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 LINK) and others aren’t (for example Sprout Social LINK) – 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,
Since its conception in the late 90’s social media has grown to have many different uses. Friends have used it to keep in contact with each other regardless of where they are in the world, businesses have used it to help with their marketing and their lead generation, unemployed people have used it to find job opportunities, self-absorbed teens have used it to perfect their pouts and now it has been used to reunite a wandering rabbit with its concerned owners.
Lexi’s Story –
Early this morning one family in Bristol awoke to find their rabbit hutch sans rabbit as to their dismay Lexi the white Mellerud rabbit had somehow escaped. Early reports suggested that the door to the hutch wasn’t secured properly but these rumours are yet to be confirmed. After a quick search of the local area returned little in the shape of a rabbit; the family started to put together a strategy in order to return their four-legged friend to its rightful home.
With strategic marketing experience in the family it was no surprise that the first course of action was to construct detailed posters of the missing rabbit and put them up around the children’s school in the hope that this would jog anybody’s memory as to whether they came across a rabbit on their journey to school.
Knowing the power of social media, the wife of Marketing By Web’s MD then announced on Facebook that her rabbit was missing and the search soon moved on in leaps and bounds…and hops. Thankfully order was restored at around 10am this morning when a thoughtful neighbour noticed the post on Facebook and checked her garden to discover a small fury addition amongst the flowerbeds.
Lexi was promptly returned to her home and has shown no signs that the ordeal has fazed her in any way. Today Facebook not only saved a rabbit from the suburban wilderness of a Bristol garden but also saved a family from a potentially upsetting situation.
What Can We Learn From This? –
The moral to this fable, apart from ‘always secure your rabbit’, is never to underestimate the power of social media. And whilst there will be plenty of people reading this who know all too well what sites like Facebook and Twitter can do for their business; there will be others who are yet to take the plunge and who have, until now, been reluctant to enter a world filled with ‘likes’, ‘follows’ and ‘retweets’.
If this is you then perhaps it’s time that you joined the rest of the business world and opened your eyes to this new media that has done so much in such a short space of time. If Facebook can reunite a family with their bunny then there is no doubt it can reunite your business with those long lost customers who are out there roaming the virtual gardens like confused cottontails.
Don’t be a rabbit in the headlights. Take control of your business’s online marketing today.
Incidentally, Marketing By Web care for a lot more than just lost pets. Let us look after and nurture your social media campaigns in order to make them work better for you and your company.
Facebook is arguably the first and most popular social media platform to be created. OK there were others before it but Facebook is usually regarded as the daddy of all social media and was the first site to gain worldwide recognition and usage. The best thing is that unlike sites like Myspace, Bebo and a whole list of others; Facebook has survived the test of time and, despite fierce competition from sites like Twitter, has more active members than any other social network in existence today.
But that’s what we do know about Facebook. How about what we don’t? Here are five great facts about this social giant which may or may not have contributed to it becoming the great online marketing, advertising and PR avenue that it is today.
Facebook Contributed To A Third Of Divorces In 2011 –
As social media has got bigger we now feel that we can share almost anything via it and this has had serious repercussions in our love lives. According to Divorce-Online, Facebook was detailed as the reason for divorce in around a third of all cases during the year of 2011 and this is only likely to increase. Unsurprisingly the main reason was because of inappropriate messages being sent to members of the opposite sex but this just goes to show that in a social world there is nowhere to hide.
It Once Rained Inside Facebook’s Data Centre –
Facebook may be pretty omnipotent but not many people would expect it to have the power to control the weather. Well one day in 2011 it proved us all wrong. There was a breakdown in the air-conditioning at their data centre which is based in Oregon, USA and the resulting condensation lead to the creation of a cloud inside the building, which then proceeded to rain down on all the servers. In the wake of this engineers have had to cover all the electrical equipment with waterproof ‘jackets’ to prevent any damage occurring should this happen again.
More Than 4% Of All Photos That Have Ever Been Taken Are On Facebook –
4% may not seem like a particularly high number but when you think about how many photos have been taken since the birth of photography this is an astounding statistic. Halfway through last year the Facebook library had around 140 billion photos in it, which is one hundred thousand times more than the Library of Congress in America. The sad news is that this 4% seems to be made up of pictures of pets, drunk people falling over and that special kind of person that likes to take pouting pictures in their bathroom mirror.
Facebook Is Banned In China –
This may be something that you have heard rumours about in the past but I can confirm that it is true. After riots in July 2009 the Chinese government banned all use of Facebook because of the role it played in allowing independence activists to communicate with one another during the uprising. The people of China now champion a social networking site by the name of Renren as this does much of the same things as Facebook but falls in line with the regulations laid down by the government.
The Artist That Painted Facebook’s First HQ Was Paid In Stock –
When the people at Facebook asked graffiti artist Dave Choe how he would like to be paid for his work on their HQ building he asked for stock. He was duly granted this request and today his stock is worth in excess of $200m. I wouldn’t advise making the same request to your boss during this current economic climate though.
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