Category : online marketing

101 Business online marketing Resources Small Business Snapchat social media Visual Content

Simple way to create a Snapchat Geofilter (No design skills needed!)

Here’s a really great way to create a Snapchat geofilter with no design skills! (Very quick and satisfying read!)

Snapchat Geofilters are a great way to snap moments that include your special event whether it be personal or business, such as Birthdays, Weddings, Corporate Events or Special Occasions.

I shared a video recently  via Social Day showing you how to create a Snapchat Geofilter using Canva, well now you don’t even need to do that!

Snapchat has added a new feature where you can simply login and create and edit templated Geofilters!

Currently Snapchat has 3 categories for design your own: Birthdays, Celebrations and Weddings.

So how do you do it?

1.Go to geofilters.snapchat.com and login with your snapchat ID and password.

2. Choose – Create online (as seen on right ghostie in screen grab)
screen-shot-2016-08-30-at-21-22-48-1024x495

 

 

 

 

 

3. Choose the type of event you’d like to create a Geofilter for (Birthdays, celebrations or weddings as per screen grab. Screen Shot 2016-08-30 at 21.22.55

screen-shot-2016-08-30-at-21-22-55-1024x490

 

 

 

 

 

4. Use the editor to design your snapchat Geofilter – No design skills necessary!

5.Choose the date you wish your Geofilter to run from and to.

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6. Choose your area, such as a venue or house where the event takes place. Remember the wider the SQFtage the higher the price. Generally for 1 venue for 24hrs it will be just $5!

 

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So there you go! What Geofilter will you be creating next?

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Business Facebook Marketing Marketing Strategy online marketing reputation management Small Business social media Strategy Web

The importance of content moderation in Social Media

A look at the importance of content moderation in Social Media

Social media, blogs, forums and the like are outlets for people to express themselves, to share experiences bad and good with their connections or with people of similar interests. As a business, whether you actively use social media or not you are probably on it. You see, when people need to vent about a business the first place they take to now is the internet, a forum, a group or a social network. Whether this is to vent about a bad experience, scream from the rooftops about their joy or just discuss with others wethers to to use you or buy your products. Ultimately if you as a business aren’t on social media or you aren’t ‘social listening’ then you could either be missing out on new business or the opportunity to show your amazing customer service. It’s like turning a blind eye to what people could be saying about you.

Jargon Buster: Social listening is watching or setting up keyword searches so that if someone is talking about your biz you will be able to listen and respond quickly

How to manage customer feedback effectively

It’s one thing to be on social media and to be listening to what your customers or potential customers are saying about your business and another to actually deal with them in a respectful manner (especially if they are negative or bad reviews.) Seeing bad comments about your business, products or customer service can be very disheartening, as a business owner you may take this personally and can sometimes mean you want to reply quickly with an emotional reaction. This is almost always the wrong way to deal with the situation. To leave it is also not a great idea. Think about passing the responsibility onto someone else within customer service or respond in this manner:

Dear (Customer) Sorry to hear that your experience wasn’t exceptional ;-( – Could you email me personally at boss@company.com and I will see what we can do?

This is enough to show you care to the public and you are also able to take the conversation to a more private platform to resolve any issues. job done.

‘Honesty and a timely response are crucial when dealing with negative comments on social media. Mistakes happen and if they do, it’s best to be transparent. It’s easy to suffer from ‘brand bias’ and try to defend your company by covering it up or appropriating blame elsewhere. Hold your hands up and be honest – customers appreciate it in the long run.’ – Says Hannah Rainford, Senior Social Manager, Jellyfish

Hannah Rainford adds: ‘It’s wise to prepare replies to potential queries in advance so that your community manager can respond quickly and appropriately. There’s nothing worse than leaving a negative mention without a reply. Even if you can’t solve the issue immediately, let the person know you’re working on it.’

Dealing with this negatively and publicly is a dangerous game! Businesses have been broken due to the negative way that have responded to to negative feedback on social media.

A very good example of when it goes very wrong was when american small business owners received an influx of bad reviews (they also appeared on Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares) Instead of trying to rectify the situation or to apologise for their mistakes they took to social media to insult their customers. Needless to say they received even more bad attention. The actual posts are too offensive for print!

Dealing with trolls

Upset customers and trolls are different things, normally your customers who head online to complain have a genuine upset whereas trolls don’t.

What is a troll?

A Trolls purpose is to make a deliberately offensive or provocative online posting with the aim of upsetting someone or eliciting an angry response from them.

When it comes to genuine trolls the best way to deal with them is to delete their comments and brush it off. Trolls feed on response and upset, don’t feed them, delete them and they will go away. Never let a troll make you feel anything even if they are abusing you, you can block trolls easily on social media and report them to the networks. That’s it!

The role of professional social media management agencies

A social media management company normally creates a social media strategy, manages the content creation and engagement for your social media accounts. A good social media manager or management company will start by understanding your needs and goals as a company. A social media managers job is more than simply posting updates! They need great creativity and design skills, the ability to pick up your companies tone of voice, to react quickly to conversations about your business or possible business and to be able to measure and analyse the social media campaign activity. The ability to create conversation / engagement and to react to comments quickly is also a social media management must.

There are pro’s and con’s for using an external resource to manage your social networks. If you are lucky enough to have the resource in house, the good news is people can be trained to do this well, as long as you have some good social media guidelines in place. Of course if you outsource to a reputable company, you know you’ll be getting a professional who is able to get stuck in immediately.

“We manage all our social media accounts in-house and it has really helped us boost our visibility, outreach and even resulted in direct sales leads. By doing all our social media internally and having the core team use their own accounts, we can ensure we appear authentic, connect with people and have a personality that people can trust.

There is obviously risk associated with this and by having unmoderated social activity, we are aware that one of our team might be saying things that might not be well received all the time. To counter this, we have some broad guidelines but we ultimately trust our team to say and do the right thing.” Says Sarat Pediredla – Hedgehog Lab

A version of this article was published in SME Magazine

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101 Getting Started Online Instagram online marketing Small Business social media

Get started with Instagram for business

This Instagram for business guide is perfect for beginners, people just dabbling and those who have never used Instagram before!

Instagram has grown into one of the worlds largest social media networks, it,s a place where you can discover and post visually pleasing content. Often Instagram has been associated with the ‘cool kids’ fashionistas, music types and artists. But in fact Instagram is mainstream now and can work just as well for businesses that aren’t so creative! You just have to think about new ways to use the platform and decide how the network could work for you in terms of either building your brand personally or as a business to drive sales to products or services.

You may have noticed that Instagram has changed its look from the quirky vintage insta camera to a more modern and colourful flat icon. This change seems to reflect the changes that Instagram is going through in terms of being a platform for businesses to use as well as personal users. If you can get your marketing technique and content right on this platform, you’ll be open to huge new audiences ready to interact with you and your brand. Not only has Instagram changed in design but they have added a few new features! Stories is one most notable. With stories (it’s a bit like snapchat stories) you are able to take snaps and videos throughout the day and them to a story not appearing on your public profile, messing up the look and branding of your image grid. (you can also read about what Instagram stories are and how to use Instagram stories for business here)

In this quick start guide I’ll give you the basics on how to use Instagram and the the tools you can use to make your feed / grid stand out as well as strategies to use to start gaining followers and getting more engagement.

Getting set up

Instagram is an app, available on both iPhone and android. If you haven’t got it yet, simply download the app and follow the instructions in filling out your profile. You can either use your Facebook settings or create from scratch, if you are setting up as a business you should do this from scratch, if it’s for personal branding reasons you may as well use Facebook settings as to keep your brand succinct across your social networks.

You’ll get the opportunity to upload a photo, again this can be imported from Facebook or you can take a selfie or choose from your camera roll.

Your profile

When optimising your profile text, try to tell a story, this is the one place you are able to have about you content. It’s also worth noting that your profile is the only place you’ll get a clickable link, so make it stand out.

Using emojis is a great way to tell a story on your Instagram profile. Here’s a great example by my friend Katya (@Livestreamkatya)

Instagram for business

Content

Next you’ll want to start posting. If you are just starting out on Instagram, you have a golden opportunity to make your feed or grid look beautiful and branded. So it’s essentially you or when people see your content or profile they’ll see uniformity.

You can use a mixture of images and then text, quotes and offers created from apps. – my preference for image creation apps are typorama and wordswag. Here are some examples of how you can brand your Instagram page notice the importance of colour. When someone lands on your profile you want them to go ‘oh yeah obviously thats that brand’. Check out Katya again notice the blue and the quotes and then check out social day with the pink!

Instagram for business

Instagram for business

As you can see, you can use a created image and then a photo on alternate postings, this makes it pop! Video is also prevalent on Instagram now and new features are being added regularly, in fact videos now have an added minute extension. Video can be a quick hi to your followers, a product demo or some valuable educational tips. These should be short and snappy (although lots more fun using stories features)

Once you’ve added your image or video to Instagram, you’ll get the option to add a filter. Do this for images you have taken and perhaps think about using the same filter throughout for uniformity across your Instagram feed content. Before you post you have the opportunity to add some text, although Instagram is visual this area is very important, you can use it to post long form I.e: you could write a story or blog post here. Generally anything non Salesy and value adding works best.

A great way to use this area would be to create an image title in one of the apps discussed from a blog post you’ve created and in the text area post some of the blog and explain what people will learn and ask them to go to your website and read more. My preferred method is not to take people away from the platform they are on but to simply post the whole blog natively into Instagram. You must remember there is no link in Instagram posts but only your profile, sending them back there is a big effort and you don’t want to leave people feeling like all your trying to do is get a click. This may sound daft as you’ve always been told to send people through to your site for that extra traffic, but in fact adding an email or number at the end of the Instagram post is just as effective as actually sending people away to do the same thing! As long as the content you share is valuable, interesting or pleasing in some way to your target audience you’ll never have to worry about those clicks, people will be intrigued and seek you out anyway.

Discovery

But how do you get new people to discover your content on Instagram? The answer is the hashtag! Hashtags are an Instagram staple and it’s worth working out what the most popular hashtags are for your industry. Don’t worry! You won’t have to spend hours researching this, I’ve found a nifty little app which is free called tagomatic. You’ll simply add in the text box a hashtag you know to be popular and relevant to your post and hit search. The app will give you 30 relevant hashtags. Most will be perfect some won’t be quite right, you’ll simply highlight the ones you want and copy to Instagram, this opens the app and the post you’ve been working on automatically so all you need to do is post your chosen hashtags. When it comes to hashtags it’s not about spamming them all with irrelevancy to get more likes and views. It’s about finding the correct tags that ensure the right people will find your content. You may include up to 30 hashtags and in my experience 11+ get the best results. In the tagomatic app you are able to save your hashtag sets for easy copying and pasting later.

Remember (again) when you post there is no clickable link so try to think of a smart way to add a call to action. Perhaps you could say something as simple as check out my blog or profile for more great tips or products. You can also share your Instagram posts to Twitter and Facebook, this can happen automatically or you can just tick the network you’d like to share with and this option is shown when you post.

Relationship building

It’s very important that your strategy is consistent, so post regularly, once a day, twice a day, this is how you get results. Remember to also go through and follow influencers and peers that are relevant to your industry and reach out to them by liking and commenting on their content also. This is how you build relationships with people. It’s social media so be social take a little time each day to talk to people. You can discover people both through searching hashtags and via your suggested contacts on your phone and with Facebook (basically Facebook will tell you which of your friends are also on Instagram for easy discovery).

Instagram for business: What’s next?

There are a heaps of apps and new features being released all the time for Instagram. Get the basics down and then you’ll be able to explore them all in time. Instagram is owned by Facebook so you can be sure it’s not going anywhere and that they are constantly innovating. Instagram recently rolled out business profiles in the UK which came with a new set of features meaning people will are able call you straight from the app plus great analytics and insights. To convert to the business profile, simply hit the settings cog and hot switch to business page.
You can also use engagement you receive as a way of measuring success and if web hits are important to you, ensure you check your website analytics regularly to see If Instagram send any users through to your website. The other useful feature of Instagram business is be the ability to advertise or boost posts just like on Facebook that are doing well. This is all great but what it means is Instagram is now monetising more, so be aware if you are an existing user that there is an updated algorithm, meaning your post may be seen a lot less. Having said that if you are a business these new profiles and tools will become necessary and really powerful in helping you to connect with new audiences and analyse your results. Note that: Advertising on Instagram is also currently done through the Facebook ads platform and you can connect your facebook business page to your Instagram business page.

– A version of this post appeared in KWIB Magazine.

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Rough Guide: How to create visual content for social media with ease

Today we fight for more attention from our audiences on social media. People have become more time poor and therefore visual content such as images and short videos have become more prominent across social media.

Using Images in your social media marketing strategy can boost engagement much more than simply text alone. Some stats suggest that posting an image on Twitter gets up to 300% more engagement than text alone and video even more so.

One of fastest growing social networks of all time is Instagram which relies on great visual content only.

So how can you create great visual content for your social networks that ensures you stand out from the crowd?
It’s not as difficult as you may think to create visual images that stand out. There are heaps of free or low cost tools that help you to create great images without the need for an expensive graphic designer.

Here are some of the visual content creation applications I could not live without! They are free or low cost and so very easy to use:

Is not a Social Network! (1)

 

Canva.com – Canva is an online application, you can create social media visual content from templates very easily. It’s free and you are able to choose templates in exactly the right size for each social media platform, each image / quote or ad you create takes minutes and looks professional and high quality.

 

 

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Word Swag – Word Swag is an IOS app which generates gorgeous text styles over images that you either upload or you can you the pixabay (integrated) image library which includes thousands of free – do whatever you like with – images. This app is not free but a snip at £2.99 – I use this app everyday!

 

 

 

 

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Typrorama – Typorama is a lot like Wordswag as it’s also an easy to use app yet with a few extra features and fonts. It’s very easy to create great images, again there is a free version and a paid version at around £2.99

 

 

 

 

Legend – Legend is another phone / device application which is similar to wordswag but you can create awesome flashing GIFs and mini videos which grabs the attention of your audience via Twitter and Instagram

Pic Monkey – Pic Monkey is a fantastic tool for editing images, cutting and adding filters. This is a web / desktop application. Use Pic monkey to edit image elements before making more advanced creations on Canva. Also great If you need to edit an image size fast. It’s mostly free or you can pay $5 per month for more advanced features.

Sourcing Free Images

When it comes to using images in your social media posts, you should ensure that you own the content or that you have the permission to edit or use them. It used to be really difficult to source free images and expensive to pay for stock images. Luckily the world has changed a lot! And heaps of free –do whatever you want with – image platforms have popped up.

Most of the time you’d don’t need to attribute the work to the photographer and the images are very high quality by far the easiest to search and best to use is Pixabay.com – Pixabay is a public domain image library of high quality images that are copyright free. Pixabay has over 550,000 images to choose from and is being added to every day. These images can be manipulated and used as you wish.

(A version of this guide is also available in print from KWIB Magazine)

This blog has been verified by Rise: R4020093e9636bc10fe385b92e66e0b07

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internet marketing Marketing online marketing Periscope Small Business social media

Tools for a top quality Periscope Stream

Periscope is the next big thing in internet marketing! It gives marketers and business owners the chance to watch live, people all over the world sharing knowledge and experiences. The potential uses are limitless and it’s an exciting move forward for social media and the way we interact with one another.

To get started on Periscope is so easy! The ease of use and accessibility to give and receive awesome content instantly is one of it’s best assets! But how do you ensure you are making your stream look as good as it can? – Even though it’s not all about how it looks! Being authentic and delivering fantastic content is much more important but if you can ensure your video quality is good it makes for an even better viewer experience. I’ve put together some tools and tips to help you do a top quality stream.

Steady camera

In all honesty if you are filming outdoors, you will get some shaky camera, it’s hard to keep it still when you are out and about, one way to keep your phone a little more steady is to use a selfie stick.

 

Selfie sticks

 

selfie stickSelfie sticks are a low priced piece of kit, for example this one: Anker Bluetooth Selfie Stick is just £11.99 in the UK

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tripod 

If you are simply stripodsitting at your desk delivering a broadcast, it is hard to be expressive with your hands and keep your camera steady if you are holding your smartphone. A great way to keep your camera steady is to invest in a smartphone tripod. This one is under £10 and comes with the complete kit including a bag and cleaning cloth which is handy if you are out and about. 

 

 

 

 

 

Sound

Sound is another aspect that affects the quality of your periscope broadcasts. If people are unable to hear you properly or there is excess background noise this can be off putting. Also if your smartphone microphone isn’t great this can also have an impact. Ensure when you broadcast that you are in a quiet environment so that people can hear you clearly. Unfortunately this isn’t always possible especially if you are out and about, one way to ensure you avoid this is to simply use your phone headphones / microphone like the one that comes with your iPhone.

 

MicrophoneOr you can invest in something similar like these headphones / earphone and mic for less than £20 which will ensures the background noise is cut and people can hear you clearly:

 

 

 

 

Surroundings 

Think about the backdrop of your periscope, ideally if you create a professional environment, you’ll look more professional. A messy kitchen or your laundry room isn’t the best place to do this! Think also about lighting too, if you are in front of a sunny window, half your face may not show, or if you sit below a light this can also happen.
Connectivity 

With Livestream connectivity is so important, it’s so annoying when the screen keeps freezing or you look blurry. When you go to scope make sure you are connected to wifi or have a good 4G connection to ensure the best quality broadcast possible.

If you have any questions! Just ask! I am on Periscope @lucyshall and Twitter @lucyshall

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online marketing Periscope Small Business social media

How to Create Better Content for Your Periscope Streams

Content for Your Periscope Streams

Periscope, although it’s been here since March is still so new. In terms of the perfect periscope live stream, there really is no silver bullet. But Periscope is still so new that we can continue to see what works and what doesn’t by simply jumping on our smartphone and going live. Having said that we could all benefit from a few pointers when it comes to making our live Periscope content better. In this post i’ll give you a few pointers on how to create better content for your Periscope streams.


Be Social and Engage!

Don’t make the mistake of not engaging with your audience. Periscope is interactive and at it’s heart is the ability for the streamer to get instant feedback, reply and engage with viewers. If you ignore your audience it can make your scope feel a bit ‘all about you’ or seem like you don’t care to interact If you just talk and don’t interact then you may as well be doing a you tube vlog or pre recorded video. The heart of Periscope is that it’s a social network so be social and engage! A simple way to do this is to welcome your viewers when they come into your broadcast, ask questions throughout and answer their questions and thank them for being there.

Be Present

Periscope live broadcast is very different from recorded video in the way that there are people entering live all the way through. This means they won’t see your intro at the beginning of your broadcast, meaning they may not know what you are talking about and what you are all about, especially if they have stumbled on your broadcast rather than being a follower. Bear this in mind and make sure you are present at all times, by this I mean understand the people you are talking to and stop for a quick summary every so often.

Be on Topic

When you put the broadcast title into periscope and press ‘Start Broadcast’ then ideally you should stick to this topic throughout the scope. Again to reinforce the last message, people are coming in all the way through so if you are talking about mindfulness in the workplace for example and new people come in and see you talking about chicken nuggets, they may feel a bit disappointed!
Another great reason to stay on topic and share your own expertise is that your followers will get an idea of the type of great quality content they can expect, time and again.

In Summary, if you ensure you are sociable and engage with your audience, you are there in the moment with them rather than just talking at them and you stick to the topics that are in your field of expertise this should lead to a great quality periscope broadcast!

– Let me know how you got on! – I am on periscope @lucyshall and Twitter @lucyshall – feel free to ask any any questions!

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Doing Your First Periscope Broadcast

If you are a Periscope Newbie and haven’t yet done your first scope, it may seem a little scary to start talking in front of a camera for all to see! It can be a bit frightening and overwhelming since it’s live, you may feel exposed and nervous. Periscope Live streaming is very different from other social media platforms in the way that it’s live and instant, if you can crack your nerves, you’ll find this platform very useful for building new connections and growing your audience base. But where do you start? This post aims to help you get set up and help you be more confident to start using periscope.

Set Up

Setting up your Periscope account is the best way to start! – Simply install the app on your phone. The set up process is very easy and self explanatory, like most social media. You will also need to decide if you’ll sign up through your Twitter account and use the same name as there or create an account from scratch. You will also have the opportunity to add your bio and a web address.

Take a Looks around

Check out some other scopes before you begin so you get an idea of how it all works and what other people are doing. This is also a great way to start meeting new people and building up some initial followers.
How do you start Periscoping?

It’s so easy! Again,  to reiterate just how simple it is to get started! Just add a description of  your surroundings or the content you will be sharing and start streaming! Make sure you use a title that explains well what content you will be showing and include hashtags. It can be really daunting when you first go live, if this is the case a test can help – you are able to make your broadcast private and practice. To understand how it will look and the workings of the controls could really help with your confidence before you do your first real live public live-stream.

If you use the hashtag #firstscope on your first live broadcast people will know it’s your first and will understand the pressures you have! Everyone had to do a first periscope once, so most people know what it’s like.

Finally, from experience I can say that having done 100+ periscopes that the more you get on and do it the better your shows get. Be yourself and don’t make it too polished, it’s live, it’s authentic and it’s an opportunity for people to build relationships with the ‘real you’ and thats why in essence Periscope works so well.

Good Luck! You’ll be great!

You’ll find me @lucyshall on Periscope and Twitter and i’m always happy to answer any questions or give some moral support.

Listen to the audio version:

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What is Influencer Marketing? and How do you do it?

Influencer marketing is the art of reaching out to people within your industry or niche with a huge social media influence and getting them to share your content to their large, engaged audience.

The point is that if an influencer shares your content, it’s almost like a recommendation or a leg up. And to have someone so influential in your industry do this, could mean you get loads of exposure for your own products, services or content to exactly the right audience, recommended by someone who they really look up to.

There are several ways to go about influencer marketing, here are some ideas:

Ask for Retweets on twitter by reaching out directly and publicly, this isn’t that much of a nuisance to them just make sure the content is relevant and of interest to your target influencer.

Write a blog post about your influencer or influencers, that is helpful for your reader yet includes a little ego stroking for your target influencer.

Write or vlog about a recent article your influencer has written and explain why their views are so important for your audience.

Meet your influencer in real life! – This may be a little harder but if you go to industry conferences you are likely to bump into that big publication or top journalist in your industry, talk to them, connect and share an image of you together on social media, this is a great way to connect offline and online and then make that social media connection (This happened to me! Deborah Meadon – Dragons Den – Has retweeted me! and said i’m so good at social media!) – This can give you and your business and credibility a huge boost.

Start small and work your way up. Start with your local news outlet or niche publications and when the time is right to reach out to the Richard Branson’s, you’ll know!

Be resilient, it can take time to get influencers to notice you. Keep posting great content, share your views with influencers and always thank them when they do share your content. Don’t be too desperate or overly spammy! This is a one way ticket to getting yourself blocked or called a stalker.

 

 

 

 

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101 Business Hacks internet marketing Just for fun Marketing online marketing Small Business social media

What is Growth Hacking?

Are you curious about growth hacking? Have you spent time on social media and seen this buzz word being banded about like nobodies business? – Unfortunately marketers like buzz words but that’s no good for small business owners and those starting out in online marketing, it can be confusing when you are simply trying to understand the basics and cut through the noise. So I am going to take the time to explain some of these marketing buzz terms for you! So what is ‘Growth Hacking in plain english?’…

Growth Hacking is a buzz word meaning to hack or to cheat the system for growth, so you don’t have to spend the time doing monotonous jobs like growing a blog organically or slowly. Basically it’s taking a fast route to where you need to get, like getting a huge social media following fast or getting thousands of viewers to your blog quickly by creating a system that well.. ‘cheats the system’.

Growth hacking is where you can find a fast process or system for success for growth but very quickly. Normally to grow your business fast by finding a quick route to selling more products or services with social media or online marketing. There are real people out there who do ‘growth hacking’ as a real job. They aren’t meant to replace your whole marketing strategy but find ways to help you get there quickly and grow quickly which for a start up can be essential. The aim of a growth hacker is to help you grow your business and quickly using various systems and strategies. The growth hacker may analyse campaign results and rinse and repeat over again until the desired result is achieved.

Growth hacking is a good thing (in my opinion), for me it takes the wishy washy out of online marketing and leaves you with a goal in mind that you must achieve fast to grow your business quickly.

Further reading? – check out this guide: The Definitive Guide to Growth Hacking via Quick Sprout

 

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Your Personal Brand on Social Media (2 minute tips Video)

In this 2 minute video, I explain the most important thing you can do / be on social media for your personal brand – YOU! – For more daily tips, subscribe to Lucy Hall on YouTube

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