Three Social Media Strategy tips for 2016

We’ve all heard and know the importance of being on social media by now, and how important it is to be able to build an audience through content that sits across multiple platforms. However, did you know that over 50% of purchases are influenced by digital? Now it’s really not good enough to say you’re investing in social media and you have an account on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and You Tube, without providing a valid reason as to why you are on there.

Firstly, I think we need to be thinking larger than those five obvious channels. We’ve seen incredible growth in instant broadcasting platforms like Snapchat, Periscope, Instagram and Vine. In 2015 we also saw the likes of messaging apps like Whatsapp and even dating app Tinder, but in the world of marketing we are still in the early stages of figuring out how best to use these channels.

Yes, I do believe there are still some businesses out there (well known brands) who appear to be covered in social media bling, but if they were honest they would tell you we are on social media, but we don’t really understand how it works for our business and what to do with it.

Here’s my three tips for

  1. Quality over quantity

It’s better for brands to choose the right channel and have a few than have 20 empty profiles online. In the same way that it is better to have one great piece of content, over three. Ok, I’m exaggerating here, and I do feel like I’m repeating myself, but I recommend we look at value over volume.

2. Make content that will spread across a number of platforms

If you create a 3 minute video promotional video, can you cut or take a still image from your footage that could be used on Instagram, or Vine? You may have heard the phrase multi-channel marketing. Where content is used and squeezed of all it’s juicy goodness ensuring you are getting the most of your marketing spend.

Side note: Those little extra’s don’t cost that much to produce, but they go a long way in helping you reach your target audience. 

If you’re in retail, this point should be of particular importance to you as research shows 78% of consumers will look on digital before they buy in store. That is higher than 72% who buy online after trying on in store.

3. Be present and consistent

Show up. It’s bad business if you open late one day, and close your store early the next. If the customer doesn’t know where they stand you will give them more reason to divorce you. Those who are customer facing, make sure you have a strong customer service presence on your profiles, and please try not over complicate it by having 10 different Facebook pages that leave the consumer on around a maze of confusion. Post consistently, and don’t forget to go back and engage with those all important customers who take the time to leave a comment/share their thoughts. Use private chat for those more in depth and personal conversations that will quickly solve a customers problem, or defuse a possible hostile situation.

It was hard to pick just three, but I believe if you take these three strands into consideration this year you will most definitely be in a stronger position. Don’t forget to be creative with the content you produce too, yeah?

Ciao! 😉

 

 

 

2 time saving social media tools for your toolbox

We are all stretched for time these days, so I thought I’d give you a few tips on how to manage and maximise your social media marketing efforts. There are a few different options, and depending on how many channels you have etc it will vary, but if you have a few channels then you may not even need to pay for these services either.

1.Buffer 

Pros:

This app allows you to schedule posts to your social media channels, and gives you the option to pull content from your blog via a RSS feed and Buffer will distribute this for you at the most effective time too. You can choose where you want it to send your blog posts, how far back on your blog it should go, and also has an analytical feature that tracks post engagement for you. This has become a fast favourite of mine. I had downloaded this app a few months back, and even attached it’s instant buffer button to my browser as a chrome extension.

The instant buffer button I’m talking about here allows you to repost a useful website you come across that you may want to tweet out to your followers. I can’t get enough of this app.

Cons: 

The only thing is that you can’t include your Instagram feed to this, so that would still have to be managed by you. However, that doesn’t need lots of work providing you have the images in a bank ready to go. Apparently Buffer say this is due to a restriction of access by the platform.  I am surprised by this given that the image sharing app is owned by Facebook.

You have to sign up to the Awesome account if you want to include more than two channels on this account, and also if you want to add the RSS feed which I listed as a pro above. Still, it’s only around £70 per year, or if you prefer to do it monthly and cancel anytime, then it will cost you just under £7 per month. You can trial it for a week, and if you have a team looking after your account you may want to look into the Buffer for business option.

https://buffer.com

2. Hootsuite

Pros:  This is mainly a social media dashboard, but it’s one of the best. It allows you to suck all your social media networking platforms into one big window, and gives you the choice of which feeds you would like to monitor. Imagine, no more having to switch in and out of apps, or have 10 different tabs open at once. This is a great way to oversee what people are saying in your industry too, or about your campaign. You can open a feed and run a search for a particular event that is happening live, or follow a trending hashtag on Twitter.  I remember back in the day when the options seemed to be Hootsuite or Tweet Deck. In my opinion, Hootsuite is better because it allows you to schedule up to 50 posts ahead of time. However, for the price of an upgrade you can post to Instagram too, and do a bulk upload of content posts too. Yes, that’s right. A bulk upload, which means all you have to do is list your posts and desired time in a CSV file (Comma Separated Values) and it will schedule them for you.

Cons: You now have to pay to stream more than three platforms. This is a real shame as they used to let you load more than two, but I guess everyone is trying to monetise these days. The free account, which is really what I’ve been talking about in this post has limited analytics, so you’ll definitely want to pull stats and check the performance of your content or campaigns on a few different platforms.

https://hootsuite.com/en-gb/

Alright guys! I have to run, but just a few tips and thoughts for you on how to save time with two of my favourite social media tools.

Till Friday!

 

How to start a blog

I’ve blogged from a number of platforms. Blogger, Tumblr, WordPress and a few other CMS platforms. For me WordPress has been the best platform. It’s also one of the biggest, and it’s open source which means it’s created by the community, for the community. I was recently asked for advice on how to start a blog, and whilst there is lots I could say here. I thought I’d share with you my response with you.

1. Think of an idea or topic you’d to write about? What’s the one thing you’re most passionate about? It could be travel, beauty, food, healthy living, being a new mum?

2. When you log onto WordPress you can sign up, and create a blog for free, or upgrade to the pro account (I think it’s called) so you have a (nameofyourblog.com) it will cost about £60 for the year, but I recommend it. There are some really good free templates that you can use too.

3. What do you want to call your blog? Do you want it to be your name or something different? Check and see if your URL is available, and if you can I recommend purchasing it. There are usually not that expensive. Try 123 reg, or something like Namecheap. I’ve never had a bad experience with these ones, and you do have to choose wisely. There are a lot of cowboys in this industry. Don’t be fooled into paying more than £10 for your URL that’s my recommendation. If you are ever asked by a company to pay and then they will transfer the URL to your name… stay clear! This is actually happened to a girl I recently met.

Recap:

  • Be organised and be consistent
  • The trick is to find a niche to write about
  • Write content that is helpful, entertaining, or engaging that people will want to share

I hope you find this helpful. Let me know if you want me to talk about anything in more specific detail.

 

Happy Friday!

 

Vine or Instagram? That is today’s question.

1. Vine

After deleting my account in back in 2013, I have to thank Vine Celebrity Nash Gier and his cute little sister Sky Lynn for re-introducing me to Vine year. It wasn’t really grabbing my attention back then, but since rediscovering my passion for film and video content in particular I have fallen in love once again.

It’s so much fun, and make you can make your own mini films. The app allows you to hit pause at any time, which gives flexibility in shooting over a longer period of time, location, or with various groups of people. It’s pretty impressive, and as some may call it the modern film. The rise of digital media has challenged generations ability to focus for any length of time. You have to be creative with this channel, and only get 6 seconds to dazzle your audience, but if it’s right for you’re audience and you do it right like Ford, then you’re sure to reap great benefits (providing you sow valuable content).

Here’s one I made earlier:

 

Now I’m not sure if I like it more than You Tube, (I’ve recently started posting some videos on the 2nd largest search engine last month), but I highly recommend it as a strategic component in your social media strategy for 2015. Last year I mentioned that video was huge, and this year fast and shareable video content is even bigger.

2. Instagram

I feel like this is the one that flew under the radar. I am obsessed with this channel, and despite some concerned post Facebook take over, I feel they have kept true to the apps original feel and function without running over it with a Facebook stamp and like button. I use my Instagram like a diary of moments and captures that I love to refer to as Kodak moments. It’s the perfect balance between the old and the new. I used to own a Polaroid camera, and loved taking instant snaps of random trees’s birthday cake, and pretty much anything I could point and snap.

I’ve just recently upgraded to a DSLR, which is awesome – I feel all professional holding it; but I don’t pretend to be an expert. If you look at my Instagram you’ll see lots of food, and outdoor pics mostly.

As a business it’s a great way to show personality and engage with the consumer if you are a visual product or service. Ford have done a great job in keeping their Instagram content unique and a one off. It may take a little more work doing things this way, but it will be an investment worth having. Don’t be afraid to be normal. Use the filters, do all the things you would do if posting on your own social media channels.

When I say do ‘all’ things, this is assuming you keep a somewhat professional approach to posting on your own platforms.

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#socialmedia #businesstalk #ThrowbackThursday #inmyopinion

3 reasons to use Periscope

Have you tried Periscope yet? If not, why not? I love it. It’s the hottest new platform from Twitter. You don’t need to wait for that big break on TV or film any longer. Just download the app, connect it up to your Twitter account, and tell the world what you see!

I almost shrugged this channel, and snapchat off. Even though I could see it was trending, it just felt like a hassle. Generally, you create a few seconds of content that disappears within a few seconds (or 24hours if on Periscope). At first I failed to see the point of it, but actually there is… it’s about connection. Connecting with an audience on ground level, at real time. It’s an incredible opportunity for business to get personal with their customer. So why haven’t we seen more companies on Periscope and taking advantage of this fantastic opportunity?

I believe part of the problem is that people want to see BIG return, for little input. Whilst I understand that on a business level you want to see a return for the time and effort you put in, social media should be viewed as a long term strategy, with short term goals.

The other reason is that now we have other channels including Snapchat and Facebook live providing similar more convenient options accessible options. Although all three of these platforms bring something different to the table

So has Periscope missed the boat? I don’t think so, for the right company and reason there is still opportunity to be had for those not scared to venture out of their comfort zone.

It’s a great way to do a live Q & A giving brands control over questions they want to answer, and adding another dimension to the relationship or community you are trying to build.

3 ideas for using Periscope for:

  1. Live Q & A
  2. Interesting facts
  3. 5 minute couch talk
  4. Training and teaching workshops

 

 

#businesstalk #socialmedia #justathought #myopinion