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How To Sponsor Content On Your LinkedIn Showcase Page

If you’re not sure what LinkedIn showcase pages are, then be sure to have a read of our previous blog written earlier this year when we said farewell to LinkedIn’s ‘Products and Services’ page.

Meanwhile here’s a little reminder…

A showcase page, enables you to highlight a particular brand or product line and extend your company’s page presence. The aim is to get as many LinkedIn members as possible to follow your product’s page in the hope that it’s something they’re interested in. They’re useful for building long term relationships with those who want to follow specific aspects of your business.

The followers of your showcase page know to expect news about your product/service and are looking forward to hearing all about it. The updates on this page work just like company updates, but with added benefit of LinkedIn members being able to find the product or service through search.

Now that you’ve come to an understanding about showcase pages – the next step is to get people following and interested in your page. If you’re struggling to get people to following your showcase page, then it might be worth paying for some advertising – using ‘sponsored updates.’

Sponsored Updates

A sponsored update is used to promote a piece of content to a wider audience. Sponsoring a piece of content on your showcase page will help to get your message out to the right people as well as raising greater brand awareness, generating quality leads and promote deeper relationships with your audience.

In order to create the relationships that matter to you – the first step is to publish the content that you want to sponsor – directly in your showcase page’s feed.

Once you’ve published the content, you can then go on to targeting your audience. All you need to do is click on the picture in the top right hand side of your screen and scroll down to click on ‘Advertising.’

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Once your advertising dashboard is open, you need to make sure you have an account set up so that you can pay for the advertising on your sponsored page. Click on the drop down arrow where it lists your page names and select ‘create your business account.’

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This window will then open up and it is here where you can set up the advertising for your showcase page rather than your actual company page. Select the second option ‘Company Page URL’ – and then copy and paste the URL of your showcase page into the text box.

You can then go on to giving your business account a title – something that is clear and easy to remember – and don’t forget to also select the correct currency you’re going to be using. Once everything is filled out you can select ‘Create’ – this will then create a business account for your showcase page.

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When it comes to creating the actual ad, make sure the correct business account is selected at the top of the screen (preferably the one you’ve just created) – in our case we are sponsoring from ‘Carvill Creative Limited.’ You then have to pick between the two advertising options LinkedIn gives you – one is to create an ad for the page and the other is to sponsor content – the one you want to select is ‘Sponsor Content’.

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Once you’ve selected your ad choice, scroll down and select the piece of content you want to sponsor. This content should be something you think is relevant and will get people wanting to follow your showcase page – this content might be an important blog post, press, news item or simply a link to that product or service on your website. Click on the correct post and then make your way through the targeting options you want to use – you can target these ads by country, locations, seniority, function, business size etc.

Whatever you decide to sponsor – it’s often best practice to post that piece of content first and leave it to simmer for a while before sponsoring. This will then give you the opportunity to compare your sponsored post to your organic post and you can see how well your post is doing just by looking back and comparing the engagement rates.

Happy Sponsoring Folks!

Do You Know Who Your Competition Is On Social Media?

competitors

Carvill Creative Competition

When starting out with your business on social media, it’s often best practice to spend some time looking at what your competitor’s are doing.

When you and your competitors are both trying to attract the same audience, customers looking for the same thing are going to be torn between whose content is better. Therefore it’s good to review the kind of content your competitors are sharing, and if others are sharing it, if so – then there’s a good chance they’ll share similar content from your channels too – but you can work on it so that your content is even better! That’s why it’s important to research what content competitors are publishing as it will give you clues about where to gain the most engagement.

Take a look at three important things to be looking out for when researching your competition:

  1. Learn From Their Mistakes

In today’s digital word, as a small businesses you too have to go out and earn your brand’s reputation. One of the very first steps when starting online is to take a look at your competitors, and dig up the mistakes they have made in the past. Social media is any easy place to search and see what people are saying – so when you find mistakes that your competitors have made or things that didn’t sit well with your target audience – take note of it.

Tip: Aim to monitor your competitors weekly – look out for how often they post in comparison to you. You may be able to see some differences in what effects this has on your audience’s engagement. For instance if they are posting content a little more often then you and have a better engagement rate – you may want to test picking up the pace.

  1. Find Out The Best Ways To Interact With Your Target Audience

Your target audience should be the key objective when it comes to your social media strategy. How businesses interact with their social media audience will largely affect the kind of response they get. So be sure to investigate the customer acquisition approach your competitors have – then think about what you could be doing differently? Do you need to think about increasing your followers’ every day? What kind of voice do your competitors use? Keep in mind that humour always works well online – but of course it has to be appropriate for the business.

Tip: Don’t get caught up in the number of followers, likes, fans etc. that your competitors have – although these numbers are important, they’re not as important as the engagement rates.

  1. Find Out What Content Works Best

When researching your competition – be sure to look at what content works well for them – but clearly, your intention is not to copy them directly. You purely want to see what they’re doing to give you an idea on how you can make your content even better – so just take a quick look at their work and gain clues about your own content by seeing what gets the most engagement from their audience compared to yours. You’ll quickly be able to see whether those photos of you and your employees at the Christmas party were a good idea, whether you may need to post a video once in a while, or whether you need to use more images.

Tip: When following different theories to your competitors, it’s important to remember that just because they’re doing something new that appears to be working, there is a good chance that they have not tested it – so be careful and always use your best judgement.

As part of your social media activity, research and analysis is equally as important as sharing  content,  so take some time researching the ‘big players’ in your industry and be sure to take our tips on board and to consider how you can build in a process to critically analyse your completion now and again.

This blog post was brought to you by Michelle Carvill, founder of Carvill Creative, the online visibility experts and author of The Business of Being Social – A Practical Guide to Harnessing the Power of Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn for all Businesses.

If you need any help with your social media activity, blogging or creating content or any other digital marketing services, then do get in touch with us.

Have You Noticed The Very Small Yet Useful Recent Facebook Update?

Sharing, liking and commenting as yourself (from your personal profile) on your business pages’ posts have never been possible on Facebook – until now.

Facebook now gives you the option to perform an action on one of your pages’ posts from another page or as you (from your personal profile).

Here’s an example: In order to ‘Like’ the post below on the Carvill Creative Facebook page from a personal profile –  you need to log in to Facebook as yourself and then search for the Carvill Creative page either in search or using the search bar. Once you’re on the page, you will then notice that each post now has a drop down arrow in the bottom right hand corner – this gives you the option to change who you want ‘Like’ and comment as.

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In oder to like the page as yourself (from your personal profile), you need to switch the account – in order to do this you need to click on the dropdown arrow and it gives you the option of what profile or company page you want to use to perform an action on this post (see below).

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Throughout the years, Facebook has made a number of changes to the newsfeed. The status updates that now appear in your newsfeeds are influenced by personal connections and activity on Facebook – this is usually the top 10-12% of your Facebook friends or pages that you interact with. The number of likes and comments received by a post will also influence its position in the newsfeed.

Therefore, this new feature will be particularly useful for increasing the number of people seeing your posts on your company page. By clicking ‘Like’ on your own company posts and updates via your personal profile, you will be exposing that post to friends who have not yet liked your company page as well as improving the posts’ ranking in the newsfeed.

This feature is great if you are hosting a competition or wanting to get the word out about a new product or service.

How To Choose Your Social Media Channels Wisely

social media channelsOnce your business has made a decision to jump on the social media bandwagon, the next decision is to decide upon what channels to use and how much time do you want to spend posting, tweeting, pinning, cricling, creating or following?

When making these decisions, businesses often make the mistake of signing up to all the most popular networks, hoping to have a business impact by reaching the right customers straight away. The reality is that it’s virtually impossible to do them all – or at least do them all well.

Businesses that do try, often go in all guns blazing, then after a week or two, due to the lack of responses to their online activities, the use of social media channels by that business rapidly dwindles – and they’ll often end up with a Facebook page with a couple of half-hearted posts on them, or Twitter feed with the latest tweets being 6 months old. This end result can actually be more damaging to your business than not having any social network presence at all.

The one piece of advice we can give you is to choose your channels wisely – don’t try to be everywhere! The important thing you need to figure out is which channels are dominant for your market.

In social media, it’s about quality, not just quantity. Doing two or three channels really well with consistent, highly engaging content is what will lead to conversion and customers.

Here are a few ways to come to the conclusion about the right social media channels for you:

  • Where does your business sit in the social media space?
  • Are you aiming to build a community presence? If so then Facebook, Twitter and Google+ could be for you.
  • Does your business use a lot of images? If so then perhaps Instagram or Pinterest is the way to go.
  • If you’re a business can provide professional and useful insights for others within your industry then get yourselves on LinkedIn.
  • Think about your target audience – where is your target buyer and what channels are they using?
  • Have a look at your competitors – what channels are they using? Are they doing well on social?
  • Do you have time to be working on all the social media sites? How many channels do you think you can do really well on?
  • Have a clear social media strategy in place – then you can work out a plan that you can realistically implement.
  • Keep in mind that social media takes time, especially if you want to build up a reputation – so don’t get frustrated if you’re not getting instant results.

It’s very important that you choose the right channel or channels from the outset and it’s equally important that you do not get distracted in trying to support your profiles on those channels.

Whichever social networks you choose to use, be prepared to sufficiently resource the activity – this will take some time, skills and prompt responses to build up the right social network for your business. Once you’ve learnt how to master one or two channels to begin with, you can than progress to the next one.

You’ll be surprised at how much time an effective social media presences takes up – so don’t overburden yourself initially, as that is a guaranteed recipe for failure.

How To Get Started With Pinterest Analytics

Are you using Pinterest for your business yet? If so then be sure to make the most of Pinterest Analytics.

Even though Pinterest analytics aren’t really new, they have been enhanced to help you find out how and who is interacting with your pages.

The new analytics dashboard can now be used to give business users more insights into their Pinterest accounts. The dashboard is meant to showcase how users are engaging with the content businesses and people pin to their various boards – therefore enabling you to investigate a number of different metrics about people who engage with your content.

What Are The New Features?

There are many exciting new features to explore in Pinterest analytics – so let’s take a closer look at some of these features:

  • An Overview Of Your Profile:

These analytics are designed to provide a quick view of overall reach – where you can view the number of impressions and views that your content received as well as how that number has trended over time.

Not only will the analytics give you impressions, tell you the number of repins and clicks you’ve had, but it also offers advice on how to increase those impressions. This tool is very handy as you can adapt their online marketing strategy to target the most relevant audience.

In order to see information about impressions, repins and clicks you need to select the ‘show more’ button.

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  • Insights Into Your Audience

The best thing about the analytics dashboard is that it shares demographics and common interest data with you.

Not only can you measure the number of users who engage with your pins and where those users are from (in terms of country, language and gender), but you can also see what their interests are based on their Pinterest activity. The analytics will also offer advice on how to increase impressions and repins so that you can adapt your activity to target your most relevant audiences.

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  • Performance Of Pins

Finally you can also see ‘Top Pin’ impressions, which give insightful information about how various pins have performed. Here you’ll be able to see which pins have generated the most clicks and repins (behaviour and engagement) and how users have interacted with those pins.

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Why Are These Features Important?

It’s important to get to grips with Pinterest Analytics because you need to get to know your audience in order to perform better on the platform.  Knowing your Pinterest audience will tell you which images are likely to perform better, what times are best to pin and what products are likely to appeal.

We hope you’re now up to speed on everything Pinterest Analytics has to offer – and just remember, having all this data is great to look at, but doing something with it is what counts!

Instagram Ads Will Be Arriving Soon To The U.K

It was always inevitable that advertising on Instagram was going to happen at some point – after all, they need to start earning some money from somewhere.

Earlier this year, they announced that they were going to start advertising in America and later this year, ads would arrive in Canada and Australia. Lucky for us they have also announced that they are coming to the U.K.

It’s normally the big boy brands that have an account on Instagram rather than the smaller businesses – however, Instagram ads will provide a new window of opportunity for smaller businesses to get their name out and get people interested in their brand.

Instagram want their ads to be creative and engaging, therefore have just started with a handful of brands that are already doing great things on the social platform.

What Will They Look Like?

You’ll’ be able to tell what a photo or video advertisement looks like as you’ll see the ‘Sponsored’ label  in the top right hand corner of the post, where the time stamp would normally be.

If an ad comes up that doesn’t interest you, you can tap the ‘…’ below it, to hide that ad. Instagram will then ask you to provide feedback about why you didn’t like it – this helps them to only show you the ads that they think you will find interesting.

If you haven’t already seen an Instagram ad, then look out for that sponsored post that will be breaking the news…

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Underneath the post, Instagram announce: “Over the coming weeks we will slowly begin rolling out advertising in the U.K. We’re starting with just a few businesses that are already great on Instagram to make sure the ads you see are creative and engaging.”

After people started seeing this taster ad, Instagram said that genuine adverts will be arriving after. Some of the bigger brands that already have access to the advertising on the platform are Starbucks, Cadbury, Channel 4, Rimmel and Waitrose. The hope is that these sponsored ads will be of an exceptional quality and feel like native content, which users are then happy to interact with in their feed.

Despite the test ad receiving more than 18,000 likes, many users have expressed their frustration online about the arrival of ads. To have your say on the subject, let us know how you feel about Instagram ads by tweeting us at @carvillcreative

Twitter tests ‘Promoted Videos’ to take on Facebook

promoted videos 123We all love a video, that’s for sure. In fact, video is the most consumed content online. And so of course, all the major social networks have ensured that video is shareable and accessible via their platforms.

Last year Facebook tested out targeted video ads. And if you’re on Facebook (who isn’t these days) – then you’ll have seen how they work. Effectively, once the ad hits the target audiences feed, the 15 second video ads play automatically without sound, and you have to click on the video to hear the sound.

Now – the social network Twitter seems to want to rival Facebook as they have begun testing similar targeted video ads of their own.

They seem to work in a very similar way to the Facebook video ads – however the difference is that, currently, these videos will not automatically play as a user scrolls down their newsfeed. Users have to press the play button to see the video.

With this feature – promoted video ads will work on a cost per view buying model. This means that Twitter users need to click on a video in order for it to start playing. And the marketer will only get charged when a user presses play to view the video ad.

Promoted videos will be marked in the timeline by a promoted banner and the promoted video program offers marketers a wide range of analytics including completion percentage and a breakout of organic versus paid video views.

The new ad format will be similar to the most popular ad product, Promoted Tweets – which are ads that look like tweets and appear in a users content feed – the only difference is that they will be embedded into the tweets via a Twitter Card that supports other media rich ads.

Twitter has always been a text heavy (if you can call 140 characters heavy) service – therefore this type of content will significantly change the look and feel of the social platform. Tests have even shown that tweets containing video create more engagement and more video views.

Not only this but online videos are an important marketing tool especially at a time when the internet continues to introduce new channels into the buying process – therefore this is an important feature to consider.

Although these tests are only available to a ‘select’ few of content publishers and verified users – we thought it best to get you to start thinking about these early. We’re still awaiting a date where this feature will be made available to everyone.  We’ll be sure to keep you posted.

5 Twitter Advertising Mistakes To Avoid

twitter advertising 123Advertisements have always played a big role in the world of marketing. Whether bill board advertising, press advertising, direct mail – or now social advertising.

The thing with advertising is that it’s usually pretty pricey – and so you want to ensure you get it right. Nothing worse than your latest ad going out with zero call to actions or a dreaded incorrect telephone number or glaring typo.

Of course, we’re only human and many of us often make mistakes – whether it be a small spelling mistake or perhaps tweeting the wrong thing at the wrong time –mistakes are very important to avoid, particularly on social – where one little error can be shared to a mass audience in a matter of seconds.

To avoid any future mistakes when creating social ads on Twitter, check out the following 5 Twitter ad mistakes that companies should avoid:

  1. Don’t Forget To Use Hashtags

Hashtags are a great way to get the attention of your target audience and highlight exactly what it is you’re tweeting about. They are a great way for businesses to insert themselves into conversations and trending topics.

Using a new ad or product image can stand out, however if you use strategically chosen hashtags in your promoted tweet, you can help your business find their target audience, reach non followers in large numbers and help grow your influence.

  1. Don’t Take Away User Anonymity

People don’t like it when companies or brands use too much targeting. If the user clicked on an ad and then see that ad everywhere, then they are likely to get annoyed. Seeing a thousand ads similar to the one then clicked on could be a turnoff for the user. So keeping some kind of anonymity is essential.

  1. Use Images To Your Advantage

Images on Twitter ensure that tweets take up more space on the feed and therefore, help to drive engagement. It’s important to include images when you’re sending out a promoted tweet. Tweets that include an image receive 200% more engagement than tweets without images.

Although an image may not be appropriate for every tweet, companies should try to include them wherever possible to help draw attention to their message.

  1. Don’t Take Advantage Of A Users Connections

Every user will have both personal and professional connections – and more often than not, many social media platforms take advantage of that and tend to make recommendations to a user based on what their friends like or based on their professional connections. Some users may find this too meddling – so try not to go overboard when using this tactic.

  1. Try To Use A Consistent Voice

When creating ads, it’s important to consider the objective of the ad. Whilst unique and chatty messages can make a Twitter account seem more ‘human’- depending on the message you are trying to convey, sometimes being chatty or cheeky may not be appropriate and could push your platform off-message and create a backlash. Another point to consider – don’t let your account sound like a robot stuck on repeat – repeatedly sending out the same messages can create problems from consumers too. The key is to find a happy middle ground where your message is clear and your voice is consistent, caring and human at the same time.

We hope you found our tips useful – and, why not share your Twitter Advertising tips with us too.

Twitter Advertising – Levi’s weather Glitch – and The Importance of Relevant Content

When it comes to Twitter advertising you need to make sure you find the balance that satisfies the advertiser without upsetting or being intrusive towards your target audience.

It may seem like an obvious thing not to do – but you’ll be surprised at how many big brands end up getting themselves into hot water over the silliest of things.

Here’s one recent example involving Levi’s (see below)

levi jeans mess up

 

Seems like a clever enough tweet to post, but their downfall was that on this particular day, it wasn’t sunny at all – in fact it was raining all day! And here are just a few of the responses they received (see thread snipped below):

replies to levi

If you look at the date of the original tweet – July 29th – then it probably was a beautiful day when they shared it. But when they ‘reused’ the same content – via a sponsored / promoted tweet – then it clearly hit on a day when the Great British Summer wasn’t at its best.

Let this be a lesson to us all.  When thinking of reusing any previous content – make sure that content is still relevant!

It’s so important to avoid silly mistakes on social media as people are listening all the time – so our advice to for you to use relevant, up to date content and be vigilant at all times.

If you want to know more about Twitter Advertising mistakes then be sure to check out our blog on ‘5 Twitter Advertising Mistakes To Avoid.’

This blog post was brought to you by Michelle Carvill, founder of Carvill Creative, the online visibility experts and author of The Business of Being Social – A Practical Guide to Harnessing the Power of Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn for all Businesses.

If you need any help with your social media activity, blogging or creating content or any other digital marketing services, then do get in touch with us.

10 Tactics to Increase Twitter Engagement

twitter-bird-logo-hed-2012Twitter can be an incredibly useful platform to promote your business and do some great social marketing. It can also prove useless if you’re not ensuring you focus on good engagement tactics – therefore in this blog, we are going to give you 10 tactics to use on Twitter to help build your engagement.

1. Keep your tweets short. Tweets that have approximately 110 characters get 17% higher engagement. This is because users often like to retweet and add their own commentary, which is much more difficult to do if the tweet is longer. This can then mean the user has to edit the tweet, which is more time-consuming and they may decide they cannot be bothered. And if you think about it – 80% of people using Twitter do so via a mobile – and so editing tweets can be tricky.  It’s best therefore, to keep your tweets at 80-110 characters for optimum engagement.

2. Tweet during daytime hours. Make sure you are tweeting when your target audience are awake, during their daytime. Your tweets will have 30% higher interaction between 8am and 7pm, for the time zone where your audience is based. A great tool to use to find out exactly when your audience is most active is Tweriod.

3. Keep tweeting over the weekend. Never stop tweeting over the weekend – your followers will still be checking Twitter. Even if you aren’t at work, schedule the tweets in so  you are still active on Saturday and Sunday. Engagement can sometimes even be 17% higher on weekends than weekdays!

4. Share your images. Including pictures or videos in your tweets can lead to a 150% increase in Twitter engagement, which is a huge incentive. Find images relating to the wording of the tweet, or include a relevant   or Vine video. It may seem like more effort to do compared to just a regular tweet, but if you want the increased engagement, it’s completely worth it.

5. Ask for Retweets. Surprisingly, less than 1% of businesses have asked for retweets, but doing so means you are more likely to get them. Users are more likely to respond when you use the full word ‘retweet’ rather than the abbreviation ‘RT’, with the retweet rate for the full word being 23 times higher. More retweets mean more people can see your tweets, leading to higher engagement.

6. Use Hashtags. This is a vital Twitter tactic, and a very easy one to do as well. Despite only 24% of people using hashtags, using them can double your engagement rate. They can give your tweet much more visibility. However, don’t overuse them – keep to 2 or less per tweet! Otherwise the tweet becomes cluttered, and it has been proven that tweets using more than 2 hashtags have a 17% drop in engagement which would not be good. Keep informed on trending and use industry-related hashtags where you can to increase your engagement.  Be authentic with your hashtagging though, don’t just jump on a trending hashtag if there’s no clear relationship between the content you are sharing and the hashtag. People that do this – usually get bad press i.e.: when an intern at Habitat used # relating to the new Apple iPhone to showcase items in their sale.  Uh oh – #fail

7. Include Links. 92% of all Twitter interaction happens when users click on links. They are an easy thing to include and can easily boost your retweets as tweets that include links tend to get 86% more retweets. It is suggested that you include links in 60-80% of your tweets, as a quick and simple way to get regular retweets which, as previously said, can hugely help your engagement. Twitter now automatically reduces long URL links for you – and if you are sharing from another platform – be sure to shorten your links (via Bitly and other tools) to ensure you are not eating into your already limited tweet characters.

8. Avoid Lifestyle Tweets. Remember, you are a business, not a celebrity. Don’t get carried away with talking about your day-to-day life as users are not usually interested. The fact you’ve just had a yummy cheese sandwich for lunch may be interesting to you – but most certainly isn’t for others.  Focus on marketing your brand. Try not to use words such as work, home, watching, tired and tomorrow – they aren’t relevant. Use words that will make a reader interested in your brand and want to engage.

9. Use Strong Calls to Action. Asking users to do something can hugely increase engagement. Words such as please, retweet, help, follow and how to are examples of the most retweeted words, giving a high sense of engagement. This is because they make the reader feel like they are the focus of the tweet, therefore persuading them to want to get involved.

10. Send 1 to 4 Tweets a Day. Many companies think that the more they tweet, the more they will be seen. Although this may be true, people are less likely to engage with the tweets as they see so many. Keeping the number of tweets down to a steady stream means you are likely to be producing tweets of a higher quality and therefore achieve higher engagement levels. Go ahead and respond to @s and DMs, but definitely don’t over-tweet.

We hope these Twitter tactics will help you to make your brand’s Twitter more successful, enabling more engagement and interest from readers.

Do you have any other tips that you can add to our list? Let us know at @CarvillCreative

This blog post was brought to you by Michelle Carvill, founder of Carvill Creative, the online visibility experts and author of The Business of Being Social – A Practical Guide to Harnessing the Power of Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn for all Businesses.

If you need any help with your social media activity, blogging or creating content or any other digital marketing services, then do get in touch with us.

Facebook Launches New ‘Save for Later’ Feature

You know what it’s like – you’re flicking through Facebook and you see a few articles that look really interesting – but you just don’t have the time to read them at that moment.

Well, Facebook’s latest feature now lets you save the articles you’re interested in – so you can catch up on them later.

Unfortunately, ‘save’ doesn’t work for everything – it currently works exclusively with link posts. So if a friend posts a status update with a picture and a link to an article, you won’t be able to save that for later (at the moment). Annoying, we know. However it does let you flag things like links, places, movies, TV and music.

To ‘save’ an item, all you have to do is click the drop down menu in the upper right hand corner of the post you want to save. If you’re looking at a place or music page then a ‘save’ tab will be available to you (appearing just under that page’s profile photo).

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To go back to review the content you saved – you have to click on your ‘Home Feed’ tab – then on the list on the left hand side under ‘Events’ you will see the option ‘Saved’ – click here and all your saved items will appear.

saved items

 

For now, these ‘saved items’ are private, meaning that only you can see the items you’ve saved, unless you choose to then share them again with friends via your timeline.

This new feature brings a much needed element to Facebook – which has made steps towards becoming the go-to place for consuming news. There was no easy way to revisit a post in a News Feed before – and given that Facebook’s algorithm doesn’t surface items chronologically,  a story you wanted to read later might never have resurfaced.

You can compare this feature to the likes of Twitter ‘favourites’. Twitter doesn’t offer an explicit “save for later” feature, but users can favourite a tweet and then easily revisit that list from their profile. Using the feature to bookmark/save things that you want to reference  but  don’t necessarily want to share to all of your friends and followers.

So have a go – save your favourite posts and never miss an article again!

This blog post was brought to you by Michelle Carvill, founder of Carvill Creative, the online visibility experts and author of The Business of Being Social – A Practical Guide to Harnessing the Power of Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn for all Businesses.

If you need any help with your social media activity, blogging or creating content or any other digital marketing services, then do get in touch with us.

Google Remove G+ Photos From Google Authorship

Just recently, Google decided to remove the Google Plus photos from their Google Authorship feature.

now g authorship

This bit of news has been a shock to many – and the big question is why – why would Google kill a feature that is meant to help make our valuable content stand out?

Google authorship is a handy tool which add some unique information to your content when it pops up in search results, including your picture and the number of followers you have.

Since Google Authorship was implemented, we’ve seen a number of eye tracking studies which additional attention is given to search result articles which display the Google+ photo feature.

We’ve also seen a number countless articles of research that shows results saying that those with Google authorship photos have higher click through rates than those that don’t.

The fact that Google have decided to take this differentiating factor away from us has definitely stirred up mixed feelings amongst content creators.

Not only has Google announced that they will be removing profile photos, but they will also be removing the circle count from search results too.

BUT Why?

Google is constantly changing the way they display their search results with the aim of becoming more and more indistinguishable from natural results.

The reason for this change is to create a more consistent look across all devices and create a simpler and less cluttered design. Google are trying to enhance their overall appearance of search results on mobile devices.  In other words, picture and follower counts were cluttering up prime real estate on Google searches.

However they’ve said that the new layout won’t affect click through rates as the new layout will be similar to the SERPS (search engine results pages) that included author photos.

So Will Google Authorship Still Be Worth It?

Having an image show up in search results was certainly one of the most compelling reasons for using authorship. Now that the feature has gone, some may think fewer people will take the time to set it up – but should we abandon it?

The answer is no!

Your sign off line will still appear in search results and even though it won’t be as attention grabbing as your image, there is no downside to having your Google profile associated with your blogs and articles – it can still make a difference in your website traffic. Especially if you are an authority in a particular subject, then it’s still useful to have your name displayed in search results.

Also – it’s another way of letting Google know that you exist – and Google stresses the importance of businesses showcasing their authority on certain topics.

Although Google’s actions have created a great deal of debate online – despite the changes, it is still best for companies to keep creating quality content and making the most of the benefits that Google Authorship still provides to us.

What are your thoughts about the new changes? Leave comments below to tell us your thoughts or tweet us at @carvillcreative

This blog post was brought to you by Michelle Carvill, founder of Carvill Creative, the online visibility experts and author of The Business of Being Social – A Practical Guide to Harnessing the Power of Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn for all Businesses.

If you need any help with your social media activity, blogging or creating content or any other digital marketing services, then do get in touch with us.

How to Follow the World Cup via Twitter

So the World Cup is upon us, and this year has become as much of an event in the digital and social sphere as it has on the pitch.

No matter where you are, whether you want to know about the World Cup or not – social media weaves us all together giving us all a second screen experience. One you can’t miss!

Major brands have also come out in full force to get involved in the World Cup through a social media perspective – so be on the lookout for competitions, blog posts and tweets – and quite rightly they should, as this is the most social sporting event we’ve seen so far.

Keep Track of the Action

Twitter has made it easy to for you to figure out how to keep on track of all the action during the World Cup by publishing lists of all players and team accounts.

One of the crucial ways to keep your eyes on the game is to follow those key players. Be sure to also look out for all the other voices out there including commentators, journalists and websites etc. Some of these can be harder to pinpoint on Twitter but due to the fact that they are crucial to the World Cup conversation, you will find them!

Twitter Introduces the Hashflag for World Cup Tweets

The hashflag has returned – this was something that was an instant hit during the 2010 world cup. And now Twitter has announced the return of hashflags which are bound to add a little national pride and colour throughout our Twitter feeds.

A ‘hashgflag’ is exactly what it sounds like – a hashtag flag. It allows users to use the world’s flags, as a new form of hashtags in their tweets.

hashflags

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So throughout the World Cup – when fans tweet a ‘#’ followed by their county’s three letter abbreviation, a flag will appear in the tweet. For instance if you’re rooting for England (which we hope you are), you would tweet #ENG – and the country’s flag will appear after the text.

They have been introduced not only to brighten up your Twitter feeds but to make the World Cup come to life. Twitter has estimated that around 90% of users will be watching the tournament – therefore has focused on making discussions centred around the event – more accessible for us all.

Show Your True Colours

Noticed a banner at the top of the screen when you first log in to your Twitter saying – Excited about the World Cup?

Twitter are giving you the chance to share with the world – your true colours!

Here you get to pick the team you’re supporting throughout the World Cup – where you will unlock some new customised World Cup features which allow you to personalise your profile.

It’s another way of getting involved in the World Cup where you can use your Twitter profile to represent your allegiance.

Once you’ve chosen your team – Twitter will then give you the option to add a team profile photo and header that you can pick from their library of customised images.

So what are you waiting for? Get your Twitter profile involved with the World Cup – look the part, follow the right people and stay on top of all the real time scores and highlights.

There’s also bound to be a whole lot more going on with the World Cup in the social sphere – so if we’ve missed anything – feel free to share any other ones that have caught your eye!

This blog post was brought to you by Michelle Carvill, founder of Carvill Creative, the online visibility experts and author of The Business of Being Social – A Practical Guide to Harnessing the Power of Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn for all Businesses.

If you need any help with your social media activity, blogging or creating content or any other digital marketing services, then do get in touch with us.

Facebook Redesign for Company Pages

Back in March, Facebook announced that they will be introducing a new homepage design for company pages. Their aim being to make it easier for people to find the information they want and give page admins easy access to the tools they use most.

Not all pages were introduced to this feature, but as of the 19th of June – this will be the norm for all Facebook company pages.

Currently, Facebook has 30 million active small business pages worldwide – and now, these pages will have a refreshed design to help give managers more control over the functionality of their pages.

When you first get the new redesign of your page, you’ll probably wonder ‘where did the tabs go?’

Don’t worry though – they’re still there but they have just been tucked away. Facebook knows how important this tool is for marketers to draw attention to a contest or to get users to visit other entities belonging to that business. Therefore they are still there but have just been tucked away.

Now that we’ve cleared that up, let’s take a closer look at the other changes that you should expect:

More control

Along with the refreshed design of your page, you’ll also have more control of the functionality of your page such as…

  • Adjust Sections of Your Page

Adjust the placement of sections in the top navigation menu or via the left column menu. All you have to do is hover your mouse over the section and wait for the pencil icon to show, then press ‘Manage Sections.’ This gives you the chance to put the sections you think are most important at the top of your page as well as making yours look unique.

Facebook pages update

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • The Right-hand Side Tabs

This makes it easier to see the interactions of the timeline –with reach figures and notifications bundled together, it’s a quicker way for you to know what it is that you’re going to be measuring for your page. It is also a faster way for managers to see who is sharing, interacting and posting links on your page.

This is a big improvement, as it was previously easy to forget to switch between ‘highlights’, ‘posts by page’ and ‘posts by others’.

Facebook pages update

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Design

  • Cover and Profile Image

This is the one aspect that people tend to worry about the most whenever there’s a social media update – whatever the platform. However for this particular updates, there’s no need to worry about redesigning any images! Your cover image and apps will all still work perfectly – the only change is that they will be repositioned.

  • Single Column Timeline

The new design includes two new columns, similar to the old version however it is the right column which is the only part which acts as the page’s timeline. The left column includes all the other information about the business.

There’ no denying the fact that this new design is a lot simpler as it’s a lot easier to scan a single column format. In the previous design, both columns served as a timeline and posts were staggered between the left and right columns as a user scrolled down, dragging their eyeballs all over the place. Therefore the return of one column focuses the attention of your content.

Facebook pages update

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So why not change your Company Facebook page now and check out these features while they’re still fresh in your mind – it’s all going to change as of the 19th anyway.

This blog post was brought to you by Michelle Carvill, founder of Carvill Creative, the online visibility experts and author of The Business of Being Social – A Practical Guide to Harnessing the Power of Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn for all Businesses.

If you need any help with your social media activity, blogging or creating content or any other digital marketing services, then do get in touch with us.

Lessons any brands or business on Twitter can learn from Xbox

As a trainer and consultant in social media – I’m always looking for case studies and best practice to share.

Even though I’ve never entered the ‘gaming’ world personally – I certainly think they know a thing or two about developing and engaging communities.

Their products enable you to be ‘social online’ and virtually ‘play’ with likeminded friends or complete strangers (new competitors) who all share the same interest and enthusiasm for gaming.

Beyond the actual social element within the product – then there’s of course the ‘social’ media networks which many of their target audience are aligned with.

So take a look at Xbox on Twitter – and consider some lessons we can all learn:

A Targeted Approach

  • Rather than one global Xbox account – they have recognized that their ‘followers’ have different needs.  You’ll see that rather than have one corporate account and push all messages via it – due to the size of the audience they’ve segmented their accounts on Twitter to serve specific needs.  Their main Xbox account  promotes their product – features of the product, competitions they are running, partnerships they have in place and any latest news.  Exactly what you would expect from a corporate account.
  • Service, service, service.  Xbox has a dedicated Xbox Support Twitter Account – take a look at this profile and you will see that they rightly boast about holding the Guinness World Record for ‘most responsive brand on Twitter’.

Also, you’ll see a list of the team who make up their support team – so as a customer, you can see who you are talking to at any one time.

Take a look at their conversations in this thread and you’ll see high levels of engagement, responsiveness, relevant promos and competitions.

My guess is that their service / support levels have potentially become far more efficient and easier to manage via opening up the support service via Twitter.  Support is now visible to all their followers – and so they have to be great at it – and great service and visible praise from your audience adds momentum to continuously improve your service levels.   Also, Support is now one to many instead of one to one – whilst still retaining a personal positioning.  If a number of their customers have the same issue – one global message can communicate to many that they are working on the issue and keeping people informed of progress.

In my view, Xbox offer all of us something to learn on how to engage a community and continue to service a community via Twitter which focuses on key facets that are relevant to any business.  Simple marketing really – 1) know your audience and segment content / engagement accordingly  and deliver the content and messaging you know your audience want to engage with – and 2) deliver excellent service to grow advocacy and nurture retention and brand loyalty.

Do let us know your thoughts and opinions on this topic – share your comments below or simply tweet us at @carvillcreative.

This blog post was brought to you by Michelle Carvill, founder of Carvill Creative, the online visibility experts and author of The Business of Being Social – A Practical Guide to Harnessing the Power of Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn for all Businesses.

If you need any help with your social media activity, blogging or creating content or any other digital marketing services, then do get in touch with us.