Category Archives: Digital Marketing

Digital Marketing Tips and Recommendations

Seasonality | Making the Most of your Digital Marketing Budget

The term, Seasonality, is often used by marketing professionals and typically describes a set of recurring sales increases as a result of the changing needs of customers.

As the calendar year unfolds, the way we live our lives changes in regular patterns, whether we like it or not. Understanding these changes and predicting when they are likely to occur empowers marketing professionals to make intelligent marketing decisions.

Strategy, sales promotions and more can be planned and implemented effectively using historical seasonal data.

Consider that a retail clothing store running a sales promotion and actively marketing their woolen jumper range in the height of summer is very unlikely to yield results.

While the example given above is quite clear, many seasonal predictions aren’t quite as straightforward. When the seasonal lines are blurred, marketers must rely on other methods to gain insight. Thankfully, there are a range of online tools that can help, some of which we’ve mentioned before.

Google Trends is an incredibly valuable tool when deciphering seasonality and making decisions. It’s clear cut interface showcases the peaks and troughs of search interest surrounding whatever keywords you choose.

Google Trends Seasonal Search trend for perfumes & aftershaves in Ireland. 

Here we can see the almost constant search interest for perfumes and aftershaves throughout the year until November. As Christmas approaches, search interest soar and interestingly aftershave was more often sought online than perfume. Factoring this growth in consumer interest and tailoring marketing campaigns to capitalise on this growth in search interest will set you above the rest.

Google Keyword Planner Logo

Deeper insight can be gained through Google’s Keyword Planner. The table below showcases the seasonal trends associated with both “perfumes” and “aftershave” keywords. In addition, Google also offers the seasonal trends of a range of closely related keywords giving a clearer picture.

Now that we’ve gained an insight into the high seasons for both perfume and aftershave, we can focus on getting the most in return for your efforts. While this information should be used for all marketing efforts, we’re just going to focus on your online marketing here.

First off, let’s look at what we know. We know that our customers will be searching frantically for perfumes and aftershaves over a 6-week period before Christmas. We know that searches for perfume and aftershaves will diminish and become practically non-existent in January, and we know that the search interest is on a steady incline prior to the six-week hot period.

Our main aim here has to be to maximize traffic and sales for the company’s perfume and aftershave range during the 6 weeks prior to Christmas. Planning and scheduling campaigns is key during this period. Create and schedule your email marketing campaigns well in advance, decide on whatever sales promotions you will have and update your Google Ad copy to amplify such promotions.

Remember profitability underpins effective Digital Marketing. We know that consumers are steadily buying during this period and less so when January arrives. Tailoring your budgets to spend more during the 6-week frantic period and less so through January into February, is a simple yet effective way to become profitable.

Finally, consider your customers in the research phase of the buying cycle. During this period your customers are comparing prices, seeking out the best value and anticipating making their purchase. Although not necessarily making purchases during this period, you should endeavour to be found as a contender. Doing so, will impact your overall pre-Christmas revenue from digital marketing.

“Spend more of your budget during the time your customers want to buy, and less when they don’t.”

So, there you have it, seasonality should play a vital role in your digital marketing efforts. Not only from a customer acquisition perspective, but tailoring your marketing budgets, messages and strategies to capitalize on surges in consumer search will impact your bottom-line revenue.

Is Your Business Treading Water when it Comes to Digital Marketing

The online explosion over the past number of years has seen an incredible growth in the number of businesses actively engaging in online marketing.

The digital environment is now part of your customer’s daily lives and as a result must become a core component of your advertising strategy. In doing so, your digital strategy must be profitable for you as a company. It is no longer acceptable to advertise just for the sake of it and spend 100’s of euro on Google ads or social media campaigns without seeing a return.  

Facebook on laptop

Anecdotal feedback is no longer enough.

Saying your website is busy when you spend money on Facebook or after you send a marketing email is not useful, nor should it be acceptable. In my 3 years working at Dmac Media, I can count on one hand the number of conversations I’ve had with companies who can clearly identify at what point they are profitable when it comes to digital marketing.  More often than not, online advertising, whether it’s social media, pay per click and even email marketing, has been undertaken by business out of necessity.

I’ve lost count of the number of times where businesses have been advertising online without clearly defined conversion metrics.

From setting up online goals to transaction capturing, conversion led optimisation is an underpinning element to successful digital marketing. For the most part, however, the fault of this does not rest with the business owner. In many cases, advances in tracking software that have not been implemented, resulting in reporting inaccuracies. 

Protect Your Brand With Google Adwords

Let’s take Google Ads for instance.
If you’re an eCommerce business and have not updated to Global Site Tag tracking in the past 6 months, there is a good chance your Google Ads Conversions are inaccurate. This could mean, a keyword or campaign that you might consider to be performing very well, could in fact be costing you money.

Putting conversions and conversion metrics at the forefront of your digital optimisation strategy is key.

Rather than simply counting the number of enquiries your website generates, look at the number of new customers you actually win as a result of those enquiries. In a perfect world, every enquiry your website generates would turn into a paying customer. However, it is far from a perfect world we live in, and paying close attention to the number of new customers your company on-boards will showcase the true value of your marketing efforts.

This is why we recommend utilising cost per acquisition metrics over cost per conversions in this instance. While this can prove an easy to analyse metric for an eCommerce business, it is more difficult when your business relies on sales follow ups and onboarding strategies to convert an enquiry into a customer.

We recommend that our clients go one step further in this regard. Utilising cost per acquisition metrics rather than cost per conversion can offer real insight into your digital campaigns.

What’s the difference? Well let’s examine them a bit more closely.

Conversions are anything you deem to be valuable for your business. This could include a range of behaviours from a view of your companies contact details onsite or to a newsletter sign up. Conversions tend to have a marketing objective. For instance, in the case of the Contact Page Views example above, the objective of the campaign could be to drive more telephone calls to your business.

By contrast, acquisition is actually acquiring a new customer and may take some time or considerable touchpoints. For instance, your sales team may have to deal with 10 enquiries to acquire just one customer. From an analysis point of view, this example suggests that 9 enquires were defunct and invaluable, however they cost your business money in gaining them.

Working Example

Sample Brochure Website Month

Advertising Spend: €1000
Enquiries (Conversions): 50
Cost per Enquiry: €22 per enquiry
Customers Won: 10
Average Order Value: €180
Cost Per Acquisition: €100 per customer won
% Cost Per Acquisition: 55.55%

In this example the company are likely to be losing money on each customer won when admin is added as a cost. This company should strive to reduce their CPA% as soon as possible through a reduction of their advertising outlay or improvement in their onboarding strategies.  

Sample eCommerce Website

Advertising Spend: €1000
Transactions: 100
Cost/Conversion (Transactions): €10
Average Order Value: €130
Cost Per Acquisition: €10
% Cost Per Acquisition: 7.69%

In this example, we see that the company was able to generate 100 orders for their €1000 advertising spend. With the average order value being €130, this represents a CPA% of 7.69%. Even without knowing the profit margins of this company, there is still a strong likelihood that this customer is going to be profitable having achieved a 7.69% CPA figure. At this point the company should look to scale up their approach but strive to maintain their % CPA as they do so to grow their market share.

Business strategy around a table using computer & paper

So you see, the tools to track profitable customer actions are available to all online businesses, who should endeavour to use these tools whenever possible. Doing so, provides deep insight into the channels and methods that are fueling your online success or failure and help hone your marketing tactics, and ultimately increase your bottom line profits.  

Instagram for business

7 Top Tips for an Instagram business page

Do you have the perfect ‘Insta’? Instagram is the most visual of all the social media platforms. It is where people come to be inspired, to inspire and to discover new things that interest them. This includes products & services that you as a company may offer.  But how can you keep a good balance between promoting your products and being social? Read on….

1. Set up your Instagram Business Account Correctly

Your Business username is what appears at the top of your profile and it is also the name people will use to find and tag you. So, make sure you use an easily recognizable name. Keep it short. The limit here is 30 characters and presents as all one word, no spaces, so make it readable. Once you have a suitable name, make sure that you also add your full business name in the name section when signing up.  This will appear just under your profile picture on your page. The only clickable link in Instagram, is in the description section (right under your business name).  Most of the time this will lead to your website homepage but update it for special occasions i.e. sale landing page, app downloads etc. Instagram’s business profile also allows you to add a phone number to your profile. If you have a business Facebook page go the settings and link your Instagram to the account this will allow ads to be shown on both platforms.

2. Get creative!

Focus on solving your customers problem and not the products you sell. On Instagram, it’s essential to add value to your customers and look pretty while you do it. Never underestimate the fact that you’re most important asset (and sometimes downfall) on this social media platform is visual content. Tell your story but put some thought and effort into it. Have you ever considered trying to gain UCC (user created content)? This can be some of the most unique content you can get and from a customer perspective rather than the business.

3. Take them behind-the-scenes

I may have mentioned this before, but customers are noisy! Does your product have a story behind it? Are there multiple steps in getting the product to the customer? If so – show it! Pictures that demonstrate how products are made – from the base material, production and distribution.

4. Tell a story

A pitfall of Instagram from a marketing point of view, is that you can’t add links to posts. Hello Instagram stories! Stories are the new way users are interacting with social media platforms and in this case, Instagram are the fore runner when it comes to stories. With live videos, boomerangs, filters, emojis, polls, music, Q&A’s, Countdown timers, Quizzes even a search bar Instagram stories are a creative dream for marketers.

5. Keep the captions brief and to the point

Keeping your customers interested is an essential part of any effective marketing campaign. A long-winded update is not what Instagram is about. Oh no!  It’s all about the image. However, if you do need to add a caption, then keep it short, sweet and to the point. When creating your post, it is also worth tagging your location as this helps reach more people in your local radius.

6. Use #hashtags

I have spoken on the benefits of hashtags previously: Using Hashtags on Social Media . A hashtag when used on a business profile is discoverable by anyone who does a search for that hashtag. If you’re using hashtags to be discovered, keep it short and don’t string too many words together under a single hashtag.

7. Get the Insight

Another benefit of having a business account is Instagram Insights, very similar to Facebook Insights it is a business analytical tool that offers businesses information on who your followers are, what your audience demographics as well as what content they interact with. With knowledge comes power, well maybe not power presa but it will help you to tailor your posts to your demographic, create and meet business goals and most importantly build a community with your customers.

Some helpful links:

All things for Instagram for Business can be found on their website.

For tips, best practices & FAQ’s use Instagram Business Toolkit.

Hootsuite tutorial

A quick guide to setting up & using Hootsuite

What is Hootsuite?

Hootsuite is a “Social Media Management System”, under the free version you can have 3 social media platforms and schedule up to 30 messages at any one time. It comes equipped with a dashboard for each platform also, so you can see a stream of information at once.  Managing your businesses multiple social media platforms can be a full-time job and if you plan to regularly update them all, I highly recommend using a tool like Hootsuite. Hootsuite will take a little time to get used to but this quick how-to tutorial will give you the basic setup!

Setup

Hootsuite.com (https://hootsuite.com/#)

One you arrive on the website in the top right-hand corner press ‘Sign up’, this will lead you to their pricing structure. If you plan to use this for the 3 platforms only scroll past all these options to the free version just below:

Hootsuite Tutorial

This will then prompt you to enter a name, business email and password. Once this information has been accepted it will bring you to the connection page, this is where you will add your three platforms.

Connect social profiles

For the purpose of demonstration, I will use Facebook as an example, Click on Facebook.  If you are not currently signed in, it will ask you to sign in, and it will then ask permission for Hootsuite to manage your business. If you happen to have more than one business page you will need to edit the settings to only allow the one you want to manage in Hootsuite. Do this for each of your chosen three platforms.

Once this is done you will be prompted to go forward and enter your business details:

Hootsuite Signup

Hootsuite will then bring you through a quick tutorial,

Hootsuite publisher

How to schedule a post

Step 1

On the top right-hand corner of your screen there is a post button click this and you will be brought to a new post page. Your first option will select which platform you will be posting to

Select social media networks

Step 2

Write your post including all text, links and hashtags

Creating a social media post

Step 3

Add any media you want including photos or videos here

Adding Media

Step 4

When do you want to post? Select a time and date and hit schedule.

Hootsuite Calendar

As you are creating your post, you will see a preview of how your post will look and the right-hand pane. It will also give you a warning, if you go over the 280-character limit for Twitter.

How to see what I have scheduled

There are two ways to see what is scheduled, on the left-hand black menu the second option is publisher, click in here to view your posts.

Hootsuite Menu

Once in publisher, this will give you two options.

Hootsuite Planner

The planner will give you a calendar schedule of your past & future posts, while Content will give you a list version of this.

Hootsuite Streams

As you can see from the menu above the first menu item is streams, this is your homepage where you can see your recent posts, timeline, mentions, messages, scheduled posts. The stream you can have will vary from social media platform to the next below is an example of the streams available from Facebook:

Hootsuite Streams

Below is an example of how your home page of streams can look:

Hootsuite Preview

So, there you have the basics of Hootsuite in this quick tutorial. If this is still a little foreign to you don’t worry! That’s what the digital marketing team at Dmac Media are for, contact us today if you need help to setup your social media management platform.

Facebook on laptop

Explained – The Facebook Pixel

A pixel, it doesn’t sound like a social media term does it? A pixel is what an image is made up of right? Technically, yes, but in terms of Facebook advertising it is a very important element – read on and I will explain it all in plain English…

What is the Facebook Pixel?

In short it’s a piece of code that is added to your website, it works in conjunction with Facebook Advertising. It is an analytics reporting tool that allows you to measure the effectiveness of your advertising by tracking and understanding what actions your customers perform on your website.

What does it do?

The pixel tracks all users that visit your website and references the data collected to social media accounts if the information matches. These website visitors are then  added to an ‘audience’ for future advertising purposes. By collecting this information, you can track conversions, build target audiences and remarket your engaged audience.

But, how does it track users?

The pixel works by triggering cookies in your browser as customers visit your website.

Do I really need to install the Pixel?

Your ads will still run without installing it, but by completing this simple step it will give you a wealth of information about your customers and audience. Without it, you will be able to see Facebooks metrics like reach (how many people seen the ad) and impressions (how many times the ad was shown) however by adding Event tracking from your Pixel you can see how many people bought or enquired on your website and if setup correctly the value of the transaction.

You mentioned an audience – what is this?

An audience is the target group of people you are going to show your ads to. Although it may be fantastic to think you can show your ad to everyone in Ireland with minimal effort, is this really what you want? By creating audiences you are defining exactly who your ideal customers are by location, age , gender, interests & even job title to name just a few. There are 3 types of audience types:

  1. Custom Audience – these are audiences created from your pixel or through interactions on your Facebook/Instagram page.
  2. Look alike Audience – create a similar larger audience to your custom audience, Facebook will use their algorithm to determine an audience with similar characteristics to the custom audience you are copying.
  3. Saved Audience – this is a manually created audience based on demographics, interests and behaviours.

How can I remarket to my customers?

There are several ways to remarket once the pixel has been setup. You could create an audience of website visitors for any period up to a maximum of period of 180 days and show them ads with a discount to bring them back to your website and purchase. You could add rules when creating the audience including and excluding certain people such as website visitors who have visited your post transaction thank you page, as this would suggest they have already completed a transaction on your website.

Is it hard to install on my website?

There are three ways to add the Facebook pixel to your website:

  1. Use an integration or Tag Manager – This can be used in conjunction with platforms such as Spotify, WordPress or Woo Commerce
  2. Manually install the code – the code needs to be added to a global Header of the website.
  3. Email instructions to a developer – Simply email the pixel and the instructions directly from Facebook to your website developer.

What do I do then?

Make sure your code works. You can do this by installing the Facebook Pixel helper on your browser which will help you highlight if it is present and if there are any errors.

Can I see the Facebook Pixel Data?

Yes within the Event Manager of Facebook Adverts you can see what information is coming from your pixel. Some of this information includes:

  • URLs – from this you can exactly what pages your pixel is firing from
  • Domains – This is helpful if you have the pixel installed on more than 1 domain.
  • Devices – See what device your customers are using, you can tailor your ads in the future to reflect this data.
Business strategy around a table using computer & paper

Machine Learning in PPC: What it can do for you?

Each and every day, we as humans interact with a wide variety of technologies. From the phone in our pocket to watch on your wrist, technology is an ever-increasing part of modern life for each one of us. In many ways, technology is limiting the need for human interaction, with self service checkouts now commonplace in supermarkets and intelligent fast food ordering through dedicated websites, it would appear as though human intervention is seen now as hinderance rather than adding value.  The same is holding true when it comes to advertising, and in particular search engine advertising, where in recent years we have seen the rollout of machine learning technology.

In 2017, Google began unveiling the first of their machine learning technologies through its ad platform, and since then, developments have continued to make advertising your business online significantly easier. In this piece we will explore a few of the machine learning technologies available to business and search marketers in Google Ads to help you hone your skill and grow your overall return on investment through Google Ads.

People using technology around a table

In – Market Audiences – Targeting People who actually need your business

According to Search Engine Land, Google completes over 63,000 searches every second. Pretty astonishing right?

But with so many searches happening every second, serving your ads to the correct target market has proven difficult. But not anymore.  We’ve already mentioned that the first of Googles Machine Learning Technologies was unveiled in 2017. In-Market Audience targeting was said technology.

For the first time, businesses can target potential customers actively researching solution providers with their advertising.

Google’s Machine Learning technology interprets search behaviour, website interactions & search patterns to develop a picture of the service or solution a user is looking for. Using ourselves as an example, we can now target individuals actively researching web service providers such as SEO & SEM partners as well as people looking for website developers.

Aside from the obvious benefits, in-market audience targeting can prove an invaluable resource for building brand awareness for fledging businesses, as they can deliver their marketing message to individuals actively looking for solutions

increasing users graph in google analytics

Bid Strategies – Get more users to your website through bid automation

A further addition to Google Ads is the introduction of new smart bid strategies. These strategies utilise a succinct combination of machine learning and contextual signs to deliver intelligent bids during the bidding process. Factoring in elements such as time of day, user location and even the users device allows smart bidding strategies utilise the most appropriate bid.

Smart Bidding strategies can be harnessed in a multitude of ways, but marketers should endeavour to ensure their chosen strategy aligns with their marketing objectives. Having used smart bidding with great effect over the past number of months, we have seen significant reductions in cost per acquisition metrics for a multitude of clients across a variety of industries.

Responsive Search Ads – Serve enticing ad copy that actually appeals to your customers.

Responsive Search Ads are a machine learning newcomer so to speak. Currently in Beta, responsive search ads allow advertisers add a variety of USP focused headlines, as well as numerous descriptions, and Googles Machine Learning technology will serve the most appropriate ad copy to the end user. Although it is still relatively early days for this technology, we have seen it reduce cost per click by up to 75%.

We envisage this automation technology becoming mainstream following beta testing and will become search advertising cornerstone going forward. Get ahead of the competition today and start using and testing responsive search ads in your Google Ads Campaigns.

So, what does the future hold? The reality is the sky is the limit. We are only beginning to see machine learning at work in Google Ads and I have no doubt that machine learning will become a profound influence on search marketing over the coming years. So why not try out some of the new features

tools for ecommerce

Clever Tools for Online Retail Websites

Insight and interpretation has long been at the very core of retail excellence. Understanding your customer, identifying their needs, behaviours, challenges and obstacles and ensuring your retail store can effectively cater for these individuals has set many a retail outlet apart from it’s competitors. The same criteria for success hold true for online retail. The best (and most profitable) online retailers are continually reviewing and interpreting real time data and feedback from customers to help develop a more immersive and enjoyable online experience.

Developing a rounded approach to online retail has delivered success to a cross section of industries and has proved a minefield for many small and mid-level retail companies. However, there are a range of tools that can help you embellish your online offering, help your company grow online and most importantly,  deliver much more than just a “best practice” experience for your customers. In this blog, we rate just some of the tools that we believe could be of benefit to Irish Retail Companies in pursuit of online success.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics Logo

The Old Reliable

How It Works

Google Analytics is a powerful and free tool from Google that works through the addition of a unique piece of code to your website. This code includes a unique UA code that determines where information is sent when a visitor visits your website

What It Does

Use Google Analytics to find out pretty much everything you could want to know about your website visitors. From the mobile device most frequently used by your visitors to how long they spend on site, Google Analytics gathers an incredible amount of data.

What You Can Learn

Practically everything. There is simply too much too learn, however below are some of the key things that retail store owners could and should be interested in learning though Google Analytics.

Marketing Channel Revenue Return – How much revenue is my website generating from my digital marketing efforts. Now a newspaper advertisement can’t do that for you.

Unique Users – How many unique visitors have come to my website? A very similar trait to a footfall metric for your bricks & mortar store.

Cart Abandoners – How many people have thought about buying something, only to leave it back and walk back out the door.

Visitor Demographics – Understanding the age profile of your online customers can help you make better sales promotion choices.

These are just 4 of the plethora of information, that retail stores can learn through a Google Analytics account.

Dmac Media Score: 6/10

Google Analytics power is immense. However, it’s held back by its complexity for people not using it every day. Don’t get us wrong, we highly recommend that all websites utilise Google Analytics. Just don’t be expecting to grasp it all at once.

Hotjar

hotjar logo

The new kid on the block

How it Works

Hotjar works in exactly the same fashion as Google Analytics – simply add a small piece of code to the website.

What it Does

Essentially Hotjar records how your website visitors interact with your website. From your Hotjar Dashboard, you can watch up to 300 website visitor videos and determine the user pathways of choice as well as any barriers to conversion that might be negatively impacting your performance. In addition, Hotjar’s Heat & Click Maps can provide real insight into the navigation elements most frequented by your website visitors as well as user drop as they scroll through your content.

What can you Learn

Hotjar is a incredibly powerful tool for digital marketers. We’ve used Hotjar to various degrees and have helped us identify a range of issues and improve websites from a user experience. As we’ve already mentioned, you’ll identify the user pathways most frequented by your visitors which you can then use to enhance user experience. Pitfalls or barriers to conversion also become glaringly apparent following a Hotjar review, enabling business owners to take action and become more successful online. We’ve also used the click and scroll maps to empower call to action placement as well the positioning of key website content, to provide users with next steps ands keep them engaged.

Dmac Media Score: 10/10

Hotjar’s ease of use coupled with simple rollout puts it the top of our list. The wealth of information and interpretation gives unrivalled insight into how your visitors interact with your website.

Keyword Planner

Google Keyword Planner Logo

An oldie but a goody

How it Works

Keyword Planner is a tool associated with Google Ads, which can be off putting for business not looking to engage with paid advertising. However, this free tool gathers genuine keyword search data from Google, that can be subsequently used to develop organic keyword strategy.

What It Does

Keyword planner aggregates a range of keywords as entered by the user offering real time averages from the previous 12 months data and help you forecast future search volumes. You can use Keyword Planner to gain insight into keyword search volumes from any country in the world, helping you identify new markets beyond the boundaries of Ireland. You can also use it to help generate keyword ideas that you might not have thought about through the clever “Find New Keywords” option.

What You Learn

Essentially, keyword planner can provide key insight into the search volumes for potential keywords. This can help you build an SEO map and develop a strategy that will maximise your websites organic reach and potential. In addition, Keyword Planner can help you plot the seasonality of products meaning you can develop your sales promotion & pricing strategy to coincide with in-season products.

Dmac Media Score: 8/10

An invaluable resource for both pay per click advertising and organic strategy, keyword planner is an integral part of a Digital Marketers arsenal. Yes, there are other keyword research tools, but we’ve found that real keyword insight for the Irish search market can be gained through Keyword Planner.

Moz

Moz SEO Software Logo

The SEO Partner You’ll Want

How it Works

Moz SEO Software is the brainchild of Rand Fishkin, a leader in the world of SEO Tools. Moz is an easy to use SEO tool that essentially looks at your website from Googles perspective and tells you what can be improved to “Keep Google Happy.” Moz uses crawl technology, the very same as Google, however unlike Google, Moz feeds back any issues negatively impacting the websites organic perspective to you, the user.

What it Does

In effect, Moz sends a crawl bot in the very same way Google does and identifies a range of website issues that are impacting how search engines interpret your website. The issues it finds are then collated in an easy to use site crawl interface, so you can make the relevant improvements. In addition, Moz reviews the strength of your domain, pages & even details how your website ranks in a weekly report, so you can see just how well your website is performing in Google Search.

What You’ll Learn

The power of Moz is really harnessed through its easy to use and interpret interface. Data from Moz is categorised into 6 primary headings, which will tell you everything from how your websites ranks in Google Search for a specific keyword, to how your website stacks up against competitors. We regularly use Moz’s site crawl tool to improve overall website efficiency and performance from Google Bots perspective. This incredibly useful tools direct our both our manual and technical SEO efforts for clients. We also use the links tool to great effect, examining our clients domain and page authority regularly to evaluate our link building efforts.

Dmac Media Score: 8/10

Get on top of your technical and manual SEO efforts with Moz software. It’s easy to use interface coupled with insightful data can help your website climb the ladders of Google and gain real traffic.

Social Media

Using Hashtags on Social Media

hashtag: n. A word or phrase preceded by a hash sign (#), used on social media websites and applications, especially Twitter, to identify messages on a specific topic. Oxford English Dictionary

In the world of social media, the hashtag is likely the most popular means of categorising content on social media. It makes your own content discoverable and allows you to find relevant content from other people and businesses. The hashtag also allows you to connect with and engage other social media users based on a common theme or interest.

Knowing how to use hashtags is fundamental to your success on social media.

Here are some #toptips to help you achieve success.

  1. A hashtag used on a public account is discoverable by anyone who does a search for that hashtag. If you’re using hashtags for discovery, keep it short don’t string too many words together under a single hashtag as this is not how they are designed to work. Be specific, the more specific you can get with your hashtag, the more targeted your audience will be—and a targeted audience generally means better engagement.
  2. Users can now follow hashtags, and in turn they can also unfollow them. Don’t use irrelevant hashtags although it’s not a known fact it’s a reasonable assumption that this will have a negative impact on your organic content. For example, using a well-known travel tag such as #wanderlust on your new product release will have a negative impact on your ranking.
  3. Don’t #spam #with #hashtags. Avoid using too many within a single post. Don’t have more hashtags than words. Just because Instagram allows up to 30 on any single post this does not mean you have to add 30! Try to limit this to under ten for Instagram & LinkedIn and approx. 1-2 for Facebook and Twitter.
  4. Format your hashtags. No spaces are allowed but #YouCanCapitaliseToImproveReadability, do not use punctuation marks or this will break the tagging.
  5. Branding. Don’t go too long or too clever, in general, if you’re creating a branded hashtag you should try to keep it short and simple or else it will never be found or used by your target audience.
  6. Post Ideas. For upcoming hashtag holidays and to look through daily trends the Hashtag Holiday Calendar Here Is a very handy tool to have to hand.
  7. Cater hashtags to the social network you’re using, see Hootsuite’s Blog on this for more info about:
    1. Instagram
    2. Twitter
  8. Do your research. To try to calculate the popularity of a hash tag you can use hashtagify.me. They will also suggest alternatives and accompanying hashtags. For current trending hashtags pop over to Twitter where there is a top trending of the day list.
  9. Track your success. If you have an Instagram business account, you can now see the insights for each for your post as well as the number of views that came directly from the hashtag.
  10. Keep an eye on your competitors. As within all elements of business it’s always smart to keep an eye on what the competitor is doing, and social media is no exception. Check out some of their hashtags for popularity and if they are relevant to your business too.

A Retailers guide to Organic Social Posting

What should I post on social media?

This is the recurring question asked time and time again to our digital marketing team. Your social media platform should represent your business both professionally and personally. Many businesses forget the “social” part of social media and constantly advertise products.

When promoting your business, focus on the solution you provide, not the products you sell. It’s essential to add value to your customers and build on your brand image. Never underestimate the fact that your most important asset (and downfall) on social media, is visual content.  Be sure the images you upload reflect the image you want to portray for your business. Video is highly engaging and the recognised way forward. 

A guide as to what to post

Are you owl 1, 2 or 3? Owl 1 eyes completely shut oblivious to the world of social media, Owl 2 Half an idea but not sure what or where to post? Or are you owl number 3? Eyes firmly on the prize?

Rule of thirds from Hootsuite

  • ⅓ of your social content promotes your business, this includes product promotion & special offers.
  • ⅓ of your social content should share ideas, pictures and stories from like-minded and similar businesses, this is content about your business but not product related.
  • ⅓ of your social content should be based on personal interactions within or indeed outside of your business and build your personal brand.

Even with these guidelines keep in mind that you should add to the ‘Social’ aspect of the post. Instead of taking a screengrab of the shoe on your website,  how about a staff member puts them on their feet, goes outside and take a quick boomerang video of the product? This approach is guaranteed to gain more interest than another picture of a still motionless product and takes minimal time, effort and zero money.

What you need to remember when trying to figure out what to post is that…… People are nosey!! Even a simple picture of a delivery in your stockroom will gain traction, you would be surprised the majority people who have never worked in retail and  really do think its Narnia out there! A hidden world of all the best products that we are keeping all for ourselves. No, we promise we aren’t hiding all the stock on you and yes, we promise if we had what you’re looking for we would most definitely sell it to you! Make your customer feel special by showing them sneak peaks into your business and as an added bonus this will build the personal side of your business.

Ideas & where to find them

Another extremely common question is what content do I post? I know how to, but I can never think of anything to post.

A very simple way around this is to get organised, get yourself a content calendar! Start it off with adding all the national holidays this can feed fodder for numerous posts during the year. Next, add your colleague’s birthdays. Now you can just do a generic Happy Birthday post but if you’re really organised, you’ll get regular cake’s out of it too!

This ties nicely into my next point -take your camera/phone out, no screen grabs or borrowing other people’s images/content use your camera and get photos of the people behind the scenes. I have seen time and time again that photos with actual people in them gain higher level of traction then those without.

For an added level of timeliness, look through daily trends and hashtag holidays for 2019 days here: Hashtag Holiday Calendar. This can be so much fun to do & to make a personal twist on it, see our own post for #LoveYourPetDay here

And on the note of #hashtags if you want to calculate the popularity of a hash tag you can use hashtagify.me

Bank of memes

This is a term I like to use for your stash of funny content you find when browsing your social media channels, when you see it, save it and bank it for when you need good content to post. Trying to find/trying to think of content on the fly can be very hard and will make the job of social media posting far harder than it should be! Posting funny, relatable content that’s relevant to your business or brand can encourage fans to tag their friends – this helps to spread brand awareness without feeling overly promotional. Also, by a person interacting with your post they are more likely to be shown your posts in the future.

When to post

Finally, the all-important decision to me made at the end of all this when will I post it?

Well to be honest If I knew this, I wouldn’t be writing this blog! The best logical way to keep track of your previous posts and engagements and schedule content for the optimal time for your audience specifically, but if time is short use your Facebook page insights to see when your followers are online as shown below: