20 Oct 2017

How to optimise your social media accounts

Social media is an affordable way for small businesses to promote themselves and connect with old and new customers. But in recent years, it has started to influence search rankings. There are two reasons for this: First, it creates another opportunity for you to connect with new customers and second, search engines will pick up on the external links that point to your site from your profile.

 

Even if you don’t have a social media strategy, implementing the tips we’ve outlined below will help you get more out of social media for your business:

 

Include social share buttons on your website

Make it easy for people to share your content, and they will. Include links to all the social media platforms you have an account with on your website. Even if a prospect doesn’t buy something on their first visit, following you on social media acts like a bookmark. If they see your posts they may visit your site again.

 

Don’t forget your blog. Add share buttons to every blog post and focus on creating useful content. People like to share helpful information with their network. And make sure that every profile you have includes a link to your website.

 

Keep your profiles consistent

All the contact information and even the images you use should be the same across all of your social media profiles. Complete every field on your profile. It may seem like a lot of work, but search engines prefer profiles that have all the required information. It makes your company come across as polished and professional.

 

Use your SEO keywords in your profile

Using a keyword or phrase in your profile makes it easy for people to find you. This works for searches within the social network and for search engines such as Google and Bing. But it must sound natural. Stuffing keywords in randomly will only make you look unprofessional.

 

Use hashtags in your posts

Like keywords, it’s important that the hashtags you use are relevant to the audience you want to reach. People use hashtags to find information that they need. Proper use of hashtags will help you to find new audiences outside of your regular followers. Research shows that posts with hashtags get more engagement, so spend some time researching relevant hashtags you can use.

 

Be social and encourage engagement

Social media is all about relationships. Don’t just post it and forget it. And don’t make the mistake of only posting promotional content. Ask questions, start a conversation and engage with your followers. Share relevant content from your own site and other sites, but make sure your followers will find it helpful or amusing.

 

Use images properly

Images can be a powerful way to communicate your brand to potential customers. So invest in professional images of a good quality. Check the size guides for each platform and make sure your images are correctly formatted and displayed. Like the language you use, your images should be consistent across all your profiles. This creates a good impression and strengthens your brand.

 

Use one email address

While you might want to share the social media duties between your employees, it makes sense to use one email address. That way, if someone leaves the company, you can still access your profiles and manage your accounts.

 

Because social media sites tend to have a high authority ranking, links from social media are considered high-quality. There are many ways you can use optimise your social media, but these tips are a good place to start. Let your audience be your guide and don’t be afraid to experiment.

 

Prefer to outsource your social media to an agency? Web Changes offers several affordable digital marketing packages to suit your budget. See what social can do for your business.

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29 Sep 2017

Clever ways to use your keywords

When you think about keywords you probably imagine how they’re used in SEO or PPC campaigns. They’re the words you use to on your website to make sure that people find you when they’re looking for information on a particular product. They also help search engines understand what your site is about.

But it doesn’t have to end there. Keywords can be used throughout your marketing strategy in ways you’ve never imagined. Here are some ideas on how you can get the most out of your keywords.

Generating topic ideas for your content

Creating blog posts, videos and podcasts that get noticed can be difficult. This is how your keywords can make it easier:

  •  You can create content that you think your readers will be interested in. Then, go back and look for the keywords and phrases that fit the topic. Work these in to your content in a way that is natural.
  • Or, you can research the keywords for your industry first and choose some that you think would make for great content. If you use Google Adwords Keyword Planner, you can find out how many people are using these keywords in their online searches. Then use this information to generate ideas for blog posts and videos.

Researching keywords related to your business will help you consistently come up with fresh ideas for content you can use on your website, blog and social media platforms.

Optimising your social media profiles

You can optimise elements of your social media profiles and pages with your keywords and phrases.

For example:

  • Twitter: Use your keyword phrase in your bio.
  • Facebook: Add your keyword phrases to your Category, Short Description, and Long Description tabs.
  • Pinterest: Include your keywords in the About You box
  • LinkedIn Company Page: Use your keywords in your company description and company specialities.
  • Google+ Page: Insert your keyword phrase in your introduction.

The trick with keywords is to use them naturally. Stuffing your copy with keywords will only result in Google penalising you – and your visitors, fans and followers won’t be impressed either.

In your email subject lines

Now this is a really clever idea. Although it won’t influence your search engine ranking, using keywords in the subject line of emails you send to customers has a surprising benefit.

Bear in mind that emails are also searchable. We all have overflowing inboxes, so using the right keywords can help someone find your email in a flash. Perhaps they’ve contacted several companies for a quote. Think about the words they might use to find your email after a few days and put these keywords in the subject line.

In your offline marketing

How would you describe your business to someone who doesn’t have access to the internet? Do you have brochures or pamphlets with your keyword phrases that you can hand out at exhibitions? Are your services or products visible on your delivery vehicles?

These are places where your keywords can be used to give people a clear idea of what your business is all about. And because keywords and phrases are short and memorable, they can be most effective for offline marketing opportunities.

Keywords may be the cornerstone of SEO, but with a little imagination you can use them throughout your marketing strategy.  In some cases, such as your social media profiles, they can increase your organic search rankings. But even using them in your offline marketing materials will make it easy for your customers to remember you and what you do.

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01 Sep 2017

How to get the best out of your online marketing agency

You’ve done the research; asked the tough questions and finally picked an internet marketing company that’s going to catapult your business into the stratosphere. You’re done, right? All you need to do now is sit back and smile as the cash roll in? Wrong!

 

The success of your partnership depends as much on what you bring to the table, as the company you’re working with. To get real value out this partnership there are some things you should bear in mind if you want it to be a success. Here’s what you need to do to get the most out of your online marketing firm:

 

Give them as much detail about your business as possible

Nobody knows as much about your business as you do. You can’t expect your marketers to go into bat without knowing what you’re all about. Make sure they’re clued up on the following aspects:

 

  • Your business model: How does the company make its money? Which industries do you operate in? What problem do you help your customers solve?
  • Your marketplace: Who are your customers? What methods are you currently using to get new business? Who is your target demographic?
  • Your company’s goals and objectives: Think about your short-term and long-term goals. Will you open up a new branch? Add more products?
  • Your unique selling point: What sets you apart from the competition? Better service? Superior products? Your knowledge and expertise?
  • Your objectives for online marketing: What’s prompted to you to market online? What do you hope to achieve from online marketing?

 

Giving information to your online marketing company will help develop a holistic strategy, tailored to the needs of your company.

 

Educate yourself about what they do

Read articles and books, or ask them to teach you about the work they do. You don’t have to become an expert – after all, that’s why you hired them. But having a basic understanding of terms and concepts will put you in a better position to gauge the work they’re doing.

 

Besides, online marketing done right makes big difference to any business. Why wouldn’t you want to be a part of that?

 

Decide what success looks like to you

How will you determine whether the agency you’ve chosen is doing a good job? It helps if you think about your objectives. Did you want to increase brand awareness, the number of customers you have or your profits? Once you’ve figured this out you’ll know how to track the results of campaigns.

 

Let your internet marketing firm know what kind of reports you need, and how often you want them.

 

Be patient and give it time

Change doesn’t happen overnight – it takes time. If you’re working with an ethical company that follows the rules when it comes to SEO, you won’t jump to the top of search result pages quickly. Google has worked hard to weed out unsavoury link building practices and it’s not worth trying to cheat your way to the top anyway.

 

The focus of your online marketing strategy should be to provide value to users. Like in real life, it takes time and consistency to build a good reputation. Don’t try to rush things or give up when things don’t seem to be happening quickly enough.

 

Solid marketing that increases your authority and value to potential customers over time will pay far bigger dividends in the long run.

 

Communicate, communicate and communicate!

It’ bears repeating. Like any other partnership, your relationship with your online marketing company depends on an exchange of thoughts and ideas. Don’t give them instructions and expect them to just get on with it.

 

Get involved. Talk to them about things that concern you and listen to their advice in return.

 

Hiring someone to take your presence online to the next level is exciting. Work closely with the agency you’ve chosen to make it a real success. And if you’re looking for an agency to partner with, take a look at our digital marketing packages. We have something to suit every business, objective and budget.

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14 Aug 2017

Web Changes introduces Digital Marketing packages for every business

Web Changes introduces Digital Marketing packages for every business

If you’re doing business without an online marketing strategy you’re going to struggle. But not every business can afford to hire a dedicated marketing manager. A few business owners have the time to create and manage the content required for posts, blogs and newsletters.

Over the years, many of our web maintenance customers expressed a need for assistance with marketing their business online. That demand prompted us to create a Digital Marketing division staffed with experts in copywriting, social media management and online advertising.

The responses from our clients, and the results generated from the strategies we’ve employed have convinced us that there is a very real need for this type of service. Now, we’ve packaged our offerings to make it even easier for small, medium and large businesses to outsource their digital marketing.

Pick your package

Whether you just want a professional social media presence, or you’re ready to invest in Google Adwords, you’ll find a package that suits your requirements – and your budget:

Cost: R1800/month

Ideal for businesses with no existing social media presence, and no idea where to start. We’ll set up two accounts for you and manage them on your behalf. That means we’ll create and source content that your audience will find informative and entertaining.

We’ll also set up a blog page on your website and post one 500-800 word article on it every month. We’ll share links to your blog on your social media accounts and that will help to drive more traffic to your site. You’ll also get an hour of telephonic support every month.

Cost: R2550/month

Designed for businesses that want to harness the power of blogging and newsletters to maintain and grow their customer base, the Base Builder includes the set up and management of two social media accounts, a monthly blog post and a monthly newsletter.

With the Base Builder you can actively engage your existing customers and generate new leads by encouraging visitors to your website to sign-up for your monthly newsletter.

Cost: R4000/month

The more top-quality content you create, the more brand awareness you can generate. The Brand Boaster takes your digital marketing to the next level by adding an extra blog post to the mix along with a monthly newsletter and two social media accounts.

Cost: R6000/month

With the addition of paid marketing, you can actively market yourself to new customers. The Lead Liberator package includes an audit of your current marketing strategy with suggestions for improvement.
Your website will be optimised for SEO and we’ll help you set up and maintain three social media profiles. Every month you’ll get two blog posts and a newsletter with a full analytics report.

We’ll also set up and manage paid advertising for you on three channels. You decide the budget and we’ll make sure your advertising delivers the results you want.

Cost: R7000/month

If you’re serious about using online marketing to grow your business, the Marketing Maven is the equivalent of having a full-service marketing company at your disposal.

At our first meeting, our team will analyse your current marketing strategy and provide you with a detailed digital marketing plan going forward. Your business will have a presence of all of the major social media platforms, complemented by paid advertising on three channels.

You’ll receive four carefully researched and well-written articles every month along with a monthly newsletter and full reporting on all your digital marketing activities. Our digital marketing manager will meet with you every month to discuss and refine your strategy and provide suggestions. You also get unlimited email and telephonic support, which effectively makes us your marketing partner.

If you’re wondering whether investing in online marketing will really make a difference to your business, read our case study on Brands Tree Felling. Although you wouldn’t expect a tree feller to engage in social media and online marketing, they have received a tremendously positive response to their online marketing efforts.

We’d like to do the same for your business and we’re always keen to show you what can be accomplished with a strategy that’s tailored to suit your requirements. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with a member of our digital marketing team.

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09 Jun 2017

How your business can benefit from social media

How your business can benefit from social media

 

Even though customers expect your business to have a presence on social media, many CEO’s and small business owners remain sceptical that it provides any real value to the company. If you count yourself in that number, you may be surprised that there are very real benefits to actively engaging in social media.

 

This is what your business stands to gain from embracing social media:

 

  1. Data that gives you valuable customer insights

For businesses, social media is more about listening than talking. Your social media platforms are constantly gathering valuable information about your customers, such as their age, gender, location and preferences.

 

You may even discover that you have different audiences on different platforms. Your typical Facebook fans could be older than your average Twitter follower. Or you could have more woman than men following your Pinterest boards.

 

If you include the fact that you can track what types of content your followers respond to best, you can start crafting marketing campaigns that hit the mark every time.

 

  1. Better ranking on search engines and more website traffic

Google may take your social media into account when calculating your site ranking, but it does pay attention to how many people are interacting with your business. If you’re getting eyeballs on your posts, that could signal to Google that your website is providing valuable information.

 

Don’t forget that you can use your social media to direct people to your website. From the links in your profiles to links on individual posts, there are many ways you can influence the amount of traffic your site gets.

 

  1. A cost-effective way to increase brand awareness

These days, your customers are as likely to search for information on products and services using social media as they are to Google it. Being active on social media offers them the chance to discover and connect with your brand in a way they’re most comfortable with.

 

This can have a significant impact on your brand awareness, and if you manage it properly, you can develop a loyal following and turn fans into brand ambassadors.

 

  1. A sure-fire way to retain existing customers

It always costs more to get a new customer than it does to keep an old one. Social media provides you with the perfect way to build and maintain a relationship with your clients. You can achieve this by using social media to provide your customers with added value. This is how you differentiate yourself from the competition, by continuing to educate, entertain and assist your customers long after the transaction has ended.

 

  1. Better qualified leads

Increasing your website traffic is all well and good, but what you really want is qualified leads. You want customers who are ready to buy landing on your page with the intention of making a purchase.

 

Social media can help you reach and educate your customers at different points of the buying cycle. That way, when they’re ready to spend their money, they know exactly where to go.

 

  1. Provide your customer with a richer experience

As stated in earlier, your customers really do expect you to be on social media. This doesn’t only apply to B2C business or retailers. Even within professions such as architecture, law or engineering, a social media presence can open new doors for your company.

 

Your customers want to use social media to find, contact and engage with you. It gives you the opportunity to share important information about your products, services, industry or company in a way that doesn’t feel pushy. It also allows you to respond to customers quickly, and fast response times are crucial for any service-orientated business.

 

If this doesn’t convince you that it’s worth investing in social media for your business, consider that there are currently 14 million active South African Facebook users. Imagine how it could impact your business if you could find a way to reach even a small percentage of these people.

 

Maintaining a presence on social media isn’t expensive or difficult. You can easily outsource your social media management to a digital marketing company such as Web Changes. From creating, curating and scheduling content right through to social media community management, we take all the hassle out of social media for you.

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28 Apr 2017

Master the art of copywriting for your business

Modern website design trends emphasise the need for high-quality images and video, but that doesn’t mean you can afford to neglect your copy. In fact, it’s never been more important for your copy to sparkle, if it’s intended to match the brilliance of your design.

 

The problem is most designers aren’t copywriters. And while many website owners believe they’re capable of writing their own copy, it’s not simply a case of knowing your business or your product inside out. A professional copywriter adds value to your business in ways you’ve never imagined.

 

Copywriting also requires a completely different skill set. It’s more than simply ensuring that your grammar and punctuation is perfect—it’s about capturing the personality of your brand and conveying that to your customers. It’s a skill you can learn and we’ve got five tips to get you started:

 

  • Keep it short and sweet

When you write, put yourself in your reader’s shoes. Wading through complicated sentences and endless paragraphs isn’t easy at the best of times. It’s even harder on a laptop, tablet or smartphone. Cut your sentences in half and press the enter button after you’ve written three sentences.

 

That doesn’t mean you can’t write an in-depth 3000-word blog post. But it does mean that you should do everything you can to make it easy to read.

 

  • Don’t stress about punctuation

While it’s still important to ensure that your copy follows the rules of good writing, there’s no need to fret about dangling participles and the correct use of semi-colons. Stick to the basic rules you know how to use and write as naturally as possible.

 

  • Practice, practice, practice

If you want to improve your writing, you need to get into the habit of writing every day. It’s like exercising a muscle; with regular practice, you’ll see an improvement in the work you produce.

 

This is a good habit to develop if you want to establish a blog for your business. And starting a blog could be the smartest marketing decision you make. According to a recent infographic by inboundsystems, B2B and B2C companies that blog generate 67% – 88% more leads per month. However, you will need to blog consistently to get the most from your blog.

 

  • Don’t be shy

If you want your writing to stand out, you need to add a dash of personality. This is what most inexperienced writers struggle with. But you’ll find it much easier if you remember to write naturally.

 

You can use humour and opinion to evoke a reaction from your readers. Of course, you should steer clear of being offensive or divisive. Your aim should be to get your readers to engage with your content. This can be accomplished by simply asking your readers what they think about your topic or what they’d like to add to the discussion.

 

And don’t forget to respond to readers who take the time to leave a comment or ask a question. This will give you the chance to start building a community and turn readers into brand ambassadors for your business.

 

  • Get feedback from someone you trust

When you first start writing, you’ll want to give your work to a trusted friend, family member or colleague to read through before you publish it. Not only can they serve as your personal proofreader (spotting the odd typo or glaring spelling mistake), they’ll also be able to give you constructive criticism on your writing style.

 

You may even prefer to ask someone who isn’t familiar with your industry to read through your work. Remember that most of your customers or clients may not be familiar with terms or jargon that is obvious to you. The words you use should be simple enough for anyone to understand.

 

It may take some time and effort, but with practice, you’ll become a confident, capable writer. And you’ll be able to apply your newfound skill to other areas of your business. Many of the rules required for creating winning web copy or captivating product descriptions can be applied to your business emails and newsletters.

 

The words you choose for your website have the power to convert curious visitors to real, paying customers, so choose them wisely. But, if you don’t have the time to work on your writing, you can always outsource it to a professional copywriter.

 

After recognising that many of our customers need access to a professional copywriter, Web Changes created a Digital Marketing division. Our in-house copywriter is able to assist you with all your copywriting needs such as web copy, blogs and newsletters. You can now contact us for assistance with all your copywriting requirements.

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14 Apr 2017

Are you monitoring the right social media metrics?

By now you will have realised that social media is not just a trend—it’s a legitimate marketing tool. And as with any other marketing, you need to track the results of your efforts. The problem is these platforms give you so much information, it’s overwhelming.

 

Even if you run regular reports, you may not be tracking the right metrics. And, you may not understand what the numbers mean for your business. So to make it easier for you to get real value out of those reports, here are the social media metrics that do matter:

 

  1. Follower growth

If you think this is an obvious metric to track, you’re right—but not for the reason you think. At the end of the day, it’s not about how many followers you have but rather how consistently your following grows.

 

Why is it important?

Instead of counting how many followers you have at the end of every week or month, take long range view and see if you can identify any patterns or trends. Was there a month when the number of new followers you gained climbed or dipped?

 

Take a look back at your content or other marketing activities at that time and if you can identify a cause, you can replicate or avoid doing that in the future. Monitoring your follower growth can help you identify marketing strategies that work.

 

  1. Engagement: Likes, Comments and Shares

Ideally, you want your audience to engage with the content you create. The more people like, comment or share your content, the more likely it is to be noticed by people who aren’t part of your fan base. But that’s not why you should monitor these statistics.

 

Why is it important?

When you analyse the numbers, break them down by the type of content, and not the reaction. Facebook makes it very easy to see at a glance what type of content your audience responds to best. At a glance, you’ll be able to tell whether videos, images or text get the best response from your audience. You can use this information to refine your social media strategy going forward.

 

  1. Reach: How many people see your content

It’s no secret that Facebook has refined its algorithm to ensure that posts from family and friends get top priority in your follower’s newsfeed. And that means that not all your followers will see your posts. However, your reach figures will give you a good indication of how many people see your content.

 

Why is it important?

Reach is an indication of your effective audience. Examine these figures together with your content and you’ll get a clearer idea of what types of content are most effective.

 

  1. Best times to post

You’ve probably come across several infographics that tell you what the best time is to post on all the social networks. Don’t listen to them! Instead, look to your own reports to find out what times work best for your audience.

 

Why is it important?

If you know when your audience is online, you’ll know when they’re most likely to engage with your content. In a time when organic reach on so many platforms is declining, information such as this can make a big difference to your marketing efforts. Keep track of this metric on a regular basis so you can respond to changes quickly.

 

  1. Audience demographics

Never before has it been so easy to find out everything you ever wanted to know about your audience. From basic demographics such as age, gender and location right down to their hobbies and interests.

 

Why is it important?

This is the type of data that you can use to determine the effectiveness of your social media strategy. Is your content attracting the right demographic? Are there other audiences that may be interested in your products or services? What you learn here can be used to refine and test your broader marketing plan.

 

The ultimate test of any marketing strategy is the return on investment. With social media, it can be difficult to determine whether your efforts are having the impact you hope for. Simply having a presence on social media is not enough to increase profits. But if you track the metrics we’ve mentioned above, you’ll soon see whether the content you’re creating or the campaigns you’re running are increasing brand awareness and driving traffic to your site.

 

You could also outsource your social media management to a professional company such as Web Changes. You can let us set up and manage your social media and provide you with a comprehensive report on all the metrics that matter.

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17 Mar 2017

Google Adwords vs Facebook Ads: How do you choose?

The truth is you don’t have to choose between Google Adwords and Facebook Ads – you can use both! Understanding their advantages will help you learn how to incorporate them into your digital marketing strategy.

 

The pros of Google Adwords

If you need proof that Google is the world’s leading search engine, consider that it processes around 5.5 billion searches a day. That’s why it has also become the preferred digital advertising avenue for marketers around the world.

 

As a business, Google offers you two primary networks for promotion:

 

  • Google Search Network, and
  • Google Display Network

 

The Google Search Network is part of Google’s wider search network and refers to all of Google’s webpages and apps. Essentially, it includes anywhere a text ad can be displayed.

 

The Display Network refers to Google’s network of Adsense partners who display visual adverts (such as banner ads) on their pages. The Display Network is often used by advertisers who want increase brand awareness rather than conversions.

 

Why you should advertise on Google

 

  • Access to a vast audience

Google has gone to great lengths to improve and refine its search results over the years. Its reputation has been built on providing billions of people with accurate and relevant information.

 

As a marketer, Google offers you the opportunity to reach a vast audience with very little effort. It’s no coincidence that Adwords is the most popular and widely used digital advertising platform in the world.

 

  • A fair and logical bidding process

Adwords revolves around keywords, those words and phrases that your potential customers use to find your business online. Every Adwords campaign starts with identifying potential keywords and building a compelling advert around them. To derive an income from offering ad space on their pages, Google auctions these keywords.

 

In a traditional auction, the highest bidder wins—but that’s not the case with Google. As their reputation depends on providing consistently accurate information, they take other factors into account when deciding who gets the top spot. An advert that is relevant to the user and provides a good user experience will always rank higher than one that is irrelevant—regardless of the keyword bid.

 

  • Customisation with extensions

While it’s true that most PPC ads are purely text, you do have access to a number of features to enhance your adverts. Ad extensions, site links, user reviews and location targeting can all be used to customise your adverts and make them more useful and appealing to your audience.

Once you include the Google Display Network, you can create more visually appealing ads that include images and video. Google is always evolving and new formats are likely to be offered in the future.

 

The pros of Facebook Ads

Although Facebook hasn’t been in the advertising game as long as Google, it’s proving to be a popular choice with advertisers. It remains the biggest social media platform with 1.86 billion monthly users, of which 14 million are South Africans. But it’s not its size that makes it so popular with advertisers.

 

Why you should advertise on Facebook

 

  • Superior demographic targeting

As much as people love to post their pictures of their children, pets and holidays on Facebook, they also use it to search for content that matches their interests, beliefs and values. Facebook allows you to harness this data and target audiences based on a very specific and personal set of demographics.

 

Another advantage is that Facebook allows you to create ‘look-alike’ audiences. You upload information about your existing customers and Facebook uses this to create a similar audience. With this feature, you can effectively double your reach by targeting an audience that is similar to your existing customer base.

 

  • Focus on visual appeal

Facebook is a visually-orientated platform which offers advertisers the opportunity to create visually appealing ads. This makes it easier to create adverts that appeal to the emotions and in certain instances is far more compelling than a simple text ad.

 

As Facebook further develops its advertising capabilities, marketers will benefit from innovations and new features.

 

  • Affordable and effective

Advertising on Facebook is not expensive and the platform provides options to stretch even modest budgets as far as possible. Small and medium businesses can afford to advertise on Facebook, and given all the advantages the platform offers, you can look forward to a good return on your investment.

 

Advertising on Google is commonly referred to as Paid Search while Facebook Ads are considered Paid Social. These two forms of digital advertising have much in common and where possible you should aim to include both in your digital marketing strategy. If you must choose, pick the one that aligns with your marketing goals and devote yourself to perfecting your strategy.

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03 Mar 2017

5 reasons to outsource your social media

Did you know that 65 million businesses have a Facebook page? Whether you’re just starting out in social media, or have a well-established social presence, outsourcing your social media management could be a smart move. If you’re not convinced that letting someone else manage your Facebook account, this should convince you otherwise:

 

  1. You’ll benefit from expert knowledge

You’ll only be able to meet your business goals and objectives if you work with an experienced and knowledgeable social media manager. And because the social media sphere is always changing, they devote much of their time to learning about the latest trends and developments in their field. If you want to your business to compete successfully, you’ll want to harness this knowledge.

 

  1. You’ll get a tailor-made social media strategy

Every business is different and an experienced social media manager will understand this. With very little trial and error, they’ll be able to find the most effective times to post, tweet or otherwise share your content to maximise its impact. This saves you valuable time and ensures that your marketing efforts don’t fall on deaf ears.

 

  1. You’ll deliver a consistent experience

How many times have you come across a blog or Facebook page only to find that it was last updated months or even years ago? That doesn’t inspire confidence in your audience. With an agency, you don’t need to worry that your posts won’t go out if someone goes on holiday or takes a sick day. Content can be planned in advance and scheduled or, there will be other managers on hand to cover for them.

 

  1. You’ll save money

You know that handing over your social media to a receptionist or intern isn’t the right way to do things, but employing a full time social media manager is cost prohibitive. Employing an agency gives you the best of both worlds. You get access to a qualified social media manager without having to add another salary to your payroll.

 

  1. Your content will hit the right spot

Writing your own blogs, newsletters and Facebook posts may seem like a good idea—after all, you’re an expert on your business. But it’s not ideal for generating the kind of content your audience wants. You might use industry jargon and lingo that outsiders won’t understand.

 

Social media managers will analyse your audience and write in a way that reflects the language they use. They’ll also have a system for checking spelling and grammar to ensure you appear polished and professional.

 

Any professional social media manager will go to great lengths to understand your business, your audience and your objectives. They’ll look for ways that social media can be used to achieve and enhance your overall marketing and business goals.

 

Now do you see why it makes sense to outsource your social media? If you want to find out how a dedicated social media manager can make a difference to your business, give Web Changes a call. Our digital marketing division would love to manage your social media for you.

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27 Jan 2017

Social Media Trends 2017: What do they mean for small businesses in South Africa?

For many SMB’s in South Africa, social media remains a bit of a mystery. Although business owners are aware that it’s important to have a social media presence, they don’t know how to leverage it. And because social media is constantly evolving, it can be difficult to keep up. So here’s what you need to know about the major trends happening in social media this year and what impact it could have on your business.

 

  1. Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn will dominate the scene

Of all the social media platforms available, these three will be the most important ones for your business. There are currently 14 million active South African Facebook users. Of these, almost 10 million (85%) use their phones to access Facebook.

 

Instagram has grown by 31% to 3.5 million users in 2016 and LinkedIn now has 5.5 million active South African users.

 

What does this mean for your business?

You’ll need to focus your digital marketing strategy on these three platforms in the coming year. And, it’s clearly more important than ever to ensure that your website is mobile-friendly.

 

  1. Content marketing, video and social messaging are on the rise

For the past few years content marketing has emerged as an essential digital marketing strategy. Consumers are weary of advertising and are looking for brands that provide them with authentic, practical information that adds value to their lives.

 

That content takes many different forms and thanks to faster connection speeds, video is the new trend.

 

Consumers also want businesses to communicate with them in a more personal and efficient manner. This is where social messaging services come to the fore, particularly for younger users.

 

How can your business use this information?

You’ll need to look carefully at the content you currently create for your blogs and social media channels. Stop pushing sales and find ways to educate and entertain your audience instead. That may include experimenting with video. You’ll need to stretch your creative limits to stand out from the crowd.

 

Businesses should also investigate ways of using messaging services such as WhatsApp to provide their customers and clients with a more direct form of communication. It’s best suited to handling customer service and enquiries.

 

  1. Increased spending on social media advertising

At present, almost 92% of the biggest Brands in South Africa advertise on Facebook and 92% use Twitter. This year, these advertisers will increase their social media advertising budgets. This is a clear indication that advertising on these social networks is effective.

 

The good news for SME’s

Advertising on Facebook and Twitter is still affordable for small and medium businesses. And, there’s another advantage to advertising on these platforms as opposed to print, radio or TV. Social media platforms allow you to define your target market more effectively based on demographic and geographic features. This makes it more cost-effective than mass advertising which gives you little control over who sees your message.

 

  1. Email newsletters continue to be fashionable

With the addition of interactive elements such as gifs and video, email newsletters are more engaging than ever. And it’s no longer a secret that most consumers prefer to interact with businesses via email.

 

What should you do?

Dust off that database of emails you’ve collected over the years and get to work on creating the most eye-catching newsletter you can. Divide your email list into groups based on different markets and create targeted newsletters that get your customers clicking through to your website to find out more.

 

Developing a strategy and managing your spend

The biggest barriers for small and medium business owners who want to develop a presence on social media remain time and expertise. However, you can confidently outsource this aspect of your business to a company that provides professional social media management services.

 

It’s no longer a question of whether your business should be on social media or not. But rather how a well-defined social media strategy can improve your reach and ultimately, your bottom line. A professional will be able to help you find your niche, create compelling content and spend your advertising budget effectively.

 

Embrace social media and discover what a difference it could make to your business.

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