Archive for the ‘digital’ Category

Seven steps to ensure your B2B website goes completely unnoticed

Friday, April 26th, 2013

In contrast to our usual helpful and informative selves, we thought we’d put a slightly different spin on things for this post. Read on and you will learn how to fall into the key traps of B2B website development thereby ensuring that you fail to attract the attention of customers and prospects alike.

1. When developing a website that is destined to perform poorly, it’s important to get everything wrong from the outset so let’s start with the brief. Key to this part of the process is avoiding the use of phrases such as lead generation, conversion and return-on-investment. This is important as the best briefs for websites that deliver little or no impact, unsurprisingly, avoid clear objectives and meaningful metrics from the off.
(more…)

Checklist to help you evaluate your Facebook Page

Friday, March 1st, 2013

Shortstack, a Facebook app developer, have just published this handy infographic to help you evaluate your Facebook Page. Enjoy!

(more…)

Four simple social media website integrations for marketers

Sunday, February 24th, 2013

There are a myriad of ways to connect your website to social media websites these days. Everything from embedded video to frictionless sharing on Facebook can be achieved by adding a few lines of codes to your website. Let’s take a look at some of the simplest yet most effective available.

YouTube Playlists

Embedding YouTube videos is very commonplace but few people bother to embed playlists. Playlists are great for sharing multiple videos around a common theme and can considerably increase engagement on your website or blog. Here’s a playlist looking at Google Translate for Animals.


(more…)

Essential free Facebook marketing resources

Saturday, February 23rd, 2013

If I had a tool that had the potential to change the way people do things online and I wanted people to start using my tool, I would start by teaching folks how to use it and provide free resources to make sure it went as smoothly as possible. As it happens, this is what Facebook think is the best way to get business owners and marketing managers using the Facebook platform. Here are some of the best free resources available to marketers wanting to use Facebook.

 

Facebook Marketing Page

http://www.facebook.com/marketing
Facebook’s own Page dedicated to marketing on Facebook has a huge library of free content available that is suitable for business owners, marketing managers, CMOs, media buyers and everyone in between. If you like the page you will receive updates about upcoming webinars (like this archived one below) and events that help educate you about the methodology and tools available for marketing on Facebook.

Watch live streaming video from facebookeducation at livestream.com

Encourage Facebook Check-Ins for Restaurants, Retail, Hotels and Other Venues

Encouraging real-world customers to engage with our businesses on Facebook is going to become ever more important as Facebook Graph Search rolls out to more users. As such, Facebook is already offering resources to help business owners optimise for Facebook graph search. These download-and-print cards can be placed around venues to help remind customers to check-in to a venue and like the Page. Simply download the PDF, fill in the blanks and then print them out.

Download these handy Facebook Check-in Reminder Tent Cards

Download Facebook Tent Card PDF

Comprehensive Guide to Facebook Page Settings

Creating a Facebook Page is easy; understanding all of the different options available in the Facebook Page settings is a little more difficult. Page administrators have a wide range of options when it comes to setting up, moderating and controlling what happens with their Page which is why we decided to write a comprehensive guide to Facebook Page settings.







Get Inspired With Facebook Stories

http://www.facebookstories.com/
With over one billion users on Facebook it is no surprise that there are a few stories to tell. Facebook Stories is where we can find out more about the people & world around us and become inspired. That might sound twee but take a look at the Facebook Valentines Day infographic before dismissing my sentimental tone.

Facebook Stories Valentines Day

Facebook Studio Edge

http://www.facebook-studio.com/education/index
Facebook Studio is a site especially for people marketing on Facebook to be able to showcase their work and see what other marketers are doing on the network. Within the site you can also find Facebook Studio Edge; a learning resource for Facebook marketers. There are video courses you can complete with short quizzes at the end to test your learning.

Extra Resources for Facebook Marketers

Inside Facebook
All Facebook
Facebook Business Page

by Martin Broadhurst

Universities using Pinterest: five good examples

Friday, February 22nd, 2013

The education industry is booming and the demands on marketing teams at academic institutions are high. Effective use of social media platforms is of great importance to many universities and with Pinterest proving to be such a useful tool for traffic referrals it makes sense to be active on there. Here are five examples of universities getting it right with Pinterest. Share your best examples of educational institutions on Pinterest in the comments below.

University of Liverpool

University of Liverpool Pinterest account has all the usual details about student life in Liverpool as well as having a very useful What To Study pinboard with videos showcasing the range of courses available.

Source: youtube.com via University of on Pinterest

 

University of Derby

Derby’s own university has used Pinterest to great effect by not only providing potential students with an insight in to student life in the city but also providing an FYI board filled with useful infographics for students to reference.

Source: art.com via University of Derby on Pinterest

 

London South Bank University

Utilising 32 different pinboards, LSBU is making the most of the options available on Pinterest. With boards covering local London highlights and What’s on, to Food and University accommodation, potential and existing students alike should find something of interest on LSBU’s Pinterest.

Source: lsbu.ac.uk via London South Bank University on Pinterest

 

Cornell University

From past alumni to the best Cornell university merchandise, Cornell’s pinboards show off what is best about life in the ivy league college.

Source: store.cornell.edu via Cornell on Pinterest

 

Bucknell University

The University located in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania takes Pinterest seriously. Potential students can get a snapshot of the university’s history on the Bucknell Memories or see some of the engineering alumni’s highlights such as the Robobees below. Be sure to check out the Ask the Experts board as well which links to great interviews with the University’s professors.

 

Four browser extension tools for stress free Social media marketing

Wednesday, February 20th, 2013

Social media marketing requires more than just good content; it requires good planning, a constant source of content ideas & inspiration and a good set of tools. Here are some of the tools that I think every social media marketer needs to have installed in their browser for easy access and simplified social media marketing.

Buffer App

Buffer App Logo

One of the neatest browser extensions around, Buffer app is a social media scheduling tool that lets you add content to your “Buffer” which is then shared across your social media profiles throughout the day. It’s especially neat if you do much of your online browsing at one time of the day. For example, I do a lot of my blog reading while having breakfast so I fill up my Buffer then.

Buffer connects with Facebook (profiles and pages), Twitter, LinkedIn (profiles and groups) and was also one of the first developers to launch a social tool for App.net. The service is free although you can upgrade to the awesome plan for $10 per month which allows you to add more posts to your Buffer, connect more social profiles and add a team member to the account.

One of the neatest features of Buffer is that it has an Android app. This means that sharing content via your Android device is a breeze regardless of which app you are wanting to share content from. Unfortunately iOS devices don’t have the same sharing options as Android but buffer does have an iOS app as well as some good integration with other iOS apps. This is what makes Buffer my preferred scheduling tool.









Hootsuite Hootlet

Hootsuite Hootlet Screenshot

Much like the Buffer app extension, the Hootlet lets you schedule updates to social media profiles while you browse. What makes this different though is that it connects with your Hootsuite account giving your posts all the functionality you get from Hootsuite such as team members, the publisher tool and the analytics/reports.

The Hootlet app also has the autoscheduling tool which is very neat. Rather than sending out updates at pre-determined times of day (10am, 11am, 1pm and so on), the autoscheduler monitors your social streams for the times with the most activity and optimises your posts to go out at these times. Nifty!

LastPass

LastPass Screenshot Vault

When you manage a whole host of social media profiles and use a wide variety of tools to better manage these profiles (such as Hootsuite & Buffer), keeping track of all the login credentials can be a nightmare. That’s why using a password managing tool comes in handy.

LastPass is an ideal tool for this as it allows you can manage all of your passwords with one login.

LastPass also monitors your online activity so whenever you create a new profile, change a password or fill out a form, it will offer to save the details thus removing the need to manually update your account every time you change some details. Sign up for a LastPass account.

StumbleUpon Stumblebar

If you aren’t using StumbleUpon as part of your social media marketing you are missing out. From discovering amazing new content to sharing your own brilliant content, StumbleUpon has it all. By creating a StumbleUpon profile you can add your preferred topics and then use the stumble button to browse the net and find great articles. StumbleUpon is also a valuable tool for directing traffic to your website as it helps put your content in front of people who are looking for it.

It is worth saying that this is a tool that can easily be used for procrastination so it is best to avoid StumbleUpon if you have a busy deadline.

By Martin Broadhurst

UK mobile internet and social network usage statistics 2013

Monday, February 18th, 2013

Mobile internet is booming. In fact, mobile internet browsing is expected to overtake fixed access internet browsing by 2014. In some areas of internet usage such as social networking we can already see the shift away from desktop towards mobile. See the charts below for some of the key stats on social networking usage in the UK.

Frequency of Social Networking by Device

The charts below show how often smartphone users in the UK are accessing social networks via computers and smartphone respectively.

Smartphone users are beginning to use their mobile devices to access social networking sites more than their computers; 57% use their smartphones for social networking every day against just 50% using computers.
Frequency of sharing information on social network using smartphone (uk)

Frequency of sharing information on social network using computer (uk)

Sharing Activity via Desktop and Mobile

Sharing activity across desktop and smartphones is quite evenly reflected at this stage suggesting the levels of activity across each device reflect general social networking usage trends rather than any device-specific behaviour trends.

Frequency of social network visits on smartphone (uk)

Frequency of social network visits on computer (uk)

Video Website Usage via Desktop and Mobile

While many of the stats appear to be evenly matched, there is one surprising take away from these charts: almost one quarter of smartphone owners never access video sharing websites on their mobile phone. This is surprising because only 13% of smartphone owners never access video sharing websites via their computers so there is some lag with regard to people embracing mobile video.
ourmobileplanet.com_chart 3

Frequency of Using Video Sharing Websites on Smartphones (UK)

Source: Think With Google








By Martin Broadhurst

Four essential tips for lead generation through Facebook

Monday, February 18th, 2013

Using Facebook as a marketing tool is neither new nor exciting; in fact, as of July 2012 there were a reported 11m businesses using Facebook Pages to promote their products and services. What is often lacking is a clear method of converting to business results that mean more than reach, talking about this or likes. The following article details four key steps for generating leads through Facebook.

Create Data Capture Landing Tabs

Ferrari

In order to get leads from Facebook you need to make sure you have a method of capturing lead data as a simple Facebook Like counts for little in this regard. We need a more definite way of communicating with our leads, such as a phone number or email address, so our efforts need to focus on acquiring this information from our Facebook audience.

Begin with an offer; ebooks, webinars, templates, reports, whitepapers, competitions, vouchers are just a few of the types of tactics you can use. Whatever it is, make it compelling to your audience so that they feel giving over their email address in exchange for the offer is worthwhile.

Create a tab within Facebook using one of the many iframe apps or similar to promote your offer. Ensure you have a form on there to capture lead data within the tab and make the page focused on the single goal of acquiring the lead data.

Create Landing Pages on Your Website

This might sound like lead generation 101 but you will find external landing pages play a key part in driving leads through Facebook. When posting content to your Facebook Fans, make sure you include regular links to your offer landing pages as well as pointing people towards your on-Facebook lead generation tabs.

By varying where you send your Facebook fans, you will be able to monitor which has the best conversion rate. This sort of insight is beneficial for deciding how to deliver future online campaigns, in particular, deciding how you spend your budget when you…

Use Facebook Ads

Facebook ads are still surprisingly under-utilised by marketers on Facebook. Despite there being 11m Facebook Pages, there are reportedly only “hundreds of thousands” of them advertising on the platform.

FB ads

Ads can and should play a significant role in your Facebook marketing efforts. Ads help to increase Page likes, which is valuable if these likes are then promoted to effectively, but they can also provide a good stream of traffic to your Facebook offer tab or your external landing page. Monitor the click-through rates and conversion rates on each and optimise your Facebook ad campaigns accordingly to reduce cost-per-lead.

Use Targeting Options When Updating Your Page

The targeting options provided to Page owners when posting updates are another under-utilised tool in the Facebook marketer’s toolkit. These updates can be targeted at an audience based on location and/or language data meaning if you want to promote your latest ebook exclusively to an audience in London, you can do just that! To really raise your game, try using the promoted posts tool to dig even deeper in to the targeting options. When used correctly, promoted posts drive higher levels of engagement due to the word-of-mouth nature of the posts.

FB Update targeting

Using these tools will further enable you to refine your lead generation strategy on Facebook by not only making your updates more personal to the audience you are trying to reach, but also allowing you to focus your marketing efforts only on a relevant audience. This is especially pertinent if you are speaking to an international audience on your Page.

By Martin Broadhurst

Three simple ways to use Twitter for lead generation

Friday, February 15th, 2013

When it comes to social media marketing, Twitter is the place to be in 2013. If you don’t believe me, consider this: 21 of the 56 commercials during the 2013 Superbowl mentioned Twitter which is six times as many mentions as Facebook received. With all this focus on Twitter, many marketers are still struggling to attribute ROI to their efforts on the network. This blog post will show you how to start generating leads through Twitter and demonstrate return on investment from social media marketing.

Utilise Your Profile Banner Image

You don’t get a lot of space on Twitter to design and make your own. The only design changes you can make are to your profile background, profile picture and your banner image; the last of these is the one you should be using for key messages. When people click on your username, your profile summary will appear with a biography and a link to your website. This will be your first chance to sell your business to a potential customer.

UFC Twitter Profile Banner

The above example from the UFC demonstrates this perfectly. In spite of the fact they are promoting the most popular female competitor in the sport, they don’t have loud, brash sales messages. Instead, they use the image to grab your attention and the profile biography to sell you the story with a link beneath where the visitors can go to find out more about the event, including where to buy it.

Listen and Respond

If you aren’t listening on Twitter for opportunities, you aren’t doing it right. This is something that everyone can do and you don’t even need the most rudimentary of design skills. All you need is a search facility. Thankfully. Twitter provides us with a pretty good one.

Twitter Search box

Every business should, at the very least, be using the Twitter search facility to listen for the following:

  • Mentions of your business
  • Mentions of your competitors
  • Industry hashtags
  • Phrases such as “Can anybody recommend a [insert industry relevant phrase]?”

Just as there are people on Google searching for businesses likes yours, there are also people on Twitter searching for suppliers. I should know; I’m one of them.

Data Capture, Data Capture, Data Capture

Social media marketing is a complex beast and has many business uses ranging from lead generation to customer service, public relations to market research. However, when it comes to generating leads through Twitter or any other form of social media, we should absolutely make sure we have a way of capturing lead data.

Salesforce is one of the best companies in the world for getting this absolutely right. When it comes to providing quality content perfectly pitched at their audience, Salesforce nails it. The Twitter account is forever sharing blog posts that then point people to landing pages where they can encourage visitors to part with some contact details in exchange for a webinar or a PDF guide to CRM advances. Each one of these leads can be directly tracked back to Twitter thus helping to demonstrate social media marketing ROI.

Twitter considers itself an information network rather than a social network. As such,  you should use the vast amount of information available to find your own opportunities. Provide people with information about your products, forthcoming events and downloads through your profile summary and encourage them in to your sales funnel.



//
by Martin Broadhurst

How to prepare your business for Facebook graph search optimisation

Wednesday, February 13th, 2013

Facebook Graph Search: Italian Restaurants Like By Italian People Who Live In Manchester

Facebook graph search is going to change the way we find things online: that’s a certainty. By joining the dots between people, businesses and thousands of objects such as webpages, games, movies, places and songs, Facebook users will be able to dig deep in to what’s hot among peer groups. Understanding how all of these pieces connect will give your business the upper hand when you want your business to be found on Facebook. This guide will take you through all aspects of Facebook Graph Search that social media marketers will need to consider.

First things first: This is not SEO as we know it

Social search has been a buzzword of the last two years and has come to the fore since Google+ launched: Facebook graph search is the epitome of social search. Unlike Google search, which integrates social signals (+1s, Google+ posts, authorship) in to existing search algorithms (which look at inbound links, site authority, on-page content and all those juicy SEO things) Facebook graph will look at the connections between Facebook people, pages and objects. Optimising your business for Facebook Graph Search will require offline, real-world effort as much as it will require on-page optimisation.

GSO: The Basics

Graph search optimisation (or GSO as it is being referred to) requires that your Facebook Page is set up correctly so this means ensuring your information is completed as accurately as possible. This starts with completing the ‘about’ section of your Facebook Page as accurately and thoroughly as possible. Retailers should make sure they list opening hours, parking options and the price range; restaurants should be taking advantage of the wide range of options provided to them for giving detailed information about their offer such as dress code, opening hours, cuisine served and more. These are the details that people will be looking for once graph search is out of beta and is a comprehensive semantic search engine.

Download our Comprehensive Guide to Facebook Page Settings

Timeline Interactions Are Less Important

Throughout the last few years Facebook has been telling brands to drive engagement through the newsfeed/timeline in the form of likes, comments and shares. While these interactions are likely to remain important for keeping your brand visible in timelines, they will be less important for making your business appear in graph search results. From the point of view of a user performing a search, the fact that a theme park brand page posted a picture of a pumpkin on Halloween that got hundreds of likes and comments means little or nothing if I’m searching for a local attraction that is open on Sundays which is liked by my friends who have children.

Social Connections Are More Important

Brands now need to encourage Facebook interactions as often as possible. Graph Search is more beneficial to users when it tells them about recent check-ins at a venue or recommendations of a business rather than how many comments, likes and shares they have received. Photos are especially important as they are a category of their own at the moment so encouraging people to tag your business in their photos increase the exposure of your business.

GSO: In Conclusion

Facebook graph search is designed to provide people with search results within a social context: It doesn’t matter who has the best site map and <H1> tags on their homepage. Instead, Facebook is using real-world interactions to provide valuable search results. For now, while graph search is still in beta, the results are fairly limited. Once it opens up and starts to include more objects (spotify tracks, news articles, epicurious recipes, TripAdvisor reviews etc), graph search will be a phenomenal tool.








By Martin Broadhurst