What is social media’s Rule of Thirds?

Posted by on Aug 23, 2016 in Content Marketing, Social Media Optimization |

It’s not a new term, but one which some people may have missed – the Rule of Thirds. What this refers to is dividing your social media content into thirds and using it in different ways, to increase and maintain an engaged audience. These are: 1/3 of your social content promotes your business, converts readers and generates profit. 1/3 of your social content should surface and share ideas and stories from industry thought leaders or like-minded businesses. 1/3 of your social content should build your personal brand and be based on your personal interactions. While sharing your own branded content to promote your business is easy enough, the other two thirds may be a bit harder. Sharing another business’ content is equally important to your own, showing your audience you’re aware of the competition, you know your industry inside out and you’re willing to collaborate. Sharing another business’ content also shows that you are confident in your own brand and it helps to broaden your exposure to the online community. To find shareable content from other businesses, you need to identify industry influencers and your competition. You can follow industry hashtags and keywords, which has the added bonus of giving your more material for your own content. Set up streams for easy listening and retweet relevant material to make your Twitter feed look more dynamic. Without this important element of sharing in your social media, your business will look like the person who only wants to speak about himself. Building your personal brand can be done in two ways – you can use your own channels, like Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram, to share engaging content; and your business’ social media channels to show a more personable side of the business – you could share customer’s stories, like their comments and share a bit about your team in a social setting.  You should empower and encourage your team to contribute to blogs, comment on customer feedback. If you receive a particularly good piece of feedback from a customer or supplier, invite them to guest blog. Finding the right balance can be hard, but it’s worth it. If you’d like assistance in achieving the Rule of Thirds in your social media strategy, contact us. Our social media marketers know all the secrets and can help you build and maintain an online community. Please follow and like...

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Answers to commonly asked SEO questions

Posted by on Aug 18, 2016 in SEO |

Many businesses out there with an online presence find SEO and all its intricacies very confusing and either outsource it completely, or ignore it. Unfortunately, it’s not something you can really ignore, not if you want to succeed in the digital world. Here are some answers to commonly asked questions, which might help to get your head around the importance of optimizing your website and content to get maximum returns. Should I outsource SEO or do it myself? It really depends on the size of your business and how much time you have available. Larger businesses could potentially afford to hire someone to take care of the SEO as part of a bigger portfolio, but smaller businesses may want to outsource it to a trustworthy digital marketing company who has more experience. If the business is a start-up and the owner has the time to learn about the basics of SEO and do it in-house, the experience and understanding of SEO practices will help with monitoring later on if it ever gets outsourced. Why is blogging such a big deal for SEO? Google loves fresh content and websites that continually post, so blogging is one of the easiest ways to achieve this. In addition, your blogs posts will hopefully inspire other people and encourage them to share your blogs, which helps to stretch its reach. Blogging regularly helps to establish you as an expert in your field, increase exposure and establish trust with your customers. But quality far outweighs quantity, so concentrating on blogs that provide relevant, interesting and engaging content is more likely to be read, shared and improve your reputation. What’s the most important thing I could do right now to improve my SEO? Do some research into what keywords your customers and potential customers are using in their searches. Also, ensure that your website has no technical issues. Fantastic content is wasted if there is a miscoded file that stops Google from crawling your site. Go into your Google Webmaster Tools account to see what HTML improvements they recommend for your site. Make sure you have an XML sitemap submitted too. How much time should I be spending on SEO? This depends on your type of business – a product based website with many products would need more time than a service based business. You should dedicate a couple of hours to SEO per week, but only once you have a clear understanding of who your audience is and how you plan to target them. For small businesses focusing on blogs, an hour a week should be sufficient, but this includes commenting on other platforms, guest posting and doing interviews or podcasts. Just how important are...

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Creating an awesome “About Us” page

Posted by on Aug 17, 2016 in Content Marketing |

Whether you are building your website for the first time, rebranding it or just revamping, it’s a good idea to spend significant time on your About Us page. This is one of the most frequently visited pages of a company website, where your visitors find out about you, your business and why they should engage with you. It’s often the first impression you leave on a potential customer or employee, so don’t miss the opportunity to make it a great one. Here are some guidelines when you’re thinking about this section, which will assist in designing an informative and engaging page. Firstly, make sure you answer the Who, What, Why, Where and When questions. Who’s in charge, who founded the company, whose vision led to its inception? What kind of people form your team? What makes them special? What do you do? What are you passionate about? Why should I be giving you attention? Why do you deserve my patronage? Where are your offices/stores? When did you start this business? Using the five Ws can help you cover pretty much everything that’s needed – a bit of history, an insight into the kind of people behind the brand, what they believe in, etc. A growing trend is using a short video to convey the information – well scripted and filmed, it can resonate well with the “instant gratification” audience of today. The form and function of your About Us page is another important factor. It needs to be attractive, with a good balance of images and content. Keep it in line with your brand and if there’s a lot of information to convey, consider using sub-pages, so your page isn’t too long. It’s worth using a professional photographer for shots of your team – pictures taken at different times with varying resolutions look cheap. If your brand is quirky, use the opportunity to create fun and amusing pictures, to reveal a different side of your business’ personality. The most important aspect to remember is to keep it real. This is the page that shows the heart of your business. Prospective employees will be sure to give it close scrutiny, so it should be charming, but not fiction. If your website needs a boost, or if you’re designing one for the first time, why not let us have a go? With many years of experience in creating websites that reflect the brand, we’re just the people to contact. Please follow and like...

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Using hashtags to increase your content reach

Posted by on Aug 16, 2016 in Content Marketing |

Hashtags are funny little things, previously the domain of Twitter, but now realised as an effective tool in content marketing. Largely used on social media, hashtags make it easier for users to find messages with a specific theme or content.  They are a great way to promote your brand, create conversations, generate feedback and follow trends. Here’s how you can use hashtags to increase your content marketing reach. Amplify your content People use hashtags to search for information on social channels, so tagging your content appropriately will make it easier for an audience to find you. There is so much online content that the competition for anyone trying to grow an online audience has become very steep. Amplify your content to make sure it stands out by using hashtags. Pick the right hashtags Hashtags are essentially a promise of more to come, so it’s vital to use relevant hashtags with your content, so you don’t run the risk of disappointing your audience. Using inappropriate hashtags can make your content look spammy, which could damage your content marketing strategy in the long run. There are free tools to help you find the right hashtags, like Hastagify.me, that show their popularity. Once you have identified some hashtags, think about how to use them – the ones with the highest popularity will mean there is a lot of competition for attention. It might be worth using a less popular hashtag with less crowding. Use trending hashtags Identifying existing hashtags that relate to your content can help you piggy back on a trend. You can use these hashtags to join a conversation, to draw attention to your content. Look for hashtags that are trending or gaining popularity. Create hashtags carefully When making your own hashtags, check your spelling, check slang dictionaries and check how it looks with different capitalisations. A quick search for hashtag fails will show you some funny and some very damaging results from inappropriate hashtag creation and usage. When and where to tag Different social media platforms use hashtags in a variety of ways – Facebook posts with hashtags by publishers like CNN show more interaction than those without, but the general feeling is that Facebook is a more private network for friends and family, so using hashtags is unnecessary. Instagram, however, relies on hashtags to make their images more findable. Hashtags on Twitter do produce more interaction, but any more than two or three starts to look desperate. Hashtags are a valuable tool in promoting your content and increasing its reach, but they should be used carefully to avoid embarrassing mistakes or backlash. For more on social media services and content marketing, contact us today. Please follow and like...

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Why great Instagram captions are worth the effort

Posted by on Aug 10, 2016 in Digital Media Marketing, Social Networking |

Gaining followers on Instagram isn’t only about taking the photograph and editing it to perfection. The quality of your photos and captions can be the difference between getting a few more followers, or getting more followers interested in your brand and the human side of your business. Captions are an opportunity to explain a bit about the picture, or say something humorous, not just an afterthought. When composing your Instagram caption, think about the following: Write down a few versions of your caption and think about them for a while before posting. While Instagram might be about documenting your images in real time, the level of engagement your posts receive matters more than the chronology. Put the important stuff in at the start of your caption – the character limit on Instagram (2 200 characters) doesn’t really matter, it’s more about the cut-off after three or four lines of text in your user feed. Put any CTAs or important content at the start and save the hashtags and links for the end. Use Call To Actions in your caption – this can be a question to spark a conversation, a directive to click on a link in your bio, or an invitation for your followers to tag their friends. Using verbs in your caption increases the likelihood of sharing. Don’t use more than 4 hashtags. Like Twitter and Facebook, a hashtag ties the conversations of different users into one stream, so as long as your account is public, anyone searching under a certain hashtag will find your Instagram post. Too many starts to look spammy, so don’t be tempted to use a string of searchable hashtags. Use a lighter tone than you would on other social media platforms – keep it light-hearted and fun, to show off the more personable side of your business. Puns work well, showing cleverness with a twist of humour. Use emoji’s to add some personality. They are undisputedly successful with smartphone users, so they resonate well. They also take up less space, allowing you to ‘say’ more in your first few lines. Your caption might need to be long, like if you’re posting an entire recipe with your image, but if you’re unsure, keep your caption brief. Let your visual do the talking. For more on social networking and using platforms, like Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter to give your business a voice, contact us. There’s a mine of information out there, and we’d love to assist in crafting a digital marketing strategy that works for your business. Please follow and like...

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