May 14th, 2013 by Gary
You may remember that we recently brought you 3 Twitter fails from companies who could have done with a little more social media training before they launched their campaigns! Well, we’re back with more blunders, this time from one of the most iconic social platforms: Facebook.
Walmart’s 2007 campaign is still remembered for one key reason – it removed the ‘social’ from social media. The supermarket realised that their page might attract negative comments as well as positive ones, so they limited their conversations to wall posts and neglected to offer a discussion board.
Lesson – The possibility of negative comments is always present, but limiting your customers’ access to free speech is not the way to address this issue. If your page receives a negative post, don’t ignore it – address their concerns and do your best to put the problem right.
Nestlé’s customers were allowed to make comments – but the responses the brand gave to their posts only created new troubles! Their representative made antagonistic comments to a community member (“thanks for the lesson in manners…but it’s our page, we set the rules”) giving a bad impression of the brand.
Lesson – Always treat your customers with the same courtesy you would give them in person! Hiding behind the screen is no excuse to patronise or disrespect them.
Mustard brand Grey Poupon tried to make their Facebook page appear desirable by turning it into a ‘private members club’, with admission as a fan by application only.
Lesson – No excuses, no exclusions. You should never cut out a portion of your audience.
If you want to get your brand on the path to social media success, rather than falling into any of these traps, check out NS Design’s social media masterclasses.
May 9th, 2013 by Gary
Video is becoming more and more important to customers in all industries. In fact, 46% of consumers say that they’d be more likely to seek out information about a product or service after seeing it in an online video – but producing video for your business comes with a host of challenges, and many SME’s feel that they lack the experience and budget necessary to add video to their marketing arsenals.
However, contrary to popular opinion, nowadays all you need to make a video is a decent smartphone and a dash of creativity. Here are some quick and simple ways to incorporate video into your social media marketing plan and get filming (without the Hollywood budget!).
1. Demo one of your products
This video is great for you and your customers – they’ll get all of the information they want about your product in one easy place, and it won’t cost you a penny to make. Sit yourself (or your most charismatic member of staff) in front of your camera and give a quick run-through of the product and its perks – it’s a quick and easy way to secure yourself a sale.
2. Introduce your team
Making videos of your team members is a fun, friendly way to introduce them to your client base – particularly when you’re in an industry where staff work directly with customers. Ask them a few simple questions about what they do and what they like to add an endearing, personalised feel to your page.
3. Film an event/exhibition/speech
The next time you’re at a conference or an event, whip out your smartphone and capture a few quick clips of some of the most interesting exhibits or engaging speeches of the day. You can post them on your YouTube channel and tweet them to the people involved – you’ll probably find they’ll be more than happy to share them and generate some social signals for you too!
May 8th, 2013 by Gary
A new report from Adobe has shown that despite the ongoing rise in mobile browsing and purchasing, nearly half (45%) of businesses still haven’t optimised their websites for mobile use. Just 7% have built mobile apps for their clients and customers to download, and only 21% have both a mobile-optimised site and an app working in conjunction.
Access to the internet using mobile devices has more than doubled over the last couple of years, so it is essential that companies that aren’t geared up for mobile traffic get themselves ready –fast. There are three main options for businesses who want to build a mobile offering for their client base:
- Mobile websites
A mobile website is a site that is specifically built for mobile viewing, and is often a smaller, scaled-down version of your regular site
- Responsive web design
Responsive web design means that you only have to build one website, and it will respond to the medium it is viewed on, and adapt to the needs of tablet and smartphone users
Apps are a standalone option, developed separately to the original website, and often offer innovative functions such as wishlists and competitions.
All three options have their benefits and disadvantages, but it’s certainly worth investigating at least one of them for your business. For more information about optimising your company website for mobile devices, visit our Mobile Websites page.
May 3rd, 2013 by Gary
The conversational nature of Twitter makes it an ideal marketing tool – but even the big brands can get it wrong sometimes. Here are three of the biggest Twitter fails of recent times, and what you can learn from them:
Waitrose’s seemingly innocent hashtag #waitrosereasons invited customers to relay their reasons for shopping at the supermarket chain. The brand’s PR team clearly hadn’t predicted responses such as “because Tesco doesn’t stock unicorn food” and “because I hate poor people”.
Lesson – If your company is going to rely on user generated recommendations, you need to allow for the negative as well as the positive. Weigh up the pros and cons, and if it seems too risky, don’t do it!
UK fashion site Celeb Boutique gained fame for all the wrong reasons when they tweeted “#Aurora is trending, clearly about our Kim K inspired #Aurora dress” – on the day of the mass shooting in Aurora, Colorado.
Lesson – Keep up to date with current affairs, or you could end up posting a tweet that’s inappropriate or downright offensive, tarnishing your brand’s reputation in the process.
A promotion for Susan Boyle’s latest album launch went awry when her PR team came up with the truly hilarious hashtag #susanalbumparty.
Lesson –Always check your hashtags! Words that seem innocent separately can run together into something rather embarrassing.
If you’re starting out in social media marketing and want to side-step potential fails, check out NSDesign’s ‘Embrace the Space’ social media masterclasses.
April 30th, 2013 by Gary
A new survey from American mobile service provider AT&T has shown that more and more small businesses in the States are focusing their budget on their digital marketing efforts. The 2013 AT&T Small Business Technology Poll revealed that 66% of small businesses plan to either maintain or increase their online marketing spend for 2013, and 71% are “somewhat” or “very likely” to raise their budgets for mobile marketing too. Nearly a third of small businesses have “mobile-friendly” websites in order to engage with their customers.
Whilst these particular statistics are relevant to the US market, they match the trends that are occurring on this side of the pond as well. Earlier this year, Econsultancy’s Digital Marketing Outlook Report 2013 revealed that 55% of UK businesses expect to increase their digital marketing budgets this year – and 39% will be doing this at the expense of their other channels. A Constant Contact survey also showed that a quarter of UK SME’s are already using digital tools like social media marketing to enhance their customer experience.
The news that more and smaller to medium businesses are taking advantage of these methods is certainly promising for the budding entrepreneur. Digital marketing gives businesses of all sizes an equal footing and enables smaller businesses to remain competitive in the fast moving world of commerce today.
April 25th, 2013 by Gary
In an announcement made at the beginning of this month, social media behemoth Facebook revealed Facebook Home, a “mobile experience designed to put your friends at the centre of your phone”. The feature, which is currently only available on Android systems, introduced:
- A new cover feed that allows users to access app content from their News Feed as soon as they turn on their phone, essentially replacing their usual home screen
- Bigger, bolder notifications, again delivered right to the phone home screen
- Updated messaging functioning, known as ‘chat heads’ which allows people to receive messages whilst using other apps, without having to leave their current activity
Since its launch on April 4th, Facebook Home has been downloaded an impressive 500,000 times, and whilst some reviewers have complained of issues with battery life and certain widgets, it’s still an impressive start for a social app which essentially overhauls the functionality of your smartphone. Facebook themselves have stated that “this release is a first step and we’ll continue to improve Home”, so the potential for even more integration and interaction is certainly present.
So what does this mean for your business? The immediate impact may be limited, but this could be the first stage in creating a truly engaging mobile experience for social media users that which could provide opportunities for your brand in the future. Facebook Home, if it proves successful, will change the way that users interact with content on a grand scale, and encourage them to access Facebook a lot more often – therefore increasing the likelihood that they’ll see and appreciate your company’s content.
April 23rd, 2013 by Gary
Digital marketing is such a broad term. It encompasses everything from your website to your wording, your social to your SEO, and with so many different buzzwords floating around it can be difficult to identify the key components that your business needs to be getting on board with. We’re filtered out the jargon and picked out 3 essential aspects of any digital marketing strategy – if you’re not already using them, now is the time to start!
Content is king, so the experts say, and for good reason – it can boost your SEO and endear your customers to you simultaneously. Whether its blogs, articles, web copy or emails, if you provide intelligent, well written content that’s genuinely useful to your audience on a regular basis, you can expect a positive response from Google and your potential client base.
Social media is content’s hip younger brother, and definitely something that your business should be involved with if it’s not already. The most crucial aspect when it comes to social media is not to leave your pages static. Talk with your audience and post little and often – you’ll be surprised at your rate of engagement as a result.
In Q1 of 2013, PC sales declined by 14%. This isn’t because people aren’t browsing the web – it’s because they’re using their mobile devices to do it instead. To perform a digital marketing campaign effectively, your business website needs to be optimised for mobile – if it isn’t, you could be alienating a significant portion of your audience.
Is there another aspect of digital strategy that you want to know more about? Leave us a comment and let us know!
April 18th, 2013 by Gary
Choosing a good domain name is vital for the success of your business. Your website is the virtual shop front for your business, so it’s essential that it’s easy for your potential customers to find. Choosing a domain name may seem simple – it’s just the name of your company, right? – but there are still a number of pitfalls for your company to fall into if you’re not careful! Here are our top 5 domain name fails:
1. Unintentional humour
Before you finalise your domain name choice, read your full URL and make sure that it’s not a) offensive or b) unintentionally hilarious. There’s a stationary provider called Pen Island. You can only imagine how their domain name turned out.
2. Similarity to bigger brands
Even if you haven’t heard of them yet, there’s always a possibility that there’s a brand out there with a similar name to yours. It’s worth running a Google search of your potential choices before committing – if there’s a bigger brand with a name that’s almost identical, you run the risk of losing a lot of your traffic to them.
3. Missing out on other suffixes
You may have the .co.uk domain name secured, but what about .com and .net? Potential clients who know the name of your business may search for the website and arrive on one of these sites instead, so it’s worth purchasing as many variations of your domain name as possible to make sure all of your rightful visitors arrive at your door.
4. Spelling mistakes
This one almost seemed too basic to include, but there really are websites out there with misspelled domains – particularly when it comes to words like ‘restaurant’. Before you go ahead and purchase, proof read! Having a misspelled domain name is one of the quickest ways to lose custom.
5. Going random!
We couldn’t tell you why, but some businesses are still choosing domain names that don’t match their brands. We don’t mean to insult your intelligence, but please – make sure your domain name and brand name correspond!
April 16th, 2013 by Gary
New data from Econsultancy and Adestra’s Email Marketing Industry Census 2013 has shown that more than half of all marketers (61%) are lacking confidence when it comes to their email marketing campaigns – ranking them either as ‘average’ or ‘poor’. Only a rather miniscule 4% of marketers would refer to their own campaigns as ‘excellent’.
According to the report, these are the key pitfalls:
- 27% of marketers spend no time optimising their emails
- 71% have basic to non-existent email optimisation strategies for mobiles
- Only 18% spend more than eight hours planning the design and content of their campaign
It seems that of the 1,300 marketers that Econsultancy surveyed, very few have invested enough time and effort into their email campaigns to be truly proud of them.
The research considered the amount and type of marketing emails being carried out, the way that the campaign is conducted, issues affecting the industry and the popularity of email when compared with other digital marketing methods. The results show that the majority of marketers need to fine-tune their email efforts to get the results they require.
If you’re one of the 61% of marketers who would rate your campaign as ‘average’ or ‘poor’, it’s time to make some improvements.
April 11th, 2013 by Gary
When it comes to social media, Twitter is something of a double edged sword. Yes, it’s quick and easy to use, and allows you to communicate with hundreds of followers simultaneously, but it’s also a fast moving, real time medium and sometimes, it’s difficult a) to keep things interesting and b) to keep up with what’s happening! If you’re having trouble coming up with tweets that achieve and engage, check out these three ways to improve your Twitter strategy…
Start using Vine
Video is big news in the content marketing sphere, and more and more businesses are using the six second video clip app to their advantage. Many company timelines have become clogged up with nothing but text posts, so using Vine will give your audience some refreshing visual content to break up the monotony, and depending on your skills as a creative/camera person, could even make them laugh or teach them something new about your business.
Follow some new accounts
Twitter offers a great little function that suggests accounts you might be interested in following – and it’s often right! Adding just a couple of new accounts a week will deliver fresh content to your timelines (perfect for retweets!) and hopefully get you some of those precious follow backs in return. While you’re at it, this is also a great opportunity to delete those accounts whose tweets you always scroll straight past – social media is all about engagement, so it’s pointless following people you’re just going to ignore, or who aren’t interested in anything you have to say.
Invest in scheduling software
If it’s the real time aspect of Twitter that you find challenging, scheduling software might just be your social media lifesaver. Applications like Hootsuite and Tweetdeck allow you to schedule relevant tweets and updates in advance, so that even if you’re out of the office or in a big meeting for most of the day, your account won’t stay silent. Of course you’ll still need to log in from time to time to make sure you’re not missing any breaking stories, but scheduling software can free up your time and keep your Twitter profile active, even when you’re not.