Tag Archives: social media management

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!

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.’

sponsor 1

 

 

 

 

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.’

sponsor 2

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.

sponsor 3



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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’.

sponsor 4

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

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

Happy Sponsoring Folks!

Do You Know Who Your Competition Is On Social Media?

competitors
Carvill Creative Competition

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

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

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

  1. Learn From Their Mistakes

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

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

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

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

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

  1. Find Out What Content Works Best

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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!

Are you truly prepared when communications ‘kick back’ on Social Media?

Not so long ago – my colleague, friend and co-author, @DavidTaylor kindly created a Guest Blog sharing insights related to effective media relations and brand protection. Media Relations and Brand Protection in a Social Media Age.

Being prepared for any kick back on social media is now critical. social media guidelines, social media relations, social media advice

And yet, organisations often go about sending communications to their audiences without considering the question – ‘Is this communication likely to get any
‘kick back’ in the social media space and if so what ‘lines do we take’.  Seems simple enough – but let’s just break this down:

  1. The social media communication channels require a watchful eye and speed to response. Therefore, you’d need to ‘man up’ the resources for watching, listening and responding during.  If you know you are expecting some recourse – then you’d be watching and listening to what’s happening and responding as quickly as possible.
  2.  How to respond? What are the official ‘lines to take’?  Have you got some key personnel on hand to act as the ‘Press Officer’ into the social media community team so that they can a direct link to be able to query any specific issues?  Or have you pre-prepared official statements from the CEO (or other relevant responses) – so that you have questions to answers, or responses to kick back from an official source.

Recently, I was witness to a campaign where social wasn’t considered – and without naming names or going into too much detail – here’s what happened.

Case Study:

Company A needed to communicate a change in their policy to their audience (about 60,000 people). The changes to the policy were quite complex and could easily have been misconstrued.

A rather lengthy (as it had to be due to sector regulations) was communicated via mail to their audience. With the call to action to call if there were any questions.  The call support team were briefed in to deal with any questions.

The mailer hit.

The social media community management team didn’t know anything about it!

Kickback on Twitter and Facebook (usual places people use for complaints, comments etc) started happening. Lots of anger was vented at the changes.

The social media community management team very quickly realised that these were not one offs and quickly realised,  due to the scale of kick back, there was clearly some mass communication that had hit.

The team dealt with it in a professional way – and very quickly got to grips with the bigger picture.

Created a direct line of comms into the senior leadership team so they too were briefed in on ‘lines to take’ – bringing clarity to some of the elements that had clearly been misconstrued and pacifying an angry audience.

BE PREPARED

The social media team – front line voice of the business, were not made aware of the communication.

We see this happening all the time – lack of ‘joined up’ communications leads to confusion, frustration and  in a social and transparent space – can make an organisation look plain stupid.

Had they been informed – they would have been prepared with lines to take, knowledge about the likely questions to respond to.

 

  • KEY LESSONS
  • Communications have to be joined up.  It’s as bad as sending out a marketing promotion and not telling the front line telesales team about it. When someone calls talking about the promotion – the telesales person is left thinking ‘I don’t know anything about this’.  Poor.
  • If you are sharing key news – be sure that everyone who needs to know about it, knows about it.
  • Ask the question – do we expect any ‘kick back’ on this – and if so – prepare ‘lines to take’.
  • Ensure that front line team have a direct link into senior comms/management so that they can quickly access any  specific information they may require.

 

@Michelle Carvill is owner and Marketing Director at Carvill Creative – the online visibility experts. A digital marketing and design agency based in Maidenhead, Berkshire.  The agency covers all aspects of marketing strategy and online visibility – covering social media marketing and social media training, user focused website planning and conversion focused website design.

Want to talk to the team at Carvill Creative about your social media activity or training needs? We’re happy to chat, so simply ‘get in touch’.

Finally, why not download our useful Social Media Marketing Planner and Marketing Plan. They’re totally free to download and use.