Author: Caroline

Instagram: You Can Now Add up to 10 Photos/Videos in a Single Post!

There’s a clear trend evolving in social media circles – storytelling. All major platforms are working towards more ways for users to add context to their posts.

So now, Instagram has introduced another storytelling format, providing users the opportunity to share up to ten photos and videos in a single post which viewers can swipe through.

“With this update, you no longer have to choose the single best photo or video from an experience you want to remember. Share your favorite moments of your best friend’s surprise birthday party – from setting up to when they walk through the door. Or create a step-by-step cake recipe that people can always find on your profile.”Instagram

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The drawback? Only square cropped photos are available in the new format at this stage. However, on the bright side, for business – it adds another way to express an idea and add more depth.

Yes, businesses have had access to this option for a while but the new version lets you do it in organic posts too, as opposed to just paid advertisements.

If you’re not already on Instagram, it’s a platform worth investing some time in – with over 600 million users and 400 million active on the platform every day. There’s now 5 million businesses signed up for business profiles on the platform so it’s worth investigating all the tools available.

 


 

We offer tailored Social Media Management services – find out more here.

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Website Launch: Football Staffing Network

We’re super thrilled to launch a brand new, responsive website for Football Staffing Network.  They needed a place to direct enquiries to, so we created a user friendly, responsive website where their users can sign up to their network and find out latest information.

Football Staffing Network

Football Staffing Network provided us with their logo and content, and we set up a CMS for them to manage their website, an e-mail address for enquiries, and some hosting for the website to live on. Visit their site here.


Website Design by Sensation Digital includes a user friendly, responsive website with an easy to use content management system – find out more here!

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The Pantone Colour of 2017 is Here!

The Pantone Colour of the year for 2017 is Greenery!

For the last 16 years, Pantone have released a colour that will be seen in trends throughout the year ahead. When making the decision, their colour experts look for influences in areas such as fashion, design, lifestyle and entertainment to name a few. Pantone describe Colour of the Year as;

“A symbolic color selection; a color snapshot of what we see taking place in our global culture that serves as an expression of a mood and an attitude.”

greenery

Pantone describe the colour as ‘nature’s neutral’ and a versatile trans-seasonal shade that will go well with many colour combinations. They’ve displayed 10 colour palettes to pair it with and even include Colour(s) of the Year 2016, Rose Quartz & Serenity – you can see them here.

“GREENERY. PANTONE 15-0343. A refreshing and revitalizing shade, Greenery is symbolic of new beginnings. Greenery is a fresh and zesty yellowgreen shade that evokes the first days of spring when nature’s greens revive, restore and renew.” – Pantone

Pantone colour of the year

We’re sure we’ll be seeing Greenery in fashion, beauty, products and of course graphic design in the coming year!


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New Year, New Facebook Strategy…

Effective use of Social Networking for your business is a game changer, however, sometimes it doesn’t always quite work out the way you would expect. If you’re not seeing the results you want from it, have a look at these tips to see how you could turn it round.

You’re not alone. It can be a difficult channel to master and a survey found that a whopping 49% of marketers consider it the most difficult inbound marketing channel! However, more than 1.79 billion users make it the world’s largest social media network, meaning that a large portion of your target audience will be active on Facebook. So instead of abandoning you efforts, improve them instead.

  1. Understand What’s Going Wrong

Firstly and importantly, understand why your page isn’t producing the results you’re looking for. This article goes through seven possible reasons as to why your Facebook Marketing fails, check it out here.

Try to identify a single reason. Multiple reasons can overlap and it’s helpful to note them, but you should prioritise the single issue that seems to affect your Facebook page the most.

  1. Analyse Your Current Resources

The next step is to try and analyse exactly what resources you currently put into the page. These could range from being monetary, such as boosting adverts to your time that it is committed.   Whatever they currently are, identify them and then try to determine whether these resources will be feasible to invest into the same project, but with more success, moving forward.

Resource analysis is crucial for any successful marketing planning and you can only develop and implement a successful strategy if you know exactly what you can invest into it.

  1. Focus on Your Audience

If you already have a Facebook page, you probably have a following. It may be small, but it still tends to exhibit common demographics – and you can find them using Facebook’s free insights tool.

“The more customer insights you have, the better you’re equipped to deliver meaningful messages to people. That’s the thinking behind Facebook Audience Insights, a new tool designed to help marketers learn more about their target audiences…” – Facebook 

  1. Compile a Content Strategy

Based on all of the above information, it’s time to build your content strategy. Content is king and Facebook marketing ultimately depends on the right content – if you can provide value to your followers, they will engage. Come up with a content calendar, to help you plan your posts and ensure you get a good mix of videos, pictures, links etc…

Depending on your resources, you might want to consider adding Facebook ads into the equation – this is something we can help you with, just get in touch!

  1. Monitoring & Control

Lastly, don’t forget to include setting up the framework essential to evaluating the effectiveness of your strategy. It takes time and adjustments to reach your goals.

That’s why you should build regular evaluation benchmarks into your strategy.

e.g. How many likes and or comments do you get in a month? How many website clicks?

These metrics should show an upward trend month-to-month from the moment you implement your new strategy but don’t forget it can take both time and tweaks too!

Regular evaluations can help you better understand how individual posts perform. You might find that videos get a higher reach than pictures, providing information to help build your content strategy.


 

We offer tailored Social Media Management services – find out more here.

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One Small Change That Has Huge Impact for Small Businesses on Facebook

When it comes to social media, sometimes a tiny little tweak can make a massive improvement. This time, we’re talking about Facebook’s ‘preferred audiences’ feature and it’s especially useful for local businesses.

Facebook always tries to deliver relevant content to its users. Tailoring the news feed for each individual, in order to show them more of what they like and less of what they aren’t interested in.

For Facebook, this means people will spend more time on the site, and therefore they can show them more ads and thus, make more money. Therefore, Facebook are highly focused on the relevancy of content and ads since these directly affect their profits.

“Pages publish a wide variety of content across many topics, and the more information we have about who is most likely to be interested and engage with a post can help us deliver the right content to the right audience.” – Facebook

Audience Optimization is an organic targeting tool to help publishers reach and engage their audience on Facebook and better understand the interests of people clicking on their posts.

The Preferred Audience feature allows you to tell Facebook who you think might be interested in your page and improves the odds of your content reaching them. Facebook preferred audience tells Facebook EXACTLY who your audience is and where they are.

So in a nutshell, Preferred Audience is a super fast way of helping Facebook understand your target audience including; location, age, gender and interest. It’s free and it doesn’t exclude all others but it does make a difference.

How do you set it up?
Head to “settings” on your Facebook brand page and you’ll find the “preferred page audience” option on the left navigation sidebar.

Facebook’s article on Audience Optimisation covers the best practices for this tool in more depth – read it here.


 

We offer tailored Social Media Management services – find out more here.

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3 New Facebook Features to Help You Reach Your Audience

It seems that recently, Facebook has been making it more difficult than ever for pages to reach their audience without paying for each post. They recently changed their algorithm again, which saw a decline in organic reach for pages (read more about that here).

However, for once, we’re writing to tell you about some new features Facebook has recently introduced which will help you get more reach and engagement from your audience!

These simple tweaks will help your page get a little more engagement from your existing page fans.

  1. Preferred Audiences

The preferred audiences tool is a great way to pick and choose who sees your posts without restricting reach.

“Preferred Audience uses interest tags to help prioritise Page posts in News Feed for each unique reader based on the topics that are most likely to engage them. Interest tags do not limit reach.” – Facebook

Pages with 5,000+ likes have this feature turned on automatically. However, for those with less – you need to dive into your settings to enable the feature. In settings, look for “Audience Optimisation for Posts” and tick the check box, click “save changes” and it’s ready to go!

So, seems like a great way to pick a specific target audience for each of your posts – read more here.

 

  1. Invite Users Who Like Your Posts to Like Your Page

This is one of my personal favourites! Your posts will already appear in front of people that don’t like your page, they’ll like a post when they see it and just keep scrolling.

This feature allows you to then invite them to like your page!

There’s already been a positive interaction so it’s a great way to build an audience that’s interested in what you post.

Go to your page and choose a post, then click on the people who have liked the post. A box will pop up with a list of everyone who has liked the post. Next to those who don’t already like your page, there will be an “invite” button, just click it to invite that user!

Please note, this is only available for pages with less than 100,000 likes.

 

  1. Utilise your cover image!

Have you noticed that your profile picture no longer gets in the way of your cover image? This small changes gives you a lot more freedom to get creative and visually brand your page.

Too many pages have a static cover image. Use it for branding, to promote a marketing campaign or even other social networks your business is active on!

Just ensure the image isn’t blurry and use your brand colours too if possible. Don’t forget to include a call to action and a link in the description too.

Have you liked us on Facebook yet? We keep you up to date with news and tips for managing your digital presence online…


We offer tailored Social Media Management services – find out more here.

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Tips for Ecommerce Holiday Season

The Christmas countdown on already with countdown calendars dawning our Facebook timelines and restaurants shouting at us to BOOK NOW! It’s no surprise as (depending on the product), most retailers make a killing when it comes to holiday season.

This year, eCommerce companies are hoping to cash in on what has been called the big-time growth year for the industry since 2011.

Let’s take a look at our top tips to maximise your eCommerce activities this year;

Make Sure Your Site is Mobile Friendly

We can’t stress this point enough. Not only did Mobile eCommerce grow by a whopping 28% in 2014 – more than 2 times the growth of desktop eCommerce – Google also now penalises sites that are not mobile friendly which can affect their visibility in search engine results.
You can test if your website (or any website) is mobile friendly or not here.

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Keep Checkout Easy

Did you know that the average online shopping cart abandonment rate is around 69%! Avoid this by making the checkout process short, simply and secure.

One way of achieving this is a guest checkout option which eliminates the need for a user to create an account. Only ever ask for necessary personal information at this stage and offer a choice of payment options.

Make the Load Time Faster

Not only does it hinder SEO but slow loading times will also lead to customers abandoning your site.

  • 40% of visitors will leave if the web page does not load within 3 seconds
  • 79% of buyers won’t return if they are disappointed with your site’s load time

GTmetrix has a great tool that provides an in-depth analysis of your website’s speed – find it here.

Integrate with Social Media

Use social sharing buttons to integrate your product pages – it’s a smart and simple way to make sure your products reach customers via social media platforms. Making your products shareable on sites such as Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+ can turn your happy customers into salespeople.

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Encourage prospects and customers on social media platforms and promote your exclusive offers for the holiday season. Why not have a look at our Social Media Management services? They are tailored to your organisation to help you reach your objectives.

Content is King

Content marketing can convert more customers. Include content such as write-ups, tips and gift guides – they will help position your website as a reliable resource for holiday shopping and an industry leader. It helps build customers’ trust and also attracts Google’s attention too!

Consider your Shipping Costs

A recent study shows that shipping costs were the main reason for shopping cart abandonment last holiday season. It also shows that free shipping continues to stimulate purchasing decisions on eCommerce websites.

  • 60% of buyers are ready to add more products to get free shipping
  • Over 80% are ready to wait an extra two days for delivery if it’s free
  • 70% require free return shipping to complete the purchase.

We offer tailored Social Media Management services – find out more here.

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Prepare to See a Further Decline in Reach on Facebook

Yesterday it was announced that Facebook are changing their algorithm again and unfortunately, but unsurprisingly, businesses will face a decline in their organic reach.

Organic reach is the amount of people who see your post through unpaid distribution.  So again, it seems that business accounts are being pushed towards paid posts if they wish to communicate with their whole audience.

The latest update is in response to user concerns that they’re missing stories from friends.  Therefore, Facebook is changing the News Feed to prioritise updates from your friends above those from pages and publishers.

“Overall, we anticipate that this update may cause reach and referral traffic to decline for some Pages. The specific impact on your Page’s distribution and other metrics may vary depending on the composition of your audience. For example, if a lot of your referral traffic is the result of people sharing your content and their friends liking and commenting on it, there will be less of an impact than if the majority of your traffic comes directly through Page posts. We encourage Pages to post things that their audience are likely to share with their friends. As always, Pages should refer to our publishing best practices.” – Facebook

There is however a way to manually choose to prioritise content from pages you have liked, click “liked” on the page, then “see first” and “all on”.

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Speaking of which, have you liked us on Facebook yet? We keep you up to date with news and tips for managing your digital presence online…

We also recently wrote a post on How to Improve Your Organic Reach On Facebook, check out our tips to see how to combat the new algorithm.


 

We offer tailored Social Media Management services – find out more here.

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Bring Your Live Photos Back to Life with Motion Stills by Google!

There’s now a super easy way to turn your photos into GIFs, which can then be shared on social media or your website! Motion Stills is an app by Google that brings your Live Photos back to life with “advanced stabilisation and rendering”.

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Source: Google

“We use our video stabilization technology to freeze the background into a still photo or create sweeping cinematic pans. The resulting looping GIFs and movies come alive, and can easily be shared via messaging or on social media.” – Google

Motion Stills provides an immersive stream experience, enabling you to create content and tell stories by combining clips.

Here’s what a live photo looks like before and after stabilisation from Motion Stills:

Source: Google

Source: Google

The app is still in early days, they current state that it isn’t working with remote iCloud photos and that a fix is on the way! Some are wondering if an Android version will be available soon as this currently is only compatible with the iOS operating system.

With Motion Stills you can browse live photos, create movies, make GIF’s and share with friends!

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“The Motion Stills app is incredible — it searches through your library of Live Photos, edits them into stable images with minimal shake, and converts them into easily shareable GIFs or movie files. You can even throw the movies — complete with sound — straight to Instagram, which otherwise doesn’t support Live Photos.” – The Verge

How to create content using Motion Stills

  1. Firstly, download Motion Stills from the app store (Remember, currently only avaialble on the appple store).
  2. If you’ve no live photos on your device already, make sure the feature is activated.  Simply, launch the camera app and tap the live photo button from the top centre.  Tap on the shutter button to then take a live still.
  3. Open the Motion Stills app.
  4. Motion Stills needs permission to access your photos, a message will pop up requesting this. In order for the app to work, make sure you allow the app to do this.
  5. Now all your live photos that are on your device will appear, simply tap on any photo you wish to convert to a GIF.
  6. Tap the arrow icon below the picture.
  7. You will then have two options; send GIF or share clip.

Make sure you have Live Photos in the Camera Roll on your device. (If you don’t have, you need to launch Camera app on your iPhone 6s/6s Plus. Tap on the Live Photo button from the top center, then tap on the shutter button to take the photo.)


 

We offer tailored Social Media Management services – find out more here.

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How to Improve Your Content Marketing Strategy

An effective content marketing strategy is key when it comes to generating leads. Create and share quality content to attract, acquire and engage with a clearly defined customer audience – with the goal of resulting in profitable customer action.  Here’s our top tips when it comes to improving your content marketing strategy.

Define Your Targets

Target Audience

Firstly, get very detailed about the specific audiences that you want to see your content. A quality target market outline will define your ideal customer down to their interests, location, habits and behaviours that relate to your product. Outline what their needs and pain points are.

Think about what their engagement cycle might look like and from there, create a map of content to deliver throughout the buyer journey.  With a deeper understating of your target market, you can begin to tailor your content strategy to them.

Usually, companies have more than one target market – but start with the most important. From this you can start to see what type of content to create, how it will be consumed and the best way to deliver it.

Brand Story

Define what brand ideas and messages you want to communicate through your content.  How will this content provide a message that differs from the competition? What will be the tone of your content? It’s important to also consider how the landscape will evolve after the content is shared with your audience.

Platform Plan

There’s so many to choose from but using all of them isn’t always the answer. Plan out which platforms you will use to tell your story and reach your defined target market.  Define processes and objectives within reach and work out how to analyse and measure performance on each one too.

Your content marketing strategy can serve a variety of purposes. How you use it depends on the action you wish your audience to take:

  • Prospecting
    Generating leads for sales and marketing teams
  • Marketing
    Generating interest in your products or services
  • Thought leadership/ awareness
    Developing name recognition to influence your industry
  • PR
    Developing and repairing public perception about your brand or offerings
  • Sales
    Helping your sales team close more deals, quicker
  • Community
    Developing friends and supporters who get the most of your offerings

Call to Action

The most important thing to remember here is calls to action. Remember that the goal for content when reaching your target audience is to see a profitable customer action.

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A comprehensive content marketing strategy engages with the audience in order to bring them into the engagement cycle.

Analyse Platform Performance

Take a good, in-depth look at your analytics for each platform and put your money, time and effort towards the strategies that are working. Many companies invest too much of their efforts in to Facebook and Twitter, assuming that because they are the largest social platforms,  they should be there.  However, sometimes after careful analysis, most of your social media marketing traffic could result from other platforms that you hardly pay attention too such as Pinterest!

Engage With Your Audience

Give you audience what they want by engaging with them – ask for feedback and pay attention to the comments and questions you receive. Recognise that your audience might differ between platforms – those who follow you on Facebook might not be the same as those who follow you in Instagram.  Repackaging your content for different audiences means you’re more likely to engage with your customers.

 

Best practices for content marketing are constantly changing, so it’s important that you be open to change. Re-evaluate your strategy every few months and tweak your approach as needed.


 

Working as an extension of your organisation, we can help you achieve an effective online presence – find out more here.

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