Social Media Power Playbook 2015

How can you utilise social channels in 2015 to have the best effect on your business?

It’s 2015! Facebook is still on top, Twitter is still Tweeting, a little white and yellow ghost has had us all snapping and chatting and every waking moment seems to be recorded with a selfie.

This year we are truly in the era of pay to play for Facebook, but what of our other social channels?

Below are our power play tips in 2015 for the social networks our customers love most.

Facebook.

This year there are a whole range of Facebook updates that could potentially affect your marketing techniques. Possibly the most important change for businesses this year is that Facebook are pushing a reduction in overly promotional posts.

Here’s what Facebook had to say about the situation:

“As part of an ongoing survey we asked hundreds of thousands of people how they feel about the content in their News Feeds. People told us they wanted to see more stories from friends and Pages they care about, and less promotional content.”

Source: Facebook Newsroom (Nov 2014)

In some ways this might get you down on the whole idea of marketing your business on Facebook, however I like to think of this as a good change. Generally speaking people aren’t interested in having promotional content thrown at them, these days the type of marketing that works is when you approach things in a very casual way; providing good content to earn loyal custom.

So the moral of the story is to start being more ‘human’ with your Facebook account (and other social media platforms) as in the long this will help you gain the trust of your existing and future customers, let them know you are human and purvey the fact that you are approachable as a company.

Twitter.

Microblogging platform Twitter bridges the gap between asynchronous and synchronous communication and is therefore a great tool to have short, near real-time interaction with your customers. Using Twitter correctly really can help toward giving a personality to your brand – be it humours, honest, informative or anything else.

I think the main performance tip that I could provide about Twitter throughout 2015 would be to really nail down you target audience (not literally). Try to create an environment where your Twitter following(s?)/followers are the people you are aiming to sell to.

Then once you achieve this, try to get on a more personal level with these people, share jokes, ideas and just generally converse without there being an ulterior motive. Gain peoples trust and it is likely that when they need a service similar to yours they will come to you first because they know that you are responsive, friendly company.

Google+.

It’s 2015… and guess what Google+ still kinda sucks. But it is great for Hangouts (even better than Skype) and strictly from a search engine optimisation point of view it is definitely an avenue to explore.

Of course with all popular social media sites it is worth having some form of social presence, so on this basis I would recommend making sure you are on Google+ and that you update it regularly. Even if it just means adding something like an IFTTT recipe to copy over from your Twitter or Facebook and then replying to notifications.

However, taking all of the above into account you have to remember that this is just one man’s opinion on the service (mine). If you find that Google+ is working well for you then go for it. Some of these social platforms differ dependant on your target audience and if your clients seem to huddle in herds on Google+ then maybe that is indeed the place for you.

Snapchat.

Word on the street has it that Snapchat is no longer solely for the purpose of nude selfies, who knew? I must admit that I don’t use the service myself, especially for marketing but many seem to be having great success with it.

If Snapchat seems to relate to your business and you can think up some creative ways to get involved I’d certainly recommend jumping on board this year and start to learn the ropes, as it seems this may be the hot new topic in the coming months.

In general for your social networks a focus on the customer is what you need, what do they want to see in their news feeds, if you can tap into your customers mindset then you can win on social in 2015.

Got any thoughts on this post or do you have a tip for marketing on social media in 2015? Let us know in the comments section below!

Photo credit: Rosaura Ochoa via Flikr (Creative Commons)

The Power Of Strong SEO In 2015

What will differentiate your SEO from your rivals in 2015?

Let me give you an example of powerful SEO in action…

In early 2015, a popular financial services company increased their unique web hits by 200%. They did this by taking a little time to analyse their most effective keywords and then implemented keyword rich content and smart SEO tactics to link their site with these new keywords. Of course knowing the keywords you need is just one piece of the puzzle.

The following SEO tactics will contribute to your strong SEO strategy in 2015.

Find new keywords.

The Google algorithm has changed so much in the last 5 years. Keywords that once dominated search strings for your industry may be penetrable again.

Get up-to-date on your keyword research and see if there are some high traffic / low competition keywords that your business may perform well for.

Monitor the competition.

What are the number one ranked players in your industry doing? Don’t be a copycat, instead evaluate what works for them and adapt it for yourself. There are tons of handy tools out there that can help you with this one.

Think to yourself, why is your competitor ranking better for specific keywords? What are they doing right SEO wise? And perhaps most importantly what can you improve upon? Combine these ideas together, act upon them and logically speaking you should start to see improvements in your own site rankings.

Mobile. Mobile. Mobile.

If your site is not optimised for mobile, do not expect to be on top of your competition. Everything is becoming mobile nowadays and as a result Google and other search engines are starting to use this as an important ranking factor. Recently Google has even started tagging sites as ‘mobile-friendly’ on search results pages so that users can know if your site is suitable for them before they even decide to click on it.

Making your site mobile-friendly isn’t the only concern either, making your mobile site even more mobile-friendly is also important (confused much?). A study by the infamous SEO company BrightEdge has suggested that errors in mobile configuration accounted for a 68% drop in internet traffic over a 3 month period. That means your competitors could potentially be picking up a nice chunk of your traffic if their site is more device aware.

Measure it!

It’s really simple to forget what you’ve done and move on to the next task at hand, but you have to remember to track progress because measurement of your ranking is absolutely key. Set yourself goals and targets to get to where you want to be, track what is working well and keep an eye on what is not working then act upon it.

Get to grips with your analytic tools and find out if your changes have made a positive impact. If they did then good! Keep it up. If not that try new tactics and see what works for you.

Search engine optimisation is an infinite task, there is always something new to learn, some way to improve on what you have and as if all that isn’t enough search engines are always keeping you on your toes with algorithm updates.

When in doubt Google is your friend (and sometimes enemy). If you get stuck on something, chances are someone has already been in the same position as you and there is an answer lurking around on some SEO blog just like this one (except not as sexy).

Bonus Round!

Above we have outlined some general optimisation ideas for this year with regard to SEO, but here are a couple of our very own predictions of what might be the next big ranking factors rolled out by Google and others.

User experience is becoming ever more important when it comes to search rankings. Mobile optimisation and general website accessibility could play an even larger part than they already do. So, the moral of the story is to make sure your site widely accessible for everyone (except IE users – they can change browsers).

HTTPS is a hot topic right now and is expected to become a ranking booster real soon. SSL certificates are never fun to install and configure but that being said it will probably be worth your while in the long run to get one sorted.

There you have it, some SEO tips for your on-line presence in 2015. Hopefully some of the information has given you food for thought.

What do you think are some other important ranking factors? Let us know in the comments.