Social Media

Let’s face it, social media has been talked about a lot in the business world. Whether it’s about how good and profitable it can be, or about how much of a waste of time it is for businesses to invest in. But who said anything about investing? Social media is free to use and, although it may take some time, it can be a positive and even a profitable venture for your business. This is why it continues to be one of the most talked about subjects to this day. Especially as the number of social media users continues to grow each day. But is it relevant in 2020? The truth of it is that social media continues to be one of the best ways to stay connected with both your existing customers and your potential customers. As we mentioned, social media users are increasing every day. In fact, around 45% of the world’s population is on social media. Not only that, most of them are spending an average of 3 hours a day on it! If used in the right way, social media is one of the most powerful marketing tools in your marketing toolkit. Not only that, but it’s completely free… unless you want real social media wizards to run it for you ;) Here’s a few tips to get your social media marketing strategy kick started: Pick your poison It’s no good to be active on every single social media platform. The more you research about social media the more you get to learn that each platform has its own niche - it’s own ‘kind of people’. Make sure you get clued up on what social media platform has the target audience you’re looking for. What ‘kind of people’ is your ideal customer? If you’re struggling to work out who your target audience is, we can help you find them! Think about the person behind the screen The thing about social media, from a business point of view, is that it is completely customer dominated. What we mean by this is it is full of ‘real people buying things and talking about theme. So talk to them like you’re talking to a real person. Remember to use the right tone too, talking to someone on Facebook is not the same as talking to them on LinkedIn. Be consistent This one is key to social media. It is a world in which everything is moving at an extremely fast pace. Facebook has 350 million photos posted to the platform per day. We’re not saying post 350 million photos each day, but make sure that your posts appear at a consistent pace. Don’t post to a platform once a month and expect people to pay attention. Think about the goal Before getting stuck in, think about what it is you want to get out of being on social media. Is it to increase brand awareness, to increase visitors to your website or something else? Making sure your goals are set out at the beginning means you can think about the kind of posts you want to create to achieve your goals. So to answer the main question, social media is still very important to businesses in 2020. It is one of the most powerful tools that a business can have. Not only does it allow a business to be in front of hundreds of thousands of potential customers. It’s also free at the point of use, the only costs involved are your time and any premium software or analytics tools you want to use to enhance your usage If your business time is precious then it might be worth getting some help running your social media. If you’re struggling to make a mark on social media, speak to us today. We can not only support you, but also provide you with a realistic social media marketing plan to suit your business and it’s goals. You can sign up for our newsletter here so we can let you know when new blog posts are published, offer exclusive insights and tell you about relevant events as well as other interesting bits and bobs....

How Good is your LinkedIn Company Page? We recently delivered a training session on LinkedIn Company pages and received a surprising response for more info. So we thought why not put it into a blog and share it with as many people as possible. The key difference between a LinkedIn profile and a company page is that one highlights your personal career achievements, while the other highlights your company or employer. This can be hard to get to grips with if you’re the owner of your own firm and used to talking about your company in the first person. Create distinction between your profile and your company page It is important to use the first person on your profile page - ‘I am proud to have achieved…’ etc. However, a company page needs to be written in the third person - ‘ACME Ltd is pleased to announce a new client win…’ etc. Note: Please do remember that ‘a’ company is a single entity too (a personal grammar bugbear of this writer!) eg: ‘the company has won’ (not ‘have won’) Once a distinction in voice has been created between a company page and a personal profile then it’s much easier to use your company as a ‘hub’ for all company news. No matter what size the business is, this ‘hub’ can then be followed and shared by all those who are interested parties, such as employees, clients and business contacts etc. The top 5 things to include when creating your company page The following list should be fairly obvious to most seasoned LinkedIn users, but it still amazes us just how many pages (and personal profiles for that matter) we see that are missing key information or contain irrelevant - even inappropriate - content. As with most things in life, get the basics right and a good starting point will be had by all. Company Name This should be clear and correct! Referring to various brands and products is fine, just get the name of who is supplying them right. Images Make them look as professional as possible. Yes, professional photography is always best (we would say that) BUT mobile phones are brilliant these days. See what you can do! Don’t forget your header and find a template for the correct page header size. Try something like Canva, which is an amazing design resource and really affordable too. There is also loads of free help for this online. Also don’t forget that you can update it to reflect different messages.When taking pictures and using them, think ‘what do you want it to say about your company?’ Logo Use the company page thumbnail as your logo - you can change this to promote different brands if you have them. Tagline Many company pages are missing this. You only have 120 characters, so keep it short and refresh it every now and then if you want to. Web links Make sure you include a link to your website, or choose a key landing page if you want to promote something specific such as a new product or service. The main thing is that the LinkedIn company page is a free resource that, if used properly, can really showcase the best of what a company has to offer. Why wouldn’t you want to do that? Of course, if this is another thing on top of an already time-consuming social media schedule, then maybe think about getting help to run it. Dormant social media feeds are almost worse than having none at all! We offer some really cost effective packages at Seaside Creative and are happy to help with training team members too. Just ask If you've enjoyed this post, and would like to receive more useful advice and tips from us you can sign up to our newsletter. It comes out monthly and you can unsubscribe at any time....

With many companies furloughing marketing teams and creative staff recently, or - let's face it - just having more to think about than the next social media post, we’ve noticed a lot of company feeds going dormant over the last couple of months.  If you’ve been either unable to manage your social media recently or have been concerned about saying the wrong thing, it’s never too late to get started (or re-started!).  For all of us, community has become even more important. We’re all going through this unusual experience, albeit in different ways. People still want to feel connected to their communities - whether family, geography, work/education or interest-based - and social media is certainly one way to achieve this. Think about what’s important to your audience (or community). As with any topical social media content, what you post should be in line with your company’s values and relevant to your business too. It’s imperative that whatever you say does need to be of interest to your audience. We know things are probably tough for your business at the moment but your audience doesn’t need to know that. Think about how you can provide a useful service to your customers rather than go in for the sell. This may not literally be a service you provide but something that gives your customers a happy feeling.  Try to focus on positive (but not smug) news. If you’ve been able to work with someone to help another person or set of people out, that’s great. Let people know. Now is a time to celebrate good news but also be mindful that there are lots of not-great things happening too. You don’t want to be rubbing people’s noses in it. Remain human and approachable. We’re talking social media here, folks. Don’t copy and paste your corporate statement. Imagine you’re delivering this information face-to-face; how would you say it to someone who was sat in front of you?  Be clear. Ensure you use easy-to-understand language and are clear in your meaning (ok:  this one applies all the time!). Do think about what you’re posting. Take a few minutes to go through any messages that may have been scheduled earlier this year to make sure they’re still appropriate. With changes to what we’re allowed to do happening on a weekly basis, you’ll need to keep an ongoing eye on your planned content. Avoid giving your opinion. Whether on the latest government advice, statistics or on how others have behaved (except when it’s something clearly good. See above point about good news!). Opinions can be polarising. Sometimes this is good (for example if you’re looking for feedback on a new product or service), but you don’t want to risk offending or alienating people. We’re trying to build relationships and a positive brand experience here, not irritate and anger people! Online presence for many businesses has been moved up a level during the Covid-19 crisis. While you may not have the time or budget to be proactively marketing your business at the moment, it is essential that you do use your online channels to interact with your customers. That means keeping on top of all messages, posts or tweets, and answering questions and enquiries quickly and fully. Whatever your ability to manage your social media right now, do make sure you have made it clear what is happening with your business. Are you still operating? If so, what sort of service can people expect? Leave it at that, and update as and when the situation changes.   If you feel like you’re missing a trick on social media, and want a dynamic online presence for your business, talk to us. We have a variety of flexible ways we can manage social media for you, depending on your aims, audiences and budget.  We can even train your in-house team too. If you'd like to receive our newsletter, click here to sign up. It's full of useful information like this blog post and if it's not your cup of tea you can unsubscribe at any time. ...

In these times of uncertainty, when many people are working from home and events are being cancelled, networking clubs are being ill-attended and meetings postponed. Many questions arise, the main one being, ‘what does this all mean for my business?’ Here at Seaside Creative, we have a strong belief in the phrase ‘every cloud has a silver lining’. So we asked ourselves ‘what are the positives to the situation and could there even be opportunities?  At this time, there could potentially be more traffic to your website and social media than ever, as people are spending more and more time online. Make sure you make the most of this increased traffic by ensuring your online channels are at their best. That way, the connection between your business and potential customers is still high. Now would be a great opportunity to boost your digital efforts. There have been studies that date back to almost a century ago which point out the advantages of maintaining or even increasing marketing budgets during a weaker economy. We understand that while this isn’t quite a weak economy scenario, it is a time of crisis and it is important to advertise throughout good and bad times. Social media is one of the first places potential customers go to see updates about a business, in fact, 66% of Facebook users say they Like or Follow a brand on the platform.  Therefore; having an engaging social feed can allow potential customers to feel a connection with you, even if all of your employees are working from home. Another great way to keep potential customers engaged for longer is with video. Ensuring video content is engaging and informative allows people to still interact with your business and learn about what you can offer them - even if they are working from home. From an employers’ point of view, not having team members in the office does not need to mean that there is a lack of communication between them. There are plenty of online services which allow users to be in contact. Why not try video calling each other on Skype? If video calling isn’t for you there are plenty of collaborative tools which allow teams to work together in a virtual space; such as Slack. There are lots of ways communication can continue even when people are not physically together; which includes keeping in touch with potential customers.  If you have a strong presence online, connection will not be lost between your business and potential customers. So if you’re in need of help with your online marketing strategy, get in touch with us today. We’d love to help you keep in front of the people who matter - whether offline or online! If you're not quite ready to call us, why not sign up for our newsletter? It's full of useful information and will remind you to contact us when the time is right!...

Our Top 4 Things To Do In 2020 To Make Your Digital Marketing More Successful It’s 2020! Whether you’ve just started your own business, or you’re brushing up on your marketing skills we thought we’d collate our top four digital marketing tips to help make your 2020 successful. There are so many different areas of digital marketing; which is why we’ve chosen four top tips - one for each main area of digital marketing. Social media, email marketing, pay per click advertising (PPC) and, of course, search engine optimisation (SEO). So let’s get started… Social media: Be consistent This might sound a little obvious, but we see businesses posting inconsistently all too often. Note how we’ve said ‘consistent’ and not ‘constant’? Although posting frequently is important, making sure the content goes out consistently is key. Ensuring you post on certain days every week will not only allow you to get into a routine, it’ll also mean your followers will know when to expect content. Whether you want to post twice a day, twice a week or twice a month, make sure you stick to it!   Email Marketing: Segment your mailing list If you’ve got a small mailing list at the moment, segmenting your list may be difficult. But once you start to grow your list you’ll start to notice trends. These trends can then be organised into segments so that you can send targeted emails. For example; if you send out an email to all of your subscribers promoting a new bag you’re selling, put a link to the bag in the email. The people that click on the link can be segmented into a separate list which means you can then re-target the people that were interested. There are so many ways you can target consumers using email marketing, segmenting your mailing list is a good place to start!   Pay Per Click Advertising: Target your campaigns effectively  Although most people do target their campaigns, not many realise the extent to which this can be done. Targeting tools are now very precise, not only based on past internet activity but also geographical location. In some instances, the targeting tools will allow you to use micro-geographical focus to really hone in on the consumers you want to view your advertisement. Ensuring your campaigns are targeted correctly will ensure that the right consumers are seeing your advertisements. In turn, this should generate more successful analytics and increased Return On Investment (ROI).   Search Engine Optimisation: ensure your business photos have ALT text SEO has a huge stigma for being something that not everyone can do and a task only fit for a professional. But the fact is, anyone can do SEO; it is not about striving for unrealistic results. More about making small changes to the content that you upload online - whether on your website, on social media, on a blog etc. Small changes have a huge impact on how highly your website or business is ranked in the magical search engine algorithm.    One of the smallest alterations that can make a huge difference is ensuring your business photos have ALT text. Usually found in the image settings, ALT text is primarily used for text-speech systems to describe the photo. For example; if you uploaded a photo of a black Labrador, you should include ALT text that states, ‘Image of a black Labrador’. ALT text can also be very useful for SEO; by adding ALT text you are allowing search engines to know what the image is and so they can flag the photo as relevant where appropriate to the user. But how does that boost SEO of my business? - Include your business name within the ALT text of a photo. Having that photo optimised means there is more content online which is relevant to your business name. The more content a search engine can find about the business, generally, the higher it will rank it. Having optimised photos will improve your website as a whole and improve user experience (UX)!   So you see, small changes to any area of your digital marketing strategy can greatly impact your results.  If you’re looking to get professional help with your business’ online presence please contact us on 01903 686858 or drop us an email. We also send out a monthly newsletter so if you're keen to have all sorts of useful marketing advice delivered direct to your inbox, sign up here....

Having a lot of knowledge in our field is great for us, but it feels even better to share that knowledge. This is exactly what we’ve been doing recently, working with both Worthing and Adur Chamber of Commerce as well as businesses to run training sessions. Worthing and Adur Chamber of Commerce offers training sessions led by local experts called ‘WiseUp2’ sessions. Both of our Directors have offered up their own expertise on many occasions through running their own WiseUp2 sessions. In fact, Kelly has one coming up soon!  Seaside Creative offers a complete service to its clients, so whether you need help with writing, websites, digital marketing or photography and video, our team have the expertise. Which is why the sessions that we run for the Chamber are so diverse. The approach we take with our training sessions is often hands on, we love to get the people attending interacting and trying out the skills they are learning right there and then.  Recently, our Director Martin Bloomfield took along a selection of his recording equipment to a WiseUp2 training session he was running on how to use smartphones to create video for social media. Having the equipment there allowed people to try it out for themselves. By the end of the session everyone had the opportunity to get a hands on learning experience.  Within the last week, Kelly and Alison have been delivering training sessions to a local organisation that wanted to train its staff in social media marketing. This was a great opportunity for Alison, our digital marketing assistant, to share her expert Instagram knowledge and get to grips with running a training session.  Even though we love to share our knowledge, we also need to brush up on our own skills from time to time. At Seaside Creative, we often attend training sessions ourselves and become students again! We never shy away from learning a new skill, or brushing up on a current one - #NeverStopLearning! If you’re looking for training across any marketing sphere of expertise, we can most likely cover it. Our sessions are delivered bespoke to clients’ needs. What’s your marketing pain point? Let us help get rid of it. Contact us today. If you're not quite ready for training or other help just yet you can sign up to our email newsletter so you'll get all our help and advice delivered monthly. ...

We have been taking pictures and filming all over the place this month. We have been in fields, at schools, in rooms full of people and even inside metal containers - yep we get all the glamorous locations! It doesn't matter where we are or what we take pictures of, there are some factors that we always consider and we thought you'd like to know some of them: Think about your framing.  Landscape (or view), Portrait (or upright) or now, if you're an Instagramer, square. We see so many people using their smartphone camera in the upright mode in situations landscape would work better. Upright photography Or does the landscape work better? Think about photo bombers Taking group photos can throw up a lot of small issues, most of which can be rectified before the image is taken. However; photo bombing is one that gets noticed in the post production stage.   Innocent group photo Or is it? Think about the exposure   OK, most smartphones have an auto exposure mode, which means users don't get much of a chance to alter the settings. What's important in this photograph, the corridor? or the light through the window? Try taping the screen to the area in the frame that matters most.   The dark area or the light area and the camera will usually readjust the exposure to where you have just touched.  With newer smartphones, there is a setting known as HDR - High Dynamic Range where the camera will try to blend the high lights (white areas) and low lights (the dark areas) to create a more even exposure. The cloister corridor leading from the dining room to the school building of Lancing College.   Think about how the image will be cropped, if at all Cropping the images can be a good idea to create impact and cut the clutter from an image. Going back to the first photograph and editing the image to square can be good.  There are loads of apps to use if your smartphone doesn't do what you want it to do with the photo.  One particular favourite of ours is SnapSeed (now taken over by Google and is available for both Android and iPhone).  This enables users to enhance photos and apply digital filters.   Think about if text will be over the image Text over the image is a popular for business -  it's gets the message across very quickly.  Snapseed has a good range of text overlays otherwise another useful app for this is Over  - Fast and effective with some simple templates to use.   If you want help with your photography and post capture work, we regularly run training courses in conjunction with the Worthing and Adur Chamber of Commerce. Check out what's coming up soon on their website. We'll also include details in our monthly newsletter which you can sign up for here. Alternatively, you can contact us to see how we can help you today....