Tag Archives: online marketing

A Word Of Advice To Content Creators: Be Sure To Know Where Your Images Are Sourced!

The diaphragm of a camera lens. Color toned image.

This week’s blog post focuses on the use of images in your online content and the importance of knowing where your images have come from.

As a social media and marketing agency we deal with online content on a daily basis and some of the time, when our clients don’t have images or written articles, it is down to us to create or source that content. Although some of us very much enjoy taking photos, we do not have extensive image libraries to hand! So we sometimes rely on purchasing images for use with the written content we’ve created or for our social media posts.

Recently we experienced a run in with a large stock photo agency who demanded a rather large amount of money from us because we had used an image from their site without their permission (It was a blog that was published many years ago and found using google images – but there was nothing on the image to say it belonged to anyone or that it was rights managed.

For a lot of people it’s all too easy to do a Google image search to find an image they like, after all it will say if it’s a paid image it would say won’t it? wrong;

Google Images show all sorts of images whether they feature on general websites or on sites that specialise in selling images and some of the time there are images that were initially purchased from the stock agencies and then used online. Google also announced recently that images in PDF documents will also feature in Google Images online search. So again, another good reason why it’s best to find alternate resources if you are looking for an image; This article really helps shed some light on how to ensure you are legally using online photos.

 

Have you recently had an issue over the copyright of an image you recently used online? We’d be interested to hear your experiences, tweet us @CarvillCreative

The Future’s Bright, The Future’s Ello?

“Simple, beautiful and ad-free”

Ello is an ad-free social media network with a simple and uncluttered interface.

It began as a response by a small group of artists and programmers against the increasing bombardment of advertising and personal details being sold for capital gain on the other main social media networks.

When compared to the other social media platforms, it is most similar in look and feel to that of Tumblr and Twitter. The features are also familiar; Comment, Follow, Unfollow and @Mentions.

One of the appeals of Ello is that it allows a more personal element to Social Media allowing users to choose any username they want, unlike Facebook where users have to give a real name. (Facebook enforced this rule in the Summer of 2014 causing uproar to the American Gay community and entertainment industries where many profiles are that of people with ‘stage names’).

 

Using Ello

The self-explanatory drag and drop format allows you to set up a profile picture and header image with the recommended size specifications noted in the space itself. The interface is intuitive; a fluid grid layout with a lot of white space – you can tell it was created by Artists and Web Developers!

Its simple to navigate and if at any time you want to read up more about how to use it you can scroll to the bottom right at click the heading; ‘WTF’.

From looking around at the user profiles, you get the sense that this social media network is a great space for people to display their personal creativity; The platform places a large focus on sharing images, video and written content created by its users – all media had to be owned or created by its owners.

To find friends and people to follow you use the search bar and when finding friends you might like you simply ‘drag’ the thumbnail to your ‘Friends’ or ‘Noise’ areas. Friends being of course people you share reciprocal content with and Noise being the space where you are able to see everyones activity at a glance.

 

How Are Businesses Using Ello? 

Though Ello holds an anti-commercial stance, it has no policy against business accounts.

There are a few examples of businesses who have embraced the new social media network; Penguin Books and a fair few small retail brands such as the company, Cheap Monday which is owned by H&M and even Ello’s Founder, Paul Budnitz has an account for his Bicycle business.

If you know who your target audience are; ie Early adopters, creatives, US market then it could be worth having brand presence on Ello but be aware that you may need to think differently about the type of content you post on here compared to say Facebook and Google+. People who have joined Ello have joined to not be bombarded by ads and sales pitches so go for the simple approach by taking a nice image of the product and captioning it then post.

 

The Future For Ello 

We have yet to see how this network develops worldwide but it has just hit over a million users worldwide and has also managed to raise a further $5.5 Million in funding (TechCrunch 2014).

In terms of Social Advertising, Ello has made a promise to always be ad-free and never sell the company on to someone who would use the platform to advertise, they also promise never to sell user data as they believe that they have ‘products and features that users would be willing to pay for’.

At the time of writing, The Company is now on Beta Version 2 with private messaging now enabled for users and the network rolled out a Mobile app version available for iOs and Android.

 

Are you using Ello? We would love to hear how you’re finding using the platform and what your think of it – Tweet us @CarvillCreative or drop us a comment below.

6 Of The Best Free Social Media Analytical Tools

Magnifying glass in a handThere are many ways of analysing your social media accounts so we’ve decided to write a post offering some insider insight into the most popular ones whilst also shedding some light on the lesser known ones that are also free and do a pretty good job.

Many of these tools vary from being great ways of working out when to post onto your social media channels to analysing the quality of your current followers/fans.

  1. Twitter Audit – So first to Twitter Audit, This is quite a small offering in terms of information gained but very effective in getting a general idea of how many of your followers are fake and how many are real. The interface is modern, simple and easy to use, you simply enter your Twitter handle and you’re away.
  2. Tweepi – Tweepi is a great tool to use after using Twitter Audit as it enables you to wean out those fake followers notably the ones whose last tweet is listed as ‘unknown/never’ or hasn’t tweeted in years. The site gives you good insight into the quality of your followers; how many followers they have and when they last tweeted, as well as options to add them to one of your lists or unfollow them. You can also do many additional options but as part of a premium plan. Sign up or login via a Twitter account that you are already logged in with.
  3. Google Analytics – This one of course you probably already know about but do you really make good use of it? This is a really insightful tool especially for small business owners who tend to do most of the senior jobs themselves. Free to use, and once set up properly you would be able to analyse the quality of traffic coming to your website via your social media channels through the use of demographics, locations, times of day, bounce rate, click throughs and much more.
  4. Facebook Insights – Again, another tool that you probably know about and is fantastic when looked at properly; It shows you when your fans are more likely to be on Facebook so it tells you the most effective time to post. Also, a summary of your posts and the engagement it received so ultimately you can see at a glance which ones were more successful. Of course, you can see a bit more on the demographics of your audience and where they are located in addition to a lot of other bits and pieces.
  5. Twitter Analytics – Only recently have Twitter put a greater focus on analytics. Once signed in and from your Tweets page you can hover over the faded graph symbol inside each tweet to view the level of engagement; how many times a tweet has been viewed and how people have engaged; whether through Retweets, Favourites, Link Clicks.
  6. Tweetstats – This tool, although the website looks slightly suspicious, is actually a good egg and a great way of analysing other peoples accounts ie. Your competitors. Enter the twitter handle you want to analyse and wait whilst the ‘faeries work their magic’ then through the use of  lots of small but brightly coloured graphs and hashtag clouds you can see when the account is most active, what days, times and who with as well as hashtags that are most commonly used.

We hope you found this insight helpful. If there are any free tools you’ve found that you find really work for you share the knowledge and let us know in the comments below or tweet us! @carvillcreative

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.

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.

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!