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Digital Marketing Blog

How to use Instagram – a beginner’s guide

How to use Instagram – a beginner’s guide

Here at Gravity we meet a lot of people that dread touching any social media. Some of us didn’t grow up in the digital age, and the learning curve isn’t always easy. After Facebook and Twitter, Instagram has become the most popular kid on the block, and as much as it might seem similar there are some undeniable differences!

But don’t worry, we are here to help.

What does Instagram do?

Instagram is a social networking app’, predominantly made to be used on a phone; that allows you to share photos and videos.

How do I make a start getting onto Instagram?

Firstly, you will have to create an account. Once this done, you will be asked if you want to follow some friends. Instagram will do some of the hard work for you and help you find all your Facebook friend, you’ll just have to click “follow” on the people you already know.

Create your personal or business profile. Add a picture, a bio, and decide if you would like your account to be public or private. A private account means that only followers you approve will be able to see your profile.

How do I make Instagram posts?

You can only post to Instagram on a phone or tablet with the Instagram app.  In order to post pictures to Instagram, tap the middle Instagram posting button – this is a plus sign in the middle of the row of buttons at the bottom of your screen – you can then select whether to upload a short video (no longer than 16 seconds) or a picture or you can choose the camera to take a live photo or video.

Once your picture or video is uploaded to Instagram, you can apply one of the many filters Instagram offers.  You can also tap the EDIT option at the bottom to make more visual adjustments to it.

Add a caption and some hashtags, and you are ready to go!  So just keep clicking ‘Next’, ‘Next’, ‘Next’ to publish live.

Why does Instagram use hashtags?

Hashtags are a good way to grow your audience on Instagram and expose your brand a bit more. Hashtags help your photos to be categorized and helps other users to discover your content.  So hashtags work a little like a search engine, but Instagram-style!

Read more:

Once you have figured out the basics on Instagram, you might find these articles interesting.

 

Find out more…

We are a no-nonsense digital marketing agency based in Derby. To learn more about how we can help you get results from your marketing, then get in touch. Please email us on [email protected] or give us a call on 01332 416555.

Digital Marketing Blog

How to make the most of your Facebook page

How to make the most of your Facebook page

A Facebook page is a good way to promote your business, especially if your customers are consumers or you have a venue that members of the public can visit. Not only will it help online users to find you and learn a bit more about what you do, but it will also boost your SEO if you link your Facebook posts to your website. You can interact with people who liked your page, and message them directly, create events, discussions group, and promote products, services and offers.

Managing your Facebook page

First of all, keep your page up to date. Your Facebook business page is part of the online profile of your company. Make sure your website, address and phone number appears, and that your primary sales messages or mission are clearly laid out. We recommend that you to post out regularly in order to keep your audience interested. A post with an image is always more eye-catching than one without and statistical studies have shown that posts with images entice more engagement and feedback from the social audience, making it a smart thing to do. In order to make your time management a bit easier, we would recommend you write at least a week’s worth of posts in advance and schedule them on your page so that you don’t have to sit there and think of something to say every day, interrupting what you normally would be doing with your time. It is possible to schedule posts within Facebook, just select the ‘schedule’ option in the drop down menu next to the publish button to select a time and a date for publish. If you are posting a couple of posts a day you will find that you can easily schedule a week or two’s worth of posts in an hour.

Interacting with customers on Facebook

Alongside this ‘broadcast messaging’, you should always check if you have messages or comments that need a reply. The operative word in the phrase ‘social media’ is ‘social’; you should talk and respond to people and not just keep pounding away broadcasting your sales messages whilst ignoring customer responses.

Consistently ignoring inbound messages from customers will negatively affect your reputation. It also means that if all messages are ignored, the audience will be led to believe that the page is unmanned and so are more likely to leave negative comments and reviews. So facing up to customer comments – both the good and the bad – is actually a great way of avoiding other negativity. Showing that the page is monitored and that you are prepared to talk with and answer questions makes a good proportion of nay-sayers think twice before letting loose on their keyboard.

Make sure to reply to every comment left on your page within the same day. Customers like to be heard and considered. Be as friendly as possible and like and share nice messages, you would want other people to do the same for you, especially when messages on your timeline are public.

On average, 15 minutes spent twice a day should be enough for you to keep on top of an average sized company timeline or one in the B2B arena. A tip is to set up the Facebook Pages app on your phone to be notified of messages – sometimes a question can be answered quickly from your phone. If you weave in a couple of short sessions to your regular working day each day, you will find that you stay on top of it.

Obviously if you are running a large consumer facing brand, you will need to invest more time as it is likely you will be receiving more customer service enquiries via your page. And the more followers you have, the more likely it is that you will see interactions on your page and so you need to size up your time investment as your following on this channel grows.

You can set up the instant replies tool for Facebook Messenger, which is where private messages left for the page are found. If your page is not continuously manned instant replies are a good way of letting people know that you will respond soon. This function can be found in the settings tab of your page, under “Messaging”.

Getting more likes and follows?

The key to attracting likes and followers is in interacting with your audience as much as possible and posting regularly. It is easy for customer to tune out of a page that only seems to broadcast sales messages without talking back. Some brands have managed to create a really friendly online persona through their Facebook pages, and the aim is to make an online environment where your customers like to ‘hang out’.

Already mentioned is the Facebook Pages manager app that you can download onto your phone or computer. Apps like this help you to manage your time better when looking after your Facebook page, rather than keeping you desk-bound.

Another handy feature on Facebook is the ability to invite people to like the page that have interacted with your posts. Once more than one person has liked a post you put out, you can click on the ‘likes link’ to access a pop up that lists who liked the post and whether they also like the page or not. From this list you can click on the ‘invite’ buttons to invite that person to also like the page, increasing your Facebook followers.

If you are using Facebook post boosting or Facebook advertising, it is a handy way of ‘harvesting’ people that you have paid to target. After all, you paid to get that content in front of them so you may as well try to convert them into following your brand on Facebook as well!

Creating groups

Creating groups on your page can be useful to help you audience interact with each other as a like-minded group of people. People who opt in to groups that you run also gives you the ability to message a specific group of people. Groups usually work best where the reason for the group is a more specifically targeted subject matter. For instance, you could run a group for customers only such as a group for people who have taken part in an event you have run; or a group for allotment enthusiasts and another group for flower growers if you are a gardening brand; or for people to discuss aspects of training and technique if you are a gym; the list of possibilities is endless.

You can also create private groups – where only the members of the group can see the content published in there. This is useful if you put together focus groups trialling a new product, or if you have a media group who want to be able to discuss issues openly that might not be appropriate on the public timeline.

You can find the Group tab on the left hand side of your page.

Read more:

Once you have figured out the basics on Facebook, you might find these articles interesting.

 

Find out more…

We are a no-nonsense digital marketing agency based in Derby. To learn more about how we can help you get results from your marketing, then get in touch. Please email us on [email protected] or give us a call on 01332 416555.

Digital Marketing Blog

Social media post boosting on Facebook and Instagram: Why and how?

Social media post boosting on Facebook and Instagram: Why and how?

How can I get more out of my posts on social media?

A lot of our clients ask us about adverts and social paid-for boosting. Is it useful? Is it expensive? How does it work?

Yes, social media boosting is a great tool and has been proven to work in reaching new audiences that can often be hard to find using only ‘organic’ means of finding them. All you need to do is to get your target audience right to avoid spending money needlessly on people who aren’t likely to lead to a sale.

Facebook and Instagram advertising are linked up, and this makes your advertising efforts on these two platforms easier and more consistent between the two. Boosting social media posts is not especially expensive and can target a wide range of people according to the demographics that you choose.

You can advertise on Instagram via Facebook Ads Manager and Business Suite by either choosing to boost a post from within Instagram that will then hop you into Facebook Ads Manager to set it up and pay for it, or you boost a post from within Facebook and check the box ‘Run promotion on Instagram’ to run the same creative across both platforms.

When boosting you can choose between boosting a post to “people who liked your page and their friends” or to “people you choose through targeting”. Choosing who to target is a really effective way of reaching out to people through location, interests, demographics, relationships status, spending power etc..

Here are 3 tricks you should take into consideration:

  • Use an eye-catching image with little or no text, people are more likely to interact if they like your post or are interested by its content. Facebook also penalises images with text by either not showing them at all, or charging you more for the privilege!
  • Find posts that are already doing well, and boost them. If you have a selection of posts you want to test out, then make multiple audiences and see which audiences respond the best to your paid-for posts. This will help hone down the people most likely to convert.
  • Be flexible in your approach. If your post doesn’t get any engagement, try to change it or just pause the spend and move onto something else. Putting more money behind a post that is not creating clicks, likes or sales won’t make it successful. Be prepared to learn through experimentation and you will soon find that you start to understand your audience better.
Social Media Post Boosting

A key difference when boosting posts on Facebook and Instagram

Part of the reason for boosting posts is to also increase audience engagement organically. Organic engagement is not paid-for and so is more valuable to a brand. When a posting is being boosted and attracts a lot of likes and comments, it is best to keep on replying to comments, inviting people to like the page and generally keep the conversation going. This way there is more chance for that post to also reach a larger organic audience at the same time which makes the most of your ad spend.

However, there is one key difference between boosting posts on Facebook and boosting a post onto Instagram. When boosting onto Instagram the post doesn’t appear on your normal timeline. In this sense, it means that once the ad spend is over, then the post disappears forever.

Because you don’t get to ‘keep’ that post in your timeline, it also means that your regular organic audience doesn’t get to see all the likes and comments the post received, which lends itself to your online popularity. So if budgets are tight, then think carefully about spend on Instagram. It might be that with a little more effort put into hashtagging on Instagram you can create more buzz on this platform that you would get by paying for it.

Measure your Results

In order to know if an online advert has been successful you need to measure your success. This is essential.

  • See if the traffic on your website has increased
  • Did you get more followers, likes and shares since the advert launch?
  • Have sales and enquiries increased?

On Facebook you will be able to see how your boosting on this platform has had an effect in the ‘Insights’ tab at the top of the page (and it will include the statistics from Instagram too if you boosted onto there at the same time).

As well as an at-a-glance view of how many people were reached and how many engagements you got for your spend, you can drill into each post individually to examine how well certain posts performed. If you have multiple audiences that you have been testing out, you will also be able to see if one works better for your brand than another, helping you with learning to understand your audience better. This kind of observation helps you in other areas of your business when putting together your sales messaging. For instance if your female audience responds better than your male audience even though your product isn’t gender specific (for instance you might be a restaurant, but it is mainly women booking tables for themselves and their spouses), it can help you in dealing with the tone of messaging in your wider marketing efforts

Read more:

Once you have figured out the basics on Facebook and Instagram, you might find these articles interesting.

Find out more…

We are a no-nonsense digital marketing agency based in Derby. To learn more about how we can help you get results from your marketing, then get in touch. Please email us on [email protected] or give us a call on 01332 416555.

Digital Marketing Blog

Growing your following on Instagram

Growing your following on Instagram

Instagram isn’t just for celebrities and beauty bloggers. It can be a great way to show off the lighter side of your business and help you reach new audiences.

For many businesses, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are where they limit themselves when it comes to promoting themselves on social media. That’s a shame, because despite its associations with fame and glamour, there’s a lot more to Instagram than initial impressions might suggest.

That’s not to say using Instagram for promotional purposes doesn’t have it pitfalls – and we’ll be outlining those in a later article – but used right, it has plenty of benefits for your brand.

It’s all about image

Instagram is all about beautiful photography and interesting images, and that gives lots of businesses a real chance to shine. Of course, this does depend on your business but as an example, if you run a B&B or glamping site in the countryside, you’re likely to have stunning scenery around you. Use this to your advantage and let your snaps sell your business through the power of imagery. If you run a restaurant, take photos of your most mouth-watering looking dishes, and post them preferably just before lunch time when stomachs are rumbling!

Expand your footprint

Instagram has a cool factor and for many people, it may be the only social media channel they engage with. By using Instagram to promote yourself you’ll get a wider online audience reach, enabling more people to see your great products and services.

A loyal following

Once you’ve gained a loyal following by getting your tone right on Instagram, good engagement should follow. If your followers are intrigued by the products and services your business offers, they are likely to comment, like and re-post images from your feed.

One of the great business applications of Instagram is that it allows people to see your products used by real people, and the hope is that your product’s users will post photos of your products in use, tagging your business. This means that your audience is even larger, their friends will see these images, who then may repost onto an even larger audience. It’s a never-ending snow ball effect.

A great example of this is our client Mr Fothergill’s. At Gravity Digital we run the Mr Fothergill’s Instagram account. The majority of our posts are re-posts as the platform has a large gardening collective who enjoy sharing their allotments and progress. Often if they’ve used Mr Fothergills products in their garden, they will tag us and we get to share it, showing how wonderful these products are in real life situations.

And relaaaax

One of the reasons why people engage with Instagram is that it’s a more relaxed platform than others. This allows your business to show a bit of personality. Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn are more formal but with Instagram you could, for example, take a snap of your team enjoying a zipwire experience on a team-building day. Using the app like this is a great way of showing users that you are real people behind the business, not just robots.

A bonus to doing this comes when recruiting new employees, as they are likely to look for you online, through your website and social media channels. When they notice that you enjoy a sociable work environment, they are likely to be interested in vacancies you can offer.

Keeping it real

A new feature recently added to Instagram is called live stories, a very similar concept to Snapchat. Real time stories allow you to directly engage with your audience. People can ask questions about your products and discover in real time what new ranges are.

Getting to know your followers

You can use Instagram as a business page. This allows you to connect with your Facebook business page and gives your account a different appearance. It offers easy access to your email, phone number and directions. Users can click on any of these buttons and the action is easily carried out for them.

The clicks on these are also monitored in the insights part of the app – these are similar to those shown on Facebook, offering you the opportunity to see which posts work well with your following, therefore helping you gain a larger audience. Plus, it offers the demographics of your follows to ensure you are attracting the people you want.

It’s all about promotion

As Instagram is linked with Facebook, it allows you to promote posts and pop on timelines of those who don’t follow you – yet. This will enable you to reach a wider audience and gain further engagement on posts, similar to the effects Facebook adverts have.

Keep collecting

Instagram has a collections feature that is ideal for gathering groups of Instagram accounts that you like and interact with. The feature keeps these all in one place so they are easy to find. You can also save posts you like the style of, which you can then use later as an inspiration for your own feed.

Archiving

The newest feature on Instagram is the archive facility. This is an area on your account that only you can see. Here, you can archive any posts that may not have performed well but you may like to keep for posting at a later date. Or, you can keep them so that you can check them again later and try to work out why they didn’t perform well.

So, Instagram, as we have seen, can be a great app to engage with for your business. It can boost your profile and reach people you didn’t before. However, nothing is without its downside. In our next article, we will be outlining the pitfalls of Instagram so that you can reap all the rewards without any of the negatives.

Happy Instagraming!

Find out more…

We are a no-nonsense digital marketing agency based in Derby. To learn more about how we can help you get results from your marketing, then get in touch. Please email us on [email protected] or give us a call on 01332 416555.

Digital Marketing Blog

Hashtags: a help or a hassle?

Hashtags: a help or a hassle?

Social media can be a scary enough place for a lot of companies and hashtags just add even more anxiety to this new-found territory. However, they play a vital role in each of the social media channels and if used correctly, they can be very beneficial in gaining a larger, engaged audience.

Hashtags are hyperlinked, so when a user clicks on a hashtag they will be taken to public posts that include that specific hashtag. This is valuable for any business, especially small businesses as it can push your content out to a wider audience, helping your company gain further online visibility.

You can also use hashtags to find your online audience, seeking out those that are likely to actively engage with your social channel and company. Plus, they are free and you can’t ignore free advertising!

However, there are some areas you need to tread with caution. Sometimes hashtags can be very misleading. We’d like to think social networks are a censored place but if you put #TastyTuesday (in relation to a restaurant) into Twitter you’ll often get shown tweets you probably don’t want popping up on your work computer. I’ll say no more.

Another example of how hashtags can fail comes from McDonalds. They coined a hashtag for their social media to engage their audience and encourage people to share memories relating to the fast food chain. The hashtag they created for the campaign: #McDStories. Back in 2012, when this hashtag was pushed out by the company, the responses they received were overwhelmingly negative, as many users took the opportunity to complain about their McDonalds experiences. Some posted that they vomited after eating in the restaurant and others mentioned finding waste products like fingernails in burgers. Even animal rights activists, PETA joined the hate party towards McDonalds, using the hashtag to claim that they didn’t use real chicken in their nuggets and burgers. Within two hours the promoted hashtag was removed. So, before coining your own hashtag for a campaign, be sure you put plenty of thought and research into it, it could save your company a whole lot of embarrassment!

So, with all this in mind, here are a few quick tips we’d like to offer you for when you are using hashtags on your company social media streams, particularly Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Be geographically correct

Using hashtags for your geographical area can be beneficial as it will gain followers in the correct area and users will engage with businesses that are in their local area. So, there’s no point using hashtags from areas that aren’t related to your company, otherwise you are just going to gain a useless following and people may enquire about services that aren’t available in their area. This idea works for all the social channels – so ensure you’re geographically appropriate.

Use an appropriate number of hashtags – don’t overload your followers

Be sure you don’t use an excessive number of hashtags, as it may irritate those that already follow you. The unofficial rules for hashtag frequency is different for each channel.

For Twitter, filling your tweets – which only allows 140 characters – with 10 hashtags, takes focus away from your content and can make the message you’re trying to deliver very unclear. Stick to two or three and ensure they are relevant.

In terms of Facebook, hashtags are relatively new and people choose to only use a small amount, like Twitter. We would suggest around 2 or 3 hashtags per post.

Finally, on Instagram, hashtags are very important. There is a technique, used by many professional bloggers and “Instagrammers”, to increase following and engagement. Use 3 strong hashtags, in your original post comment. Then comment on your own image with further hashtags that are relevant to the content and the image you’ve posted out. This will then be hidden as users scroll through their feed, but it’s still associated with your page and post, bringing more users to your Instagram page without it looking spammed with hashtags. Foolproof!

Be hashtag appropriate

Don’t use hashtags that are unrelated to your products or services, people are likely to be disappointed when they find your post. You may be tempted to add in popular hashtags, particularly on Instagram as this is a great way of gaining reach and engagement. By adding hashtags that aren’t related, your engagement and reach isn’t doing you any favours – instead it’s just attracting bots and users that aren’t interested in the quality goods or services you have to offer.

Be aware of “social hours”

People from all areas of business, lifestyle and leisure, use social media for different purposes, a lot of these areas have their own hashtag social hours. For example, in the digital marketing world you can find the hashtag #HootChat. If your business is in this sector, then it offers the perfect opportunity to get involved and talk to your target audience. Offering advice, tips and generally chatting to them. Of course, this takes up time, so it’s important to have someone available for that allotted time each week, ensuring you keep a good presence on the hashtag.

Hopefully these few top tips will guide you on your way to using hashtags appropriately and effectively across your company’s social media channels. If you need any extra pointers, give us a call.

 

Find out more…

We are a no-nonsense digital marketing agency based in Derby. To learn more about how we can help you get results from your marketing, then get in touch. Please email us on [email protected] or give us a call on 01332 416555.

Digital Marketing Blog

How To Get Free AdWords Money for Charities

How To Get Free AdWords Money for Charities

As a charity, it can be difficult to get the recognition you deserve. Many of your efforts can go unrecognised and this can result in losing funds, as people simply don’t know about your charity and its great work.

Marketing helps put your charity in full view, ensuring that people know who you are and what your charity stands for. Marketing activities often come with a price tag attached, and of course this represents a large expense that many charities cannot afford. But, did you know that Google provides grants for charities that are looking to raise awareness of their organisation? This article explores how you can get free advertising with Google AdWords to help with your digital marketing efforts.

Google AdWords is well known to anyone that uses Google search to find information on the internet. The paid-for results come at the top and bottom of Google search pages. Ads placed here give advertisers a greater chance of being spotted in the thousands of results that are available.

Advertising on AdWords enables you to target specific people through filters such as location and interests. Being able to choose like this helps you to reach out to the people that may be looking to support charities like you, but that may be unable to find you through searches or social media.

Specifically for registered charities, AdWords provides grants for a guaranteed amount of spending per month. Offering up to $10,000 per month worth of AdWords spending, this is an opportunity that every charity should be taking up. There is some leg-work in setting it up, and then maintaining month-in, month-out, but taking the spending part of the budget out of the equation this makes this a risk-free marketing exercise to experiment with.

At Gravity Digital, we recently set up an AdWords account for the wonderful charity – Just for Dogs. As our chosen charity of the year, we designed their new website in October 2016, and seeing what AdWords could do to help boost marketing for the charity was the next logical step to promoting the charity online.

Just For Dogs rehome dogs that have been abandoned or can no longer live with their owners. We designed a campaign that centres around helping find dogs a home as well as supports the fundraising Just For Dogs does to help with their running costs.

Specifically targeting those in the Derby, Leicester, Staffordshire and Nottingham areas we have been able to significantly increase traffic to the website and the number of enquiries into the Centre as a result.

Margaret Smith, owner of Just for Dogs expressed how happy she is about her new online presence; “WOW! Thank you for continuing to help JFD grow via the website. I’ve had lots of telephone enquiries already as a direct result. Onwards and upwards.”

So, all great news!

If you are a charity and wish to find out more about how we can help you get free adwords funding from Google, please get in touch.

We did mention that there is some leg-work involved in setting all this up though… Read on!

The process of setting up a Google not-for-profits AdWords account is long and fairly complicated. You must first verify your charity status through an online donation programme called tt-exchange. This requires that you submit annual accounts, your Charity’s mission statement and give HMRC details to prove your status as a registered charity. This process in itself is enough to put off many who might like to give this a go.

After this step is completed you move onto setting up a new master Google account – even if you already have a Google account, you will need to start afresh. Creating a G suite account is the first step, in order to make a fresh account under which to set up your new AdWords account. If you have experience of AdWords, then these charities AdWords accounts are unlike the normal process of getting set up. This is a process that is very prescriptive and if you take a step wrong, then you will end up footing the bill. So proceed with caution.

When you have your AdWords account set up, you must then connect it to your Nonforprofits account. You then start to go through the process of setting up your first AdWords ad groups following the on-screen prompts. If you are not familiar with AdWords already, this can be a fairly daunting series of screens to work through.

For those who persevere, the rewards are immediate and make all the effort worthwhile. The traffic to the Just For Dogs website trebled overnight. You will likely see huge gains from this for your charity website too.

Once AdWords is set up, it needs to be continuously altered and monitored to ensure it’s being used to its full potential. Having an experienced AdWords user sitting at the computer every week monitoring and trimming the ads that have been put together is the best solution, but if you are an eager amateur that is willing to learn and wade through lots of help files, then you can also handle this yourself. The aim is to cut out ‘bad searches’ that don’t match the nature of your charity, and to optimise the account around the ads and search phrases that best serve your organisation. All of this is more of a science than a black art, but you do need to have a keen interest in detail and keeping on top of user behaviour to get the most out of your ‘free money’.

If you’re looking to get an AdWords account for your charity but aren’t entirely sure what it can do for you, here is a breakdown of how it could directly help your charity succeed further:

  • Deliver greater brand recognition online in a crowded marketplace – which in turn can get more response for donations and fundraising.
  • Increase website traffic – offering the best platform for people to find out about your charity 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • Directly target those who you believe are likely to care about your charity and what it stands for – helping you to find those who are enthusiastic about supporting you.

If you are a charity looking for further assistance with your digital marketing or considering setting up an AdWords account, then look no further because we know just how to help you. We’ve experienced the pain of Google Nonforprofits and now want to help you avoid experiencing it too!

 

Find out more…

We are a no-nonsense digital marketing agency based in Derby. To learn more about how we can help you get results from your marketing, then get in touch. Please email us on [email protected] or give us a call on 01332 416555.

Digital Marketing Blog

To outsource social media management or not to outsource, that is the question.

To outsource social media management or not to outsource, that is the question.

Without a doubt it is far better to do social media management in-house where you can. There, that’s that said. Coming from a company that handles outsourced social media and manages it on behalf of clients, it’s a pretty scandalous thing to say perhaps?

And so why on earth would we say that?

When trying to decide what is best for your company when taking your first steps into social media management, you have two choices. The first is to handle social media posting, live responses and customer enquiries from in-house personnel; the second is to outsource the management of social networks to a company like us.

 

Do you have the time to manage social media in-house?

Even though much is made about the fact that social media is ‘free’, both options come at a price – one of time. And as we all know, time means money.

So in finding the ‘time’ to handle social media management properly, it means that it needs to be paid for either in-house or through discrete costing by an outsource company.

We see a lot of companies who choose to use junior staff as their chosen in-house social media bod – some even choose to recruit cheap or free volunteers from local Universities. On the face of it, it makes sense after all. Young people know how all that social media stuff works.

What tends to make a tactic like this collapse however is lack of ‘worldly’ experience in that young person, and, as in many young people’s lives that move on at a quick pace, a lack of longevity in the role that can quite literally leave a gap in the team!

When choosing in-house staff to handle social media, ideally they need to be worldly wise, have great product knowledge and be passionate about the business. They also need to be blessed with an emotional intelligence that lets them communicate in subtle ways that is not just about ‘sell, sell, sell’, and they need also to be likeable. This kind of personality is usually a more senior member of staff, which means that their time costs more, and is time that might be a better return on investment if spent doing their ‘day job’.

 

If you outsource your social media, make sure the company you choose has personality!

Equally when choosing to outsource, you are looking for similar personal qualities in the outsource team. They need to have a sense of humour (yes! really!), emotional intelligence and an ability to get behind your brand and products in a way that is seamless with your own operation.

How much time you invest in this activity is down to you, but you should be looking to provide posting output and quick responses on a daily basis to ensure your brand looks as though it is tackling social media professionally.

 

Consider additional support to ease you into social media

But what happens if you have someone in-house that is perfect for the role, but is a bit green on social media techniques? Or maybe you have had a go at social media and couldn’t see how to make it work for you but don’t want to hand over the reins entirely to an outsource company?

And so, there is a third option.

Just like a tandem skydive, we can take you on a tandem social media journey. We have provided tandem ‘posting and training’ packages to many clients who feel they needed a little help in making their social media work better, but didn’t want to commit to handing over social media management in entirety. We have also led group training sessions to enable in-house staff to understand social media better.

Find out more…

We are a no-nonsense digital marketing agency based in Derby. To learn more about how we can help you get results from your marketing, then get in touch. Please email us on [email protected] or give us a call on 01332 416555.

Digital Marketing Blog

Get a social media strategy or get left behind

Get a social media strategy or get left behind

I have been working in the Internet Industry for over 20 years now, and it is now, finally, no longer considered the new kid on the block. No longer do I have to spend a good 5 or 10 minutes trying to describe to people what I do for a living in terms they can understand.

When I was told as a young 20-something during the 2nd week of my second job that ‘someone was coming in to teach me how to be a Web Designer’ the next day, I didn’t realise how life-changing a direction in my career this small and innocuous (and frankly, baffling) statement would be.

My response at the time was, ‘What is a Web Designer?’ and, ‘I’ve never even used the internet!’ A testament to how the first real wave of commercial internet development was swooping over the city of London in the early ‘90s. By the time I reached my late 20s I was a senior manager in a large company and I could not hire Web Designers for love nor money (*lots* of money). This was the dot.com bubble.

Back then, naysayers were debating whether or not to invest in a website, which is a ludicrous thought process to observe now. Not everyone in the office got the privilege of their own email account. Fast forward a couple of decades and the same debate is happening over whether or not to get involved in social media publishing. These days, everyone gets their own email address and saving files to a PC is an outmoded thought process, especially in these days of mobile devices and ‘the cloud’.

‘Social media’ has now become a household phrase. This fact in itself should be a compelling enough reason to get involved in social media. Surfing the internet has now eclipsed TV viewing as the nation’s favourite pastime – especially in younger people. More than 1 billion people worldwide use Facebook, there are around 284 million users on Twitter and 313 million people use LinkedIn. That’s without even mentioning Youtube, Pinterest and blogging, but there is more… so much more out there.

Whether you are a business owner, marketing manager or part of a sales team generating more enquiries is what makes our business world go round. You may be finding that you are being met at every junction with social media – there’s certainly a lot of it and ignoring it won’t make it go away – so my advice to you would be to embrace it.

If you are in HR or Sales, or you are a business owner who is not on LinkedIn, then you need to fix that right away. Today. If you are in Marketing or Customer Services and aren’t monitoring what is being said about you on social media then you are missing a trick (yes, yes on Twitter and on Facebook, but what about on Trustpilot or Yelp? Who is passing off on your product or company name on Adwords, through content marketing and on blogs?).

Now more than ever is the time to make the leap and to incorporate social media into your wider digital marketing strategy. If you are mystified about how to do this, then get in touch with us and we can have a no obligation chat over coffee to help you figure out what is right for you.

 

Find out more…

We are a no-nonsense digital marketing agency based in Derby. To learn more about how we can help you get results from your marketing, then get in touch. If you’d like a quote, please email us on [email protected] or give us a call on 01332 416555.

Digital Marketing Blog

Social media: That’s Facebook, right?

Social media: That’s Facebook, right?

The term ‘social media’ is one of the most widely misunderstood that we come across at Gravity – along with an understanding of what digital marketing means itself! Many people believe that social media relates solely to two household names, Facebook and Twitter, that have emerged in recent years and gone on to dominate the field. In reality there is a lot more to social media than these two forums!

The social media industry does include, of course, social networking sites (including Facebook), however, social media also includes media sharing, bookmarking sites, social news streams and a range of micro-blogging sites, other than just Twitter. And this is a just a starting point.

For businesses, the most important issue is to understand what social media choices there are, what social media their customers use and which of the social media tools will improve the business’ profile and brand.

The obvious place to start an explanation is with familiarity – with the two big boys – Facebook and Twitter. Launched from within an American college campus in 2004 and then offered to the general public in 2006, Facebook is a social network that has taken the world by storm.  As of August 2015 it surpassed the one billion users mark and a net value of $250 billion making it the 10th most valuable company in the world.

Getting a presence on Facebook is often touted as vital for any business as part of its integrated marketing approach but this is where we at Gravity swim against the stream and will tell you that we believe this isn’t true. If you are selling widgets to manufacturing managers, is your time really best spent trying to track down interested parties on a platform designed to engage people socially? Understanding where your customers are and what platforms they interact with is essential, so for business to business customers,  Facebook may not be the most appropriate avenue to explore.    Whereas for a business to consumer firm, like a hair & beauty business for example, Facebook really does make a lot of sense.

Twitter, meanwhile, is one of the 10 most visited platforms in the world and with more than half a billion users has been nothing short of breath-taking in its growth. It has been at the vanguard of the personal media micro blogging revolution since its launch in 2006. The idea of allowing users to communicate via 140-character messages couldn’t be simpler – and your business can take advantage of the Twitter sensation. It allows you to communicate directly and quickly with your customer base, both collectively and individually. Of course Twitter is a useful tool, but again, not for every business – a fact that applies to every social media platform.

Aside from Facebook, there’s LinkedIn, the world’s biggest business-led social networking site. With almost 400 million users across the globe, it has become a vital way of building and maintaining connections with other businesses and customers. There is also Google+, a smaller player in the social media market but one which still has more than half a billion users nevertheless. Setting up a Google+ account is simple and is worthwhile joining for most businesses who are location-based – it will help the SEO of any website, and as we all know Google is second to none when it comes to search engine technology.

Away from social networking, media sharing is playing an increasingly important part of social media strategies for businesses. YouTube, owned by Google, is the web’s No 1 site for sharing video content. It is also the second biggest search engine in the world, after its parent company Google. But as well as sharing the world’s videos, YouTube is also a social network in its own right, with comments sections providing lively debate and opportunities for marketing. Your business can tap into this resource, as it can with Instagram, one of the internet’s top photo sharing sites. There is also the likes of Pinterest and Vine, two useful sites for promoting photos and short videos respectively. Pinterest has grown quickly into one of the web’s top sites for presenting images in a fashionable way across a range of platforms including mobiles and tablets. Vine, owned by Twitter, allows you to embed a six-second looping video as part of a Tweet. It is an increasingly popular method of sharing videos, especially among younger audiences. Most recently launched, again by Twitter, is Periscope which allows users to live broadcast from anywhere with 3G or above connection speeds which opens yet more doors for social interaction on the internet.

One of the more established social media channels relevant to business involves bookmarking sites such as Delicious and StumbleUpon. These allow users to share bookmarked documents with each other and promotes information sharing – including information about your company. If used correctly, social bookmarking can help bolster your website, increasing hits and introducing you to new users as an alternative to a traditional search engine.

There are also social news sites, such as Reddit, Digg and Propeller, which enable you to submit news stories and share them with other users, who either vote up your submission, or vote it down. Although enough down votes results in an article being deleted!

Some of these sites use content editors who can promote your items and ensure you an even wider audience. Social news outlets should not be seen as an opportunity to sell, but more to share your key messages about your business, generate publicity and share the benefits of your goods and services.

The final aspect of social media which needs consideration are forums and blogs. These are a growing and major facet of the internet which brings people from across the world together. Promoting your business on relevant forums is an excellent way of spreading the word about what you do with no cost attached to it – or a small one if you become a forum sponsor. Blogs are also an excellent method of communicating your expertise on the field in which you operate. A well-written blog can be a persuasive tool for potential customers – perhaps this blog has persuaded you we know what we’re talking about?

At Gravity we offer an integrated and no-nonsense approach to managing your social media requirements. If you haven’t already dipped your toe into the world of social media, now is the time to get involved and see what it can do for you. If you would like to learn more about what we do, email us at [email protected] or give us a call on 01332 416555.

 

Find out more…

We are a no-nonsense digital marketing agency based in Derby. To learn more about how we can help you get results from your marketing, then get in touch. Please email us on [email protected] or give us a call on 01332 416555.