A Beginner’s Guide to Social Media Marketing

You cannot possibly compete online if you do not have a strong social media presence. It is one of the most influential platforms on the internet, so you must start developing engaging campaigns on the likes of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram, if you haven’t already. Our goal is, therefore, to help you develop an effective social media strategy that will ensure you stand apart from your industry rivals.

Focus on Relationships Not Sales

Take a look at Dove’s social media presence; their goal is to inspire and promote confidence in people (particularly women) globally; selling soap appears to be a secondary objective to this positive message. Many beginners often make the mistake of giving it the hard sell when using social media for the first time; however, this will provide little to no value to your brand. If you want to engage with your followers, you need to give them a reason to follow you. While you might believe you have the best product in town, your target market might take a little convincing.

So, instead of pushing your goods and services onto social media followers, aim to create social media posts that make you different from your competitors. For example, you could launch an online competition, share helpful blogs and post high-quality photos for their enjoyment. You should only publish promotional ads every three to five social media posts.

Integrate Video Marketing

Some of the most inventive advertising is currently happening in video marketing. Take a look at this online advert for Hotels.com. According to Cisco, online videos will make up more than 80% of consumer traffic by 2020. It is, therefore, a powerful tool to use on social media, as people are more likely to drop everything they are doing to watch a funny or informative video. You should strive to develop creative, entertaining and unique videos that make people not only want to follow your page but share your posts.

YouTube is also one of the most influential social media platforms, with more than one billion unique views each month. If you want to become a leading channel on YouTube, you should not only create innovative videos, but you could buy subscribers from Social Media Daily to boost your profile and encourage views and subscribers.

Listen to Feedback

Consumer feedback is the cornerstone of a successful business, as it allows a brand to refine their goods and services to improve customer satisfaction. Lego has long seen the value in working with customers to improve its products.

Social Media can be a superb platform to gain insights from your past, current and potential customers. You should ask questions to provide customers with a forum, so you can offer the perfect service – so it can be great for product development purposes and could save a company a significant amount of money in the future.

Engage

It is important to make your social media followers feel that they are more than just a number. L’Oreal encourages staff to use the hashtag #lifeatloreal to promote the culture at the organisation this, in turn, encourages consumers to see the company as human and approachable.

You should engage with your followers, responding to their comments, mentions and direct messages. It will prove to them that you are a caring brand that appreciates their social media following, which will encourage online and brand loyalty.

So, if you want to embark on an effective social media marketing strategy, you should aim to be creative, active and helpful in your online approach.

YouTube accounts merge

Help! My YouTube Accounts Won’t Merge!

YouTube-logo-full_colorOne of our clients has recently taken to creating videos to showcase their products on the company website. This of course includes uploading the videos to their new YouTube account to help promote the company and the products they are selling. In doing so, they noticed the previous owner of the company had created a YouTube account with a similar name (a variation of the company name). With a decent chunk of views having stacked up on the old channel, our client wanted to know if it was possible to bring the two accounts together, since, they were essentially the same business anyway.

There were a few complications at this point: our client had contacted the previous owner of the company about getting the videos from the old channel. Unfortunately, the previous owner had not used the account for quite some time. He didn’t know what the password was and having since sold the business, his email address had been deleted, leaving his YouTube account hanging in a state of limbo, unable to be logged in and edited for future access.

As it turns out, not being able to access the account doesn’t affect the outcome – YouTube simply do not allow accounts to be merged for any reason. That’s right, if you have millions of views locked away in an account you can no longer access, too bad. They’re lost!

youtube-support-merge-accountsIf you were able get in to the account to grab the videos, the only way to get all of the videos on to the same account is by logging in, downloading the videos, and re-uploading them on the new channel. This resets the view count back to zero, erasing any clout you may have built up on the website with the older account.

Thankfully the videos in question were of lower quality, looked incredibly dated and the views weren’t substantial enough to cause any serious headaches.

The End Result?

Continue adding high quality content to the new channel, and ignore the old one.

A frustrating outcome, but a valuable lesson learned along the way.

How can you avoid YouTube account complications?

If you want to migrate videos from one channel to another, ensure you have the video file itself is saved somewhere other than YouTube, set the channel up right the first time, so that you do not need to create a second one and use an email address that is unlikely to expire (hint: Gmail is YouTube’s best friend). With these points in mind, you should be able to rescue any valuable content, but sadly you will have to forget about bringing them together and leveraging the success of the old videos to promote the new ones.

A frustration we must all  live with unless YouTube suddenly change their account settings. (Sigh).

Getting the best from Facebook updates for business

before

Before starting – cramped text and hyperlink not embedded

A quick tutorial showing good practice to encourage click throughs.

We start with a quick look at the “before” scenario.  The text is continuous and the url (hidden in the image) is not embedding correctly.  The post gets no clicks or click throughs to the website.

  1. Before starting – cramped text and hyperlink not embedded
  2. Type the URL first and then Facebook allows you to select the image you want
  3. Inserting blank lines in the text spaces it out and forces the “See More” link to appear
  4. Corrected hyperlinks to See more and Hyperlink to your website or blog.

 

correct image upload

Type the URL first and then Facebook allows you to select the image you want.

Separate lines

Inserting blank lines in the text spaces it out & forces the See More link to appear

Moving forward to some of the resolutions – each one is explained in the caption.

Facebook business post errors

Corrected hyperlinks to See More and site link.

 

 

Joint Venture Case Study

Case Study: feel good joint venture for sporting website

Recently Creative Agency Secrets oversaw a joint venture campaign between our client, Rowperfect UK, the premier rowing education website, and manufacturer Crew Stop. The goal of the campaign was threefold:

  1. Raise awareness for National Learn To Row Day (4th June), a popular annual event in the USA but a concept that hadn’t yet carried over to other anglo-speaking countries that Rowperfect reaches;
  2. Encourage the use of rowing gloves and reduce the stigma amongst “hard” rowers of hand protection;
  3. Drive sales of the Crew Stop gloves stocked in Rowperfect’s online store.

Planning & Execution

Planning began in early May, when Rowperfect reached out to Crew Stop and proposed a partnership. As part of the joint venture, Crew Stop would provide gloves to give away to Rowperfect’s readership and art and assets to promote the awareness campaign, whilst Rowperfect staged a global social media campaign, tapping their 6,000+ twitter followers and 4,000+ Facebook fans.

The partnership between Rowperfect and Crew Stop made perfect sense. It allowed Rowperfect to continue to serve as a source of rowing advice and education whilst reaching the wide audience of watersports enthusiasts who had need for the Crew Stop gloves: Rowers, Scullers, Kayakers, Crossfitters, Dragon Boaters, and Waka Ama canoers.

As well as the competition to win gloves in the week that lead up to the weekend of the 4th of June, Rowperfect offered a discount code to new rowers and Creative Agency Secrets helped the client curate a new section on their website specifically targeted at learning to row for the first time. This new niche will be of value to Rowperfect readers into the future and allows the client to recruit new organic readers and clients. This approach aligned with ongoing project of creating new portals for the client’s key readerships: athletes, coxswains and coaches.

On the blog, Rowperfect published a series of articles about the purpose and uses of rowing gloves and advice around reducing the stigma of glove-wearing. On social media, Creative Agency Secrets coordinated the publication of posts advertising the three goals and the use of the hastag #NLTRD (national learn to row day). Rowers around the world adopted the use of the tag to share their rowing experiences.

Results

By strategically targeting followers of English-speaking rowing clubs with Facebook boosted posts, Rowperfect more than doubled their social media reach in the course of the campaign, increased awareness and engagement with their brand by adding over two hundred and fifty followers to their regular network, and hit internal sales targets.

For advice on arranging running joint ventures in your industry, or launching digital awareness campaigns, give us a call.

Podcasts – 7 Reasons Why Marketers Need Them

Earlier this year, I had the pleasure of attending the 2016 Asia/Pacific Podcasting Conference, held here in Auckland. It was a fantastic two day event that showcased a number of talented speakers and presented some interesting ideas towards the future of podcasts.

Asia-Pacific-Podcast-Conference-logo

We use some sort of variation of podcasting with a number of our clients, and the buzz remaining from the Asia/Pacific Podcasting Conference got me thinking:

Is there substantial value to be gained from adding a podcast to your marketing mix?

I would argue yes, absolutely. Let me explain why…

podcasts are taking off1 – It’s going to be huge!

Podcasting is currently experiencing massive amounts of growth around the world. There are over 1 billion subscriptions to over 250,000 podcasts right now. With technology constantly improving, it is becoming ever more popular among the digital savvy.

2 – But, it isn’t as common as blogging… yet.

Which is a good thing. As more people start podcasting, competition increases and therefore, so does the overall quality of podcasts. Can you afford to wait until your competitors are experts before you join the race? As an early adopter, you have free reign to influence this goldmine of a marketplace as you like! Being seen as original and a pioneer can do wonders for your brand’s credibility.

3 – It is incredibly easy to do!

Sure, you have to feel comfortable on a microphone and possibly a camera too, projecting yourself to what could be… millions of people! But you could record your podcast from your bed if you wanted, never having to see these people hanging on your every word, which should help alleviate some of those nerves!

Worried that you don’t have anything to talk about, or don’t know enough about a subject to be an ‘authority’ on it? Fear not! Some of the greatest podcasters out there started out not knowing what they were talking about, but they did it anyway because THEY wanted to learn. In the process, they helped educate their audience and became known as the authorities in their chosen topic!

4 – You need but a few resources to get started.podcast equipment

Actually, all you really need is; an idea, a passion for that idea, a webcam/microphone/laptop/smartphone, maybe a co-host or guest and you’re basically away! It couldn’t be simpler. With ever-improving technological advancements, it’s getting quicker and easier to publish your content online without the assistance of a film crew or recording studio.

This also makes it incredibly time-efficient to produce a decent show as well! If you know what you’ll be talking about and a rough idea how to use the equipment, you can put together a clean, engaging show in a few hours! Obviously, this is dependent on how much editing and fine tuning you may need. You can be sure though, with practice, that time will get shorter and shorter as you perfect your craft!

5 – People engage in it.podcasts build community

Who has time to read lengthy blog articles anymore? Well, still a lot of people. But the point is, a podcast, if done right, will entertain you in a way that words on a page cannot. We lose so much emotion and sentiment in text, but those elements are carefully preserved when you listen to two people passionately discussing a topic.

Podcasting also allows for direct contact with your community/audience. Who wouldn’t become a raving fan of your show if you were personally shouting out to them? The very nature of a podcast immediately makes the listener/viewer feel like a part of your conversation and therefore, more likely to engage with your brand.

Podcasts should also be fun!
Yes, it may be difficult to make something like tax accounting sound fun, but at least it gives you a stage and a spotlight to express your personality or your brand’s character. This alone may be enough to sway any potential customers from a competitor and into your corner.

friends6 – Podcasts feel genuine.

Podcasts are typically independent of any large branding agencies and thus are ‘uncorrupted’ by the guise of corporate advertising. That’s not to say they are all without their own agendas. However, people seem to respond better to marketing sales pitches when they are delivered through a conversation, instead of being forced upon us by advertising agencies. This creates a unique environment for you to promote and sell your product/services without feeling like an infomercial.

7 – Versatility.

Podcasts can be enjoyed in places where reading a blog cannot! Your commute to and from work, while you sweat out the kilometres on the treadmill at the gym, while you walk your dog, cook dinner, sit in the bath or simply drown out the distractions of your surroundings.

microphoneAre you ready to start podcasting yet?

As businesses look for new platforms to compete for and connect with their customers, podcasting is sure to experience a major growth spurt as marketers seek to capitalise in the near future. In an industry driven by building ‘community’ and offering tailored experiences for their customers, podcasting offers both one of the most engaging ways of connecting and creates the perfect platform to deliver incredibly high-value content.

Of course, these aren’t the only reasons to get into podcasting. Check out these interesting statistics: Big Time Podcasting Statistics and Demographics if you need further persuasion.

If you previously discounted the idea of adding a podcast to your marketing mix, perhaps now is the time to reconsider.

Twitter is Deprecating TweetDeck Creative Agency Secrets

Twitter is Deprecating TweetDeck

If you’re a TweetDeck user, get ready for a shock: Twitter is deprecating TweetDeck.

Twitter is Deprecating TweetDeck

What’s the good news?

If you don’t know about Hootsuite already, you can set up a free account. Hootsuite is very much like Tweetdeck in its appearance and I would recommend migrating to that. You can continue to manage your Twitter conversations with Hootsuite, keep track of retweets and mentions, etc. You can also manage your other social media profiles with Hootsuite, like LinkedIn. And there’s the Autoschedule function which puts your Tweet in the queue to post when the majority of your followers are actually on and looking at Twitter so they’re more likely to see it.

Althought Hootsuite would definitely be an easy migration for current TweetDeck users, I’m a big fan of Buffer because you can set up schedules for when your posts go out. Also, they show you a graph indicating when the best time to post is using their Optimal Schedule (much like Hootsuites Autoschedule, but they don’t have a pretty graph). But you can’t manage conversations through Buffer just yet. They’ve come out with a Beta program called Respond which also looks a lot like Hootsuite but right now Buffer and Respond are two different social media management tools as opposed to Hootsuite, which is literally the two in one.

Besides that, they both allow you to connect a few social media profiles for free. If you went with either of them, it’s likely you would not have to pay for the service. But, really, check out Hootsuite, TweetDeck users, the transition will be smooth, I promise!

Shuttlerock | New Zealand Software for User Generated Content

Shuttlerock | New Zealand Software for User Generated Content

PLEASE NOTE: Some of the details in this article have been rectified per recent conversations with Shuttlerock. These new details are noted below! Thanks for your feedback, Shuttlerock!

We’ve come across marketing software created by a business here in New Zealand called Shuttlerock. It sounds sort of science fiction-y and futuristic – something you might see in a Rae Bradbury novel. In a way, it could be next gen technology in content sharing and revolutionize how businesses aggregate and manage user content to their benefit.

Shuttlerock New Zealand Software for User Generated Content Creative Agency Secrets Aucklance

What Shuttlerock does with user generated content…

If you’re a business and have social media channels, have you ever wanted to capture all your customer feedback and testimonials in one place? Sure, leaving it in the platform from which it originated is perfectly acceptable. But, what about putting it in the one place in which your put the majority of your efforts, i.e. your website. Right now, this information has to be collected manually and configured in an appealing way so that your traffic, your customers and followers, can see: Hey! Other people like this product and have gone so far as to say something about it on the internet!

Shuttlerock New Zealand Software for User Generated Content Steps Creative Agency Secrets Auckland MarketingIncluding content aggregation, Shuttlerock takes it a few steps further

Besides collecting user content for your team to sift through, sort, and put on display on your website, Shuttlerock also helps you promote your brand to get more user generated content. How? Contests and promotions, of course! We know that one of the best ways to get engagement online is to incentivize your followers to promote you and your brand. You can get them to share their visual content promoting your brand and reward them for doing it. If done right, you’ll get a flood of content that you can then share, directly on your site. Not only do you get to share their excitement with your other followers but they’ll also be excited to see that their content is being shared with the world. What better way to encourage and reward loyal followers!

Who is using it and how.

Shuttlerock operates in its home country of New Zealand and now Japan and the US. In recent Shuttlerock news, Lady Gaga used the program to allow her followers in Japan to upload their content to her website. These photos, directly from the source (her fandom), will be collected and used to create a poster for her Japanese ‘Cheek to Cheek’ album. Now, that’s innovative.

What I find interesting about it.

This program puts power into the hands of your marketing team in a way that can really make a difference for the brand. For one, your team can manage the content via apps, as well as share their own related content, which gives the brand a more approachable, human aspect that’s approachable. And, for two, they will have social proof of what is and is not working for the brand that can be shared with upper management. I find that extremely valuable for businesses to really make a dent in their market and bring exactly what their customers want based on their feedback.

Shuttlerock New Zealand Software for User Generated Content Dollar Sign Creative Agency Secrets Auckland Marketing

The cost.

So, the only thing that I’m hung up on is this bit: the flat fee of $500 per month. For big businesses with marketing budgets that would make you swoon, $500 a month is a drop in the ocean. However we can’t forget about smaller businesses with much tighter marketing budgets – to whom $500 a month is completely unattainable. Shuttlerock, there’s nothing inherently wrong with your fees. I’m just suggesting you have a tiered option for businesses big and small. It could be based on company size, or social media following, even the amount of content that gets shared. Just saying.

UPDATE: From our recent contact with Shuttlerock we’ve been informed that the fees are $5,000 per month and are focusing on enterprises… BUT! they’re currently powering their way through some key partnerships with the goal to, eventually, have options for small and medium enterprises. Until then, we’ll look on Shuttlerock with starry eyes!!

But, way to go!

In a world where brands are continuously vying for attention from consumers, having visual, word-of-mouth content directly from other individuals on your website is amazing. And, as a consumer, seeing that other people just like you or from all the way across the globe also like this particular product, it just makes it more endearing! You want it, seeing and knowing that other people want it and are willing to share their opinions about it, all over the web.

Be Innovative with How You Get Testimonials

Be Innovative with How You Get Testimonials

When you’re new, or growing, and need social proof to prove your worth to the world

So, you’re starting out your business and you know you’ve got a good thing going. But something you don’t have yet from your clients: their endorsement of you and your brand or your product. Sure, they’ve told you they liked working with you and, of course, that made you feel good on the inside. But, with the interwebs, you need to have hard proof that says someone used your services and liked it enough to write it down in a social internet space. Like Google Reviews. Or Facebook. Or even just in an email and with your clients’ blessing. Okay, so, how do you do it?

Be Innovative with How You Get Testimonials

As I’m sure you’ve guessed by now, or deduced from the title of this blog post, we’re talking about testimonials. Or reviews. Either or, they can be one in the same, if they contain ratings and words as friendly companions in whatever social app you’re using. There are multiple ways to get those testimonials so that, when a new possible client happens to Google you, lo and behold, they see other people like you and have used you and have provided their friendly feedback. Well, we rolled out with a fun and ‘give-back sort’ of way to request from our clients and those that have worked with us in the past. I think you’ll like it.

Be Innovative with How You Get Testimonials

Before the holidays, our Chief in Command, Rebecca, came across a non-profit organization called StarJam. Briefly, I just want to let you know that what they do is amazing. Through music and performing arts, StarJam lifts kids with disabilities up, helps them to learn new skills, and gives them confidence. Just take a look at the photos they have on their website, every time I do I just want to be a part of that! Anyway, back to the story. Rebecca wanted Creative Agency Secrets to be able to give to StarJam. We also, you guessed it, wanted to get testimonials. Testimonials in one hand, giving to a good cause in the other… hmm. There’s got to be a good way to put these two together.

And SMASH!

It’s the holidays, right? We can send out a good will email to our clients! WE will donate money in your name to StarJam if you can write a few words on Google about your time with Creative Agency Secrets. So, we reached out to StarJam to get their permission, find out if they felt comfortable with our plan, requested a few images to use and then started crafting an email.

Be Innovative with How You Get Testimonials

Key items we made sure to have in our email

  1. Make your headline engaging
  2. Make your text interesting to read
  3. Tell the reader what you’re doing or what you’re asking them to do

Be Innovative with How You Get Testimonials4. Hyperlink to wherever they need to go or whatever you’re referring to

5. Use images

The main thing we wanted to make sure to do was inform our followers HOW to submit a review. Some people don’t have Gmail. I know, crazy world, but we had to come up with a foolproof way to say ‘This is easy! Here, we’ll show you’.

Be Innovative with How You Get TestimonialsVoila! We created this easy to read image with everything needed to tell our audience how to do what we were asking them to do.

Then what? Well, we could wait around with baited breath. But, by this time, it was Christmas and we decided we’d come back to it in the New Year with fresh eyes and suntans.

And when we did… no reviews! We could have been sad and wallowed a bit but that’s now how you get good reviews. So we sent a follow-up email. Sort of a, “Hey, we know you were busy over the holidays, but…” reminder. Good idea, right? Of course.

But when you’ve asked the same way twice and you still get no response

You try another tactic. This time, we called, or in some cases walked over to, those who had worked with us in the past to ask them, oh so kindly, to provide us with a review while we donated to a good cause in their name. Sometimes it just takes the glimmer in your eye, the inflection in your voice, or just good ole human contact to make the connection you need.

And now we’re on the MAP!

Be Innovative with How You Get Testimonials

Tips to those using Google reviews!

  1. For one, you need 5 reviews to be able to see your star rating.
  2. For two… even if you have 5 star ratings for all 5 of your Google reviews… somehow you still only rate 4.8 stars

Number two will remain a bit of a mystery.

I hope this helps any startup businesses out there looking to get on the map as well with testimonials and reviews. As they say, right now, the BEST way to get business is by word of mouth. And online rating systems like Google, Facebook, and others are the next best things with the worldwide web!

Fast-track your social media skills

When you know you need social media skills and don’t want to hire an agency to do it for you – the best solution is to get trained.

The excellent Wanita Zoghby-Fourie is hosting Social Media Conference on 18th September in Auckland.  

Her talents have persuaded BOTH Facebook and Google to share the platform to enable you to learn faster.  (Believe me, these guys normally don’t ‘play together’, this is a huge achievement.)

Who should attend

Predominantly for solopreneurs,  small  and medium business owners, and people working on social media roles either within corporates or externally. Although the conference is aimed towards small to medium business, we believe that the same rules apply across all businesses. Everything online is scalable depending on size.

This conference is for you if you are wanting to use social media and online marketing to maximise your business online.

Get a discount – just for you

Creative Agency Secrets clients can get a special discount of $200 use the coupon code SMCONNZ15

Our Speakers are

  • Annah Stretton, known for growing her small business into a fashion franchise,
  • Evan Hick from Facebook and Simon Laird from Google – the two giants in Social Media who have the latest information,
  • Natalie Cutler Welsh who is a social media and networking guru from Gotogirl and has come back from the San Diego Social Media Conference with fresh perspectives to share,
  • Troy Rawhiti-Forbes from Spark who is the online communities specialist.
  • Cassie Roma who hails from San Diego and has helped small business owners with social media and now works for Air New Zealand as their Social Media Manager and
  • Leon Jay who is the founder of Fusion HQ, was the Director of Marketing for Mark Joyner, featured on the Internet Marketing Magazine (a space only reserved for those who have generated more than seven figures online),  and has grown his small business into a million dollar enterprise.

Sign up today – you won’t be disappointed!