Showing posts with label social media marketing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label social media marketing. Show all posts

Thursday, 8 October 2020

Are You Overspending on Social Media?

 Just to clarify one important point, there is technically no such thing as spending too much money on social media marketing. Assuming that every penny you invest is put to valuable and strategic use, investing heavily in social can be highly beneficial. 

That said, there is definitely such a thing as spending too much money on social media marketing efforts that bring you little to nothing in return.

Which is precisely why not every social media marketing budget delivers the same results – even if the initial budget limitations are the same. Five different companies may all decide to invest £10,000 in social media marketing for any given period of time, but chances are that all five will produce entirely different results.

Why is this the case? It’s simple really – while some common social media expenses are essential and advisable, others are quite the opposite. Which is why we’ve decided to dedicate two posts to a few of the common bad habits that could lead to unnecessary overspending.

So if any of the following rings a bell with you or your business, you might want to take a step back and consider investing your money elsewhere:

1. Buying fake followers

First and foremost, the fact that social media is essentially a popularity contest leads many to focus on nothing but the numbers. Quite a lot of businesses believe that the secret to success lies in the numbers – the size of their audience, the number of ‘likes’ they earn and so on. But in reality, quantity is nothing without quality. Which is precisely why it can be so dangerous to buy fake followers to bump up the numbers. Along with bringing little to no actual value to your profile, purchased followers give entirely the wrong impression to your target audience and can also land you in hot water with the platform itself. A prime example of an investment that rarely delivers any kind of returns.

2. Hiring low-grade social media companies

When two competing social media marketing agencies offer the same package for two very different prices, it’s usually for a very good reason. Now, it’s not to say that overspending is necessary, in order to access outstanding social media services. But at the same time, when you come across companies giving their services away for practically nothing, guaranteeing “instant results” or in any way making promises they clearly cannot keep, you’d be better off hanging on to your money.

3. Spending without setting goals

In order to make any kind of headway with social media marketing, you first need to have an established set of goals and targets. If not, you are essentially grasping for proverbial straws in the dark with one or both of your hands tied behind your back. Social media can be used for just about anything – increasing sales, expanding your audience, building your reputation and so on. But in order to achieve any of these kinds of things, you first need to decide what exactly it is you intend to target. If not, you could essentially be wasting money on a social media campaign that has you going around in circles.

4. Unpopular contests and competitions

Contests in general can be a great way of promoting your business and generate engagement. After all, comparatively few people can resist the prospect of taking something home free of charge. But at the same time, contests and competitions can prove costly if what you get out of them is less than you are forced to invest. Always be strategic, realistic and as frugal as necessary when it comes to social media contests and competitions.

5. Hiring in-house staff

Given that it’s not as if your own in-house staff will happily handle your social media accounts free of charge, you’ll still be paying for the required manpower. In which case, wouldn’t it make sense to spend the same social media staffing budget on the kinds of experienced and qualified professionals who can get the job done quicker, better and perhaps even for a lower price? Paying for the services of under-qualified or inexperienced social media staff is never advisable.

6. Paying for reviews and ratings

While it may be a strategy followed by businesses all over the world at all levels, there technically should be no reason why you should have to pay for reviews and ratings. The reason being that given the social nature of the platform – the clue being in the title – you can simply ask your fans, followers and customers directly to provide you with their own independent feedback. And if it turns out that your rating leaves a lot to be desired, you should probably focus on overhauling whatever it is you do, before investing any further in social media marketing.

7. Paying for ads that have poor performance

There’s absolutely nothing to gain by shelling out good money for social media ads that perform poorly. The problem being that far too many businesses simply throw together ad campaigns with the presumption that they essentially cannot fail to deliver a decent ROI. Without extensive planning, careful execution and ongoing analysis/optimisation, any investment in social media ads can end up being a wasted investment.

8. Failing to incorporate wider SEO

Your social media marketing campaign can be an immensely powerful tool for boosting your overall SEO profile. Rather than seeing your social campaign as something of a separate entity, you should be working to incorporate it into your wider SEO and marketing efforts in general. If not, you are throwing money down the drain.

9. Focusing on the wrong platforms

When it comes to platform selection, there are two important things to remember. One being that you don’t have to use every social media platform in the world, the other being that certain platforms will suit your business, your audience and your goals better than others. While Twitter and Facebook will always be the first options that spring to mind, some businesses get far better value for money from their investments in Instagram or LinkedIn.

10. Automating updates and duplicating content

Last but not least, while it’s true to say that automation of updates and duplication of content can technically save time and money, the damage you do to your profiles and professional image could prove costly. Every penny and second invested in these kinds of efforts represents time and money wasted, which could have been used to actively engage with and nurture your audience. You’ll simply be interpreted as lazy and disingenuous – a heavy price to pay.

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

8 Rather Revealing Social Media Marketing Statistics

Regardless of whether you yourself are personally active on social media, you are probably aware of its power and potential in a business setting. Which makes it all the more surprising that a striking proportion of businesses are still making little to no effort whatsoever to capitalise on social media. With no less than a third of the entire global population now actively using at least one social platform, never in history has there been a marketing tool with such extraordinary reach.

So with this in mind, what follows is a quick overview of 8 social Media Marketing statistics that could (and perhaps should) prompt a change in your current marketing policies:

1. First of all, a recent study carried out by Pew Research found that no less than 76% of Internet users now regularly use at least one social media service. What’s more, heavy and routine social media use is no longer confined to millennials – every single age group has grown over the past five years.

2. On a global basis, there are now somewhere in the region of 1.98 billion mobile social media users. Considering the fact that the total global population of social media users is around 2.3 billion, this clearly illustrates the importance of focusing on mobile. After all, mobile is the access method of choice for no less than 85% of social media users.

3. According to MediaPost, the average amount of time every Internet user is spending interacting with social media is increasing all the time. In fact, people are now spending an average of 109 minutes – or 7% of their entire day – using their chosen social media platforms. That’s 7% of every single day, 365 days a year.

4. And in terms of time spent online, the folks at comScore report that one in every five online minutes is now spent using social media. Which means that for every hour the average web user spends online, a solid 12 minute are spent using social media platforms.

5. By the year 2020, the vast majority of businesses will be spending somewhere in the region of 25% of their entire marketing budgets on social media. That’s according to a recent CMO Survey, which found that even those businesses that are already investing heavily in social media intend to up the stakes enormously going forward.

6. In terms of communication, millennials are much happier to get in touch with businesses via social media than by any other conventional means of contact. Which technically is nothing but a good thing from a business perspective as communicating via social media really couldn’t be easier.

7. Despite the fact that more than 80% of professional marketers say that they understand the power and importance of social media, the majority remain entirely unaware of how to fully capitalise on it. Reluctance to outsource or involve third-party professionals is one of the biggest of all roadblocks when it comes to social media marketing.

8. Last but not least, while so many businesses continue to regard Twitter as something of a one-way communication channel, research has shown that almost three-quarters (72%) of consumers expect a response to their customer service tweets in less than 60 minutes.

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

How To Achieve More Through Facebook For Business

Has your social media marketing strategy been letting you down? Are you beginning to feel sceptical about whether or not Facebook can even do anything for your business? Do you feel as though you are wasting valuable resources on social networking for very little gain, or have you taken bad advice from poor SEO strategists in the past?

If so, you may feel like giving up on Facebook – but don’t. Go back to the beginning, and if you put the right strategy in place it really can help you take your small business to the next level. Social media marketing is all about sticking with it and building up follower base.  After all, Facebook currently has over 400 million members and chances are a large number of those are amongst your target customer groups. 

Here’s how you can make Facebook work for you:

Home Page: The first and most important thing to do, if you’re going back to basics, is to create a unique home page that really sells your business as soon as a person looks at it. Your profile picture should be bold and include your company logo. The text next to your image should be kept short, snappy and to the point for those reading it on mobiles: try to sum up what your company is about in a couple of short sentences. Then further on down the page you can go into more detail about the background of your company, what you do and what makes you unique. Make sure you include an obvious link to your website to increase traffic, and if you have offline shops then it’s vital you let visitors know where to find you.

Maintain a Presence: You need to make the most of your Facebook page as, if you do it right, it can help you create a solid brand identity. Make sure you regularly share images, links, useful blog posts or videos that will be relevant or interesting to your followers. Also, don’t be afraid to be funny or a little irreverent with your posts: social media platforms such as Facebook are a chance for you to be a little more informal with customers – something you may not be able to do in day-to-day business transactions. 

Special Offers or Competitions: A great way to keep other Facebook users interested in your business is to offer regular incentives. Hosting competitions is a fun promotional exercise and there are plenty of tools to help you do this easily, such as Shortstack. Your Facebook page is also the place to advertise any special offers you may have on, with links to your e-commerce site so users can buy straight away before they lose interest.

Advertising and Promoted Posts: If you have some of your advertising budget set aside then Facebook, with is many millions of users, is a good place to invest this. With promoted posts, for example, you will pay a flat rate in order for a single post to reach a certain number of users. If you want to guarantee that your followers will see an important post, even if they are not on Facebook very often, this is the way to do it. If you want to boost your visitor numbers significantly, you also have the option of a standard ad in the side column of the Facebook site which include an image, copy and click-through link to the destination of your choice.

Friday, 5 April 2013

The Book of Mormon and Social Media

Following on from shows such as ‘Jerry Springer: The Musical’, ‘The Book of Mormon’ is one of the more recent controversial musicals to get the critics talking.  Developed over a period of seven years by South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, with music from composer Robert Lopez, it is a religious satire which lampoons the ideas of organised religion as well as the conventions of traditional musical theatre. Originally released on Broadway in 2011, the show has now opened at London’s West End and has already broken box office records. It is also, as we shall see, a shining example of how Facebook and Twitter can contribute to the success of a modern-day musical.

In a nutshell, ‘The Book of Mormon’ tells the story of two young Mormon missionaries who are sent to a small village in a remote part of Uganda where a local warlord is threatening the population.  The two missionaries attempt to share the teachings of their religion with the locals but find it an uphill struggle. The musical officially opened in the West End on Thursday 21 March and took more than £2.1 million at the box office the following day. It seems that a controversial theme that gets people talking can often spell box office gold.

But what has also been at work here is the clever use of social media marketing.  Since the show’s opening, alongside the traditional reviews for the show have been a barrage of tweets appearing in press ads to accompany the release of fresh batches of tickets. Some of these were celebrity endorsements, some not, but they had the effect of turning the show into a roaring success by the time the reviews had appeared in the papers.

After all, sometimes all it takes is a well-publicised tweet from a well-known celebrity such as Stephen Fry to shoot a show into the stratosphere. In the case of Mormon, this strategy has worked to great effect. In this case, even drawing attention to negative reviews such as the rather one-star drubbing handed out by Quentin Lett can simply act as a bigger draw.

The great thing about drawing attention to tweets and Facebook comments in order to publicise a show is that, being totally free, it is something even the smaller fringe theatre companies can utilise. Those who may not be able to afford expensive national advertising campaigns to promote their shows may still be able to create a hit if their marketing teams are savvy about the ways in which social media can work for them.

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Even If You’re Not a Fan Of New Year’s Resolutions, Resolve To Become More Social Media Savvy in 2012!

With Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube continuing to grow their followings substantially in 2011, and other social networks springing up month on month, it’s clear that social media is far from the ‘passing fad’ some doubters predicted.

For many of us, social media has changed the way we do business – and there is no going back. If you haven’t yet got to grips with social media, then you could seriously be missing out on winning over a new generation of fans for your business. So here are some tips to get you started:

Maintain separate personal and business social media accounts

Unless you’re a celebrity, most people won’t be interested in what you had for breakfast, or where you went on holiday. So be sure to separate ‘personal’ and ‘business’ interests and use dedicated accounts for both functions. Also be aware that if you have a personal account for fun/ leisure purposes, that business acquaintances and colleagues might check out those postings too!

Let people know you’re on social media

Once you’ve signed up to a social media site and begun posting, be sure to let people know about it. The best way of doing this is by adding social media buttons to your website, blog, emails, business cards and snail mail. All your correspondence in fact, both online and off.

Upload a picture

A photo of you in a professional capacity is an absolute must for your social media business pages. If you’ve ever visited a LinkedIn profile page with no photo you’ll know exactly what I mean. An incomplete profile gives the impression that the person isn’t all that bothered – with the result that they are not taken as seriously as they otherwise might be.

Include a link with every posting

If you fail to include a link to your blog or website with each and every posting, then you are missing an opportunity to drive additional traffic to your site. Generally speaking, more traffic means more conversions and more revenue.

Make a video

Did you realise YouTube is world’s 2nd largest search engine and the 3rd most visited website? And YouTube Mobile gets over 3 billion hits a day – that’s massive! So why not make a video about an aspect of your business that will whet potential customers’ appetites. You can then upload your video to YouTube as well as embed it into your website. Better still, produce a series of videos. And remember to include a link to your videos in relevant blog postings and promotional materials.

Start as you mean to go on

If I could include just one tip, it would be this one: you don’t have to be on every social media site to see a difference in your marketing results – so choose wisely. And make sure you allocate enough time in your daily/ weekly schedule for the social media activities you decide to pursue, whether that’s working on a blog, updating your Facebook page, or networking on LinkedIn.

The main point about social media is that it needs to be embraced whole-heartedly, or not at all. Think of it this way: if you happened upon a business blog where the last posting was several months back, you wouldn’t spend too long on that site would you?

Outsource tasks to specialists

Remember, you don’t have to do everything yourself. If, like many people, you don’t find the concept of social media easy to get to grips with, then consider outsourcing your requirements. Outsourcing necessary business tasks or tasks you find difficult, laborious and time-consuming makes perfect economic sense. It means you get the services of a consummate professional who will use his or her expertise to make the most of your social marketing budget, while you get to concentrate on the aspects of your business you do best.

Now that’s time and money well spent.

Happy New Year!

Make Your Blog Content Go Further

You’ve spent some time researching suitable topics for your blog and producing
valuable content your followers will love. Here are some ideas for making that content go further . . .

SEO/ Keyword Integration

Choosing and using the right keywords in your blog postings can have a major impact on the amount of traffic your blog receives, as well as influencing your web marketing (negatively or positively). Once you have drafted a blog post, scan through your writing and pick out the main topic(s) covered. Then run them through Google AdWords’ Free Keyword Suggestion Tool and make a note of the main search terms and most popular words and phrases that come up. Run through your post content once more and see if you can utilise this keyword knowledge to improve your post title, content, meta description and tags.

Use Syndication to Extend Your Blog Content’s Reach

RSS, dubbed Really Simple Syndication, is a mechanism which allows you to syndicate your blogs content to many different sources at once and is the perfect tool if you’re into social media. If you have a blog, locate your site’s RSS URL and plug it in to your social media pages. For example, with a Facebook Business Page, search for the ‘Social RSS’ application in your applications area and set it to publish your content to your Facebook page wall automatically.

The beauty of using an RSS ‘plug in’ is that normally you will only have to set it up once!

Add Your Latest Blog Post Headline to Your Email Signature

You may be able to do this automatically as many blogging platforms have apps that can assimilate your blog post headlines into your signature, but if not, it’s often worth doing manually. You never know when a post title might strike a chord with an email recipient, thus sparking a conversation that could lead to a business deal or a joint venture.

Use Social Networking Sites to Establish Your Authority

Next time you’re involved in a group discussion on LinkedIn, or helping someone out with a query on a forum or discussion board, don’t forget to include links to any blog posts you have written which are pertinent to your discussion. Most social media and networking sites will allow this, providing the content you are linking to is relevant to the user and not blatant self-promotion.

Interact With Writers Whose Blogs Are Similar To Yours

Just finished a post on a particular topic? Why not do a quick search to see who else is blogging on the same topic or a similar theme. Perhaps you have covered an angle or point they haven’t. In which case, add your comment and preferably leave your URL as well.

It’s a useful exercise to compile an ongoing list of bloggers you would like to connect with, or write a guest post for. Try to aim for one new connection each week – you’ll be amazed how much extra traffic you receive as a result of these interactions. You can also consider the possibility of joint-venturing with like-minded writers/ blog owners.

Start an E-Newsletter and Expand on Some of Your Blog Content

Fair enough, no subscriber likes to see the same old content rehashed over and over again, it’s a real turn off. However there are times when you may want to repeat a particular blog post for a new audience, or when you want to expand on a topic that received a lot of interest first time around. Starting an e-newsletter doesn’t have to be a lot of work, particularly if it’s once a month. And you can always ask contacts and colleagues to help provide fresh content and ideas.

Friday, 23 December 2011

Develop a Winning Social Media Strategy in 6 Easy Steps

So you have set up a social media presence on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn and you’ve also created your business blog.

Great. What next? What’s the plan of action? What are your marketing strategies?

Hopefully you’ve decided to get into social media for a valid reason – and not just because every business acquaintance you speak to appears to be doing it. So how do you go about reaching new potential clients, whilst establishing your credibility online?

Follow these 6 easy steps and you’ll soon be using social media like a pro:

Identify Your Target Audience.

Take a long hard look at your brand and who you want to appeal to. Write a one-line statement about your ideal target customer. What is his age? Where does he live? What is his favourite media? What are his hobbies? What is unique about the product or service you are offering him? In other words, why should he buy from you?

What Language Does Your Ideal Customer Use?

To engage on a social level with your customers, you need to be speaking their language. That means using the right words and the right ‘conversational’ tone. The essence of social media is that conversations are informal – it’s certainly no place for the hard sell!

What is Your Reader’s Most Pressing Problem?

When thinking about content for your blog, focus on the questions your target customer would most like answers to. Make a list of their most burning questions. Of course you won’t have to have immediate answers to these problems, just some idea where you can find the answers!

As chief blogger, you’ll be acting as a researcher and editor – and in this role making sure you only provide links to the most interesting and timely content for each topic. In doing this on a regular basis, your readers will come to recognise you as an authority on your subject – and importantly – someone who doesn’t waste their valuable time. Like any great editor, you’ll only be using information from the most trusted and reliable sources!

Create Your Action Plan

Okay, so you’ve got some great ideas for potential topics in mind, it’s time to get them into some kind of logical order. One of the best ways of doing this is by using a Mind Mapping tool. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. If you don’t want to use a computer programme, a sheet of paper works fine. If you start with yourself/ your brand in the middle of the page, you can start extending ‘branches’ to your ideal type of customer, their problems ; possible topics and sources of content . . . you get the idea. Before you know it, you’ll have a whole load of possibilities worth exploring further. Just type ‘Mind Mapping’ into your search engine and you’ll find a whole host of resources, some of which are free to use.

Schedule Your Content

Using an editorial calendar to plan your blog content will make the process a whole lot easier. Also check out applications like HootSuite, TweetDeck and SocialOomph, which allow you to post simultaneously to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other social media platforms. You will also have the option of scheduling posts for a later date, which is really handy if you’re not around to do it yourself.

Put Quality Above Quantity

I can’t over-emphasize the importance of posting at regular intervals to your blog. Some people do this daily, but once every three days, or even once a week is fine. The quality of the content is more important than quantity, although don’t leave it too long between posts, otherwise you may find your loyal following dropping off.

Remember that, as an editor, your primary task is to source fresh concepts and topics and turn that information into valuable content that keeps your readers looking forward to the next instalment.

Monday, 10 October 2011

Social Media Marketing . . . Where Failure To Plan Is Most Definitely Planning To Fail . . .

What do you think is the single biggest mistake businesses make when engaging in social media marketing?

Undoubtedly, it’s a failure to plan. And this ‘lack of planning’ affects businesses of all sizes; from the rawest of start-ups, to the biggest of empires.

So why does this happen? After all, you wouldn’t embark on any new business venture without a solid business plan to hand (I trust).

Possibly because the vast majority of social media is, in effect, a free tool, business owners think social media is something they can dip in and out of.

Huge mistake.

Because the real key to successful social media marketing is having a solid plan you can work through week-on-week, month-on-month, year-on-year.

The stark reality is that the average person on Facebook has 130 connections and belongs to 50-60 online groups. So to really influence audiences on social media sites you will need to break through this already established network.

The only way to do that properly is to devise a social media strategy that’s right for your business.

Here are some proven tips to help you get started:

Define your target audience

Be as specific as possible about who you want to connect with: What is their gender? Age group? Earnings? Hobbies? Relationship status? Build up a picture of your ideal customer – the more detail the better.

The worst case scenario is that you will try to reach everybody, in which case your marketing message will be too bland to make an impact and you will end up reaching no-one.

Decide on the right social media networks for your business

Where does your target audience hang out? LinkedIn? Facebook? Twitter? Create a clear outline of who you want to reach and then determine which of the social media platforms can best help you achieve your goals. Make sure the type of content you intend posting suits the medium you are posting to.

Listen to what your target audience is saying

What is your target audience interested in? What do they talk about online? What worries them? What kind of role might your product or service play in their lives? By listening to discussion groups on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter etc, you will gain valuable insights into your potential customers’ lives, which you can then translate into a meaningful action plan.

Call them to action

What do you want to achieve? What are your goals? Once you know what your primary purpose is – what you want to achieve – create a ‘call to action’ that will back up that goal. It could be as simple as asking people to sign up for your newsletter, or phone for a free consultation.

Create a content planner

This is one of the most important, but often overlooked, components of your social media marketing plan. What sort of subjects will you write about? What are the kinds of things that will engage and inspire your target audience? Create a content plan in advance of starting your campaign and you’ll be surprised how much better received your postings are.

Track and measure your success

Tracking your social media marketing campaign in detail will show you what is and what isn’t working as well as proving your ROI. It will also help you identify the best use of your resources such as time and money. Be prepared to refine/ adjust your content in order to achieve the optimum response levels.

Social media is a cheap and easy way to win more fans for your business. The fact that the tools are (mainly) free can create a problem for business owners who are new to social media marketing.

Begin with a well-defined strategy and you won’t go far wrong. In fact, you’ll be streets ahead of those companies who view social media as something you can opt in and out of whenever you feel like it.

You really can’t.

Saturday, 26 February 2011

How to Use Twitter to Advertise Your Business

Twitter is just one of many social networking sites available these days and if you know what you are doing you can use it to help advertise your home business. It allows you to network with likeminded people and help you spread the word about what it is you do. You can provide information about your products or services as well as marketing to people of offers and discounts that you may have. It can also be a great way to receive feedback on how others perceive your business and what you could do to grow.

1. New to Twitter?

If you have never used Twitter before then you may be wondering what it is all about. To put it simply, a ‘tweet’ is the text that you create and post to your account for others to see. This is normally a maximum of 140 characters and allows you to tell all your followers what you are thinking. In this way you can use your ‘tweets’ to inform others of any special promotions or discounts and keep them up to date with what you are doing. This helps to provide a way for you to advertise your home business venture.

2. Target the Right Audience

Once you have set up your Twitter account it is vital that you make sure your ‘followers’ are people that would be interested in what it is you do, or who can offer you help and advice. You can then try to interact with your followers by commenting on their ‘tweets’ or asking questions on yours. In this way you will hopefully build up a good rapport with people and they will see you and your business as worthwhile and you will gain a good reputation.

3. Be Professional

Of course, it is important to remember not to spam your new ‘followers’ as people can view this as being a little desperate and they may choose to delete you. Make sure that you remain professional at all times to avoid alienating your potential customers. Avoid over ‘tweeting’ and try to mix up the posts you make to include some more light-hearted elements so that it does not seem like you are constantly promoting your business. The key to good advertising on Twitter is to find a good balance.

Overall, be sure to keep your ‘tweets’ professional and to the point since the number of characters you can use is limited. It can be a great way to get some free advertising for your business but make sure that your followers feel that you value their friendship and business. Treat Twitter as any other method of marketing and remember that it will take time and effort to begin with.