social media Tag

Small Changes Can Make a BIG Difference To Your Marketing You might not have the time nor the resources to do a full on redesign of your website or completely revamp your social media channels. However there are quick wins that you can achieve in a few hours, whether doing it yourself or asking a professional to help. Here’s a few ideas that we’re undertaking at the moment for both ourselves and some of our clients: Refresh your logo - visual branding is often created at the beginning of your business’s life when you’re keen to get something ‘out there’ to get the ball rolling. Several years down the line and you’re still using the same one but times - and your business - have moved on. If you’ve built good brand recognition you won’t want to waste that credibility, trust and awareness so, rather than throwing the baby out with the bathwater and ditching the existing logo, why not go for a refresh?  With a successful logo refresh, you can continue to reap the benefits of the brand awareness and trustworthiness of your ‘old’ logo but demonstrate your currency, dynamism and forward-thinking approach with a new look.    Revisit your website content - like your logo, you may have created your website when you were first looking to tell people about your business, and it’s been left like that for some time. For some of you, a redesign and rebuild may be necessary but an update of images and written content (aka copy) could work in many cases. For example, is your ‘about’ page up to date with any staff featured? Is your portfolio showing your most recent clients and work? Perhaps some of the language you used doesn’t reflect the tone you wish to convey?  Take some time to read through the copy and change the bits that don’t fit with how you now see your business. There may also be references to past promotions or events that have taken place and are no longer relevant. Similarly, perhaps you used stock images at the start but now have (or are in a position to get) images of your actual products or services? Small changes can make big differences to customer and client perception and is great for enhancing your Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). Google especially loves new content and even making slight changes to existing copy will mean that Google improves the ranking of that page.   Update your social bios and headers - In the same way that website content needs to move on to reflect any changes in the business, so too do your social media bio and ‘about’ information. Similarly, you might like to change the header image on your Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn business page. Perhaps you’re now offering a new service or product that you’d like to highlight? There is also lots of free or good value design software out there that offers exact match templates for specific header sizes to ensure you get the maximum effect. We love Canva (you can check it out here) which is super easy to use.   Icons and thumbnails These are often ignored in design, which is a huge mistake as icons are often the first thing someone sees about you. Does your logo actually work when used in this small format? If not, can you focus on a part of the logo? Can you simplify it in some way? When designing the Seaside Creative branding, we realised that our 5 beach huts would not work across our social media icons so we developed our single beach hut which is now equally recognised along with our main logo.  [caption id="attachment_17281" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Our full Seaside Creative logo (left) and our versatile icon used when a smaller image is needed[/caption]   Consistency across all channels - consistency is a key aim in marketing. You want people to recognise your brand and what it represents easily and quickly. The best way is to keep your branding consistent, that is imagery, tone of voice in your copy, typography (the fonts, colours and sizes you use), any uniforms, signage or livery, customer service, or anything else that represents your business.  This won’t always be possible down to the tiniest details but you can certainly take an overall look at your website, any literature (brochures, adverts, leaflets), your email signature, etc to make sure that each one looks broadly the same. Are you using the most up to date logo? If you’ve chosen to use a certain font, is it the same in your emails, your website, etc? If someone looked at your website, would they know it was the same business as when looking at your brochure or any other aspect of your business?   Remove or update out of date stuff - this ties in with the previous point as it’s very easy to change logos, a point of contact, or a page on your website, without ensuring that it’s been updated everywhere it needs to be. Did you pin a post to the top of your Facebook page when you had a promo on and have left it there months after? Perhaps you’ve got printed literature featuring old price lists? Save yourself awkward moments by making it a regular task to check everything is current. Customers and clients will either be confused by out of date information - creating more work for you when they contact you about it - or get the impression of an inactive, stagnant business and this won’t help you win new customers.   Set aside a morning or one day to take a look at each of these ideas - in fact, some may be achieved alongside each other. If there’s anything you’ve got questions about do get in touch.    If you decide you need expert help - perhaps with your copywriting, new images or a branding refresh - do get in touch with us. We’re here to help....

We've met Martin and Alison, and now is the time to meet Kelly, co-founder and director of Seaside Creative and all-round PR and marketing expert. What do you do at Seaside Creative?  I’m a joint Director in the company and head up the Content and PR side of the business. Have you always worked in this type of business? Well, I had a Saturday job working in a specialist tobacconist when I was a teenager (hated selling cigarettes but loved weighing out the black forest pipe tobacco) and then I worked in a dementia care home while I was at university studying PR and English Literature (I could tell you some stories!). I got a job in PR almost as soon as I finished my degree, which then led to roles at full service marketing agencies and I’ve not looked back! Do you have any workplace rituals?  Not really, I think I’m fairly laid back when it comes to that sort of thing. Although I'm not sure the rest of the team would agree! Tell us an interesting but little known fact about you…  Quite a few people know that I sing and that I played rugby at a high level for a few years, but not many know that I’ve done what was then the highest bungee jump in the world when I travelled round New Zealand in 2001. You have to get a cable car out to the pod that’s suspended between two cliffs 134m above the river Nevis and jump from that. You freefall for 8.5 seconds. Yes it was scary!  [caption id="attachment_17273" align="aligncenter" width="219"] We do not want this to be our next team building exercise![/caption] Where do you see yourself in five years time?  If you’d asked me this a few months ago I would have said working with a larger team at Seaside Creative. However, the way 2020 has gone so far I’m just grateful we’re still here! I think it’s good to have plans and goals as they give you something to work for, but I don’t like to make them too rigid as it can just lead to disappointment. Have you read anything good recently, whether for fun, work or both? I’ve been reading The Testaments by Margaret Atwood; I’ve read many of her books and love her portrayal of women, especially when I was a teenager. She is an amazing role model of our time. I want to read Difficult Women by Helen Lewis too. I’m pleased to say that I’ve been described as one myself quite a few times during my working life so I’d like to find out more about my role-models! What’s your greatest achievement, whether at work or personally?  That’s a hard one! Personally I am super proud of my kids and the people they are becoming. Being a parent is tough sometimes, but there’s no feeling like the pride you have in your own children.  Work-wise I suppose I’ve achieved lots of things over the years. I wrote an article in a charity newsletter I ran that secured a donation of £100,000, which was pretty amazing. In recent years I’ve been really proud of my track record of helping clients to win business awards; I’ve helped to win over a dozen in the last few years,  across many different categories too. I’m also proud to have been running a small business for nearly 10 years now - it’s been a rollercoaster ride sometimes but we’re still hanging on! If you could invite four guests for a long lunch, who would you invite and why? Where do you go for your lunch? Only four? Hmmm, well maybe Dave Grohl because I bet he’s got some stories to tell. I love the Foo Fighters and he just seems like a really nice bloke - plus he can bring his guitar. I’d invite my Grandad Bill Beer (real name!) as I never met him and those I know who knew him tell me how lovely he was. Then perhaps a historical figure like Margaret D’Anjou. The Wars of the Roses is a fascinating period in history and she had to be an amazingly strong woman to do all the things she did during that time. Finally, I’d invite Joan Rivers. She would keep us all in our place and tell us to dress better and we would cry laughing listening to her do it - well maybe Margaret D’Anjou wouldn’t, who knows what Joan Rivers would say about her medieval outfit… I think I’d have lunch in the tiny restaurant I went to once in the beautiful old town of Taormina in Sicily. The food was delicious and we could sit on the terrace and overlook Mount Etna and the Roman Amphitheatre with the Mediterranean sea in the background - just breathtaking. If you could be transported to anywhere right now, where would it be (and without any quarantine restrictions!)? I have travelled a bit but there are lots of places I’ve not been to that I’d love to visit. I watched a programme about the forests of Cuba recently where the presenter visited the home of the world’s tiniest bird - the Bee Hummingbird. We saw it feed and build a nest the size of an eggcup. I’d love to see that for real. Thanks Kelly! We're all sitting here thinking how bonkers you'd have to be to do that bungee jump! Perhaps we'll stick to a nice nature holiday in Cuba instead...

Welcome to the newest instalment of our interviews with the team here at Seaside Creative. Next up is Alison who may not be the newest member of the team but is certainly the youngest! Name:  Alison Thomas What do you do at Seaside Creative?  I am a marketing assistant specialising in Digital Marketing. I look after the social media accounts for our clients as well as email campaigns. Sometimes I help with other things too; such as writing press releases and providing website support. Have you always worked in this type of business? If not, what else have you done?  No, this is my first marketing role. Prior to this I worked in retail which I am still doing now especially during this time when supermarkets need extra people to help the running of the shop. Most of my time at the moment is spent on the front door and making sure there are a limited number of customers in the store.  Do you have any workplace rituals?  Not particularly. I'm probably most known for changing my desk around a lot as I like to change things up a bit every now and then! Tell us an interesting but little known fact about you...

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. ...

Although it is said a lot, video content really is the holy grail of social media content. As easy as it is to just type a post or include a photo, having a video really boosts engagement. In fact, according to a report by Animoto, videos are consumers favourite type of social media content.  At Seaside Creative, we strive to create video content to suit every client because we understand that no two businesses are the same and what works for one client may not work for another. We can create a variety of video; from short GIFs to longer films, the possibilities for video content on social media are endless. Working alongside and understanding clients helps us create video content that helps your business increase engagement and reach social media goals faster. As part of the social team, I work closely with the visual team to ensure that every client’s social media feed is full of engaging content. Bringing two experienced teams together to work on each and every client’s social media schedule means that only the best content is used  There are a few ways that we recommend you create video content:   In this day and age, most people are able to produce quality video footage with the equipment that they already own. That’s why we offer a halfway service so that clients who already have the footage can have it turned into a professional video. Here is an example of a video we created when a client met us halfway. With this particular example; another company owned the footage of our client’s product being made, but we managed to get permission to use it for our client’s promotional purposes. Once we could use the footage, our visual team then added text, a logo, music and transitions to really bring the footage to life. Once the video was created, it was posted on LinkedIn to help people become aware of just how the client’s product is produced. A different client came to us with a vision, but no footage of their own to give us. The client wanted to promote the award-winning pizza that they serve and so we created a stop motion animation to capture consumer’s attention on Facebook. There are many ways that we can work with you to create the perfect video content for your social media channels.  Contact us today to find out how we can help your business excel on social media with video content. You can also sign up to our newsletter so that'll get updates on the new blog posts we add, giving you helpful advice and pointers like this one!   ...

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....

Well after just over a 3 month break from college, I am going back. Except this time to a higher education college instead of a sixth form so it’ll be a new experience for me. I’m excited to meet loads of new people who are also on the same course and hopefully share the same passion for the subject. From speaking to my new tutor, I understand that GBMet College has a relaxed approach to delivering the course. Being a more independent learner that appreciates having freedom, this is an approach that I feel will benefit me more. Especially since I am doing a course that I have great ambition to be successful in. The Digital Marketing apprenticeship framework itself has both mandatory and optional units, some based in the workplace and others in the college, which I’ll be keen to utilise to my full advantage by making sure I learn about the key elements that apply to my role at Seaside Creative. During the introductory meeting at my workplace, my new tutor gave me a full folder with all the units within the framework. Many of which interest me and I am looking forward to studying - which is a good start! There are a diverse range of students currently on the apprenticeship scheme, all from completely different companies from website developers to garden tool suppliers. There will be lots of interesting people to meet and talk to regarding their experiences in their work placement- there are two apprentices actually in the same building as me. Many of the people on the course have made more progress than me so this will mean I’ll have the opportunity to seek help from my peers - something that my tutor appears keen for me to do as he has said that he likes to build a sense of community within his classroom.   So what have I been up to? I’ve been getting increasingly involved in the design side of the agency, working with one of our designers to provide a restaurant client with new menu designs for the festive period… yes we really are thinking about Christmas! The process of going from an idea to an actual menu that a restaurant can use is very interesting and all new to me so I am thoroughly enjoying getting involved in this project. Instruction manuals have been at the forefront of our minds this last couple of weeks, with our Director of photography and video, Martin working hard on creating multiple manuals and video tutorials for an outside storage space client. Watching projects like this unfold make me realise that products like manuals also go through an extensive process to make, something I never considered before. Manuals and leaflets are all pieces of print media that many of us just pick up and read without any thought about how they were made or even who made them. Worthing and Adur Chamber of Commerce held a Business Awards talk which myself and Martin attended. It was the first time I had gone along to an event with my camera to snap some photos and actually had someone ask me for my photos and even took our business details down. Working with Seaside Creative means that I get to really look at the production of these kind of products and start appreciating where they are from and the skill that goes into creating them. I’ve kept a weekly development log since my first week at Seaside Creative and I would highly recommend doing that as it really helps you keep track of how much progress you’ve made. Jotting down everything from, a big project you helped with or a small task you completed on your own, means that you can get a holistic view on the progress you’ve made and how much you’ve developed since starting the log. Sometimes the smaller, more seemingly pointless things at the time, become the bigger achievements in the long run and develop into more useful skills later on. I’m excited about the next few weeks and what they hold for me in terms of starting college and progressing even more with my skills and knowledge surrounding  Digital Marketing. Everyday presents new challenges and people to meet so I look forward to the ever-growing experience I am gaining with Seaside Creative. If you'd like to hear updates from the Seaside Creative team in general (including news, useful information and training events), sign up for our newsletter.  ...

I’ve been at Seaside Creative for over a month now and I have to say that is feels like yesterday that I walked through the scary double doors of the office building and waited to be interviewed. Now I’m sat at my own desk in that same office building, busy working on various tasks to help the running of multiple clients’ social media pages among other things such as blog writing, database handling and working towards completing my Google Digital Garage course online. Being an apprentice in a small, fast growing agency allows me to work closely with the Directors who have a combined 50 years of marketing experience on the photography, video and content writing and PR side of things. With such a huge amount of experience around me I feel I am developing a holistic view of marketing which I would not be getting if I had a placement in a narrow-fielded agency or business. Seaside Creative deals with a wide range of clients who all have different needs – I could be looking at magazine writing one minute and photo editing the next, or anything in-between. Being exposed to so much diversity everyday truly opens my eyes, allowing me to take in so much information about so many different types of marketing campaigns and how an agency goes about running them to make them efficient for that specific client. It’s surprising to see how each client is completely different in how they want things run, even booking ads with a magazine can be executed completely differently depending on the different targets and goals of the client. I have learnt that marketing is unique to every business and in order for an agency to be effective in delivering a campaign, they have to be able to fully understand what a client wants and what their goals are. This has increased my appreciation of all the experience I’m surrounded by on a daily basis and how long it takes to get to that level of knowledge and professionalism. I feel that I am in good hands with the Seaside Creative team, who always point me in the right direction and encourage me to learn in active and practical ways. What have I been up to? One thing I’ve been reading up on this past couple of weeks is the algorithms behind every social media platform. Algorithms are mathematical equations and the ones on social media sites are based on two factors; algorithmic quality (so the quality of the content in question) and the previous history of the user (actions and reactions users have had to specific content before).  The infamous Facebook algorithm considers over 100,000 factors. All in those few seconds it takes to load your feed, how crazy is that! These algorithms determine what users see on their feeds when they first open the social media app, or website.  There are different algorithms taking care of different aspects of the social media experience, but the most influential kind of algorithm is one that controls the flow of information people receive as it helps shape their thinking and understanding of news and events. Research carried out by the Pew Research Centre found that in 2017, two thirds of American adults (about 166 million people) said they get at least ‘some of their news’ from social media. Understanding these algorithms is fundamental to a social marketer, who’s main aim is to get engaging content seen by as many relevant people as possible and build up a following. Which is why when I have some spare time in between my usual duties, I feel that it is vital for me to read up on topics that are ever-changing, such as social media algorithms, to expand my knowledge. The better my social marketing skills are, the more I can improve my contribution to the Seaside Creative team. If you'd like to receive updates and marketing advice from Seaside Creative, sign up for our newsletter. It'll come to you every month and will include all sorts of information you'll find useful.  ...

As part of our growth plan we recently welcomed a new team member to the fold. Alison Thomas has joined us as our new Digital Marketing Apprentice and will be studying and working for us for the next 18 months before qualifying. We asked her to introduce herself...