix your brand’s image with a personal social account

 

7: The Risk of Upsetting the Balance

A lot of brands fear that the balance of harmony in social media is delicate and that everyone’s just happy, holding hands and singing songs. Then along come an offensive post or a harmful word and the whole world crumbles into chaos! Well, this is a sensationalized version, obviously, but there is a risk of offending people when you advertise so often. This is just one of those risks you have to accept.

As touched on above, you want to avoid posting anything that could be deemed offensive, but what does that entail? Here are some specific topics you should try to avoid, unless they’re explicitly a part of your niche.

  • Avoid topics about any religion or religious people
  • Try to stay out of politics, as in choosing a side
  • Stay away from topics of anything gender-based
  • Avoid speaking about sexuality, or even sex in general
  • Don’t alienate audiences with issues of class
  • Keep your material specific to your niche and noncontroversial

As you begin to learn more about social media advertising, you’re inevitably going to find that there are many more risks out there that you have to focus on. The risks listed above are just the most common risks that you’ll have to focus on. Under the umbrella of these risk types, you’ll find a slew of other potentially harmful risks. The key is to learn what you can to prevent them. Be proactive as well as reactive.

Craig Robinson, an online writer for Qwaya, a facebook ad campaign tool. He loves to write different topics about social media tips and strategies. Besides writing, he also enjoys engaging with different communities and social forums. Do follow him in twitter, Craig_Qwaya