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If you’re active on social media you’ve probably seen hashtags even if you aren’t using them. A post may end with words or phrases prefixed with the # symbol.
It might seem like a fad but there are real benefits for a business to jump in and adopt a hashtag strategy. On certain social media platforms (like Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, Pinterest, and Instagram), the hashtags are a great way to extend your reach and present your content to new potential clients.
Hashtags basically act as a filing cabinet across the social media world, they pull together similar posts so that they can be searched for and seen together. Think of a big file with all the #food posts, then each file can be subdivided further to make it more specific eg. #donut or #cake
It’s, therefore, important to stay on track and relevant to the use of hashtags. It would be pointless to post a picture of a waterfall with #delicious, but there are many options which would be more appropriate like #nature #scenic #scenery
There is no need to separate hashtags with commas, just a space, and if you want to use a phrase, run the words together like #naturephotography
It’s best not to get too long and complicated, as it can be difficult to read and it’s very unlikely someone will find your content through a search.
Choose hashtags that reinforce your brand or the quality of your product. For example #businessname #bestnatureshots
One way to find popular hashtags is to click on the magnifying glass within Instagram, click on tags and start to enter one of the words you want to use. A list will come up showing some of the most utilized terms. Here is an example:
It’s important to think about the audience you are trying to connect with, reaching thousands of people may not deliver one lead. The secret is to hashtag to hone in on your target demographic. If you are selling honeymoon packages, a good hashtag may be #futureMrs for instance.
As a business, it is likely you will not only connect with potential clients but will also build a network of like-minded professionals who may follow your feed or ‘like’ your posts. If you see a business similar to your own and like their content, click on their profile and look at a couple of posts to see how they are targeting their audience. Are they using a hashtag strategy that could also work well for you? Your inspiration may come from the other side of the world as the searches yield international results. If your business is multilingual, use hashtags in different languages.
Actively searching the hashtags you are using also demonstrates how your posts compare to the competition out there. Are your posts of the best quality? Are others using filters and editing to create more original content?
Taking the first step is the most daunting. Once you get started, experiment with new hashtags, see what works for you. There are many who say don’t use more than 1 or 2 hashtags but every business is unique and your hashtag journey is yours alone.
It’s easy to sign up for an account and it’s free to use the standard account. If your account does really well and you want to start paying for ‘promoted pins’ at a later date then that is always an option. Before doing that it is worthwhile building a gallery of pins because if you attract traffic and they want to scan your images, you’ll want them to find the best you have to offer.
No matter what your product or service, you can either showcase the item itself, someone using the item or the before’s and after’s of a service. With a bit of creativity almost anything can be presented in a visually attractive way. If all else fails, text can still be pinned – choose a font or format which is eye catching to compete with the barrage of stunning images out there.
Each pin can be edited to link back to your site. Therefore as your pin is picked up by others, your links are naturally growing. The more successful your boards and pins, the more significant the increase in not only links but the chances of yet more ‘pinners’ seeing your brand name or website address, hopefully being intrigued enough to take a look.
One of the benefits of Pinterest boards is the unlimited number of pins and the ability to break up the content into different boards. This means you could have one general board and then use more detailed boards for supplemental shots from unusual angles, close-ups, images of the product in use, relative size (displayed next to something recognizable), shipping materials, your production team, your warehouse – anything that you know will enhance your reputation. This is an alternative to cramming your website full of these images because the ‘real estate’ on the page is so scarce.
Pinterest is most popular with women and depending on your type of business, that could be ideal targeting for your key demographic.
Rather than trying to pull together a collection of your best pictures, Pinterest is custom made to build your galleries over time. This means that instead of sending many images to potential clients or colleagues, you can share the link to your site and they can see your galleries any time they wish. It might seem impossible to build a gallery of hundreds of pictures, but by adding a dozen or so each month, the collection steadily builds and what once seemed a daunting task has become a reality.
Instead of describing what a customer wants as ‘the picture in the blue second from the left on the 3rd page’, they can ‘pin’ the images they want and then show exactly what items or components they are interested in. This is reinforced with accurate and meaningful product descriptions on each pin so the text needed to identify the product is tied to the image.
If the older items are still in service and for sale, the boards act as a timeline showing older models as well as the newer models which over time your business will more likely focus on. If they are defunct and no longer for sale, then those older images or boards should be deleted.
If you don’t get in the Pinterest game, you are missing an opportunity to reach a set of potential clients that your competitors are likely reaching already.
For the time investment, it’s a really simple way to get a great looking portfolio. You can add the Pinterest icon to your site and cross reference it from your other profiles.
Whatever your reason to get started, it’s a sound platform to promote your business and don’t be put off by competitors who already have galleries with hundreds of thousands of pins. They also had to start somewhere and it’s amazing how quickly the number of images can build. For this reason – think strategically up front about how you want to partition your data into boards. Get started, get comfortable and then go ‘public’ with your profile when you’re happy with it.
If you need help planning a social media marketing strategy, Trulium can help. Likewise, if you want a Pinterest gallery but don’t want to do it yourself, Contact us today and let’s get started! Pinterest accounts for business can be a great addition to social media marketing, especially if your product or service lends itself to stunning visuals.
In the SEO world, there is always a lot of buzz around tools used to help identify keywords and key phrases. However the list was created, here we explore reasons why they should be revisited periodically to make the most of an effective SEO campaign.
The acceptance of pictures replacing texts is a bit of a moving target. For some advertising campaigns, this is the new norm and certainly, for a generation of millennials, they are seen as a common part of the digital language. Emoticons tend to convey emotions (like : – ) is a smiley face read sideways – it is a combination of text symbols used together to represent how the author is feeling) whereas emojis portray a wide range of easily recognizable people, expressions, animals, places, modes of transport, food etc and are actually a picture.
Although a relatively modern concept in communicating, they are now common and widespread, particularly across social media. Here we explore 5 reasons why it’s totally OK and maybe even better to use them than traditional text-only compositions.
Even a child learning to read can understand the concept behind a smiley face. It makes them feel happy inside. Likewise, even if a reader didn’t know how to say they were feeling sad or angry, happy or tired, a picture is worth its weight in gold in quickly conveying emotion.
Did you know that they also bolster the reach of your posts? As well as using hashtags, viewers also search on emojis. If you’re a bride looking for inspiration, searching on the ‘bride’ emoji will pull up all the posts no matter what language the hashtags are in. Reason enough to take them as a serious part of your marketing toolkit.
Especially on social media platforms like facebook and instagram, it’s just as easy to comment with a heart or clapping hands if you like the post or you are posting, especially important if you are marketing promotional images around the world and don’t want to translate text. A palm tree emoji can reinforce a sunny picture of a tropical beach in Florida, a jumping dolphin has us checking out the waves to catch a glimpse.
There are certainly some professions and forms of official communication where the use of emoticons or emojis could be seen as inappropriate. Generally, they are reserved for more light-hearted, informal representation. If in doubt, look to your own niche market industry leaders, the first step in adopting a more relaxed attitude to their use will probably come across in social media posts first.
The millennials and youngest generation of IT-savvy consumers will make up larger percentages of the population of consumers as time goes on. If they are reacting to your advertising and social media with emojis and emoticons then you need to be able to reciprocate to seem relevant, mirroring their tone in your response builds a client relationship. You appear more friendly by replying in the manner they also choose.
Someone else has already done all the hard work for you so there is no need to make up your own set of images. Starting an email with a long sentence about what has gone wrong so far that day can be said succinctly
Maybe some of the detail is lost but the general message is conveyed in an instant.
You’re just as likely to see your next emoji on a T-shirt as onscreen, they are widespread everywhere you look. You’ll soon get feedback if you overuse the symbols and a slow and steady approach is best. There is no need to set a goal as to how often you do use them, they are here, they are here to stay and they can truly help you get your message across to make your clients
If you’re at an office and still using your personal email, it may be time for a rethink. There are many reasons to switch to a generic email address and making a change is always going to be hard, so if you recognize it should be done one day, then today is as good a day as any.
Here we look at a few reasons why it’s a good idea.
Employees at some time move on to another job or to retirement. As a business, you don’t want to lose leads which are no longer channeling into your office, and as an individual if you are no longer working at that job, you don’t need the overhead of deleting then or forwarding them back. On the same theme, once a member of staff does leave, it would be nice to still have access to the historical record and ongoing email interactions.
It’s good to know that you can go away on vacation without always checking the inbox. It’s just as nice to keep staff time off (sick or planned) transparent to the client. It should never be the customer’s problem if a member of staff is unavailable.
With so many businesses using generic email accounts like info@mybusiness or customersupport@wherewework, it is more or less expected and a personal account looks like perhaps a temporary workaround until a better solution is found.
No matter how easy you think it is to spell your name, when you are reading out an email address over the telephone or you want someone to remember the contact info easily, a generic name is always going to be easier, especially if the company name is part of it – that further reinforces your brand and helps it stick in the mind of your client or colleague.
A strictly business account is easier to keep streamlined with little (or preferably no) personal communication and a tried and tested filing system within the inbox for projects or delegation. When a new member of staff ‘inherits’ the account to manage, they can take over an ‘online filing cabinet’ which has already been developed. Things can always evolve over time, but it’s great not to have to reinvent the wheel and start from scratch.
There are no real cost implications so if you’ve been wondering about making the switch, why not move forwards now? The sooner you start, the sooner the new contact info will spread. Likewise, if you’re launching new business cards or new brochures shortly, that would be a great time to launch a new contact address. You don’t have to lose the emails you’re using now, over time they will naturally phase out as the new one propagates. Encourage staff to use the generic contact with new customers and commit to your new policy.
Every marketing website is designed to provide pertinent information and to promote the products or services being offered. The ultimate aim of this online storefront is to convert interested site visitors into customers. The most obvious and easily measurable success is a direct ‘buy’ button on the site although for the companies which don’t have the desire or ability to process online payments or for businesses where sales are converted later in the process, just encouraging viewers to take that ‘next step’ is a positive move forwards in the right direction.
It may be ‘call now’ or ‘get directions’. All of these types of buttons are CTAs or Calls To Action.
The purpose of a CTA is to keep the customer interaction with your website, steering the visit closer towards the next level – finding out more information, calling a sales representative, making a purchase etc. Without any Call To Action, your potential client could be more likely to leave your site and shop around.
If someone is wondering whether or not to buy, they may be more willing to click on a button that doesn’t commit immediately like ‘save for my wishlist’ or ‘save for later’. If the site is set up with this design feature, this action can enable the site to flag the saved item and remind the customer next time they login.
Red buttons can scare customers away as it looks more like a warning than an invitation to make a purchase.
Green is generally thought to be the most inviting (sending a subconscious ‘go’). Think carefully what color you want:
The buttons themselves can look totally different with tiny style changes. As well as color, consider:
The more buttons and CTAs there are, the less eye catching they will be as they will take up too much of your online shopfront. This can also appear too pushy. One clever way to use your website design is to hover or float your call to action button as the page is scrolled. Beware that it doesn’t detract from the page text – especially on mobile handheld devices.
Measure the click through rates and interactions with your CTA buttons. Over time if one button location or CTA message proves more popular (and therefore better at converting viewers into customers) then look at trimming away the less popular CTAs.
Call to Action are a tricky balance of tempting a customer to commit without being too overwhelming. If you need help with your website design and are looking to incorporate CTAs, Trulium has the experience to help take your online presence to the next level. For website design or website redesign, contact us today to get started.
Have you thought about converting your Instagram account to a business account? Or setting up a new account? Here’s a look at the ‘how to’ and ‘what you get’ so you can assess if the switch is right for you.
Although Instagram can be used to post ‘text only’ content, this brand of social media marketing definitely works best for a visually pleasing product. With so many stunning sunsets, food, scenery, and yes, super cute furry animal pictures and videos out there, you need to bring something exciting to the table to make this campaign worth your time and effort.
The first question that springs to mind is how much will it cost? Well, switching your account to a business profile is free and delivers certain benefits which you may be able to leverage to improve sales, contacts and help you market in a more optimized (and strategically planned) manner.
The main difference is that when a potential customer sees your feed and likes what they see, instead of having to work at finding how to contact you, the button is right there for them to click on.
When they click on ‘contact’, they are presented with a choice:
It’s worth noting at this point that when the business account is setup, instagram pulls contact data from your facebook page (so you need to have your business facebook account up and running first).
Instagram then gives you analysis of who is looking at your feed.
There are some metrics which probably shouldn’t surprise you. If you know your brand appeals to a particular age group or gender, then hopefully the stats will reinforce what you already expect to see. For example:
Note: Location bar graphs in the same format are also available showing where your audience are located.
Other metrics can help you plan your marketing campaign more effectively. These are valuable threads of information to make sure you aren’t posting at off peak times for the audience you are trying to reach. It’s a bit like marketing across time zones, if you’re in the US marketing to an audience in another part of the world, there is less value in posting in the middle of their nighttime. You want to place your posts at a time when they are fresh and you’re not expecting your audience to scroll back through the whole of the last 24 hours to see your content.
Instagram gives the definition of these metrics for you, here is an example of a post. By comparing the statistics and relative popularity for a variety of posts, you will soon figure out which of your posts are more interesting to your viewers.
The impressions will not only be built up from your followers, but will show if you did a good job attracting views from other people (ie potential future clients or collaborators) by perhaps using trending hashtags or location centered hashtags.
A quick study of engagement over reach will show how instantly eye catching your post proved to be. The ultimate aim here is to catch attention and get a reaction. A new follower, a comment giving you feedback or a like showing your post is hitting the mark.
The post below performed slightly worse than the engagement example above (41/145 = 28%) whereas the post above shows engagement/reach of 39/117 = 33%) even though more people were reached so there were more engagements in total. The details can be tricky to master but the more you look at the data, the clearer the picture becomes.
Insights shows you how many clicks into your website instagram generates each week. This gives you an indication if the time you are spending on your marketing campaign is paying off. For some businesses, each new client may be worth thousands of dollars, each click could be valuable.
You can flip between your insights to get an overview
This data is backed up within google analytics by studying Aquisition -> Social -> Overview which shows traffic generated from your social media feeds
Obviously, the social media channel that is working best for you should be your main focus, but why limit yourself to one interface if you can benefit from several?
When you get good feedback and comments, have a strategy to deal with them in a timely manner. It’s important to form the connection and trust to start a conversation and present your product.
Within your account options, you’ll see ‘switch to business profile’. Be prepared to also be linked to your facebook page from the device you are accessing.
Note: Insights will only be available for posts after the transition to a business account. It will take time to build data to study.
Within the business account setup there is the option to promote posts and then metrics on how well each promotion is doing. When you go to your own ‘home’ feed and see posts from companies other than those you follow, they will be identified by ‘sponsored’ text on the top right of the post.
You are the expert in your business, if you want some help with your social media marketing campaign, let us help you with a plan. Contact us today email@example.com
When running a PPC campaign, you can actively check every day and still miss out on learning how to monitor your ‘quality scores’ to optimize your strategy.
That’s because if you look at the campaigns, the ad groups or indeed the ads, you can see the number of clicks and other important data like average cost per click (CPC), the number of impressions and the number of conversions but you have to dig a little deeper to see the quality scores that google assigns to each of your keywords.
When you are inside your PPC campaign, you must click on the ‘keywords’ tab. In the ‘status’ column there are rectangular white bubbles which reveal the quality score for each keyword as they are hovered over. The lowest value is 1/10 which indicates ‘below average’ performance in each of the following factors
At the opposite end of the scale, the best possible quality score is 10/10 where all of the factors record ‘above average’
The resulting box will also show if your ads are currently being shown right now. Even with a perfect quality score, your ad may still be not being shown currently. In this example ‘another creative in the ad group was selected over this one’. Quality score is a good guide and tool to help you manage your keywords but should not exclusively determine your actions.
It takes time for the campaign to gather enough data to assign a quality score to any keyword. Rather than assign an arbitrary 5/10 as a mid point, instead the quality score remains undetermined until it can be assessed. When hovering over the bubble in the keywords tab you may see this explanation:
Yes! A higher quality score represents a ‘successful’ ad as measured by it’s history. The assumption is that if a click has performed well up to now, it will continue to do so and the system is set up to reward those interactions in which customers look for something, choose to click in and then find relevant material at the resulting webpage. A lower cost and a higher ad position can result.
Make checking the quality scores a regular part of your PPC review strategy. Understand which keywords are seen to be performing well and see if they have something in common like particular wording or a specific landing page that is giving above average customer experience. Use that knowledge to help improve your keywords with poor quality scores or focus in on the best performing keywords by suspending some of the terms which are not performing well.
If you are measuring conversions in your campaign and they represent genuine leads then that rightly should take top priority in your strategy. Even if you are seeing a poor quality score, if a keyword is generating conversions then it makes sense to only make changes if your CPC is too high. A campaign with multiple keywords scoring 10/10 is not the goal – the goal is to connect with new customers. Quality score can guide your attention and efforts to improve the overall quality of your campaign but it is only one of the indicators you should be managing.