Tag 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.

The Key To Content Marketing

Content marketing is fast becoming the most important trend for digital marketers according to a survey conducted by Smart Insights in 2015. Not only does it inform consumers about a brand or business but it also engages and provides people with expert knowledge, to help them through the buying decision process of many products and services. Here at Zebra Internet Services we have gathered the top reasons as to why content marketing is key for any business.

Promote your business and provide expert knowledge

Content can be anything from articles, blogs, videos, infographics, how-to-guides, the list goes on; basically anything that isn’t a mission statement or press release which can be shared across the web to your customers, followers and fans. The content created is your time to shine; it’s time to show your existing and potential customers how much you know about your business and really share your expertise. The main achievement from content is to inform and teach your readers about your business, products and services, and how they can benefit from using them. You want to make the decision process easier for the customer, not more confusing, so use language that your target audience would use.

Increase traffic to your website

Good content which engages the reader will make them want to visit your website to find out more about your products and services, and even try to dig a little deeper to find out about your business as a whole. Having a call-to-action such as your website, your phone number or email are all good things to include at least once in your content so the reader knows the next step they need to take. Further to this, good content equals sharing around the web, if someone likes what they are reading they will share it across their social media sites and blogs creating a whirlwind uplift of awareness around your brand and business. The team at Zebra are professionals in the social media marketing field and can help to increase traffic to both your social accounts and website.

Increased conversion rates

Usually, we find the more content that is marketed across the web, the bigger chance your business has of converting website visits to enquiries and sales. As mentioned previously, the knowledge which you share in your content will be highlighted throughout, showing the customer you know what you are talking about and you can give professional advice on any question which may arise from a potential customer. Customers prefer to use products and services from businesses who are trustworthy and confident within their industry, so tell no lies as they will catch up with you one day!

Improved ranking in search engines

Finally, we find quality, targeted content to be key for improving website rankings in search results. When producing content you need to ensure that keywords relevant to the content and to your business are included. For example, if you are writing a blog promoting summer gardening tools you need to ensure that ‘gardening tools’ is highlighted throughout with at least a few links to your website to the relevant gardening tool pages. Further to this, the greater your presence across the web, the greater chance of your website, social media accounts and blogs ranking higher in Google and other search engines.

As well as online reputation management, here at Zebra Internet Services we also offer Domain Names and Hosting, Cloud Virtual Servers and Pay-Per-Click Marketing. You can read and follow our expertise on our Zebra Social blog.

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

SEO: The Bigger Picture

Online marketing has hugely increased in popularity in recent years, largely due to the decline in traditional purchase and lead generation, and an increase in the quality of ecommerce and web based businesses.

Thanks to heightened security and a higher demand for SSL certificates on sites, online shoppers now feel more at ease in the digital community, allowing for businesses to begin seriously pushing their sites in the likes of Google and via social media.

As a result, competition on the web has increased tenfold. A look at search trends from Google shows a dramatic increase in queries surrounding ‘SEO’, implying that the consideration of optimisation in order to rank higher is much more prominent.

Search engine optimisation is an incredibly dynamic area of marketing, requiring construction of a strategy, competitor analysis, and upkeep with the changes in search algorithms and trends. Whilst it’s perfectly viable for a small business to undertake their SEO efforts in-house, many are fast discovering that due to the amount of effort and research required, it’s often more profitable to outsource this particular marketing element to a specialist SEO agency.

Some take the cheapest route, contracting unknown companies as far away as India to improve their presence, trusting them to then take the time to research and understand their business, as well as produce high-quality and engaging content to then be shared across the web. Risky. Quite often, the success of these ‘campaigns’ is very short lived, if any, and many business owners are being left frustrated, and out of pocket.

Like with most things in life, when it comes to SEO you really get what you pay for. Investing a reasonable and realistic budget in this form of online marketing, together with the creation of goals and measurable expectations, is the only way you will see significant and worthy ROI in the longer term.

Of course, businesses shouldn’t be wholly reliant on SEO for a strong internet presence. SEO is a contributing factor to website traffic and sales, certainly, but a more rounded and considerate approach to brand and site visibility is how you achieve true online success. Considering the impact of PPC advertising, strong social media marketing, and a responsive and user-friendly website are also vital. By working on your online strategies as a whole, you’re far more likely to have greater impact on traffic and conversion, often in a much shorter space of time.

How much is your online presence worth to you?

 

Who’s your #TeamZebra expert?

Camille Taylor

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

@CamilleTaylor34