Social Media

12 social media questions  and insights with the curly marketer

12 social media questions and insights with the curly marketer

Back in March 2018, I was thrilled to be asked to be part of the We are Social Media podcast.  The title of the piece would be 12 social media questions and insights with the curly marketer.

WEARSM is one of the world’s leading independent sources of digital marketing news and insight, covering social media marketing, the connected lifestyle, and a lot in between.

The segment I was involved in was their 12 questions regarding social media with a guest (MOI).

Really enjoyed the experience speaking with Linleigh Master who is an absolute pro, and a big thank you to Andrew Pickering and Peter Gartland from Atomic for recommending me to be on the show.

Anyway, to hear my words of wisdom and views on just click here. Let me know what you think in the comments below and if you want to know more about me click here

If you are looking to understand how to create a Digital Marketing Strategy you can get my ebook by filling in the form below and you will be asked to confirm your subscription to my blog.

But don’t worry you can unsubscribe at any time.

Best Wishes

Phillip, The Curly Marketer

Posted by Phillip Twyford in Social Media, 0 comments
Where is social media heading in 2018?

Where is social media heading in 2018?

Where is social media heading in 2018?  That is the question I answer and give my views on in this video.  If we look at all the social channels you will notice that many things have happened.

Facebook has gone through the data crisis that I believe has led to a huge amount of trust being eroded in the brand.  Twitter changed their policies for sharing the same tweet across multiple profiles and for sharing the same tweet multiple times on the same profile.

This came about because of the increases in spam and also how elections were using social media to inflate profiles and mass communicate the same message.

In my view, one key thing that people need to embrace when it comes to social media is you have to be personal, natural, human and engage.  For too long people have set content up to be automated with little or no engagement with their communities.  But times are changing and the brands that make the effort to reach out and personally interact with their audiences will be the ones that reap the rewards.

If you want to know more about me click here

I hope you enjoy this post and please share with your community.

If you are looking to understand how to create a Digital Marketing Strategy you can get my ebook by filling in the form below and you will be asked to confirm your subscription to my blog.

But don’t worry you can unsubscribe at any time.

Posted by Phillip Twyford in Social Media, 0 comments
The importance of using hashtags in social media

The importance of using hashtags in social media

The importance of using hashtags in social media cannot be stressed enough.

It is a very important element to not to forget to use in your social media posts because the # allows your content to be found by people who are interested in various topics.

On Twitter especially the hashtag gives your tweets a better chance of being seen rather than be lost in the millions of tweets sent every second.  You can also look at a trending # to see if you could get involved in the conversation and further create awareness around your brand.

Check out my #curlymarketertip video below where I explain why the hashtag is important so that you understood how to use going forward and if you want to get the most out of Twitter why not check out my detailed post here 

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If you are looking to understand how to create a Digital Marketing Strategy you can get my ebook by filling in the form below and you will be asked to confirm your subscription to my blog.

But don’t worry you can unsubscribe at any time.

Posted by Phillip Twyford in Social Media, 0 comments
Do you know what tagging is and why it is important?

Do you know what tagging is and why it is important?

When it comes to maximising the reach of your posts on social media, tagging is a key element to not forget.

By tagging people or companies, it gives your post the opportunity to be seen and shared with a wider audience while also building relationships for you and your brand.

For example, if I was at a conference and I wanted to tweet out about a particular speakers presentation I would not only tag the conference organiser, but I would also tag the speaker (if they have a Twitter profile).  To tag I would put the @ symbol before their twitter name or handle, mine is @ptwyford, and then send my tweet.

By tagging the speaker in this example above they would get a notification of my comment on Twitter, and if it was positive and complimentary they would probably share my comment, possibly follow me and expose my brand to their audience.

Check out my video below where I explain exactly what it is and how to do it and for more tips and to get started on Twitter check out my post here

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I hope you enjoy this post and please share with your community.

If you are looking to understand how to create a Digital Marketing Strategy you can get my ebook by filling in the form below and you will be asked to confirm your subscription to my blog.

But don’t worry you can unsubscribe at any time.

 

Posted by Phillip Twyford in Social Media, 0 comments
10 Things To Do For Your Email Marketing Success

10 Things To Do For Your Email Marketing Success

Email Marketing, once the darling of the marketing world, is now seen as a pariah almost. The bringer of spam, and now looking so uncool when compared to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.  Yet, I would contest that when done right email marketing can be extremely effective at taking your business to the next level.

To support this view, Campaign Monitor did an excellent post listing 70 key facts related to email marketing that I believe will convince all the email doubters to reconsider their opinion of email as a marketing tool.   Here are a couple of my favourites.

Apart from these facts do also consider that based on the excellent report done by The Radicati Group it is estimated that by 2019 there will 2.9 billion worldwide users of email.

OK, so now that we know some serious facts that show that email is still a very relevant and potent tool in your marketing strategy how should you go about planning and implementing an email campaign that will give you the best open rates and responses?

 

The following are 10 tips for email marketing success that I believe will improve your email marketing if it is not currently rewarding your efforts.

 

Planning for Email Marketing

 

10 Things To Do For Your Email Marketing Success

1 Create A Plan

As the saying goes “Fail To Plan, Plan To Fail”. No matter what medium, action, or strategy you want to conduct, you have to create a plan and capture a number of key pieces of information to allow you formulate the best approach to achieve success.

First, who are you targeting?  You must create buyer personas so that you can drill down and have a real picture as to who you want to target and communicate with.

The central core purpose of doing this is to ensure that the email communication you create will have the most interest and relevance for them which increases the chance that your email will be opened.

Secondly, you have to set yourself objectives and goals.  What is the email campaign suppose to achieve?  If you want to generate leads as opposed to raising awareness, the email strategy developed will be very different, so really identifying and agreeing this upfront will be vital.

Thirdly, how much money are you going to allocate to email so that you can budget your spend accordingly, and also ensure the budget allowed does not impede the ability to achieve the objectives set.

To finish off your plan you must detail how you are going to send out your emails, and then measure the effectiveness of your campaign.  You may decide to use an internal system, or look at something like Campaign Monitor, and utilise open rates and clicks on a call to action link to a specific landing page.  Whatever route you decide, ensure you have it clearly defined and thought out before sending any emails.

 

2 Be Relevant

It is vital that you know your target audience and can identify the multiple segments contained within your database.  There is absolutely no point sending out the same email offering and call to actions if they will only appeal to a certain section of your target audience.  Develop tailored personalised messages, offers and call to actions to the different buyer personas you have identified in your planning stage.  By doing this you will increase the chances of your email been opened.

 

3 A Great Subject Line Is The Key

Having a great subject line is what will get your email noticed but using words such as free will only trigger the dreaded spam filter.  Headlines should be targeted, relevant and personalised to the individual and should include your company name.  By doing this, it will help you present a more professional and authentic look to your communication.  Check out this great post by Hubspot to help you craft and excellent email subject line.

 

4 Ensure You Use Good Design

There is no point having great content and a great offer if the design and presentation are not clear, enticing or easy to follow for the reader.  Give your target audience options for both HTML and text-only versions.  Use the top part of your email to give the reader the real value and offer of what you want to communicate.  Keep your copy brief to avoid excessive scrolling and don’t mix and match different fonts and sizes. Personally, I love white space as I feel it really helps a reader see messages more clearly and allows for quick scanning of your message.

Include your logo on the top of your email, and make sure that calls to action are clear and are of a point size to allow for easy clicking.

 

5 Have A Dedicated Landing Page

There is nothing worse than having warmed up your target prospect, they click the call to action link in your email and they are brought to your home page on your website.  For your email campaigns, you must ensure you are designing bespoke landing pages that clearly directs the reader on what you want them to do when they get there.  When your prospect clicks on the call to action link in your email, they should be brought to a specific landing page that mirrors exactly with the email content they have just been interacting with.

All the information should be absolutely relevant based on the content that the reader was sent in the email, and all the key information should be presented in the top.  Make it very easy and clear to your target audience to know what they have to do next now that they have landed.  This can be done by ensuring the call to action buttons and links are prominent and clickable.

Duct Tape Marketing did a great piece on why landing pages are so important so click here to get some more ideas.

 

6 Test

It is very important to do a few trial runs first with your email campaign before sending to prospects.  Use internal teams and a group of trusted sources to pre-critique your email.  Look at how your email is displayed on various browsers from laptop, tablet and mobile.  Is your content activating spam filters or not displaying correctly on certain browsers.

Check that your images are downloading and that all your links, both call to action links to landing pages and unsubscribe links are working.  I would also advise using a free spam checker to run your email through to check to see if any sections of your copy could potentially trigger a filter and commit your email to quarantine.

 

7 Measure

It will be important to know and monitor how your email campaign is performing to ascertain whether you need to iterate and change.  Pay attention to metrics such as delivery rate, open rates and click through from call to action links to a landing page. It is also worth noting that Outlook offers no tracking metrics, so I would recommend not using this for your marketing emails. Using a specialist email marketing provider such as Campaign Monitor who have very good email marketing tools with excellent metrics will allow you track how your emails are doing.

 

8 Keep Testing and Iterating

The beauty about email is that by using metrics you can see what is not working and improve it.  AB Test different headlines, email designs, use of imagery over text-only emails, times of the day and different days of the week.  All these data parameters will offer you invaluable insights to hone your email campaign to be as responsive and as engaging as possible.

 

9 Keep Your Data Clean

This is a must to ensure your long term email marketing success.  If people are unsubscribing it may indicate the information you are sending is not relevant, so it makes practical sense to ensure you are capturing this data.  If you have a high bounce rate it means that those emails are no longer valid so it is a waste of time and effort to keep sending your emails to these addresses.

 

10 Integrate

Email when used on its own can be very effective, but don’t forget to consider an integrated approach with other targeted and relevant media that are communicating the same focussed material to your target audience.  Doing this can have an extremely positive effect on your response rates.

To further help you in your quest for email success see below an excellent infographic from Online Course Report that details some excellent information and insights that you can use to hone your emailing skills.

Email Marketing

 

I hope you enjoy this post and please share with your community.

If you are looking to understand how to create a Digital Marketing Strategy you can get my ebook by filling in the form below and you will be asked to confirm your subscription to my blog.

But don’t worry you can unsubscribe at any time.

Thanks for reading

Phillip (The Curly Marketer)

 

 

Posted by Phillip Twyford in Digital Marketing, Email, Social Media, 2 comments
Are You Scared To Use Social Media For Your Business?

Are You Scared To Use Social Media For Your Business?

As a business do you find yourself struggling with the rapid changes in the social media landscape? Do you have social media fear for your business?

You are not alone when you consider the increasing variety of ways your business can keep in touch, share and digest information with, to and from customers and your target audience.

As someone that has worked in Sales and Marketing, I can completely empathise with you and I have had social media fear and have the grey hair to prove it !!!

Just consider some of the social media tools at our disposal.

Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Pinterest, Youtube, Instagram, SEO

Vine, Google +, Blogging, Periscope, Podcasts

Display advertising, Pay Per Click, Slide Share, Snapchat

Mobile Marketing, Email Marketing, Online Ezines etc etc etc

 

Just consider some of the social media tools at our disposal

 

So for any business especially small companies just starting out using social media and knowing where to begin and what to use can be a minefield and a source of real stress and social media fear.

However, don’t be scared. Here is what I have learned in 5 simple tips which I feel if you employ will give you a good basis to get started with this very exciting communication medium and get you over your social media fear.

 

How to get over your social media fear:

 

1         Target The Correct Platform And Medium

Focus on your customers, target audience and on the products/services you offer.  By doing this, it will help you decide the social media platforms that are best for you and it will also focus you to really consider where your customers hang out in a digital sense. Goodbye, social media fear.

For example, if your product is more B2C such as clothing, I would advise you should consider Facebook and possibly Pinterest, whereas a more business to business service such as equipment hire, ISO Consultancy etc should consider Linkedin and Twitter.

Another reason to also be focused on the media you choose is time.  It is better to be actively posting and engaging on one, possibly two channels and getting great engagement and brand success as opposed to being active on every medium and not been seen or heard and creating no impact or content at all.

 

 

Get rid of social media fear by targeting the correct platform and medium

 

2          Test And Iterate, Test And Iterate

The great thing about social media is that you can track, analyse and measure how effective and successful your communication and activity is.

Constantly review key performance metrics for your channels via tools such as Google Analytics for data related to your website or Twitters analytics to track metrics on your tweets, and if you find one is not performing don’t just leave it and hope for the best.

Tweak the message, the style, content and If after changing the posting content, time of delivery etc you still find that the platform is not performing make the call that perhaps it is not the medium to use and focus on those that are working and how you can improve them.  The more you know the social media fear starts to lessen.

Test And Iterate, Test And Iterate

 

3          Be Detailed About Your Profile

Each channel has their own profile sign up some more detailed than others but the point here is not to be afraid of setting up any profile on social media.

Instead, recognise that for every digital channel account you create you must ensure you fill out all the details promoting yourself and get your images up there to ensure a real cohesive looking brand can be found when people search for you.  Get over your social media fear by getting our profiles fully complete.

 

Be Detailed About Your Profile

 

4          It’s Called Social Media Be Social.

A lot of companies make this mistake. They use all their social media channels as purely another sales tool to constantly talk about how great they are, their products are and why don’t you buy from us.

However, if your strategy is to lose customers this approach is perfect so keep doing what you are doing. And no I am not serious. Please stop doing this if you are guilty.

People want their problems solved, to be advised, to be entertained, to learn, to be inspired and make a connection with people and the companies that they feel are an extension of them and their personality.

It is called Social Media for a reason.

We are all taking our conversation online and so are your customers and prospects.  We want companies to talk to us, to answer our problems, make us feel heard and offer us solutions and benefits.  By listening and engaging with your audience you will not only strengthen your relationship but you will begin to learn very important information about those who are interacting with you. This will then allow you to make their experience and interaction with you and your company more meaningful, personal and memorable.

By listening and engaging with your audience you will not only strengthen your relationship but you will begin to learn very important information about those who are interacting with you. This will then allow you to make their experience and interaction with you and your company more meaningful, personal and memorable.

 

 It's Called Social Media For A Reason So Be Social

 

5          Start

So after a few espressos and shouting affirmations at yourself with the help of the motivational Podcast you set up the Facebook page, your Blog account, and Twitter profile all completed. Yes, you feel great and high five yourself. Good job.

However, a day goes by no activity or posts.  OK, writer’s block, it happens to the best of us.

3 days go by still nothing posted. Darn, the power went down in the area so you could not power up the laptop, tablet or smartphone to send off a blog or a tweet.  A week goes by, then a month, then 3 months and on and on it goes until the amount of tumble-weed in your office means you cannot now get to the laptop to do any posts. OK, I know that’s just silly but I hope it creates the desired visual effect for you.

OK, I know that’s just silly but I hope it creates the desired visual effect for you.

 

 Start

 

To be social on social media you have to be active.  This leads me back to point 1 about time. If you choose to blog aim for 1 to 2 posts a week and then build it up.  If Twitter is your choice of medium look to be tweeting 10 to 15 times a day at key times when your target audience and followers are are going to be there.

The most important thing is that just because you have a profile page set up it does not mean anything without you being there and sharing, engaging and communicating with your audience.

Social Media is a fantastic addition to any companies marketing and branding strategy.  But like all communication mediums do your research first, prepare your strategy, find out what tools and channels best compliment your business to allow you engage, and most importantly be social and converse back with your customers and prospects.

Here is a great resource from one of the leading websites, Social Media Examiner, founded by Michael Stelzner for all things related to social media and gives you an excellent resource to start your journey

I hope you enjoy this post and please share with your community.

If you are looking to understand how to create a Digital Marketing Strategy you can get my ebook by filling in the form below and you will be asked to confirm your subscription to my blog.

But don’t worry you can unsubscribe at any time.

Phillip (The Curly Marketer)

 

Posted by Phillip Twyford in Digital Marketing, Social Media, 0 comments
How to help your business be great at social media

How to help your business be great at social media

Do you want to know how to be great at social media? Keep reading.

I coined the phrase “The secret to becoming great at social media is to become great at being social” 

What does this mean exactly?  Well, to illustrate this for you, I want you to honestly review how you interact with any new followers you get on Twitter. 

Do you direct message everyone who follows you personally, and I am not talking about using those false and horrible autoresponders, but actually type back a genuine thank you to that person for taking the time to follow you?

I never did until I heard an interview between the excellent Michael Stelzner and the genius that is Gary Vaynerchuk on the must listen to Social Media Examiner Podcast

In this interview Gary relayed (I am paraphrasing because the brain cells are not what they were) how he saw all these very big named influencers and social media gurus, who had thousands of followers all giving out advice that companies and people need to ensure they are interacting and responding personally to their followers, customers etc, yet it appeared that some of them did not practice what they preached.

On the flip side, however, Gary made it his business to thank every new Twitter follower for choosing to follow what he does, and he actively made it his business to answer every email.  

I do this on Twitter with a personalised thank you to every new follower and the engagement and personal messages I have received back have proved to me how valuable taking the time to do this has been.

So, if you do nothing else after you have read this post, look at the social media channels you are on, and seriously critique are you really interacting, connecting, communicating and really been social with people in a meaningful way?

 

How to help your business be great at social media

It takes hard work and dedication but the following 5 key things to focus on will provide you with an excellent starting point to get great at social media.

 

1 List

Your list is your customers, your followers, your supporters and your target audience.  Whether it is social media, direct marketing, email etc, having a list of people that support you, trust you, buy from you and advocate for you, is central to all business success. 

What is the point of been active on various social media channels, sharing great content and driving people to your website, if all the time you are not capturing at least an email of these people who want to engage with you, listen to what you have to say and ultimately buy from you, so that you can then communicate and reach out to them directly.

Therefore, at every opportunity, you must make it easy for people to be able to sign up for your blog updates and always look to capture key details about them when they go to interact on your website to download an ebook or request a quote. By building a list of people interested in your message you now have the building blocks for creating real long-term relationships that will be mutually beneficial to you both.

By building a list of people interested in your message you now have the building blocks for creating real long-term relationships that will be mutually beneficial to you both and allow you to start to be great at social media.

 

2 Offer

The offer is a core reason that hooks people into you and your brand and allows you start to be great on social media.  In social media blatant self-promotion of your products, and constantly bombarding your audience with repetitive sales messages is the perfect way to alienate you and your business from your audience.

To be great at social media you need to be genuine, useful, insightful, helpful and trusted.  Provide targeted content in the form of blogs, ebooks, white papers, infographics, SlideShare presentations, video and audio tutorials etc, to build real trust and rapport with your audience as you are offering solutions and answers to their problems.

Once you build up a trusted following, you can then begin to expand your offer into paid products and affiliate marketing. However, once again these must be seen to have a definite benefit in the eyes of your audience otherwise you could undermine the trust and credibility you have created.

However, once again these must be seen to have a definite benefit in the eyes of your audience otherwise you could undermine the trust and credibility you have created

 

3 Timing

To be great at social media you need to understand that even though the business environment is constantly changing, your target audience still has the same needs, questions to be answered and problems to be solved.

Review your analytics data to see when certain content and products seem to spike and increase uptake and engagement.

Actively communicate with your customers, followers and your email list as to whether certain times of the year are particularly challenging for them, and then plan to have solutions to be offered during these periods.

By looking at this carefully it may allow you to strategically map out what products, solutions, and content plan you need to be doing at certain times of the year.  For example, if you are a florist your strategy should have a timed objective around Valentines, and maybe you see that certain months there is always a spike in the number of weddings, once again content and offers should be aligned around these critical periods.

 

4 Relevance

This is the key one if you want to be great at social media.  If you are not deemed relevant by your audience, your online presence will soon become a ghost town.  People look for answers on the web each day to questions and problems they have.  If you provide content that is relevant and answers these questions you will soon be seen as a thought leader and the place to go for information.

It is also critical that you employ relevance across your media strategy and ensure that you are being very detailed in the level of information you are capturing about your customers.

For example, if we take again the florist business and on their website, they have some ebooks such as a guide to choosing the best flowers for your wedding depending on the season or how to look after your bonsai plant.

By capturing the name and email of those people who download these very different ebooks, further relevant content can then be promoted and emailed to them and their eyes you will be seen as someone who is great at social media and understands their business.

The secret to staying relevant is to know who your audience is, what do they need, where do they hang out online, and what topics do they actively discuss and engage with.  Once you know this you can then ensure your information has the highest degree of relevance from an information point of view so that your audience will be drawn to consume it, share and come back to you for more.

I mentioned Gary Vaynerchuk earlier in this post. He details a strategy of providing ongoing relevant, benefit-driven content tailored to your audience in his must-read Jab Jab Jab Right Hook.

This ongoing content or jabs as he refers to them actively provides solutions and benefit-driven content using a variety of media and once you have built up that trust and reputation then you can introduce the sale or right hook so to speak.

If you only read one book this year to show you how to be great at social media this is it.

 

5 Patience

This is the toughest one for all businesses whether you are an entrepreneur or a large multinational everyone is looking for the sale, for the return on investment.  But to be great at social media by creating long-term meaningful relationships requires dedication and above all patience.

Be true to you as a person, as a brand and as a business.  Listen, engage and be committed to providing the best solutions to your audience as opposed to just thinking about the end sales.

Of course, I am not stupid, your business is there to make money but build the audience and gain their trust.  Once you have that and your solution or service is of the highest quality possible the propensity that your engaged loyal audience will want to buy and support you is very much increased.

I hope you enjoy this post and please share with your community.  If you would like to know where I see social media heading then read this post and watch a video where I share my thoughts.

If you are looking to understand how to create a Digital Marketing Strategy you can get my ebook by filling in the form below and you will be asked to confirm your subscription to my blog.

But don’t worry you can unsubscribe at any time.

Phillip (The Curly Marketer)

 

Posted by Phillip Twyford in Social Media, 0 comments