If your website gets hacked in the evening or weekend, will your hosting company or your website agency be there for you? Or will you get a message saying they will look at it during regular office hours?
Last night we had a luxury hotel that came under sustained attack, the result being they lost control of their website. They found themselves locked out and that their home page was now the doorway to spam downloads.
The website had a premium WordFence security Plugin already in place, but still, it was compromised. Wordfence, when contacted, said they would look at the issue in the morning for a fee of $125!
The hackers had covered their tracks well, and it looked like they had got in via another user account. They had then added additional scripts and set up a ring of protection for themselves.
With the client getting inundated with worried guests and the concern that Google could quickly blacklist them for Spam they got in touch. It was 11.30 pm.
We had a look at the log files on the server and could see suspicious activity had taken place in the previous 24 hours. We quickly decided to roll the website back seven days, including the Database and all files.
Within 30 mins we back in the website.
With this done, we quickly logged in and changed all the passwords and installed two-factor authentification protocols using separate phone apps. Our IT support team then monitored the website through the night. IP addresses were blacklisted, plugins checked and by 1.30 am; everything was fine with any website changes back in place.
By the time the client came back in this morning, everything was back online and working.
I have mentioned many times that some people are surprised that we also offer website hosting. It was never our intention in the beginning but having worked with so many client websites that were underperforming due to cheap shared hosting or had dire support. We started to offer our own.
Our dedicated servers are hosted in the UK, and our IT support is available 24/7 365 days per year. We run a dedicated high-performance server that can text us if someone even looks at it the wrong way!
Your website is at the centre of your online world, imagine what you would do if you lost it all and had to start again? With Genius Loci Media we are already ahead of you, with daily backups kept for a rolling seven days, together with monthly backups kept offsite on separate servers.
As you read this are all your plugins up to date?
Are all of your Plugins still valid?
Are you running the latest version of WordPress?
When was the last time you updated your passwords?
Do you even have time to even think about these issues?
Our solution is you won’t need to as our approach is to let you get back to what you do best, while we do the rest.
We are working with Classical Strings to help set up high-quality HD audio for Virtual Weddings using Zoom.
This is being achieved using Beyer Mics via a Focusrite audio interface. The sound is then channelled into Logic Pro X and out via Zoom.
Depending on the room the couple is getting married in we can add reverb and EQ to mimic a Church or Cathedral.
For the visual aspect, we will be using a green screen with a projected background to suit the occasion. A high-quality recording will also be made at the same time to be used as a wedding gift.
Phil Genius Loci Media Digital Marketing Support www.geniusloci.co.uk +(0)1736 719342
Very honoured to have been asked to be on ‘The Thaducation Podcast’ with Thad Cox
In this podcast, I tell our story about how Genius Loci Media was set up, the risks we took, the mistakes we made, how we learnt to pivot when required and then go on to become a very successful Digital Agency.
I also cover lots of tips on how to use Social Media and promote yourself using digital media.
Ideas are easy; it is the execution and implementation that is harder.
It is the same when creating content for your website and social media. You might type your thoughts into a Facebook or Linkedin post, but when it comes to your website, I see many people just put this off.
This approach results in a mixed message where your website seems to be behind your other online activities and can be confusing to your customers
One of our clients said “I have the ideas, but I don’t have the time to think about the SEO elements, source or resize images or worry about layout.”
We take your ideas, publish them on your website (and social media), look after the SEO, layout, and can even suggest subjects for you to write about if you need them!
Our approach is to take away the worry so you can be creative, look after your customers while we look after your online world.
Please give me a call to see how we can help you and your business.
A trend I see at the moment is a lot of people and businesses starting to use Facebook Advertising for the first time. An example of this would be local food suppliers and restaurants. They are trying to run Facebook Ads for a very niche geographical area. This would make sense if you are starting to offer local home delivery. However, due to poor targeting, the Ads are being shown hundreds of miles outside their area of operation.
Targeting Is Everything
I am based near Penzance in Cornwall and I am seeing Ads for businesses that can only deliver in a few Postcodes in Manchester or Glasgow. I have even seen an Ad for a takeaway service in New York!
The result is a surge in negative feedback from people disappointed that they cannot take up the offer advertised plus poor Ad relevancy. This is also a waste of Ad spend at a time when businesses are looking to reduce costs.
It is absolutely essential that you take time to research your market, look at your competitors, spend some time targeting the potential profile of your customers and decide where your want your Ads to be shown and when.
Make Sure Your Website is Displaying the Same Message
The next step is to make sure your website is up to date and portraying the same message you are putting out. I have clicked on several Ads recently that have taken me to pages that display a totally different message than that of the Ad. For example, I clicked on a link that advertised a new take away menu only to find the landing page was showing the full restaurant menus from a few weeks back. Your customers are looking up to date information, so it is essential to ensure the news you are sharing on Social Media is also on your website.
Now is also the time to boost your SEO by improving the quality of your website content. I would also recommend monitoring your market and competitors with analytics for your website and social channels. Doing this will help you understand how your current and future customers are reacting to any situation.
Now is The Time to Build Trust and Build Brand Equity
Done correctly your marketing on Social Media with quality content and good SEO will increase your online visibility and bring in new loyal customers.
Please get in touch if you need any help or advice in putting these ideas into action
Don’t Build Your Empire on Rented Land
I work with a lot of clients who have started out on several platforms and then through seeing initial success ended up putting all their efforts into one.
This is never a good idea, algorithms can change, the rules can change and the audience may go elsewhere.
It is very important to spread your content and energy across several platforms and most importantly keep your website at the centre of operations.
I am currently working with a client who has nearly 100% of their business on Instagram and has had their account blocked for a few days due to using a 3rd party App. Their engagement had dropped considerably due to changes within Instagram already and now they need to build their brand elsewhere and really focus on SEO and getting a more professional website in place.
Putting all your marketing eggs in one basket is not a good idea
The point to remember is if you lose your presence on a social media platform you lose all your content, connections and history. Remember Google Plus!
Your website should always be where your content is shared from or at least also available.
From experience, many social media posts could easily be tweaked to be Blog posts.
Instagram Adds New Category Listings Under ‘Following’
This lets you see who you have ‘Least Interacted With’ and which accounts get the most visibility in your feed. It does not tell you who has stopped following you but you can tidy up your account by disconnecting with accounts that are no longer active.
Phil Aston Genius Loci Media Digital Marketing Support
In the last few weeks, I have seen and heard of various Instagram, Facebook Pages and Twitter accounts being blocked or disabled for various reasons.
The support these platforms give is next to zero so it can be very hard to get an account back online. As the platforms start to block third party Apps and any form of automation the social media platforms can easily mistake your activity as gaming the system.
For example on Instagram if you like too many posts too quickly you can have your account disabled for being spammy or get asked to change your password as it will think you are using third party Apps. In fact, even logging in form from a different device or app can trigger a warning now.
Another client came to me after their Facebook Ad Account was disabled and their page was taken down. There is no explanation when this happens and no support. The only thing we could see is that the wording on an offer was slightly different on the landing page. It could have been Facebook or a someone just reporting the Ad, that is all it takes. Facebook’s response was to delete the page and start again.
Eventually, I was able to get the account back online but it took over 3 weeks.
I see more and more business putting all their efforts into one platform, this is very dangerous as you are building your business on borrowed land. All it needs is the algorithm to change and your traffic could reduce dramatically. A good example is again Instagram who have now stopped showing posts in order and given more emphasis on paid Ads. The removal of likes will also have an effect on how people interact with you.
What Should You Do?
My advice is to keep your website updated, do not forget to share from there. If you have written a post on social media then create a blog post. It takes time but nurture your audience on several platforms, include video and ensure you invest in SEO for your website.
Do not put your eggs (revenue streams) in one basket.
This in a way is a bit of a rant about Instagram in a positive way. I am currently working with a number of clients, helping them with Instagram, and as you know, those of you who seen my videos before, I am a great supporter of social and how it’s going to, how it is changing the way we do business and the fact that being online now is all about building trust and being authentic and being yourself.
Instagram is an interesting platform. Everybody now is flocking towards it and it’s all about the follower numbers again! Just like any other social media platform, as it gained lots of traction, all the businesses have moved in. When that happens, all the marketing people move in (people like me) but I have a very different approach to how I feel you should be using this platform.
If you go and Google how to get going on Instagram, it’s all about gaining followers. There is a strategy called follow and then unfollow, and this to me is just sheer madness, even Instagram absolutely hates this. If you’ve got your Android or Apple phone, there’s loads of apps which will let you follow and automate Instagram and unfollow people, but let’s take a step back here.
You are a business and you want to connect with your customers and you want to build trust with those people and you want them to get to know you. Then you want to them at some point to share or even buy the things that you’re offering. So what are you doing to actually show that you are a good, kind, ethical, and conscientious person? You are basically following as many people as possible (as you’re allowed to) and then you’re checking back every two to three days to see who hasn’t followed you back and then you are unfollowing them.
So you’re following people just for the sheer act of getting followers, and if they don’t follow you back, you’re dumping them. What does that say about you and your business?
Because if you are a business and you have a business Instagram account, you can actually see this happening. You look at an account and it’s following 3000 people and it has 600 followers. What does that tell you about that account? What is their newsfeed like where they’ve got 3000 potential posts going into their newsfeed, It tells you a lot and it’s not good.
Now, another fact that might help people here is that if you look at Pledge or Kickstarter, the actual number of people you need to get a project off the ground is between 80 and a 100. Now, let me just re-phrase that. Between 80 and a 100 super fans, supporters, customers who really love what you do. You do not need thousands of vanity followers.
I think it’s Lady Gaga’s Twitter account manager who says that out of all of those millions of people that follow her, there’s about 500 of them that really matter. This morning I saw a post on Instagram where someone said, “Wow, thanks, everyone. We’ve got a thousand followers.” But they’re following over 6,000 people, so they haven’t really a thousand followers because a thousand people really love what they do. They’ve just kept following and following until they reached that number. You can see it in their low engagement and you can see this with lots of accounts with 40,000 or 50,000 a hundred thousand followers that they get between 15 and 20 people actually like their posts. You can see other accounts where they’ve got 500 people following them and they get nearly 80 to a 100 people liking their posts. Which one is the best strategy for you?
I would say let go the numbers. We’re not in the school playground anymore collecting Star Wars cards and it’s whoever’s got the most is the most important and the most special person in the playground. We are businesses and you are trying to build trust with your customers. So my advice is whenever you go on the internet and look for how do I build my Instagram account if it says follow 200 people a day and check back in two days’ time to see who hasn’t followed you and dump them, don’t do that.
Also, most of these follower apps can get your account suspended. Instagram is really doubling down and literally stopping people using their API for Instagram to do this. They do not want you to automate Instagram.
So if you want to enjoy it, and that’s really, you should enjoy what you’re doing, just grow your account organically. Interact with people, and that means comment. It doesn’t just mean leave a few hearts and a few emojis. It means actually if you see something inspires you, tell that person that you’ve been really enjoyed their post. Reach out. See if you can help. And the other thing, Instagram or any social platform isn’t just an opportunity to say, “Buy my stuff. Buy my stuff.” It’s about adding value. It’s about giving information and knowledge that you have that may help somebody else out there. These posts that say … there’s a nice pretty picture and then it says, “Please ring. Please book. Please buy.” People aren’t going to do that.
If you build a story and you share authentically what you love and what your passions are, if people want to find out more, they can go to your profile, they can click and go to your website, and they can drop you an email. They can drop you a message in Instagram and say, “Please, I’m interested in what you do.” You don’t have to keep telling people, “Oh, you’re looking at me, so buy my stuff.” That is not how social media works. You’re just using it as an opportunity for cold calling, which is dead in the water for a while now.
On Instagram, be yourself, chat, be friendly, but don’t see people just as numbers, because that will say a lot about you because people will know you’re doing it. They can tell from the way your account looks. If you’re following 6,000 people and only 800 people following you back, you are obviously following that strategy and people just will think, “Do I really want to get connected with these people?” Whereas an account that maybe has only 400 followers but you’re only following back 200? That says you’re gaining all authority and people obviously want to be in your world because what you talk about, you have an authority in it.
It’s not just follower numbers, nor is any other social platform. Be yourself. Just take a step back and just deliver content. It’s all about content and being consistent and turning up and thinking about how can I help people, how can I connect with people out there using hashtags, and what do I do and how do those people discover me, and then chat to them and build relationships.