With over 44 million active social media users in the UK today, it is now more important than ever to have a well researched social strategy for your brand. An average of 1 hour and 54 minutes is spent each day on social media, with younger audiences spending roughly 5 ½ hours on these platforms daily! Your customers live on social media, so your business needs to be there too. But if you aren’t quite sure how to get your brand started in the social world, we have got you covered. We are here to talk you through the 5 essential steps to creating an effective social media strategy. So let’s get to it.
Define your audience
Without understanding exactly who you are trying to target on social media, it is almost impossible to know what sort of messages need to be constructed to reach them. When defining your online audience, you need to consider the following questions:
- Who are they?
- What are they into?
- What/who influences them?
- When are they usually online?
- Which social media platforms do they use?
Once you have been able to answer these questions, you can start to build an audience profile of your typical customer. This will help you to identify what sort of language you should be using in your messages, when you need to be posting, and what social media platforms you need to be focusing on to reach your audience. The main goal of any social media strategy should be engagement, and understanding your audience and constructing messages to meet their needs and interests will very much help you to do this.
Define your goals
Defining what your business wants to achieve on social media will help you to identify the social actions you need to take to meet these goals. If your goal was to provide better customer service, you would need to make sure you have a dedicated customer team on social media who are ready to respond to any queries quickly. Or if you wanted to increase the amount of traffic to your website, your business would need to regularly post links to interesting and engaging content on your site.
When it comes to deciding which social media platforms to use in your strategy, you must consider your audience and business goals. Do you have a business focus or a lifestyle focus? Each social media platform is different, so you must identify which ones are most relevant for your brand and which channels your audience spend the most time on. For example, if you were a logistics company with a B2B audience, LinkedIn would be a very effective channel to use to target other business professionals. But don’t forget- different social media channels need different strategies so it is important to research the ‘best practises’ of each platform you decide to use.
Your brand’s social voice
It is very important to keep a consistent social voice when posting online in order to build a strong brand recognition for your business. To best be remembered, the following factors should always be kept consistent throughout a social media campaign:
- Logo use
- Fonts and colours
- Tone of voice
- Style of images
- Brand guidelines
Your tone of voice should be decided based upon your target audience and business values. Do you want to be perceived as formal or casual? Is your business quirky or uniform? Choosing a tone of voice that fits well with your target audience will really help to build engagement with your customers online.
By defining what social media success means to your business, you can easier understand what you need to do to get there. If high star ratings are a measure of success for you, then you could start asking your customers to leave a Facebook review after they have completed their purchase journey. Or if an increase in mentions means success, then it would be useful to start engaging in online communities and asking questions in your social media posts.
So to summarise, in order to best engage with your audience and build awareness of your business online, it really is essential to first create an effective social media strategy. It is important to remember that quality always rules over quantity, so take your time when constructing content to make sure it will engage your target audience and align to your business goals. Try to be authentic, relatable and timely. And once you have got that all in place, you will be able to use your plan to build your brand and engage with your customers on social like a pro.
The MediaVita team are extremely proud to have been crowned ‘Best Website’ GOLD award winners at the Essex Digital Awards 2018.
Our award was given for the design and build of Shaken Udder’s new website, who are one of our very valued clients. The awards evening took place at the wonderful Hylands House in Chelmsford, consisting of great surroundings, lovely food, entertainment and great company. It was a fantastic night spent with many other Essex businesses.
We would like to thank the judges for choosing us, and also Shaken Udder for their continued support and working with us on such an exciting project that we really enjoyed.
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a new mandatory European ruling, which governs the data protection rights for all individuals within the European Union.
GDPR requirements are changing the ways that companies process, store and protect customer data. If you carry out business with European citizens which involves the processing of their personal data, then this legislation will apply to you. Though it was initiated on the 27th April 2016, a 2-year grace period was permitted to allow businesses to prepare for the changes. Therefore, the regulation comes into force on the 25th May 2018. Failure to comply after this date can result in fines of up to £20 million, or 4% of a company’s annual turnover, whichever is greater.
Individuals’ Right to Consent
Consent is a very key part of the new GDPR legislation and any website that collects personal data must obtain specific permission to use it within their business. Consent must be “knowingly and freely given” and visitors to your website must understand exactly how you are planning on using their data and must agree to each specific purpose. That means if you have someone’s email address because they have placed an order with you, or have have signed up to become a member of your website, you are only allowed to market to them or send them promotional emails if they have agreed to this.
Alongside gaining content, companies are now required to be able to track this consent, with a record of how and when an individual granted permission. There must also be details of what they were told at the time. Individuals have the right to access, modify or delete any information that a company holds on them when requested.
How to Comply:
- Ensure that any area on your website where people share contact details offers clear information about what the data is going to be used for. You must state the purpose for obtaining their personal data, what you will do with it, how long it is stored for and who will see it.
- Do not use pre-ticked boxes, soft opt-ins, or implied consent to grow your list. People need to provide active consent in order for their data to be used.
- Make sure that the consent on your marketing lists can be tracked for each contact, proving they’ve given permission to your use of their data.
As well as a right to give informed consent, individuals also have a right to retract that consent at any time, and have the “right to be forgotten” (e.g., opt out and unsubscribe). This means that if someone requests an organisation to delete their data, it should be acted on immediately provided there’s no “compelling reason” for the business to continue storing or processing that data. The data must be deleted from all backups, and the organisation should have proof of the deletion. It must be just as easy to remove consent as it was to grant it, and individuals always need to know they have the right to withdraw their consent.
How to Comply
- Previously granted consent needs to be easily retractable by the individual, and any objections to specific data uses need to be acted upon immediately.
- Your present data handling routines could need to change to allow individuals to request objections and for “the right to be forgotten” (their data to be deleted).
- Ensure that you can delete identifiable data about a person completely and in an auditable manner.
But Don’t Forget the Rest!
Although matters of consent, erasure and deletion will be some of the most important points to implement into your marketing practises when GDPR comes in to place on 25th May, you can’t forget that there are also other crucial points to abide by that aren’t just matters for the marketing team. GDPR also provides crucial legislation regarding areas like data breach handling, protections for children, and appointing in-house data protection officers. It is also important to know that GDPR isn’t just about data surrounding consumers and prospects – it refers to all individuals. That includes the data that a company holds about its employees.
Finally, you must make sure your whole team is trained thoroughly on all aspects of GDPR, and are dedicated to keeping your company compliant. Employees should be aware of their new responsibilities to those you hold data about, and be able to answer any questions that customers may be asking about how you handle their data under GDPR legislation.
The Mediavita team are extremely proud to have been selected as a finalist in the ‘best website’ category at the Essex Digital Awards 2018!
Our nomination has been for the design and build of the Shaken Udder website, who are one of our very valued clients. The awards evening will take place at Hylands House in May when the winners will be announced, so please keep your fingers crossed for us!
We would like to thank Shaken Udder for their continued support and working with us on such an exciting project that we really enjoyed.
Even if we don’t win, we are still very proud and honored to have been selected and will continue to work at the same high level with the same passion for all our other website projects.
MediaVita’s creative director and Typographic Committee Member (Antony Long) yesterday had a very insightful evening at the first Typographic Event of 2018 held at Knightsbridge Green in London.
The event featured Astrid Stravo, the Creative Director of an independent design studio (Atlas), which operates from offices in London and Mallorca. She has an international reputation for her precise attention to craft, applied with exquisite typographic sensibility. She has a wide range of expertise covering the design of brand identities, editorial design, signage and way finding systems, posters, exhibitions and packaging.
Astrid lectures extensively on design related subjects across the globe and has chaired and judged numerous high-profile international design competitions. Her work has been recognized with more than 200 design awards and has been repeatedly featured and profiled in publications such as Eye magazine, Creative Review, Wallpaper, Print, I.D., Domus and Grafik and books by Phaidon, Rizzoli, Laurence King and Thames & Hudson.
Antony left the event feeling very inspired and ready to put all new knowledge into action. Another great event held by the Typographic Circle!
With over 600 million brand pages and businesses now on Facebook, it is especially important to establish a good online presence for your brand. Accompanied with the knowledge that there are around 300 million daily ‘active’ users on Twitter, the high volume of brand pages and users in today’s marketing world means that advertising on Facebook and other social channels is more competitive than ever. Everyone is having to fight for attention on social media, and businesses are battling to be spotted on the ever crowded newsfeeds of their consumers. To put this into perspective, the average lifespan on a tweet posted on twitter is a mere 14 minutes if the message does not receive a retweet or any other form of engagement. This is why is it absolutely vital for every business to establish a social media strategy, outlining how to effectively use language and posting schedules to best capture the attention of their chosen target audience. After all, nobody wants to be responsible for an un-engaged ’14 minute’ tweet…
The Rise of Video
The world of video has also taken a huge upturn in recent years, with statistics uncovering that over 100 hours of video are being watched everyday on Facebook alone. It has been stated that the single most important strategy in content marketing today is video, making it vital for brands to incorporate this into their social media postings. Moving image is a very effective method of reaching your fans at scale, and allows you to transmit a large amount of information in a short amount of time whilst keeping your audience constantly engaged. The newer ‘Facebook Live’ feature is a very useful tool that businesses should take advantage of in order to engage their customers in real time through video. And with the rise of the engagement economy in todays marketing world, giving your consumers the type of personalised service that Facebook Live allows for is the key to success.
Changes in Facebook’s Algorithm
Only last week news broke that the Facebook algorithm had changed, meaning that the tactics that brand pages have been using to get their targeted posts higher up in consumers’ timelines have now become redundant. Where as previously it was the most liked, commented and shared posts that were featuring at the top of the newsfeed, Facebook has now changed this in attempts to crack down on fake news and give users more relevancy on Facebook rather than being dominated by business adverts. One way that firms can combat these changes are to participate more in Facebook groups, which allow you to regularly connect with more local people in a personal way. These personalised experiences are likely to increase engagement with your customers, which is ultimately one of the most important factors in marketing.
Changes in the Facebook Algorithm have also put more importance back on search engine optimisation, as firms now cannot fully rely on social media to generate brand awareness and traffic to their website. Companies should instead once again work harder to optimise their website to rank higher in search engines for keywords/terms that are relevant to their brand.
So to summarise, in order to keep up with the ongoing rapid growth of social media marketing and win with engagement, you MUST first establish a proper social strategy for your business. This will outline; who you are targeting, the type of language you need to use to target this audience, the best time to post to capture your customers, the most relevant social channels to post on and also which forms of media you need to send out. Once this is in place, you will be able to keep up with social and engage with your customers like a boss.
We would like to congratulate our client Fairfields Farm Crisps in winning the Innovation Packaging Design of the Year award for Heat & Eat, in which the MediaVita team helped to design.
The MediaVita team spent many months working hard on the exclusive Heat & Eat Designs and marketing materials with Fairfields since the Spring and are extremely happy with the final result. After working alongside the family run potato business on various rebranding projects since March 2016, it was very exciting to be a part of such an important project that is guaranteed to revitalise the crisp market. And not only was it an exciting concept to design, but it has been very rewarding for the hard work to have been recognised!
MediaVita bake up a storm at Threshelfords Business Park to raise funds for the wonderful Children in Need charity.
Last Friday marked the date for the MEGA MediaVita Cake Bake charity sale, selling scrumptious treats to all of the organisations at Threshelfords Business Park in Kelevdon. The MV team certainly delivered in true Great British Bake Off style, cooking up over 90 mouth-watering cakes between the 4 of us in the form of brownies, muffins, cookies and cupcakes.
We are extremely proud to announce a grand total of £107 raised for the charity, showing that a little work really can go a long way. We would like send out a big thank you to everyone that donated, and to the Mediavita team for baking up the goods!
The Mediavita team recently spent the day in London at the Marketing Nation Live Roadshow (hosted by Marketo) to expand our knowledge and learn about the industry’s exciting new game changers. Over the previous 8 weeks, the event had travelled across 4 continents, covering North America, Australia, Japan, and the UK, so we knew this was the roadshow we had to attend.
Over 700 marketing professionals attended the event which featured expert marketing speakers and business people from across the globe, talking about the engagement economy and the shifting trends that are impacting the industry. So in case you missed it, we have recorded what we believe to be the key takeaways to share with you all. Don’t worry, you can thank us later…
Winning in the Engagement Economy
To kick things off, Greg Wolfe (Chief Operations Officer of Marketo) shared the idea behind the Engagement Economy, where the relationship between buyers and sellers has radically shifted. Today’s buyers are overwhelmed with too many messages and seek more personalised content and authentic relationships with brands. With 66% of customers expecting their interactions with brands to be personalised (Marketo), the engagement economy is essentially about making people feel ‘they know me’.
Nowadays, sending the same email to everyone in your contact list is damaging your brand, and businesses need to prove they know lots about consumers in order to give them relevant content. Marketers have had to rapidly transform their strategies, methods, and tactics in order to stay authentic and increase engagement. And with 79% of buyers stating that they only consider brands that show they understand and care about ‘me’ (Wunderman), we can clearly see that relevant and personalised content = increased engagement.
So what are the key steps to succeeding in the engagement economy, I hear you ask? Greg spoke about three vital factors that will get you there:
- Listen to your customers
- Engage with them
- Learn from customer data in order to stay relevant
The importance of ‘Wantedness–led’ marketing
After discovering that 79% of buyers think that the best brands should care about them, he explained why businesses today must embrace a ‘wantedness-led approach’ to marketing. Wantedness explains how in the current era of decreasing trust, brands must do more than just sell. Instead, firms have to prove they want you as a customer and do this at every step in the customer journey. Rather than defaulting to big brands, consumers are seeking out niche brands that are right for them, with 89% of people saying the ‘best brands’ must share their values. This marketer must therefore focus first on servicing the client by:
- Knowing your customers intimately
- Delivering utility and value above sales
- Being original & true to your values
- Understanding the needs of your customer
- Exceeding expectations with personalised and authentic experiences
So to summarise, after a day of passionate marketing talk from the most trusted experts, we learnt that in order to win in the Engagement Economy, today’s marketer must focus less on volume and more on value. It is all about pushing out highly personalised interactions and content at scale to retain and delight customers across the buyer journey. Focus on making the consumer cycle an easier, convenient and memorable experience. That way, you can’t loose.