A lot of the clients we deal with (being polite) are quite old fashioned and have not turned the corner when it comes to social media.

The ability of something going viral within minutes is quite amazing, whether it be a video of a dancing dog or a great marketing campaign, for instance the latest four minute long Nike advert for the World Cup attracted over 30 million views on YouTube by being shared via the social media channels.

A story in this week’s news has been truly inspiring and highlights how powerful social media can be.

Stephen Sutton has been battling cancer since the age of 15 and found out that his illness was incurable early last year. He set up a page on Facebook called ‘Stephen’s Story’ which outlined a bucket list of 46 things he wanted to achieve.

Since the page has been introduced, Stephen has raised awareness and millions of pounds for charity.

Through Twitter, Stephen has attracted the attention of many high profile names that are supporting the cause, notably Jason Manford who held a comedy night to raise money for the cause and has been urging his followers to donate.

This is not the first time social media has been utilised for charity – the ‘no make-up selfie’ swept through social media this year raising over eight million pounds for Cancer Research UK.

With the men of the world feeling left out, this prompted them to post pictures of themselves with their genitalia in socks which also raised a notable amount of cash for charity.

A good campaign can develop and escalate very quickly via social media.

I am not for a second suggesting that you can develop such a campaign of the same magnitude as the previous ones suggested – but having a strong social media following can only be beneficial for your organisation.

A strong campaign can receive social shares that can be shared and shared again.

I think we can all be inspired by Stephen’s Story and you can donate to the Teenage Cancer Trust by texting ‘STEPHEN’ to 70300.

Thanks!

Ben

Ben Lyons copy

Ben Lyons

Marketing Assistant

The Internet Marketing Academy

http://internetmarketingacademy.com

“A Facebook cover photo is the large image at the top of your Timeline. This is your chance to feature a unique image that represents who you are or what you care about.”

This is the official definition of a Facebook cover photo in their terms and conditions. So why not apply it to your own cover photo?

Try and be unique and creative whilst promoting who you are and what you care about the most as a business, whether it be your product or your values.

Below are some examples of some cover photos used and how they appeal to their specific type of customer:

McDonald’s

maccies

This is a fantastic piece of marketing by McDonald’s by just using a cover photo. They have taken into consideration their customer; people who are at school or work who are procrastinating on social media. The image itself is someone procrastinating while thinking of food, creating an immediate relationship with the image and the customer.

HubSpot

Hubspot

HubSpot helps businesses with their marketing and they use a simple but effective cover photo. It highlights all of the products and services they offer and how to contact them to obtain these; all in their cover photo alone. The team look like they are approachable, easy to work with and personable which is especially important if they are going to be working closely with your business.

Adobe

adobe

Adobe claim that they are “changing the world through digital experiences” and they are definitely backing this up with their cover photo. The isometric and intricate design show that they specialise in attention to detail, which would delight potential customers using their services.

Econsultancy

econsultancy

Econsultancy helps businesses ‘achieve digital excellence’ through training them in digital marketing. The connotations of such an infographic for their cover photo displays that they are extremely knowledgeable in their field. By using such a table, the message they are trying to get across is that combining elements of marketing can make things happen and gain a reaction.

Think of a cover photo as a billboard and apply the following rules:

–          What is your product or service and it is portrayed in the image

–          Make sure it doesn’t look bland, make it inviting for the visitor of your page

–          Make sure it is not the same as your profile picture, this should just be your logo

Apply those rules, be creative and visitors to your page will not go elsewhere.

Thanks!

Ben

Ben Lyons copy

 

 

 

 

Ben Lyons

Marketing Assistant

The Internet Marketing Academy

http://internetmarketingacademy.com

CaptureYour cover photo will be one of the first things that followers see when you visit your page, so why settle for something bland and boring? Choose a great Facebook cover photo to really make a splash and help build up your brand’s image.

One of the biggest mistakes that a business attempting to market through Facebook can make is to have a stagnant cover photo. Remember, your followers want to be assured that they are receiving fresh, innovative content when they visit your page. One of the best ways of doing that, and helping to encourage repeat visitors, is by changing your cover photo up more than once or twice per year. And when you do change your cover photo, why not go with an option that is fun, creative, and that can really help you in your marketing efforts?

Use Your Cover Photo As Advertising Space

Do you have a big sale coming up, a sweepstakes you want to promote, or a trend you want to alert your followers to? If so, your Facebook cover photo can function as valuable social media real estate. It is one of the first things that your followers will see when they visit your page. In addition, using that space to promote offers and trends is a great way to encourage your followers to stop by for a visit, rather than waiting for your posts to turn up in their feed.

Direct Followers To Your Other Social Media Accounts

Whether it’s your website, your twitter, or your YouTube page, you can rack up many more views by using your Facebook cover photo to direct followers elsewhere on the web.  Doing so can attract additional followers to these sites, and can give you many more marketing opportunities.  Not only that, but you can also use this space simply to encourage visitors to Like your page. Since so many people make their way to Facebook pages through other types of searching, this can help to greatly boost your follower count.

Celebrate Special Occasions & Seasons

Whether it’s mother’s day, summertime, or even your business’s anniversary, using your Facebook cover photo to celebrate special events, holidays, and seasons is a great way to appeal to your followers. Not only that, but it can be a great lead-in to special deals and offers that you have coming up.

And of course, you can always just use your Facebook cover photo to have a little fun and to build your brand’s image. Whether you showcase your mascot, highlight your brand message, or play around with variations of your logo, there are plenty of ways to make a splash with this feature of your Facebook page.

Thanks!

Sean

 

Sean McPheat

Managing Director

The Internet Marketing Academy

http://internetmarketingacademy.com

(Image by Tung Photo at FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

CaptureThe Internet has made vast strides in a very short period of time, and unsurprisingly the marketing tactics that worked just a few years ago are already becoming dated. The newest generation of users approaches the Internet much differently, and for anybody looking to reach a younger audience with their marketing message it’s crucial to know what these differences are.

The Shifting Face Of Facebook

Facebook has one of the biggest bases of users of any Internet platform, so needless to say it’s important. However, putting all of your efforts into Facebook may not be the best move – at least not anymore. While the site still sees millions of visitors every day, a growing number of these users are visiting from their mobile devices. So what does that mean for you? It means it might be prudent to start rethinking the way you direct your Facebook marketing strategy. Optimising your page for  mobile users may just be the wave of the future.

Is It Time To Adopt Instragram?

Many businesses have been slow to adopt Instagram and other simliar sites. It’s not difficult to see why. Instragram gives users relatively little space to upload content, and on the whole it has a much more anonymous feel than other types of social media. However, that can actually be a benefit when it comes to capturing an audience that has a notoriously short attention span and little time to spend taking in your marketing message.

Stay On Top Of The Latest Trends

Have you heard about Vine yet? If not, it may be time for you to do a little research. Vine allows users to upload six seconds worth of video – no more, and no less. Like Instragram, it doesn’t give you much room to promote your message. However, a well-made Vine can be an incredible attention-getter, and a great in to drive more people to your other platforms.

Just remember that trying too hard to be trendy can backfire. Don’t jump in the moment anything starts trending. Keep an eye on the latest developments, dip your toes in, and wait and see if the trend has lasting power. If you time everything just right, you could be at the forefront of the latest digital revolution with very little risk to your overall marketing strategy.

Integrate Your Platforms

With the ability to instantly connect your business’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube, there’s no reason not to go cross-platform. Having spent much of their lives online, the newest generation of users sees the Internet a little bit differently. Regardless of the site they are on, social media is all part of one big experience.  Be sure you’re promoting the same message across all platforms, and that you’re giving users the ability to hop from site to site. In the modern day of marketing, this is more or less what they expect.

Thanks!

Sean

 

Sean McPheat

Managing Director

The Internet Marketing Academy

http://internetmarketingacademy.com

Capture2With the holidays fast approaching, now is the time for small businesses to think of special ways to liven up their social media marketing strategy. Of course, there will be a lot of businesses that roll out big deals and special offers to celebrate the season. However, even if a company only has smaller surprises in mind for their customers and clients – or no surprises at all – there are still a number of ways to enjoy the festivities and fun of the season and to boost your own social media profile on sites including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and even LinkedIn.

Promote a Festive Atmosphere

One thing to remember when it comes to marketing tips for the holiday season is to keep things festive and fun. Even if your social media site tends toward the informative for the rest of the year, the holiday season can be a great time to liven up your message and approach while still maintaining your image.

Choosing fun seasonal image, updating your profile image often, and hiring a designer to give your business logo a fun holiday twist are all great ways to add some holiday flair to your social media marketing approach during the holiday season.

Don’t Roll Out Holiday Deals All at Once

It can be tempting to unleash all your holiday promotions and deals all at once, especially when you are excited about what you have to offer. However, it can be wise to hold back. Just as part of the fun leading up to Christmas is the anticipation of the event, with presents waiting wrapped under the tree and advent calendars waiting to be opened day by day, unrolling great deals and offers in the days leading up to Christmas can be a fun treat for your followers. Additionally, having a regular schedule of promotions rolling out will encourage your followers to visit again and again.

Consider Holiday Themed Content and Media

No matter what industry you’re in, it’s likely that you can somehow tie it back to the holiday season. Use your specialised knowledge to offer people tips on having a happier, more festive, and safer holiday season. Whether you offer healthy eating tips for holiday treats, advice on getting proper exercise during all the holiday hustle and bustle, or style tips for holiday parties, your followers will be sure to enjoy the content that you have to offer during the holiday season.

Plan Ahead and Give Yourself Time Off

Everybody deserves a break, especially during the holidays. However, that doesn’t mean you want your social media pages running on empty. Remember to plan and prepare content, posts, images, and quizzes well in advance to update periodically to your social media accounts. This can ensure your social media continues to work for you, even when you’re enjoying the holiday festivities with your family and friends.

 

Thanks!

Sean

 

Sean McPheat

Managing Director

The Internet Marketing Academy

http://internetmarketingacademy.com

CaptureAttracting people and getting them to follow your page can be difficult, and requires creative thinking. Engaging those who are already fans of your page can be even more of a challenge. While Facebook is a great way to connect with the fans of your brand, it can also be difficult to engage them and get them to actively participate by liking, commenting on, and sharing your updates.

Getting your fans to actively engage has numerous benefits. If you notice that your engagement has been on the decline, even if you are using all the appropriate methods to generate audience particpation, then it might be time to spice things up and make your page more exciting. There are many things that you can do to generate engagement on your page.

Use Balanced, Engaging Content

Some people like pictures. Others like informative blog posts, or videos. Some people prefer deep, insightful pieces of content, while others prefer short bites of content that they can digest in just a few minutes. Its impossible to please everybody all of the time. However, a successful marketer knows that it’s entirely possible to please everybody at least part of the time. Balance your content, providing a variety of different types of media.

Consider Using Quizzes and Games as Content

Quizzes and games are a great way to generate engagement. However, if you choose to design a quiz or a game, do so in a way that will encourage people to share and discuss it on your page. For example, a women’s shoe store might link to a quiz to help women find their perfect pair of winter boots based on several style questions. Those who take the quiz can then be encouraged to talk about their results with a question such as, “Did our style experts get it right?”

Use Emoticons and Internet Slang When Appropriate

For some marketers, using emoticons and Internet slang goes against a lot of what they were taught. However, it can be a highly effective way of appealing to your audience and encouraging their engagement. A smiley emoticon, or the use of a heart in place of the word “love” is a simple choice that can make a post feel much more enthusiastic. Likewise, using phrases like “Because” (Check out these Boots. Because Style) can make people feel better connected to your brand.

Just be sure you know when to use this type of Internet slang and when it’s best to speak a little more formally. Additionally, be sure that the slang you use suits your brand and appeals to your customer base. While it can attract users who are more familiar with Internet slang and emoticons it can turn away those who aren’t.

Above all, pay attention to what works and what doesn’t. Try to keep in mind the things that are more likely to make you click on a page. By paying attention to these things, it’s possible to vastly improve the engagement on your Facebook page.

 

Thanks!

Sean

 

Sean McPheat

Managing Director

The Internet Marketing Academy

http://internetmarketingacademy.com

ID-10039776You undoubtedly know by now that Facebook can help your business. Facebook is a great way to build and maintain relationships with your customers, reach new ones, and drive sales. Over a billion people like and comment on Facebook posts every day. Make your business a part of these interactions and engage your customers with these tips for fun ways to create Facebook posts that encourage them to get involved.

Use Photos

A simple image with a caption can be used to show a solution to a problem relevant to your customers or another way to improve their day-to-day lives. Use larger images to get more likes, comment, and shares, and optimise them in the timeline for the 403 x 403 pixel display. Larger images display from the centre of the pictures, and you don’t want images with missing edges in the news feed.

Ask Questions

Your customers want to be heard, and when you ask them questions you give them that chance. Ask them about their consumer preferences, ask them to help you name a product, or ask them to share memories or funny stories associated with your brand. Keep the questions simple and related to specific customer lifestyles, like how or where they used your product. Monitor your feedback to help you come up with ideas for question topics.

A fun variation on this is to ask your customers to fill in the blank. Post a short sentence with a word missing; this is sure to generate a substantial number of comments and shares. This tactic allows you to interact with your customers as well as understand them better for future marketing strategies. Use fill-in-the-blank posts in conjunction with a specific holiday or some other specific event such as embarrassing or awkward situations.

Share Quotes

Quotes help people identify with you and can evoke feelings of camaraderie. The right quote can help people associate your brand with good feelings, which will enhance your relationships with your customers. Choose quotes that align with your campaign goals. Using images or memes with your quotes will increase shares.

Use Hashtags

Hashtags simply use a categorized term or phrase behind a # symbol, and they can increase brand awareness in wide audiences. Use common phrases like #socialmedia to encourage more dialogue and enhance visibility. Use hashtags to bring attention to specific events such as contests and sales; you can also research which hashtags your customers are using to find conversations suitable for you to participate in.

Posts like these can be adapted to various applications to let you connect with your customers and increase their engagement on your Facebook page. They can also teach you quite a bit about your customers’ preferences, so try a few out – and pay attention when your customers respond.

 

Thanks!

 

Sean

 

Sean McPheat

Managing Director

The Internet Marketing Academy

http://internetmarketingacademy.com

 

(Image: freedigitalphotos.net / master isolated images)

ID-100147860As you know by now, social media is an important part of your marketing strategy. Unfortunately, too many business owners make mistakes that cost them potential customers and, in some cases, their reputations. For a successful marketing campaign, avoid making the following blunders.

1. Ignoring Social Media Altogether

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that social media is silly or unimportant. The payoff of social media marketing can be huge. Its benefits include brand recognition, word of mouth marketing, reputation management, and improved relationships with your customers (which means more information about your customers).

2. Talking About Yourself Constantly

In business relationships, just as in personal ones, talking about yourself all the time never works. Think of social media as a conversation, not a selling tool. Social media affords you the opportunity to engage your customers, listen to them, and help them out by posting relevant content. A little promotion is one thing – especially when you have a notable event going on, like a contest – but this isn’t the place for nonstop advertisements, and they won’t be well-received.

3. Talking About Stuff You Shouldn’t Talk About At All

Keeping your posts personable is a good idea – how your day went, what you’re up to, what’s new with your business – but don’t confuse personable with personal. For example, you should never say anything negative about customers, no matter how difficult the woman you dealt with the day before was. Never complain about them or about interactions you had with them, and never mention anything that’s overly personal.

4. Trying To Maintain A Presence On Every Platform

The more websites you are active on, the more time and money they require. A poll on your website is one tool that can help you discern which social networks are most used by your customers; then you can start there. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are all good starting points. Pinterest is gaining on them, too, and provides unique marketing opportunities. Choose one or two that align with your goals as a business and focus on them.

5. Expecting It To Be Free

Simply having a Facebook page is not social media marketing. A successful marketing strategy involves engagement and dialogue and humanising your brand; it also involves planning and dedicated resources. “If you’re gonna go, go all out” is particularly applicable to social media marketing. Understand what your goals are, how you will accomplish them, and who will be in charge of the project. By the way, this is where some younger talent on staff can really benefit your business. Older employees can certainly have great computer skills, but the younger ones were practically born understanding social media. Take advantage of their knowledge.

 

Thanks!

 

Sean

 

Sean McPheat

Managing Director

The Internet Marketing Academy

http://internetmarketingacademy.com

 

(Image: freedigitalphotos.net/Stuart Miles)

Instagram is 100 million strong and growing. Take advantage of this popular social media website to enhance your internet marketing campaign. To develop a new audience, try creating a brand profile on Instagram. Signing up and creating a profile are easy, and from there you can add links to your website, connect your Facebook account, and start adding content. Check out Instagram’s business blog, too.

ID-10070021Strike A Balance

Balancing fun and professional images is a good way to develop relationships with your customers while getting your message out. Use popular and relevant hashtags, post regularly (but not overly frequently), and follow others to be involved with your clients. Making sure to follow your followers back is another good way to interact with them – and learn about them.

Use Videos

Videos are a great marketing tool all-around. Take advantage of Instagram’s 15-second, filter-enabled video capacity. Also, embed your Instagram videos in your website or blog to maximise your outreach potential. Inspire your customers with videos and photos that are interesting and helpful to them and relevant to your brand.

Change Your Perspective

Get away from the mind-set that you are on Instagram to sell. Instead, focus on sharing your unique perspective. Post images and videos that are interesting to your brand and your customers. Learn what makes an image engaging, and learn what engages your customers.

Use Instagram Along With Facebook

When you use Instagram and Facebook in conjunction with each other, you reach even more people with less total effort. You can create Instagram videos, share them on Facebook, and boost them. This way, you can reach the hundreds of millions of active Facebook users easily. This strategy allows you to profit from Instagram without having to advertise on Instagram. Taking advantage of Facebook’s incorporation of Instagram helps your reach a wider audience.

Keep Your Content Personal And Relevant

Posting photos of your employees at work shows your staff how much you value them and gives customers an endearing behind-the-scenes look at your business. While you’re at it, feature photos of your happy customers too. Make all of your images compelling, creative, surprising, or visually beautiful to get people’s attention. Use hashtags related to your industry.

Generate Interest In Events

Using Instagram can help you get the word out about conferences or other events. Make sure when doing this that you include your booth number so that your customers will be able to find you.

Instagram should definitely be one of your marketing tools, now more than ever. Use it at events, for promotions, and to connect with your customers and prospects. Instagram is the perfect solution for the problem of finding a personal, engaging, accessible experience for your customers.

 

Thanks!

 

Sean

 

Sean McPheat

Managing Director

The Internet Marketing Academy

http://internetmarketingacademy.com

 

(Image: freedigitalphotos.net/imagerymajestic)

 

 

smart phoneTo maximise your mobile marketing, you need to accomplish two different things. First, you need to get your brand in front of people who are using mobile devices. Then, you need to drive traffic to the mobile-friendly version of your website. Here are some tips to help you do both of those things, using social media platforms that are actively being used by mobile users today.

Find your way into Facebook feeds

If you’re trying to drive traffic to your mobile website from Facebook, don’t buy Facebook ads. Those are only shown to people on the Facebook website, not people using the Facebook app on their mobile phones. Mobile Facebook users see a streamlined version of the Facebook interface that does not include the right-hand box where ads are displayed. To get your content into Facebook news feeds of mobile users, use promoted posts. Make sure the links within these posts link to your mobile website.

Say it in pictures using Instagram

Many companies are now using Instagram to promote their products and brand awareness on Instagram. Take photos of your company mascot or of celebrities wearing your company logo clothing, and then post them to your Instagram feed. Have a cardboard cut-out figure that you can photograph in exotic locations so that it looks like the person or character is actually there. You can even post photos of offbeat uses for your products, or action shots of your marketing team at their latest sporting event. Just be sure that every photo you post is a positive one, and provides either a bit of excitement or light-hearted humour when viewed.

Target tweets to mobile users

Twitter allows you to display your tweets to Twitter users who are accessing the service from a mobile device. Similar to the Facebook promoted posts, the tweets that go out to mobile users are promoted tweets. Instead of being buried in the list of tweets from other people that are being followed, these promoted tweets appear at the top of the Twitter mobile app.

Make your website QR-code friendly

Mobile users are in the habit of scanning QR-codes with their mobile devices to get more information. By clever use of QR-codes and landing pages, you can custom tailor a website experience for mobile visitors that can also give you valuable information about how they arrived at your website. Change the QR-code slightly from campaign to campaign to find out which one drove more traffic, or to conduct A/B tests. The main issue with adding all of that tracking information to a URL is that longer URLs are less likely to be entered by users. With the URL being automatically entered by the QR-code, user unwillingness to enter long strings of text is no longer an issue.

Thanks!

 

Sean

 

Sean McPheat

Managing Director

The Internet Marketing Academy

http://internetmarketingacademy.com

 

(Image: Morguefile)