Category Archives: Online Advertising

Social Video. It’s here and it’s taking over.

No matter what social media platform you are using, you’re bound to have noticed the increase in videos appearing in your timeline. It could just be a funny viral that’s being shared over and over again, or perhaps a slick, high budget, celebrity endorsement. Whatever it may be, online videos are fast becoming the leading marketing medium, with the potential to take over from TV ads.

More and more brands are now on the continuous lookout for ways to grab our attention (and our cash) using social media videos to make their product stand out from the crowd.

At this time of year especially, the buzz is even greater. Retailer John Lewis used social media to launch their Christmas ad last month, with the hashtag #ManOnTheMoon all over Twitter. And what did we all do? Liked it, Shared it. It’s so easy to do, and that’s what makes it work. You don’t have to be in your living room, watching the TV to be targeted. With a mobile phone or tablet, you can be reached anywhere..

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How we create videos now has also contributed to this rising trend. With the right app, nearly anyone can create a fairly professional looking video. It doesn’t always need to be complicated, it could just be a matter of getting your phone out and capturing the moment at just the right time. Originality is key…and humour, we all feel compelled to share something we find amusing.

Last year, we blogged about the importance of a Video Strategy, so find out what is working for your audience, what is liked and more importantly perhaps, what isn’t. Facebook now have Video Metrics to help with this, you can find out all sorts of valuable stats about your video posts.

So as 2015 comes to an end, we predict 2016 will be huge for Social Video as brands realise that video really is leading the way when it comes to content marketing.    

How to Market Your New Business – Everything you need to know in a 45 min video

How to Market Your New Business – Practical ‘how to’ video

Always great fun hanging out with @ThatSMGirl and the #StartUpTV team @madesimplegroup to deliver some quality content.

This week, on the very same day my new book was launched on Amazon, I delivered a 45 minute Google Hangout (aka a live streaming webinar), absolutely packed with practical gems to help market a new business (or market any other business for that matter).

Whether you are starting out and looking for ideas – or whether you are looking to improve your current marketing efforts, I encourage you to spend some time with this webinar to help you understand what you need to be focusing on.

Covering areas related to:

  • Keeping the customer front of mind at all times
  • Focusing on the 4 ways to grow a business
  • Market and competitor analysis
  • Mixing the modern marketing mix
  • Measuring what you to
  • Creating a simple marketing activity plan

View now and enjoy – and as always – any questions tweet me @michellecarvill or email michelle@carvillcreative.co.uk.

 Michelle Carvill, best selling business author, speaker, founder and Director at Carvill – the social media marketing agency. For information about how the team at Carvill can help you – simply get in touch or visit our website for more information.

8 Common Social Media Mistakes To Avoid

Fotolia_61778996_XSIf you’ve made the decision to get your business started on social media, then it is important to be active on there in order to reach your potential customers. However it’s important to remember that one little error could hurt your brand’s reputation.

Some of the most common mistakes companies make with social media are related to lack of knowledge. It can be an extremely dangerous medium if not handled with care – therefore to help you out we thought we’d highlight some of the most common social media mistakes that are easily avoidable:

  1. Failing To Create A Social Media Strategy

When first starting off on social media, people often rush to set up a Twitter and Facebook account so that they can say their company is all over social. However it’s not as easy as that. There’s nothing worse than seeing a company struggling to create a social media presence – don’t just start posting random messages that you think is going to be relevant – have a strategy in place.

The best social media strategies are carefully planned out – clearly defining what your objectives are, the type of ‘voice’ you want to use, what kind of messages will be posted (content, content, content) and what channels are best for your company.

  1. Not Sharing The Right Links On Your Website

When we’re browsing the web we often come across company websites that make the ultimate mistake of having social buttons on their website that don’t link to their accounts, instead they encourage users to tweet or share the page. This is a big no no! You want your customers to know you’re on social yes – but you also want them to be following and interacting with you. And they’re far more likely to do this if you make it easy for them to find you by linking directly to your accounts.

  1. Paying For Fans

After creating an account – everyone seems to focus on increasing the number of followers and likes they have. Whilst it’s great to have a large following and looks impressive on your site – it’s not what you should be most focussed on. There are many accounts that pay for their 1000’s of fans – but these fake fans add very little to your community and they won’t be as engaged as real fans of your brand. There are no shortcuts in social media – you need endeavour to build authentic relationships with your audience before expecting anything from them.

  1. Not Creating Original Content

You want to build share of mind or establish yourself as an authority figure in your industry, as well as engage your audience. But you can’t do that just by sharing the work of others. That’s not to say it’s not great to share relevant articles or blogs that you think your audience might enjoy reading – it just means that you should also be creating original content too – that you know your target audience is going to love. When you’re able to balance your original content with content of others, you’ll increase traffic; gain new followers and fans – getting people to ‘like you, know you, trust you – ultimately do business with you’ (in that order).

  1. Talking Too Much

Posting too much about irrelevant things and sharing too many ‘salesy’ posts provides very little useful, educational or compelling content for your audience. Such posts rarely get a lot of attention. Remember that social media is about creating conversations – you need to talk less and listen more. (As we say, we have two eyes, two ears and just one mouth). People will be more drawn to you if you’re building discussions with your customers and actually listening to what they’re saying rather than forcing your sales messages upon them. Remember, the social channels are conversational channels – pushing traditional marketing messages directly into a conversational channel isn’t what social stand for.

  1. Spelling Mistakes

Making mistakes with your spelling and grammar can really nosedive your reputation. If you’re posting something that has either a grammatical or punctuation error – then you’re automatically sending out a red flag to viewers. Not only will this put people off your company, but it’s likely that no one will be commenting or sharing that post – or even worse you’ll get a number of people who feel compelled to correct your error – making you look a little stupid. So be sure to double check everything before you post – take a step back and re- read what you’ve written. Mistakes are highly likely to generate negative attention, so be certain that your work is flawless – otherwise you may never hear the end of it!

  1. Too Many Hashtags

There’s no doubt that you’ve used a hashtag here and there and that’s all very well, and is a useful way to join relevant conversations. However,  sharing too many hashtags becomes a problem. Studies have shown that posts that include more than three hashtags receive fewer actions to those only using one or two.

While we’re on the subject of hashtags, it is also best practice to make sure that you are only sharing hashtags on the channels that use them – by these we mean Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Instagram. We often see people sharing the same message on LinkedIn as they did on Twitter and forgetting to take the hashtags out – this just looks messy.

  1. Not Tracking Your Activity

Your social media activity is almost pointless if you’re not tracking your activity. How do you know if your updates are reaching the right people? Are your efforts bringing return on your investment? Without consistently monitoring these things you’re unable to see the effectiveness of your activity or campaigns. Even if you’re just tracking your activity at the end of every month and comparing your results with the month before, this is still enough to give you an insight into how things are going, which content works and what you can be focusing on going forward.

If you can think of any other mistakes you have come across or made in the past, be sure to tweet us and let us know via @carvillcreative. In the meantime, we hope we’ve given you enough warning – don’t make the same mistake twice.

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?

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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.

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.

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

We 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.

Is It Time You Gave Your Social Media Platforms a Spring Clean?

Spring has arrived. The days are longer and it’s finally time to come out of hibernation and organise that once a year spruce up of your home – and your social media platforms.

Below we have highlighted our top 5 tips for a social media spring clean,

1.     Rethink your goals for social media

Businesses are constantly changing and adapting, perhaps your business plan has changed or you may have found a new target audience. If there have been any relevant changes within your business these should be reflected and updated amongst your social media.  Our advice is to evaluate your goals for social media, it may be that you need to change the levels of engagement with your audience, or that you need to refresh your follower activity.

Take the time to evaluate how well your pages are doing and if there’s anything you can improve on

2.     Look into the best ‘Dashboard’ option for your business

Tired of jumping to and from different platforms? It may be that you have two different Twitter pages; one for customer service and another for overall business activity. If you have multiple accounts you may find a social media dashboard really useful. At Carvill Creative we favour HootSuite.

HootSuite is fantastic for organising Twitter feeds; you can have all of your Twitter accounts on one easy platform. This dashboard also lets you create lists, so you can save certain hashtags which may be relevant to your business. Below you will see that we have saved the search term ‘#socialmedia’.  Searching for keywords or hashtags in HootSuite and saving them as conversation streams, enables you to pick up on any conversations which may be relevant to your business and get in touch with potential new followers or customers.

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Among many fantastic features HootSuite also offers a scheduling option. This allows you to schedule tweets in advance so you are never stuck in back to back meetings worrying about your social media activity.

This is particularly helpful over the bank holiday weekend – HootSuite will send out your tweets whilst you’re laying back in the sun with a Pimms.  Fantastic.

Want to find out how to set up HootSuite?

Do be mindful that there are other social dashboards and scheduling tools you could use such as; Facebook pages manager, Tweetdeck, Sprout Social etc. They’re all pretty good – so it comes down to personal preference.

3.      Refresh and update your content

Without a lot of hard work and elbow grease, your house won’t become magically clean this April. Without good content, your social media platforms won’t do their job properly.  Content needs to be researched, organised and concise.  Unless you are a food blogger then your followers aren’t going to be interested in the cheese sandwich you just had for lunch. Tailor your content to reflect your business values and to what your followers would want to hear.

For more information on content, see our blog.

4.      Take a look at who your following and connecting with

It’s a myth that the more people you follow the more followers your business will gain and your sales will go up. Targeted following is the only way forward when it comes to promoting your business on Twitter. You are who you follow.

In turn, by following too many irrelevant accounts- not only will your social media feed be clogged up by irrelevant cheese sandwich stories, but you will be faced with useless information which your business can’t harness.

Be specific and targeted and connect with people strategically.

5.     Don’t forget to update your website

So, your social media feeds are now looking fantastic and polished, but it’s important to make sure that you update your website too. Remember, you want to refresh and update the whole online brand, not just one part. You could update any recent testimonials, upload photos or even update your services if these have changed.

To ensure that your site it constantly refreshed with relevant and purposeful content, we recommend a business blog. By blogging, you’re updating your website frequently with fresh information for your audience to see and inevitably building your thought leadership and increasing brand awareness on key search engines.

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We hope you like our ‘spring clean tips’ – what are your tips for a social media spring clean? Tweet us @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.

Scarcity is a Wonderful Thing – Lessons from ‘Flappy Bird’

Today is Tuesday – and yesterday morning, I had no idea that Flappy Bird even existed.

Now remember, I’m pretty ‘switched on’ online – I’m on Twitter throughout the day, every day, spend my life watching blog feeds and social channels – and yet, I still remained unaware of the app.

Yesterday I noticed my Twitter feed started to mention ‘Flappy Bird’ – and my feed in from Mashable headlined an article. And my ‘What’s App’ conversations were filled with friends talking about how many devices they had ‘Flappy Bird’ installed on.

‘What is this Flappy Bird’ app that everyone is flapping about – I asked myself.

I had back to back meetings followed by a battle with flood frazzled trains home – and so had more pressing things on my mind – however, when I got home, I was greeted by my 11 year old – advising that her phone (with Flappy Bird installed on it) – could now be worth up to $90,000! (Don’t believe the hype).

Why?  Well of course, the news that was causing the Flap was that the Vietnemese app creator, Dong Nguyen, had taken Flappy Bird off the app stores. Removing the option for anyone to purchase it.  Why he removed it is still unclear – one story is he was fed up with ‘hate mail’ about the addictive and highly frustrating app – and so decided to remove it all together, another is that there were legal infringements via Nintendo?  Who knows.

Of course, scarcity often causes a sense of urgency – and is a well used marketing tactic – (only 5 places left, only 2 days to claim etc) – however, in the case of Flappy Bird – there was no warning – the app was removed and now – guess what – EVERYONE wants it.

Intrigued, I asked my daughter if I could have a play – and yes, it’s simple, fun, frustrating and a little bit addictive.  (My highest score still only 3 after about 50 plays!).

Yesterday myself (and indeed probably hundreds of thousands of other people) didn’t even know Flappy Bird existed.

Since pulling the app – whether intentional or not – the App Creator has created an online and offline media frenzy which is dominating global search.

Even I am now watching updates to see whether those Flappy Bird will be brought back to life due to social demand (it’s an interesting case study).

Or indeed, will those with it installed on their devices genuinely sell their phones for the thousands of dollars cited on Ebay?

The marketing lessons for all of us:

  • Scarcity breeds demand. (And in this case, not just demand, but a frenzy.) – are you creating a sense of urgency in your messaging?
  • Take something away from people and they make a noise – if it’s the right noise, that can raise a significant amount of awareness.
  • Social media is a powerful resource. It’s the power of social that has caused the frenzy. The whole conversation was started on Twitter with the App Creator making his announcement via the network and the conversations continue on Twitter – there are Twitter petitions to bring it back .  What can you do on social to harness the power of the crowd?

Flappy Bird – and the law of scarcity.  Lessons for us all.

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 creating content or anything else then do get in touch with us.

How to Add a Pinterest Tab to your Facebook Apps

Have you got Pinterest yet? If not then you may want to jump on the bandwagon now! Pinterest drives sales and is catching up with Facebook and Twitter quickly – so do some research and work out whether you think your business could benefit by being on Pinterest.  If it’s a YES, then you can check out our Pinterest blog for a step by step guide to getting started.

Once you have set up a Pinterest account – created some boards and gained a following, it’s a great idea to add a Pinterest tab to your Facebook Page. Adding Pinterest to your Facebook tab is a simple way to get additional Facebook followers, likes and comments going to your Pinterest account (clearly, this works in reverse too).

There are many different ways to add Pinterest to your Facebook tabs – but we’re going to show you the most simple and effective way. Here’s a simple illustrated step by step guide:

  • In the search bar type ‘Pinterest Page App’ (shown below) and click on the page.





 

  • Once you’ve clicked, Facebook may ask you to continue as your personal account’s name. Click ‘Continue’ and you should see the screen below:

  • Here – you are given the option to choose which Facebook page (if you have more than one) that you would like to add the Pinterest tab to. Once you have selected the page you want click ‘Add Page Tab.’
  • Your page should then look similar to this:

  • When your page looks like this – all you have to do is type in your Pinterest account’s URL – so all we would type here is ‘carvillcreative.’
  • Then click on the green button at the bottom ‘Save Settings’ and Facebook will inform you that ‘your settings have been saved.’
  • You can then close this page down and go back to the Facebook page that you set this up for and you should now see the Pinterest symbol. Click on the Pinterest tab and you’ll be able to see all of your Pinterest boards which you can open up and view within the Facebook App.

It’s as easy as that!

Other apps can be applied in the same way. We’ll keep you posted if there are any others that are different and more complicated to add to your Facebook Page.

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.

A Step by Step Guide to Getting Started with Facebook Advertising to Grow Your Community

Facebook adverts are great for growing likes on your business page, promoting your brand to Facebook users and driving more leads to sales teams. If you haven’t experimented with ads before, don’t be put off by thinking they’re complicated. This step by step guide should help to break down the advertising process and demonstrate how useful Facebook Ads can be in helping you to grow a targeted community.

Getting started

In order to create your Facebook ad you must be logged into and using your personal Facebook profile.

You must be an admin of the Facebook  Page you wish to create the ad for.

Login as you usually would via the top right hand side of your news feed you will see a white box with the option to ‘Create an Ad’

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click on ‘Create Advert’ and you will be taken to the Advert creator section in Facebook.

Now you can get going on creating your advert.

STEP 1

Choose the Facebook Business Page or Place that you wish to advertise using the drop down menu.

For instance – If your objective is to grow ‘likes’ to the Facebook Page in question, then the advert’s destination should be your Facebook business timeline. If you’re an admin of the Page, it will appear in the drop down menu.



 

STEP 2

For the purpose of this blog we are discussing how to use Facebook advertising specifically for growing your community on Facebook – therefore hit ‘Get more page likes ’

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

STEP 3

This is where you choose the image for your advert. Facebook rules state that you may not have more than 20% text in your ad picture so be wary of that.(We have tested this and they don’t let ads with too much text get through their verification process).  Quite often your business logo will suffice but it’s advisable to think creatively. Pick an image that will catch your audience’s attention – the advert images are small when they appear in the right hand column, so they need to be eye catching or include a strong call to action in order to get noticed.

Images need to be 600 pixels x 225 pixels, in order to fit and appear clearly on a users news feed and in the right hand columns of their Facebook accounts.

We would advise that you allow for the advert to appear in both the News Feed and the right hand column. News Feed ads are getting a lot of activity at the moment and there is no harm allowing the ad to appear on both (it’s a default setting so no need to amend anything).

You can simply click on upload pictures and upload them directly from your computer or if you’ve created an ad on Facebook before, you’ll have the option to pick an image from the Facebook library.

 

(Tip – Facebook says all images will be resized by them if they are incorrect – when they do this the image doesn’t always keep its clarity, so it’s much better to upload the images yourself to the right size.)

STEP 4 – Advert Content

Your advert headline and text is as important as the image you choose to accompany them. What you say in this small space will determine whether people are interested enough to click on your advert.

Make sure your headline is snappy and eye catching.

Keep your text concise but informative.

 

STEP 5 – Choosing Your Targeted Audience

The more your ad is displayed to the right users ie: the people who are likely to be interested in your product or service, the better your ad will perform. You get to choose the demographics of the specific audience that you want to get your ad in front of.  You can target via the following criteria:

Location

  • You can narrow down your location to country, country region and town/city. You can’t proceed with your ad until at least one country has been selected. If a town/city is chosen as well, then you can include other cities that appear from 10 to 50 miles around it. However, if you choose more than one country then you will be unable to narrow it down to towns/cities as well.

Age/Gender

  • Think carefully and realistically about the age group you wish to target and whether your ad needs to be targeted to males and females. You can create much more of a niche audience and avoid wasting budget if you know the age group of the audience you wish to target.

Precise Interests

  • This is where you will see your audience dwindle in size – depending on the categories and precise interests you enter.

Remember, the beauty of Facebook ads is that you can pin point your exact audience – making sure the right people see your ad. The targeting is very precise and should be utilised as effectively as possible.  Aim to get your audience down to a low number (at least below a million) by entering precise interests and categories that you believe they would associate themselves with on Facebook. Simply type in the keywords that are most relevant, and Facebook will automatically show you options.

Facebook will help you target people based on their interests by looking at things such as pages they have liked, their interest and activities.

A topic marked with a hashtag includes related interests. For example #social media includes people who are interested in ‘digital marketing’ ‘inbound marketing’ and other related things related to social media.

The more interests you add, the more Facebook will suggest other related interests.

 Broad Categories

  • Use this targeting option to reach groups of people who share similar interests and traits such as activities related to ‘marketing.’ This information is pulled from what people have included in their personal timelines and will help you to reach your ideal audience.

For example- if you were a baby clothing company looking to build your community on Facebook, you may find the category that allows you to target ‘expecting  parents’ very useful.

 STEP 6 – Targeting Connections.

So far we have targeted our ad by interests, age and location. Facebook also allows you to target your ad to people based on who you are connected to on Facebook. For example, you can target people who are connected to your Facebook Business Page or specific apps, and you can even target their friends. As you can see below, all you have to do is enter your organisation’s name and it should appear in the box.

 

STEP 7 – Advanced Targeting Options

Advanced targeting is great for narrowing your audience down even further – be sure to click on the ‘See Advanced Targeting’ option in order to target people by relationship status, languages, education and workplace.

STEP 8 – Advertising Budget

Facebook will automatically charge you on CPM pricing (cost per 1000 times your ad is displayed) rather than CPC (cost per click – you only pay when someone clicks your ad).  If you prefer CPM, then you needn’t do anything except choose your daily budget. But if you prefer CPC then be sure to select ‘Optimise for clicks’ in your optimisation and then ‘manually bid for clicks’ – as we have below:

Now you are ready to review your advert. Have one last look over your selected options – review your targeting, budget, text and image. If you’re happy then click ‘Place Order’.

Facebook take a few hours to review the advert and once it’s approved, it automatically goes live.

Remember to treat your Facebook advertising campaign just like any other advertising campaign – keep an eye on the results and take a look at the budget daily.

If you Facebook ad isn’t performing well then make adjustments to the targeting, advert content or image. You can tweak the advert once it’s live as much as you like, so be sure to keep a beady eye on its progress and general performance – don’t waste money on an advert that isn’t performing well.

So there you have it – good luck with your campaign and do Tweet or Facebook us any additional queries or questions you may have about Facebook advertising, we are only too happy to help.

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.

Michelle Carvill’s Chapter Insights – Social Media Management

Introducing the Social Media Management Chapter of ‘The Business of Being Social.’

Michelle Carvill, the Founder and Director of Carvill Creative has co-authored the book ‘The Business of Being Social.’

We’ll be sharing some taster videos with you over the next few days, sharing ‘Michelle Carvill’s Social Media insights’ – discussing chapters within the book.

Introducing the fifth and final Social Media Insight – Social Media Management.

See the video to find out more…

We hope that THIS social media insights video has given you a taster of what to expect from the book!

If you haven’t got your copy already… You can order yours here!

For further updates visit www.thebusinessofbeingsocial.co.uk

Also, you can stay tuned by following the book on Twitter!

Michelle Carvill’s Chapter Insights – LinkedIn

Introducing the LinkedIn Chapter of ‘The Business of Being Social.’

Michelle Carvill, the Founder and Director of Carvill Creative has co-authored the book ‘The Business of Being Social.’

We’ll be sharing some taster videos with you over the next few days, sharing ‘Michelle Carvill’s Social Media insights’ – discussing chapters within the book.

Introducing the third Social Media Insight – LinkedIn

See the video to find out more…

We hope that THIS social media insights video has given you a taster of what to expect from the book!

If you haven’t got your copy already… You can order yours here!

For further updates visit www.thebusinessofbeingsocial.co.uk

Also, you can stay tuned by following the book on Twitter!