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Yesterday marked the launch of Google+ Collections. I’d like to be less cliché than hailing it as Google’s answer to Pinterest at this early stage even though similarities are evident. 'Collections’ undeniably provides us with an easy, efficient way to organise and curate the best content from around the web.
Creating a collection is as simple as navigating to the ‘Collections’ tab underneath your cover photo and allocating your collection a name and its desired visibility. ‘Custom’ audiences are formed from a number of Google+ circles if you’re looking to refine your scope. Collections can also be set to – Only Me. This is my favourite aspect of collections thus far. Share the best posts or ideas from Google+ to your own private collection and create a drawing board for future articles, or simply as a personal bookmarking tool.
After creating your collection you are able to ‘customise’ your collection image and colour scheme. Note – it is not possible to change the visibility settings of a collection after it has gone live. From here on the collection and the content contained within is completely at the discretion of the user.
See Heather Buckley's 'Google Plus Collections and How to Use Them' for a comprehensive guide on creating collections.
Are you thinking of using social media campaigns to engage with your customers?
Looking for advice on how to create a successful social media campaign?
Social media campaigns have evolved from simple Facebook contests and Twitter competitions into fully integrated promotional campaigns spanning several social networks. Think Chipotle’s Scarecrow campaign or Dove’s hugely shared viral video campaigns. Of course much of these campaigns have come from big brands with resources that a small business would be hard pressed to match. Some campaigns like the ice bucket challenge evolve virally, but with a little planning there is no reason why your social media campaign can’t reach audiences beyond your demographic.
Creating your Social Media Campaign Plan
So you've been tasked to develop a social media campaign.
You use Facebook to connect with your friends but not much more than that. You follow celebrities on Twitter but you don’t have a clue about promoted tweets or the best hashtags to use. Your boss says “we need to get on Ello, Instagram is hot and we just have to be on Bubbly don’t we?” Would you know how to get started?
A planned campaign is a successful campaign. A plan keeps you focused on the number of steps you’ll need to take along the way.
So how do you actually plan an engaging social media campaign with very little resources and not much time? Good question - one that we can help you answer in 7 simple steps to planning a social media campaign.
Is this the end of click-bait? Facebook has announced changes to the News Feed that should reduce the amount of click-bait headlines and improve user experience. What effect does this have on Facebook page owners?
Firstly, here's how Facebook is going to decide which posts are click-bait:
- Short clicks - a user clicks on a link and then quickly clicks back to Facebook. This indicates that the content did not match the headline. In reverse, the longer someone spends on a link, the more useful it will look to Facebook.
- Engagement - links that receive a lot of clicks but very few shares and likes will also be flagged as click-bait as it shows that the link was not valuable enough to earn a recommendation.
The psychology of social proof gives marketers an incredible tool for increasing the reach of their content.
We are influenced and we influence others based on the groups we identify with and the content we share online.
Digital marketing can tap into that mentality to increase inbound traffic and drive conversions; Social Influence Marketing.
The theory of social influence is excellently explained by Victor Yocco for Smashing Magazine in his article 'Social Influence: Incorporating Social Identity Theory Into Design'.
I recommend reading Victor's post first to understand the theory behind social identity and then come back to find out more about how you can apply it to your own site.
Victor sees great opportunity for designers to enhance websites and products by using social identity theory in the way that Nike has built an entire network around Nike+.
You don't have to build your own social network from scratch to take advantage of social identity theory. It can be as simple as adding sharing buttons to your site.
Social Influence Marketing is simply the use of social signals to increase online reach and improve conversion rates.
Not sure where to start with social media? Create your own effective strategy with Social Media training, part of our comprehensive Digital Marketing training package. It will really help you to improve your outreach skills so that you can start working on social influence marketing!
I believe there are three main social signals to identify; everyone, friends and celebrities.
Twitter cards are an easy and effective way to make your tweets stand out in your followers' feeds.
Don't be limited by 140 characters, add enhanced links, product descriptions, media and more - all without affecting that character count!
You can start using Twitter cards by adding a few lines of HTML to your pages which will then generate the card when someone tweets that link - this is a quick setup that should have a huge impact on your visibility on Twitter and help drive engagement.
They also have the added bonus of unlocking Twitter Analytics (Twitter advertisers will already have access).
Twitter Card Types
- Summary Card: A card for links including title, description, thumbnail image and author/publisher @ handle
- Summary Card with Large Image: Same as summary card but with larger image and small description
- Photo Card: Card with one photo
- Gallery Card: Collection of up to 4 photos
- App Card: Highlights a mobile app with a download link
- Player Card: A card that allows embedded audio & video
- Product Card: Details product information
Each card type requires a different set of meta tags which will you will need to add to your page. Once you've added the tags, you need to validate the page before Twitter approves your cards and they start showing in Tweets.
As mentioned, Twitter cards give you access to analytics to check the performance of your Tweets. It's a great way to monitor the effectiveness of different types of card and establish your top influencers.
Not getting the results you desire? Find out where you're going wrong with our 2 day Social Media workshops and learn how to start growing your network.