Get your business started with SnapChat marketing

Ever thought SnapChat wasn’t suitable for brand marketing?  Think again – there’s now a clever desktop dashboard which brand managers can use to drive communications through this popular channel.

So what is SnapChat?

SnapChat doesn’t want to be called social media. Instead, they describe themselves as content editors and artists, not for clicks and shares. With SnapChat you can share and tell your friends what’s happening right in the heat of the moment using instant images or videos from your phone.

These messages are timed by the user, often only lasting a few seconds before disappearing when viewed. So why is this so exciting? Because it leaves no trace online it’s catching on like wild fire! In addition, more and more businesses are finding ways to market to their users on the SnapChat platform in a non-invasive, interactive and fun way.

Mish Guru runs the app for SnapChat for brands

Mish Guru makes it easier for brands and companies to use SnapChat for marketing  and content sharing purposes. In short, they create online company accounts and give advice for managing them, or even take the management off your hands.

Their unique dashboard helps you manage SnapChat campaigns and monitor statistics that aren’t actually visible or available on the standalone SnapChat mobile platform itself.

Here are some screenshots.

Screenshot on Mish Guru Demotest

Screenshot on Mish Guru demotest

Screenshot on Mish Guru Demotest

Screenshot on Mish Guru demotest

What Mish Guru can offer you

  • Standard dashboard package

You get a single dashboard, there you can see all of your followers. Your whole team can reach all of your followers with direct Snaps. Mish Guru also does screenshots of all incoming snaps so you don’t miss any important snaps. Through the dashboard you can send out the same content to all of your followers at the same time, (you don’t need to manually click on every follower, as on todays SnapChat).

  • Campaign management/ advice

Mish Guru can manage your account for you, they do all the work while getting the Snaps to your followers, you just need to tell them what kind of content you want.

  • Account management/ advice

You can also manage the account yourself but you’re are while getting management advice from Mish Guru on how to best use their platform.

When you get in touch with MishGuru – please mention you heard about them from us!

So there you go – yet another marketing innovation Creative Agency Secrets has found and brought to your attention!

 

 

 

 

Cluetrain Original

Cluetrain has New Clues – time for newbies to read the original!

I listened to the FIR podcast #790 and found that Cluetrain has been updated!

Cluetrain Original

Cluetrain Original

New Clues published in January and numbers 52-67 apply to our marketing communications world in particular. [see below]
Oh, and also pay attention to number 100
You want to know what to buy? The business that makes an object of desire is now the worst source of information about it. The best source is all of us.
It will be hard to adhere to them – because marketers are busy fouling their own nest, much as we did with banner adverts, SEO and oh-so-many other internet tools which we over-exploited so the makers ended up changing the rules to exclude our actions.
Seems to me ever more of a message about the quality of content, ease of discovery and honesty of presentation.

Your marketing strategy for 2015

If your marketing strategy for this year even remotely resembles what you did for the past 5 years tear it up.  Forget it.  The businesses who will thrive understand Cluetrain, they present their wares at least in part in a Cluetrain-format and will reap the $$ rewards accordingly.
Just call us if you think you want to change and don’t know how.

Rant over.

Now, what do you think?
I’m going to get my whole team to read Cluetrain original next week as their homework!

New Clues for Marketers

The New Clues that directly relate to the practice of marketing. Numbered from the original. Read more

Trying Out Twitter’s Promoted Tweets

We had a go at using Twitter’s “Promoted Tweets” service to advertise our upcoming marketing event on Facebook Ads Vs. Google Adwords, and found some pretty interesting results.

How It Works

Promoted Tweets on Twitter appear at the top of timelines for users matching a profile description you define…

promoted tweets

What We Did

With a $50 budget set, we drafted up a single Promoted Tweet with a link going straight to our event registration page. The Tweet read:

cas twitter ad

Then we targeted the campaign to 4 specific locations within New Zealand and Australia along with setting particular marketing and business interests. You can also add ‘sample twitter accounts’ which the campaign models targeting from (pretty neat!).

How It Went

First, the campaign statistics:

  • $48 spent.
  • 10k impressions made.
  • 84 interactions reported (82 clicks on the ad, 1 reply to the ad, 1 follow from the ad).
  • 13 clicks recorded on the goo.gl link used.

So how did we feel about it? Overall, it wasn’t a wildly successful campaign, but then again neither was our budget. We got 13 clicks recorded on the link we used and since we launched the campaign we gained an additional 10 attendees (granted this was during our mailing campaign as well). It appears that the campaign made a ripple of interaction and engagement but in the end you may want a bigger budget to really hit your mark.

If indeed we did get 10 attendees from this campaign, and we then get a single client out of this free event, we will have made our money back and then some.

 

 

The blue icon opposite are part of our 8-Step New Business Development Methodology.  

Click each icon to find more blog articles on the topic – educate yourself in modern marketing.

4 Profile raising icon

Christmas Campaigns That Shine

Christmas campaigns may seem like a gimmick, but they work. That’s because it’s a time of year where people are looking to buy and as a result, customers are far more communicative.

Hellmann’s Christmas Advert

Look reactionary by planning early

Planning early has many benefits. For example, you don’t want to get a campaign stopped behind bureaucratic doors and miss your chance to launch it at the best of times. If your campaigns are pre-approved you won’t miss those good opportunities to launch them when they come by.

Nothing says “viral campaign” like a relevant one that comes out as soon as a meme starts. Start planning your campaigns early, and plan multiple variations for different situations. Then all you need to do is keep your finger on the pulse throughout the run-up to Christmas period and unleash your chosen campaign when the best opportunity arises.

Here’re a few campaign ideas:

  • Relevant product promos – promo your 2015 calendar when advent calendars start getting popular.
  • “Still time to buy” reminders – customers often rush for purchases just 1 week before Christmas, so a little timely reminder can go a long way.
  • Discount codes & free delivery – while most common of Christmas campaigns, a time-liimited discount campaign is often short and sweet enough to catch more attention.
  • Extended returns period  – take the “giving mood” approach and develop a relationship with your customers.

One things for sure, each campaign must decide on a clear goal. Review previous campaigns, check their strengths and weaknesses, then carefully plan out how you’ll support your campaign goals through action.

Focus on increasing dialogue with customers (not necessarily hard sales)

Christmas is a great time to develop customer relationships as well as just push sales. Use the increase of inbox opens and social media interactions to build your email lists and get more in touch with your customers. Outside of capturing emails you could also push feedback forms and surveys to capture behavioural data which can improve all your 2015 campaigns as well.

You could:

  • Simply wish Merry Christmas via email or pop-up box.
  • Run social media competitions that require email opt-ins, but instantly give a discount when a customer enters.
  • Re-engage with past buyers by offering them something special for doing business with you again.
  • Have fun and test out marketing platforms you wouldn’t normally use, potentially opening your exposure up to a whole new crowd.

Offer something DIFFERENT

Make an impact and stand out from the crowd by doing something different. Implementing a wishlist on your website (EXTRA: can use data for targeted mailing!), personalising your promotions and running some exciting social media competitions are a few ways to have your company look both professional, and interested in its customers.

The question you need to ask yourself now is – “what’s the best Christmas campaign for my business”?

7 steps for creating your Christmas marketing campaigns

STEP 1: Collect and assess behavioural data from past campaigns.

This should be as straight forward as going into a database and looking through campaign statistics. If you’re not doing this already, a simple excel spreadsheet and recording past campaign data should be your next course of action!

STEP 2: Think of 5 opportunities/ circumstances for sending campaigns.

These opportunities should be periods around Christmas (start of advent calendars, last week before Christmas, etc). Try to find opportunities that can easily be related to what you offer as a company.

STEP 3: Write up these campaigns.

Carefully plan out each campaign with action lists and then make sure you’ve got the content ready to go for each action.

STEP 4: Schedule campaigns that can be scheduled.

If your campaign is time dependent, schedule it and make an alert to remind you when it goes out. Once it is live, you should still have to take action (such as sharing your campaign via social media), so have that ready.

STEP 5: Create daily Google Alerts for topics that the remaining campaigns can react to.

If you’ve created some reactionary campaigns for the holidays, make sure you’ve got ways of identifying when they can best be activated. We use Google Alerts to track conversations so that we can react to them, and it’s a great way for looking for that perfect campaign launch opportunity.

STEP 7: Recap on all campaigns (analytics and assessment).

Once is all said and done, sit down and have a good look at the results of each campaign and how they went. This is very important as it will help you create more successful campaigns for the future!

 

Looking for fresh ideas and assistance on your Christmas marketing?

Drop us an email and we’ll be happy to brainstorm ideas for you!

1 Simple Trick to Increase Reach on Facebook

Have you noticed that you’re not achieving the Facebook reach you used to get?

Have no fear, it’s not just you. Facebook  constantly tweak their EdgeRank algorithm that determines what people see on their news feed. You are now seeing more promoted content as well as content that Facebook decides is more personalised to you.

Here is a handy tip to getting your posts on Facebook to reach the people who want to see the content you share.

Encourage your followers to receive notifications so they don’t miss out on the fantastic posts that you regularly make. By requesting to see notifications they are telling Facebook’s news feed algorithm that you have content that they want to see. This will make sure that your posts stop getting lost in the news feed and get the reach they deserve.

A simple way to do this is by creating a cover photo that encourages your followers to take the steps to get notifications.

Here is one we prepared earlier.

Rowperfect header

We created a photo, quite simple to do with any photo editor (we used powerpoint). Then added some simple directions for our followers to take so they can easily see our posts on their news feeds.

If you liked this trick we have some other Facebook related tips. Want to get your Twitter followers onto your Facebook page? Or Make matching Facebook profile and cover photos?

If this is all a bit too much for your skillset or you want to leave it in the hands of the pros then we can do it for you.

 

Google Alerts finds timely content backlinks

Google Alerts are an efficient and easy way to keep up to date on articles and other information on the internet and have it sent straight to your email. Use alerts for content curation and early awareness of breaking news topics in your niche.

There is a simple and easy way to set them up.

Google alerts  set up

  1. Go to www.google.com/alerts
  2. Type in your search query eg. “football world cup” (see below on search query tips.)
  3. Using result type you can pick whether you want just news, video, blog posts, discussions or books.
  4. Select language and region to search in – useful if you only want news from your country.
  5. Update frequency – once a week, once a day or as it happens.
  6. Google allows you to choose whether you want to receive only the best results or all the results. We prefer to use all results so that you don’t miss out on anything that might be important.
  7. Finally you enter in your email address and Google will send you the latest updates on whatever you want. It’s as easy as that.

Tips on how to best utilise Google Alerts

Google Alerts shows you the new content that comes up when you enter in a search query. So use a search query that is specific enough to get you the results you want. You don’t want have to waste time reading through a big list of useless articles and not find anything relevant.

Use advanced search techniques

The first tip is to use quote marks to search for phrases. From my earlier search term in step 2 above I wanted to search for the phrase “football world cup” so it is in quote marks. This gives you only the search results that have all three words in that order without any other words. If you didn’t have the quote marks then google would give you pages that contain any of the words in the search term, in any order.

Use OR to find synonyms or similar information. I could use “football world cup” OR “Fifa world cup” OR “soccer world cup”. This will give me the information I am looking for that wouldn’t necessarily come up if I only used the search term “football world cup”.

Use the minus symbol “–” to exclude a search term that you don’t want to hear about. This can be useful when you are searching for something that is quite often associated with a term that you don’t want. So in New Zealand, rugby is sometimes called “football” or “footy” and so I could exclude all mentions of rugby football.

The last tip is one of Google’s lesser known search operators, intext:. This operator forces Google to use the exact word in all the search results and not any synonyms. So I could search for intext:“football world cup” and I wouldn’t get any synonyms of football and I would get the whole search term together in the search results.

 

Social Media Marketing For Funeral Homes

Facebook FuneralSocial Media is the “in” thing. We often say to our clients – where are your customers? If they aren’t using Twitter or Facebook then why bother using it for business purposes?

No one really likes discussing death and the topics that surround it – so why would they want to even consider it on social media?

That begs the question: how should a Funeral Home use social media, if at all?

Well this depends on a variety of factors – who your market is, what will be successful on social media and on what social media channel you operate in.

Many funeral homes are already exploiting channels such as Facebook to share obituaries and funeral dates. This is of course a useful feature, which should be utilised with social media, but it should not be your only type of content. People will only check your content and follow/like your page if you post content which is interesting and different from your competitors.

Think about where your funeral home is situated

Are you operating in a small town where everybody knows everybody? Then your messages should be more personable and meaningful than a simple announcement. Whether it be a remembrance post (after 1 year) or a death of a previous local, thinking of social media as more than a simple noticeboard is the easiest way to get in the right frame of mind.

Larger funeral homes (which often deal with people they’ve never met before) may find it appropriate to share famous deaths from around the world and share alternative ways to celebrate a life. This will act as a break from the otherwise seemingly continual stream of obituaries.

What sorts of things work on social media

What works on social media? It’s not like you can post pictures of dead people…

Social media can offer potential customers an opportunity to “view” your facilities. Taking photos of all available areas can show off your home and help guide people to your home. The funeral industry is relatively insensitive to price. This means that once they physically view your premises, they usually commit to doing the funeral service there. Therefore, you all that is needed is to get people to visit your home and if seeing photos of it online helps, then it is definitely worth doing.

Social media can help give ideas for other potential customers. Taking photos of other services and posting other ideas of how to celebrate a loved one’s life is another way of adding varying content to your page.

Which channel are you on?

facebook-funeral

The Social Media channel you use will determine whether what you post will be successful or not. Twitter encourages short text messages with a link whereas Facebook thrives on videos & photos. Pinterest focuses purely on photos, a useful tool if you want to share photos of your home/grounds or beautiful services (which can be shared with attendees).

Ensuring you use the appropriate content for each channel will prevent your social media efforts being frowned upon.

How to be a successful Twitter manager

twitterWhat is a Twitter manager?

A Twitter manager is an individual who monitors one or more Twitter accounts and engages with Twitter users for those accounts. They are more than an automatic tweeting machine. They think of ways to engage their followers, how to gain new ones and spend much of their time interacting with the Twittersphere (the space of Twitter).

A Twitter manager must keep in mind that they are an entity and represent the values and voice of the account that entity belongs to. This is particularly difficult when they manage multiple accounts as they have to reflect multiple personas in their tweets.

What does a Twitter manager do?

These attributes are exactly what a regular Twitter user will do. However we’re talking about it and looking at it from a Twitter manager’s point of view. Here are the activities a Twitter manager undergoes and how they do them differently…

  • Creates original tweets: when a tweet first comes into existence it is said to be original, rather than taken from someone else’s tweet.
  • Shares tweets: this is where a tweet is tweeted again and the original sender is notified and credited. These types of tweets can help smaller pages generate hype and develops relationships with the original tweeter.
  • Sends and replies to direct messages: known as DMs, direct messages allow twitter users to message each other privately. This opens up the Twittersphere to the sharing of personal details and private conversations.
  • Uses #hashtags and copies @people in tweets: by using a hashtag or at symbol in a tweet you notify users of that tweet. It comes up in their feeds and is a more reliable way of getting your tweets seen by the Twittersphere.
  • Follows #hashtags and conversations: a hashtag records all tweets with it attached and you can search via hashtags to follow a topic or conversation. This is crucial to success for Twitter managers as they can follow the best conversations from specific topics related to the account(s) they manage. They show you who tweets the most in that topic, who is important in that topic, what trends are rising and even helps you keep up with big news and events.
  • Balances their number of followers with the number of people they are following: this is another way of getting noticed. By following a Twitter account (a user) you encourage them to see what tweets you make and they will often reciprocate the follow. So this subsequently grows your followers and provides you with more original tweets to retweet from that user you followed. This also allows you to get more in touch with your followers by direct messaging who you follow as long as they also follow you.
TweetDeck

TweetDeck

Tools of a Twitter manager

  • www.tweetdeck.com = this is a powerful tool that grants you the power to post using multiple Twitter accounts, schedule posts and see every corner of each Twitter account in an instant. Being able to view messages and posts all on one screen improves productivity by a lot, even for just a single account.
  • www.tweriod.com = if you’d like to know when your followers are online the most, use Tweriod. They’ll send you a report showing you when your followers are most active. From here you can schedule your best tweets using Tweetdeck so they get the most impact and following.
  • Find many more on the Twitter Tools Listly. There are many tools to follow metrics and statistics for Twitter accounts and show you exactly how to use your account to it’s fullest potential.

Pitfalls of a Twitter manager

Be careful when replying – as a Twitter manager, your voice is that of the accounts you are managing. You have to maintain a constant persona for each account and be careful not to stir up negativity in your followers. For example, I’ve created conversations by simply asking people about what they do in their daily lives. They then get interested enough in me to look at the company web page and learn more about the brand I’m managing.

Share for your audience, but avoid profanity – as you re-tweet content you’ll see great tweets that are inappropriate in language, but perfect in context. Tweak these tweets to be appropriate and make sure you read tweets over a few times. It is easy to quickly retweet something that makes you laugh in the context of the account you manage.

Always give recognition of the source – if you know where it came from, recognise the creator because Twitter is all about following conversations and tweets from the source. If you re-tweet without saying who the tweet is from a lot of the time users will feel you’ve cheated the impact of the original tweet. It discredits your account and makes it seem like you put less effort into it.

Have personality, but don’t be personal – avoid getting too comfortable in your role. Have strict rules in place with how relaxed you can be on interacting with your followers.

Balance your followers and followings – try to keep these levels the same or have your followings higher than the number of followers you have. This promotes constant growth and makes sure you’re friendly with everyone in the industry you’re following for whichever account you are managing.

Final notes on Twitter

Twitter is all about getting shared and found, getting the most notice from your tweets and connecting with your followers and industry more closely. That level maintains a professional feel but again being able to become personal with your customers and industry is incredibly powerful for a company’s public relations.

Have all your activities reflect these points and connect with your audience and your industry on a level like no other!

Facebook Icon On Fire

How Facebook Boosted My Newsletter Subscribers

Email or FacebookFacebook hasn’t replaced any newsletter (at least not yet but you never know what Facebook’ll do next). What Facebook has done is equal the amount of traffic driven to our website from our weekly newsletter.  And helped us to recruit new opted-in newsletter subscribers.

Better yet – it’s all free.

Key things to note: Our weekly newsletter has over 4,500 subscribers. Our Facebook page had just 400 (over the course of this experiment we increased this to 550).  Wow – that’s ten times fewer subscribers but they’re visiting and re-visiting the website.

Everyone knows the theory of email newsletters – their open and clickthrough rates so I won’t waste time here. We’re going to tell you how you can drive more traffic to your website from Facebook.  Then invite visitors to join the newsletter.

What we were doing

We posted 3 times a day on Facebook, for Facebook – all of which was shared from other users and pages on Facebook. These posts were backed up by regular blog post entries (one every day) which were automatically fed to our Timeline. Very standard.

So what did we change?

There were 3 major changes.

  1. The first was to do with posting amounts and timing. We increased the frequency of posting and changed what time of day we posted Facebook updates. This was increased to 5-6 times a day (effectively doubling our previous posting frequency).
  2. The second major change is where we post from. We changed all sources of our posts to our website and then linked to them.
  3. Our third major change was where we sourced our content from. It’s important to note here we hardly ever created original content – we either shared others or repurposed our archived content.

To facilitate changing the source of our posts to our website we installed new plugins. People will spend less time on our Facebook page because we are directing them to our website. As a result, many of the plugins we installed were to make sure our content is still shared (which often doesn’t happen once you leave a social media site). As we knew many of our visitors would also be arriving from a mobile device (Facebook’s App is becoming more widely used) we paid particular attention to how our site looks on mobile devices.

Step 1: Smarter Posting Times

Our audience is active at all times of the day. We were initially posting 3 times daily between 9am and 5pm – Not the smartest move when you look at the graph below of our visitor traffic over 24 hours.

When Fans Are Online

Click To Enlarge

For this reason – we opted to post every 4-5 hours. Remember – we don’t want this to take up all our time and we definitely don’t want to be up all night so we chose to schedule our Facebook posts. To enable auto-posting of blog at all times of day we installed new plugins which I’ll discuss below.

Step 2: Make The Website The Destination

We want to drive traffic off Facebook to our website.  This is marketing real estate that we control and manage.  We’re not dependent on Facebook’s grace.  Making most of your posts direct to your website is therefore logical.  And remember our objective is to drive readers from Facebook to becoming opted-in newsletter subscribers.

This of course means publishing content designed for Facebook on your website. Whether you’re sharing an article or a photo, upload it to your site (add a link on the post to credit the photograph if appropriate).  Don’t just link them straight to the original source, ideally you’re seen as the source of the content so they spend longer on your site and less elsewhere.

With our new plugins – photos are uploaded from our website to Facebook automatically. When a user clicks on a photo expecting it to enlarge they are instead redirected to our website (where there is a larger image front and centre). Bingo – we’ve just driven traffic from Facebook to our site. From here you have 2 challenges –

  1. How can they share this with their friends?
  2. What’s going to keep them from leaving your site?

The first challenge is easily answered – plugins which I will discuss later on. The second is to have an attractive website littered with quality content – this is discussed just below.

Step 3: Sourcing Quality, “Original” Content

To ensure our content is appealing, we need it to be socially shareable. While there are no guarantees, using already proven socially shareable content is a start. But you don’t want to appear a copycat. So how do you get proven socially shareable material while still looking “fresh” and “original”? The easiest strategy is to find content from sources other than Facebook. Pinterest was a great resource for me as pictures make the best Facebook posts and most photos came with a short description or piece of information – perfect.

Setting Up Your Website: Plugins Used

Below is a list of the plugins you’ll want to install if you’re on WordPress. I’ve described the types of plugins you want before stating what plugin we used. These plugins are all free and you may have your own preference.

  1. New Automatic Posting To Social Media (Facebook/Twitter).

    • NextScripts: Social Networks Auto-Poster [Hands down the best autoposter plugin. Fully customisable, plenty of social media options and looks like the posts were shared straight from Facebook. 2 great features of this plugin are that you can choose individual posts to be image posts or linked posts etc & Imports Facebook comments so your website appears popular]

  2. A more simple “Like Us” button further up the News main page.

    • Facebook Social Plugin Widgets (This plugin installs widgets to be used wherever – we used them in the sidebar of our blog page [note page and not post])

  3. When someone enters our site (for the first time) a like us on Facebook plugin pops up [This doesn’t interfere with our pre-existing Newsletter signup popup].

  4. Horizontal social sharing toolbar along the top is non intrusive and doesn’t cover any text unlike many vertical floating ones.

  5. Sharing of individual pictures on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest by simply hovering your mouse over the picture.

  6. Floating Sharebar down that follows the user down the side of the post. It allows sharing to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest etc

    • Digg Digg (Leave a comment if you’d like my custom CSS code so the spacings etc look nice and clean with no borders or ads)

  7. Mobile Plugin so website looks good on every device

 

Results?

Results of Our 1st Change

So what were the results of our changes? The graph below reveals all. With a simple change in the frequency and timing of posts our weekly reach exploded. This is most likely due to reaching more individuals as opposed to reaching the same people multiple times.

Click To Enlarge

Click To Enlarge

 

Results of Our 2nd Change

The screenshot below is of our website’s referrals for the 2 week period before and during our Facebook efforts. As you can see, vast improvements. We basically received 1000 extra page views each week (remember, at the time we only had 400 people liking our page). I’ve highlighted the Twitter referrals as well (t.co) as although we designed this campaign for Facebook – using the NextScript Autoposter plugin we also published the same content to Twitter (although we changed the structure of the titles and links etc from within the plugin’s settings). You’ll notice the amount of referrals we got from Facebook Mobile (m.facebook.com). Good thing we had WPtouch installed so our page would look good on any device.

Click To Enlarge

Click To Enlarge

 

Did Our Plugins Do Their Job?

I was initially skeptical when installing the Facebook Page Promoter Lightbox – no one likes popups. After 2 weeks though, we picked up 50 likes from external “Like” buttons. These buttons were only in 2 places, the first was in the sidebar on the blog page the second was the aforementioned lightbox. I’m almost 100% sure the lightbox is where we picked up all of those likes.

Click To Enlarge

Click To Enlarge

Sling pic and both social sharing bars (vertical and horizontal) picked up a few extra “Likes” and retweets which was nice – nothing to write home about but every little bit counts. WPtouch can be attributed to the 13 mobile likes as although it means people liked our Page from Facebook (on a mobile device), the website must have been attractive enough to have convinced them.

Conclusion

The initial results are all very promising, only time will tell how good a long term strategy this is. The short term gains were an instant increase in likes going from 400 to 550 in 2 weeks, engagement going up and a large increase in unique visitors and page views. There were of course more minor, intricate strategic choices made during this period and still being made now – these will be discussed in a later post.

 

If you’d like any help setting these plugins up or want to discuss how this can apply to your online strategy get in touch by leaving a comment below.