Tag Archives: Marketing

Are you falling prey to ‘Cobbler’s Shoes’ syndrome?

Well, are you? I noted just this morning, that I am.

Let me explain what I mean.Cobblers Shoes

You may have heard the saying, ‘the cobbler’s shoes are always the worst heeled’ – meaning that whilst we’re good at giving great advice to others, and helping others to succeed, we don’t necessarily take or action our own advice.

I haven’t blogged for a while on the Carvill site as I’ve been head down writing my third book. Believe me, there are literally hundreds of stories and insights I’m going to be sharing once it’s over the line, (and it nearly is), but for the past 6 months any writing focus has been purely on building great content for my chapters.

That said, as is always the case, there’s a fair bit of plate spinning happening. And we’re in the process of revamping the Carvill website.

I took a short break from my writing just this morning as I had a query from my head of design, which led me back to our site to check on something, so I could respond.

And that’s when I had my cobbler’s shoes moment. That moment, where you look at something that’s yours and you think, if this was a client’s site – I’d have advised they do that totally differently.

Don’t get me wrong, our current site isn’t dreadful – but there are gems within it, which are totally hidden from view.

For example: this testimonial from Ollie Sharpe, UK Sales Manager – Staffing and Search at LinkedIn.

“The Business of Being Social has become a useful resource within the LinkedIn sales team.

The book really helped us to understand the bigger picture of social media and it was instrumental when we changed the way that we work with clients. It helped us to develop how we consult with our clients and advise them on how to build a social media strategy.

We were missing the critical aspects that social media channels enable, such as continuous conversations, brand proposition and getting employees on board to strengthen both brand and message.

From what we have learned from the book, we now advise companies to build their followers, engage them with content, and this will enable them to do what they do best – recruit!

The Business of Being Social is now a must read for all new recruits into my LinkedIn sales team – and has become an integral part of our training.

Highly practical – yet at the same time, highly insightful. A really useful tool for all businesses, either starting out or looking at how to optimise their social media activity.”

Wonderful right? Powerful even. However, pretty much invisible on our site.

In fact, the points Ollie raises about the book helping him and his team to see the bigger picture, build social media strategy, focus on continuous conversations, understand how social impacts brand positioning and the importance of galvanising employees to strengthen the message – these aren’t just aspects that are in that book, but they are key aspects of the services that we as a team within Carvill deliver to our clients.  The book is the outcome of experience, not theory.

When revamping our site, I want such key messages to be up front and centre, a key component showcasing who we are, why we do what we do and the social proof that we do it.

Our value proposition currently focuses on the features we offer – but look at any other social media and digital agency and they’ll all pretty much have similar features.

The key focus should be on the difference you make to the audiences you serve.

I know this, it’s what I preach – so why haven’t we heeded our own advice? Too busy serving others.  And whilst the metaphor of, you can’t serve others from an empty teapot tends to focus on well-being, so too is it relevant when sharing expertise. You need to be walking the walk.

My cobbler’s shoes moment hit home hard this morning. And I wanted to share it, because, I have a suspicion that there may be some of you that focus so much on delivering to others, and like the cobbler with worn out heels, you too could do with a bit of taking stock and heeding your own skill and advice too.

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 agency focused on creating authentic engagement. Currently penning her third book: Get Social – Practical Strategies and Tactics for Leaders – to be published by Kogan Page in  Spring 2018. For information about how team Carvill can help you or your team with  social media marketing – either strategy, training, coaching or day to day management – simply get in touch.




Beware… The Curse of Knowledge – 5 ways to overcome your nemisis

For anyone that knows me – they know that I’ve always got a recommendation of a  ‘good book that you’d enjoy‘ at the ready.

Amazon business books must love me – as I buy books weekly! (In fact 3 books ordered this week, Getting Goosebumps, (@googledave) Stop Talking Start Doing and Do Less Get More – both by (@shaawasmund)).

I love to zip my way through them – sometimes reading two or three books at a time – scribbling notes and collecting gems of knowledge. It’s rare I don’t pick something up – and it’s wonderful when I pick upL plate on something that’s potentially been challenging me for years.

In my recent reading endeavours, I was introduced to Made To Stick a pacey and easily digestible tome – packed with practical insights into the power of stories and theories around why some ideas stick and others don’t. One area they touch on which really chimed with me is the Curse of Knowledge.

The Curse of Knowledge – the premise that the more you know about something, the harder it is for you to imagine what it’s like to lack that knowledge. This was a real ‘ta dah’ light bulb moment for me. As, I don’t know about you – but sometimes, I’m in meetings with people and when explaining something, all I get is bemused blank looks.

It’s as if my logical plain English discussion has been turned into a totally incomprehensible foreign language which no one understands.

What I now better understand, it that it’s my nemisis coming into action, mwah ha ha   –  the curse of knowledge.  When people look at me as if they don’t know what I’m talking about – that’s because they probably really don’t know what I’m talking about.

Thankfully, it’s not that I’m a terrible communicator (honest) – but rather that I am talking to them as if they already know what I know – and they don’t.

What does this mean for the way we communicate?

The curse of knowledge is such a significant factor in how we communicate. Not only with our colleagues, but also with our marketing communications. When we’re explaining something to a customer, client or new team member – either via talking, video, email or however else, we have to remember that they don’t know what we know.

We have to remind ourselves to turn back the  experience dial and think about what we had to know to know what we now know. (Too many know’s here but you get my drift).

And if you’re in the business of influencing people, management, business, selling – and you’re looking for people to do what you want them to do – or buy what you want them to buy – then the curse of knowledge becomes a big challenge.

Here’s one way of looking at it…

Liken it to driving a car. When you first stepped into the driving seat to take your lessons – you thought about every single thing that you did. You actively listened for the step by step instruction from your instructor.

You nervously checked, double checked and triple checked your mirrors, indicators, seat belt and that your foot was on the right pedal.  You probably then read up on your highway code or theory practice – so that you were fully immersed and prepared for any eventuality.

Ping yourself forward a few (or many years) and driving’s a breeze, right? You don’t even think about it.  But that’s because you’ve been doing it a while, it’s become part of what you do – it’s natural.  And importantly, it’s really difficult to remember, not knowing how to drive. If you now had to explain to someone how to drive – you’d find it challenging, you’d probably cut corners and you’d get frustrated that they weren’t ‘getting it’ – after all, it’s not rocket science – it’s just driving.  Right?

Well apply this scenario to work, business or life. The same principle applies. And when you become aware of the curse of knowledge, you start to see it’s manifestations all around you. In conversations, I find myself talking B2B and B2C and putting up slides filled with acronyms that I am familiar with and therefore, I assume everyone should know. Only to be asked, what does that mean?

And the worry is, just how many people do we think sit on their hands and don’t ask for fear of looking like an idiot. Not only does the curse of knowledge hamper communication and getting the point across – but it also stops you from genuinely connecting with people. There’s nothing more rewarding than being heard – but communication is a two way street and you need to be talking in a language everyone understands in order to achieve that effectively.

So here are my 5 simple lessons for overcoming the curse of knowledge:

1.     Be aware

Once you know about the curse of knowledge just start sense checking how you’re communicating.  You’ll start to spot the assumptions you make all the time.  People aren’t idiots or being difficult – they just don’t know what you know – just like you may not know what they know.

 2.   Sense check

Check in with someone that is similar, or part of the audience you’re looking at communicating to. Does it make sense to them. It is pitched at the right level. Do they understand what you’re saying. Is there anything that they don’t understand. Is there any jargon that could be simplified.

3.     Start at the beginning

Rather than diving in and assuming a high level of knowledge, ask where people are to gauge where you need to start. I’ve found it really useful to say things like ‘I’m not teaching grandma to suck eggs here – but I’m starting at the beginning just so that we’re all on the same page – for those of you that know this, great and bear with me for a few minutes, and for those of you that don’t already know this – great, I’m going to go through it briefly.

4.     Does that make sense?

When you get the confused looks, or you feel you might as well be speaking Japanese (to non Japanese speaking people;)) – then check in. Ask the question – does that make sense? See who is getting it and who isn’t and then be prepared to start at the bottom and work through things step by step for those that aren’t.

5.     Step into their world

Having empathy and patience is key to effective communication. You may not remember all the steps you took when learning to drive but you will remember how vulnerable you felt the first time you sat in the driver’s seat – and remember that for others learning something for the first time, they too may be feeling a little ‘fish out of water’. So work on drawing your audience in by understanding where they’re coming from – and breaking things down so it’s easily communicable.

For me – uncovering the ‘curse of knowledge’ – has set me on a mission to change and improve some of the ways I communicate. Here’s hoping you find it’s something useful to be aware of too.

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.

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.

6 Tips On How To Improve Your Social Media Engagement on Twitter

Multicolored Group of Speech Bubbles

So you have your social media accounts set up and are updating on a regular basis but why are your accounts not receiving any likes or followers?

We have already written a Blog about what you could do to improve engagement on Twitter but this post aims to give you a few ideas on what you could do across all of your Social Media profiles.

1. Complete your Social Media profiles

It might seem quite obvious but this is an easy thing to overlook. Ensure all the relevant information is filled out such as your name, where you are and website links as well as uploading a suitable profile picture and cover photo. Thinking about the more common social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+ you may need to add additional information such as interests, a short bio and more importantly, you might need to ensure your website is verified (specifically on your Google+ profile).

2. Research your Competitors

Do you know who your competitors are? Make a list on Twitter and add their profiles to that list – remember you don’t have to ‘follow’ your competitors in order to add them to this list. Bookmark the main social media pages for your competition in your web browser so you can pop in whenever you have the time and see how they engage with their audiences. What sort of content are they posting? How regularly are they engaging with their fans/followers? What is it they are doing differently? Is there anything you could learn here?

3. Connect with customers, influencers and other industry specialists

You want to make your social networks really work as a network.  So look at how you can be connecting with relevant audiences via social channels too.  You may already have quite a lot of information about your customers via your database – so if you have their email addresses, you can search for them on Twitter and other social networks that way too.

Also, if you know who your key influencers are from other marketing means such as website registrations and email subscriptions – you can also go find them on social media channels too.

Search for industry blogs and look at the main authors and contributors and add them to your social media profiles too. Take some time to do your research, seeing who follows who and topics being discussed.

4. Interact and appreciate your audience

Everyone likes a compliment every now and then so as well as posting on a regular basis remember to ‘Like’ and ‘RT’ or ‘Favourite’ others’  updates. And if people engage with your updates, take the time to send them a message or tweet them back to say thank you.  Also – you could take a look at their profile and find out what their interests are so that when you respond you can ask them something or say something relevant on a more personal level.

5. Find communities and participate in them

There are many groups and communities on Facebook and LinkedIn and a lot of them are easy to find via the search function. Type in industry relevant keywords and see what comes up, but don’t just join any old community, have a good look through to find out more about the community or group and how many contributors there are, in order to find out how active and up to date it is. Do note that some communities and groups are ‘closed’ – which means you may not be added to the group immediately as the group moderator will have to accept your request to join.  You’ll be alerted once you’re accepted – so keep a watch out for those.

6. Respond to your stats

Look at your Facebook Insights, what times are your posts more popular? Post at those times for a week and see if that helps engagement, if not, tweak it. Review what type of posts are more popular than others? It might be that a random post about FAQ’s proved more popular than one you posted about a cute looking cat (or vice versa) so use this knowledge to your advantage and give the audience what they want!

Hopefully, these tips have given you some ideas in terms of generating more engagement on Twitter. Let us know how you get on in the comments below and do share your tips for improving engagement too.

Tweet Us @carvillcreative

How To Get Your Twitter Presence Up To Scratch

Whilst Twitter has been around for 10 years, many are just starting out on their Twitter travels. Whether you’re just setting out, or have been on the channel for a while – take a look at these top tips to help you improve your Twitter Profile:

CC Twitter Page

Complete Your Twitter Profile –

Nobody likes an unfinished profile as it can look fake and your friends or customers might not know it’s you.It is highly recommended that you set a profile picture whether it be a logo or a headshot or item that is suitable to your product or brand. Twitter is all about people and people tend to like seeing who they are talking to.

When it comes to writing your bio our advice is to KISS. Yes, Keep It Short and Simple! You only have 160 characters so you should say a few key things that describe you or your business in a nutshell.

What is it you do? What interests do you or your business engage in? Most importantly; think about what it is you want people to know about you. And possibly what you don’t want people to know. If you’re stuck, have a look at some other profiles that get a lot of traction to see how they’ve positioned things.  Always a good idea to do your research and borrow ideas.

 Brand It, Own It –                                                                 

Does the colour scheme and imagery on your profile go with what you are about? The ‘Settings’ tab on Twitter enable you to personalise your profile from background image and profile picture – right down to being able to select a specific colour to use for wording and links. Also, the new cover photo space above the profile picture allows a little extra ‘promotional’ space for telling your followers a bit more about you. Make the most of your profile page now, as first impressions really do count.

Join The Conversation –

In recent years Twitter has been a great ‘go-to’ tool for users to read up on the latest news and goings on around the world in real-time. In fact, latest stats unveil that 40% of Twitter users never ‘tweet’.  Just going to prove it’s a wonderful news feed and research resource for many.  To find out the hot topics in your local region as well as the world – you can view the ‘trends’ section – and view ‘hot trends by country or region.

And if you do decide to go with the majority on Twitter and ‘join the conversation’, ensure you include relevant hashtags and Twitter handles of people you want to say something to. By joining in and making sure people know you’re part of the conversation – this drives the opportunity for retweets, new followers, and maybe even some favouriting your tweet!

Personal Tweeting vs Marketing Tweets –

In this cluttered world of communication we live in, our advice is that you don’t join in the ‘spam’ culture. Don’t make your tweets spammy and by spammy we mean posting a single link or constantly referring your followers to your products or services or offer. No-one wants to be bombarded with the ‘hard sell’ all the time. Think about your own browsing and engagement habits. If it all gets too spammy, you tune out. And so the same goes for those audiences you bombard too.

Sharing links to third party articles you enjoyed reading or watching is a good way to share. Content curation can be just as relevant and purposeful for your audience as sharing your authentic content.  And of course, add your own views to anything you share where relevant, keeping it a bit more personal.

Think Before You Tweet –

Questions worth asking yourself before clicking the tweet button should be;  is this newsworthy? Would my followers want to know this? Are there any typos? Have I included a correct link for my followers to click? Is there an image I could add to this that is relevant to what I am saying?  As we reported in one of our recent blog articles; tweets that include images can lead to a whopping 150% increase in engagement.

Hopefully these tips have given you some ideas on how to improve your Twitter presence. Check out this page from the Twitter website for extra support with setting up and personalising your profile as well as taking a look at other blogs we’ve written around optimising Twitter below.

Happy tweeting!

Have You Checked These 5 Things On Your Blog Post Before Publishing?

I love blogging concept

When it comes to blogging, there is a lot to consider. Writing the post and clicking ‘share’ is only half of it – and it can sometimes be easy to forget the checklist of things to help you optimise the post for reach and purpose.

Therefore we thought we’d round up some the most important things you need to check before you publish your blogs. By spending just a few minutes to look at these things beforehand, you can add more value to your content. These tips are especially useful for those of you who are just starting out with blogging

  • Have You Optimised Your Blog Post With Links?

Having links throughout your blog post not only makes it easier for it to be found in Google search. It’s also a great way to get people looking at other areas of your website and other blog posts you have previously shared – all you have to do is highlight the relevant keywords throughout the blog and add the hyperlinks to them. By doing so, it will help readers to better understand your blog post and help you to verify the points you are making. You will also be driving traffic back to other useful content, it could be your older posts giving them new life – or signposting the reader to explore your services, products or other relevant content. Remember – just because you’ve published a post, doesn’t mean you should forget about it – each post is a valuable asset in which you can give new life to.

Tip 1: Consider including other bloggers in your blog and link back to them – this will draw them into the conversation allowing you to listen and trade ideas with others.

Tip 2: Be sure to keep your links and sign posts going throughout the post. And don’t neglect the fact that many readers only read the first one or two paragraphs to get the gist of the blog to see if they want to continue reading on – so be sure to keep your links up top where they will see them.

  • Have You Proof Read Your Blog?

There’s nothing worse than finding a really good looking blog post that’s full of spelling mistakes! Having a blog full of spelling and punctuation mistakes only makes your business seem as if you are lazy and careless. If you want to be the ‘go to person’ in your sector, then showcasing a poor standard of content is the worst way to go about it.

Tip: Once you’ve completed your blog, start reading it out loud. You can’t know if your sentence structure and word choice are clear and easy to understand until you read the post out loud.

  • Have You Added A Photo or Image?

Not only is it important to add a photo or image to your blog post, but you need to make sure that it is an attention grabbing one. Having a highly engaging image will engage readers and make them want to read your blog post. There’s a lot of buzz about how many more views a social media update gets when there’s an image – and the same goes for your blog post. It needs to be designed as a piece of content compelling enough to share on social and any other channels – so it’ll need a captivating image too!

Tip: Don’t forget to also make the image pinnable. If people are pinning the photo on your blog post to Pinterest, then that will help to grow traffic even more.

  • Do You Have A Strategy In Place To Promote The Blog?

Don’t just assume that Google will find your blog and everyone will be sharing it. You need to make it easy for people to find. Start thinking about whether or not you’ve properly tagged the content – this means to check whether or not you have included keywords that are used often and are relevant to your blog post – and ideally use them in the title of your blog – as well as peppering the content with relevant keywords throughout. Think about what someone might search in Google that relates to your post. It’s also best practice to add categories to your blog; this makes it easier for you to check whether or not you’ve added the relevant tags.

Tip: Make sure that the post is social media friendly too! To encourage readers to share your blog, it’s important to make it easy for them by including sharing links for all social media channels – giving them choice to share as they like.

  • Can You Repurpose The Content?

You don’t just share a blog once do you? In order to make sure you get your blog seen by others, you should be sharing it multiple times throughout the week. Once a day would be fine as long as you put a different spin on it each time! One day you could use the title, one day you could pick out an important tip – just always remember to keep it light, and keep it interesting.

Tip: You could also think about sharing the content in a completely different way – through video perhaps? A short and sweet Vine video could even do the trick!

Don’t think that after doing these 5 things you have done your job. These are key important elements to consider, but blogging is a continuous learning process. Aim to keep learning how to make a successful blog – tune in to other master and smart bloggers, review that they do and follow, helpful / advisory blogs to help you on your blogging journey.

Happy blogging!

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.

pinterest 1











  • 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

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.

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













  • 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.

Are You Guilty of Making the Most Common Mistake on Twitter?

There is one major mistake that’s being made all the time on Twitter!

The culprit is evident right at the very start of a Tweet.

Starting a tweet with someone’s Username  (ie: their @ Twitter handle) is a big no no!

For example if we tweet: “@BOBSthebook says…” without something in front of it, Twitter sees this as a reply and the tweet will only be seen by a limited number of people.

Starting a Tweet with the @handle – who sees what?

If you start a tweet as outlined above with the @handle – eg: @carvillcreative – then only the sender and the person mentioned and those who follow both you and the @handle you are sending the tweet to – will see the tweet.

Of course, if that’s your intention – then great. It may be that you are intentionally being ‘niche’.  It’s often a good workaround to send a direct message to someone when they are not following you – where you can’t do an ‘official direct message’.

In order to turn such a closed tweet into a regular public tweet, (for all to see) you simply have to add any character in front of the “@” symbol. This is commonly done by adding words such as “Hi there @BOBSthebook…” or “Great post @BOBSthebook…“

Simply adding characters prior to the @handle means that your tweet is then visible to all. And the people you have ‘mentioned’ will be notified in the usual way.

If you’re already pushing 140 characters, you can simply put any punctuation at the beginning. People often choose a  fullstop – probably because it’s small, simple and most eyes are likely to pass over it – eg: .@michellecarvill

So from now on, if you’re going to tweet with a Twitter @handle– make sure that the “@” sign is not the first character of the tweet, so that all your followers can see it in their timelines – no matter what the tweet is about!

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.

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.


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.



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 ’










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:


  • 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.


  • 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!