26 May

Dos & Don’ts of Social Media

You want to use Social Media for your business?

As we are very generous, we are sharing some Dos & Don’ts for your Social Media strategy on different networks.

Dos & Don'ts of Social Media

For more infographics like this, follow us on @socialmedia_ie

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12 May

connector360 Instagram Plan #Instaplan

So you want to use Instagram for business but don’t have a plan? Well as we are so generous, we are sharing our little sister connector360 Instagram research and plan aka our #Instaplan! We would like to present our planning for our new Instagram account. It shows marketing, art, music, entertainment and a bit of our lives into the office. We do everything thinking of you, clients, friends and Partners. We hope our content is engaging images, reviews, tips, tools and trends.

Follow us @connector360 and get to know more about this Irish based  family called connector360.

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02 May

Online + Offline = Bottom Line for Institute of Directors

Conor Lynch presented to an audience of Irish business directors for IOD Ireland last week about how Online + Offline = Bottom Line.  His short presentation focuses on the opportunities available using social media and digital listening.

Please get in touch if you would like Conor or one of our team to come and talk at your business event.

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15 October

Introducing connector360 Creative Agency

Welcome to a very special post about Connector360.net. The new flagship and sister company to both Socialmedia.ie and Boss Metrics.

SocialMedia.ie will continue to execute award winning social media campaigns and to educate companies on the benefits of using social channels, evolving into the social media branch of Connector360. The research and analytics company Boss Metrics is now the exclusive data provider for Connector360 and will continue to deliver to customers, opportunities for growth while also exposing any weaknesses currently being exploited by competitors. The findings streamlined into Competitor and Digital Listening reports that deliver a measureable ROI.

Connector360.net marked the brands launch on the 19th of September with a momentous Instagram Party. The night’s endeavour’s included the Connector360 Instagrammys, Prinstagram, Gallery Show, and even an Interactive Wall not to mention food and drinks. The launch event was true to our motto; Online + Offline = Bottom Line as guests participated in the proceedings in real time through Instagram. Their engagement instantly visible across social platforms and in real time on the interactive wall or in the hard copy prints available to take home as souvenirs.

The gallery show included images by several of Dublin’s most influential bloggers and Iggers that lead to endless media impressions being broadcast throughout the WWW. The connector360 Facebook page included over 250 confirmed guests. The launch night featured in several online and offline publications including the Irish Times and was heralded as a huge success by the media because the pioneering event was one of the first Instagram parties to be hosted in Ireland.

Connector 360 is a full service-marketing agency with award winning expertise that connects digital, mobile and social media marketing with offline marketing. Our services include everything from Strategy to Media & Promotions. Visit our website; connector360.net for a full list of the services we provide. There you can also view projects and case studies we have worked on and download Free informative E-books that will help to get you started on the road to marketing bliss.

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13 June

10 Killer Tips For A Sales Focused Website

Your company website is your virtual shopfront – the place online that anyone interested in your product is likely to arrive at.   Here you highlight the unique value your products can offer everyone in your target market.  As with anything that can be sold online, new markets may open up for your business worldwide.  Of course with opportunity comes competition.  Now you may not be competing only against your rival across town but with similar firms from Melbourne to Milan.

As some online shoppers will never set foot in your own physical store (if you have one), you must wow them and woo them through your website.  The question we ask today is – once they visit, do you make it easy for them to move from curious, to interested, to sold?  Here are 10 tips to help improve user experience and increase sales.

 

Tip 1: Get Your Landing/Home Page right! - Once visitors click onto your homepage or through an ad to a specific landing page, make sure they know (a) where they are and who you are (b) what they can do while on your site, and (c) why they should stay longer.

 

Tip 2: Write great copy - Ensure your copy and content is persuasive and highlights the value of your product.  Does it

  • read well and is understandable by everyone?
  • focus on benefits for the customer, not just features?
  • provide answers to any fears or uncertainties visitors may have against purchasing?
  • give clear instructions on how to buy?
  • provide information on what happens after buying (delivery, returns process)?

 

Tip 3: Use product images - This seems an obvious point, but a text heavy site with no product images or visual cues often has visitors nodding off if they haven’t already clicked away.

 

Tip 4: Offer less products per page, with better description - Rather than following a ‘something for everybody’ approach and offering dozens of product alternatives, maybe try to focus on fewer.  This way you can zero in on the benefits of each in more detail.  Some web design guru’s give advice that for online retailers, 4-6 items on any one page is the magic number.  Did you know that Amazon follow the rule of 6?  They limit their highly effective ‘customers who bought this also bought these’ list of related items to a max of 6 per screen.

 

SocialMedia.ie importance of testing

Tip 5: Test/Change which benefits you use to sell each product - You may be very proud of a certain product benefit.  Do customers feel it is equally as important to them though?  Test different benefits within your headline or sub header and see what visitors are responding to in biggest numbers.

 

Tip 6: Test layout of any call to action - anything from the headline, copy wording, placement on page or even colour scheme of any ‘call to action’ box or button can increase response rate.  Tweak, test, repeat!

 

Tip 7: Reduce clicks to get to sale - Ensure that visitors don’t have to jump through too many hoops to avail of a free trial or make a purchase.  The longer the ‘click trail’ they have to follow, the more likely they are to baulk.  Simplify when possible.

 

Tip 8: Offer time sensitive offers/stocks etc - This is a great way of keeping your website up to the minute, and keep customers coming back to your site.  A timely offer can make your product look scarce and exclusive to potential buyers.  Google loves websites that update content often too, so it won’t do your SEO any harm either!

 

Tip 9: Promote shareability - using sharing buttons on your site allowing visitors to share an offer or product with their social network can be great exposure.  An example would be a clothing or art & design site allowing Pinterest pinning to special interest community boards to gain you viral attention the easy way.

 

Tip 10: Be your customer! – The more input you have had in your website design, the more a labour of love it will be to you.  Try to take off your designer hat and wear a visitor’s hat instead.  Use your site like they would.  There may be holes in user experience that you are not seeing, looking from the inside out.

 

These tips will get you thinking about your website and any potential for improvement.  It may be purring like a kitten to your eyes, but tweaking, testing and always looking at every change from a user perspective can glean even those small improvements that can snowball into better sales.

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22 May

Installing The Digital Marketing Cog Into Your Business Engine

Think of your business as an engine (a finely tuned one, no doubt)! If you introduce a new part or component into any engine, it will affect how the rest of the system performs. This principle is certainly true when looking at the explosive growth of digital marketing and its integration into your marketing and business functions. Let’s look at your business holistically and ensure that any digital integration assists and augments your existing business engine – a new part installed to increase performance!

 

Digital VS Traditional Marketing – No Need To Argue

Your business now has access to an already massive and ever growing digital marketing toolkit – a huge array of methods to interact with, understand and sell to customers online. Pulling back the curtain into this world means that you can dispense with traditional methods in future and bask in the warm success web based marketing offers? Not quite!

Traditional methods should rather be combined with and enhanced by digital options rather than being dispensed with. These methods have not been made obsolete by any means. Depending on the size of your business, the old reliables of TV, radio and print advertising can still be highly effective means for creating mass brand awareness. Direct mailing has stood the test of time but has arguably been surpassed by email marketing and is an example of digital’s great impact on the marketing old school.

Many companies have married old and new and created a little synergy by making the call to action on these campaigns digital based. Point customers to your website, encourage them to follow and interact on social media. Now these passive, unknown customers are made visible and ready for you to build relationships, leads and sales. This gives your brand an extra dimension through digital and is something we will delve into more tomorrow.

Tune-Up Your Other Functions With Digital

Once the marketing department have caught the digital bug, it often takes longer for these same approaches to be considered throughout the rest of the organisation.

Many firm’s customer service is still primarily phone based, but this burden on costs and man hours can be reduced by introducing platforms such as customer forums, live chat services and even website FAQ sections. If you are increasingly savvy gaining customers digitally, they may be disappointed that they cannot then follow up at other stages of their life cycle with you by these means also.

Digital is here to stay, so integrate it when possible all around your business, it should improve performance to misfiring parts and have the already finely tuned functions purring like a kitten.

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21 May

Under The Hood – The 6 Key Parts Of Your Digital Marketing Engine

Today we will look at what separates an old, run down marketing strategy from the sleek, supercharged digital engine that drives a clued-in company.  Let’s pop the hood and see what makes souped-up digital marketing tick!

share1. Create Useful and Shareable Content

The web is chock full of companies and brands advertising their wares. Being heard in the digital space with just an advert or sales pitch is a sure fire way of being lost in the ether.  To attract the new and empowered online customer you will need to grab their attention and make them come to you.

How? Create content that is relevant and useful to your customer base.   This will encourage them to return to your site again and again and improve customer perception of your brand.  This can be hugely effective and cost efficient way of increasing leads and sales opportunities.

2. Build Your Community & Fanbase

Now you have a strong and active web presence. To borrow a classic movie quote “If you build it, they will come”?  Not necessarily!  Ensure you get your message heard, if people are sharing your content, find out where and how.  Encourage these behaviours further amongst your customer base. Common examples here are clever uses of polls, questions, contests and competitions.

3. Interact With Your Audience, Build Trust

Social media marketing has allowed mass conversation between companies and consumers.  Brands can now reach out and make real connections with their customers.  Use social media to humanise your brand, start conversations and spark debate.  This will help create enthusiastic customers and in time, brand evangelists.

4. Maintain a Sales Focused Website

Your website is your crown jewel online, the one part of the web where you control every aspect of your brand’s message.  Test your own site from a customer perspective, is the search and purchase process clear and easy to understand?  If customers have to jump through too many hoops to purchase, they will simply leave and never come back.

goingup5. Measure Your Effectiveness

Behold the altar of metrics!  Whatever your digital focus is (increasing fans, engagement, increasing sales leads) ensure that you are tracking the effects your strategy across your various web and social platforms.  Measure before, during and after any campaign, that way you can adjust your behaviour to repeat successes and avoid repeating failures.

6. Re-evaluate Objectives, & Go Again!

Of course, the road goes ever on regarding your brand’s performance.  Whether a campaign has met your goals or not, strive to create an action plan for any peaks and valleys in your performance that you may have noticed along the way.  Learn any lessons, refine your technique and get back into the fray.  Digital never sleeps!

If you’d like to know more about any of the topic discussed above, or how they can affect your business, please drop us a message.

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15 May

Become a Monitoring Master and Generate Leads

Listen to your competitors customers, you might learn something! Getting honest and unsullied opinions from consumers regarding your competitors has never been easier.  In fact, you don’t even need to ask them!  Traditionally, surveys and focus groups have always been useful sources of measurement on customer sentiment. Neither, however, offer the currency and (arguably) the honesty of some discreet social media monitoring.

By now many businesses are using social media monitoring tools.  The most obvious application is what some call ‘Ego monitoring’.  ’Ego monitoring’ is listening for any mentions of your own company online, be it positive or negative. This style of monitoring can be useful, but instead, why not take things up a notch?!

listen-300x300-resized-600Become a Monitoring Master

If you read yesterday’s blog on determining your competitor’s KPI’s, then  you have a perfect framework for zoning in on their strengths and weaknesses. One example we enjoyed reading about was from Harley Manning’s book ‘Outside In’.  Accor Hotels (owners of the Novotel and Sofitel chains) prepare daily reports from head office for their individual managers, these reports contain up to the minute customer sentiment online.  This way they can detect potential problems, branch by branch, and can then act to nip them in the bud before they snowball.

A savvy social media manager would have the same reporting set up, except they’d report on other chains in their market, such as the Radisson Group, Best Western and Marriott Group.  The company can probe for weaknesses in the competition across different territories.  Now armed with this easily sourced, hugely insightful customer data they can base a marketing or ad campaign around highlighting these shortcomings.  Cheeky yet highly effective!  All from gold plated, freely sourced competitor information.

David Vs Goliath – smaller size equals nimble reaction

A 2012 study by Conversocial has shown that a mere 13% of customer complaints delivered to the door of America’s biggest brands (including Footlocker, GAP) are responded to. They receive so many @mentions per week (over 8000 in some cases) that even the largest brands are buckling under the weight of this volume.

At home, with high streets containing empty shop units like missing teeth, independent retailers that are determined to grow could use this to their advantage.  Maintain a laser focus on the big players in town for these type of complaints and service gaps, filtered by geography.  A clever, smaller retailer could jump into the conversation, offer to fill the gap in experience the customer has suffered and hey presto!  You’ve got yourself a lead.

Now, just ensure when they enter your store that you have the means to deliver on any promise you’ve made.  But that’s a project for another day.  One step at a time!

 

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