Three top tips to give your Social Media content the recipe for success

February 11, 2013

73% of consumers prefer to read articles, rather than advertisements, to find out more. So it’s vital that your Social Media Content has the right mix of ingredients.Cook small

To make sure that your Social Communications are timely, interesting and relevant, follow these three top tips:

1. Keep the latest news trends on your radar. Use the BBC news App., or check your LinkedIn homepage, to check the latest news/comment/trends and where you can, ride on the wave.

For example if you rear the cattle and prepare the meat that goes into the burgers and pies that you make, now would be a very good time to tell the world about it.

2. Make sure your team understand that a responsibility of their role is to identify content.

They don’t need to write it, simply establish the latest topics customers and prospects are talking about. Have a process in place to encourage and reward staff participation.

3. Look at the world from the perspective of keywords. Explore topics where you would like to be associated with the readership. What are the key search words that identify these topics?

Use these words, within your content, to create a bridge to them through the search engines, connecting what you write with this audience?

An application like ‘Wordle’ can be of great help here.

These three ideas will help keep your Social Media content, tasty and fresh.

Something to think about when you are enjoying your pancakes, tomorrow evening, on Shrove Tuesday.

Jonathan Wainwright enables organisations to create commercial success through digital marketing, traditional communications and team development.

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Creating your Social Marketing Plan

January 21, 2013

iStock_000022200278LargeA conversation with an NLP/Hypnotherapy coach got me thinking. Here was an expert at creating dialogue – it’s what coaches do – yet she was very uncertain about the dialogue of Social Media.

 

 

So, this article is to unravel the irony/marketing speak and explain the top four areas to focus on.

  1. Establish who you want to talk to: this might be all or a combination of prospects, customers, media, referrers, influencers or other stakeholder. Define the characteristics of each group and create a fictional character to represent them, so that you can create a lifelike picture of their likes/dislikes, wants/needs/interests etc. This way you can really get to know them as people
  2. What it is you want to accomplish? This might be to get customers to come back for more, convince referrers and stakeholders that you are the best in your field, or get people to seek your opinion. Overlay this onto each group of people that you wish to reach. Don’t confuse this with selling and promotional offers; Social Media isn’t about overtly ‘selling’, it’s much more about informative two-way conversation and keeping in touch
  3. Where will you find the people that you wish to have a dialogue with? Using the search functions, check out the various Social Media, to see if you can find content around your topic of interest or people you want to have a dialogue with. I would start with LinkedIn, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. For the time being focus on these, expand to other media such as Pinterest as you gain confidence.
  4. Establish topics that will interest your audience and activity to stimulate dialogue that can be measured? This might be content to place you as an expert, ‘personality’ or commentator, or hints and tips for self-help, communicated through video segment, podcast, blog or e-book, measured by number of viewers, downloads, comments etc.

As with most things, keep it simple and manageable, don’t be too ambitious. Constantly test what you do. Have a plan. Publish regularly, making it interesting, different and topical and you will soon be enjoying Social Media success.

Jonathan Wainwright enables organisations to create commercial success through digital marketing, traditional communications and team development.

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Do your Marketing materials use the power of Emotional Intelligence?

July 9, 2012

It used to be that using FAB’s (features, advantages and benefits) was the way to effectively promote to achieve sales. Today, things have changed. Psychology has upped the game by identifying how Emotional Intelligence also has a role to play too.

Jonathan WainwrightIt’s all about the emotion that is associated with a customer’s needs.

Take these cakes.

They look pretty and attractive and probably aren’t that nutritious or healthy to eat, yet they sell well because when they are seen, they raise strong emotions in many people.

It’s this emotional reaction that makes them attractive and what makes them sell and in demand; nothing to do with food at all.

So, when it comes to working out why people buy from you, it’s not just about the benefits your product or service provides, it’s also about establishing the key emotional triggers that are most motivational to your customers and prospects.

Get this right and you will create your most powerful marketing ever.

So, remember to take Emotional Intelligence into account when researching why your customers buy.

Make sure that you identify their ‘Wants and Worries’ and then make sure that the benefits that your product or service provides supports these emotional needs.

If they don’t, you could lose out to your competitors, even though you might clearly provide a better service on paper.

Apple is the master of taking this approach, that’s why Apple users are so passionate about the company and its products.

Take a leaf out of Apple’s book. When you do, and use Emotional Intelligence to market your products, you will find out that you really can have your cake and eat it.

Jonathan Wainwright enables organisations to create commercial success through digital marketing, traditional communications and team development.

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Do you know where your Social Media Opportunity lies?

June 8, 2012

Social Media is a big new world of opportunity to explore, but where’s the best place to start the journey?

The statistics surrounding Social Media are mind boggling. However I consider this one to be the most telling, as recommendation has always been the most effective way to achieve sales….

“56% of consumers say that they are more likely to recommend a brand after becoming a (facebook) fan”.  (Source Digital buzz).

This really highlights the power of Social Media and the crucial importance of getting behind it and embracing this new media.

Because it is new, it is often misunderstood and dismissed as a fad, which it isn’t.

Personally, I believe the three key aspects of Social Media to consider are that…

  1. It isn’t primarily about selling; it’s about creating a new type of dialogue, centred around freedom of expression that can then lead to customers buying from you
  2. It isn’t free. It requires time, effort and skill to navigate the journey and to develop and nurture an audience to effectively develop a relationship with them
  3. Despite the bad press in some quarters, it has an integral role to play with every business and organisation; from smallest to largest. Like the telephone, email, letter and meeting, it is a basic business tool!

These are also the three basic principles that FCG Consultancy’s SMO process is built around.

This is why it provides a quick, simple and cost effective way to identify how Social Media can be of benefit to you and how you can take advantage of what it has to offer, without creating a time or money soak.

So how does FCG’s SMO process work?

The goal is to quantify the impact, cost and return that Social Media could bring to your organisation.

This is achieved through a combination of questionnaires, interviews, workshop and desk research to create a ‘Snapshot’ of your business, from the perspective of owners, staff and selected customers.

We ask what it is they like about you, what it is that makes you stand out from the crowd and what you could do better.

We assess the resources open to you.

Then we combine this information with our marketing, communications, business development and social media knowledge, to identify for you a top level Social Media strategy that is both manageable and focussed on achieving the objectives identified through our consultations.

The result is a valuable 10 page white paper, specific to your business. This will help you to gain insights into how you can start and develop a Social Media dialogue to build customer loyalty that, in turn, will lead to increased sales.

Does that sound like a good plan?

For SME’s and charities, for orders placed before 1st July, the cost of this service starts at just ‘£295.

It comes with a 7 day money back guarantee. So you can be 100% confident that you will be getting the information you need to act upon or it won’t cost you a penny.

To place your order please contact Jonathan Wainwright by phone on 07971 006 446, or by email to jonathan@fcgconsultancy.co.uk

‘Terms and conditions apply, you can download a full proposal HERE.

Jonathan Wainwright enables organisations to create commercial success through digital marketing, traditional communications and team development.

Join me on Twitter and LinkedIn.

 

 

 


Do you have a Social Media Funnel?

April 16, 2012

The majority of businesses understand where their sales come from and what they spend to achieve them, yet often when it comes to Social Media they have little idea of the impact or costs. Usually because one of the attractions is that it’s ‘Free’.

And that’s a major issue, because Social Media isn’t actually ‘Free’. The cost comes from the regular time needed to establish an appropriate strategy and then to implement it via this relatively new channel.

Let me paint a picture of what can happen. It all starts in a blaze of youthful passion and enthusiasm – the team will sort out the strategy later. The ‘Blogs’ up and running, Facebook and Twitter accounts are opened and posts made daily, the YouTube viral is uploaded and LinkedIn profiles are 100% and relevant groups joined and conversations started.

Then a few weeks later the shine starts to fade and interest wanes.

Either relevant followers haven’t appeared or website traffic has stayed the same and enquiries are static despite hours of effort. And then it dawns that all this time has been spent chasing nothing. A big hole has been dug. And what’s worse, the organisation is trapped on the Social Media treadmill as stopping now could have a potentially damaging impact on existing customers and prospects amongst the followers and fans. A vicious circle has been created.

But it doesn’t have to be this way; there is a better way to manage Social Media. A Social Media Funnel is part of a strategy that involves and uses all the company’s staff, expertise and resources in a consistent and clear manner to create the required leverage.

Plan your strategy first, then you can identify and measure metrics that confirm you are achieving your goals. When you can do this, you will know that you are creating appropriate consumer interaction for building your business and have a great Social Media Funnel in place.

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Achieve the best impact using Video within your Digital Marketing?

January 23, 2012

If you don’t currently use video, then you won’t be getting traffic from the next most powerful search engine after Google. Here are 5 top tips to make sure that you benefit from the power of moving media.

Video is an incredibly popular Media; the stats show phenomenal growth.

For example, You Tube has over 48 hours of content uploaded every minute and 2 billion viewers daily. And video sharing sites such as Blip and Vimeo are growing exponentially as well, such is the hunger for new video content.

That’s the background, so the question to ask is, “How can I benefit from video and this high level of interest”?

These 5 top tips will make sure you get a great start.

  1. How do you best present what you do? You need a strategy, one which you can develop and grow. Videos tend to be instructional, informative or entertaining – so think about how to communicate what you do in a way that catches the viewer’s interest. Blendtec Blenders provides a great example. In their “Will it Blend, that is the question?” series, they blend a whole series of seemingly ‘Unblendable’ items, to demonstrate the strength and durability of their product in a humorous and light hearted way. Their Blend an iPad video has had nearly 13.5M You Tube hits, creating a phenomenal sales success for them.
  2. Establish how best to share it. Make sure that your video is syndicated across the appropriate sites and embed links in your other Social Media activities. Sites such as Vimeo, Blip.tv etc should have uploaded video in a format that allows the viewer easy access and the appropriate quality.
  3. Make it snappy. Video is a fast moving medium. Viewers can quickly get bored if the video isn’t to the point and the pace is too slow. So start with something simple and to the point. If you need longer, then split it up into chapters.
  4. Make it professional. We are all professional TV viewers, because most of us watch high quality productions on the TV every day! That’s the bench mark to achieve and ‘Home Movies’ rarely cut it. If the production qualities of your video are poor, then that is how your viewers will perceive your business, service or product  to be, so leave ‘Home Movies’ for friends and family.
  5. Include a call to action. Whether that’s to sign up as a friend, a request to follow a blog or Twitter handle, or a call to purchase, give the viewer clear instructions as to what to do next, otherwise you will lose them forever.

I have project managed several TV campaigns and used video extensively within Social Media. So when you are considering this area, I would be happy to share my knowledge with you.

Jonathan Wainwright enables organisations to create commercial success through digital marketing, traditional communications and team development.

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What is Social Media Optimisation?

January 16, 2012

It’s quite clear what Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is all about, but what is SMO?

Now that Social Media is here to stay, the question that arises is, “How can we use it effectively to create customer loyalty and communicate messages to potential customers that will eventually increase sales?” The answer is SMO, as it overlays method and discipline onto Social Media in a way that allows activities to be assessed for ROI.

Because this is new, measurement criteria are not well established. So the challenge is to choose relevant metrics to make the whole area more meaningful and less ‘Wishy-Washy’. To those new to Social Media, it will create confidence as taking this approach means effort and investment can be compared with results.

To start the process I suggest making the following five areas the priority.

  1. Measure how interested your audience is in what you are saying. One measure of their interest will be their willingness to share. If you are not achieving this, stop and rethink your activity as this is right at the heart of Social Media. As well as content, think about ways to integrate and measure sharing through different social platforms; web, mobile and email channels etc.
  2. Reward activity. Rewarding ‘Liking’ or ‘Tweeting’ information, by an audience, is becoming more common because it can easily be measured.  Essential if you are using Social Media to launch a loyalty or referral programme. Photobox, a company who turn digital media into printed material, provide an excellent example of this. They have a first class referral scheme promoted via both their Website and through Social Media.
  3. Know what makes it easier to share. ‘One Click’ makes it easy for viewers to get to the information they want. It also encourages sharing, recommending or bookmarking. Use buttons and other widgets and don’t make your audience jump through hoops or put barriers in their way, as you will considerably reduce the click through rate. Analyse the page positions, media and formats that you use to establish where you get the best results.
  4. Measure over the long term. This will help you establish which sharing activities, platforms and types of promotion lead to the best business results; leads, sales or changes in brand preference. It may take many months for a viewer to purchase from you, so don’t expect instant sales. The metrics around the first part of the campaign will most likely be around building critical mass with conversion coming later.
  5. Share your expertise and content. Guest Blogging with strategic partners or perhaps creating widgets for embedding or sharing on other sites is a great way to achieve this. Inevitably, as you are appearing within someone else’s media, you are automatically receiving their endorsement. Links between sites like this will also improve search engine rankings. Again, simple metrics enable the impact to be measured.

None of this has to be complicated. Keep it very simple and you will soon get into the habit of checking the figures. That way you will start to quickly get a feel of what works and what doesn’t.

When you are designing your campaigns and planning your activity, think of ways to measure the impact you wish to achieve from the very beginning. It’s a discipline I can help with and one which, when you get right, will have a positive impact on the way you approach digital marketing.

Jonathan Wainwright enables organisations to create commercial success through digital marketing, traditional communications and team development.

Join me on Twitter and LinkedIn.