Are Paid or Organic Ads best for your Company?

There are countless aspects to Digital Marketing and various things to consider in order for your content to be effective. 4.62 billion people check their social media apps every single day. Billions of people that you can try and reach through ads. Paid or organic ads, there are pros and cons to them both. It is important to plan out everything from who your target audience is, the message you are trying to share and how you are going to do it. Here is a summary of the types of Marketing Channels available and which ones will work best for you.

Image of an open laptop on a table, the screen shows Google Analytics ads. A persons hands are hovering over the keyboard.

Paid Ads

Paid advertisements are a way to get views and clicks, by paying money. You are essentially paying for a position on a search page, the higher up on a page means a higher chance of the user clicking and engaging. Regardless, isn’t guaranteed success every time, but it does improve your chances as you can reach a large group of people at one time. There are various kinds of Paid Ads, 

One of the growing popular kinds being Paid Socials. As an example, Facebook ads are a common use of paid ads. Due to each ad placed on your feed has been carefully curated to target you specifically. The company pays for these ads to be shown to their target audience, in hopes of getting engagement and conversion. 

Other examples of paid ads are:

  • TV
  • Print
  • Radio
  • Sponsorships
  • Affiliates
  • Direct mail

Although, these are becoming less popular as social media is predominantly the main source of advertising in the present day. All social media platforms can be used for paid ads including:

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • TikTok
  • Snapchat

Undeniably, it is important to do research when looking into paid socials, to ensure you are using the right platform when targeting your audience. 

Image of a birds eye view of a table, with phones and an IPad, surrounded by social media logos used for ad campaigns.

Organic/Earned Ads:

Organic socials are defined by action taken through your own posts. Firstly, because you target your followers and their networks, but this encourages good customer relationships and retention. Obviously, this is a free way of advertising but requires a lot of work and dedication. Creating engaging, interesting content for your audience and posting consistently is how to begin seeing the engagement rate increase.

In order to reach a wider audience, it is important to engage with similar organisations’ content by retweeting and sharing, to receive the same support. Targeting people organically builds strong customer relationships as it gives your brand an identity, opposed to impersonal adverts they are uninterested in.

Examples of organic socials:

  • Other brands sharing your posts
  • Word of mouth
  • Friends referring friends
  • Personal posts

Both types of advertising work, the challenge is finding out what works best for your organisation. Being detailed and thorough about goals is important to ensure you are focusing your time on something valuable. To summarise, here are the pros and cons of both paid and organic ads;

Paid pros:

  • Can target new audiences and create brand awareness
  • Can reach a large audience quicker
  • More likely to turn into conversions
  • Can track your ads to monitor failures and successes

Paid cons:

  • More challenging to build customer relationships
  • Can be expensive
  • Must be skilled and familiar in running campaigns
  • There are no guaranteed sales, despite a high engagement rate

Organic ads pros:

  • It is free to share posts
  • Can build a strong customer relationship
  • Less like a ‘sales pitch’, posts feel more personal
  • You are completely in control

Organic ads cons:

  • It is a big time commitment, consistency is key when posting
  • Can take a while to see results
  • Can be difficult to track if using various platforms
  • SEO tactics always change, you need to stay on top of it

Everything has pros and cons, what works for other people may not work for you. It is important to do research for the right type of ads for your audience, to ensure your content is reaching the right people. Remember engagement will fluctuate, just stay consistent!

Top 6 Social Media DO’S and DON’TS

Social Media

The prospect of using social media for business can be daunting. However, having a social media presence is something that today’s consumers expect from brands, which means that a lack of it usually rings alarm bells. 

But simply having a social media presence is not enough; you need to know how to use it properly and stay on top of best practices if you want it to impress your customers and yield a strong ROI. When used and managed properly, social media can help boost brand awareness for your business, drive traffic to your website, grow your customer base and even increase revenue.

With these attractive prospects in mind, we have compiled a list of the top 6 social media dos and don’ts to help you avoid common mistakes and get the most out of your social media business profile.

1 – DO set clear goals and objectives

If you’re looking to achieve a strong ROI from your business social media activities then you need to start by setting clear objectives. These should reflect and complement your overall business goals, and can be anything from driving conversions to building brand awareness and improving customer experience. Setting numerical values and deadlines can also help keep you focused – for example, you could set an objective to increase landing page traffic by 20% by the end of the next business quarter.

Without setting clear goals to measure against, you will never truly know if your social media activity is having any tangible effects and, even if it is, you won’t be able to prove it.

2 – DO analyse and track activity

As you’ve set goals and objectives for your social media performance, it follows that you should also have an established system for analysing and tracking your activity and results. There are many different tools and social media management platforms to help you do this, including Hootsuite, Sprout Social, Socialbakers, Google Analytics and, of course, the built-in analytics tools on each social media platform. With these tools you can track everything from engagement (clicks, likes, shares, comments) to referral traffic, assisted conversions and revenue, plus a whole lot more.

Measurement is potentially the most crucial ‘DO’ in using social media for business. It can help you prove your successes, guide future campaigns and pinpoint any failures so you can learn and quickly change direction if necessary.

3 – DO make good use of social media advertising and promoted content

There are two ways to use social media for business: organic (which is free to use and publish) and paid. Paid social media is an extremely cost-effective method of promoting your business, costing a fraction of the price of traditional advertising methods. Paying just a few pounds can significantly boost the reach of your social media posts and content, ensuring it is seen by more of the right people at the right times and in the right places. Assuming the posts you’re promoting contain useful content with clear calls to action, this additional exposure can help drive more conversions and revenue for your business than if you relied on organic social media posts alone.

THAT’S ALL FOR THE DOS, NOW LET’S MOVE ON TO THE DON’TS…

4 – DON’T overdo it

Posting too often on your business social profiles can be just as harmful as not posting often enough. According to research by Sprout Social, 46% of social media users will unfollow a brand for posting too many promotional messages on their profiles, which means you need to restrict your output or risk losing customers.

5 – DON’T use all social media platforms for the sake of it

Not all platforms are necessarily going to complement or suit your business type, ethos or objectives. You should avoid setting up profiles across all channels just for the sake of having a presence there, as this can dilute your brand and do more harm than good. Know your audience and choose carefully.

6 – DON’T get hung up on numbers  

And finally, you should never get too fixated on numbers when it comes to your business social media profiles. This is where quality over quantity really comes into play. Often the real value is found in the amount of engagement you’re receiving, and the type of people you’re receiving it from. These are the things that can make you the real money, so pay more attention to these instead.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Social Media

Working in the social media industry, there are some things you need to avoid and some things you need to do to help you get on the right track of using social effectively to help you increase traffic, leads and sales…

What is social media?

Social media is a digital tool that allows users to quickly create and share content with the public. It  encompasses a wide range of websites and apps, including Facebook and Twitter, which specialise in sharing links with short written messages.

social media, iphone, business, social media tips, instagram, twitter, linkedin, tiktok

What you should do…

Post often – When planning your content it pays to have a strategy in place. You can then work around around retail and marketing holidays, and plot action around your business goals – from increasing enquiries, to boosting awareness.

Having a strategy and content plan in mind will help you not to miss any important awareness days and help you to stay consistent.

Be authentic – Being authentic is the key to establishing an online business identity. Bring out your personality as people buy from people.

Use both organic and paid social – The best social profiles use a considered combination of organic (free) and paid content. Paid social is a way to boost your business by increasing your reach and exposure, and reaching your targeting with more specific metrics. If spending money on ads it’s important you direct all traffic to your website through the use of clear funnels.  

Engage with your followers – All comments on all platforms should be responded to – even negative comments can be used to your advantage, showing followers a professional, reactive and open side to your business. Sharing followers posts could result in collaboration and encourage with engaging content using story content.

Experiment with channels – It may be tempting to try every new social media platform but not all will be relevant to you and your goals. Focus on where your audience will be and aim to attract them through those platforms. For example, if your target audience is a young crowd, then TikTok would be a great platform to use, but LinkedIn – not so much.  

Use call to actions – Always add a call to action on posts, where do you want the traffic from your post to go? Your website? Your bio? Let them know as this encourages sales.

laptop, social media, business, instagram, tiktok, twitter, facebook, linkedin

What you shouldn’t do…

Be spammy – Engaging with other’s content and posting is great but keep everything in moderation. Nobody wants their social media feeds to be filled by a single account, if you do then they may end up unfollowing you.

Obsess over figures – Of course we all want a high follower count on platforms, but this isn’t the be all and end all. It’s important to remember that brand awareness and growing your network is a long-term effort. At the end of the day, it’s quality over quantity, you would rather have a few engaged followers rather than several irrelevant ones.

Write in all caps or over/under use emojis – Be aware of the tone you’re setting with your words to your audience. All caps are visually alarming and insinuates that you’re angry or aggressive. Also, not using emojis can come across as very plain and static – you want followers to understand there is a person behind the screen, not a robot.

Demand engagement – Avoid asking followers to directly share your content or visit your website. Instead, leave a link to your website or ask them to head to the link in your bio.

We hope this blog gave you a further insight into the do’s and don’ts of social media, for more industry tips and knowledge, head to our social pages.

Digital Marketing – What are the different and technical aspects that make this up?

Digital Marketing is the use of the Internet and other online technologies on top of traditional marketing. Many areas of said online technologies make this up. An example of a few is social media, emails or Google Data Studio. This article will go into detail about some of the key elements how to use them and my experience with them.

Scheduling Social Media Posts

Social Media is one of the key tools used when doing digital marketing. Many business now choose to use a variety of different platforms to show of their products and interact with their customers or fans. Different social platforms are used for different things. For example LinkedIn is a much more professional platform meaning business and companies choose to use this platform when operating in a more formal way. On the other hand a platform like Twitter is a lot more relaxed so business use the platform in a much more relaxed way.

Since the content output for these businesses is so high many fo them create content prior to it being posted and schedule it to go out live on their channels at times they’ve already selected. There is a wide range of different platforms and software businesses can use to do this. Some are paid and some aren’t, although in my expeirance the paid platforms tend to be better. Some are speically designed for specific platforms.

In my opinion, I am very fond of TweetDeck to schedule content to be posted. This is because it is a free platform specially designed for Twitter. It has many great benefits like several people can log in at once from different locations. This is great because for people that work in large teams, they won’t have issues logging in. It also has other great features like being able to monitor your DM’s or relevant hashtags to your account.

Many businesses choose to schedule posts as this also allows them when these posts go live without having to post them live. This is greatly beneficial if you work in one part of the world on a particular time zone and your target audience are in another part of the world and is active at other times. You can visit Tweetdeck at https://tweetdeck.twitter.com/

The Positives and Negatives of posting on different Platforms

Different social media platforms are used in different ways and for different things. For example a platform like TikTok is used in a lot more of a relaxed way in comparison to another one like LinkedIn which is used in a much more professional manner.

A positive on posting on several different platforms is that if you have a wider audience this will allow you to target more people more effectively. On the other hand if you’re a brand that primarily posts on a platform like Twitter or LinkedIn your content might not be suitable to post on a different channel like LinkedIn. If posted it could have a negative effect on your brand image.

My advice to negate this would be, before you post anything do extensive research into your target audience. Once your target audience has been identified this will allow you to decide the best platforms to post on and tailor the content to that platform. This is a large positive as it allows you to directly target your audience much more effectively and efficiently.

Conclusion

To conclude many businesses choose to schedule posts and content for a multitude of reasons. Sometimes their content output is so large it makes it easier to manager. Or it allows them to target their audience at the right time or post content at times they are not active.

There are also positives and negatives to posting on several different channels. However if research is done prior the positives will outweigh the negatives greatly.

To find out more about how this information will be used when undergoing an apprenticeship visit https://www.apprenticetips.com/

Instagram: Cracking the Algorithm To See Success

Social Media is an ever-changing world. The Instagram Algorithm in 2021 shifted multiple times and constant updates make it difficult to know which strategies lead to growth. Feeling stuck? You’ve come to the right place! We want to support you to grow your business on Instagram.

Cracking the Instagram Algorithm

In this blog I will highlight 4 ways that you can crack the Instagram algorithm to an all round increase in engagement and see your success grow.

Instagram Reels 

Instagram reels. Do you love them or do you hate them? Do you show your face enough? Head of Instagram Adam Mosseri shares regular updates on his own Instagram account about how the Instagram Algorithm will highlight and celebrate reels. Instagram reels are short videos which are a maximum of 1 minute long. Jumping on existing trends will help your reels and content be more visible to existing followers. They will also help you to get on the ‘explore’ page which leads to new followers. 

If the thought of showing up on Instagram reels terrifies you, start small. Jump on a simple trend and experiment. It’s been to start small than not start at all. 

A person holding an iPhone with Instagram open.
It’s better to start small than to not start at all. 

Invest in your hashtag strategy 

Hashtags are another way to ensure that your posts appear on the explore page and crack the Instagram algorithm. Tophashtags.com is a helpful resource to find out which hashtags will be helpful for your account. Choose hashtags with between 100k – 1 million uses. 

Create saveable & shareable content 

The Instagram algorithm favours content that can be shared wider and can easily be saved. Create graphics that have useful information. Write captions that add value to your audiences’ lives. Launch a giveaway that requires sharing. The algorithm will love you for it. 

Show your face

Finally, show your face. People love people. Why not do a BTS in the office to highlight your team? Perhaps you could have a photoshoot to show the funny side of your organisation? Share some shots of you in action. You’ll see the engagement grow and the likes roll in. 

In conclusion… show up and try. Instagram is ever-changing and there is permission for experimentation. Be bold and enjoy it. Have fun and try something new. You’ll be cracking the Instagram algorithm in no time. 

Want to read more? Find more blogs on Instagram here.

 Person holding phone scrolling through Instagram timeline
You’ll be cracking the Instagram algorithm in no time. 

The do’s and don’ts of social media as a Level 3 Digital Marketer

Social media platforms on iPhone

Social media, as we all know, is a wonderful but difficult platform to perfect when it comes to digital marketing. Social media is full of differing opinions, which is one of the reasons it is so exciting at times, but it’s also the reason there are strict guidelines you need to follow as a digital marketing apprentice.

Without following guidelines, you are increasing the risk of harming your brand/personal reputation. Social media is increasingly becoming a key factor in business-to-business deals, so ensuring you are representing your brand strongly in social media is ever more important. 

Below are listed some of the most important Do’s and Don’ts of social media.

Use social media scheduling tools

Starting off with the do’s of social media, there is nothing more important than a social media scheduling tool. 

With social media being 24/7, being able to post at the right time for when your audience is online. If you work the common 9-5, then posting at 3 pm might not be suitable if you’re targeting office workers. This is where a social media scheduling tool is beneficial. 

A tool like Hubspot, Hootsuite, or SEMRush will allow you to schedule posts, while you’re at work (so you’re not spending out-of-office house posting online), and then the tool will post on behalf of you at your desired time.

There are multiple benefits of this, including:

  • Advanced scheduling
  • Posting at times your audience is online
  • Being able to create one post and schedule across multiple platforms

Social media analytic tools

Utilising effectively a social media analytics is growing ever more important, to prove to senior managers that the work you’re doing provides value to the business.

Tools like SEMRush or Hubspot will allow you to see post engagement, times that your audience is online, what type of posts work well, and your level of followers over a set period of time.

This is extremely useful for not only yourself but also when presenting your strategy and research to the senior managers. An analytics tool will allow you to review your own social media strategy, over a period of time, in order for you to make improvements.

A range of content across your social media is necessary

A common misconception about social media is that you always need to have a selling point in every one of your posts. This isn’t the case.

Nowadays, social media is flooded with companies trying to sell constantly, but the new generation of social media listeners want to build a personal relationship with brands, from which they will then purchase.

This leads to my above point of posting a range of content, incorporating ‘soft’ content with posts that are directed towards inbound leads or sales. ‘Soft’ content would ebb team updates, product updates, which allow your followers to feel a part of your brand, which builds the personal relationship between them. 

Don’t leave messages from customers or clients unread

Shopping cart with a laptop to signify online shopping
Online customers are just as important as in-person customers, so customer service needs to be paramount.

Answering queries or engaging with comments on your posts is critical. Sometimes, negative reviews can often be left to avoid conflict, however, followers have to see that your brand takes negative reviews seriously, and deal with them in the appropriate manner. 

Commonly, the best practice is to ask the negative reviewer to message the company’s social media page privately to avoid the conflict taking place in the comments, and for everyone to see. 

Responding to customers also allows your brand the opportunity to build a personal relationship with the customer further, by engaging in conversation with them and assisting/replying to them.

Don’t allow obvious grammatical areas

Social media is one of the most important brand representation tools for your business, so ensuring you represent your brand appropriately is necessary.

This is extremely important for grammatical errors. To avoid this error, always ensure you have double-checked your posts, and installed Grammarly, just in case you miss anything! 

Another good practice is to send your posts to another team member to check over. This can ensure you have two pairs of eyes, checking posts for grammatical and context errors. 

Don’t follow accounts that are not useful to your company

Although not commonly checked, or viewed by clients or customers, the accounts you follow on social media are extremely crucial to your brand reputation.

By following companies on social media, you are almost creating a connection between the two brands, because you are following them to view their posts or tips.

This makes it extremely important as to who you follow, as the brands you follow can reflect on your brand also.

Conclusion

In conclusion, adhering to these points above can somewhat ensure your social media reputation is proofed, and you have tools to ensure your social media management can prove its value, with little effort, made easier by the scheduling tools.

As with anything though, social media management requires you to be adaptable, in order to stay on-trend.

5 Reasons to implement social media into your marketing strategy

Social Media Marketing Overview

Social media is growing by the day. With over 45 million active social media users in the UK, there is a whole market waiting for you to tap into. Marketing your products and services through social media is a simple and free way to raise awareness for your business. Express yourself with the complete creative freedom to show your audience more about your mission statement, core values and culture. Social media marketing enables you to grow brand awareness, provides customer interaction and increases traffic to your site. Read on to find out our five reasons for implementing social media into your marketing strategy.

  1. Grow Brand Awareness
  2. Engage With Customers
  3. Cost-Effective
  4. Market Awareness
  5. Increase Site Traffic
Image displaying different social media platforms used for social media marketing.

1. Grow Brand Awareness

Brand visibility is an integral part of any marketing strategy. Social media offers a way to increase your brand awareness across an array of platforms, connecting you to new audiences and potential customers. Given the vast quantity of users, adding social media to your marketing mix is a must.

Being seen regularly by customers can help build their trust which, if done consistently can lead to repeat purchases and visits to your site.

It’s important that when a new customer visits your site for the first time, they can see that the brand is reputable. Seeing your presence and legitimate following on social media will help… offer a level of validity that can lead to potential customers putting their trust in you and potential relationships being created.

2. Engage With Customers

The more you communicate with your audience, the higher chance you have of converting them into a customer and building customer loyalty.

Replying to comments left by your audience is key to retaining followers. Making sure you respond in the correct tone and manner, whilst also being prompt, will show customers you care. Thankfully you can answer any problems almost instantaneously through social media. As easy as it may be to reply to general queries, you must also respond to negative feedback in the same manner aforementioned. Providing insightful responses can even help to show other members of your audience that perhaps the negative comment may not be an accurate representation of your brand.

Some of the best platforms to engage with customers are:

  1. LinkedIn
  2. Twitter
  3. Facebook
  4. YouTube
  5. Instagram

While responding to comments may be time-consuming, it is certainly worth it. Growing relationships can help build customer loyalty. A direct impact of customer loyalty may be customers recommending you to their peers.

3. Cost-Effective

Social media marketing is perhaps the most cost-effective method of advertising. The reason being is that it can be completely free to create an account on the most popular platforms such as LinkedIn and Twitter.

If you do decide to pay for ads/promotion it is extraordinarily cheaper than alternatives such as magazines, mailshots and radio. In today’s society, it is also a more popular medium than the other alternatives mentioned. Do you sacrifice the quality of the results? The answer is no, social media advertising still offers the same level of awareness and engagement which further verifies that social media marketing is a must for your marketing mix.

One drawback is the time you will have to dedicate to creating content. Engaging and insightful content isn’t easy to produce and can take up a lot of resources, however, the return-on-investment social media marketing provides shows that this is time well spent.  

4. Market Awareness

As a business, it’s important to understand the needs and wants of your customers. Social media provides a way to monitor this. By monitoring the content your customers are engaging with you can see what interests them. This might have never been seen without having a social media presence, making social media marketing an extremely useful research tool.

Not only can you monitor customers, but you can also monitor the activity of competitors. You can use competitors to see what content and products are popular with similar audiences. You can find out if a competitor is using different keywords to you and if they’re taking advantage of these keywords and hashtags then you now have a chance to see which are performing well and in turn implement them for your own business.

Run polls and ask questions to find out more about your customers’ needs. Spark up conversations with customers. Find out their wants directly and you may even have a chance to reply imminently to any feedback they offer, ensuring they aren’t left feeling confused or helpless.  

5. Increase Site Traffic

Perhaps the best reason for implementing social media into your marketing mix is the countless opportunities for driving traffic to your site. Posting about products and services and linking back to your site is a great way to do this. The more engaging the content you post is, the better the interaction you’re likely to receive.

Post about your blogs, products and services through different social media platforms and link back to your site so any engagement with the post leads back to you. The level of engagement determines the amount of traffic to your site where you can then promote further products and services.

Using engaging content such as polls and videos can increase the likelihood of a post being read, shared and engaged with. If your content gets shared with new audiences then there will be even more awareness for your posts which in turn will increase the number of potential visitors your site gets.

Conclusion

Social media is rapidly becoming more popular and opportunities to grow brand awareness will only keep on coming. Remember your competitors are already increasing the value of their brands through social media marketing and interacting with audiences that you are missing out on. The sooner you implement social media into your marketing mix, the faster you will see the results reflected in your brand.

Check out some other Digital Apprenticeships blogs here.

A digital marketers guide to social media scheduling

Social media scheduling feature image.

Do you manage social media platforms and need to post engaging content out of working hours? Read on for your solution. Scheduling tools are used across social media to stay active across all platforms, without the need to work unsociable hours.

Hootsuite is a social media management platform that has several functionalities, including the ability to pre plan and schedule content. In this article we will provide a step by step guide on how you can schedule and plan your content using Hootsuite.

Step one – Adding the content

The first step is selecting the ‘create’ option, this will take you to the screen you see in the following screenshot. As you can see, there is a box named ‘content’, this is where your captions and text, as well as the hyperlink is added. The ‘Publish to’ dropdown is where you select the platform you wish to publish your post. You are able to select more than one platform, however, keep in mind that handles will be different across Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook etc. If you are not including handles in your post, you can select all accounts that are connected to your Hootsuite account.

Step two – Creating the social post

Write or copy and paste your caption for the post, make sure to include hashtags and the correct handles if necessary. Once you start typing in the content box, the post will begin to render as a preview on the right hand side. Here you will be able to see how the post will look once posted live on your chosen platform. At this stage, you can click into the handles and hashtags and check that they are correct. When scheduling posts, it’s always best practise to double check everything. After all, it is likely that you are scheduling posts as you will be out of office or unable to amend something if anything goes wrong.

Step 3 – Scheduling for social media

Next you need to select the date and time you would like for your post to be published. Hootsuite often suggests the best time for your post, however, you are able to choose this yourself if preferred. After checking you are happy with the content, date and time, hit schedule. Don’t worry if you have made a mistake, there is still time to fix the post. Please see step 4 for editing scheduled content.

Step 4 – Viewing your posts on Hootsuite

Once you have scheduled your post, you can find them all in one place on the dashboard. Here you will also be able to see previous live posts across different platforms. This is the screen where you can preview the post and make any amendments if required.

Step 5 – Using the content planner calendar

Lastly, Hootsuite provides a planner which can be found in the side bar, under the calendar icon. You can use this function to filter by the week or month and select the accounts you want to look at.

Hootsuite plans

Hootsuite offer a free plan that allows you to schedule up to five posts at a time. Once the limit has been reached, you will not be able to schedule anymore posts until one or more of your posts have been published. This is a great chance for you to get to know the tool and decide if it is right for you. If you feel that Hootsuite is the answer to all your troubles, you can upgrade to a number of different plans. Please see below a brief overview:

Professional plan

The main features of this plan are the ability to schedule an unlimited amount of posts, with up to 10 social accounts available. However, this plan will be for just one user. The price per month for this plan is £39.

Team plan

This plan allows three users access with up to 20 social accounts and similarly to the professional plan, the function to schedule unlimited posts.

There are more plans to offer, if you would like to find out more about this scheduling tool, click here.

If you found this post useful, check out our other article to learn more about free email marketing tools.  

Engagement – 5 Ways to Succeed on Social Media

Illustration of three people using social media, commenting and liking posts.

Having a strong social media engagement with your audience is more important now than ever before especially with the younger generation. This means having meaningful connections with your customers both new and existing.

But in a world where almost everyone is online how do you bring the right attention to your brand? Read on to find out how interacting with your customers on social media can benefit your business.

What is social media engagement?

Social media engagement is the measurement of responses you receive. Although a big number of followers and likes is good, the emphasis should be on the quality of engagement. Are your followers having a positive experience? Are they engaging with your content and sharing it with others?

The most common metrics are the number of likes and comments but there are a number of metrics you can use:

  • Shares and retweets
  • comments
  • likes
  • saves
  • mentions
  • use of branded hashtags
  • click-throughs 

It is important to track a variety of metrics as different platforms will have different engagement features. Having more than one KPI for social media engagement can also help you pinpoint what areas you can improve and what content may need some changes from the way users are interacting with it.

Now you know what it is, here are the 5 easy ways to increase your engagement rate:

Set your engagement goals

Before hitting post you need to decide what it is you want to achieve. The motivations for engagement will differ based on your business goals. If the goal is to increase traffic on your website the focus could be to increase the number of click throughs to the webpage. If your business wanted to collect feedback on a new product the strategy could be a poll asking your followers for their preferences.

Get to know your audience

To communicate effectively with your target audience you need to understand their wants, needs, and interests. Find out what platforms they use the most and if certain topics interest them more. Have a look at the trending hashtags and what your followers are talking about. This knowledge can help you to create content relevant and valuable to your audience.

Experiment with content

There are so many different types of content you can share on social media. Try different formats and make sure to analyse the results to find what works best for you. When creating the content take into account the context and your audience. For instance, if you are a cosmetics brand perhaps you could post a makeup tutorial and add a link to your website for viewers to purchase the products used. Not only would this increase your engagement rate via the click-throughs or ‘swipe ups’ but also could lead to an increase in conversion rate.

Here are some creative formats to try:

  • Live video
  • Instagram reels
  • Polls & Surveys
  • Q & A
  • Memes
  • Infographics
  • Customer reviews
  • TikTok 

A brand that has a great social media presence and engagement is Nike. Their Instagram features a wide variety of content from short interviews with athletes, encouraging their followers to comment or tag their friends and to click the link in their bio for more information or to purchase a new collection. Check out their Instagram page for some inspiration.

Respond

To have strong customer relationships you need to get involved in the conversation. Be reactive to direct messages, mentions, and comments promptly and keep the conversations going.

It’s a good idea to have a community guideline on responses to ensure they are in line with your brand’s tone of voice and values. This will help when facing negative comments and having pre-composed responses for common queries can save you some time.

Review the engagement data regularly

Social media platforms have analytic tools for you to measure the success of your social media marketing strategies and campaigns. Take full advantage of these tools and regularly audit the analytics.

Compare the data to past months and see if there were any trends or patterns. Maybe there was an event that had an impact on your brand’s engagement?

Three colleagues analysing a data report

Have a look at the data and ask yourself these questions:

  • Which post got the most engagement?
  • Was there any platforms that had very low rates?
  • Which platform drove the most traffic to the site?

Conclusion

Having social media as one of your channels for digital marketing will greatly benefit your business. To ensure you are getting the most out of the platforms engage with your customers by interacting with them, sharing valuable content they will be interested in and remember to set clear goals and track the results.

5 Easy Ways to Generate Website Traffic

The more people who reach your website, the more potential customers you have. Everyday 250,000+ websites are launched worldwide according to Siteef. As this space becomes ever more cluttered, it has never been important to ensure your message gets through. If you don’t generate website traffic, you won’t have any potential customers.

An image of someone working on a laptop, using a data tool to track the growth of web traffic

1. Social Media

There are multiple different social media and all have a different user base. These are the main ones:

  • TikTok: You have the ability to reach millions of people for free. 60% of all TikTok users are aged between 16-24 according to a social media research firm Wallaroom. A good example of a company who have used TikTok well is the Irish airline Ryanair, who have amassed 1.3 million followers. From every post you make you could recieve thousand of additional hits to your website. The more you post, the more views you get, giving you more chance to increase profits.
  • Instagram: Similar to TikTok, Instagram’s main demographic is 18-29 year olds who make up 59% of all users according to The London School of Economics. Instagram gives you more freedom than TikTok because with Instagram you can post picture, videos, stories and more but TikTok can only be a video. A good example of a company who have used Instagram well is Starbucks who have 18 million followers. The American Coffee giant have transformed themselves from just another Cafe chain to a status symbol.
  • Twitter: You can reach thousand of people with just one post. Unlike TikTok and Instagram you can actually put a website link in the description of a post which means it is easier for people to click on to your website. A good example of a brand who do well on Twitter is H&M the high street fashion retailer with 8.4 million followers. According to the same London School of Economics report 37% of Twitter users are aged 18-29.

2. Reviews

Reviews help sell product but what most people don’t know is reviews also generate website traffic. It does this in a few different ways:

  • Referrals: People who have bought something are likely to tell their friends about it if they like it. According to a study conducted by Big Commerce only 25% of people trust adverts, but 92% of people believe the recommendation of a friend or family member and 75% of people believe the reviews of previous customers.
  • Search Ranking: If you have reviews on your website you will rank higher on google. If your previous customers leave reviews, the Google algorithm can improve its ranking of your website.

“Google itself has made it clear that reviews can influence local search rankings — and are factored into its algorithms for determining where businesses appear on Search Engine Result Pages”

Review Tracker

3. Paid Advertising

Paid advertising is a brilliant tool, but only when it is planned out well and constantly reviewed. Failure to manage paid advertising well can turn it into an ineffective money pit. The best methods for paid advertising are:

  • Paid Search Marketing: This is the most popular type of paid advertising, according to a study done by PPC Protect, 45% of small businesses used Paid Search Marketing in 2018. This method is good because you only pay for clicks onto you website after someone uses your search term. The Paid Search Marketing price is dependant on the competition for search terms, if you pick to many mainstream terms, you will find your paying a lot more per hit then they are worth to you. If this happens you should pick some more niche keywords and under used ones. You can research keywords using Google Trends, Semrush and many other programs.
  • Display Advertising: This is where you have a pop up advert on different websites, whos viewerbase you want to target. An example of a website you would see Display advertising on is the Daily Mail website. According to research firm Sumo only 3% of people click on these kind of adverts, but it is a good way to build brand awareness.
  • Social Media Advertising: This is where a post on social media is promoted to reach far more people than it ever would have. You can generally pick the locations, ages and interests of people you want your campaign to reach. The idea is to generate website traffic from only people interested in your sector. The average cost of social media advertising per 10,000 impressions are (according to Bark a marketing firm):
Social MediaCost Per 10,000 Impressions
Facebook£54.20
Instagram£59.60
YouTube£73.00
Twitter£48.70
Tik Tok£75.60

4. Email Marketing

Email marketing is a fantastic, cost effective way to drive traffic to your website, because you are emailing people who have already registered an interest in your company. The best time to do this is when you have a new product or your have a special offer, to entice these people in.

5. SEO

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) in simple terms is optimising content on your website in order to rank higher on search engines. Things you can do to improve your SEO include:

  • Use Alt tags on images
  • Update content regularly
  • Keep Meta description to no more than 70 characters
  • Start regularly blogging
  • Fix or remove broken links
  • Use Keywords
  • Benchmark your site against your competitors using Google Page Speed