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12 Steps for an Effective Social Media Strategy

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When it comes to social media strategies, First Digital Media know only too well what works, what should work and what doesn’t work.

Are you struggling to your business the reach online it needs to be successful? Are you falling behind on your social media strategy and feel like you’re getting nowhere? Then our social media marketing team are the people you need to speak to!

By putting together the top 12 steps to creating an effective social media strategy, our team are able to plan, implement and monitor your results so that you don’t have to lift a finger!

1.      Find Your Target Audience

Finding your target audience is number one priority on your steps to social media strategies. When it comes to your potential consumer reach and your actual customers you need to be targeting those that are actually interested in your business.

Without the proper attention paid to your customers, you could be gaining followers, likes and shares from an audience that have no interaction with your business and you could be wasting your time. People you need to target include:

  • Current customers
  • Potential customers
  • Associates of current customers and potential clients
  • Bloggers
  • Journalists and editors
  • Suppliers
  • Affiliate businesses

2.      Research Your Buyer Personas

Behind every great social media strategy is a lot of research. You need to know your audience and their interests or you can be far from ever meeting their needs and desires. With a clear understanding of your audience and their personas, you can create a clear visualisation of them and somewhat humanise them online.

HubSpot recently stated that:

Buyer personas (sometimes referred to as marketing personas) are fictional, generalised representations of your ideal customers”.

You need to have a clear understanding of your buyer personas to drive sales, target content and keep customer retention high.

3.      Find Out More About Your Influencers

Your influencers don’t have to be your enemies. Look at them as family and you’re just looking for some guidance in your own growth. If they’re doing well in a certain area, check out what their consumers are interested in and follow the same paths.

It is not copying them or stealing their data, it’s just simply identifying what works for a certain audience and matching it with your own audience. You can then target them directly and build the relationships needed to get them on board with your business.

4.      Check Out Social Media Platforms Used by Your Buyer Personas

By using several social media platforms and searching for target keywords for your industry, you are able to follow conversations and topics that are already out there on the platforms. This can then lead to interviews with your current customers on their habits and the chance to watch how your audience travels through the social media platform.

Instagram is great to follow keywords by using the hashtag to search for certain topics of interests. See what people are posting, what is out there to share and what will interest your own followers to get them hooked on your business.

Business 2 Community said in 2015 that social media platforms drove 31.24% of traffic to websites, imagine what that figure would be now two years later?

5.      Check Out Your Competitors Platforms

It is also isn’t a crime to check out what your competitors are doing online. If you have a direct competitor who has launched a new social media strategy, see what they are doing!

Other websites that are performing well don’t necessarily hide their secrets when it comes to social media marketing. There is only so much that you can do with the platforms and find out what works best for you is easy enough found with a few trials on methods. This can give you an insight into what platforms will work best for your industry, rather than guessing and hoping for the best.

6.      Create Content That Will Target Your Buyer Personas

Of course, you need to create content that will resonate with your consumers and audience. If you are not creating content that will entice your consumers, then why not? Nowadays, businesses have no excuse to be sharing boring content with their audience and hoping that something will stick. With software, experts and First Digital Media around for you to make use of, why would you risk it?

Match your content with the right channel, engage with the times that your audience is most active and delve into conversations with your consumers. As we have said before, video content on Facebook is growing fast, so why would you not share some videos?

7.      Start A Content Back Log

By building yourself a content backlog of useful articles, news posts, images, videos and blogs, you never have to run out of quality content again. If you have a consumer ask a question you should be prepared to answer to the best of your ability and without pre-empting those questions with the material in a backlog, you could end up being caught out without an answer.

Having detailed content to fall back on at all times gives you time to plan other areas of the business and also lets you create a solid social media strategy that falls into a plan with your business. You should also look into creating infographics, images, videos and other content that will break up sections of blog posts and articles.

Remember that all consumers interact with different content formats, not just one!

8.      Build Relationships with Consumers

Of course, you have to create a relationship with your consumers otherwise you could be losing out on potential customers for your business. If you are getting a lot of conversation on your posts on social media, get involved and respond to what they are saying amongst each other. It’s time to engage with your consumers and make sure they are enjoying your content otherwise you might as well not bother!

9.      Create A Cycle of Content Publishing

Keeping your publishing cycle consistent with the times your consumers are most active will give you the highest chance of interaction. By following steps 1-8 you should have content aimed at your audience that meets them on certain platforms, in different formats. Using this in an organised manner is essentially your social media strategy and the rest is monitoring results!

10. Make an Investment to Get More Social Followers

First Digital Media also advise certain customers of ours to make investments into getting more social followers. If you are looking to getting more social followers, you need to invest both time and effort into building your audience.

First Digital Media specialises in building social followings and engaging with current audiences. Trying all natural techniques, we advise on paid advertising to get new followers where necessary. We don’t suggest to buy followers ever as that is bad marketing techniques but we do take the time to carefully plan your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn ads to gain the right target audience, not just as many followers as possible.

11. Put A Plan in Place for Sharing Content

We are all aware that social media marketing takes time as there are so many platforms and methods to use at one given time. With there being so many networks to spread yourself across, you need to work through all of these 12 steps to create a plan with our team that works for you. Whether you leave it all to us or do some yourself, we need both be on the same page so that your audience get content that is targeted to their needs and purpose of your business.

12. Evaluate The Results and Work On Your Strategy from Here

Once you have gathered all of the evidence of your strategy, you can then see what worked and what didn’t. One of the steps that our team have mastered is number 12, as we can clearly see what works for our clients and what needs changing.

Using your results allows you to perfect the social media strategy you currently have, remove the weak links and create a solid strong plan to follow over the year. If after reading all of this you are panicking that you dont have the time or the insight into social media marketing, then you are in the right place. First Digital Media are only a call away!

Get in Touch

To arrange a call with a Digital Marketing Executive today give us a call on 0845 094 1830. We are here, ready and waiting to take over your social media platforms and totally transform your online presence. With 92% of marketers saying social media is important to their business, What are you waiting for?

Your Business Online Reputation Is More Important Than You Think

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Find out why your company’s online reputation can often be more important than your business success and with both relying on each other, it pays to understand the importance of it.

As the internet has progressed over the last 20 years, it is important for all businesses to keep up to date with the transformation or face the consequences of being left behind. The one element that has maintained its importance is the fact that your online reputation is important and always will be.

Word of Mouth Recommendations Online

Your online reputation matters just as much as your offline reputation and the use of word of mouth can come into play through other elements. If your website is slow, your contact form doesn’t work and your logo is poor, this can almost work as a stop sign for potential customers trying to use your services in the future.

The new online version of word of mouth recommendations takes place in the form of reviews and customer feedback. As a potential customer, they will be on the lookout for signs of great customer service or poor services, to determine whether they will continue with your business or not. Just like word of mouth on the street, if your business has bad press online or poor customer reviews, you are showing future customers the weaknesses of your business.

You could be losing 90% of potential customers if you have bad reviews online, so do something about it pronto!

Use Your Online Tools

Managing your online reputation is very important to not only control the image of your business but also the future of your success. With a bad history and poor customer reviews, it can be more damaging than you ever imagined.

Using social media, engaging content, great website design and communication with your customers will encourage great reviews and therefore a great online image.

Managing Your Reputation

According to an infographic from Social Media Today, about 25% of a company’s market revenue comes from its online reputation and image that is portrayed. “Even if you don’t necessarily have an established online presence yourself, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you don’t have an online reputation”, Experian.

If you have spent years building up your business reputation, why would you let one bad customer experience ruin your hard work? With consumers trusting a business with reviews 12 times more than one without, it really pays to have real-time reviews rather than just product descriptions.

One example of a great online reputation is the huge giant Amazon. With consistency, vision and customer appeal, Amazon has targeted their customers with real reviews, product descriptions from the users and the trust that most consumers are looking for. “Amazon earned the highest overall ranking on the 2014 Harris Poll Reputation Quotient (RQ) study, which surveys 18,000 Americans to measure the reputations of the 60 most visible companies in the country”, Fast Company.

Tips to Boost Online Reputation

Here are some quick tips to follow from First Digital Media on how you can control, boost and manage your online business reputation.

  • Make emotional appeal
  • Follow financial performance
  • Improve products and services
  • Be social
  • Have clear vision and leadership
  • Boost your workplace environment
  • Customer feedback needs to be a focus

Your business needs to be portrayed as reliable, trustworthy and successful in order to gain the reputation you deserve online. Don’t rely on offline word of mouth anymore and get the online boost your business needs from First Digital Media.

Get in Touch

If you are concerned about your business reputation and want professional assistance with boosting your online reputation, then give us a call on 0845 094 1830.

E-commerce Is So Much More Than Online Shopping

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The majority of internet users will have come across or used an e-commerce site at some point in time but little did you know, they are about to take over the world (almost)!

E-commerce sites have shown a steady growth in numbers over the years and now, in 2017, they are seen as one of the hardest websites to compete with. With an ever-growing market and more and more competition out there, it was about time that e-commerce sites upped their game and upped their game they certainly did!

Retail Online

Although there was a major scare in the retail industry that online retail would outrun high street stores, this is not the case. As it stands at the moment, there is only a small 8% of all retail sales carried out online in the UK, clearly showing room for e-commerce to storm forwards and develop.

With major contenders like John Lewis expecting online sales to account for almost half of their yearly intake, is e-commerce still just an up and coming phenomenon to think about, or is it already the king of retail?

E-Commerce Let Downs

Although a lot of the hype surrounding an e-commerce site at the moment is positive, there are some let downs that can affect how a site performs and how the customer interacts. With a massive 39% of users shutting off a website because it takes too long to load, it really pays to pay attention to your e-commerce site.

Never let it stand alone online, with so much competition it is about time you did something about your e-commerce site.

First Digital Media are aware of the e-commerce challenges and focus our attentions on mapping the customer journey throughout the site. With a major 61% of marketing teams mapping the journey also, we see ourselves as innovative leaders in the world of online, covering all bases in e-commerce and not just making it look great like other agencies do.

Case Study

The team here are always looking out for new and upcoming designs, websites and e-commerce sites to check out what is new on the market. We recently took the time to look at an industry giant online, ASOS, and found some great information we wanted to share with you.

As one of the biggest e-commerce sites out there with an avid following of loyal customers, clearly ASOS are doing something right. One element we noticed they were doing right was covering all bases and platforms, not just desktop. With conversion rates on the increase across all platforms, especially tablets and smartphones, it pays to make your e-commerce site responsive.

With speedy shopping features, loyalty rewards and everything their customers want, ASOS really hit the mark and will forever continue to grow in the online world if they keep doing what they’re doing.

First Digital Media

Our team pays close attention to various elements throughout your e-commerce, not just the front cover your customers get to experience. We look at:

  • Site searches and navigation options
  • Product pages and their content
  • Checkout process and shopping bag facility
  • So much more

Top Tip- make sure your product pages have video content, with video on the rise, your customers need to and want to see exactly what your product entails, rather than a flat photo of an object.

Get in Touch

To arrange a consultation regarding your e-commerce site and to find out more about First Digital Media, call us on 0845 094 1830.

Millennials Are More Important to Your Business Than You Think

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Just when you thought you knew how to target your audience, millennials arrived and threw off your entire strategy. It is never as simple as creating a product, marketing online and selling in three easy steps and now with millennials active on the scene, it is harder than ever before.

Millennials will soon be taking up more than half of the population and will be the most active in purchasing from online websites. If your business is ignoring this age bracket or not reaching them as well as first hoped, you need to start making changes, pronto.

This generation are said to be one of the most intelligent and well-educated generations of all time (New York Times, 2014) and will not be slowing down anytime soon. Although you may have heard them called the Peter Pan generation, living in fear of growing up, and the Boomerang generation, who can never leave their parent’s home, they are making up a large proportion of the population and need attention when marketing your business.

Let’s not forget, although millennials might not be buying right now with their university debts and lack of jobs, they will eventually start careers and will become one of the largest purchasing target audiences on the market. To make sure you tap into their purchasing habits there are certain elements to include in your marketing. Below are some tips to follow with your own marketing strategies.

  1. Solve their issues

As life for millennials isn’t the easiest at the moment, they are always on the lookout for items or services that will make daily life easier. Think of every situation they are going through and make a solution that they will see as a necessity in their life. By fixing their problems you are giving your business the opportunity to be something a millennial takes with them through life and passes on to those around them and hopefully those to follow in their footsteps.

  1. Mobiles, they all have them!

The majority of millennials will have tapped into the smartphone era, or are close to doing so. With mobiles and tablets taking off dramatically in recent years it would be a major flaw for a business not to target them. As millennials are often on the move and in a rush, convenience is key, so seeing your website on their mobile puts you in their good books from the word go. Mobile responsive sites are a must in the online world so make sure yours is active today.

  1. Be honest

No one likes being lied to or conned and millennials are not an exception to this rule. As one of the smartest generations in the world they are well aware of when they are being fooled and it is not a good idea to try and pull the wool over their eyes. Tap into their trust and present yourself as a brand they can trust. Do this by showing them what you sell honestly, be transparent and give them something to follow, i.e. a blog or social media account. Creating that trust online only ever results in return on investment and increased site traffic, who wouldn’t want that?

  1. Create an experience

Millennials need reassuring every step of the way when making purchases. As the generation known for being strapped for cash and not able to even leave their parent’s home, they need to know that what they are buying is worth it for them. Encourage purchases through creating efficient user interfaces that the customers actually enjoy using. Look at Apple as an example, nothing is ever black and white and boring, they know what their customers are looking for and they deliver every time.

Word of mouth is an essential part of a business success. If your customers are satisfied with their services, especially millennials, there is nothing stopping them from posting about it on social media and speaking to their peers. To thrive online and create brand loyalty, get to know millennials like never before because they could well be the difference between success and failure.

Get in touch with First Digital Media if your online marketing is falling behind. We are here now and we are here for you to ensure that your target audience has been reached without a doubt.