Author Archives: Emily Isaac

Klout- what’s the score?

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Klout is a relatively new concept and is the measured score of your influence across social media sites such as Facebook and Instagram. Klout score is available on a website or app and uses analytics focused on your business’s social media sites to work out a score between 1-100 based on your interaction and general activity on social media sites. The higher the score the more klout you have generated, celebrity profiles such as Obama and Justin Beiber boast klout scores of 99 and 93, around 30 is the normal score for the average tweeter though. Klout score measures the size of your business’s account on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Foursquare and Wikipedia although it started on Twitter- all Twitter users are automatically assigned a score. Klout is influenced by the follower and following count, retweets, unique mentions, how many spam or dead accounts follow you and so on, from a business perspective it is far more beneficial to have an organically grown business account, with a real person running it compared to one that posts on a timer etc.

From a business perspective klout matters; klout’s score attributes towards your websites page ranking and general online presence, it influences your key performance indicators, or KPI’s, which is very important from a marketing perspective. Your business’s klout score is there and whether or not you pay attention to it, it does exist and when used properly it aids businesses to gain the recognition for their strong presence online. Often klout is overlooked or considered a pointless score as anyone who is capable and has time to move content around on social media sites that then provokes reaction, meaning people and businesses can fake their klout simply by making sure they’re tweeting and interacting, usually via spamming. Klout should be seen as being so much more though; a reflection of your success when networking and communicating through your business, popularity as well as your content quality are all factors that assist with a strong klout score. Some of the most influential people in the world, such as Obama, have very high klout score because they are simply very popular public figures, provoking reaction with anything they say. Klout score is becoming increasingly more important as businesses realise how important social media and SEO has become from a marketing perspective and maintaining an online profile is sometimes more beneficial than the old fashioned approach of marketing a company via networking etc.

In America Journalism students have been graded purely on their klout score and it is becoming very commonplace on interview for online marketing jobs to check your klout score when interviewing a candidate to ensure they are walking the walk when it comes to mastering social media and SEO. This is an extreme of example of just how influential klout can be, and although most companies don’t have that much focus on klout score, it has become an important element within a successful marketing strategy.

The Plus Sides to Google +


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When it comes to social media sites Google+ is the newest social networking site creating a buzz in the online marketing world. Launched by the search engine giants’ Google, Google+ or G+, is the latest social media site creating a storm online and has been attracting attention from all over the world with businesses in particular taking a shine to the ‘professional’ and more business orientated which is one of the reasons why it is perfect for growing your business from a marketing point of view. As it is relatively under the radar in terms of social media sites Google+ has, until now, been left alone by businesses looking to expand their online marketing strategy but there are many reasons why you should be signing up to this new social site:

  1. Google is the most recognised brand in the world alongside Cocoa-Cola and Apple, making it very worthwhile to  be a part of
  2. Google is the number one search engine, forcing Bing and Yahoo to fade into the ether of the internet- use this to your advantage in terms of search engine results for your website
  3. G+ is the equivalent to Facebook in social networking sites but has a more professional approach than its competitor, making it ideal for businesses and companies looking to create a professional and social profile.
  4. Content shared and ‘plus oned’ on G+ sends a positive signal to Google that your content is good and worth reading, this helps gain page rank whilst creating a strong site recognised by the search engine.
  5. A recent investment, made by Google themselves, of half a billion dollars into the social media site indicates just how important they envisage G+ being in the future. If its good enough for Google, it must be good enough for your business
  6. G+ allows you to target very specific communities and groups on the social media site, relevant to your business
  7. Make the most of the current low key reputation Google+ has and promote your business in a small community with less competition. The more you build your profile now whilst G+ is relatively unused the less you will need to do when more companies sign up and try to create competition.
  8. Use the fact that it is now the second largest social media site in the world to your business’s advantage! Join the community and benefit from a global audience at your fingertips
  9. Google+ is seen as a ‘pure’ social site as it is free of adverts whereas Facebook generates a large amount of its profits from advertising alone. A ‘cleaner’ user experience will only benefit your followers as well as business connections by using G+, adding to its professional approach to social networking.
  10. Lastly, you should take the massive hint as being suggested by Google themselves and sign up to G+, because Google said so! Use their social media site and reap the benefits of maximised SEO and positive signals- all being read by the search engine themselves.

 

The underground buzz surrounding Google+ is beginning to reach the mainstream in terms of online marketing and social media strategies so why not sign up and make the most if this relatively new site and take the opportunity to build a profile for your business whilst the competition is still ‘liking’ away on Facebook.

Social media: How do you use yours?

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Social media is the ‘cool kid’ in town when it comes to online marketing and expanding businesses via the internet, but it is far more complicated than simply setting up a facebook page and asking your friends to ‘Like’ your stuff. Using social media platforms should be a strategy you use to gain klout and strong back links directly to your website as well as expanding business and building connections and by simply giving your company a bit of personality you will stand out on these various sites, gaining more followers etc.

When using a social media sites there are a few things to consider when adapting your approach on each platform and using each website to favour your business and maximise the potential social media could have for your business. Tweeting should be treated as a totally different concept to blogging, liking on Facebook and re-pinning- remembering the etiquette for each will not only benefit your business but ensure you are using social media to the best of its potential. Utilising each site as a tool to connect directly with customers, potential customers and B2B contacts is a great strategy for enhancing your marketing as long as you approach them in the right way.

Twitter- Businesses tend to use Twitter to interact and respond with customers and potential customers as it is a direct, short and instant social media site- perfect for immediate connections. Twitter forces users to use 140 characters which is great for a business to keep interest by asking direct questions, encouraging people to reply, retweet and favourite your posts. Companies benefit from using Twitter as it gives large corporations a ‘friendly’ human face to a product or company which people can relate to and feel valued when they give a response. Remember you don’t need to strictly use Twitter just to appear professional and business-like, it invites businesses to get involved with Twitter trends such as #FF and other other trends relevant to the day.

Facebook- Facebook is notoriously more difficult to gain likes and following as a business as the users tend to only be interested in connecting and communicating with their friends and families, not businesses. Try to use this as an opportunity to engage your friends with longer status updates, competitions and blog posts, engaging people to read and react on your facebook page. Share articles amongst other businesses and spend a bit more time building your facebook page with pictures which will encourage people to ‘like’ and comment. Facebook allows your business to have more of a personality too so use this to the best of your company’s advantage

Tweeting, blogging and facebook ‘liking’ can sometimes be seen as a waste of valuable time for a business, especially a smaller company who perhaps need to spend the time doing more constructive activities. However businesses are beginning to see how much customers appreciate and enjoy the interaction on social media sites, especially when the posts and likes are un-work related. Bringing banter from a company profile will make you more following just through being entertaining and interesting. Of course this does not suit every businesses tone or approach and would need to be carefully considered by the executive before a personality is decided when using social media. The method of bringing a company’s quirky side out via twitter and facebook has proved very successful for the likes of Innocent smoothies and even Heathrow Airport, so if its good enough for their business then why not consider it as an approach for your own.

Anti-Social Media

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When it comes to using social media, from a business perspective, there are several rules of etiquette to stick by to ensure you remain professional and subjective when using such a public and easily accessible platform. There are several very obvious do’s and don’ts when it comes to using social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, as a business, for example not using bad language, interacting positively with customers and being careful when expressing opinions. Having a presence on social media brings great responsibility; if used wisely your social media presence can have such a positive effect on SEO, customer relations and company profile generally. If used badly however, it can cause irreversible damage to your reputation and have a very negative effect on your business.

Corporate companies are always making the global headlines with their use of social media sites, often for all the wrong reasons. With companies such as McDonald’s, Skittles and budget airline RyanAir, demonstrating how not to use social media to boost their business and company profile, it’s easy to see where it can all go so wrong. Offensive campaigns and swear-words published by official accounts as well as controversial opinions being tweeted are just some examples of the anti-social behaviour committed by these companies. Making headlines most recently for her anti-social behaviour on social media site Twitter, the newly-appointed Police Commissioner has come under heavy scrutiny for her misuse of such a public platform. It is very easy to post things online that you may not think twice about but can so quickly be miss-interpreted or taken offensively by followers. Social media when used properly can provide many benefits to businesses, such as improving SEO and generally helping their online marketing all for free, but so often it is the misuse of the social networking sites that makes the headlines. By sticking to a few simple rules as a business user on social media sites, you can really reap the benefits of sites such as Twitter and facebook:

1.Remain polite– Remember your posts will be seen by anyone and everyone with a Twitter and Facebook so remain professional and polite at all times. Even if you are posting something unrelated to your company and business you should remain polite and avoid offensive language.

2.Interact responsibly– Don’t respond and reply to accounts or users that are linked to offensive content or could damage the reputation of your business by being associated with you or your company. The same goes for responding and replying to customers and clients; always remain polite and professional even dealing with complaints or negative comments.

3.Be aware when using contextual content– If your approach is to engage with your followers with current affairs and discussion on contextually-related topics and events, be responsible when discussing. Many large companies and high profile celebrities slip up when discussing news stories and end up offending or commenting at the wrong time for example many MP’s use colloquialisms to appear apart of the community but end up offending members of the public.

 

Learn from the global companies who make these disastrous mistakes on social media and ensure your company remains professional- avoid being anti-social on social media sites.

Bing vs. Google – How these search engine giants can affect your SEO

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Online marketing strategy SEO, or Search Engine Optimisation, is an increasingly important and popular way to maximise your business presence online and improve your marketing technique so getting it right is within the interest of your entire business. When it comes to choosing which search engine to focus your SEO strategy on there really is only a choice of two main directories; Google and Bing. With Microsoft working hard to improve their search engine Bing and Google constantly updating their powerhouse of a search tool, it can be hard for any business, particularly smaller ones, to know which would be best for their strategy. Online marketing is becoming increasingly important for any business, search engine optimisation being the main focus of their strategy so choosing the right search engine can make all the difference. Google and Bing offer the same principle for all businesses and the right SEO techniques can get your business top ranking on all relevant searches but does it differ per directory? Does the appeal and visual attraction of Bing encourage people to use their search engine over Google’s very basic and easy to use search bar?

The first very important thing to consider is reputation for your business; Google has 80% of the world’s online market place which can make businesses question why they should register on any other directory, but with the vast number of companies and businesses already on Google comes a rather large benefit for their rival Bing. Bing may only have a small share of the marketplace when it comes to directory but for smaller businesses this is ideal. A smaller number of competition ensures higher ranking almost immediately, with very little SEO involved, perfect for smaller businesses starting out. SEO is largely affected by an individual’s presence and use of social media; the higher their activity generally on sites like Twitter and Facebook, the more traffic and interest is generated back to their site. Bing has very strong social integration’s with Facebook and Twitter, featuring links to both major social media sites on their main search engine page. This integrates any social recommendations into its search engine results page (SERPS) less cluttered, whereas Google has actively avoided any sort of relationship with either sites, choosing to have only access to their own lesser-used social networking site Google +. For the world’s largest search engine this may have been a rather risky move as social media is fast becoming one of the most successful forms of SEO.

Search engines are always working on ways to help businesses approach their SEO in a positive or ‘White hat’ way, Google opting to update their SEO strategy every few months, creating more hurdles for companies and filtering through the spam-type SEO moves. Bing however is less hot on the heels of the ‘Black Hat’ SEO approach, causing their searches to be less quality and more spam-type in comparison. The constant updates run by Google cause businesses to stay on top of their online marketing and can create far more work than first considered which is not great for a small company or business. Ultimately search engine preference is down to the individual and their needs for optimising their SEO strategy; Bing is excellent for smaller companies as it has a small audience but Google ranking is often sought after and speeds up the growth and popularity of a site.

Using Facebook to maximise your marketing

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A recent survey has suggested that Facebook receives 3.2 billion likes and comments on average every single day, these figures are incredibly impressive and should not be dismissed when considering the use of Facebook to maximise your business online.

With the impressive usage as well as ever-strong branding Facebook has globally, it is no wonder this free and easy to use social media platform is one of the most popular form of marketing for any business.

Free to use- Creating a page on Facebook page for your business can happen within five minutes and costs nothing but can make all the difference to their profit. With such easy access to a powerful social media platform it makes sense to utilise Facebook as a free, easy to use tool to enhance your business potential and expand your network quickly.

This is particularly useful for smaller companies and businesses on smaller marketing budgets as social media can be an incredibly powerful marketing tool when utilised properly and they all still remain completely free to use.

Invest the time- Investing the time in your Facebook page not only makes your readers ‘share’ and generate interest around your page but it increases the growth of your business with little to no effort. By investing a small amount of time on your company’s Facebook page and creating a strong presence with ‘likes’ you are securing your company’s inclusion in conversations and acquiring connections with people online.

Generate interest on your page for free with images and videos that attract and grab attention, they don’t have to be related to your business but just something that will generate interest and activity on your page and encourage people to talk about your company and mention your business.

Visual aids- As mentioned previously Facebook actively encourages people to interact and generate interest with images and video sharing. Pictures keep people interested and are far more popular than lengthy blogs and by creating interest around your business’s account with quirky imagery your popularity on Facebook will quickly increase.

This also refers to the branding of social media sites such as Facebook as the logos have become very powerful brands in their own right. Seen everywhere from adverts on television to posters on the street, the social media icons are powerful enough to appear on the front page of your company’s website and people will immediately know what they are.

Recently SEO experts have found that strong and regular activity on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, generates more traffic on the business website and therefore enhances your page ranking. By maintaining any sort of presence on these huge social media sites can make all the difference when it comes to SEO and page rank and are all completely free to use.

Linking your business’s homepage to your social media sites and vice versa will not only ensure a better flow of traffic and general visits but enhance your page ranking overall, maximising your SEO and presence as a business.

Online Marketing – The fresher of the Marketing world

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Only six years ago the idea of marketing online was simply a pipe dream, spoken about with apprehension but not fully understood and hardly ever practised within business strategies. Fast forward six years and most businesses are benefiting highly from and using some form of online marketing. From free, easy-access social media platforms such as twitter and Facebook, to simple website building and instant blogging. Online marketing has simplified and enhanced business and business strategy to such an extent, some companies are solely online and can generate money simply with their online presence.

With such a fresh and popular response, it is no surprise companies are recognising the importance of a strong online presence as it is globally used by millions of consumers. Through this online presence alone, customers are able to contact any company with issues and concerns they have with a simple click of a button, forcing businesses to act fast to keep on top of demand. Social media platforms such as twitter and Facebook have enhanced business simply by boosting profile and awareness with various promotions and competitions. This then expands the business awareness as more customers choose to access their own social media site, for free, being instantly exposed to the campaigns etc. For such a new and innovative form of marketing, online has proved one of the most effective and fastest methods, bringing business and customer together in a direct and less intrusive manner. Unlike traditional methods with newspapers, leaflets, promotional posters etc. online marketing targets consumers and customers directly, advertising something similar to an item they have ‘liked’ or ‘followed’ via social media. This also targets potential new customers, as companies are able interest them with similar products and messaging based on search terms and other related items they have looked up.

The long-term exposure of online social media marketing heavily outweighs other traditional methods as well, profiles and various campaigns and adverts have the opportunity to go viral and will remain online forever unless a company decided to take it down or the stop the advert. Whereas posters and adverts printed in papers etc. only last as long as the publication and are more likely to be forgotten as they offer a lot less exposure. As well as being incredibly popular and globally recognised, social media has introduced a savvy and demanding new consumer when it comes to marketing, as people search for reviews and opinions as well as researching reputations of companies before purchasing anything. Sites such as twitter and Facebook have meant companies need to work extra hard in building good communications with their customers as consumers are able to directly complain or give negative press as well as positive response on public forums and social networking sites.

With social media being so easily accessed and globally used in modern society it is no wonder more and more companies are choosing to use platforms such as twitter and Facebook for their marketing campaigns, with such a high success rate.

By Emily Isaac