Average just won’t cut it...

95 million images and videos are posted to Instagram every day, and more than 250 billion photos have been uploaded to Facebook since its conception. The need for brands to stand out in the digital era is obvious, yet every day you’ll see generic and uninspiring images carelessly repurposed across the web. Even household brands fall into the trap: at Picfair, we frequently run reverse image searches of globally-distributed magazine covers to show just how frequently an image has been used. This lack of care shown when selecting imagery runs the risk of brands not only appearing inauthentic but also minimising cut-through on crowded news feeds.

So how can brands ensure their visuals stand out?

1. Be bold

Tapping into trends can work wonders, but it’s also good to break the rules…

An introduction to getting visibility in social streams by understanding the algorithms used by Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn and Pinterest

Google was the first major search engine to use a sophisticated algorithm to determine the relevancy of web pages in search results. Their ‘PageRank’ algorithm – together with a ton of other SEO ranking signals – became synonymous with the search engine and rendered many of the incumbents useless. Goodbye Excite and Lycos. Most social media marketers will be aware of the mysterious and ever-changing ‘EdgeRank’ algorithm employed by Facebook. I have written before on Smart Insights on the ranking / visibility factors for EdgeRank in Facebook’s news feed ranking algorithm which determines whether your post is worthy of dissemination and to whom. EdgeRank is also responsible for the way in which older (but apparently popular) updates often appear on top of newer pieces of content on news feed. EdgeRank is not dissimilar to Google’s PageRank algorithm which is…

Are you using these quick wins for social media?

A lot of businesses are now aware of the importance of building a community when it comes to social media marketing. Because of this, marketers are using more sophisticated strategies to maximize the use of online tools to initiate engagement and interaction with their customers. But not all are reaching the results that they want in terms of exposure or traffic. If you’re still looking for more effective ways to use social media to your advantage, you need to use advanced techniques in reinforcing your marketing message. If you find your results underwhelming and you still don’t know what to do next in creating online presence, here are some of the advanced strategies you can use for your social media marketing efforts.

1. Find out the type of content that’s popular with your competitor’s audience.

It’s no secret that marketers monitor each other’s websites to…

7 techniques to saving hours each week on social media updates

So, what you're saying is you just don't have time for social media, right? You've been on all the courses, you've read the 'How to' books, attended all those breakfast seminars - you know you should be using LinkedIn and Twitter, perhaps even Facebook and you've created your profiles/pages but now you've forgotten about them, save for the occasional tweet, post or comment you leave in a group discussion thread. Why is this happening? It could be simple, you're probably not devoting the right amount of time to doing the right things to make social media work for you effectively. What's the solution? Well you could outsource some of your social media activities but then there's a cost involved in doing so…

Going Social - what does it do to your brain?

Gone are the days when we received advice from our friends and neighbours on a ocial media treet corner, or perhaps at the most recent neighbourhood block party because face-to-face conversations are becoming a thing of the past. I must admit that I have texted my friends from the next room on more than one occasion. Back when I was an adolescent, baby boomers like myself grew up with telephone conversations with a phone which was anchored to the kitchen wall, and further restricting us with a twisting and tangled cord. Now landlines are also becoming extinct with almost half of us ditching them completely for our wireless and hand-held devices.

Enter the world of Social Media

This is where social media comes into the picture, as now our dialogues have shifted to these platforms.…

8 ways to integrate social media into your email marketing

Rather than email becoming obsolete, widespread use of social media updates via email has, in many ways, reinforced how email is an even more powerful marketing channel. I'm sure many of you already use email and social media separately to help promote your business but how many of you integrate your social media and email marketing? Including and promoting social sharing or share with your network options in an email campaign is beneficial for a couple of reasons: They extend the reach of your emails: The more people who share your email, the more potential you have for opens, clicks and conversions. They provide an opportunity for list growth: The more eyes on your emails, the better chance you have of gaining new subscribers. So how do you integrate email and social media? Here…

A briefing on modern social selling

The age of social selling is upon us, although one could argue that it's always been that way. When people make a purchase they tell others. When people have a good or bad experience with a brand they tell others. When people love your products or services they tell others. It's safe to say that people love to share, which is exactly why social networks are so popular. Selling has always been social, but networks like Facebook and Twitter take that element and amplify it. Today's social selling is completely different, and when you implement it properly, it can do wonders for your brand.

 What is modern social selling?

The modern form of social selling involves integrating sale prompts or direct links via social profiles. For example, Amazon allows Twitter users to add items to their shopping cart…

Are you missing out through not advertising in social media to ensure content success with Paid Social Amplification?

In our industry, good content is invaluable. But good content is also hard work. From planning to Quality Contro, content must be researched, nurtured, analyzed, and improved on an ongoing basis to make it as suitable as possible for your target audience. But if no one is finding your content, then regardless of the quality, it won't have an impact on your business's bottom line. This is where paid amplification comes into play. [Editor's note: The Smart Insights research report on Managing Digital Marketing in 2014 showed that many businesses are looking to increase their paid advertising on social media this year, so we hope these tips on how to do this are helpful] Pushing targeted eyeballs to quality content is something our team has had success…

Introducing The App Map - a useful tool to compare different social media marketing services

With the incorporation of social media in many parts of business, from sales to customer service to marketing and more, the social software market has also advanced to support various job functions. These systems provide a variety of capabilities, including social media monitoring, CRM, social advertising and collaboration.

As these applications are all called 'social business,' such a diverse product landscape can create a lot of confusion for buyers.

However, this situation also presents many benefits. First of all, social app vendors are working hard to deliver very advanced tools for understanding your audience and/or followers, helping you find opportunities you might not have been able to spot on your own or with more traditional methods.

Customers have already adapted to being serviced via social, and it’s the social software vendors who are enabling sales, customer…

I recently covered the main trends in social media marketing which should affect your approach in 2014 in a webinar. If you couldn't make it, the Slideshare gives a summary of the 7 key issues that I covered in the webinar: 1. Google+ will be a major player among the social networks 6 2. Facebook isn’t going anywhere! 12 3. We’ll think twice about what we publish 17 4. Social Networks will crack down on promotional material 22 5. Social Media will be viewed as a sales tool, not just a marketing tool 25 6. It will be accepted that you can measure ROI on social media 28 7. Content will be key to the success of your campaign 32 Social media marketing trends 2014 from Smart Insights…

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