How to be loved on Instagram
The author Jon Acuff once said: “90 percent perfect and shared with the world always changes more lives than 100 percent perfect and stuck in your head”. I think that’s so true. What’s the point of knowing stuff and not sharing it, trying it out, testing it and enhancing it? And so I share my new-found insights from a recent Social Media Conference #SocialDay18 that our Team attended.
At Cariad, we just love learning new ways of doing everything and we are constantly testing and trying different approaches. And being social, we’re here to share with you what works best.
Know much about Instagram Stories? At the Social Day Conference I met @teresa_heathwareing, who has a website link on her Instagram bio that generates 25% of her click throughs to her website. And she’s pretty new to Instagram with less than a 1,000 followers so what insights did she have to share?
#Variety Keep your content style relevant and interesting
We all know this, but if you’re finding your engagement levels dropping, switch up your content style. Swap long captions for shorter ones or vice versa. Try asking questions to ignite conversation. Tell a funny story. Share a goal. Lead in with an answer to a frequently asked question.
Play around with your filter and alter your post times. Post some photos/videos over the course of a few days, edit them with two or three different filter styles and compare which content works best. Look at your best performing posts over that period and identify the top performing posts. Change up your post times and surprise your followers with new posting times for a few weeks, then go and check to see which work best for you.Know much about Instagram Stories? At the #SocialDay2018 Conference I met @teresa_heathwareing, who has a website link on her Instagram bio that generates 25% of her click throughs to her website! Click To Tweet
Come up with 3-5 new lists of hashtags and rotate them each time you post. After 1-2 weeks, check your analytics to see which hashtags have performed best for you.
See what is working for accounts with a similar target market to you. At Cariad, we use a clever scheduling tool Sprout which allows us to take a look at similar accounts/competitors and view their growth, best performing content, hashtags etc. This allows you to stay on top of what’s successful with your targeted audience and ensure you constantly keep your Instagram account fresh, relevant and up to date.
#No to hard sell. Yes to relationships
One of the best ways to increase brand trust and make your audience want to buy your products or services is to share behind-the-scenes content that involves your team in your stories. Those faces are the ones that are going to help you to sell more on Instagram Stories. Why? They are your best brand ambassadors. Those team members know your customers your brand and know exactly what to say that is going to be music to your audience’s ears.
If you would like to find out more information about how Instagram can help grow your business, fill in our online contact form or call us on 01992 582 824.
How to get the best results on LinkedIn
For any small business wanting to grow via networking, referrals and mentor-ship, LinkedIn and LinkedIn content is key. As a communication tool, LinkedIn can be very effective. Use it to celebrate the successes of your business, share news that your followers might find interesting, and educate the industry about critical issues that might affect their business.
LinkedIn is a business medium and therefore any content you publish should be appropriate for this audience and using the right tone of voice, especially when you’re looking to engage with senior people, otherwise it can be detrimental to how people view your organisation.
LinkedIn provides an easy way to steadily build brand awareness and engage with customers, suppliers and employees. What separates an optimised profile from the average account is the amount of activity it has. We’ve put together a short guide on how to get the best results for your LinkedIn content so that you reach more people and generate more leads for your company.
Talk about what you’re working on and who you’re working for. Include regular company updates that would be of interest to your target customers and clients. Focus on how what you’re doing can help others achieve their goals. LinkedIn advises you to “create a content map and build trust”. Us it to move potential customers through the funnel stages, from awareness to consideration to acquisition, and tailor your content and updates accordingly.Follow our LinkedIn guide to find out how you can maximise #leadgen and build #brandawareness! Click To Tweet
Pick an engaging topic
Unsurprisingly, topics that drive engagement on LinkedIn include industry trends/news and leadership. Your goal is to establish yourself as an authority in your industry to gain followers and generate leads. So write about what you know! Your customers ask you questions all the time, so address those questions in your articles. And ensure you use an attention-grabbing headline. Numbers, lists, tips, and action words are the best way to draw in the reader.
Publishing on LinkedIn is similar to guest blogging and you can use it to reach a huge audience – LinkedIn has 467 million members. While publishing an article doesn’t mean you’re a LinkedIn Influencer, it does allow you to further establish your professional identity by expressing your opinions and sharing your experiences.
A handy tool to gain further insight into queries on a particular topic is Answer The Public. If you study what is being searched for, you can generate content that’s valuable and relevant to your audience. This will help with content visibility.
If writing is not your superpower, employ a copywriter specialising in content marketing to help you create some highly valuable content.
Use great images and videos
LinkedIn found that “images generally result in a 98% higher comment rate” and “links to YouTube videos play directly in the LinkedIn feed and usually result in a 75% higher share rate”. This means that if you have high-quality photos and engaging infographics, you’re more likely to get people into your article, and maybe even get them to follow you, ensuring they’ll be around for the next post. Here are some memorable LinkedIn articles from 2017.
Respond to comments
Once you’ve published your LinkedIn content, make sure you keep track of it. When you get comments, respond to them. This is one of the best ways to expand your network and potentially generate more leads, because commenters are people who are genuinely interested in your product and what you have to say. Respond to them in order to make those connections.
Participate in groups
Join groups related to your business and your interests. Participation in discussions can help establish you as an expert in your field. It’s important that you don’t spam or always talk about your business. Send messages and invitations to those in your network and to other group members. Your goal is to create professional connections that are mutually beneficial to you and the other person.
When you have published your piece, tip off editors via Twitter by tagging the handle @LinkedInEditors. If you tell them why your post is feature-worthy, they might consider it. If they do feature it, you’re likely to get a lot of views.
Use the analytics for your company page to identify top posts, such as those with the highest impressions, clicks, or engagement rate, and figure out what resonates with your followers. You can then create similar posts or re-post those top posts a few weeks later.
If you would like to optimise your LinkedIn profile and maximise your LinkedIn content, we can handle both the management of your content marketing and social media. Contact us at Cariad to find out more.
The rise and rise of influencer marketing
One of the most exciting aspects in the social media fast lane is that everything changes gear often. We’re constantly learning, evolving and taking on new trends! Right now, everyone seems to be talking about ‘Influencer Marketing’ strategies; according to Forbes 84% of marketers worldwide plan to employ it at least once this year.Influencers have the know-how to build an audience and to cultivate belief. When you work together with an influencer who has already earned trust, it reflects well on you and your product. Click To Tweet
But what exactly is influencer marketing and how can we use it?
Simply put, influencer marketing means getting someone who is influential in your target market to talk about your brand positively. This means your brand will get targeted exposure to the right customer who already identifies with your influencer and considers them relevant.
Why has it become so in demand? Its popularity is due in no small measure to the fact that a large percentile, 47% in fact, of online consumers now use ad blockers, which means they are much harder to reach. For a brand, influencer marketing is a quick and effective way to cut through to an audience that is becoming increasingly harder to access.
And why is it is successful? Influencer marketing is winning because it is based on trust. They become influencers because people see them as credible them and will ‘buy in’ to what they have to say. Influencers are skilled at creating great content and promoting it. “The best influencers work to integrate their branded campaigns into their unique stories without skipping a beat. They know their audiences are fickle and can quickly leave, so they treat each and every post with care.”
Influencers have the know-how to build an audience and to cultivate belief. When you work together with an influencer who has already earned trust, it reflects well on you and your product.
Influencing the influencer
Okay, you’ve been influenced by the Cariad brand to consider giving it a go. But how do you go about making it happen? Firstly, you need to do your homework and find the right influencer for your market. Online tools such as Klout can help you find them It’s important to ensure your influencer aligns with what you need to achieve.
Secondly, you need to build a connection and a rapport with this influencer – after all this is a personal endorsement and human relationship. Identify up to five people and start to follow them, repost/retweet their content and engage with them by commenting on their posts. After a while, they will start to recognise you and your brand. Once you have gained their trust and you have their attention, you can make the approach.
As soon as they are on board, you must set clear objectives and goals, and agree on measurements for success. If it not measured, it cannot be managed. You also need to set clear guidelines. It could be that your end goal is to get them to write a blog, or comment on your brand on a YouTube video or an Instagram/Facebook/Twitter campaign, or all or any combination of the above.
Like many trends, this is not really new, but this type of “personal branding” is definitely on the up. You could call it a new form of “word of mouth” marketing.
Using influence for your Hertfordshire small business
So how can I make it work for my small business in Hertfordshire? You can work with an influencer in a number of ways as our examples below show:
- Write a guest post for the influencer’s blog or website which enables you to showcase your expertise in front of their audience.
- Interview the influencer for your own content. Your influencer can also promote it by sharing the links and their audience is likely to visit your website to read it on your website.
- Allow the influencer to include your product or service in any demonstration, webinar etc they are involved in.
- Invite the influencer to review your product or service. For example, a local Hertfordshire clinic could invite a beauty blogger to test a particular treatment and to review the experience and treatment with before and after images in a blog. This blog will be shared widely amongst the influencer’s followers as well as the clinic’s audience. With the influencer’s endorsement of both the clinic and the treatment, the clinic should gain new fans, followers and ultimately customers. Everyone is a winner.
Influencer marketing can be very effective and can certainly help you raise your game. If you’re interested in the possibilities it has for your business, get in touch for more information by emailing email@example.com or calling us on 01992 582 824. We’re always keen to talk about anything to do with marketing so if you have a question, ask it today!
Top 6 Twitter Tips for Family Businesses in Hertfordshire
So you really want to maximise your use of Twitter for your family business based in Hertfordshire. But perhaps you’ve not done much since you set up (incidentally, did you know you can actually check out anyone’s first tweet?) Or, you know that you want to do more but are unsure how. It can certainly feel like Twittermania out there, but help is at hand with our top tips and our Twitter training.
Twitter lists enable you to organise the people you follow into groups and they can be public or private. You can also add people to your list without having to follow them. Use Twitlistmanager to help you organise them. If you are unsure who to follow, start by looking at other accounts who use Twitter for local business in your area which will give you a good indicator as to who the main influencers are and the type of content being published.
Ashbourne Insurance, Foxholes Farm and The Skin to Love Clinic are just some of the great accounts to follow as they’re family businesses based in Hertfordshire, have high influence, engagement or Klout scores. By the way, Klout is a great tool for measuring social impact and it’s a free application to download. It measures and assigns a number to your digital social ‘influence’ from 1 to 100 – based on the level of engagement you build through your social media channels. The higher your Klout, the greater your influence. You’ll also need to tune into news, insights and developments so if you are already not following high Klout scorers like Family Business United then do, as well as @yohertschamber the Chief Executive of the Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce, as they’re connected to hundreds of companies across the county. We’ve actually listed our Top 50 Hertfordshire Tweeters which may help you in deciding who to follow.
Whatever your family business, whether you are B2B or B2C, you need to find people who share your interests. Using the search bar or Twitter’s advanced search you have the ability to search every tweet sent. This means you can reach people who may need your advice, expertise and very potentially could be a new customer. You can save your searches so that when you log in you simply select the search, click and start going through the tweets that interest you.
Content for Twitter
‘Content is King’ and one of the best tips we can give you is to create evergreen content which never grows old or tired. You can line up your tweets and just make minor changes, such as a new date for an event or a change of offer price. Stockpile them so that you have them whenever required. Creating these means that you can schedule them for the next few weeks which will save you time and allow you to concentrate on using your lists and searches to actually engage with people.
How to maximise Twitter Engagement?
If “Content is King then Engagement is Queen”. A normal tweet may have an engagement of 1-5% but a tweet with an image can have an engagement rate of up to 25%. We live in a very visual society and you are more likely to draw interest to your text if you add an image. Adding a video, link or image in fact all result in an impressive boost in the number of retweets you are likely to receive and will increase your potential reach and engagement rate. Also, make use of relevant #hashtags in your tweets as these will trend.
Timing of Tweets
Tweriod is a free Twitter tool that lets you know the best times to tweet. Establish the time most of your followers are online and it’s fairly likely you’ll increase your clicks, retweets and engagement. You will also be tweeting at a time when your tweet will have maximum exposure. Another great time to tweet is on a Monday evening from 8-9 pm on #HertsHour. Here like-minded, Hertfordshire-based businesses tweet to share news and engage with other local businesses for support and new business opportunities. Simply tweet using the hashtag #HertsHour and join in on the conversation every Monday.
To help you plan your time, you can use scheduling tools like Sprout, Buffer and Hootsuite. All of these will allow you to ‘schedule’ ahead and you will be easily able to pop in a week’s worth of tweets especially when you have a list of evergreen tweets to use.
It is not just about optimising every single tweet but about building a compelling way for your followers and Twitter users to connect with you. There are many sound business reasons for using Twitter. You can drive a lot of traffic to your website, gain valuable new business as well as engaging with people in a fun, friendly manner. You will need to monitor, analyse and optimise your activities on an ongoing basis to ensure you are reaping the rewards of your investment in using Twitter for your family business. #Tweetup and good luck.
If this sounds interesting and you’d like to know more , then we would love to see how we can get social with you, talk to us on 01992 582 824.
Facebook Live Video now on Android
Facebook has been super busy lately. Following the release of Facebook Reactions last week, Facebook live video is now coming to Android. ” We’re starting our Android rollout in the U.S., with more countries coming soon.”
Facebook Live enables users to stream live video directly from their phone. Similar to Periscope, viewers are able to join in with their comments.
Facebook Live is highly engaging according to Facebook’s Newsroom , with an average user watching a live video more than three times longer than a non-live one. Also, more than 50% of people are watching live videos using Android devices so it just makes sense for Android to be next development for Facebook. Users in 30 countries have access so far, and the full rollout will continue.
If you have the feature enabled, you can start a Live video by tapping “What’s on your mind?” at the top of your News Feed and selecting the Live Video icon. Once your broadcast is done, the video will be saved on your Facebook Timeline.
Does this get the thumbs up like from us? Yes. Online video now accounts for almost 50% of all mobile traffic. Mobile video is convenient, and users are more likely to be more engaged as they’re either searching for something specifically or needing entertainment whilst on the go. Video is a captivating form of digital media, particularly when the content is attention grabbing, humorous and/or gives an answer to the question you are searching for. Used well, this can be a very powerful medium for business.
As a social media marketing agency, our dedicated team of digital marketing experts are happy to discuss the benefits of video advertising and/or the social media requirements for your business in greater depth. Give us a quick call on 01992 582824 – we’d love to see how we can help.
Top 6 tips for successful Social Media Marketing
Your social media marketing can help elevate your audience and customer base in a dramatic way. But are you doing everything to ensure your social media marketing strategy is going to deliver this year? Our quick checklist will help ensure you serve your customers, your brand and most importantly your bottom line.
It’s impossible to post every piece of content individually while still making sure you are targeting the right audience. For any size business, marketing automation software such as Sprout, Buffer and Hootsuite to name but a few, will streamline the process so that you always have a complete look at your active online presence, without impacting on your team’s time.
While social media is a great way to directly engage with your existing and potential clients, make sure that you are also taking full advantage of being an authority in your industry. Position your brand as an industry expert by regularly posting compelling content and engaging with the issues surrounding your industry. LinkedIn posts are really excellent for this. Consistently posting new content will mean that you stay in the forefront of users’ minds.
Make 2016 the year that you add some diversity! You don’t want to miss out on your target audience because you are not on a network. Maybe you are now ready for Snapchat or Pinterest having established your business on Twitter and LinkedIn.
While you need to make sure you have a presence on major platforms, you also want to be sure that content is appropriately tailored to each platform’s strengths. When planning for Snapchat and Periscope, recognise that these networks take advantage of live and time-sensitive information, whereas, on Twitter you may be focused on information that is relevant to your audience, industry, or company culture. Always keep the user in mind and share interesting articles and information. Don’t dominate with sales messages – tempting as it is!
A key thing to remember is to keep your content integrated across platforms and all of your marketing channels. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t tailor content to each particular network, but rather that you should make sure your content is integrated with your goals, so you can note where you are converting sales and where you may need to try a different approach.
Again such tools like Sprout and Buffer will allow you analyse your social media marketing. But in addition to measuring the effectiveness of your strategy, you should also review and revise your campaigns based on your campaign intelligence.
As a social media marketing agency, our dedicated team of digital marketing experts are happy to discuss the social media requirements for your business in greater depth and will help you to formulate a winning social media marketing strategy. Give us a quick call on 01992 582824 – we’d love to see how we can help.
New website for osteopathic treatments specialist
Check out our latest responsive website design …
It’s a new year and a great start as we’re delighted to announce the most recent of our responsive website launches, this time for Hitchin Osteopathy, specialists in osteopathic treatments, based in Hertfordshire.
Established in Hitchin for several years, Hitchin Osteopathy provides professional and high quality care for all their patients. With a range of osteopathic treatments and therapeutic massages, Hitchin Osteopathy aims to get you back to normal daily life as quickly as possible. Their expertise provides you with the best, safest and most effective osteopathic treatment and care possible. Treatments include aching joints, flexibility and posture, injury rehabilitation, muscle aches, lower back pain, neck pain, relaxation, stress relief and sports performance.
Hitchin Osteopathy approached digital marketing agency Cariad Marketing as it was looking to revitalise its existing website with a responsive web design – this as we know, is particularly important in light of Google’s latest algorithm change which penalises sites that are not mobile-friendly when customers are searching for websites on Google on a mobile device.
Cariad Marketing created and built a fully responsive website for Hitchin Osteopathy. Created on a bespoke WordPress template, the website is simple to manage and update with fresh content.
We wish the Hitchin Osteopathy team every success with their new website.
A Responsive Website for Osteopathic Treatments Specialist – Hitchin Osteopathy
We’d love to talk to you about which Responsive Web Design package is right for your business. For more information about how we can design and build a mobile friendly website for your company give the Cariad Marketing team a call on 01992 582 824 or fill out a quick contact form and a member of the team will get back to you.
Top Tips for Local Marketing Online
Appealing to local customers via local marketing online is now easier than ever which is ideal if you’re a small or medium sized business looking to tap into a local audience. Technology can be used to market at town or even individual postcode levels, ensuring you’re communicating the right messages to the relevant audiences in key locations. For a local business it makes sense to market within a defined geography and employ local marketing techniques to do this. And it doesn’t have to have an expensive price tag either. Here are some local marketing quick wins that you can take online:
Top Tips for Local Marketing Online
1) Online directories
The internet is an increasingly powerful local marketing tool. As a first step, you can get listed with GoogleMyBusiness so customers searching Google and Google Maps find your contact details.
Free Index is another free online directory. Customers can post reviews and the more positive they are, the higher up the index you go. Basic listings on sites such as Thomsonlocal.com and Yell.com are also free and are ideal tools for local marketing online.
2) Local SEO
Another important step to ensure local customers find you online is to optimise your website for local searches via SEO. At its most basic, this means including your operating area in the keywords of all pages and page title fields and adding as many relevant back-links (links from other local websites) as possible.
3) Social Media
Increasingly, social media is also lending itself to local marketing online. Restaurants, bars and shops, for example, might consider listing on Foursquare, a free location-based mobile app that uses global positioning data to allow people to share information about shops, restaurants, bars and other attractions. In fact as an example, I’m just back from a 4 days in Tallinn and Riga. Estonia is a tech powerhouse, with online voting and tech training from primary school onwards. In 2003 the code for Skype was created here. So it’s no surprise that one of the best ways to explore is to pull on a pair of headphones for a BlueDrum virtual tour via an ipad. And after a day of pounding the city’s cobblestoned streets, you are ready for a bite to eat. And guess what? You’re likely to choose those restaurants and bars that were suggested to you within your vicinity whilst on your tour. And we did.
Social media is very much centred around the idea of community and it allows small businesses to directly communicate with customers. Conversations are a two-way street. Make sure you’re replying to people who interact with you on social media. Engage with strong social influencers, such as bloggers that your customers read or individuals with robust followings. Use Facebook to allow your customer to check in to your facility and on Twitter build up some Lists. For example you can create a list of industry influencers and “listen” to their tweets, or create lists for separate segments of your Twitter contacts to engage with them in different ways.
Engaging the online community is core to social media and one of the keys to your success for local marketing online.
To ensure you are spending your time wisely, measure the effectiveness of your marketing strategy. Put in tracking mechanisms so you can measure how successful each technique is. Ask all new customers how they heard of you.
But make sure you track what is important to your business. On social media, B2Cs, for example, often care about engagement and brand awareness. This means metrics such as likes, shares, comments, followers and retweets. B2Bs, on the other hand, put more weight on the clicks, conversions and website traffic coming from social channels.
Look at the numbers to see where your leads are coming from, when and how they convert and what types of content produce the greatest returns. From there, you can determine what to tweak for the best possible performance, and what to discard or modify.
Remember keep evaluating the answers to these questions
Why should people buy from me when they can buy from the competition?
5) What is my stand out?
Overall, though, your business needs to have a clear customer value proposition. Without one a digital strategy will struggle to win over a slightly jaded and over-stimulated audience. Ensure you address the fundamental needs of your customers and your digital marketing strategy will deliver.
For more information on how to set up local marketing online for your business give the team a call on 01992 582824 or contact us online – we’d love to see how we can help.
Social Media Trends – Predictions for 2016
As this post is out of date, you might like to read our recent post about Social Media trends for 2018.
With 2016 fast approaching what can we expect in social media next year? I’ve put together my top 5 predictions for social media trends that I believe will be at the forefront of social media marketing 2016.
Top 5 Predictions for 2016 Social Media Trends
1) Live Streaming
Content on social media that contains video is proven to be more engaging. In 2016, new applications like Periscope and Facebook’s new “Live” option will allow brands the opportunity to engage on a new level. So if you’re at a networking event, trade exhibition or delivering a keynote speech, stream it live and give consumers a real insight into your brand. In-the-moment updates as opposed to late- retrospectives will bring a wave of immediacy in social media. And if your content is relevant, your audience will engage with it.
2) Mobile & ecommerce fusion
Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook have all put Buy buttons onto their channels, so we would expect other apps (Instagram, Snapchat, Vine, etc) and new apps focus on making mobile and social commerce seamless. This will make it much easier to buy products directly through social media channels. The plan is to prevent users from ever having to leave the App.
3) Increased In-app functionality
Facebook plans to make its mark in online publishing with ‘Instant Articles’ which will allow publishers to post content without users having to leave the website to read it. Social apps will rush to keep up, as every platform is angling to not only acquire customers, but keep them. Nothing keeps a user on your site longer than having a continuously updated stream of published content. Watch out for Twitter’s Lightning project (puts publication in the hands of its users), as well as Snapchat’s move to more “story” content.
4) Evolution of Influencer Marketing
We know about 25 % of all branded search results is user-generated content. That means a quarter of the content about your brand is not developed by your marketing team. Call them what you like, Influencers, brand advocates, ambassadors, torch bearers (and employees) are all talking about your brand online. Find out who they are and build a relationship. It will pay dividends and is only going to increase in importance.
5) Privacy settings
Facebook is introducing more privacy awareness tools. This is important to do, because as tension continues to rise, only platforms which offer a degree of privacy and security will thrive. This is set to grow in importance in 2016.
Can we help your business grow?
As a social media marketing agency, our dedicated team of digital marketing experts are happy to discuss your social media requirements for your business in greater depth and will help you to formulate the most informative digital marketing strategy that includes social media. We can help you to take control of your social media accounts through our social media training sessions where required to help you meet your business objectives and goals. Give us a quick call on 01992 582824 – we’d love to see how we can help.
Has East Hertfordshire Got Talent?
The first of its kind, East Hertfordshire has launched its very own ‘East Herts Got Talent’ and Cariad Marketing are delighted to be a sponsor of the event, which recognises outstanding personal talent based on a skill or hobby.
Event producer, East Herts councillor Patricia Moore hopes the content will draw out the wealth of talents that are across the district.
It’s brilliant how you just have to mention the word ‘talent’ in the office and all these secret skills come out of the wood work. Cariad’s apprentice Alex is highly skilled in martial arts, and Client Services Manager Emma revealed she won a scholarship to perform in her county youth orchestra and perform with the English National Youth Ballet (though not at the same time!) when she was 18.
Whether you’re a singer, dancer, acrobat, musician or dog trainer, East Herts premier talent competition is looking for the best of the best in Hertfordshire and with a £1,000 prize pot up for grabs for the overall winner, it’s a competition not to be missed!
So how do you enter?
Entries are open to all ages, groups and individuals. To enter you must send a video audition (no longer than 3 minutes) to EHgottalent@tseproductions.co.uk or post to East Herts Got Talent, TSE Productions, Unit 1, Oakengrove Yard, Red Lion, Bridens Camp, Hemel Hempstead, HP2 6EZ.
Key dates for your diary
Audition close Sunday 31st January 2016
Semi-final Saturday 20th February 2016, Sele School, Hertford
Final Sunday 1st May 2016, Hertford Theatre, Hertford
We can’t wait to see your talents shine through. Good luck!