Want to know why things go viral?

So what makes something go viral?

If you ask most social media “gurus,” they’ll tell you it’s all about getting lucky. Viral isn’t a strategy, it’s like buying a lottery ticket. Or they’ll talk about cats. Lots of people share videos of funny kitties, so cats must be the reason things go viral???

Wharton Professor and author of “Contagious: Why Things Catch On – Jonah Berger” has a few excellent ideas – see his latest blog.

Blakes of Dover, Cellar bar
Blakes of Dover, Cellar bar

In it he describes how ‘word of mouth’ is the most important aspect of spreading your ideas – virally.  He explains further “… if you want to generate word of mouth? Get people talking about you? One way is to give them a way to look good. Make people feel special, or like insiders, and they’ll tell others—and spread word of mouth about you along the way.”

How true, we once owned a restaurant and ‘word of mouth’ can either make of break you, it only takes a few customers to tell their friends ‘what a wonderful meal they had’ and suddenly your fully booked.  Unfortunately the reverse is also true … so maintaining high standards at all time is paramount!

Will following this principles guarantee that 10 million people spread your message? No. But it will increase the number of people who pass it on. Encourage people to tell two friends instead of just one. By understanding the science of ‘word of mouth’ you can boost your average, and your sales.

Drop me a line and we can discuss how we can help get your web presence working for your business.

Essential Facebook Marketing tips

Marketing on a 900 million strong social network can give your business a good head start, but here are some tips to give you that little edge to broaden your reach and increase engagement.

Sometimes you need to take a good look at new horizons.

To expand your Facebook reach you need to understand how Facebook determines your posted content value.  It uses a simple algorithm based on three factors: affinity, weight and time.  These are then multiplied together to determine your content value.

Affinity is based on how often fans visit and engage with your site.  Weight (or popularity) is determined by the type and quantity of engagement (likes, comments etc). Time decays as your content ages, and become less relevant.

Understanding this algorithm is the first step to improving your Facebook engagement.

Drop me a line and we can discuss how we can help get your web presence working for your business.

 

Are you still a Windows XP user?

If you’re still an old Windows XP user or even Vista user, you’re probably worried knowing that after long years of support Microsoft has now ended its support for the world’s second most popular operating system way back on 8th April 2014.

Microsoft warns you that if you continue to use its OS first introduced before the iPhone even existed “your computer will still work but it might become more vulnerable to security risks and viruses.” And if that isn’t enough to encourage you to upgrade or get a computer, maybe the fact that “you can expect to encounter greater numbers of apps and devices that do not work with Windows XP” will.

But given the millions of PCs running the OS and the scarce amount of time and resources many people have, some people will certainly be still be XP users or Vista well after its “expiration date.” If you’re going to be one of these daredevils, here are some suggestions that might help …

1)      Comparitech has produced a guide where it explains the options depending on which Windows version currently being run for upgrading.
2)      If you continue with XP then install an alternative browser — not Internet Explorer.
3)      Make sure Microsoft Office is fully patched if it is installed. Note, some older versions of Office will run things such as Flash by default if embedded in documents. If using an older version of Office, tighten up the security options.
4)      Review the third-party software you have installed and uninstall anything that isn’t needed.
5)      For the third-party software that you keep – consider disabling or uninstalling the browser plugins. Or at least set the browser to “always ask” what to do about things such as PDF files.
6)      Have an up-to-date security product with antivirus and firewall installed.
7)      Keep your XP computer connected to a NAT router, which will act as a hardware firewall. (Practically speaking, this means you shouldn’t be roaming around outside of your home with an XP computer.)

Living in the past may not be easy. But if it’s your only option, you should try to stay as safe as possible.

“Folks that continue to use XP at home can do so with some reasonable amount of safety, but they absolutely need to review their Internet and computing habits as April draws near.”

From an article in:  www.safeandsavvy.f-secure.com

Latest update on this from http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-26432473

Drop me a line and we can discuss how we can help get your web presence working for your business.

Increasing your Facebook Reach

You can increase your Facebook reach by understanding a few simple rules that Facebook use.  While Facebook has never officially divulged exactly how to gain greater reach, there are several tactics that if followed do work.

Be topical and brief: I cannot stress enough how effective succinct posts are, studies show that lengthy Facebook content goes unread …

Sometimes you need to stand out from the crowd

Have valuable content: quality content is king, photos are more engaging – a picture is worth more than a 1000 words, ask open questions to simulate a response from the reader.

Know your audience: study your readers, and write what they want to read.  Facebook Insights is a useful tool to evaluate readers historical consumption pattern.

Engage with your readers: answer responses quickly to show you’re listening, tag the reader so they are notified of the social attention.  If they ‘like’ your comment this further boosts visibility.

Like your followers: Facebook Insights provided details of ‘friends of readers’, these are more likely to be attracted to your site.  Then with Facebook ads you can target your readers. But be careful, Facebook ads should be complementary and not the primary way to communicate your message.

Follow these guidelines, and I hope this will increase your Facebook presence.

Drop me a line and we can discuss how we can help get your web presence working for your business.

 

More Top Tips for Media Success

Sometimes you need to think big, and just go for it.

Be Presentonce you have your Facebook, YouTube or Twitter account spend time developing your style and presence.  Remember you are starting from the beginning, from scratch, and it will take time to for you to build your network, so pick a platform and then work hard at it.

Sometimes you need to think big …

Measure your impact – YouTube, and Google allow you to analyse your input/output and get feedback on who, what and where your followers are, so use this to develop the parts of your site that are getting the most attention.

Think about your URL – it might be worth getting a shorter branded URL – frankly mine’s a bit too long, oh dear …

Now use your time for that important homework and see what you can find.

The National Centre for Micro Businesses can help develop your ideas into business plans, call us for more help.

More ideas to follow soon …

Drop me a line and we can discuss how we can help get your web presence working for your business.

It is important to know what is happening around you ..

New media is changing the way we interact and communicate, and this especially true in the business world.

It is important to understand and adapt to these changes quickly, organisations that have the ability to adapt and evolve to rapid change are more likely to succeed.

Having more Twitter followers won’t necessarily get more traffic to your website, which should be your strategic goal – to bring in increases sales.

Sometimes you need to look both ways!

Brad Smith in Social Media Today highlights 3 Worst Ways to use social media, and how to counteract these:

Don’t:

  1. Create too many social networks
  2. Rely on others to share for you
  3. Focus on Easy, Ineffective tactics

Do:

  1. Invest more resources into LESS tactics
  2. Drive visitors to specific point of conversation
  3. Focus on business development, not just community management

You goal should be one of online business development, rather than Twitter chat or blog comment.

Drop me a line and we can discuss how we can help get your web presence working for your business.

 

 

The whirlwind of social media

The whirlwind world of social media is like Pandora’s box – it holds powerful tools that can seriously boost your business to attract new customers, retain loyal ones, and engage the digital world…or it can be a heap of resources wasted if you don’t use them properly.

Some myths need busting
Some myths need busting

Here are five of the major Social media myths debunked.

Myth 1: Social media is a weekday job

You may be on a 9-5 shift during the week, but social media outlets run 24/7 you might actually have more success if you engage on weekends and odd hours.

Myth 2: I don’t have enough content to feed the outlets

Content gets posted, pushed down, and becomes irrelevant before you know it. Re-post the same content in different ways to build concepts and values that your brand represents. The key is to not make it repetitive. Just put a new spin on it when you re-post it a few weeks later.

Myth 3: I can’t show personality

Your content should be mainly targeted at your demographic and within your industry, but don’t be afraid to show some personality.  Throwing in some humor through office pictures, or interesting news articles can humanize your brand’s message.

Myth 4: My target demographic is older, so social media isn’t worth it

Contrary to what you may think, the older crowd is quite active on social media. According to a 2012 survey by the Pew Research Centre’s Internet and American Life Project, 52% of online boomers and 32% of online seniors are on social networking sites, especially Facebook.

Myth 5: Social media marketing doesn’t drive bottom line results

This may be the biggest misconception about social media and its effectiveness.  Social media creates leads and inspires new customers. Fact proven: companies that use Twitter average twice as many leads as companies that don’t – the proof is in the profit.

So in summary: Social media outlets are the perfect places to create a platform for your business and showcase it for current and potential customers, you just have to know how to use them – and that means knowing the truth behind the myths.

What marketing myths have you heard that should be added to the list?

(from an article on Linked In)

If you want to learn more  drop me a line and we can discuss how we can help get your web presence working for your business.

Social Media Basics

So where to start on your social media travels …

Choose your platform (160 different ones) carefully to target your audience – be selective and set time goals – be SMART

“If Facebook is the Primark of social media, then LinkedIn is the Harrods – so choose your platform and language, post carefully so as NOT to offend other users.”  Zoe Cairns

Autumn Colours
So Autumn is here – time to start your Social Media Strategy

Facebook is now used by >35 yr olds, Instagram for the <35 yr olds, and Snapchat is for 8 – 24 yr olds – think of your target market, and choose and post accordingly. 

YouTube channel is for EVERY business – you can signup easily by opening a  gmail account (free), then why not use apps like VideoScribe or Animoto to create simple videos to post with your messages.

Find the key influencers for your line of business (use LinkedIn for this) and then follow them – get them to follow you as this will increase your social media reach.

Create a Target Audience Sheet and from this design your strategic 8 point social media plan – then you won’t get overwhelmed.

  1. Set your goals
  2. Define your target market
  3. Select your key influencers
  4. Research your competitors – look at their social media platforms
  5. Design your content strategy and campaign
  6. Monitor your activity – respond to the market immediately
  7. Join conversations and engage with the market
  8. Measure and analyse your social media actions to refine your goals – start again.

 

All campaigns will have a slow start and might take 6 – 9 months for ROI, so don’t be put off in the beginning – remember to keep to your strategy.

Use the Facebook algorithm to ensure your posts remain in the public view the longest:

Affinity + Weight = Time decay engagement

  • Affinity is how much you engage with facebook – must be a 2 way channel
  • Weight is quality of content – where text/links/pictures/video (text worse – video best)
  • Time decay engagement is how long the post stays up in public view.

Drop me a line and we can discuss how we can help get your web presence working for your business.

Attention Grabbing Headlines

I came across this amazing fact whilst surfing the net, that 4 out of 5 (80%) of people determine whether to keep reading about your products or services on the basis of your website headline.

Now with that in mind your website headline becomes THE MOST important part of your page.  No confusing double talk, clever ‘click through’ links – just capture your readers attention.

Charlie Cook in his how-to guides outlines three typical mistakes we all make:

  1. If you’re not a household company brand name, frankly most of us are not interested in knowing what you call yourself.  Move branding to the side and make room for a more creative headline.
  2. Don’t bother with a ‘welcome to my site’ first line – you don’t see this in the printed media?
  3. Avoid vague lengthy sentences containing business speak – who cares? Use language we can all relate to and understand, widening the net for potential customers.

We all unconsciously, so I am led to understand, look at web sites in the same way we read magazines ads – scanning to see if it is something we want.

Headlines therefore should:

Racing for the finish line
  • Clarify
  • Describe
  • Define
  • Explain
  • Emphasis
  • Compel

Headlines should NOT:

  • Confuse
  • Obscure
  • Be Vague
  • Lack drive
  • Be BORING

Now start surfing and see how many sites follow these simple guidelines – great sport.

Drop me a line and we can discuss how we can help get your web presence working for your business.

Make it Big: Social Strategy for Small Businesses

While the tools may be similar, the tactics you use for your small business will differ from the Nikes and McDonalds of the world.

HootSuite’s Social Media Coach, Vicky Truong, ran a very interesting webinar on October 31st demonstrating the practical tips that make sense for your small business – be it a cafe, boutique or bakery.

She covered many topics including

Vicky Truong
  • How to connect to your customers online.
  • How to monitor across social media platforms.
  • Effective ways to represent your brand online and ideas to help improve your web presence.
  • How other small businesses have used social media successfully.
  • How to turn your online traffic into customers.
  • The best tools for measuring your progress.

For more details on this and further webinars goto: http://www.bizlaunch.com/

Drop me a line and we can discuss how we can help get your web presence working for your business.