New to SEO? Here’s How to Amp Up Your Link Building Game to Improve Your Search Rankings

New to SEO- Here's How to Amp Up Your Link Building Game to Improve Your Search Rankings

Looking to open your business to the online world? SEO is the way to do it. With 93% of online experiences beginning on a search engine, getting your website and its content on the first page for your keywords will get your business noticed by your dream customers. By making yourself visible to your prospective client that is searching for things related to you, you are advertising your business without having to shout out about yourself. No one likes cold callers, right?

Some of you may already have a bit of knowledge of link building, but for the most of you, you’re looking for 5* information that’ll put you on the right path. What’s certain is that taking the time to create and carry out a link building strategy is the best way to zoom ahead of your competitors in the search results. In this blog post we are going to explain what ‘link building’ is, how it will help you reach out to your target audience and most importantly – tell you all about the best link building strategies that’ll get you seen and get people talking about you.

First, let’s discuss why you need to build links to your website.

Link building is now considered an art. Gone with days where black hat spammy SEO methods got you to the first page of Google. Google’s got clever. Bots now crawl the worldwide web to identify what websites are linking to you, whether they’re relevant to your website and whether they’re websites are trusted. A high quality link will:

  • Direct people onto your website straight from the link on the other website.
  • Improve your Domain Authority – in non-technical terms, the more quality Domain Authority websites that link to your site, Google will improve your Domain Authority and get you seen in the search results of your chosen keywords.
  • The anchor text (one of your chosen keywords) that is hyperlinked on the website linking to your site will give Google an indication of the topic/industry of your site and in return, improve your rankings for that keyword and increase your chances of getting those all-important page 1 results.

Here’s What You Need to ‘Link’

You Can Build Links Using Your URL

You can build links by simply pointing to your URL for example, www.purelysocialmedia.com. By building links this way, you’ll be working towards improving your overall domain authority which’ll increase all of your other web page authority.

Or, You Can Build Links Using Your Keywords

Before starting your link building campaign, you need to strategize what keywords you’d like to rank for. If you haven’t yet identified your keywords, you need to login to your Google AdWords account, click Tools and then go to the Keyword Planner tool. In the Keyword Planner tool type in the searches and topics related to your business, for example:

If you’re a digital marketing company like ourselves, we may expect our target audience to be searching for the following topics: ‘how to set up a Facebook page’, ‘how to gain followers on twitter’ or ‘how to build links to my website’.

Now – think of things your ideal client will be searching, these are things that you can explain in a blog post, type these ideas and scroll to the list of search terms. Here you will find the most related search term to what you’ve type in and a list of similar searches or in tech speak – ‘long tail keywords’. Pick one of these terms. This will be the keyword you will be looking to build links to from other blogs/websites. Before you start building links to this keyword, you will need to write a blog post about it and use the keyword in your title, URL and repeat they keyword within your blog post content. Once your blog is published you will have a URL on your website that you can point to from blogs/websites.

NOTE: If you’ve not yet optimized your website with your chosen keywords then take a read of our Beginner’s Guide to SEO. In this blog post you will find out our SEO tips and where your keywords need to appear on your web pages in order to get your website optimized!

Now we’ve discussed why and what you need to link in your link building campaign, here are the best ways to get those all-important links:

Get Guest Blogging

Build links, raise your online profile and direct your target audience to your website by submitting helpful + engaging blog posts to blogs and websites with a better domain authority than yourself. You can find out more about the benefits of guest blogging in our recent blog post.

Find Blogs Related to Your Business or Local Area (aka Blogger Outreach)

By building relationships with bloggers you will build links in return. Spend time finding blogs related to your business and/or area you trade in and contact them to see whether they’re interested in working with you. Here are a few ideas:

Ask Bloggers to Review Your Business

If you own a product based business, restaurant or bar, contacting a blogger to talk about your business in a review piece is a great way of getting a link. Most bloggers will take the free product, meal or drinks as remuneration for their post. However, more popular blogs and websites may charge a fee for doing this.

Pay a Blogger to Write About Your Business or Content Related to your Business (aka. Sponsored Post)

Sponsored posts are another way of building links to your website. Most bloggers will either charge a fee for these posts or ask whether you have a budget in mind. To work out your budget or to explore whether their fee is worth it you can request to see their media kit (a document which states their total page views and social media following) and check out their domain authority by analyzing their URL on the backlink explorer on Moz.

Submit Your Business to Business Directory Websites

You can build links to your website by listing your details and URL to business directory websites. But – you may need to pay a small fee to list your website on online business directories.

Create Great Content and Share, Share Share!

What’s more rewarding than seeing your blog posts liked and shared? As well as feeling great for writing amazing content – people linking to your content on their websites will direct traffic to your website as well as being beneficial for your SEO too!

Advertise on a Website

Like gaining a ‘link’ naturally through submitting guest posts, people linking to your content on their websites and sites reviewing your business – you can get a link by paying for an advertisement on a website. Although there’s the drawback of having to pay for the advertisement & only having the link for a short amount of time – paying to advertise on a website gives you the ability to get your business linked on a site with a high domain authority. And, once Google sees a high domain authority site linking to you – Google will give your authority a boost in return!  

Ask Your Customers to Link to You

Built a great relationship with your client? If they don’t know much about the benefits of SEO for their business, give them a run down about how link building improve their visibility on search engines and ask whether they will be interested in linking to your website in exchange for a link to their website from a page on your site. What’s there to lose?

How Personal Should You Make Your Social Media?

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We all have been there – we see a tweet that is borderline offensive but is hilarious and we’ve hit ‘favourite’ before we’ve even thought about the repercussions. As a Blogger of almost five years (and a self confessed social media addict), I can definitely empathise.

I have seen some bloggers go from zero to five thousand followers in a day because of a single tweet. With that said, on the flipside I’ve also seen some businesses go from having 120,000 followers and loosing more than 20,000 followers in an instant because they’ve offended people by being too personal, or by ‘liking’ something that can be disagreed with.

I know a lot of you reading this are businesses looking for advice on how personal to keep your social media and there are also a lot of Bloggers looking for the same information which is why this article will be split into two sections.

The rules for Bloggers and Businesses for social media are very different and so I wanted to keep this clear and individual for both genres.

First thing’s first, let’s talk about it from a business point of view.

1 – Businesses Should Keep It Professional With A Hint Of HumourIMG_2131

The title might seem pretty self explanatory but let me just go into a bit more detail. Businesses, whether you run an online shop or service, are seen as ‘professional’. I would probably expect some Bloggers to say something offensive or using profanity now and again, but I always expect a business to be professional. I don’t really want to see a business sharing their opinions or using profanity. If I am going to spend money with someone, I want to feel safe and know that if I choose to complain to the business, I will be met with professionalism. At the same time, I also want to know that the business is human and has a sense of humor.

2 – So, what is ‘too’ personal in Business?

Here is a list of ‘No-No’s’ for any business on social media:

  • Do not establish any online friendships on a business account
  • Do not use profanity in your statuses.
  • Do not ‘favourite’ or ‘like’ any statuses that contain profanity or potentially offensive statuses.
  • Do not engage in arguments.
  • Do not post any images that were not taken by you or that you do not have permission to use.
  • Do not engage in or post any political, religious or sexual discussions.

3 – What Should My Business Be Personal With

Now that I’ve given you a list of things you shouldn’t do, it’s only fair to give you a list of what to do.IMG_2130

  • Do respond to any messages of complaint or query about an order or otherwise.
  • Do always mention the person’s name in the response (it makes it more personal to the individual).
  • Do always thank users for their message
  • Do keep things light hearted. For example “It seems our website has been enjoying our relaxation products a bit too much! We’re working on getting getting the website working again and apologise for any inconvenience”
  • Do show respect. Be sure to post statuses of respect in regards to the deaths of popular people (celebrities) for example “Rest In Peace Whitney Houston. We will forever be affected by your music”.
  • Do post cute animal pictures. Everybody loves a cute cat!

These tips will definitely keep your business on the right path on Social Media. If all else fails and you instantly regret posting a status or make an embarrassing spelling mistake, then there is always the delete button. We’ve all been there!

Now moving on to Bloggers.

1 – Bloggers should keep it personal with a hint of business.IMG_2132

I’m completely reversing the formula in comparison to how businesses should behave on Social Media.

I’m a Blogger, so writing about how to behave on social media as a Blogger is really easy for me. I have literally made every mistake in the book so I can 100% talk with experience.

People read blogs to feel connected with someone. I read blogs because I like to hear their opinions on products, fashion and even politics. So it’s important that your social media feeds aren’t just filled with “have you seen my blog post? Visit www.no-one-wants-to-see-this-sort-of-thing12345.com.” type posts.

When users follow you, or visit your social media, they’re looking for a real time version of your personality. They want to connect with you and are happy to read about your daily activities and hear all about the first date that went wrong. What users don’t want to see is controversy for the sole point of being controversial and trying to get followers. It’s difficult knowing boundaries as a Blogger on social media as users still expect a ‘degree’ of professionalism from Bloggers as people of online influence.

2 – What Not To Do On Social Media As A Blogger

Here is a list of a few things I recommend a Blogger does not do on social media:

  • Do not get involved in arguments or heated debates. It just portrays you as a ‘troll’.
  • Do not post ‘click bait’ titles to your blog – followers see straight through them and invariably dislike it. (Click Bait titles are catchy titles such as “I’m Marrying My Dog?” when actually you simply say “I love my dog so much I’d marry him if I could” within a blog post that is completely different to the status).
  • Do not post images that belong to other bloggers unless you have their permission.
  • Do not start a campaign unless it is something you truly are passionate about and there are no other likeminded campaigns to get involved with. Followers see it as attention seeking and invariably unfollow.
  • Do not post controversial statuses just to get followers.
  • Do not criticise other bloggers or celebrities. Followers just think of it as ‘sour grapes’.
  • Do not post anything sexually explicit, religiously controversial or politically damning. You could be sued. Yes, it has happened to other bloggers.

These are the holy grail of social media No’ No’s for Bloggers so be sure to stick to them.

3 – What should I be posting as a Blogger on Social Media?

Here’s a list of a few things I would recommend posting as a blogger on social media:

  • Do show a BTS (Behind The Scenes) image – people love to see how you work when you’re creating content.
  • Do reply to people who take the time to tweet or message you. It’s just good manners and makes you more human.
  • Do post positive quotes and memes – these are a ‘favourite’ and ‘liking’ goldmine.
  • Do let people see snippets of your life, such as your meals, workouts, outfits and so forth.
  • Do get involved in discussions – politely!
  • Do advertise your blog content (2-3 times per day is most effective)

These ‘do’s will be sure to keep your social feed interesting at the same time as serving it’s purpose which is ultimately to drive traffic to your blog.As you can see, being a business and being a blogger are two very different things and as such come with very different ‘guidelines’ for social media.

One thing that does apply to both bloggers and businesses is that if you are sent a ‘troll’ like message which contains profanities and is derogatory to you or your business, then simply do not draw attention to it and ignore it. Rising to it encourages more comments of the same nature and makes you or your business look bad at the same time.

I hope you’ve found this article helpful! If you have any questions or suggestions, then feel free to comment below or tweet us @purelysocialtip

Until next time!

Holly x

Email Marketing 101: How To Grow Your Email List

Why You Need to Up Your Email Marketing

The power of an email goes without saying. I check my email as soon as I wake up in the morning. I am addicted to joining mailing lists. I jump at the sound of a new email notification.  And, with 24% of Americans saying they check their email “way too much” and 40% of individuals forcing themselves to go onto email detoxes, I am not alone in this.

To get you on to the email marketing game, here are the statistics, the benefits and a guide to growing your mailing list to help you build a profitable email marketing campaign:

  • The ROI of Email Marketing is King of the Marketing World

With an impressive 3800% ROI, email marketing is the BEST mover of sales. You earn $38
for every $1 invested into email marketing. 

  • You Can Get Personal

Unlike any other content marketing methods, email marketing can get personal. When a subscriber signs up, they give you their name. Their name is key to getting that all important relationship. 74% of marketers claim the use of a name increases customer engagement.

You can use their name in subject lines and in the main body of your email. And, it works! Using a name in a subject line increases click through rates by 14% and boosts conversions by 10%.

  • The Engagement Rules the Roost

According to Forrester, only 2% of your Facebook fans see your posts whereas 90% of emails will get delivered to a recipient’s inbox. And, the same adults who are liking your Facebook page are twice as likely to engage with your emails than on social media.

How to Grow Your Mailing List

1. Sign Up to an Email System like MailChimp

A mailing system like MailChimp allows you to send thousands of emails at a click of a button. It allows you to schedule them, make them look pretty and organize your subscribers at the click of a few buttons.

If you’re new to email marketing, MailChimp is the place to be. In addition to being a super easy-to-use platform, here’s are a few reasons why you’ll dig it:

  • MailChimp is completely FREE for users who has less than 2,000 subscribers making it more perfect for those who have a limited budget or are just starting out.
  • MailChimp is an incredibly popular platform so it can be easily integrated with lots of software & plugins.
  • Due to its popularity… you’ll find advice & tutorials on everything!
  • It has a very user-friendly, easy to follow interface as well as a drag + drop email template editor…perfect for email marketing beginners!

2. Use Plugins That’ll Grow Your Mailing List

You’ve more than likely been on a website that has a pop-up or a text box in a sidebar asking you to be a member of a mailing list. Here are a few plugins we recommend using:

Activate a List Building Plugin on Your Website like SumoMe

The only way to grow your mailing list is by making your readers aware of your mailing list. SumoMe can help boost your daily signups by up to 20%.  It can help you design pop-ups + sign up boxes to embed into your content.

Invest in Lead Generation Software like LeadPages

If you have a little bit more budget…LeadPages will help you increase mailing list sign-ups – tenfold! It helps you design an opt-in page for your mailing list allowing you to lay out the benefits of joining your list and look uber attractive. Offering a free 30-day detox guide as a lead magnet/free gift for joining your list? Setting up a landing page with LeadPages can help you show off the value of your free gift.

3. Offer a Lead Magnet or ‘Content Upgrade’ on Your Website

People aren’t interested in joining a mailing list unless it benefits them.

So giving away free content is the fastest way to grow your mailing list and make you a trustable source.

Take some time to brainstorm, create and design content that’ll get your audience signing up to your list.

Think about your typical customer or ideal customer.

What advice do they usually ask for? What information will be valuable?

Find out right from the horses mouth by asking your mailing list to email you with questions, looking at popular blog posts on businesses like yours, seeing what topics are hot in forums and Facebook groups and posting on your on your Facebook and Twitter pages and asking your audience to comment what they’d like to know.

Use this information to help you curate your content. Here are a few super effective, tried and tested freebie content ideas:

  • An eCourse. Offer a chain of emails as your content bribe. For example, if you’re a personal trainer, offer a 20 day fitness challenge where you send out 20 unique emails with different workouts to get their body into shape.
  • An eBook. Design a PDF that shares information that’ll help your reader. Here are a few examples: smoothie recipes, marketing guides, makeup tutorials, web design guides etc.

4. Create A Custom Newsletter Confirmation Page

Once your new subscriber has signed up…your next point of engagement is your confirmation page. Your newsletter confirmation page is your perfect opportunity to show off your expertise and already written content. Make sure you include:

  • A little thank you.
  • An explanation of what to expect from your emails.
  • Feature about + testimonial pages so users can get to know you and trust what you do.
  • Link to popular content on your website.

5. Brainstorm and Plan Content for Your Future Emails

An engaged audience is an audience that is likely to grow into loyal clients. So it’s important to connect with your subscribers.

The first thing to master is the subject line. It needs to be short, catchy, relevant and personal. The second this is the content. According to HubSpot, 65% of users like emails that contain mostly images. To ensure your emails connect with your readers make sure you break up your text into small sections, use more visual material than text, attractive use of your brand’s colours and interesting content (see below).

  • Send Out Free Worksheets, Guides + eBooks.

    We LOVE free stuff. Especially when the free stuff is valuable and helps us improve. The free content will help you start a relationship with your audience, show off your expertise and prime your readers for an offering of paid products/services.
  • Recap of Recent Blog Posts + News.

    Not all of your readers will check your website on a regular basis. Showing off your most recent content in a recap email will keep your readers updated + help get your audience onto your website.
  • Share Details About a Future Service/Product.

    72% of people prefer promo material in their inbox compared to 17% on social media.

    Launching a new service or product? Get your readers in the know by sharing what it involves, the benefits, discounts + any testimonials you’ve already gathered pre-launch.
  • Send Exclusive Content that’s Only Available to Subscribers

    Show the value of being a member of your mailing list by sharing MORE than a reader of your website will see. Ideas include sending out a recipe, tips for success and a link to a secret blog post. You can check out our 30 Engaging Blog Post Ideas to help you brainstorm content! 

What’s more – you can gain access to a wealth of analytics. Every time you send out an email you’ll be able to see the click through rates, what links have been clicked, the amount of people who unsubscribed, see what works best and monitor what content is popular. And this important data is what’ll help you refine your email marketing content for future emails.

Email Marketing 101: How to Use MailChimp to Send Your First Email Newsletter

How to Use Mailchimp to send your first email newsletter

For every $1 you invest into email marketing, you earn $38. With such a staggering return on investment, a strategized email marketing campaign can bring in a hella amount of sales. To get the ball rolling, head over to MailChimp right away to register for your free account and then we can get your first newsletter on the go! If you are wondering why we’re recommending using MailChimp to send out your email newsletters, check out the benefits below:

  • You can use MailChimp for FREE if you have less than 2,000 subscribers.
  • MailChimp is a widely used mailing system you’re not short of software and plugins that’s compatible with MailChimp. 
  • And, as it is so popular, if you’re stuck with something, you can easily find advice & tutorials on absolutely everything!
  • It’s also amazing for those of us who aren’t so design savvy. MailChimp allows us to easily put together a beautiful email using the email text editor and add in images and columns using the drag + drop template.

So get yourself signed up for your free account, make yourself a drink and follow this MailChimp tutorial to get your email marketing campaign into full swing! By the end of this blog post, you will know:

  • How to create a ‘list’ of subscribers.
  • How to create a subscription form for your website.
  • What to include in your welcome email.
  • How to design and send your first newsletter.
  • Why you need to include a mailing address & how to change it.

1. Create Your First ‘List’ of Subscribers

First thing’s first, you need to create a list to start collecting email addresses. A ‘List’ is the area where your subscribers name and email address are stored. You can have as many or as little lists as you like for example, you could create a list solely for those who have downloaded a content freebie from your website and/or dedicate a list to your current clients.

To create a list, go to ‘Lists’, then press ‘Create List’ and then enter your list details (see below). In the “from” email and “from” name – you may want to fill in your contact email address and a recognizable name such as your URL or business name.

You may or may not be aware that it’s a legal requirement to include your address in every email you send out. If you have a business address this is easy. If not – you’re not going to be comfortable with showing your home address, so you may want to consider getting a PO Box.

2. Design Your Subscription From For Your Website

Creating a subscription form that suits your website’s style and brand colors is easy on MailChimp. You can quickly put together a form without the need to learn code by using the easy-to-use form customizer.

Follow these steps to get your sign-up form up and running – believe us – you can literally have one designed and set up in just a few minutes!

Click ‘Sign Up Forms’ and then ‘General Forms’.

You’ll then be taken to a ‘Create Forms’ page. Select ‘Sign up form’ from the drop-down menu under the ‘Forms and response emails’ heading.

Now to build your form. The key is to keep things as simple as possible. On the ‘Build It’ tab you can select what fields you’d like to use. Make it as user-friendly as possible by keeping the fields to a minimum. This will avoid people closing the signup form. Only use ‘first name’, ‘email address’ and at the most ‘last name’. You can remove a field by hovering your cursor over each text box.

Add a message by clicking the ‘click to edit the message’ box. Here you can add a branded image and a persuasive message to get people signing up to your newsletter (see print screen below).

image 1

As activation is required – mention in your content by asking your subscriber to check their junk email if their activation email doesn’t show up in their inbox.

To get as many subscribers as possible, you’ll need a lead magnet. Giving away content is one of the best ways to do this. So put some time aside to brainstorm and create a free download to offer to your potential email subscribers (you can find lots of advice on building your subscribers in our blog post – How to Grow Your Mailing List).

MailChimp makes the designing part easy. Click ‘Design It’ to choose your color scheme (our tip here is to stick with your branding colors).

Don’t forget to save the link of your sign up form. This’ll help you promote your email newsletter or lead magnet. And – you’ll be able to promote your URL on social media and on your blog.

image 2

3. Create Your Welcome Email

You can create your ‘Welcome Email’ by clicking ‘Lists’, then select your list, click ‘Signup Form’, then ‘General Forms’, then find ‘Final “welcome” email’ from the drop down menu and tick the ‘Send a final welcome email’ option. Scroll down and you’ll find yourself on a page featuring the welcome email editor like below:

image 3

Now you can design your welcome email. In the same way you created your sign-up form, you can upload your banner logo/image, edit the color and add a thank you message.

If you’re adding a lead magnet to your welcome email (which we highly recommend) this is where you’ll add the URL so your new subscriber can download their freebie.

To get a unique URL for your lead magnet, save your free download as a PDF, upload to your media library on your website, once the PDF has saved, you will find the URL in the file details AND this is the URL you will add to your welcome email.

The welcome email automatically has the title ‘subscription confirmed’ but you can edit this to sound interesting.

4. How to Design & Send Your First Newsletter

Now you’re ready to design your first newsletter!

Click ‘Campaigns’, then ‘Create Campaigns’, click ‘Regular Campaign’, select your list, press next, add an interesting subject line and edit some other settings if you’d like.

Now to select a template. Depending on what you’re including in this newsletter, you can pick a template that’ll be best suited to your content. See an extremely simple email example below:

image 4

If you’re linking to your most recent blog posts, selecting a design where you can add images for each post with the option to write a caption underneath. If you’re using this email to promote a new service or product a design with a 1 column for a top paragraph and 2 to 3 columns below to lay out the benefits of your product may work well.

Next you can type in your text, drag and drop in your images, edit the header text and add URLs for your social media profiles. You can select your colors and fonts for your page, preheader, header, body and footer on the ‘Design’ tab.

Once you’re happy with your email or ‘Campaign’ (in MailChimp lingo), you can click ‘Next’ to save your template. The next page will give you the option to send out the email straight away or schedule it to go out on a particular date or time.

Now you have created one template, you can create multiple email templates to serve a range of purposes; promoting discount codes, special offers, new products, latest content, advice and a recap of your recent blog posts.

TA-DA! Your first email newsletter is finished! How easy was that?! Now you’ve gotten to grips with MailChimp, you can now plan your email marketing strategy to get your sales booming! If you have any questions, please leave us a comment below. 

Online Marketing 101: Identity Economics

ONLINE MARKETING 101-

The marketing industry comes with a myth attached to it. You’re told to focus on your customer as an individual. You are told to know the individual as well as your favorite shoes, profile them, study their thoughts, find out their wants, and match your advertising accordingly. Except – as the latest idea in economics goes – there may be no individual. There is only group. Or to put it in another way: The individual buys according to what the group says. Knowing more about this idea can give you another handle on how to market your wares. And maybe sell them more effectively.

Identity Economics: It’s The Group That Buys Your Products

Our marketing principles come from traditional economics. Reasoning goes that people have their wants and needs. You’ll sell your product if you find out what those wants and needs are and show your targeted client how you can help him better than anyone else.  This way of thinking assumes that the targeted client knows his needs and chooses independently.

Marketing is based on this traditional economic view. Almost every single marketing modality from customer-centric to relationship marketing pivots the customer as an individual.  Personalized marketing says draw up a thorough profile of your desired customer – clothes, breakfast, schools, and so forth – so you know exactly whom you’re reaching.  Social media marketing tries to forge cozy interactions with the client. That’s what surveys are for! They ask the desired client, “Pray pretty please. What do you want and how can I help you achieve it?” Metrics measure whether or not your customer has bought. If so, supply more. If not, repeat the process.

Only the decision-maker may not be the individual. It may be the group. In which case, your marketing may flounder unless you consider that angle.

Identity Affects Your Health, Wealth, And Success

Sixteen years ago, economist and Nobel Prize winner George Akerlof and professor of economics in Duke University Rachel Kranton, launched their theory of identity economics. The model says that our identity affects our health, wealth, and success – and everything in between.

Identity refers to the different groups that we belong to, such as religious, gender, national, class and so on. People identify with different groups at different times.

How can we relate identity economics to marketing?

People buy according to their group because they want to conform. This makes them feel good and gives them some sort of social status. So they eat what their group does, dress as their group does, send their children to the same schools as the group does, ad infinitum. Kranton and Akerlof concluded: If you want to motivate someone don’t look into every nitty-gritty about the person. Scrutinize the norms of the group.

For instance, I run a site that offers hidden jobs to freelancers. Recently, a person tweeted: “Thanks but doesn’t look secure … this site is flooded w/shady gigs…The site isn’t safe for any legit freelancer.” The visitor explained: “Indians don’t pay well/on time.” (Note: 5% of the ads are from companies that carry Indian names).

Ordinarily, I would have have rejected this visitor’s feedback as prejudiced. The theory of Identity Economics made me look beyond her as being an individual and made me consider her opinion as Group. I looked into whether or not she was my typical client. If so, I would have to reluctantly use her feedback as cue to restructure my marketing because I wanted to sell.

This case also made me wary of using my bounce rate as a metric of site success. Marketing analytics urge you to monitor your site’s statistics. But maybe visitors leave because aspects of your site conflict with their social beliefs. Maybe you retain only two or three people but these are the people you want.

Looking at the prospective client as reflecting the opinions of a group rather than the opinions of him or herself give you a different handle on your marketing.

On The Other Hand…

Identity economics has its limitations. Marketing research recently found that advertising backfires when it scrunches the person into a group. Cases include Jif peanut butter that targets mothers by noting that “Choosy moms choose Jif.” or DirecTV that advertises, “If you call yourself a sports fan, you gotta have DirecTV!” or Gamefly.com that urges video gamers, “You call yourself a gamer? You have to have it!” or when Chevrolet asserts that real Americans drive Chevys.

In each of these cases, those who were surveyed protested that they have a mind of their own. They disliked being lumped into a group!

So, social context is an answer, but not the whole. Our self-concept is made up of both a personal identity and a social one and, when marketing, we can profit by considering both.

How Can You Use Identity Economics To Improve Your Marketing?

  1. Target marketing to the group – I work for a solar company that markets itself on price and environmental concerns. Research, however, shows that people put solar panels on their homes when other solar-powered homes are nearby. I adjust my marketing accordingly.
  2. Boost the signal strengthCustomers tend to tend to select products that most clearly broadcast membership in their specific group. Subtly highlight those signals or omit them. For instance, blood donation levels go down when blood donors are paid to give blood. The social identity of giving is core to the motivation and this is the aspect that needs to be highlighted.
  3. Ignore bounce rates – Rather focus on how you can improve your product so that it helps your customers. People are always going to be influenced by their cultures and there’s nothing you can do about that. Focus on the product and keep on marketing. Your clientele will grow.

In short, people buy according to a variety of reasons. Social context is one of them. Knowing how group comes into the buying can open up cost-effective ways of improving your marketing. It is individual as well as group that decides.

Look into both to sell.

 

A Beginners Guide To Periscope

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You’ve probably heard the buzz going around about Periscope and wondered what it was or if there was any point in trying it out.

Our take? You should at the very least check it out and see if there are any innovative ways you can apply it to your business (any public platform is a potential advertising platform right?). But, there’s no need to rush into it just yet. Think of it as more of an appetizer than a main course. You can use it in addition to your other platforms, but it’s not very substantial on its own.

So, What is Periscope?

Periscope is a video-sharing platform developed by the masterminds at Twitter. As with most of the other social platforms, Periscope comes to you mainly in the form of an app. The main difference between Periscope and other video sharing platforms like Youtube, Snapchat, Meerkat or Skype, however, you can share what is happening at that very instant with your followers. If you’re skydiving, for example, you could broadcast it with your followers whilst you’re doing it. (Although we wouldn’t recommend bringing your phone with you while jumping out of a aircraft, you do have the capability to broadcast it should you choose to.)

How Can You Use Periscope For Business?

There are several ways that you can utilise Periscope for your business whether that be a shop, blog, or a treatment service. There are a few ways you can use Periscope to help your business.

Live Demonstrations

If you have a treatment or service style business, you could instantly broadcast an example or live demonstration of it. This could also work well in the beauty industry where companies could stream makeovers to show examples of their work.

Live Q&A 

Everyone feels safe when a ‘live chat’ option is available on a website for customer enquiries. Now you can take your business to the next level by offering a Live Q&A session once per week (as an example) where users could send you their enquiries and you can answer live on camera.

Data Sharing 

If you work with people in different locations, Periscope is perfect for keeping in touch with employees and colleagues. For example, you could talk your colleague through a customer issue or stock enquiry. You could also arrange a staff meeting live on Periscope (whilst you lie on the beach and enjoy your vacation – bliss!).

Advertisements

You can also use Periscope to run instant promotions for your followers – for example – you could offer 20% off exclusively to your Periscope followers and let them know in a live Broadcast. Not only does this increase sales and attract new visitors, again it is a new way to interact with your customers.

GETTING STARTED

periscope

How Do You Set It Up?

Periscope is fairly straightforward to set up. You just need an iOS or Android equipped device and around ten minutes of your time to get started. Here is a step-by-step guide on getting started on Periscope:

  1. Download the app

Head across to the Periscope website from your smart device and download the app for either iOS or Android. The download is free and should only take a few moments to complete.

  1.  Sign In

Sign in using your Twitter username and password (it’s quick and easy to create an account if you don’t have one already). Then, you can follow any users you wish. We suggest following top influencers in your industry for starters.

  1. Create Periscope ID

We always suggest that you keep your username consistent across platforms. This isn’t always possible, but stay as close to it as possible so your followers know that it’s you!

How to Broadcast?

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via Simply Measured: “How to Create the Perfect Post on Any Network”

Making a broadcast is just as simple as setting up the app was.

  1. Simply tap the icon at the bottom of your screen to start a broadcast
  2. Give your broadcast a title – for example “Charity Skydive”, or “Staff Meeting November 2015” to let your followers know what you’re doing.
  3. As soon as you are ready to hit the big screen, hit “Start Broadcast”

Simple, huh?

As with all social media and advertising platforms, there are key things to remember when promoting your brand:

Plan Ahead.

If you are hosting a broadcast to the public, having a script on hand will make you much more prepared. Write points down on sticky notes and place them in a convenient area in front of you during your broadcast to ensure you stick to the topic and stay on track. This will cut down the time and will stop your viewers from becoming bored.

Be Punctual.

If you advertise across Twitter or Facebook that you will be starting a new broadcast at 6.30pm, make sure you are broadcasting at the right time. You’d be amazed at how many people are instantly turned off if you are late to something. It can look unprofessional and will not promote your business in the way you had hoped.

Timing.

On the subject of being punctual, as with all social media, timing is key. If you broadcast at 1am on a Tuesday night, the likelihood of many (if any) users tuning in to your broadcast is slim. If you are hosting a business meeting with your colleagues, then broadcasting during working days and hours is the obvious time.

If you are broadcasting to your followers about a new beauty or holistic treatment then chances are people might be more inclined to tune in during the evening after work hours and after children have gone to bed. Ensure you avoid “meal times” and “travel times”. As far as what day to broadcast, ensure you consider when your target audience is available.

Lastly, always ensure you promote your broadcast on other social media platforms prior to your broadcast. Let your Twitter, Facebook and Instagram followers know at least 24 hours in advice and consider using a hashtag at the end, for example:

“New Periscope Broadcast with exclusive news and promotions at 6pm on Wednesday #purelysocialmediaperiscope”

This will encourage your followers across other platforms to follow you and tune in to your broadcast.

Be Descriptive.

Ensure that the title of your broadcast is descriptive and “hooks” the followers. Explain what they can expect and hook them in with something that will make them stick around, so for example:

“Tune in for this live demonstration of (insert treatment) and get a chance to WIN a treatment of your choice!”

Here you are explaining what your broadcast is and also entices your follower to tune in until the end by offering something for them. (Muwahaha, sneaky right?)

Interaction.

The great thing about Periscope is that users are able to send you questions or comments while you are broadcasting. This is ideal for customers and for interacting with colleagues. Engagement in key! People love to have a personal response to their queries, which is why responding to your followers live during a broadcast will encourage followers to watch more.

Finishing Up.

Once you have finished your broadcast, your followers will be able to watch it for 24 hours once it has ended. You should take this opportunity to promote the broadcast on social media once more.

At the end you will be given a breakdown of:

  • How many people viewed your video
  • How many people “Loved” your video (You can “heart” a broadcast)
  • How many people re-played your video over the 24 hours

This information will help you to see which broadcasts worked better than others and will let you see how different timed broadcasts work.

Final Verdict?

Periscope is definitely a useful tool for your business regardless of what type of business you have. The app is quite new to the social media circuit, but is definitely packing a fair punch. Periscope is set to stick around for a while, so getting the hang of it now will be an advantage to you.

If you still need more help getting your Periscope account together, or you need more information on how it can be beneficial to you, check out this article, or read their blog.

As always, you can feel free to leave us your comments below or tweet us @purelysocialtip

 

Useful Tools for Beauty and Fashion Bloggers

usefultipsforfashionandbeautybloggers

When blogging first started being a “thing”, there was just a person behind a screen who wanted to vent about their lives and their passions in that moment. Nowadays, blogging has become a full time career with hundreds of people monetizing their hobby, and with time has come a slew of new tools to help make blogging easier to manage -whether that be with content, social media or images.

Here are a few tips from one beauty blogger to another to help you make the most out of your passion.

Scheduled Posts

Being able to schedule blog posts has become every bloggers best friend. Many bloggers feel the need to post everyday or every other day and so being able to write up two or three blog posts at one go and schedule them to appear on your blog at a specific time or date is definitely essential to blog maintenance. Whether you use Blogger or WordPress (as most bloggers do) each platform gives you the option to schedule your posts. No more working weekends – Hurrah!

Photo Editing

Many bloggers spend hours on end perfecting their pictures, whether that is of a product or of your makeup or outfit, you can end up spending the entire day photographing something and still find that once you upload it, it still looks boring or the lighting looks awful. Nowadays there are several tools you can use to help you edit the lighting and add in all sorts of fancy embellishments to your images.

Picmonkey as an example is a bloggers favourite tool as you can edit and design images without downloading software or registering to the site. If you prefer to use apps, you can download “afterlight” which is a free app where you can apply filters and lighten the images on your phone.

Here’s an example of an image that has been edited using Picmonkey to add filters and overlays:

picmonkey

Taking Photos

Pictures are equally as important to your blog as content. If you have good photography then you make your blog look and feel more professional which not only do visitors love, but so do companies who might be interested in sending you their products or wish to advertise their brands. There are a few things you can utilise to make it that bit easier:

  • Buying a large sheet of thick white paper or card is inexpensive but can help make your product pictures look much cleaner and professional. Beauty products in particular are notoriously difficult to photograph with reflecting and mirrored packaging causing shadows and catching your reflection. Adding the white background can help to eliminate some of that.
  • As for lighting, many bloggers use ring lights and soft boxes but these can prove to be pretty expensive (wave goodbye to the handbag you’ve been saving up for!). You can find some good deals for these on Ebay or Amazon but there is a much cheaper alternative. There are lamps that have a swivel neck on them and no shade that are available to buy for less than $15 in your local homeware stores.  Buying two of these and some powerful light bulbs can give good lighting without breaking the bank which for beauty and fashion bloggers is ideal.

Tip: Aim each lamp at either side of the object and photograph from above to avoid shadowing.

  • In terms of actual camera equipment, of course there are dozens of DSLR camera’s available at different prices. For those of you who don’t know what a DSLR camera is, “DSLR” is short for “digital single lens reflex”, Basically, they use a mirror behind the camera lens that directs light towards the viewfinder when you’re composing a photo. It all sounds complicated right? Well, all you really need to know is that the pictures from a DSLR camera are significantly sharper than using a standard point and shoot camera. If you’re interested in investing in a DSLR camera but are not really sure which one to go for, then the one that is favoured by beauty and fashion bloggers is the Canon 600D. There are of course others available but this one is great for being able to change or add lenses and the video quality is also pretty good if vlogging is your thing.

Aside from DSLR’s, there are high quality ‘point and shoot’ camera’s which do the job pretty well. Again, Canon have pretty much nailed it when it comes to quality – anything with a high MP (above 12 megapixels) and has a good digital zoom (10 x or higher) will do the job perfectly. Pretty much every camera has a display on it nowadays but just in case, be sure to look for this so you can view your images prior to uploading.

Smartphones invariably have good camera’s nowadays too so don’t be afraid to snap your outfit or a beauty product you’ve been loving if you haven’t got a fancy camera.

Here’s a picture of beauty products that was taken using just a smartphone:

smartphoneimage

Whether you decide to use a smartphone, DSLR or digital camera, buying a tripod is definitely recommended, particularly for outfit posts or for taking selfies of your makeup or hair. You can pick one up fairly cheaply; however, if your camera is heavy or expensive (like a DSLR) then you might want to consider spending a bit more cash on a higher quality tripod. If you are using your smartphone, you can still use a tripod – take a look on ebay for “Smartphone tripod” where you will be able to pick up a holder for your smartphone that will screw onto your tripod for about $5 (including delivery).

Social Media

As we mentioned in a previous blog post, social media is a vital for making your content reach new audiences. There are a few tools that you can use for scheduling tweets, facebook posts and even Instagram posts.

Buffer is an app that you can download and use to control all of the mentioned platforms and will allow you to schedule updates at your preferred time and date. It will even allow you to send your updates ‘as and when’ the app thinks is suitable. Another great platform to use is Hootsuite which does pretty much the same as Buffer, except you can use it on desktop PC’s and laptops too. Both apps are free.

Google Analytics

A lot of bloggers already use Google Analytics to track which posts are performing well and to check their audience stats however some don’t use it because they feel it s difficult to use or mistake it for adwords. Adwords is a paid for advertising platform, whereas analytics simply tells you all of your visitor statistics including their age, location and how long they stayed on your website. It even tells you which backlinks you have and where your visitors clicked from to get to your blog. It’s definitely worthwhile using and is actually quite straightforward to use. There are thousands of online tutorials and help pages on how to use Google Analytics so go ahead and erm, ‘Google’ it… Pun intended!

Commenting & Interacting

Finally, the best thing that we could recommend is to interact with like minded people by commenting on other blogs and leaving your links in the comment. Make sure your comment is actually interesting and relevant otherwise those pesky spam filters will ‘junk folder’ your comment instantly. Here’s an example of a good comment:

“Great advice! I always forget to put a top coat on once I’ve finished painting my nails and then wonder why they chip so easily! Which top coat would you recommend? Thanks again! (insert blog)”

As you can see the comment interacts with the blogger and lets them know you’ve taken time to read their post. You also encourage them to reply to you either by visiting your blog or by replying to their own comment. Bloggers love nothing more than to know their work is appreciated and a comment lets them know that they’re not just typing into an empty space that no-one reads. You’d be surprised by how many followers, comments and visitors your blog will receive if you ‘pay it forward’ by interacting with other bloggers.

As always, we here at Purely Social Media will be updating with more advice to improve your blog each week so be sure to add us to your favourites or tweet us @purelysocialtip

Social Media Strategies Your Business Depends On

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Note to our readers:

Hey guys! It’s been a while. We’ve been super busy trying to build our brand and tending to our clients.  But we’re back and coming at you with more posts on a more regular basis. 

We’ve decided to work with freelance bloggers to help diversify the information that we bring to you, as well as stabilize our post frequency, so you have something to read from us on a very regular basis. This week’s article is written by Holly Sturgeon, a beauty and fashion blogger from the UK who has a passion for social media and loves to dig up information to bring to you guys. Welcome to the team, Holly! Hope you all enjoy!

Back in the days our businesses depended on local and national advertising in Newspapers, on Radio and Television. Whilst those things are still important for spreading the word about your business, other options, (Free options at that – Thanks us later!) are now available.

Social Media has pretty much dominated our lives over the past few years with more than 307 million monthly average users on Twitter alone. You might use social media for keeping track of your favourite celebs or for sharing your cute cat pictures rather than for promoting your business, but sharing your content on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram (or any other of the numerous social media platforms that are available) could actually prove to be quite fruitful.

Ever scrolled through your news feed on Facebook or Twitter and seen a blogger or business letting you know all about their latest product or service? Of course you have! Well that’s because those businesses have started their own social media campaigns and began promoting themselves by using different social media strategies including the one’s we’re about to mention.

Whether your business is a blog, a service or is product driven, your primary aim of using social media will doubtlessly be the same and that is to reach new audiences and welcome new customers to your business. Here are a few social media strategies your business depends on:

Advertise Your Social Media Accounts

Of course, the purpose of using social media is to promote your business but your business also needs to promote your social media. (hear us out!). Presuming you already have a website, ensure you put your Twitter or Facebook handles on your homepage and in your ‘contact’ page. Customers feel more secure knowing they can contact you instantly and so letting them contact you via social media for any customer issues is a great way to attract followers and of course encourages user engagement. It’s also vital to ensure that when you are sent a query or comment that you reply to each one individually and personally. Also ensure you deal with all ‘personal’ or account queries via direct message to ensure customer confidentiality. All of this will ensure that your followers will feel safe and this is likely to result in return business.

Content

In order for this to work, it is really important to ensure you keep your feed current. Using apps such as Buffer or Hootsuite, you can schedule posts to appear on your timeline at your preferred times. In terms of what content to publish, businesses should always keep things professional with a hint of humour. Retweeting controversial users or using foul language are definite no-no’s but posting up the odd cute cat picture (obsessed!) will keep your timeline current and will encourage users to engage by favouriting, liking or retweeting your status. You should also consider keeping your tweets short (under 100 characters) as shorter tweets are proven to attract 17% more engagement.

Timing

Timing your updates is also important. According to Social Media Scientist Dan Zarrella, Twitter engagement for brands increases by 17% at the weekend. It has also been proven that Twitter users who use their mobile phones to browse their newsfeeds are 181% to be on Twitter during their commute. Perhaps consider posting in the early morning. The same applies to Facebook and Instagram (we’ve all done it) as we are all more likely to browse through social media platforms out of boredom whilst travelling.

 Images

Here we go with the cute cat pictures again – You are twice as likely to receive comments, replies, likes, retweets etc if you post an image with a link. So whether you choose to post a picture of your latest service or even a picture of the office Christmas Tree, you are encouraging people to engage with your brand. Engagement = visitors = Followers = Customers which is the aim of the game.

Hashtags

The hashtag trend started on Twitter but is now actually popular across most social media platforms. At the end of your status, placing a relevant yet popular hashtag will mean that your tweet will reach new followers. In fact, of all the information and advice given in this blog, this is probably the most important and successful tip. Here’s an example of how to use a hashtag:

 “Spending the weekend decorating the office. #springcleaning “

 Anyone who types “spring cleaning” into the search bar on Twitter will be able to see your tweet, this also applies to Instagram and Pinterest. Using more popular hashtags, including ‘trending’ hashtags (which you will see on the left hand side of Twitter or on the right side of Facebook) will obviously mean your tweet reaches a bigger audience, but that also means that more people use that hashtag and so your tweet will be pushed down the newsfeed very quickly, leaving a limited amount of time for users to see your status.

If you use hashtags that are relevant to your status, you will reach new users that are genuinely interested in what you have to say meaning you are more likely to encourage engagement and receive more followers.

You might want to consider creating your own hashtag. For example if your business is called “purelysocial” (shameless plug – We’re not even sorry!) then type your status similar to this format:

 “There’s only 6 weeks left until Christmas, Are you prepared? #purelysocialmedia”

If someone retweets your status, their followers will see your business name in the tweet, despite the fact that you’re not directly advertising. Clever huh?

Competitions

Everyone wants something for nothing. We all have entered a competition at some stage in our lives, whether it was in a magazine or even just buying a lottery ticket. Running a competition on social media can prove to be extremely popular and will definitely encourage people to follow you. Whether you offer a service or a product, running a competition on social media where the users are required to “follow and share/retweet” your status to enter will mean you will get a follower, who will share your status with their followers, who will then share it with their followers and so on. It can result in hundreds of followers and will mean more people will visit your website. Using clever hashtags (such as #win, #competition and #giveaway) for this, like previously mentioned will see your competition reaching the masses.

Paid for Ads

No-one really wants to pay for something if they can achieve similar results for free but we thought we should cover all options available to your business. Of course, there are paid options available on both Facebook and Twitter where you can start a campaign which see’s the platform advertise your service on newsfeeds. You might have seen “promoted” statuses on Twitter which are paid for advertisements and the ads on the right hand side of Facebook are also paid for. Advertising this way is definitely useful for those who have a budget to work with but can also be an expensive way of experimenting with social media.

Using social media can increase your customers greatly and is definitely something your business will depend on if you want to increase exposure online. Keep an eye on this blog for more tips on using social media to promote your business and feel free to submit your questions!

Until then, feel free to share your cute cat pictures with us @Purelysocialtip

Your Guide to an Action Plan

SaleBased on experience we would say that the number 1 mistake that many businesses make when it comes to social media is not taking the time to develop a plan of action and then giving it an opportunity to work. Social media success does not happen over night, it takes time to develop a presence, to gain followers and to learn what those followers are most interested in. Having a plan in place, makes daily posting easier as you will have to spend your time wondering what to post next and when.

Here, at Purely Social, we always suggest action plans to our clients in order to assist them in visualizing their social media strategy. Action plans are a great guide to help you put your thoughts in order and reach your social media goals. You can actually create them yourself, if you have time to. It’s quite simple. Here are some easy simple steps to how we create our action plan.

  1. Analyze your current status. Before you move forward in creating a strategy for change, you need to analyze the current status of your social media presence. Take a look at any of the social media accounts you have already established and ask yourself these questions:
    • Are you using vivid, high definition, images?
    • Are you posting as frequently as recommended for that platform?
    • Are you captivating your audience and gaining engagement?
    • Where are your other shortcomings?
  1. Identify your reasons for being on social media. What are your goals? Are you trying to strengthen your brand, gain more business, humanize your brand? Before you jump on social media, you need to know why you’re there otherwise it’s pointless. It is important to set your goals as a team and in writing to ensure that you know where you’re headed and can easily analyze whether or not you meet these established goals.
  1. Ask yourselves the following key questions:
  • “Only We…?” What makes you stand out from the competition?
  • Can your company culture nurture and sustain a social media transformation?
  • Are you a conversational brand? Or could you be?
  • Where are your customers & competitors?
  • What is your source of rich content
  • What does social media success look like for Access West?

This will assist you in deciding which direction to take your social media marketing in, what type of content to post, what platforms to choose, and how to reach your target audience.

  1. Next, take a look at your competition both locally and globally. See if you can identify what they are doing well and what they are doing wrong. Analyze them based on the questions illustrated in step 1. This will also help you to see where you can gain a competitive advantage and show you where you stand in comparison.
  1. Now it’s time to decide which platforms you want to use. Take a look at where your target audience is and go there! It’s as simple as that. If you’re just starting out, you don’t want to jump on too many platforms at once. It’s better to start on one or two and execute them expertly than to hop on all of them and execute them poorly. For example, if your business is a nail salon, Instagram is a great option to utilize, but if your business is an insurance firm, Instagram may not be your primary choice of platforms. This step is where you really take the time to browse through the platforms and do your research. Google Plus is an up and coming platform that is perfect for most business owners, Facebook, on the other hand, may only be suitable for those businesses targeting the 55+ audience, and Instagram is where you can reach the younger demographic. It is important to know all of this information prior to selecting which platforms to use for your firm.
  1. Identify which member(s) of your team will be leading the posting and create a schedule. Scheduling is the way we get things done in business, so a great way to ensure that you’re doing what you’re supposed to do on social media. In order to create a schedule, you need to know the best times to post for each social media platforms. This is determined by when YOUR audience is on social media. There are default times for each network, but this doesn’t always mean that t will work for your industry, so it is important to research your audience and learn their social media habits. When you’re getting started, post several times a day at different times throughout the day and take a look at your analytics. That’s how you will know what is working and what isn’t working.