01438 840 040
Is Your Brand Behaving?
With so many different ways to get our message across, keeping a consistent image is tricky… especially when there are several people involved. Add the instant edge of digital marketing into the mix and there is a potential recipe for disaster.
Back in the days of writing letters, we’d always start with ‘Dear…’. With emails came informality: ‘Hi…’. Moving to social media and forums, your brand now has instant communication. The language and style of your content can boost or destroy your brand… in seconds.


Branding for Business

Social media for business seems to be the biggest culprit. When did text speak become the norm? I appreciate that there are character limits, especially in Twitter, but please refrain from using ‘text speak’. U’ll undo yr good mktg work by tmrw.
With some markets, it’s truly ok to be informal. Overstep the mark and you’ll lose favour, so tread carefully. Your brand is an ambassador for your business. It needs to be right… it’s the first impression of your business, especially online.
Consistency is vital. For example, is everyone within your organisation using the same email signature? The same font and layout for proposals? 
Images are important too… a definite boost for engagement with all marketing tools. Relevant, good quality images are a must. Funny team photos, holiday snaps for profile photos and a lack of photo at all are to be avoided. Eggs are generally not trusted as credible accounts within social media!
As discussed in an earlier blog, shockvertising can work but can backfire too. These principles apply to a lesser degree in any marketing communication, so it’s important to review your brand’s presence.
Here are some tips to make your brand well behaved:
  • Write your social media content as if you were talking to your client direct. Would you sign off with a kiss? x
  • If in doubt, be formal… you can relax later if you want to.
  • Avoid abbreviations; be ‘pleased’ rather than ‘plzd’, send your ‘regards’ instead of ‘rgds’
  • Use relevant images; not because they’re simply cute or funny (these are for your personal accounts, not the work ones).
  • Go back to basics. Who are you targeting? What style will they respond to? Write accordingly.
  • Talk to colleagues. If your marketing is not a solo effort, make sure that everyone understands the tone and image that’s important for your market… for your business. 

Need a hand? If you would like a review of your brand’s behaviour, let us know. We’re here to help.

The Myths and Magic of Social Media
Social media for business is huge! But with every trend comes myth and misunderstanding.  Here are our top six comments about social media, based upon clients’ feedback…

1.    Everyone uses social media

Do they? Many, many people do - but not everyone… especially when they’re in ‘work mode’. Current UK usage figures are:

•    LinkedIn – generates 64% website referrals , with 10+ million users 
•    Twitter – 34% businesses generate leads from the 15+ million users
•    Facebook – 31+ million users, with 40% preferring to read rather than post content
•    Pinterest – 2+ million users and growing fast with 80% pins shared
•    Instagram – 150+ million globally (UK unavailable)
•    Google + - UK usage figures are unavailable (Google’s figures include Gmail  and YouTube accounts) 

Tip: research your target customers... which channels do they use? 

2.    You need to be seen using all the options

No! Save your sanity! 

Tip: focus your energy on the platforms that your target – and existing - customers are using.

3.    You can measure return

Yes!  Make sure that the time you put into social media is reaping rewards. Set yourself reasonable yet challenging targets regarding connections, engagement and website visits.

Review which type of content is most successful and how your new website visitors behave. Getting them to your site isn’t quite enough… ensure that you meet the expectations set by your social media content. If your bounce rate (fast exits) increases with your visits, something isn't working.

Tip: use Google Analytics to see how may referrals your social media activity is generating

4.    It needs hours a day for it to work

Don’t worry – there are many free tools to help with planning and posting content.
Tip: try and allocate and hour each week for this, supported by dipping in daily to respond to connections and interaction.

5.    It’s a sales channel

Yes… and no! Generating sales is often the ultimate reason for using social media for business – but contacts should never feel this intention. Overtly promotional information is the fastest way of disengaging people. Stick to relevant interesting information. Sell your enthusiasm, knowledge and experience to gain credibility and enquiries.

Tip: be informative, interesting and approachable

6.    It’s addictive!

Be warned! Many business owners are reticent about using social media within their internet marketing arsenal… initially. Finding your way around your chosen social media can be rewarding in itself. Generating responses is like a pat on the back for your hard work. It feels great… make sure it rewards your business too. 

Tip: record the time you spend on social media for business for one week. It’s a sobering exercise!

Now’s the time to review your social media activity. Make sure that the time your business is investing is as effective as possible. If in doubt, contact us – we’re here to help.
Social Media for Business Success
Social media: most businesses use it as a platform to generate contact, engagement and ultimately sales. But how can we make the most of a tool which simply doesn’t tolerate overt selling? How can we make our conversations count in business terms?

Is Social Media Right for Business?

In short, yes. However – choose the platform which best suits your audience. Think about your content and where your target (and existing) customers will see you. Facebook is still by far the strongest option for volume of users and sharing; but it simply isn’t right for most business-to-business marketing. Pinterest is growing fast and already has the second highest volume of referral traffic. LinkedIn has comparatively small levels of users and activity but is the obvious choice for most business-to-business marketing activity.

Credibility Counts 

That’s how social media can definitely help us all. Regular, relevant conversations help generate awareness and credibility. Responsiveness is a key requirement of your social media too. The pace is fast – and unforgiving. A lean month of Twitter content can look like you’ve shut up shop. Often, social media for businesses is about credibility. It’s a powerful back-up for the rest of your internet marketing arsenal. It’s where people will find you to seek reassurance. They’re looking for confirmation of their impressions about you and your business. That’s where it can always help the sales process.


Selling via Social Media

Have you ever stopped following someone because of their non-stop promotional content? Or left a group because of the plethora of sales messages? Many groups monitor this but once connected, you’re vulnerable to direct messaging. People use social media to be social; not to be sold to. Relevant conversations can gain valuable feedback as well as demonstrate your own expertise in a helpful way. So, what you’re selling is your knowledge, your experience; not your product or service in a direct way. 

Tips for Social Media Success:

1.    Be relevant – in your choice of social media, content and style 
2.    Monitor conversations; respond quickly and wisely
3.    Define success. Do you want website visits, newsletter signups, direct contact? Successful social media will lead to engagement first, then sales opportunities
4.    Be patient. Social media for business isn’t a quick fix. But – stick at it… it’s likely to reap rewards. 

No time to research, write and respond? 62% businesses save time by outsourcing their copywriting

Need a better return from your social media activity? Contact us at Decisions Marketing for a free discussion. We’re here to help.
Time Saving Twitter Tips
Twitter has gained huge popularity, but what are the best ways to get it working for your business?

Here are our top five suggestions to keep your time and your tweets in check:

1. Be relevant – people don’t want to hear weather updates or their horoscope from your tweets. Make your content interesting and relevant; simply the best way to gain followers, website visits and who knows… sales. (Our web designer colleague gains regular work from Twitter.)

2. Volume – research shared by the Chartered Institute of Marketing shows that more than three tweets a day could easily disengage your followers. Go for the ‘little and often’ approach

3. Re-tweets – research shows that asking for ‘please retweet’ rather than ‘RT’ gets a better response from Twitter-users. (51% compared to 39%, HubSpot) Please don’t lose manners by cutting 140 character corners.

4. Timing – whilst Hootsuite will tell you that 12pm – 3pm is the best time to send a tweets, when will your market have a chance to see them? At Decisions Marketing, we’re big research fans. But – data must be interpreted with your own target customers in mind before you make changes to what you’re doing.    

5. Following – the same with any social media, before sharing content and following Twitter users, check to see if their content is relevant to you or your followers. If not, don’t do it.Hopefully, the above tips will help save some Twitter time for you.

One last thought – if time is tight, consider working with someone to create your content for you; to give it that perfect blend of interesting, relevant and personable… with a subtle sales edge too. We can help – why not arrange a free discussion?

Lastly, if any of you are not already using planning tools to help your Twitter feed, why not?! Free tools such as Hootsuite and Tweetdeck are saviours of time and sanity. For regular marketing tips such as these, please connect with us on Twitter. See you there!

Advertising on Twitter
Advertising on Twitter has recently been extended to include those of us in the UK. There are two key choices involved: promoted tweets and promoted accounts.

1. Promoted Tweets
Why use Promoted Tweets?
  • Increased coverage for your strongest messages or special offers
  • For driving visitors to your website
  • More engagement within Twitter
Promoted tweets appear within timelines and at the top of the relevant search results shown within Twitter. (In this way, it’s a similar format to Pay Per Click.) Twitter assesses the interests and content within a timeline when deciding where to include your promoted tweet.

With internet searches, users often disregard ‘sponsored’ positions. This is less apparent within Twitter – so far. Promoted tweets will only appear within Twitter timelines if content is deemed relevant to the account. So… how you target your campaign is vital.

People can engage with a promoted tweet exactly as they would with a regular tweet, (retweet, reply, favourite etc.).

2. Promoted Accounts
Why become a Promoted Account?
  • Collect extra followers, fast
  • Creating longer term engagement and reach for activity
Promoted accounts are the suggestions of ‘who to follow’ which appear on the left side of the home screen. You’ll now see promoted accounts as well as suggestions naturally found by Twitter.

You can target new followers by keywords, interests and usernames. Twitter will prompt you for via a series of choices. If you choose a user name (@username), Twitter will analyse this username’s followers looking at who they are and what interests those people have in common. This route can be handy if you know the @username of an influential person within your market or maybe that of a key competitor.
Both routes include options on expenditure, location and gender. Good news for well- targeted campaigns. Excellent news for capping your budget! Plus – you only pay if someone engages with your promoted tweet, or follows you as a promoted account.

Whichever route you choose, ensure that the interests/accounts involved are aligned to your Twitter content. In other words, attract potential followers who will be genuinely interested in your tweets – and in you.  

Users cannot stop promoted tweets and accounts from appearing within their Twitter session. By promoting tweets and accounts based upon relevance, Twitter is hoping that this will not cause an adverse reaction amongst users.

The rules may change based upon user experience, feedback... and shareholder pressure. Rumours are rife that Twitter will lose its 140 character limit in order to entice advertisers now that it has shareholders to please and answer to. Watch this space!

If you would like to explore Twitter advertising, start using Twitter or help with content for social media, please contact us. Plus - you could always follow us on Twitter!