Social Media Marketing – Breaking down what to DO

If you are looking to launch a social media campaign, the last thing you want to hear is that a bad campaign may be worse than no campaign but once you see the potentials negatives, they’re easy(ish) to avoid. Going into a campaign it’s easy to underestimate the requirements:

  • The time it takes to post (or schedule)
  • Imagination to make your posts unique
  • Time to engage with people who leave comments
  • Choosing the right platform(s)

Having said that, the biggest plus points to starting a social media campaign:

  • it’s free
  • it’s easy to see which posts are received well
  • you can learn as you go – at least having a presence is a start

the Do’s

DO take the time to find out which days of the week and which time of day work best for your audience – using analytics will help you get those ‘likes’ instead of posting to no response.

DO engage visitors who take the time to comment on your post. Starting a dialogue will reinforce your connection and could lead to valuable feedback or a new client. This must be done in a timely manner – no checking the account weekly!

DO be unique – take your best images or slogans and brands. Post them in a way that is consistent with your business image but put a social twist on them to make them interesting and engaging within a split second. The same content that viewers search for on your site probably won’t work.

DO be colorful and quirky – boring just doesn’t get shared or remembered.

DO encourage people to share your posts and visit your feed – actively foster excitement via a contest or a ‘live’ upcoming event. Maybe they are entered into a competition if they share your post and add a comment. That’s a great way to leverage their social media network to spread the word about your great product or service.

DO stick at it – it’s worth the time because it does create leads and raises awareness of your brand. It looks professional and can be a huge asset to your company (not a burden).

DO seek professional help if you can’t take it on yourself.  (OK – it’s then no longer free but hopefully worth the investment)

DO consider paid advertising on your chosen platform is you find you are reaching leads and generating business.

DO walk before you can run. Take on one campaign at a time and learn how best to leverage it. Starting across every platform you can think of will be overwhelming.

DO ask for feedback from colleagues and friends.

DO ask those same colleagues and friends to ‘follow’ you and help share your posts.

DO have a plan and think ahead. It’s no good thinking about a Holiday campaign mid -December. Plan ahead and if you are scheduling posts weeks in advance, pay attention to special dates coming up that you want to mark in a significant manner.

DO re-post a picture or text if it is truly awesome – just not too soon.

DO connect your social media profiles to your website so that if a potential client wants to find out more, they know where to go.

DO change your social media account to a business account if it is for your business – separate your personal accounts from your corporate ones.

DO make your social media easy to reach – display your social media logos with links on your website.

 

If the world of social media marketing seems daunting or if you’re looking for a professional team to create and run a social media campaign, check out our website at trulium.com or contact us today.

How to encourage social media engagement

Social Media Marketing should not be a standalone ‘push’ of messages. Posts are more likely to lead to new clients when conversations are started and a company has the opportunity to interact one-on-one with a viewer. That way, a dialogue can be tailored to their particular questions rather than pitching to a larger audience.

Critical to the success of social media engagement is being prompt in answering.

Let’s look at an engagement timeline for a conversation:

smm engagement

This conversation shows that the business responded quickly and then more interactions followed quickly. (This example was from Instagram where each reply was addressed to the other party via the @name tag)

There are some ways to encourage social media engagement, here we explore some ways which might just make your viewer click ‘reply':

Introduce yourself

In an age where technology rules, it’s nice to know there is a real person listening so don’t be afraid to share a bit of your story, be it in pictures or anecdotes.

Be smart @ work

Replying to a specific comment should be just that – specific. Don’t post a general comment hoping the right person will see it, tag them, address your content to their profile so they know you are focusing on their question.

Ask a question

Asking a question in a post invites a natural answer. It shouldn’t be contrived, just a subtle change in wording can make all the difference.

smm engagement

Share your best pictures

You have a gallery of images and can post every day, twice a day, for 100 days if you use them all… STOP! Using your ‘ok’ pictures can put someone off your brand and you are unfollowed and ignored before your best picture comes along. It is better to post infrequently, the golden rule is quality over quantity. 

Make your audience smile

It can be difficult to bring humor, and there are certainly businesses and times when a sincere approach is the only path to take. If the opportunity arises to make a joke, a pun, share a funny story, then go ahead, you could brighten up a dull social media feed and stand out. If in doubt about the content, ask a colleague or friend to review it first. If the content you have published is badly received, learn from the experience and modify the posts for the future.

Share inside secrets

You can make your social media audience feel special by sharing product details early, by offering tickets to an event exclusively for them, or by taking them behind the scenes before a product line or new location starts up. It’s a win-win as the viewer gets to find out more, and the business creates a ‘buzz’ about the changes.

Competitions!

Maybe the biggest driver for engagement is offering a prize through social media. It could be ‘like our page and share this post for a chance to win … ‘

For a measured outlay (the prize), your social media reach could double, triple or better. What’s more, the people who ‘like and share’ are saying they want to win your prize and therefore they endorse your product or service. Their friends are likely to have the same interests so you are reaching your ideal target audience.

 

If you are looking for a social media marketing strategy, Trulium can help set up your profiles and reinforce your brand, cementing bonds with existing customers and connecting with new prospects. Contact us today to get started!

 

Customer Testimonial Sources

We all know how important it is to showcase testimonials on a website. It’s certainly worth checking out what others have said about a business to reinforce the decision to try out their product or service. Here, we look at the sources which can be used to generate testimonials on a site, there may be an opportunity to showcase customer feedback which is currently overlooked or underutilized.

testimonial sources blog

Old fashioned ‘thank you’ notes

When you receive a ‘thank you’ by mail it’s not as easy as cutting and pasting to capture the text – or is it? Actually, this kind of customer feedback can come across as the most genuine as its unique handwriting and choice of note set it apart from the more common online text – we all rely on technology for just about everything. Take a picture of the card and share it to social media or copy the text to the website as a testimonial. It will stand out precisely because it is not ‘run of the mill’.
thank you

Feedback from colleagues

When you get great feedback from another professional who interfaces with your team or uses your product, that is just as valid and valuable. For instance, if your cake supplier is happy that you’re always flexible and easy to arrange logistics with, the implication is that your team will bring that professionalism to their interactions too.

Social media comments

If you post to social media and get a great reaction, those comments can be recorded and reused. Better still, everyone else who sees that post will also likely pick up on the positive feedback.

Emails

Similar to the ‘thank you’ notes above but perhaps more common nowadays, emails are a treasure trove of feedback – good and bad. The good ones can help build data for reviews and the feedback which is negative should be addressed as soon as possible.

Video testimonials

Don’t shy away from getting feedback which can be shown as a compilation or featured video. Especially if there is already videography at an event. An example would be a skydive which is being filmed. When back on the ground it would be easy to ask “how was your experience today with this company?” Clever editing would mean no compromise to the skydiver’s keepsake and some great footage promoting the firm.

Quotes

When a customer says something fantastic to you directly, ask if you can quote them. Hopefully, the answer will be “yes” but even if the answer is “no”, nothing ventured, nothing gained!
social media campaign blog
When the testimonials are used, it’s easy to state the source, so look around and make sure your customer feedback is being leveraged. If you are looking for creative internet marketing ideas, contact us today. We can help integrate your reviews into your online presence so that more people see them.

 

PPC – The importance of negative keywords

A PPC (Pay Per Click) campaign is a very effective way to drive traffic to your website. Whereas search engine optimization is a strategy that works over time (months usually) to gradually work key terms up higher in the search engine results pages, PPC can garner a click literally moments after the campaign is activated.
It has to be remembered though that getting clicks is a simplification of the goal. The trick is to get meaningful clicks that create interest and hopefully earn new clients. Getting 1,000 clicks with no follow up is an expensive gamble. To make every dollar count, the PPC campaign should not only be diligently set up, it should be monitored carefully and frequently.

A powerful tool in maximizing your return on investment is negative keywords. They are a virtual superhero, defending the campaign from wasted clicks.

Why is that important?

  • Every click is costing you money
  • Every person who visits your site and doesn’t find what they are looking for may be less likely to click on your site again
  • Your limited budget only goes so far, so each click which is used up by someone looking for something else is one less click presented to a person actively searching for your product or service now
  • Every time your ad is clicked on and the viewer gets a poor landing page experience (indicated by clicking straight out and not engaging with the site), the quality scores for your keywords can be impacted. Lower quality scores result in a higher cost per click (CPC)

negative keywords

What are negative keywords?

Negative keywords are phrases or terms or even single words which, when matched to the search string entered online, will NOT trigger your ad to be shown.

How do you choose your negative keywords?

Right from the campaign kick-off, there may be some obvious keywords you want to enter. Just knowing you have the ability to add negative keywords triggers the thought process about how they can be utilized. Here’s a hypothetical example: Your business is rental cottages on the coast and you are looking to fill blocks in your calendar. Online searches vary depending on what the searcher wants. Search string about coastal cottages may be from the customers you want (those looking for a rental) but they could equally be about buying a holiday home or investment property. Those search strings could be almost identical:

Treasure Island beach cottage for rent (we want these people to see the ad)

Treasure Island beach cottage for sale (we don’t want these people to see the ad)

Treasure Island beach cottage (we don’t know if these people are looking for us but it could be worth a click)

Adding buy as a negative keyword will stop the ad being presented to those people who actively search for the word “buy”, thus reducing the chance of wasting clicks and honing in on the best target audience.

Even better – these negative keywords can be entered at the campaign level (blanketing the entire campaign), or at the adgroup level,  giving flexibility in how they are placed.

Once the campaign is active, click on the Keywords -> Search terms section to see what terms are being matched. If there are terms presented there that offer up new opportunities to fine tune the campaign and add more negative keywords, make a note of when they are added so you can monitor clicks moving forwards. Any changes can be reverted if they have an adverse impact.

 

If your business is looking to implement a PPC campaign, Trulium has the experience to zero in on the right keywords and identify the negative keywords which will maximize your ROI. Contact us today to get started.

 

 

 

 

 

Scheduling Facebook Posts in Advance

It’s important to maintain an active social media feed and Facebook is one of the most widely utilized social media platforms. It offers the ability to schedule posts in advance although just because the capability is there, there are potential downsides as well as benefits. In this blog, we explore the pros and cons of scheduling Facebook posts in advance for a Facebook business account.

The Pros of Scheduling Posts in Advance

  • It’s free
  • No additional social media software interface is required, it’s easy to do within Facebook
  • Marketers can schedule posts at an optimal time in the day – that may be when most viewers are online or it may be influenced by marketing across time zones (for instance, if a theme park in the US is being marketed to Europe then posting early in the day will reach US clients and also those in Europe about 7 hours ahead)
  • You needn’t be awake or available at the time you post (this could mean posting at an unconventional time or being in a meeting, or away on vacation)
  • Less pressure on maintaining a set number of posts per week or month
  • Even when set, they can be edited, rescheduled or deleted if you change your mind

The Cons of Scheduling Posts in Advance

  • It’s easy to forget special dates which you would normally want to mention specifically in your post eg Holidays, promotion end dates
  • News is very unpredictable and there are days when happy, upbeat posts will fall flat
  • It’s easy to get carried away and flood your feed, making viewers bored and less likely to engage
  • Posting to any social media channel is not a ‘set it and forget it’ interaction, even if posts are scheduled, the ongoing monitoring of the campaign and prompt answering of messages is essential

Scheduling Posts in Advance – How?

It’s really easy – instead of clicking Publish when you have prepared a post, click on the drop down arrow next to it, click on Schedule and then select a date and time and click on ‘Schedule’.

 

How to Check which Posts are Scheduled

From your Facebook page, scroll down to underneath the box where you can enter a new post. If posts are scheduled it will appear like this:

Scheduling Facebook Posts in Advance

Click on ‘See Posts’ to see each post listed with their scheduled publish times. (Posts can be edited, rescheduled or deleted from within this section)

How to Know Which Times of the Day are Popular with Viewers

 

Within Facebook, click on the Insights tab and then Posts on the left. A chart will form part of the data with times of the day vs traffic.

Here is an example:

Scheduling Facebook Posts in Advance

Publishing at the least popular time would mean that viewers may not see the post or may have to scroll to the bottom of their daily feed.

A Great Alternative

One way to do some of the work in advance but not commit to a publishing time is to create Drafts in your Facebook Page. This way you can do 95% of the work on your post and it is ready to go whenever you decide to publish it (or indeed, schedule it).

On your page you can save several variations or just keep a stockpile in case inspiration is running low one day.

Scheduling Facebook Posts in Advance

If you’re ready to engage more customers with a social media campaign, Trulium can help, contact us today for more information.

SMM – Practical Instagram Tips for a Small Business

Social Media Marketing can be an important tool for any small business and whilst money may not be a factor (for a change in a marketing campaign!) as posting is free, there are practical tips to using Instagram which really only become obvious once an account is up and running. Some are intuitive and others follow unpredictable paths as the audience grows and engagement increases.

Be Attentive

Posting is not meant to be a one-way ‘push’ of data. As a business looking to build a client base or strengthen the existing relationship with customers: monitor the posts, check for comments and then respond in a timely manner. Starting a dialog builds trust and shows that you care about your audience. This gives an opportunity to further showcase products and point potential customers towards the product which might best suit their needs.

Use an Instagram business account

Don’t cross over between personal accounts and business accounts. Keep the two separate to maintain a professional profile. In addition, it will be easier to contact you through the business account by clicking on the ‘contact’ button which appears when an account is changed from ‘personal’ to ‘business’.

instagram business account blog

Switch up the hashtags

If you are using hashtags to attract new potential customers, try new ones sometimes. Instead of throwing out all of the regular ones you use and totally reinventing the wheel, try out new #s sparingly so it takes less time to see which new tags are working for you. What are you looking for? Using a new hashtag could connect you with a new target audience and some of those people new to your content may like what they see. That will hopefully turn into new people following you so it may look like this:
instagram new followers

Remember that increasing the number of followers is only a tangible benefit if they are looking for a company like yours so keep new #s relevant and on point.

Be Inquisitive

When you get new followers and it isn’t clear how they found you, take a look at some of their posts to see what hashtags they use. Chances are you’ll find one of yours matches one of theirs. It could be relevant to one aspect of your business that you share. That is the perfect time to scope out the other hashtags they are using to see if it sparks any new ideas for you and your business.

Be Creative

There are so many filters and photo editing apps about that it can be hard to stand out in a crowd. Don’t be afraid to create an eye-catching visual that will grab a viewer’s attention.

PPC advertising blog

This example uses a color filter, a lens flare, ‘instafill’ and different types of text (a bubble and normal text).

Great pictures can be recycled over time or edited to bring a different ‘look and feel’ for instance, take a great product picture and convert it to a black and white image.

Location, location, location

If your business is looking to attract local clients or you know that potential clients are watching your location (think a popular beach resort or a newly opened restaurant), make sure to use the location when you post and perhaps even consider #placename in your post

 

Social Media Marketing is not magic, it can reach new prospects and can bolster your brand however it takes direction and purpose to steer it in the right direction. For companies looking to start (or improve) their SMM, Trulium has the experience to improve brand visibility and build awareness. For internet marketing strategies to take your business to the next level, contact us today.

 

 

SEO Keyword Strategy – Long tail vs Short Tail

How Long Should Your Keywords Be?

An ongoing debate for anyone choosing an SEO keyword strategy, what are the factors which can help you decide which keywords to use? One way to split out groups of keywords is by their length:

SEO keyword strategy

Examples include lifeboat, chocolate, chicken soup, gold necklace,  garden soil, hot cross buns, navy blue dress.

seo keyword strategy

Examples include chicken noodle soup recipe, Australian fire opal silver ring, search and rescue urban search techniques.

What do long tail keywords offer?

Most obviously the long tail keywords are much more specific. If there is a clear way to define your niche in the marketplace, and you can put into words the likely search terms that your ideal customer would use to find your business, long tail keywords offer several advantages:

  1. The visitors to your site are more likely to find what they are looking for as their search was more detailed.
  2. Your site is likely to rank higher as there is less competition in specific searches.
  3. Visitors who find your site are ALREADY looking for exactly what you offer so they are more likely to be ready to make a purchasing decision.
  4. If you decide to kickstart your marketing with a Pay-Per-Click (PPC) campaign, the long tail keywords are likely to cost less per click than broad targeting, short tail keywords which many others will also be trying to win.

The major downside – and it is a big disadvantage – is the volume of searches being done. Although you are likely to win a higher click through rate and connect with the right prospects, the overall number of searches being done for that particular (long tail) keyword will be lower than a broader search. For example, there might be 1000 searches for jewelry, 400 for gold jewelry and only 25 searches for gold jewelry necklace Figaro chain. Working the numbers: if your site converted 100% which matched that long tail keyword, it would be the same as converting   2.5% of the top level (jewelry) search but that may be difficult if you are ranking significantly lower – maybe pages lower than your competition.

What do short tail keywords offer?

They basically offer the flipside of all the points mentioned above – the biggest advantage being the sheer volume of searches being done. The bad news is that it can be difficult to rank highly and the field is competitive, leading to a high CPC (cost per click) if you decide to try PPC and a potentially long struggle to improve rankings to get anywhere near page 1, let alone position 1.

When a very specific search is entered (a long tail keyword), the viewer knows EXACTLY what they are looking for. That’s precisely why they are more likely to convert into a buyer after they reach a site. When a potential customer doesn’t know exactly what they want, they are more likely to enter a short tail keyword and may stumble across your site and then start to hone in on your product. It’s like an almost ‘accidental’ acquisition because your site has the chance to convert a general search into a specific interest in your product or service.

seo keyword strategy

SEO Keyword Strategy is a fine tuning exercise which has to be ongoing. Experimenting with long tail keywords could unlock a new marketing opportunity. If you’re looking for an SEO agency to help identify new keywords, contact us today.

If Only My Website Had Responsive Design

It can be a dilemma.
  • You love your website
  • You are getting visitors to your site
  • It represents your brand perfectly
  • Your business is doing OK
What’s the problem? If you like everything about your site but it is not responsive in design, be prepared to make a change or pay the price in reduced traffic.
There are exceptions. If your site is visited exclusively by clients using a desktop, it may not matter. If your client base is broad and your new orders are triggered by existing customers, chances are they are only looking you up to check prices or submit a new transaction. In those cases, investment in a new site may not be worthwhile.

How do you know who accesses your site?

It’s easy within Google Analytics to see a breakdown of how clients are interacting with your website. The ‘Mobile’ overview breaks down the percentage (and actual session number) split between desktop vs mobile vs tablet. On the same screen, you can check the bounce rate – the percentage of people who clicked into the site and then didn’t explore further or clicked away. The lower the bounce rate, the better the chances that your visitor found your site engaging and interesting – good indicators when you are looking to promote your product or service.
 bounce rates1

Is the writing on the wall? (or in analytics?)

When you see a bounce rate that varies across devices then it can be an indicator that you are losing potential clients by not having a responsive site. What would that look like numerically? It may be a bounce rate of 50% from desktops and a bounce rate of 70% from mobile devices. If the sample size is large enough to make the data compelling, then chances are the experience viewers are having from mobile devices is offputting.
If in doubt, look at your site from a variety of devices and see how it appears when you use it. This is a good idea anyway so you can relate to the experience in a similar fashion to that of your customer.

Will things change?

Yes – the world of search engines and search habits are always evolving, however, the bad news in this scenario is that the swing is towards even more people searching from mobile devices so maybe it is a good time to make a change now.

Don’t want a new website design?

It’s not unusual to love your current site, after all, you probably helped design it, it serves a useful purpose, you’re familiar with it, it has evolved to be your perfect virtual storefront. Here’s the good news… there is no need to stress over a whole new website design and the costs which are typically incurred. If you like your content and don’t want changes made, the chances are it can be copied across to responsive design with minimal compromise. It might mean that some boxes appear bigger or smaller, there might be a slight shift in the overall aesthetic but a good designer will be able to lay out potential changes up front so you can decide if a switch is worthwhile.
It’s something to mull over as there are potential benefits to taking your current site over to responsive design without redesigning
  • it could be cheaper
  • it could be quicker than a redesign
  • it sets you up for the future with more and more people using mobile devices
  • there is no large investment of your time
  • website appeal will remain the same for desktop users but should improve for mobile users
If you love your site but it is not responsive, it may be time for an upgrade. You needn’t lose the features and design you like, it can be tweaked slightly to make it more friendly across all devices. If you’re looking for help with a new website or want to find out more about how a lack of responsive design may be affecting your online experience for clients, contact us today.

How Often Should I Post To Social Media?

It’s impossible to give a blanket answer to such a broad question as every business is different, but there are factors to consider in helping you find the right balance for you.

Time Requirement

It’s fine deciding to launch a social media marketing campaign and obviously, the hope is to reach new prospects, engage with current clients and promote your brand.That’s easy to say although the time commitment involved may be more than you anticipated. There are ways to mitigate the time outlay, one is to choose a single social media platform only – ideally the one favored by your customer demographic – and focus on doing one campaign well. This could be a better strategy than spreading your time too thinly across multiple platforms, being unable to do a really good job on any. Another way is to hire a social media marketing agency to action the posts on your behalf.
The time commitment is not merely in creating content for social media as a good campaign should be interactive – this means in addition to posting, time needs to be scheduled to monitor feedback and engage with any customer comments or questions.

How much do you have to say?

It’s difficult to rework posts with little or no new content to share. Conversely, when you have exciting news or are frequently launching new products, this lends itself to being able to post more frequently. If you’re lucky enough to have news to share maybe twice a month or more, posting will form its own natural schedule and you needn’t try to bolster the post numbers.

Don’t be over zealous

We all have one (or more!) friends on social media who share everything, it can be exhausting trying to keep up! In the world of social media, quality posts will beat out quantity any day. Raising brand awareness is most effectively done by creating interesting content rather than creating an overwhelming barrage of posts.

Use insights to drive strategy

Check out the data available within the social media accounts to see what are the most popular times of the day or days of the week to post. Tailor your plan to optimize the time you post. If in doubt, switch up your schedules and then record the results. Maybe posting at the weekend is better, maybe posting at 6 pm is your perfect time. Take a mix of the data already available to you and then periodically review your strategy and fine tune your schedule.
 instagram business account blog

Drip feed over time

Maybe your jewelry business has just started selling a new line of necklaces. You have beautiful promotional shots and want to share them on Pinterest. You have an established following who eagerly await new pins for inspiration. You could stretch or drip feed your new material over time to fill your social media posting schedule rather than pinning 50 images and then having nothing new to pin for a few months.

 

If you’re ready to start your own social media marketing journey, Trulium can help. Contact us today to get started.

How to choose Hashtags

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:

instagram hashtags

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.

If you want help planning a social media marketing campaign or want to explore a new internet marketing strategy, contact us today.