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The Total Image Group   ...Business Alchemists

A regularly updated resource of information and news items.

Archive for July 2011

Top 5 SWARM tips for new businesses embarking on social media

Posted Friday, July 22nd, 2011

Top 5 SWARM tips for new businesses embarking on the social media mission

Olly will be talking on BayFm on Monday about why social media is so powerful for businesses and gives his top 5 tips. Tune in to Bay FM to hear what Olly recommends to get the best from immersing your company on the social networking sites and further explanation on his tips.

Here’s a sneak preview of those top tips:

1. Strategy- why have you put your company on the social networking sites and what are your objectives?

Don’t just dive into social media without any kind of plan otherwise you’ll soon be wondering what you’re doing and why you’re even there! Create some realistic objectives- make sure you are working towards something whether it be increased web traffic or the amount of likes/followers. If you don’t you wont know whether it’s a successful campaign or if you’re achieving the ROI you hoped for.

2. Don’t just follow people on Twitter

it’s not a numbers game! If you have 1000 followers and no interaction then you’ve eliminated the ‘social’ aspect of social media! Follow people who would be interested in your business and say hello, comment of the weather or strike up conversation.

3. Incentives

There are a growing number of businesses getting involved in social media but very few are doing it correctly. Make sure you’re different to everyone else and particularly you’re competition.  Create incentives and treat your followers as an elite group- tell your community breaking news before you release the information to anyone else.

4. Mix up your updates

Don’t use the social media as a broadcasting mechanism. Make sure you add some personality to your updates, it’s social after all! Upload industry news, pictures, office news, is one of the company employees raising money for charity and wish people a good day!

5. Don’t give up and have fun

A lot of companies give up too quickly because they haven’t followed the previous steps. Keep at it and you’ll discover the rewards and whilst you’re doing it, have fun!

Say Hello: Follow SWARM on Twitter or send olly@swarmbuzz.co.uk an email


Phones 4 everyone!

Posted Monday, July 18th, 2011

While the explosion of mobile use is no new phenomenon, what continues to amaze is the appetite for smart phones and the onus on making them indispensible to the consumer. The smart phone was impressive alone, let alone the continued progression of technology that is making it the most modern form of communication far beyond texts and phone calls. In fact, in terms of social media use, it’s easier to use a smart phone that it is your desktop.

Currently, 25% of people in the UK own a smart phone but by 2014 this number will rise to 75%, a staggering increase in such a short time. Social media will play a key part in this growth, consumers want to access their Facebook or Twitter accounts, or watch YouTube videos where ever they are, at any time of the day. In the UK 50% of all mobile internet traffic is on Facebook the key platform driving mobile internet usage, followed by Google and YouTube.

What does this mean for your business? The key aspect is that your customers are constantly talking about your brand with more ease than ever before. A consumer having a coffee mentions where they’ve been and how good it was, a service they’ve used and their reflections on it. In many occasions it’s not even a conscious effort to name the brand and give their opinion; it’s just sharing information and updating the people in their community.

Businesses need to get smart. They need to be aware that in the past they discovered what their customers thought by handing out testimonial cards. That’s long gone. They’ve almost lost control of who says what and when, but as a result, businesses need to be at the top of their game every day. It’s no longer enough to produce a good dish when a restaurant reviewer visits; every customer is now the reviewer with an equal opinion. They need to embrace social media rather than continue to run from it.

Facebook, Twitter and no doubt Google+ have been developed with the mobile device in mind. Facebook’s places and Twitter’s geotagging are developments that use smart phones to give information beyond an update. The idea is for the micro-blogging sites to be immediate and convenient. It captures their thought at that moment which can then be shared with incredible ease. Experiences, good and bad are shared by consumers every minute of every day.

70% of people will buy products/services even if it has been recommended by a stranger and 90% buy after recommendations from friends. For businesses this means that with the spread of social media and the rise of smart phones they need to be at the top of the game and value every customer. Companies are being discussed, whether it be positive or negative feedback and they need to be on top of it. Social media isn’t going away, it’s only going to grow as smart phones make it easier to post and the consumer now gets their voice heard.

See also- How long until you’ll be buying your groceries with your phone?

Social Media: ROI…..ROI….ROI

Posted Tuesday, July 5th, 2011

Now that the top UK brands are acknowledging the importance and power of social media, the emphasis of their involvement is beginning to change. Initially, those that first immersed their brand on the social networking platforms did so because they had the vision to appreciate it was where their customers were communicating with each other. They appreciated the benefits that Facebook and Twitter and YouTube could offer and rather than evaluate the tangible cash return they’d witness, they instead understood that deep involvement would reap rewards that traditional forms of marketing and advertising could not claim.

However, with the mass entrance of brands of all shapes and sizes, the concept of vision and genuine belief in the sites has been replaced by the ancient business ethos of ‘what will I get back from the money I’ve put in?’ Understandable from a business mindset but consequently, social media is changing. The most frequent topic of articles on social media in recent months has been on ROI, as companies are frantically trying to understand why they’re investing in social media, why they’re competitors are throwing large budgets at it and other than a Facebook page with 10,000 likes, what they’re actually getting back from it.

What has been difficult for most brands is that they cannot find a tangible ROI for social media. But it can be argued that traditional advertising, ie a TV advert, a page in the newspaper or magazine or a billboard ad are harder to determine the ROI. Social media can be tracked; the traffic referred to the brand’s website, better search ranking, levels of feedback on various campaigns, assessing customer’s thoughts on changes to the brand or suggestions for the future. How else could these factors be assessed or even posed to their customers before the arrival of social media? If you want ROI, don’t enter social media to sell a product or service, treat it as the most effective, beneficial and unique opportunity to achieve results nothing else can currently offer.

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