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Category: Social Media

Marketing Articles: Page 2

Something Inventive 34: The future of social and why Facebook is not fun to use

Ben is joined by Jonathan Pollinger and they talk about the future social media, why it’s worth making predictions, JP’s rebrand and why Facebook is bloated and not very much fun to use.

The sponsor for this episode is Inventive People. Get 20% off first order with the code INVENTIVEPODCAST.

If you have any feedback, ideas or topics you’d like covered on our podcast we’d love to hear from you. Please get in touch via our contact page, leave a voicemail on 0800 881 5805 or mention @RatherInventive on Twitter.

Listen on Apple Podcasts app

Something Inventive is an entertaining and lively podcast on creativity and the web. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts or search for ‘Something Inventive’ in your favourite podcast player.


Episode sponsored by our SEO report

Check out our laser focused SEO report. If you need to build up your traffic then this report is for you! Mention our podcast when your order and get 10% off.

Show notes

The Hosts

Jonathan Pollinger (@pollingersocial) – An unusual mix of logical thinker with a creative eye
Ben Kinnaird (@benkinnaird) – Knower of Social media, SEO and ‘the Web’

Be part of the show

Tweet a service or product you’d like to promote, mentioning @RatherInventive and the hashtag #podvert and we’ll read it out over the coming episodes.

If you like the show please give us a rating in iTunes and we’ll read out your comment. You can do this from the podcast player on Apple.

Thanks for listening!


Edited by Clare Harris – ‘Goofy Vocal Groove‘ intro music by Dave Girtsman–Image courtesy of Pexel.

Interview: Dan Lewis Founder of FreeAgent247

In this interview Ben managed to catch Dan Lewis from Free Agent 247 in-between meetings to chat about their free business model and how video plays an important part in their promotional strategy.

 

Image Credit: Founder Dan Lewis, FreeAgent247. Banner Image Credit: Image of Dan Lewis sat in a chair reading.

Don’t stretch yourself too thin on social media – Do one and do it well

With so many social media platforms to choose from, it is easy to get carried away and take on more than you can chew. Before signing up to a new account, think about whether this is an effective way of engaging with your customers.

Rather than signing up for every social media platform possible, start by going – what Business Insider refers to as – platform native and just focus on one or two accounts. Think about what kind of presence you would like to have and the types of product or service you offer? What services most of your audience use? Whether your product is best represented as video, in photos, text, audio or a mix of all of these. Whatever you decide, try to limit yourself to 5 accounts as no full-time employee would ever have enough time to effectively manage more than this.

Remember, social media is a two-way street and should be used as a tool for engagement rather than a soapbox. By focusing your efforts it will allow you to have more time to build a relationship with your readers and develop your brand which will, in turn, create a more authentic network based on quality interaction rather than a quantity of disengagement. Otherwise, you can risk becoming annoying and just add to the stream of noise, which will only push away your potential customers. It is really important to try and engage your audience and to get them to respond and react to your content in some way.

Here are my tips on getting the most out of your social media accounts.

Plan your posts

First and foremost make sure you create a social media strategy and outline your tone of voice, how you would like your brand to be perceived and what kind of content you would like to post. Make a document, a simple excel spreadsheet which lists relevant links, shareable content which you can reference.

Be consistent

Post regularly to maintain the interest of your following but don’t spread yourself too thin. Remember quality over quantity. Research the optimum times of engagement for your particular audience to get the most out of your post. CoSchedule recently compiled their own data and compared them with 23 studies from other social media platforms to find the optimum time to post your content.

Be a professional

Don’t treat your business accounts like your personal account. What your friends and family might find interesting and be supportive of, may not be what your potential customer will find interesting.

Use images and video

Where you can include images and video as this will help catch your audience’s eye and help them digest the information more easily.

Build alliances

Build business alliances that complement your own business but are not a direct competitor. Engage and support each other’s posts to share networks and audience reach. You never know when you might need an ally.

At a certain point, once your account has got to a certain size you will encounter trolls. Don’t take it personally and don’t fall into the trap of entertaining them. Always handle them professionally and know when to respond publicly, when to let it go or to delete their comment (if you can).

Know when to switch off

Don’t fall into the trap of syncing your phone to your social media accounts as before you know it you will come 24/7 and taking work home with you is never healthy.

Educate and entertain

Don’t use your social media platform as a sales platform, capture your audience more creatively and provide useful insights, educational information or entertainment.

Here are some of our earlier blogs which might be able to help you:

Check your spelling

Grammar matters, so check and double check as a small typo can not only be embarrassing but can also cause a whole world of hurt. Have you ever left the L out of Public Service…. Well these days you simply have no excuse as there are free programmes out there like Grammarly which will make sure those cheek blushing moments don’t happen.

Analyse your impact

Create some realistic goals of what you would like to achieve through social media so you can evaluate and justify the amount of time and money you put into creating content. There are many free tools such as Hootsuite, Buffer, Sprout Social, Buzzsumo, Google Marketing Platform, Google Alerts and so on which can you help you. If your posts are not performing particularly well, evaluate them and work out whether you can improve them or is it time to call it quits.

 

Once you have established a good presence on one platform then consider whether you could replicate that on another platform. Remember, don’t spread yourself too thin, keep it simple and stay consistent.

 

Image Credit: Group of people, dressed in black, in stretching stances Courtesy of Pexels

Value of Visual content

All content has to have a visual element and the reason being is far more than simply catching someones attention.

There has been a shift to providing value and having purpose to your visual content, with photos and videos featuring heavily in digital marketing strategies.

Photos and video hold more weight than text, they are remembered easily and encourage audiences to interact.

We all see posts using stock images on social media and in blog posts that are only there to fill a blank space. Don’t get me wrong – there will be instances when there is no other option to use some sort of stock photo.

Taking the time to consider the value of images to best reflect your brand and have the desired impression is time well spent. Imagery should feature in all of the content that you post online, therefore using photos, videos or infographics that help you to tell the story are essential. It may take a little time to plan and gather the right images that you require.

So, what is the best visual content?

Building a bank of photographs across all of your activities will help to make life easier. You will then have a series of images you can select when you need to.

Here are a few things you can should have photos of:

  • Your team
  • Meeting with clients
  • Products or delivering a service
  • Events / expos
  • Seminars that you deliver

Authenticity is key with everything online, helping to build credibility around your team and brand so it is important that images are yours. Grabbing the attention of your audience and leave a lasting impression should be your objective.

Moving away from the staged corporate imagery helps to bring personality to your marketing.

When thinking about the type of visual content that will work best for you consider these areas:

  • Can you demonstrate what it is like to work with you.
  • Provide an insight into the environment you have created.

Think bigger than photographs – infographics are an ideal way of communicating hard hitting topics in an easily digestible format. Piktochart is great tool to use to create your own infographics.

Image credit: Polaroids by Minidigi Kadorin on Flickr

Something Inventive 24: I’ve just bought a wheelbarrow

Al and Ben discuss the Scandals Facebook, GDPR begging emails, The important of review sites, Email response times and who we’re looking forward to see at WXG 2018.

If you have any feedback, ideas or topics you’d like covered on our podcast we’d love to hear from you. Please get in touch via our contact page, leave a voicemail on 0800 881 5805 or mention @RatherInventive on Twitter.

Listen on Apple Podcasts app

Something Inventive is an entertaining and lively podcast on creativity and the web. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts or search for ‘Something Inventive’ in your favourite podcast player.


Episode sponsored by Our Newsletter

Grab a free copy of our social media strategy book Be Sociable when you subscribe to our marketing ideas newsletter just scroll to the bottom of this site and pop in your email!

Show notes

 

The Hosts

Al Osmond (@inventiveal) – An unusual mix of logical thinker with a creative eye
Ben Kinnaird (@benkinnaird) – Knower of Social media, SEO and ‘the Web’

Be part of the show

Tweet a service or product you’d like to promote, mentioning @RatherInventive and the hashtag #podvert and we’ll read it out over the coming episodes.

If you like the show please give us a rating in iTunes and we’ll read out your comment. You can do this from the podcast player on Apple.

Thanks for listening!


Audio edited by Donalize – ‘Goofy Vocal Groove‘ intro music by Dave Girtsman – Image Credit: The Wheelbarrow Run by Dana

Something Inventive 22: Bad Interfaces – Snapchat, Facebook and Big Brands

Jonathan Pollinger (stepping in for Al) joins Ben to discuss Snapchat’s recent design change, Facebook’s news feed favouring ‘meaningful social interactions’ and big brands on social media.

If you have any feedback, ideas or topics you’d like covered on our podcast we’d love to hear from you. Please get in touch via our contact page, leave a voicemail on 0800 881 5805 or mention @RatherInventive on Twitter.

Listen on Apple Podcasts app

Something Inventive is an entertaining and lively podcast on creativity and the web. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts or search for ‘Something Inventive’ in your favourite podcast player.


Episode sponsored by Ticked Off Marketing Checklist

Simple marketing tasks to act on right away. Each task includes examples, downloads or the steps needed to complete it, plus a big button to tick it off when you’re done. Sign up for a free 7 day trial at ticked-off.com with just your email and no credit card.

Show notes

The Hosts

Jonathan Pollinger (@intranetfuture) – Social Media Specialist at Intranet Future
Ben Kinnaird (@benkinnaird) – Knower of Social media, SEO and ‘the Web’

Be part of the show

Tweet a service or product you’d like to promote, mentioning @RatherInventive and the hashtag #podvert and we’ll read it out over the coming episodes

Thanks for listening!


Audio edited by Donalize – ‘Goofy Vocal Groove‘ intro music by Dave Girtsman – Image Credit: Classroom Laptops Computers Boy.jpg by R. Nial Bradshaw

Something Inventive 20: Ducks in a row – Anniversary edition

Ben and Al talk about email scams, Facebook shadow profiles, email marketing advice, planning your marketing for next year and how the world sends 2.6 million emails a second.

If you have any feedback, ideas or topics you’d like covered on our podcast we’d love to hear from you. Please get in touch via our contact page, leave a voicemail on 0800 881 5805 or mention @RatherInventive on Twitter.

Listen on Apple Podcasts app

Something Inventive is an entertaining and lively podcast on creativity and the web. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts or search for ‘Something Inventive’ in your favourite podcast player.


Episode sponsored by Ticked Off Marketing Checklist

Simple marketing tasks to act on right away. Each task includes examples, downloads or the steps needed to complete it, plus a big button to tick it off when you’re done. Sign up for a free 30 day trial at ticked-off.com with just your name and email and no credit card.

Show notes

The Hosts

Al Osmond (@inventiveal) – An unusual mix of logical thinker with a creative eye
Ben Kinnaird (@benkinnaird) – Knower of Social Media, SEO and ‘the Web’

Be part of the show

Tweet a service or product you’d like to promote, mentioning @RatherInventive and the hashtag #podvert and we’ll read it out over the coming episodes

Thanks for listening!


Audio edited by Donalize – ‘Goofy Vocal Groove‘ intro music by Dave Girtsman – Image Credit: Rubber Duck by Quang Nguyen

Friend of a friend – Your real social network

Twitter, Facebook and WordPress all help you connect directly with your clients or audience. But reaching for them indirectly could be even more successful.

Bigger networks often have high demands for quality content but can’t always feed the grinder themselves. Offering quality content to the owner of these networks helps them feed their audience and gives you the opportunity to connect with friends of friends.

Provide content to places that need it

Magazines built on advertising, for instance, always need interesting profiles or features to fill out their publications and prevent them turning into coupon books.

When trying to sell our house, I created a Twitter account in the character of our property: @jamjarhouse. This idea got the attention of a local property magazine and bagged me a free coverline and double page spread.

Cotswold Property Inside July 2016 Jam Jar Joy

Offer content to the subscribers of larger providers

Email newsletters challenge everyone, big or small, because they need to be regular and they can’t go out empty. If you can fill the gap it means they don’t have to.

If you’ve written a reference book and published it as an ebook don’t just send it to your own email list. Find providers that crossover with your topic and offer the ebook for free to their subscribers.

Contribute guest content to successful websites matching your interests

For example, this post!

If you have contacts with bigger networks than you, then great, but otherwise simply drum up a list of five or more decent sized content providers that fit with your business.

Fire off at least three outlined ideas for guest posts to each contact on your list, making sure your content hits both their niche and offers a peek into your own knowledge and skills. If your ideas are good enough, no one with content gaps to fill will turn them down.

Image credit: Clem Onojeghuo – Black Steel Grinder on Brown Wooden Table (Header) – Cotswold Property July 2016 (insert)

Scared of social media?

You’ve put it off for long enough. You’re going to have to do it sooner or later, your business depends upon it. Considering that 72% of online adults use social media it’s high time you felt the fear, and well, got over it. Because, like it or not, these social platforms are where your clients are, and if you don’t have a presence on social media you can be sure your competitors do.

So what are you scared of?

Social media takes up too much of my time

Do you think of social media as an annoying time waster? You can give it as little or as much attention as you have, creating an active presence for just 15 minutes a day. Sticking to one or two platforms, those where your customers tend to hang out, means you need only login, scan and respond as appropriate, taking less time than it takes to make a coffee.

I don’t know what to say on social media

Contrary to what you may believe social media is not only for certain industries. If you have customers, then there’s value in it for you. Yours may not be the most glamorous of trades but as long as you show your human side and not be tempted to hide behind a corporate persona, people will want to listen. Show that your company has a personality and opinions that reflect your values and you’re on to a winner. Be informal, but be relevant, appropriate, and interesting to your audience.

Twitter is a good way of easing yourself in. Start by posting a few links to articles, market reports, etc. anything that might be interesting to customers of your industry. Link to other content that you think will be of value to your audience. Pose questions, or reply to comments.

I fear exposure on social media

Do you worry that every word you write will be misconstrued? Do you fear that your customers will realise you’re not as smart as they thought? Perhaps you fear negative comments or responses?

This is perfectly normal, particularly on social media networks like Twitter, where there is no control over what is posted. And we’ve all heard examples of big companies making major social media slip-ups. But there’s a greater risk in snubbing social media because with so much unprecedented access, it sends the wrong message to employees, consumers, and investors not to be part of it.  Also, social media is an excellent tool for showing your soft side and demonstrating transparency and honestly.

I fear negative feedback on social media

Customer feedback, even negative, is invaluable to your company’s growth. You may be giving customers a platform to be able to publically criticise your company, but you’re also showcasing your great customer service skills in real time, in front of an audience.  If you do receive negative feedback, listen and respond. Be honest, apologetic and transparent. Deal with a complaint honestly and apologetically and you’ll more likely make a friend than an enemy.

Remember that the point of social media is in the name, to be social. It’s not about pressure selling and blatant self promotion. It is about interaction, community and customer service. Be personal, authentic and approachable and focus on getting a useful message in front of your audience.

Have a look around to see how others in a similar business have made social media work for them. Ask yourself, how are savvy businesses using social media effectively to boost their reputations, find more customers and make more sales?

It may be scary if you’re not yet competent in using social media but the expectation on business to be transparent will only increase. As a business you have a choice, either get involved or get left behind.

Do you have a fear that we haven’t featured? Then let us know.

Image Credit: Shock-ed by David Goehring

Who owns your LinkedIn contacts?

An interesting article on Muddy Wall about the legal ownership of your LinkedIn contacts.

“Back in the day life was so simple. Mobile phones didn’t exist, your favourite 80’s pop star was still a good guy and all of your contacts were saved on your rollerdex which sat, OCD like, in a strict alphabetical order on your desk at work. Therefore, when it came time to change jobs it was as easy as packing up your Sony Walkman and rollerdex, and swanning into the sunset like John Wayne. Times however have changed.”

It reminded me of a drinks company we spoke to about their social strategy. We asked what would happen when the young people they promoted and sponsored, grew out of their target market and took off with their Facebook and Twitter followers. It wasn’t something they’d even considered but it got them thinking about the ownership of the Twitter account. I’m sure this isn’t a problem with a well managed transition though.

While the legal case mentioned in the article might now serve as a precedent I’m not sure it’s important where our contacts are stored but whether we’re allowed to make use of them when we’re no longer employed in or contracted to the company in which they were gained.

“A lot of employment contracts also contain non-solicitation or non-dealing clauses which restrict employees from approaching clients of the company for a certain period after their employment. This has proved a safer approach for companies wishing to take legal action against former employees where they may not have a social media policy in force.”

 

 

Image courtesy of Pexel