Category Archives: Social

The Top 40 UK-Based Online Marketing Agencies on Twitter

Twitter is a crucial tool in online marketing and the MINT team has worked extremely hard to boost its followers and overall Twitter presence over the past 5 months.

As our Twitter account continued to grow, we always looked at the other online marketing agencies on the social network to see how we compared.

We then decided it would be an interesting research task to find as many UK-based online marketing agencies on Twitter and create Top 40 list with positions based on the number of followers an account had accumulated.

Here at MINT we use our company’s social media accounts to show prospective clients that not only can we talk the talk, we can also walk the walk. While creating this list we have remained unbiased and not changed the rules to give MINT an unfair advantage over other businesses.

Originally placed in 7th when the list was made in May, we have now climbed to 3rd! We’re extremely pleased and would like to congratulate every other agency that made our list.

  1. SEO Positive
  2. Distilled
  3. MINT Online Marketing
  4. Eskimo Soup
  5. Web Marketing Group
  6. Equator Agency
  7. Kenshoo
  8. Strategy Internet Marketing
  9. iProspect
  10. 360innovate
  11. theEword
  12. Coast Digital
  13. Pogo Digital
  14. Living Media
  15. Delineo
  16. Prodo Digital
  17. Sweetheart Marketing
  18. PushON
  19. All Things Web
  20. Strawberry
  21. JDR Websites
  22. Evevo
  23. A10 Strategic Media
  24. Edit Optimisation
  25. Cube3
  26. Studiowide
  27. TicToc
  28. i-Com
  29. The Zen Agency
  30. Nick Lewis Communications
  31. Young Cow
  32. Lakestar McCann
  33. Atelier Studios
  34. Liquid Solutions
  35. Peach Digital
  36. Ocere
  37. Bigfoot Digital
  38. Splice Marketing
  39. Latitude Express
  40. Mediaworks

Have we missed your online marketing company? Think you should be in this list? Send us a tweet @MINTOnline and if you meet the criteria, you will be added!

Klout- what’s the score?

Klout3

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 +


google pic

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?

social-media-explained-559x466

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.

10 Tips To Get a Retweet

retweet

Undertaking a successful Twitter marketing campaign requires valuable time and resources, it can be very frustrating to devote so much time to social media marketing without getting the results you need.

Luckily, we’ve gathered ten of the best tips to help your business get the right results;

1. Install a Twitter button

Many websites have their own Twitter ‘button’ that directs traffic to your Twitter feed, Twitter recently launched their own official button.

Tip: If your website directs a decent level of traffic, then it’s a good idea to drive some of those numbers towards your social media channels.

2. Repeat your best Tweets

Keep an eye on your most successful Tweets, for instance if you’ve asked a question that’s getting a lot of responses, make a note and save it for a later date. Some of your followers may have missed that particular Tweet so bear that in mind, keeping track of your most successful info is a valuable aspect of the social media learning curve.

Note; You will of course need to be careful of being perceived as spam, if possible try and rephrase your tweets to avoid this.

3. Including @mentions to those you’ve referenced

Always include the username of those you’ve mentioned in a post, letting them know you’re giving them a shout-out. If you don’t mention them via the @ tool then the person you’ve mentioned will not be aware that you’ve included them.

4. Trending Topics

Particularly if you’re operating a business Twitter account it’s a good idea to get involved with topics that are relevant to your industry.

For instance an electronics retailer would look to play an active part within the discussion surrounding the new Playstation 4.

Trending topics offer a useful way to tap in to a never ending stream of tweets, which many people will be viewing, getting some valuable exposure for your business.

5. Use Quotes

Whilst quoting Marilyn Monroe may get a lot of people’s attention it’s unlikely to be relevant to your business, try and find quotes that are both useful and applicable to the information you share. Quotes are often shared between users, so try them for yourselves.

6.Tweet Links

Your Twitter account has to offer a service to your followers, offering them a link that they may find interesting may get you some valuable retweets.

Tip; Try sending your visitors to websites that aren’t related to your business to avoid being too promotional.

7. Keep an eye on the most retweeted phrases

Words such as blog, social, free, help, follow are some of the most searched for phrases on Twitter, try to include them whenever you can.

8. Run a Twitter contest

Contests are much more likely to ‘go viral’ than just sharing information, try offering your users a prize for retweeting your information, you’ll be surprised at how much attention you can attract.

9. Time your Tweets

There are peak times to tweet your information, different times attract different demographics. For instance information shared in the morning will attract those sat at their desks, Tweets after 5 PM will be targeted towards those on the way home from work who may not be interested in talking about work.

10. Try Promoting Others

Twitter is a community, by taking an interest in other people’s business you increase the chance they’ll show interest in yours, you can also form long term relationships which may result in more retweets in the future.

What Social Network is right for your Business?

social network

If your business is yet to tap in to the social networking market then perhaps it’s a matter of picking the right site for your business.

Despite its advantages not every social networking site will be suitable for your business, whilst bigger brands may be able to spread time and resources over several sites, a smaller business may be looking to concentrate on one or two sites that are relative to their business model.

The key for smaller business is to devote as much time as possible finding it which site is right for them, luckily we’ve prepared some info that should help you decide.

social network

Facebook:

With one billion active monthly users Facebook is still the dominant force in social networking, despite other sites making inroads in the market.

Good for;

  • Connecting with your current customers
  • Sharing visual information
  • Communicating with the largest audience in social media
  • Business to consumer companies

Negatives;

  • Hard to build a reputation without brand identity
  • Customers will usually only ‘like’ trusted brands
  • Not as contextually focused as other sites
  • Difficult to break in to social circles

research tools

Twitter:

Twitter is Facebook’s main rival, making the most significant impact on social media in recent years experts suggest that this site is better prepared for the future as far as the mobile market is concerned.

Good for:

  • Sharing contextually related information
  • Quick, real time, microblogging
  • Targeting a relevant demographic
  • Building a following quickly

Negatives;

  • Followers have to click through to images
  • Limited to 140 characters
  • Easy to spam your audience

google+

Google+;

Google+ is a newcomer to the social networking sphere but it already has 400 million users, its presence is only going to improve with the search engine giving precedent to its own social network, Google+ is set to become an SEO ranking factor.

Good for

  • Business Communities that allow discussion on relevant topics
  • SEO Rankings
  • B2B businesses

Negatives;

  • Not as popular for B2C
  • Social Media newcomer
  • Not as widely recognised as others

linkedin

Linkedin;

Linkedin is rapidly expanding, adding millions of new users every month, the site is becoming a must have for any business looking to network.

  • The most highly targeted B2B site on the web
  • Extremely professional
  • Serves as a directory for businesses

Negatives;

  • Difficult to network, require permission to connect with other users
  • Not as ‘social’ as other sites
  • Difficult to make connections without brand recognition

Pinterest

Pinterest;

Pinterest can be a very good asset for a business that can share products and visual imagery and was the fastest growing social network in 2012.

  • Great for B2C businesses
  • Excellent for advertising products
  • One of the most visually targeted social media sites

Negatives;

  • Unsuitable for B2B businesses
  • Difficult to market without a visible product
  • Not so effective for service based businesses
  • Difficult to share text based content

So there you have five major social networking sites on the web, as you can see not every site will be suitable for every business, this largely depends on your product and the nature of your business but each site has distinct advantages.

Anti-Social Media

 social media pic

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.

The 360* Approach to Online Marketing

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One of the main pitfalls businesses often fall in to during their online marketing campaign is the concept of relying too heavily on one aspect of the spectrum.

Too frequently a business relies on a singular approach, it’s these businesses that are often hit by changes in Google’s algorithm. Similarly those who rely too heavily on paid search may be missing out on the benefits of an effective SEO strategy, often all you need to undertake a successful SEO campaign is patience and the relevant expertise rather than significant monetary investment.

The more efficiently all aspects of your online marketing strategy work together the more focus Google will place on the content you share and in turn the higher your pages will rank within Google’s SERPs.

A good place to start is with an audit of your website which can illustrate the strengths and weaknesses of your site. From there, you can re-evaluate your selection of keywords as well as your overall content strategy, you can also take a look at which aspects of SMM would suit your business.

It’s important to question whether your content strategy is working effectively, so it’s a good idea to measure the engagement of your blogs, tweets etc.. How many comments, shares and likes are you receiving on a regular basis.

Google Analytics is a great tool to use to measure the strength of your online presence.

What your business focuses on largely depends on your goals and the nature of your presence but as a general rule it’s a good idea to take a holistic approach that includes as many features as possible.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO):

Keyword Research

On-Page & Off-Page SEO

Link Building

Social Media Marketing (SMM):

Facebook

Twitter

Google+

Linkedin

Pinterest

Pay-Per-Click (PPC)

Google Adwords

Facebook Paid Advertising

Linkedin Paid Advertising

Stumbleupon Paid Advertising

Online Press Releases:

Copywriting

Distribution

If your business is neglecting any of these major aspects then it may be time to revise your online marketing strategy.

Google Glass or the Smart Watch? The battle for next gen Technology

google glass

What does this mean for businesses and for our privacy?

Technology has developed dramatically in the last decade, it appears that we are now reaching the stage where applied science is so advanced that ideas that could only be imagined in science fiction are now becoming part of reality.

google glass

This rapid growth in technology has dramatically changed our day to day lives and how businesses and brands communicate with their following, less than five years ago the idea of watching video on the way to work would have seemed far-fetched now that we are essentially contactable wherever we are, businesses have had to change the way they engage with the public whether it’s through social networking or online video.

The latest development that’s caught the attention of the masses is the concept of a wearable computer or an augmented reality device.

Industry giants Google and Apple are now fighting to gain a foothold in this new generation of technological advancement;

In recent weeks Google has revealed its latest innovation, Google Glass. A head-mounted display that displays information in a similar fashion to the smartphone, the device can be activated via voice command. The device may even be integrated with prescription lenses in the future, it’s speculated that the device may be released as early as this year.

There are rumours that Apple is in the process of developing its own “smart-watch”, a wearable computer that can be attached to your wrist, whilst Samsung is also rumoured to be developing a similar product.

What does this mean for our privacy?

Google Glass has been attracting some concerns over privacy issues, if you’ve seen the viral adverts then you’ll be aware that the device can record video on command, if these devices are set to become commonplace in society then how will it impact on our sense of privacy.

It remains to be seen how are privacy will be affected, who will be defined as complicit as far as being recorded is concerned, many people may be recorded with one of these devices which can then upload their image to social media, all without their permission.

For Businesses

Being able to watch and video as well surf the web, through a lens or through a smart-watch will change the way businesses contact their audience as well as how commercials and advertisements can reach a targeted demographic.

But for now, what we’re wondering is what will become the most popular.

Would you prefer to wear a head-mounted device or a smart-watch? Are you content with a simple phone in your pocket? Let us know.

Stay on top with Google Alerts

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Using Google Alerts for content purposes

Theoretically you can use Google Alerts as a way to monitor whenever your name is mentioned on the internet, whenever a blog post or news story (if you’re important enough) mentions your name Google Alerts can emails you with an update as it happens.

This demonstrates just how effective Google Alerts is as a tool for content purposes, you can be notified whenever your company name is mentioned or when people are talking about a subject that you’re interested in, even with a topic as specific as pay-per-click advertising for example.

The process is more personal than Google News, with information tailored to your needs, you’ll be notified as it happens or whenever you’d prefer to be updated.

It can be extremely useful to have information at your finger-tips when you get to the office or turn on your computer each morning, particularly if you’re an aspiring blogger looking for inspiration for your next article or if you’re a business looking to get in on the discussion surrounding a specific topic.

As long as the information is indexed on the web, Google Alerts can find that information and deliver it you.

google alerts

Setting up an Alert is easy:

  • Just enter your search query, use quotation marks to search for specific nouns
  • Choose the result type, from ‘everything’ to news, blogs, video or discussions
  • Choose how often you want to receiver an alert, ‘As-it-happens’ for minute by minute updates, once a day or once a week for occasional alerts
  • You can choose to receive ‘only the best results’ or ‘all results’, you may wish to use the best results option for a topic that’s heavily saturated and the alternative for more specific topic
  • You can also choose where and how to send the alert via email or RSS feed, an email may be more suitable for unique alerts, alerts delivered in bulk may be better suited to RSS feeds or a business email account.

Now that you know the benefits of Google Alerts and how to use the tool, you’re free to reap the rewards so get out there and start searching!