Our top tips for an engaging Instagram account…

Instagram has become one of the most popular social media sites, especially with younger ‘mobile’ consumers. Many companies are realising the opportunities it offers in communicating with customers and how it can drive engagement.

These 5 tips will help you create a lively and engaging Instagram account!

1. Be consistent with your messaging:
Though the main focus of your posts will be photos, your captions and messages should be reflect with your brand. If you have a slogan or tagline, hashtag it and add it to every post, and pick tags that are relevant to your brand and your products, for example, a cafe may post pictures of their drinks and food and include the tags #coffeelovers #treatyourself with their photos. 

2. Share a variety of content: Users want to relate to you, so use Instagram as a chance to give them a glimpse of who your company is, put a face to the people behind the brand.

3. Even with 200 million+ users, there are still popular times that more users are engaged with their account. Studies show that posting a picture between during the day, after 9pm (unlike on Facebook and Twitter) is a relatively quiet time.

4. Use hashtags: hashtags can improve the success of the content you post. Instagram is not all about following people and brands you like, it is also a tool to search and engage with new content that is interesting. Using the hashtag allows you to connect with unconnected users.

5. Use video! The Instagram video has become more popular than the video posting app, Vine. Not only are videos fun to post but they engage users. Give a tour of the office, snippets of an event you’re attending or a quick how-to. 

6. Be arty with filers: One of Instagram’s best features is that users can instantly turn a simple iPhone photo into a high quality piece of art with the handy editing tools. People are drawn to photos with blue tints, over red or orange images and light photos are generally more popular than dark photos. The top 3 most effective filters are Normal or No Filter, Mayfair and Inkwell

For more help and advice on using Instagram, drop up a line at info@hot-gossip-social-media.co.uk

The ‘C’ Word

I make no apologies for using the C word in November, and whilst you may feel it’s ages away (5 weeks today it’s all over!) you need to start planning your festive campaign.

Like your Christmas shopping, you probably haven’t given it much thought. But now is the time to ensure, that whilst you are forcing another Quality Street caramel cup into your mouth, your Facebook and Twitter campaigns are taken care of.

You may want to give some consideration to the following:

– How often are you going to post?

– Will you be online to check your comments, retweets, likes and shares?

– What will your content consist of?

Whilst we appreciate there’s shopping to be done and food to be eaten (not to mention to lack of 3G or wifi at Auntie Marge’s house) it’s important that your social media posts continue through the festive season. No one expects you to be tweeting 8 times a day on Christmas Day, but the forcible togetherness and the fact that the whole family has to share the TV for the day, means that most people are online on Christmas Day, so it’s a ideal time to be wishing your fans a Merry Christmas and reminding them of your product or service.

Programmes like Hootsuite and the Facebook scheduling feature can take some of the strain away, but make sure you have someone on the lookout for comments and queries.

Or why not hand over your Christmas campaign to us? Our monthly management services are from just £150, so why not have a stress free Christmas with Hot Gossip Social Media!

 

Share the load..

One comment that we get again and again from small businesses, is that they don’t have time to keep their Facebook page up to date.

But the responsibility doesn’t have to be all yours, Facebook enables you to create admin roles that will help you share the load.

There are five different administrator roles: manager, content creator, moderator, advertiser and insights analyst. Each role has different capabilities and only managers have the ability to change each admin’s role.

You can have as many admins on a page as you want, but don’t give the rights to anyone and everyone! The fewer people managing a page, the better. Two or three admins actively updating, responding to inquiries and managing the page are plenty. Also, make sure you have a management plan put in place, there is nothing worse than someone updating a page, only for another admin to post the same thing an hour later. Come up with a plan of action each week and delegate who is responsible for what, when.

To add an admin, go to Edit Page on your timeline and then click Admin Roles. Scroll down and select Add Another Admin. Note, that Facebook will make all new admins Managers by default, so make sure if you don’t want someone to have full admin rights, you change their role. Type the person’s name that you want to add (you need to be friends with them on Facebook to do this) or add their email address (the one they use to login to Facebook)

To make someone an admin of your page, the person must have liked the page (you have no idea how many people haven’t even liked their own businesses pages!)

Here are a few tips for developing your Facebook management plan:

1. Make sure you are all posting in the same style – want to keep your page chatty and informal? Or would informative and professional suit your business better? Whatever you decide, make sure all your admins are posting in the same tone.

2. Define your call to action – whether it’s asking your fans to pick up the phone, send you an email or pop in store, make sure your admins know where to direct enquiries.

3. Develop and complaints/negative comment procedure – make sure your admins are aware that any negative comments or reviews are responded to in a professional manner. There’s no point having a constructive reply from one, if another gets personal and starts arguing with the customer

4. Make sure you are the overall Admin – a page can only be deleted by the person who creates it, if that’s not you, make sure you have an agreement that you have ultimate rights over the page. We are often contacted by business people who have been removed as admins from their own pages by ex-employees who set up the pages. Similarly, if an admin leaves the business, make sure you delete their admin rights!

 

5 ways to engage fans on Facebook

 

 

 

We’ve all been there… you open up your Facebook page click into the ‘update status’ box and…. nothing.

You can’t think of anything interesting to write, let alone a post that will get your fans liking and commenting.

We’re here to help! These fail-safe posts will keep your page fresh, fun and busy!

1. If in doubt, post a photo!

Posts with an image and a simple comment asking for fans opinions are a great way to catch the eye of your fans. Try and relate the picture to them too; if it’s hot, post a picture of a nice cold drink and ask them ‘what’s your favourite cold beverage on a warm summer’s day?’

2. Let them fill in the……

Asking fans to fill in the blank in a sentence is a fun way to encourage engagement. Try and relate it back to your product or service, for example, ‘When I get up in the morning, the first social media I look at is…………..’

3. Give something away!

Everyone loves a freebie, it doesn’t have to be big, just pick something which you think will appeal to your customers and ask them to ‘like’ your page and ‘share’ the post to be entered into a draw to win. Obviously you will then need to get everyone’s names off and put them into a hat to pick a winner, but a give away post will not only engage your fans, it will encourage them to share your page with their friends.

4. Talk about things that are going on in your area of business /locality/ in the news

You don’t have to just talk about your product and service. Updates which discuss a common theme will relate to your fans. If there is a local event going on, ask them if they are going to it; if the football is on (perhaps not the World Cup or Wimbledon… sob) ask them who they want to win; if a Royal baby is born, find out what they think it will be called!

5. Share content from other pages

With the ‘use Facebook as’ button, browse the updates of the pages your business ‘likes’. If any post is relevant and will appeal to your fans, share it and add your own view/comments.  Not only are you creating an engaging post, your page is itself engaging with another business’ page.

 

For more help and advice on managing your Facebook page, give us a call on 0845 250 0602 or email beccie@hot-gossip-social-media.co.uk 

 

Hot Gossip’s Quick Guide to: Twitter Lists

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So we decided to run a series of  ‘Quick Guide’ blogs, providing you with simple, easy to understand and quick to implement tips.

Today it’s the Twitter List. Most people understand how to send, reply to, retweet and favourite tweets but have you explored the Twitter List? It’s a powerful tool for your business and will help you make the most of your time…

 

The Twitter List is a great way to organize who you are following.

I don’t know about you, but most people are following over 300 people, businesses and brands on Twitter. Some may be local so you want to do business with them, some may be your customers, some may be celebs (come on, admit it you are always waiting for Stephen Fry’s latest offering)

As the number of people you follow grows, so does the amount of tweets you receive and it gets harder to find the important ones… the ones where someone is asking for the service you offer.

That’s where Twitter Lists come in!

Twitter Lists are its most powerful and least-used feature. Lists allow you to group those you are  following together so that you can track the tweets from the people you think are important, and stop them getting lost in amongst the chat from everyone else.

You can create separate lists for:

  • Customers
  • People in your industry
  • People in your locality
  • People in professional organisations
  • People you network with

Extra tip: if you create a list for your customers, make sure it’s set to private, so that competitors can’t see them!

If you would like further  email info@hot-gossip-social-media.co.uk

How much thought do you put into your social media posts?

So you have all your pages and profiles set up and you post regularly, but now what? Have you given much thought to what you actually want to achieve from your social media presence?

These tips will help you get started and formulate a strategy that is sure to get you the results you want…

1.  Choose the right network for your business’ needs

Just because everyone else is focusing on building a Facebook page doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best place for achieving your business goals. Look at the strengths and weaknesses of each one and decide which to concentrate on. Your customers may not even be using Facebook!

Use social media management tools such as Facebook analytics and Hootsuite for tracking the results you get from each network. Then you’ll be able to make an informed decision on which is working most effectively for you.

2. Set goals

What do you want to achieve with your social media marketing? Each social network can help you achieve different goals, so it’s important to identify these before you go a step further.

When you set your goals, make sure you have the framework in place to track whether it’s working. If your call to action on social media is ‘pick up the phone’ you should be asking customers who call where they heard about you or saw your advert. If it’s ‘go to our website’ then you need to be looking at the traffic sources to your website.

3. Assign responsibility for social media management

Make it clear who is responsible for each network and campaign. If you are part of a large company, you may have multiple people responsible for your social media. Each person needs to know what the other is doing as part of your overall strategy. At the same time, you should always be keeping abreast of new developments in the field of social media and on each network.

4. Create a plan for your strategy

An effective social media campaign requires a clear plan that details every step. Lay out your goals and strategy first and determine the key measures you will use along with the different phases of the campaign.

Social media may have started out as a fun way to share with friends, but it is now a powerful marketing tool that should be treated as such. While it can still be confusing for businesses that have relied on traditional marketing in the past, using social media to successfully promote your business doesn’t have to be any more complicated. Just use the same structured approach you would use for any marketing campaign.

8 Mistakes People Make on LinkedIn

So you’ve followed all the steps to set up your account on LinkedIn and think you’re done… but now what?

Do you check it only every once in a while when a connection request comes through? Do you only update it via your Twitter account? Did you start setting it up and forget to complete your profile fully?

It’s worth a reminder that LinkedIn has a special designation: professional networking.

… And like any network, it takes time and effort to get maximum results. You wouldn’t just turn up to a networking breakfast and stand in the corner not talking to anyone now would you? (perhaps if it’s one of those breakfasts that starts at 5am, then I’ll cut you some slack)

Whether you are looking for a new job, wanting to network in the one you have already, or want to develop your personal brand, these make sure you avoid these common mistakes:

1. Not uploading a picture – did you know? You are 7 times more likely to have your profile viewed if you have a picture, plus if you meet people at a networking event and want to add them on LinkedIn (or them have you) it’s much harder to identigy they are the correct ‘John Smith’ if you have a picture.

2. Putting up the wrong picture – As cute as your little kitten is and as lovely as you think your holiday in Ibiza was, don’t choose a picture which will give the wrong impression. If you are looking for a job in accounting, using a picture of yourself out on a lads night out, drunk will not get you that job. Similarly don’t choose a picture that was taken 1o years ago, a prospective employer may feel you are trying to deceive them if you turn up for interview looking much older than your picture! Choose a picture which conveys your professionalism and integrity.

3. Not posting a status - this is the ideal place to update your connections with your professional achievements and accomplishments, use it to showcase what you are doing at work which demonstrated that you are active and engaged.

4. Forgetting the privacy settings - if you are currently in employment but are looking for a new job, your boss may get a bit suspicious if you suddenly update your CV, connect with lots of employers and change your profile – use the privacy settings to ensure certain people can’t see your changes.

5. Using the default connection request – don’t be lazy, try and remember where you met someone, what projects you worked on together, how you know them rather than the default, impersonal connection requests. If it’s someone you haven’t met before, make sure you research them and write a tailored message so that your request gets you noticed.

6. Forgetting to write and update your summary – your summary is the perfect place to tell people what you goals and objectives are, are you looking for job prospects? Connections to further you in your current position? Potential client acquisition? Whatever your reason for using LinkedIn, let your connections know about it and showcase your skills and personality.

7. Blank gaps in your career – like with a CV, don’t eliminate previous jobs or positions from your previous work. Gaps in employment look suspicious. If you volunteered for a year after uni, say so, and details the skills you gained from this position. If you worked in a shop on a Saturday in high, say so, the skills you learned may not be relevant to the job you are applying for today, but early work demonstrates a good work ethic and ambition.

8. Joining LinkedIn but doing nothing with it – Like with all social media, if you don’t have time to update it, don’t be on there at all. Having a profile which is half complete and not regularly updated can give the impression that you can’t be bothered. You are also unlikely to get any benefits from it if you don’t use it regularly so set some time aside every few days to join groups, connect with people and update your status.

 

Making the most of Facebook in the palm of your hand…

We often get asked about the Facebook app; how to use it, where to find your messages, what all the red numbers mean, how to change your cover picture etc…

And until recently some of the features you were offered on desktop Facebook weren’t available on the app. But Facebook seems to have stepped up a gear and have ramped up their app offering.

Mashable have come up with these 10 tips and tricks for using the app, make sure you check it out and you will soon have a much smoother Facebook app experience…

10 Tips and Tricks for the Facebook iPhone App

 

 

In one internet minute…

In just 1 Internet minute 204 million emails are sent, 6 million Facebook pages are viewed and 1.3 million YouTube clips are downloaded.

If you are a business owner reading this and you don’t have a Facebook page, or yours leaves a lot to be desired, I guess your are thinking you best get your act together right?

The study by chipmaker Intel also found that mobile devices have made a huge impact on the amount of data traffic crossing the network and predicted that by 2015, the number of networked devices is expected to be double the world’s population.

Just think of all those people who could be viewing your page, downloading your videos, viewing your pictures and looking at your website on their smart phone.

Take a look at the full study here, and give Hot Gossip Social Media a call on 0845 250 0602 to get your business socially savvy.

 

 

Social media marketing ideas for Christmas

Christmas is a great time to maximise engagement with your social media accounts, after all, once the presents are open and the turkey has been eaten, most people take to Facebook and Twitter (rather than having to play charades with Auntie Maude)

We have put together these Facebook and Twitter Christmas marketing ideas that will ensure your social media stays busy this Christmas

Run a competition:  Giveaways are a great way to create exposure and a buzz around your product.  Take advantage of this and design your promotion to be shared by users.  Encourage entrants to tweet or post their position to their Facebook profile for extra points or entries.  The more they’re involved, the more others will participate.

Include a themed free gift daily prize draw campaign (for example, the 12 days of Christmas), to encourage your followers to visit the Facebook page and enter every day

Come up with your own Twitter hashtag for bringing people together.  For example #MyStoreNameChristmasGifts.  If you have limited time or content retweet news and articles you find interesting in relation to your industry.  You may be a close knit retail community and could re tweet other store’s news. I’m sure they will do the same for you.  This will build up followers ready for when you run future campaigns.

People love to share their Christmas tips and hints:  Get people talking about their festive habits, purchases and activities.  Start discussions like; What was in your Christmas stocking as a child, what roast do you have on Christmas day, or what’s your Christmas morning tipple? If you ask a question you’re more likely to get a response and start an engagement.

Track Mentions: If somebody mentions something you stock then tell them.  Make sure you include a unique hashtag and retweet the tips that anyone posts with this hashtag.
Make sure you have a ‘share on Twitter’ tab: Both on your content and product pages, so people can retweet about you.