Posts Tagged :

Customer Engagement

Sanity, Not Vanity – Reasons Not To ‘Buy’ Fans

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Social mediaOne of our favourite phrases in The Bright Click office is ‘Sanity, Not Vanity’ and in no better case can this be applied than in terms of the number of followers that you have across your social media channels.

Of course it looks great if you’ve got hundreds or thousands of followers, and if you’re a big company or organisation then the chances are that you could well be enjoying that sort of genuine attention.

The main thing you’re aiming for across any social campaign though is to be able to reach a target audience – an audience who are into what you’re doing.

Look at your Facebook news feed – are you following anything that doesn’t interest you? If you were a massive football fan but hated rugby, would you follow rugby teams on Facebook? The likelihood is ‘no’.

So why do your fans follow you? Either because they’re already your customers (and in which case your advocates – incredibly powerful) or because they’re interested in what you have to say.

There’s the ‘sanity’ part – you’ve got an engaged audience who will likely interact / comment / share your content, and as a result, their friends, colleagues and associates become increasingly aware of your brand in an organic way.

So what happens when you have a page full of loads of followers who aren’t into what you do? Well, this is the ‘vanity’ part, and if this is your objective, then you’re probably wasting your time.

Facebook uses algorithms to determine which percentage of your followers see your posts. It’s a complex thing, and it evolves constantly, but only around a maximum of 25% of your audience will see your posts at any given time.

We always recommend adopting a paid strategy alongside your organic strategy too – it’s how Facebook makes its money but it’s also very effective, and probably a topic for another blog post!

However there’s two main things to note here.

The more followers you have, the more diluted your content becomes – if you have 1000 followers then around 250 will see your content.

But if only 100 of these are ‘genuine’ – there’s a good chance that the whole potentially engaged audience following you will miss your post entirely – and how crazy is that..?!

So, you’re not getting the engagement you were expecting and you boost the post. Great idea?

In theory yes, however you’re now paying to reach your 100 ‘interested’ fans, plus 900 who’ve never heard of you, and don’t care about your business, brand, or what you have to say… Not the greatest use of your marketing budget.

And that’s why neither is ‘buying’ fans.

You’ll see loads of sites offering you the chance to ‘buy’ fans and it looks too good to be true – £10 for an extra 1000 fans on your Facebook page seems like an amazing deal, but it’s a false economy and will cost you a whole lot more money, not to mention damage, in the long-term.

Concentrate on growing your audience organically by consistently providing great content, directly aimed at your brand advocates, with a paid boost here and there.

Sanity, not vanity.

Need help with your Social Media Strategy? Call us now on 08433 832732 or contact us here.

5 Simple Ways To Improve Your Facebook Ads With Specific Targeting

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1. Know what your customers are interested in.

You can target Facebook users who have shown an interest in or even like pages related to a subject. This is called interest-based targeting.

You might be holding a charity football event in west London and need some people to come and support, so targeting people who support a local football team in the area might be a good place to start!

There are thousands of different interests that exist in this section, so go and have a play!

Facebook Ads

2. Combine age and gender with where people live.

Rather than just targeting your Facebook Ad at a specific area, why not try adding age groups and gender to the mix. This is a great tool because you can really narrow down where your ad can be seen and by whom. For example if you own a women’s clothes shop in Kingston selling trendy clothing, you could target you advert at women aged between 18- 35 who live in Kingston!

Facebook ads

3. Target people by industry or occupation.

You might have a product or a service that is ideal for people who work in a specific industry. You can target people with specific job titles or who work in a specific industry like ‘Sports and Media’ or ‘Education’

Facebook ads

4. Find friends of people who might be celebrating a milestone

Target friends of people who have a upcoming birthday or anniversary who will be looking to give their friends a nice birthday treat. Alternatively maybe you have a function room for hire and want to put an advert in front of people who are looking to put on a surprise party for their friend!

Facebook Ads

 

 

 

 

5. Target people who love to shop 

It makes much more sense to target online buyers with many lifetime online purchases than just to any random person who you know nothing about. So targeting to people who you know like to spend money online, and combine that with all of the above, and you really could be looking at getting yourself some brand new customers!

Facebook Ads

How Targeted Facebook Ads Can Benefit Your Business

If you need any more information about Facebook advertising or any advice on other aspects of marketing then please feel free to get in touch with us and one of our team will be happy to help.

Looking to enhance your LinkedIn presence?

What Terms Are Your Customers Using To Search?

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A really quick  blog post about how to make sure your website is set up for search terms that your customers are using to find your business.

Sounds obvious right? That your website should contain the phrases that your customers are searching for?

Well maybe, but it’s important to remember the difference between how you would term the services you provide, in relation to how your potential clients and customers would.

The best example I come across regularly is in the Property Industry. Often, Estate Agents use terms such as ‘letting agent’ throughout their website, and as such they can rank well for the term – for example ‘Letting Agent In Twickenham’. I would argue that from an authority point of view that this a good term to be ranking for in terms of being found for a service that you provide.

But our research tells us that the search engine user is much more likely to type ‘Property To Rent In Twickenham’ into Google – so ideally you really want your site to be found for that search term too.

Google’s latest ‘Hummingbird’ update also takes into account the more colloquial nature of search – much of which is stemming from smartphone use and the questions we ask of apps such as Siri which are now helping to dictate the way we search. So we might even ask something like ‘Where can I find a flat to rent in Twickenham?’.

So remember to ‘Tell Google’ what you do – you can do this primarily by featuring the keywords that your potential clients and customers are searching for in your website page titles, headings and regularly in your content. Make sure you link to relevant pages within your site by hyperlinking those keywords to specific pages. And if you blog about the subject – make sure you link back to relevant content too.

Got more SEO questions? We want to answer them for you! Contact us today… thanks for reading.

Written by Matt Davis | Managing Director | The Bright Click

Four Reasons That You Should Be Blogging More

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Blogging is a term that most of us have heard of and is something that has been very much responsible for the exponential growth of the web and what we refer to as ‘content marketing’. 

People use the web primarily as a way to find information on a variety of subjects, and blogging allows people with knowledge on their chosen subject to get their ideas and thoughts out there for the world to read. A lot of blogs are written just for pleasure, or about hobbies (check out my mate Nick Bruzon’s unofficial Brentford FC blog as a good example).

The majority of blog sites (such as Nick’s) are built using specific blogging platforms such as Blogger (now owned by Google), Tumblr or WordPress.

But business websites can also contain a blog and if you’re serious about your site being found online then these days it’s vital to have one, and even more vital to keep it updated.

Blog Example Now considering that we’ve written hundreds of blogs for clients in the last twelve months you’d think that we’d be good at this ourselves – unfortunately we don’t always practise what we preach but we’re working at it! Our last blog post regarding Enhancing Your Personal Brand Using LinkedIn  gave us a huge amount of web traffic earlier in the month – hence why I’m writing this blog post today 🙂

There are loads of great reasons to blog on a regular basis – here are four to be getting on with:

1) Authority – Blogging gives you the chance to demonstrate knowledge and authority on your given subject. It’s a great way of telling people who arrive on your website that you know what you’re talking about. You can have a whole load of generic content and copy on your website that explains the services that your business offers, but nothing demonstrates knowledge and understanding of a subject better than a series of blog posts.

2) Keywords – There maybe a whole range of keywords related to what you do as a business, but these can be difficult to fit into your site on a ‘standard’ amount of pages and navigation without it looking like you’re spamming or attempting to over-optimise your site for these specific words and phrases. Blogging allows you write a series of separate articles on all of these subjects, giving each article a keyword-rich title and featuring relevant keywords throughout the articles – linking back to other pages on similar subjects at the same time which is great for the user experience and navigation.

3) Dynamic Content  – There are other SEO benefits too besides the opportunity to feature extra keywords. For example, every time you write a new blog post, you are adding dynamic content to your site, and this is something that Google loves to see. Google basically needs to show the ten most relevant pages to the search term on page one of its site. It wants to know that someone searching for a term related to your business will find the most relevant, topical information that they can. One of the factors it uses to determine this is how much you care about your online presence – so adding  fresh, unique and relevant content to your site on a regular basis is a brilliant way of demonstrating this to Google.

4) Social Media Content – If you have Social Media accounts that represent your business (and if you don’t, then why not..?!) then your followers and fans want to see updates about the subject that you specialise in – they want to learn more – that’s why they’ve taken the time to follow you in the first place. So blogging gives you a great chance to provide this type of content to your followers. And there’s triple whammy here too. As Google likes to see a diverse range of traffic coming into your website, and shares and re-tweets encourage this from followers of your followers – result! Also – the more traffic you get from Social Media, the more Google deems your site as relevant. The more relevant Google deems your site, the higher it ranks you. The higher Google ranks you, the more search traffic you get. And the more search traffic you get, the more Social Media followers you’ll gain. It’s basically a loop and you the more you put into the loop, the thicker the loop grows and the more you’ll get out of it.

So how often should you blog? Ideally once a week, but once every few weeks is fine if you can’t find the time. Another good way to look at blog content is in terms of how it increases the size of your website. If your website currently has six pages, then blogging every week for a year would add 52 extra keyword-rich pages for Google to find.

Need more help or advice on how to get the most out of blogging? Email us today or give us a call on 08433 832 732. 

Thanks for reading 🙂

Written by Matt Davis | Managing Director | The Bright Click

Enhancing Your Personal Brand Using LinkedIn

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LinkedIn_ExampleOn Tuesday of this week I was fortunate enough to be asked by Nicki Kavanagh at The Juniper Co to take part in a webinar at their head office in Aldershot.

The webinar was aimed at members of their exclusive Alumni Group and was part of a series of events on how to enhance your personal brand, and the part that Social Media can play in doing so.

It was a very enjoyable hour, and in the Q+A session towards the end, I was asked some questions about LinkedIn and Twitter.

As I gave my answers to these questions, it occurred to me that many people aren’t using LinkedIn to its full potential – particularly in terms of their personal brand.

Think about going for a job interview – you’d do your research, you’d update your CV, you’d wear smart clothes, you may even have a haircut (as Dan says to me – which hair did you have cut..?!) – but the point is that all of these things, plus the way you then present yourself in the interview, form part of your personal brand.

So please do bear in mind the importance of presenting yourself in the same way on the Social Networks that you use – particularly on LinkedIn as the perceived  ‘professional’ platform of choice.  A potential client, customer or employer checking you out online may see your failure to keep your online profile up-to-date as a potential shortcoming.

So to help you avoid this scenario,  here are a few tips to help you present yourself in the best way online:

1) Profile Pic – is your LinkedIn profile pic one of you lying on a beach with a sangria and a sombrero? Or having a bit too much of a good time in the pub? Then consider changing it to something a little more sober – a simple head shot or you working in your current role for example. If you’re a teacher, a photo of you teaching is perfect for example. If it is a head shot – try and be smiling 🙂

Oh and the cardinal sin – no profile pic – there’s no excuse not to have one! How will anyone know if it’s THAT John Smith from the networking event…?

2) Your Biography – Make sure it’s filled in and don’t be scared of bigging yourself up, you’ve got a few seconds to make an impression so spend some time thinking about that killer opening line – and also how that works in conjunction with your profile picture, try and make sure the two marry together nicely if you can. First impressions are everything and online you have even less time to make an impact so make it count.

3) You Current Role – Most people create a LinkedIn profile as they are either looking for work or setting one up to network as part of a current role. However when they then move roles, the profile can simply be ‘left behind’. Bear in mind that your LinkedIn profile ultimately reflects YOU and YOUR brand – not that of the company that you work for. So if they’ve asked you to set one up, make sure that when you leave the company that your LinkedIn profile comes with you. Setting up a new profile for a new company is all well and good but someone searching for you and finding five different profiles of you working for five different companies with no end date is going to be confused. Either delete old profiles or make sure that your new profile is as up to date with your current role as it can be.

LinkedIn_Expertise4) Ask for recommendations – you’ve probably seen the ‘endorsements’ section of LinkedIn that has emerged in recent months, where you can simply endorse someone as LinkedIn asks you ‘Does Matt know about Online Marketing?’ However I’ve subsequently kindly been endorsed for random skills by people I’ve never worked for or with!

The real weight comes from recommendations, where previous colleagues and clients can write a recommendation on you as a person – adding huge value to your personal branding online. It’s great ‘Social Proof’ that you know what you’re talking about!

5) Demonstrate Your Knowledge and Authority – Make sure you post regularly about what you do and the results that you’re achieving. Do you write a blog? Make sure you link to it. Did you win an award? Post a photo of you receiving it. Seen something interesting in the news about what you do for a living? Post the link as an update. LinkedIn is the perfect platform for you to demonstrate exactly what you know about your specialist subject and role within the company. Make sure that anyone landing on your profile is impressed immediately!

Need more help with LinkedIn? Or maybe you want us to just check out your profile and let you know how it could be optimised further? Drop us a line here.

Written by Matt Davis

Event – So How Does Social Media Work?

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Juniper Event Panel

(l-r) Jane Mancini, Kevin Williams, Matt Davis

Last night I was fortunate to be asked to sit on a panel of industry experts as part of a presentation by Nicki Kavanagh at The Juniper Co to 35 business owners in Aldershot and the surrounding areas.

It was a superbly constructed event, with a great presentation by Nicki, punctuated by questions to the panel (which consisted of myself, web design expert Kevin Williams from Servon Design, and branding expert Jane Mancini of Wag Design, and lots of engagement and interaction from the audience, which created a great atmosphere.

A wide range of topics was covered including branding, which social media platforms you should use for your business, blogging, web design, customer engagement and much, much more.

You can view the original presentation here and you can find out more about Nicki and The Juniper Co here. 

The Zoopla Power 100 – What’s It Really About?

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Social MediaProperty search website Zoopla recently announced the launch of its Property Power 100 – a list of the top 100 Estate Agents in the UK based on their Social Media output. We have several Estate Agents as clients so were very interested to see how the criteria for this was judged. Due to confidentiality agreements we can’t disclose who has come where in the table – however I was intrigued to see the criteria that Zoopla are basing their Power 100 on. 

The main criteria is as follows:

Retweets; Which can increase your influence by exposing your content to extended follower networks.

Mentions; People looking for your attention by mentioning you. We also take into account the differences in types of mentions (e.g: “via”).

List Memberships; Being included on lists curated by other users (demonstrates your areas of influence).

Followers; Follower count is another factor in your Score, however we heavily favor engagement over size of audience.

Replies; Replies show that you are engaging your network.

These are all relevant criteria, but looking through certainly the top ten of those listed, there seemed a real varying degree of how each agent was implementing these. The top agent at the time of writing seemed to be doing a lot of retweeting, rather than having much of its own content retweeted for example. It also seemed to be doing a lot of mentioning, rather than being mentioned. It did however have followers approaching the 20,000 mark.

The reason I find this list so interesting is that Zoopla is taking something as subjective as Social Media and forming a league table from it, and although there are of course a number of measures and reports that can be gained from Social Media marketing, by its very nature it is dynamic, changeable, and based largely on opinion and subsequent engagement.

And different forms of online marketing can mean different things to different businesses.

For example, one of Zoopla’s guidelines suggests not tweeting every property that you are instructed on, as users can find this boring and it can make them subsequently dis-engaged.

However if I was looking  to rent or buy a house, I think I would find it quite useful to have a full list of the very latest properties to be able to look at in real-time on Twitter. A separate account for this purpose could be doubly-effective and a great sales tool don’t you think?

When we have implemented this tactic for clients, we have seen a big uplift in traffic to websites from the respective Twitter accounts. And Google likes it when relevant traffic is coming from Social Media direct to company websites – in fact it’s now a major SEO factor. So from an SEO point of view, it can easily be argued that having a list of your properties on Twitter is a very good thing indeed, as our clients’ page one ranking testifies.

We have been advocating the use of Social Media by Estate Agents for a couple of years now, and we see some great results across the board, so for highlighting how important it is for Estate Agents to adopt, I applaud Zoopla wholeheartedly. However in my opinion, I think that the overall placements on the list should probably be taken with a pinch of salt.

What do you think? Let me know in the comments below.

Written by Matt Davis. 

Give Your Website A Spring Clean Today!

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I’ve noticed a few things about the change in weather this week. 

Firstly, it seems to make everyone a little bit happier when the sun comes out – all over Facebook and Twitter at the weekend were pictures of people out in the sunshine, kids eating ice creams – yes it was only a little bit of sunshine and a few degrees warmer but it made a big difference.

However I then realised that this change in attitude has a bit of a knock-on effect. Green Lawn - The Bright Click

The sun shining in through my living room window highlighted the dust settling on my blind – honestly I have no idea of the last time I dusted it! Also, the grass in the garden suddenly looked much too long, so I went to grab the lawnmower from the shed but there was loads of other stuff in the way where I hadn’t had to use it for a few months.

Then when I started mowing the lawn, I found loads of little toys under the long grass that I had to keep moving for fear of breaking the lawnmower by running one of them over. So it took twice as long as it should have.

Now it’s not really practical to mow your lawn throughout the winter as the weather doesn’t always permit you to, but it got me thinking that if I had mowed the lawn just once on a dry day in November, and again on a dry day in February, it would not have taken me so long this time.

If I had dusted the blind before the sunlight so embarrassingly illuminated it for me, it wouldn’t have taken me so long to clean (it took FOREVER!).

And then it occurred to me that the same really does apply to the maintenance that you carry out on your website – when was the last time you gave your website a spring clean? 

But more importantly, what do you do weekly to keep your website ticking over as it should? 

Because making these changes daily or weekly not only saves you time and hassle in the long run, it also keeps Google happy and lets the search engines know that your site is relevant, topical and dynamic.

Broken Link Example - The Bright Click

A Broken Link – Google Doesn’t Like These

Here is a brief list of the sort of thing you should be doing daily / weekly on your site:

  • Check for broken links – we’ve all done it – linked from one page to another (which Google loves) and then later on deleted one of the pages, forgetting that it was linked somewhere else (Google’s not so keen on this). Think of the user experience – you don’t want people landing on your site and within a couple of minutes getting the dreaded 404 page – nip this in the bud nice and early by using Google Webmaster Tools to highlight any broken links for you to fix. There’s also a handy WordPress plugin that does this too. 
  • Make sure your meta descriptions are up to date and relevant – that snippet of descriptive  information that you see on Google searches stems from your website’s meta description – there’s not a huge amount of SEO value to these but you’ve got 140 characters to accurately describe your website to the person who’s searching so try and make it worth reading! Email me today for an awesome ninja trick that you can use on your meta descriptions – you won’t believe how simple and effective it is…
  • Check that your images are all alt-tagged – you know that little yellow box that appears above images when you hover the mouse over it? Google takes notice of this and loves it when they are correct – make sure you get a keyword or two in there too…
  • Write a blog and then tell everyone about it. This takes a bit more effort and I’ll go into more detail on this in a future post but blogging is the best way to tell Google how important your website is AND it gives you great content to post on Social Media too…

So – a few things to be getting on with and if you spread these out throughout the year then you won’t have to do them all at once – keeping your website visitors and Google happy at the same time!

I’m off to clean out the barbecue… 🙁

Need advice on keeping your website up to date, dynamic and Google-friendly? Drop us a line or call us on 08433 832 732

Written by Matt Davis

What Google Wants Right Now – In A Nutshell

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Google LogoGoogle is constantly adapting and after the algorithm changes of 2012 it can become more and more complex and difficult for smaller websites and businesses to get noticed, especially when there are much larger companies and more established websites in competition. So how do you get ahead and make sure you still appear near the top in Google web searches? Well, 1st up on the list be, of course, do exactly what Google tells you to:

1/ DO WHAT GOOGLE TELLS YOU TO DO!

Don’t be silly. You cannot ‘outsmart’ Google. It’s waaay too powerful and important to your business. Do what it tells you to do, don’t do anything that you might think maybe it doesn’t want you to do, and everything else should be plain sailing. If you think you might need it, there are plenty of reputable internet marketing agencies out there that can help with optimization techniques.

2/ NO COPYING!

Whether you’re copying text from another website or have a range of websites with selling similar products, it’s all the same to Google. It’ll identify the repeat patterns and the sites will not be listed. Customers want choice and Google knows this. So it’s trying to prevent one company dominating a particular search by having lots of websites advertising the same product. Keep it original, keep it fresh.

4/ DON’T BUY DODGY BACKLINKS!

Google used to keep an eye on how many other websites had a link to yours and make an assumption that the more links you had, the more popular your business. Makes sense, right? Well, no actually. Because this could obviously be exploited as a good business opportunity by sharp entrepreneurs looking to sell lots of backlinks to companies in a bid to up their perceived popularity. And it was. A lot. Which was why when Google cracked down on this kind of behaviour lots of business shot down the rankings virtually overnight.  Don’t fall for it, don’t buy them. Organic (ie legitimate) backlinking does carry some weight still but is certainly no-where near the way forward as it might have been a couple of years ago.

5/ MAKE YOUR CUSTOMER YOUR FOCUS

A lot of businesses will reason that because Google are all powerful, it should be their primary concern with regards to marketing, forgetting all at once the key player in your business. The customer. Google after all, is constantly tinkering with its product to meet the demands of its customers, so this is what you should be doing. Create great, original, fresh new content regularly. Update your website with new ideas, new blogs, share interesting information and people will naturally be drawn to it. Get them reading, sharing and commenting on your content, and search engine traffic will increase as a result.

6/ CREATE A GOOGLE+ ACCOUNT

If you haven’t already, do this now. Then make sure that everything you produce has your name (and/or photo) and is linked to your Google+ account. Then, make sure that your Google+ account lists whatever it is within the contributor section of links. You are doing this because Google has recognized that social signals are a great indicator for search engine rankings. The more ‘shares’, ‘likes’, and ‘+1’s’ your content the higher up the rankings you are going to be. Plus if you regularly blog or post on a particular subject, and you get lots of comments, likes and +1’s, then you’re more likely to be ranked as an author in that particular field. You are using Google, you want Google to like you, so sign up to Google+ and show them you like them too. And make sure you engage on other Social Media platforms too – Google likes this. Social is BIG in 2013.

7/ KEYWORDS

Time was when a website, in order to be recognized in a search ranking, would insert ridiculous amounts of keywords relating to their business in order to fly up said rankings (or worse, from a customer perspective, be taken to their website when they actually wanted to be somewhere else). But Google, again, thinking of their customers, have tried to stop this. Customers don’t want to read reams of pointless keywords (in fact, they don’t, they just click the X and move on), so in order to change this up, Google will now recognize repeated keywords and penalize the offending website accordingly. Whatever you put up, read it back, aloud. Does it sound natural? Are you repeating keywords or phrases over and over again? Mix it up. Make it interesting. Using different words will not only make it far less boring for your customer to read (if they read it at all), but will also serve to increase your rankings in the other words.