Archive for the ‘social media’ Category

Facebook removes ads from controversial pages to avoid boycott

Thursday, July 4th, 2013

Facebook has announced a major revamp on their advertising systems to assist with the prevention of offensive content. There will now be new restrictions on where the dedicated advert will appear on the social media network.

Companies like Marks and Spencer and BSkyB suspended their advertising after complaints about their adverts being placed on pages with offensive material. As a result, Facebook are planning to remove any advertising from many of its pages.

Facebook-Advertising

Facebook said, “We recognize we need to do more to prevent situations where ads are displayed alongside controversial Pages and Groups. So we are taking action.”

The social network has decided to implement new processes to determine which pages should feature adverts alongside the content. Adverts will not have any violent, graphic or sexual content, even if this content is not in violation of the specified company’s rules.

It is said that Facebook will create a “gold standard” of approximately 10,000 pages that are suitable for adverts, and then inspect other pages to be added to this list. For now, all adverts will be removed from other pages.

Companies that have been victims to offensive advertising have said that they would be glad to use Facebook again, provided that their advertising would not appear alongside offensive content, or material that would potentially harm their brand.

Image Reference:

Wikimotive, Blog Article, viewed 4 July 2013 <http://blog.wikimotive.com/new-facebook-advertising-brilliant-and-unexpected/>

How to React and Market to 7 Popular Types of Facebook Fans

Monday, July 1st, 2013

The famous and most popular medium of engaging with consumers is via Facebook. When using this platform to market your business online, as well as connect with current and prospective customers, your fans become critical to your success.

But not all Facebook fans are the same. Understanding the different types of fans is vital in order to engage with them on the right level.

Take a look at seven common types of Facebook fans, how and why they connect with businesses and what they mean to you.

fb fans

#1: The Quiet Follower

This fan likes your page to see updates on your brand, but doesn’t actively engage in posts and rarely comments on your content. It is a good idea to try and generate engagement from these fans by testing what, when and how you post content. Ask fans to “like” a status update or a photo and experiment with contests. Getting silent fans to engage with your posts will show up in their News Feeds, exposing your brand to a new bunch of potential fans.

#2: The Casual Liker

This fan liked your business on Facebook because they enjoy the content that you share. Get more out of the “liker” by adding strong calls to action on your posts and getting them to share your content as much as possible. With a bit of luck, these “likers” might just end up being your Facebook brand ambassadors.

#3: The Deal Seeker

Everyone loves free stuff, but this fan takes deals to the next level. Access to exclusive deals, coupons, incentives and events draw this fan to your page. Weekly or monthly deals work fabulously with these fans, as it gives them an interest in actively following your brand. This will increase the engagement from fans on your page and increase your following drastically.

#4: The Unhappy Customer

More and more people are using Facebook to communicate complaints about a brand and share it with others. They are often looking for a timely response and better customer service. The key is to get a reputation management process in place to track down these complaints and respond quickly. This shows that you are listening to your fans and you care, as well as put them first.

#5: The Ranter

Chances are, this fan only likes your page to have an opinion on a controversial topic from a status update. Most of the time, the ranting has nothing to do with your brand. Political, ideological, culture or personal issues are what trigger threads that can cast your business in a negative light. To help protect your brand from critics, avoid making controversial public statements unless you’re prepared for the backlash.

#6: The Cheerleader

This is possibly the ultimate fan to have. They love engaging with your brand, from liking posts to commenting and sharing them, they spread the word about your business to their networks, and add personality to your page. So, the idea is to do the same for them. Add campaigns like “Fan of the Week” to your page, and share their user-generated content. Ask them to participate in promotions and campaigns for your business.

#7: The Loyal Fan

If this fan had to walk into your business today, you would know them by name. They have been a loyal fan way before Facebook and have generated word-of-mouth marketing and sent referrals to your business. Include them in your Facebook engagement by asking them to be in a video testimonial. Share your appreciation for their long-term business through a loyalty program.

Image Reference:

Entrepreneur, Business Article, viewed 28 June 2013 <http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/224146>

Facebook launches photo comments

Thursday, June 20th, 2013

Don’t have the words? You don’t need them. Facebook is now offering its 1.1 billion users the chance to comment on a friend’s photo using an image.

FB PhotoComments_610x1305This feature was released yesterday, and allows users to add photos to comment threads using a new “Attach a Photo” button.

Facebook has announced that to start off, uploads of photo comments will be restricted to the Facebook website and mobile site, but viewing photo comments will be available via Facebook’s mobile applications.

Photo comments are a feature that was released because “sometimes showing a photo helps [users] tell a story much better than words alone”, said Bob Baldwin, one of the developers behind the release of this feature. Photo comments are a product of one of Facebook’s famous hackathons as users respond better to images than text on this massively successful social media platform.

This new addition to the Facebook platform could well transform the social network into a more meme and teen-friendly zone, adding a more playful side to comments. It’s important to note that there is also potential for spam, abuse and ugly comment threads – but Baldwin is wishing for the best. “I hope this will make threads with friends more expressive and engaging,” he said.

Image Reference:

Source: CNet, viewed 19 June 2013, <http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57590094-93/facebook-launches-photo-comments/>

The Importance of SEO Copywriting

Tuesday, June 18th, 2013

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The new Google algorithm clearly shows that content is king. However keyword-stuffing days are over. Natural content written for humans is one of the numerous ways in which Google will consider your website relevant. Unique and quality information that serves a purpose is the number one factor taken into consideration.

The Functions of SEO Copywriting

SEO copywriting serves two functions. The first one being, relevant keywords that allow search engines to index the website. It must also contain content that encourages users to read the copy.

Websites must have value to offer visitors. Content needs to interest the user enough to read through what your website has to offer so that they enquire or buy something on it, improving your website conversion rate. Not to forget – this also increases repeat visits. Users who find relevant information on your site are sure to return to it as long as you keep your information fresh and provide value to them.

How SEO Copywriting Benefits Websites

  • It places keywords correctly so that the search engine ranks your website.The key is to get your website to the first page of Google as statistics show that very few users click to the second page of a search engine.
  • It offers valuable content to website visitors. Google loves websites that encourage a lengthily time on site. The theory links back to good content keeping visitors interested in your website now, and in the long term.  Remember bad content encourages visitors to leave, hence a high bounce rate.
  • Good content makes people want to share it. Having social signals on your blog or articles page, gives browsers the opportunity to share content to their social media platforms. When this content is shared, not only does it increase traffic to your site, Google also considers you to be relevant, hence improving your organic ranking.

SEO Copywriting and Social Media

Remember that SEO Copywriting is not confined to article writing. It also includes blogs and social media. There is no reason to miss opportunities to drive traffic to your website, so make sure you make use of social media platforms to increase visits to your site. Users spend a significant time on social media sites – so take advantage of this.

Be sure to have content written the correct way from an SEO perspective. Keep an eye on algorithms that are constantly changing and take advantage of any opportunity that’s out there to increase traffic to your site.

5 Digital Marketing Tactics for the Travel & Hospitality Industry

Monday, June 10th, 2013

hospitalityindustry3

Reaching Today’s Digital Traveller

The following 5 powerful tips assist you with optimising your digital marketing efforts and connect with your customers where they spend most of their time online.

1.    Grow your Subscriber Lists

If you are looking to engage with consumers the key is to create a social buzz around your promotions and attract repeat customers. Broaden your reach by acquiring more subscribers who have a keen interest in your travel brand’s offerings.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you promote digital engagement on your website with high visibility email opt-ins, social sharing buttons and real-time promotions?
  • Are you asking for travellers’ email addresses at the point of sale?
  • Are your contact details easy to find on all your online platforms?

2.    Deliver Relevant and Timely Messages

Travellers are on-the-go types by nature, so relevance and timeliness is key. Some customers travel often, as often as several times a month, while others plan one large scale holiday a year. This makes it crucial to connect with them on the right channel at the right time.

To avoid annoying your subscribers, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you see customers unsubscribing often?
  • Has your deliverability rate been falling?
  • Are your social media messages being heard?

3.    Personalise your Interactions

Cross- channel marketing assists with reaching an individual at the perfect time. This is imperative in the travel industry as booking holidays can be planned or extremely spontaneous, such as a last minute business trip.

“25% of people unsubscribe from permission based emails because the content hasn’t been relevant to them from the start.”

The key is to be more than just relevant, you need to be personal. Have a look at these questions to optimise engagement with your subscribers personally:

  • Does your social media manager have regular, personal interactions with your fans and followers?
  • Does each customer that asks questions receive a personal reply? (This is either via email or social media in most cases.) This includes compliments, enquiries and complaints…
  • Are you constantly collecting new data about your customers?

4.    Automate the Travel Customer Life Cycle

You have the mighty task of reaching the digital traveller who is already on-the-go and constantly multi- tasking. Bring effective messaging to travellers at every stage in the customer lifecycle and support them along the way.

Ask yourself:

  • Do travellers receive automated communications according to their travel preferences at every stage of their buying cycle?
  • Do you have a shopping cart abandonment strategy?
  • Would a prospective customer receive any re- targeted messages about hotel packages or travel destinations they were browsing?

5.    Increase Customer Loyalty

Frequent flyers is a buzz term at the moment. Travellers are one of the best audiences to retain as loyal customers as they are highly likely to rebook with your brand if they have had an incredible experience there.

Evaluate your current customer loyalty status with these questions:

  • Are you rewarding return customers with points or discounted stays?
  • If so, are you giving these perks away often?
  • Are you giving freebies to keep subscribers excited about your brand?

hospitalityindustry1

This user experience ensures that there are no risks of missing that narrow window of time when travellers are ready to convert their tentative travel plans into a purchase.

Image References:

ExactTarget, Downloadable Resource, viewed 7 June 2013, <http://pages.exacttarget.com/EN-5MarketingTravelTips/?ls=Blog&lssm=Corporate>.

Groupon, Travel Advertisment, viewed 10 June 2013, <http://www.groupon.co.za/deals/johannesburg/anytime-holidays/3065894>.

 

The Best and Worst Times to Post on Social Media Networks

Monday, May 27th, 2013

Social media is a range of networks around the clock. Someone is always tweeting or updating their Facebook status. For social media managers, this could be problematic as they don’t have the time to be online 24/7. Even if you do work for a digital agency, you cannot be online all day long.

So how do you reach your audience best with the limited online time you have? Have a look at some suggestions below:

Trial and Error

By updating statuses and tweeting using link shorteners like bit.ly, you can track how many times this link was clicked. It is also a good idea to keep a record of what you shared on which social media platform, to see what is working most effectively for your business. This also shows you the best times to post according to the level of engagement with fans and followers. Sounds pretty simple, but could be an effective method to use.

Social Media Tools

With the fame of social media, many monitoring and reporting tools have come about. Tools such as SocialBro allow you to pull daily reports on the best time to tweet. You can view the daily times that most users are online and capitalise on that. Other tools that can be used such as Hootsuite can be used for auto-scheduling to get your posts through to your audience at the best time, no matter how busy you are.

 

Be sure to remember your customers, product or service and the types of messages you are posting. Thanks to research, the infographic below shows us the best and worst times to post  on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google + and Pinterest. To maximize your reach, be sure to post within the following times:

Social Media - when to post

Are Social Media and Technology ruining your life?

Tuesday, May 21st, 2013

Social media and technology have changed our lifestyles and keeps us connected like never before. There are many advantages to social media and technology, however, have you thought about the negatives? Can this have a negative impact on our lives by being an overload of data influencing our lifestyles?

Social-media-frustration

Can social media and technology have a negative effect on our lives?

Is social media a tool used to share information, or can it be a form of procrastination in the working world, thus hindering productivity?

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you play games before your work is done?
  • Do you use online games or surfing the web to avoid completing tasks?
  • Do you check social media posts frequently?

Using social media as a diversion is not advised. From a physical health point of view, it is harmful to be seated and munching  whilst on the computer for lengthy hours. Emotional stress can be a result of social media. This is because updating your status makes you happy , but reading your read friends’ status updates, leaves you feeling envious and negative about your own life. Posts are likely to be positive, as people do not favour posting their worst experiences.

 

What are the negative effects of sharing our life via social media and technology?

Social media and technology brings forth great tools to share your life with your loved ones and stay connected. However, this should never be a platform for personal issues as too much information let out could be harmful in the long run.

 

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Am I exposing too much personal information?
  • Do I want everyone to know about this?
  • Could this post be interpreted in the wrong way?

The key to using social media is for your own enjoyment. It is not a platform to impress others and try to portray the perfect picture of yourself to your friends. Do not be easily swayed by others’ opinions and be sure to not overexpose yourself.

 

Can social media and technology change the way your brain works?

The human brain is constantly working and retrieving new data. This new data can have an impact on cognitive functions in the long run. Social media and technology can also cause shorter attention spans with its instant information and response.

 

What should you do?

There is no need to disconnect from all social media and technology platforms. Simply be cautious in how this is used with regards to time and exposure, and make time for yourself to disconnect. It is always good to shut down and go back to an old fashioned lifestyle to recuperate and stay in touch with yourself.

 

Samsung’s AlwaysOn Wi-Fi service goes live

Tuesday, May 21st, 2013

Free Wi-Fi service access available from 15 April 2013

 

Samsung Electronics have announced that their AlwaysOn free Wi-Fi service has gone live as of 15 April 2013. With more than 1,000 local AlwaysOn hotspots, consumers will be able to enjoy this free service at almost any favourite location.

 

Samsung WiFi Always On

Samsung WiFi Always On

If you are a Samsung user, on any Wi-Fi enabled smart device purchased after March 2010, you will be able to register  your device for this free service. This entitles you to 1GB of free AlwaysOn Wi-Fi data every month for 12 months, per Samsung device.

 

With the digital age and the need for Internet access at any given time, Samsung has come to the party by allowing consumers to enjoy and be in control even when they are out of the office or home. Samsung consumers get to sit back and enjoy the convenience of this premier Wi-Fi service, simplifying mobile connectivity.

 

To be able to use this service, Samsung users need to:

  • Locate the nearest AlwaysOn hotspot
  • Register on the AlwaysOn network
  • Connect your Samsung device to the AlwaysOn hotspot
  • Select Samsung Registration from the Free Sites menu option
  • Enter your details including the serial number of your device (dial *#06# or found on the back of your device)
  • Begin using AlwaysOn Wi-Fi!

 

Once the 1GB of data is depleted,  you may purchase additional data from the AlwaysOn Wi-Fi portal at standard rates.

 

The AlwaysOn Wi-Fi service is designed to move towards strong value-added offerings to Samsung consumers. Samsung combines product innovation with constant connectivity, allowing you to be connected at any time without additional expenses.

 

To find the AlwaysOn hotspot location closest to you, visit http://finder.alwayson.co.za

 

Structuring a complete Digital Marketing Strategy

Tuesday, March 26th, 2013

Introduction

Having recently completed the Digital Marketing Institute’s (DMI),  Digital Marketing Diploma, I thought I would summarise and share the contents of the course, and at the same time provide a holistic overview of the DMI’s view on Digital Marketing.

Marketing Trends

What are the top marketing trends you’ve come across?

The program consists of a 5 Day intensive bootcamp covering all the various disciplines of Digital Marketing.

First off, it’s imperative to understand, that there are many channels that make up an entire Digital Marketing Plan, and by selecting only a few of them, you could be leaving out many other crucial aspects.

Secondly, by utilising all channels, you are in effect harnessing the full power of a complete strategy, but need to do so in a fully integrated way.

The different components that make up a Digital Marketing Strategy are:

  • Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
  • Search Marketing – The DMI covers Pay per click (paid advertising) under this section
  • Email marketing
  • Digital Display advertising
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Mobile marketing
  • Analytics (being able to report on results)

The entire marketing framework, then needs to be underpinned by strategy, and thorough planning.

Aside from just understanding the various channels, the DMI continually refers to the 3i Principals, being initiate, iterate, and integrate. The basic concept is that each strategy must start off with the customer as the focus of the campaign, alter over time, as one gathers more accurate info about this customer, and finally integrate all other marketing messages in a coherent manner.


Your objective

First off, and more importantly than the channel you are ultimately going to use, is the over arching objective(s). Why you are doing it

Be Specific

What results are you looking for?

You need to set yourself, and your organisation, very clear, specific and measurable goals that you are looking to achieve from your online marketing strategy.

By starting with the customer in mind, you could begin to ask such things as; ‘who is my customer?’ ‘Where do they work?’ ‘How do they browse the web?’ and ‘what leads them to make a buying decision?’

Why do we need to ask ourselves these questions? Well, in order for success, your message needs to be highly targeted. The better you know your audience, the more they we feel as though you are talking directly to them.

Tell your customer, what you want them to do, by making your ‘Call to Action’ clear.


Research

Once you’ve answered these questions, you need to invest a considerable amount of time doing focused and quality in depth research.

  • Interrogate the keywords that people use when looking for your product or service
  • Check trending data of search volume at different times of the year for your product or service
  • Explore which channels potentially stand to provide you with the best success and Return on Investment (ROI)
  • Be aware of what your competitors are already doing in this space, and how you can differentiate

Plan

Once you have worked out the purpose for your campaign, and have done your research, you now need to develop a detailed action plan.

Decide how long in advance you wish to plan (3, 6 or 12 months), and then set up a calendar, with dates to take various action steps.

Marketing Strategy

How will you unlock your brand’s potential?

Make sure that all your dates coincide correctly, and don’t overlook anything. An example of this would be to make sure you have designed and populated your emailer, before the date it’s due to be sent.

Execute

The greatest marketing plan in the world is absolutely meaningless, if not acted upon. So in order to get results, take action.

If your planning stage was done correctly, there is no need to second guess yourself, so trust your plan and work it accordingly. Stick to the plan and don’t deviate at the outset. You need to allow for a certain amount of action, and results before you decide to change anything.

 

Measure

If you can’t measure it, how can you improve on it?

In order to run any marketing campaign effectively, you will need to decide upfront what will determine its overall success.

Analyse and report

Have you got the results you expect?

This is important, so that you can ultimately tweak the campaign in the direction that will further increase your ROI.

Decide in advance what you plan to measure in your Digital Marketing Plan, as well as how you plan to measure it. This can easily be done with a number of free or paid for reporting tools which can be found online, and taken advantage of.

Before deciding on the tools to use, first decide on the type of information you wish to measure, and what you would like to do with it, once you have it.


Conclusion 

So, while there are many opportunities and channels for Digital Marketing online, and whilst it is important to pick the rights ones for your business, its even more important to do in depth research, strategise your campaign, have an executable action plan, and then, through real-time and effective monitoring, deviate your strategy and actions, to make the most of everything that online has to offer you.

 

 

 

 

Once it’s out there, you can’t take it back.

Tuesday, February 26th, 2013

What you say on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Pinterest, Google+ and any other platform on the web) could potentially end you in hot water.

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Not only is this a fact when it comes to issues of humanitarian aspects, racial commentary or general slander against individuals, but even more so against the corporate world, and especially the company you work for. More and more companies are monitoring their reputation online, and this online commentary has become easier to monitor, and pick up through a wide range of tools. Therefore the chances of negative (and positive) sentiment being picked up on the web is a reality, and increasingly so.

So what does this mean to you, the employee of a company, against which you have had or made a negative outburst? It’s quite simple, you can lose your job, and what’s more, even have legal action taken against you. Just by posting something on the web, in any form or any platform, you are governed by the same laws that govern publishing as a whole.

So, the next time you retweet someone’s negativity, or post on Facebook, or decide to just have your own negative outburst, think about the long-term impacts that this action could have against you

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