Customer Service Do’s and Don’ts

Customer Service Do's and Don'ts

Customer service is a key competency in a digital marketing apprenticeship. It is important to deliver good customer service to build a loyal customer base and avoid negative complaints. Here are the main customer service do’s and don’ts you should follow if you want to successfully meet the customer service competency: 

Customer Service Do's and Don'ts

Customer service Do’s:

Efficiency  

  • Customer queries should be responded to quickly and efficiently. Customers shouldn’t be left waiting for a response. If customers are left waiting for a long time, they may file a complaint or become frustrated and visit a competitor instead.  

Monitoring social channels and online

  • All channels, including online and social media, should be monitored daily to ensure that important customer queries have been answered. It is also beneficial to interact with customer content that doesn’t have a query to help create a sense of community.  

Accessibility 

  • Contact details of support teams such as customer/IT support should be easily accessible for customers, so they don’t have to search hard to find help with their queries. 
  • There should be multiple channels that allow customers to communicate such as email, social media and the website. This allows a wider range of customers to get in contact. 

Individual Responses 

  • It is important not to give standardised responses to all queries. Customers should feel like they are getting unique, personalised answers to their questions. It is important to have a consistent tone of voice, but messages should be altered depending on the query. 

Knowledge of FAQS 

  • Knowing the answers to frequently asked questions will help you respond to customer queries quickly and accurately. A compiled list of questions that are frequently asked can also be added to the website. This list can then be linked in customer responses for extra information. 

Customer service Don’ts: 

Only responding to customer service enquiries on one channel: In order to meet your competency for customer service, you must display your knowledge on multiple channels, social media and online. 

Displaying one response to a customer: To showcase your abilities in customer service, you must have evidence of responding to at least three different queries.  

Not having clear policies: If you don’t have clear policies to follow when responding, there won’t be a consistent response to customers.  

Not going above and beyond: If you are responding to customers and only writing the minimum level of information, customers may not feel valued. Adding links to additional information and a follow-up such as “please reach out if you have any further questions” will help a customer feel like their query has been fully answered. This also means that they can reach out again if needed. 

How to improve your customer service?

As well as following the customer service do’s listed on this blog… Here are some things you can do to improve your customer service skills: 

  • Research your company’s brand and tone of voice (e.g. formal/informal). This will help guide how you respond to customers and keep responses consistent.  
  • Research industry leaders and how they do their customer service. Looking at how they respond to customers on social and online channels can show you customer service best practices.  
  • Stay up to date with new trends and changes. New developments in technology such as Live Chats can affect the standard of customer service customers expect from you. Keeping up to date with trends can help you deliver a high standard of customer service. 

Conclusion

Customer service is an important part of digital marketing. Learning how to deliver high-quality customer service will help you be successful in a digital marketing apprenticeship.  

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Comment any customer service do’s and don’ts that we missed! 

Organic vs. Paid Social Media

Young people sitting on stairs using smartphones for organic and paid social media

Weighing up the options between paid and organic social media? Not sure where to start? We’ll save you some legwork: you’ll find everything you need to know in this expert guide.

As a digital marketing apprentice, social media implementation is crucial. For instance, you’ll need to show that you have a variety of skills and the ability to run digital campaigns across different social media platforms. In this guide we’ve outlined the main differences between organic and paid social media, as well as including some examples to help you understand better. We’ve also chucked in some useful links to help get you started to becoming a social media wizard!

The key to social media is being social

Eli Fennell

What is Organic Social Media?

Organic social media refers to the free content that all users, including business and brands, share with each other on feeds. For example, this could include posts, photos, videos, memes and stories.

As a brand, when you post organically to your account, you can expect that people who see it are:

  • A percentage of your followers (also known as organic reach)
  • Your follower’s followers
  • People following any hashtags you use

Brands use organic social to:

  • Establish their personality and voice
  • Build relationships through informative, entertaining or inspiring content
  • Engage customers at every stage of the customer life cycle journey

Example of typical organic content from a business:

Pantone leveraging user-generated content

Pantone excels at the strategic use of user-generated content to build a stunning feed. For example, the brand uses aesthetically pleasing, high quality content to grab the audiences attention. Additionally, the short, punny copy doesn’t detract from the image.

What is Paid Social Media?

Paid social media involves brands paying money to social networks such as Facebook and Instagram to have their content shared with specific audiences. Paid social posts will show up in the feeds of whichever audience you decide to target and can be filtered by demographics, likes, interests and more.

Cost-per-click (CPC) is one of the most common methods of charging for this type of promotion.

Businesses and organisations use paid promotion on social media to:

  • Raise brand awareness and attract new followers
  • Promote new deals, content, events
  • Generate leads
  • Drive conversions

Example of typical paid content from a business:

example of paid social media
Moz stands out with colourful ad creative

Similarly to the the organic social example, Moz uses bright colours to stand out in the audience’s feed. It grabs the reader’s attention with bold colour choices. However, this ad is targeted to people who like marketing and marketing agencies, so a case study link makes sense here. Moreover, the strong, minimal copy gets the point across quickly and efficiently.

While paid social and organic social vary in their scope it is useful to know the benefits and drawbacks of each.

The verdict on Organic vs. Paid Social Media

Both organic and paid social media suit different businesses with different priorities in different situations. If your business doesn’t have the budget to implement a paid social media strategy, then try focusing on organic social media. Write thoughtful content and actively engage with your customers online. However, if your business has a sizeable marketing budget, prioritise your paid social media efforts to immediately spread brand awareness and draw specific audiences to your profile.

Ideally, you will be able to find a way to incorporate both methods into your overall social media strategy to improve your online presence. To take your social media marketing skills to the next level, take a look at more of our digital marketing blogs to become a social media pro!

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The do’s and don’ts of social media implementation as a digital marketer

As a digital marketing apprentice, social media implementation is vital. you’ll need to show that you can run digital campaigns across a variety of channels, including social media platforms, websites, and email. In this post, I’ve compiled a list of the top do’s and don’ts for digital marketing apprentices when it comes to launching a social campaign. You’ll be able to tweet, comment, post, and snap with confidence knowing that you’re on the right track if you follow these simple principles.

Do – Keep consistency across social media platforms

The only way for you and your organisation to flourish online is to maintain a consistent brand throughout all of your online conversations. You can improve your brand equity, consumer trust, and, eventually, your bottom line by being loyal to who you are. Reminding yourself of the corporate voice/tone, utilising brand colours when creating, and ensuring that the messages you’re publishing or re-posting are relevant to your brand image.

For a further look at the do’s and dont’s of social media as a whole, read ‘The do’s and don’ts of social media as a Level 3 Digital Marketer’.

Don’t – Allow trolls or bots to spam the comments

Delete any remarks made by a social media troll that are derogatory or insulting, and report the individual. Bots that post spammy messages in the comments are in the same boat. Despite the fact that you have no control over this behaviour, you should react to these comments as quickly as possible since they can harm your brand’s reputation.

Don't allow trolls or bots to spam the comments - The do's and don'ts of social media implementation as a digital marketer
Don’t allow trolls or bots to spam the comments

Do – Vary your social media post type

Your social media implementation should be varied to some extent. The same old 1 by 1 aspect ratio photo style can get monotonous, and if your followers grow weary of your format, they may start passing over your material without engaging with it. That’s why I always recommend sharing a balanced mix of vertical, horizontal (landscape), video (or Reels on Instagram), and gallery posts (Carousel on Instagram).

Don’t – make spelling or grammar mistakes

This may seem obvious, but you should always have a second pair of eyes proofread your posts or articles. Before sending out a post or an update, be sure it’s been proofread by at least one person. Apps like Grammarly, on the other hand, can help you lower your typo rate.

Do – Create a social media post schedule

Scheduling social media postings ahead of time is a huge time-saver. Pre-scheduling your social media activities will save a lot of time for a digital marketing apprentice, allowing you to focus on other digital parts of your company. It’s always a good idea to save time by scheduling your blog articles, tweets, and status updates ahead of time. An example of a tool that can help with this is Later.

Don’t – Mix personal and professional

Nowadays, brands and businesses strive to humanise their online presence. This might involve linking their personal and corporate accounts, as well as commenting and sharing between them. Although it looks to be a great idea when done correctly, I feel it is a hazardous strategy because your business might be overwhelmed by personal updates, leaving your audience confused about what your business stands for.

Don't mix personal and professional - The do's and don'ts of social media implementation as a digital marketer
Don’t mix personal and professional

Conclusion

Hopefully, this ‘do’s and don’ts’ advice has taught you that social media isn’t only for personal use, such as posting pictures of your cats or holiday photos! Instead, social media implementation is a strong tool for businesses and digital marketers to promote a brand, drive traffic to a website, and develop a reputation that your competitors can’t ignore.

Digital marketing apprentices are responsible for using social media implementation as a marketing strategy. The goal of social media marketing is to increase your brand’s visibility, personality, and community. Hopefully, now you can create a set of fundamental ground rules for your business’s future social media marketing campaign by following the dos and don’ts outlined above.

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How to become a self made digital marketing expert

Person using the internet to become a self made digital marketing expert

If you’re wondering how to become a self made digital marketing expert, here is the perfect place to start. Read on to find out the best tips and tricks to start a successful digital marketing career.

What is digital marketing?

Digital marketing is how you connect your brand with your customers, normally over the internet.

As more and more of our life becomes digitalised, digital marketing has taken over and there is a large demand for digital marketing everywhere. It is a great time to pick up the skill and take advantage of what digital marketing can do for your brand, or to start a career in digital marketing.

So, now you know what digital marketing is, you may be wondering how exactly to do it. Well, there are lots of new and exciting ways to get your brand out there, but let’s start with the basics.

Read on to find out how to become a self made digital marketing expert.

Types of Digital Marketing

There are many different forms and channels in digital marketing. however it mainly refers to:

  • Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
  • Pay-Per-Click (PPC)
  • Content Marketing
  • Email Marketing
  • Social Media Marketing

These are the main channels a digital marketer will use to reach their goals. A self made digital marketing expert will have to master all of these areas and more to understand how to grow their brand.

All of these channels have their own individual uses and you will need to learn the proper industry standards and best practices for them.

Getting digital marketing right

The most important part in getting digital marketing right is setting clear and realistic goals. You should start any digital marketing campaign in this way. You may want to get some new leads, or more sales on your website, or you may even just want to generate some brand awareness.

Whatever it is, you should keep a record of your targets and measure your success against them.

How to improve Search Engine Optimisation

Here are five quick ways you can improve your SEO (Search Engine Optimisation):

  1. Publish relevant, useful content
  2. Update your website frequently
  3. Optimise metadata
  4. Build up your backlinks
  5. Use alt tags on your images

Search engine optimisation is an often overlooked part of growing your brand, however it should not be disregarded. The initial investment of creating content may be high, but it is certainly worth it.

Here are 5 ways to generate more website traffic.

How to use Pay Per Click

Pay Per Click is just that – you pay advertisers per click you get on an ad. This is most often done through Google.

This is how you set up a PPC campaign in five steps:

  1. Set your goals
  2. Choose an advertiser
  3. Select the keywords you want to bid on
  4. Set up your budgets
  5. Write your advert and create a landing page for it to link to

PPC is a much faster way of seeing your return on investment (ROI), however it can be costly. Just remember to keep your budgets small at first, until you have an idea of what works for you.

Content marketing for beginners

Content marketing is all about finding out what makes your target audience ticks, and using that to attract them to your brand. This may include articles, videos, podcasts, and other media.

Content marketing is not to be confused with SEO. SEO is the process of optimising your web pages to rank higher in the search engines, whereas content marketing is used to reach more people to connect with your brand with the use of content.

As you can see, SEO is more technical, while content marketing is more creative.

Here are 7 ways to generate more website traffic.

How to up an email marketing campaign

Email marketing has been around since the start of the internet, and is still a very effective way of reaching the right audience. Here are some tips for always creating an successful marketing campaigns:

  1. Build your mailing list
  2. Set your goals
  3. Send different email types for different purposes
  4. Segment your audience
  5. Monitor your analytics
  6. Make your opt-in attractive
  7. Always follow up
  8. Create original subject lines

An important thing to be aware of is that sometimes less is more with email marketing. It may be tempting to always send everything to your whole subscriber list, but this will quickly begin to feel spammy and won’t generate the leads you’re looking for.

Instead, personalise and tailor your content for different audience segments and it will be much better received.

Here are 5 free email marketing tools to create effective campains in 2022.

How to launch a successful social media campaign

Now it is time to launch your first social media campaign. Follow these simple steps to never fall short again.

  1. Research your competition
  2. Decide on your strategy and change it if you need to
  3. Use different types of content within a campaign
  4. Use a mix of promotional and informative content
  5. Find out what’s trending
  6. Make your content stand out
  7. Create a social media schedule

Social media is a great tool to use as a digital marketer. You have the option to set up either paid or organic campaigns, suited to any budget. But which platform should you choose?

Find out more ways to make your social media campaigns successful.

Pie chart of social media for digital marketers

Pie chart of social media

It is also important to use the right platform. Research by Statistica shows that the most popular social media platforms in 2021 were:

Most used social media platform (millions)

  1. Facebook – 2,895
  2. YouTube – 2,291
  3. WhatsApp –  2,000
  4. Instagram – 1,393
  5. Facebook Messenger – 1,300
  6. Weixin / WeChat – 1,251
  7. TikTok – 1,000
  8. Douyin – 600
  9. QQ – 591
  10. Sina Weibo – 566
  11. Telegram – 550
  12. Snapchat – 538
  13. Kuaishou – 506
  14. Pinterest – 454
  15. Twitter – 436
  16. Reddit – 430
  17. Quora – 300

Must have digital marketing tools

  • Some must-have digital marketing tools include:
  • Keyword research tool – SEMrush
  • SEO dashboard  – yourSEOmarketingreport
  • Website analytics – Google analytics
  • Email marketing tool – Campaign monitor
  • Social media scheduling tool – Loomly
  • Photo editing tools – Canva or photoshop 
  • Website tool – WordPress
  • Google data studio

These will help make your life much easier by automating certain tasks, tracking metrics or assist with content creation.

Is digital marketing a good career?

Digital Marketing a great career for anyone who is both creative and analytical.

You’ll have a lot of variation in your job. From creating social media campaigns, to PPC and display advertising, to SEO and the daily running of a website. You’ll never be bored in digital marketing.

It is important to note that you will need good english and maths skills, as the job involves a lot of analysing data and writing content. So, as long as that sounds something you’ll enjoy, digital marketing is definitely for you!

How much money does a digital marketer make?

The salary for an entry-level digital marketer, like a digital marketing assistant can range from £18,000 to £22,000.

Once you are more experienced in digital marketing, you could be earning p to £30,000 a year.

In a more senior management role, you could get up to £40,000 and more.

Level 3 digital marketing apprenticeships

The best way to start a career in digital marketing is to take a digital marketing apprenticeship. This way, you’ll be able to earn and learn, while gaining experience in digital marketing. But what does this mean?

If you take a digital marketing apprenticeship, you won’t have to pay a penny towards your learning costs, as this is covered by the apprenticeship levy. You also will get paid for full-time work while getting extra paid time to work towards your apprenticeship.

Another great thing about a digital marketing apprenticeship is that you’ll get the chance to gain valuable insight, knowledge and experience while you learn. You’ll even get a recognised qualification after you finish!

Level 6 digital marketing apprenticeships

After completing a level 3 digital marketing apprenticeship, you’ll be able to progress onto a level 6 digital marketing apprenticeship, which is actually a degree course. So, you’ll be able to gain a university-level qualification without any student debt.

After completing a level 6 digital marketing apprenticeship, the world will be your oyster, giving you unlimited opportunities for career progression – you will truly be a self made digital marketing expert.

3 Major Reasons you need Social Media in Marketing

Social Media in Marketing

Social media is at the forefront of peoples minds today with approximately 3.78 billion social media users worldwide in 2021. With so many users worldwide, if you’re not using social media in marketing then you absolutely should be! There’s an array of opportunities for marketing on each social media platform, whether you’re a B2C or B2B. The marketing sector has evolved over the years, especially with the likes of the pandemic pushing tech innovations to surface even faster than before. But what does this mean?

As more of us are working from home, using these tech devices, the marketing sector has had to adapt to these changes, pushing advertisements in other places other than the traditional methods. As an Apprentice Digital Marketer, you will learn the benefits of social media in marketing and how to curate social media campaigns subject to the Apprenticeship Standards.

However for now, we will run through 3 major reasons why you need social media in marketing…

The world is moving to Digital, and so is Marketing

The world is becoming more digital and self serve by the day, with innovations such as Amazon Alexa popping up. However, the 2020 Covid Pandemic had heavily increased the pace of Digital innovation.

Traditional marketing is still existing in the likes of radio, newspapers and billboards however, many sources are moving online. Newspapers and magazines have moved forward with the times and now operate online. They even have their own social media accounts where their audience can comment and re-share articles, which in term is getting lots of engagement and more views than traditional alone.

By being online this opens many more doors to obtaining customer data and behaviours, creating mailing lists, gaining subscriptions and much more than just paper alone: the possibilities are endless!

Social Media Advertising is noticed much more, and considerably cheaper

Although we still see traditional marketing around, it’s something we have all become accustomed to seeing and not being interested. Our mobile devices however, are getting much more screen time, therefore much more attention.

“In 2020, digital advertising spending in the United Kingdom (UK) amounted to 16.47 billion British pounds” – Statista.com

Additionally, social media advertising can be much cheaper than traditional. Some posts across platforms are as cheap as a few pounds with a much higher exposure. Generally, there is a much higher ROI with paid ads.

There are huge benefits to social media advertising, such as:

  • Targeting audiences at granular levels including demographics, behaviours, locations, interests etc.
  • Gaining back data on audiences to cater advertisements to them
  • Analytics on advertisements being so precise you can see how effective your ads are
  • Revising whilst they are active to gain the highest benefits from your ads
  • There are so many different formats of advertisements apart from the standard image

Read more on Digital Marketing tips in our blog

The rise of short video content – taking the web by storm

In 2021, the most downloaded app is of course, TikTok.

Unless you have been living under a rock the past year, everybody has heard of the video based app taking over the online world. But what does this have to do with social media in marketing?

Many social media platforms are turning to short video based content to follow in TikTok’s footsteps – as it’s success is very clear. What people want to see has evolved over time, and short videos show no signs of slowing down. The fact that TikTok has been the most downloaded app of the year, shows where people are visiting most. So, if you’re not creating this type of content and using it for advertising, you’re most definitely missing out on the 1 billion users alone on TikTok…

Although video content may seem harder to do, is it no doubt more fun to take part in rather than uploading a plain infographic. With the use of trending sounds combined with user participation – short video is so engaging that even the likes of huge corporations such as Innocent Drinks & Ryan Air are getting involved in the fun.

Read here to stay up to date with social media trends.

Conclusion

In short, social media in marketing today is a must. The audience on each platform is so vast there is no excuse NOT to include social media in your marketing plan! Talking of social media…

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Digital marketing – How to connect with your audience on Social Media

A phone with social media platform apps with a text overlay how to connect with your audience on social media

There are many skills that will make you a great digital marketing apprentice, like running great email campaigns, getting the best out of paid social, or utilising SEO to name a few.

Social Media platforms offer a brilliant way to connect with your audience, here’s how it’s done!

Encourage audience participation

Create engaging content that encourages your audience to get involved!

  • Ask questions in your social media posts.
  • Make use of interactive polls and Q&A features on platforms such as Instagram Stories.
  • Run relevant competitions where the entry mechanism involves some kind of audience interaction.

Engage with comments and mentions as part of your digital marketing strategy

  • Get involved in conversation where people are talking to or about your brand.
  • You can manage relationships with customers on social media through written communication the form of social response. This can help you improve people’s perception of your brand by strengthening individual relationships with customers and enhancing & maintaining positive sentiment on social media.
  • There are sometimes risks when replying to negative, hateful or derogatory comments. There is the possibility of adding fuel to the fire and giving someone the opportunity to bite back. This could lead to a conversation to escalating in a negative light. However if you ensure brand responses are always helpful and sympathetic to the problem that a customer is facing – you can often turn a frown upside down.
A screenshot showing a customer interaction on social media and how social media engagement in digital marketing can turn a negative perception into a positive interaction.
In this image, a customer was unhappy with their experience on a training course from an accounting software provider. The comment was responded to with appropriate humour and demonstrates how you can turn a negative perception into a positive interaction by engaging with social comments.

Amplify User Generated Content

User-generated content (UGC) is any content—text, videos, images, reviews, etc.—created by people, rather than brands.

Hootsuite – A Marketer’s Guide to Using User-Generated Content on Social Media

People connect with people! By amplifying UGC on your social platforms, you allow customers to become advocates of your brand.

  • Instagram is a great platform to highlight User Generated Content. If your customers or fans share relevant stories tagging you, these can easily be reposted onto your stories. This is an easy method to slowly introduce UGC to your digital marketing strategy as it doesn’t impact your usual posting cadence or the look of your Instagram grid that may already be well established.
  • Another easy way to introduce UGC is to make use of testimonials and reviews and repurpose these as social posts. Your future customers are likely to trust the voice of another person who likes your product or service.

Adopt an authentic brand tone of voice as part of your digital marketing strategy

Creating an authentic tone of voice can help you to humanise a brand and make more personal connections with your audience. A brand voice isn’t something that can be created overnight, it takes time to amplify this consistent tone on social media. Some companies such as Innocent Smoothies do a great job, recognisable for their witty posts and responses to customers.

  • When crafting written social content, rather than just typing or writing, say things out loud, then note them down. How you formulate sentences when you speak may have a much more natural, conversational tone. 
  • It can be easier to strike a more human tone when thinking less about grammar. For some, using contractions is a no go, however using contractions can read more naturally and less corporate or cold. For example : “We cannot take the credit for that, Lewis, but if you ever need accounting software stuffed with great features, you are in the right place.” sounds more monotone and automated than “We can’t take the credit for that Lewis. But, if you ever need accounting software stuffed with great features, you’re in the right place.”  

Here’s a great four part formula to finding your brand voice.

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A guide to creating the perfect meta description

A guide to find the perfect meta description

I’m guessing not everyone has thought to themselves “How can I create the perfect meta description?” Well, if you have it’s your lucky day as in this blog piece, we explore the key components to make a great meta description and what NOT to do!

Meta descriptions or meta tags can play a vital role in getting your website to rank high on Google or creating an engaging first piece of content that a potential customer might read to want them to click onto your website.

For those who don’t know what a meta description is, or are just learning about them, it is an HTML element that describes and summarizes the contents of your page for the benefit of users and search engines.

So, let’s dive right in and see what makes the perfect meta description…

1. Always create a unique meta description for each page on your website

It might seem quite simple however some people DON’T do this. It can be an easy way to just use the same meta description for a similar webpage, but it just doesn’t work the way you think it would.

It is preferred by many search engines to have unique meta descriptions that are relevant to your webpage. It also gives you an opportunity to specifically explain your webpage in a different way to others.

A guide to find the perfect meta description

2. Don’t exceed the character limit

Exceeding the character limit could have a negative effect on someone clicking on your webpage. You have a character limit of 50-160 before the rest of the content is cut off.  To create a catching and engaging meta description that the user will be able to see all. Nothing puts you off more when a website has the starting point of their website introduction cut in half as you can already tell they haven’t thought about this.

It will be the same with other platforms, but Yoast is a good extension used in Word Press that will automatically turn green or red depending on the length of content and whether you need to cut it down.

3. Input keywords into your meta description

Inputting keywords in your meta description could instantly give you an advantage for search engine optimization (SEO) as the search engine highlights these keywords are ranking high as search terms and can be highlighted in your meta description leading to catch the attention of a user.

SEMrush is a great tool to use when finding the best keywords that are relevant to your topic. They can be included in your meta description and even use in your page content.

4. ALWAYS make it engaging and interesting

This is the step that requires creative thinking. It’s the most important step when creating a meta description as it’s key in engaging the users. As it’s the first bit of information that they would read from your brand before clicking on your website, so it needs to stand out against the rest. Keep it short and snappy that will engage the user to want to click on your website first.

Conclusion:

Meta descriptions are sometimes forgotten about however it could be the reason people are clicking on your website against others and why your website is ranking first on a search engine. Hopefully, this blog post can act as a guide and help you when writing your own meta description if you’re just starting out in digital marketing or even refresh your brain!

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To find other helpful blog pieces, click here for other digital information.

Social Media Customer Service: Top Tips

Phone with social media apps open on it.

There’s no business without your customers, and with the rise in social media a lot of business now happens online. Therefore, we’ve put together a handy top tip guide to help you put your customers first when replying to them via social media. By providing first class customer service you are making your customers feel valued and are putting them at the very heart of your business.

Social Media Customer Service Top Tip 1:

Pick the best social media platforms for your business

It’s all well and good being on every social media platform, but if that is not where your customers are you won’t be able to reach them. A good idea for gaining knowledge on where your customers are is to do a survey and see which social media platforms are the most popular. By going where your customers actually are, you can deliver a support experience that’s native to their preferred network.

What you learn about where your customers spend their time might surprise you. Don’t make the mistake of assuming that Twitter or Facebook is the best fit for your audience just because you might spend the most time on them.

Social Media Customer Service Top Tip 2:

Monitor social media mentions

You don’t have to stare at your social media feed all day (as tempting as that may be) to know when your customers need help. There are some very useful tools now that will alert you when you get mentioned.

They range from free search tools like Social Mention to full-featured paid products like Mention. These tools can help you stay on top of when and where your product gets mentioned so that you can respond to your customers. They’re great for marketing, but just as important for customer support.

Social Media Customer Service Top Tip 3:

Set up a dedicated handle for social media customer support

Your customer service team can likely address client questions faster and in more detail than your social marketing team can. This helps filter out support and service issues from your primary channel. It also ensures you assign the right teams to monitor the right types of incoming public messages.

If you create a dedicated social channel for customer support, include that handle in your brand’s other social profile bios. This lets people know where to reach out for support-related requests. If a service request comes into your main social channel, pass it along to the right team and respond from your support account.

Social Media Customer Service Top Tip 4:

Create Social Media Guidelines

Social customer support has different challenges and opportunities from social marketing. But it’s no less important to have social media guidelines in place. These should align with your company values and with the social marketing team.

Your brand guidelines for social customer support should cover things such as:

  • Tone of voice
  • Response time for each channel
  • Answers to frequently asked questions
  • Protocol for escalations or other customer issues
  • A message approval procedure and a permission management system

Social Media Customer Service Top Tip 5:

Manage customer expectations

Customers don’t expect all companies to offer the same levels of customer service on social media. A recent study found that customers who pay more for their services expect a higher level of social customer care. Of course, how companies use social media for customer service will vary based on the size of the available team.

The most important thing is to set customer expectations appropriately. Make it clear when your service team is available, and how long it might take you to respond. If there are other resources they can use to get answers faster, let them know. But the most important thing is to always respond.

Conclusion

If you follow these tips, you will be on track to improving your customer service skills via social media whilst keeping a loyal and valued customer base. Whenever you find yourself stuck on a reply , you know where to find us!

If this blog has sparked your interest in social media and digital marketing, click here for more details.

Digital Marketing: Do’s and don’ts of Facebook ads

There is few a tool more powerful in any digital marketer’s arsenal than Facebook. Despite the rise of newer social media channels, Facebook and Instagram (which are integrated on the same ads manager) remain unbeatable social media giants. 44% of the UK population have a Facebook account and 32.4% are on Instagram. That’s a lot of people to potentially reach! Therefore, a key component of digital marketing is running an engaging and impactful Facebook campaign. I’ve compiled this list of do’s and don’ts to help you make the most of Facebook and maximise your campaigns.  

Digital Marketing mobile

The do’s of digital marketing on Facebook  

DO define & refine your audience 

With almost half the UK population on Facebook, you don’t want your brand message to be lost into the ether. Instead, take time planning who you want your ad to reach and what stage of the customer lifecycle they are at (see Understanding The Customer Life Cycle). Facebook’s targeting options are the best in the digital marketing industry, so make sure you play around with narrowing your audiences based on location, age, gender, interests and language.  

DO carry out split tests  

Split testing is the simplest way of improving your campaign performance. Often referred to as A/B split tests, they allow you to change variables (e.g. creative, copy, audience) to see which variation of your ad delivers the best results. Although it may be tedious at first, split tests can boost your ROI by 10x when done properly. Best practice is to focus on a single metric to determine success of your split test and compare performance accurately.   

DO report weekly & optimise 

Campaign optimisation is a necessary step if you want to decrease costs, increase ROI and boost engagement. The easiest way to do this is to check your campaign consistently by pulling a weekly report and analysing your metrics. Is one audience segment engaging with your ad more than the other? Optimise toward them. Are one of your creatives underperforming? Turn it off and shift spend to a better performer. Facebook is incredibly competitive so optimisation is essential to compete with big brands.  

Digital marketing desktop

The dont’s of digital marketing on Facebook 

DON’T stop organic social posts  

While Facebook paid ads are a great method of driving engagements and sales, they should be seen as an addition to organic posts. When someone sees your ad, they will most likely view your other social media before they make a purchase. You should post regularly on organic channels and also use non-paid social to interact with your audience in ways that you can’t with paid ads. This maintains your brand image and builds a sense of community that paid ads cannot.  

DON’T use engagement bait  

Engagement bait is a tactic used to goad users into interacting with your post (think “share this post to win ££”). Facebook has a strict policy in place against engagement baiting and there are rules to ensure that it is not done. Not only does this deceive the customer, but it also harms your brand. The key to good digital marketing is to keep your posts authentic and then your target audience will engage with you without being goaded.  

DON’T overdo it on the copy  

It’s easy to think that because you’re paying for your ad, you want to get the most bang for your buck and fill it with copy. However, the average human attention span is only 8 seconds and on Facebook people spend an average of 1.7 seconds looking at a piece of content. Don’t waste your time writing long copy for no one to read, instead invest in your creatives. An engaging, thumb-stopping creative will be more impactful than lengthy copy.  

Conclusion  

When done correctly, paid ads on Facebook can reach your target audience and boost your ROI. Facebook and social media are always evolving so what works one week may not work the next. You should consider these do’s and don’ts as a general guideline of Facebook paid social best practice to navigate this ever-changing landscape. Now you’re ready to explore Facebook ad manager for yourself!

9 User Experience Tips for any Digital Marketer (UX in Marketing)

nine-user-experience-improvement-tips-for-any-digital-marketer

UX (user experience) design is a field of marketing that is often left to particular experts, with many digital marketers having little input into the process. However, there are plenty of UX marketing considerations that marketers on any level can learn. UX is wildly important for digital marketers and forms a core pillar of a good SEO strategy. Remember, a poor UX will lead to drop offs and higher bounce rates, something no digital marketer wants. This article will provide a list of simple, actionable UX marketing tips any digital marketer can make use of.

What is UX in digital marketing?

UX design sounds like a scary topic for digital marketers, but it needn’t be. UX is just the process that goes into making a product (in this case a website) more pleasing to use. It’s worth explaining User Experience vs User Interface and why these things are distinct, as they can cause a lot of confusion. User interface (UI) looks at the design elements of the assets the user is interacting with, such as the best colours or typography to use, whereas UX is all about the interactions themselves and the journey the customer takes. The terms can be confusing and are always accidentally interchanged!

1. Understand your customers

Firstly, when making any decisions for your company’s website, it’s always useful to look back at your user personas. If your company doesn’t yet have a set of user personas, it’s definitely worth creating them. Personas help you empathise with the users and their needs. A good user persona will include their motivations and goals and as a digital marketer you can take these and make the website changes needed to satisfy them.

2. Ask for feedback

This leads on from the previous point, user research is incredibly valuable to any digital marketer, but especially so when it comes to UX. Try setting up a website feedback form to better understand customer sticking points and generate ideas. There are numerous types of feedback form to try, depending on what you want to know. Align the feedback form type to your website’s goals; if there’s a page with a higher drop off than you’d expect, maybe it would be worth adding an exit intent survey to find out why, the responses may help remedy a poor section of the user journey! Maybe there’s some information your users are struggling to find, in this case a timed feedback pop-up asking if the user is having trouble may provide useful results. Always use pop-ups and surveys sparingly as too many can come across as spammy and damage your user experience.

3. Set up a user experience visualisation tool

This is probably the easiest way for any digital marketer with no experience in UX to get started. Tools like Microsoft Clarity and HotJar can visualise the user experience for you, allowing you to understand how users are actually interacting with your website. These tools provide you with visual heatmaps, showing exactly how far users scroll, where they’re clicking and where they’re spending time on each page. They also provide session playbacks, showing you videos of actual users going through their customer journey! Click maps for example will give an insight into whether users are interacting with your site in the way you intended, for example, are they mistaking something for a button? Scroll maps show whether important content isn’t being seen and session playbacks can show you how intuitive your website is overall.

4. Evoke emotion at the right stages

This is something digital marketers already utilise across other disciplines that fall under their role and it’s no different here. In the same way that digital marketers will want to invoke an emotional response at particular customer touchpoints, a UX designer will want to invoke emotion at particular stages of the website’s customer journey. In eCommerce for example, you may want the customer to feel satisfied after they’ve completed a purchase. Perhaps you could use a nice animation, happy icon or image. Or maybe you could think about splashing some happy or comforting colours like yellows or greens. Think about your tone of voice at particular sections too, what emotions do you want to evoke at each stage and what words can you use to get there. Of course, this should all be in line with the company brand guidelines.

5. Create a user flow chart

This will help with visualising the steps your customers are taking toward a conversion. Tools like FlowMapp can help with this, with easy intuitive sitemap creation and the ability to collaborate with your team. As a general rule, try to keep the number of stages in the customer journey down. There’s no set rule here but more than 5 is excessive. At that point, users may get frustrated or lost. See if there are any less important steps that can be removed as this will streamline their experience. Ensure that the navigation is well organised and intuitive with clear pathways. Make sure the content of each page gets progressively more specific the further down the site structure the user goes. Lastly, add a breadcrumb if you haven’t got one already. Breadcrumbs massively ease navigation for the user and always let them know where they are!

6. Create wireframes for suggested improvements

A wireframe is a rough sketch of a web page, made up of simple shapes and diagrams representing an interface. These can be incredibly easy to produce, any digital marketer can take a look at a website and create wireframes for their suggestions.

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A simple wireframing process

Wireframing can be done with pen and paper, however tools like Freehand by InVision make the process easier and allow easy sharing and collaboration with your team. Wireframes could even be made in Microsoft Paint, as long as they can get your idea across. You won’t need any graphic design experience to produce wireframes and honestly, they’re pretty fun to make.

7. Design, layout and readability

This provides plenty of opportunities for quick wins. Make sure there is enough white space on your page, this is space between each element on the page. You might feel like cramming things together to “not waste space” but this will severely negate your user experience. This means checking there is a good amount of padding between elements, making sure section breaks are obvious and having well placed and uncrowded calls-to-action. For readability, don’t have your text span the entire length of the screen, this is jarring to the user and they lose interest. Best practice is to keep to 50-60 characters per line length. Left aligned text is easier to follow with longer amounts of copy too, so don’t centre align large passages!

8. Check your page performance

There’s nothing more irritating to a user than slow page loading or poorly optimised mobile web design. In fact, 1 in 4 users abandon a website that takes more than 4 seconds to load, and a 1 second delay reduces customer satisfaction by 16%! You can run each webpage through Google’s PageSpeed Insights, which provides a score, highlights issues and suggests improvements. Take up technical issues with your web developers. If it’s just an image size problem, ensure large images are converted to JPEGs and compressed. You should also run pages through Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test, which highlights any issues the page may have on mobile devices.

9. Commit to regular A/B testing

When it comes to UX in marketing, any changes are almost pointless if you can’t measure the impact you’ve made. You won’t know if you’ve created a better UX unless you test against the original. While counterintuitive, there are plenty of cases of companies creating more beautiful website designs and yet getting worse user experience. A/B testing works because it gives you the truth as to whether new changes have actually contributed to your goals. Remember to always keep staging copies of websites so you never lose anything! A great resource for coming up with new ideas to A/B test with is GoodUI, which lists hundreds of real tests run on widely-used page types. It tells you exactly which data-backed design choice to go with, however counterintuitive it may be.

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