Posted by: Lewis Austin

Posted on: February 22, 2013 5:20 pm

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As many tweeps would have found out last Wednesday, either by blogs or first-hand experience. Twitter has revised the “rules” of tweeting when using links of one kind or another. Apparently the cause of this reduction is due to a change in Twitter’s t.co link wrapper.

How It Works

By adding a link to your tweet, you reduce your character limit down to 118/117 characters, depending on the type of link that you use, be it http or https. This will usually be used to explain the link and in the case of social media marketers, be used to entice a follower into clicking the link. After a little experimentation I can deduct that it does not matter how long the Url is. Try it for yourself, add a Url of your choice into the “post a tweet” section (preferably one that’s already been shortened), now add some random characters to the link. Your number of remaining characters should stay the same.

What Does This Mean

Well in some cases, you are actually missing out on characters, some bit.ly and t.co links are short enough for you to be losing a maximum of 2 characters. However it’s not all doom and gloom, I wanted to share an article from Mashable and noticed that I had 2 extra characters that I would have had.

It is easy to state why this loss of 2 characters is a problem, as a lot of businesses find it difficult to write an effective tweet, let alone in 118 characters, but in the long run, quite a few links will actually be at a slight advantage, and that advantage is only as significant as the disadvantage in this scenario. If you’re not buzzed about the pros, you shouldn’t really be bothered about losing 2 characters.

This structured method to tweets referring to external sources could actually help businesses learn how to make the most of the space that they have. As we all know it can be a task to get the attention of users on Twitter, due to its’ “here and now” approach, so it is more important now than ever to make each character count.

Posted by: Hannah

Posted on: January 30, 2013 10:09 am

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Last week Twitter released its very own video sharing app named Vine. The new concept allows Twitters 500 million plus users to share six second long videos across the micro blogging site.  Although owned and linked directly to Twitter it is not yet possible to Vine straight from Twitter, currently users must use the dedicated Vine app to upload videos to their account. The app is also only available on iOS operating systems such as iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.

Vice President of product, Michael Sippey explained the app in a recent blog post, ‘Vine is a mobile service that lets you capture and share short looping videos. Like Tweets, the brevity of videos on Vine inspires creativity. Now that you can easily capture motion and sound, we look forward to seeing what you create.’

So if the app is owned and promoted by one of, if not, the largest social network site the impact of the app is expected to be large. The app also encourages everyone to be back on Twitter and begin connecting and sharing content again. Good news for Twitter – bad news for Facebook!

The app is also a new viable alternative to Instagram. Six second videos can be informative, fun or even just thought provoking and are an innovative and fresh way of creating content. Instagram simply shows an image – Vine allows video and sound and is therefore a great way to show a brands personality, creativity and style.

The app has however been met with some raised eyebrows and a few red faces after failing to filter and remove porn clips from its site. Even more embarrassing was the porn video that appeared in the Editor’s pick – blamed on human error and quickly deleted after many complaints.

Nevertheless Vine, with or without controversy was always going to cause a stir and we believe will continue to, especially in the content marketing world.

Posted by: Hannah

Posted on: January 8, 2013 4:25 pm

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Televisions and mobile phones have become an integral part of everybody’s lives. We spend hours each day making calls, interacting online, sending text messages and browsing the web all on our mobiles. The other screen we spend a lot of time looking at is that of the television. Whether it is unwinding after work, embracing sport or catching up with the latest popular programs, the television makes up a large proportion of the UK’s popular culture.

So what happens when the two collide? The merging of social media and television is a phenomenon that has occurred over the last few years. Until recently the use of hashtags and trending was not commonly connected with television programs, yet now it is a regular, mundane feature. Television programs even create and visibly display them throughout the show encouraging the use and discussion of the show on social media sites like Twitter.

This type of ‘social TV’ also exists on Facebook where it is possible to view opinions and remarks about shows that are commonly watched such as the likes of X Factor, Strictly Come Dancing and Big Brother. This means that if the user logs on at a certain time whilst the program is on television it is highly likely that they will see many related posts. Sean W. Bohan Co-Founder of Decahedralist Strategic Consulting explained, ‘The user doesn’t call this social TV – they call it their normal behavior  Apps that create more enhanced experiences like syncing to the audio from the TV, timed with the show, encouraging interaction etc…will create new opportunities for sponsorship and revenue. ‘

Mike Knowlton, from Murmur added, ‘I expect to see a continued growth in ‘Second Screen Viewing’, we’ll see a new move to better integration social activity into TV content.’

So what does this mean for TV in the future? Many feel a large emphasis will be placed on the encouragement of social interaction and creating a buzz about a television program through the use of social media platforms.

Overall, the move towards social media and the acceptance of it in everyday life displays how it is a platform that will not be going away.

The emergence of social media has truly revolutionised the way internet marketers do in their respective businesses. If we are to rewind to the time when facebook and twitter were not yet in existence, small and large businesses were actually doing the traditional advertising campaigns. It might be a lot slower compared to the present advertising capabilities brought by social media, but that was fair one and the public receive information without having them fooled or manipulated.

 Social Media as Form of Advertising

Today, most business owners are beginning to utilise the power of social media in making their businesses put into the limelight. It is even safe to deduce that all existing companies who know how social media work to their benefits made fan pages where people can like or follow. The potentials for companies to earn a wide audience have pushed business owners to incorporate facebook and twitter badges on their sites.   At first, we can say that these actions of marketers point to a single purpose and that is to shape public opinion. With their respective fan pages where they gained thousand likes and thousand followers, it would appear that many people trust their companies or the brands they are trying to market.

 The Dark Side of Social Media

But here is the other side of the coin, some business owners are now resorting to fool the public by manipulating the number of likes and followers for their brands or companies. This is done by sponsoring people to create different social media accounts such as in facebook or twitter and make them like or follow the page. The controversial part is these facebook like or twitter follow stuffs have been made job posts in various online job freelancing platforms. If we are to analyse these moves, these guys are simply making fun of the credibility of the social media by trying to manipulate their company’s credibility.

 What Matters Most

Basically, there is more about the social media than just relying in the number of likes or followers you get to your page. And it’s one of the things that are overlooked by these business owners. They think that by getting thousands and thousands of likes or followers, they will gain the trust of the public just like every business marketer wishes to. But, they are wrong. Though the number of likes or followers can be a factor to build confidence among the public, the best weapon to win the heart of the public is through content sharing through posts, discussions, and forums where close interactions between the company and the clients are empowered. If business owners only invest in the quantity of likes and followers without building an interactive environment with their clients, then their efforts to pay for people to like and follow their pages will only be futile.

Until there has not been proof that the number of likes and followers has a value to search engine optimisation, then it would be better if these business owners would implement the proven SEO techniques to gain a broad audience where their products or services can be seen to the maximum.

 

Posted by: Ben Austin

Posted on: May 7, 2012 3:49 pm

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Many SEO companies and SEO consultants knows that every algorithm change in the search engine might cause the de-ranking of their target website, what is worst is that when the site is actually lost the revenue goes with it. This is the reason why many SEO Companies and SEO consultants are looking for other sources for site traffic. One of the most popular alternative site traffic sources is the use of social media. With the popularity of Facebook and Twitter and its ability to make a post viral became the focus of such SEO companies and SEO consultants looking for alternative traffic sources for their website. However, similar to search engine optimisation, social media marketing also requires considerable amount of work. The nature of social media is to create a community and to produce interaction between and among the members of the community.

The Power of Social Media

The fact that social media allows you to interact with a lot of people and the accounts of such people are readily verified, meaning they are actual people and promoting products and services online to actual people is faster and cheaper and with a high success rate. After building a social media community around your brand or product you will be able to easily inform your members about any promotions or updates about your products and services. Not only that, information can easily be shared by anyone in the community to his or her list of friends.

Harnessing the Power of Social Media

Social media could only become an effective tool if used properly this is why it is important to take the following in consideration:

1. Spark conversations – most of the time members of your community are just lurking around your page, this is why it is important to start a conversation. Creating a spark of conversation can be done by giving your community something interesting to talk about however it should be factual and within your pages’ niche.

2. Engage Bloggers – bloggers are gaining popularity worldwide because of their skill in writing and their ability to engage their readers. Blogging is considered as the fourth media and it is considered as one of the most reliable form of information because it comes from the actual experience of the person writing about the product or services.

3. Factual Social Media Profile – you should be factual when creating your account in the social media network, this is because of the fact that you would like to show that you are promoting an honest business. Therefore, showing your actual photo would be one of the best way to start gaining the trust of your community members.

Conclusion

There is a need to look for other sources of traffic just in case your search engine optimisation methods would falter due to algorithm changes. One of the best alternative traffic source is social media as it allows you to build a community around your brand and engage your members regarding the different products and services that your business is offering.

Today Google has announced their newest algorithm update. It is a known fact that search engine algorithms like that of Google’s is very dynamic that it is regularly updated. Regular updates could be from simple to complex in the case of Google a complex update may be like the time when Google introduced the panda algorithm where there were drastic changes on how it ranks websites in its search engine results page which affected a lot of websites.

Why is there a need for algorithm update?

Search engines are on the continuous quest to developing a search engine that can return relevant and accurate results and one that would indeed increase user experience. The search engine giant is one of such company that is focused on developing accurate search engine results. This is why there algorithm must be continuously updated whenever a better set of instructions were to be developed. Another reason for a search engine algorithm update is because of the fact that some SEO companies or SEO consultants may have found some work around in the existing algorithm that may cause the manipulation of the search engine results, when the search engine catches up with the manipulation being done then it is time to update the algorithm.

What is the latest Google Algorithm Update?

Google Announcing Algorithm Update

Dubbed as the Panda refresh 3.4 by some SEO service providers, the announcement came March 24, 2012 and it was announced in the most unusual of platforms. The announcement on Google’s algorithm update was done via Twitter, with only 140 characters or less Google was able to announce their most recent update on their search engine algorithm. According to “A Googler”, the twitter handle name of Google or its agents, the new algorithm currently affected around 1.6% of the total number of websites via the internet. With only 140 characters, Google was not able to expound on the scope of the algorithm change or update. Thus, what remains to be seen still would be the particular changes done in Google’s algorithm.

What Now?

SEO companies and SEO consultants should know by now that there are a lot of things currently happening at Google, with their recent announcement on a major algorithm change regarding semantic search SEO service providers indeed should start creating SEO campaigns that would keep their rankings if not increase their rankings in Google’s search engine results page, or to take steps in developing other online marketing campaigns apart from SEO which could increase traffic flow to their target websites such as social media management among others.

Posted by: Ben Austin

Posted on: January 27, 2012 9:04 am

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Selling is one of the most important things when it comes to a business. Without it, there would be no incoming money, thus no funds for campaigns such as social media. Your social media agency can use the audience that has been acquired to sell to, but there is a fine line between what is ok and will result in sales, however a too aggressive approach will result in negative feedback and maybe even a loss of following.

What Not To Do

First off, it’s important to know what not to do. Social media, is a social environment which is built around friend ships and conversations. Your audience do not want to log on and be sold to constantly, if you do this, then it is likely that you will lose their interest because you have annoyed them etc.

Techniques

The first and probably the most beneficial is promotional codes or discounts. Everyone loves a bargain and are more likely to purchase when money is being saved. Exclusive social media vouchers are great, it makes your followers feel “exclusive” but it’s also a great way to measure how many people are using the social media voucher code. Using voucher codes is most likely the best method  to sell on social media, it is not direct and if anything can be seen as a nicety online.

Sending links to new or old products is also a good way to get sales, although not as good as voucher codes. If links to products are constantly posted out and make the majority of your content, then it is likely that your followers are getting annoyed with the constant stream of sales and will begin to ignore them. Getting the balance is crucial.

Contests are similar to voucher codes. They can be posted about all day long, however it does not necessarily convert to a sale; it will help establish a following but not an instant sale because these followers would be interested in receiving your product for free. This can however convert into a sale organically or with the help of a voucher code.

Conclusion

Selling on social media is difficult and is a completely different tactic to SEO or even web design. Social networking sales are very laidback and are more of an “the offer is on the table” situation, where the follower does not feel pressured into purchasing anything but is aware of the products and offers available.

 

Posted by: Ben Austin

Posted on: January 26, 2012 9:18 am

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Social media can be used to improve a lot of areas in your business, especially areas which directly involve your customers. If you have an active campaign and a great level of engagement with your followers, you will find many of these tasks easier to do with the use of social media.

Detecting And Resolving Customer Complaints

Finding and resolving complaints is very easy to deal with when using social media. The most easy would be twitter management to accomplish this. This is because you can run searches for your business name and receive all tweets containing your company name, this way you can deal with any negative opinions. You can also acknowledge and thank any good comments. Both of these actions will help improve your following and relationship with your followers.

Receiving Feedback

Through proper Facebook management techniques, you can run polls and ask questions to your fans about anything you want, so this can be very helpful as you can receive feedback on new product and find out what your customers really want. You can also do the same thing on Twitter, however this is a little harder to manage than Facebook because all you can do is tweet out and hope for your followers to reply.

Providing Technical Support

Tech support is usually handled over the phone, but we have so much technology available nowadays and social media really helps with this. For example, you can use Google Plus hangouts to visually answer and explain answers to your customers, and text support can be given easily to followers via Twitter and Facebook.

Conclusion

Social media has many benefits, and using social media to benefit the customer experience is a great idea and is something that very company should be trying to do. A social media agency can run these kind of techniques effectively and beneficially to you and your company, whether you’re a retail company or an SEO agency.

Posted by: Ben Austin

Posted on: January 24, 2012 10:44 am

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Many social networks can be broken up into many categories and most networks fall into more than one category. Knowing what category a network is classed as is vital to plan out a social media management campaign and also to have a successful return on your social media efforts.

There are seven main types of social network and every social service can be categorised into at least one of these: Blogs, Social networking services, Social media sharing, Social bookmarking, Social news services, Location based networking and Community building services.

Blogs

Blogs were one of the first forms of social media and have really evolved. Blogs are designed to allow easy content posting, and also easy commenting and sharing. Examples of blogging services are: WordPress, Type Pad and Blogger.

Social Networking Services

Social Networking Services were originally created for the soul purpose of two way communications and content sharing, e.g. videos, picture and information. Even with this category, there are three child categories: Full networks (Facebook/Google +) , Micro blogging (Twitter/Plurk) and Professional Networks(Linkedin/Xing).

Social Media Sharing Services

Social media sharing services are based around posting content such as videos and pictures, and sharing the content and also commenting on it. There are three types of these networks, video (YouTube/Vimeo), Photos (Flickr/Picasa), Audio (Podcast Alley).

Users of social bookmarking services can bookmark their favourite pages for other users of that network to see and enjoy. Recommendation sites (Stumble Upon/Delicious), Social Shopping (Kaboodle/This Next).

Social News Services

Users of social news services can favourite news for the rest of the network to see, these articles are usually voted on in some way. Examples of these services are Digg and Reddit.

Location Based Networking

Location based networking is something users have to help bring them closer together and explore their local area, examples of this are Foursquare, Gowalla and Loopt.

Community Building Services

Community building services are mostly forum like networks such as Yahoo! And Google Groups, these networks can be very niche.

Conclusion

It is important to know exactly what category the network you are going to be using falls into, this way you can make the most of your social media agency and have the best return on your campaign. Whether you are using social media as an SEO company or even PPC.

Posted by: Ben Austin

Posted on: January 23, 2012 4:05 pm

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Social Media is a great way to brand your business, bring in new customers and so on. However the one problem with social media is that is really difficult to measure, unless you have the right procedures or reporting software in place.

Step By Step

Using a process to record progress is extremely time consuming. There are many different factors that must be measured and for a really helpful report on your campaign, stats should be measured daily to see what works, and what doesn’t.

The more networks that your business is on, the more time you have to devote to making notes of new stats and so on. So by not using a reporting suite, you’re wasting time measuring your profile’s success and not helping it to succeed.

Choosing A Reporting Suite

There are tonnes of social media tools to help you measure your social media campaign, so how do you find out which is the best? Many of the suites offer free trials, so assign your social media profiles to the systems, and give them time to sync with stats. This can take a few days with networks like Twitter, but Facebook should sync automatically, this is because Facebook has it’s own insights available.

It is important to take note of the networks that the reporting software in question supports. If it is limited to Twitter and Facebook, it is likely that a tool that supports many others, such as Digg and Google Plus, would be much better for the present and future if your company is thinking about going from Facebook management, or even Twitter management to social bookmarking and many others.

The general layout differentiates between the suites and will appeal to some people’s tastes more than others. So it is just a case of testing the networks and seeing which is best for the job.

Conclusion

The only way to find out what is best is to try before you buy. Chances are that you will only be using one, and the prices that are charged, it is well worth making sure you are 100% happy with the services that are provided.

Whether you are using social media as an SEO company, or you are in the retail industry, it is important to be able to measure your social media activities precisely and accurately.

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