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?

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!

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 


14 common social media mistakes and what to do instead

14 common social media mistakes and what to do instead

14 common social media mistakes and what to do instead

Social media allows businesses to reach and engage a huge part of their target audience and make a positive impression on them. But a business can just as easily make a poor impression on their audience which could prevent them from becoming customers.

Let’s look at 14 common social media mistakes and what you can do instead to build a positive brand image and reach and engage with your audience.

 

Thinking social media is a magic bullet

To be honest, we don’t entirely blame you for this. We have seen too many self-professed marketing and social media gurus lead businesses to believe that all they need to do is set up a Facebook or Twitter page, send out a few tweets, and the customers come flocking in. That’s not how it works at all.

If used correctly, with a marketing plan and strategy, social media can increase your reach, generate leads and customers, and keep your existing customers happy. But it’s not a straight forward or fast process. It takes time, and the main reason for that is that the way people buy has shifted significantly.

Think about your own buying habits 10 years ago. You probably went to a shop knowing what you wanted, and perhaps the specific model depending on what adverts you might have seen, and picked up what was on offer.

Now, the buyer journey looks something like this:

  • You have a problem or want
  • You do some research, and talk to some friends, and identify the kind of thing you need to resolve this want or problem
  • You do a bit more research; you carry out searches and begin looking at products
  • You do a bit more research; you look at product reviews, see what customers are saying on social media
  • You discover the brand’s social media pages and have a look at that, where you might follow an interesting looking link to a blog post
  • You do some more research; you look around websites, maybe look at some more reviews, and begin comparing options
  • You settle on what looks best for you in terms of your wants, the price, and reviews
  • You buy
  • You might choose to follow the brand on social media, keep up with their blog, sign up to their mailing list
  • Maybe you become a loyal customer

And that’s a fairly simplified buyer journey. There are so many variables that can affect the length of the journey, or exactly how someone ends up at your website.

The point of you using social media is to help your target audience and existing customers by providing them with useful content, interacting with them, and solving customer service issues.

 

Using social networks your target audience don’t use

There are so many social networks around, and it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking you need to be on all of the popular ones but that’s not true at all. You should use social networks that your target audience use.

Using Facebook because everyone else uses it and it’s the most popular social network is a waste of time and money if your audience don’t use Facebook.

Carry out research and look at what social networks are most popular with your audience and use those, instead of guessing what networks your potential customers are using.

 

Not completing your profile

The first thing you should do when setting up social media profiles, is complete your profile.

Include a company bio, your address, phone number, email address, website, opening hours, and anything else your customers need to know.

It’s easy to forget to add your website to your Facebook page, for example, but it can be a huge help to people who discover your brand through Facebook.

Imagine you are an independent book shop (or any kind of business with a physical presence) and someone discovers you through Facebook. They want to pop in tomorrow and want to know your opening hours. They go to your info tab and they can’t see anything about your opening hours, contact details, or your web address. Feeling that if you can’t be bothered, they can’t either, they open up Amazon, or Waterstones, and you miss out on business.

 

Poor images on your profile

After completing your profile, you should upload high-quality images that are the right size.

All social networks have different sized images, which can be a pain to keep up with, but when the alternative is distorted and poor imagery, it’s worth it.

Visually have an extensive guide to social media image sizes that’s worth bookmarking for reference.

  • Make sure your images are clear and the right size
  • Use PNGs if you’re uploading images with text to Facebook
  • Apply consistent branding and style across all social networks you use

 

Not having a plan

Approaching social media with a spray and pray attitude won’t work.

Take the time to consider your audience, choose the right social networks to be on, set goals, and carefully think about the kind of content you will be producing for social media.

You can then use social media and monitor your efforts and adjust your efforts to see the best results.

 

Not tracking your results

As well as not having a plan, one of the biggest mistakes you can make on social media is failing to track your results.

Without looking at your results, your engagement, the number of visits social media is sending to your website, the number of leads and sales it’s creating, you don’t know whether or not what you’re doing is actually working.

If you track your results you can identify what is working and what isn’t working. You can then tweak the things that aren’t working to try and give you the results you’re looking for.

 

Automatically cross-posting to social networks

We get it, time is money and automatically cross-posting Facebook updates to Twitter will save you time. The only problem is, it looks scruffy and lazy.

Tweets are limited to 140 characters, which means that if you post a 160 character update to Facebook, it will get cut off on Twitter and will display a link to your Facebook page which people will have to follow to read the rest of the update.

Take the time to customise an update for each social network to make sure you’re getting the most out of it.

 

All you do is self-promote

Remember what we said earlier on about providing your customers with useful content? That’s what you should be doing on social media, not sending out a barrage of self-promotion.

It’s recommended that you stick to the 80 / 20 rule, where 20% of what you send out is self-promotional, while the other 80% isn’t.

“What on earth do I talk about then?” you might be asking:

  • Share news stories that relate or resonate with your audience
  • Share hints and tips for getting the best out of something that relates to your audience. E.g. if you’re a beauty brand, you might share tips for making lipstick last longer – it’s not a direct self-promotion, and it provides your audience with something useful
  • Ask questions – find out more about your audience and their likes

If all you do is self-promote, you’ll turn people off and you won’t be able to grow audience.

 

Paying for followers / believing it’s all about numbers

You don’t have to search too hard to find a website willing to sell you a few hundred or few thousand likes for not a huge amount.

The number of followers you have is irrelevant if they aren’t engaging with you. It’s pointless having 10,000 followers, if the majority of them are fake accounts or aren’t engaging with you.

It’s better to organically grow your audience by sharing useful content and engaging with them.

 

Self-promoting in relation to disasters

Newsjacking is when a brand creates content that relates to a popular topic at the time. It can work well and increase their reach as they’re talking about a topic that a lot of people are interested in.

Here are a few examples:

However, there is a time and a place.

During Hurricane Sandy in October 2012, brands came under fire for offering money off beauty products and clothing.

It is never going to go down well if you try to profit from a disaster.

 

Hashtag hijacking

While we’re talking about butting in, trying to create a tenuous link between a popular hashtag and your brand / products / services won’t make you very popular either.

Hashtags are useful for helping people discover other individuals and brands talking about a topic they’re interested in. They are not for stuffing your products under the nose of people talking about something popular but completely unrelated to your product.

Furniture brand Habitat offered up the perfect example of hashtag hijacking in 2009.

Habitat sent out a series of tweets using hashtags that were trending at the time to increase the reach of their tweets. The problem was they decided to use completely unrelated, and distasteful, hashtags such as: #iPhone, #Apple, #TrueBlood, and even decided to get in on the Iranian election hashtag #MOUSAVI.

Needless to say, they were quickly called out for their behaviour, and offered an apology a few days later.

 

Poor customer service

For many people, social media is as another customer service avenue; users often feel they will get a faster response if they complain on social media rather than if they called or emailed the company.

Customers expect a fast response, and to do this you need to set out some rules:

  • How fast will you aim to get back to people?
  • Who will be responsible for replying?
  • Have you got a customer complaints procedure in place?
  • How often will you monitor social media for comments?

If you have a plan in place, you will be well prepared in the event that someone makes a complaint or has a query.

Customer service doesn’t have to be negative. As it’s another opportunity to prove to your customer that they made the right decision in spending their money with you. When it happens publicly on social media, it can improve your brand reputation by showing your care about your customers. If you fail to respond, or offer poor customer service, it can have the opposite effect as people viewing your social media profiles will assume you don’t care about keeping customers happy.

 

Blanket responses

If you’re a business that carries out a lot of customer service on social media, it can be tempting to use blanket responses.

Customers don’t want to see a huge list of copy and pasted responses. It doesn’t make them feel like their concerns are being taken seriously at all.

Yes, it is faster to copy and paste a response. Especially if you’re a huge business that might even have a separate Twitter account for dealing with customer service. However, your customer service channels are an opportunity for you to delight your customers.

If a complaint, no matter how big or small, is dealt with well, you can actually make your customer feel happy about having chosen to spend their money with you. In turn, that can lead to recommendations because they recognise that you care about customers and making them happy even after they have purchased.

Review each tweet and try to personalise it in some way:

  • Include the user’s name
  • Acknowledge their problem
  • Tell them who to contact, or ask further questions

The British Gas Help (@BritishGasHelp) Twitter team do a great job of responding to customers by personalising each response.

They use the person’s name, they acknowledge the problem, their responses are helpful. They create a sense of accountability by signing off each tweet with the name of the person responding.

British Gas Twitter customer service screenshot

Their responses come across as friendly, helpful, and positive. If you wanted to contact British Gas via Twitter and saw their feed, it would probably give you hope that your issue would be dealt with quickly and efficiently.

 

Ignoring negative comments entirely

It might seem easier to bury your head in the sand and ignore a negative comment. Especially if the problem is due to a mistake your business has made. While it might be easier for you, all it will do is frustrate the person who is complaining further and could damage your brand as they may tell people not to use you because of your poor customer service.

If you haven’t got a social media strategy in place yet, take a look at our blog post on creating a social media strategy that works. 
Or if you need a helping hand with you social media, why not take a look at our social media services?

 

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.

How Facebook Hashtags Can Benefit Your Business & How to Use Them

how facebook hashtags can benefit your business

how facebook hashtags can benefit your business

The Hashtag seems to have taken over the internet since the rise of Twitter. You can use it on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr and now Facebook. So what do hashtags on Facebook mean for businesses and how can they use them to their benefit?

Facebook have finally announced that they are rolling out clickable hashtags. Meaning users and Page updates can be part of a discussion, which is especially useful for things like events or a popular news topic.

Facebook hashtags

On their blog Facebook said that the reason for introducing hashtags was to help users find other users talking about the same things they were and take part in public conversations.

They also mentioned that they will be rolling out more features over the next few weeks and months. Including trending hashtags and deeper insights.

 

How Facebook Hashtags can Benefit my Business?

Hashtags are clickable. Meaning that users can click on a hashtag and see posts from other people who are using the same hashtag. This means that businesses will be able to use hashtags to get their posts in front of people who wouldn’t have seen it otherwise. Without the need to fork out for advertising.

People use social media to talk about things they’re interested in or their friends are interested in such as;

 

–          A concert or event they’re attending

–          A business event or networking event

–          A film they’ve just seen

–          Something they’re watching on TV

–          A news story

–          The weather – this is especially popular here in the UK where we get all excited by the odd sighting of the sun and think summer has finally arrived.

This means that businesses have got some great opportunities to get their updates and content in front of people who are interested in something they’re selling or talking about.

 

For example:

Imagine you have an ecommerce website which sells camping equipment. The summer is fast approaching (apparently) and over the next few months plenty of people will be going off on camping holidays and going to festivals and sports events.

Now imagine you want to target people who are attending the Formula 1 British Grand Prix. To tell them about some of your tents in an attempt to intrigue people who are yet to buy their tent. So you use the hashtag #britishgp in your update.

A user searches #britishgp in the search bar to see what other people are saying about it. They see your update and decide to visit your website and buy from you as a result.

The main takeaway and benefit for businesses here is that they have a great opportunity to get their posts out there in front of users who might not have seen them otherwise.

 

Six Tips for using Facebook Hashtags Effectively

Now you know why Facebook Hashtags will benefit your business, what’s the best way to use them? Here are six tips to help you use hashtags effectively. (These tips don’t just apply to Facebook, it can be applied to Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr and Google+ etc also)

 

1. Make Sure Another Brand Aren’t Already Using It

Before you decide to claim a hashtag make sure it’s not already in use by searching for the hashtag you plan on using in the search bar.

If there are people or other brands already using that hashtag and talking about a different product, service or business, it’s probably best to think of a new hashtag as it could easily get confusing trying to monitor what people are saying about you.

 

2. Keep it short and simple

While you aren’t faced with a 140 character limit on Facebook, people don’t want to use a massively long hashtag because it can be a bit of a chore to type out and easy to forget.

 

3. Don’t Spam Hashtags

Using hashtags which have absolutely no relation to what you’re talking about will make you look spammy and will put users off you right away. Especially if you make the same mistake as fashion retailer Kenneth Cole you hijack hashtags who hijacked a tweet relating to the unrest inCairo at the beginning of 2011.

 

4. Don’t use multiple hashtags in one update

It can be tempting to try and use several hashtags in your updates to try and get as many people to see your updates as possible, however using too many hashtags will annoy people, so try to stick to two or at the very most three hashtags per update.

 

5. Consistency across all social channels

As with your branding, any hashtags you use which relate to your business, your products or services or an event you are running should be consistent across all social media platforms you’re present on. This makes it easy for people to talk about you or find about you across multiple platforms.

 

6. Promote your hashtag

If you’re using a hashtag to promote your brand, one of your products or services, or an event you’re running make sure you promote it on your website, marketing emails and social media so people know that’s the hashtag they need to use when talking about your products.

 

 

Since Facebook’s IPO in May 2012 they have been trying to make money from the social network, which meant bad news for Facebook Page owners who were forced to pay for advertising if they wanted their updates to reach 100% of the people who have ‘liked’ their page, despite those people expressing an explicit interest in the page. So the introduction of hashtags is brilliant news as Page Owners will now be able to reach more people without having to pay for it.

 

Contact Us

If your business is based in Burntwood, Lichfield, Cannock or Staffordshire and are interesting in marketing which creates opportunities to sell your products or services, get in touch with us to find out how we can help. Call us on 01543 495 752 or email us on contact@themarketingpeople.com to find if we can help you and your business.

Why Customer Reviews Are Important & How To Get Them.

why customer reviews are important and how to get them

Customer reviews are important, think about the last few products you brought; did you review them online first? For many people, reading product reviews has become an integral part of the buying process.

Why are product reviews so important?

Whether you have a website or an ecommerce website, having reviews or testimonials on your website can help to make your business more credible, trustworthy and will hopefully convince people to buy from you instead of your competitors.

The Nielsen Global Trust in Advertising Survey carried out during 2011 found that 70% of people trust opinions posted online. Online reviews were the second most trusted form of advertising, with ‘recommendations from people I know’ beating it to first place, this shows just how important consumers consider reviews to be.

As well as showing people that your products and services are great it will also help your SEO. People will generally use the kind of keywords and keyterms in their reviews that your target audience will be searching for when trying to find your products.

How do I get customer reviews?

Emails

Amazon has a brilliant model for gaining product reviews. If you’ve ever ordered from Amazon you’ll have noticed that a few days after you receive your product you receive an email asking you to review the product. This ensures that the majority of products sold through Amazon have reviews.

If you have an ecommerce website this can be replicated by setting up automated emails to go out to customers a few days after you estimate their order should have arrived.

 

Leaflets with orders

When you send your orders out, you should always include details of how to get in touch with customer service if the customer is unhappy. Along with your customer service information, encourage happy customers to leave you a review and make sure you tell them how to do it.

If you sent out leaflets or flyers with your orders showing customers what other products you sell or alerting them to offers, make sure you include a call to action to review their product on there as well.

 

Social Media

Many consumers take to social media, Twitter especially, to vent their frustrations or sing a business or products praise.

Monitoring social media using tools, such as Social Mention, Twitter Advanced Search and Google Alerts can help you get a good idea of how people are feeling about your brand.

This works well for your business in two ways. The first is that you can address any unhappy customers and try to sort their issue out; this also shows your business is proactive in ensuring your customers are happy.

The second is that if you see anyone singing your praises, you can thank them and ask them if they’d like to share their thoughts on your website and send them a link to a review page.

 

Customer Service & Suggestion Cards

If you offer a service which requires your customers to visit your shop, office or business, you could ask customers to leave their thoughts and any suggestions on a card.

These can then be typed out and posted on your website. It’s important to make sure you type them out instead of scanning them, as a scan won’t benefit your websites SEO.

 

7-litre-Compostable-and-Biodegradable-Bin-Caddy-Liners1

What if I get a bad review?

If you get a bad review, do what you can to contact the customer and rectify the problem but whatever you do don’t delete it, unless it’s offensive of course.

People will be suspicious if they see pages and pages of five star positive reviews. The odd average or poor review shows consumers that you’re being truthful and posting all reviews and not just deleting the poor ones, which will make your business look honest.

 

What do I do with customer reviews?

If you have an ecommerce website ideally you want reviews for each product or service.

If you haven’t got an actual product for sale on your website, showcase your testimonials and reviews on a ‘testimonials’ or ‘reviews’ page.

You may also want to do this if you’re an ecommerce website and a customer emails you or provides you with a general review about your business as a whole. For example, one of our clients, Gardening Delights, has individual reviews on each product but they also have a Testimonial page for general feedback.

Don’t think you need reviews as you’re a small business?  Here’s a post on how they help you grow as a business.

If you’re a small business based in Burntwood, Lichfield, Cannock or the West Midlands and need help with any aspect of your marketing, print or web design get in touch with us to find out how we can offer your business real benefit.

You can call us on 01543 495 752 or fill in the contact form on our website. 

How to “moderate” comments on Facebook Brand Pages

how to moderate comments on facebook brand pages

Currently there is no way to moderate comments on Facebook business page’s. This means any comment posted will be visible, there is no way of keeping a comment private until you view it and approve it.

Understandably, this can make some people feel a little uneasy and unsure of whether they should create a Facebook business page incase a negative comment is posted.

This post will explain a few options you have to control comment posting.

Facebook page moderation blocklist.

Facebook page settings give you the option of creating a list of ‘blocked words’, which in theory means you could prevent any negative comments being posted on your walls if you blocked negative words like ‘bad’ or ‘awful’.

Any comments containing any of the blocked words will be flagged as spam and will not be posted to the page wall.

There is also the option the block profanities, which has two settings; medium and strong.

You can do this by;

  1.  Viewing your page and clicking on the ‘Edit page’ icon in the top right hand corner of the page.
  2. This will take you to the ‘Manage permissions’ tab where you will be able to edit your moderation blocklist and profanity blocklist as shown in the image above.

Comment moderation

As mentioned at the beginning of the post, there’s no way to hold a comment for moderation on a Facebook page but there are a couple of commenting settings you can tweak.

You could go all out and block comments entirely by removing the posting ability by unticking the ‘People can write or post content on the wall’ box

You can alter the page people land on when they go to your Facebook page.
Instead of them being taken straight to the page wall, visitors could be taken to a welcome page and then choose the page they want to visit.

These features can be accessed by:

  1. Viewing your Facebook page and clicking on ‘Edit page’ in the top right hand corner.
  2. You will then automatically be taken to the ‘Manage Permissions’ tab where you can alter the ‘Default landing tab’ and the ‘Posting ability’.

If you decide not to disable comments and you’re concerned about negative comments, there are a couple of things you can do to limit damage.

The comment can be removed by hovering over the comment and clicked the world icon and then selecting ‘delete post’.
Alternatively you could just hide the post or report it as abuse if you consider it to be abusive.

The page settings can be altered, so an email will be sent as soon as someone comments on something on the page. The comment can then be read and decision can be made over whether to keep it on the page or delete it.

This can be done by;

  1. Viewing your page and clicking on the ‘Edit page’ button.
  2. Then select ‘Your settings’ from the tab on the left hand side.
  3. When you are taken to this page you will be able to check the box saying ‘Email notifications’.

It’s a shame Facebook don’t allow full comment moderation, it would make people feel much more comfortable and happier about putting their brand out there, knowing a negative comment would never have to be seen by the public.

So many questions pop up when it comes to social media, but don’t get stuck, just head over to our social blogs for all the answers you need.

Remember you can find us on facebook, twitter and pinterest  for all our latest social media updates. Or if you feel you may need a little advice with your own social media, whether that’s getting started, or refreshing your knowledge, give us a call on 01543 495752 for a no obligation chat.