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Online monitoring using Google Alerts

For monitoring what’s going on in your industry online and topics of interest, what people are taking about or saying about you and your business, this is such an easy and simple way to get this information regularly without any fuss.

A Google Alert generates search engine results, based on a search you request, and sends it to you by email.   This means you can keep up with what is new about a topic, company, industry and see what is being shared online about you and your business without having to go actively searching for it.    You can use this information to make sure you don’t miss anything being posted about you and/or your business, to create new content or comment on new developments in your field, or just share new or interesting information on your social media channels.

It’s VERY simple to do, just go to Google Alerts.  You can decide how often you want to be notified, what language, region and which type of results you get in ‘Sources’.   If you leave it to Automatic you’ll get a mixture though, if you prefer a particular format you can select to receive news, web, video, blogs etc.

It even gives you some Alert Suggestions and a preview of the kind of content you will be getting depending on your search terms, so you can change or improve what you are wanting to receive before you confirm the alert.  You can select how often you receive them too.  We suggest you set some up and alter then alter them to suit until you start receiving exactly what you’re looking for.

It’s such an eady and simple way of improving your online presence and knowledge.  Just try it out at Google Alerts, and if you really need full step-by-step instructions find them here at WikiHow.

 

To keep up with us at Dot Social, if you’re local to Croydon you could meet us at one of our events, or follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

 

 

Sharing your location on Twitter

If you add your location to your tweets using a mobile app, you attach your specific location to your tweets. When you tweet from twitter.com, you can choose to attach a more general location like a city name.  We find local cities and towns in the UK don’t come up though. The site just offers London normally if that’s where you are, or you can add / be in Scotland or Wales!  If you want to be more specific it’s best to be using an app or mobile.

Tweeting your location allows your followers to see where you are, gives you location-specific ‘trends’ and you’ll also get commercial tweets tailored to your location, which can mean more great local offers.

As described before in our blog on Local Marketing Tips, marketing and selling can often be linked with local connections, so sharing where you are, where you’re going or where you’ve been could be that last connection that gets you that business meeting, or a sale that you might not otherwise have got. It might even mean a new supplier or a special offer finding you too.

As with most social media sites and apps etc, you can amend your privacy in the settings, under ‘Security and Privacy’. Even if you opt-in for ‘tweet location’, you can still turn your location on or off before each tweet so it only shares where you are when you want it to.  You can also delete all the previously stored location information. You might want to do this is you’ve moved your office or moved house so you stop getting irrelevant information and ads.

Shared locations become really powerful for businesses when they’re used to search out people, connections and prospects via the Twitter Advanced Search facility, or on Hootsuite’s location search.  Following others who share their location could bring you more business and certainly get you leads.

So, we would advise having the facility on and deciding tweet by tweet if you want to share your current location.

 

If you’re local, you can come and meet our team at the ‘Tweetup’ on 8th October, from 7.15pm at Matthew’s Yard, Croydon. These are monthly social meet-ups. See our Events page!

Reframing the same content to post it again

Reposting the same information on your social media channels will get you more exposure.  However, the best way to do this is to reframe the content to suit your audience.   For example, change the header, slant or tile describing the post, blog or article to entice different people to click to read or share your information.    According to Buffer’s blog, “9 Best Social Media and Content Marketing Tips from Buffer (see No 4)  they can get double or triple the amount of engagement by highlighting different elements of the content when they repost it!

That’s pretty amazing.  So, don’t forget to keep re-posting and reframing your content, mixed in with interacting with others on your social media as always of course.

Here’s an example of how we’ve done it for you to see how you could do this too.  These are Tweets about one of our other Blog posts:

How to see ALL the activity on your Facebook page – good to know !”

“A Facebook blog – how to see all the activity on your page in one go – by

“This is really helpful, a way to see ALL activity on your Facebook page – NEW blog by Wendy. It also works on

The example by Buffer was using Facebook and explains how they also use imagery to create more ways to repost the same content and increase engagement as well.

If this blog post was helpful to you please comment, and follow and ReTweet for us @DotSocialise.

New changes to Facebook rules – HURRAY!

Facebook like, dislike image

Facebook like, dislike image

As a user, I was extremely pleased to read about the new Facebook Platform Policy (7 Aug, fully effective on 5 Nov 2014) stopping Pages apps requiring you to like a Page in order to enter competitions etc.  Like-gating, as it’s known, is now prohibited by policy.

What is it?

It’s when competitions and promotions require you enter by following their request of liking their Page.

However, there are many Pages not following the rules that already apply to promotions and offers.  This could be due to lack of knowledge and understanding, blatantly ignoring them or attempting to get hundreds of likes.  The latter doesn’t particularly help your marketing because if the person doesn’t really ‘like’ your Page, they with either unlike it or remain dormant, limiting the reach of your posts.  Remember it’s about quality not quantity.  You want an engaged audience, not huge figures of uninterested people on your Page.  After 5 November even if an existing app requests a Page like, it will be disabled by Facebook (in effect) and not count whether the entrant has or hasn’t liked the Page!  For a new app, we believe this is in effect already (from 7 Aug 2014) and some have 90 days to comply.

There have always been strict rules around competitions on Facebook.  To summaries these:

  • you must show all the terms, rules and eligibility to enter etc
  • must include an acknowledgement that it is not associated with Facebook
  • not request use of personal timelines (e.g. ‘Share on your Timeline to enter’ is not allowed)

See the rules in full in the Facebook Pages Terms.

Hands up if you are surprised by these rules?  There are plenty who don’t abide by them!

Another interesting rule that you may not have heard of is that third-party advertisements on Pages are prohibited, without Facebook’s prior permission.

The new rules that sparked this post applies to apps.  ‘You must not incentivise people to use social plugins or to like a Page.   This includes offering rewards, or gating apps or app content based on whether or not a person has liked a Page.   It remains acceptable to incentivise people to login to your app, checkin at a place or enter a promotion on your app’s Page.’   Read this and about the changes to Games apps here under Changes to Platform Policy .

So, in theory, we should see a lot less of the ‘Like our Page to enter’ competitions in our personal timelines.

As a Page owner if you have created a campaign or social strategy based on incentivising page likes through apps you may find have work to do!  But, in the long run, you will find other actions, probably more effective ones, to ask your audience to do, to replace that one.

The controversy over this is move by Facebook is really interesting. See the comments under the Facebook Blog, and Socially Staked.

When you consider how many Pages each individual has liked, narrowing down who sees what has got to mean users only really do click to like, in the future, those pages that you are really interested in, not just because they want to enter a competition.

We think this is a good move. What do you think?

 

 

Blogging for Business – Tips

Blogging for business can be about sharing useful insights, tips, an overview of your expertise or views on your industry news and products that will help your audience and give them reason to engage with you.  To get them into your marketing funnel you want it to mean they want to link up with you by following you, subscribing, or looking for more information about what your business offers.   A well-written blog is no good on it’s own though.

To engage people you need to make it easy to read, provide ways to find out more information on the topic, either from you or elsewhere.  Great pictures, video or info graphics to help show visually what you’re talking about will really enhance your message.    

Everyone is short of time, so be careful with the length of your blog posts and videos.  When it comes to the writing, remember to cut, cut cut!  That means cut out ALL the words that are unnecessary and anywhere where you are repeating the same message.  When it comes to visuals, make sure they’re relevant, engaging and attractive.   Video should be short and either a summarised or entertaining version or addition to your blog. 

Don’t forget to make it easy for your readers to follow you on their preferred platform.  Share your Blogs regularly yourself on other platforms too.  Actively suggest people subscribe or follow your blog, so they’ll get notified when you write a new post.

Most importantly, as with all marketing, be consistent.  Keep going.  There’s nothing worse than going to a website or connecting with someone because you liked their Blog and then they stop writing it, for no apparent reason!

If you’re still not sure you can do this.  Here’s 5 reasons to blog for your business on Social Media Examiner.

We write blogs on all kinds of social media, marketing and online news and about what’s going on in and around Croydon.  Subscribe to our blog so you don’t miss out posts, or connect with us using the buttons below.

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10 easy ideas to post on your Social Media

A lot of people we meet who aren’t yet using Social Media or haven’t fully integrated it into their marketing plans ask us what they should post on their Social Media channels.

There are literally hundreds of things you can post about but for some simple outgoing post suggestions for your social media, see below.   We recommend the 80/20 rule i.e. 80% sharing useful information and content and engaging with your audience and just 20% directed to your business.

1.  Promotional offers for your products/services

2. How your product/services solve your customers’ problems or help them

3. Comparisions of yours to other similar products/services

4. Reviews of your products/services or testimonials/case studies

5. Best of, top sellers or customers’ favourites

6. Your USP

7.  What you’re working on right now

9.  Industry news

10. Share photos or video of your people doing their work or using your products

We’ll post some more suggestions in the future, but hopefully these will give you some inspiration if you’re struggling with what to talk about.  Don’t forget, we’re very social and happy to join you in conversation, especially on Twitter, so do follow us @DotSocialise and

Wendy Ager @WendyAnnAger

Stephanie Darkes @StephanieDarkes

Ania Wilk-Lawton @AniaWL

Can Path replace Facebook?

Path – The place for your personal life

The first I heard of Path was watching The Gadget Show this week.  It’s described as an Ad-Free version of Facebook.  Why it’s been mentioned now as a possible rival in social networking terms to Facebook, when it’s been around for quite a while could be because they’ve only just launched it’s iOS7 App.  

Path is a Social Media network with the difference to others that it limits your friends to 150.  This is because physiologists say that that’s the maximum number of people you can maintain meaningful relationships with at any one time.   You can delete and add people as you change friends.

Your uploads/shares are called Moments and it’s more like a closed network as your Moments remain within those friends.  You can even have an inner circle of friends too.   It seems really slick and is intuitive to use on an iPhone, with new swiping features and moving between messages and the Home screen etc.

It has been doing pretty well gaining numbers from what what I’ve read but there’s scepticism on how it can be monetised.

Their CEO Dave Morin, according to this Business Insider article, has hinted in the past that somehow making money from data about users’ behaviour might be a way it makes money, rather than straightforward advertising,  and that they intend to remain independent.  Path Premium is £2.99 for 3 months or £10.49 for 12 and this gives you unlimited access to items from the their online shop (sticker packs and camera filters) and early access to new items.

For me, it’s like anything new…. I’d love to try it out properly but need more friends to be on it to see if it’s really going to replace something else.  It will have to be pretty good to overtake something else you’ve invested time and effort in.  It’s been around for over 3 years now and this is the first I’ve heard of it and it’s got to make money to take off too, so lets see, eh?!

As it’s FREE do have a go with Path via Google Play or Apple’s App Store. 

Google’s new email ‘Unsubscribe’ button

A couple of days ago, Google rolled out their new ‘Unsubscribe’ button. It comes up next to your emails from companies it thinks you might want to unsubscribe from. It’s a link that sends an automated email to the sender requesting they remove you from future emails.

I noticed my first one today.

It will make it easier to unsubscribe from marketing emails, but will it reduce spam? According to The Verge it won’t because it won’t pick them up as marketeers promotions and you don’t want an email sent back to a spammer, for fear of more spam! So, it will simply allow us to quickly and easily unsubscribe from marketing messages without having to scroll down to look for the unsubscribe link at the bottom.

It clearly won’t catch all of them either, as I’ve got a few others without the Unsubscribe button showing.

Google explain it a bit more here and call it Auto-Unsubscribe.

Facebook Updates – Tips from them!

In the ever-changing world of Facebook it’s hard to keep up with what might make your posts seen or not, and even the most supportive and fanatical Facebook marketeers don’t really know, and must find it hard to keep up!  

The best way to be sure has got to be to check with Facebook themselves. Below is an extract from their Newsroom from  21st Jan 2014 on creating content for your Facebook Page.

“Many Page owners often ask what kind of content they should post. This is difficult to answer, as it depends on who your audience is and what they want to see”…

“The best way to share a link after this update will be to use a link-share, so it looks like the one below. We’ve found that, as compared to sharing links by embedding in status updates, these posts get more engagement (more likes, comments, shares and clicks) and they provide a more visual and compelling experience for people seeing them in their feeds.”  

You can read the full Facebook post from their very own Newsroom here.   I hope this helps you. 

For more information from us, find us on Facebook!

Wendy Ager, for Dot Social