Social Media

by Phil Aston Phil Aston No Comments

Don’t Put All Your Eggs Into Social Media – Your Website Is Still King

Phil Aston

A few days ago I almost lost my Twitter account. This was due to an error on Twitter which locked me out of my account.  I then spent a very worrying 24 hours talking to the Twitter Support Bots trying to get it sorted out.  Don’t Google Twitter Support, the stories will not fill you with confidence at all!

The worst part was when the automated support message from Twitter said.  ‘We suggest you open up a new account and start again’. After spending almost 9 years on the Twitter platform and with 30K followers the idea of just starting again was a bit depressing, to say the least.

It did make me think about how much we rely on Social Media platforms to expand our business.  We have to remember we have no control of these platforms and they can change at a moments notice.  For example, having 100, 000 followers on Google Plus meant a lot in 2013 and now not a lot.

All of us use social media now more than we have ever done before and we can sometimes neglect our own websites. For many of us, our discussions now take place on Social Media. The fact is your website should still be the centre of your content universe.

You have to remember that you don’t own the real estate you have on any social media platform, the only place you can say that you do is with your website. Here you have control, it’s your domain name and your content.

If a social media platform decides to change it’s algorithm or change its terms of service you could easily lose part of your revenue or audience. Make sure that you don’t put too much of your business on one Social Media platform.  Safeguard yourself in case anything happens by building up an audience on several platforms and keep up-to-date with trends and where your audience is.

With your website at the center of what you do you can post out to the different Social Media platforms with links to your website.

If you do get locked out of any social media account make sure you have backups of your passwords, email, and phone numbers.  If you update your phone number make sure you update your social media accounts if you use additional verification.

Phil Aston

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by Phil Aston Phil Aston No Comments

Facebook News Feed Changes and Your Business Page 2018

Facebook News Feed 2018

What does this change mean for Facebook Business Pages and public content?

“Because space in News Feed is limited, showing more posts from friends and family and updates that spark conversation means we’ll show less public content, including videos and other posts from publishers or businesses.

As we make these updates, Pages may see their reach, video watch time and referral traffic decrease.

The impact will vary from Page to Page, driven by factors including the type of content they produce and how people interact with it.

Pages making posts that people generally don’t react to or comment on could see the biggest decreases in distribution.
Pages whose posts prompt conversations between friends will see less of an effect”.
From The Facebook Announcement – January 11th 2018.

What should You Do?
What this means is that everyone should now have a Facebook Advertising budget and be using it like any other marketing media.

Engagement will help but overall if you want to be seen by the people who like your content and be discovered by new fans and customers you need to advertise.

Facebook advertising is still very cheap but I expect this to change this year.

Many businesses will also need to up their game.  By that, I mean responding to comments, messages and likes faster and with more thought.  The fight to get into your fans news feeds is now extremely important.

Advertising and great quality content can do a lot to help you get to see and heard, but being shared by your fans will also help with your visibility.  The aim has always been to build trust and relationships this should now be part of your content strategy.

The targeting and reach on Facebook is still the best way to reach your customers. It can be complex so if you want help please get in touch.Below is the link to the full Facebook announcement.

Phil Aston
Genius Loci
01736 719342

#facebook #pages

https://newsroom.fb.com/…/news-feed-fyi-bringing-people-cl…/

by Phil Aston Phil Aston No Comments

Are you still using Twitter the same amount as before?

I have started to notice for a lot of my clients (yes they are posting a bit less) the amount of website referral traffic coming in from Twitter has really dropped. Almost all the social media traffic now is coming in from Facebook.

I am not sure if this is making people think that Twitter is less important and they are putting less effort into it.

There is also no doubt that more people on Twitter are simply broadcasting themselves or sharing other peoples content with no input from themselves.

So I wonder when I see in the news that Twitter is having a bit of a renaissance (perhaps because of people like President Trump) is it really? I do feel you have to engage more and talk more to get the level of engagement you used to get.

I have acquired quite a few clients from Twitter but even I am seeing a drop in engagement. What I am seeing is groups of people following me for a few days and then disappear so they are using an automated system for getting more followers. I am also seeing what is obviously a lot of scheduled posts which creates a lot of noise and little interaction.

So are you using Twitter the same, using it differently, or walking away?

Thanks
Phil

by Phil Aston Phil Aston No Comments

Facebook Advertising Tips – Google Campaign Builder


Video Text Below

Here is a little tip when setting up your Ads on Facebook.
I know you probably have a Facebook Pixel, and if you haven’t, make sure you have. But what you want to do is track how people are coming to your website from Facebook.

Facebook is brilliant at taking your money and it can give you lots of stats but they are not always accurate.

So my Facebook Ads tip is that always use the Google Campaign URL builder first of all.  This will help generate a unique URL for the page you want to send people to.

This will allow you to stipulate who you are advertising, with, the medium, creative copy so you can see how each Ad is performing.

Use the Campaign URL builder first before you set up your Ad on Facebook.  Then you can make sure you use the same campaign name, Ad name and demographic identifiers when putting your URL in place.

If you want any help with your Facebook Advertising then please get in touch.

Thanks

Phil

 

by Phil Aston Phil Aston No Comments

Should you spend your Facebook advertising budget on getting likes for your page?


People are obsessed with numbers, it is true if you have a large follower count it does make you look like more of an authority.

If you are starting from scratch with just a few hundred followers you do not want to spend more on trying to increase your follower count as this can be expensive.

My suggestion would be to spend your advertising budget on targeting people who will sign up for services or buy your products.

You will see more of a return on your investment and those people in turn will share your content to their friends and like your page in turn.
So think about your products and services and don’t get too hung up on the numbers initially.

If you want any help or advice with your Facebook Advertising, please get in touch.

Phil Aston

by Phil Aston Phil Aston No Comments

Social Media Tips – The Rule Of 5

What Should I Post?

Video Length = 52 seconds / Transcription below

A lot of people ask me what rules do I follow when I am posting on Social Media for myself or my clients.
I have a rule of five.

This means for every 5 posts, 3 posts will be by other people, chosen because I feel the content will be interesting and helpful for my followers, Clients and potential clients.
One of those 5 will be promoting my own business products and services and the final post will be something that tells you a bit more about me and what interests I have.

I find this approach works across any platform.

If you want any help with Social Media please get in Touch.
Thanks
Phil

by Phil Aston Phil Aston No Comments

Twitter For Law Firms

Twitter for lawyers

Although we work a great deal with Tourism and Retail brands we also work in other market sectors as well.  We were recently asked to compile a report of why Twitter in particular is beneficial to Law Firms

Twitter is a fantastic B2B tool

Key benefits

  • Build brand awareness
  • Share Information
  • Attract new clients
  • Remind existing clients you are still here
  • Engage with clients
  • Show your expertise
  • Drive traffic to your website
  • Recruit new staff
  • Find news in your market
  • Improve PR
  • Share articles and pages from your website

However, it is a statistical fact that law firms have been slow off the mark in getting involved with social media. Many of those who have had a go have either simply broadcast messages for a while and then given up. Those that have stuck with it have seen many advantages to their business.

Here are specific benefits to law firms which revolve around increasing awareness and reputation:

  • Enquires
  • More likely to get cases referred to you
  • Approached by more journalists for quotes
  • Able to demonstrate expertise to potential clients
  • Company Image becomes more personable

Is it harder for law firms?
It seems that most law firms believe the mantra of ‘You’ve got to be on Twitter’ but aren’t really sure why.

In 2016 econsultancy.com stated in their Legal Sector survey, that many firms were more accepting of social media, and that engaging with clients on social was increasingly common.
This interaction, though, was happening chiefly at an individual level (between lawyers and clients or other parties) and that certainly makes sense given lawyer specialisms and profiles.

My take on this is that many law firms are very dry in their postings and perhaps too corporate. The public do not find it easy to choose a lawyer or solicitor (even approaching one can be difficult). Social media (Twitter) is ideal in building trust and helping people choose you over a competitor. The way you post and help others will certainly help more than your static website.

A Solicitor who is very succesful on Twitter
A really good example of how Twitter can be used for law is Donna Beckett.

Donna has the largest following and reach through Twitter for any law firm. Beckett and Co now get a lot of work through Twitter and have scrapped a lot of their traditional marketing – saving £1000s.

Here is a link to a blog post where Donna describes her journey on Twitter and the benefits:

You will notice in Donna’s blog post that she talks about engagement and not just promoting, this is very important.

How Law Firms can Use Twitter Well
People will search for answers using hashtags. Some of the most popular for law are #familylaw, #ukemplaw, #legalaid etc. Monitoring these can mean you can engage with people and direct them to resources on your website or private message them.

A good law firm’s Twitter feed needs to keep two things in mind:

  • It’s all about the clients
  • It’s not all about the firm

Updates should deliver:

  • Breaking news of interest to your clientele
  • Provide links to reports of interest and importance to clients’ industries
  • Spread the word about upcoming events and opportunities that could deliver value to clients
  • Re-tweet good updates from other Twitter accounts, ensuring that all the links in such RTs are valid and respectable.
  • Follow the feeds of other Twitter users you like, and of the clients and potential clients
  • The easiest way to pick up followers is by adding analysis or perspective to a piece of breaking news. Show people who might become clients in the future how a new ruling or development could affect them down the road.
    A good website to find content is www.rightrelevance.com

Use Lists
Lists are like having different TV channels on your TV. You will notice that Donna follows a lot of people, to just look at her newsfeed would be chaos, so she uses lists dedicated to different subjects so she does not miss anything.

Choosing a profile
You could use your logo – but social media is all about being social and building trust so I would recommend a personal photo. Even better would be setting up personal Twitter accounts of your experts to strengthen your brand.
I would also suggest (lots of eyes will roll skywards at this – but it will set you apart) would be to have a 90 second video pinned to your profile stating how you can help etc.

Phil Aston

Genius Loci Media

by Phil Aston Phil Aston No Comments

5 Tips To Increase Your Hotel and Accommodation Bookings

5 tips to increase accommodation bookings

The first thing to realise is that marketing has changed.  What worked before no longer does and those fixed budgets need to be more flexible. The biggest change is how your guests now consume media and how quickly they can share, read reviews and move on to other websites and portals.

Here are my tips for increasing your bookings:

1. SEO

Make sure your website and social media posts use keywords and phrases which really have traffic behind them.  SEO should be an ongoing part of the other four activities below from YouTube tags to your image tags within your blog posts.

2. Blogging

This from experience seems to be a real issue for many websites in the tourism sector. The issue for many is trying to find something to write about and then worrying how long the post should be!

My advice is to think of documenting rather than creating. This way the content almost finds itself. Short videos of the scene on your doorstep, photos of your chef’s latest creation, local events, staff news, guest feedback and photos.
Blog posts can be just a few lines with images and with your SEO activity build up a lot of authority for your business. (Try and ensure your posts relate to the area your business is in).

NB: You will find that some of your social media posts would make good blog posts. Remember you are trying to get people to your website so use this as your main platform and share from here.

3. Google Adwords

The top search terms on mobile are nearly all Ads and most of your guests are using mobile so an Adwords strategy is important. This is where your SEO and keyword research will be useful in helping you to target more efficiently. Also think of targeting mobile users when they are most likely to be looking. So travel times and work breaks for example.

Also set up a corresponding landing page on your website. When your prospective guest arrives on your website, don’t make them think. The call to action should be obvious.

4 Social Media

You may be thinking you do a lot of this already, you post on Facebook, send a few tweets and update your website offers but is it a co-ordinated strategy?  This is not just about making noise and posting using your PR tone of voice. It is about being authentic and real.

Social media is still producing mixed results in many areas of Tourism and this is because some people see it as an extension of search or Google Adwords. Advertising on Social is not the same as Google.

On Google people are searching for a specific service or an answer to a problem. They are in the mindset to buy. So if I search for a hotel in Cornwall and I see Ads for hotels with offers I am more likely to click on them.

On social media I am not looking for your business, I am scrolling through my newsfeed looking at things that interest me when your Ad interrupts me. If I click through I am less likely to to take up your accommodation immediately but I might like the page for later reference. This is why building a relationship and trust with your social media audience is so important.

Also remember your social media fans expect an immediate response to any question they have.

It is also important to interact with ALL social media reviews. Your social media audience have the ability to share your posts and recommend you far and wide.

Getting into people’s news feeds on social media is just as important as getting a high position in Google.  I would also recommend posting to Google Plus as this does help for local searches.

5. Video Marketing

Visual is everything. People watch more than read on mobile…it’s easier!
I am not talking about spending £1000s on a corporate video that sits on your home page for 12 months but short 30 / 60 second clips which document what is going on within your business or the local area. These should be on your blog posts, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Getting out from behind your corporate logo will build trust and make you stand out from the crowd. Your content becomes easy to share and reach a larger audience.
Clips can be shot on your smart phone with logos, call to actions added afterwards.

If you need any help in within your business relating to the topics raised in this post please get in touch.

Phil Aston

01736 719342

by Phil Aston Phil Aston No Comments

The Difference Between Advertising on Facebook and Google

There is a key difference between these two types of paid advertising and especially in the way both audiences behave.  I still come across people who wonder whether using social media is worth the time and energy needed to do it correctly. Another question I hear is how can they be sure they are getting sales from it.

What you have to consider when choosing which platform to advertise on is the following:

Google Ads

If you are searching on Google for a restaurant or somewhere to stay, you are in a buying frame of mind, looking for a service and interested in booking it.  So if Google serves up some Ads which match your search criteria you are more likely to click on them.  This is because you are looking for this type of deal and looking to buy.

Facebook Ads

This is very different on social media.  Lets look at Facebook , here you are scrolling through your news feed, looking at cats, sunsets etc., and all of a sudden an Ad appears.  You have been targeted because of your interests and what you follow and indeed your own public posts. However, you were not searching for this service so technically it is an interruption Ad.

However, you might be intrigued enough to click through.  You might like the page and share it with your friends.  This gives the advertiser a chance to do something you cannot do with Google Ads, engage and build a relationship. You may not see as many sales initially, but as you interact and chat you are building trust for future sales and online reviews.

Phil Aston

If you would like help with setting up and running Facebook Ads please get in touch

by Phil Aston Phil Aston No Comments

Shoot I Shoot Video in Landscape or Square Formats?

video marketing landscape or square

If you had asked me this before reading the report below from ‘Buffer’  I would have said ‘Landscape’ every time.

However I am now not so sure.

The report states Landscape works best on desktop but where are most people when they watch video on social media? They are on their mobile phones. In fact 92% of people who access Facebook do this via their mobile phone.

Square video takes up 78% more room on a mobile screen and the stats show that you can get almost 40% more views and 80% more engagement from using a square video on Facebook and Instagram.

It worth noting that the latest ‘Clips’ App from IOS only shoots in square format.

Does this mean you choose one format over the other?
It really depends where you audience is and what you are trying to achieve.

For YouTube / Vimeo you should always use ‘Landscape’ but for short videos on Social Media I would experiment with ‘Square’ video edits.

Video Marketing is changing and the days of just uploading your footage in one format and to one platform like YouTube are gone. You now need to have a separate edits and uploads for Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. It is also worth pointing out that most live streaming is in square format.  The other interesting stat is that longer videos work better in Square Formats as well.

Read the full report from Buffer 

Phil Aston

 

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