About Nikki

Author of many 30 Day Blogging Challenges, Nikki spends her time helping small businesses with Internet Marketing and Social Media Marketing. With 17 years of experience, she hasn't yet found someone she couldn't help to get more business from their website.

How to track social media marketing results

It’s easy to jump into social media without really thinking through how it will work for you.

How are you going to determine the results (in fact, in a lot of cases, what do you WANT the results to be? But we’ll come to that in a future post)?

What should you be measuring? How can you measure it?

This great infographic from Infographic World offers answers. Not only does it tell you WHAT you should be measuring, but it tells you the tools you can use to give you the information you need.

Click on the image to see a larger version.

tracking-social

 

How to stop Facebook videos playing automatically

stop-facebook-videoYou may have noticed that recently Facebook have implemented a feature where videos uploaded to the site automatically play in your newsfeed, without the need to click on them.

Not only is this annoying, it has potentially costly consequences for mobile users with limited data tariffs. Imagine being charged for downloading data you didn’t even want to see in the first place!

Thankfully the guys at Mobile Geeks have found the solution:

In your browser, click on the small downward pointing arrow on the top right corner of the Facebook page, then scroll down to ‘settings’. Next click ‘Video’ on the bottom left column and you will see your account’s ‘Auto-play Videos’ settings which has a small box allowing you to choose ‘On’ or ‘Off . Select ‘Off’ and videos will not play until you decide to click them.

They also have a mobile solution, but you’ll have to visit their site to find that one out 🙂 Don’t forget to leave them a comment to say thank you!

 

 

Think Social Media needs to take up all of your time? Think again!

One of the things I hear the most is how people stay away from social media because they think it will take up too much time, or they stopped ‘doing it’ as it sucked up their time.

This great infographic from Dendrite Park shows that this needn’t be the case. In just an hour a day you could:

  • Curate content
  • Write blog posts
  • Manage Facebook
  • Deal with Twitter
  • Explore Linkedin
  • Add to Google+
  • Use Social Bookmarking
  • Track and measure through Analytics

The accompanying article is well worth a read and might help you to get a handle on the time social media actually takes.

social-media-thirst

Scheduling Tweets for best effect

This is an extract from the 30 Day Twitter Challenge by @NikkiPilkington

bufferAs we’ve said, Twitter search is constantly changing as more and more people Tweet, so staying on top indefinitely is pretty difficult.

With this in mind, let’s look at scheduling your promotional Tweets throughout the day / week.

Now, if you use Hootsuite or Tweetdeck, you can do this easily, but what I prefer to use is Buffer (that’s an aff link but I don’t make any money, just get brownie points!).

Buffer allows you to add Tweets to a kind of storage area, and have them Tweeted out at intervals, rather than bombarding followers with a series of 5 or 6 Tweets – we’ve all seen that happen and know how annoying it is.

You can set the times that your Tweets go out through buffer, and you can schedule to multiple accounts if you have more than one.

If you don’t Tweet much, then it’s best NOT to schedule all 5 of your promotional Tweets to go out on the same day – maybe one in the morning and one in the afternoon.

If you Tweet a lot, then you can get away with maybe 3, definitely no more than 4, promotional Tweets a day.

Set up your times in Buffer app, and set up your Tweets – Buffer will send them out at the times you’ve asked.

Similarly in Hootsuite and Tweetdeck, set them up for the week and forget about them.

Not only will they bring in traffic from your followers and increase awareness of what you do, they’ll enable you to be found in search and gain new followers and interest.

So, set up your Tweets for the next few days and you can forget about promotional Tweets and concentrate on the fun ones!

Like this tip and want to get 29 more, along with Twitter strategy and details of how to REALLY get business from twitter? Get the 30 Day Twitter Challenge below:

How do YOU get inspiration for blog posts?

(This blog post was originally written in 2011 so some of the information is out of date, but the principles are still valid)

wordpress-premiumthemesIt’s interesting to see the reactions when I tell people that I write upwards of 20 blogs per day – not for myself, but for clients.

Some think it’s not possible, some think it’s crazy, and others think ‘ghost blogging’ is wrong.

Now I’m not going to go into the rights and wrongs of ghost blogging, because it’s a whole other post, but I’m going to tell you how I manage to write so many blogs, and where I get my inspiration from.

Firstly, let me tell you the kind of people I write blogs for – it’s pretty varied:

  • a handbag website
  • a kiddie’s clothes website
  • a cosmetic surgeon
  • a hotel
  • an accountant
  • a company specialising in interactive voting
  • 3 web designers
  • an SEO and Adwords company
  • a wedding organiser
  • a fireworks company
  • a security marking company

This is not counting writing for my own blog, for Birds on the Blog and for guest slots in other places. It all adds up to a lot of blogs!

So how do I do it?

Firstly it helps that I’m a pretty fast typist – and the words come out of my head and onto the keyboard pretty quickly, so most blog posts take very little time to write, once I have the idea.

How do I get the ideas?

Inspiration strikes in the strangest of places – for example I thought of this blog post while sitting on the pation drinking a cup of tea and watching my chickens :)

I get blog ideas all the time, from things I chat about with friends and family, from watching the TV, from reading and more. Whenever I get an idea I jot it down either in a notepad file on my PC, or a ‘real life’ notepad in my office. If i’m out and about I’ll put it into my iPhone.

If I’m actively looking for blog ideas then I’ll start by reading the online newspapers:

Yep, even the tabloids – always great fodder for lifestyle type blogs.

I’ll look through the papers and see if anything takes my fancy, or if a news story is related to an industry one of my clients is in.

Then I’ll look through industry type sites, depending on which industry I’m writing for.

Then I’ll do a Google search for the keyphrases my client is focusing on to see if I can pick anything up from there.

Usually by now I have 2 or 3 ideas.

Write the headline

Once I have the idea for the post I start thinking about headlines. Is it going to be a ‘top tips’ kind of post? Or maybe a ‘answer the question’ type? Or just a simple opinion piece on the latest related news item?

Once the headline is written then the blog pretty much writes itself – thankfully!

400 words later and either the post is posted, or scheduled in WordPress, or it’s winging its way to my client for approval. All that’s left for me to do is source pictures, and promote the post if necessary.

I’m lucky that I enjoy writing blogs, and can write in different styles, to suit each client – and I’m lucky that I find writing 20+ blog posts a day a pretty fun task :)

How do you decide what to write about?

Like this post? Don’t forget to check out the 30 Day Blogging Challenge, and kickstart your blogging in just 30 days!

 

Stuck for blogging ideas?

blogging

 

Like this post? Don’t forget to check out the 30 Day Blogging Challenge, and kickstart your Blogging in just 30 days!

Can you keep a secret? It seems that Black Sabbath fans can’t…

sabbath-2-50(Before we go any further, let it be said that I am a big Sabbath fan, and this is more of a post about the capabilities of Social Media than about the band or their fans.)

On Friday 4th July, Black Sabbath will play Hyde Park with their British Summer Time Black Sabbath Time gig.

Tickets cost from around £69 (what happened to the days when I could go and see them for a mere tenner? Am I THAT old?)

However, in a deal with the event organisers, employees of that company could buy tickets for a massively discounted £2.50. Everyone was told, undr pain of death, that the link for the £2.50 tickets was to be kept private and not given to anyone outside of the organisation.

It’s 2014, Social Media is more popular than ever – can you guess what happened next?

Of course, the link was leaked.

Twitter went mad:

 

 

Facebook, Reddit, Google+ and other social networks followed suit. Before long the link had been forwarded thousands of times and thousands of fans were snapping up those £2.50 tickets. And who can blame them? A fiver for a couple to see Sabbath. Faith No More, Soundgarden, Motorhead and more heavy metal legends?

Some wondered whether it was legit, but most people were happy to possibly lose £5 against the chance of a great offer.

How did Hyde Park events react?

To my mind, in the best way they could – they agreed to honour the orders. A post on their Facebook page states:

Hi All, A staff ticket offer was leaked earlier today and some members of the general public were able to purchase reduced price tickets to certain Barclaycard presents British Summer Time Hyde Park concerts. That offer has now been stopped.

“If you were lucky enough to purchase a ticket from this offer rest assured that your ticket remains valid.”

 What a brilliant response! Had they refused to honour the tickets, social media would have gone into overdrive, slating them and spreading the word.
By agreeing to sell the tickets at the price on the link they’ve gained respect and loyalty, and people are tweeting and posting positive things. Look out for when the tickets actually start arriving – I bet Hyde Park hashtags will be trending in no time.
They’ve turned a possible PR disaster into a PR win – kudos to them!

Where did it go wrong?

Well, let’s face it, in this day and age, a publicly accessible link such as that was not going to stay a secret for long, was it?

It only takes one employee to send the link to a friend, and before long it has snowballed exponentially. From one little tweet, millions of people can be reached through retweets and posts on other social networks.

I’m shocked that Hyde Park didn’t at the very least password protect the link – it wouldn’t have been bomb proof, but it would probably have saved them a few thousand pounds (although let’s not feel too sorry for them, I’m sure they’ll still make millions from merchandise, drinks / food and usual price tickets, plus of course sponsorship so they’re not going to feel this too badly.)

It seems to me that someone or some people just didn’t think – or of course, this could be a very clever PR ploy to gain positive PR 😉

What can we learn from it?

A number of things:

  • If you don’t want it shared, don’t make it publicly accessible – protect it or put it on a company intranet.
  • You can’t control Social Media – once it’s out there you’ve lost control of it.
  • How you react can be the difference between positive and negative feedback – reputation management is key.
  • Your author was offline in meetings that day and missed out on her £2.50 tickets – RATS! 😉

Did you get cheap tickets? Let us know when they arrive in the comments below!

10 ways you could be failing with Google Adwords

If you’re new to Google Adwords, or even if you’ve been around a while, it’s easy to fall into bad habits and miss out on a few tricks that could really help you out and save / make you money.

This great infographic from TechWyse Internet Marketing shows the main 10 ways people fail with Adwords, covering:

  • Broad Geo-targeting
  • Unfocused display network campaigns
  • Uncategorised ad groups
  • Low quality landing page score
  • Unchecked autospend
  • Broad match ads
  • No keywords in ads
  • Huge keyword lists
  • No negative keywords
  • No conversion tracking

I could write pages on the items above, but this infographic puts it far more succinctly 🙂

adwordsfail

How calls to action work on Social Media

A while ago  I wrote about having a call to action in all blog posts, yet it’s still the number one piece of advice I give out to all mentoring clients.

So it was nice to come across this handy infographic from Dan Zarella showing how a decent call to action can affect all aspects of your social media marketing.

See below how:

  • ASKING people to comment on blogs gets you more comments
  • ASKING people to retweet your Tweets gets you more retweets
  • ASKING people to share on Facebook gets you more shares

Comm0n sense really, but so many people forget their call to action and are missing out on valuable eyeballs because of it.

Your challenge today is to use a call to action in every aspect of your social media marketing, and report in the comments below as to how well it worked for you!

social-calls

 

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Simplify your online marketing efforts in 7 easy steps

SIMPLIFYDespite what the snake oil sellers might tell you, there are no miracle shortcuts in internet marketing. It’s an ongoing conversation requiring commitment, effort and perseverance – but that doesn’t mean it has to be gruelling.

Smart planning can pay off, so here are seven tips to get you started.

1) Set up email alerts

Whatever your business, it’s important to track your brand’s internet mentions so that you can respond promptly to opportunities or criticisms, but running internet searches everyday is time consuming, so this is one job it’s wise to automate.

With Google Alerts you can set up multiple key words or phrases to be monitored. Choose the ‘comprehensive’ and ‘as-it-happens’ options and you will alerted immediately whenever Google indexes a web page containing those terms.

2) Subscribe to follow up comments

Commenting on a blog post or forum thread has numerous benefits – you will usually be allowed to hyperlink your name to your website, and if your comment is insightful, it may raise your profile among peers and potential clients. However, if your comment is responded to, you may need to come back to keep the conversation going.

You can’t revisit every post you comment on indefinitely, so always tick the ‘Notify me of follow up comments via e-mail’ checkbox and know automatically if you need to come back.

3) Recycle your blog posts

Go back through your old blog posts and see if they’re still relevant to your current audience. Bloggers often only promote their new content, but this isn’t giving due credit to your older work.

During your conversations online, look out for opportunities to mention an old post in relation to a current event and consider editing and re-publishing some posts to create a more contemporary version of some old material.

4) Share and re-share your pearls of wisdom

Once you have been blogging, tweeting and commenting for a while, you will have amassed a considerable amount of valuable advice. From time to time, review what you’ve written and extract the best pearls of wisdom into a central reference sheet.

When you have a spare moment, search through forums, message boards or LinkedIn Q&As for questions relating to your core topics. Chances are, you’ll already have ready-made advice on file. A word of caution though, while the core points will be the same, it’s important to make sure every answer is tailored to the questions asked– if you just re-paste your points verbatim, it’s essentially spam!

5) Don’t use all your best material at once

Lots of people take a town-crier approach to internet marketing – they just want to be the first and the loudest to get a new piece of information out. While being among the first to link to – or blog about – a new story can win you attention, it often pays to hold back.

Not all material is time sensitive, so if you’re online for an hour and find a dozen really useful articles on a subject, resist the urge to share one every five minutes. Keep a central record of valuable information and share it intelligently over time. That way, you’ll never be lost for things to say, and you’ll have plenty of inspiration for future blog posts.

6) Schedule your tweets

You can’t be on Twitter 24/7, so scheduling posts can be an effective way to make sure you reach different audiences at different times, and don’t miss out when you’re away from your computer.

Tools like Hootsuite and TweetLater enable you to schedule your Twitter posts, but be warned: repeatedly reposting items with identical wording is spam. As a general rule, vary your wording so that your posts aren’t duplicated verbatim, and limit yourself to three tweets, at least four hours apart for any one link.

7) Take a systematic approach and stick to it

People who struggle with interacting online as part of their marketing toolkit generally fall into two groups: those who lose momentum and forget to log in for days, thereby failing to engage people or retain followers, and those who log on with the intention of doing 30 minutes work, only to find they are still chatting several hours later. Either way, the problem is one of planning and efficiency.

The best way to get internet marketing working for you is to do a little bit each day, with some set targets that you write down and stick to. For example, “In addition to blogging once a week, I will log on to Twitter for an hour each day, comment on three blogs, have a couple of chats and post three links, one of which will link to my own site.”

Yes, there’s still a lot of work involved in internet marketing, but if you employ these time saving measures, it’s entirely possible to see a great return without breaking your back.

Need some help? Try my Social Media Marketing Mentoring taster for just£25!

 

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