Archives for sheffield social media management

5 Tips for Capitalising on Your Instagram Business Presence

instagram marketing agency sheffieldA growing number of businesses are reaping the benefits of Instagram marketing to promote their products and services, and drive sales. Creating a brand profile on the popular image led networking site enables you to market your business to a whole new audience.

But using Instagram effectively for business is about much more than taking a photo, applying a filter, and posting it to your news feed. To have a real impact in the world of Instagram, you need to make sure that your posts are carefully crafted, and shared with purpose and intent.

As experts in social media management Sheffield, we’ve compiled a list of 5 handy tips to capitalise on your business presence on Instagram.

Create a Healthy Following using Engagement and Hashtags

There are several ways that you can effectively increase your followers on Instagram, and all of them are relatively simple. Firstly, make an effort to engage with other users by following them, liking their photos and leaving comments on them.

Use hashtags for every image that you post. A quick spell of hashtag research will drum up plenty of ideas, and give you an insight into which hashtags are relevant and popular. If your brand uses their own hashtags on other social networking sites such as Twitter and Google+, use them on Instagram too – it will help to expand your following and unify the appearance of your brand across the channels in use.

Make you Photos Beautiful

For a social media platform that is image lead, it’s fairly obvious that you need to make sure that your photos are good. A filter won’t hide everything, so getting the basics in place for a great photo is an absolute must. When you’re taking a photo for Instagram, avoid using the camera in the actual app to take the shot. Use your phone camera, which can zoom and crop your frame into a square as you take it. Then import the picture into Instagram when you open the app. Finally, remember you are working in a square, keep the camera steady, and maximise the clarity of the image by adjusting the focus.

Follow Those Who Follow You

Making the most of Instagram for business is all about creating strategic relationships. Who you follow is really important to the overall appearance of your brand on Instagram. Seek out accounts that you can learn from and enjoy in your followers, and follow them back. Following other brands on Instagram is not only good practice, it’s also smart. Find, follow, and research your competitors!

Showcase Your Employees

Posting images of your staff at work gives the customer a highly valued behind-the-scenes look at your business. Not only does it serve the purpose of celebrating your staff and showing them how much they are valued, it also strengthens the ethos of your brand with a sneak-peek look at what makes your business tick.

Create a Posting Schedule

Instagram is a very relaxed, laid back social media platform. Unlike Facebook and Twitter, you don’t need to post every day, or you’ll risk saturating your followers’ news feeds with your content. Think ahead and decide what’s ready to post, then create a schedule. Leave gaps for impromptu posting too, part of the beauty of Instagram is the raw immediacy of the imagery, so it’s important that your posting schedule is flexible.

Social Media Management Company in Sheffield

For more info and advice from experts in a variety of social media channels including Instagram, why not give Seven Creative a call? Our Sheffield social media training and management services can help your business to capitalise on social media for your business. Call us today on 0114 383 0711 today for more information about how we can help you.

6 Simple Ways to Get More Shares and Likes on Your Facebook Posts

like and share buttonLove it or hate it, Facebook is the market leader when it comes to social media channels. It was the first social network to surpass 1 billion registered accounts, and now boasts a massive 1.44 billion monthly active users. Creating content that gets shared and liked is every marketers aim. Whether you consider it an art or a science, here are 6 simple ways to get more likes and shares on your Facebook posts.

Use Eye Catching Images

Although it’s not recommended that you post an image each and every time, pictures do tend to have better visibility in the Facebook news feed. Images are simply easier to consume than text and will, therefore, get more attention from your fans. Make sure you share photos of high quality, though, and always those that will be of interest to your target audience. It’s also important that you include relevant links with your images so that you’re sending the traffic back to your website.

Ask Your Audience for Ideas

When you’re looking for ideas for a new bit of content, why not ask the opinion of those who will actually see it? Ask for feedback from people in your online community, influencers and customers. When you’ve taken on board their opinions and produced content you know will please them, they’ll be more likely to engage with it, share it, and comment on it. Because they’ve been part of the idea process, they’ll be more inclined to share the content with their audience.

Share Other People’s Content

If you want to encourage people to share your content, start by sharing theirs. If someone in your online community shares a piece of information that you think would be useful for your own audience, share it yourself. Of course, the creators of that information will be appreciative, and in turn be motivated to return the favour for you.

Incentivise Sharing

Another great way to motivate people to share and like your posts is by offering them an incentive to do so. The simplest way to do this is by posting an update informing your audience that every person who likes and shares your post will be in with a chance of winning a prize. Of course, the value of the object or service that you’re offering must be substantial enough for people to bother, but it needn’t break the bank. For example; a nail bar could offer a free manicure, a dog grooming parlour could put a free cut and dry up for grabs, and an SEO company could offer a free website evaluation – you get the idea!

Keep it Short and Sweet

Everyone is guilty of scrolling through their news feed and not being bothered to read a more lengthy looking post. Time is precious, and the nature of social media demands short bursts of information that are easy to digest. Research has shown that posts containing 80 characters or less get around 27% more engagement, suggesting that shorter posts are the most effective when it comes to engaging your audience.

Include a Call to Action

Inviting your friends, fans and visitors to share your posts can increase exposure. Create a simple call to action, for example, “Like if you agree” often works well, providing that the preceding statement is relevant. Or you could ask people for their thoughts, therefore encouraging them to comment.

Social Media Management Sheffield

As a Sheffield based social media company, we spend our days creating content for a wide variety of social media channels. Our ongoing Sheffield social media management services can include contributing to and monitoring the Facebook page for your business. Call us today on 0114 383 0711 today for more information about how we can help you.

The Importance of Using Pinterest as Part of Your Social Media Marketing Strategy

pinterest social media sheffieldYou may well use Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter as part of your social media marketing strategy, but what about Pinterest? With over 70 million users worldwide, it is now the 4th most popular social network, and not to be underestimated.

How Does Pinterest Work?

It’s free to sign up, and Pinterest users can upload, save, sort and organise images, or ‘pins’ through collections known as pin boards. Users can browse the content of others, and save individual pins to their own pin boards using the ‘Pin it’ button. If browsing a website other than Pinterest, images can be pinned to users’ pin boards using a ‘Pin it’ button that can be downloaded to the bookmark bar on your web browser. Users can also ‘repin’ pins from others on their own pin boards.

Driving Sales with Business Pages

In addition to accounts for personal users, Pinterest also allows businesses to create business pages that they can use to promote their company online. These pages could be described as ‘virtual shopfronts’, allowing Pinterest users to browse items for sale on their website. And it’s big business; brand studies have continued to show that Pinterest is more effective at driving sales than other forms of social media. As well as images, business pages can also include various data, topics and information such as prices of products, ratings of movies or ingredients for recipes.

Pinterest and Search Engine Optimisation

Last month, San Diego hosted the “Social Media Marketing World 2015” conference, where several social media professionals shared their expertise on established and developing trends in social media. According to the conference, Pinterest has been dubbed ‘the new Google’, due to the fact that it has a powerful search which many people actually turn to before the search engine giant. It might sound unbelievable, but the reason for this is that many people simply prefer the visual search results that Pinterest offers. Pins on Pinterest also have great longevity too, for example, if you share a pin today, it will still be coming up in search results weeks, months and even years later.

Sheffield Social Media Management Services

As the 4th most popular social media channel in the world and an invaluable tool for driving sales, it’s never been more important to get to grips with Pinterest and start reaping the benefits. Here at Seven Creative, we offer ongoing Sheffield social media management services which can include contributing to and monitoring your business’ Pinterest account. Call us today on 0114 383 0711 today for more information about how we can help you.

Not Sure About Using Social Media for Your Business? You Need to Read This!

The 10 most important lessons to learn when running your social media campaign for your business

The 10 most important lessons to learn when running your social media campaign for your business

Here at Seven Creative, we’ve been using social media for business since social media went mainstream, so it’s part of the marketing mix we understand very well.

For virtually every business, having a good and consistent presence on social media is vital in terms of raising awareness, educating your audience, and generating leads – so it’s important to get it right!

We see many businesses doing it well. However, we also see many, many businesses doing it badly, or even worse, not doing it at all! Therefore, we thought we should put together a quick list of the main areas your business needs to focus on when planning and implementing your own social media campaign.

The 10 most important lessons to learn when running your social media campaign for your business

  1. Get to know your customers – you probably already feel like you know who your customers are but it’s still a very useful exercise to sit down with a pen and paper to really find out about them; create customer profiles, get to know them, find out what makes them tick. We’ve been setting up and managing social media campaigns for businesses for many years and I can’t stress enough how important the information you’ll discover during this exercise will be when it comes to creating the strategy and managing an effective ongoing social media campaign!
  2. Make effective use of your time – Let’s face it, nobody wants to waste time, and there is very little more demoralising than putting a lot of time into a project only to get no discernible return on that effort. Therefore, use what you found out about your customers during the profiling stages of your campaign to make sure you’re focusing your effort where it’s most likely to work.
  3. Measure your results – Find out what works best and do more of it. Find out works less well and do less of it. Now repeat. For example, ask your enquiries how they found you. Measure engagement and figure out what it was that increased it. Look at the stats. This is vital if you’re going to use your time effectively.
  4. Go to where your customers are – During the profiling stages you found out where your target audience is online – where they feel comfortable and ‘hang out’ – so go and meet them there. Get into those circles and make contact!
  5. Stop selling and start engaging – Nobody wants to be sold to! The adverts during the TV show are not why people are watching TV, they’re simply a tolerated inconvenience. People want to engage, be entertained, and to have their online experience enhanced. If you’re not doing that, you’re doing it wrong.
  6. Be responsive – Give people what they want, when they want it, and be there when they want to engage with you. Understanding your customer means you know why and when they’re online, where they are, and what they want. Cater for this and you’ll become an enjoyable part of their online experience. Don’t forget, however, this is a two-way street.
  7. Make a commitment – Get it in the calendar and stick to it. You need to commit to an hour a day for creating new content, timely replies to engagement, and maintaining a consistent presence. This needs to be a priority, even when you get busy at work. Having a social media presence is about creating conversations, not about advertising to people. Without this commitment, you’ll lose trust quickly.
  8. Remember your reputation – Focus on being available and providing excellent customer service, and your reputation will look after itself. It is, however, very easy to ruin your reputation if you’re not careful, and many of your customers will know this. Remember that you’re signing up to provide potentially public customer service, meaning you’ve got to do it very well!
  9. Don’t bother your friends and family – Creating an audience is tough, so for many businesses, the logical first step is to start by using your friends and family as your audience. But this is a bad idea. It is a sure-fire way to annoy people and be honest; are they even your target audience anyway? Instead, you should focus on creating an audience of your potential customers and leverage them to boost your audience further. If you’ve ever tried this, you’ll know it’s not easy. However, it is doable.
  10. Let the experts do it for you – Instead of letting social media get in the way of your main business activities, why not let the experts do it for you? With many years of experience we can set up and manage the whole ongoing campaign on your behalf, or even simply mentor you through doing it yourself.

Whatever you decide to do, call us on 0114 383 0711 today for more information on social media campaign planning, setup, and ongoing social media management.

Back to Basics: What is Content Marketing and How Can it Benefit your Business?

content marketing

No doubt you’ve heard the phrase ‘content marketing’ being thrown around in the last few years; but do you really understand what it means? Everyone knows that the ultimate goal of marketing is to grow a business, increase sales, and therefore increase profit. So where does the ‘content’ come in?

Content marketing grows a business by creating and sharing information with your target audience. This content may educational, insightful, or simply entertaining; and by engaging with people through this content, they will be more likely to buy your products and services.

The Content Marketing Institute sums it up nicely:

“Content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.”

Why is Content Marketing Important to Your Business?

In order to understand why content marketing is important to a business, it’s useful to describe the four steps of the buying cycle (as outlined by Forbes Magazine).

Awareness. Prior to awareness a customer may have a need, but they are not aware there is a solution.

Research. Once a customer is aware there is a solution, they will perform research to educate themselves. For example, a car buyer will try to find out what different types of cars exist, and which one will fit their needs.

Consideration. At this point the customer starts comparing different products from different vendors to make sure they’re getting a high quality product at a fair price.

Buy. Finally, the customer makes their decision and moves forward with the transaction.

Traditional Marketing vs. Content Marketing

So, traditional marketing is perfect for the latter 2 stages, in so much as it allows customers to educate themselves about the solution, and provides them with the information to compare products. But content marketing goes that little bit further; it enables companies to raise awareness of solutions, and educate consumers about products that they may have never thought about before.

Content marketing allows potential customers to get to know your company before you’ve even met them. They can find your content, find value in it, and by the time they pick up the phone or send an email to make contact, they’ve already made the decision that they want to work with you. The trust has already been established, meaning that high pressure sales tactics are no longer needed. Customers are already well into the sales cycle by the time they contact you. Genius, right?!

Content Marketing, Social Media and SEO

The benefits of content marketing don’t stop there. Content marketing supports other digital marketing channels by providing additional content that can be shared on social media. It will also have a positive effect on your SEO as it will generate natural inbound links, and build up good content on  your website or blog that will be found by search engines.

Expert Content Marketing Company in Sheffield

Are you too busy to get to grips with content marketing, or don’t have time to manage it in-house? Here at Seven Creative, we’re content marketing specialists, and we can help. We can write engaging, informative content on your behalf; content that potential customers will find interesting, engaging and useful. We’ll even share it across your Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts for you, increasing the return on investment from your social media. Give us a call on 0114 383 0711 or email us at contact@sevencreative.co.uk to find out how we can help to grow your business with content marketing today.

Why Is Organic Facebook Page Reach Decreasing?

Organic reach on a Facebook page refers to how many people you can reach for free by posting to your Page. But as many people who manage a Facebook page may have noticed, the organic reach of posts has declined significantly over the last few months.

Here’s What Facebook is Saying

facebook page marketing

Brian Boland of the Ads Product Marketing team at Facebook published an article recently in response to the influx of questions from users regarding their concerns about the decline in organic reach for their Facebook pages.

He said: “My colleagues and I at Facebook understand that this has been a pain point for many businesses, and we’re committed to helping you understand what’s driving this change so your business can succeed on Facebook.”

So, Why is Organic Facebook Reach Declining?

Boland explained that the organic reach is declining due to the increased competition for spots in the News Feed. The more content that is being created and shared every day, the harder it is for businesses to gain exposure in the News Feed.

Facebook’s News Feed is designed in such a way that it shows the content that it deems as most relevant to each individual, rather than all the possible content that they could be shown. Therefore, although the average number of stories that could appear in a person’s News Feed each time they log in is 1,500, the News Feed displays only about 300.

Facebook’s News Feed Algorithm

But if you’re anything like me, this might annoy you somewhat! I want to be shown all my news, in chronological order, from all of my friends, and from all of the pages I like. Is that too much to ask? According to Boland, it is, and he states that this ‘real time’ approach has limits. He explained: “People only have so much time to consume stories, and people often miss content that isn’t toward the top when they log on. This means they often do not see the content that’s most valuable to them.”

In response to those who would prefer to see everything, every piece of content from every friend and page, Bolan stated the following: “In our tests, we’ve always found that the News Feed ranking system offers people a better, more engaging experience on Facebook. Additionally, given the amount of content in the average News Feed, using a real-time system for content would actually cause Pages’ organic reach to decrease further.”

Is Organic Reach Dropping Because Facebook is Trying to Make More Money?

Isn’t this the question on everyone’s lips?! Bolan’s response to this is as follows: “No. Our goal is always to provide the best experience for the people that use Facebook. We believe that delivering the best experiences for people also benefits the businesses that use Facebook. If people are more active and engaged with stories that appear in News Feed, they are also more likely to be active and engaged with content from businesses.”

Using Facebook Effectively for Your Business

After this flat ‘no’ from Bolan, which understandably many are sceptical about, how can you move forward to use Facebook effectively for your business? Despite the clear indication that the more you pay, the more your fans see, Bolan insists that organic content still has value on Facebook. Bolan said: “Pages that publish great content — content that teaches people something, entertains them, makes them think, or in some other way adds value to their lives — can still reach people in News Feed.”

Social Media Management Sheffield

As experts in social media management Sheffield, Seven Creative would love to hear your thoughts on this. Do you want to see a complete, unfiltered, real-time Facebook News Feed, or are you happy with the way that the Facebook algorithm arranges your content? Have you seen a decrease in the organic reach of your Facebook page recently?