5 things that your business may be doing wrong on social media


1) Don’t just focus on number of Friends/Followers 

To many companies, mainly small businesses, over estimate the impact they wish their social media strategies to have. When it comes to number of followers, they tend to believe that the more numbers they have following their company is all that matters and that the more people who hit ‘like’ automatically transcends into that amount of sales.  Of course we know that the later statement to be totally false, but also the first statement couldn’t be further from the truth also. Of course yes, if you have organically built up your social following to a great number this is fantastic, but don’t equate the number of followers with being successful. Make sure your company realise that a profile with 100 followers can be ten times more successful than a profile with 1000! The important thing is engaging with the customer in a way that will create a strong relationship with your customers and the best…

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Great they are interested in me, now what? Top three ways to retain your customers through social media


Ok, lets say you’ve generated a bit of ‘buzz’ about your company or product, people are interested in you, traffic and sales are looking good and you are satisfied with the direction you are currently going in. Great, it seems everything is fine and you have achieved your goal, now just sit back and watch the conversion figures rise right?

No, not quite… Yes if you can build up to a similar point such as this one, that’s fantastic and should reflect all the hard work you have put in. However, the work is far from done, it’s just beginning. Before you think about expansions, what your plan is for next year or how you can continue to grow and develop, you MUST focus on one simple thing. This may not be over looked by most marketers in general, but it can be an after thought or not placed as highly on your to do list as others aspects, but it should be.

I’m of course talking about customer retention. While your figures, social followers, customer base etc may be growing, don’t forget about what or who brought you to the dance in the first place, your EXISTING customers. So much focus is put upon new customers and building upon pre-existing contacts, that the current/previous set of customers you have worked to build up are neglected.

It’s crucial not to let your existing customer base diminish or feel devalued, they will constantly support your brand, whether it be via word of mouth, a share on a social page or a physical sale. All you have to do is remind them that you value them as a customer, its that simple. So a few quick (and simple) ways of retaining your customers, via social media.


1) People online are still people …

Make sure you remember, your existing followers are not just numbers on a homepage like count, they are people just like anyone else and not just there to like your posts, interact with them on a more personal level, ask them some questions, reply to an individual tweet, let the people who have taken the time to follow your page, know you appreciate them guys and they will keep coming back to you, it’s that easy.

2) Don’t devalue the old for the new

We see countless offers and ads, exclusively offering new customers the best deals for joining up, or even incentives for new customers to return again once they have made that first visit/purchase. While these are great ways of continuing to build up a fan base and almost refreshing your customer base, it is also imperative to reward people for their loyalty and what better way to do so than offering some of these incentives to the people who have already been with you and will continue to do so.


3) Finally ….

The best way of retaining a customer via social media …. Is nothing that you can personally do yourself. Word of mouth is the best way you can hope of securing your client base via online social media, even if you are thinking “Word of mouth is word of mouth, I can’t force people to talk about my brand.” Yes, you would be right you can’t force anyone to share, discuss and voluntarily talk about your brand, but you can start make it a lot easier and help the snowball gather mass as it goes. Don’t get focussed on being primarily a seller on social, yes you are representing your company, but why can’t that be fun, topical and interactive? The use of a visual aid is perfect when trying to be, well just social with your followers. To many businesses forget the most important thing with social media followers, be social, be outgoing and offer something that people will want to come to your social sites for in the first place. Word of mouth digitally, via your pre existing customers, can explode your popularity in a way that you won’t believe.



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Social media marketing – It’s all about the balance.

Marketing in 2014 is a whirlwind of different tools, strategies and ways to interact and reach your chosen audience. There has never before been so many unique and varying ways to connect with people and introduce them to your product. One element that has been around for a while now, is that of social media and the impact it can have on certain aspects is phenomenal.

There are so many ways of utilising this amazing outlet, the key is to find a balance. It is easy to forget at times that these are real people at the end of the day and you can often get more carried away with stats and figures, rather than the interaction and brand recognition you should be creating with the power of social media.




You have to remember that social media isn’t, first and foremost, a selling tool. People don’t come to these platforms to be constantly hassled and have sales pitches thrown down their throats. They come to these sites to do just what you would expect, interact and socialise with their friends, people with similar interests or even to see more on their favourite brands, celebrity personalities and hobbies.

This isn’t to say that you can’t sell on social media, far from it, but it should mainly be used as either an enhancement tool to a help build a strong campaign, or as a way of leading a customer to a point of sale, rather than forcing one. It will benefit your online presence within your chosen social community a hell of a lot more in the long run if you aim to approach your social marketing in this way.

There are plenty of ways to go about this, as we all know, some tried and tested methods, which still work to this day, even if it means just approaching it in a different manner. Take for example the use of video. The use of video online, on such platforms as youtube, isn’t anything new, however the latest popularity amongst younger customers with such apps as Vine and instagram video, have changed the game of video advertising on social forums.



Vine’s have been used incredibly well recently since the social media service exploded onto the scene. Vine’s such as the one above have been used all over social media, often going hand in hand with a pre-existing campaign, or used to enhance or even tease an up coming campaign. The same goes for Instagram.

The beauty of these options is that they are free, simple to use and most importantly incredibly interactive and shareable. If done right these simple videos, only lasting a few seconds, could transform your entire business and future outlook with regards to marketing. You don’t have to be a big multimillion pound company to compete within this sector, you just have to be creative, ambitious and entertaining.

This is just one way of balancing out social media marketing, there are countless techniques and platforms for you to explore and use to interact and establish that connection between your brand and your customer, some of which we will explore in later posts. Make sure, if its right for the feel of your brand/product, that you utilise this fantastic tool to not force sell to your social followers, but to first and foremost, build up the relationship which will be the bridge you use to build towards future sales.


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How can I captivate an audience, with content marketing?

“How can I get my content noticed with all this competition?” Something I have heard countless times throughout the last few years from people starting up in business or even marketers for a smaller sized company.

The truth is its tough to get your particular brand noticed, especially when the competition is everywhere you turn. If you are up against some of the major brands in your industry, sometimes even national or international sized outfits, the whole thing can seem quite a daunting task.

The key is to conduct yourself in a way that captivates the target audience you are seeking, in order to reach a certain point in your business plan. This can be driven a number of ways, as stated for larger companies it can be a lot easier to get noticed due to larger budgets and resources.

However, the fresher, smaller and more personal companies can grab the attention of an audience in a number of ways using some simple techniques that can prove to be irrefutable, when trying to captivate and audience.


Back to basics – It may seem simplistic, but often the most important factors are. Remember, when you are trying to reach an audience, the content is key. Regardless of the platform, it could be your blog (which should be spearheading your campaigns), it could be a visual aid or even an email campaign, the content you are producing should be original and has to be the driving force behind your campaign.

See it, Share it – A great, simple and often FREE way of interacting with your audience is through the use of visuals. Visual aids have never been more accessible, simplistic and interactive and Infographics are a great way of captivating people and grabbing their attention being bold, easily accessible and most importunately an interesting and fresh way of sharing information, that may have been overlooked if it was just produced as a text document.

Video is also booming at the moment, with such social sites Instagram and Vine capitalising on this the most. ANYONE can produce an entertaining short video that will engage a users attention and could help elevate your brand to new heights. The best thing about these techniques? All it takes is a strong social strategy and before you know it that 1 like/share could turn into 10, which could turn into 100, which could turn into 1000 …

Use you knowledge to show how you feel – Someone once said that marketing should be “20% what you know and 80% how you feel about what you know.” This is crucial when you are trying to entice someone towards your brand. It’s as simple as it sounds; use emotion as the vehicle to drive your knowledge of your chosen field towards your prospective clients. You will never grab that attention you so desire if you simply relay information to people, how can you excite someone towards your brand if you can’t put that same passion into your own workings?


The little things DO matter – We often get so focused onmarketing plans, social strategies and analysis, that the smaller things can often be over looked. The only way you are ever going to not only connect with people, but keep that relationship strong is to remember the little things.

If your campaign is heavily supported by social sites or a blog, make sure you view the feedback you receive as a two way streak. Remember these are real people who have come to these sites to interact and communicate with people; they aren’t just stats and figures. Make people feel that they are a crucial part of your interactions, not just a by-product of it.

Quality not quantity … Although it helps – Finally, you have always heard it’s quality not quantity until you are blue in the face and don’t worry I’m not going to argue with that. However, quantity IS crucial to raising your profile and establishing yourself amongst your potential customer base. Don’t forget your first point, content is key, so make sure you are only posting, engaging and interacting with people over relevant points, not simply to try and flood force your name out there. Try and blog as often as possible and it will improve your numbers. This won’t happen overnight, so stick with it and try to get as much of your creative work out there as possible.


Steven Ormrod

This is a guest blog I wrote for Badman Media, a fantastic up and coming company, based in Manchester. Find them @BadManMedia  on Twitter.

You can find my guest blog and all the info on Badman here: http://www.badmanmedia.co.uk/ 

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Is email marketing still relevant in 2014? *hint* the answer is yes ….

Normally when approaching a subject area such as this one, I would look at both sides of the coin and generate an appropriate out come, based on the points I had made. However with this one, I’m going to look on just a couple of the positives, from the point of view of both the marketer and the customer.

It may well be 2014 and trends, fashions and ways we approach marketing are ever changing and evolving. One constant however, is the importance that email marketing has played, does play and will play, until there is a platform that becomes popular and takes over email as a new form of messaging. So here’s just a couple of the reasons why email marketing still has a crucial role to play, for both marketer and customer. 

Postman with envelope and e-mail sign

Personalisation – One of the strongest positives of the use of email campaigns as opposed to other forms of marketing, is the personal experience a customer can receive. With the use of email marketing, you can easily target a certain criteria of people, all of whom could be more inclined to not only open, but click, given that is approached in a tasteful way, not something that would across looking like spam. There’s a whole way of appealing to people on a personal level, from micro marketing at the highest level of personalisation, to a more generalised, yet still personal, form of email marketing. Test what works the best for you and use the feedback to build your campaign around.

Make a point, don’t push it – The beauty of email marketing as an advertising tool, is that it gives the customer the opportunity to view your message at their own discretion. Quite often I come across people who have seen a certain campaign, visual or promotional piece of material they really liked, but can’t quite remember where they saw it/what the item name was or similar problems. With an email, your customer can view your email and fingers crossed, will click through there and then, but if they don’t choose to click straight away, yet the email resonates with them, they have the luxury to come back to your saved email at any time and re see it and at their own discretion. The aim is to find the balance between produce a striking email campaign that will engage a users interest, with out trying to push a sale down their throat.


Interactive or unattractive – One of the key benefits of this style of marketing, is the feedback and analysis you can receive once you have sent your campaigns live. I would say the majority of us will use an email marketing platform of some kind and will hopefully be reaping the rewards of using such tools. If you are not using these platforms correctly, or even at all, then you must. Such luxuries as AB split testing, optimized sending of your emails via time of day or day of the week, depending on when your customer tends to view his/her messages, not to mention the array of post sending analytical reports that are available, are all crying out to be utilised. All these tools and functions make it essential to use such a platform and really makes your life as a marketer a lot easier, are your email campaigns interactive for your customers or unattractive?

Obviously there are many more pro’s and a number of con’s we could look at, however these are just a couple of noteworthy points to hopefully keep you thinking about the importance and the relevance that email marketing still plays in all aspects of your marketing world.


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Should I be blogging?? – 3 reasons why you HAVE to blog for successful content marketing

People often try to take short cuts in life, it’s often to get to a pre-determined point which you are trying to reach, a goal you are trying to achieve or simply to save a little bit of time here and there. People do this through out all aspects of life and marketing is one where we see it done all the time.

Some marketers, often try to fast track their way through campaigns and promotions, with only the one current objective in mind, whether it is to sell a certain product or market a specific campaign. They often tend to over look the implications this could have on the way people view them in the future and try to fast track their way through a promotion, rather than establishing themselves or their company.


I see it all the time, to many of us think we can achieve our goals by giving the impression of having a strong content marketing plan, rather than actually having one. To often they use other peoples content, ideas and reputation, to give their own campaigns the lift it needs. However, while sharing other content every now and again to build relationships or even to highlight a piece of content that you believe is a great example of something is fine, but you HAVE to be producing your own content and this starts simply, yet essentially, with your blog.

Distinguish yourself as a thought leader 

Your blog can help you achieve many things throughout your campaigns and personally for you as an established marketer. One of the main things it shows people, is that you can be a thought leader, not just a sharer of other peoples content. Author of the fantastic book ‘Becoming the Expert’ John Hayes (@john_w_hayes), says that to be a thought leader you have to posses a strong knowledge and passion of the industry you work in, have an opinion surrounding that industry and then you have to be able to communicate that opinion effectively. The best way of achieving this is through your blog, its the fundamental way of showing a potential audience of thousands, that you can be a thought leader.


Its the basis for your entire campaign 

This may surprise some people, it may not, but your blog should be the basis for your ENTIRE campaign. I say this may surprise some people as some marketers are often over eager to start a campaign based upon a different area, when in fact you should first get your blog not only ready, but make sure its informative and not only a good read, but also interactive, provoking readers to respond to what you say and start to develop your reputation within this community. Then you can start to build around it and incorporate the other areas of your content marketing strategy.


This seems a bit of a no brainer, but anything you can boost your profile with which is free is a blessing in this day and age. In a world of marketing, where spend is essential, it’s nice to know that there are platforms available where you don’t need to spend high, even at all, all you need is the right content, a strong written word and the ability to interact with people in a way that provokes and ignites a reaction. Obviously you can pay for a domain name, certain themes etc to make your blog look more appealing, but as long as you can put forward your own, organic ideas, then you are well on the way to a strong content marketing plan, with out spending a penny.



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4 top tips for marketing this Christmas


1) Know your target audience

We all know that in marketing, a basic rule of thumb is knowing who your target audience is like the back of your hand. Your target audience can and most likely will, fluctuate during the holiday period. If you are working within a specific field, rather than on a more general platform, you will find that you have to be ready to target your adverts and promotional material, to a broader scope.

For example if you are a manufacturer of toys and are looking to target specific campaigns, you may find that your regular email lists/client data base etc may need to be expanded on. A toy seller would normally tend to target mothers and the actual infants themselves, during commercial breaks, in their favourite children’s magazines, even on social media.  However during the festive period, you will find friends of parents, aunties, uncles etc who may not be targeted 11 months out of the year, actually account for a larger percentage of transactions than you would expect around Christmas time, so don’t be one dimensional.


2) Don’t be afraid 

Hopefully you are reading this already having some form of strategy in place for the festive period, which has already begun and will explode over the next week. You will already have begun advertising Christmas goods, promo’s and offers, if not then what are you waiting for??

So you may find that you feel that you are repeating yourself and even annoying people with your Christmas messages  You are not. Don’t worry, this time of year is the one time where people expect to be bombarded with Christmas related adverts and campaigns. I’m not saying to spam people and relentlessly force your campaigns down your customers throat, but if you often find yourself saying ‘Christmas sale’, ‘Sale now on’, ‘Even further reductions’, there is nothing wrong with this at all, just be as creative as you can be and try to mix up the way you approach it.

3) Work up to the final day, because your customers sure will do !!

So its 3 days before Xmas. You’re winding down, thinking about a well earned few days off, plenty of family time, some great food and a few beers. Don’t make the mistake of thinking its all over before the day itself comes. If you work purely online then this may not effect you as much. However if you are a working store, showroom, high street shop or have an outlet, don’t ruin your great planning and hard work, by not thinking about the last minute shoppers. We have all been there, normally running around town panicking after forgetting a crucial gift,  missed someone off your list or just pushing your luck and looking for a last minute bargain. Make sure you don’t over look the importance of the late shopper and cater to the needs of the shopper, who will spend great deals of money on the last minute, if you can bring them in with your great last minute savings and last chance bargains. Plan for those who forget!

4) If you fail to plan …

I hate using clichés, I really really do. However, with that being said this message is one you will have heard a million times, but at this time of the year its crucial that you look ahead throughout the coming weeks and out together a structure that you can follow and which will guide you around your Christmas marketing, but make sure you stick to it. It doesn’t matter if you are planning your Facebook marketing plan, an email campaign  a newspaper promotion or even an advert on TV, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail …. I cant believe I just said that, but it’s never been more true than it is at this time of year guys !!


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5 things that your business may be doing wrong on social media

1) Don’t get overly focused on number of Friends/Followers 

To many companies, mainly small businesses, over estimate the impact they wish their social media strategies to have. When it comes to number of followers, they tend to believe that the more numbers they have following their company is all that matters and that the more people who hit ‘like’ automatically transcends into that amount of sales.  Of course we know that the later statement to be totally false, but also the first statement couldn’t be further from the truth also. Of course yes, if you have organically built up your social following to a great number this is fantastic, but don’t equate the number of followers with being successful. Make sure your company realise that a profile with 100 followers can be ten times more successful than a profile with 1000! The important thing is engaging with the customer in a way that will create a strong relationship with your customers and the best way to do that is …. Number 5   …. 🙂

2) Connect with people, don’t just see stats !!!

Remember, these are normal people who are coming to your pages everyday, so make sure you treat them in that way, they are not just an avatar on a page, but real people who deserved to be acknowledged. Don’t forget this is social media, social being the key word. People aren’t on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn etc to be bored, ignored or by passed. Make sure you are not just replying the people who come to you, but engage in other conversations, get involved and start conversations of your own. The best way to interest someone in what you do, is to pull at their own interests and get them not only thinking, but contributing to what they feel is a very personal interaction with you, while at the same time you are sending out a strong message to everyone else, that you not only grasp the social element of the platforms, but that you are a forerunner and a key contributor to these places. Make people feel they not only want to, but need to engage with you and your followers.


3) Don’t put your foot in it

“It can take a lifetime to build a good reputation, but you can loose it in one minute.” An infamous quote, from Will Rogers in the 1920’s. That’s right, the 20’s and its not only still relevant today, but it has never been more so than within the world of social media. We see all the time celebrities and even large companies  really denting their reputations by posting either offensive, inconsiderate or just generally stupid comments. Now I’m saying you’re going to do a Charlie Sheen and make a fool of yourself on Social Media, I’m saying just be careful as to what you post and when, as even the biggest of companies have made the biggest of mistakes. This example is universally know for not only its shocking timing, but its inconsiderate message as a whole, one which the company later said was just misunderstood. So please don’t do a GAP and come up with something like this DURING a major disaster. “All impacted by #Sandy, stay safe!We’ll be doing lost of Gap.com shopping today, how about you?” … Even the top dogs can get it so very very wrong.

4) Social media isn’t a selling platform 

This is something we have all had to battle with I’m sure, when smaller businesses (and to a degree larger ones) try and sell themselves 24/7. Social media is an outlet for creating connections, relationships and as I like to say “guiding a customer to a point of sale if they wish”. STOP pushing your products down their throats and do it fast or you will see your numbers dropping day by day. If you can peak your customers interest about your company and your products  then that is great, just guide them to a point of sale, don’t try and force them into buying products in a place where they haven’t come for that. What’s more annoying than for example going on a website and getting popups every two minutes and adverts all over the thing you came for?? Nothing is, I’ll tell you that from experience  SO don’t do the same to your customers. I’m not saying never push a product on social media  just do it tactfully. REMEMBER only about 10 – 15% of your content you are sharing should be promotional.



Something I have reiterated over and over again, emphasized by fantastic social media expert John W Hayes ( @john_w_hayes ) is content is key !!! Try and be a thought leader and a creator of great content, don’t just RT, share and use everyone else’s content is you want to be thought of as a social media strategist. The key to engaging with your audience, building new relationships and making people take note of you and the message you are trying to get across is great content. Thought provoking, engaging, interesting and relevant content will get a reaction from your followers, friends and the rest of the social world, lazy, simplistic content, which is dead end and doesn’t give people not only the chance to join in the conversation and have their say, but then develop that further and continue the subject  which at the end of the day is what you want, you want people to be talking about you and your company and the key to that is … You guessed it GREAT CONTENT !!!!


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Social Media and the rise of the video

Three social media players who have, are and will change the game 

We all know the fundamentals of social media and how it came to fruition. When the web kicked up and got going, we had a number of blog sites which started surfacing, then along came AOL instant messenger, which gave users a chance to chat online with their friends and meet new people should they wish.  The first major social media site, I think we can all agree on, was Friends Reunited, which aloud users to locate old school friends and create a profile and connect online for the first time.

Jump forward a few years and we have the birth of Friendster and MySpace. MySpace was the one that kicked off the real interest with young people and social media, a relationship that no one could have predicted the heights that where soon to come. Then came Facebook and Youtube and the whole game changed.


Fast forward to 2013 and there are an abundance of social sites offering various ways of staying connected and sharing content. We have some specialised sites, which tend to stick to a certain format for sharing information. We have sites like the afore mentioned Youtube, which is entirely video based as you know, Pintrest, which is entirely image based and then there are sites such as Facebook, who try to incorporate all of these different elements onto one larger platform. I’m sure the guys over at Facebook will be slightly pleased with how they are doing so far …

Now don’t get me wrong, when I say that things are changing, I don’t mean that Facebook and Twitter are any where near to being a distant memory, far from it in fact, they are both thriving. However, with that being said, their main user age is way up in the 30s/40s and while young people are definitely still using these platforms, there has been a shift in recently towards a more direct, visual and fun way to share information and stay connected.

Young men and women holding mobile phones

There are three players who have, are and will change the game. Instagram changed everything with its huge success. It wasn’t an entirely new concept, but it literally exploded onto the scene and was a huge, huge success which led to Facebook buying the site for $1 Bn in 2012. The way you could upload your images and put a simple filter on to make them look more picturesque wasn’t a revolutionary move, but it caught on like never before and people started to take note instantly, bringing a huge momentum push towards the visual side of social media.

Then building on this success came Snapchat. This fun, simple to use platform has seen amazing results amongst young people, I for one don’t know to many people who are app heavy that don’t have this app. Again such a simplistic idea, take a picture or a ten second video and share it with your friends. Its there for the amount of time you chose up to around 10 seconds, however once you have clicked to view and the time runs out its gone forever. This is so popular with younger people, its just a fun and highly interactive way of staying in touch, which is clearly what these people are crying out for.


Now we have a platform called Vine. Vine, is in a way, like Tiwtter’s equivalent to Instagram and has had a tough time gaining traction, but its simple interface and unique way it is run, has inspired amazing creativity from some users and it is finally starting to build up speed, fast. Instead of the standard recording of a video clip and posting it, Vine gives users the option to film frame by frame for up to 8 seconds, which can have some amazingly inspiring and also genuinely fun end results.

With this shift in what young users want, I eagerly await the direction it will go next. I personally use all of these and I haven’t been excited about a platform like I have been about Vine in a long time. Its unique, its celebrity endorsed, its hip and more importantly its fun and anyone can use it to show their individual creativity and personalties  I think this is what the younger generation want in the modern social platform, a way of sharing their personal identity and creativity, in an easy and enjoyable way.


Steve    🙂

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Social Meida: The Stats and Figures you need to know ( Infographic )

So, here we are, its social media statistics time people. Who is using which channel? What are the strongest platforms for me? Which platform should I use to get the most exposure???

I’m sure most of you will have asked at least one of these questions during your marketing career. This infographic is simply to show what kind of exposure you can expect to receive from the various social media platforms available. So which has the best customer reach for you? Find info on Facebook, Twitter, Pintrest, Google +, LinkedIn and more and get the best you can from your social campaign.


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