Digital Marketing

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?

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 the grey curly 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

The list could go on and on and based on this great article from Kim Garst one of the next key next big trends will be visual media, and to support this Kim states that photos make up 93 percent of the most engaging posts on Facebook.

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.

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.

 

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.

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 been active on every medium and not been seen or heard and creating no impact or content at all.

To help you create a digital strategy download my free ebook giving you step by step guidance in creating a planat the end of this post.

 

Target 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.

Test And Iterate, Test And Iterate

 

3          Be Detailed About Your Profile

When you look to create for example a Google + page for your business you have to go through an activation process. Registration is detailed and you have to complete your address, what the business does, phone numbers and even move a location pin marker to the exact location on the map displayed before you can move to the next step.

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.

 

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 your 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
Top 10 Linkedin Mistakes That You Need To Avoid

Top 10 Linkedin Mistakes That You Need To Avoid

One of the leading Linkedin experts is Melonie Dodaro founder and CEO of Top Dog Social Media.

Recently I came across an excellent article that Melonie had written in which she listed 19 mistakes made on LinkedIn, that we need to make sure we all avoid.  

I wanted to share what I think are the top 10 LinkedIn mistakes that you need to avoid from this list because I am still surprised at some of the profiles I see and how some people go about sending me a connection request.  

In a great post  by Mike Stenger he illustrated an excellent infographic that shows how 80% of new business leads now come from LinkedIn and based on recent researchLinkedIn now boasts 433 million users and growing.

Tweet: LinkedIn now boasts 433 million users and growing

With figures such as this, ignoring LinkedIn in your sales and marketing mix is crazy, because if utilised correctly it can allow you create new relationships, and become more relevant to your target audience.  Therefore, ensuring you are not committing these cardinal errors will allow you begin to reap the rewards from Linkedin.

 

Top 10 LinkedIn Mistake That You Need To Avoid

 

1 Not Completing Your Profile

This one I can never understand.  Why set up a LinkedIn account if you are not going to complete your profile?  LinkedIn has 1 in 4 of the leading executives as members, so remember your credibility, and take the time to make sure you present a polished first impression.

 

2 Don’t Be Vague When Completing Your Profile

Be specific and detailed about what you do.  Saying that you do a bit of this, and a bit of that, and some of the other won’t cut it.

 

3 Optimise Your Profile For Search

Just as you would use keywords when creating your website, it is important to choose a couple of keywords that describe what you do.  This will help you to increase the chances of your profile been found by a potential prospect when they do a search on LinkedIn. Check out these 21 steps to creating the perfect profile by Melonie.


4 Don’t Send A Connection Request Without A Personal Message

I am very happy to connect with anyone, but it would be nice to know why this person would like to connect and engage with me, as opposed to becoming just another connection statistic.  Also, be warned.  It only takes a couple of people to say they don’t know you, and LinkedIn will penalise your ability to connect with people unless you have an email address.

My advice, make a point of reaching out with a personalised message and reason you want to connect with them and 90% of the time people will accept.

5 Unprofessional or No Profile Picture

LinkedIn is a place where professionals come to engage and discuss business, it is not Facebook. Yet I have seen profile pictures used from nights out, the person is not even looking at the camera, they are unrecognisable due to wearing a hat and sunglasses and worse of all they leave the generic blank outline frame and have no picture.  Maybe I am just getting old, but for potential prospects and your customers to take you seriously you have to look professional and be credible.

 

6 Key Word Stuffing Your Profile

The LinkedIn search algorithm works like search engines of old, so if you stuff a keyword such as Marketing Manager all over your profile, the chances are your profile will perform very well when a search is done on these keywords. However,  when the potential person comes across your profile, stuffed with Marketing Manager everywhere, it will read terribly and they will leave with a poor perception of you.

Build your credibility and impress rather than deceive.

 

7 Asking A Stranger For A Recommendation

You may be amazed, but yes this does go on.  Only ask people you really know well that can legitimately critique and give you a recommendation for your work.  Any other method will tarnish your reputation.

 

8 Selling Before Saying Hello

Don’t confuse the term “Social Selling” to mean just sending off sales promos via social media. On Linkedin, it is about creating relationships built on communication, partnership, genuine engagement and relevance. The more you engage and provide valuable solutions to your connections, the sales will come as trust and credibility are earned.

 

9 Not Posting Status Updates Daily

Just like Twitter or having a BLOG, there is no point setting up a LinkedIn account if you are not going to post and share information you feel would be of interest to your target audience.  By being active, it keeps you relevant and top of mind.

 

10 Saying “I see You Viewed My Profile” when sending a connection request

Thankfully this has never happened to me, but personally, this would instantly make me not want to connect. Don’t creep out the people you want to connect with.  Just act like a professional, reach out with a genuine personal message, and you will do just fine.

For more LinkedIn tips check out this other post I wrote for LinkedIn success.

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 Linkedin, 0 comments
This Is The One Thing All Twitter Experts Use For Success

This Is The One Thing All Twitter Experts Use For Success

Twitter was a revelation to me when I joined back in 2012.  Here was a medium that allowed me to engage, converse, promote myself and most importantly, begin to create online relationships with influencers who I looked up to.

I still consider myself the proverbial Twitter white belt but I am steadily growing my community on average between 5 and 10 new followers each day.

However, one thing that I struggled with was how do I keep up with all the tweets from those key influencers especially when I was getting multiple new tweets every second from everyone else I was following?

Social media and the entire marketing arena is not changing by the day or even by the hour, it is changing every second of every minute of every hour and we all see wave after wave of updates populating our Twitter feed.

The end result is that the majority of these tweets are not getting read even though there could be some real nuggets of knowledge.

And that is a real shame.

Following some research, I discovered this is the one thing all Twitter experts use for success to allow them actively engage with the tweets they are most eager not to miss.

They use Twitter lists.

A Twitter list will allow you to create a list defined by an interest or topic so that you can add the key people you follow directly into a central repository so that you never miss one of their tweets again.

For example. Maybe you want to ensure you are focussed on never missing the tweets of key marketing influencers.

All you have to do is create a marketing list and then add the people who you don’t ever want to miss tweets from.

Here is a great article from Social Media Examiner as to how to create your very first Twitter list so you can start today.

 

What is the advantage of creating a Twitter list?

If we take the example above where you have created a marketing list and have added a number of people who you follow.

Instead of hopelessly scrolling through the hundreds of tweets you have in your feed you can now simply go to your Twitter list for marketing, and easily see, read, engage and ultimately share what they are posting.

The amount of time you will win back using Twitter lists will be incredible, and it also ensures that you never really miss any of those pearls of wisdom that the people in this list are sharing.

 

Why you need to start using Twitter lists today

 

1 Better Engagement With Your Influencers

At the end of the day, you want to interact, engage and converse with the leaders, visionaries and influencers in your industry.
By having a designated Twitter list or lists, it will allow you to keep up with what these people in your chosen industry are tweeting about, and allow you to retweet, comment, share their material and ultimately help you start to engage and converse with them directly.

 

2 Lets You Keep Up To Date And Be Relevant

Having hot topics or knowing about the next big thing in your industry, or in the area that you are interested in is like gold.  For example, both the Huffington post and Mashable Twitter accounts constantly tweet breaking news before a lot of others have even heard of it.  What better way to raise your profile, and your authority, by been first in the eyes of your followers and peers to tweet some breaking news.

 

3 Ability To Engage With Your Twitter Advocates

Twitter, like all the other social media channels, is about been social and interacting with people.  Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to engage and share the tweets of those followers who seem to always share, support and re-tweet your content?

By creating a Twitter list of these advocates, you now can engage with them directly on Twitter, and in affect thank them for supporting your content by doing the same back for them.

In affect, this reciprocation when relevant encourages them to share your tweets even more as you begin to grow a lasting two-way relationship.  This is social engagement in action.

 

4 List Your Clients

Set up a Twitter list of your clients and see what they are posting about.  More than likely you may find that through their tweets there may be new solutions you could offer them, plus you can bring an added proactive dimension to the relationship you have already.

 

5 Keep An Eye On The Competition

Don’t forget, if you are on Twitter, chances are your competition is too.  See what they tweeting about, posting and sharing, to recognise any potential threats you need to deal with or explore opportunities that you can exploit.

 

To conclude

As you can see Twitter lists are a feature that you really cannot ignore if you want to get more engaged on the platform.
The positives are overwhelming and the benefits accrued I have no doubt will allow you elevate your current Twitter strategy.

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 Twitter, 0 comments
4 Reasons You Need To Use Infographics For Content Marketing Success

4 Reasons You Need To Use Infographics For Content Marketing Success

Infographics over the last few years have become extremely popular because they can easily display information in a way that we can understand clearly.

Amanda Sibley listed 19 reasons in her article on the Hubspot blog in 2012 as to why you should include visual content in your marketing and the following 3 statistics in particular resonated with me.

  • 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual
  • Visuals are processed 60,000 times faster in the brain than text.
  • 40% of people will respond better to visual information than plain text.

If you just focussed on these three statistics you quickly see how the use of visual content such as an infographic is critical to achieving success in getting your message noticed.

Think about the following statistics.  On WordPress alone, 53.8 million blog posts are created every month, 500 million tweets are sent on Twitter each day and 300 hours of video is uploaded to Youtube every minute!

So you can see very clearly that if our target audience is bombarded with all this content, the use of a visual tool such as an infographic may just be the help needed to create stand out from all the other content coming at your audience.

Jeff Bullas wrote a great article entitled 9 Awsome Reasons To Use Infographics In Your Content Marketing and from reading this piece here are 4 key benefits that should leave you in no doubt as to why you need to use them.

 

1 Easily Understood

People are highly visual and our brains can process visual content 60,000 times faster than text. Therefore, it makes complete sense to use a visual mechanism such as infographics to explain, share and promote your content.

 

2 Great For Sharing

People like to share great content, and because of the visual impact of infographics, the chances of it been shared across a number of social mediums increases and therefore increases your brand reach.

 

3 Awareness For Your Brand

Creating personalised, branded and data-rich infographics for your business can help position you as an authority and create real brand recognition for you in your field of expertise.

 

4 Traffic To Your Website

Infographics, just like a blog or an ebook, are a very valuable content tool.  Displaying information deemed relevant and useful by your target audience will help drive more traffic to your website, and have a positive SEO effect as Google starts to look on you as more of an authority and hence reward your site with a better page ranking.

Now before you say, “that is all wonderful Phillip, but I have no designer, no budget, and no design skills to create infographics”, help is at hand.

Canva is a brilliant tool that is very easy to use for creating your own, and best of all, they have a large number of templates that are free.

It is so easy to use, that I created a very simple one below in under 10 minutes, using some more excellent reasons to use this visual content tool courtesy of Pawan Kumar writing on the business2community blog.

 

Inforgraphics

 

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 Infographic, 0 comments
Here are 5 tips to follow if you want success on Linkedin

Here are 5 tips to follow if you want success on Linkedin

I have been very fortunate enough to become connected with some incredible business leaders on Linkedin, who I am able to learn and engage with for guidance. One such expert is Melonie Dodaro who is regarded as the number 1 Linkedin expert in Canada, and from reading her excellent book, The Linkedin Code, my entire approach to this very important business channel has changed for the good and here are 5 tips to follow if you want success on Linkedin

 

5 Linkedin tips to follow if you want success

 

 

1 Let Me See You

I am still amazed to see on Linkedin, many profiles in which there is no photograph of the individual.  They say first impressions last and when I don’t see a profile photo it does leave an impression, the wrong one.

In my opinion, it creates a mistrust and a doubt about the validity of the individual.  Why don’t they want to show their face, have they something to hide, can I believe what the person says in their profile?  Just as bad as not having a photo, is having one which is poorly taken, trying to be creative but ends up looking ridiculous or is just an angry scowl.

I have seen all these variations and I often wonder what were people thinking of at the time.  Remember, your Linkedin photo is a visual representation of you and your personal brand, so make it count to show yourself in the best light possible and please smile, it can’t hurt that much, as you may never know who is looking you up.

 

2 Tell Me Your Story

Your profile and biography on Linkedin is your chance to shine and tell the community what you do, your achievements and how you ultimately solve problems.  But if you don’t put the effort into completing your profile and writing it with search in mind, you will become another member that will see very low profile views.

If you are familiar with Google Adwords or have been involved with Search Engine Optimisation for your website, you will no doubt have heard of the phrase ‘keyword’.  In simple terms, a keyword is a word or a series of words that someone uses to search for the answer to a question, problem etc when they conduct a search online.  Having certain keywords on your website will help and increase the chances that your website will be found.

The same goes for Linkedin.  By using keywords specific to what you do and your expertise in your profile, you can improve the chances of being found when someone does a search on Linkedin for a particular person with a certain skill set.

The key thing to emphasise without going through this step by step is that it is imperative that you go through every part of the profile section and complete it to 100% and especially getting a couple of recommendations.

Not only does it validate you as a professional, but you will be giving yourself an excellent chance of ensuring that your profile will be found by like-minded professionals, who may want to do business, discuss opportunities or connect to learn from you.


3 Personalise Every Invitation To Connect

I don’t know about you, but I tend not to accept a request from someone who has not made the effort to at least introduce themselves to me.  There is something I think very cold about “I would like to add you to my connections” etc etc.  So why do you want to add me?  

Maybe I am just making up the numbers for you so that you can get to that 500+ connections and look like a big hitter?

My personal rule is that for people I know and people who I don’t know but would like to make contact and grow a business relationship with, I always send a personalised message with my invite.  

The key thing is that you have to find that common ground and core reason as to why you want to link in with the person, and likewise for them, they need see some value from you.

So with this in mind, I would urge you not to send Linkedin requests via the app as there is no functionality within it to send a personalised message so this defeats the purpose in my opinion.

 

4 Go On, Say Thank You

This is a simple action that I feel really helps the start of a new Linkedin relationship.  If someone you have invited to connect accepts, my advice is, send that person a little message to say, thank you.  You would be surprised at how positive your new connection will feel when they are thanked, and it gives you that bit of extra professional polish and a personalised touch.

 

5 Get Into Groups

Linkedin, like all social media, is first and foremost about been social and engaging with your audience, target market, and all your connections.  One excellent way to engage with like-minded professionals, share your opinions, give guidance and ultimately boost your own professional status as an expert, is to join relevant groups in your niche and sphere of interest.  

From my own personal experience, trying to be active in 5 groups for me is a struggle, so I would advise those of you starting off to maybe pick one group initially and see how you get on. The key thing is to just get started and join in the conversation

I will be writing more about Linkedin in future posts, but I hope you will find these 5 tips useful to get you becoming more linked in on Linkedin.

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 Linkedin, 0 comments