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Posted by on in Social Media
Social Media:  A double-edged sword!

Did you know that around 84% of B2B marketers use social media in some shape or form, no matter what they are selling or who they are selling it too? Social media is a major marketing tool used to increase brand awareness and your bottom line.

Just like a website, as a business you need a social media plan when looking at marketing your brand, service or product online.
As I am writing this, there are 7.2 billion people on earth, with this number growing every second of the day. Approximately 3 billion of this number of people has Internet access; and 2.1 billion of them are active on social media; with around 1.7 billion using their social networks from their mobile device, which means your brand also needs to be responsive.

It is expected that by 2018, the amount of people using social media will grow to 2.5 billion worldwide, so it is fair to say that social media has become very important in today's market, yet will be even more important tomorrow and the week after, and the years to come.

When I was at university, social media wasn't even a blip on my radar, let alone there now being an entire career choice in social media for students today. Many organisations have their own social media managers with the main purpose to drive their business brand online on multiple social platforms. Without doubt it has become an essential avenue to reach your current and potential customer, gain valuable insights into your business and industry, as well as growing your brand online and with the platforms themselves being free to use, you don't need to set aside huge marketing budgets to get benefits back from using them.

The greatest expense of using social media is the time needed to post and tweet, unless you choose to use paid advertising options to boost your brand and connect with even more new audiences.

Recent statistics tell us that the average social media user has around 5 accounts, with the "most important" social networks to teens and young adults aged between 12 to 24 now being Instagram with 32%, Twitter at 24%, Facebook at 14%, Snapchat at 13% and Tumblr at 4%. So what about the older generation! Well around 35% of over 65's use social media and of that social media a majority use Facebook.

Another little interesting fact for you is that mothers with children under the age of five are the most active users on social media. Breaking it down as a marketer – these stats are telling me and you about potential target markets, where and how I can reach them.

So, no matter your business target group, you will find them on social media today, which is why it has become such a relevant marketing channel to promote your business and to reach your audience. You do need to keep in mind though, that each social medium has its own rules and structure to follow. No one size fits all, so it is important that you adapt your message to each individual medium you use. Done right, your message can spread like wildfire and in turn boost your presence online, visits to your website and increase your sales.

Now I did mention in my title social media as a double-edged sword, so let us look at some things when using social media that you need to be aware off.

As easily as you can build your business profile up on social media, just as easily it can fall apart. As I previously mentioned, social media moves faster than anything else out there and nothing ever really dies on social media, and in fact on the internet for that matter. Once anything is online it leaves a footprint. When a negative thread or conversation starts, you may end up battling it forever. Even if you manage to put a particular topic or event behind you, it can rear its ugly head at any time.

Another down side of social media for businesses is the "grammar freaks". Everyone and I mean everyone will make mistakes. After all we are only human, but there seems to be a disproportionate number of armchair quarterbacks or backseat drivers (you choose) on Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook than anywhere else within the social media universe.

As an individual you can use abbreviations, butcher spellings and throw out as much slang as you like for the sake of the ever present word count, but if you try this as a business, then you immediately lose credibility online and your social media reputation is important.

Now, with your social media reputation being important, let's look at reviews and these can be the greatest thing since sliced bread or a total nightmare for your business. You know yourself within the purchasing process; you will search about the product or company online looking for reviews, as you want to know what other people have to say. These reviews are also a big contributor to how high a site can rate in search engine rankings. In many cases when you search for a business, the online reviews generally pop up in the 3rd or 4th position of the very sought after area within organic search results of the top 1 to 5 rank positions. One of the problems is that there is no true verification whether or not the information posted by a reviewer is actually true and may be a complete fabrication or the reviewer could even have you confused with another company that has a similar name.

I recently had someone send me a disgruntled email about receiving telemarketing calls and threatened to report us to the appropriate body, problem was that as a business we have never and never will use telemarketing to promote our services. He had to search online to try and find the company who he was looking for and came across us, and in assuming he had the right company he sent this not so nice email, so I very politely responded to his message telling him that he had mixed us up with another business. Mistaken identity can happen to any business, so just be aware.

I will point out here that username confusion can also impact negatively on your presence online as well. So research any names similar or the same as a product you are promoting before you create your @... or #... and start spreading the word, as you don't want to get mixed up with another username or tag when promoting your business, service or product.

With these points in mind, it is a great idea to have a reputation management program in place for all your online social activities. You want to focus on increasing the volume of high-quality, positive information about your business presence on the internet. You cannot stop a competitor, or disgruntled employee, and an irate customer from posting negative things about your business, but you can reduce its impact by balancing these negative messages with positive ones. Also, don't be scared to respond to negative comments online. When I have been searching myself for reviews on products and companies, I have seen so many negative reviews with no actual response from the business themselves. When I do come across I negative review with an actual response I am more impressed by the company for actually dealing with the issue. All you need to do is consider about how best effectively to respond to these comments before you reply. Never respond from an over emotional view point or God forbid a high moral ground.

Also don't wait for the problem to surface before starting with a reputation management program. It takes time to build a good, trustworthy online reputation. In public relation circles many big and small businesses have risk management plans in place to deal with issues before they have even happened, so that if they do have to face them, they have a plan in place ready to be implemented to counteract and deal with the situation.

You may have heard that social media can also be great for your SEO, as your posts can be used to drive targeted traffic to your website. Search engine crawlers also know which pages are consistently earning traffic and which pages are just floating out there in internet space, often forgotten and ignored. It is important to have an effective SEO strategy in place and within this strategy you must remember your 'content is king'. Social media is all about content, as well as visual images and video. And if you aren't aware, search engines also now crawl images and the titles you give them are important in helping with your SEO.

It is generally considered that users on social media would be more receptive to your messages because a majority of people look at Twitter and Facebook as social networks and not marketing machines. So if you post with this view in mind, then they're less likely to see what you post as an advertisement and will be more likely to hear what you have to say to them. Put yourself in their shoes as this will help you to develop the right kind of message.

I am going to point out here the other side of the coin though in regards to this general perception on how social media networks are viewed, as I think this perception will change as our pages fill up more and more with advertisements (paid and non-paid) more frequently over time. This I think would be a whole other blog though on how companies are researching our movements online to target us with their product advertisements.

With your posts and tweets, make sure you are giving your audience more FREE information then paid or a sales pitch. If you bombard your audience with too many sale pitches and too much self-promotion, then they are more likely to leave you. You want to create a relationship and loyalty to you and your brand.

Ssocial media it is here to stay. I was walking past a retail store earlier today and noticed a #... sign in the window, so it is everywhere you go, but as a business how you choose to utilise it will be what is important to effectively growing your brand online.

There is plenty of information on the do's and don'ts in many blogs such as this one to help you, otherwise if you do feel overwhelmed with it all and want to talk to someone about your social media strategy then give us a call on (07) 5592 2685 or send us an email: info@selectmarketing.net.au

Your competition is getting social, which means so should you.
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5 KINDS OF VISUALS THAT WILL HELP YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA AUDIENCE ENGAGE WITH YOU

We all know the saying; one image can speak 1,000 words; so it is with this in mind that we are going to talk a little about what kind of images and pictures are important to use on social media. Both on Facebook, Instagram or any other social network, a supporting visual will get the hardest part of the job done for you, and that is to catch people's attention. Then, the rest is about keeping them there and to come back for more, by retaining their interest.

A great post will only be enhanced by an effective supporting image and make no mistake, the images you use will make a difference. Internet users react and engage more to an impacting image or video. However, do you know what image you should be sharing on social media? No, then check out 5 different kinds of visuals below that will help your audience engage with you on your social networks.

1. The BTS (behind the scenes) photographBTS-image

Sharing this kind of content on your social networks will help you be more approachable and build relationship. Who doesn't want to know what happens behind the scenes of their favorite brand? That's right, there's nothing wrong with getting a little personal with your audience. A good quality office picture or a staff update will make users confident that they share something special with you, and that they know you. These types of images are all about your audience relating to you.

 
 
 
 
 
2. Inspirational quotesinspirational-quote-image

Inspirational quotes are the "must share". They are highly appreciated on social media and ridiculously easy to create. So go for it! Of course you will need to share quotes that are related to what you offer, what you believe in and value. Keep in mind that because you are sharing content, your audience will associate it with you, so make sure you choose your quotes wisely as they will be considered a reflection of your brand's philosophy.

 
 
 
 
 
3. Call-to-action picturescall-to-action-image

They don't seem like it but if designed properly and efficiently, call to action pictures will catch your audience's attention in ways you can't even imagine. This kind of picture paired with a good message will work wonders to promote your product or brand. They will help convince your audience to take action to connect with you and can be as simple as getting them to follow, like or share a page or more complex actions like purchasing your product or services. These images can also be used in a humorous way, after all - anything to catch people's attention!  Please note that although the text you use can help, a majority of people though would of already decided whether to click or not based on the image you use within the call-to-action before they have actually read it.

4. Colorful info-graphicsinfographic-image

This kind of content is usually liked and shared about 3 times more than other content on social media! The ultimate goal of these images is to educate people without boring them to death with complicated information. Info-graphics compress loads of information in one single picture and make it all easy to understand for everybody!

 
 
 
 
5. Tips, tricks and blooperstip-image

What better way to keep people interested than to make them laugh? As a business your job is to provide your customers with professional products or services, but it does not mean you should forget about the human aspect of what you are doing. Sharing a funny picture, bloopers or tricks and tips will bring you and your audience closer together and have them looking forward to seeing what you come up with next.

There are many types of pictures you can share on social media and these images should mostly be related to what you believe in, what your products or services are about and what your customers have come to expect from you. When posting an image it is important to put yourself in your audience's shoes and keep in mind that you shouldn't post like a business or a marketer, but as if you are a follower or fan.

If you need help with your social media then give us a call today on (07) 5592 2685 or email info@selectmarketing.net.au 

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DO YOU KNOW WHAT SOCIAL MEDIA YOU SHOULD BE USING FOR YOUR BUSINESS?

It is estimated that about 2.72 million people will be using social media by 2019. That is almost three times more than in 2010!  In April alone there were more than 1,590 million people using Facebook and up to 1 million of those users are Australians. This represents as many opportunities for you to increase your client base.

There are a lot of social networks to choose from and it can be hard to decide which one to use and which will be of benefit to your business. Should you go for LinkedIn? How about Pinterest? What's Google+? Is Tumblr a good idea for your business? The list can go on and on and in many cases you will have multiple accounts.

Companies usually tend to choose the most popular networks such as Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. This would work for you too if you don't target a particular niche. However, keep in mind that the social network you are choosing should be consistent with your audience's habits. So if everyone is using Pinterest, but your target market is on Tumblr, then you should use Tumblr. In other words, you should go where your audience is!

Most people think that creating their account is enough. The bad news is that it's NOT! Social media requires a lot of time and maintenance and it does not necessarily come easily to all of us. The social network you will choose will need to be relevant and should be consistent with your business – a restaurant for instance, would get more traction with an Instagram account than a LinkedIn account.

Here are three simple tips to help you figure out which social network would work best for YOU:

TIP #1: Choose your social media according to the time and available resources you have.

Social media is interactive, live, simple to use and comes in handy when you need to share exciting news or information with your audience. However and as mentioned before, they require maintenance and forethought, which can represent a great deal of time out of your working day.

Spending too much time on social media will hurt your business as it might lead to a loss in productivity particularly if you don't have someone hired especially for that job. On another hand, spending too little time would result in a failure to keep up with your audience. Tricky!  The truth is if you decide to adopt social media, it will then represent a real aspect of your marketing strategy.
To make it work, you can't post too much, too little or irrelevant content: it is all about balance. A post a day at about the same time should be the minimum to keep your audience interested.

TIP #2: Know what your ultimate goal is.

Social media is an awesome way to communicate with your customers, and posting is actually a lot of fun! But before anything else, you should know what your goal is and what you expect from your social media. Having a goal is important and will help you determine whether or not your marketing strategy is viable and for how long. This will also allow you to know what to post, when to post and who you are targeting. All in one!

TIP #3: Don't give up!

Social media at times can fail and stagnate for a while, but the one beautiful thing about it, is that overnight you can create instant buzz! Why? Trends. So stick with the networks you have chosen and make them work for you! Businesses usually struggle with social media because they don't know how to adapt and don't know how they work. However, when used properly, they are a great tool to measure how your business is doing and also figure out who your clients are as much as what they are after!
Post after post, you will be able to figure out what users expect from you, what triggers their engagement, what they liked and disliked. There are many ways to get your audience's attention: hashtags (#), mentions and tags are some of them. However, you hardly have control over how popular a hashtag will be. In other words, there is nothing more fickle than social media, so hang in there!

We know it; all social media was not born equal. In fact in Australia the most popular one remains Facebook, followed by YouTube with about 14,000,000 users, then Word Press Blog with 5,650,000 users. Instagram is now entering the arena with no less than 5,000,000 monthly active users! However, no matter how popular a network is, you should always choose yours according to how consistent it is with your company's strategy and philosophy. Three empty and inactive accounts are far worse than no account at all...
Social media is an art, that's why you need to know how it works before taking the plunge! If you need help with your social media, then give us a call today on (07) 5592 2685 or email info@selectmarketing.net.au and talk to us about building your presence on social media.

So give us a call and get social today!

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HOW TO CREATE SOCIAL MEDIA IMAGES TO ENGAGE YOUR AUDIENCE

With a never ending stream of content on social media, businesses need to work harder to stand out from the crowd. Visuals have a better chance of grabbing users' attention than any other type of content. They can tell your brand's story in a much more energetic way than a block of text ever could. Visual posts result in 180% greater engagement. Today I want to share with you six ways to connect with your followers using social media images:

1. Mix it up with videos. If a picture is worth a 1000 words, imagine the worth of a video! Take your businesses visuals to the next level by sharing videos with your audience. On Facebook, videos can get 12 times more shares than any other type of content. Videos on social media platforms are experiencing astounding growth, so jump on board!

Mercedes Benz is a great example of a company that use videos on social media to tell captivating stories about its products and company culture. Most of their videos get a lot of likes, shares and comments. In this simple but effective clip, instead of just using a still image, the company created a effective 15 second video to take a look at its AMG C63.
https://instagram.com/p/1nZGrAS3sH/?taken-by=mbusa

2. Inspire your audience with quote graphics, they are perfect to encourage your followers to stop, think and engage with your content. These are some of the most shared images on social media because they are so relatable. Create visually appealing quote graphics that suits your business. They can be used for any purpose: to motivate, entertain, advocate, intrigue, amuse.. anything!
Take online magazine More Than A Pretty Face, who interview women of substance, they post a lot of inspiring quotes which really relate to their brand values. A recent quote 'I stopped looking for the light. I decided to become it instead' is a great example how they successfully connect with their followers. They chose an inspiring relatable quote and the graphics are visually appealing to match the tone of their message.

mtapf quote

Style your quote so your followers want to become a part of the conversation and hopefully share. Keep in mind, you want to always post with purpose. Think about what the particular quote says about your business and decide if that message is relatable to your target audience. If it is relatable, then turn it into a stylish graphic that brings the words to life!

I've said it before and I'll say it again.. GET PERSONAL! It gets engagement levels up and adds a whole new dimension to your social media pages.

3. Use customer submitted images. It's easy to forget the storytelling power of images submitted by your followers when you're looking for new ways to increase engagement. Using customer submitted images tells a story of their experience with your business and the positive way it's impacted them. Also, it's a great way to thank consumers and show you are dedicated to them by featuring them on your page.

blackboard

4. Acknowledge company milestones. Share your success with your audience, it's a fantastic way to boost engagement. Your followers are the most important part of your journey as a business, so keep them updated with what's happening. Posts marking milestones shouldn't be as common as your other visual content, so treat them as something special when creating the image.

blackboard-milestone

5. Bring your page to life and share behind the scenes shots. Let your followers into your business and make them fall in love. How is your product made? Who are the people behind the logo? Add some humour to the mix and these posts can really be successful.
Locals business Blackboard coffee does a great job of getting personal on their social media sites. By connecting with their followers on a personal level, they humanize the Blackboard brand. They encourage audiences to connect as a friend, rather than a business, which majorly boosts engagement. The business mixes up their social media pages by reposting customers images, behind the scenes snaps of the staff, new recipes and share important milestones like features in newspapers etc. Check out their page if you want a great example of getting personal: https://instagram.com/blackboardcoffee/

blackboard-behind the scenes

6. Be different!
Don't be identical to other brands, this is a huge mistake social media accounts make. Some images are popular or funny for a reason, but most of the time your audience has already seen this content a number of times before! Share original visual content that's tailored to your audience. Post images that highlight your brand personality and the people behind it. Try to take it that step further, go out and take new photos and design your own graphics.

Another important factor businesses must take into consideration are the types of content they are sharing, share text graphics, videos, flat-lay images, landscape and portrait images, up-close and far away images. Consumers want to see a mix of visual content, not the same boring stuff! Check out local brand The Beach People who have been incredibly successful through social media https://instagram.com/thebeachpeople/. They use a great variety of images and have really gained some traction because of it.

the beach people

Develop a theme of colours that look good together. Use emotive colour palettes to improve your images. Play with unique photo filters, colour schemes and palettes.
Just as colours invoke up emotions, so can fonts. You wouldn't use an elegant script typeface to advertise a festival advert. Take into consideration what your posting, your brand and audience to pick a font to suit. Remember the most visually appealing your page looks the more people it will attract.

There are a lot more elements to sharing visual content than meets the eye. If you need help with managing your social media accounts leave it to us! There are 1.39 billion monthly active on Facebook alone. Your business needs to put its best foot forward to target those users before your competitors! Call us today on (07) 5592 2685 or email info@selectmarketing.net.au alternately jump onto http://www.selectmarketing.net.au/web-solutions/social-networking to read more.

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Posted by on in Social Media
The Power of Influence Marketing

A big challenge new businesses face is getting their product or services in front of consumers. How can you grow your online presence and expose your brand if nobody knows you exist? A quick and easy way to increase exposure is to collaborate with people who already have loads of engaged followers.

There are so many things a business can do to market its products or services, most take time and money and even then they have no guarantee of success. Though getting a product into the hands of the right social media influencer could mean it's exposed to hundreds of thousands of consumers overnight.

So how can you identify these influencers? Influencers have a massive following and their followers are extremely engaged in everything they do. Their followers are loyal, have a lot of trust in what they say and highly regard their recommendations.
Usually influencers are on:
- Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or other social media channels
- Blogs
- Vlogs e.g. YouTube
These offer countless opportunities for exposure through social sharing. Once an influencer shares your product, it will be seen by thousands even millions and then shared by their followers.
Stay tuned we share how you can find influencers that are right for your business. Or jump onto www.selectmarketing.net.au/our-blog to read the post now.

So how can you find these influencers?
Influencers are easy to identify. You need to research and be on the platforms you want to grow. Search on Google and through social media channels to find the influencer that best fits your brand.
Influencers usually have:
- A large social media following
- Lots of engagement with comments, likes and shares
- High amount of traffic numbers to their websites

Now it's all about the PITCH! You need to really sell yourself to get the attention of the influencer. Here are six keys to a successful pitch:

1. Tailor your pitch and use the influencer's first name in the email.
2. Introduce yourself and your brand in a few sentences.
3. Explain why you like them and how your brand relates to them.
4. Offer your product or service as a free gift.
5. Include a call to action to make them respond.
6. Be short and sweet, influencers get a very high amount of emails a day, don't bore them.
Next follow up with the Influencer. Influencers are very busy people, if you don't hear back from them, send a follow up message. We have found from experience sometimes a free gift is not enough. These days being an influencer is a full time job and depending on how big their audience is, they expect to be paid if you want your product promoted. Consider asking them to do a paid post, depending on the cost, this can be beneficial. The amount you pay for a post compared to how much you might sell could be worth it in the end.


If you still haven't heard from them be persistent, there are other ways to attract the attention of influencers:
- Follow them on social media and comment, like or share their content.
- Add comments to their blog to generate discussion and be noticed.
Please note that if you're trying this, DON'T promote your product. You need to build a relationship with the influencer, then you can try to pitch again later.

Once the influencer is willing to work with your brand, what happens next just depends on the type of posts they do because each person interacts with their audience differently.

Here's a few examples of how your product or service might be featured by the influencer:
- Sharing a photo from your social media account with the influencer's followers.
- Mentioning your brand in a positive light.
- Reviewing your product or service and sharing information about where to buy it.
- Holding a contest to give away one of your products or sharing a personalized discount code.
After the influencer has shared their post make sure you show your gratitude! Send an email to thank them and also make sure you share their post to your followers. Doing this will help you build a relationship with the influencer as well as gain your business status online.

Working with influencers is fantastic to build your brand. It's a quick way to be seen reaching a lot of people that you couldn't reach alone. Although be careful, you need to make sure you are picking influencers that are specific to your industry. Too often we see brands using influences that aren't quite right and they don't get the benefits out of it, making it a waste of time and money.

Talk to us today about using influence marketing for your business. We can pick the right influencers, help you pitch to them and monitor the success. Call us on (07) 5592 2685 or email info@selectmarketing.net.au.

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