How to Build Your Brand on Social Media

canstockphoto23988982The number of shares you get, “likes” you get or re-tweets you get is no real indicator of your success. It is the same as saying your brand has grown because this month you handed out more leaflets than last month.
Your best bet is to think of social media posts in the same way as you think of leaflets being stuffed through letterboxes. A high quality leaflet that speaks to your target audience will be far more effective than a poorly constructed and hastily created leaflet. The same is true for social media posts.

Choose networks that have higher concentrations of your target audience

Most start by favouring Facebook because it has the biggest audience, and though it is good to have a Facebook Fan Page for your brand, it is not a good idea to concentrate your efforts there by default. For example, Pinterest is over 90% women, and Facebook has a higher amount of pre-teens and tweens.

Google+ is for people in their late teens up to early sixties, and YouTube is for most people over the age of 17 and under the age of 70. Concentrate your branding message to places where your target audience congregate, and your branding messages will have more impact.

Just because your content is shareable, it doesn’t mean it’s good or effective

Some marketers concentrate on shareability so much that they forget that shareability is only valuable if the post that is being shared is of a high quality, is relevant to your target audience, is useful and/or has meaning to your target audience. If shares were that important, then spam posts would be worth billions.

Act on what stage your brand is at

Your brand should go through various stages. The first is recognition, the second is brand-principle dissemination & education, and so on until the final stage where brand loyalty occurs. Create posts for whatever stage your brand is at. You do not see Coca-Cola posting on social media explaining that Coca-Cola is a soft drink.

For example, if your brand is at a stage where it commands a small amount of respect but people still have trust issues with it, then concentrate your posts on showing how your company and brand can be trusted. Real-life examples may help in this regard, as may a few fake profiles where you post comments from people as you pretend to be a satisfied customer.

Social media offers a great opportunity for gaining brand recognition

Growing your brand in most cases is going to be a simple case of exposing your target audience to it. They need to get over their initial suspicion around a new company and a new brand, and social media has a great talent for enabling drip-drip marketing to occur just under the radar of your target consumer. After a while they become so used to your brand, its name, principles and logos that they are far more susceptible to your marketing.

Put more time into quality than you do monitoring and analysing

Social media changes too quickly, and trends come and go with a flash. There is no point in trying to analyse the reasons “why” something happened because by the time you have reached your conclusions, the reasons will have changed.

Your best bet is to use your sales figures and your preliminary checks to see what posts sizzle and which posts fizzle. After a while, you will get a feel for the type of content your target audience will best respond to.

How are you building your brand on social media? Please leave your comments below…


A Beginner’s Guide to Using Google Trends

canstockphoto10177889If you are like many website owners, you appreciate the fact that understanding the popularity of trends and search terms is an excellent way to hone your current marketing campaign as well as to better understand what your competitors may be doing. You will be pleased to learn that this can now all be accomplished with the help of a system known simply as Google Trends. So, how can you use this platform and what are some of the benefits to be experienced? Let’s have a brief look at both of these questions.

The Power of Visual Presentation

There have been other keyword search tools over the years. One of the biggest differences in regards to Google Trends is that you will not see “static” and generic information, but rather how popular the term has been over the past few years. We can think of this as the “evolution” of a keyword or key phrase. As all of this data is provided to you in an easy-to-read graphical format, you can quickly determine which terms are getting the most hits and which ones have faded off of the radar.

Interactivity is Key

Google Trends has been created under the assumption that not everyone is a marketing and analytical guru. So, much of the rather technical presentations and terminology have been done away with. These are replaced by colour-coded graphs, bar charts and even interactive maps which will show you the countries that employ a certain term the most. As opposed to statistics and percentages, you can enjoy a real “visual” feel. What may have taken you a great deal of time to interpret can now be understood in a matter of seconds.

Relative Popularity

Another interesting fundamental in Google Trends is that you are able to see the relative popularity of a term over time. Why is this important? If we imagine that you are the owner of a hiking website, certain times of the year and even sporting events may have a very real impact upon the types of terms that are used. By knowing which are the most popular during a relative time frame, you will be able to better increase your exposure within the search engine. More targeted keywords naturally equate to a greater number of inbound hits to your website.

Knowing Your Competitors

Another attribute of Google Trends is that you will be able to view the popularity of your competitors over time. If you note that they have had a sudden “spike” within a graph, you can then research online news stories to see what may have caused such a fluctuation. To put it another way, Google Trends gives you the clarity and the insight that are both necessary to understand how you stack up in comparison to others within your marketplace. In this past, this would have been quite time consuming while the results would be intuitive at best.

These are some of the hallmarks that have made Google Trends quite popular within the marketing community. Most importantly, it is absolutely free to use! If you are interested in developing a better understanding of your audience and competitors, Google Trends is an excellent tool to employ.

Do you use Google Trends to aid you in content marketing and SEO? Please leave your comments below…


What Makes the Perfect Social Media Update?

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Social media now dominates the internet and using it correctly can increase your views dramatically. Whatever your reason for engaging with it may be, there are a number of techniques that can help you get the most out of the experience. As there are subtle differences between platforms, we will consider Facebook, Twitter and Google+ and how you can fashion the perfect social media update.

Facebook

thumb up, i like it

With over a billion regular users, Facebook represents a massive potential market for product and information but there are good and bad ways to present it.

  • Be mobile friendly. Over two thirds of Facebook users can access social media on their mobile device. Including imagery is important as it undoubtedly increases user engagement, but ensure it translates well on to the ever popular smart phone.
  • Send a positive message as this will increase interest in your latest update and encourage your reader to continue on through your post.
  • Include a link to your website and use a shortened URL (bit.ly). Make it obvious and proud. Promote your product or your point of view!
  • Create a dialogue with your readers, engage their interest and keep hold of them by building relationships and providing them with the information they want, thereby reducing the chances of the dreaded click through.

Twitter

Bird holding a hashtag

From small beginnings in 2006, Twitter now hosts, on average, a billion tweets per week. Again, there are simple, effective ways to utilise this.

  • Punctuation can easily be ignored with only 140 characters available. Use it correctly and capitalise when needed as this shows a level of professionalism.
  • Thank thosewho follow or retweet you. Again, engagement is the key here. It also pays to retweet relevant points from your followers.
  • Stick to the facts and drive retweets with interesting, pertinent content.
  • Research suggests that shortened URL’s – Bit.ly – are most likely to generate traffic and retweets. Use them whenever practical.
  • Start or finish the tweet with a call to action. Let your readership know what you want in clear, simple terms.
  • The Hashtag drives links and retweets, allowing your followers to keep in touch with a subject or product

Google+

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Google plus is similar to both Facebook and Twitter, in that it is an open network, but users do have a little more control over who can actually see the posts.

  • Engagement, as always. Is the key. Communicating with everyone who comments or shares your views is the single best way to drive traffic. Friends and followers will rapidly lose interest if you are not answering their questions.
  • Hashtags # make it easier for people to discover your content. It is also an excellent way to find people with common interests and goals.
  • Imagery should be of excellent quality and it is important to use the full size option available in Google+. This again sends out a positive message and drives traffic to your page.

The final two, regardless of platform…

  • Craft your words with care and precision. Whether it is a 110 character Twitter post or a call to action on Facebook, make each word count.
  • Timing is as important as words. Research when your tweet or post is going to be seen by the most people.

Following these simple rules will offer you the best chance of getting your posts and updates noticed, and acted upon.

How do you go about forming the perfect social media update? Please leave your comments below…


Top Ways to Drive Traffic to Your Website

Web TrafficWhat is the point in having a gorgeous, well-designed, user-friendly website if no one sees it?   Driving the right kind of traffic to your website has many advantages but it needs to be the ‘right’ kind of traffic from correctly targeted customers in the mind-set to buy. Without traffic, how are you going to sell your product or service? In this post we consider how to bring the best traffic to your website as you possibly can.

Search Engine Optimisation

Search engine optimisation (SEO) is one of the most important things that you need to think about if you want to bring a lot of visitors to your website. For those of you who are unaware, SEO is all about optimising your website so that your website ranks higher in search engines — most marketers focus specifically on Google as they have the biggest market share.

Saying that SEO is a minefield would be an understatement, it would take extensive amounts of research to even begin to understand it. Although, right now you only need to understand that you should optimise your website for the users, not the search engine. This means that you should provide in-depth content, keep your content engaging with images and other content creation methods, make sure you have a mobile version of your website, and keep your website running smoothly and efficiently.

Guest Posting

Guest posting is another excellent way to promote your website and drive traffic. There are two ways you can approach this: you can reach out to other webmasters and offer them a blog post in exchange for a byline and a link back to your website, or you can ask other webmasters to guest post on your website.

Many people don’t consider the latter option, but the advantage to this is that when a person does a guest post for your website, they’re going to bring their readership along with them. Regardless of the avenue that you choose, you can rest assured that it’s going to bring results.

Social Media

Social media is often regarded as one of the most effective ways to drive traffic to your website. It’s not just a way to promote your website, but the fact that you’re engaging with your visitors improves your authority.Social media thought bubble

The most important thing to consider when it comes to social media is that you should be careful about the social media platforms that you utilize. For example, if you’re a B2B business then your main focus should be LinkedIn and Twitter, not Pinterest and Instagram. Always think about the audience of the social media platform and see whether it aligns with your own target audience.

Video Marketing

Video marketing might not be as commonly used as the methods mentioned above, but that’s one of the reasons why it can be so effective. Users are always looking for the next website that is going to catch their attention with new methods — people are starting to get tired of the same old boring content.

Video marketing is a way to overcome this problem, it gives you an opportunity to address your website visitors in a way that many of your competitors probably haven’t even considered. Simply getting in front of a high-quality camera and talking about your product or service could be all you need to do to boost your website traffic significantly.

To Wrap Up…

Driving traffic to your website definitely isn’t easy, it’s often considered to be one of the most difficult aspects of online marketing. We have provided you with a lot of information above, and you should be able to boost your traffic statistics significantly by implementing this advice and guidance into your online marketing strategy.

Remember that there is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to driving traffic to your website. Ultimately, it depends on what you’re offering, who your target audience is, and what your target audience does online. It all comes down to finding your own unique way of marketing your business.

How do you drive traffic to your website? Please leave your comments below…