Tag Archives: social media marketing

Video Still Rules In 2018!

We’re pretty much at the start of a brand new year. And while we are on the subject, I’d like to wish you a very Happy New Year – are you looking forward to 2018? I certainly am!

I predict exciting developments ahead for marketing and social media this year – and if you take a look around at those predicting which trends are likely to have an impact, they agree.

So, what are the top predictions I hear you cry! Well… the main standout so far is yet again, video – both live streaming, recorded and ads – and how ‘video’ is set to continue to dominate our social media feeds.

At the beginning of last year Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, had said, ‘I see video as a mega trend’ – and sure enough here we are 12 months down the line and video consumption continues to rise. In fact Cisco forecasts that by 2021, 82% of all consumer internet traffic will be video.  An incredible figure, but it doesn’t feel like we’re so far off that right now.

The amount of time people spend on social media continues to increase year on year – we only have to take a look at our own behaviour as well as those around us to work that out – and so the opportunities to attract and engage with new and existing customers using video are certainly set to increase.

Social Media Video

The majority of the time we spend on social media is via our mobile devices, so the battle for mobile video attention will only get tougher. And of course, whilst the platform of video is one thing, it’s the content aspect which is the all-important factor. To truly engage, content, regardless of media, has to be relevant. The challenge we as publishers face is not just about getting video views and clicks, (but that too is a factor), but primarily it’s about getting that relevant video in front of your target audience and understanding what they do after they have watched your video. Analytics in Facebook and Instagram Lives currently give you some decent indications on how many people have  viewed the video content, when, and for how long. And undoubtedly improved forms of analytics will evolve to be able to help businesses to achieve specific, and more importantly effective, business outcomes.

Jump forward a year and it will be interesting to revisit where we are with video in our feeds and indeed in our marketing and communication strategies.

Here at Carvill, whilst I love to get my musings down in written format – so too will we be picking up the pace with video. Facebook Lives, online training videos, webinars and even a podcast are all on our broadcasting horizon.

We’ll be using video for personal branding, thought leadership, training and education, how to, problem solving, FAQs, demos – it’s pretty much on the agenda to ramp up our competence and activity with video in all of these areas.   And encouraging our clients to either start or build upon their video activity.

My question to you therefore is – what you are doing around video content and how can you make video work as part of your communication strategy?

As always – any questions tweet me @michellecarvill or email michelle@carvillcreative.co.uk 

Here’s to 2018

Michelle

Michelle Carvill, business and marketing consultant, author of The Business of Being Social, speaker, founder and Director at Carvill Creative

Just finalised my third book: Get Social – Practical Strategies and Tactics for Leaders – to be published by Kogan Page in May 2018.

For information about how team Carvill can help you or your team with building meaningful connections with your audiences – simply get in touch.

Looking for conversation and support around digital marketing and social media when you need it? Become a Social Soul. Join our brand new, FREE to join Social Souls Facebook Group – the place for conversation around modern marketing, making things happen and mindset. Because… in an ever changing world of digital marketing and social media there are NO stupid questions.

STOP ‘Social Media’ RIGHT NOW!

STOP SOCIAL MEDIA NOW!You or your business may already be fully engaged with social media. All may be going brilliantly. Your social activity is a huge success. Your audiences are engaged. Your campaign and channel strategies thriving. Your ROI clear and positive. If this is the case, then STOP reading this article, as it’s not for you.

This article is for those that are frustrated with social media activity. That frustration may manifest from personally feeling that you’re not doing enough, not knowing where or how to start or that you’re just not getting the results you desire. Or it may be the case that you’re frustrated that social isn’t being given any headspace in your organisation. There isn’t any buy in from the CEO or senior management.

If you’re still reading – then right now – I want you to think differently. I want you to forget the words ‘social’ and ‘media’ – and instead, I want you to contemplate the following words:

  • Customer Engagement strategy
  • Customer communications strategy
  • Customer outreach / feedback strategy

Perhaps these words / concepts aren’t as ‘current’ as the two words we’re forgetting right now – but if you think about the bigger picture – they give a far deeper meaning to the tweets, posts and pics shared as part of ‘social’ ‘media’ activity.

Every strategy should start with the question – why? Why are we/you doing this?

This approach helps you to uncover your purpose. You can then work backwards from your purpose. Figuring out the various steps required to get there. Helping you to be specific and bring some clarity to what you’re looking to achieve via social channels.

So your question right now is Why? Why are you doing/wanting to do social media?

The answer you get then steers all that you do. If you’re doing social because it’s 2017 and that’s what all businesses now do – then I suggest you stop doing it and go back to asking the ‘why’ question. Doing social just because everyone else is – is not a strategy.

For CEOs or senior leaders that consider ‘social media’ as nothing more than a time wasting, non-direct revenue generating distraction – (whether that’s your thinking or you’re hopeful to change someone else’s thinking) – opening your eyes to the deeper meaning and talking of client / customer engagement, communication strategies, outreach / feedback strategies, can help to overcome the short-sightedness.

Social media channels are enablers. Enablers to assist you to achieve necessary client / customer / new business engagement. Used as part of an integrated campaign or channel plan, they can steer or enhance activity. You may lead some activities via social channels – or you may plug-in social to support other channel activities.

Let’s face it – without getting caught up on B2B or B2C – let’s just contemplate P2P – people to people. There are more than a billion ‘people’ logging into Facebook daily. (And that’s just Facebook – remember there are many other channels where people spend serious amounts of time). Some of them will be your customers or your potential customers. If social media is where your customers are – then shouldn’t you be building the channels into your communication / engagement plans?

If you’ve got stuck in your thinking of what social is and why you do or don’t do social media – I ask you to step back and really answer the ‘why’ question from a strategic perspective. And then do a bit of a business reality check to address any potential gaps:

  • What’s your customer engagement plan / program?
  • How do you actively listen to what customers are saying about you / your business?
  • Where do you source ideas for relevant and engaging content?
  • How do you engage those customers/prospective customers who are active on social channels?
  • Is there an integrated communications strategy in place?

To those that still think of ‘social media’ as activities which are not business critical, then calling these important endeavours ‘social media’ – isn’t really doing anyone any favours.

So stop calling it social media – and step into the bigger picture.

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. For information about how the team at Carvill can help you – simply get in touch or visit our website.

 

Facebook Live Streaming – What is it and how do I make the most of it?

Facebook Live is a valuable new addition to the thriving and liveliest social network of them all.

Whilst other video streaming services already exist  – Periscope, Meerkat and Blab – there’s no doubt that with 1.65 billion active monthly users – the sheer scale of users gives Facebook Live all it needs to dominate the live streaming space.

So, what is Live Streaming?

Pretty much what is says it is. In just the same way you can post a status update or photo or pre recorded video to you Facebook newsfeed, you can now stream in real time.

How do I start my own live broadcast?

Creating your own live broadcast is really simple.

Go to your Facebook App (you’re probably going to be recording via your mobile – right?).

When you click on ‘Status’ – to create a post – you’ll see in the bottom menu bar to the right of the camera icon, a person in a circle – broadcast icon.

Facebook Live 2

Simply click the icon – and you’ll be taken to a screen where you can type a Title / Description for your broadcast – and you can choose who you want to see the video – ie: friends / public etc.

Then all that’s left for you to do is select the Go Live option.

Facebook Live 1

But that’s the simple bit…

So whilst setting it up and getting started is pretty simple – of course, if you’re going to be using this feature to assist with marketing your business or brand – then as with all other marketing activity you do, you really do need to do a little planning and prep.

After all – during the broadcast there’s plenty of opportunity for people to interact with your video – not only will you see a viewer count but you’ll also see the live comments and reactions.

So you if you’re doing the broadcast as a marketing activity, rather than simply a spontaneous live stream of an amazingly talented busker – then you will want to make sure as many people as possible know about the broadcast. And of course the broadcast lives on.

Once you’re streaming live – to finish the broadcast you simply hit the “Finish” button. The video will then be posted to your timeline, so those who may have missed out on the live broadcast can view it at their leisure.

You’ll also be able to save the video to your camera roll.

So you’ve got this great, simple way to record live video and have video saved to your timeline – to share with all that visit. And of course, there’s the opportunity to do some Facebook Advertising and  ‘BOOST’ your Facebook posts to broaden the reach of your content too.   So, with all that in mind – let’s look at some ideas for great content and tips to drive engagement and make your broadcasts really work for you.

Broadcasting Tips and Ideas

  • If you want more people to see your video – consider tagging friends you think would be interested when typing the video description. This will send them an instant notification alerting them to tune in. And of course, if they share it to their friends whilst streaming – the broadcast audience just got a whole lot wider.
  •  Another method is to post a Facebook status update telling friends that you’re going live at a certain time.  We suggest offering at least a days’ notice – close enough so that people will remember but also enough time to make sure they don’t miss it. It may even be that you set up a ‘regular’ broadcast slot.  For example – Small Business Marketing Tips at 10am every Tuesday.  As mentioned earlier – Facebook Ads are available for you to promote your broadcasts too – if you want more people to tune in – then in just the same way you would promote an event,  promote your Facebook Live via ads.  And of course, there are lots of other channels you can use to promote the broadcast too – Twitter, email to name just two.
  • There are so many stats advising us that engagement rates online are short. That our attention span has waned and now all videos must be short and to the point – as users are likely to drop off after just 30 seconds.  Whilst this may be the case – there’s definitely evidence to show that when a user is engaged with relevant and purposeful content – they will stick around.  Most TV programs are minimum 30 mins as are the majority of podcasts.  So perhaps it’s not about our attention span but our interest span.  It’s interesting that Facebook Live enables you to broadcast for up to 90 minutes – that’s more than you get on any other channel.   Our recommendation is that you test engagement levels – start to see when people drop out – the platform is as yet too new to provide any robust insights into what the optimum Facebook Live broadcast looks like. So for now – test and measure.

Content ideas:

Engagement is all about the content – and if the content is relevant to the audience, they’ll stick around and hopefully, come back for more.  There’s so many directions you can go with your broadcast – here are just a few ideas for you to consider:

  • Interviews with people in your organisation.  There will be expertise within your business – whether it’s the CEO, marketing team, customer service team, practitioners or IT gurus – there is useful knowledge to share.  Interviewing ‘experts’ about practical things – talking through some FAQs or tips and advice – interviewing people not only provides some useful content, but also gives some insight into your team and who they are. After all – people do business with people. And it’s a great way to build trust and for people to see the ‘whites’ of the expert’s eyes.
  • Product updates. It may be that you’ve just added a new feature to a product – perfect opportunity to showcase live exactly what’s changed – and the benefits. Often things are tricky to communicate via the written word – are far simpler in video show and tell – perfect opportunity to use live streaming.
  • Events. If the event is live then why not broadcast it. This means that even those delegates that couldn’t make the actual physical event – can still attend ‘live’ – via Facebook Live.  It doesn’t have to be the whole event – it may just be the keynote speech you want to share and capture.
  • Behind the scenes. Perfect for sharing insights as to what’s going on behind the scenes – could very well be just a regular day in the office – or some new artwork that’s arrives, the new office dog, new décor, new layout, before and after etc – the possibilities are vast.

Practice Makes Perfect

And finally, live streaming is live streaming.  The charm of live streaming is the ‘real time’ relaxed and very ‘human’ aspect of it – so you don’t want to ‘over’ polish it. However, at the same time, you don’t want to switch people off by having a camera that’s jumping all over the place causing mild vertigo, dodgy sound so that your content is illegible and odd camera angles which only showcase your forehead.

It’s worth putting in a little bit of practice so that you know that you’ve got a good ‘shot’.  Perhaps use a tripod – and experiment with different backgrounds / settings etc . Again, depending on your objective – then the prep will be different.

So that’s it – hopefully, a relatively simple explanation on how to get started – and some useful ideas and pointers.

Look forward to seeing some of your Facebook Live streams – simply tag me in and I’m there…

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.

Terrified of Twitter? – 5 Reasons to Fall in Love with my Favourite Social Network

Lately I’ve had several opportunities to speak to groups of people about their social media activity.

When I’m testing where people are with social – and asking which channels they’re using – Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest and LinkedIn are always commonplace. So what about Twitter?

Twitter always seems to be the one that most people have the biggest challenge with. In fact when I dig around a little, it appears that for those that have never ventured onto Twitter – there’s genuine ‘fear’ of doing so.

I’ve been a huge Twitter fan for about 7 years now. For me – it’s just got better and better. Sure – you still get people talking about their lunch, cats and other potentially irrelevant stuff. But if you can see past the noise – let me showcase just 5 things that may tempt you to give it a go. (I could give you many more reasons than 5 – but I try to keep my blogs short ;)).

Two blue bird, dove, pigeon on speech bubble.

Why I love Twitter

1)    It’s a brilliant network

Twitter is an incredibly useful platform to connect with people. When I was writing my first book – I needed to get permissions from a significant number of people and organisations.

Faced with the task – I immediately took to Twitter. Using Google search and Twitter’s search, it was a relatively simple task to locate the people I needed to speak to and tweet them. Before I knew it – I had made relevant connections, was able to grab further contact details and continue our conversations in a far more effective way.

I remember being really surprised at just how many people responded to questions and requests I was making. People that really ‘get’ Twitter – understand that it’s about building relationships – it’s a two way conversation. Of course there’s a whole load of people, brands and businesses on Twitter simply using it as a publishing platform. Pushing out noise about themselves to irrelevant audiences and never listening or engaging – but, that’s not using Twitter smartly.

If you set out to build relationships and have authentic and useful conversations – then Twitter is a highly effective platform. Checkout the regular Thursday chat #TwitterSmarter – where conversations happen each week about the best use of Twitter.

2)    It’s real time

Twitter is the place where you can find out about pretty much anything – in real time and immediately see what other people think too. News tends to break on Twitter first.  You can see topics that are trending and join in conversations.

3)    Search function is ace

Just as 59 million of us in the UK are dependent on Google search – I am equally dependent on Twitter search. The search function on Twitter enables you to type in any keyword or string of keywords to see what’s going on in the Twittersphere – right now. There are of course more sophisticated ways of using Twitter search – in much the same way as Boolean search for Google. Where you can be specific about location, person, words etc. Take a look here for more if you’re keen to do some smart digging around..

4) I can tune in to exactly what I want

Twitter connects me to the people, publishers, brands and influencers I want to hear from. I have total choice as to what I tune into. It’s interesting that more than 40% of people on Twitter have never even sent a tweet. They’re not on the platform to talk or network – but rather just to tune in to the newsfeeds they’re interesting in.

When you want to tune into your favourite celeb, footballer, artist, author – or want to be entertained by the latest tweets from comedians or writers – it’s highly likely they’re on Twitter sharing their news by the minute.

From a business perspective, you can tune into what’s happening in your landscape, trade press, influencers – even competitors – and of course, your clients / customers too.

The beauty of Twitter is that you can tune in – by following someone – and if what they’re saying doesn’t fit for you – then you simply tune out – by unfollowing them. The choice is yours.

5. It’s short, simple and to the point

When I first encountered Twitter all those years ago – I do remember thinking – huh – what nonsense. How can people have conversations in 140 characters. But those clever silicon valley boys knew what they were doing. The fact that Twitter is so succinct and to the point – is one of it’s finest qualities. The feed is easily scannable – and if you’re interested in something and there’s a link – you can easily go off piste for a bit – explore and then come back.

And if you don’t have time to read the bigger picture – then you can simply – favourite it and come back to it when you do have time.

So that’s it – just 5 of the reasons why I love Twitter. If you haven’t explore Twitter yet – then perhaps start by simply tuning in to the stuff you’re interested in.  And if you’re on there but not quite sure it’s working for you – check out the many Twitter articles on this blog – to optimise your presence.

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.

Social Media – What’s the Real ROI?

Zig Ziglar - Those that aim for nothing quote

Whilst we can all get bogged down in ‘doing the doing’ – I find it so rewarding and energising when I take the time to get out and about to talk to people.

The last couple of months have seen me doing a number of talks – all about a similar and popular  topic.

February saw me talking at The Chelsea Design Club about the practicalities of making social work for design businesses.  Early March I joined Robert Harding at The Photographer’s Gallery to speak to a room of photographers about ‘getting social’.  And just last week I joined the team at LinkedIn in the UK HQ to talk about social and ROI – and last week I joined Richmond Event’s Digital Marketing Forum – again, focusing on ROI.

There’s no doubt about it – social media ROI is indeed a hot topic.

So, what’s the magic ROI formula? What should people be measuring and what should they expect to see?

Of course, in all realms of digital marketing we’ve got data coming out of our data. Big data truly exists – and there are dashboards a plenty that will enable us to track our customer’s every move.

As a marketer, I do love data – BUT I only ‘truly’ love and respect data that is really useful.

Measuring what matters

And so that brings me to what I consider is really key for measuring ROI when it comes to social media.

I love the saying by Zig Ziglar – ‘Those that aim for nothing hit it with remarkable accuracy’.  And I find this is particularly true when it comes to measuring what matters with social.

With social channels, you get a lot of data – much of which is highly visible. Followers, retweets, shares, engagement etc – and of course we can be measuring these aspects. But to really understand social media ROI – I believe you really have to be very clear on what it is you are looking to achieve at the outset.

It’s common knowledge that it’s unusual for social channels to behave as direct marketing channels – so sales directly achieved via Facebook and Twitter are unlikely to be anywhere near as direct as from other sources. So stating that you want 50 direct sales is potentially unrealistic (however, this does depend on activities and sector).

So, it’s about being realistic about what can be achieved via social and where social makes an impact. The wonderful Gary Vaynerchuk  aligns social media ROI with the brilliant question, ‘What’s the ROI of your mother?’ – however, whilst I agree with much of what Gary V states – I do believe that there are some practical ways to measure social media ROI.

To review some of the more practical aspects of social activity:

  • Increase Brand Awareness
    • Here you may very well be asking:
    • Are we growing relevant followers? Note that relevant is a key word here.
  • Establish Credibility and Trust
    • Are we getting endorsements/shares from influential people?
    • How is our audience responding to these influencers?
    • Are those influencers extending the reach of our audience?
  •  Connect with your Audience
    • Is your audience responding well to your content?
    • Is the content you share encouraging engagement?
    • What levels of shares, reach and discussion is our content achieving?
  • Find New Leads/Drive Sales
    • Is social activity bringing people back to your website?
    • Have we achieved a certain amount of sign ups / downloads etc.
    • How is social helping us to convert to sales / customers?

The above areas are by no means the only aspects you need to be considering – each campaign activity you undertake will have it’s own objectives. For example: you may set a target of partnering with 10 key influencers in your space – or connecting with influential bloggers.  Once you have identified metrics that really matter – and have set off with the end in mind. Then, and only then, can you have any idea whether or not your endeavours are truly hitting the targets. (Remember, what Zig said – right!).

Having objectives at the outset can really steer your activity:

I have a very simple ‘let’s clarify objectives’ model:

  • What does success look like? What objectives / outcomes are we looking to achieve?
  • What metrics / evidence do we need so that we can measure progress?
  • What discipline will we apply to ensure we are continuously monitoring and learning?

Of course, these aspects don’t just apply to social – and once you know what it is that you want to achieve – and what those metrics / indicators look like – you can even start to apply a monetary value to them so that you can you work out exactly what ROI looks like.

Let’s create a rudimentary example to clarify the £ point:

Let’s say landing a guest blog on a pre identified influential blog has a monetary value to you of say, £500.   If you therefore set a target of 5 such guest blogs over the quarter – then if you achieve the target – the monetary value (return) is £2500.  Make sense?

In the world of social media – finding return on investment is possible – particularly if you have set out with very clear objectives.  Therefore, don’t just dive in an engage – before you do – remember to do your planning and set out those objectives – start with the end in mind.

That way – measuring the ROI of social is a whole lot simpler.

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.

5 Pinterest Tips To Put Into Practice

Pinterest is now one of the fastest growing social media platforms – but there are still many business owners not using it!

We encourage all businesses – especially those who are product based, to be on Pinterest. Not only does the platform allow you to save creative ideas, but it’s also brilliant for small businesses that need to reach millions of people easily.

I love pin + interest

In order to improve your engagement on Pinterest and get even more exposure, we’ve put together a few strategies for you to start using:

  1. Pin content that isn’t just your own

If you’re pinning other users content, it gets the attention of the original pinner and shows everyone that you’re an authentic, active member of the Pinterest community.

  1. Don’t use hashtags – use rich pins

Instead of using hashtags, try using rich descriptions to make your content more searchable. Remember, details are key – but don’t make it too long – you want your audience to be able to pick up content quickly and easily.

  1. Create pin it for later links

Just created a new blog post? A great thing that people are now doing on Pinterest is creating a ‘pin it for later’ board. By giving your readers the option to ‘pin the post for later,’ the reader can easily pin your blog post to their ‘read it later’ board on their own Pinterest account.  This gives your audience a different an easy way to catch up with your content.

  1. Use rich pins

Rich pins are an excellent way to make your content stand out and give your products more visibility. Rich pins means that you are able to pull extra information right on the pin itself.

  1. Be consistent

Like other social media channels, a consistent sharing strategy is vital to get more exposure, followers and re-pins. The best strategies behind Pinterest engagement is to pin as much as possible – when you can.

Once you’ve put these simple steps into place you should start to see more engagement on your Pinterest account. Feel free to share your experience or ask any questions by tweeting us @carvillcreative.

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.

5 Ways To Integrate Social Media into your Events

Looking at ways to integrate social media into your events? Then this post looks at 5 simple things to consider to keep the conversation bubbling, before, during and after your event.

1)     Get connected. When taking bookings for your event – be sure give delegates the opportunity to share their social media account details with you. For example, when you ask for their email address, why not ask for their Twitter handle too. This way you can connect with them directly – keep them updated on what’s going to be happening at the event – even ask questions about what they’re looking forward to etc – before the event has even started.

2)     Brand with a hashtag. Create a hashtag for your event so that you can easily get everyone attending or engaged with the event in any other way connected – pre, during and post the event.  You can print the # on promo materials, ask speakers to include on all their slides, use for promotional purposes – eg: getting user generated content from attendees etc – the opportunities are endless. Of course, when creating your # do some research to see if anyone else has used it before – keep it short and memorable and, no brainer – relevant.

3)     Showcase social activity. It was no surprise that at the recent Digital Shoreditch event, there were some really innovative and highly practical uses of social media activity at play.  Speakers were encouraged to share their Twitter handles so that everyone could interact with them during talks, and at the beginning of every talk they encouraged audiences to talk to them and connect.  Plus there was a fabulous contraption; The Social Stock ticker

FullSizeRender (1) FullSizeRender

tracking and printing out (good old bus conductor ticket styley) all tweets using the event hashtag #ds15.  And of course, there were Twitter boards showcasing conversations alongside the main presentation screens. Lots of engagement, lots of content to retweet, share, use in follow ups.

4)     Create a social database. Back to the hashtag again – simply create a Twitter list of all the people that engaged with the event – either those that used the hashtag or mentioned the event name or retweeted etc. This way, the next time you run the event, you can let them all know that event 2016 is taking place via Twitter.  Create an open list and everyone else can see who else connected with the event –useful as part of networking opportunities.

5)     Continuous conversations. So we’ve talked about what to do to capture audience, talk to them and engage during the event. What about after the event? Give delegates a reason to stay connected – perhaps slides are going to be shared into Twitter following the event, or video footage which they may be highlighted in, or there’s going to be Q&A sessions over on Facebook with some of the speakers – so share your questions with us.

So that’s just 5 ideas you an use to integrate social media into your event activities – I’m sure there are many others that you could come up with – if so, feel free to share them with us – we’re all ears… @carvillcreative

 

@Michelle Carvill founder of Carvill Creative – a digital marketing and social media agency based in Maidenhead, Berkshire and London.

 

 

 

Anybody there – and if so, do you care? The Importance of using Social Media Channels Effectively

hearandear

It was interesting to read a recent report stating that whilst many PR organisations are now including social media channels as part of PR activity for their clients, the way in which they are using them isn’t as optimised as it could be.

The critical flaw highlighted in the report – is the use of social media channels purely as broadcast channels. Pushing out updates, notices, press releases and news – good old traditional marketing methodology pushed into a conversational platform.  But surely effective conversations are meant to be two way – otherwise it’s not a conversation, it’s just noise.

And it’s not just some PR organisations that are getting this wrong.  We see activity on the social channels day to day where there’s a lot of ‘talking at’ going on – but not much listening and engaging.

Each time we see this, it breaks our little hearts – as social media channels are perfect resources for engaging with people.  Used effectively, they are wonderful channels to engage in authentic conversations, to compel others to connect and share content or your ideas, extending reach and brand awareness – and yet, even though these channels have now been around for a number of years – we continue to see masses of lost opportunity.

Perfect example of pushing yet not listening

For example, we were recently working on a campaign for a client that meant we were tracking a range of keywords to research relevant conversations. In doing this, we uncovered that the PR company working on the campaign (and again, not just getting at PR companies here –  there are some PR companies that do social exquisitely) – whilst they were sharing updates on social platforms around a campaign, they were not actually geared up to follow up on any engagement. This meant that questions were being asked, people were asking for more info, where they could find products in which stores etc – and yet no one was engaging. The channel was purely being used to broadcast – nothing more.

My question to you therefore is – are you listening? And if so – is that listening effective? Don’t just plan a campaign and set up a tweet bank to push out a whole bunch of timely tweets – that’s not social, that’s broadcast.  Focus your campaign on engagement.  Ask the questions:

  • How are you going to engage?
  • How are you going to encourage engagement?
  • How are you going to get the conversations started?
  • How are you going to keep conversations continuing?
  • How are you going to track conversations?
  • How often?
  • Who’s listening in?

Basic questions – but all too often this critical aspect is missing from social activity.

Listening is part of being social – let’s not forget that.

 

As always follow us on Twitter to stay up to date with social media news and tips @carvillcreative

 

@MichelleCarvill founder of Carvill Creative – a digital marketing and social media agency based in Maidenhead, Berkshire and London.

CASE STUDY: Luxury brand Burberry ahead of the competition with digital innovation

Image Taken From Burberry Website
Image Taken From Burberry Website

When it comes to digital there are a whole load of possibilities with how retail brands can choose to approach the area and how creative they can be.

This is a beautiful space that can offer brands the chance to shine and think out of the box in terms of marketing to their consumers. Where we are now is that the platforms themselves have developed hugely and social advertising is becoming more popular.

Brands are also making greater use of newer social media platforms like Snapchat which offers marketers a chance to target the younger consumer through images and short videos.

There are many good examples of retailers embracing social media and creating really good and creative content on a regular basis – Burberry is a great example of what could be achieved when digital is fully embraced. Not just placing themselves where their target audience is online but also engaging with them in a way that can open up a whole new shopping experience.

This post is based around a recent news article headline which said;

“Rival luxury brands have yet to catch up with Burberry on digital innovation”

So…. we thought it would be a good chance to analyse why they have done so well and see what sort of strategy they have in place.

Speaking to analysts for the company’s trading update for the last six months, Carol Fairweather acknowledged that rival brands were spending more on digital, but said Burberry’s “embedded” approach was a cut above the rest.

“Digital is embedded right through the organisation in everything we do. So yes, other people are beginning to invest in digital, but have they got the same advantage to the fact that it’s absolutely embedded in everything?”

This isn’t just a boastful statement, the financial figures speak for themselves;

  • Burberry have seen an exceptional rise in sales being “almost 14% higher than the rest of the luxury fashion market”
  • As well as accrediting a 9% year-on-year sales bump to their personalised efforts in this area.

And Carol Fairweather is right about another thing, it is literally embedded into everything; from the Company culture – 70% of the London HQ are aged 30 and under and are all encouraged to peruse Social Media on a daily basis. CEO Christopher Bailey often publishes webinars to all staff on how the company is doing and what creative initiatives are coming up next.

The stores themselves are digitally integrated; with digital chips around the store that activate as the consumer moves through the store, kicking off catwalk shows and fashion displays on mirrors.

Christopher Bailey (CEO And Chief Creative Officer) used an interesting choice of words when he said that he had wanted to ‘weave digital into the fabric of the business’.

From the conception of their first Facebook page in 2009 to having a presence on Google+,Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, Instagram, Youtube and now Snapchat and by being present on all these different channels, the company have managed to harness the attention of their key target market.

Burberry have approached social media in the way they probably would when creating a new fashion piece; Taking an item and turning it into the best it can possibly be. They use social media to provide, behind the scenes footage, discussions with Christopher Bailey and live stream runway shows, giving followers an intimate insight into the brand.

In an interview with GQ Christopher Bailey said of the company digital approach;

“We had realised that we had created a lot of platforms that only exist online so we decided we had to bring these to life. Our approach to the store was to make a bridge between the online and offline experience. Today I think we’re less concerned about where we actually shop, and more concerned about the experience we have while we’re shopping.”

Through these activities it is clear that Burberry have fully embraced innovative marketing techniques and as a result have managed to almost blur the boundary between its online environment and physical stores by providing followers an all-round digital experience by marrying technology and retail environment in a fascinating, creative and intrinsic way.

At the time of writing, Burberry are due to launch a special Snapchat series from LA and all week have provided followers with short video teasers by Fashion Models Naomi Campbell, Jourdan Dunn and Cara Delavigne introducing the upcoming segment.

So it’s easy to see why Burberry have been so successful! By sharing so much with their special online fans they have managed to keep up with the modern digital age and in turn boost their profits too.

We look forward to keeping an eye on Burberry and how they embrace the newer social media networks and what creative they come up with!

As always leave a comment below and if you have any questions about how to market your business online using Social Media then you can drop us a tweet @CarvillCreative

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

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.

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 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.

pinterest 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • 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.

pinterest 3

 

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!