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Make These 5 Changes Today and Get Social Media Results

Man on computer with blog text

It is human nature to want the quick fix, the magic bullets that get you a hundred times the results with a hundred times less effort! However, social media is a task that requires patience and effort. That said, there are certainly some things you can do in the short term that will help you in long term.  

Today we're going to look over five changes you can make today to improve results from your social media marketing attempts. If you invest in these five simple steps you will definitely get better results. It will also give you a terrific insight into just how much you could achieve with a full blown social media marketing strategy. Trust us - the answer is almost certainly a lot.

1.  Have Clear Goals & Form a Strategy Around Them

Ideally before you start your social media adventure you should have clear goals of what it is you wish to achieve. Having these goals will allow you to create an appropriate strategy and keep you on the straight and narrow! So what would you like to achieve? Is your social media about driving more sales, or is it perhaps about being a company that offers the best customer service? Whatever it is, get it down on paper and put in the wall by your computer. These goals should guide everything that you do on social media.

2.   Brighten Up Your Facebook Page

Too many companies just cover their Facebook pages in text. Every status is just text which says what it is they sell, or what their latest offer is. This is a huge mistake. The purpose of your page is to draw people in and convince them that your page is worth liking and checking up on. People hate having to read too much. If they are confronted with a page that is covered in text then they will run for the hills. Mix it up, start posting fun images that relate to your industry, or links to great websites that are relevant to what you do. Brighten up your page and more likes will start to come in.

3.  Tell The World About Your Social Media

Another frequent mistake of businesses on social media is to create pages and accounts and then not tell anyone about them. How are you going to generate likes and follows when no one knows about it. Do these things now to give yourself a kickstart:

  • Add your Facebook & Twitter accounts to your business cards and headed paper.
  • Add a call to action (follow us/like us) about your social media to your email signature.
  • Message every friend and family member you have asking them to show their support and like your page, follow your account - and if they'd kindly ask their friends to do the same.
  • Add a 'Follow Us' and 'Like Us' button to your website.

4.  Maximise the Potential of Your Personalisation

Social networks gift you with a level or personalisation that a lot of people don't capitalise on. With Twitter you can have a background that sells your business, tells people what it is. Spend the money and have a professional design you a great Twitter background - it'll be worth it. Also, don't have your profile picture as a logo - as people simply don't want to connect with a faceless company. The same applies to Facebook, however there are some more restrictions as to what you can include in your cover photo - so make sure to check these!

5.  Connect With All of Your Competitors

This seems counter-intuitive, but it isn't. Find out who the leaders in your industry are, find out who the other companies in your area who are doing what you do - and connect with them. Speak with them. This does a few things. Firstly it puts you on the map, if you are speaking with industry leaders and seem to have a friendship with them - then people will associate you with them. Also, it allows you to learn from the best.  Examine what they are doing, learn, and then change your attempts to mirror what the best are doing!

What is a blog?

Wordpress Post Image with Blog Titile

If you have something to say about anything at all, blogging is one of the best ways to get people listening to you. Whether you are just looking to engage with different blogs, or even if you are interested in starting your own, this article will help you get to grips with what a blog entails.

There are plenty of words flying around the internet and it can be hard to understand them all. Chances are you already know what a blog is - after all, you are currently reading a blog post - but for the sake of this article we will pretend you don't. So here we go...

What is a blog?

Wikipedia gives a great definition of what a blog is:

blog (a portmanteau of the term web log)[1] is a discussion or informational site published on the World Wide Web and consisting of discrete entries ("posts") typically displayed in reverse chronological order (the most recent post appears first). Until 2009 blogs were usually the work of a single individual, occasionally of a small group, and often were themed on a single subject. More recently "multi-author blogs" (MABs) have developed, with posts written by large numbers of authors and professionally edited.

So basically a blog is a website where articles or posts relating to a certain theme or opinion a published for consumption by web users. Blogs are a great way to quickly publish and promote your articles and encourage engagement by readers in the form of comments. For business websites, they are also a great way to optimise your site for search engine results.

What can you do with a blog?

A blog can have many uses. If you are creating one for personal use then the sky really is the limit. Originally when blogs first started becoming popular, many young people would use their blog purely as an online diary which they just shared with the world. However personal blogs have evolved greatly since then and these days some people actually earn a living from their blog. If you have a passion, then you can write a blog about it. Love reading? Why not write a book review blog. Love making cupcakes? Why not write a blog with all your cupcake recipes with pictures.

Alternatively, you could also run a more professional blog for your company. These blogs usually consist of posts of company announcements or news. But also, they are a great opportunity to answer common questions about your industry and write interesting and informative posts. This way it will help you do three amazing things: position your company as an expert within your industry, drive more traffic to your site and most importantly it will help you visitors understand your industry better.

How do you make and run a blog?

There are two main providers when it comes to easy and professional looking blog creation. You have Google's offering: Blogger and you have WordPress. Blogger is arguably the simpler of the two options, they make it extremely easy to create your blog in less than an hour. It is then simple to create new posts. WordPress is a bit trickier to use, but still relatively easy - and the plus with WordPress is that it looks amazing, and you really can make it look however you want!

If you are a business interested in using you blog to enhance your web content then Giraffe can help you achieve fantastic results - get in touch today to see what we can do for you.

10 Stats from The Presidential Election 2012

President Obama with blog title

If there was ever an example of how far social media has come - and a demonstration of just how important it can be when used correctly - it was the US Presidential Election 2012.

This year we witnessed the US Presidential Election race between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. It was an exciting time of the year, but what we maybe didn't see is the amazing use of social media that was used by both candidates.  Take a moment to check out these truly remarkable top ten statistics from this years US Presidential Election.

  1. The 2012 campaigns saw 7 times as much money spent on online advertising! Rising from $22 million to $159 million.
  2. Romney's Engagement rate was 18 times higher on Facebook than on Twitter!
  3. Romney's most tweeted word was @BarackObama and his most used phrase on Facebook was 'President Obama'.
  4. After President Obama's speech at the National Convention, there were nearly 53,000 tweets about him per minute, as opposed to only 14,289 for Mitt Romney after his speech.
  5. During and after the first Presidential debate, 47,141 tweets mentioned Romney and the word 'win' or 'winner'.
  6. After Mitt Romneys infamous 'binders full of women' comment, a Facebook page was created entitled 'Binders Full of Women' - and it gained a crazy 281,000 likes overnight!
  7. 6 in 10 people expect presidential candidates to have a social media presence.
  8. Some sources are suggesting that Romney's campaign spent $100,000 on Twitter with promoted trends.
  9. As of June 2012, Obama's campaign had spent $31 million on digital ads.
  10. With 11.1 million comments, the first 2012 Presidential debate was the 4th most tweeted telecast of any kind - behind the Grammys, MTV VMA's and the Super Bowl.

We think what this shows us is that the importance of social media in regards to advertising is now at an all time high. It is quickly becoming one of the best ways to communicate with your audience, arguably it already is the best way.

All the statistics in this post come from the brilliant article on Socialnomics, which can be found here.

Book Review: The $100 Start-Up

hundred dollar startup book review

The $100 Start-Up: Fire Your Boss, DO What You Love and Work Better to Live More
By Chris Guillebeau

Let me start off by saying that this review may be of a slightly biased nature, due to my being a huge fan of Chris' work. I read his first book The Art of Non Conformity a couple of years ago whilst driving to Spain with some friends. I'm not sure if it was the setting of the winding roads in amongst the beautiful landscape of the Pyrenees, or whether the book was really that good - but it was an amazing read. A lot of Chris' principles I had already come across, predominantly from reading books like The Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss. However, when I finished that book I felt inspired to do the things with my life that I dreamed of. Now, here I am. Doing them.

After hearing of my experiences with his work, it would be easy to understand that I had this pre-ordered as soon as I heard about it's existence. The book was for me, not as good as his first - but still an excellent read. The book talks you through all of the concepts that you must understand and apply to be successful when starting your own business. Perhaps the greatest element of this book is how it gives so many examples of people who are doing exactly what Chris discusses. It is clear that he must have done a lot of work to compile all of these stories within the structure of his book. For this, he must be applauded.

In terms of social media, he doesn't really touch upon it too much. However, there is a chapter where he discusses marketing and how the world is now full of ways to market your business at a fraction of the cost. Thanks internet! However, I think this books main purpose is to convince people to take the plunge and just go for it. So many of us are caught up in jobs that we don't really enjoy, working for someone we don't really like. The fact is, life is too short - and with the help of this book you can start taking steps to live the life that you really desire.

I strongly recommend buying this book, it is truly excellent.  Great job Chris.

Should I Hire a Social Media Manager?

facebook app with blog title

By now you are probably convinced about the benefits that Social Media can have for business. It is one of the best ways to target your market to grow your brand.

As a Social Media Management company we know how awesome Social Media can be. However, we are also well aware of how difficult it can be to get right and that it takes perseverance to get results. To become an expert you need to really invest in it which can take a lot of time and energy, something which often puts companies off the idea. But there is another option - hiring a Social Media Manager! Is it worth investing in one? Totally - and here is why...

Time

Plain and simply, social media takes a lot of effort.  If you're going to do it right, then it requires that you dedicate yourself to it entirely.  If you're spending your time running your business, then you just don't have time to spend all day on Twitter connecting with people, or searching for engaging and appropriate content to post to your Facebook fan page. By hiring a social media manager, then you no longer have to worry about it. We would take it off your hands and do it all for you, leaving you with the more the important parts of running your business!

Expert

If you hire the right social media manager, then they should be adequately skilled enough to use social media to its absolute fullest and provide your business with the best possible results. If you did have the time to do it, you probably still wouldn't be able to manage your social media to a level where you could achieve similar results. It would take you a long time to learn the necessary to get a similar level of results.

Staying up to date

By hiring someone else to manage your social media, you can feel safe in the knowledge that they should be in the loop on future developments and techniques in the world of social media.  If you were to be doing your own social media, then you'd have to take the time to read up on the latest social media news to stay up to date.  Instead, you can just put your feet up and be safe in the knowledge that your social media is up to date!

So there you have it, three amazing reasons to hire a social media manager and let someone else do all of the work for you! Interested in seeing what we could do for you? Why not contact us today!

The Only Social Media Tip That Really Matters

social media tip

Today we received a letter in the post. Most generic and boring letters have printed addresses on the front, but this letter was hand written - and good things always come inside hand written letters.

So we opened the envelope and inside was a hand written note and a sachet of coffee. At this point we were pretty confused, as you can imagine. Why would someone decide to send us a small, insignificant sachet of coffee? The note read "It won't compare to your Starbucks hazelnut mocha with soya coffee, but we thought we'd treat you to a coffee anyway!".

It turns out the hand written note was from a company called Office Mojo. Office Mojo are are a stationery company we have spoken to a few times on Twitter and at some point we must have told them our coffee preferences. The endearing thing is the fact we don't even remember saying it, but they have listened and remembered. They have then gone to the effort of sending us this thoughtful note.

Many companies on social media don't get it, they just see it as a free place where they can just constantly shout about their products and services. Whilst this is one use of social media, it is a great way to connect with people who would love to buy what you have to offer. If this is all you do, people will get bored and unfollow or unlike you. These types companies only talk, they never listen. Office Mojo listened to us and because of that the likelihood that we will purchase stationary from them in the future is now very high.

If we could give your one social media tip that really matters it would be just that: talk less, listen more.

Here is a photo of the note:

10 iPhone Apps Every Entrepreneur Must Have

apps to do list

For all budding entrepreneurs, during the start-up stages of a new business staying focussed and efficient is integral to success. With a considerable amount of work to do on-the-go, it will come as no surprise that a certain amount will have to be carried out on your mobile...

If you are looking to maximise use of your time then you can do a lot worst than investing in some great iPhone apps. So many a designed to help you increase productivity and get the job done. So if your finding yourself blankly staring at the app store wondering what to get first, here are our top 10 iPhone apps for entrepreneurs!

1. Fast Analytics - Free

Google Analytics is a key tool for start ups and being able to track how your rankings are faring while on the go can be really useful. We've tried most of the apps for tracking Google Analytics and believe this is the best one.

2. Skype - Free

At a point when building and communicating with your network is imperative, Skype is a must.

3. Clear - £1.49

Investing in a to-do app is a great way to prioritise your tasks. We find Clear to be the best of the to-do app bunch. A lot of people favour Remember the Milk - but we find the simplicity of Clear marks it as a winner.

4. Dropbox - Free

Much like Skype, Dropbox is so widely used that it makes it a must for any entrepreneurs phone.

5. CardMunch - Free

Fed up of trying to find all those business cards you've collected?  This app allows you to scan it in and store all of them on your phone, as well as sending the contact information to your address book.

6. Wi-Fi Finder - Free

Use this app to find the nearest free Wi-fi, and then go use it on the move! Simple as that.

7. Expensify - Free

Expensify syncs with your credit cards and bank accounts to track purchases in real time and then lets you create awesome expense reports.

8. TripIt - £2.49

TripIt is a great tool for keeping track of your all travel information, reservation numbers, times, etc.

9. Evernote - Free

The best app for taking notes, storing ideas.  Just let your brain spill into this app, and then check it all back later.

10. Square - Free

This app turns your phone into a portable card machine.  Of course, Square take a fee for each transaction, but it's only 2.75% - making this an awesome tool for businesses on the move.

So those are the top 10, can you think of anything we've missed?  Drop us a comment below with your recommendations!

 

Social Media Expert Interviews: Amy Jo Martin

amy jo martin interview

Amy Jo Martin founded Digital Royalty three years ago to help companies, celebrities, professional sports leagues, teams and athletes build, measure and monetize their digital universe. In addition, Digital Royalty provides customized social media education programs through Digital Royalty University, which offers a comprehensive curriculum blending strategic and tactical training. In October 2012, Amy Jo published the New York Times Bestseller, Renegades Write the Rules.

Amy Jo herself has nearly 1.3 million Twitter followers and she travels the world to speak about the latest trends in social media, how to monetize various social platforms, and how to successfully build a personal brand by utilizing social media. Her audiences have varied from the Harvard Business School and National Sports Forum to the Design Leadership Summit in Venice, Italy. Amy is also a regular contributor to news outlets including the Harvard Business Review and Sports Business Journal. She and Digital Royalty have been featured in top-tier media outlets including Vanity Fair, TIME, Forbes, The New York Times, Fast Company, ESPN SportsCenter, USA Today, MSNBC and Newsweek.

Digital Royalty’s clients include:  Shaquille O’Neal, FOX Sports, The X-Factor, Chicago White Sox, UFC and Dana White, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Los Angeles Kings, Jabbawockeeez, Doubletree by Hilton, Tony Hsieh CEO of Zappos.com and author of the The New York Times#1 Bestseller, Delivering Happiness, Monte Carlo Resort & Casino, and Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.

Amy, tell us a little about what it is you do?

I help people humanize their brand and deliver value to their audience through social media channels. I encourage others tell their stories virtually and design their own day.

 

How important would you say having a social media presence is for businesses these days?

With over a billion people on Facebook alone, it would be irresponsible not to have a social media presence. Social media isn’t really “media”, it’s just communication. It’s more like the telephone and less like the television. Would you not answer your phone if someone were calling?

What three bits of advice would you give a business that is taking their first steps into the world of social media?

1. Humans connect with humans, not logos. You have to humanize your brand to really connect with your followers.

2. Be a social rocket scientist. Your mixture of measurement and creativity is your X factor. Magic happens when we combine numbers with an emotional connection.

3. Don’t forget the importance of your personal brand. Your personality, confidence, and the way you conduct yourself define your brand.

What do you think the future holds for social media?

Fatigue, consolidation, and the continuing struggle to remain relevant are definite trends today. There are simply too many options out there. People are busy, so social media platforms must continue to find interesting ways to engage users. With so many choices to choose from, simplicity and value reign, as evidenced by the success of platforms like Instagram. Too many platforms try to appeal to everyone; the best ones do one thing and do it right.

What is the coolest fact about Giraffes you know?

A giraffe is able to clean its ears with its own tongue!

This has to be one of our best interviews so far, we'd like to thank Amy Jo for her time in allowing us to interview her. We hope you've picked up some things here, it's almost impossible to not! For more of Amy Jo - you can check out her blog here.

Image source: speakers.ca

What is the Best Alternative to Google Chrome?

web browsers

When it comes to web browsers, the world appears to be Chrome crazy. But believe it or not, there are alternative options - and not just for Mac users... 

Internet Explorer

Old faithful, there are certainly a few of us who once referred to Internet explorer as "the Internet". Although not particularly favoured, Internet Explorer may be the answer to more screen space, less browser. The browser frame ‘makes any website shine’ which has been designed with navigation in mind with larger buttons, single menu and simplified controls. The browser appears to do its utmost to keep you in control of your privacy. Like a bodyguard, users have the choice to use tracking protection to obstruct third party websites from viewing their personal data. The Smart Screen filter tool also alerts you about illegitimate websites and potential phishing.

Safari

According to their website, Safari offers Apple Mac users the chance to ‘browse the web in smarter, more powerful ways’. Expect nothing less than a beautifully sleek designed interface for easy management of tabs and smoother scrolling whilst browsing. With improved hardware acceleration, Safari has the potential to over power other web browsers with its rich graphics point of view and refined page views that load at blazing speed. Safari puts up a fight as a stress free outlet with built in sharing where you don’t have to leave the web page to share content with your mail, messages or social media platforms. The advanced features for Safari include smarter searches for finding web pages quickly using the unified search field, which suggests what you are looking as you type.

Firefox

It appears that Mozilla Firefox has upped their game with recent updates to the browsers interface. Staying in sync with the nations love for social media, Firefox have added a new swanky apps ‘add-on’ tab to the tab bar to make home for your favourite websites for constant access to sites you permanently have open. Adding to the slick and super speedy user friendly web browsing experience, Firefox have also got customization down. This is the reason why Firefox have made it possible for users to fully customize their browser with various elements of the browser from its appearance with decorative ‘themes’ to adding extensions such as Facebook and Twitter integration; perfect for those who are eagle eyed for personalization.

The ability to give the user the power to make changes to the web browser themselves whilst giving a varying degree of creative interactivity is one of the critical factors that flies in the face of Internet Explorer and Safari. As for Firefox’s performance, take comfort in knowing that the two key things you probably look out for whilst browsing the web, rapid graphics rendering and remarkably quick page load times will not let you down.

With all these contributing factors to Firefox’s appeal, Mozilla Firefox have definitely fought their way through, naturally winning the fight and beating Internet explorer and Safari by a mile. It’s a tough one but which one would you rank as best web browser?

- Lisa Van (@lisadrivesavan), Social Media Content Assistant

The 5 Books Every Business Owner Needs to Read

social media book for businesses

At Giraffe we are compulsive readers; we're addicted to reading books of all topics. But seeing as this is a blog about social media, we figured it'd be silly to tell you our favourite book about emotional intelligence or deciphering dreams - so here are our top 5 books on the topic of social media.

If you're a business and you're looking to educate yourself so that you can't start taking over the social media sphere - look no further than these 5 great books.

1. Likeable Social Media: How to Delight Your Customers, Create an Irresistible Brand, and Be Generally Amazing on Facebook by Dave Kerpen.

This was one of the first books we read on social media. It offers great analysis for anyone who is looking to understand how marketing your business on Facebook works. It does touch on other social networks, but to be honest this book is worth reading for the Facebook stuff predominantly. Mr Kerpen has a very readable writing style and offers countless easy and actionable tips in this book that can get you started pretty much from the first chapter onwards! If you're looking to master using Facebook for business, this is the book.

Find it here

2. The Zen of Social Media Marketing: An Easier Way to Build Credibility, Generate Buzz, and Increase Revenue by Shama Hyder Kabani

This book offers a really good insight to each social network.  It doesn't cover one more than others, but it gives you a broad basis of knowledge that will be a good foundation to push on from. Shama offers a lot of good advice, but her strengths lie in explaining things in a way that is both informative and fun. This book also will answer any questions as to 'why' your business needs to start implementing social media.

Find it here

3. Groundswell, Expanded and Revised Edition: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies by Charlene Li & Josh Bernoff

This book shows how to take the threats of social media on your business, and turn them into opportunities. The first few chapters may drag for people who aren't beginners, but stay with it as there is a lot of good advice and insights to take away. The book is extremely well written, and a pleasure to read. It also looks to address some of the bigger picture, of what is next and how can we predict where these technologies are going.

Find it here

4. Twitter Power 2.0: How to Dominate Your Market One Tweet at a Time by Joel Comm

Looking to understand Twitter, and fully utilise it to maximise your business' potential?  Look no further. This book is everything you need to know about Twitter and how to use it for Business. Much like Kerpen conquers Facebook and breaks it down for you, Joel Comm does the same here for Twitter. It was a pleasure to read, and has insights for people of all abilities.

Find it here

5. The Social Media Detox: The 7 Day Detox that will Dramatically Increase the Brand Visibility, Web Traffic and Sales of your Business by Phil Treagus

Alright, you got us - this is our book. But without floating our own boat too much, we really do feel like this 7-day plan can help anyone of any ability get started on social media. It is a walk through guide for beginners to using social media for business. We focus predominantly on Facebook and Twitter and show you how to optimise each for your best chance of success. Take the 7 day detox and see your results increase.

Find it here

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