Category Archives: Social Media

 

If you want your business to be seen online then it’s vital that you set yourself up on the key social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

As social media continues to grow in popularity, we have seen how influential this form of media can be in spreading the word about what your business can offer to customers. As well as giving you a forum to share your products or services, your social media pages also allow you to engage directly with your customers, provide added value in terms of the information that you share, and enable you to really build your brand’s character and bring it to life.

Social media allows others to share your content and recommend you. Getting social can also have an impact on your SEO as Google not only looks at whether you have social media pages linked to your site, but also how much engagement your pages are receiving. High levels of social media interaction can help to boost your page ranking in the search engines.

But setting up your page is just the first step on your social media journey. One thing that our clients often ask us is “now I have my page what on earth should I put on it?” At Wagada HQ we love social media and we know how to use it well. So, we’ve put together some easy content ideas for businesses to help them manage and curate their social media pages.

Promote your business

Of course, if you are looking to gain customers and retain current clients you’ll need to include content on your page that helps to promote your business. However, you need to be careful not to make it too salesy or people could feel that you are simply spamming their newsfeed and it might cause them to unfollow you. Instead show them what you can offer. Images or videos of new products or services can be popular, particularly if they are presented as a ‘how to’ guide.

You might also want to use your social media pages to promote discount codes or special offers just for your followers – this is a great way of encouraging people to like your pages. Testimonials can be very powerful too so don’t be afraid to share them. If you are able to tag the business or individual who has recommended you this helps to add authority to the review and creates higher levels of trust as your customers can see exactly who your review has come from. It also helps to increase the reach of your post. For example, when you post on Facebook and tag someone in a post, their friends can see the post too. This can sometimes encourage more likes, follows and shares of your post, which ultimately can lead to increased brand awareness, loyalty and website traffic.

Entertain your followers

Whilst people use social media to find out the serious stuff about your business, they also use it to relax and escape the realities of everyday life. Social media is a form of entertainment so make sure that you take the time to inject some light-hearted humour and fun into your posts. This could be anything from sharing funny memes, creating your own viral videos or including some humorous photos of what your team are getting up to in the office today.

You could also include a few games to engage people such as polls and quizzes. Remember to keep these posts relevant to your business and products though i.e. a wedding cake maker might want to include a video of a great wedding first dance or a nursery could include some funny jokes about parenting that their clients could relate to.

Be inspirational

People want to feel good about themselves so show them how your products or services can help them to achieve their goals. Whether you are a personal trainer helping them to get fit and healthy, or an interior designer who can give them the home of their dreams – ensure that you include some aspirational and inspirational posts.

Good quality images are always popular so invest in some professional shots of your business and products. Before and after pictures work really well and can show clearly the difference that you can make to your customers. People also feel buoyed up by inspiring quotes or personal success stories from current clients.

Offer to help and educate

Many potential customers may not know much about your area of expertise or they could be online looking for specific help and advice. Use your social media channels to help educate them. Share you blog posts and those of others within your industry that you feel may help.

You could run Q&A sessions from a live Facebook Feed or share free resources such as e-books or worksheets. These posts are really important as they can help position you as an expert in your field. Sharing knowledge is a great way to interact with others.

Bring your brand to life

Social media means that whatever their size, brands large and small are no longer a faceless logo. Instead it enables customers to see behind the scenes and engage with the people behind the brands.

There is a saying in marketing that ‘people buy people not products’ and this is particularly pertinent to your social media content. Share photos of your team and let people see what you do on a day to day basis. This really helps customers to feel engaged with you and your team and builds understanding and brand loyalty.

Start a conversation

One of the great things about social media is that you can chat to everyone. Make sure that you use your pages to start a conversation with your customers. You could share some product ideas and ask them for their feedback or even get them to name a product.

Ask them to share their stories about how your business has helped them or inquire about their advice and recommendations. People love to feel involved and by chatting to them directly you will be able to find out more about what your customers actually want from your business. It also makes you seem human if you can interact with customers socially.

As you can see there are many ways to use your social media pages. You can end up spending more time on there more than you initially planned! As variety is the spice of life we always recommend using a mixture of all the content ideas that we have included and it can be good to create a monthly social media calendar to help you keep on top of your content schedule. At Wagada we have a wealth of social media experience so if you are having trouble curating your content or simply can’t find the time to do it yourself, we can offer a range of help and support.

 

If you run a small business then you will probably be aware that you face some very specific challenges when it comes to getting your website ranking well in the search engines.

Firstly, you will be competing with larger brands who already have a big share of the market and who have marketing budgets far higher than your own. And, if you are a local business, you’ll also be targeting a much smaller base of potential customers, so you may have to work harder to attract traffic to your website. After all, people will only travel so far, even for a great hairdresser or a fabulous restaurant.

At Wagada HQ we love working with small businesses and we have a wealth of experience in helping them to wake up their website.  The good news is that there are lots of positive ways that small businesses can boost their SEO and get their products and services seen and talked about in the local area. So, let’s take a look at the ways that you can help to boost your site’s ranking in the search engines.

  1. Find out where your business fits in

The first thing you need to consider is where your business fits in and what your particular niche is. What is your unique selling point and what potential customers are you looking to attract? Obviously there is a lot of competition out there so it’s important that you can offer your customers something that your competitors can’t. It could be that you are the only restaurant in the area that cooks a certain type of food or perhaps you are the only hairdresser to have won a national award. You may even have a loyalty scheme that offers discounts or special deals, that no-one else offers. Whatever it is, you need to be able to shout about it online and show people why you are different (and better!) than the rest. Once you know where you fit, you can incorporate this into your SEO strategy. This could mean writing great content that potential customers will want to read, or targeting specific keywords that could be used in searches related to the product or services that you can offer.

  1. Think about your keywords

As a small business, it can really pay off to spend time researching the keywords and long tail keyword phrases that potential customers may be using to search for the products/services you provide. So do some research – speak to your customers either in person or via your social media channels and find out how they found you. What did they search for in Google? Once you know the keywords and phrases that they are using, you can start to incorporate them into your website content. It is also very important to think about the specific local areas that you may be looking to target and ensure that the names of those towns and cities are also included within your keyword strategy.

  1. Make the most of your budget

Whilst you might not have a multi-million-pound marketing budget (wouldn’t that be nice!), you can still get the most out of what you do have. Think about what you are able to do yourself and what elements of your marketing you enjoy and think about what you could outsource. Sometimes trying to do everything yourself can actually be a false economy, as a high-quality SEO agency could get done in one hour what it might take you five hours to achieve. Create a budget planner and look at how your budget can work best for you.

  1. Understand the local ranking factors that work for you

If you are a local business then to boost your SEO, you really need to understand and utilise the local ranking factors that Google uses. If you want to rank locally then the first thing you need to do is get your company on Google My Business. This is easy to set up and it actually uses distance as a ranking factor – giving more prominence to companies based close to where the user is located. This means that it is very important that your address shows correctly on your website and in your Google My Business account.

You can also get reviews on Google My Business and these can really help to boost your rankings. Remember to always ask your customers to leave you a review. The better ratings you have from your reviews, the more likely people are to click on your website!

You should also think about ‘near me’ searches. This is where customers use search terms such as ‘restaurants near me’, ‘florists close by’. So, if you can optimise your site for these type of searches you will reap the rewards, as these search terms are valued highly by Google.

  1. Network online and share your expertise

Networking on social media can help to boost your sales and get your business seen too. One of the reasons why social media is so great is that it works well even if you have a really small budget and if you get it right there’s no reason why your blogs posts can get shared and go viral just as much as those of companies with bigger budgets. Engage with key online influencers such as bloggers who write about your industry and with other local companies whose services and products complement your business.

Remember to add value to others and share your expertise. Create some great content on your website and start sharing! This could be written blog posts, cool images or video content. And don’t forget to engage with others on social media, as this is more likely to mean they will like and share your content in return.

SEO isn’t just for the big players in your market. Small businesses can also boost their website ranking by formulating an SEO strategy that plays to their strengths. It’s great news too, that you can optimise your website on a small budget. If you’re a small business who wants your website to work for you, why not get in touch with us at Wagada HQ. We can offer advice on SEO, website content, social media and digital marketing and we’ll help you to wake up your website and grow your business!

 

Essentially, boosting your Twitter ranking means getting your Twitter account to feature in organic search result pages (SERPs). This, in turn, will help your website and its content get found.

But what if your Twitter account is not ranking in search results or you find that its’ ranking position is fluctuating?

Here’s 4 simple tricks to get your Twitter profile indexed and ranking for queries that relate to your content and your brand …

1)     Create a clear and informative profile using your Twitter handle and bio.

  • Your ‘real name’ on Twitter is searchable, so consider the keywords that clients may be using to search for you online. If you work on your own you may want to use your name. Otherwise, use your business name. This helps your branding and generates consistency across all of your social media channels which Google likes to see.
  • Choose an appropriate ‘user name’ – otherwise known as your Twitter handle and avoid being too vague or using initials. If you’re called Sue’s Florist don’t go by @SMflowers use something like @StAlbansFlorist or @SueWeddingFlorist as this really shouts about what you can offer.
  • Write a simple, short and snappy bio as this is likely to be indexed by Google. To boost your Twitter ranking, consider using popular keywords for your industry that’ll help you get found. If you are a local business, make sure you use local keywords too.

2)     Curate your Twitter content carefully.

  • Avoid multiple tweets as this looks spammy. Instead, plan a couple of well thought out tweets each day for maximum impact. Share relevant news and add value to any re-tweets by adding a comment of your own.
  • Use hashtags to make your tweets searchable. Spend some time researching popular hashtags that are relevant to your industry. You can also include popular general hashtags such as #MondayMotivation or #WednesdayWisdom to boost your posts.
  • Pictures and infographics are a popular way to boost your Twitter ranking and often help to gain interest in what you have to say.

3)     Include links and URLs in your tweets.

  • To drive business back to your website you need to make sure that you include links to your website in a proportion of your tweets. Whilst you can shorten URLs on Twitter with online tools such as Bitly, it is often recommended to use the full URL as people are more likely to click through.
  • Share useful information and an in-depth knowledge of your industry by linking to your website content such as new blogs or articles. This will help build your social authority.

4)     Engage with your Twitter followers and build relationships with key influencers.

  • The best way to boost your Twitter ranking is to gain a high level of engagement with your followers.
  • Not all of your followers will add value to your online presence, so it can be a good idea to regularly review who you want to focus on interacting with. Choose people who are key influencers within your industry. Make sure you tag people by their username if you tweet about their business and always thank people for any likes or re-tweets. Join in conversations and take part in any local or industry relevant Twitter hours as these are a great way to boost engagement.

So, why not start working on boosting your Twitter ranking today! You’ll soon reap the benefits of an increased profile of your brand, more traffic to your website and higher sales. And don’t forget to send us a tweet at @SEO_StAlbans – we’re always happy to connect on social media.

For more information on how to boost your Twitter ranking, feel free to get in touch with a member of the Wagada team.

 

 

With over 500 million users, Instagram is one of the most powerful social media tools around today. It offers the opportunity to engage and interact with people in a very different way to Facebook or Twitter, and allows you to give your followers an insight into your business in a creative way. Here, we discuss our top tips when using Instagram for business, in order to create maximum impact.

Content

On the whole, it’s the content that you post on your business Instagram account that will have the biggest impact on how successful the social media tool is for you. Before your first post, it is a good idea to think about the following:

  • What do you want to achieve from your Instagram account? It’s important to understand that Instagram probably won’t be where potential customers go to search for a service or product they need. They are more likely to find you through hashtags and other users, and often turn to Instagram after discovering you elsewhere, in order to get a feel for your business.
  • Rather than focusing solely on showcasing your products or services, using Instagram for your business can be a great way to show a ‘behind the scenes’ view of your company – be it showing the production process of a product, or simply showing what you get up to in the office as a team. It can also help to demonstrate your brand and brand values in a practical sense.
  • You really need to keep in mind your target audience; their gender; age group; what they’re interested/not interested in.

Engagement and who to follow

If you’re on Instagram as a small business, it’s a great idea to follow and interact with other local businesses in your area. This increases the likelihood of their customers, potential customers and followers seeing your page and engaging with you, and generally being more aware of your products and services. Another tip is to check who your competitors are following, as well as what hashtags they are using.

Be sure to follow back any new followers if they are relevant to you. But take care – don’t just follow back anyone who follows you. Check out their posts, their location, their audience and their brand. It is best to go for followers that have value, as depth is more important than volume. Loyal followers will be more active on your account and are more likely to publicise your page.

When you come to engaging with others, we would recommend not liking pictures with over 1000 likes already, but would suggest you make a comment instead, as the owner of that account is much more likely to see and notice your comment rather than a like.

Hashtags

Hashtags are one of the best tools on Instagram for businesses, in order to get your content seen and increase your reach. Here are a few handy things you should know about, to make sure you get the most out of using hashtags:

  • In theory, you can use up to 30 hashtags per post, but you need to make sure they are all relevant.
  • Rather than adding your hashtags in the description of the picture, post them in the comments as soon as you’ve posted the picture. This way, they are more hidden and can only be seen if the user clicks on ‘view comment’. It simply makes the post look a bit more attractive!
  • Industry-related hashtags will help you increase your reach to a more specific audience. If you are an attending an event, make sure you find out if they are using a hashtag, so others who attend the event can find your pictures.
  • There are a number of commonly-used weekly hashtags, which can be relevant to almost anyone. For example, #MotivationalMonday and #ThrowbackThursday or #PicOfTheDay,. These are almost guaranteed to attract interaction, whether it be a simple like, a comment, or ultimately a follow.

 Plan you posts around calendar events

Planning your posts around a special day in the calendar and using the relevant hashtag is likely to be popular for interaction. For example, a #Christmas hashtag will allow others who are enjoying the festivities to see your post. Other examples could be more specific to your business, for example a technology company may post about an Apple keynote event, with a #keynote tag. Alternatively, other national/international hashtags such as #WorldVeganDay, #PancakeDay, or even hashtags like #NationalDonutDay are a fun way to share content.

Review what has worked

Ultimately, it will take you a short while to work out what works best for your business. Taking a step back to look at what time of day your posts get the most engagement or what hashtags work is sure to be beneficial to you.

So there you have it – WagadaHQ’s top tips when using Instagram for business that will help you get the most out of your snaps.

When you are using Twitter or Facebook to help support your business your aim will be to get your posts seen, liked, shared and engaged with by as many people as possible. However as social media is now so busy and fast paced many businesses find that it can be all too easy for their posts or status updates to get lost in other people’s timelines.

One way of increasing your company’s visibility via your social media channels can be to create and use a social media calendar. By planning ahead you can make sure that your posts are as relevant as possible and that they pick up on the most talked about topics of the moment. This a great way to encourage interaction and will often get your posts seen more widely too. Whilst it may take a bit of time to set up a social media calendar we feel that it is a great investment as it means that you’ll always be up to date with your tweets, you’ll know the right people to engage with and you will be able to get the coverage that you want. So here’s our guide to setting up a great social media calendar.

Choose topics that are relevant to your brand

If you do a search on Google for seasonal events you could find several different topics for each day of the year!  However not all of these will be relevant to your brand so it’s best to go through and refine the dates and items that you are going to add to your social media calendar. This will help you to make sure that they fit in well with your business and will help you to meet your objectives.  Obviously it’s great to pick up on the major occasions of the year such as Christmas, Easter and Halloween but you should also look at niche topics where your business can shine. For example a restaurant may want to create a new pie recipe to share during National Pie Week or a clothes boutique may decide to blog about the latest trends during London Fashion Week. Pick subjects that you have a real expertise in so that you can chat to others on social media about them and show them that your business can offer help or advice in that area.

Include hashtags in your posts

Most large events or celebrations now have their own hashtags. These hashtags mean that anyone searching on social media for posts about that topic will see the hashtagged posts in their timeline, so potentially using your hashtags wisely can mean that will reach more people via social media than you normally would. However be expedient in your use of hashtags. We find that posts with a high volume of hashtags may look spammy or too sales like and people may ignore them. We recommend using one or two hashtags in a post. It can also be a good idea to do a search yourself for the event hashtag and start to interact with and share posts from others using it. This is a brilliant way to get engagement and they may well reciprocate by sharing your posts too. It’s also a good way to explore which posts are working well online – you can then model your posts on the ones that seem to be getting the most shares and comments.

Follow, share, like and comment on the relevant account

Many large shows or events have their own social media accounts now, so as well as using the relevant hashtags take the time to like their Facebook page and Twitter accounts too. Some large campaigns may be run by particular brand i.e. #breakfastweek is fun by a cereal company – so like and comment on their timelines. These brands will be keen to encourage people to join in with their campaign and so you are likely to get a comment back or a share or re-tweet which could be seen by thousands if they are a popular company!

Create your own social media events

Of course you don’t just have to use other people’s events or significant dates to highlight on your social media calendar – you can also have a go at creating your own.  This can be really effective as you can make sure the event ties in with the product and service you are offering. A good example of this could be a Hertfordshire Deli setting up a #MadeinHerts week where they promote products made by local producers and sourced from local farms. If you can get other retailers involved too you can really harness the power of social media by all using the same hashtag and sharing and re-tweeting each other posts. For example a hairdresser may choose to work with other beauty providers such as nail artists and personal shoppers to create a #localbeauty day where you could promote special offers on social media. There are no limits to what you can achieve and your day could even become so popular that it ends up on other people’s social media calendars!

Keep up to date

Of course it’s great to plan in advance but you should also remember to leave space for the latest events and news that might be pertinent to your industry. When a large newsworthy event occurs it is often seen first on social media and people may be using a hashtag too which could start trending. So make sure you keep up to date with the latest news and if you think it’s something your customers will be interested in then get posting! It could be new of a royal baby or the latest celebrity selfie – if people are talking about it then it’s good to get involved.

As you can see using a social media calendar to plan your posts can really help to keep your social media profile alive and up to date. By tapping into the zeitgeist of the moment you can ensure that more people will see your posts and will want to engage with you on social media.

 

As a St Albans based business we’re passionate about getting involved in our local community, bringing small businesses together and making a difference to the lives of people living in our area. Whether it’s having fun in the St Albans Pancake Day race (we made it to the semi-finals!), supporting the business leaders of the future in the Dragons’ Apprentice schools challenge or running workshops here at STANTA to help local companies learn more about Google – you’ll always see us getting involved. That’s why we were really excited to hear about a new local enterprise called Get Out Of The Rut. As soon as we found out about it we knew that we wanted to support such a positive and life affirming initiative!

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What is Get Out Of The Rut all about?

You know that awful January feeling when you are stuck in a routine and you want to make positive changes but you don’t quite know how to do it? Well Get Out Of The Rut is an inspirational 12 week fitness and wellbeing programme designed to help two very deserving local ladies bring themselves out of that rut with over £6000 of life-transforming gifts from the St Albans community. The idea was thought up by Total Care Personal Training who are working with a number of fabulous local businesses to help these women in many different ways. From fitness training aimed to show that eating out doesn’t have to be unhealthy, to life coaching and personal styling, the ladies are being given a total makeover! We think that this programme is going to make a world of difference to the life of these two women and we’re looking forward to seeing the final results.

Who is Getting Out Of The Rut

Two absolutely inspiring local ladies were chosen to travel on this 12 week journey of personal discovery.  The winners were nominated by the St Albans community and we think that they well deserve this fantastic opportunity. The first winner is 34 year old Shelley Mancusa. Shelley selflessly supported her brother when he suffered a traumatic brain injury. She then struggled with infertility for 6 years and giving birth left her with physical injuries which really damaged her self-esteem. The second participant is Carla Watson, also 34. Since her Father sadly passed away last year, Carla has been struggling to regain her healthy lifestyle. She works with some of the most vulnerable homeless people in our area and after giving so much to the community we think it’s time we gave something back to her!

How are Wagada helping?

As we’re social media experts, we are helping to spread the word far and wide about this amazing initiative. We want to get as many people as possible in the local St Albans community together to celebrate the achievements of these two wonderful women and to support them in meeting their goals in 2016!

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You can help this amazing initiative by following the Get Out Of The Rut Facebook page and sharing updates on social media with the hashtag #GetOutofTheRut. Follow @TheRut_2016 and get Re-Tweeting!

 If you are a local business who would like to get involved please contact the team who would love to hear from you! Just drop them a line at TheRut@tcpt.co.uk or visit their website http://www.therut.tv/

LinkedIn has become so successful since its launch in 2003 that it now ranks third behind Twitter and Facebook in terms of the number of unique monthly visitors it receives. However we find that many businesses and professionals can underestimate how useful their LinkedIn profile can be. This means that they often don’t pay enough attention to their profile. In order to ensure that you are getting found by the customers and clients that you want to connect with it’s vital to make sure that your LinkedIn profile is professional, optimised and up to date.

We have found that lots of people don’t realise that you can actually optimise your LinkedIn profile so that you can get found more easily in the search engines – and look more professional online. It’s simple to do and it could have a really big impact on your business, so here’s how you can go about doing it.

Create a customised URL for your page

Creating a customised URL for your business or personal page gives a much more professional feel to your profile and it makes it much easier for people to share your page online. It can also improve your click-through rate as people can instantly see what the link is about and are more likely to use it to visit your profile.

A standard LinkedIn URL usually just has a number code at the end so anyone receiving a link to your profile or seeing a link on social media may be reluctant to click through to your page. However you can make a personal URL i.e. http://www.linkedin.com/in/johnsmith simply by clicking on your public profile settings then going into your public profile URL (found on the right-hand side) then customising it with your name or business name.

Use keywords to optimise your LinkedIn profile

Just as you use keywords to optimise your website you can use them to the same effect on your LinkedIn profile.  Think about the kinds of words or phrases that people might look for when they are searching in LinkedIn with reference to your industry, product or service and make sure that these keywords are included within your page. It can be particularly important to place them in high profile areas of the text such as your headline and summary.

Make sure that anchor text for website links are optimised

If you have links through to your website or blog on your LinkedIn page you can make sure that these are optimised too so that they offer more information to people viewing your profile. This means that they are more likely to want to click through. Instead of using the default text links you can modify the anchor text by editing your profile. Begin by clicking Profile >> Edit Profile at the top of the page. Then click the Contact Info section, click the pencil icon next to your website links, and select Other in the drop-down menu.

Now you will find that instead of simply having the word ‘blog’ as your link you can add in keywords that are relevant to what your blog is really about i.e. ‘Wagada’s SEO blog’.

We think LinkedIn is a really valuable tool for businesses and it definitely makes sense to take the time to optimise your LinkedIn profile for the search engines. You might also want to make sure that your profile looks polished and professional by adding a custom background photo relevant to your business, making sure that your latest customers have endorsed you and keeping your details up to date.

Since Facebook launched paid-for and targeted advertising it has become really popular with small businesses. In fact, due to a change in their algorithms, it is now harder for brands and companies to get seen on Facebook unless they invest in a paid-for advertising campaign.

But the good news is that Facebook advertising can be very successful and it also doesn’t have to cost the earth. The minimum budget for a campaign is £1 per day and it can really help to improve your reach, increase your page likes and drive customers to your website too. However you need to put some thought and planning into your campaign to maximise its chance of success. Here are the key points that we recommend you consider before you begin advertising.

Facebook Advertising Campaign

What do I want to achieve?

Facebook offers a number of different targeting options for your advertising campaign. The most popular reason people advertise is to get more likes to their pages, however there is also a feature to boost individual posts – so if you want to advertise a particular product or service, this a great way to make sure as many people as possible see that post.

Facebook can also offer targeted advertising to drive customers directly to your website. This is particularly good for small online retailers as it means customers can purchase a product quickly and easily, and it is a great short-term way to boost views of your site. You will also have the option to promote a specific offer or discount. So have a think about what you want your campaign to achieve and what advertising method will work best for your specific goals.

What will I get for my money?

Before you set your budget, you may want to investigate exactly what your money will buy you. Generally the more money you pay, the more likes you will get and the more people will see your advert. When you begin your campaign, Facebook has a handy tool which shows you the average amount of likes per day that you will get for your spend – so you can trial different daily budgets until you find the one which suits you best.

Who are my target audience?

Facebook uses an extremely clever algorithm to provide advertisers with a way of targeting specific customers. You are able to target age ranges and gender, and you can also choose locations. This can be a country as a whole or even a specific city or town.

Once you have chosen those demographics, you can then choose up to 10 keywords that your customers might be talking about on Facebook that link to your product. So a restaurant might pick words/phrases such as ‘eating out’, ‘Chinese food’ and ‘St Albans’ or a building firm might pick words such as ‘extension’, ‘planning permission’ and ‘architects’. This a great way to target a very specific audience.

How can I learn from my ad campaign results?

Of course at the end of any campaign it is vital to assess your results. Look at what went well and what you could do differently. We often suggest that it can be a good idea to trial two or three different targeted segments i.e. age groups or locations and then compare your results to see who you are getting the best response from. You can then use this data to inform your campaigns going forward.

Facebook advertising is a great way to give your social media pages a boost and to promote your products and services online. You can get good results with a modest budget and you can also target the people most likely to be interested in your business.

For more information about improving your website’s online presence, visit our main content marketing page.

tree-200795_128025We all know how important it is for small businesses to get smart about social media. When you set up a company it can be tempting to begin by creating every single type of social media account to link to your business – but we find that often people can’t keep up with them all, and may struggle to use them successfully.

What people often don’t realise is that it is better to pick one or two social media channels and use them really well, rather than having lots of channels that are managed badly or neglected. But it can be hard to pick the right ones. As all social media channels work differently it is important to look at how each one works and what it can bring to your business. Here are some of the things you may want to think about when deciding what social media channel will work for you.

Are you a customer facing business or do you provide business to business services?

Your choice of social media is mainly determined by your business type. If you are offering a public-facing service such as a hairdressers or a clothes shop you will want to interact with the general public as much as possible. Therefore sites where it is easy to get shared and liked such as Facebook will provide you with maximum exposure. Facebook also provides a map of your location for customers to find you more easily, and lets happy customers write reviews of your business. Sites such as Instagram and Pinterest are also a great way of getting images and pictures of your products liked and shared quickly online.

For companies that are offering a business to business proposition we find that images are not as vital and sites such as Pinterest and Instagram are limited in what they can do for your company. It can be a good idea for B2B companies to join Twitter where you can interact quickly with other businesses and build a good contact base. Many industries have their own networking sessions on Twitter which is a great way to link up with potential clients and get your company name seen and re-tweeted. Likewise, LinkedIn works well for business to business marketing, providing the opportunity to demonstrate expertise in the blog or publishing platform or engage with prospects in industry relevant groups.

Who is your typical customer and what social media channel do they interact with the most?

It is worth tallying your typical customer demographic with their preferred social media channel to get the maximum effect from social media. Instagram is known to be very popular with 16-24-year-olds so it would be great to use this if you are targeting the youth market. Alternatively Pinterest is very popular with women so this would be a great channel to use for a product that targets the female population. Take the time to do some research and ask your customers what social media they use most and how they want to interact with your business.

Are you a local or a national business?

Many small businesses work on a local level and are looking to be seen online by their immediate community. Twitter can be good for this as you have business chat sessions that are based on the county you are in i.e. #Hertshour for Hertfordshire. This is a brilliant way to get seen online. Facebook also has a number of local groups that you can interact with as a business. So a nursery business could join a local mums group for example. Facebook also lets you put a location map on your page so people can instantly see where you are in relation to them.

If you are purely an online retailer then you can source your customers from all over the UK, so you can use your social media pages to encourage customers to buy from your online store. Facebook offers you a call to action button on your page which you can use to encourage customers to “visit our site” or “buy now”. Pinterest also offers a “buy now” button so people can purchase directly by clicking on the image that they like.

Social media is a great way of getting your business seen, making connections and building a community of loyal customers. Make sure that you choose the social media channel that will have the best rate of success for your business buy reviewing what you have to offer, how your customers want to interact with you and if you want to target a local or national market. By choosing the right channels for your social media strategy you can increase your online profile and ultimately increase your sales and customer base.

Importantly consistency is key – to drive engagement you need to post regularly and create a two-way conversation with your audience, asking questions, commenting and sharing wherever possible. So once you’ve selected the social media channel(s) you want to focus on you need to commit! This means investing significant time & energy into creating engaging content and interacting with your followers.

For more information about getting the best out of your website, contact us.

The last 5 years has seen the rise of social media as a business tool, and the majority of companies have begun to realise how important social media can be for them in terms of marketing, gaining customer loyalty and building relationships with customers.

All this additional engagement got the online world excited about how this affected search engine rankings. Many SEOs started testing to see if social media could truly help SEO – looking for a direct link between content being shared and pages rising in ranking. Much to everyone’s disappointment, most of these tests showed no direct link to prove that social media helps SEO.

This does not mean that you should abandon your social media work. Social media can help SEO, but in more of an indirect way. By building social media platforms for your brand you can help to engage and interact with customers, increase traffic to your website and as a result see your website rankings rise. However using social media to help your rankings is not just about setting up your Facebook or Twitter pages. It is also vital to use it effectively and dynamically as this engagement is what can really help your website and online profile.

How does social media help increase your page rankings?

So how do search engines use your social media pages when they work out page rankings? Google is always updating its algorithms to make sure that its search output is as relevant as possible to its customers, and a high social media presence is one way of assessing the authority and relevance of your brand. The power of online interactions has seen Google pay increasing attention to the ways that businesses use their social media, but it’s important to realise that the power of social media lies in engagement with others. It is fairly easy to set up a Facebook page and a Twitter account, but you need to engage with customers, build up followers with a good authority and get your website content shared on social media.

Creating engagement and content sharing

Most SEO experts will rightly tell you that great content is vital to helping your site gain relevance in the search engines. You need to create engaging content to keep customers’ interest, and keep them coming back to your site. However once the content is on your site, you also need to get it out there. So how do you get potential customers over to see the wonderful content you have? This is where social media really starts to work for you. It is the ideal way to share your online content with your client base – and the better and more relevant the content is, the more likely these customers are to share it with to their friends and family, and to spread the word about what you have to offer. We all know how quickly social media posts can “go viral”, and with the right content you can increase your audience exponentially.

Link building and blogger relationships

A vital way to boost your search engine ranking is by link building – getting other high authority sites and blogs to host your content and link back to you. However it can be hard to find an effective way to reach out to people who may find your site interesting and who want to share your content. Cold calls and unsolicited emails are not always popular and it can be hard to know where to start. A far better way to gain an engaged influencer network is to start to interact with key businesses and bloggers on social media. Engage with bloggers who are relevant to your product, share their content and posts, follow them and get to know the content that they want to share. It is then far easier to make contact and to ask for them to help in promoting you to their followers.

Therefore we can see how social media can help SEO and contribute to your online success. By engaging, sharing and relationship building via your social media you can help boost your website’s search engine ranking.

For more information on how to use social media to help your SEO, contact us.