Tag Archives for " Australian Business "

Creating Competitions. How to get more Social with your Followers

Competitions

There aren’t many better ways to increase followers, engagement, brand visibility, and loyalty than with social competitions. Why? Because, if competitions are done well and with thought, they create buzz and genuine engagement.

A social competition or contest is essentially the promotion of your brand, business or product aimed specifically at your social media audience, both current and potential. Initially very popular on Facebook competitions have migrated to other social platforms with Instagram being the current platform of choice.

Creating competitions 

Contests continue to play a key part of businesses social strategy. Aimed at maximising engagement, the level of success, however, this is entirely dependant on you knowing your audience.

For example, research indicates that millennials are more inclined to engage in experiences, for which they are willing to pay. In the age of the savvy online customer, businesses have to be savvier in their approach to competitions.

Want to engage with Millennials and Gen X? Offer them an experience. Keen to boost your baby boomer and tech-shy client base encourage them to share, like, tag a friend and comment.

Gen Zers are the most likely to create specific content for you. With the rise of live broadcasts, encourage the creation of short clips and videos with your brand hashtag.

Social media contests can:

  • Inspire viral engagement (if your content is smart, astute, and fun consumers will want to share it with their network).
  • Boost engagement (CTA will encourage people to reach out and engage with you and your brand, business and products).
  • Build your email list (demonstrate that the business is providing value-add to their lives they’ll be rewarded for giving their email address).

88% of businesses are active on social media, which means you need to differentiate yourself. This translates to a lot of contests that are catching people’s attention and ultimately their business.

First of all, what should you consider when dreaming up a competition?

  • Unusual rules and ways to create engagement and action e.g. post a photo of the product with an unexpected item or particular colour related to your brand, rethink your prizes, know your audience and what they are looking for.
  • Experiences are increasingly sought after, why? Because they are harder to come by than products. The type of experience on offer will reflect the personality of the brand. This in turn will be linked back to you and the business. As the experience is being (for want of a better word) experienced you’ll receive UGC that can be repurposed. The perfect solution to generating more relatable content.
  • Social cause campaigns are the most successful form of competition at the moment. Partly because millennials are the most socially engaged demographic on social media. But also because they highlight what your business and brand are focused on, the community.
  • Comment giveaways, whilst these are not revolutionary they will appeal to those on social media who don’t want to be hooked into an online community or complicated forms of engagement. Polls and voting will inspire action, and that’s what we want!

All of this ultimately comes back to the new algorithms. How Facebook and Instagram (in particular) are looking at your engagement with followers. If your posts are driving action and reactions (loves, laughs, comments – not just likes). They’ll boost your content further, it’s time to think outside the jar of jellybeans.

Social media tools for running competitions – are they useful?

In a nutshell, yes. Why? Because they manage a whole range of components at the same time, and furthermore give you running feedback on engagement so you can adjust your strategy accordingly.

Our top three suggestions to investigate are:

  1. Gleam – they’re robust in their reporting and growth of some kind is assured, whether it’s your email list or social media following. A noteworthy aspect is an offer of a month trial before switching to paid plans that start at US$39/month
  2. Rafflecopter – considered to be the easiest to use, and they offer month to month plans, which for small businesses is appealing. Prices start at US$13/month for their basic plan
  3.  If Facebook is the main marketing platform for your business Woobox is the best option for managing social contests. Prices for the solo (small business plan) start from US$30/month.

And…the best Instagram #hashtags to use for competitions and promotions

1. #contest
2. #[yourbrand]contest
3. #contests
4. #contestalert
5. #contestentry
6. #sweepstakes
7. #[yourbrand]sweepstakes
8. #giveaway
9. #[yourbrand]giveaway
10. #giveaways
11. #winitwednesday
12. #competition
13. #win
14. #[yourbrand]win

Not sure how best to proceed for your business needs and customer engagement? Check out what other similar businesses are doing and how they’re engaging with their clients. Failing that drop us a line, we are always happy to delve into your social media and see what’s going on and how to best optimise your activity. Get in touch here.

Read our post on #Hashtags. Find out more about how to develop and use them to maximum effect on social media.

Competitions help create authentic connections between you, your business or brand and your audience.

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*This post was originally written by Wayfairer for Digital Dandy

Hashtags, what are they and how important are they, really?

Hashtags

Hashtags, what are they and how important are they, really? Every minute thousands of images, videos, sound clips and links are posted on social media platforms. In the increasingly crowded social media space businesses need to stand out amongst the crowd. Unless you have a huge following the likelihood of your posts being missed is quite high. This is where hashtags come into the picture (pardon the pun). Hashtags came into their own when Twitter was launched into the social scene. Nowadays they’re used as common practice across all media platforms.

Defining the hashtag

A hashtag is a keyword or phrase preceded by the hash symbol (#). Written within a post or comment to highlight it and facilitate a search for it. Essentially, by including hashtags in your post; it will be indexed by the social network and search engines so that it can be discoverable to everyone. Even if they’re not your followers or fans. For example, if your company is based in Hobart and your desired audience is both local residents and visitors to the city you could use the hashtag #hobartandbeyond to tap into the tourism sector of your client base.

Instagram (and social media in general) has been changing the rules of the hashtag game. And with that, we need to change our methods of engagement from the types and frequency of our hashtag usage. Focusing on more what, how, and when we post our content, so it counts most.

Hashtags

Hashtag heaven

Social media statistics will help you track your hashtag engagement

To put it simply, Instagram has divided their hashtags into three different categories, genericcommunity, and branded hashtags

Generic: 

These hashtags are the least specific of the three, but they do help with random discovery by users. However, the drawback is if you use the same hashtags too often your account could be flagged as ‘spam’ which you don’t want. This type of hashtag is more like a generalisation. And when it comes to business, it doesn’t work. Most businesses, or almost every business, have a niche (a specific type of product or service). And using a broad hashtag is akin to stabbing wildly in the dark. So, if you are going to use a generic hashtag, make sure you mix them up. Generic hashtag examples are: #travel, #love, #paradise

Community:

Related to the gathering of people who have similar interests or have similar content. Some examples of these communities are #fromwhereistand and #ihavethisthingwithfloors. To find these look at your followers and the types of accounts and people they follow. The narrower the scope of the hashtag, the more engaged the following.

Branded:

Unique to your business, branded hashtag, they can be your business name or tagline, specific product name. They can be helpful in encouraging UGC and increasing exposure specific to your business, services and products.

Don’t make your hashtags too long and hard to read, and, check your spelling.

Last but not least, you can now follow specific hashtags on Instagram, and so can your followers. This game changer will either boost or kill your visibility. Which is one of the reasons why using the relevant hashtag is so important. Once a hashtag is followed you’ll be given suggestions from Instagram of other hashtags, accounts, images, content that may be of interest. A form of organic discovery, using Instagram centric algorithms and hashtags. By following specific hashtags you’ll be able to see what other people are doing. Who is using the same hashtag and if this is on point for your business, brand and target audience.

Plus, you’ll gather a cache of hashtags relevant to your industry as deemed by Instagram. If that’s not the golden ticket, we don’t know what is!

A closer look at social platforms & what works best

Instagram

  • Between 3-5 hashtags in your description, and up to 10 in your comments.
  • To keep everything organised and visually appealing. It’s best to put your hashtags at the end of your caption preferably separated by either dots or asterisks. If you’re a bit OCD, you can also add your hashtags in a comment to your post (10 maximum).
  • Instagram’s algorithm has always favoured specific and relevant hashtags. Using hashtags that make sense is super important. That’s because users now have the power to edit your hashtagged content as something they don’t want to see.
  • Instagram insights will give you an outline of which hashtag groups are working best for you. From there you can narrow down your hashtag use to the ones that are most effective for you, and your business.

Facebook

  • Surprisingly the use of a hashtag is not very important on Facebook, it’s the title, heading or description that punches its weight.
  • Use hashtag groups, but keep them to an absolute minimum, a branded hashtag is the best course of action.
  • Content posted on Facebook can now be cross-posted onto Instagram if images are part of the post.

Pinterest

  • Don’t use more than 20 hashtags per pin (that’s a lot!) and they only work in the pin description.

Twitter

  • More than two hashtags have been shown to reduce visibility and reduce the tweets to being allocated as ‘spam’.
  • Unlike Instagram, hashtags can be used anywhere. In the tweet, whether as part of the text or afterwards, it makes no difference. #But #don’t #tag #every #word – #its #annoying #to #read.

Google+ and LinkedIn

  • The humble Hashtag can be used, but they don’t impact the visibility of the post. Again, focus on using branded hashtags only.
  • On LinkedIn, the most important feature is the fact that any activity on posts (e.g. likes, shares or comments) are broadcast on the wall of everyone who is following your company or you as an individual. An easy way to get exposure is to post regular content and encourage engagement.
Hashtags are go!

Hashtags help make you and your business more discoverable

 

 

 

 

 

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*This post was originally written by Wayfairer for Digital Dandy If you’d like help or some further information about coaching services in relation to digital media, social strategy and business presence online get in touch here  – info (at) wayfairer.net

 

 

 

 

GDPR + Your Business

The GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) comes into effect today, May 25th, 2018. Whilst there has been a lot of hype about the updated regulations, the core essence of the policy is to protect the data of people collected by businesses.

LET US EXPLAIN….

General privacy policies are related to information attached to an individual and these can be broken down into:

  • email address
  • first and last names
  • date and place of birth
  • city, town and country
  • shipping and/or billing addresses
  • e-commerce information – banking or card details (there are additional Privacy Policy requirements for e-commerce sites)

Anonymous data, which is data that is not specifically personal but can be classified as ‘ personally identifiable information‘ when used in connection with other types of data that can lead to the identification of an individual.

Any business or website that collects data (as outlined above) is subject to this law and are applicable to the following platforms:

  • Websites
  • WordPress blogs (or other platforms)
  • E-commerce stores
  • Mobile apps – across all phone platforms (iOS, Android, Windows)
  • Facebook apps, desktop apps, Saas apps
  • Digital products or digital services

The GDPR is applicable to any individual or business that offers products or services to citizens of the EU and / or collects information from EU citizens. Regardless of where your business is located. This means that Australian based businesses that collect data, whether emails or data related to e-commerce transactions are required to comply with the GDPR

Part of the new regulation outlined in Article 12 of the GDPR stipulates how your business communicates with customers about the way personal data is processed, and it must be:

  • Intelligible and concise, in clear plain language that is easily understood
  • Easily accessible
  • Free of charge

In addition to the new GDPR regulation, more information is required in your business Privacy Policy, which like the GDPR needs to outline the following points –

A sample email marketing permission consent form

  • What personal information you collect
  • How and why you collect it
  • How you use it
  • How you secure it
  • Any third parties with access to it
  • If you use cookies
  • How users can control any aspects of this data

Dense legal jargon must be avoided, the purpose of the legislation is to allow individuals to easily understand what your privacy and data protection policies are.

Privacy Notices are also a new mandatory requirement, and these are a short, concise note to let the user know why you are collecting their data (see image for an example) A sample email marketing permission consent form

HOW TO GET STARTED

Enabling GDPR fields in your sign up forms will not make your business compliant. It’s a multi-step process

1. Set up a GDPR friendly sign up which has the following:

Sample information about how an individual can contact the DPO (Data Protection Officer)

  • Marketing permission text – advise sign-ups that you’re collecting their information and how you’ll use it.
  • Opt-in checkboxes for all of your channels – Customers can choose how and where they hear from you. Including the most common marketing channels you use e.g. email, direct mail, customised online advertising (Facebook, Instagram, Google ads)
  • Your company privacy policy and terms –Advise people where they can find your privacy policy and how they can contact you
  • Data storage policy – Let people know how you will store their data, if you plan to keep all data within a marketing platform. For example, MailChimp, provide links to their Privacy Policy and Terms of Use, to ensure both you and your email marketing provider are GDPR compliant.

2. Send a re-permission email to your existing email list. Most email marketing providers, like, MailChimp, have templates you can use to get contact permissions that are GDPR compliant. Once re-consent has been received this will be stored with your emails and collected user data.

3. Stay compliant with data management and security. This means enabling 2 Factor Authentication (known as 2FA) and allow users to modify their contact information through a link to their profile. This includes deleting all personal data.

 Sample information about how an individual can contact the DPO (Data Protection Officer)

GDPR data protection compliance

4. Provide information about how an individual can contact the DPO (Data Protection Officer) in your business (in the case of small businesses this is the business owner / sole trader who responsible for data management and compliance)

Creating these Privacy Policies and GDPR compliant guidelines can be daunting. There is an option to have a Policy created that is compliant with both Australian law and the updated GDPR. They are:

  • Privacy Policies – free for personal use and a fee for business, after inputting your information a Privacy Policy is created (please note that this is a generic privacy policy and may not cover all the legal requirements of your business and/or the updated regulations of the GDPR – if in doubt, please seek legal counsel) USD $29.99 per policy
  • Terms Feed – create legally binding agreements for users, they create Privacy Policies, T&Cs, EULA, Returns and Refunds, and Cookies policy. Prices start at USD$14.00 and increase according to the complexity of your website, services and products. This is considered to be the best option to cover all regulations – specifically GDPR, CalOPPA and Australian data protection laws)
  • WordPress offers a free plugin that generates a privacy policy for your WordPress site. Download the free Auto Terms of Service and Privacy Policy WordPress plugin from the WordPress plugin directory.

Please note, the above information is not legal advice. Please seek professional guidance should you have any doubts or queries as to how to protect and make your business compliant with the new Data Protection regulations both within Australia and internationally.

See our Privacy Policy here