2019 is set to be an interesting year for social media and online content. Here is a list of social media trends that will be on the rise in 2019 that we would recommend that you get involved in.
As well as being Chinese New Year (happy year of the Pig to all who are celebrating), today is also Safer Internet Day.
It’s a day that is very important to us in the social media industry because, as an industry, we should always be striving to make what we do safer for generations to come. We want to help to boost the national conversation about using technology responsibly, respectfully, critically and creatively.
Even though this day is aimed at children, it is also important for adults to be just as (if not more) knowledgeable about what the dangers are online. Why not try the Safer Internet Day Quiz to see if you know as much as your kids do about the internet.
Internet safety is important, more now than ever. We have come up with tips to help anyone with their online safety.
Keep it locked!
From locks on your phones and your computers, your first line of defence if anything happens to your devices is your password. Basic passwords like “123456” and “ABCDEFG” really cannot cut it anymore. Using tools like Secure Password Generator can help you to keep things secure. It’s so easy, even your kids can use this and it can really benefit your business as well. If you can, we would also suggest changing your passwords every 12-18 months. This can also help you to maintain your online safety.
Also, investing in computer security software can also help you to avoid viruses. Most security software companies like ESET and McAfee have mobile apps as well.
Kill ‘Em With Kindness
With both business and personal profiles, you can THINK before you post.
This year’s hashtag for Safer Internet Day is #OurInternetOurChoice, it is time that we choose to be kinder online. Did you know that being kinder online increases your online safety as it decreases that chance of malicious people wanting to attack your emotions, privacy or mental health.
If you’re a business, you can use different social media days to show your support for the communities around you. If you are just using your personal profile, avoid getting involved in hateful conversations and work to be helpful and kind towards others.
This online safety issue is not one that is just limited to children, it affects us all. No matter who you are, make the conscious choice to be better.
Keep a lookout!
The internet is an amazing thing but it also has its drawbacks. Use it to the best of your knowledge to keep ahead of the scams that may be floating around the internet. There are countless stories of people receiving emails with dodgy looking URLs that have been hacked. It is actually possible to stay ahead of these hacks by staying informed. This is also something that you can show your kids how to do as well. A simple rule of thumb is: If it looks odd, don’t click the link!
It is also useful to ask professionals within the industry. Social Media agencies, like us here at SocialSidekick, usually know what to avoid online so never be afraid to ask us and we will endeavour to get back to you as soon as possible.
We hope you have a happy Safer Internet Day!
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AUTHOR : DARIUS SMITH
What is blogging?
A blog is an online journal displaying information in a reverse chronological order. The latest posts are displayed at the top and oldest at the bottom. A blog is a platform on which a person or people can write about topics of interest or an individual subject. It enables people from all over the world to view what has been written and share their own personal views regarding the same topics or similar ones.
How could your business benefit from blogging?
- Search Engine Optimization - For an inexpensive and straightforward way of adding fresh content to your website, blogging is ideal. It allows you to connect with more and more people, whilst giving your business a stronger voice. Writing blogs that relate to your business and customers will not only engage your audience but also increase the number of searches you receive online. People will type keywords into sites such as Google and Bing to explore topics relating to the chosen words.
- Developing/maintaining relationships - Blogging is a way in which you can develop relationships with influencers and customers. A blog is your company on a personal, informal level. Having something like a comments section, allows you to follow your reader's opinions and respond quickly to anything they have said, building more trust and confidence between the business and customer.
- Become A Thought Leader - Blogging is an excellent way to build trust and establish a level of expertise. Using topics such as ‘how to’ guides will make you the educator and main influencer for other brands or customers. Having a strong social standing will increase your businesses engagement throughout all of its platforms, especially if your content is interesting, informative and enjoyable.
- Be Personal and Connect - Use your brand voice and make sure you sound like a real person. Let's face it if you are writing blogs or social posts, there is a person behind it. Giving your audience an insight into the people within your business will help them to connect with you on a personal level. Your audience will find it easier to relate to your brand if they know that they aren't just talking to a computer but a real person. Which then comes alongside loyalty and trust, making them more likely to use your business.
- Sharing opportunities - Blogs are a great way of getting your voice heard. Within your blog site, you can embed links to social media making it easier for your audience to share your content. This gives your writing the potential to be seen by thousands of people or even go viral. If you share your blog on your business's social media platforms, it will also encourage more viewers to engage with your posts.
Blogging is one of the most popular activities to do on the internet, in fact, 23% of internet time is spent on blogs and social networks. Many businesses are already using blogging as a marketing technique. About two-thirds of marketers say their company blog is "critical" or "important" to their business. Part of the reason is that 'blogs are a great way to engage your visitors.'
So, are you ready to start your business's blog? If you need any help to manage your social media, we offer a range of packages to suit you. Take a look at our services page on our website for more information on what we can provide.
For years, everyone has been told the negative effects that social media can have on your mental health, but have you ever been told about the benefits? In this article, I’m going to explore the positive ways in which social media can benefit your mental health.
Despite what we think, social media is one of the best outlets of motivation. Have you ever heard of Emotional Contagion? It’s the phenomenal theory that one person's emotions and behaviours can trigger another person to feel similar emotions/ behaviours. For instance, if you share a goal that you are trying to achieve on social media and post about it frequently, it then creates an online ‘support system’ of people who give you credit and accountability for what you are trying to achieve. Working towards a goal and sharing it with others, encourages your peers to feel motivated to achieve a particular goal that they have. (Emotional Contagion).
The original purpose of social media is to connect with those around you. Many people believe that social media can alter natural human interaction, but for some, it is said to enhance it. Take social anxiety, for instance, people suffering from social anxiety struggle to communicate within social situations. Having access to social networking takes away the difficulty of face to face interaction. It can also boost confidence online which can then be transferred to confidence when meeting people in person.
Finding your voice
This is particularly beneficial for young people, as the teenage years are when you discover yourself most. Social media can be used as a platform for discussion and debate, allowing you to voice your opinions and connect with others that also share your views. This can build trust and confidence, as you can reach thousands, if not millions of people to make yourself heard. Sharing and voicing your opinions, and connecting with those that agree with you, gives you the confidence to express your own opinion in everyday life. You can build a social profile that does not represent you as a person but merely your opinions, making it easier to voice them.
Experience and skill building
Social networking provides you with many helpful skills that can help you in the workplace and with your day to day life. With everything being taken over by the digital world, having the online skills used for social media, will make you find it much easier to adapt to the rest of the digital world.
If you have an interest or hobby and want to find others with similar interests, social networking is ideal. You can extensively research any topic and see the trending articles relating to it, as well as other people who are all searching the same. Meaning you can connect with more people and discover new information at any time.
Social media provides a way for those who struggle with their mental health to access support. It opens an opportunity for discussion for people that find it difficult to talk about their problems and confine in those around them. Anyone can express how they feel and have their chosen peers support them without even having to know their name. If people use social profiles for positivity and only communicate with others doing the same, social media is a great way to project your emotions. Making it a safe and welcoming place to be when you're struggling with your own mind.
A Carnegie Mellon University study showed that one to one interaction on social media makes people feel more bonded. The interaction between those you meet online can help to overcome loneliness, as you have people who you can talk to when you cannot have face to face contact. Social media allows you to communicate with people from all over the world and in different time zones, meaning there is a 24/7 opportunity to talk to someone and battle loneliness.
As with anything, there are also negative factors. How it affects you depends completely on the conditioning of the person that is using the platforms. High usage or addiction to social media will have negative effects on you. Studies have shown that addictive use is linked to higher levels of anxiety and depression. However, if you have a healthy relationship with social media, the benefits will outweigh the negatives, and you are less likely to suffer from particular mental health problems. Social media should not take over your life, it should excel you in life and give you the confidence you need to be successful and connect with those around you.
If you're struggling with your mental health, you can get in contact with many charities such as the Samaritans, online or by phone.
Don't forget to check out our website and read our blog for everything social media related including top tips for businesses!
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Author: Tilly Gould
Recently we have been working with a well-known personalisation company who specialise in mobile phone cases. Their Facebook following is in the tens of thousands, but their engagement has been historically low on Facebook. In the three months that we have worked with the company, their reach has increased by 179%, from 27,000 in March to 75,800 in June. But how did we achieve this and what does this mean?
What is Facebook Reach?
Facebook reach is simply the number of people who saw your content on Facebook. The higher the number, the more chance there is of all sorts of other metrics increasing. From page likes to post likes, link clicks and comments it is a very important metric. So the more reach we have, the better.
How can we increase Facebook Reach?
Before improving your reach, it is important to take into consideration the resources available to you. The quickest way to increase Facebook Reach is advertising. Without this component, you will be reliant on creating highly shareable content and/or increasing the frequency of your posting.
Increasing Reach Organically
Create a competition
Competitions are by far the best way to increase reach organically. This works best where you have a good number of Facebook page likes and an engaged following. Make sure your prize is good, the competition is simple and that the post promoting it is eye-catching and exciting. Do not over complicate things.
Typically, competitions get comments, shares and a lot of likes, increasing the possibility of a high amount of organic reach.
To get the competition started, a simple post boost of between £5 and £25 will really kickstart the process. Simply boost the post to people who like your page and watch as the likes and shares role in, after a while the organic reach will increase dramatically from the paid reach that liked and shared the post. This snowball effect works very well. To reiterate:
Paid Reach can lead to Organic Reach - as long as the paid reach engages with your post or page.
If you can, posting two competitions per month will see your reach increase dramatically.
Example Competition Post (244 likes, 83 comments and 28 shares at time of posting):
Post Shareable Content
Tap into popular culture events when posting to encourage comments and likes. This could include sporting events, popular tv shows, movie releases and current affairs. Relating these subjects to your brand in a fun way can lead to posts that generate a lot of interaction. The aim is to get better engagement than your standard posts. Regularly posting this kind of content will lead to marginal gains over the course of a month.
Think about your audience when creating this style of content. What will they mostly be interested in? If you can align your post content with your audience effectively, the chance of a higher engagement rate will be much more likely.
With our client, we had very good success with:
- Love Island
- The Great British Bake Off
- British Tea Day
- The World Cup
- Fathers Day
Use Facebook Live
Facebook live works very well for getting shares and comments. Go live from your page, be engaging, talk about an interesting topic that your audience will enjoy and then watch the comments and shares role in!
Publish the video to your page once the live video is over for even more reach. Video content is proven to outperform other styles of posts, see this article for more information.
Engage With Your Comments
Respond to comments on your posts and be personal with your audience. It will lead to more comments and responses which can, in turn, increase your organic reach, especially amongst your audiences friends network.
Increasing Reach with Advertising
Simply boosting posts is an effective way to steadily increase reach. Boosting for engagement increases the chance of achieving a high rate of organic reach in addition to your paid reach.
Pick posts to boost that are interesting/shareable, if in doubt cute animals work really well!
You do not need to spend a lot of money boosting, simply spending £5 to £10 per boost will be effective as long as your post is good.
Aim to boost at least 2 posts per week. Obviously, this is dependent on your budget and your goals, for example, you may value link clicks more than engagement. Bear in mind that your reach maybe lower when boosting for link clicks, as you might lose out on some organic reach.
Run Page Like Campaigns
By running adverts to gain more page likes, not only are you growing your audience (thus increasing your pages reach) but the advert also counts as reaching people. Simply running a campaign for £1 per day will steadily increase your page like count and your reach.
Top Tip: Install a pixel on your website, target the audience data this generates for Page Like campaigns - you will find the cost per like is much lower than using an audience you have built yourself.
It is easy to increase Facebook Reach by following the above simple steps. You do not need a massive budget but you do need to be consistent to see results. In summary:
- Boost posts for little budget and often
- Run competitions (1 to 2 per month for best results)
- Go Live on Facebook
- Post shareable content
- Engage with your audience in the comments
- Run page like advertising campaigns
Follow this advice and your reach could increase hugely. This means more exposure for your brand, more likes, more comments and more website traffic!
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Author: Richard Hunter
The branding of your company can determine the way it is viewed by others, and how customers perceive your brand as a whole. Colour has a massive influence on how the brand is perceived. In fact, researchers have found that up to 90% of the initial judgements made by customers about products are based on colour alone.
Social media is a great way of showcasing your business, no matter how big or small it may be. There are 328 million active Twitter accounts, it’s an excellent way to reach out to customers from all over the world! Here’s a list of the top tips to get the most out of Twitter for your business.
Create a strategy:
Creating a strategic plan gives you a clear understanding of what you want your business to achieve. It also makes it easier to see how you have progressed, and what you have achieved or need to improve on.
Follow those relevant to your industry:
Following relevant businesses and potential customers is important for the following reasons:
When you follow people there is a chance they will follow you back, which will gradually increase your audience.
You can keep up to date with industry news and updates.
Following influential people means if they retweet your content, their huge following will see it too.
Pictures and videos are 3x more likely to get engagement than regular posts. This is because pictures and videos are eye-catching and more memorable. They also give you a chance to showcase your products/services.
Keep it short:
Keeping your posts short will engage more readers, but not too short. It is said that posts between 60 and 120 characters perform best. Posts that are less than 60 characters are easily ignored and scrolled by, whereas a slightly longer post captivates your audience, meaning that more people are likely to like/comment/share.
Using relevant hashtags is important for the following reasons:
Hashtags enable more people to see your post, allowing you to become part of a bigger conversation.
Hashtags are a way of engaging more relevant customers whether they follow you or not.
The possibility of becoming a trending topic with your unique hashtag.
You can gather data from hashtag usage.
Questions and polls:
Asking questions and running polls help you get to know your customers'. They are also excellent for market research, helping you understand your customers' needs and desires. It helps to engage the customers and can also get you more viewings and tags by them sharing it with their friends.
Quick responses to questions, messages and criticism builds up your social profile and gives a good impression to customers. If the comments get too long or intense, ask for a DM instead. You can now insert a deep link into a comment so they can contact you direct straight away.
Retweeting positive feedback and relevant articles can increase engagement and gives customers a sense of relation to your business.
Monitor engagement rates:
Looking at your tweet activity dashboard helps you to see how much engagement you are getting. You can then track the activity on your page, and make relevant changes to increase your levels of engagement.
Don't try and sell all the time:
Constant selling will make customers lose interest in your page. Try adding in relevant articles, photos and videos amongst your promotional posts to keep up the interest and engagement.
So, there you have it! Sticking to these tips will ensure that you make the most of your business’s Twitter account, boosting your views, likes, comments and followers, all to promote your business to the max. For more guidance and information about how to manage your social media, check out the rest of our blog.
Do you need support to manage your social media accounts? Take a look at the packages we offer to help you achieve social success.
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Author: Tilly Gould
One of the questions we are asked frequently is, "How do I boost my followers on Instagram quickly?" We have decided to answer it in this blog post once and for all. Here are our top tips on running your Instagram account.
Instagram has changed a lot in recent years with their algorithms, aesthetics, and features, in order to have any success on Instagram, you need to be exploiting all of the resources that you have at your disposal:
- Instagram Stories
- Follow Hashtags
- Hashtags and Profile Links in Bio
- Archive posts
- Instagram Live
- Posting multiple Photos or Videos
(If you are unsure what any of these features do, just click on them to get a brilliant explanation)
You have all of these amazing tools to use - and so much more - but we need to go through some steps to get your content looking great.
Use stories to your advantage
If you want to keep your profile predominately business orientated, you can use your Instagram stories to show more of your business' personality. Instagram stories are an important part of keeping your brand in your follower's minds. The reason for this is that stories sit at the top of the home feed which is a brilliant opportunity to always be in a prominent position on your followers home feed.
Tagging the location of your stories is a good idea, as this will broaden your audience and potentially enourage new people to follow you.
You could use the superzoom feature (shown above) to highlight your favourite moments in work, to create buzz about new products or to just be a little bit more light-hearted.
Maintaining a light-hearted element to your business will help people to stay interested. The presence you create online is just as important as the information that you share. You could have the best product or service in the world but if your social campaign has no enthusiasm behind it, it will just flop and be forgotten about.
Insta Stories Made Easy!
Still struggling to get your head around Instagram stories?
Another important new feature for Instagram is Highlights. It is now possible to archive your stories into public folders that are sat on your profile. This creates an album that can be viewed at any time. We recommend creating custom highlight covers like this:
This simple change to your stories will help your whole account look a lot more professional and may even entice more people to follow you.
No, this section is not just about what makes you happy. Unless creating great content makes you happy?
Producing attractive, relevant and interesting content regularly is the basis for a successful Instagram campaign. You will know if the content you are producing is relevant if can stand against the following criteria:
- Is it attractive?
- Is it meaningful? (Does it mean anything to anyone else other than you?)
- Is it for my audience?
- Is it fit for purpose? (Does it meet your brand value and principles?)
If you can honestly answer "Yes" to these basic questions about any content you create for Instagram, it should be relevant to your Instagram. Looking to up your Instagram post game? Check out Chloe's 5 tips for creating engaging social media posts!
Even though Instagram is an image based platform, words are still extremely important. Using hashtags creatively will push your content towards people who want to see it. For example, most people who have an interest in sport will follow sport related hashtags. If your business is in that industry, it will help your content to use the hashtag #Sport. It is also useful to note that you should use a mixture of relevant, trending and niche hashtags together in a post for maximum impact. To get some more understanding of how to hashtags effectively, check out our hashtag rules.
Top tip: Always post your hashtags with the post, do not post them as a comment. This is because by the time you post the hashtags in a comment, your image will be lower down the running order in the Instagram algorithm.
Find your followers
You cannot just sit back on your laurels and expect people to just follow you, you need to do the instigating. Instagram has put all of the tools to do this at your disposal, the new feature to follow hashtags has made finding your audience a whole lot easier. Just follow the hashtags that are relevant to your business and the whole world will be open to you:
When you begin to search through these hashtags, you will start to find other accounts that would be interested in your service. Once you find these accounts, leave some meaningful comments, like some of their pictures and follow them. This small act of kindness will usually result in a follow.
You can use a similar method where you follow the followers of accounts similar to yours. Typically, if someone is following an industry-specific account, they are likely to follow back other accounts in that specific industry. These are methods that work and have created success time and time again for us.
Top tip: Don't forget you can promote posts from your Instagram account to gain profile visits. This works directly through the Instagram platform and can lead to more followers.
Stop Hunting for Likes
Even though likes are important, you shouldn't make that your only goal. You may look at other people who have fewer followers than you but have loads of likes. You may also see the same vice versa. This is because they see engagement as more important, the more someone engages with a post the more they will do more than just like it. Make your focus posting great quality content that is relevant to your brand. If you also look for ways to start conversations with your followers, this will prove to be invaluable to your business.
Don't be fooled by people trying to sell you likes or new followers. If an account with 3 posts, 2 followers and following 7,340 (We're stereotyping here) messages you offering you a way to gain thousands of followers, the likelihood is that it's a scam. Whether they are looking to do you a free service or a monthly plan basis, buy followers or likes is not recommended. Not only could they be trying to steal your money, they could also be compromising your account or using click farms to boost your following. Not only that but the new followers you will gain will never engage with you and it could cause your Instagram account to be banned.
If you do want to speed up the rate at which you gain engagement, you could try systems like Social Drift, which use bots to engage with a targeted audience. This is proven to steadily increase followers, but it is a grey area. The audience you will attract with this method will be engaged, it is like a human constantly using Instagram each hour to engage with a target list of profiles. This method may not be safe - use at your own risk!
Avoid Click Farms!
Want to learn more about why click farms are bad?
It is impossible to build a genuine customer base from fake followers. This will only bring your business into disrepute so we would strongly advise against using any services like this.
Make conversations meaningful again
When you receive a genuine comment, how does it make you feel? Good, right? Now imagine how someone in your industry would react if you left a positive comment on their post. This simple idea of making conversations great again can actually help you to gain real followers.
Asking people about their businesses, congratulating them on an achievement or just telling someone they did a "great post!" could really boost morale and will boost positive engagement. Like with any conversation, it is rude to just ignore someone - without good reason, of course - so it is important that you keep on to of the comments and replies you receive.
Here is the real secret to gaining Instagram followers that everyone wants to hide from you: Hard-work! This includes:
- Liking other peoples posts.
- Commenting on other peoples posts.
- Regularly posting brilliant content to your profile.
- Posting stories.
- Following other accounts that either match your targeted customer base or that align with your interests.
Putting in the time to make meaningful conversation or create engaging posts all takes time and hard work. There is no substitute for Instagram success other than hard work. If you are willing to put in the work then Instagram will serve you well. However, if you are unsure how to balance all of this, why not trust a social media agency like us. We know what it takes to create a successful organically grown Instagram campaign.
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Author: Darius Smith
If you don’t have an employee with the knowledge and time to take control of your social media marketing, it may be a good idea to consider hiring a social media agency who can fully manage your pages and ensure you achieve results. But when faced with finding a social media agency you can trust, what should you consider and look out for?
Special offers and discounts
If you are in the food industry, or can easily find a way to relate your products to Easter, now is a great time to offer a discount to your social media followers. Not only will this drive some extra traffic to your website, it will also help to build upon your customer loyalty and improve your brand image.
Easter Social Competitions
Competitions are an eggcellent way (pardon the pun, more on that later though) of increasing your engagement over this short holiday period. Many people will have a few extra days off around the Easter weekend, and so an increased amount of time on social media is to be expected from these yolk folk. Offer a special Easter prize with a super simple way for people to enter, perhaps related to the season, and the entries will follow.
We’ve talked about using trending hashtags multiple times before. Easter is yet another opportunity to use hashtags to your advantage. A few to look out for include: #happyeaster #easteregghunt #easterweekend #easter2018 #easteregg #easterbunny
Remember to keep an eye on Twitter and Instagram on the day to see if there’s anything new that is trending which you could get on board with spontaneously.
Easter might be one of the only times in the year that everyone seems to go pun mad. Eggcellent this, eggstraordinary that - they’re everywhere, so get on the bandwagon! Throwing a pun into your Easter social media posts is a great way to humanise your marketing message and add some personality to your brand. While it may seem silly now, showing your brand to be approachable and friendly will help you massively with your customer service reputation in the long run.
We spoke a little bit about changing up your branding for Valentine’s Day in this blog post. Branding is something which everyone is used to staying exactly the same, so when it is changed slightly people tend to notice! Whether you sneak a couple of Easter eggs into your logo, or completely change up your cover photo for the weekend, change can be good.
Check out what we did with our logo, we made him into an Easter bunny!
Those of you with children are likely to have seen all the Easter-related games, puzzles and activities which are available on the internet for keeping the little ones occupied through the spring holidays. So, why not make your own for the adults to have a go with, relating to your business? An example of this might be to hide some tiny egg graphics in a product lifestyle image. Again, it sounds silly, but you’ll be surprised at the number of people who can’t help but get involved. The benefit to you is increased engagement, which also means increased reach.
Author: Chloe Welch
As a die-hard fan of Years and Years, I was amazed to see the marketing behind their new single, Sanctify. With all the talk of Facebook news feed changes and the adoption of chatbots into social marketing, their use of this medium was innovative and exciting.
The campaign revolved around an advert which encouraged you to engage with their account on Facebook messenger. Instantly you are propelled into an Orwellian narrative being welcomed to the "PSEN Server" claiming to represent androids and non-humans.
A sense of belonging
As the chat progresses, the story builds as Y&Y are portrayed as a "human collective" of rebels fighting against the authoritarian regime. Images of the symbol they used are sent to you along with 1984 style images and video clips. Its fun and intriguing and builds the anticipation of what is to come.
The day of release...
Of course, all of this leads nicely to the release date of the single and on the day of release, more messages came through, finally inviting you to listen to the music or to watch the music video.
This form of marketing really resonated with me. It was fun, intriguing and quirky and I enjoyed getting the messages. Real thought and planning had gone into the campaign and it did not feel like I was being marketed to. It felt like I belonged to the human collective, or at least that I identified with it.
I do not know who the agency was behind this, or creative, but it bravo to them. I look forward to more campaigns like this and it has certainly inspired us to think harder and more creatively about how we can use Facebook messenger and chatbots to better effect.
How are you using chatbots? How do you plan to use them? What did you think to this campaign? Let us know in the comments below 👇