« Posts under search

8 things to do now to maximise your brand’s social engagement

With many brands and organisations starting to plan in earnest for 2018, it’s a good time to take stock of your social strategy.

The pace of change is fast and social networks have evolved considerably, introducing new features even since the summer. Are you fully up to date and confident you’re taking advantage of the latest innovations?

I’m having lots of conversations at the moment with businesses about this topic so I thought I’d share 8 top tips, in a series of posts, to transform your brand’s social engagement.

1) Listen up

We have ears! YouTube says brands enjoy a 43% lift in awareness and consideration when viewers are watching videos with the sound up. Give people a reason to turn up the volume. Mentioning your brand by name in the soundtrack will also have more impact than in the post wording or description alone.

In the next post: Are you realising your search potential? And how can social help you drive higher message retention?

Get in touch to find out how I/we can help!

Are social tactics meaningful sales drivers? Thoughts on recent Forrester Research report

Was fascinated to read a summary of Forrester’s recent research into social media and online retail transactions. It found 39% of online retail transactions by new customers started with clicks from paid or organic search results and fewer than 1% come from social channels. Apparently 48% of consumers reported that social media posts are a great way to discover new products, brands, trends, or retailers, but fewer than 1% of transactions could be traced back to trackable social links.

It’s important to think about all social media activities from a business perspective; without a clear objective there is usually no point investing time and energy. But social media is, by its nature, social — so trying to use social purely as a transaction driver risks being antisocial.

A few thoughts on this:

  • Social media activities should, where possible, be better integrated with tracking to help trace transaction origins and customer purchase journeys
  • Not all social media activities are designed to drive transactions — e.g. brand advocacy, awareness raising, community building, crisis response, customer service, reviews drivers etc
  • If we accept that purchase journeys are less linear these days then maybe we need to provide more transaction options e.g. F-commerce, so consumers can buy within shared rather than owned environments

Clearly search and email marketing are incredibly important sales drivers but I don’t think it’s right to apply the same expectations to social media just yet.

The report serves as a good reminder also of why it’s so important to deliver outcomes rather than just noise through social — we need to stay focused on delivering business results, whatever those might be.

The Digital Budget Part 2: Searching for a Story

Interesting to type “Alistair Darling” into Google today to see what happens. It’s a preview of what the digital election battleground may well look like.

From a search marketing perspective (marked “sponsored links”)

  • Channel 4 are promoting a TV show
  • The government is explaining the budget through the Direct Gov site
  • The Tories are pushing their view

On the natural search side (the rest)

  • Link to Wikipedia which features ahead of even the Treasury’s own website
  • Wealth of content from newspaper and TV websites
  • Real-time streams from Twitter
  • Videos from YouTube
  • Pictures pulled in from far and wide
  • Evidence at the bottom of page that people are also searching for Alistair Darling’s eyebrows(!)

Comms takeout? Search is incredibly important for discovery of a story. Need to tell a consistent story in an appropriate way across multiple platforms. This extends to traditional media as well as digital. The door knocking, shopping centre appearances, rallies and TV debates are coming in a virtual form to an internet page near you. All parties are finding ways to make their stories work harder and search will be a critical part of this moving through the election period.