Category Archives: Social Media Marketing

Twitter Plans To Redefine its Character Limit – But Why?

We’ve all heard the rumours about Twitter’s recent plans to greatly expand their character limit from 140 to 10,000, but what does it mean and why is relevant to you?

Well, for marketers, this is good news. Twitter has been searching for new ways to boost engagement with its current users and invite new ones for a while now, and this just might work!

While the move was met with initial outrage for long-time Twitter fans who have learned to adapt to the 140 character constraint, marketers have identified it as a great opportunity to engage with users.

We’ve embraced Twitter for what it is – a way to post simple, quick updates and engage with friends and followers. In business terms, this is great. However, if current plans go ahead, Twitter will become a new way to publish all of your content in one place without relying on other publishing platforms and restrictions. So, Twitter becomes a publisher within its own right.

If Twitter does this well, users will be able to consume more content, without needing to click on links that lead to other websites. This is another opportunity for a potential bonus – when someone clicks a link to leave Twitter, Twitter has no way to record their engagement levels and track their actions. By publishing the content on Twitter, the site will have more data for analytics, which is good news for advertisers. Of course, we are expecting for there to be some sort of charge in place for promoted articles.

For eCommerce brands who use social media as a way to draw people in to their website, their practice will remain mostly the same. Although, the kind of content they can create to redirect users to their websites will have huge potential to improve. An article in a tweet could carry a call-to-action button to either redirect to a featured product or possibly buy directly via Twitter.

So, we can start to think of Twitter as more than a way to publish a quick headline to attract readers to the real content, to more of a content sharing website, while keeping all of the familiar things we know and love about it already.

Let us know what you think of the plans @the_zebras!

Who’s your #TeamZebra expert?

Zebra Internet Services

Sam Dawson is Content Marketing and Social Media Co-Ordinator at Zebra.

The Importance of Social Media for your Business

Today, social media is everywhere. It’s a big part of how we interact with friends, family and colleagues in day-to-day life.

In recent years, social media has become a more fun, quick and convenient way for people to interact with businesses. One of the real benefits for you as a business is that social media marketing is an easy, cost effective way to maintain relationships with your customers and boost your online reputation to a wide audience.

The areas for engagement on social media are practically limitless. Whether your business is small or large, or you’re quite new to business in general, you can reach the people you want to speak to. Of course, all businesses want to grow, so this is good news for attracting new customers! People love to talk and social media is an excellent way to make conversation. When good feedback is shared, your customers are promoting your business from an unbiased point of view, which is great for brand awareness.

Using social media from a learning point of view, it’s important to stay competitive and up to date with what is going on in your industry at the moment. Social media is a useful way to see what your competitors are doing, how they’re engaging with their customers and what their customers are saying to them.

While social media is easy to monitor, we understand that keeping on top of your accounts can be a time consuming task which can mean engagement falls behind when you have so many other things to focus on. If this sounds familiar, then we have a perfect solution! Zebra Internet Services offer a full social media management service which means you can rely on us to engage with your customers, monitor and respond to their feedback and comments. Whether you’re quite a small business, or you’re not fully familiar with social media for business, we can help to keep you on track. Of course, if you’d still like some input into your social media, this doesn’t mean we’d fully take over. You’ll still be able to post whatever you’d like on there too and advise us on the content.

We also offer a full social media training service if you’d prefer to stay in full control of your accounts but feel you could benefit from some training. Our training will provide you with the skills you need to make the most out of social media and make it work for you.

Whatever you’re looking for, we’d love to hear from you. Give us a call on 0191 261 2252 or contact us on our website.

Who’s your #TeamZebra expert?

 

Zebra Internet Services

Sam Dawson is Content Marketing and Social Media Co-Ordinator at Zebra.

We are living in a smartphone society!

At first we were unsure whether it was just the team from Zebra Internet Services that noticed the increased usage of mobile phones in everyday life, from walking down the high street to constant use within our home. Thankfully, recent research from Ofcom has confirmed our thoughts that smartphones are now the leading device for browsing the internet, and accessing social media, banking and shopping applications. The OfCom 2015 Communications Market Report which was published in August 2015 discovered a number of interesting statistics – the following facts we find truly noteworthy.

There has been a significant rise in the use of mobile devices over laptops, and in 2014 only 22% of internet users reached for their phone first before their laptop. However, in 2015 this increased to 33% in such a small space of time. It’s not only 16 to 24 year olds that are fixed to their phones either, over two thirds of UK adults now own a smartphone which has risen from 39% in 2012 and now 50% of 55 to 64 year olds in the UK have joined the smartphone revolution.

The introduction of 4G from EE in 2012 found more users using their smartphones to do their shopping and banking online (55% of 4G users), watching more TV and videos from their devices (57%) and sending more photos via SMS (49%) and interacting via instant messaging applications such as WhatsApp and Facebook messenger (63%). O2 and Vodafone jumped on the 4G bandwagon in 2013 and by 2014 subscriptions for 4G internet shot from 2.7million to 23.6 million by the end of the year.

The mannerisms of how and when we use our smartphones is changing too, so what exactly is acceptable? 55% of people in the UK still think it’s unacceptable to check your phone during dinner, and here at Zebra Internet Services we totally back this up, food always comes first at the dinner table! Unfortunately, 4 in 10 people have this dinner table habit. As well as table manners, 34% of adults check their smartphone within 5 minutes of waking up, whether this be for work emails or social media browsing. Although we can be fixated with our mobiles, 38% of people choose to write a birthday card to their loved ones in comparison to 15% using social media and only 7% sending a text.

As well as over taking laptops for the chosen device for browsing online, smartphones have also replaced digital cameras and are the most popular device to take photos from. 89% of 16 to 24 year olds and 60% of adults are snapping photo shots at any chance. In the past year alone in the UK, over 1.2 billion ‘selfies’ were taking with 31% of adults openly admitting to participating in this global craze!

So, there’s our round up of our favourite statistics from the report. Here at Zebra Internet Services we offer online reputation management, domain names and cloud virtual services. For more information please visit www.zebra.co.uk.

Who’s your #TeamZebra expert?

Stephanie Hutcheon

Stephanie Hutcheon is Content Marketing Co-ordinator  at Zebra Internet Services.

 

Facebook Instant Articles: What does it mean for content marketing?

A new Facebook initiative is set to transform the way that people read news articles online. Though the initiative has already rolled out in America, the BBC and the Guardian were the first media companies in the UK to sign up for Instant Articles, which has been designed to streamline the process of reading articles through Facebook.

We all know that Facebook is a major player in the online world, so it’s not surprising to hear that the social networking site has become an increasingly important source of traffic for news publishers producing online content. However, Facebook itself has admitted that the process of reading articles published through the network on mobile devices is one of the slowest parts of the app.

When you read an article on Facebook through a mobile device like a smart phone or tablet, you have to click on a link that takes you to an external web page. Users doing this have to wait around eight seconds for the article to load, which in internet terms might as well be hours! Following the Google Mobile update last month, the focus on mobile internet access has never been stronger and so it’s clear that some changes need to be made.

Thanks to the internet we are all living in a more fast-paced world, something that’s impacted on the attention span of the average internet user. We no longer have the patience to sit and wait for an article to load up – we expect it immediately.

So how will Facebook Instant Articles work? Instead of an external link, news stories will now run within Facebook for what the company describes as a ‘seamless loading experience 10 times faster than the current system.’ Since making the announcement several news sites have signed up to the initiative, including BuzzFeed and the National Geographic. For the European publishers that have signed up, articles will be published through the new system later in the summer.

From an SEO perspective, Facebook Instant Articles seems like it may be too good to be true. Concerns have already emerged surrounding the initiative, specifically how much user data Facebook will gain access to. Justin Osofsky, Facebook’s vice-president of media partnerships and global operations, claims that the initiative will provide further insights into how people read stories and how they engage with content. Facebook Instant Articles allows publishers to bring their branding through to the social network, giving readers the illusion that they’re on the site the article came from.

Facebook Instant Articles is also set to support traffic measurement including Google Analytics, allowing these publishers to access audience data, which then drives their advertising campaigns. On the whole, Facebook Instant Articles seems more like a new way for people to read content rather than completely transforming the way that articles are written and published, but it does suggest that the social network is on its way to being a major channel for the publishing of content; perhaps in the future it will be usable by individuals as well as major organisations like the BBC.

At Zebra Internet Services we’re always interested in any major changes to the way that content is produced and published online, but traditional content marketing efforts remain just as valid as they ever were and Facebook isn’t the only major publishing source out there. Of course, with mobile phones becoming so important over the last few years and Facebook dominating mobile advertising space, it’s definitely something that we’ll be keeping an eye on.

Who’s your #TeamZebra expert?

Camille Taylor

Camille Taylor is Head of SEO and Online Reputation management at Zebra.

@CamilleTaylor34