Can a business survive without Social Media?

Can a business survive without Social Media?

Digital DetoxSocial Media is still new to the marketing game, yet many still don’t believe spending time on Facebook or Twitter (other social platforms are available) is a useful and effective use of their time or that it works for business.

Which I understand… to a point.

It can come across as a lot of effort for little gain and we have survived for many years without it, so why is Social Media still executed with bated breath?

Has this question been asked out of curiosity, time allowance or restriction, hesitancy or uncertainty? As all of which are valid reasons as to why Social Media is still untrusted.

Why would someone ask this question?

Many Business Owners ask us (at Koogar) this question, especially when they feel like Social Media is a burden they don’t wish to encounter or undertake. It’s yet another job we (as Business Owners and Marketing Managers) need to add to our “To Do Lists”, along with book keeper, new business development, sales team and so on.

I understand that Social Media is actually hard to do. It’s constant (and feels relentless at times), needs to be consistent but different every time, as well as interesting, engaging, likable, shareable to name but a few of the outcomes we want from the efforts we are putting in.

All of it about us, our business and why we are different.

In the small to medium business world, most are not those who like to put themselves out in the public eye. We worry about several things when it comes to sharing information about ourselves, our business, our prices and some of the other awkward questions we are asked on a daily basis, but we know we SHOULD be doing it.

And the answer is…

But the question here is… “can a business survive without Social Media?”

The simple answer to this question is “Yes”! If done with…

  1. Careful Consideration
  2. A Solid Strategy
  3. Precise Planning
  4. Committed Implementation

On a negative…

Social Media brings up several feelings for people BEFORE we talk about business. On a negative slant, we think about;

  • Privacy
  • Curiosity
  • Safety
  • Selfishness
  • Fear of missing out, failure, success
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Addiction
  • Unrealistic expectations

On a positive slant we’ve seen Social Media bring us and others;

  • Opportunity at a local and global sphere
  • Awareness of self, others (and brand of course)
  • Enhanced communication – being able to speak and having our own voice about things we may not be able to speak about privately
  • New business – people learning about who you are, what you do and who you can help them
  • Relationship building – by bringing us closer together with people we may not see regularly
  • Learning – about what’s happening with the people you are connected to, from the news
  • Collaboration – working with others and their audiences
  • Connectivity to family, friends, acquaintances, the world and feeling included
  • Discovery of new things you could get involved with, become, teach, learn…

Other thoughts consist of…

Not knowing what to share, when to share it, who is listening or watching, who is interested or bothered to read your content are to say but a few of the questions that go through the heads of Business Owners and the Marketing Managers who have to report back to their team leader, manager or boss to justify the work they are doing on Social Media is actually fore the business and not to the detriment of the business.

Some think;

  • Social media doesn’t work (at this point please define your understanding of “working”)
  • Only for the youth of today are the only ones using it
  • It is a waste of time
  • The newest method of communication is the holy grail to marketing
  • It’s the only thing you should be doing as traditional methods don’t work any more

All of these would be right!

Right as in, some social media doesn’t work but that’s because of the content you are creating or that you haven’t got the right people following you.

And because of this, we sometimes think “is it worth it?” Should I be spending my time where I’m not getting results or where this platform can go with a blink of an eye?

This is where Integrated Marketing comes in, but lets answer these questions first.


Top 4 questions/statements about Social Media and how it works for business

1. Is Social Media a waste of time?

Which could be true and this would be because you’re not focused on the task at hand, the content you should be creating, the audience you want to get in front of and how to influence them to choose you or invested enough time to give your audience what they need.

It will most certainly be a waste of time.

This isn’t about the more you put in the more you get out. You have to put the time, effort in by delivering the quality people want to see.

2. Social Media is only for the young ones!

This is certainly an old school train of thought. Yes, the young ones use it more than the most mature generations as we were brought up in a different time. We didn’t have so much information at our finger tips.

The next generation (the young ones) are our new clients, new team members and the way the communicate is via Social. Not being there limits your efforts of getting into new markets quickly as well as getting brand recognition, as other businesses within your industry will be there before you and smashing it on social.

3. Is it the Holy Grail?

To certain types of companies, yes, because their audience is the younger generation who have been brought up with Social Media, don’t notice anything else but digital content, as well as what happens when it stops working, goes down or has a big update that leaves you not being able to do anything?

HOWEVER, every business still needs a brand, a website and marketing materials, elements and activities so they are being seen in the places where their audience expects them to be.

4. Traditional marketing methods don’t work…

I get this said to me nearly EVERY time I have a meeting and there are two reasons for this;

You’re either not;

Not doing them correctly.

Let’s take a magazine advert for example; most people, when putting an advert in a magazine have their logo so big and only a little content about what they do. At the point of the reader seeing your advert, they may not even know who you are never mind want to take you on. You haven’t put on a tracking telephone number or set up a specific email address just for your adverts to know if it is working or not.

Thus, meaning your expectations are so high and the thoughts of people buying from you will just happen because they have seen the advert, you are disheartened when you get no results, leading you to think nothing works because you’re not getting the results you wanted.

Or your target audience isn’t there to see what you are up to. You need to spend more time understanding who “your people” are so you know where you should be spending the money, time and resources.

EVERYTHING you do to market yourself and your business HAS TO have the customer at the centre of it. What do they want and need to see, read, watch, touch, feel? This isn’t about you, its about them and their requirements.


What would happen if you did leave Social Media?

I doubt your clients would leave you for someone else who is on Social Media, but you would need to put more efforts into other marketing channels to ensure your clients see you on a regular basis and are not coheres into thinking your competitor(s) is better than you.

Email Marketing would certainly become a critical marketing element to your marketing methods and your websites and content marketing game would need to be upped.

How else would you use your time, now that you have it back from not doing Social?

Where is your audience and how do you need to concentrate your efforts on getting in front of them?

Risks if you did leave Social Media

There are always risks when you make change, but instead of concentrating on the negative, let’s be proactive and think positive by planning your success.

Here are 7 questions you should ask yourself if this is something you are planning on doing

  1. Touch points – which touch points will you have in your business if social media is put to one side?
  2. Brand awareness – how will you extend your brand awareness?
  3. Communication – how will you communicate about your new products, services, events and business?
  4. Sharing – how will you get your audience sharing the content you create, emails and images for you
  5. Expectations – do most people/clients expect you to be on social? Have you asked them?
  6. Search results – what will you put in place to ensure your search results don’t disappear
  7. Lead funnel – how are your leads effected by this move

As I mentioned before, Social Media isn’t the holy grail and if you were to stop it your business wouldn’t stop, you would just need a tighter strategy and plan to stick to, to get the results you are after.

Invisible growth

Social media does help in the growth of a business but most of the time we can’t see it because it hasn’t turned up in our banks.

This turns up in the way of;

  • Lerkers or observers
  • Likes
  • Private messages
  • Questions being asked
  • FB Live watchers
  • Website hits
  • Out of the blue cold calls

We need to realise as buyers, we don’t buy from people just because we have seen your post, image or email. We have bought because we have been through a series of thoughts, processes, reviews, objections and observations that have led us to you!

The lack of engagement doesn’t mean people are not watching you or can see what you are up to!

This is called the Customer Journey. We all do this, every time we look to buy something. The bigger the cost of it the longer the process takes.

Tracking the invisible growth is essential because the invisible growth turns into cash once the customer journey has been satisfied to THEIR standards, not yours!

Worst case scenario

How would your business fair all Social Media is gone as of tomorrow? You turn your phone on to find that all apps have been removed, websites don’t show up in your browser… Nothing.

How would your business communicate then?

Have you built up an Integrated Marketing strategy and plan that allows your business to have less of an impact of your daily routine?

Stop and “Take a knee”

Taking a step back, reviewing and reflecting is what we all must do as Business Owner’s but also ensure we are on the right track of our business.

Sometimes we just get carried away or complacent about where we are without ever reviewing our situation. You genuinely may hate social or are not getting results even with all the efforts you are putting in, which is why I’m going to suggest taking a digital detox or social break.

See how it works out for you and review your current situation over a month at the very least.

You being off social personally doesn’t count, it’s not the same. I’m talking about no pages, groups or profile action for a least a month for your business.

Digital detox…

What’s your next step?

It’s a big decision to stop social but also nice to detox from something you are not gaining from.

Let me know your thoughts, ideas, observations about this and if stopping social is for you or not…

Top 4 Functions in Twitter and how you can make FULL use of them!

Top 4 Functions in Twitter and how you can make FULL use of them!

Functionality of TwitterYou’ve possibly heard talk about “The DEATH of Twitter” and how long it will be around for?

Even though Twitter still has a major thriving community of users.

 – Yes, there is a lot of information in your news feed all at once

 – Yes, you cannot take it all in and WILL miss most of it

 – BUT! You are able to join into other people’s conversations freely

To me, twitter still has its place in the social world, even though it hasn’t made many changes of late because you can do a lot with it!

Here are 4 of the best functions twitter has to offer you and how you should take full advantage of them;

Advanced Search

Search is an everyday part of our lives now, whether that is on our phones, google, computers, tablets, etc. Twitters’ advanced search is perfect for marketers. If you are looking for customers, you can and if you want to measure sentiment or happiness of customers you can do that too!

Twitter Advanced Search

Searching tweets for keywords and phrases is what advance search was built for and they don’t have to be hashtags!

There are over 11 search segments that you can filter against on Twitter. Here are 7:

  • Contains all of these words
  • From these accounts
  • Positive tone
  • Question
  • Include retweets
  • Written in – a language
  • Near – certain place / geolocation

Other filters include media, @ referencing people/brands, negative attitudes and more!

You can find most popular tweets which could help with your content creation, monitor mentions, filter out competitors as well as search their tweets and find news about your company.

View questions only about your products or services. There is a ton of market research you can do using twitters advanced search.

In my opinion, twitters advance search after google is one of the best around!

Hashtags

Hashtags started on Twitter in 2007 to differentiate a message that was being sent and everyone seems to have taken them in as part of their social platform.

Twitter Hashtags

Hashtags allow people to search for anything and everything associated with it. By adding hashtags to your posts on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+ and so on you are able to have your content seen as your updates become searchable and more discoverable than ever before.

Looking at the news feed for a hashtag specifically will show you the depth and breadth that others have used it for.

By placing this symbol in front of a word or a phrase on social media will turn the word or phrase into a metadata tag. There can be no symbols like / or – in-between the words as this will break the hashtag up.

Have a look at #marketing, #socialmedia or a product or service you deliver to see what comes up.

4 don’ts for hashtags:

  1. DON’T hashtag everything
  2. DON’T make the word or phrase too long
  3. DON’T be clever with it… Allow people to spell it
  4. DON’T have more hashtags than words

Lists

A Twitter List is a curated group of twitter accounts and lists are the best way to collate specific tweets in one news stream.

Twitter Lists

You can create your own lists which can be either public (where anyone can follow you) or private (only you have access to it).

You should think of lists as categories, labels or folders for your followers and customise them based on a keyword, interest or sector. Something recognisable to you and them.

People can automatically add you to lists and put you in a place where they can see what you are up to regularly, this is the ultimate way to segment tweets. So instead of looking at your news feed and getting over whelmed, you can create lists based on different topics, people, sectors or industry’s (whatever you like) and follow so you can see tweets regularly.

Great for running events to see who uses your hashtag(s), create a client base (which would be private) so you can see what they are talking about and to put experts, inspiration or motivators into one place so you get that kind of content at once.

Please ensure that if you have a public list the name is a good one as people can see them and will be notified that you have added them to it! You never want to get caught out!

Analytics

When you are logged into Twitter, visit the following page – https://analytics.twitter.com and you will find a full analytics suite showing you if your tweets are engaging, which are the most popular, how many profile visits you have had, mentions, etc.

Twitter Analytics

But not only this it can more in depth into your audience on Twitter by Gender, Location and Language. Possibly information you haven’t seen before or have looked at.

This functionality in twitter shows you what content resonates with your followers and what you should be sharing more of. Understanding the content, you have shared that has had the most engagement allows you to share more of the same to get your audience to give you the retweets and favourites that you are after!

Analytics also shows you the best days you should tweet and when people are most likely to be on twitter to see your tweets which all comes from your own account NOT based on “Social Media Gurus” thoughts of when everyone should be posting.

Get to know your followers based on their demographics is great because the way you talk to a 20-year-old is different to how you would talk to a 50-year-old person. Obviously, you want to treat them both with respect but their understanding of the whole, life, brands, products, etc WILL be different.

Finally, you are able to see you if Twitter Ads are working. Have you tried advertising on Twitter yet? The best part about this is you can test your tweets to see if they are getting engagement BEFORE you promote it as an Ad!

I have only scratched the surface of the functionality you can use within Twitter but these are by far for me the best 4 available to you! There are a few more functionalities you can use within Twitter that you could take full advantage of like the Moments.

Review this functionality and see how it changes your way of Tweeting!

How does Fifa get us every year?

How does Fifa get us every year?

FIFA is BACKfifa

So, it’s that time of year again and no, I don’t mean autumn. The latest installment of the FIFA computer game series launched last week, FIFA 17. Each and every year they release a new version of the game whereby football fans across the country control their favourite players, and defeat their friends and family members. But, a new version has been released every year since 1993…so how do FIFA create such a buzz around the launch every year?

How do EA do it?

The marketing team at electronic arts, or EA as they are usually known, are an example of a company who truly understand their target audience. This is highlighted by their marketing communications strategy, as they recognise that their target audience is young males aged between 12 and 30.

With this in mind, the large majority of their marketing budget is spent on digital marketing communications, such as social media and digital advertising.

One very smart example of this that the week before FIFA 17 launched there were a number of advertisements across my social media accounts, specifically Facebook and Snapchat. These advertisement were also responsive and enabled the user to click it and if they wished to actually purchase/pre-order the game. Alongside the digital advertisements there was also a television advert which depicted the most novel part of FIFA 17, the ‘journey’ element. These different forms of advertising worked effectively to increase awareness of the launch, but also to create a level of buzz around the newest features.

Influencers

Secondly, one of the most important ways in which they increased the excitement around the launch of FIFA 17, was through the use of influencers. Obviously, for young football lovers there is no better influencer than actual professional footballers and therefore they use their contacts with footballers to help promote the game and the launch in a number of ways. Firstly, about a month before the game is launched the player ratings were released, outlining the level of ability each player will have on the game.

This was used as a key stepping stone to increase buzz around the game through printing some of the player’s cards (see below), getting them to hold them & to be photographed with them.

 

fifacard

These images were then shared across both the FIFA social media and the player’s social media. This is a simple way of influencing consumers through attaching the brand to specific well known influencers. Similarly, closer to the launch many influencers including football players  and music artists ranging from Tinie Tempah to Alex Iwobi, post images and videos across their social media channels showing them actually playing the game. This again increases the buzz, gets people really excited about the launch, and shows them some of the changes to the game, resulting in people purchasing the game.

Co-Creation

Another key way in which they facilitated the anticipation this year, which they have never done before, is through co-creation. This is where the brand interact with their consumers to create a product in which the customers have been involved in the decision making.

This was done this year in relation to the FIFA 17 cover, as they undertook a social media poll whereby fans could vote for the player they wanted to be on the cover.

Ultimately, the German midfielder Marco Reus won, but the importance of this process was they engaged with their consumers long before the game was launched, getting people to begin thinking about the new game and generating that engagement and attachment to the game way before it has launched.

Events

Finally, they actually organised a UK launch for FIFA 17, whereby a number of lucky guest could attend an event at the Olympic Stadium/ London Stadium. A number of famous influencers were invited including Nathanial Clyne, Marcus Rashford and Olly Murs.

At the event fans were invited to play the new game, take photos with the premier league trophy and even create their own FIFA FUT card printed with their picture and statistics, as if they were an actual footballer.

This again increased the anticipation for the game and added credibility to the excitement through the inclusion of a number of famous influencers.

Overall, FIFA truly understand the audience that they are trying to attract and therefore the best ways in which they can engage and influence them. This enables them to create a slightly altered product every single year and still convince almost every young football fan across the UK to part with £40. They market their product extremely well and reap the rewards.

How Snapchat has become key for businesses

How Snapchat has become key for businesses

SnapchatOver the last 4 years since Snapchat was launched, it has quickly become a global success with over 100 million global active users. Snapchat now has a range of different functions, but it was and still is essentially a temporary photo sharing application. A way of showing your friends, or your fans a snapshot of your life, but for a very short-lived period of time. As Snapchat has developed and introduced a range of new features it has become more and more important for businesses and business people to understand and engage with.

Story

The first major addition was the story function, this is the option to write a story of your day, through a number of Snapchats that will show anyone who follows you what you have been doing. This is really important for many businesses and celebrities, as it is an extremely powerful tool to increase engagement with the brand.

As many people will watch the stories on their Snapchat every day, therefore if a brand or celebrity can get people to follow their account and share interesting and engaging content on their Snapchat story then they can effectively interact with their consumers on a daily basis.

This is especially important for many celebrities, as they use this as a way of building a more intimate relationship with their fans, as they can show them ‘behind the scenes’ views of their daily life, their family, their friends, their workplace and their home.

News

Another recent development, which many large corporations have invested in is the news section of the application. In the discover section of the app, there are now 18 different news providing companies, who create a daily mix of videos and photos to educate the users on their latest news. These companies are extremely diverse and are seen as leaders in their specific fields, ranging for Buzzfeed, to Cosmopolitan, to Sky Sports and National Geographic.

This section of the app is key for these businesses as it increases their awareness hugely, as again they can engage with their consumers on a daily basis.

It can also increase consumer engagement with the company, and the website, as many of the videos link to articles from their websites, which can then be accessed through the application. It is also interesting to note, that many of the companies within the discover section have a large interest in the younger generations, and therefore this could be seen as an effective tool for targeting them, due to the demographics of the Snapchat users.

Events

Snapchat events can also provide amazing expose for businesses, as this feature allows Snapchat users at events to take pictures and videos and post them to Snapchat. Snapchat will then cut the most appropriate pictures and videos together to develop a clear story of the way in which the event played out. This has been done for a range of sporting events such as the Super bowl and a number of Premier League football matches.

These event posts are an amazing opportunity for the sports teams involved, as it increases the reach of their brand.

But more importantly, it provides a ‘fans view’ showing others the true atmosphere and energy inside the stadium at these specific events.

Filters

Finally, the most recent addition to Snapchat which a number of large corporation have engaged with is the Snapchat filters. These are a range of filters which are added to the users face and change their appearance in one way or another, some distort the user’s face, while others add humorous images to it such as dog ears or a raccoon’s face. While the majority of Snapchat filters are just largely humorous, there have a been a number of sponsored filters over the last 6 months or so, where companies have paid Snapchat to have a specific filter added to users options.

Largely these have been done to increase the buzz around a new launch or as part of a marketing communications plan for a new campaign.

For example, Ariana Grande sponsored a filter to create buzz around her new album launch, it allowed users to look like her with the filter. Cadburys have also had two filters, one to remind consumers that crème eggs were now available and the other to aid the launch of their new ‘obey your mouth’ campaign. Additionally, to increase the attention around the release of Batman vs Superman DC comics sponsored a filter which allowed users to look like Batman and Superman.

Overall, while Snapchat started as a very simple idea of sharing images, which could only be seen for a very short amount of time. There are a now a range of different ways in which businesses can utilize Snapchat to increase their awareness, engagement and connection with their consumers.

SEO vs. Social Media

SEO vs. Social Media

SEO vs Social MediaSocial Media is one of Koogar’s specialist subjects when it come to training business owners WHY and HOW to get the most from sharing content, finding followers and connecting with the right people.

We have been asked on a number of occassions about which is better – Social Media or Search Engine Optimisation?

Social Media and Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) are both powerful marketing tools that businesses are given easy access today. As powerful tools for marketing, both are recognized as great ways in driving traffic to your website. Even though business owners have an idea on how powerful and necessary these are in their marketing campaign, most still find their selves in conflict of which to choose between the two. Some wonders if it would be a good decision to just settle on one. There are also others who are wondering whether it would be worth to invest more than the other.

View larger version of this blog image

So, what is the answer?

Comparison of the two most Powerful Tools for Marketing today

Social media is powerful. However, there are limits to this, and that would be when it is not properly used. When that happens, the campaign would only become a total bust.

Just consider the fact that even if most businesses today have Facebook page, only a small percentage of it truly gets impressive results from their Facebook marketing efforts. In other words, for Facebook efforts to lead to great results, it must come with great thought, concept and advertising.

That is one difference that social media has with SEO. The former takes more thought than compared to the latter. It is true that both of the marketing tools remain difficult to surpass these days’ educated competitors. Still, Search Engine Optimisation remains much more straightforward than social media. With the former, you can simply pick keywords relevant to your business and start working on getting yourself closer to the top.

Google Keyword Planner is a great tool and one you may consider using.

Yes, it may not be easy to get to the top rankings. But the difference is that your goals and the path you have to take to reach them are clear. Apart from the lack of straightforwardness, social media also comes with different platforms which are not to be used by everyone but to be used to “hang around” with your ideal customer. In result, you are also required to make different effort for each of the campaign based on the platforms to be used as they all had different terminology and etticate.

Which has the Edge?

With SEO, you only have to work on rankings on search engines with your target keywords to get discovered and enable awareness to your business. It also comes with a lot of tools you can use to know or at least have an idea about what people are mostly searching for. The good thing about this aspect of SEO is that it may not let you acquire a specific amount of searches a month. But, you are provided with the information that this certain keyword is more popularly searched over other keywords.

Social Media on the other hand contributes hugely on customer’s purchasing behaviour.

On a report made by the EConsultancy, they found that about 75% of people within the age bracket of 18 to 26 often base their purchase decisions on social site recommendations.

Hence, business owners only have to work on their social media presence to increase the awareness of their brand.

Another good thing about this social media is it helps the business owners respond to any criticisms in real-time. This is something that SEO cannot do. Complaints can be easily turned into compliments since the social offers its users the ability to respond immediately.

There are a lot more benefits and differences these marketing tools can offer. But based on what is already provided, it can be concluded that both are powerful. But these two share different capabilities which when combined can prove to be highly beneficial!

We’d like to hear from you

Which do you use, Social Media and/or SEO and what have the results been since you have used them?

[Video] #socialmediafrustration – 7 Reasons WHY you should be using Social Media

Got a little frustrated with the decision makers in a company for NOT allowing the Head Marketing Manager from doing her job. So, I decided to make a video about it and give 7 Reasons WHY you should be using Social Media!

Marketing isn’t what get you business, marketing gets you awareness,

It’s what you do with that awareness that then gets you the business!

Video is 11 minutes 10 seconds.

Let me know if this has happened or is currently happening to you by commenting below and telling us your thoughts, fears and frustrations with regards to not being allowed to implement new ideas and suggestions or just being told you haven’t got time or it simply won’t work.

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