Two weeks ago, Twitter officially announced in a blog post, and email sent to its users, that they were starting to experiment with a ‘Buy’ button. Previous experiments into online shopping from the social media site have included a #AmazonCart hashtag that allows users to add products to their Amazon shopping cart without having to leave Twitter (providing that there is an Amazon link in the original tweet).
The new ‘Buy’ button differs from #AmazonCart as it allows users to purchase items directly from Twitter rather than save for later, and isn’t exclusive to Amazon. After completing an initial set up process, Twitter users will then be able to make purchases at the touch of a button as credit card details and shipping information are remembered (‘encrypted and safely stored’). This allows users to quickly make purchases, but also latches onto the impulse buy idea that we regularly come across in supermarkets and high street stores (£1 chocolate anyone?), not to mention the drunk shopping market.
Of course the main benefit of the Twitter ‘Buy’ button is the increase in a businesses’ online sales, but there are a couple more. The ability for ecommerce tweets to be retweeted means that your business is likely to widen their audience and find new customers without having to work exceptionally hard.
Customers using the ‘Buy’ button may want to retweet the items that they’ve bought, or simply suggest items to their followers. There is also the potential to promote your tweets that use the ‘buy’ button meaning that you can pay to reach your target demographic through Twitter.
In their blog, Twitter states that, ‘Users will get access to offers and merchandise they can’t get anywhere else and can act on them right in [...] Twitter’ showing that theirs hopes are that rather than simply be a place for customers to buy the same products that can be found elsewhere, Twitter’s ecommerce feature will be a place for limited editions and exclusive sales. The promise of special promotions is an alluring prospect for both businesses and customers and can be viewed as a main selling point of the concept itself.
UK businesses have plenty of time to get their Twitter ready for direct shopping, as the social media site is currently only experimenting with a select number of accounts in the US. It is highly likely that this will become a worldwide feature at some point, so UK retailers may want to consider taking the following steps to get their social media site ready for direct selling:
• Ensure that your Twitter is optimised- profile picture, header images, bio, and background all up to date and ‘on brand’
• Start to increase followers- building your Twitter following now gives you the perfect audience to introduce your use of the buy button when it is launched in the UK
• Introduce your products and ecommerce- tweeting links to your online shop and showcasing products helps followers adapt to your Twitter being used for ecommerce
• Consider Promoted Tweets- a way of increasing your followers and building brand awareness that can help sales when the ‘buy’ button is introduced
• Review Strategy- consider how you want to engage with your followers and if there are any changes you’d like to make to your tone of voice.
Twitter’s developments highlight the increasing popularity for online shopping on a smartphone, particularly as their tests focus on their Twitter app for Android and iOS. While Twitter’s ‘Buy’ button takes its time to swim across the pond, retailers can increase their online profits by making their website mobile friendly. Having a mobile version of their website developed, or by creating a responsive site will mean that customers accessing the site using a smartphone or tablet can make purchases as easily as if they were visiting using a computer or laptop.
Alternatively, there is the option to have an app developed, but this could be costly to run without a guaranteed use by customers.
If you’d like some more advice about your social media strategy, or anything to do with your online presence, then why not get in touch? Call us on 0800 327 7327.
An interesting About Us page on your website and some carefully constructed social media bios can do wonders for your business and branding. Therefore, all companies should take the time to craft an attention grabbing professional bio. Making a statement and a good first impression through an About Us webpage or social media bio is essential to achieving online success and creating a loyal customer base.
Constructing interesting and engaging content for your business’s About Us section is no easy task, and takes more time and consideration than you may first believe.
On Your Website
The About Us page on your website is the perfect opportunity to tell your business’s story. With no limit on word count you are unrestricted in what you say, but that doesn’t mean that you don’t need to think carefully about what you write. Before constructing copy, consider these two factors; what your customers want to read and your branding.
Outlining what your target audience would expect from your business and how your branding works is essential to every single page on your website, and is key to creating interesting content that provides value. When constructing your About Us page, consider covering these key points:
Although limitless, think about how much content visitors to your page are likely to read. Also consider alternative ways to explain your business. How would video, imagery, and testimonials aid showcasing your business?
Your Twitter Bio
With a limit of 160 characters, you really need to think carefully about what to include in your Twitter bio. With such a short amount of space, you need to create a bio for your business that is sharp and reflective of what you do.
Located underneath your Twitter profile photo, and within your header, the bio is often the first thing that people read when landing on the page, so if you want to increase followers and subsequently profits, then it is crucial that your bio is interesting. A boring bio will not make people want to follow you, no matter how interesting and amusing your tweets are.
Witty quips are incredibly popular in Twitter bios, so why not experiment with some of your own? So long as it relates to your line of work, isn’t offensive, and can withstand social changes, then a witty remark can be the focal point of your bio section.
On Your Facebook Business Page
Similar to Twitter, Facebook’s Business Pages offer a short description with a limit of 150 characters that is instantly visible. As this also needs to be a snappy, interesting description, then you may want to write content that is similar to that of your Twitter bio. Whatever you do decide to write in your short description, make sure that it aligns with the overall branding of your business, and consider including:
Facebook also offers a long description for company details that is accessed when an individual clicks on the About link. The separation of the page into Basic Info and About allows for your business to provide contact information, location, opening hours, products, awards, and date opened without even delving into the long description, meaning that you are free to write some brilliant, unique content in your long description.
Regardless of platform, there are some basic rules to writing bios and about us content- which should always be followed:
So long as you follow these rules, you should be on track for social media success!
You’ve signed up for an account, you’ve set a profile photo and an eye-catching cover, all your business details are correct and verified… now what? There are guides galore online on how to use each site, explanations for what ‘engagement’ and ‘reach’ mean and about a thousand people claiming they can do it for you for a monthly price, but what if you just want to do it yourself? How do you go about organising social media in a way that makes sense? Our guide focuses on how you can run your own campaigns with as little fuss as possible so you can get down to the important business: interacting with your customers.
A posting schedule is really easy to make and can be made using a simple excel spreadsheet. Just have the date on one axis and the time you need to post on the other, creating a weekly calendar. The next step is to fill in each box with a post – you can plan posts a few hours, days or even weeks in advance if you know what you’ll be doing. A really simple posting schedule could look something like this:
So now you have a posting schedule, but filling it in regularly can become quite time consuming as you run out of things to say. How do you come up with fresh, interesting content regularly?
An editorial calendar has details of themes and features you’d like to run on your profile. An example of a feature from the Marketing By Web Facebook is ‘Motivational Monday’ where we post an inspiring, motivational or funny picture to get people going on a Monday morning. This can be done in a new tab of the same excel spreadsheet as your posting schedule to keep things simple.
There will be two sections for this one. To set up ‘Features’ you have the days of the week on one axis and ‘Title’, ‘Post Type’ and ‘Notes’ on the other. Then fill it in with features you’ll post about each week. There doesn’t have to be one every day, it’s completely up to you. It could look a little something like this:
The second section, ‘Themes’, is set up in a similar way with the months running along one axis and ‘Main Theme’ and ‘Sub-Theme X, Y, Z’ on the other. Themes include new products, upcoming events, problems your customer might face or elements of your industry. There can be as many sub-themes as you like, but try not to make it too complicated. You just want a few as inspiration for your posting schedule. An example could look like this:
Once you’ve filled that out you have a pretty good idea of what you’ll be posting about through the month and it gets easier to come up with content for your posting schedule.
Now you have fresh, interesting content on a regular schedule with plenty of ideas for the future. But you don’t want to log on 3 times a day to post it, do you?
There are a whole host of scheduling apps and websites out there that make it incredibly easy to set your content up in advance, meaning your social media looks after itself while you look after clients. Some are free (for example Hootsuite) and others aren’t (for example Sprout Social) – it’s down to you to find one that you can work with easily and it’s your choice whether it’s worth paying or not – but here are some things to think about when making the decision.
Now you’ve got a posting schedule, an editorial calendar and software to set it all up in advance you’re ready to go! You’ll be a pro at organising social media in to time, go conquer the social media world!
If that all seems like a lot of effort and you’ve decided you’d rather outsource Social Media why not get in touch and ask about our Social Media Management packages? We’d love to help!
As statistics are continuing to show, social media marketing is a leading way for companies to boost sales and trade whilst creating a long lasting rapport with consumers, and with over 200 million Twitter users, businesses of any size will find signing up and tweeting incredibly valuable. Embracing Twitter can be difficult as the social network is highly demanding and requires regular updating with relevant content, but is incredibly beneficial if managed correctly.
Here are just a few things that a single tweet from your account could do for your business.
Regularity and timing are important factors when it comes to managing a business’s Twitter account, as unlike Facebook where newsfeeds are sorted by ‘most recent’ and ‘top stories’, tweets are shown on a rolling timeline. This means that a tweet sent in the morning will not be visible on a user’s feed in the afternoon. Because of this a business’s professional account will need to consistently be updated with relevant content throughout the day so that all followers are targeted.
You may even find it beneficial to ‘repeat tweet’ about any promotions, facts, or links that you wish to highlight. When repeat tweeting, make sure that you don’t simply post an identical tweet over and over. Instead keep followers interested by experimenting in ways to describe what you offer. By posting regularly throughout the day, even with tweets containing the same information, your business is widening its reach and if reaching the right follower at the right time, you can see your tweet transforming into a sale.
Vastly Increase Brand Awareness
The word viral has become synonymous with successful marketing and the creation and successful execution of viral content is a goal for many who want to make their business extremely visible online. Should content be created that goes viral, a company can vastly increase their reach meaning that they quickly get an entirely new audience of consumers taking an interest in their brand.
A company that is fortunate enough to have a tweet go viral can see an enormous increase in brand awareness and sales, but when it comes to social media it is often still a case of slow and steady wins the race. Through regular interesting tweets, a business can slowly build a loyal following that will begin to trust the brand and continue to make use of the products and services they stock, as opposed to those viral follows who may quickly unfollow once they realise that your stream is not relevant to their needs.
Improve Customer Service and Relations
For a number of years customer service and relations has been changing, with businesses adapting to the modern and public ways in which customers can offer praise or complain online. As great as a viral tweet can be for a business, it can also be incredibly damaging should the content be negative. Unsatisfied customers can easily post comments, reviews and reactions that can impact badly on a company if not dealt with in the right way. By having a Twitter presence, a company can quickly deal with and prevent disparaging or derogatory comments from escalating.
Along with being a newer way to deliver good customer service and handle complaints, tweeting is a great way to build foundations for excellent customer relations. Customer relations can be built by simply posting often and making sure that the content is interesting, but also by interacting with followers in a positive way.
Here at Marketing By Web we understand the power that one tweet can have and that a regularly managed Twitter account can vastly increase your web presence and customer reach. If you want to know more about how social media can help your business, or are interested in using our social media management services, then why not give a member of our team a call on 0800 327 7327 or visit our contact us page and fill out an online enquiry form.
Google is continuously developing, and over recent years has introduced new ways of connecting individuals and businesses. With the introduction of Google’s own social media Google+ the search engine has shifted towards more bespoke and personalised search results and is regularly encouraging users to make use of the many facilities and resources that it offers.
Businesses who are already making use of Google+ and Google Places should already be seeing the benefits, in particular how it helps their position in the SERPs and genuine traffic flow to their website. Therefore they will have some idea of how Google’s latest resource, Helpout, will benefit them.
Google Helpout is an interactive video tutorial service that was publically launched in 2013 and aims to allow users to share their knowledge with others; either for a charge or for free. This could therefore be the perfect tool for businesses and entrepreneurs to learn new skills and improve their services.
The ease of access for Google Helpouts means that it has the potential to be incredibly useful for entrepreneurs, small business owners, and individuals who are looking to learn new skills that will ultimately improve their company and work.
As this service is split into many categories, individuals can find suitable courses, lessons, and discussions that can help their professional improvement. As all who offer services from Google Helpouts are checked and backed by Google, a good standard can be assumed, meaning that information received during a session is most likely to be accurate and truly educational.
In addition to the support from Google, those who have completed a session can leave feedback in ratings and reviews, meaning that prior to purchasing a session (using Google Wallet), you can decide whether it will be useful by reading real testimonials from real people.
The ability to have real time interaction with providers is what sets Helpout apart from Youtube tutorials, as you can ask queries, questions and instantly interact with those you are talking to. It can also be viewed as a handy networking tool to build professional relationships with those who have relevant skills which could help your work.
Using it to Teach
The way companies use the internet will change throughout 2014, with businesses having to embrace changes in social media use and experiment with new ways of communicating online. Through encouraging likes and reviews whilst engaging in social media and online communication, businesses can encourage consumers to make purchases, but with Google Helpouts, businesses can charge for the sessions they offer.
Charging by the minute, or by the session, a business or entrepreneur can offer their advice but not devalue their knowledge or become unprofitable, and with the ability for it to be used globally, a small local business can potentially expand their target audience globally.
The ability for those who have used your services to leave reviews will help with the building of your business’s reputation as a trusted authority, which will ultimately help with SEO and PR in a realistic way by building web presence and encouraging trade.
As Google Helpout is a new resource, there are no measurable results as yet; meaning that a business is unfortunately unable to see evidence of how beneficial it will be to their company, but, with Google being the dominating search engine of the internet and vetting those who use Helpout, a business experimenting with the resource will not be negatively effected in the future should Helpout not be a continued success.
This post was written by Beth Stubbings who is a member of the content writing team at Marketing By Web.
It is common for most businesses to go one of two ways at this time of year. In industries such as retail, hospitality and greetings cards, the phones are likely to be ringing off the hook, the website will be receiving plenty of visits and the stores will be brimming with busy shoppers. However, other companies, such as those based in offices, will be winding down for some well-earned time off with their families.
With this being the case, there is a need to ensure that everything is set-up so that your internet marketing takes advantage of this seasonal rush or so that you are not wasting money during a time when your consumer base aren’t in a buying mood.
The majority of your SEO strategy is unlikely to change during this period but there are a few ways you can boost Christmas sales. If you have seasonal products then it’s a good idea to consider making a new page on your website to display these. Not only with this give you some fresh content during a time when it may otherwise be a bit stale, it will also help customers find what they are looking for more easily, thus improving your conversions.
You may also want to write a blog post wishing your visitors a Merry Christmas and also informing them of what you have going on during the festive period. If you aren’t planning to be at your computer much over Christmas then you can always upload your blog post beforehand and programme your CMS to publish it nearer the time.
Failing to tweak your Google Adwords campaigns at this time of year can lead to you either missing out on increased sales possibilities or throwing money away needlessly at a quiet time of year. If December usually provides you with a lull in sales then it is probably best to pause your ads until further notice; just remember to restart them again when the festivities are over.
Conversely, if this is one of your busiest times of year then you may want to consider creating new ads especially for your festive products and services, whilst also considering upping your bids on your existing ads. There is likely to be more competition around at this time of year and so you may find your adverts slipping a few places if others are increasing their budgets.
Social Media –
The best way to use social media to your advantage at this time of year is to host some exciting competitions to create a buzz around your company. Everyone loves to win things, especially when the budget is tight at Christmas. Many companies have already started running regular competitions over social media and they have really taken off. For example, Amazon’s ‘Santa’s Locker’ daily prize giveaway currently has people glued to Twitter every morning in order to find out which city it will be in that day.
If you are planning on giving yourself a break from social media this Christmas, but don’t want your business to suffer because of this, you can plan the things you want to send out on your various channels in Hootsuite. This helpful tool will then post them out on your behalf at the time and date which you have scheduled. Just be sure to monitor your accounts carefully immediately after Christmas as many customers may choose to contact you in this way about any problems they have with the gifts they bought from you.
This article was written by Chris Mayhew, a member of the content marketing team.
Not everybody gets social media, and that’s understandable with its intricacies and complexities in certain areas but it seems that even the people that use it every day can make mistakes sometimes; often with rather amusing consequences.
Confusion is rife on Twitter and a lot of it stems from the handle (the name that is preceded by an @ sign that is used in order to direct your tweet towards a particular individual) and the fact that no two people can have the same one. That means if you are a famous celeb, company or organisation and your name has already been taken by someone else then you have no other choice than to choose a different variation.
Here are a few instances in which this has caused mass confusion among unknowing users.
The Case Of RVP –
RVP are the initials of Dutch football sensation Robin Van Persie who plays for Manchester United. However, through a happy coincidence they are also the letters that an Indian man by the name of Ravi Visvesvaraya Sharada Prasad chooses to use to shorten his name in his Twitter handle.
And so when United won the Premier League title in May this year, the 52 year old IT consultant received a large amount of praise for his footballing ability and the role that he played in regaining the title for the Red Devils. Although Mr Prasad took the whole ordeal in good faith he did say that it is a constant thorn in his side that he is harassed by people on Twitter confusing him with the striker. And it didn’t help that after he sent out the tweet below people started doing it on purpose, just for the fun of it.
The Case Of The Ashes –
It’s not often that someone has to publicly deny that they are not a cricket match, but that’s exactly what one girl from Massachusetts had to do during the 2010/2011 Ashes cricket campaign in Australia. So when the England team won the series down under for the first time since 1987, fans began to tweet what they thought was the official account for the event. However, the handle @theashes actually belongs to Ashley Kerekes who has nothing to do with cricket at all.
After initially feeling bemused by the patriotic tweets which included confusing references to a game that she knew nothing about; Ashley soon received plenty of media attention from the mistake and was even asked to be a guest of honour at the 5th test match.
The Case Of John Lewis –
In the build-up to Christmas this year, many people were awaiting the anticipated new advert from the department store John Lewis. When it was finally aired on TV the ‘Twittersphere’ went wild with reaction to the nostalgic and heart-warming commercial and felt compelled to tweet the company to tell them all about the warm fuzzy feeling they now had inside their stomachs.
Hilariously though, the handle @johnlewis doesn’t belong to the retail store and is instead the twitter address of a very kind man in Virginia. Hundreds of users started tweeting him referring to bears and hares but he just brushed it off and kindly directed them to the real John Lewis. He has responded to every single tweet so far, often with comedy gold replies, and has even earned himself a free gift from the department store for being the nicest man alive.
If you would like more information on how Marketing By Web could manage your social media campaigns then don’t hesitate to contact us on 0800 327 7327 or fill out a form on the website.
Social media continues to work its way through the business world and it’s now estimated that around 90% of small businesses are actively engaging in some kind of social media activity. But how many of them are going about it in the right manner? And how many of them know the best way to get the most out of their social media usage?
There are certain things that are perfectly at home when posted on your company’s social media networks. Such things as the latest news regarding your brand, interesting articles about subjects in your industry and any job opportunities you might have in your business would fit comfortably into this category. However, there are many more things that have no place here. Here are just a few examples.
Criticism Of A Client Or Customer –
The rise of social media now means that this avenue is a lot of customers’ preferred choice when it comes to making a complaint to a company. However, there is a need to react to these criticisms professionally and not respond in a similar manner to which the complaint is made and make it worse. These online criticisms can be the perfect opportunity for you to show how much your company values its customers and how good you are at customer service; not a chance to let out all of your frustrations.
Personal Anecdotes –
There are two worlds that make up social media; the personal world and the business world. These two should be kept well away from each other and should never be left to intertwine. Your personal friends may enjoy reading about what you get up to in your life away from the office but this will look out of place and inappropriate on your business accounts.
Degrading The Competition –
You may want to do everything you can to get ahead of the competition in your industry, but posting derogatory statements on social media is not the way to go about this. Not only is it completely unprofessional and unbecoming of a successful business, it often back-fires to make you look like the bad guy. For example, the tweet below was posted by South African bank ‘Standard’ about their competitor, FNB, and their recent advertising campaign. However, it was met with backlash from hundreds of FNB customers defending their bank and dismissing Standard as an alternative.
Controversial Opinions –
There is nothing wrong with having an opinion but it is not advisable to make allusions to controversial ones via your business’s social media account. An instance such as this could create irreparable damage to your company’s reputation and could end up going viral for the whole world to see. Incidentally, you should also be very careful about posting provocative opinions on your personal accounts too as it could still harm the business that you are clearly associated with.
Bragging Posts –
It’s one thing to subtly promote some of your products and services via your social channels, but it is totally another to repeatedly brag about any new contracts you have won, any compliments you may have received in the press or just generally how fantastic you are as a business. You may think this is a way to generate more consumer interested but on the whole it generally has the opposite effect. Similarly, it’s just as much of a turn off to other social media users if you are constantly pleading with them to ‘follow’ or ‘like’ your page.
Social media is here to stay,
and so it’s time to jump on board.
Don’t waste time in any way,
because that’s time you can’t afford.
Growth in the market has been rapid,
and every business should take note.
Although some users can really be vapid,
it’s time to clear your social throat.
First things first; choose the best site,
because not all networks will suit.
Facebook and Twitter may be right,
but the wrong sites will bear no fruit.
Create your profile and fill it in,
adding every inch of information.
The more they know; the more chance of a win,
and the more you’ll reach the nation.
A consistent approach is what you need,
but don’t overload your fans.
Because clogging up everyone’s feed,
is sure to ruin your big plans.
Be subtle with your posting too,
there’s no need to push for a sale.
It’s about your audience relating to you,
and this is where so many fail.
And build your following steadily,
there’s no need to beg, steal or borrow.
Plenty will connect with you readily,
and soon they’ll all want to follow.
Social media has many uses,
not just for conversing with mates.
So there really are no excuses,
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