How to use Instagram successfully for your business

By Chris - Last updated: Monday, July 27, 2015

instagram How to use Instagram successfully for your business

 

With Instagram turning its eye towards the extremely lucrative world of advertising we thought we’d get you up to date with a run-down of some of Instagram’s basic functions and uses.

What is Instagram? Instagram describes itself as ‘capturing and sharing the world’s moments’ and it does so through photography and short bursts of video (with a maximum length of 15 seconds). Some of its content is accessible through a regular browser but the only way to post content is through an app on IOS and Android devices which makes the site a massively mobile experience.

So who uses it? Users range from teenagers to professional photographers and artists, all making the most of the photo editing tools on offer within the app. However, Instagram differs from Facebook and Twitter in that its demographic is generally younger with over half the monthly visitors coming from the 18-29 year-old bracket.

And the significance of all this? Launched as recently as 2010, the site has enjoyed rapid momentum in building its user base. After Facebook’s purchase of Instagram in 2012 the number of monthly users has now surpassed Twitter’s which makes the app a veritable goldmine in terms of getting your brand (and your products) recognised.

 

 

Here are our top tips on getting the most out of Instagram for your business:

Instagram is great at linking topics and themes which culminates in better user interaction. Tap into this by researching pre-existing ones and use them in your posts to gain followers. On the other hand, you can also have a go at creating your own hashtag and encourage followers to use it to create a community of posts about your business.

Interaction is key to getting the ball rolling and getting your brand recognised. Cross-promote, mention and Discover other users so that you become more than just a ‘lurker’.

At the top of your profile there will be a small section dedicated to information about who and what you are. Include a website link to direct traffic and boost your SEO – try not to be too clinical about your description!

You can risk alienating your followers if you frequently post poor quality photos of products and their prices. Instead, think laterally and try to show the benefits of the lifestyle that your product gives or perhaps a side of the business that your customer wouldn’t normally see.

Like on any form of social media, the best posts are a result to planning. What’s your Facebook, G+ and Twitter manifesto? What’s the process when dealing with potentially explosive replies and comments? Translate all this to Instagram so that you have a plan of action before you need it. Always remember: it takes a lot of effort to look effortless.

Shout it out from the roof tops that you’re now on Instagram. Well maybe not literally, but if you tweet and post about it some of your existing followers on other sites might already be there waiting for your delicious new content. A good way to let your followers know is to place an Instagram tab on your Facebook page.

This is the most important point here. Take an artful shot of the sunset on the journey home from a client or capture the Monday office blues in a monochrome team-selfie; ultimately, just be authentic with your creativity and you’ll reap the rewards in the form of a dedicated fan base eager to see the next installment from their new favourite company.

Good luck and happy ‘gramming!

 

 

 

Thanks to Jack Reed for guest blogging on this

 

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How to use Pinterest successfully for your business

By Chris - Last updated: Monday, June 8, 2015

Pinterest Logo 300x75 How to use Pinterest successfully for your businessPinterest provides a wealth of discovery and creativity to the user. It establishes a way of exploring the world from comfortable surroundings – like from your kitchen table. Acting like an online version of a pin board, images or ‘pins’ are put together in collections or mood boards, inspiring and seducing the user, transforming into the perfect platform to market your brand or product. Different to many other social platforms, Pinterest is a place that connects people through the visual interests that they share. Users can pin images that they find throughout the internet onto mood boards that other users can follow when it interests them.

The key to using Pinterest for your business is to use ‘product rich’ pins. This is a pin that allows people to do more with it than just view the image on the screen. It contains a link that leads to your website where you can find out more, check the price, availability or even buy. An incredible two thirds of pins have been shown to come from business websites, meaning that there is a big market for it out there! Plus has the added bonus as counting towards search engine optimisation for your website.

So how do you make your Pinterest a place to successfully market your business?

pinterest cushion example How to use Pinterest successfully for your businessTHE PIN

THE MOOD BOARD

For example, if your company sold ski wear, don’t just pin photos of the products but of the lifestyle that they would enter into – i.e. skiing in action and off-piste socialising.

We hope that these are few pointers to put you in the direction of Pinterest success. Happy pinning!

 

Thanks to Sophie Palmer for guest blogging on this

 

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Developing Your Use of Google Adwords

By Chris - Last updated: Thursday, April 9, 2015

google adwords Developing Your Use of Google AdwordsTo effectively use Google Adwords for your business to generate internets leads and online sales there is a lot more to it than meets the eye that’s important to understand. If you go with the basic default settings available, you’ll probably find it quite costly to run Google Ad campaigns and achieve little return. Here are a few top tips that we recommend to optimise Google Ad campaigns and improve your return on them – potentially saving you over 50% of your Ad budget from wasted clicks:

 

We hope you find this info useful to maximise your own Google Ad campaigns and improve the return on them. If outsourcing, ensure these recommendations are being covered as we have seen instances where they haven’t been! Feel free to contact us if we can be of further assistance. For more top tips on how to best utilise digital marketing follow me on my Twitter profile: @qChrisWood.

Thanks

Chris Wood

Q Social Media – digital marketing and training consultancy agency

 

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Developing Your Use of Google Analytics

By Chris - Last updated: Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Google Analytics Logo Developing Your Use of Google AnalyticsGoogle Analytics a very useful website analytics tool allowing you to track website visitor traffic and the performance of your digital marketing activities (more on the basics here). There are a few handy features that you may not otherwise be aware of to help further develop your use of this tool:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We hope you find this info useful when further developing your use of Google Analytics. Feel free to contact us if we can be of further assistance. For more top tips on how to use social media for business follow me on my Twitter profile: @qChrisWood.

Thanks

Chris Wood

Q Social Media – digital marketing and training consultancy agency

 

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Enhancing Your Digital Marketing Strategy

By Chris - Last updated: Wednesday, January 14, 2015

SocialMediaDontGetLeftBehind Enhancing Your Digital Marketing StrategyFor many of us the internet is now a key part of our buying journey for so many things that we buy, whether for business or personal purposes. This makes the internet critical for many businesses in generating new leads and sales, whilst at the same time finding it increasingly competitive. Thus it’s key to ensure you’re continuously enhancing your digital marketing strategy and setup to not get left behind. Here are several ways to enhance your digital marketing activities:

  1. Review Website Visitor Traffic – the common tool for this is Google Analytics. This helps you understand where your traffic is coming from and how your digital marketing activities are performing. Potentially offline marketing activities as well, for example if at a business show you might see a spike in Google Organic and Direct traffic over that time period. As some visitors to the show may then check your website after having met yourselves offline. To fully utilise Google Analytics ensure the following are in place – Goals, Ecommerce Tracking (for ecommerce websites only), Email Reports, Synced with AdWords/Webmaster and Remarketing function enabled. We’ll cover more on these soon in an upcoming blog.
  2. Sync Digital Marketing Activities With Offline Marketing Activities – many people when they hear offline about a business, product or service that they want to know more about will then Google it to find out more. Thus it’s important these activities are synced so that they complement each other and the key messages are consistent offline and online. They may even then want to follow you on social media and/or sign up to your email newsletter to first get to know and trust your business before then considering whether to buy from yourselves. We’ve experienced this quite a few times, where people’s buying journey can be over several months before then deciding to go ahead with ourselves (often timing comes into play as well).
  3. Be Proactive – just because you’re online with your website, and hopefully social media, does not guarantee enquiries will stream in – particularly for business to business (B2B) type businesses. You’ll need to be pro-active in using digital marketing tools as a way to reach out to your customer base and attract them in to your business – known as Inbound Marketing. For example for B2B type businesses, LinkedIn is a particularly good tool for this that is under used by many businesses (more on how to utilise LinkedIn here).
  4. Digital Advertising – via Google AdWords (it can work!), Facebook and Twitter. Each of these allows you to target your audience either by what they’re searching for within Google or by targeting their interests via social media. For these to potentially work for your business does require a good understanding in how they work, otherwise vastly decreases the chances of them properly working for you. More on Facebook Advertising here and Twitter Advertising here. We’ll do a follow up blog soon on Google AdWords.
    • Remarketing – (top tip here!) on each of these advertising platforms you can target those that have previously visited your site via remarketing campaigns. In particular on Google AdWords – if wanting to run display advertising campaigns we would recommend this option over the other ones available. As otherwise they can be much more costly to undertake if not properly targeting your audience.
  5. Optimise Your Website – ensure key pages have been optimised for the Google search engine. There are several basic steps you could undertake for this or at least outsource once you have a better understanding of what needs actioning. Also ensure your website is mobile friendly – particularly if public or consumer facing as you may find approx. 40% to 60% of your website visitor traffic is via mobile devices (this you’ll be able to check within Google Analytics).
  6. Informative Contentplays a key part in search engine optimisation (SEO) helping to optimise your website for the Google search engine – known as Content Marketing. With many people researching online as part of their buying journey they’re looking for informative content to help them make an informative decision. As well as building that trust required prior to making an enquiry or purchase. Because of this Google likes your website to regularly have new informative content. It shows them your website is active whilst allowing them to potentially deliver this content in search engine results. This also provides you with content you can regularly post about via social media and email. If you’re not sure where to start, start recording frequent questions you receive and answer them on your website. You then may be able to turn some of these into longer articles i.e. blogs.
  7. Utilise Social Media Features – ensure you’re making full use of the social media platforms you’re using. As well as the above on LinkedIn – here’s suggestions on how to further utilise Twitter and Facebook. If perhaps just using one social media platform, consider introducing other ones and use a dashboard tool like Hootsuite to help manage them. It’s also worth remembering that social media plays a key part in SEO. As part of Google’s process in ranking your website on a regular basis it’s looking for social signals i.e. hits from social media platforms to your website, this indicating to them an active website. Thus every week you should be mentioning different pages of your website via your updates for Google to pick up on this. There’s also the chance the more active you’re on social media that sometimes your social media profiles may appear in Google search results even when your website doesn’t – increasing your chances of being found online.
  8. Email Marketing – on a regular basis you’re no doubt collating in email addresses – whether from sales, enquiries, events, networking etc. This is your opportunity to stay in touch with those contacts on a regular basis by sending them an informative email newsletter. Plus reminds them of your services further down the line when they’re perhaps looking for them but may have otherwise forgotten about yourselves (if not kept in touch). This over time should help generate more repeat sales from existing customers, as well as generate new leads and online sales (as applicable). It’ll also give you the added bonus of helping with SEO by driving more traffic to your site on a regular basis, which Google will pick up on. Ensure also complementing other marketing activities like social media by having share and follow icons.
    • Liking our blog? Why not sign up for our Eureka Bulletin - helping you have more moments of clarity when using social media and digital marketing for your business.

We hope you find this info useful in how to enhance your digital marketing setup. Feel free to contact us if we can be of further assistance. For more top tips on how to use social media for business follow me on my Twitter profile: @qChrisWood.

Thanks

Chris Wood

Q Social Media – digital marketing and training consultancy agency

 

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Intro To Twitter Ads Stats

By Chris - Last updated: Tuesday, December 16, 2014

How To Understand the Stats From Twitter Advertising Campaigns

Once you have a Twitter Ad campaign up and running it’s then important to understand how it’s performing. This allows you to then tweak and improve campaigns as when needed. The campaign stats are fairly similar across the different types of campaigns, in this instance we’ll look at a Gain Twitter Followers campaign:

Accounts Summary

The first area to check is the Accounts screenshot – here you’ll be able to see the following screenshot:

 

 image002 Intro To Twitter Ads Stats

Each of these is a tab that can be clicked on to see the performance per day within the bar chart shown.

 

Engagements

You can then check Engagements (below the bar chart) to get a further breakdown of additional actions that took place:

image004 Intro To Twitter Ads Stats

 

Tweets Breakdown

Within Tweets (to the left of the bar chart) you can gain a further breakdown for each Tweet shown within your Twitter Ad campaign (as more than one can be shown). This shows you the spend, impressions, followers and cost per follower per Tweet. Here you may be able to identify particular types of messages that are performing better than others. You could then tweak your campaign by dropping those Tweets that are not performing well. New Tweets could also be introduced and then measured for their performance over a given time period.

 

Platforms, Locations, Demographics, Interests

You can also breakdown the Twitter Ad campaign from those have viewed your Ad by (below Tweets):

 

Handles (i.e. Twitter Profiles)

These are the Twitter profiles that you selected (if targeting by followers of profiles). Here you get a break down of spend, impressions, followers and cost per followers per Handle. This allows you to potentially identify specific Handles that might work better than others. You could then tweak your campaign to drop those Handles that are not performing well and could introduce new ones over time.

 

We hope you find this info useful when tracking the impact of your own Twitter Ad campaigns. Feel free to contact us if we can be of further assistance. For more top tips on how to use social media for business follow me on my Twitter profile: @qChrisWood.

Thanks

Chris Wood

Q Social Media – digital marketing and training consultancy agency

 

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Intro to Twitter Advertising

By Chris - Last updated: Tuesday, September 9, 2014

How To Use Twitter Advertising

twitter ads 150x150 Intro to Twitter AdvertisingJust as you can on Facebook, you can advertise on Twitter to targeted audiences via pay per click advertising. This means you only pay when your Ad is clicked on (just like with Google Advertising). There are several Twitter Ad campaign options; here we’ll cover 2 of the more basic ones you may want to consider trying first to see how they work – Gain Followers and Promote Tweets.

 

Gain Twitter Followers

Gain Followers is to build your Twitter following to targeted audiences, ideal when first starting out on Twitter and/or need to quickly build a large following. The latter was a requirement we had when first promoting a new business show. As we were starting from scratch we used this type of Twitter Ad campaign, with a relatively small budget, to quickly build a localised targeted following (over 800 followers within 2 months).     

 

Promote Tweets                           

Promote Tweets is to increase the reach of your tweets to targeted audiences, ideal when wanting more of your customer base to see key messages. This we also did in promoting the show to increase the reach of key messages to a localised targeted audience to further build interest in the show. These campaigns certainly helped in promoting the show, where almost 50% of the website traffic came either directly or indirectly via social media.

 

Targeting Your Audience

Both campaign types are very similar to set up, where you first select the tweets you want to promote for either campaign type. This can be by selecting tweets you have previously tweeted (where you can select more than one) or you can enter new tweets that can only be seen via Twitter advertising and not shown on your profile stream.

You then set your targeted audience by first setting location either by countries or locations within a country. Note there can be limited options for the latter, for example for the show we only had South West as an applicable option. Then selecting additional targeting criteria to fine tune your target audience. There are a few options here; we suggest you start with targeting people that follow industry related profiles. For example for the show we targeted followers of local business related Twitter profiles, like the local business Chamber Twitter profiles (as these profiles would have local businesses following them).

 

Setting Twitter Ad Budget

Lastly you set the budget, where just like Facebook and Google Ad advertising, there is a silent auction in the background. You’ll be competing with other advertisers for Ad space real time. Thus you won’t know the true cost of a campaign until after a few days when you can then see the actual costs involved. However to control the costs you set a daily budget and a per click budget. This means for example if you had a daily budget of £1 per day and the per click budget of 50p, you would never spend over £1 per day and never more than 50p per click. This means you should get at least 2 clicks per day and may be even 3 or 4 per day depending on how the actual cost works out.

Once ready to make a campaign live, for the first time, you enter payment details – credit card. Twitter then takes a weekly payment post clicks and emails you an invoice receipt for your account records. This payment setting is then remembered when setting up future campaigns. Within a few days you could check back on the campaign to see how it’s initially performing via the stats shown and to get an idea of the actual costs involved – more on this here

We hope you find this info useful as an introduction in to Twitter advertising. Feel free to contact us if we can be of further assistance. For more top tips on how to use social media for business follow me on my Twitter profile: @qChrisWood.

Thanks

Chris Wood

Q Social Media – digital marketing and training consultancy agency

 

Like our blogs? Subscribe here to never miss future blog posts via our RSS feed

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Get More Out Of Exhibiting With Social Media

By Chris - Last updated: Monday, May 19, 2014

Social media can play a key part when exhibiting and often overlooked by exhibitors, where they could be missing out on opportunities to maximise their return on investment. Many show organisers are now on social media using it to promote their show online. This gives exhibitors opportunities to start raising awareness before the show, on the day and continue building relationships after the event. We suggest the following approach:

 

Engage with the Show Organiser’s Social Media Profiles

  1. Contact the organiser or check out their website to see what social media platforms they’re on
  2. For Twitter – post tweets and engage with their profile. Use their #tag whenever mentioning the event. This way others following the #tag stream for the event will see your tweets. Also follow the #tag stream yourself as you may have opportunities to start engaging with those that have stated they’re attending.
  3. For Facebook – engage with their Facebook Page by liking and sharing their Page on your own Facebook Page. Post updates on their Page – ensure you’ve switched to using Facebook as your business Page (otherwise you will be posting as a person linking back to your personal profile instead). 
  4. For LinkedIn – post updates to your personal and company profiles. If there is a LinkedIn group for the show join this to hear updates. As well as having the opportunity to post your own informative content to start introducing your business to group members.

 

In the Build-Up to the Event

 

On the Day of the Event

 

Post The Event

 

We’re involved, as the digital partner, in promoting the Devon Business Expo online. As part of this we’re encouraging exhibitors to take this suggested approach and post about being at the event. This helping to raise the profile of the show online to their followers that we may otherwise not reach. Check out our guide sheet that we’ve produced for exhibitors to further maximise their return out of this expo.     

 

We hope you find this info useful when you’re next exhibiting at a show. Feel free to contact us if we can be of further assistance. For more top tips on how to use social media for business follow me on my Twitter profile: @qChrisWood.

Thanks

Chris Wood

Q Social Media – digital marketing and training consultancy agency

 

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5 Ways To Get More Out of Social Media

By Chris - Last updated: Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Are you looking for ways to make social media more effective for your business? We suggest looking at where social media could be used to complement existing activities you undertake on a regular basis. Here are five suggestions that will help kick off this process:

 

1. Customers – one of the best ways in starting with social media is engaging with your existing customer base. This helping you in the process of retaining customers, as well as giving opportunities to upsell or cross-sell other products and services you may offer to them. On Twitter you could create a Twitter list to help with this process. Customers will be your strongest advocates, where some will share your content online to their followers, helping to increase your online reach and attract new customers over time.
2. Email Marketing – social media can be used to complement email marketing by having social media share and follow icons within your enewsletters and other eshots. When using email marketing software you’re likely to have a website link unique to each email that has been sent. These links could be posted on your social media platforms and attract new people to see the emails and sign up for them. On Facebook & Twitter you could run a boost post campaign for more people to see the newsletter. On LinkedIn you could export your connections and import into them to your email marketing system.

social media complements networking 150x150 5 Ways To Get More Out of Social Media
3. Networking – after meeting new contacts when networking connect with them on social media (where possible). This enabling you to keep in touch with them online in between seeing them again offline, helping to build relationships over time. Plus for those contacts you may only meet the once via networking you can still stay in touch with them online. This we’ve found quite an effective approach along with a regular enewsletter. Often for us it can be 6-12 months down the line when businesses may be interested in our services and this way we’re not forgotten at that time.
4. Events – do you exhibit at events like tradeshows/conferences or run your own events? Social media can help promote events online and not just via your own accounts. Social media gives you the opportunity to have other people talking about your own events via their own accounts, whereby reaching their followers. When exhibiting at a tradeshow/conference people can meet you on the day and then follow you afterwards, thereby not losing that connection.

 

5. Traditional Marketing – social media should be used to complement traditional marketing not replace it. When producing leaflets, flyers etc. and when advertising offline mention you’re on social media. This allows people, seeing this, to follow you online via the platforms they like to use in their day to day lives. Many of the big brands apply this approach in their advertising campaigns, where you may have seen this for example on TV ads wanting you to follow them on say Facebook. This allows brands to build up a following on a retention basis to drive followers to their website, offers and other updates on a regular basis, rather than say a one off view to a website (via a TV ad).  

 

We hope you find these suggestions useful in looking to make social media more effective for your business. Feel free to contact us if we can be of further assistance. For more top tips on how to use social media for business follow me on my Twitter profile: @qChrisWood.

Thanks

Chris Wood

Q Social Media – digital marketing and training consultancy agency

 

Like our blogs? Subscribe here to never miss future blog posts via our RSS feed

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8 Ways To Increase Website Traffic

By Chris - Last updated: Monday, March 17, 2014

Would you like more website traffic to increase internet leads, online sales, enquiries, raise online awareness etc? Whatever your objective is for your organisation the following approach being suggested should help. It’s a proven approach that we adopt ourselves, in particular to promote our courses. In the process it should also help build an online following for customer retention purposes and constantly attract new customers.

  1. Develop & Document Digital Marketing Strategy based on the following high level activities. This helps give direction and purpose in what you’re trying to achieve and how. Whereby increasing the chances of success in meeting your objective(s). As part of this, an implementation action plan should be developed and documented identifying the setup and on-going tasks in implementing the strategy. 
  2. Google Analytics & Webmaster should be enabled to track and understand website visitor stats. This will allow you to track performance of your digital marketing activities and be able to further develop them over time. Google Webmaster also helps Google know more about your site, which helps improve search engine presence, as once enabled it then revisits every page on a much more regular basis.
  3. Google Ad Campaign could be set up and optimised for page one presence for key search terms. This would give paid for page one presence via pay per click advertising whilst working on gaining organic/natural presence. image002 8 Ways To Increase Website Traffic
  4. Google Places for location listings on Google Maps, where Google prioritises location based searches over all other results, including Google Ads! It’s important to claim your listing so that firstly competitors cannot and secondly you can optimise it to increase chances of being found for local searches (only). image004 8 Ways To Increase Website Traffic
  5. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) to make your website more visible in the eyes of Google. Here it’s important to know how Google works and identify keywords and phrases to target to optimise website content and structure. If your website is built on a content management system there are many actions you can undertake yourself, otherwise likely to require a SEO specialist. 
  6. Use of Social Msocial media logos 8 Ways To Increase Website Trafficedia like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to primarily raise online presence to customer base and for Google to pick up on SEO wise. On the latter did you know that every month Google are looking for social signals as part of its criteria in ranking your website, which are hits from social media platforms to your website. You should also use social media to complement other marketing and communications activities. As well as promote yourselves as experts in your industry via top tips, articles, blogs etc. This should raise you above the noise on social media by helping to build trust and credibility with your online audience.
  7. Blogging on your industry – key benefits/features/things to do etc.  Blogs are articles that you write on various topics to help build trust and credibility with your online audience. These can either be published on your website or a separate blog site can be setup like on WordPress/Blogger/Tumblr. Once setup each blog post can be optimised for Google to pick up on and promoted via social media to drive traffic to it on a regular basis. Here it would be a good idea to setup Google Authorship to add credibility to the blogs within Google.
  8. Regular e-newsletter (monthly/bimonthly/quarterly) where you should make it informative with useful info to your customer base. If stuck on this, think of the questions you typically you get asked and start with some of these and go from there. Here you could promote your blogs and social media presence with follow and share icons. As well as using social media to encourage new sign-ups to the e-newsletter. Check out our Eureka Bulletin providing clarity on social media and digital marketing every month.

It should be noted that page one presence cannot be guaranteed by any SEO specialist. However if the above was adopted and with constant regular active use of social media, you should over time see an improvement in your search engine presence to key search terms. As mentioned we use this approach ourselves and have achieved page one presence for the locations that we run courses in – Bristol, Bournemouth and Exeter.

We hope you find this info useful when looking to increase website traffic. Feel free to contact us if we can be of further assistance. For more top tips on social media and digital marketing activities follow me on my Twitter profile: @qChrisWood.

Thanks

Chris Wood

Q Social Media – digital marketing and training consultancy agency

 

Like our blogs? Subscribe here to never miss future blog posts via our RSS feed

Help us grow our audience – Retweet, Like or G+

Want to know more on how to use social media and digital marketing activities? See our upcoming training courses in Bournemouth, Bristol, Exeter, London and Redruth

Did you know you can alternatively outsource social media and other online marketing activities to us? Find out more here



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