Posts about: search engine marketing

The Dark side

23 October 2014
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After many many years of actively using a hotmail account, I have finally come over to the ‘The Dark side’ and opened a gmail account. I have had access to gmail before, but this has been just as one of the users on a charity organisations account, so not one I could call my own.

The limited experience I had, didn’t really impress me that much and couldn’t find reason to switch from hotmail. However, things have just changed…

I always heard about this ‘make believe’ place called Google Drive and didn’t really know what it was… I’d heard people can organise meetings and send items to others, but didn’t really sound groundbreaking enough to investigate it.

Today I finally accessed the Google Drive, courtesy of @Alex Fenton, who teacher my course; SSMM… and must say I am very impressed at the ease and simplicity of this ‘make believe’ place!

Also this week I have accessed WordPress for the first time too… Not really sure what to make of it yet, so time will tell.

I now think I’ll be adding Gmail as one of my smartphone accounts… Not sure if I’m ready to ditch hotmail just yet, but time will tell!

Anyway, regards my title…. ‘The Dark side’, maybe it should read the ‘The Brighter side’?

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Content marketing: Why your content isn’t being shared

29 September 2014
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Content marketing: Why your content isn’t being shared

We’ve all heard the phrase “Content is King,” but what does it actually mean? Most people make the mistake of thinking that content is merely written copy used to acquire backlinks and justify keyword placement, but in reality it’s much more than that. Images, videos, infographics – literally anything that’s published on the Internet – all comes under the content umbrella. We’re all publishers; and as publishers we want our work to be seen by as many people as possible, and that’s where sharing comes in.

Amassing shares on social media – aka “going viral” – can expose your content to a phenomenal amount of people; however, getting others to share your work for free is quite a challenge as you can’t just ask without doing any groundwork. It’s imperative that you understand what makes good content valuable to others and how to effectively make your approach.

As the owner of a premium search marketing agency – Distinctly – I’m constantly asked how to get content shared. The truth is, there is no guaranteed method. You can, however, significantly increase your chances by merely publishing content that’s in demand. Part of my job is to find out what others are looking for, and then devise a plan to maximise exposure; but whether or not people share it is down to two things, quality and luck.

You’re not helping anyone

So you’ve written an excellent informative article or blog post with decent images, a video and possibly even an infographic, but it’s still not getting shared. No doubt you’ve encountered this problem before. The first thing you have to ask yourself is, “Does this content actually help anyone?” If the answer is no, then you’ve already got your reason.

Good content isn’t about flawless grammar and clever wording; it’s about helping others and publishing something that’s unavailable elsewhere. Type in any keyword and you’ll probably find that 80% of the websites you visit are irrelevant, or simply rehashing the same information. If you fall into this category how will you ever expect to gain exposure? To succeed sometimes you have to just forget about promoting your business and develop content with the primary aim of helping people.

You’re failing to do any outreach

Publishing content is merely the first step. If nobody knows about that content how will you ever expect to receive shares and likes on social media? No matter how good your content is you need to tell people about it. It’s important to start the outreach before you publish the content. Contact bloggers and businesses you think it will appeal to and start trying to build relationships with them – comment on their social media pages, compliment their work, send them a friendly message, etc.

When we started working for graphic design agency The Pink Group, we began the outreach process weeks in advance, and by the time we published their content – the Social Media Cheat Sheet – we already had a collection of bloggers and businesses that were willing to share it. The result was over 12,000 social media shares in just a matter of weeks.

You’re not monitoring your activity

Monitoring your traffic and social media activity is crucial. Where is your traffic coming from? What pages of your website are people visiting? The more you know about how people are finding and using your content the better.

At Distinctly we use a tool named Share Tally to get a general overview of how well a piece of content is performing. Share Tally combines every share, tweet and like, etc., from across multiple social media platforms and gives you an overall figure. We’ve found this website to be very helpful when implementing new content marketing strategies as it allows us to measure spikes in sharing.

You’re not communicating with your audience

Interaction accounts for at least a third of the content marketing process. Social media is called “social” media for a reason, and many businesses tend to forget that it’s designed as a communication and networking tool. When somebody leaves a comment on your page, respond to them publicly; if they share your content, thank them for their support. Treat your audience with respect and they will become very loyal followers.

After we publish content our primary focus is on strengthening relationships. We often recommend that our clients spend a few minutes each morning simply taking part in the community that they’ve built. Personal communication will go a long way and people will be more inclined to share content when they know their efforts are appreciated by a person rather than a corporate entity.

Fundamentally, not every piece of content you publish will get shared and liked – it’s just the nature of the beast. But, the more quality content you publish the bigger your community of followers will become. Rinse and repeat the process and there’ll be no reason why you won’t succeed.

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Eco Home Uk talk SSMM and boilers – You can do it!

5 August 2014
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Article by Rob Cook of Eco Home Uk

Search Engine Optimization you can do it! We’re all fascinated with it we all think we understand elements of it, we get frustrated with it and the mystery that’s created by professionals who have manipulated our gullible nature and our hard earned cash! The dirty word is of course SEO (search engine optimization).

Search Engine Optimization

Search Engine Optimization “Bull S#@t” for hire             

With the sheer volume of SEO’s available for hire all promising the same thing different day! It can seem like you’re forced to choose from the best of a bad bunch, but if you don’t engage you feel as if you could be missing out on revenue! After all that’s what it’s all about, we expect to optimize our websites to increase brand awareness, sales revenue and bottom line profit!

What can be done to combat bad SEO companies? 

Knowledge is power and with search engine optimization firms claiming to have the know-how “but it’s gonna take time and a boat load of cash”. This brings me up to date with our predicament that’s why we decided to gain expert, inside knowledge on the SSMM training course with Salford University. The course has been invaluable; It’s given us the knowledge base and ability to physically put into practice our new found skills! We took our tired non-functioning site and replaced it with a new site/URL that we started rite in terms of SEO, call to action, interest and desire! What’s more the results have been astonishing. We’ve now received more leads in a week than we did in 6 months from the old site and it’s all organic search results no Pay per click! The beauty of this course from our perspective is that its broken down into small weekly sections and by having it structured this way it allows you to go away and implement your learning’s before the next week’s session.

How we got search engine optimisation working for us

We now have a mobile friendly website, it has call to action, our social media icons work properly. Our pages have been key word selected and optimised and it have “good quality content” did I mention that its key to have good quality content? Our meta descriptions are easy and cheesy, our videos and images are alt attributed for keywords too and the site structure flows. In essence we haven’t done that much, but its been done right and it will require constant upkeep, and its something you can achieve too. We wanted to sell more boilers and that’s what were doing.

ECO HOME OLD                     ECO-HOME NEW search engine optimization

Search Engine Optimisation summary

I don’t want to label all SEO’s with the same poop stick you may find one that works well for you, however this is likely to cost big money. With the SSMM course from Salford University you have the benefit of knowing when an SEO firm is ill advising, not performing and out and out taking your money and not providing a service. Get involved now learn today, earn tomorrow! 

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Do’s and don’ts for link building in 2014

16 July 2014
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The following article was written by Tom Shurville of Distinctly, a search marketing agency in Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire.

There is a wide range of activities you can participate in to improve your brand’s online visibility including social media, pay per click, content marketing, email marketing and blogging. Of course one of the best ways to increase online visibility is through improving your site’s search engine optimisation (SEO). Despite claims that link building ‘is dead’, it is still very much an integral part of SEO and can generate fantastic results, providing you go about it the right way.

Seo

Why is link building so important?

If you want to improve your website’s search visibility and increase brand exposure, link building is arguably one of the best ways to do it. Links are still incredibly valuable and serve the purpose of sending positive signals to Google, informing them of great sites with authority. Link building is also great for developing relationships between businesses within the same industry and can boost other online marketing activities carried out by brands.

Building links in 2014: What to do

There are many ways you can go about building links back to your company website, but some methods are considered better than others in the eyes of Google and other search engines. Ensure that your link building practices are both ethical and beneficial and prevent search engines penalising your website by following our tips below.

Create high quality and relevant links

When searching for websites that you would like to include in your link building strategy, it is important to ensure that the sites are high quality and relevant to the products you sell or services you offer. Broadly, you need to either cater for the same audience or operate within the same industry. It is also essential that you have read through their content to check that it is of a high standard. Poorly produced content (e.g. spun articles) can look like spam to both search engines and users and will not provide any value. Only links from high quality, relevant websites will assist in improving your search rankings.

Produce excellent content

You cannot expect other websites to link to your website if you do not provide them with anything of value. Writing excellent content that serves the purpose of educating or informing the audience will make your link building proposition much more appealing to webmasters.

It is also important to remember that relationships take time to develop. You will need to put time and effort into nurturing relationships with high authority websites in order to stand a chance at gaining a link from them.

Acquire links to more than just your homepage

Many businesses make the mistake of only building links back to their website’s homepage. It is much more beneficial to build links that land on different pages of your website, for example, a product page or even a blog post. It is important to make sure that the anchor text is relevant to the landing page, to give readers (and search engines) an idea of what they should expect from clicking on the link. Remember not to over optimise anchor text in your link building efforts, as this can lead to you being penalised by Google (e.g. only ever linking to the same term, e.g. “web development”).

Review your website’s backlink profile

Before attempting to build high quality and relevant links to your website, it is essential that you review your website’s existing backlink profile. If you have had your website for a while and have worked with multiple SEO companies over the years, it is likely that you will have built up some potentially damaging links. The problem is that Google’s algorithm updates will still penalise you for these links whether you acquired them last week or three years ago. Work with a trusted SEO company to get any paid or unnatural links removed or if necessary, disavowed.

Building links in 2014: What not to do

You may have heard that in recent months Google has been working on improving its algorithms in order to make it easier to identify the difference between quality, organic links and spam links. Although building links is a great way to improve your website’s search rankings, if you do not go about it the right way, you risk being penalised by Google and other search engines. Below we have outlined what is not considered best practice for link building in 2014.

Paid or irrelevant links

It’s simple really – don’t buy links and you won’t have Google telling you off and plunging you deep down to the bottom of the search rankings! Since releasing the Penguin update in 2012, Google has been keeping on top of penalising those with paid links and you do not want to end up with a target on your back.

It is also important to avoid exchanging links with companies that are irrelevant to your industry. As we mentioned earlier, you should only be looking to build links with websites that produce high quality content and are relevant to your industry. The way to judge it is by thinking whether or not the users of that website will get any value from clicking on the backlink and being taken to your website. If the answer is no, then that link building opportunity is not the one for you.

Automated link building tools

Automated link building tools are a big no-no. When it comes to building links, quality is so much more important than quantity. Automated link building tools tend to build a lotof links and whilst you may see an initial spike in your website traffic, Google and other search engines will see that they are spam links and penalise you accordingly.

Spam comment on other blogs

Another thing that you must refrain from doing is leaving your website link on every blog comment that you leave. Take your website’s SEO seriously and avoid this bad practice. Whilst leaving meaningful comments on blogs is absolutely fine, only leave your link if it will provide value to other readers or the blog owner.

Conclusion

Despite various sources claiming that ‘link building is dead’, the practice is still very much an important part of improving websites’ online visibility. Even Google’s Matt Cutts confirmed that link building is important when he said that they were ‘still the best way that we’ve found to discover how relevant or important somebody is.’ Whilst the use of social media and content marketing does impact search engine rankings (and is likely to have more weight behind it in the future), do not underestimate the power of ethical link building strategies.

As long as you focus on creating high quality, relevant links and avoid black hat SEO practices like spamming, there really is no need to fear being penalised by Google. Whilst white hat link building takes a considerable amount of time and effort, it can be extremely beneficial for your business in terms of improving your search rankings and driving valuable traffic through to your website.

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How to Plan for a New Online Business Startup

17 May 2014
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Got a great idea for an internet business? Plan for the year and not just the build.

Many clients contact Libero Net with a ‘great idea’ for an internet business, however few of these clients have thought about what it takes to develop this idea into an online success. Having an idea for a business is great; however it is only the start of a very long business venture.
Do you plan on hiring staff? What is your yearly budget? How will you monitor your businesses progress? How will you drive traffic to your online business? Have you thought about online techniques such as social media, guest blogging and link building? Or what about offline techniques likes door-to-door knocking and telesales? How will people find out about your great business idea?

The Business Plan

These are questions we often find ourselves asking these clients. Every business, big or small, profits greatly from having a well thought-out and structured business plan. If you haven’t thought about any of the above your business may find it difficult to succeed, or even worse fail.
Owning an online business is hard and success doesn’t come easy. Sacrifices will have to be made and you will be more stressed than ever. The harsh reality of starting a business is often something entrepreneurs don’t want to admit too, but if you believe in your business and take all avenues into consideration your business venture can succeed the competition and become a fighting success.

The Financial Plan

The starting point for your business plan is the financials. Something which we see regular is businesses blowing their entire budget on a new website design and expecting for customers to find their business website themselves. Unfortunately, the competition is tough and you need to budget advertising/ marketing for the year. You can always get that top notch website when your business when profits are up!

The Marketing & Advertising Plan

Businesses use advertising and marketing techniques to reach a wider audience and inevitably drive more sales to their website. Each company needs a different strategy from the next and pursuing the appropriate advertising tactfully is a huge part of what makes an internet business successful. If you’re not sure what your marketing strategy should be, it is recommended to speak to a design agency.

The Google Plan

Every business dreams of being on Google’s first page ranking as it is good for your brand and ultimately sends customers in your direction. Generating traffic to your website comes from a consistent effort over a long period of time with the basic understanding of marketing techniques.
Once you have a beautiful website, interesting content and active social media channels, it will be worth investing time or money into SEO (search engine optimisation) techniques such as accumulating backlinks, blogging, relevant keywords, guest content and more.

Plan Plan Plan

Make sure you spend your time and investment wisely. Plan payment throughout the year and do not blow it all at once with the website build, otherwise one day you will be high up on Google rankings and undetectable the next. Although it is not an easy road to travel but if you plan your trip, you will reap the rewards later.

This is one of the best pieces of advice we can offer when you’re starting on this exciting journey, ensure you have budgeted for the long term and have the plan in place for the marketing and driving of traffic to your fantastic new website.

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Brand Pages And Why They Don’t Rank In SERPS

16 May 2014
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We’ve had this problem for quite some time and many different experts on SEO don’t cover it.

If you were to search for one of our big brands in Google, let’s say Falke, what you’d get is our 3rd and 4th biggest competitors.

Our Falke page for example, is in position 104. we hold 9th position for the term “Falke Tights” with that same section, which is not bad, but the puzzling part is that we have a “Falke” section and a “Falke Tights” sections. You’d think the latter is going rank for that search term, but it doesn’t at all.

All of our competitors use links in the header and breadcrumbs, just like we do. Opensite Exporler shows just 2 or 3 internal links for these competitors, and more than 1600 from us.

Many of our brand sections rank worse than they should, such as Pretty Polly and Charnos, both brand that we sell, rank page 2 or 3 for their search terms.

Another example is Kunert from Germany, a brand with nobody else in the UK selling these items. Our section has been live for 8 years, but we can only reach 71st on Google, 1st on Bing.

We’re working on building some quality links, but competitors have very few low quality external links, only slightly better domain authority than us but they seem to rank 100 or more positions better than us on many of our brands, including our Wolford section, one of our most authoritative pages.

This might suggest there is something on our pages or something internal we’re currently doing wrong, but all our tools tell us that we are doing everything fine.

Keyword density is close to our competitors and we’ve reduced the number of products on the page. All pages ranked well before the Penguin update, and Bing still seems to like them.

The main consensus is that we have penalties form Google, but looking at our competitors link profiles we are only slightly worse, this to me means Google has penalties on some brand pages, but why as they have few or no external links.

Is it our internal linking and if so how do I sort it out?

This is really quite puzzling, and if any one has any ideas please drop me an email jonathan@uktights.com

Thanks

Jonathan
www.uktights.com

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The dark art of SEO and Social Media Marketing

13 May 2014
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I run, Umega Lettings, a residential letting agency in Edinburgh. We understand that a critical source of new business is found online and that in order to secure this business we need to be found at the top of the online search rankings. Furthermore, as a business keen to push our personality to set ourselves apart from our, very-traditional, competitors, we see an opportunity to share our personality, and engage with customers, via social media.

We previously employed an SEO specialist to help us to climb the search rankings which was directly related to an increase in online new business leads. However, following google’s recent Panda and Penguin updates our google ranking fell off a cliff and consequently, our online leads dried up. Furthermore, earlier this year we launched our new website, following which our google rankings fell further which was extremely worrying (I have since learnt that it is common for rankings to drop 10-15% following website redesign).

From some online searching I found that the main message was that in order to climb back up the online search rankings, online activity must be ‘honest’ and must be written for humans. No more tricking google with irrelevant back links to get to the top of the search rankings. It became apparent that instead of hiding behind the business I would now need to act as an industry expert, sharing our expertise online, becoming involved in relevant online discussions and providing ‘value’ to users. With regards to social media, we have always struggled to engage ‘properly’ with social media. We have tried and failed to gain momentum in relation to our facebook and twitter profiles. So….in order to climb the google rankings ‘honestly’ and to learn how to engage properly with social media I enrolled in Salford University’s 10 week Search and Social Media Marketing Course, via distance learning.

The Search and social media marketing course has had a phenomenal impact on Umega Lettings. We are now confidently pushing forward with a wide number of online initiatives and, although I understand that many of these will take time to ‘bed in’ we are already seeing the benefits of these. The course is extremely practical and so learnings can be applied right away. From going through the 10 week course I am now confident I am not missing anything and I can push forward, with confidence, knowing that the hard work we’re putting in will get us where we want to be, at the top of the online search rankings and that our brand and reputation will continue to grow via social media.

It’s hard to cover all of the learnings in a short blog however a couple of key tips include;

Onsite SEO – it’s important for the content, titling and descriptions on our website to be well planned. WordPress enables us to revise all content and titling easily in order that it can be constantly reviewed to be relevant and easy for google to find.

Keywords – We’re now targeting a number of short-tail and long-tail keywords. Not only is it important to target the obvious short-tail keywords (in our case ‘letting agent edinburgh’ and ‘letting agents edinburgh’) but we should think about what people will type into search engines to ‘catch’ these users online. Phrases including ‘how to change letting agent in edinburgh’ and ‘how do I get a free rental valuation’ are the types of things that potential clients may search for.

Blogging – Blogging is a great way to provide fresh content for the website and to target these long-tail keywords. We now try to blog once a week to keep the content on our site fresh and relevant.

PPC – Facebook advertising and Google Pay per click are excellent ways to generate online leads, provided they are used correctly. As our google ranking has taken a dip over the last year, PPC is a great way to generate leads while we work hard, in the background, to push our website up the organic search rankings.

Strategy – It’s essential to have a strategy when it comes to online activity, otherwise the return on investment (financial and time investment) can be low. Furthermore, search and social media marketing does not end online. An online strategy must be incorporated with offline activities and more traditional business networking should be included in a strategy to promote link building and social media engagement with relevant businesses.

Monitoring – Every week I look forward to checking www.smallseotools.com to check our position in the google rankings. Only 3 weeks ago we were sitting 18th and 19th for our two target short tail keywords. We’re now bouncing around 9th-11th which is having a direct impact on new business leads. Looking forward to when we settle into the top 3 with a bit more work! I’m also never off google analytics as we closely monitor the impact of our PPC campaign and our organic search keyword targeting.

Online tools – there are powerful tools available to analyse the domain authority of your site and of your competitors and to investigate links that competitors are benefiting from. There are also small tools such as word clouds which can have a big impact on your business.

These are just a couple of examples of what is covered on the search and social media course and there are too many elements to cover in one short blog.

We’ve got a lot of exciting work to do. We need to keep working on pushing up the google rankings via the techniques we have already implemented and I am excited about including new aspects into our search and social media strategy including YouTube integration. We also need to work hard on building a strong community on social media and it will be interesting to run competitions during the summer, (making the most of the football World Cup and the commonwealth games) in order for people to engage with Umega lettings.

To summarise; search and social media marketing is not a dark art! It is all about honest, hard work. Business owners must now illustrate their expertise online and content must be relevant and interest. Gone are the days of taking short cuts and you now have to walk the walk if you want to beat the competition online! There is no better way of learning how to achieve this, and to give you the confidence that you are doing the right things, than participating in Salford University’s Search and Social Media Marketing course. At Umega Lettings, we know our stuff and and we do a great job for our clients. We need to continue to share what we know online in order to continue to climb the online search rankings and for our business to continue to grow.

Andrew whitmey

Umega Lettings

Www.umega.co.uk

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A New Beginning

8 May 2014
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To be honest I was not the biggest fan of social media, I really only used it when I had to at work, but being made redundant after more than 20 years with the same company made me really consider what I wanted to do and how I was going to do it. After going through all the emotions that come with being made redundant – shock, hurt, anger and tears – I really thought about things during the Christmas holidays and realised that actually I was quite please to not have to work for them any more, this was going to be the kick up the back side that i needed to do something different.

One thing that I was certain of was that I didn’t want to work for anyone else on a permanent basis, no more bosses for me for a while, I had decided to set up my own business.

From the beginning of 2014 I have been on so many courses, marketing, PR, procurement and business training and I have learnt so much but there was still a gap in my knowledge that I needed to fill. So while I was still employed I asked if as part of my redundancy package they would pay for me to go on the CPD Search and Social Media Course at Salford University. Luckily they agreed and feeling quite nervous, as I thought I might be out of my depth, I joined the other students to learn more about this fascinating subject.

From signing up to LinkedIn and Google+, to website optimisation, advanced keyword research and link juice, the course is very focussed on how your business can benefit from excellent search and social media marketing. It shows us how to improve our websites to try to reach the top of Google rankings and how Google analytics or moz.com can help to analyse how your website is performing against your competitors or how your media campaigns are affecting your business.

Far from being overly academic the course engages with the real world, inviting speakers from some of the top search and social media companies in the area to talk about best practice and give insights into how SSMM works for their clients. The speakers are often inspirational, are willing to answer questions and give freely of their time to help those of us who need to know more and who want to learn.

Well after ten weeks, and having just decided what to call my company, I have now signed up to LinkedIn, Google+, Twitter and Pinterest (love this!), I feel confident that when my new website is developed and online I will know what I am talking about with the web designer and that I will be able to maintain the site and check the analytics myself. I also know that help is available from the SSMM team at Salford University and I would recommend the course to anyone who is interested in this field.

I suppose it’s sour grapes really, but my previous employers would really have benefited if I have signed up to do this course a couple of years ago. But now I am going it alone it will be my future clients, and me of course, who will hopefully benefit from my new confidence with search and social media marketing.

Jacqueline Whitaker
May 2014

 

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Social Media – it’s great to be sociable !

8 May 2014
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Where do you turn when your business slows down or reaches a point where it stops growing? Well that is the question I asked myself, working on an organic vineyard in the beautiful south west of France and a in a wine shop in Hale, a few months ago. Well grab a glass of wine, sit back and look no further guys, organic marketing and social media are the answer.

Nowadays, most social businesses don’t use their capacity to their advantage. It’s easy to employ a marketing company, spend a lot of money, and not see any results. A friend of mine has a successful optical instruments online business and decided to outsource his Google ads campaign to a marketing company. After 6 months of paying high management fees he decided to end it and he saw no difference in his sales or website visits. This is why I went out there and studied SEO at the University of Salford as you are never better served then by yourself.

Maybe now is the time to mention that this blog is written by a glamorous blonde, and so will not be full of complicated words and non-understandable long statements about how you can go in the back end of your website and change every small details and correct mistakes. Time to employ a descent IT professional. However, there are still many things you can do by yourself.

cork social-media

So, to get back to how you can make a massive difference in your business, social media is a great opportunity. You’re probably thinking that I’ve lost the plot, that everyone uses Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and other social websites; but do you use them the appropriate way? Probably not or you wouldn’t be reading this post.

For a start, pay attention to what happens on the social media. Listen for what social media users are saying about your company, your competitors, and your products, why they love them, why they don’t. Don’t start guessing or thinking you know what people want, because honestly you never know what’s in anyone’s head. You can also find future trending topics, and maybe even spot new markets and products opportunities. Isn’t this great?

Now that you’ve done this, you can start populating your social media content. The great thing is by listening to others, you will now have a better idea of what to post, what will be shared, talked about and even referred to. Be the first to post an interesting and relevant news and gain more customers awareness.

To make your customers connected with your brand you need to engage with them, make them feel they matter to you. The hardest thing is that you might sometimes get negative feedback as you can’t always have happy customers, but the way you deal with them will be crucial for the rest of your social network. Breathe in, stay calm and never step out of place. The customer is –unfortunately- always king.

As you don’t get anything for free these days, social ads is a great way to spend your money. Social ads are those ads that are displayed to users who have friends that are fans of the advertised business; they aren’t excessively expensive and can draw more attention to your business and target a specific part of the population.

After you’ve made so much effort in putting yourself out there don’t forget to measure your success. By doing this every so often, you will be able to see what works and what doesn’t and with time it will become easier to use social media and you will always be the one knowing all the gossip – and hopefully spreading a few- in your industry.

wine social media

I guess you are at least half way into your bottle of wine by now, so as a last note here are a few tips. Have a strategy, plan what you want to post every week or month so you don’t forget to do it. Social content needs to provide value and encourage action, your post isn’t just here to look good but also to be shared. By using social media wisely, your customers will sell your brand for you, and the best is that social media will help your business dominate the first page of Google.

 

 

If you ran out of wine by now, don’t hesitate to have a browse on here http://tour-de-belfort.com (free delivery all over the uk).

Melanie

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Social Media and SMEs – It’s not so scary!

7 May 2014
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Working on a business assistance project for small and medium enterprises we hear time and time again from businesses that they know they need to be using social media but “I’m too old for all that”, “there are so many different sites I don’t know which ones are right for me” or “I’ve given it a go but I can’t see any obvious gains”. As someone who before my current role, has only used social media in a personal capacity, studying on the Search and Social Media Marketing course has made me realise that getting social media right will take some effort but there are definite benefits.

Strategy! Strategy! Strategy! Social Media

You wouldn’t embark on an advertising campaign without having first developed a strategy, the same applies to social media. Ask yourself some key questions. What do you want from it? Who are you trying to target? If you sell plumbing parts then taking hundreds of beautiful pictures of your products and putting them on Pinterest may not be the best use of your time…please feel free to prove me wrong though! CMO.com have published a guide to some of the main social media options. What resources do you have? If you only have limited resources then don’t overstretch yourself. Don’t forget to think long term, just as in traditional business, building up customer relationships is key and social media is a great tool for this. Keeping your followers engaged is essential which is when you need to think about…

Content! Content! Content!

Good quality content is just as important on social media as it is on your website. If you are putting out the same (dull) message over and over again your followers are going to lose interest pretty fast. Rebecca Rae, Head of Social Media at Photolink Creative Group, recommends focusing on three key points when planning your content 1. What they want. 2. What you want. 3. Something new. When all three overlap you will have the perfect piece of content! Creating a bank of content and using social media scheduling tools will definitely help you manage the time you dedicate to social media but don’t forget to be reactive too, use trends and news stories to your advantage but don’t miss the boat (Google Trends is just one of tools that can help you out with this). On the theme of being reactive your customers may use social media to contact you with queries or complaints so don’t lose sight of…

Customer Service! Customer Service! Customer Service!

Social media is in many cases a public forum and any negativity can spread fast! This course has taught me that it is vital to develop a response strategy and ensure that all employees that have access to social media channels are aware of it. Don’t be tempted to just delete negative posts, by responding effectively and in good time you have the opportunity to turn things around.


These are just a few of the things to consider when entering the world of social media marketing and for SMEs it can definitely seem like a daunting prospect but help is out there! Unite with Business is an European Regional Development Fund Project which offers free business support for Small to Medium sized companies within the North West of England. The University of Salford is one of a partnership of six universities who can provide funding for student and graduate internships in SMEs. The project has provided support in a wide range of areas, SEO, social media strategy and content production are particularly popular. For more information go to www.salford.ac.uk/business-school/business-services/unite-with-business. We are also always looking for students and graduates interested in participating, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @SalfordUniUnite.

 

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