Eircode and Digital Marketing

Eircode has launched today and the new service is set to make life a lot easier for marketers of all disciplines.  We’re delighted to be at D02 VK80 and, even though we’re not named on the Eircode website, we know our pizza will always find us when working late.

If you haven’t done so already, we recommend that you get on to your webmaster to ensure that all address forms on your websites now include a field to capture Eircodes.

The public will take some time to adjust to these but you can help awareness as well as update your databases now by requesting Eircodes.  Why not add a little tooltip that lets your customers know where to find their Eircode?

Check out the finder here.

 

 

 

Facebook – A Crash Course

We all love Facebook don’t we? Well here are a few interesting facts we bet you didn’t know!

On average, a Facebook user’s News Feed is filtering 1,500 possible stories – however, after the Facebook News Feed algorithm does its job, only 20% of these 1,500 stories actually land on a users feed!

Our profession, by nature needs to ensure that any content we post falls into this 20%. The best way to do this is not by finding spammy ways to get through to people but by understanding how to deliver the message to the right people at the right time – not always an easy task!

A business strategy should be focused on creating content that Facebook users find entertaining, helpful or valuable.

This year Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced a huge change to Facebook’s News Feed – the biggest change in its seven-year history. He put it as Facebook giving the world the best, personalized newspaper.

With this in mind, Facebook was given a makeover comprised of three major parts:

–       Visually engaged stories

–       Choice of different feeds

–       Mobile consistency

In terms of visually engaging stories, Facebook claim to understand the growing visual world and the first thing one notices about News Feed is the obvious enlargement and enhancement in the way visual content is displayed. Photos uploaded to ones News Feed are much larger than before and the purpose of this is to put spotlight on each user page.

Being able to choose between different news feeds is inspired by the idea that peoples news feeds should include a mix of stories from friends and family as well as news and information from businesses and the pages of public figures. There are a variety of news feeds users can create and follow including: News Feed, Most Recent, Close Friends, Music and games.

Facebook now has the same look across all devices, mobile, tablet and web creating a simplified and unified experience. Most important is that the left hand menu is accessible on all devices and its simple to navigate to the top of the news feed when you notice new stories have been posted.

How does Facebook decide what content appears in user’s News Feed?

Facebook have only recently announced that they would be sharing how content appears in a user feed on their Facebook for Business blog.

Facebook’s algorithm, EdgeRank, figures out which posts a user will be most interested in seeing. Its comprised of three elements

–       Affinity. Depends on how closely a user is tied to the person creating the content.

–       Weight. This is the value given to the comments and actions any given post receives. As the post is ‘Liked’, commented on, tagged etc it gains more relevance to the Facebook community.

–       Time Decay. Exactly what it says on the tin. The decaying value of content as time passes.

As I mentioned earlier, the average Facebook user has 1500 stories a day that could flow through their news feed. Sifting through these, Facebook presents about 300 of these stories. There are a number of ways Facebook handle this,

–       Facebook take a look at the last 50 people you interacted with and show some of their posts on you feed.

–       When one of your friends posts a lot of stuff, you’ll be able to see these posts in chronological order. This hasn’t been finalized yet as Facebook still comes to terms when to apply this and when to not to.

–       Stories you might have missed are bumped back up to the top of your news feed so users wont miss important information. Since this tool was introduced, Facebook have noticed greater engagement with users 5% more likely to engage with a post from a friend, and 8% more likely to engage with a post from a brand.

–       Actions such as liking, commenting and sharing contribute to whether content will appear is a users feed. The more users who like a post, particularly users one is friends with, contribute to the likelihood that a post will appear in your news feed. On the other hand, Facebook is less likely to show a post that has been hidden or reported by others.

–       Content one has posted in the past can be tracked by Facebook and is then presented on ones news feed more frequently. If one comments on photos on their feed more often than video updates then Facebook will show more photos in your feed.

With all this in mind, here are a few tips to help businesses land in their users news feeds:

  • Research from HubSpot shows that photos on Facebook generate 53% more likes and 104% more comments than an average post. With this in mind, it is a better strategy, where possible, to use photos to promote content and links.
  • Plan photo-focused ads. Previously posts with links primarily showed meta titles and descriptions, the new News Feed magnifies images and provides a better summary of the content. This leads to the conclusion that ads will soon begin to appear in a similar fashion. Important to note is that visuals used with advertisements should be strong; it is not enough to have persuasive ad copy anymore.
  • After the launch of Graph Search, Facebook equipped itself with the ability to search for content based on location. These visual changes make ‘check-in’s’ more visible on the News Feed. By encouraging people to check in to your business, this is creating more ways for people to see your business. This could be further accomplished by offering deals to the most frequent visitor, via check-ins, to your business, similar to the FourSquare approach.
  • The new Facebook News Feed allows users to see content posted only by their friends so this means that even if they like your business page, they might never see your posts because they have filtered them out by only looking at content from their friends.

A solution to this is to focus on your customers and evangelists (lovers of your brand). These people find you remarkable and share your updates among their Facebook friends – they will be instrumental in your success on Facebook.

  • Finally, companies need to create more compelling content. It’s in a companies best interest to use Facebook as a way to promote more public-facing content, ie Blog content. This will help to get your best content more viral reach. Unless your content stands out from the crowd in terms of value and interest, it wont gain the visibility or virality it needs.
    Content creators need to work hard to create remarkable content that is shared widely.

 

SEO – It’s more of a human issue than a Mathematical one!

Why don’t I rank higher on Google?  It’s often one of the first questions we get from clients.  Some of these clients had previously ranked higher but are now slipping down the rankings and the answer to their question is often that they treated SEO as a mathematical task not a human one.  The client feels that that it did an SEO job on the site and thought it was sorted – Wrong!

You see old style SEO, as we know it, is dead!  Controversial eh? We’re not trying to be controversial for the sake of it, but we would contend that the old mathematics of increased back links and stuffing keywords is now a target for Google to identify your site and often bury it in the search results.
SEO is no longer just a mathematics process; it’s a dynamic human one. Social indicators are becoming key to ranking and link algorithms are being retired. It’s time to “get busy with your words” and social media marketing.

 

Of course we would say that because we’d love to help you with your social media marketing but here’s a few free tips to get yourself started:

-Don’t just send your press releases to your selected media; use press release websites to distribute them.

– Get a bit busier on your Facebook and make it engaging, use your page to canvass opinions and interaction by posing questions.

– Increase Twitter followers, follow other Twitter accounts, etiquette means they will often follow you back.

– Create a YouTube channel if you’ve any video to distribute, it doesn’t have to be ‘Spielberg’ standards but try and make it interesting and relevant to your business.

– If you draft e-zine articles submit them to sites like Ezinearticles.com

– Create a Google+ page for your business

– Blog!

– Complete a bit of Competitor Analysis; what are they doing that you like?  Replicate the activity but in your own distinct company style.

-Use Google Analytics.
  Remove bad links

 

Sounds interesting? We have a FREE social media marketing assessment we launched in the Sunday Business Post here.  Have a look at it and drop us a line and we will be delighted to have a look at things for you.

 

ruairisig

Prepare Your Brand For Google Glasses and Goggles

When the iPhone brought the mobile web fully mainstream it caused a panic that still rumbles on. Many businesses’ websites were not optimised for the smaller resolution screen and many that relied on Flash were unreadable. The next potential disruptor for your online strategy is Google Glasses. Interest is high in the new device but many of the technologies we can expect from it are already out there, such as the ability for users to simply stare at a product or brand and be presented with a web search around it

Ever heard of Google Goggles? Google Goggles recognises brands and images using a smartphone camera. The technology behind Google Goggles is an easy fit for Glasses. There are other apps in the various app store that accomplish the same thing – point your camera at anything be it an ad, a sign or a glass of orange juice and the device will identify the object and bring up a range of links.

Google Glasses, Google Goggles and Your Brand

Essentially what all this means is that you can both prepare for Google Glasses and other devices your customers will be using very simply. We’ve a couple of practical suggestions for you to pass on to your Webmaster or SEO contractor below. The Google Glasses are just the tip of the ice berg in terms of the type of technology that is coming to the mainstream. They might seem a whacky concept now but a phone without buttons might have seemed a little bit nuts six years ago.

 

What You Need To Do

As part of your ongoing SEO you will have optimised the images on your website to be searchable semantically and syntactically. This is achieved by putting them in context on the page and filling in the all important ALT tag. As well as helping those who are visually impaired by having their computers recite the description of the image, the ALT tag helps search engines “know” what is in your image. An audit of how your logo, products and brands appear and the context around them is your first step.

 

Alt tags also enable satirists when pillorying Taoisigh

Alt tags are sometimes abused by SEO minded satirists as this Google Image search for Enda Kenny demonstrates

QR Code Quick Fix

As apps like Goggles can read QR codes these can provide a way to own a visual scan of your product. QR Codes can be as discrete and colourful as you choose and still function. If there’s a sharp upturn in search via visual search apps and devices a roll out of QR codes can help you “own” what the user “sees” when scanning immediately.

What You Need To Ask Your Webmaster and SEO Expert to do

  • Semantic File Names On Your website – a very elaborate way of saying name your logo and brand name in the corresponding file names on your website.
    So if there’s one file called lgov3.png all over your website maybe call it “YOUR_NAME_company-logo.png” instead.
  • Rel tags – rel=”logo” is a proposed standard for telling the visual web about your logo.
    Google are frequently ahead of the curve on such clever ways of quantifying things for machines so it would be worth taking five minutes to ensure your using the tag in your website header.
    For full info on how to define your logo with the Rel tag follow the instructions here.
  • Tell Google – Might seem obvious but make sure you have your Google Places and Google Plus pages sorted out with your logo in situ
  • Get your products on to Google shopping – for retailers this will be a must and will give your listing preferential precedence over other listings.
  • Alt tags – Make sure alt tags include semantic statements identifying brands and logos as they appear on your website.

Ultimately we suspect that Google et al will come up with other clever ways of identifying brands and their associated websites. As always it’s always better to make things easier for Google by following the steps above so that you’ve got the competitive advantage when your customers scan your brand or products with the gadget of the day.

 

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