How can Houzz help my business
You may remember our previous blog ‘Houzz. What is it and how is it good for business?’ – which focuses on how to not only use Houzz, but use it in a way which benefits your interior design business most.
So now you know how it all works, I think it’s only fair we share with you five top tips to maximise your brand awareness and lead generation when using Houzz.
Lead generation with Houzz
1 – Username needs to be your company: This might seem obvious to you, but clients in the past have used their personal information during the account creation process which has led to confusion. The problem is, when potential clients click onto your online profile, the HTML link will contain your name instead of your brand name! Find out how to change your username.
2 – Ask for customer reviews: Reviews will increase the validity of your services to potential clients and so it’s important to have them. If you don’t ask, you won’t get. Not only will this be a positive reflection of your brand, but it will contribute to improving your position in the algorithm. Find out how to get more customer reviews.“Do you know how to maximise your #brand awareness and lead generation when using Houzz?” #Leadgen Click To Tweet
3 – Utilise ideabook: An ideabook is basically a reflection of your brand values. Therefore, it is vital that you use one! One of our own clients had initially used general images on their ideabook, before deciding on past customer project photos instead. This seemed to provide their prospective clients with more trust and ultimately allowed them to their expand social network. So, how do you create an ideabook?
4 – Link everything to the right page: When creating your projects and uploading different products, there’s an option to provide a link to your website. Make sure you link to a relevant page on your website in order to avoid confusion. This will provide your potential clients with a more seamless experience.
5 – Manage your supplies: Make sure you manage your ‘stock’ well and ensure you provide an accurate account of this. Cancellations and delays will impact your ‘seller score’ and remove seller privileges, having a negative effect on your brand image. Find out how to better manage your supplies.
5 social media marketing trends to keep an eye out for in 2018
Social media has an enormous influence on societies around the globe. It doesn’t matter whether you like it or not, it’s getting stronger all the time.
In 2017, it had a new lease of life: video was crowned king, virtual reality came knocking on heaven’s door, and shopping took over the strip. And with a recent study from analytics company Aimia showed that 56% of us follow our favourite brands on social media, meaning it’s vital for even the smallest brands to have a presence.
And now that 2018 has arrived, there are new social media trends on the block that you need to prepare for. Take a look!Social media marketing can boost your business if you can break through the noise! Click To Tweet
- Live stream will come to life – The boxing’s on tonight and you don’t know how you’re going to watch it, what do you do? You rely on social media to give you what you what you want. Happy days. You found it. But it’s not just the consumer who benefits. The expectation is that 2018 will be the catalyst for live streaming. With that in mind, you might want to figure out how you’re going to do so!View some tips and tricks on how to create effective live streaming content at https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/285810
- Augmented Reality will take over – With the introduction of virtual reality and various other tech devices, is it any wonder that we will all soon be able to use filters like those provided by the likes of Snapchat and Instagram. The new iPhone X has recently hit the headlines with the introduction of its new AR features, providing the user with some unprecedented experiences. No wonder they sold out less than 10 minutes after being released!
- The rise of messaging platforms – People are becoming more connected to their favourite brands than ever before. And with over 2.5 billion people using messaging platforms such as WhatsApp, the need for a tailored experience is higher than ever before.
- The decline of Twitter – Twitter has been within reaching distance of the top spot for some time now, providing people all around the world with snippets of information almost instantaneously for years. Unfortunately, in terms of business, Twitter has become a victim of its own success, and is too ‘noisy’ for many. In other words, the sheer volume of people tweeting about their favourite shows, such as #ImACeleb or #PeakyBlinders has clouded the overall focus on businesses. There’s simply too much ‘noise’. So unless you’re making as big a racket than they are, you might find it hard to get your message heard!
- Influencer marketing – Celebrities from all over the world are having their fair share of success in recent years, accumulating six figure incomes for sharing social media posts about products. And there are good reasons why. Millennials and Generation Z are uniquely swayed by this method of marketing. According to the analytical company RetailDive, Gen Z are two to three times more likely to be influenced by social media!
There’s one thing for certain, social media is going to steal some thunder in the upcoming months, so it would be a good idea to jump on the bandwagon. Fast! So contact us now to find out how you can use social media marketing to boost your business.
Twitter Ads – Are they worth investing in?
Paid advertising is a great way of attracting traffic to your website. The aim is to increase brand awareness and improve your conversion rate. And as far as Twitter goes, there is plenty of room for SMEs to get stuck in the mix.
In other words, the number of active social media users on Twitter is huge!
In fact, it is the perfect platform to increase your reach and visibility. To put things into perspective, there is a total of 232 million Twitter users worldwide. Pretty big right?
Well, yes and no. If we compare the stats to their older cousin, Facebook, we start to realise that Twitter is quite a way down the leaderboard in terms of size. With Facebook benefiting from a whopping 1.15 billion users, you’re probably wondering why anyone would bother running a Twitter ad.
So, what do you need to know about Twitter?
Ever heard the phrase ‘small and powerful’? What Twitter lacks in size, it makes up for in effectiveness. You need to consider how much your campaign costs to run and whether or not the return on investment was significant enough. To do this, you need to measure the number of conversions created as a result of your paid advertising.
According to a report from Optify, Twitter dominated the market with the number of conversions resulting from paid ad – a massive 82% of the overall leads. And that begs the question, why are Twitter campaigns so much more effective?
Getting started with Twitter Ads
Depending on what you’re trying to achieve, there is a range of objectives to choose from. Whether you simply want the numbers and impressions, or want to see the difference in revenue through conversions.
Possibly the most important part of the equation is that Twitter works on an ‘eye for an eye’ regime – which basically means you only pay after results. This would certainly explain why the engagement rate on Twitter ads compared to Facebook are much higher.
Twitter offers SMEs the chance to narrow their target market down even further. The search is more specific than ever for Twitter – you can even go as far as segmenting an audience based on their postcode. This is a useful tool for local businesses who wish to gain highly targeted B2B audiences.
On the other hand, in comparison to Facebook, it isn’t as specific. This is because Facebook requires more personal details in order to offer a more personalised ad campaign than Twitter.
Measuring Twitter Success
Twitter analytics is a great way of measuring how successful your campaign has been. In terms of engagements anyway!
For a more in-depth report, it’s useful to also get a report from Google Analytics because it takes into account social referrals and the number of conversions. Considering how much more effective Twitter ads are in attracting engagement, Google Analytics will provide a much fairer reflection of this.There are 232 million Twitter users worldwide (and counting)! Click To Tweet
Get in touch if you have any further questions! Or drop us a line and share your thoughts about the effectiveness of Twitter ads.
Christmas Adverts in 2017
Christmas, the advertiser’s dream. A tsunami of cuteness, schmaltz and twinkles! An extravaganza of syrupy sentimentality. Wide-eyed children, fluffy animals and jingle bells …
And yet …
Who, but the very cynical, can resist being submerged in the dream of the ‘traditional family Christmas’ as laid on by the advertisers?
The laughing innocent children, all the family together by a roaring fire and the dining room table groaning with festive fare. Oh, the crisp white snow outside and the cosy atmosphere indoors, created by vintage lighting and music.Christmas, the advertiser's dream. Click To Tweet
The 2017 Christmas ads
2017 hasn’t been any different, but there a few (for obvious reasons) Christmas adverts that have taken the spotlight and are more popular than others:
John Lewis – #MozTheMonster
The most highly anticipated Christmas ad each year has to be John Lewis’s. This year’s £7 million pound commercial features Moz, the monster under a little boy’s bed. As each day goes by, the unlikely bond between the two, gets stronger and stronger.
Each year John Lewis takes a great effort to make its ad tower over that of its competitors, stealing the festive spotlight in the process. This year, however, there has been more competition than ever.
Sainsbury’s – #EveryBitOfChristmas
Unlike their competition, this year Sainsbury’s took a more traditional, understated route. A real world with real people. Oh, and some very real karaoke …
It’s basically just families loving and living all things Christmas, indulging in the simpler things in life and ‘living well for less’.
Definitely not underplaying things, this next isn’t just any old Christmas advert, it’s an M&S Christmas advert.
M&S – #LoveTheBear
A Christmas tale like no other, with Christmas spirit in full swing and just oozing compassion – a warm fuzzy feeling included. This is a heart-rending tale featuring our very own Paddington Bear, the A-lister who first came to life in 1958 and is enjoying a renaissance on the big screen.
It’s weird how easily a fluffy character can tug on our heartstrings, deftly creating a bond (no pun intended) between conscientiousness and brand loyalty. And it’s not just Paddington who does this!
Heathrow – #HeathrowBears
A heartwarming rendition which features the lives of two little bears who struggle to come to grips with the hardship life has to offer. This touching tale leaves plenty of scope for discussion, and although at times somber, the end result is tear-jerkingly brilliant!
But not all fluffy, wide-eyed characters come in the shape of a bear… they come in all shapes and sizes!
Bettys – #BeEnchanted
Simplicity at its finest. A real sprinkle of Christmas magic. Only 40 seconds long and full of delight, Bettys has produced a really snappy, sentimental snippet, which couldn’t be anymore Christmassy if it tried.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg… the commercial blizzard continues to flutter across our televisions in full fury. It seeps into our unconscious and, just for a second, we forget about the madness and commercialism. Christmas is coming.
The question is: which is this year’s best Christmas advert? Comment below to let us know your favourite!
Houzz. What is it and how do I use it for Business?
When it comes to which social platform is better for showcasing architecture, interior design, landscape design and home improvements, you might want to consider Houzz – the online community which has changed the way homeowners choose professionals.
Typically the norm would be Pinterest, or potentially even Instagram. However, once you find out a little more about what Houzz is and how you can use it to help your business, you may decide to look at things differently.
Here’s my business guide to Houzz:
What is Houzz?
Houzz is an online community which connects homeowners to experienced professionals in design/architecture, disrupting the more traditional method of doing so.
This social platform is made up of photos, articles and product recommendations – making it an incredibly useful tool for both parties. In effect, it’s a cross between a social platform, a search engine and a business platform.
How do I use Houzz?
Houzz offers a range of tools which provide the user with opportunities to explore, engage and exchange, whether it’s selling or buying. Like with any social tool, in order to get as much out of it as possible, you need to do the leg work and keep your options open.
There are a few simple steps you need to take if you’re going to rank well in their algorithm:
- High quality photos – always make sure your picture is optimised and high resolution.
- Keywords – the product/photo description needs to include lots of keywords in order to help the photo to be seen by a relevant, ready audience.
- Company information – the more you tell people about yourself as a brand/individual, the more your potential contacts will understand about what exactly it is you do or need.
- Activity – make sure you’re posting fresh, relevant content and as frequently as possible.
When using Houzz, you’re able to create an ‘ideabook’ which is a reflection of your overall vision. Simply add photos that inspire you at the time and then draw from this when the time is right. Creating your ideabook is easy, see here.
From a business point of view, you might opt to ‘Go Pro’ with a subscription in order to access exclusive features, such as an analytical report on how you’ve done over any period of time. When selling, it’s important to achieve a good ‘seller score’ in order to increase consumer confidence in you, leading to a drive in sales and creating a positive brand image.
You can do this by:
- Keeping shipping time to a minimum – be quick and hassle free.
- Reduce returns and cancellations – this suggests poor quality.
- Respond to customers within a 24 hour window, don’t make people wait.
- Analyse customer prices and match/beat them to remain competitive.
- Earn positive reviews which reflect well on you or your company.
Why should I use Houzz?
Houzz has over 40 million users, with 1.5 million being local professionals. What this really means is, whether you’re a professional or a regular homeowner, there is a whole network of people who are potential resources.
There are also a few obvious factors which might sway you in favour of this unique online community:
- Increased exposure – due to the specific nature of the industry, the audience is likely to be ready (know what it is they need) and relevant. Hopefully with a more targeted audience, the likelihood of a conversion at the end of it will be that much higher.
- Increased website traffic – particularly for those who don’t sell directly through their website.
- Better SEO possibilities – Houzz is designed to display quickly and meet the requirements of modern search engines.
- Referrals and hot leads – the ability to leave feedback and reviews can potentially make or break your brand. However, due to the market being so specific (interior design, architecture), it means there will be more hot leads than you’d get on Twitter, whose audience is vast and made up of many different interests.
Verdict?Houzz is an online community which connects homeowners to experienced professionals Click To Tweet
After researching and getting to grips with Houzz myself, I have to say that it’s an incredibly useful tool for both business and consumer. Not only does it provide users with a platform to sell their products/services, but it also offers you professional advice for free!
If you would like to find out more or have any questions to ask us, get in touch!
How to be influential on Twitter
So, you’re on Twitter and you’re looking to find out what’s been going on while you were away. Do you read everything you see while frantically scrolling? No, that would take you hours and you don’t have that time to waste do you? Instead, you read those tweets that are concise, fun and engaging don’t you?
Remember this when you’re writing your own tweets – whether it’s for your work or you as an individual – remember to keep your time-sensitive audience in mind when you’re tweeting Click To Tweet.
According to Statista – there are over 328 million Twitter users. Out of these there are a number of accounts which have a greater influence than others. While popularity, will of course, play a massive role in this, it does also come down to how they use the social platform.
Getting it right
Let’s take a look at HOW people with influence use Twitter, for either personal or business purposes:
What do you notice about this tweet?
- Text – The Nelson Mandela quote is powerful and everyone can relate in some way – making it inclusive and sharable.
- Image – Has a huge impact on the audience, pressing the ‘feels’ button. You immediately feel more inclined to pass on the message, whether it’s to make your business look humane, or simply to share how it made you feel.
- Following – Look at who wrote the tweet: no wonder it’s THE most successful tweet of all time!
- Social influence – The number next to his name is the ‘Klout’ score, this reflects (on a scale of 1-99) how influential the account is, with 1 having no impact at all, and 99 being the most highly influential.
On a local level
Take a look at Isabel Hospice’s twitter profile, what do you notice?
- Display picture – the company logo is nice and clear, which lets people know what they’re looking at and makes it more recognisable. Never leave the space blank or add an irrelevant image.
- Description – focuses on what they do as a charity. The use of keywords makes them more likely to be searched for and lets the right people know what exactly they do.
- Background image – high quality photo, which captures what you do and gets your message across. Avoid dull colour schemes, and stay on brand as much as possible.
- Location location location – You’re not hiding something are you? Then why be so secretive – let them know where you’re based!
Lastly, you’ve got to reflect personality through your brand’s tone of voice and create conversations in order to create engagement… even if you’re trying to wind someone up, like BBC Three tried to do, though it didn’t go so well for them…
- Creating conversation – by mentioning another business, perhaps one of interest, you’re likely to spark engagement. This is a good way of reaching out to certain people and establishing a connection.
- Response – It may seem like common courtesy, but if someone asks a question, you answer/help them when possible. This is social after all, so it pays to be helpful.
- Fun and engaging – use emotive, expressive language alongside emojis in order to press the ‘feels’ button and let them know that you’re no different from the rest of the world!
To conclude, Twitter can be used interchangeably switching between your work and personal life. However, the way in which it is used does not change. In short, if you want to be influential in getting your message across, then you must adhere to the ‘Twitter lifestyle’.
Got any questions about social media marketing? Please don’t hesitate to get in touch!
5 Ways to improve UX
How many times have you decided not to buy from a website because you became frustrated with the site you were browsing, and you’ve gone somewhere else?
A lot, right?
Then why treat your customers any different? Make sure they have the best user experience (UX) possible, and you will see a difference in your website performance.
Whilst there are many ways of improving your customer’s overall UX, I have decided to concentrate on the 5 most effective ways of doing so through your website.Make sure your customers have the best user experience (UX) possible, and you will see an improvement in your website performance. Click To Tweet
- Make it Responsive – a responsive web design basically means that it doesn’t matter what device someone is viewing your site on, all the elements, content and other page features will neatly be aligned to accommodate the screen they are viewing it on. As soon as someone becomes familiar with your website layout, their whole experience instantly becomes more seamless, and frustration levels are kept to a minimum!Think about it, the last time you went on a site on your mobile, only to find that the text was too small to read and you couldn’t click the right buttons, what went through your mind? Annoying isn’t it, according to Google’s ‘Micro-moments: your guide to winning the shift to mobile’, 87% of people have their smartphone on them day and night, so the need to have a mobile friendly site has become even more important.
- Socialise – social media is a great way to reflect your core business values and show users what you’re about – but you have to let people know! You don’t have to constantly ask people to follow you, just put your social icons above the fold and on the bottom of every page to make it easy for your customers to click through.
- Educate your users – User experience is highly intuitive. Customers will often seek answers to any burning questions they might have. So by providing them with the information they’re looking for, you’ll educate them and provide them with a more seamless experience. I mean, think about it, by having an FAQs page on your website and putting it in a prominent position, you will not only be giving your customers access to a resource that’s teeming with useful content, but they’ll also be getting even more than they bargained for. Well, everyone loves a bargain after all!
- Call To Action (CTA) – quite often you will find yourself wondering what the next stage is, which is why you should always let people know exactly what they need to do next. Not only does this give them the guidance they need, it also significantly increases conversions when CTAs are positioned above the fold. In fact, 1 in 3 smartphone users have purchased from a different company than the one intended because the site provided the information they needed.
- Show off testimonials – by doing this you will be reassuring your users of the quality of your company and giving yourself an air of authenticity which is more likely to result in people using your service/products. Place the testimonials somewhere that’s immediately visible in order to showcase your hard work in a positive light.
If you would like to know more about how you can improve your customer’s online user experience, feel free to get in touch.
Top 10 no-nos for TwitterWhy isn’t there a Twitter bible? Seriously, there’s a lot to be aware of! Click To Tweet
Struggling to attract new followers or engagement? Not getting enough clickthroughs or bookings for that all important event? Start tweeting! Social media has the power to harness relationships and build successful marketing campaigns in a matter of days. Whether you’re a business or consumer, Twitter offers an ocean of opportunities which are essential in modern day marketing.
But Twitter does have some very clear dos and don’ts, which begs the question… why isn’t there a Twitter bible? Seriously, there’s a lot to be aware of!
- Don’t show off. No one likes a bragger so don’t retweet everything good someone has to say about you or your business. We get it, you’re great, just don’t bang on about it!
- Don’t forget your spelling. If you don’t know the difference between ‘they’re’, ‘their’ and ‘there’, ask someone who does. Not being able to spell properly screams out ‘I’m not professional’ – so get your content checked and corrected.
- Don’t be boring. Using colour and exciting imagery will help your post stand out on your feed! How many times have you expected high amounts of engagement and yet received the bare minimum? Make it look exciting and people will read it.
- Don’t hashtag a hashtag. One or two hashtags per tweet can increase engagements by 21% but any more than that have the opposite effect, so choose wisely.
- Don’t be overtly ‘salesy’. Heavy sales pitches are big turn-offs so don’t over promote. Keep it discreet and don’t nag!
- Don’t cut and paste onto Facebook. Far too often you see the same content but on different platforms. Not only are they completely different in terms of audiences and limitations, but it gets boring for people who follow you on them all! No one likes a bore.
- Don’t keep promoting yourself – it’s not always you you you. Only 10% of your tweets should be self promotional or sales orientated. Twitter is about engaging with people and establishing relations, so ask followers questions, share interesting content and even jokes your followers might enjoy.
- Don’t just follow for the sake of it. You’re looking for quality not quantity! If someone follows you, before following them back, check how relevant they are to your business. Will you actually engage with them? If not, why do it? If you don’t think they’ll add value, don’t follow.
- Don’t steal someone’s thunder. When you share a link that has helped you, thank the person you retweeted – they’ll think better of you as a result, and that kind of loyalty can lead to sales.
- Don’t take yourself too seriously. People are more likely to buy products and services from people they like, so make sure your tweets help to bring out your personality!
We can help you with all aspects of your social media management.
If you’d like to know more, get in touch!
5 ways Facebook live feed can liven up your digital marketing
Looking to build a personalised relationship with your clients? Do you want to become more innovative in how you’re using social media to engage with others or gain some Facebook Live marketing insights?
One thing for sure is, if used well, Live videos as part of your digital marketing campaign is going to do wonders for your business.
Facebook Live was launched in April last year, shortly after Instagram and Snapchat.
Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s creator, went on to say: ‘Live is like having a TV camera in your pocket. Anyone with a phone now has the power to broadcast to anyone in the world. When you interact live, you feel connected in a more personal way. This is a big shift in how we communicate, and it’s going to create new opportunities for people to come together.’Live streaming can help you share 'in the moment' content. Here are more business benefits of live streaming #FacebookLive Click To Tweet
So, with that being said here are 5 ways ‘Live Feed’ can benefit your business.
1. VIP ticket to your business
New office or a bit of a revamp? Show it off! Show potential clients the ‘behind the scenes’ stuff to really humanise your brand and help you build relationships at a more granular level. Everyone loves to feel part of a community that no one’s ever seen before, so open your door and let them inside. This may seem intrusive for some, however, all three social platforms – Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook – allow you to delete the video after 24 hours. This means it won’t disrupt your general feed, or give your competitors a chance to attempt anything sneaky!
2. Host interactive Q & As
Live streaming is the closest thing to a personal conversation you are going to have with your social media neighbours. In order to get an audience for your live stream, let people know in advance that you will be going live. No one wants to be the only one in the room, likewise, no one wants to take part in an interactive video which has no audience.
3. Product/service tutorial
Every product has a purpose and Live feed will allow you to provide a step-by step guide on how to use it. Shine the light on your hard work – showcase it to your audience in real time and welcome any queries – after all, what’s the worst that can happen, they give you criticism? HURRAH! If they engage with you, it gives you a golden ticket to the land of opportunity to develop, improve, move forward!
4. Share ‘in the moment’ content
We’ve all been asked to prove that we are human and not a robot, and Live feed is no different. Grab the opportunity to show some personality, be yourself and let people know that they can approach you and your company. “But what should I share?” I hear you cry. The simple answer to that is, whatever you feel comfortable sharing. For example, if you’re taking part in a ‘waxathon’ as a method to raise money for charity and the laughter/pain is just too good to miss – SHARE IT!
5. Increase your visibility
Whether you love or hate the idea of Facebook Live feed, the network notifies followers when your business goes Live and therefore people become more inclined to watch, or at least click onto your video. Another positive factor is the fact Instagram, like Facebook, is now controlled by an algorithm: a set of rules in a sequence that are to be followed to complete a task (in this case to rank as high as possible). Which means that therefore by posting fresh new content, you are more likely to appear at the top of your audience’s search feed!
We can help you with all aspects of your social media management. If you’d like to know more, get in touch!