Posts Tagged ‘social media’

Are you aware of your online rep?

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013

Online.RepThe time is over when companies could keep tabs on their reputation simply through one on one

customer relations. Thanks to the digital age, your company’s reputation is just as important online

as well as in reality. Whether your company is online or not, the important of Online Reputation

Management is real.

 

One of the biggest mistakes companies are doing today, is hiding from the World Wide Web. There

seems to be a mentality that if you’re not feeding your business with social news feeds, you’re safe.

Wrong! It doesn’t matter whether you’re on social websites, your companies name is out there, and

if you’re not careful, unhappy clients could be slandering your name, without your knowledge!

Reputation is so important in a business. Your customers create the success or demise of your

business. By not realising the impact of online reputation, your business is sure to feel the effects.

There are numerous sites on the web that allows clients to speak openly about their experience with

you. It is your duty to manage this and respond to messages that complain and rebuild your online

reputation which directly impacts your reputation as a business on a whole.

If you’re weary of social media, here are a few tips to help you on your way

to having a good OR.

• Online Aid

Facebook and Twitter are amazing tools for your business- Use them! Customers with

queries or complaints can use your page to talk directly to you, and you have the power to

communicate directly to them on a social platform, to which others can see the issue being

resolved.

• Keep Your Cool

Remember the internet is transparent. Ensure you keep a cool cerebellum at all times,

no matter how much of a nuisance your customer may be. Deal with the matter in a

professional manner as you would face to face.

• Brand Ambassadors

As mentioned in point 1, complaints and resolutions are all transparent. Everyone can see

them. Turn your most monstrous client into a happy one and watch as he/she recommends

your business to all.

Online reputation management is real. Companies are now offering services to manage your brands

reputation. This service is one to invest in. Never underestimate the power of the digital realm. Keep

in the loop at all times, and never let your business suffer due to ignorance.

Verify Your Pinterest Account

Monday, November 5th, 2012

On the 25th of October 2012 Pinterest announced the launch of a new feature that allows users to verify their accounts, and the good news is that it’s really easy to do too.

How to verify your Pinterest account

  1. Visit “Settings”
  2. Click on the “Verify Website”

You will then be directed to the following page: (This is what I saw while verifying Talooma)

If 1 and 2 in the above picture are too tricky for you to do, get hold of  your company computer go-to guy to assist you.

Currently Pinterest only supports top-level domains but they are working on supporting more options in the future.

When your website is verified ,  people will see a checkmark next to your registered domain (e.g. next to www.talooma.com) in search results.

Pinterest has always been open to asking for help from the community and even have a “Top Ideas and Featured Requests” option on their support site, where users can provide suggestions and improvements they would like to see on the site. This is a feature that neither Facebook nor Twitter can say they have – Pinterest has asked fellow pinners for any suggestions for different way to verify accounts.  This definitely means that the process will become more user friendly in the future. It’s great to see a social network making use of crowd sourcing to improve their service and their offering for the long run.  Nice one, Pinterest!

Facebook Profiles vs. Facebook Fan Pages for business use

Friday, February 10th, 2012

Many people think that Facebook is just Facebook! Wrong! When used properly, Facebook can be a fantastic social media tool for businesses. Unfortunately many companies (people) do not realise that there is a certain way to go about using Facebook as a platform for business.

The difference between Facebook Profiles and Facebook Fan Pages

Using Facebook on a personal capacity (Facebook Profiles) is extremely different to how businesses should be using the platform. Facebook Fan Pages offers a vast range more to companies and is in fact beneficial to their ranking on Google. Most businesses do not necessarily see the value in using Facebook and other social media for their business because they do not understand the benefits.

SEO

Facebook can easily be integrated into an Search Engine Optimisation Strategy and what many people do not realise is that Facebook Fan Pages are indexed by search engines whereas Facebook Profiles are not. This means that you are maximising exposure online. Companies who use Facebook Profiles are at a distinct disadvantage in this case because the only people who will be able to view the page, are friend.

It’s “illegal”

Facebook has strict guidelines which clearly state that no business is legally allowed to create a Facebook Profile. Should the Facebook gurus pick up on this, they will terminate the account. Facebook Fan Pages have been specifically designed to offer companies an effective social media space.

There are numerous other reasons as to why companies should be using Facebook Fan Pages instead:

  • Facebook Profiles only allow for 5000 friends (this is limiting)
  • Inviting “friends” to a Facebook Profile is in essence spamming the person, whereas with Fan Pages, “fans” willingly “like” the page. This makes a huge difference in the quality of follower
  • Sending people information without them subscribing to it, will soon be legal in online/ direct marketing

The safest and most beneficial avenue to take when taking on social media is the right one. Once the Facebook Fan page has been set up and it starts attracting fans to it, there are numerous benefits that businesses should never ignore:

  • Great way to get to know what your target market wants (Insights)
  • Interact with your customers/ target market (this often leads to increased customer loyalty)
  • Direct more traffic to your site
  • Improve your SEO

Fan Pages are an ideal marketing vehicle for businesses to utilise. The trick is to always keep content fresh, current and to interact with those who have joined the page.

Pinterest and the business marketing opportunities it offers

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

Pinterest

Joining the likes of Facebook and Twitter, Pinterest certainly brings numerous marketing opportunities to the table. But what exactly is Pinterest and how will it benefit your business in 2012?

The same way your business shares, comments and interacts with its social media audience on your existing platforms, Pinterest allows brands to share information or images that are found on the web. For example: if you are a clothing designer, Pinterest is the perfect social media platform to share new fashion trends, your favourite designer’s new Spring collection etc. For IT companies, sharing information around new technology is a great way to get extra traffic to your site as well as create interest around your brand whilst sharing industry relevant information.

The benefit of this however lies in the great business marketing opportunities that Pinterest offers. Ensuring that the items you share are balanced out between your own brand and the industry as a whole is however, the trick.

How do I join Pinterest?

Don’t be scared off by the fact that you need to be invited to Pinterest. It’s a simple process and within a couple hours of requesting an invite, you should have one sitting in your inbox. Once the Pinterest account/ bored has been created, it’s A for away.

Pinterest has been referred to as online “window shopping” but  it is the marketing benefits of Pinterest that really get us excited!

Pinterest Marketing

There are numerous SEO benefits to Pinterest. This is one of the reasons why it has become such a popular marketing tool for many businesses around the world.

Analytics Reporting: find out exactly which content resulted in the referral click. This allows you to promote certain content.

Pinterest widget buttons on your site: Add a “Follow Me on Pinterest” button to your website. This will direct traffic to your Pinboards, allowing for interaction with your brand on a different level.

Backlinking: Pinterest is indexed by search engines on a regular basis. The more people that post on their Pinboards and the more boards that link to your website, the more traffic you will get to your site.

Use relevant search terms: people will use specific words and phrases to search for a topic. It is extremely beneficial to use search terms when pinning to your board.

Choose an appealing image: no matter what content you are pinning up onto your board, using images that will capture the attention of your followers will ensure that they are lured into the content you have provided.

Pinterest is a great way to do market research. Keeping tabs on which images people are sharing, re- pining etc, is a great way to find out more about your target audience. Once your board is created, you have free reign to pin and re- pin as much as you desire. It is however important to keep the marketing benefits in mind to ensure that Pinterest becomes an integrated part of your business’s marketing plan.

Online Marketing: where to spend your money in 2012

Thursday, December 8th, 2011

Marketing. It’s a strange beast. Constantly changing and evolving to adapt to the plethora of platforms that are available. The marketing evolution is something that has left many companies choking on the dust of their competitors whilst it has accelerated the success of many others. Online Marketing has for years, been the one area of marketing that has dominated. Without an online presence, many businesses have started drowning in their pool of competitors.

Nothing evolves quite as rapidly as the internet does. When it comes to online marketing, what worked for a business in 2011 is certainly very different to what might have worked in 2010. With 2012 peaking its head around the corner, there is much is be learnt.

Social Media dominates

One of the major online marketing trends in 2011 was the use of social media. Everyone from major corporations to the family owned grocery shop on the corner adopted the social media trend. Facebook Fan Pages and Twitter accounts have allowed for fast, efficient communication to target markets. During 2012, Facebook will remain one of the most competitive online marketing tools available. Facebook Ads will continue allowing companies to reach targeted groups of people according to demographics and placement characteristics.

Have a look at some extremely successful Facebook Business Pages

Browsing on the go

Having a Mobi- Site has become increasingly important during 2011. Mobile Apps, Facebook, Twitter, Google Places: all of these have become commonly reached on Mobile Phones. However, integrating these social media platforms with an effective Mobile Site has proven to an extremely strategic component to an online marketing strategy. Companies who have succeeded in doing this during 2011 and who have benefited from it may tell you that it is an extremely viable and inexpensive marketing solution. To say that Mobile internet usage has increased, would be an understatement. In fact, Microsoft Tag recently released statistics on how people have been using their mobile phones in 2011. They say that over half of all local searches are performed on a mobile phone and that by 2014, mobile internet will take over desktop internet. If your company didn’t take on the Mobile Website trend in 2011, we suggest you do in 2012.

Pay- Per- Click Advertising

Pay- Per- Click advertising is still and will be for a while, a huge component in an online marketing strategy. In fact Cost- Per- Click will continue to rise as companies strive to appear on the sides and bottom pages of a search engine. Although Cost- Per- Click will continue to become more expensive in 2012, it is important to keep the bigger picture of your online marketing strategy in mind. Within your industry, competitors will be paying the money, so having an online expert to assist you in choosing the correct keywords and structuring the campaign accordingly, will give you a distinct advantage.

Online marketing has become more of an investment than ever. Spending your marketing budget on online marketing more so than offline marketing, is sure to show you the results. At the end of the day, having a solid online marketing plan for in 2012 is as important as it has ever been.

Facebook Timeline: the evolution of online socialising

Thursday, December 8th, 2011

We’ve been hearing about it for a while and it has finally been released publically, well in New Zealand at least. Facebook Timeline may one day be the default setting for all Facebook users, however in the mean- time it will slowly become available in various parts of the world. If you would like to enable Facebook Timeline now however, you are able to, in a few simple steps.

Facebook Timeline is in essence, a collection of items that Facebook already allows you to post up on your profile. Photos, videos, posts and other experiences appear in a chronological order. At first, your Facebook Timeline may appear to be rather “incomplete” but over time, as you fill it up and add more to it, a “story of your life” will start developing. Your friends will be able to add pictures etc. to your Facebook Timeline, as they may currently do on your Facebook profile.

Facebook first announced that they would be releasing Facebook Timeline, back in September. With its sudden release in New Zealand, it shouldn’t be too long before all South African Facebook users get to play around with it, if you haven’t already enabled it.

Allowing you to document a “timeline” from your date of birth to present, Facebook Timeline is allowing Facebook users to engage with their friend’s online scrapbook, whilst enjoying the ease of a well- designed interface. Facebook Timeline users will be able to get creative with their profile page and cover photo, a new feature that allows a personalised image at the top of the page.

We certainly think that this is an exciting step in the world of social media. Facebook Timeline shows us that there really are no restrictions to how creative and exciting a Facebook profile can be. Who knows what they will do in the future or how other social media platforms will evolve in time.

Social Screening: the online FBI

Monday, December 5th, 2011

Gone are the days when a great CV and interview were enough to get a job. Most companies are taking advantage of social networking platforms to screen (social screening) potential employees and to get a deeper understanding of who they are.

There are over 535 million social networking users across the world. These users have one or multiple accounts across LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. Any company looking at hiring new staff, looks for the most qualified and talented people as possible candidates. This is where social screening is an effective method.

Facebook is the ideal platform to investigate further into a person’s character and personality, whilst Twitter identifies a person’s interestsetc. LinkedIn offers a more professional insight into who the person is, as well as their working history.

With companies using social screening to find out more about the people they consider hiring, potential employees should consider “cleaning up” their social media accounts. According to mindflash.com there are 5 ways of ensuring you never get hired, based on social screening:

  • Digital dirt (inappropriate images)
  • Terrible Troll (swearing and adding annoying commentary to blogs posts etc)
  • Big Mouth (negative comments about previous employers etc)
  • Numerous contacts and comments (having inappropriate contacts and participating in inappropriate conversation with them)
  • Being constantly negative (never posting positive comments etc)

Although there are ways to limit the amount of information people are able to view on a personal account, being cautious about what content appears on the social media platform is the safer bet.

Numerous recruitment agencies and companies use social screening to head hunt a potential employee. However social screening is also used to dismiss staff. Although using social screening may take time and possibly cost money (Facebook Ad’s, etc) many companies find it to be the better long term option when trying to find the ideal employee to fill a position. Using social screening also increases the candidate pool.

With social media becoming more and more useful to businesses, it is important to ensure that the content that is visible to the public, compliments who you have said that you are in your CV, etc. Especially if you are looking for a new job.

Marketing success : Execution fail

Tuesday, October 4th, 2011

If we could sing a song to KFC at this point; we would be singing Build Me Up Buttercup by The Foundations.  We feel let down and almost robbed by the harrowing story that follows; so much so that e felt the need to share it on this platform. But it goes deeper than us being upset about a serious lack of chilling goodness! It cuts to the heart of an issue that many organisations fail at when it comes to their marketing becoming a reality.

KRC Krushers - the sippable treat full of real bitz!

Marketing Success.

The Johannesburg weather is beginning to heat up in a serious way. The mercury has touched on just shy of 30 degrees a few times already and the brunt of summer is no where near us. The relentless heat coupled with a lot of traffic on the M1 South heading towards Johannesburg central meant that we were in need of something to quench our thirst and bring some much needed relief from the heat.

While making our way along the highway we cannot help but be bombarded by the cleverly designed and well placed KFC Krusher street pole advertising. Every few hundred meters the mundane “fade into the background” and traditional street pole advertising (which gets filed by our minds eye as irrelevant) is replaced by the larger than life replica Krusher cup, grabbing our attention and screaming at us to take notice!

The repetition of the Krushers coupled with additional more traditional billboard advertising on the highway made it virtually impossible for us to think of anything other than making our way immediately to KFC!

Execution fail!

KFC did everything right. Or should we say that the Ad Agency who does KFC’s advertising did everything right! They used a busy, public space to grasp our attention in everyway imaginable. In fact, a KFC Krusher was all that was on our minds long after we had even passed the clever, alternative advertising. 10 points there!

When we finally arrived at a KFC (on William Nicol) some distance from the M1 south where we had been hypnotised by this Krusher advertising, we waited in line patiently, adding to the suspense of that very moment we would have the Krusher firmly in our grip. Alas, it was not meant to be. Upon ordering our long awaited KFC Krushers, our ears were met with the very words we dreaded, “Our Krusher machine is broken.”

Not only did these 5 words make us want to cancel the rest of the order and buy lunch from the competitor down the road, but we were also very disappointed because it seemed as though KFC had grabbed an advertising opportunity by the horns, (unlike other brands in South Africa) and finally used some creativity in a campaign.

Maybe someone should have checked that KFC’s Krusher machines were all working properly before they created such a hype around one of their products. All in all, a complete brand disappointment and a slack effort on KFC’s side.

What to do?

When embarking on a marketing campaign, ensure that you include in the planning of your campaign to check the following boxes :

  1. tell your organisation about the promotion
  2. check that you can handle increased demand for when your marketing actually works
  3. have a plan in place for if things go wrong with your delivery

“Digital Marketing is the future” says Talooma’s Big Chief

Friday, September 23rd, 2011

Owning a Digital Marketing Agency can be a challenging task as well as an extremely fulfilling one at the same time. It is a very competitive industry and one that’s changing every single day. If you can’t keep up with the rate at which the internet and the digital world is advancing, I am afraid it’s quite easy to find yourself in deep waters without a life boat.

I caught up with Ceri James, the founder and Marketing and Sales Director of Talooma Digital Marketing Agency. Talooma has been in the digital marketing space for over 12 years and continues to set benchmarks.

Talooma Digital Marketing Agency by user8601966

The secret to Talooma’s success lies in its leadership and the quality of its staff. “Team dynamic, passion, a common purpose and unlimited potential to learn” this is what Ceri had to add to the ingredients of his company’s success.

With mobile internet devices like Smart Phones and Tablets becoming more and more affordable and therefore accessible to most people, the internet has become available to almost everybody these days. As a result of this, Digital Marketing Companies are becoming more and more relevant as most companies realise the huge potential for a great return on investing in online marketing. The future only has bigger and more exciting things to offer for the online space and digital marketing as a whole.

Talooma has grown tremendously as a digital marketing company over the last 12 years but the journey does not end there, in fact this is what Ceri had to say, “in the next two to three years we are certainly going to be a lot stronger in the hospitality industry…our aim is to hopefully be listed as one of the top 500 companies to work for”

The Talooma story is certainly a testimony that hard work and dedication pays off but for Ceri the sky is the limit and there’s still a long way to climb.

Social Media Strategy Info-graphic

Thursday, June 2nd, 2011

As Social Media becomes more and more entrenched in marketing strategies around the world; we need to be sure that we know how to use it. This is a short info-graphic which touches on the 3 main social media networks that businesses are using in their social media strategies.

An info graphic showing social media usage

Twitter

Twitter is a social network with a business edge, that is used to share and push information across to a select group of followers. Followers on Twitter are those people who have committed to receiving communication from you on a regular basis in the form of a tweet (140 characters of information) which needs to be compelling enough to entice the reader to click on a link within the tweet and engage further. There are currently over 55 000 registered South African Twitter users with over 1.5 million tweets a month. There is no opportunity to advertise on Twitter at the moment.

Facebook

Facebook is a social network that is primarily used for exactly that, staying in contact with your friends and their daily activities. Facebook however does allow for businesses to have a Page which people can like of become friends of. These pages get a fair amount of traffic, but it is very important to ensure that your business is right for Facebook as very often a business might not have its primary audience on a platform such as Facebook nor will its ideal clientele want their friends to know that they are making use of its services (ie – private investigators, debt councilors). Facebook does allow businesses to advertise their products or services and these adverts can then click through to either the businesses Facebook page or a specific landing page on their website. There are currently over 3.76 million South African users on Facebook with the greatest percentage of them being between 18 and 30 years of age.

LinkedIn

Linked in is a decidedly business orientated social network. There is little social interaction between users even though you can integrate it with your Facebook and Twitter accounts, being social for socials sake is not its primary focus. LinkedIn is for keeping in touch with business professionals who can either be potential or current clients. There are currently over 1.1 million LinkedIn users in South Africa and this makes it the largest network focused on professional individuals with the largest demographic being users between 25 to 35 years of age. LinkedIn allows businesses to showcase their products and services and have these recommended by their customers. Advertising is also available and users can then click through to a specific page determined by the advertiser. LinkedIn can be an excellent platform to contact potential customers as a platform to initiate communuication.

When looking at which networks to use from a business point of view; a combination is definitely the approach, rather than a mere single focus option. Each network has their own nuances and intrinsic benefits and each should be explored in turn.