Digital Strategy

Facebook Loosens The Reins On Promotions

Just don’t forget the legals.

In what will be seen as a welcome move by many who run online promotions, Facebook has done away with the requirement that promotions and contests can only be administered within 3rd party apps.

Its updated rules allow businesses to run promotions and competitions on their Facebook page’s Timeline, with no requirement for an app.

While Facebook was built on the ability to tag and like things, when it came to promotions, that was a big no go area. They didn’t want you using ‘likes’, ‘shares’, ‘tags’ and ‘wall posts’ – and if you broke the rules, they could take down your page. To run a promotion, you had to use a 3rd party app – until now.

Yes, Facebook may have loosened the rules, but the Permit Authorities certainly haven’t so it’s important that brands and companies remain diligent or they run the risk of facing huge problems and perhaps even larger legal battles.

What’s changed?

Now you have a choice. You can administer promotions on page Timelines or in apps on your business Facebook page.

You can collect entries by having users post on the page, comment on or like a post, message the page. You can now use ‘likes’ as your voting mechanism.

Something else that is new is that you can pay Facebook to promote your competitions. Now that you can create competitions based around a post, you can pay Facebook to “boost it” like you can with any other post.

You can’t run promotions on personal Timelines though, and Facebook also prohibits tagging or encouraging people to tag themselves in content that they are not actually depicted in, in order to win a prize.

What does it all mean?

Facebook says the change is all about “making it easier for businesses of all sizes to create and administer promotions” on Facebook.

Will it?

The change will certainly help small businesses in particular, making it easier to host promotions.

It will be faster and simpler to get a competition or promotion up and running because you won’t have to wait on a designer or developer to create an app for you. That means nimble brands will be able to respond quickly to trends and opportunities.

There is a trade-off though – Timeline promotions limit the amount of data you can collect to use beyond Facebook in other marketing initiatives.

Drawing Facebook ‘likes’ and comments are great, but being able to leverage intelligence from your Facebook audience in broader promotions and marketing initiatives is where apps will still deliver an added benefit.

Another plus of the update is your promotions can now reach a bigger audience – but that also could come with an unwanted side effect. The bigger and broader the audience you reach, the greater the chance of exposing your business and brand to negative and damaging comments. I suggest you have a plan to deal with this.

So, while there is more freedom, before you rush out and start running promotions on Facebook, make sure you have considered the legal aspects such as Terms and Conditions and Permits, etc.

If you are running chance to win promotions, for example, you are governed by State Lottery and Permit Boards nationally and you need to comply with their strict rules and regulations. And Terms and Conditions are required for all promotions whether they are game of skill or game of chance.

It is important to keep across Facebook’s changes relating to promotions but it is also vital to keep abreast of the legal requirements as they go hand in hand when running online promotions.

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Digital Strategy, Marketing Management

How to Build a Powerful Personal Brand

Your personal brand is the biggest investment you’ll make.

It’s who you are and what you stand for as well as the reputation you have (or want). The best brands are always re-inventing themselves, so developing a personal brand shouldn’t be a one-off assessment. Here are some of our tips on creating a strong personal brand:

Know yourself

Really take the time to sit down and figure out your strengths and weaknesses, what it is you do (or will do) and who your target audience will be.

Think of the service you will offer and how it will stand out. How do you want people to think of you and your brand? What’s your personal appeal, are you organised, fun, professional, driven? What is it that makes you stand out from your competitors?

Your brand is what you represent, so make it strong, authentic and memorable.

Set goals

Like anything, there’s no point investing in it if there aren’t evolving goals and benchmarks to reach. No one’s an expert from the beginning, and you’ll be learning a lot along the way, so make the goals realistic, achievable and measurable.

Your brand needs to stay fresh and grow over time, just like you do. It’s also something you have control over – think about professional development to increase your expertise and have a strong style in how you go about communicating.

Have an online presence

This is a no-brainer. With information about you a click away, google is the first place employers or customers will look to find your personal brand. Google search yourself to see what online presence you currently have.

Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin or a blog (or hopefully all of these), make sure that there’s a strong online presence. Be an active Twitter user. This means tweeting at least five times a day, interacting with others and posting things of value – links, pictures, blogs and other websites. That said, make everything you do online relevant. Hourly tweets that have no substance will add nothing of value to your brand and will only clog up your follower’s news feeds.

Be consistent

Make sure that everything is consistent. Use the same font, graphics and logos on all of your communication streams – the biggest brands have a stand-out font or colour on all of their branding. Think Tiffany’s blue, the McDonald’s arches and the classic Coca-Cola red.

Your personal brand might not be a multinational billion dollar company just yet, but there’s no reason it can’t be. Just ask Richard Branson.

Get people talking

In a good way, of course! Whatever marketing or PR strategies you use, make sure that they’re working and that there is something of worth in what people are saying about you and your brand. Take press opportunities when they arise and network wherever possible.

When your name is mentioned, you want people to know what it is you’re about. Think Oprah Winfrey, Rachel Zoe or Donald Trump.

It’s crucial to build trust and authenticity, and these can be pretty strongly supported by consistent results.

Creating a strong personal brand gives you the chance to manage your own reputation. Without making everything sound like a sales pitch, it should reinforce what you stand for and who you are.

Digital Strategy, Marketing Management

Big Marketing On A Small Budget

Startups and small business owners don’t have huge marketing budgets. This doesn’t mean their reach is limited.

Startups and small business owners usually don’t have huge marketing budgets, but this doesn’t mean their reach is limited. Read these quick tips to ensure your business really is reaching its full marketing potential.

Blog

There are a surprising number of businesses that started out as a blog. It’s free to set up, and as long as you’re posting relevant things regularly, blogs are a great marketing tool. A lot of online stores have a connected blog, so customers can see what’s happening and stay up-to-date with the business.

Post on other people’s blogs, reply to comments on your blog and make it as interactive as you can. Ask other blogs in the industry if you can write a few articles for them. People love free information.

You don’t need a massive marketing budget to do this – in fact, it won’t set you back a cent. Remember that convincing content and snappy syntax will win every time.

Customers

These people are your most effective marketers. In a world where competition is fierce and the market is crowded, a word-of-mouth recommendation can be worth more than gold. People take recommendations from friends and family seriously , so get your business mentioned. For the right reasons!

It doesn’t always have to be word-of-mouth though. If a customer has a great experience, ask them to post a link to your business on Facebook, tweet about it, or share it on their blog. There are also sites like True Local, where they can write reviews. Give them easy steps to follow to be able to do this.

Website

If you have a website (and you really really should), make sure it’s in good order and can be navigated easily. Most of all though, make sure it can be found. Search engine optimisation is the key here.

Google will usually be the first place potential customers look for your business, so you need to rank highly on it so you can get more visitors to your website.You can learn to do this yourself – there is lots of basic SEO information and education available for free.

Go Local

Getting involved in the local community is an important tactic to meet people and get the business name out there. Cross-promoting with other local merchants and attending networking events is really important for potential customers to put a face to the business name.

If it’s possible, donating your products or services to certain charitable events or sponsoring local sports teams is also a great way to get your name into the community.

Public Relations

You don’t need an exxy PR professional to write press releases if you’re just starting out. Every time your business does something new, write about it yourself, put it on your blog, and send it to local newspapers, websites and email mailing lists.

Sharing your story with others is an easy way to generate interest, so don’t be afraid to approach other local businesses, the council and journalists.

Here at Okapi Digital Marketing, we get lots of small business owners writing or calling in and sharing their stories with us. A lot of those have featured on the show or had a feature article written about them. If you give your story to a journalist, it saves them time and is a great way to get your business out there. Remember to make it relevant and newsworthy!

Social Media

It’s a fine line between always promoting and advertising your business and posting useful information that people want to read. Whether it’s Facebook, YouTube, Instagram or Twitter, use social media to post important information about your business – like a sale.

Don’t clog people’s news feeds though, otherwise they’ll unsubscribe. It doesn’t always have to be about your business post relevant industry facts, or other interesting articles, photos or blogs.

Facebook has the greatest reach among all the social media platforms, with the best time to post between 1pm and 4pm weekdays. That’s also the best time to post on Twitter – with most people avoiding social media on the weekends.

Digital Strategy, Social Media

Facebook For Business

The most popular social media platform is also one of the most difficult to master.

Facebook can be tricky to get right. No-one wants to be hit with a hard sell on their news feed, and it’s a fine line between promoting your business and posting information people actually want to read.

The latest Facebook Performance Report from Social Pulse and Online Circle Digital is out and it looks at the top Facebook pages in Kenya by fans, likes and engagement.

Unsurprisingly, TV shows, airlines, fashion brands and sporting clubs are some of the industries with the most fans.

Standerdmedia.co.ke’s page has the most fans . Daily Nation is next , and Safaricom round out the top three fans.

For engagement though (how many people were talking about the brand), politics, radio, news and sporting clubs were on top. The federal election and football final season meant it was a busy time for these industries.

Lots of the bigger companies were found to post photos, hold competitions and ask engaging questions to get their fans participating. So as a benchmark, it’s worth following the big players to check out what they post and how often, and how they engage with their fans.

For businesses big and small, Facebook is a great real-time marketing tool. When used right, it’s a convenient, quick and cost-effective way to market your business.

Check out these quick tips to help you get started.

Be Yourself

Your business’ Facebook page shouldn’t be the same as your website. It needs to be more conversational, more personal and more interactive. Posting photos of other interesting and relevant things you like helps people know more about you and your business.

It will take a while to gauge your fans and what they like, be patient and look at what gets them responding, and what doesn’t.

Post Regularly

And encourage others to do the same. Post too often and people will start unfollowing you for clogging their news feed. Post too rarely and you lose interest and timeliness.

If you encourage comments by asking questions and using photos, people are more likely to gain an interest in your business and share it with their friends.They’re also more likely to turn into customers. Make sure you respond though, turn it into an interaction.

Don’t Hard Sell

Sure, posting about an upcoming sale, new store opening or media coverage is a great way to generate interest. As long as it’s not all the time and it’s not littered with slogans.

Remember that Facebook is a social network, not an advertising channel. Join conversations, comment on other people’s posts and pictures and you’ll become part of the community, rather than someone just on there to sell their products or services.

 

 

Marketing Management

Brand: Lessons To Learn From Sport

Over the next few minutes, think of your business brand as a sports team.

Have you ever noticed that sport evokes the deepest, brightest (and sometimes darkest) emotions in fans?

Sports teams are a brand just like any other business. The only difference is sports such as the EPL, NBA and F1 are HUGE business.

It’s important to note that humans don’t need sport, we love sport. Even people that don’t class themselves as sports fans struggle to not get caught in the hype of the World Cup, Olympics or the Grand Prix.

But what is it that wins us over and what makes us loyal or patriotic?

Over the next few minutes, think of your business brand as a sports team or in the case that you’re an individual a sports star.

Through this way of thinking, I hope to spark some thoughts on how you can take your current game plan to the next level.

Forgive me if I sound naive on any of these perspectives, I am a huge sports-fan as well.

Good sportsmanship even when you lose.

It’s not important that everyone loves you, but it is important that you can at least be respected for the way you conduct yourself. Regardless of whether you’re the winner or you’ve suffered a loss, respect is a priceless commodity.

Every person in the best position.

It’s a team in every sense. Every role has a purpose and they understand it fully. People can have bad days but it doesn’t tear the team apart.

There is a clear game plan that allows each individual to be the best they can be and make their maximum contribution to winning.

Are you making the most of each persons’ individual strengths?

Have a trademark.

EPL teams have their club songs, their colours, their uniforms and their mascots. Football players like Pogba has the famous dance, Ronaldo has C7 and Michael Jordan’s ‘Air’.

What will help you get noticed and what can you become famous for?

Stay clutter free.

Start with troubled football players such as Luis Suarez , Mario Baloteli, loose-lipped Russell Westbrook or cricketer Shane Warne their actions off the field (or out of the ring) take the focus off what they’re really amazing at.

While Rafael Nadal is back  at the top of his sport earnings it seems he lost millions in the year proceeding his injuries. Then there’s Lance Armstrong – a person who was doing such great work and making such a difference but then has credibility ruined and much of the good work undone. Don’t let clutter distract the attention from what you’re really passionate about.

Be rock solid to attract endorsement.

Are others singing your praises? When other businesses wish to seek your endorsement that’s because they know there’s equity in your brand.

You need to be solid and consistent because otherwise you could be seen as a loose cannon and strategic partners could be wary of that. Think of Stephanie Rice for example. In 2008 after three Olympic Golds in Beijing she was being described by Monash University Lecturer in retail marketing Michael Morrison as “Healthy, young, bright, cheerful, you can see millions going on there”.

It was true and she scored an endorsement deal with Jaguar who wanted to align to those values amongest the ‘aspiration of winning’ aspect of course.

But in 2010 she made a homophobic slur on Twitter in the excitement of a rugby union test match by using the word ‘faggot’. The response from Jaguar was this “We have terminated our agreement with her, it’s to do with how we want to associate our brand and unfortunately this is not an association we want to have going forward”.

The question here for readers is why would people want to seek your endorsement, and what inconsistent behaviours do you show now that don’t encourage that?

Create vibe.

When a team is close to winning people are on the edge of their seat. When countries race against each other in the pool, they are screaming uncontrollably for a result that in the scheme of world poverty doesn’t really matter!

In the final laps of the ‘Supercheap’ Bathurst 1000 the temperature really heats up on those last two laps when excitement builds and we know the outcome is near.

Have a next big thing.

What will get you noticed from the crowd? There’s no need to be the in-your-face brand 24/7. But it is important to give people something to loo forward to. Out of 20 France Ligue 1 clubs, PSG stole the limelight by recruiting Neymar  from Barcelona.

Love or hate the decision, hardly any other club was getting air time. The story left the sports sections and became main stream news. Whether or not they can afford to have any more big things after paying his salary is an entirely different issue, but the point remains that they’ve done something big that will attract people in their direction and keep existing fans excited about the journey.

Build a tribe.

Supporters groups are a start, but the tribes are simply the members and fans. I don’t know how many times I have random people say to me “Gunners for life” when I’m wearing my Arsenal jacket. We instantly have something in common, we feel instantly connected.

The sense of belonging is the same thing local sports shoe business has created through their running club. It’s human nature, everyone wants to belong somewhere.

Are you offering people that place?

Be happy to have non-lovers.

There are a lot of people who don’t like Manchester United (in fact they’re the team everyone loves to hate), but you have to respect that at the same time they’re also the club with the largest membership.

In fact they’re sort of fun to make fun of, and I have a feeling most of their supporters are proud to be made fun of.

Share your wins.

This is why people love sport. People love to win.

When they can relate to the sportsperson through a personal journey, or have become one with the team over time it’s like being part of the family. The sporting win is then a win for them and this creates an endorphin release that’s truly addictive.

Digital Strategy, SEO & SEM

Traffic Booms For #1 Ranking

How important are SEO rankings? In a word, very.

It’s a question that’s often asked by business owners – just how important is the number 1 position in Search Engine Rankings?

Thanks to recently released findings from ad network Chitika, we’ve got an answer: more important than ever.

According to the study, carried out in the US and Canada, the top listing in organic search results receives 33 percent of the traffic, compared to 18 percent for the second position, and 11 per cent for the third.

And from there, the results fall away dramatically.

According to the team at Chickita, “sites listed on the first Google search results page generate 92% of all traffic from an average search. When moving from page one to two, the traffic dropped by 95%, and by 78% and 58% for the subsequent pages.

While being the number one result on a Google search results page is obviously important, these numbers show just how big of an advantage websites of this type have over any competitors listed below them.

The importance of SEO for online business is seemingly quantified by these latest statistics, which, judging by their similarity to those observed as part of the 2016 study, are not likely to change significantly in the near future.

ARE RESULTS ON THE SECOND PAGE OF VALUE?

If your business is only showing up on the second page of Search Engines, you have to be questioning the value of your listing. Will you get website visitors?

In short, the answer is yes….well….a few. Practically, the number of visitors is going to be very low – the top listing on page two gains a miserly 1 percent of clicks. So, by and large, having results on the second page of search isn’t quite the success many believe it to be.

Of course, it all depends on the search term. For example, more than a million searches have been performed so far in 2017 for the phrase “shop online”, so gaining a one percent share of the clicks for this search term could pay off handsomely!

THREE LETTERS – S, E & O

The importance of search ranking is why search engine optimisation (SEO) is now an integral part of most marketing plans. In 2017, there has been a sharp increase in the number of small businesses undertaking SEO campaigns to make sure the website (and the business) is highly visible to potential customers.

With the demise of print advertising, and business directories, this increase is predicted to accelerate further.

Of course, it’s important to keep some perspective. When it comes to marketing, search engine ranking is only one piece of the puzzle. An increasingly important piece, but it’s still just one piece.

There are plenty of digital marketing avenues your business can explore to help ensure success and growth.

 

Digital Strategy

Get Bang For Your Social Media Buck

There are some fundamental rules to follow to get the most from your social media.

After a long period of getting to know each other, Social Media and Business are still awkward bed fellows. Sure, business success stories abound throughout the online communities, but at business gatherings across the country, it’s still the elephant in the room.

Social media campaigns that are unfocussed, intermittent, and generally ill-conceived. To get the biggest bang for your buck, businesses need to take a smarter approach, concentrating on the low hanging fruit – that is, doing the little things that make the biggest impact.

So here’s a list of the top 4 steps to getting bang for your Social Media buck – also known as ‘little effort, for maximum return’.

  1. Choose the right social media channels.

Think they’re all the same? They’re not. Facebook is by far the best medium to talk directly to your customers, LinkedIn is ideal for Business to Business conversations (particularly if you want to establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry). And twitter is the tool if you want to be noticed on specialty topics, and by the local press.

  1. Post regularly, and in ‘peak’ times

Posting daily is one of the best social media strategies. It may seem extreme, but it provides the ideal level of visibility, without crossing that line of spending too much time away from other aspects of the business.

Then there’s the question of when to post?

There isn’t a simple answer here, as it’s entirely dependent upon the way your target audience behave online. As a guide, you’ll gain the best traction through Facebook from 7am-8am, and from 3pm- 5pm, with Thursdays and Fridays gaining a whopping 18% increase over the other days of the week.

For LinkedIn, you should focus on before and after work hours, and for twitter, the best hours are 1pm to 3pm (with weekends far more effective than weekdays).

  1. Focus on engagement

The idea behind posting on social media is to connect and get a response from your community. Try asking questions, posting helpful tips, linking to articles your business and audience share in common.

When you post, make it about your audience and what they need, and try to avoid selling. If you do this, you will develop a richer and deeper relationship with you community.

  1. Be exceptional

There is no shortcut to being exceptional. Always seek to try new things, test new ideas and be fresh and relevant. This is not only a healthy practice for your business, but a way for you to provide unique value for fans.

Being exceptional lets you tell exceptional, unique, and fresh stories in a way that other brands in your industry may not be able to. It’s all about setting yourself apart